Friday, September 29, 2006

Sick Day Meme

The nice thing about having a rotten, streaming cold is that you have time to watch The View for the first time. (Rosie O'Donnell pretty much runs that show, doesn't she? ) And do memes like these from Sandra

1. Do you still have tonsils?

Yes, I have all my bits intact.

2. Would you bungee jump?

I'd jump before I bungee jumped.

3. If You Could Do Anything In The World For A Living What Would It Be?
A doctor so I could prescribe my own drugs and by-pass that whole waiting room/form filling hell. But as the sight of blood or a scalpel brings on a heaving flop sweat I don't think it'd work out.

4. How many tattoos do you have?

Art goes on the wall not my skin.

5. Your favorite fictional animal?

Pigs rule. Wilbur from Charlotte's Web is lovely but the most memorable is the stalinist Napoleon from George Orwell's Animal Farm.

6. One person that never fails to make you laugh?

My youngest brother. Always the witty riposte

7. Do you consider yourself well organized?

I'm punctual to the second, put things away the moment I've finished with them, make lists and stick to them. That's normal, no?

8. Any Addictions?

I'll admit to Project Runway. Adirondack sparkling water (unflavored).

9. From what news source do you receive the bulk of your news?

The BBC, Keith Olbermann, Jon Stewart, the huffington post. Progressive, liberal, lefty, socialist, I've been called them all. So, what's wrong with that?

10. Would you rather go to a carnival or circus?

I'd consider going on the pump before I'd go to either.

11. When you were twelve years old, what did you want to be when you grew up?

Foreign correspondent.

12. Best Movie You've Seen This Year?

Little Miss Sunshine.

13.Favourite alcoholic drink

Gin Martini: Tanqueray Gin, extra dry, ice cold, olives.

14. What is the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning?

It used to be reach for the coffee, now it's groan. See # 17 and #29

15. Siblings?

Two younger brothers.

16. What is the best thing about your job?

I can work from home. This is also the worst thing about it.

17. Have you ever gone to therapy?

That would mean sitting still for an hour, right? No.
I have had eight sessions of physical therapy on my ankle though. We're getting there.

18. If you could have one superpower what would it be?

I'd love to be able to fly. I could see things from a different perspective. I could visit people and places any moment I chose. And I might bump into Superman up there.

19. Do you own any furniture from Ikea?

Two gorgeous leather sofas from IKEA in Belgium that look like they cost 5x what I paid for them and are still in great condition 10 years later. I also have a sculpture that is sexy and so unIKEA like I can't believe it.

20. Have you ever gone camping?

Almost every year until I came to the US. Now we use hotel points.

21. Gas prices! First thought?

Please, try paying European prices. But don't you think it's ironic they are coming down just before the election?

22. Your favorite cartoon character?
Kenny from South Park. (Oh, my God, they killed Kenny!)

23. What was your first car?

Blue VW Polo.

24. Do you think marriage is an outdated ritual?

I honestly don't get it. We did it to save taxes. Then the tax laws changed, so we should get divorced. But then I wouldn't have the right to stay in the US. Stupid bureaucratic crap.
However, whatever works for you.

25. The Cosby Show or the Simpsons?

Not much of a choice but The Simpsons if I was pushed.

26. Do you go to church?

To worship? No. To look at architecture? Sure.

27. What famous person would you like to have dinner with?

It'd be a toss-up. Bill Clinton because he would be such an intelligent, entertaining companion or George W Bush so I could get a lot off my chest.

28. What errand/chore do you despise?

Washing the floors. I put it off forever as you can tell be the state of my feet/socks.

29. First thought when the alarm went off this morning?

Don't have an alarm. Have animals instead. First thought? Why are you waking me at 5:08 stupid talking cat?

30. Last time you puked from drinking?

Cinco de Mayo 2005. Just before we were due to get on an early plane to Nashville. Also the last time I drank Margharitas.

31. What is your heritage?

I'm a Celt.

32. Favorite flower?

Calla lily.

33. Disney or Warner Bros?

Please, no more cartoons.

