Thursday, December 24, 2009

DH's knee replacement

DH had his left knee replaced on the 14th of December. He got to come home on the 17th after his physical therapy that morning (I got to be his physical therapy coach on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday so I would know how to help him do his exercises at home).
He did really well at the hospital, but once we got home, the swelling and bruising in his leg got worse. This was despite the exercising and icing we did as recommended by the therapists at the hospital. He had physical therapy one day at the VA and they recommended that he go back to his surgeon to see about the swelling, that that should be checked out.
We saw the surgeon yesterday, and he ordered a sonogram to check for blood clots, and to see if the blood thinner he ordered was causing bleeding. No blood clots, no extra bleeding, but he did say to discontinue the blood thinner, start the low-dose aspirin, elevate, and ice for 20 minutes out of every hour until the swelling goes down (and keep wearing the compression socks). So we're doing that, and it seems to be helping some. Staples come out on the 28th (that's DH's birthday, good present for him).
He is walking really well, using the walker when we go out because, of course, it's Minnesota and winter is finally hitting us with a vengeance. He uses the cane around the house since our house just isn't walker-friendly (the bathroom door just isn't wide enough to get the walker through unless you go through sideways). And the stairs to our bedroom in the basement don't seem to bother him much either, so that's good.
The only time he seems to have a lot of pain is when he's doing his exercises, or after Marty has jumped on his leg (and he seems to want to do that when DH is laying down in bed, trying to go to sleep). At least he has pain pills to take before we start his exercises.
DH keeps apologizing to me because I have to haul everything in from the van, and help with his leg - getting the compression sock on, doing the exercises, getting in and out of the bathtub, etc. I also have to shovel the sidewalk to the driveway (thank Maude we have someone who plows the driveway for us, and another person who comes down and snowblows the city sidewalk that runs along one side of our property - the city doesn't cut you any slack when one person is disabled and the other is laid up, you still have to clear the sidewalk or they will, and they'll charge you an arm and a leg for doing it). Side note - I shoveled the short walk from the door to the drive today and when I came in, I had some snow on my shoes. Knocked it off on the mat by the door, and Marty had to check it out. Then he ate the snow.....LOL
Silly cat. I told DH that doing all that stuff is part of being married, that when he's laid up, I take care of him and do what needs to be done because I know he would do the same for me (and he's going to do that when I have my carpal tunnel surgery, so no biggie).

Friday, December 4, 2009

New Minivan (to me, anyway)

We went with the 2008 Kia Sedona minivan. It had the best remaining warranty (and we were able to upgrade that warranty so that we now have 5 years/58K miles).

I'm having to learn how not to drive with a lead foot - the Sedona has so much more acceleration and pick-up than any other vehicle I've ever driven, it's just too easy to hit the gas pedal from a complete stop and be doing 40 mph before you know it (and that's in town). It gets up to highway/freeway speeds faster than my Grand Caravan and Windstar ever did, so the cruise control will definitely get used a lot.

The only drawback to buying the Kia is that the seatbelt fit way too tightly and I needed an extender. Kia doesn't offer extenders, at all. Something about seat belt extenders haven't been tested for safety so Kia won't be responsible if the extender fails in an accident. Right, so the seat belt doesn't fit me, I can't buckle it, I'm in an accident - does that mean I can sue Kia because they refuse to put seat belts in their vehicles that will fit fat people? Not to mention that in MN, they passed the law where you can be stopped and ticketed just for not wearing your seat belt. So I've been cheating and driving with the seat belt buckled before I ever get in the seat and then I sit on it (looks like it's buckled and the harness is behind my back to anyone outside the vehicle). Just a stop-gap measure until I could go online and do a search for an extender that will fit the Kia (the ones I had for the Windstar wouldn't work). I finally found one on eBay (final cost with shipping was $38.98) that was 15" long, which is perfect, puts the shoulder harness right where it should be (between my breasts) so the damned thing doesn't decapitate me. Ordered it Monday afternoon and it got here in today's mail. Doesn't match the interior color of the Kia, but I don't care, safety is more important than a color-match, IMO.

I'll know in a couple of weeks how it does on gas mileage (in cold weather anyway). Vehicles always get better gas mileage in warm weather than they do in cold weather, so I know the mileage will get better when spring and summer get here (and it's finally getting really cold here in MN, it's actually 15 degrees F and snowing today, yuck).

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Shopping for a new minivan

It's getting to be time to get rid of the Windstar, she's starting to nickel and dime us with repairs (and being a 2001 with 152K miles, is not worth a whole lot and probably won't last much longer anyway). The main problems are ones that are difficult to diagnose - both warning brake lights on the dash come on for no reason at random times, the back windows may or may not open (and if you get them open, they may not close), the number lock keypad doesn't work, the keyless beeper doesn't always unlock the doors, and 7 times out of 10, when you start the van, the windshield wipers cycle. Most of this has been a problem ever since we bought the van, and the dealer hasn't been able to diagnose what is causing it, so they can't fix it (and I'm not throwing any more money at diagnostic attempts when it's costing $80 an hour, and is going to cost the same to fix it, plus whatever the needed parts may cost).
So DH and I have been out looking at minivans. Now, the Windstar was a good one, other than the electrical problems (and so was my Grand Caravan, till it had electrical problems). So far, most of the minivans we've looked at - Chevrolet, Oldsmobile, Pontiac, Kia, Honda, Toyota, Dodge - are all about the same. They're all easy to get in and out of, they all get about the same gas mileage (anywhere from 16/18 mpg city to 23/25 mpg hwy and I'm not going to quibble over a couple of miles difference), and all of them have pretty comfortable seating. All of the newer ones (anything 2007 and after) have front and rear heat/air. The only ones I've seen that have the Stow'N'Go seating tho, are the Kia Sedona and the Dodge/Chrysler/Plymouth minivans (and I really like the idea of the Stow'N'Go).
One drawback is that I will need to get seatbelt extenders with whichever one we decide to go with. Seems they've decided to shorten seatbelts. The seatbelt in my '97 Grand Caravan fit with room to spare, but in the 2008 I drove yesterday, it was tight (yeah, it fastened, but I had no room to move, and if I was ever in an accident, the damned thing would probably decapitate me). The Kia was the same way. But seatbelt extenders are usually free, and that's a small thing.
I think we've narrowed our choices down to the Kia Sedona or the Dodge Grand Caravan. I've driven both of them (DH won't drive them, he calls minivans "chickmobiles", and only drives his 4WD F150). The Kia, well, just let me say that I would definitely need to use the cruise control on the highway at all times. It accelerates quite well (yeah, it and would get away from me if I wasn't careful. Of course, the Dodge was the same way, so that doesn't really go in to making the decision on which one we buy.
We're looking at how many miles are on each one, how much warranty is left on each one, the best price on each one, and what we can get on trade-in for the Windstar from each dealer. A lot will also depend on which one our bank will finance for us, too.
So, what does this have to do with FA/SA? Being a fat person, especially a fat person with arthritis who finds it next to impossible to get in and out of cars, I thought it would be informative for other people with similar difficulties to know what I've learned in my minivan shopping.
Granted, I prefer Dodges, I've had a lot of them in my car-owning history and they've always been good vehicles (and my dad likes them too, and that's a big influence on me). My son just bought a Kia Optima and recommended that I look at their minivans (he loves the Optima), so that's why I looked at the Sedona (yeah, I do tend to listen to my son when it comes to vehicles, he's not steered me wrong on the ones I've bought that he recommended). As always, YMMV, but if you're looking for a minivan that will fit someone up to 350 pounds and 5' 8" tall, the 2007 and newer Dodge and Kia minivans do it admirably (with the addition of a seatbelt extender).

Saturday, November 21, 2009

We got a Wii, and the bowling is a blast!!!!!!

I spent 6 hours yesterday hooking it up and trying to get it to work on our TV, which is not easy when you don't have the original remote (DH went on a cleaning rampage and threw out all the universal remotes that had quit working and the original remote for the TV was in that lot). I finally found the website for help, I suggest not using the url they put in the manual but shortening it to (they said to use and that doesn't exist when you type it in). So anyway, I ended up having to run the Wii through the VCR and then we have to put a movie in, play a few seconds of it, stop the movie, and then we can play the Wii. Pain in the ass, but my son said he'll fix that the next time he comes up here (probably at Christmas).
DH came home from work, we ate dinner, and he wanted to try it out (we bought the WiiSports). So we bowled 5 games before he decided it was time to quit and get ready for bed (he has to work today and tomorrow). Now, my son and his wife can sit down and bowl, but I found out that doesn't work for me, and it doesn't work for DH either, so both of us were taking turns standing between the recliner and the loveseat, in front of the TV, bowling (he said not to tell anyone, but I beat him 2 of the 3 games and it was my first time ever bowling with the Wii, he had bowled with my son and DIL on theirs). Don't let anyone tell you that bowling on the Wii isn't exercise. If you're standing up to do it, and you take at least one step forward when you release the ball (like I do), it's exercise. I wasn't breathing hard or anything like that, and I was having a lot of fun, but I was sweating and the house wasn't that warm. Today, my back is sore, and my bad knee is giving me fits, but that's not going to keep me from bowling again tonight when DH gets home from work and we're done with dinner.
I don't know if we'll ever play any of the other games that are on the disc (though DH did say he thought I might beat him at tennis, so we may end up trying that). Even if we don't play any of the other games, it's worth it just for the fun we have with the bowling. And DH saw another Wii game that he'd like to have - it's the one where you're shooting chickens, comes with a gun (there's a deer-hunting one as well). I agreed with him that the chicken one looked like fun, so that might be next on our list of things to get for entertainment at home............

