Wednesday, March 2, 2011

I Have Started a New Blog

I have started a blog called "Living In Pain" Check it out. You might learn something that could benefit someone. Or you could provide input to help other readers. 

Living In Pain Link

Sunday, November 14, 2010


A few weeks after the last post I had a change of circumstances which made it impossible for me to continue swimming. My finances changed and I could not continue with the $120 per month cost for access to a swimming pool. That realization was a tremendous disappointment for me. I had noticed a marginal increase in physical strength (I could stand for up to 1 minute before being forced to seek a chair, up from 30 seconds before the pool).

Then in November 2009 my Dad & Ginny (his wife) had been operating a local diet clinic and they finally convinced me to begin the diet program. They worked out a way for me to afford the program. As a result of using the materials I was able to drop my weight from around 365 lbs down nearly 70 pounds. That was a major change in my life. I am now able to stay on my feet for 5 - 10 minutes before pain forces me to collapse. It is like a new experience. I can prepare simple foods without having to take a 3-5 hour recovery. I can do a load of laundry, stand in the shower, or vacuum part of a room. Still I have to plan ahead because standing for 10 minutes does take it's toll, I have to spend 1 - 2 hours recovering. But that means that I can do 2 - 4 10 minute spurts each day, which is wonderful. A person can accomplish amazing things on 40 minutes a day.

I am not able to work because no employer is willing to pay 8 hours a \day for me to work 20 - 40 minutes. Who knows someone might want my brilliance anyway and they will pay me $3 per minute.

Then another setback happened, I developed a tolerance to the diet medication. I had to stop using it. Eventually my body will clear out the resistance and I hope to re-start the program. During the interim I just need to figure out a way to continue paying to the materials. I no longer have the resources available that I used when I dropped the 70 pounds.

My hope is that I can find a way to get back on the program and to lose another 50 - 70 pounds. I have gained a little since ending the program, I have a problem with type 2 diabetes which can cause me to be ravenously hungry and it causes a cycle that can result in massive weight gain over a short period. I am trying to get my diabetes back in balance so that does not happen. I am still down about 55 pounds and hope to keep it that way. Gee I am being painfully honest. Thank goodness most people that were reading my blog have stopped checking in because of my 2 year gap in communication.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Day 52 - Finally

 I have been working out, but, not blogging. On Day 39 I hurt my knee in the water. It was a combination of being in too shallow of water, and too cold of water. My muscles were not warm enough to take the strain and I hurt myself. It laid me up for a little over a week.

When I finally got my knee strong and healthy enough to work out, I went back to Island Athletic. Two days later, I got sick. That laid me out for another week. My throat was so sore I thought it was being used as a beach for bacteria. The entire planet's bugs must have been vacationing in my throat that week.

Monday, March 3rd was Day 42. It felt wonderful to be back in the routine. However, I discovered that my habit of getting out the door was only a memory. It was a struggle to get up each day and head to the facility. I think today is the first day that I actually wanted to hit the trail and workout. It appears that it takes a month to build a habit and only a few days to weaken it and only a week or two to lose it almost entirely. The nice thing is that I regained the habit within 2 weeks of consistency.

Something happened to me during the break. When I added a different management tool I discovered how many individual people had been looking at the Blog and it actually scared me. I had it in my mind that 2 or 3 people were creating most of the activity and a handful of others had peeked in once. When I realized that more than 200 people had visited the Blog in a short period of time, it made me feel very uncertain. I know that in internet terms, 200 visits is nothing to get excited about. But, for me, I felt like I had 200 people in the same room with me, looking over my shoulder while I write each entry. I was paralyzed by the thought.

There was a time, when I would have been excited and the numbers would have caused me to get even more people to check out my little health project. It is a somewhat new experience for me to be so reserved. I had an internal battle for many weeks before I finally worked up the confidence to write again. To be honest, I don't know why it is so fearful for me. I do know that for most people the fear of speaking is greater than their fear of death and second only to waking up naked in a hotel lobby. I've wrestled with my demons and come back swinging. I guess I can face writing one more time. I'll let tomorrow worry about it's self.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Missing Without Action

Dear Blog,

I wanted to tell you that I have missed writing to you. I hurt my knee and missed a few days in the pool. Then, I started my workouts again, and a few days later I got the flu. I'm still sick and plan to start blogging again in a couple of days. I've gotta get feeling better soon. Right now my throat is wider than the grand canyon and my fever makes me confuse dreams from reality.

I miss you. I will get back to writing soon.

Thanks for everything,


Monday, February 11, 2008

Day 38 - Brrrrrr

When I got to the facility on Saturday, Feb 9th. The pool was open, so I got right to my workout. Oh, my the water was cold. It felt like low 70's. Sure enough, when Brook used her handy dandy combination whistle & thermometer it read 75 degrees. Usually pools are kept at 82 - 90 degrees. Hot tubs 10-20 degrees warmer. If there is a swim team they might drop the pool to 80 degrees, but that makes it a little cool for normal use.

I did my routine, but I felt chilly the entire time. Even after I got my blood pumping I felt cold. I thought about Dad and decided that he was lucky to have missed the pool because of work. He would have been shivering. Saturday, normally a high family use day, was relatively calm.

