I am going to enjoy life after 50 if it kills me!

Posts tagged ‘Health’

Time Off for Bad Behavior

I have not died.  I haven’t even been sick, except for a head cold.

I have, however, been away from my blog for a very long time.  A month and a half is like ten years in the blogosphere, I fear.

Since I last posted, way back in November, a few things have happened in my life.  First, I had a mild teacher meltdown.  As in, I can’t do this anymore.  I’ll never make it ’til retirement at this rate.  I work and sleep and work and sleep and migraine and sleep, and, and, and… WAAAAAHHHH!!

So my principal and dear friend Helen smacked me around one afternoon and told me to get a grip.  She also (and this is why I love her) told me that I don’t take care of myself, I have horrible eating habits, I don’t exercise, and I use my migraine as an excuse to not take better care of myself.  She doesn’t pull any punches, and she and I are so much alike with respect to our health, she basically was saying it for both of us.

Then I realized I was about to be a grandmother any day now.  An overweight, out of shape, 52-year-old grandmother.  My mother was 62 when she died.  She did not get to see any of her grandchildren grow up, nor did she even get to know my youngest, who was just a toddler when Mom died.  Of heart disease.  Like everyone else in her family.  She was overweight.  And out of shape.  And made excuses for why she didn’t eat better and exercise.

Another thing that happened is that I had dinner with my son, Nathan.  At 23, he was working as a security guard.  He actually gets to wave hello and goodbye to Jerry Springer quite often as he provides security where Mr. Springer lives.  Which is neither here nor there, but I got to drop a name, so whatever…  Anyway, between a bad ankle and a fairly sedentary job, along with horrible work hours, he had put on quite a bit of weight.  Over the past year, he has lost 45 pounds and has a little more to go.

At dinner, we had a great talk about politics, religion, our goals and plans, and he talked to me about how he lost the weight.  He uses an app on his phone called Myfitnessplan.  Without going into it in-depth, I will tell you he tracks his food and water intake, along with exercise each day.  He also started going to a local gym and noticed that his weight loss slowed, but his waist is getting smaller.  He joined up with a neighbor and long time friend of his, which keeps them both accountable.

I am quite proud of my son.  He is one of those no-nonsense people who aren’t big on excuses, at least not from others.  😉

So, I’m exhausted from work, about to have a new grandson, and I’m overweight and out of shape.  Gee, what should I do?

Suffice it to say, I’m not a total idiot.  I’ve been tracking my food intake for the past few weeks, and I’ve lost 11 pounds.  I also joined the same gym this week, and have started doing cardio.  Due to my arthritis and bad knees, I’m limited for now to the recumbent bike and the stationary bike, but I can get a good 30 minute workout on each.  I am also learning that I am WAY over my sugar limit each day, so I’m going to have to work on that, and that I get very little potassium in my diet, so I’ve started taking a supplement.

I am also on my Christmas break, so I’m catching up on some needed rest as I start to build some new routines in my life.

And by the way, my new grandson?  He’s exquisite.

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128 over 76

I went back to my doctor yesterday to see if my blood pressure had improved.  For some freakish reason, my normally lovely blood pressure spiked to 145 over 99 last time I was there.  The doctor was most unhappy and told me to stop using table salt, which I never use anyway, and put me on a diuretic with a deadline of one month to get my pressure down.

He also warned me that he would take me off my Imitrex if my blood pressure didn’t improve.  I left in a panic, wondering how I would function without it.  After I decided panicking was not good for my blood pressure, I relaxed a little.  Without really doing anything differently than eating out less and getting up more in the middle of the night to use the bathroom – damn diuretic – I waited for my appointment to roll around again.

Yesterday was my moment of truth.  Blood pressure – a fairly decent 128 over 76, and get this!  I lost ten pounds since my visit in mid-August.  I’m not sure where I put it, but it’s the first time in my life I’ve just misplaced ten pounds without any idea how it happened.

And I get to keep my Imitrex and function normally in society.  Sweet.

My Best Friend Imitrex

Today I had my doctor’s appointment to confirm that I am now shingle free.  It went well and the little residual pain and itching is common and normal.  Young children will be safe in my presence on Monday and will not be in danger of poxing out.

I left my appointment feeling very unsettled and nervous, however.  It seems my blood pressure, which has always been fabulously normal, has now risen to unacceptable heights.  In fact, the nurse taking my bp asked if I felt okay.  I said I was fine, which I was until I turned to look at my reading on the machine behind my head.  166 over 94??  What happened to my faithful 110 over 70?  She took another reading which was slightly, but not much, lower.