Friday, November 20, 2009

Loan modification, finally!!! And a warning....

We've only been trying since August of 2008 to get a loan modification on the mortgage on DH's house. DH has an ARM, that was supposed to be set at 9% when he refinanced in 2006 (3 months before we got married). When he went to sign the papers, they had upped the rate to 10.55%. He didn't want to sign, but didn't have much choice, as he had credit card companies that were hounding him and threatening to garnish wages, etc (credit cards he didn't know he had, his ex-wife got them in his name, ran them up, and when she left, he was stuck holding the bag). So he signed. The rate was fixed for 2 years with an option to refinance.
Well, y'all know what happened to the housing market in 2008. His house, that had been appraised at 125K (and I have no fucking clue how they came up with that appraisal for a one bedroom, 1 bathroom house with no central heat/air), was no longer worth that (tax appraisal was 66.5K). Mortgage company kept calling and asking if we were ready for the rate to reset and our payments to go up, and if we didn't want that, they were willing to lock us in for 5 years at our current rate and payment (the payment was almost $1200 a month, including escrow for taxes and insurance). We told them no way were we willing to lock in at the current rate, but if they were willing to lower it, we would talk. Nope, they didn't want to talk. And that continued.
Then we got a call from someone who said he could help us negotiate a loan modification. We talked, and eventually, he couldn't help us, because we were "under water" on the mortgage (owed more than the house was worth). But, he knew of a company who could help us (and that should have been a huge warning flag). He said he was going with a company called Green Credit Solutions, who had lawyers working on loan modifications for people who weren't able to get their lenders to work with them. A couple of his family members were also signing up, and so were a lot of his other customers. Cost was $3,495 and if GCS wasn't able to get a loan mod for you, you got $2,945 of it back (yeah, right). So we came up with the money, filled out the paperwork, sent all of the documentation they required, and thought we were on our way to a loan modification.
Well, between August of 2008, when we first started talking with Sean and GCS,and July of 2009 when we quit hearing from GCS, we had 8 different negotiators who had worked on our loan modification. Now they did apply for at least one loan modification that I know of, because our lender told us we had been denied. Something about DH made too much money (but that was because they were counting my income, and they weren't supposed to, since I'm not on the mortgage, and I wasn't going to be on the new one either). At that point, one of the negotiators said he wasn't supposed to tell us this, but that if we quit making payments on the house, our lender might be more willing to negotiate a loan modification. Up until then, DH had had the payments on the mortgage taken out of the checking account automatically every month. So, in November of 2008, he decided that he would stop the automatic withdrawal and we went to the bank and did that, went home and called the lender, told them the AWD had been stopped. In December, the lender tried to do an AWD, it was refused, and I had sent them a check. The bank also refused to cash our check because they thought we had stopped all payments to the lender, not just the AWD. So when the check bounced (and I caught it right away, because I balance our checkbook online every week), I called the bank to see why they had refused payment on the check. Bank said oops, our mistake, tell the lender to send the check back through and we will pay it.
So I called the lender, explained what had happened, and was told the check would be sent back through. Problem solved, right? Guess again.
So January comes around. I send in the mortgage payment check, with a note in the memo line that it's the payment for Jan 09. Then the calls start coming about when are we going to make January's payment. I told them we made it. That they needed to send back through the check I wrote for December's payment and gave them the check number. They said they couldn't do that, that we needed to send them another check for December's payment. I said, fine, send me back the check I wrote for December and I'll send you another check. Can't do that, they said, we take an electronic image and destroy the check. So send me some kind of assurance that you aren't going to resubmit that check for payment. Can't do that, they said. Then piss up a rope for your payment, I said. I'm not sending you another check so you can have two checks for the same month's payment and be able to cash both of them, and I'm not paying for a stop payment on the one, when you charged us a bounced check fee for the AWD not being paid when you knew we had stopped that.
February rolls around, I send them a check for the mortgage. Check clears the bank, and they try to do an AWD. And they charge us a bounce fee for the AWD failing. I call and chew ass. Then I fax them a letter stating that the AWD has been stopped, with copies of paperwork from the bank.
Lender calls every day, 3 to 4 times a day, either wanting to know if we're going to make the missed payment (which is in the savings account), or if we want to lock in at our current rate and payment for the next 5 years. It gets to the point where I know all the phone numbers they use, and when those numbers show up on caller id, I don't even bother to answer the phone. DH won't talk to them at all, he gets too mad (like I don'
Finally, we decide that GCS isn't going to do us any good, and we stop making mortgage payments on the house (they go into the savings account). When the lender calls, we tell them "Either give us a decent loan modification or take the house, we don't care. We don't have any kids, so we don't have to worry about schools or anything like that. We're not so invested in this house that we have to stay here, we can move, and we will." They piss and moan and delay and belly-ache and say there's nothing they can do. They've had an online appraisal of the house done and that comes out at 80K. I start laughing. They want to know what is so funny. I tell them there is no central heat/air in the house, that there is one wall furnace in the hallway to heat the whole downstairs, there are 2 electric baseboard heaters for the upstairs, and there's no heat at all in the basement. The valuation for taxes has gone down to 60K, and they'd be lucky to get 45K for the house, if they could sell it at all (there are houses in this town that have been for sale for more than a year and they're all better than this one). The only thing this house has going for it is its location (across the street from the lake/park, closest neighbor is across the street, and one across the American Legion parking lot). We told them it would take them 6 months to get us out of the house (so they would have lost a year's worth of house payments (14K), then the house would sit empty for who knows how long while they had to pay property taxes on it and lose more house payments, and then take a loss if and when they finally sold it).
So we got a phone call a couple of weeks ago, telling us we had been approved for a loan modification. Our rate went from 10.55% to 3.375% and is locked in for 5 years. Our mortgage payment went from $1157.28 a month to $620.69. We got the papers to go over (and sign) on the 11th. They had to be back by 20th (luckily they sent them next-day UPS and included a return label for us to use and there is a UPS pick-up box here in town). They recommended that we have a lawyer go over them with us, so we did. We signed them, got them notarized, and sent them back with the certified check for the escrow deposit (and I wrote down the UPS tracking number, and checked on it, they got the paperwork back yesterday).
So it pays to be a bitch sometimes, and believe me, I was a bitch with DH's lender. I just wish I could find the assholes who ran the scam called GCS. They would not even want to meet Helga, let alone PsychoBitch from Hell. I guess we'll just have to chalk that money up to experience, and let it go, but damn, that burns my hide, especially since I did research them and they seemed to be a legitimate company. Now, doing more research on them since their website has disappeared and their phone lines are disconnected, I find out they've fucked over a lot of people. DH and I are lucky, in that we didn't lose the house, and we managed to get the loan modification on our own, but there are a lot of people out there who relied on GCS who weren't so lucky. All we lost was $3,495 - they lost that and their homes.

Carpal tunnel surgery upcoming

Well, I finally got the results from the EMG test done on my right arm. I do have carpal tunnel, the nerve is pinched in my wrist and the neuroligist recommends surgery to fix it before any damage is done to the nerve. At least the numbness is just in my hand now, and isn't in my arm, shoulder, neck, and head anymore. I am wearing a wrist brace at night, and it seems to help some, but the numbness in my hand doesn't ever go completely away. Unfortunately, I can't have the surgery done right away as DH is scheduled on Dec 14th for a complete knee replacement (his left knee is bone-on-bone and he's in a lot of pain that ibuprofen and extra strength tylenol combined don't even touch). So I'll probably get that done in February, after DH is mostly healed, but before he goes back to work (so he can take care of me, since I'm right-handed and won't be able to use that hand much for a couple of weeks).
His doctor at the VA says that, at 53 (almost 54), he's really too young for a knee replacement, but the orthopedic surgeon we saw yesterday said that since the cortisone shots and SynVisc shots didn't work, and pain meds don't help, that replacement is the only thing left to do in order to lessen the pain. Evidently, replacement doesn't always totally get rid of the pain, but most of the time, it does. DH is willing to go for it, he says anything is better than what he's dealing with right now.
The surgery isn't going to be done at the VA, they aren't doing any new surgeries because they are so far behind, so we had to find a civilian hospital to do it. Luckily, there's one in Alexandria (only 25 miles away) and the surgeon who will be doing the knee replacement trained at the VA in Minneapolis (small
Looks like DH will be off work for about 8 weeks. He has some pre-surgery exercises to do to strengthen the muscles around the knee, and then he'll probably have to go to the VA at St Cloud a couple of times a week for physical therapy after the replacement. We have a meeting about knee replacements to attend next week, an informational type thing, where they tell us what to expect in more detail, and what medications he needs to stop taking and how long before the surgery he needs to stop taking them.
We may end up paying for a couple of his visits to the surgeon, since the VA says they're only paying for one visit before surgery, the surgery itself, and one visit afterward. According to the scheduling nurse, after the surgery, there will be a visit to remove the staples (two weeks post-op), then a visit 4 weeks post-op, and another one 12 weeks post-op (and another one after a year has passed). I don't think the VA is going to want to pay for those last 3 visits, but I don't see how a PA or an ortho doc at the VA is going to be able to do the follow-up when they aren't ones who did the surgery. But, like DH says, if we have to pay for the visits, so be it, we'll find the money somewhere (probably will come out of the money we're saving on the house payment since we finally got the loan modification on the house, which is a whole 'nother post).

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Hooray for expanded mobility!!!

