Tag Archives: balance

Alive and Chicken.

26 Mar

(misheard song lyric)

Just a quick update to let everyone know that I am still here, but energy has been spewing everywhere but the blog! I’m caught mid-xfer…Trying to move everything to typepad, but don’t have the energy to reformat posts and deal with the tagging/category translation screwup… Soooo… I’m still here…Still updating here… Posting occasional photos over there… Trying to decide if I should separate my art and my adventures in healthcare and parenting, but at the same time they all co-exist, maybe not so happily all the time, but I never intended for this blog to be a pristine studio portrait, I wanted it to be a pile of polaroids, fingerprints on the lens and all…So I am still on the fence…Will announce the big move more officially soon.

The universe just keeps dropping traffic cones and those Bob’s barricades hurdle-y mini-fence things (pylons?) everywhere I turn…Just enough so I can put up my arms and say “why!” but then it dumps piles of paper in those outstretched arms, honey gets somehow dumped over my head, and then the freaking universe turns a fan on. A FAN! What the #*@&? (see I have been working on my potty mouth)

Wish I could handle all of this with zen like grace and a serene moon-like glow, wish I could post an entry about managing stress, illness, parenting a special needs kid, financial drama at homeplate, and how it’s all a great big fabulous TA-DA! learning experience, but we all know that when you are eyeball deep n the big steamy, chunky stew that insight will happen eventually, learning may be around the corner, but right now you’ve got to grab on to that carrot wheel and kick because your life, or at the very least your sanity, depend on it.

No really. I’m ok. I am. or at least I will be.

*insert primal yell here* (yeah, not really me…maybe that should read *insert slightly operatic and comedic bellow*)

Huge hugs all around…
xo
B

The Truth Freaking Hurts.

24 Sep

For the past few weeks I’ve been having mega-low energy.  Lower than usual.

Because I haven’t been the most physically active Mama over the past few weeks (or rather less physically active than usual because my energy is low and my muscles aren’t obeying lately) I have been trying to make time for kiddo combined with a little rest…We are trying a more structured afternoon here, so having this sort of Mama and kiddo time of any sort seems to be just what kiddo and I needed…

This week so far I am feeling a little better and actually getting around the house a little easier and even took some new photographs, reorganized some work trays, and plotted some other things I need to do on my calendar…  So, I took a little quiet work with me so I could get something done while I was mildly alert and while boyo was eating his snack, while we both watched a movie…

Half way through the movie, kiddo started rearranging my work tray, as my work wasn’t making a pattern and he needs patterns…. I asked him to please stop and he said he wanted to help me with my work so I wouldn’t have to work so much.

I felt like such an arse.  I haven’t been working that much but I do most of my work when he is getting home from school as the morning is a bizarre game of fatigue just running me down.  I wake up. I get out of bed. I go to the kitchen to make tea.  Before it is ready I have to go sit down on the bed but I barely get there because my limbs are too worn to propel me.  This goes on for a couple of hours. Once the 2 cups of tea and the diet dr. pepper kick in along with my ADD meds, I usually have around 2 hours to do whatever I have to do.  This is going to make me lose my last marble.  I went through similar fatigue in January and I stopped taking on new custom work.   I hope this fades faster as I really do miss being at least mildly productive and I miss the interaction, the dance, that is the custom process….

Anyway, I was talking to kiddo and I asked him if he likes spending movie time with me in the afternoon (his dad is doing the active and more focused work with him) and he said he did.   As it turns out he wants to spend more time with me and doesn’t feel like I have spent time with him.  I get this, I do. I understand it.  The balance is elusive for moms who are healthy.

I asked him if he remembers spending time together when he was a very little guy and he said he did. I asked if we had fun and he told me that we went to the doctor’s office.  He is right, we were in doctor’s offices for his stuff and my stuff, at least twice a week for his first few years.  But that broke my heart.  His most vivid memories of me from his earlier years were in doctor’s offices, and going to sleep at the hospital and waking up with the booboo on my neck.   These things make him very sad. He told me he is worried.  “About what?” I asked. “About you” he replied.  I replied, “that’s funny, I was worrying about you!”…And then I broke down.

I guess somewhere, deep down, I was hoping that maybe he wouldn’t remember.  Or that those things were our normal wouldn’t bother him so much.  But they do.  And they bother me too.

WiiFit???? WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!

27 Jul

Ok. It broke.

That’s right. Our WiiFit is kaput.

It happened over a week ago.

Nintendo did provide stellar advice and service over the phone (from what I heard on this end…I had hubby make the call as I was busy with other things)….

