Thursday, May 2, 2013

On Bended Knee .. or Not

Stock photo by akeg
So ... my knee injury from last September still isn't anywhere near healed.  After more than 7 months, I'm still walking with a severe limp, and while I can bend my leg, I'm extemely limited as to what I can do.  I can't kneel -- not at all, not even to get into my bed on a soft mattress, nor can I lay on my stomach to sleep.  The pain to my kneecap is excruciating, even to the touch.

The original stress fracture was to my tibia (my right shin), and since I'm not experiencing any pain there, I'm sure the fracture has long since healed and that the knee pain is caused by something else.  I suspect effusion (water on the knee), because it feels like jelly and my knee doesn't lock like it should.  It will give way if I'm walking on uneven ground, or if one of my dogs even rubs up against that leg (which 70+ lb Molly loves to do).  It could also be torn meniscus, I suppose, as both of those things were mentioned to me after the initial MRI, but scoffed at by the orthopedist.

I haven't wanted to go back to orthopedics here at the Chillicothe VA because of the ridiculous (lack of) treatment I received there.  I finally gave in and sent a note to my primary care team, told them what I'm feeling and asked that someone review my earlier MRI and x-rays and suggest what to do next.  They were very prompt in their response and said they'd ordered another MRI, which is set up for May 13.  Once we get the report from the radiologist, we'll see about a referral to a different VA,  perhaps Huntington, WV or Dayton.

Exercise is at a standstill since I'm still dealing with limited mobility, which means the weight loss is too.  I'm making a concerted effort to watch the carbs again and hoping that I'll get a proper diagnosis and treatment for my knee and get back on the wagon all the way around.

Wait .. I don't want to ride in the wagon.  I want to walk.  God (and a good orthopedist) willing, I will be again soon.

~ Marie Anne

Friday, March 22, 2013

Knowing When to Give Up

I signed up for the A-Z Blogging Challenge this year with one blog -- this one -- but for all the wrong reasons.  I wanted to be able to say I did it.

While it might be enough for some, I had to stop and analyze whether the effort to blog every day was going to be worth it to me and have decided that it's not. I have several blogs, and even though I did the challenge once with four of them, it didn't do much for me except allow me to display a badge on the sidebar.

Maintaining a successful blog takes time and effort, and doesn't happen overnight.  One of the biggest challenges most bloggers face is to post consistently, and the A-Z challenge can certainly help you build good habits in that regard, but that doesn't work for everyone.  I've never been consistent enough with my blogging to make any money at it, and earning a buck is my goal, not a badge.

I write articles for pay and have a hard enough time focusing on the things that bring revenue, and blogging in the A-Z challenge every day is going to take away from that.  I know my limitations, and also know that if I take on the challenge, I'll want to complete it.  I can't afford to do that.

What I AM doing is a little different spin on the original AtoZ Challenge.  I'm going to write and publish an article every day that corresponds to the letter of the day in the original challenge.  It might be for one of my columns on Examiner (Dogs, Crafts, TV, or Christian Entertainment),  or YCN (about anything at all).  I won't get a shiny badge, but I will earn money, and of course have the satisfaction of completing a goal that makes more sense for me to strive for.

So I'm not dropping out of the big picture of the challenge entirely, but I am taking this blog out of the running in the original AtoZ Challenge and not going to feel guilty about it.   I'm not quitting, I'm readjusting. There's no shame in reevaluating goals to fit what's best for you.

~ Marie Anne

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Are You Up to the Challenge?

I am.  Or at least I hope I am.

Photo by HelloStanley
The first time I did the AtoZ Blogging Challenge, I did if with four blogs.  It was a LOT of work, but I made it all the way through. Knowing I'd done it once and proved myself, I had no desire to do that many again, but this year I decided to tackle it with my newest blog ... this one.

Yes, MA and "Gettin' Fit in My Fifties" have jumped on the AtoZ challenge, which means that I'll be posting every day in April (except Sunday), and the daily post will be about a topic that begins with the letter of the day, starting on Monday, April 1 with the letter A.

I'm sure there will be some days where I won't have time for a post with any real meaning and will just throw something meaningless out there just to meet the goal, but I hope to expand the breadth of this blog by sharing not only my day to day chatter about my own goals,  but how to become and stay fit when dealing with health issues and other challenges that face us as we age.

If you're interested in taking up the challenge, click on the AtoZ logo in the right sidebar to sign up.  Then hold on, because you're in for a wild ride!

~  Marie Anne

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Win $50 Amazon Gift Card from SparkPeople

I've looked at many fitness and diet-related sites online, but SparkPeople is my favorite site to track my food and fitness goals every day.  With just a few clicks, I can enter all of the food I've eaten and it will track the calories as well as all nutritional data, and when I enter what exercise I've completed, it will track calories burned. You earn points towards trophies for completing those activities as well as reading articles about fitness and nutrition.

I digress.  The $50 Amazon gift certificate.  Right.

For a chance to win a $50 Amazon gift card, simply go to SparkPeople and sign up to receive their special offers newsletter.  That's it.  Sign up for a newsletter and you could be one of the four lucky people who win $50 to buy whatever you want from - new workout wear, a dress in a smaller size, a pedometer, books, or any one of thousands of other cool things.

The contest ends on March 19, 2013 but enter now so you don't forget!  While you're out there, add me as a friend on SparkPeople.

~ Marie Anne

Friday, February 8, 2013

Bring it On

Like this tree that pushed through rock to
survive, I will push on until I find daylight.
Going on record here that I am taking my life back, in more ways than one.  I was doing pretty well with fitness and weight loss when I started this blog, then blew out my knee in September, which sidelined me completely.  The injury also had me eating all day/every day in order to take several meds necessary to just get through the day.  Almost five months later I'm still not healed, but at least I'm ambulatory, and for that I'm thankful.

Today is about changes.  I want my life back.  I want to get back on the low-carb bandwagon and kick the carb addiction to the curb.  I did it before -- lost 55 lbs in a short time almost effortlessly -- so I know it can be done.  I need to take charge of my life again and quit letting other people and other things determine how I act and react.  I need this not only to improve my health, but also to improve my outlook and feel good about myself.  Enough is enough.

Overweight.  Very high cholesterol.  Staring diabetes in the face and although not formally diagnosed, already seeing negative effects of crazy glucose levels taking a toll on my body.  Can't concentrate.  Emotional basket-case.

No more.  MA is back.

Bring it on.