I finally got my Rollator walker last week. This means that I can now shop in places that don't have electric carts (like some malls, and most stores). It also means that when DH wants to go to the local toy shows, pancake breakfasts, and Pioneer Power shows, we can actually go because I'll have the walker to lean on (and when my back cramps and I can't walk anymore, it has a seat so I can sit until the cramping goes away). I won't have to worry about standing in lines forever anymore (and let me tell you, the pancake breakfasts around here have some of the longest lines I've ever seen).
This is a picture of it:

I ordered it from, it was originally priced at $595, I got it for $163.62 (and didn't have to pay any shipping and handling, got it 4 days after I ordered it). It has a weight capacity of 400 lbs, so it's well worth the money (and was mostly assembled, just had to install the handles with the brakes, the basket, and the back rest).
I know I'm probably going to get looks from people when they see me using it, since I'm a fat woman - "Oh noes, she's fat and using a walker, what a lazy fat fatty mcfatterson she is." (same shit when I use the electric carts at WallyWorld). But ya know what, I don't care. They don't live with the pain I have, they don't know anything about it (and I don't talk about it much in the meatworld), and if this is going to widen my horizons and let me get out more and do more with DH, then I'm all for it.
Hell, I can actually go shopping with him at Menard's now, since Menard's doesn't have those electric carts, and the one wheelchair they have sure as hell doesn't fit my fat ass (it might fit my D-I-L, who is 5' 10" and 150 lbs). I'll be able to spend more time shopping in individual stores because I'll have a place to sit when my back starts hurting because I've been standing for too long - which may not be a good idea, more time to shop means more time to spend money......
We even have a bike/walking trail that runs past our house that DH and I will finally be able to use in the summer time now (can't use it in the winter time, it's a snowmobile trail then, and those snowmobiles zoom by, even here in town).
I am so looking forward to finally being able to get out and about more than I have been. This Rollator walker is going to open up my life so much, I can't even think of all the ways it's going to help.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Exposed to the flu and pneumonia and I'm still not sick

It's been a lovely ten days or so around here, I must say. DH has been sick with the flu since last Wednesday (the 21st). He was supposed to work Fri/Sat/Sun (23/24/25) but ended up going to Urgent Care at the VA on the 24th because he was coughing so much he was dizzy (not to mention not hungry, headache so bad his hair hurt, fever and chills, etc). They diagnosed flu, said we were doing all we could with the tussinDM, tylenol, orange juice/fluids, and rest, and gave him an excuse so he didn't have to go in to work (and his work was very understanding about it).
We figured since he had Mon/Tues off, he should have gotten enough rest and be able to go back to work as scheduled for Wed/Thurs. No such luck. He was still coughing up his lungs (dry, hacking cough), still fever and chills, and still not eating much of anything. But he got up and went to work. Two co-workers saw him, both said he looked like death warmed over, and since he was coughing, he didn't need to be there passing it on to the rest of them (or coughing on the soy milk they make and package). Boss wasn't due to come in until 8 a.m., but Chad (used to be a supervisor) said go home, I'll tell the boss, and you call him at 8. So home comes DH, calls the boss at 8, boss says no problem, we've got the floater to cover for you.
Back to the VA and Urgent Care we go. Now they tell us, after a chest x-ray, that his flu has become pneumonia. Oh goody. Well, at least we know what it is, and they can prescribe drugs to help him get over it. So we come home with cough syrup with codeine in it, an antibiotic (not penicillin, DH is allergic to that), and prednisone.
DH has been sleeping in the recliner in the living room because he couldn't lay flat without coughing, but last night, he actually got to sleep in bed for the first time in 8 days, so I think he's feeling better. He's not coughing as much, and his appetite is starting to come back. Today, he's playing games on Pogo instead of checking the backs of his eyelids for holes while watching TV.
It's funny, because when we were at the VA on Saturday, the PA we saw told me to stay in a different room from DH and to keep washing my hands all the time so I wouldn't catch his flu, that this was about the time I should be coming down with it. Well, I've been in the same room with him the whole time, taking care of him, making sure he takes his pills, giving him his insulin shots like I do every day, getting him something to drink when he's thirsty, giving him his cough medicine, and I still haven't gotten it. So far, the worst thing I've had is my sinuses draining (and I have that every fall when it gets rainy and damp).

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Totally sick of the health care debate

I've been staying out of the health care debate, for the most part. I've experienced most of the situations that everyone is talking about - no insurance at all, being on Medicaid, having insurance through work but not being able to afford to use it, and now I have Medicare and Tricare (Medicare because I'm over 55 and disabled, and Tricare because my husband is retired from the Navy).

What pisses me off about the whole health care debate is the part where all the powers-that-be think that making fat people pay more for their health insurance is going to cut costs. Fat people aren't any more costly to the system than thin people or so-called average-sized people.
You want to know the people who cost the system the most? People who drink and drive, repeatedly, and don't stop to think about how many people they could injure or kill. People who participate in sports and get injured (don't tell me that torn ACLs, torn muscles, broken bones etc aren't expensive to fix), people who get old (yeah, the longer you live, the better your chances of having things like heart attacks, strokes, broken bones, etc), people who have unprotected sex (yeah, those STDs aren't cheap to treat, and unexpected pregnancies - well, let's see now, an abortion isn't cheap - if you can get one, and if you can't, it sure as hell isn't cheap to raise a kid), people who are addicted to drugs (it's not cheap to get treatment for them, if that's even an option - most of the time, officials would rather just jail them, not a cheap option either).
All of these people that cost health care dollars are thin, average, fat, and every size in-between. But it's too difficult to figure out how to get decent health care for everyone without bankrupting the country, isn't it, unless you have a scapegoat. And who makes a better scapegoat than fat people? After all, they went after smokers and were successful in banning them from public spaces, and have even been successful in banning them from some private spaces (some cities/states have banned smoking in cars if you have kids in them, some have banned smoking in open-air parks, some apartment buildings won't rent to smokers). They've even been successful in upping the taxes on cigarettes to an outrageous amount (I can remember going to the store back when I was 8 years old and getting a pack of smokes for my aunt and paying less than 50 cents for them). Being a former smoker, I'm not going to get into the right/wrong of it all (I quit smoking when cigarettes went up to $1.50 a pack, and I only smoked a carton a month. I didn't quit because it was bad for me, I quit because I had better places to spend the money than on something that usually just burned up in an ashtray when I got busy and forgot I was smoking).
Now they're talking about fat taxes on soda/sugar-sweetened drinks and junk food in order to end their made-up "obesity epi-panic". I think the only thing holding them back from implementing that tax right now is the fact that a lot of not-fat people would be outraged at having to pay a fat tax on soda and junk food, when it so obviously is not making them fat.
I wouldn't have a problem with this so-called "fat tax" if they would guarantee that every dollar of it collected went to pay for health care for those who can't afford to pay for it themselves and don't qualify for Medicare or Medicaid. But I would say the chances of that happening are slim and none, and slim just left town.
The thing is, I'm such an obstinate bitch, a fat tax wouldn't stop me from eating junk food. Are they going to put a fat tax on potatoes and cooking oil (home-made french fries)? How about a fat tax on sugar, flour, baking soda, salt, eggs, milk, vanilla, etc (can we say ingredients for cakes/cookies)? Hell, I could have my own little black market going in home-made junk food, fat tax-free.....ROFLMAO!!!!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Extreme weight loss show in the works for 2011 (by the asshat who did "Biggest Loser")

This has to one of the most obscene articles about a new TV show I've seen lately (and is another reason I don't watch much TV).

If you think you've already seen the biggest losers, just wait.

ABC is teaming with "Biggest Loser" executive producer J.D. Roth for a new show, tentatively titled "Obese," on which extremely overweight individuals shed hundreds of pounds over the course of a year.

Yeah, way to go, ABC, othering fat people with that title for a show about them. You really care about fat peoples' health too, don't you. It's just so safe for someone to lose hundreds of pounds in a year (since most doctors will tell you when you're dieting not to lose more than 1 - 2 pound a week, which doesn't come anywhere near 100 pounds in a year, let alone hundreds of pounds).
But it's not about health, is it? It's about making those ugly fat people go away (by making them thin) and who cares how much harm is done to them in the meantime? Because everyone knows that fat people can't have a happy, fulfilling life unless/until they get thin.

"We want to witness the most important year of a human being's life, and that's the one where they get their life back," Roth said. "We can help somebody lose 50 percent of their body fat, and you'll get to see that entire 365-day journey in one hour."

Excuse me!?!?! I happen to be DEATHFATZ (almost 400 lbs) and I never lost my life to begin with. I've always had my life, always been able to do the things I needed to do, and most of the things I wanted to do (and the things I couldn't do, well, I figured out how to adapt to not being able to do them, or how to work around it). Hell, I even fell in love and got married while being fat.
So this bullshit of not being able to have a life just because a person is fat, is just that - BULLSHIT!!!!!!

"This is a unique story that hasn't been told yet," said Roth, who will serve as the ABC show's executive producer. "There's something great and transformative when you take the game element out of it and just focus on one man or woman over the course of a year and there's no prize at the end. The finish is their entry into the life they've always wanted."