They emailed us a fedex gound label and we sent the WiiFit balance board back, along with a busted (for no apparent reason) “Endless Ocean” disk (kiddo loves Endless Ocean and the disk read error was making him and through mere proximity, us, nutty)…

Hubby took the package to FedEx and now we wait…

So what happened?  Well, it was gradual, over around a dozen uses…I noticed that when doing the step program my right foot steps would very occasionally just not register…So occasionally that I just switched batteries and promptly forgot about it… But then I got into the advance rhythmic boxing and the right foot thing started happening more frequently… At some point I popped in the brand new rechargeable WiiFit battery pack which was advertised as a bundle offer on Amazon.com… No difference.  Finally it stopped registering on the right side at all… Baldguy ran the diagnostics and sure enough, the right front/upper side was not registering…

Anyway. So now we wait… I miss our WiiFit so much!  I was using it at least every other day and feeling the benefits (unfortunately this breakdown happened, in full, on the day I was coming back to my workouts from my week where I could barely move because of my spine issues)…

One thing the Nintendo rep did say on the phone- apparently Nintendo is not aware of any official, licensed battery packs for the WiiFit and even though the manufacurer of our pack does manufacture other licensed Nintendo Wii products the battery is not one of them and will void the warranty… They are apparently letting us sneak by at this time as the issue is not power related, but YMMV…

I’ll keep you updated… Off to investigate peculiar noise that is disturbing boy…

Later gators,

B

Wii Fit.

21 May

Yes. I did it. I preordered the Wii Fit from Amazon a few weeks/months (who can remember?) ago and it arrived today.

While I do need to lose weight and get my overall health and fitness into much better order, I find it hard to stay motivated while dealing with all of the kid issues (a “normal” person would be exhausted after all of the therapy/activity stuff) and my bone, muscle, endocrine, pain, and general malaise and fatigue. I have a doctor who barely looks at me when I come in his office- it’s not just me, I’m 99% sure he does this with all of his patients. It’s like he’s a librarian of my medical stuff and can access it and then he can pull other information for suggestions- but he is very by the book. I had a horrible experience taking statin meds but he insisted I try them to lower my (then slightly elevated) cholesterol. Found out that Statins and NSAIDS have the same response with me: swelling of extremities (I’m not talking pre-period bloating, I’m talking totally deformed swollen…causing stretchmarks amount of swelling) and everything gets stiff and it feels like I am walking through molasses…Even like my jaw has cold molasses in it. And I couldn’t stay awake. I was scared to be home alone with my little guy (he wasn’t in school yet). But because statins seem to beget lower labs, damn the side effects full speed ahead I swear he probably has every patient in this city that has either numbers that are below (in the ones where they are supposed to be below) the ideal by less than 20 points and every patient who may or may not be at risk from other health issues and genetics on statins. So I have refused statins. We tried a couple, all had the same reaction and I cannot function like that. So I told him I was going to take 6 months to lower my cholesterol on my own and if that didn’t work I would try another cholesterol medication. Guess what? My overall number dropped 100 points…All of the other numbers are where they should be and I was so looking forward to that call from his nurse last month to just hear her say “ok, see you in three months”

But once again: “Dr. Xyz wants you to start on vytorin again. He said that you mentioned that the side effects were difficult to manage but he feels the benefits outweigh that.”

Benefits outweigh the side effects? My numbers are better than perfect. Another doc even said “wow, your labs are better than mine and I don’t have all of these issues”. I have been working my butt off.

For what, for just in case? Adding a med with the side effect of me not being able to process information, speak, walk, talk, and in general be an interactive human being at even a basic level? No freaking way.

Anyway. So this doc is also the king of spitting information out without considering the patient. Most of the docs down here in Florida seem to be of the “one size fits all” approach (not meaning physical size, just treatment of medical issues/disorders/diseases/etc in general) . So I have damage to my spine that is getting worse (long long long story that I will entertain you with next week if I remember)… I had a tumor that gave me osteoporosis, ulcers, and a whole slew of other things. I have muscle spasms (freakishly giant charlie horses that kick the shidoobie out of me multiple times a day). I tell the doc that I am trying to walk more, take extra steps, etc… when I can because being sedentary is not the answer (my body is old at 32. like really old. like so old that I watch tv where people are complaining about crows feet at 32 and I want to blow the TV set up, but I really don’t have the strength and energy to move it to a safer location and it is one of those light weight and small ones) and that I want to do something to feel better in this medical freak body. I feel like I’m on the right path… I’m seeing better glucose readings and clearly my cholesterol has dropped but then he drops his prerecorded message.

“You need to exercise for 45 minutes, x number of days a week”

The prescription.

I refer to this as the last prescription.

Because I have heard this many times. Because I believe that starting parameters such as this are overwhelming to Joe and Jill Average who have a couple of kids, both work full time and they are caring for an elderly parent (general scenario)… I’m disabled- my body is freaking beaten by time and arthritis and being in the wrong place at the wrong time- I do get out of bed everyday but it takes 10 minutes to get to my feet and start walking. I have days where I can only shuffle to the microwave to heat a heatpack. 45 minutes of anything pretty much doesn’t happen.

45 minutes is too much for many people- it’s a giant chunk of time in an over-scheduled world. I’m not saying that there is anything bad about 30 or 45 minutes of exercise – I am hoping to get there some day.