Today, Monday, well the water was still chilly. I figure it will probably take another 2 or 3 days for the water to get up to the normal temperature. Pool heaters are designed to maintain water temperature, they are not able to handle large changes of temp over short time periods. When a pool is filled up it can take any where from one week to one month for the heater to get the temp to normal ranges.

How did I do? Well, aside from normal cramps and stiffness from the cold water I did pretty good. In fact, today was a pretty good workout. I finished my routine and still had almost 10 minutes to go before my hour was up. I kept moving anyway. My goal is not just to finish the routine, but it's to do at LEAST one hour of exercise 5 - 6 times a week.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Day 36 - The Spill

As I was doing my workout today one of the staff members came into the pool area, from the back door. Which is unusual because the facility entrance is out front. She was saying something to another staff member that sounded like "OK I turned it off and checked to make sure everything is out." What in the world did that mean? I dunno, so I kept doing my routine.

A while later I noticed that the pool seemed to be a little cooler than normal, not a big change. I put my foot down to the water inlet and there was water flow, but it was not being heated. I figured that the heater was just kicked off. I also assumed that I was imagining things about the water temperature changing.

As I was getting dressed there was small talk about pilot lights being shut off. At the front counter, where we exchange keys, I asked what was going on and I was told that the Fire Department had told them to shut off all Propane use, including pilot lights. There had been some kind of a spill or something. Now I was curious. I left the building but didn't see any Fire trucks, Response Units, or any other evidence of a problem.

I decided to drop off at the Shell Shack, which is across the street from Island Athletic. When I got up to the drive through window, I noticed a Fire truck in a field. I asked the teller if she knew what was happening and she told me that they were being closed down at 5 pm. There had been a Propane fuel spill, a 13,000 gallon tank was being transfered and it fell off the truck and tipped over. For safety reasons all businesses in the area were being closed and propane sources were being turned off. Mystery solved.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Day 34 - Fuzzy Logic

I ran out of an important pharmaceutical, last week, that helps me manage my Blood Sugar. Guess what happens when a person runs out of their Blood Sugar medication? In my case it means my eyes have a hard time staying focused. My right eye starts to develop a life of it's own. I get to learn how to cope by seeing two of everything, and one of the pair keeps moving around. Can I use the keyboard? Well, that is debatable, since I am not smart enough to do it by feel yet, I'm a two finger type of guy. Or at least I have to look at the keyboard while I hunt and peck at the keys.

Some day I will get one of those programs that teaches typing. I think one of the most popular is Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing (r). My kids used it and they are able to scream on the computer keyboard. In fact, Bryce actually has to wait for the keyboard buffer to catch up with him. He has to slow down because many programs get angry with him for being so fast. Speedy Gonzalez (AKA Saturday Morning Cartoons as a kid) would not be able to keep up with my kids. Am I a proud parent? What do you think? Of course I am!


On to the real battle, life in the workout lane. I did go to the facility on Saturday, Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday (today).

Tuesday was amazing. There were so many people in the pool when I arrived that I wondered if there was even room for me to do any kind of a workout. Both lanes were full. Physical Therapy was running top speed, as were swimming lessons, kids playing like mad, and other trying to do laps in between the crashing waves. It was fantastic. Nothing better than a busy pool. The noise can be overwhelming at times, but the smiles and excitement are intoxicating.

I was forced to modify my normal workout routine. It just did not fit the locale. No problem, I adapted and kept moving anyway. I just kept in mind the words of Dr. Call to move for one hour. That is exactly what I did, I kept moving, avoiding, swimming, walking, bobbing, jumping (sort of), and splashing. It was really great and actually refreshing to have the challenge.

Today was more like normal. There were a few people in the pool working out or relaxing. Nothing like the day before. Oh, yeah, today is Adults Only, that is why there were no children. Well, it was really quiet and most of the waves were made by me.

I did have a challenge though. For the last few days I think I have been accumulating water in my body. Which has radically effected my buoyancy and motor control. It has been difficult to move in a straight line, just keeping moving has been a struggle. Add to that, my right hip, leg, and ankle have been sore. It was a less than delightful day. I'm not wanting to sound like I am complaining. However, it's important to document my experiences so later on I can look back and hopefully see a positive progression in experiences and results.

Some good things have developed. I have not felt like hiding from people this week. Nor has there been fear for me as I approach time to go do my workout. In fact, I have been looking forward to the process. I am starting to enjoy what I am doing. Who knows, I may just keep working out, I will go tomorrow and see what happens next.

Dad has been going with me most of the time. He said today that his knees were not hurting, before his workout. Which is fantastic. Recently he has had a reduction in discomfort after his workouts, but today he felt good before. When he started last month, he barely did 20 minutes, now he finishes an entire 60 minutes and feels good. On our way home he said that he no longer feels like the workouts are a struggle.

If Dad can improve that much in a month, so can others. The hardest part is getting started. Some people need company or motivation. If a friend or family member will go with them, they can get started. After a while it can become a habit, then good things start to happen.