This is a story that hasn't been told yet? More bullshit. It's told every day on those cable shows when they tell the stories about the half-ton woman/man who just had to have WLS in order to keep on living (and ends up dying). It's told every day by people on "Biggest Loser". It's told every day by people who join Weight Watchers (or whatever other diet-of-the-day) and lose weight (only to gain it back again).
What isn't told every day is what happens to all those people who lose fucktons of weight in very short periods of time. No one hears about the complications, side effects, and weight regain. No one hears about the loss of self-esteem when weight is regained, because for most fat people, loss of massive amounts of weight is not permanent (and anyone who says that anyone can lose massive amounts of weight and keep it off permanently, well, I'm sorry, but, they're lying at worst, mythinformed at best).

Friday, October 9, 2009

New kitteh

We went to the Humane Society in Alexandria on Wednesday and picked up a new kitteh to be a companion for Fat Cat. His name is Marty (not that he answers to it, mind you) and he's somewhere between 2 and 3 years old. He's mostly white, except for 2 oval black spots on top of his head, between his ears, black oblongs on his right front and back legs, and his tail is black.
He and Fat Cat are still getting to know one another, with a hiss every now and then when they pass each other too closely, or a pawslap now and then. But no caterwauling catfights yet, though Fat Cat has chased Marty through the house a few times (this is good for Fat Cat, I haven't seen him move this much in a long Marty has checked out all of the cat toys we have, and even Fat Cat has played with them more than he has in a long time, so I think getting another cat is good for him (he's been walking through house, meowing and looking for Slick, so I know he misses him, after all, they had been together for 10 years).
Marty is a very vocal, affectionate cat now that he's getting used to us, and he comes down to sleep with us after we've gone to bed. The first night, he slept on my hip (and here I thought my fibro was doing pretty good till I had a cat walking on me). Last night, he slept with DH and didn't want to move to let him up to go the bathroom in the middle of the night (DH had to slide out of bed around the cat, good thing we have a king-size bed now).
I went to do some grocery shopping today, and when I got home, I could hear Marty meowing, but I couldn't find him. I finally narrowed it down to the area around the washer/dryer, but couldn't figure out if he was in the crawl space under the house where the washer/dryer are (a cat can get in there from our basement bedroom if he's determined) or if he was actually behind the washer/dryer (the stairs to the second floor go up right beside the area where the w/d are, so there's a shelf creating a triangular space from the top of the dryer to the wall and then just open space we can't use underneath that shelf because it's right next to the dryer and the rest of the staircase, down to the floor, is solid wall). Yeah, he was behind the dryer/under the shelf next to the dryer and I couldn't get to him to get him out and he didn't have any room to jump out. Normally, this wouldn't be a problem, just pull the dryer out, and let the cat out. But this space is really tight (leave it to a cat to find a tight place that's difficult to get him out of), and there's less than half an inch of space between the washer and dryer, no space between the washer and the wall, and no space between the dryer and the shelf. Lucky me. I finally figured out that if I opened the dryer door, I could lift up the dryer enough to pull it forward over the aluminum strip between the two different linoleums on the floor. I got the dryer far enough forward that Marty, with sufficient coaxing from me, finally decided he could jump out of there. Knowing cats as well as I do, this probably will not be the only time he does this, so I think DH is going to have to put up a shelf that rests on the back of the dryer so we can keep him out of there (and probably one for the washer too, just in case). And it's not like those shelves won't get used, so it's kinda like killing 2 birds with one cat-proofing stone.
Here are some pics I took of Marty with my cell phone:

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

A sad day yesterday

We had to take Slick to the vet yesterday to find out why he was peeing everywhere but the litterbox (this is not usual for him) and why he was drinking so much water (the cats have a 2 quart self-waterer and it would have to be filled every day/day and a half here lately).
When I called the vet, the receptionist said to bring him in to be checked, it sounded like diabetes to her (she had had a diabetic cat). When I told DH that, he said that if Slick was diabetic (at 11 years old), we would probably have him euthanized. NOT something we really wanted to do, but this is a cat that fights oral medications and will run and hide from you when he knows you're going to give them to him (and he's nearly impossible to find, too, even in our small house). Not to mention that we're gone on the weekends when DH isn't working so no one would be here to give him his shots (we don't have anyone who can/will come in and take care of the cats while we're gone, we just leave plenty of food and water and a spare clean litter box for them, it all lasts the 2 1/2 days we're usually gone).
So we took Slick in to the vet, she checked him over, drew his blood, and everything was good except his blood sugar. That was 594, and just like humans, cats should have a blood sugar of 71 to 150. Slick was his usual affectionate self, but he was so passive, laying there on the exam table while the vet explained what would have to be done to get his blood sugar under control (diet, medication, more testing, maybe oral meds later on, different food than what Fat Cat eats). DH said we knew about all of that, since he had type 2 diabetes and we had to go through all of that for him. He told her that with us being gone on weekends, the expense, the fact that Slick won't eat any food but the kind he eats now (DH has tried to change their food in the past, doesn't work, they pick out the new food pieces and leave them, and just eat the old ones when you mix the two together), trying to feed two cats separately when they're used to eating whenever they want to (and have been for the last 10 years), and then fighting to get meds in Slick, it's just not fair to the cat, he doesn't understand that we're doing it for his health, he just knows that we're holding him down and sticking him (or giving him oral meds) and limiting his food and when he can eat.
So DH made the decision to euthanize Slick (and then he had to leave, he couldn't stand to stay and have Slick looking at him with those big green eyes of his). I took care of all the paperwork and wrote the check, but I couldn't stay to be with him as he passed either, I was crying as I filled out everything as it was. I don't know how DH even managed to make the decision, Slick was the cat who greeted him at the door every night when he got home from work, was the cat who laid on his computer desk begging to be petted when DH was playing games on the computer, was the cat who drank his diet Coke, lemonade, or whatever else he happened to be drinking, and was the cat that DH would look at and go "What?" and Slick would make this tiny, almost noiseless meow back at him (and do that as many times as DH would say "What?"). Slick and Fat Cat are what got DH through the times when his ex-wife left him.
We spent a lot of time last night talking about Slick, the good times with him, and how he could be a pain in the ass, and I imagine we'll be talking about him for quite a while, until the pain of losing him finally lessens.

DH and Slick

Slick RIP

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Another found gem

This was originally titled "The 230 Pound Psalm", but I think a more appropriate title for it is:

Author Unknown

Strict is my diet, I must not want.
It maketh me to lie down hungry at night.
It leadeth me past Baskin Robbins, it trieth my will power.
It leadeth me in the path of starvation for my figure's sake.
Yea, though I walk through the aisles of the pastry department,
I will buy no sweets, for they are fattening.
The cakes and the pies, they tempt me,
My day's quota runneth over.
Surely calories and weight charts
shall follow me all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in fear of the scales forever.

Been there done that, it sucks, and I refuse to do it ever again.

Amazing what you find when you go thru stuff that's been packed away for years

I found this poem today when I was going through a bunch of my old crafting books, trying to decide what I want to keep and what I want to get rid of. It's very apropos for FA.

By: Maggie Coffin

I am what I am
My bulk does not open doors
It should not close them

My size is my only difference
Why cannot others see that
My beauty comes from within and without
Just like everyone else

I breathe, love, laugh, and feel pain
The same as others
Do people think my stature protects me
From ordinary feelings

My sense of self-worth should not
Depend on my dress size

I accept myself - gladly - proudly!

If others cannot
It is THEIR problem

I had forgotten I had this, and I've had it so long that the paper I typed it on (yes, it's typed on a typewriter, not done from a computer and printed) is yellowed with age.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Another example of hidden rising prices

This may seem like a small thing, but add up enough of these small things and it's no wonder people can't afford groceries and household supplies anymore.
I noticed when I changed the toilet tissue roll the other day (opened a new package of tissue to do it) that the roll seemed narrower. I thought I was imagining it until I compared the old, empty roll to the new, full roll. The old roll measured 4 1/2" wide and the new one measures 4 1/8" wide. That's 3/8" that the manufacturer has cut off the roll while not lowering the price (so you're paying the same price for less toilet tissue). Just like cereal producers have created smaller boxes of cereal and kept the same price (10 oz where it used to be 12, or 12 when it was 14, etc).
I've been noticing this a lot at the grocery store lately. A lot of items are getting downsized in quantity but not in price (and a lot of the time, the packaging isn't getting downsized to reflect the lesser quantity inside). You don't realize until you open the new package and see how little is really inside that you've bought a downsized product at the old price (and compare the new box to the old box and see that the quantity has changed while the size of the box and the price hasn't).
I consider this a most dishonest way of increasing prices for products. Manufacturers know consumers watch prices closely, and complain about rising prices, so in order to sneak in a price increase, they think, "Let's not actually raise the price where they can see that it's gone up, we'll just put less product in the same size box, charge them the same amount, and we'll get our price increase without them noticing it quite it as soon. And by the time they do notice it, they'll be so used to paying that same price for less product that they'll keep on doing it." When all the manufacturers do it, comparison shopping for the best price doesn't do much good (but I still do it as much as possible, because every penny, nickel, dime, and quarter I save on groceries can be saved for other things we want or need).

