Tag Archives: Exercise

The Noggin’ Chronicles Part 6

Surgery recovery is up and down like a carousel horse spinning in circles, going faster and slower, but always on the same trajectory.

04-09-23: This morning was a brilliant sunrise followed by an isolated thunderstorm. Aside from the fresh smelling air, I didn’t have any expectations of “weather” today as I don’t normally keep up with it. My head, and it’s ever fluctuating barometer, has pretty much always done the work of a meteorologist. So imagine my blurry-eyed surprise when the storm hit and I had NO inclination it was coming. I do NOT remember the last time that happened. Years? Decades? I do not know.

As I hadn’t slept last night due to the insomnia which continues to torment my night time hours, I fell into a deep sleep somewhere around 0900 – 1000 CDT. When I woke up (the first time) I wondered why the house was utterly silent. The family went out to do Easter activities while I snoozed the much needed snooze. A little later on, a second round of storms came through the area. Guess who wasn’t writhing on the floor while praying for the world to stop spinning, the nausea to stop and the jackhammers in her head to stop pounding? Yup. This girl.

Thursday 04-13-23 – Two Weeks & Counting

Two weeks ago today, I had part of my head sliced and diced. While totally nervous about surgery and the immediate aftermath, the adventure continues.

A week or so ago, I made my first foray into town all my by lonesome. I needed to go pick up some meds at the pharmacy which is roughly 30 miles round trip. It wasn’t the easiest experience as turning my head to look around while driving was “strained.” That’s the best word I have for it. It didn’t necessarily hurt, but there was definitely a lack of range of motion. But I made it there alive and back again in one piece so that was an accomplishment.

The first week following surgery, I think I used icepacks almost 24/7. It didn’t matter what I was doing, there was an ice pack nearby if not attached to my head. There was some “obvious” bruising and swelling, which pain meds didn’t really help with due to the nature of the “injury.” You can’t just treat this like a sprained ankle or another surgery, which this is number 9 for me overall so I do have a clue.

Showering was “weird” and a little bit difficult because 1) baby shampoo is made for babies, not grown adults with a LOT of hair and 2) the shower head I prefer has a water pressure that when even on “low” is pretty strong, though not as strong as a Swedish masseuse with man hands strong. A saving grace though has been the hair towel I use because it does NOT cut across any of the incisions where it would be “uncomfortable.” The one I use actually runs higher across the back of my head, but is similar to this one & no I’m not sponsored:

Photo: – Amazon – Hicober Microfiber Hair Towel

This week, I have managed to go out twice! Yesterday, I took Hubs for a colonoscopy. He’s squeaky clean and doesn’t have to go in again for another decade. Woot! (Wait, I’m not sure if you needed to know that, but whatever.)

Today, I went and met Eldest on her lunch break so we could do some searching for a MOB dress for her upcoming nuptials in June. We managed two stores and I tried on 5 of 6 dresses / outfits. I don’t like any of them. (This is going to be another forthcoming post series I have a feeling.) However, when we were done, I was tired. But I had to run two more errands on the way home, from where I’m coming to you now with one of several trusty icepacks, which I think I am naming this one Fred.

HOLY CRAP ON A CRACKER, BATMAN!!! My husband just came into the bedroom and told me storms are coming. that’s two different storm days where I haven’t had a clue one that the storm is coming. This storm is an actual squall line, which normally levels me and I only have a mild headache, which I had assumed was from being out and about. (Still could be. IDK)

Sorry… I digressed. But, like… wow.

Anyway, I know there are ups and downs and around and arounds, but week two has been definitely been better than the first week. I don’t use the ice packs as much, hardly use any Tylenol and feel pretty decent. Part of the healing process though is trying to focus more on my diet and nutrition instead of the Jolly Ranchers that are little rectangles of pure sugar enjoyment.

I know that healing from surgery requires better nutrition so for about a week thus far, I’ve started adding a daily smoothie to my healing regimen. These include fresh and / or frozen fruits, ground flax seed, chia seeds, collagen powder and then depending on what the fruits are I’m adding either “Super Reds,” “Super Greens” and / or powdered beets. I’m also researching nutrition concerning a much better diet to promote healing both inside and out.

I’ve also started adding a. few other vitamin supplements to my daily multivitamin and vitamin D. These include:

  • Magnesium Complex
  • Omega 3 – Krill Oil (found I tolerate this much better than regular fish oil)
  • Health by Habit’s “Hair, Skin & Nails” which includes Biotin, Hyaluronic Acid, Rosehip and Vitamin C
  • Vitamin B Complex – B1, B2, B6, B 12 and Vitamin C
  • CoQ-10

I know there are a lot of things many migraineurs cannot do, but something that I’ve been able to use (since I found a company whose compounds have never triggered a migraine) are essential oils. I have tried a LOT of oils and lots of different brands. I found one that works for me and I generally have a roller ball in my purse for “smells on the go.” I also have a diffuser going most of the time. It helped some before surgery, but post op, the aromatherapy is a game changer when it comes keeping my anxiety under control. With that “set,” I don’t have the blood pressure spikes causing any additional pain. (Plus the bedroom smells amazeballs.)

Exercise will come back as tolerated. Right now I’m doing okay just trying to get some walking in. I still can’t lift anything above 5 pounds. My purse literally weighed 5.3 earlier today. After removing a few things and a bunch of spare change, it’s under 5. After next Thursday the weight will go to 10 pounds and I can increase my activity as tolerated. Mama didn’t raise a fool. I’m going to keep it slow and steady, but I’ll be working more in the garden we are putting in late so there is that.

