Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Things Fall Apart

Wow.  I haven't checked this blog in 11 months.  It's a bit of a time capsule to come back and read those last entries.  That interesting time when I moved back in with my parents, still had strength and hardiness, money and hope.  I was even working on dieting - I didn't remember that.  I had a weight loss goal and was succeeding.  Didn't realize that.

Shortly after that last post, over Thanksgiving weekend, I was sitting on the porch babysitting a yard sale when I felt a tinge of something unusual, in my butt.  That was when I first felt it.  Over the next month it grew more painful, maybe larger?  I couldn't bend over to pick things up off the floor anymore due to this new pain in my butt.  Just before Christmas, the pain getting so bad I was calling off from work, I called the doctor and it was eventually diagnosed - a peri-rectal abscess.  I was sent to a colo-rectal surgeon who lanced it.  I spent the Christmas holidays nursing the swelling which seemed to be getting worse again, and then the lancing wound became a fistula.  I was set for surgery at the end of the January to patch up the fistula.  During this time I soaked in a bathtub every night.  If you've never had a problem in your rectum, let me tell you, it brought me way down.  Just the sensation in that area is enough to encourage glumness.  I was massaging the lump to encourage drainage - but the sensation also encouraged my glumness.  I was so eager to get this behind me.  Went in for surgery in January, but they had hardly got started before the surgeon decided my abscess needed to drain and heal a lot more before he could close up the fistula.  At least, that's my understanding.  So I got cut, and had to sit in bed a couple weeks to heal, but then I was up and back at work thank goodness.  Still bathing every night.  Due to my work schedule and his vacation schedule and his slim availability to the operating room, the surgery that could have happened maybe in April didn't happen until the end of June.  After 2 weeks of lying in bed, I still was not given the go-ahead to do any exercise.  (I was very concerned about the effects on my body of lying around.)  I watched a lot of TV on my laptop and took several weeks off work while medical bills piled up.  That was July, August...  I keep hoping I'm healed and then I'm not.  I've been given the go-ahead to get back to full-level of activity.  However, as soon as I hope I'm healed I'll do a walk or get physically active (such as that is these days) and then I'll get this flare-up back there.  I have been doing the lighting designs at Actor's Theatre, and during my recuperation I was lucky enough to have my family to help me with the ladder-climbing.  In September I did all my own work on a design, then took a family vacation to Chesapeake for a week or so, before returning for an intense work period - which I'm in the middle of now.  And now I have knee pain that is so bad I can't climb ladders or descend stairs.

I think the knee pain has been coming on sort of gradually.  I have climbed some ladders in my life, and I've been obese, and I just turned 40 and I feel disabled.  But I have been taking glucosamine (when I think of it) for a while now to help with knee pain, and I have various leg and foot pains as well.  But I guess, I think, the knee thing may have been coming on for a while.  Right now it's horribly flared up.  Not only is this a tragedy for my work situation, it's a tragedy for my exercise situation.  I keep wanting to get back in shape but this crap keeps getting in the way.  I can't think of any cardio I can do with this knee like it is right now.  Even swimming in the pool would involve kicking.  Walking - I can do it painlessly but I think it makes it worse.

Tomorrow I will stay off my feet as much as possible and attend to the bad knee with an ice pack several times and try to plan for my lighting design that I have to do this week.

Salads, vegetables, fruits, avocado, and Metamucil have become a more important therapeutic part of my life.  I've always loved fruits and vegetables but didn't care too much for salads - that's all different now.

Anyway, especially given my tragic inactivity this year, my weight has continued to creep up and my physical hardiness has continued to decrease.  I was trying to do a low-impact aerobic workout video for a few days but that stopped when I stopped getting up early enough to finish it at the theatre before the other employees came in - I don't have anywhere else to do it.  I've done Pilates on the porch a couple times and considering my new unbendiness that has developed with a year of mostly lying and sitting, the Pilates actually feels really good and useful, but it's not cardio.  Yoga would be great if/when my knee can handle it.

I am almost back to square one but worse.  I'm 282 pounds and weak and wimpy.  I'm poor - I had to get a car in April (back before I'd paid for all this or realized I'd be so out of work for so long - still felt financially capable of stretching myself and getting a somewhat newer car that might be more reliable and useful... so that was $8500 that I'm paying off in monthly payments...)  I haven't done any stagehand work in months.  If my body gets better, I might be able to get back to that.  Otherwise, I might have to change careers - something I actually welcome but don't know what direction to go in yet.  Given a particularly-timed issue with the new healthcare things going into effect, my future with IATSE is extremely pertinent.

All this to say that, as soon as my schedule allows, I'm ready to take two weeks OFF to devote myself to losing weight and improving my physical health.  This time the weight loss isn't just motivated by the desire to fit into all the cute too-small-for-me clothes stuffing my drawers and closets (though that's long been a motivation) but I now have the more serious health reasons.  Whether this knee problem is osteoarthritis or bursitis or whatever, being 282 pounds doesn't help.

Problems are - I'm still with my parents, and that makes things a little messy.  What system should I go on?  Back on ediets?  It's cheaper now, only $10 per month.  Sparkpeople meal plans are free but I've never really liked them as much.  Really, I don't care what system I do, as long as I can commit to it 100%, in mindless slavish devotion, in order to get the pounds to fall off fast at first.  I want to be lighter on my knee ASAP.  And even though I have several printouts of the ediets meals, I might just rejoin anyway for $10 per month.  I think that would be better for me.  The fewer choices I have, the more I can just OBEY, the more likely I am to stick to it without getting confused.

So it's cool to come back and see that so many of the old favorite people are still blogging here.  I haven't had the chance to figure out whether everyone has been more successful than I have at continuing to achieve their goals or at least not falling all the way back to Square One.  I look forward to finding that out.  Congratulations to you on your continued efforts.