Friday, September 11, 2009

Saw both doctors today

Saw Dr W today for my yearly check-up. Cholesterol is good, BP is good, thyroid is normal, everything checked out ok with her. I do have to go in for a mammogram next week (I hate those), and a colonoscopy on the 24th (not looking forward to that either, but once that's done, I'm good for 10 years). It had been quite a while since I'd had a tetanus shot, so I got the Tdap shot (they've had some cases of whooping cough in our area this past winter).
I also saw Dr D today. Since I'm doing well on the minimal dosage of Topamax, she's not going to up it. She also ordered an EMG to see why I have the numbness in my arm (ruling out carpal tunnel), and is sending me to physical therapy for the pain in my neck when I have to drive long distances (or when I spend too much time sitting at the computer). I get to go back and see her again in a couple of months, and I guess we'll be doing another brain MRI next summer (something about keeping an eye on the lesions in my brain, making sure they don't get larger or I don't get more of them, and something else about MS not being much of a possibility after menopause, whatever that means). She also asked me if the Topamax was affecting my appetite in any way. I told her that in the 6 weeks I'd been taking it, I'd lost 6 lbs, and didn't seem to be hungry for snacks between meals like I was before. She said that was good, that Topamax seems to curb a desire for greasy foods (haven't noticed that, I don't usually eat greasy foods anyway, don't agree with me since I had my gallbladder out), and that some people have a problem with how carbonated beverages taste (I noticed that at first, but don't seem to have a problem with it now). She thinks it's a good idea if I keep losing weight, and that's not a battle I'm going to fight with her.
Losing weight is not why I'm taking the Topamax, I'm taking it to keep from getting migraines, and let me tell you, if I miss a dose a couple of days in a row, I'll get a migraine (thank Maude she also gave me a prescription for fiorinal, that will get rid of one if I do get it). If I lose weight, well, so be it; if I don't, that's ok too.
I'm done worrying about my weight, and after looking at the pictures of the women on my dad's side of the family (and these are pictures of my grandmother and her sisters and other female relatives, born between 1900 and 1920), I'm doomed to be fat. Considering when these women were born, and what the life expectancy was back then (and how tall women usually were), these women were exceptionally tall, fat, and long-lived (most were over 5' 5", weighed over 200 lbs, and lived well into their mid-70s-80s). So I don't think I have to worry about my fat killing me any time soon (in fact, that fat is probably what will help me survive any heart attack, stroke, or cancer I may happen to get).

Friday, September 4, 2009

Finally heard from neurologist (and other news)

Well, I finally heard from my neurologist about the numbness in my head/neck/shoulder (which has now spread to my arm and hand). When did she call me back? Friday morning (the 28th, when I called her on the 24th) as I was on my way to Faribault to pick up my son and daughter-in-law so we could go to Illinois to my mother's memorial service. So anyway, Dr D doesn't think it was a mini-stroke or side effects from the Topamax, she thinks it's probably a pinched nerve (and since I was driving on the freeway - well, I had pulled off to the shoulder to talk to her on my cell phone), I told her we would have to talk about it at our appointment on the 11th of September, since I was on my way out of state. At least a pinched nerve is better than a stroke, I guess, but I don't know what the hell they're going to do to get rid of the pinched nerve (or how they're going to find where it is).
I had the ultrasound on my carotid arteries and my thyroid. Carotid arteries are clear, no plaque, so my cholesterol is good (when I told my family members in Illinois that, they all wanted to know how I managed it, told them I didn't have a clue, just lucky, I guess). My thyroid is enlarged and has nodules, but Dr W doesn't seem worried about it, she says my TSH level is normal. I wonder what she'll have to say when I tell her my paternal grandfather had thyroid cancer and my mother had thyroid problems. I think maybe I need to ask her to do some more testing, maybe on the T3-T4 conversion, the TRH, and antibodies. With a family history of thyroid problems, it's not something I want to mess around with.
I found out what my mother passed away from. She had had ovarian cancer several years ago, and the tumors came back with a vengeance. Eventually, she had to have her bladder removed. And the last time the tumors came back, they strangled her small intestine and she couldn't eat or drink anything (this started back in April, from what I understand). In early July, the surgeon went in and closed off her stomach and put in a drain (anything that she drank went into her stomach and out the drain). He called everyone in and told them that there was nothing else that could be done for her. My aunt asked him if, basically, my mother was going to starve to death. He said yes. She hung on until August 20th, and my aunt said it was not an easy time for her at all.
I'm sorry that I didn't get a chance to see her before she died, but I'm not sure if it would have done any good for me to have been there. She was a very stubborn woman (and that's one way in which I take after her). All I can say is that I hope she's in a better place now.
The memorial service was nice, and I got to see quite a few family members I haven't seen in more years than I care to think about. DH got to meet my dad (and they like each other, which is great), and he met my brother and likes him too. He also got to meet my aunt and the rest of the family (and he likes them all). He's even said that we'll be going back to visit, maybe this year before the snow flies. If not, definitely next spring, which makes me very happy (I finally feel like I fit into the family, which I never have before). And it's not that expensive for gas to get there, it cost us less than $175 for gas there and back (and that was almost 1400 miles in my 2001 Windstar).
A lot has been going on, it seems like I just get one dilemma solved and something else happens. I know life can be interesting, but I'm about ready for some dull and boring for a while.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Update on carotid/thyroid ultrasound

I had the ultrasounds on my carotid arteries and thyroid today. The good news is that my carotid arteries are clear and I have a good, strong heartbeat (I knew that), so my cholesterol must be pretty good, no plaque in my arteries at all. Bad news is that my thyroid is enlarged, more so on the right side than the left (and I knew that too, since when I try to sleep on my right side, it feels like something is trying to block my airway and makes it hard to breathe unless I tip my head back). I also have a nodule on the left side. Don't have a clue what that means, and don't know when I'll find out. Dr W should have the results of the ultrasounds back by 3 pm tomorrow afternoon, but if she doesn't call that afternoon or Friday morning, I won't know anything until Monday (Mike and I have to go to Illinois for my mother's memorial service on Saturday, she died last Thursday morning). I swear, it never rains but what it freaking pours.
And I'm beginning to think I'm a piss-poor example of fat acceptance because I'm thinking this thyroid problem could be a blessing in disguise. If it's not serious, don't do anything about it until I've lost about 100 lbs or so, just because I'm so damned sick and tired of not being able to find bras to fit, not being able to find cute clothes at reasonable prices (yeah, I know, it's a vanity thing, but I'm sick of not being able to find what I want in a size to fit me, everything I like is just one or two sizes too small). If I could lose that much weight, maybe I wouldn't be in so much pain all the time either (and that alone would be worth it). It's not that I give a rat's ass what other people think of me and my fat, because I don't. If they don't like looking at my fat ass, don't look. And I know my body isn't going to look all that great naked if I do lose a lot of weight, I'll have all that loose skin hanging off me (I'll remind me of the saggy baggy And none of that matters. What will matter is how I will feel physically. Will my knees hurt less, will my back hurt less, will I be able to walk more, will I be able to do more things with my husband than I can do now? Will I have to worry about having another stroke (and I know it's probably not my being fat that caused it, but I still wonder, those voices are still there telling me that if I wasn't so freaking fat, this wouldn't have happened). None of this was going through my head until I had this mini-stroke and now I'm second-guessing myself and blaming myself for not trying harder to take better care of myself, even though I don't know what more I could have done, since I know dieting and WLS don't work for long-term, permanent, safe weight loss (and thyroid problems probably don't either). Shit, with everything that's going on, I'm feeling like a real dipshit right now.

Monday, August 24, 2009

I hate waiting for the doctor's office to call back.

Man, I really hate waiting for the doctor's office to call back when I have a question about side effects of a medication I'm taking. One of the side effects of Topamax is tingling and numbness in arms and legs. Of course, I'm weird enough that the tingling and numbness I have is not in my arms or legs, it's in the back of my head, on the right side, and runs down the right side of my neck, front and back, all the way to my collarbone and out to my shoulder (the right side of my face and part of my lower lip is numb too). All I want to know is if this is a usual thing, and will it eventually go away. Dr W's office hasn't called me back yet (and it's been an hour since I called them) and Dr D's office hasn't called back either and I called them 6 hours ago.
I tried calling the emergency room to talk to a nurse there and they just transferred me to my doctor's office. Fat lot of good that did me. If this is something serious, I want to know if I need to stop taking the Topamax, or do I need to take something else and if I do, what is the something else I need to take and are they going to call in the prescription for me?
I've been taking the Topamax for a month now, and the numbness just showed up on Saturday (I noticed it when DH and I were at his ex-SIL's house and I brushed my hair after riding in the truck with the windows down, was just a bit wind-blown). So when we got home, I looked up side effects of all the medications I'm taking, and only Topamax has numbness listed as one of them. I just hope it's nothing serious, it didn't sound like it from the websites I checked, but I'm not sure I trust them.

Update at 5:30 PM - Well, the nurse from Dr W's office called back, and Dr W is on call tomorrow and I need to make an appointment to see her, she thinks I might have had a small stroke and she wants to check me over to make sure I haven't. From what I can see, the tests look like they can take a long time and I don't have time to mess with that shit this week. I have places to go and people to see and things to do this weekend that can't be delayed.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Talk about getting Xmas shopping done early!