After the doctor finished his shingle free proclamation, he again took my blood pressure.  145 over 91.  Better, but still a far cry from my 110 over 70.  He was not at all happy and told me to lay off the table salt.  I don’t salt any of my food.  Then he dropped the bombshell.  If I don’t get my blood pressure down, he will not let me take my Imitrex.  Those of you who know me well know I do not go anywhere without that medicine.  It is the only thing that controls my migraine enough to allow me to work and function normally.

So now I am fretting and anxious over what might happen, which I’m SUUUURRRE is not helping my blood pressure.  He prescribed a diuretic and I have to go back in one month.  If my bp has not gone down, we will have to make some decisions.  I’m trying not to worry a problem that doesn’t yet exist, but I am so reliant on my medicine to keep my migraine at bay, I can’t imagine what I’d do without it.

I’m hoping a really good night’s sleep will help me put this all in perspective.  Either that, or going up to school tomorrow to spend a Saturday finishing up my classroom for Monday morning’s new students will keep me busy enough that I won’t have time to worry about it.  That’s the plan anyway.

A Pox Upon Me

Well today it seems I am neither moving onward nor upward.  I’m in bed with a head I’d like to lop off.

I have shingles.  My doctor took one look at me this morning, listened to my symptoms and declared me shingly.  Turns out one of the risk factors is being over 50.  Huh.  Up til now, I’ve been perfectly fine being in my 50s.  Today, not so much.  Shingles is caused by the same virus, herpes zoster, that causes chicken pox.  You can only get this condition if you’ve had chicken pox.

My particular outbreak is on my face, right around my eye, so I have to watch it carefully over the next few days, as blindness is a rare side effect if it gets in my eye.  That would complicate life, wouldn’t it?  It can also affect my hearing from what I read, and that’s where my pain started the other day.  Blind, deaf, and I’m already dumb.  Good Lord.

The only part of this that truly spooked me was realizing I’d spent quite a bit of time over the past week with my pregnant daughter.  In fact, I got upset while talking to the doctor when I realized I was contagious.  He had to calm me down and assure me she is probably fine.  Number 1 child did have chicken pox as a child, but I remember it being a very mild case.  In talking with her today, however, she remembers oatmeal baths, being very itchy, and missing the entire week of school before Christmas vacation.  It’s all in one’s perspective, I suppose.  I’m also relieved that her obstetrician told her she should be fine.  Thank you, God.

This is about all the blogging fun I can stand right now, so I’m going to get horizontal again.  If you are over 50 and had chicken pox in the past, you may want to read up on this potentially dangerous condition.  It took me a week to see my family doctor and get a diagnosis.  Treatments for shingles are most effective in the first 72 hours.  I missed the boat on that, but if you know the signs and symptoms, you can get treatment sooner than I did.

My “Practice” Retirement

My last day of school for this year was last Friday.  I spent the weekend like most others, nursing away a migraine and doing as little as possible.  In fact, I was out like a light by 8:30 Sunday evening, never getting to the part of the night where I take the dog out one more time, give both of us our meds, and put us both to bed.  I was out.

This morning I woke up at 5 a.m.  Miraculously, I felt truly refreshed and awake.  That never happens to me anymore.  Ava, the wonderdog, and I went for our walk, and then I walked a half mile in the quiet of the day.  It was lovely.

I had breakfast, did dishes, and blah, blah.  I got more done by 9 a.m. than I usually do in an entire day.  I even fit in a swim around 8 while it was still quiet and less hot.  Then I worked for a couple of hours at school cleaning up.

I had a lovely lunch, visited with my girls, then off for a pedicure.

I relaxed and read when I got home, folded some laundry, and went to Chipotle’s.

This may sound boring to you, but I realized this afternoon, this may be the pace of my life once I retire.  No rushing, no deadlines, a little social life, a little pampering, a little housekeeping.

I had fun practicing today.  And I want to practice a lot so I am a pro at it by the time my real retirement starts someday.

Happiness Is… A Perfect Evening

It’s late, but before I call it quits for tonight, I wanted to share what’s making me happy right now.

~ My brother is visiting from New York and we are keeping each other entertained.  There’s more, but I’ll save that for another post.

~ My dog is softly snoring on her bed right next to where I’m working.

~ I had a wonderful dinner with my ex, my daughter, and my son-in-law.

~ Someone I once taught and care for greatly just got a clean bill of health.  He fought brain tumors for several years and has been free of them for a year and a half now!

~ My daughter made a beautiful cake for her baking class and got an A.

God is good and I am blessed.

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