Saturday, August 30, 2008

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Healing Timeline of My Broken Wrist

10:30 PM June 14 Break wrist in 3 places

Healing Timeline
1 HR : Arrive at ER
2 HRs: X-ray
8 HRs: Get splinted and leave hospital
48 HRs: Surgery: receive metal plate & 7 screws
5 Days: Take first real shower (with hubby for help!)
6 Days: Work 1/2 day from home
8 Days: Stop taking all pain pills
10 Days: Get casted
11 Days: First day back in the office
33 Days: Type with both hands
37 Days: Drive
38 Days: Cast removed--replaced with removable splint
40 Days: Start sharing bed with hubby again (you try sleeping with someone else with your left arm elevated on 2 pillows beside you!)
41 Days: Start Hand Therapy
44 Days: Left hand starts to help when washing hair
45 Days: Only have to wear splint for pulling or exercising
51 Days: Can easily open doors again
65 Days: Can make palm flat enough to hold contact lens to cleanse
73 Days: WAIT FOR IT. . . . DRUM ROLL. . .

Can finally hook own bra from the back!!

Took time to pack my lunch this AM, even though I took down 2 frozen pizza slices last night to take. Instead used 2 small whole wheat pitas to make a sandwich--thin spread of sundried tomato spread, fresh basil leaves, roasted zucchini, sliced chicken thigh, roasted red pepper, shredded 3-cheese blend (fontina, Parmesan, & asiago). Heated this in microwave 30 secs before eating, which really helped the dry pita. Also had a small spinach salad with leftover basil dressing from the Italian bread salad and a nectarine (which I ate and enjoyed, unlike yesterday's peach that I threw away because it was so pithy--yuck. You think you would always be able to get good peaches in GA.)

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

When Pictures Say It All

I pulled together the lunch I only thought about packing last night this AM. I took a lentil & rice microwave dish and supplemented with a small grilled chicken breast, some roasted carrots, and a hand full of delicious scuppernongs and muscadines. (Should have gotten more of those!)

Monday, August 25, 2008

Putting Mindful Keening to Work

So more about this psychic pain and mindful keening. The thing is that I'm really bad about talking negatively to myself (see?). I had this doctor once who called it "down the drain thinking"--circling around and around in an ever downward spiral.

When I started losing the 60 pounds that I lost back in 1999, I realized that I was a terrible person to take a walk with. If "I" was the person walking next to me, I wouldn't want to go with me. I said terrible, mean things to myself, "You're huffing already?" "I can't believe you're legs are tired already." "You are moving so slowly." "You'll never be able to get home from here."

At my first Weight Watchers meeting (well the first one for the big weight loss event), I was lucky that Bob was there. I'm pretty sure that was his name (I'm not good with names so it's significant that I remember). Bob had lost 88 lbs. He referred to himself as a "Big Loser"--this was long before the TV program, and I giggled and turned to my husband and said, "I want to be a big loser too!"

Bob's secret was that he talked positively to himself every day. He gave himself a pep talk; he had a written out speech. He said it looking in the mirror. The concept spoke to me. I still have the laminated little card he made and passed out after I requested copies.

______ meet _________ a thin healthy person. You think thin ___and you think healthy, so think thin and and think healthy about everything. . . and do what a thin person does. You've got plenty of ability and intelligence to make it happen, so make it happen. You've got drive ____, lots of it. Put that drive to work and nobody can stop you. ____ you did a great job yesterday and you're gonna do just sensational today. Now go get 'em.

I wrote my own speech. It was more personal than Bob's. I used it as a mantra. It was my "stop" when negative thoughts came in. I repeated it, or phrases of it, when I walked. It played over the negative thoughts.

My old speech doesn't quite work for me anymore. I've tried writing others, but you know how it is, when it happens, when you get "it" you wonder why you didn't start sooner, why you waited so long. What seemed so hard? Suddenly, it feels like, you are just committed to eating right--you truly don't want to eat something that will get you off track. You want to move more because it makes you feel good about yourself. It feels like whatever turned it on was magic. But it can't be magic, because then it's out of my control. (And I can't hate myself for not being able to prompt magic, can I?)Magic is simply knowing the steps and making them invisible to others.

So, I'm thinking about this new concept of mine--this mindful keening--the concept that I've morphed based on this wailing of grief that I heard a group of women from some country do on TV once. From the scene in Michener's Hawaii when the husband bashes his own teeth with a rock to cope with the pain of his wife dying. I think maybe I need this expression of grief in my life. Silent so I don't reveal too publicly just how incredibly--unjustifiably--I feel sorry for myself. My self pity is my bane. But maybe my bane is really not allowing myself to feel self pity--it's possible. Maybe, I'm thinking, I need to keen my self pity away. (Isn't that kind of what Gospel music is? The Blues?)

Maybe I need to feel the grief of not being able to eat whatever I want whenever I want; feel the grief of losing the level of fitness I did have; feel the grief of growing too big for more than one wardrobe; feel the grief of feeling left out from things; feel the grief of being alone; feel the grief of being annoyed with people instead of embracing them; feel the grief that some doors are now closed for me. Maybe instead of shoving these feelings aside, or responding to them with hunger or fatigue, I need to let a loud mental wail. And let it repeat and repeat and repeat like a meditation. As I keep moving forward through the pain.


I remembered the lunch I packed, and I ate the lunch I packed.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

What I Did Today to Feel Proud

I cooked ahead for lunches today: roasted zucchini and red pepper, roasted some carrots with a little olive oil and Spices of Provence (rosemary, lavendar, and some others), cooked some fresh peas, and broiled chicken thighs with lemon & lime juice.

And tonight, though I'm not usually the one who cooks, I made an Italian bread salad -- toasted bread pieces, heirloom tomatoes, red pepper, kalamata olives, capers, with a dressing of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, fresh basil, garlic, and oregano. Leftovers for work tomorrow with a boiled egg and a big fresh peach.

The trick with cooking ahead is using what you cooked.

Mindful Keening

My entree into my 45th year is marked with a 5 inch scar--I broke my wrist just about 2 weeks after my birthday, and it required surgery. I'm considering it a mile marker.

Recovering from the break--I like to say I'm now officially in REHAB, though it's technically hand therapy --has taught me for the first time in life, really, that sometimes you have to work through pain. Before now, pain has always been a signal to stop. Now, the doctor and my hand therapist say there is nothing wrong with my fingers or wrist--there is no reason I shouldn't move them.

So, to regain normal movement, I have to move even when it hurts. Movements that make me suck in my breath and want to swear. Somehow I think it would help to swear really loudly during the hand exercises. But there's always a crowd in the hand therapy room and it doesn't seem appropriate. I think I'm going to dub this feeling of wanting to shriek as exercise keening or maybe therapeutic keening or perhaps more appropriately due to its silent nature and to give it a modern health flare, mindful keening.

A loud, vocal lament might be just the release I need to overcome the pain in my lower back, paunchy outer thighs, hips, and feet when I take even the shortest of walks. Knowing I've taken long walks before that were energizing, not painful doesn't really help. So, perhaps the best path is to just know I have to move through the pain to recover normal movement in my life.

And, trust me, the irony of the fact that I have loads of experience enduring psychic pain--pain caused from the self-hatred of overeating, of watching the scale return to the upper limits and beyond, and of hitting snooze instead of getting up to exercise--isn't lost on me.