DH had the day off today and he decided it was time to go Xmas shopping (he called the kids a couple of months ago and asked what they and their kids wanted for Xmas this year). So, since we had their lists in hand, and the money in the bank, a-shopping we did go. And most of it is now done. We have 2 granddaughters to buy for (if their mother ever decides to call and let us know what they want want, if not, they get gift cards), and I still need to get something for my son for his birthday and for Xmas. Other than that, we're done. It's all bagged up and on the top shelf in the bathroom, so it's ready to be wrapped whenever I get around to it (probably sometime after Thanksgiving). I don't even have to buy wrapping paper, tags, or cards this year because we bought plenty after Xmas last year when it was all on sale. I love having it all done early.
We did get the dog neutered for Jon and Tina for Xmas, but we're also getting them each a small gift to open when they come up so they won't feel left out when everyone else is opening gifts. I'll probably get Jon a book from the Science Fiction Book Club, he and I like some of the same kinds of books in sci-fi/fantasy (and I got Tina a dolphin figurine for her birthday and one for Xmas, too).
Our cellphone contract was up this month, so DH and I were looking at new phones today (neither of us really liked the ones we got last year when we renewed our contract, well, we liked them when we got them, but the liking sure didn't last long). I got a Nokia camera phone and he got a Sony Ericsson camera phone. I have to see if I can find memory cards for them and car chargers, but they were both pretty easy to set up. And T-Mobile was really nice about giving us our ringtones back. They only let you have your ringtones if you've purchased them in the last year, and ours were purchased on Aug 15, 2008 (but they sent them to us free of charge anyway, the service rep at T-Mobile thought it was pretty cool that DH's ringtone is "Summer of 69" by Bryan Adams and mine is "Wherever I May Roam" by Metallica; he said you can't get much farther apart, musically, than that). So DH's phone is black and red, and mine is silver and teal (or silver and red, or silver and brown, depending on what color cover I want to use). Now I can get pictures of Jon's dog (and take the memory card out and put the pics on my computer with my memory card reader, finally).

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Doctor visit today

Well, I don't know what's up with my body, but Dr W wants to do some tests. When I saw her today to follow up on the migraine headaches, and to tell her how things are working out with the relafen and Cymbalta, I told her that I'm freezing my ass off in the house (DH likes to keep it around 65 to 70 degrees in the summer). I used to be able to handle those temps just fine (and the cold in the winter never bothered me at all), but now I'm putting on a sweater during the day, and adding a blanket to my side of the bed at night. I'm constantly shivering and getting gossebumps from chills, so Dr W wants to check my thyroid and my cholesterol (she's going to do a fasting blood sugar too). That's scheduled for the first part of September (she's going to be gone for a couple of weeks) and then I have a physical, pap, and mammogram scheduled for the next week, along with a follow-up with Dr D (the neurologist).
I will say that the relafen and Cymbalta have helped a bunch with my sleeping. I can actually sleep at night and not have my back cramp up, even when I sleep on the beds in motels (and those beds are harder on my back than our bed at home). I can actually get out of bed in the morning and walk upright like a normal person instead of bent over like I'm some ancient crone. Of course, it's not helping much with the back cramps when I'm walking or standing (although my knees haven't been bothering me quite as much, it is easier to get up from chairs now than it has been).
I have to take my log of blood pressure numbers in when I go in for my physical because my blood pressure today was 170/100 (taken with a regular BP cuff on my left forearm instead of a larger cuff on my right upper arm, which could have made the difference, along with the white coat hypertension). When I got home and took it with my wrist cuff, it was 132/73, quite a huge difference. It's hardly ever that high at home (I think maybe 3 or 4 times in the last 4 months). I've been keeping track of the days I check my BP, the time, and what it was, so I'll print that out and take it in when I go in for my physical.
I haven't had a full-fledged migraine since I started taking the Topamax, so I'm hoping it's working. I did wake up the other morning with a sorta kinda maybe migraine behind my left eye (where they always start), so I took a fiorinal and it went away without getting any worse, which is something new for me. I hope the Topamax keeps working, I could get used to not having migraines.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Results from neurologist

Well, I got to see the neurologist today and found out why my doctor referred me to her. The MRI found some small lesions on my brain and my doctor wanted to rule out MS (which I don't have, thank Maude). So, for the migraine headaches, I get to take topamax every day, and if I still get a migraine, then I get to take fiorinal to get rid of it. Have to go back in 2 months and see how I'm doing with the meds (and I have to keep a diary of when I get a headache, day and time, and what I was doing when I got it, and so on and so forth). I'm hoping that the meds keep me from having them, they aren't any fun at all (nausea and sensitivity to light and sound make them worse). Dr D said the topamax might make me lose a couple of pounds, but not to worry about it unless I lost a lot of weight suddenly (all she wanted to know about my weight was if it was staying the same).

The Cymbalta and relafen aren't doing much for the back pain, but they seem to be helping with the fibro (I actually sleep better at night and feel like doing more during the day). The rooster comb shots haven't done much for my arthritic knees, they still hurt most of the time, just not as bad (until I try to walk across the yard or any other uneven ground). I see my PCP next week, so we'll see what she says then.

Jon and Tina are bringing the dog up this weekend so DH and I can take him to the vet to be neutered. Where they live, it would cost them $450 to have it done, our vet only charges $175 to $190 (depending on how much Max weighs). So DH and I are having that done for them for their Christmas present.
We took our cats to the vet for their yearly shots, and they've both lost a little bit of weight (FatCat went from 17 lbs to 14.7, and Slick went from 16 lbs to 14.2, so it's not like they're skin and bones). Both of them are really healthy, well, other than Slick liking to gorge himself, barf it up, and then go eat some more. I swear that cat must be bulimic or something (DH calls him Puker half the time).

The last time Jon and Tina came up, we all went to the drive-in theater (we saw Land of the Lost and The Taking of Pelham 123). I should have known that LotL was a comedy when I saw that Ben Stiller was in it (I don't much care for him), but it was pretty good. And TtoP123 was a lot better than I expected it to be. John Travolta makes a very good villain, and did an excellent job in this movie. DH even liked it, and he wasn't sure he would. I haven't seen the original, nor have I read the book, so I don't have a clue if anything was different this time around, but I liked the movie. We're going to the drive-in this weekend to see that new Ice Age movie, Dawn of the Dinosaurs. Don't remember what's playing with it. If Jon and Tina come up on Saturday, they'll go with us. Tina had never been to a drive-in and really likes She can't get over the fact that you get to see two movies for $5 per person (so it's $20 for the 4 of us, and we take a cooler with our own soda and ice). The only thing we buy at the drive-in is a tub of popcorn to split.

I bought one of those Topsy-Turvy planter things and planted a couple of tomato plants. Wasn't sure we would even get any tomatoes this year since the directions said you had to have a week of 50 degree nights before you could put them outside. We don't have anywhere inside to hang the darn thing, so they didn't get planted and hung outside until the middle of June. They aren't growing down like they show in the commercial, the plants are growing up around the planter, with just some of it hanging down. We do have 5 tomatoes so far, and a lot more blossoms, so I'm hoping we get enough tomatoes that I can put some of them up for goulash and chili this winter.

And I found out the hard way that steam is nothing to be careless around. I was frying some boneless, skinless chicken breasts for dinner the other night and put the lid on the frying pan to finish steaming them. When I took the lid off to check them, damned lid tilted and the steam burned my arm, on the inside just below my elbow. Ran cold water over it right away, but I burned it pretty good, it's blistered. So I've been keeping Neosporin + pain first aid cream on it and covering with a bandage so I don't rip the blisters open. At least it's quit hurting now (the ice pack that evening helped too).

We got to watch the parade for Sinclair Lewis Days from our driveway again this year. They changed the parade route so that they wouldn't have to close the main highway through town, and it comes right past our house. We also got to watch the fireworks from our front yard, they set them off over the lake, just about a block and a half from where we live. And on Wednesday nights during the summer, they have concerts in the bandshell across the street from our house, so that's pretty cool too. They also have the craft show/sale in the park across the street from our house, so I don't have to drive and worry about parking if I want to go to it. They have some pretty neat stuff, usually about 30 or 40 vendors, and a lot of them come back every year.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Physical therapy is a bust

Well, I gave it my best shot, but physical therapy just isn't doing much for my back. The two exercises I was given to do just made the back pain worse, and both of them were very hard on my knees. I am keeping up with the walking in the pool for exercise, however, because that doesn't make my back hurt worse afterward, and it's easy on my knees (and the hot tub helps a lot with that too).
I went back to see my doctor and told her the physical therapy didn't help. So now we're trying Cymbalta and Relafen for a month to see how that works for the pain (and there are other options she's willing to try if these don't work). She also said that there's a back and neck place in St Cloud that she can refer me to, maybe they would have some ideas on how to strengthen my back muscles without making my knees scream at me. I told her that I was considering buying one of those wheeled walkers with a seat. That way, I could go for walks and when my back cramps up, I have a place to sit until it quits hurting and then I can walk some more. She said to see if Medicare would pay for it, and if they will, she'll write me a prescription for it. She also asked if I had ever been diagnosed with fibromyalgia, I think because the Cymbalta is one of the drugs they give to people with fibro to help with the pain. I told her I hadn't had a formal diagnosis, and she said that fibro was difficult to diagnose, but that could be something to look into also.
Seems like now that she's seen I'm willing to make an effort to follow her directions/suggestions, she's more willing to come up with more ideas on how to manage my back pain. I can get on board with that. I also think it helps that I let them weigh me today (and I wanted to see where I was at too), and I haven't gained any weight since February. I'm maintaining, which is fine with me. Maude knows I don't want to gain any more weight, but I don't think I will as long as I continue to eat the way I have been eating - eat what I want, when I want, take my time, and stop when I'm nearly full (if I eat until I'm full, then in about half an hour, I'm uncomfortably full).

