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Pushing Back

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Last night I actually slept maybe four or five hours all together (if you add all the broken up pieces together)! This is a record of many months. I think it happened because my body was so exhausted it was able to ignore the pain for a little while and also last night my pain levels were not as acute as they had been for over a week...possibly due to weather not being horrible for once. I still hurt but I didn't wake up gasping and fighting tears as I had been for a couple of weeks now. Yesterday I was really feeling my exhaustion, so I guess my body knew that a point of desperate need had been reached and relented.

Please do not fill the comments with various sleep remedies. The problem is NOT insomnia...I could fall asleep anywhere anytime...The problem is pain. I get to sleep and pain awakens me...and by then it's so bad that I cannot go back to sleep. Last night was ideal. I woke every hour and got out of bed, hurting , yes, but not in agony. I walked it off and then switched to the recliner (or bed depending on where I was starting from) and then slept for another hour, etc and so on. It's when I start off the night by sleeping for two hours or more, that I have a huge problem...because from lying still that long, the pain is acute. Also there are days when the pain is so acute that I cannot sleep at all anyway....but that is not always the caese

So last night I slept til 4:00 AM, which wasn't bad considering I started sleeping at about 8:00.
Of course that may be my LAST night of sleep for a while, due to the injection of steorids I got into my shoulder yesterday. Already that painful hunger is gnawing at my stomach ...the hunger that goes beyond any kind of physical hunger I've ever experienced (and having had anorexia and being a very dangerously low weight for many years, I do know hunger.) NO, Steroid hunger is.....indescribable. No amount of will power will suffice. It MUST be assuaged or you feel so sick it's indescribable. And next will start the insomnia and the moodiness that makes PMS look like a walk in the park. Oh yes, the next few days will be FUN...and not just for me; for my husband too. Last Christmas, after the epidural of steroids I had gotten, I behaved abominably when my parents were here for dinner. I felt so crabby and rotten I just withdrew to my room and missed the majority of their visit...because otherwise I would have started a war. lol

And already my face has that puffed-out look I get after even one dose of those monsters. NO...these are not my favorite drugs and every time I have to be on them, I remember why. Unfortunately, because of my psoriasis and arthritis and also the asthma I have....I am on them frequently. Which is why my weight went up to 220 and why now, I'm having SO much trouble dropping below 160....with every new dose I gain some weight and go back to square one.

Yesterday I felt a great restlessness and dissatisfaction with my lack of activity. I wanted to work out...I wanted to do some hard cardio. And I did consider going outside for a walk, but I was nervous to do so...due to my recent hip replacement. And also was forestalled by pain which still is a daily struggle. So instead I settled for some tougher weight training exercises...although I didn't do that many of them, it was still enough to overload some of my arm muscles and helped me to feel that at least I'd done something. But it wasn't the something that I wanted and craved.

I wish I knew what was safe for me to do. I think that a walk...even a demanding one, would probably be okay to do. Possibly even one or two miles with my girl Leslie* would be okay. Because my respiratory status was compromised recently and I'm not quite sure how I would respond to serious challenge to that, it may be wise to do Leslie's workout here at home rather than risk getting stuck somewhere out in this god-forsaken area on a walk if I had any trouble...at least until I can test myself out and see how I respond. So yeah. Yesterday I chickened out...today I'm gonna go for it...and raise the bar. Steroids without exercise is a recipe for disaster in terms of weight gain....and I can't let myself lose all the ground I've gained and gain all the weight I'd lost.

That's where I'm at: a better place than I was at one and two weeks ago...for now. And I know if I do not grab every good span of time, I will slide steadily backward....become weaker and weaker until I'm really bedridden forever. And I can't live like that. I have to keep pushing back. I've come too far. I do not want to go back there. I've been close to that this past week. After two weeks in bed, I'm feeling very weak and having trouble with getting around and weakness. And that is as far as it will go. Time to regain at least a little strength and endurance before the next bouts of pain and breathlessness return.

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I would do short bouts of fitness - ten minutes here, ten minutes there. You need to allow your body time and energy to recover. Hugs.
    3477 days ago
    Cynthia your doing great ! I agree with jhad. I wear a heart monitor and if you work out for 5 to 10 minutes you can sit for a couple and your heart rate stays higher ..meaning your burning calories faster even when your resting for a few minutes. May be try 3 min walk 2 min sit ..figure out your plan and work it . I walk back and forth in my house sometimes the treadmill is boring lol.

    Your a Awesome Lady and I believe in you ! You will make it through this Cynthia!! !
    3478 days ago
    I can't imagine living the way you do. You can only do what your body limits you to. You are doing the best you can within those limits. Do remember strength training does burn the metabolism for a longer period than cardio. But may I suggest not trying to do one long exercise? Maybe short little bursts of exercise throughout the day would be a whole lot better for you (and easier on that severely damaged system of yours) Small bits of fitness do add up, and then maybe you won't feel like you are spending your whole day reclining and wasting away.. What do you have to lose? Spark's free videos range from 7-10 minutes and would give you a variety of options (modified to suit your current range of motion of course). Has your Dr. given you any advice on what you can/ should do? They should be.
    Listening to your body is a GOOD thing! Keep it going, you can get through this, you have been there before..
    3478 days ago
  • VXWALL1942
    I'm glad for the sleep. I'm glad for a bit of decrease in the pain. I'm glad you got to walk. I'm glad you knew when it was probably enough.

    Continue to stay in 'the driver's seat'. You are such a winner...and that is so impressive considering what you live with day to day.


    3478 days ago
    Just a followup....After some warmup, I did 14 minutes (which is about a mile) of a power walk mile....Enough to be perspiring and breathing hard for at least ten of those minutes...I would have kept going, but noticed a distressing feeling of weakness in my legs...I think I"d maxxed out my muscles' ability to go on, so I quit before I fell. (See I am learning SOMETHING! :) )
    3478 days ago
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