34. What is your best childhood memory?

Hiding in an ice house in the pouring rain.

35. Your favorite potato chip?

Kettle Chips. Roasted Red Pepper and Goat Cheese. Also my secret addiction. Sssshhh.

36. What is your favorite candy?

No candy, only pure milk chocolate, preferably Belgian (used to be called Callebaut but is now Jacky) but I'll take Wholefoods 365 Swiss Milk. Although if they made a candy from butter and salt I'd probably like that. It's a celtic thing.

37. Do you burn or tan?

I'm a Celt. What's tan?

38. Astrological sign?


39. Do you own a gun?

Good grief. The world would be much safer if there were no guns, especially handguns.

40. What do you think of hot dogs?

A cruel and unusual punishment? Bratwurst though, that's real food.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Got to keep sweating

Here's a study I can believe.
Scientists at the University of Alberta found that walking just doesn't kick it if weight loss and getting fit are your goals. You really do have to do some aerobic exercise to achieve that. That's borne out by my own experience.
I sent the link to my man who emailed back that he'd reached that conclusion but hadn't had sufficient motivation to do anything about it yet! I really have no ideas left for spurring him to take up a sport so I'm going to let it slide.
What I really need is a study that tells me exactly how much I have to sweat each day so that I can achieve my ideal weight (that's my ideal weight for me, not some BM index decided by a mathematical formula) and feel fit. Is it a cupful? A bucketful? Or a bathtubful? Or do I only stop when I have dissolved into a large puddle on the gym floor?

Monday, September 25, 2006

I'd better look elsewhere for a gym buddy

After weeks of pleading, nagging, dropping subtle and not-so-subtle hints about the need to take some form of regular exercise, and buying him a new pair of Reeboks as a bribe, I finally persuaded my man to come to the gym with me. After all, I don't see why I have to be the only one exercising my butt off and he is always bemoaning the extra pounds that America has given him.
I had a guest pass good for a week's worth of gym fun and I figured that I could get him there at least a couple of times over the weekend, and with any luck he'd find it fun. I am proud to say that he did give it a try on Saturday morning despite complaining that he had nothing to wear, that he hated the whole "gym ethos", and that he took regular exercise in the form of walking the dogs once a day.
I thought I'd get to the gym and then hand him over to a trainer who could explain the machines but there was no one around to help so it was down to me. I put him on the elliptical while I went to drop my bag and when I returned he had the machine at such a high rate his HR was 150. Of course he thought this was excellent and wouldn't hear of warming up or cooling down. After 10 minutes he started complaining his thighs hurt and he swapped to the treadmill, which he set at an incline of 9 and a speed of 5.6. And he kept pushing the increase buttons. It was him against the machine, and the machine was going down.
After I'd done my 30 minutes cardio I suggested we go do some resistance training for half an hour or so. It was then that I knew that he was never going to the gym again. At least not with me. He just wanted to make those weights go up and down as fast as possible, never mind the risk to his muscles or my nerves as they crashed back to the stack each time. Up and down, faster and faster like the Duracell Bunny on speed.
Eventually he stopped. Covered in sweat and barely able to speak, he indicated he had had enough and was going to sit in the car while I finished my workout. Later he said he had no idea how hard working out could be until he tried it for himself or that he was so unfit but he had no intention of repeating the experience.
I guess I'll be going to the gym alone again this evening.

Friday, September 22, 2006


Maybe it's better if they don't read the medical chart...
I had another physio session last night, this time with a different therapist. She introduced herself and then asked "How long have you had chronic foot pain?" Then she looked at the sole of my foot and says "Where is the pain?"
I lift my leg up and point to the large bump on the heel.
"But is that all? Where else does it hurt? Haven't you got other pains?"
Nope, that's it. Annoying, painful but not yet chronic.
"But I read your chart. I thought with your history you would have had chronic foot pain by now".
Ah. Lightbulb moment. Diabetes =neuropathy.
Sorry to mess with your understanding of diabetes but even though I've been a diabetic for twenty-one years it still hurts if you stand on my toes, I can still tell the difference between hot and cold and that blister I got from overdoing the elliptical the other day in backless trainers (yes, I am that committed to working out/stupid), it hurt like crazy but it healed without a trace in two days.
So far no tingling, burning or numbness. I should be pleased that I've been complication-free but I just felt deflated.
And then I read this: Weightlifting Glaucoma Risk. If the diabetes doesn't cause me to go blind, maybe the exercise regime will.
For some irrational reason that made me feel much better. I'm going for a walk now. I may or may not look both ways before I cross the road.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Physical Therapy