Sunday, June 28, 2009

2 fat-phobic moments this weekend

We went to my son's this weekend - I missed my grandson's 13th birthday, so we went down there to take him shopping for it, a couple of weeks late.
Most of the time, when we go down there and stay at the motel, I go swimming in the motel pool and use the hot tub. Until this past weekend, I've never had anyone make any nasty comments about my size. This time, though, some guy was in there with his wife and their young son (I think the kid was probably about 5 years old). The kid was cute, wearing goggles, throwing a weighted toy on the bottom of the pool and jumping in to pick it up. His parents were sitting in lounge chairs, mom was reading a book, and dad was drinking beer (out of glass bottles) and eating Cheetos. I had been alternating pool and hot tub for about 3 hours, and finally got out of the pool to sit in one of the chairs for a while and talk to my daughter-in-law and DH for a while, and the two grandsons (Mykel and Austin) played in the pool. When I got up to go sit in the hot tub for a bit, the little kid's dad said to his wife "If you ever get that fat, I'll kill you." I didn't hear him say it, he was behind me and the kids were noisy, but Tina heard him and it pissed her off, big time. My son had just called her and asked her to meet him at our room so he could change into his swim trunks, so when Tina went out to meet him, she stopped at the desk to ask if beverages in glass containers were allowed in the pool area. When they said no, she told them there was a man in there drinking beer in glass bottles. So the desk clerk went in and told him to finish the beer in the bottle, throw it away and he couldn't drink anything out of a glass container in there. Keep in mind that DH and my grandsons were still in the pool area, and Tina and Jon came back after the desk clerk had told the guy no glass bottles in the pool area. So when we all finally get ready to leave, who gets dirty looks from the SOB? DH, and he doesn't know what he's done to deserve it (neither do I, because I don't find out about any of this until we get back to our room). So then Tina tells us what he said about me, what she did, and that that was why DH got the dirty look, SOB thought DH had ratted him out (which makes no sense to me, DH had never left the pool area at all, Tina had been in and out several times, going to have a cigarette). I told her she should have told me what he said, that I would have had several choice responses for him. She wanted to know what I would have said and I told her I'd have told him: "If you'd kill your wife just because she got fat, then I feel sorry for her having to be married to a shallow asshat like you. She certainly deserves better than that." I also would have told him that my body was not public property and he had no right to comment on it at all, that he didn't know me from Adam and his opinion wasn't worth the breath it took to speak it.
When DH and I were getting ready to check out this morning, we were walking down the hall with all of our stuff (I was carrying my purse, my soft-sided cooler with a couple of sodas in it, the camera bag, and the bag that had all of our swimming gear in it, DH was carrying the other cooler that had his soda in it and our bag with our clothes in it), we passed that SOB in the hallway and got dirty looks from him again. WTF is it with people who have said nasty things about others, and done shit they knew they shouldn't have done (it's posted by the door into the pool area "NO GLASS CONTAINERS ALLOWED") that they have to blame someone else when they get caught? Fucker is lucky that I don't give a rat's ass what anyone thinks about me, whether I'm fully dressed, or just in a swimsuit. It wasn't worth my time and effort to tell him he's an idiot, he's probably been told that more times than he can remember. And I hate to tell him, he can be nasty all he wants, I'm still going to use the pool and the hot tub and I'm still going to wear my swimsuit, and I don't care what anyone thinks. I'm not there to impress them, I'm there to have a good time with DH and the rest of my family.
That was incident number two. Incident number one was when we went out to dinner on Friday night. Jon wanted to eat at the China Buffet, so that was where we went. We were picking out what we wanted to eat, and another family was trying to decide what they wanted to eat. One of the kids was a cute little girl, about 5 or 6, and her mom told her "Tell me what you want, and I'll put it on the plate for you." The little girl said she wanted some of the sweet & sour chicken and her mom told her no, that would make her fat, she needed to eat the meat/veggies/mushrooms instead. I didn't say anything, but I was thinking "If you don't want her eating certain things, then fix her plate for her and don't tell her she can pick out what she wants to eat. Telling her she can pick out what she wants to eat, then telling her she can't have it because it's going to make her fat sure as shit isn't doing her any favors. Good way to give her a disordered relationship with food."
I normally don't run into this kind of shit very often, maybe once a year or so, but twice in one weekend, that was just too much.
But we did have a good visit, went rummage-saling with Tina and the boys on Saturday morning while Jon was at his motorcycle license classes. Mykel found an almost-complete set of golf clubs with bag for $1, and Tina found some books for Jon and some clothes for the "reds" (her 3 red-headed nieces). Austin didn't find anything he wanted, but he'll read the books when Jon is done with them. DH found a couple of kissing angels to add to his small collection, and I didn't find anything I wanted (I usually look for Noritake painted china plates, but those are kinda rare at rummage sales).
It was hilarious watching Mykel hit the golf ball (and the tennis balls) with his new clubs. Max (the pit bull) was out of his kennel, and he was chasing the balls. Mykel and Austin would hit the balls, then run and try to get them before Max could (they weren't successful). Max would get the ball, run off with it, they would chase him, he would get tired of running from them, flop down in the shade, they would try to sneak up on him, he would wait until they were close enough to touch him, and off he would go again. I'm not sure who had more fun - the dog, the boys, or us adults watching them. And Max is not easily fooled. Austin grabbed Max's soccer ball from the kennel and threw it, hollering "go get it, Max", thinking Max would drop the golf ball or the tennis ball. Nope, Max knew they weren't hitting the soccer ball with the golf clubs...........he wasn't having any part of that at all.
All in all, it was a good weekend, in spite of the fat-phobia.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

"Excess" body weight predicts low self-esteem in kids (no shit, Sherlock).

This should be a no-brainer, people. And it's not the body weight itself that causes the low self-esteem, it's the bullying and all the media bullshit that tells anyone who is fat that they are less than human, just because they don't look like the "ideal" (which "ideal" is impossible to attain for anyone).
Chief analyst Julie Bernier says a lot of attention has been paid to being overweight and obese as precursors to developing physical health problems such as Type 2 diabetes or cardiovascular problems.
But this report takes a rare look at body weight vis-a-vis self-esteem in childhood. Previous studies have found that low self-esteem as a youngster can predict poor mental health in adulthood.

Yeah, we all know how being fat leads to developing physical health problems....FUCKING NOT ALWAYS, ASSHATS. Generalizations do not fit everyone in the whole wide world, and very seldom even fit a small percentage of the world's population.
As for low self-esteem as a youngster leading to mental health problems as an adult? All I have to say on that is - "YA THINK?"
"Up to now in the literature, there has been a lot of emphasis on the fact that body weight problems could lead to a lot of chronic disease ... and now, it's a complement to see that it even puts you more at risk for low self-esteem, which in turn would put you at risk for mental health problems."

Body weight problems could lead to a lot of chronic disease. Could being the operative word here, researchers/doctors. What part of correlation is not causation do you not understand?
Kids at the ages of 10 and 11 completed a four-item scale that assessed their overall self-esteem, rating statements such as "In general, I like the way I am" and "Overall I have a lot to be proud of."
They were surveyed twice more, two years and four years later. Assessments about whether someone was overweight or obese were derived from height and weight measurements reported by the person most knowledgeable about the child, such as a parent or guardian.
Researchers who studied the data found that children who were obese in the beginning had almost twice the odds of reporting low self-esteem four years later, compared with normal weight children.
Bernier explained that it's been known for some time that there's a relationship between body weight and self-esteem.

This doesn't surprise me one little bit. What with all the media hype about being fat and how bad it is for everyone, and all the bullying of fat kids by other kids, their parents, their teachers, their doctors, etc, is it any wonder that fat kids have less self-esteem than kids who aren't fat? Even if fat kids have loving parents who don't expect them to be thin, the rest of society sure as hell isn't going to leave them alone, and parents can't always over-ride everything kids hear outside of their homes.
And in all of this research, not one mention is made about bullying fat kids having any bearing on their self-esteem, nor is there any mention of how the media's portrayal of fat has any bearing on it. Lots of talk about how much time they spend in front of the TV/computer, their parents' education, kids' school performance, kids' amount/quality of physical activity, etc influences a kid's self-esteem, but bullying, not a mention of that at all (evidently, bullying is a very small part of what influences one's self-esteem, and not an important one at that).
According to this study, gender also has a bearing on a child's self-esteem (boys are less likely to have issues than girls - gee, I wonder why that is?). And physical activity - well, if they participate in physical activity 5 to 7 times a week, kids have better self-esteem than if they don't participate (but nothing is said about why kids may not want to participate in physical activity more often - could it go right back to the bullying factor?).
And all they can recommend is a "healthy" diet and exercise to either keep kids from getting fat, or make fat kids thin. Yeah, that just works so well - how many failures of that shit have we seen in the last 5 to 10 years? More than I want to count, and more than should have been implemented (since they haven't worked for adults for more years than I've been alive, why the fuck do they think this shit will work for kids?).
Why the hell can't kids be kids and enjoy their childhood, no matter what size body they have?

Monday, June 15, 2009

Yummy tuna bake tonight

I was subscribed to a recipe club for a while, and then got tired of sorting all the cards every month, so I dropped it. But, DH decided that since we have the cards, we should try some of the recipes. So tonight I made the Tuna Bake, and it was yummy! AND it only has 67 grams of carbs for the whole pan, so it was good for DH's blood sugar too.

1 - 12 oz can tuna (I used 2 - 12 oz cans)
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
3 eggs
2 cups cottage cheese
2 slices bread, cut in 1/2" cubes (I used Wonder Light Wheat).
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 - 16 oz bag frozen broccoli cuts, thawed and well drained

Place broccoli in bottom of 8" X 12" baking dish (I use a glass one), top with tuna and bread cubes. In medium bowl, mix eggs, cottage cheese, shredded cheese, and pepper. Spread cheese/egg mixture over tuna mixture. Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes or until golden brown and puffed.

This made dinner for the two of us tonight, DH's lunch for work tomorrow, and lunch for me tomorrow.

