Holding my "before" favorite shirt after losing 125 pounds on my journey to better health.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Frozen Shoulder What??

   Over the past year or so I have been dealing with an interesting situation. I would go to reach for something with my left arm and pain would shoot down to my hand.  Wow, really bad pain. Then achy pain all the time. I was propping my arm up on a pillow at night. Wearing my hand braces and a shoulder brace at night. Ointments rubbed on it seemed to help a little. On the worse days I would take a couple of ibuprofen. (I try to not take anything for pain.)  I wondered if it was related to the surgeries I had years ago on my hands to release adhesions.  I also had surgery on my Right arm to release adhesion that had tacked and entrapped the nerves clear up into my shoulder.  The Dr. at that time felt that the left arm was not as bad so wait and watch.  Now this began. I kept trying to ignore it and eventually began noticing that I was not using that arm like I use to.  I was protecting it and it was becoming stiff.  Really stiff.  It got so I could not move my shoulder in some directions. Some directions were not as bad of a problem.  I couldn't lift it up from my side more than about 6 inches. I couldn't lift my grand baby. I couldn't lift anything with that arm.  Getting dressed and undressed  was not fun.  It was so frustrating. I finally decided I better get to the bottom of it. My family Dr. informed me that he thought it was arthritis and I probably needed Rotator Cuff surgery. (That's one of the reasons I had let it go on so long I didn't want surgery.)  I was not a happy girl. He took X-rays and sent me to an Orthopedic surgeon to hear the plan. The Ortho took one look at my X-rays and said, " just a little arthritis nothing to worry about right now." After watching my lack of range of motion he said you have, "Adhesive Capsulitis (frozen shoulder)"  The capsule of connective tissue thickens and tightens around the shoulder joint restricting movement.   Okay, now what do I do?  He told me that there are stages to the syndrome and that it usually gets better over time.  There are three stages: Freezing Stage, Frozen Stage, and Thawing Stage. He said from my examination that I was going from Frozen Stage into Thawing Stage. He gave me a list of exercises to do with that arm. With a word of caution to go very slow and not inflame it. It is going to be a challenge because I have taught myself to guard and protect that shoulder. Now I am to gently push and pull my arm  slowly to unfreeze it. This may sound like a frustrated post but when I heard that diagnoses and that I (probably) don't need surgery I just about danced out of his office. This is something I know how to fix. I will recover! There is no reason why this syndrome decided to visit me at this time. I have always had a little bit of residual weakness in that arm and shoulder.  There is nothing I could have done to stop the progression or speed up the stages. It just takes time. Complete return to normal or close to normal strength and motion typically during the Thaw Stage  takes from 6 months to 2 years.  The most important thing is to not injure the shoulder. I will just continue doing my group of exercises and hope that the Thawing Stage goes fast. (Maybe the hot summer in St. George will speed it along?)

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Osteoporosis update

I have an update on my "new" diagnosis of osteoporosis. I was able to spend some time with my Dr. discussing the treatment and results. I have new hope. For a while I was just so stunned I quit exercising and just had a huge pitty party. I now have hope and the mental strength to fight back to try and improve my diagnosis. My Dr. let me know that it was very possible to have the bone mass increased. I don't really like the way the Actonel works in increasing bone mass. I will continue to research other options.  I do have some side affects from it for about a week after taking my once a month dose.  I have been through worse.(withdrawal from methadone lasted for months)   I have pumped up my Calcium and Vit D. I am slowly eliminating my consumption of Soda. I have continued with my weight lifting and focusing more on the muscles along my spine. My Dr. has assured me that it would take a significant  fall to fracture my vertebrae  This was a big fear for me. I now know that the weight loss contributed to this. I know that I should have been focusing more on walking and weight lifting in the early stages of my journey. Tha H2o aerobics were great for so many things but did not give me much in the weight bearing department. Also both my mom and dad had it which really increased my risk. For a while my mind kept saying,"Why? Why? Why? I now am able to look forward and say, "what can I do to fight this?" If I can encourage you to do anything it would be know your history and risk factors. Get your Calcium and Vitamin D.  I knew some of the risk factors. A few I have found out since the diagnosis. So now I know and I can continue moving, eating right, and staying as healthy as I can on this journey. Thank you for all your words of encouragement. I'm going to "Just Keep Swimming!"

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Don't Do It

How many times have you let some ones comments stop you from doing something you know is very important to your health? Don't do it. Don't let others sway you. I have a friend who had her feelings hurt by someone who really didn't realize what they were doing. They made some comment about something this person was eating and from there it just went wrong.  The first thing that pops into mind is they are judging. The emotions begin to rise, the thoughts about what they are thinking, the anger, or embarrassment come into play. It is very easy to let some ones comment impact in a big way.   If you are on your own healthy journey then you know what works for YOU. Some of you have the time to prepare wonderful healthy meals. Some of you don't. Some of you have to grab something at the store. That is okay if it works for you.  What works for you  may not work for me.  What works for me may not work for you. I have found something that works for me. Find something that works for you and hang onto it. All the time I hear people say that they try this or that to become healthy. That's great if it works for you and is HEALTHY. I encourage you all to explore following a healthy path that involves real food. I don't think that some of the weight loss plans are something that can be sustained long term. If you are having to take shakes, or pills, or shots, or special prepared meals for all meals then that concerns me. I had to learn and relearn how to have a good relationship with the foods I ate. I never ate fruits or veggies. Whole grains? Nope, none of that.  Portions were a big one that impacts my weight. If I have something I really enjoy I tend to want more and more. I love white bread and butter. I have learned that I can not leave it alone if it is in my house.  I have tried many many types of Multi-grain breads and have found one that is pretty satisfying to me. And I don't eat a whole loaf at a time. (yes I use to)  I will always have a  challenge  with weight control. I will always have a challenge with some of the things I use to eat as a comfort food. I still want them when I am stressed, tired, hungry, etc. I know that weight loss is hard. Really hard. Maintaining a healthy weight is hard too. Really hard. I have to work on it all the time. Will I ever have a time when I can relax and say, "awww, I made it." I don't think so. I don't feel bad about that either. I know that the choice I have made and the commitment I have will give me time.  Time to feel good. Time to travel and time to spend with my family. To me that is all worth it.