Right before I started talking at the Christmas Tea I turned to Smurfette and was like, Hey, J – you ever done this sort of thing before? Cuz things are about to get a little craaazy…..
She told me it was cool – she knew the drill – so my no-holds-barred approach that day didn’t unnerve her. I spoke at a Brunch a couple Saturdays ago, where we welcomed some new friends into our family. I gave a brief update on my physical condition bc when I did the Christmas Tea, Trainer D had called me out the day before. Things have gotten so much better since then, and I have definitely reached another level physically.
I was gritting my teeth the whole time at Tea. I really wanted to set the record straight so I didn’t tell Mommy how poorly I was feeling bc I knew she’d make me lie down or something. I had to expend an inordinate amount of effort then. But this time at Brunch it was much smoother sailing. I am SO much healthier, thank the Lord.
After I consulted Smurfette initially, I counted calories for a couple of months, saw that I had been under-eating for a long time, and learned how to game the system within a couple of weeks so I wouldn’t get the Nastygram from My Fitness Pal. I also started drinking Ensure and felt so much better (Trainer D: DUH. [rolls eyes]). And then Trainer D proposed that I adopt Macro goals (%Protein, Carbs, and Fat). And so I did this “If it fits your macros” style of eating in addition to ramping my calorie goals up by 300-400 over another few months, during which I rediscovered the joys of the sandwich.
The results were good. I became more mindful of what my body was telling me – e.g. on days that I “run” and train I have to eat a Giant Breakfast. I know now that once I “feel” the deficit I’m in the danger zone. I used to fast weekly in my Old Life. When I started this practice (I researched it and talked to the Health Nurse at work, FYI) I hid my scale so it wouldn’t be about that. It was fabulous – it’s how I learned to use the body to engage other parts of you. But now I can’t muscle through – I feel my body shutting down if I am failing to fuel appropriately, and I feel an intense obligation to MommyDaddy et. al to not allow this to happen. So last week at the Running Gym I instated a mandatory snack time for myself at 10.30am (this left an appropriate block of time prior to the start of any activity) since I had not been able to eat enough that morning. Coach R played along while I chewed my Quest bar dutifully, but Trainer M declined to participate. I was going for the: If I have to suffer, we ALL have to suffer effect. Oh, well. You win some you lose some.
When I started eating more appropriately I was also able to “run” and train harder. This is where the rubber really hits the road. My core strength, balance, spatial awareness etc. are improving, slowly but surely. I can do more things and know the tricks to make my eyeballs last longer and to prioritize so I can exercise the mental acuity I need for certain activities. And as time passes, I am getting better at managing my deficits and surround myself with people and safeguards to help me recognize when I need to scale back my activities.
When Uncle Bus passed away I was extremely sad. I’m still sad. And I recognized that I have a LOT of older friends and this situation was just going to escalate. I informed my people that I would be a MESS when this happened.
Well, it happened. Aunty Haigouhy went home to be with the Lord last week. She was Uncle Joe’s wife. They were special to me.
Last Sunday we went to the hospital to see her one last time. I tried to press myself into the wall outside her door and just disappear. She was “asleep” but became agitated when she heard our voices. I hadn’t seen her in a long time because she had been moved into a home a while ago. Sigh. It’s been kinda rough.
I put myself on an eating vacation. I postponed an appointment with Smurfette, which confirmed Trainer D’s suspicion that my regimen had been derailed. I informed Coach R (technically, I email bombed him as is our custom), and then I tried to do “mindless eating” by watching a video of him training Ali Krieger (US Soccer) while I ate half of my barbacoa salad from lunch.
It was one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen. At one point he’s explaining how to move one’s arms – you know, athletically. I started giggling and haven’t stopped for four days. Poor Coach R. I know he’s very good at what he does and all, but seriously? How am I NOT supposed to laugh at this stuff? Truly, though – you should watch this video, esp if ACL injuries are a concern of yours.
But you know what? Even though things have gotten kind of craaazy bumpy I’m doing well right now. I was in excruciating pain when Dan Uncle passed away at the end of 2014. Over the last couple of months I’ve had similar stress, compounded by a medication-induced cough, and a harrowing trip to the ENT, but have not been in that kind of pain. Thank the Lord the cough cleared after 3 weeks and Coach R no longer has to carry my cough drops in his pocket. I’m still nauseous. Last week in the middle of a set with Trainer D I paused with my kettle bell mid-air and shifted my eyes from left to right and said simply, Trash can. (i.e. in case I throw up, where do I go?)
I did have some weirder head pain that made me nervous enough to get a full work up even though I’ve been assured nothing’s growing in there. The last time I got an MRI was in 2012. So I got a new one a few weeks ago and it came back clean (Yay!) so the pain was just stress-related. Surprise, surprise. It’s gotten better with time.
Notably ,my right side hurts as often as my left side now, or more. I guess it’s the cumulative effect of 4 years of guarding my left side’s weakness. But I know how to roll stuff out, and I’ve scaled back on my cane usage and typing/piano to save my arms (which is a new wrinkle, but we’re rolling with it). I routinely get out of my chair and squat to stretch my hips – it doesn’t matter if we’re at a fancy restaurant, or in some other context that’s weird – the point is that I know what I need to do. This is still a work in progress, but I don’t feel helpless anymore – like I just have to wait for things to happen.
The end result: My wellness level has shifted upwards.
Feel free to cheer rowdily at this point.
This is another indicator that all my Training + Treatment is working. Thank you, Team Tanimal!!