I'm thinking I might try this with boiled, shredded chicken instead of the tuna, and maybe use the frozen broccoli/cauliflower blend instead of just broccoli the next time I make it. DH really liked it, and said the chicken version sounded just as good to him (and the carb count should be just about the same). I have some frozen stir-fry veggies in the freezer that might be good too. This looks like a recipe with which you can get as creative as you want (toast the bread before cubing it, maybe, or use garlic bread).

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Weekend fluff and PT update #2

Thursday I had PT again. Same thing, ultrasound heat, and laying on my back with the box under my knees, with a massage of those back muscles after the heat. Brian did give me one exercise to do at home, but I have to find a box to put under my knees when I'm laying on my back in order to do it (have to move my feet so that my toes touch, toeing in, then move them so that my heels touch, toeing out). He also said that the heating pad is out for now because it's surface heat, not deep heat, and surface heat isn't going to help the muscles and might even make it worse. So it's ice packs for my back for now. He did say that the hot tub and the pool-walking is a very good idea, and that 3 days a week of that should help a lot.
So, when I got home, I called the AmericInn here in town, and they do have open swimming sessions, there are ladies that come in very early in the morning for water aerobics. It's $4 per swimming session, but they have a punch card with 25 sessions for less than $45. That's the way I'm going to go, that way, if DH wants to go with me on his days off, he can (otherwise, the punch card will last me a couple of months if I go 3 times a week). I figure if I do PT on Tuesdays and Thursdays, I can do the pool-walking on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday (and if DH and I go somewhere for the weekend, I can do the pool thing at whatever motel we happen to be staying at).
Today, DH and I went rummage-saling. I'm looking for a glass-doored curio cabinet for my DiL for her birthday/Christmas gift. She needs something that she can put all of her dolphin figurines in that the dog can't knock over. We also need another DVD rack for movies, and I can't find one like the one we currently have. I may have to look online to see what I can find there. And yes, DH and I are starting our Christmas shopping already (get it a little at a time and we don't have to come up with a lot of money all at once, which is good, when you're buying for 3 kids and their spouses, and 11 grandkids).
We also went to Long Prairie today to see the Veteran's Memorial there. While it's not as impressive as the one in Rochester, it's still a very moving tribute to the servicemen and women who have given their lives for our freedom. These are some of the pictures we took today:

I didn't get a good picture of the top of the painted wall above, but on the very top of it is a copper cut-out of the soldiers raising the flag at Iwo Jima, with an actual American flag flying. I'll have to go back and see if I can get a better picture of it.
The memorial was dedicated in 2002. DH wants me to do a search and see if I can find a comprehensive listing of veterans' memorials in Minnesota so that we can go see them all this summer (I have a feeling that there might be so many that it will take us a couple of summers to see them all).

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Physical therapy update

I had physical therapy again today, and I was wrong, they do have more than one physical therapist (at least 3, I think). The one I saw today, well, I hope he's the one I see from now on. He asked if the one I saw on Friday had felt the muscles in my back, or if he had done a couple of other things, and when I said no, we had just done one exercise to stretch my back muscles, he didn't look too impressed.
I told him how much pain I was in when I got home from that day, and that I was in even more pain the next day, and that I didn't do the exercise again until last night and that I was in so much pain this morning that I was crying (and that I took 800 mg of ibuprofen and 500 mg of tylenol).
So, he had me lay on my stomach, and he did one of those ultra-sound things that sends deep heat to the muscles (he said the muscles on the right side of my back were knotted so tight, he was surprised I could walk at all, and the ones on the left weren't much looser). So we did that for 15 minutes (and did that ever feel good). Then I laid on my back, he put a big block under my knees, and then tilted the table so that my head was lower than my hips (15 minutes of that). I could actually lay there, flat on my back, and it didn't hurt. And, wonder of wonders, when I got up, I could actually stand up straight and walk without much pain at all (my knees didn't even hurt as much!). I walked probably 150 feet from the elevator to my van and my back didn't cramp up at all! That is so unusual for me, I was just totally amazed. He said we'd be doing the same thing again on Thursday, and once we get the muscles loosened up the way they should be, then we'll worry about what exercises to do to strengthen the muscles (sounds like the way to go, to me). He also said that when my back really hurts, that cold packs might help (so I'll have to try that and see if it works, we have ice packs in the freezer that I can wrap in a hand towel).
All in all, this was a much better session than the first one, so I'm going to keep going, as long as I have Brian (the guy I saw today) for a physical therapist.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Physical therapy yesterday

I think this physical therapy is going to turn into a giant pain in my back, which is not going to help me one damned bit since that's what I'm trying to get rid of. I went yesterday afternoon, spent 30 minutes talking with the physical therapist about what's wrong with my back and what I need to do to make it better.
First thing he says is that sitting and bending over aggravate it (even though when my back is hurting, that's what relieves the pain), and that I should never bend over to do anything. Ok, that means I can't get the pots and pans out of the bottom cupboard - put them on higher shelves. I can't clean the catbox - put the cat box on a platform at waist height so I don't have to bend over and scoop it from the floor (yeah, Fat Cat is not going to jump up there to use it, this is that cat that is so lazy, he lays down to eat and drink). I can't do laundry - get a front-loading washer and put the washer and dryer on pedestals so I don't have to bend over to put the clothes in/take them out. Don't bend over the sink to do dishes - open up the cabinet door and put one foot on the rail inside, stand up straight with my belly right up to the sink (duh, I already do that). Don't sit in my recliner, use a wooden kitchen chair for the computer and watching tv, sit like a queen in that hard wooden chair (yeah, so my hips can hurt instead of my back). Go to the swimming pool 3 to 4 times a week and walk in the water (that I can do, once I find out what the motel charges and what days I can go).
All of these changes would be really nice to be able to make, but I want to know where the fuck am I supposed to find the room to store everything (at waist level) in my kitchen and on the back porch that I need for cooking and eating? Even if Fat Cat would jump up on a platform to use the litter box, where the fuck am I supposed to put that platform so that it doesn't get in the way of the shelf it currently sits in front of because we don't have any other place for it (the shelf or the cat box)? We just bought a new washer (top-loading), we can't afford to go out and buy another one (front-loading), plus pedestals for both the washer and the dryer just so I don't have to bend over to do laundry.
Another recommendation he made is to not sit for more than 1/2 an hour at a time, get up and move, even it's just walking from the computer (or my recliner) to the kitchen and back (I already do that, if I sit for too long in any chair, hard or soft, my hips hurt and I walk like I'm 100 years old).
Oh yeah, and my weight isn't the cause of my back problems, but it's not helping them any (duh, no shit sherlock). And if I could just lose 100 lbs or so, that might help. And if I would just quit eating so much, and move a bit more, I should be able to do that (and this in spite of telling him diets haven't worked in the past for me, not permanently, and that having my stomach stapled didn't work either). Then, on top of all of that, he has the nerve to suggest that maybe WLS would help, if I had it redone, or had a different type (yeah, I'm so not going there again, EVER!!!!). I told him that had been suggested and that I told those doctors they had their one chance to kill me and I would be a fool to give them another. So it's back to calories in/calories out (yeah, I eat the same foods DH does to control his blood sugar, I eat less than DH does, and I'm not losing weight, so I just need to eat even less, that's really going to work). Then, we were talking about something else, and he says something about doing the same thing over and over and getting the same result every time, and I said the definition of irrationality was doing the same thing countless times, and expecting different results. He totally agreed with that, but still thinks calories in/out makes sense.
The one exercise he gave me to do is supposed to stretch my back muscles. It's laying on my back, with my knees bent and my feet as close to my ass as I can get them (yeah, arthritic knees that hurt all the time bend real well for that). Then I put one ankle on the other knee, and try to line up the knee of that leg with the center of my chest and hold it for 5 minutes (worked real well, I'm supposed to be able to feel the muscle in the back of my thigh pulling, kind of hard to do when laying on my back makes my thighs go numb). I couldn't do it by myself, so he held my leg in place for the 5 minutes, then we switched legs and another 5 minutes of the same thing. So there I am, laying on this padded table, on my back, and it hurts and my thighs are numb, and I'm trying to feel the stretch in those muscles. I can't feel anything, and when we're done (did this once with each leg, I have to do this 2 or 3 times a day at home) I get up and my back is screaming at me and my knees are yelling, and I'm going "Yeah, this is going to work, the pain I've been having is because my back is telling me there's something wrong, so what does this pain mean?"
I got home, and took 800 mg of ibuprofen and 500 mg of tylenol (which didn't do much for the pain), sat at the computer for a few minutes, then went to start cooking dinner. By the time I had dinner in the oven (an hour later), I was in so much pain, I could hardly move (knees and back). Now my pain, on a normal day, is usually at around 7 or 8 on my scale of 1 to 10 (which is probably a 15 for anyone else). Yesterday, after physical therapy, it was a 10 and I was crying from it (and I don't cry from pain very damned often). I have to go back next Tuesday and Thursday, and I'm hoping things go better, that doing this exercise at home is going to help (but if I keep ending up in that kind of pain, I don't know.....). He wants to start working on my abdominal muscles too, and I don't know how well that's going to work, what with having had an incisional hernia repaired with mylar mesh (and I think the hernia is back).
I think I'm going to do some online research on exercises for strengthening back muscles, and see if it's the same stuff he wants me to do. I do know that I'm not going to be able to eliminate all the bending over I have to do, we can't afford it and we just don't have the storage room in this small house to put everything at waist level or higher.