Anyway, this is what I know for now. I’m going to put Fred back in the freezer with Ethel, Lucy and Ricky and then eat something for dinner while listening to some mellow music while reading one of the many books. Til next time, friends. Lots of Hope, Peace and Love ❤


All That & A Bag O’ Chips

“The only time to eat diet food is while you’re waiting for the steak to cook.” 

― Julia Child

Every time I turn around there is some new “fad diet” or some commercial hyping a new piece of wonder-equipment.  I hear friends talking about Herbalife, Weight Watchers, Atkins, The Paleo Diet, The South Beach Diet or whatever is the name of the anti-fat game this week. (All trademarked etc.)  And I’m not bad-mouthing them though I’m sure it will seem this way. I know millions of folks have lost weight with them and I’m happy for them and I hope those people can keep it off. However, with some of these, I cannot see why I have to pay money to buy products to lose weight when God has given me natural, pure and healthy foods to eat. It’s the junk that kills. 
I have fallen prey to more than a few fad diets in my 40+ years. (The worst of which I don’t want to discuss, but cost me my gallbladder.) But about a year and a half ago it got real. It took me hitting the 200 pound mark to suck it up and face reality.  It took me hitting a size 22 to do so. Am I proud of those facts? No. It has taken me a year to admit it in a public forum.  Am I where I want to be? Not yet. But I’m getting there. I’m down over 40 pounds and 4 dress sizes and counting. Yay! Call me a happy camper. 
 I’ve been keeping it simple and I’m just calling it the Common Sense Lifestyle Change. 
First, let’s talk about FOOD! (Because we all like food.)

* Most of the foods I buy are organic or generally have ingredients I can pronounce.  I take my additives very seriously and try not to buy anything with hormones or anything that would gross me out if I were to watch how it was made. Very rarely do I buy things that aren’t “simple.” I’m probably about 85% vegetarian about now. I just can’t seem to give up my steak and seafood. Yum. However, I have tried being a raw vegan for a bit and I actually am probably closer to vegan than vegetarian… but for the love of seafood, steak… oh, and Texas BBQ. Mmmmmm. 

One of the main reasons for this is I have to be very careful of nitrates and preservatives in food because of the migraines they trigger. Makes me not so happy.  There are a lot of things in food that affect a lot of people differently. If you have health issues, you might have a food allergy or intolerance. It’s something to at least consider. 

* I generally measure out the foods I’m going to eat.  – Portion control. –  Once you are used to eating a pint of ice cream at a time (which I have done), you have to retrain your brain to understand what a “true” serving size really is.  That’s one of the reasons people are obese.  Learn what constitutes a portion and it gets much easier from there.

EXAMPLE: A chip-bender to the bottom of a 9-ounce bag is 1,260 calories sans the dip. So stick to 1 serving, about 15 chips—that’s 140 calories—or pick up some 100-calorie snack packs and save 1,120 calories

* Learn to slow down when eating and understand what “FULL” really feels like. There’s no need to finish everything on your plate. The first few times I left food on my plate at a restaurant, I felt really, horribly guilty.  (Starving kids in China…?)  But at the same time, most restaurant portion sizes are enough for two people. WHY would I want to do that to myself?  The sad thing is that I did that to myself for a long time. 

* DO NOT EAT IN FRONT OF THE TELEVISION. If you eat in front of the TV, studies show you consume almost 300 calories more than if you ate at the table. 

* Last but not least, I don’t deprive myself. If I want some creme brûlée or dessert once in a blue moon, I will enjoy some. But I’m not going to go Banzai bat crap crazy and I’m not going to feel guilty. I will eat right the rest of the time and make up for it. No starvation. No binge/purge. Just pure, clean eating. 
Now, I know that I’m going to turn off a lot of people when I say the next word, but bear with me. “Exercise.”   But I’m going to add something to it… if you haven’t exercised in a long time, you don’t have to go to extremes starting out,  join a gym, do DVD’s, workout on the Wii or anything like that.  Ready? Cool secrets here:

* If all you can do is walk up and down a hallway of your house do it.

* From the hallway move to the driveway or the front sidewalk or maybe to the end of the block. (You get the picture.)  I used to tell my dad at 90 years old when he was recovering from a fall, “Just take one more step dad. One more step will get you stronger. What will one more step get you?”  

* From steps, move to a strength move of stairs or a curb.  Step up and down. If you need to hold on to something, do it. 

Something fun for cardio and to get the muscles engaged: Dance like there is no one watching. For Heaven’s Sake, put on some great tunes and get moving. It doesn’t matter if all you can do is sit in a chair and tap your feet and clap your hands or raise your arms. It’s SOMETHING. 

     Side note: It’s been said TAPPING YOUR FEET THROUGH OUT THE DAY BURNS ABOUT 350 CALORIES A DAY!!!!! Seriously… those who fidget have got to have an edge on the rest of us. 

Some of my favorite tunes while cleaning house (WHICH ALSO BURNS CALORIES:)
* Aretha Franklin – Chain of Fools
* Michael Jackson – Beat It
* Beatles – Twist and Shout
* Cameo – Word Up

* Fall Out Boy – Dance, Dance
* Fun – Some Nights
* AC/DC – Back in Black
* Toby Mac – Burn For You
* 3 Doors Down – Kryptonite

Again, those are just a few of the tunes I’ll throw on and then dance around like a loon. It’s all about getting your body moving. When you have some upbeat music on, vacuuming and dusting or moping the floor (or what have you) is not only a little more enjoyable, but goes faster and becomes a better calorie burn. 

Like I said… I’ve dropped over 40 pounds so far just using these little tips. You’ve probably heard it before, but I’m the proof that it works.  

There’s no need for anything other than eating right and moving your bod. 

“Diet food is for lazy people.” 
― Ice-T