Saturday, April 23, 2011

day one of exercise

3 minutes on the bike today.  figured I would only last one minute, so big victory.  my blood sugar dropped immediately.  cool

Thursday, April 21, 2011


One of the therapy programs the doctor has me on is that every day I have to either go outside or go up or down the stairs.  This time of year, I usually choose outside because we are waiting for spring to come and for the shore birds to return to our pond and baby moose to be born - stuff like that.  Last week we went out and saw that the rhubarb is coming up in the garden and that the raspberry plants look like they survived the winter.

Upstairs in my house is 1000 square feet of studio - half craft room mostly for scrapbooking and the other half a giant sewing room.  Craft and sewing space I have dreamed of my entire adult life.  There are 10 steps and a landing between me and that craft utopia.  The stairs are beautiful spruce wood - sanded and lacquared, very beautiful.  There is even a landing halfway up for resting. 

The first few steps, I do great.  sometimes, I don't even use my cane, I just bound up them like a mountain sheep.   but then I get to the landing and for some reason, I can't get up on it.  I switch legs and switch sides of my cane, I try to find things to grab.  I always get stalled stepping onto the landing.  The dogs find this annoying because the landing is where they spend their afternoons - watching for the UPS guy and Brian to come home from work.  They just look at me, like move it or lose it lady - we want the landing back.

The other night I was studying the steps from my chair in the living room - there is a post between my view and some of the steps and I kept trying to measure them in my mind, picturing me bounding up and down them with ease.  And I noticed that a step was missing near the landing.  I thought the post was blocking my view so I moved from side to side, trying to get a view of that step.  Finally, I figured out, there isn't one.  Alicia looked over with me and she grabbed a measuring tape and this is what we found:  step one is 5 3/4 inches.  very manageable for someone with little tiny short legs like mine.  next four steps were 7 1/2 inches.  about the maximum that I can comfortably manage. last step to the landing is a tiny bit over 10 inches.  TEN INCHES !!  No wonder I struggle on that step every time.  The newell posts are cobbled onto the stair case, so they are no help to use as leverage.  We said bad words about the man that built our house.  If he had pulled the steps out a couple inches, there would have been room for that last step and all the risers would have been closer to 6 1/2 or 7 inches. 

Turn the landing to finish the climb - next step is 5 1/2 inches. 

I do this funny thing in my mind when I think I can't tackle something because of my physical condition.   I bemoan the fact that I have lost this or that ability...  like one day Brian came home and found me crying because i wasn't strong enough to turn the water on or off in the bathroom.  I was so sad that I had lost that ability.  Turned out the faucet had broken - he couldn't turn it either.   I was getting so weak getting out of my recliner that I had to get a lift chair and let Brian have the recliner.  Turned out, the recliner is a bugger to close - he and Alicia have to really kick it to get it to close.  I wasn't getting weaker, the chair was wearing out.  stuff like that.  you know.  I panic, I worry, I feel sorry for myself.  so we have had a bit of a laugh (after a while, you have to laugh) about the stairs now.  It wasn't me at all - it was an idiotic build.  Haven't figured out what to do about it yet, but at least now we know it wasn't psychological or physical.  I just have short legs and the step is very tall. 

Monday, April 18, 2011

now that it is quiet

About a year ago, Alicia and I were watching a very intense episode of "Ruby" where the girls all went to fat camp and went thru intense therapy to try to find the reason for their weight problems.  All of the girls there put their weight back to something that happened with their dad.  I didn't think that really applied to me but I wanted to find out when my weight did start to be a problem, and son of a gun, it did start with something with my dad when I was a teenager.  I have been working on this problem for a year and unfortunately, my father died while I was in the middle of figuring it out.  Some of my family are very angry at me because I hadn't been close to my father in the last year as he was dying.  I figured this thing in my head needed to be puzzled out and my anger would pass - and I never discussed it with him, of course, he wasn't one to puzzle through emotions.  with him, things were or they weren't - there was no emotion and there was no puzzle.

Anyway, so he goes and dies right while I'm in the midst of figuring out this major life problem that has plagued me for the past 40 years and I kind of just checked out mentally when he died - living for the past few months mostly in my imagination and in a mild medicated state...  stuck because what little insight I had hoped to gain from him was obviously now on the other side of the veil.

Then I came across a friend of his from 40 years ago on Facebook and one of the final pieces of my puzzle fell right into place.  It is funny to reconnect with people on Facebook.  There are people that have influenced your life without knowing it and sometimes, they don't even remember you, but you remember them.  This isn't the only friend from 40 years ago that I have reconnected with that has helped put my fractured soul back together, but this one came along right when I needed the memory that he carried.  He holds other keys to my inner turmoils that I'm sure he doesn't know he carries, but for now I'll let them rest. 

The thing I learned this week is that I had options.  That is a big thing for me to realize.  My mom always says I only see things in black and white - I get stuck and can't see that I have options.  For many years I have blamed my father for what I went through in those years - he was too big and too strong for me to fight against.  But from here, I can see that I could have gone around him, but I think the methods to go around him would not have been entirely honorable; they were against the ways I had been taught and raised.  Maybe being raised in such a strict religious way does close off your options, maybe I was completely bound by my raising to see the options that I had.  Obviously, I was so bound that I did not go around him or the way he had raised me......  but could I have ?  Could that strength to tackle life be inside of me, hiding behind my religion and my upbringing and what would people think ?   I lost almost 5 pounds this week, so we'll see if the answer is here - if I have the strength and the ability to get out of this mold my father put me in.

Sunday, April 17, 2011


I wonder sometimes why I never accomplish anything in the evenings and today I think I figured it out.  When I woke from my nap this afternoon, I had a hundred thoughts I wanted to write down and record to help me with a problem I've been stuck on and when I came out to the living room I couldn't remember any of them.  Just now Brian put the TV on pause so he could put dinner together and the thoughts came flooding back - well, some of them did, I fear some of them are lost forever.  It's the NOISE.  No one can think in this room when that TV is on.  It isn't just the sound really, but also the constant assault of insipid thoughts and stupidity of commercials and reality TV shows. 

It's funny because sometimes I think I am losing it mentally because I can't remember anything or accomplish anything and it is always good to realize it isn't me.... it's my environment.