I've had three physio sessions so far and the good news is that the heel looks much better. I get ultrasound, TENS and massage each time (yes, I know, it sounds like prenatal care) and I feel fantastic when I leave.
The bad news is that the physio says my feet are horrible. No neuropathy, but my calf muscle is still like "marble", I have problems with the tendon as well as this bursa, some arthritis, and apparently my feet are only flexible in the opposite direction to most other people! Although I have the bursa on one heel, the therapist judges from my stance that I will probably have some problems there in the future. So I am icing and stretching four times a day and have to keep off the treadmill for the forseeable future. I can, however, keep up the resistance training and swimming. I'll have to find an indoor pool as it's too cold to swim in our pool anymore this season.
I got far more information from the therapists here than from the Orthopaedic Surgeon and they cheerfully answer any questions I have: Is this diabetes related? Is it because I walk badly? Am I just getting old and wearing out? (All the above, except the first, plus a change in exercise and wearing high heels can cause it). The only question they can't answer is how long it will take for this bump to go away completely and all the discomfort with it.
The evil treadmill is probably partly to blame, as is the fact that I tend to wear my trainers until they fall to bits because I am a cheap girl. And in a vain attempt to shed poundage I really upped the training since March. Something had to give, I was hoping it was the fat but it turned out to be the posterior archilles tendon.
The really irony is that through all the stress my BG has never been better. Go figure.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

How to be an effective Orthopaedic Surgeon

Do shake the patient's hand when it is proffered.
Do read the patient's medical notes.
Do reassure the patient that you have had a lot of experience dealing with this particular problem.
Do take the time to answer the patient's questions.

Do not walk in, glance at xray, glance at foot, pronounce:
"Calcaneal Bursitis"
"I treat this with physical therapy"
"Come back in four weeks" and start walking out of the room.
When the patient calls after you "Wait, can I work out with this?" do not yell over your shoulder as you continue down the corridor: "You can't run or jog, so I don't see how you can work out"

Unless you yourself physically treat the patient with physio, then you don't treat the patient, you oversee the treatment.

It cost me only $10 co-pay. I will find out later what it cost my HMO but I waited 90 minutes for a 90 second diagnosis that I had already got off the web a month ago.
I saw the OS a week ago and it has taken that long to recover my temper. One thing is certain, I will not be returning in four weeks.

A quick joke to prove my sense of humour has returned:

How do you hide a dollar bill from an orthopedic surgeon?
Put it in the chart.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Two months on

Yahoo! Avatars

This is what I thought I'd look like after two months of serious cardio and resistance training.

This what I really look like

OK, I exaggerate.
The dog is thinner than I am.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Once they get their hooks into you

I'm being hounded by my personal trainer. After he rang last week to tell me he needed a doctor's note before he could train me I thought I wouldn't hear from him again. Wrong. He phoned on Sunday morning and left a detailed message on the answering machine with multiple phone numbers where he could be reached and this morning he phoned before 8 am. This meant he got to speak to scary phone guy aka my darling husband, who does not like early morning or late evening calls.
It seems PT was concerned that I hadn't been to the gym for a while and wanted to "check in" with me. If he'd checked the computer he might be able to tell I'd been there 5/7 since I got back from Canada just not at times when I might run into him.
Or maybe not, this gym is more expensive than my last but they certainly don't seem to put their money into client databases or any useful software that I can see. He promises to phone me again next week to see what the doctor says about my ankle and to remind me that the special $100 off packages of 50 or 100 PT sessions doesn't expire until 9/30.
Not so much drop a few lbs more drop mega $$$.