But until I adopted the idea of taking baby steps and using quantitative measurement of my progress (I use a step counter daily and try to increase daily) and setting reasonable goals within a reasonable amount of time- goals that I knew I would have to work hard for but that weren’t crazy like “drop 100 lbs in 1 month” stuff; until that moment that I realized that something is better than nothing and I own this, then that was the starting point for me getting healthy.

Anyway, back to the Wii Fit. I really like that it takes different measurements of different skills and charts progress. It gives you the option of setting goals. It tracks your time. I just got lost in it (while I was setting it up before kid gets home so he can try it- I think it will be helpful on an OT/PT level with improving his and my balance) for 18 minutes. For 18 minutes I worked on my posture and balance and didn’t notice that the time had gone by. I have been sick for the past 2 weeks (on top of the regular physical stuff) so 18 minutes, in my book, is a huge step in the right direction from 0 minutes for the past couple of weeks (in total) ….

The activities are fun and look simple enough…Maybe for Average Joe they are… Not so much for me… But I could see little blips of improvement and especially with the balance games I found it had a nice blend of body vs. brain that most other games don’t offer… The balance controls, the way the wii fit platform interprets your movements is pretty cool and, at least for me, seamless. It’s fine control in some activities. I was a bit skeptical that the platform would wind up being like DDR -but the precision is crazy and unlike our DDR mat on the carpeting you don’t need to stomp- and actually I’m finding that there is a bit of a learning curve with the Wii Fit platform because I’m not used to not having to do anything with my hands and a controller to make the characters on the screen react. And my brain is saying “don’t stomp! you don’t need to stomp!”…

Anyway, the message is: something is better than nothing, set goals- set them in reasonable bits- attainable but will require work, and not so long term that it’s hard to see the reward…. Also if your doc really isn’t listening (I’m not talking about disagreeing, I mean doesn’t make eye contact…Suggests menopause treatments and you are a dude- that sort of thing…) Then get another one. Listen to your body. Figure out what motivates you or what is accessible to you. I have ADD- even if my body could, my brain can’t do anything for more than a few minutes at a time, so variety is the spice of life for me… Learn the tricks that move you and work with them.

And stay tuned for more updates on my Wii Fit experience…

Impressions right now:

easy to use and for all ages (although stepping on the platform to get his initial info is proving challenging to my little guy…placing him on it seems to work but just annoys him :-)

-all fitness levels, but may require modification – leaves this up to user…

-running game is pretty neat- you can really go at your own pace and if you go to fast the mii trips and falls over and it reminds you to not exceed your personal limits… Also tells you that a steady pace is best (so not for windsprints at this level, not that I am in any shape to do them)….

-Soccer balance game is neat- you head the soccer ball and try to avoid flying shoes and panda bear heads (that look like soccer balls from far away)…Really like the brain/body/reaction concept… Warning: people under 20 and anyone who likes the type of humor along the lines of The Stooges will probably enjoy heading flying cleats for a few rounds (until they realize they are losing points each time)…

-some exercises may not be possible for some folks due to health issues/injury and people really need to listen to their bodies… The tree pose wants the foot on the inner thigh- I have a busted hip so that is not going to happen any time soon… I wish they did have modifications especially for those with injuries or other health issues/precautions or just plain beginners….

Kauai.

16 Apr

Having a difficult week here… Everything out of sorts…

Baldguy is in Kauai for Winner’s Circle (Gartner’s sales award)…It’s an all expenses paid vacation… He took our old friend Kim (Kim is a dude, by the way…Of course now I realize why so many people were confused about how I was ok with baldguy taking another chickie with him. But yeah, Kim is a guy. A really awesome guy who we have known from way back in Baldguy’s days moonlighting in a video store up north.)

Everyone keeps asking why I didn’t go. The truth is, I really wanted to go. My hip isn’t as bad as it was when he received confirmation that he had qualified for the trip- and the hip was a worry as I wanted to explore Kauai as actively as I possible could. I’d still need some modifications to handle my physical issues, but we would have had some serious fun. After all, the last time we took a vacation was the year after we were married. We drove from Boston to Burlington, VT. We were gone for 2 days. We stayed in a hotel we found on priceline… I think it was $50/night. We felt so decadent.

Imagine how we would feel in Kauai, at a very expensive resort with every expense paid… Wow.

But someone needed to stay with kiddo. We don’t have anyone that will watch him and keep him safe, not here. And we are making little bits of progress here and there… Leaving him (yes, for the first time in almost 5 years…not because I don’t recognize the need for time apart, but because the logistics are insurmountable) would have set us back so far in regards to progress, and taking him wasn’t an option (no comment). I let baldguy work on the logistics of possibly going as a family (baldguy’s idea) and was told that it couldn’t happen. I think it could have happened with some planning, but I have been focusing on the day to day with the kiddo, so I delegated and these were the results..

Hopefully, baldguy comes back refreshed and rested and ready to help tackle this beast that is our family life. Because I’m having a hard time holding onto the little bit of me that I finally found again after so long (my need to create) and managing the day to day things and staying on the various regimens that everyone tells us boy needs and that I see are helping him make progress. I can hope, right?

Huge hugs… Tough morning…Tough day yesterday with kiddo.

b

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