Smoothie Saturday. That’s how I roll.
Smoothie Saturday. That’s how I roll.
I would love to wake up one day feeling amazing and keep it that way. I am starting my usual debate in my head… To take Tramadol or not to take Tramadol? I hate being uncomfortable all the time! Grrrr
Just finished watching last night’s Bill Maher on HBO. One of his guests this week is someone I have tons of respect for: Micheal Pollan. I first read his book “In Defense Of Food” a little over a year ago and it completely changed the way I think about food (and therefore, eat). This was the second major event that opened my eyes.
In my most desperate hours to feel better when I couldn’t move from bed I would read and read to look for answers as to how I could minimize the pain. How I could possibly stop the disease from taking over my body. How could I bring my heart back to pumping like it should? When you start to examine these questions you cannot help but to look at the very basis of your survival: food.
I would like to take a minute to say that I love food. I also love wine, bourbon, and tequila. And chocolate, my beloved chocolate. Loving food is in my DNA. For as long as I can remember, eating is a religious experience for my family —which is true for most Italian families. My only thought toward food prior to the past two years was how much extra cheese to layer on to my pizza, pasta, french fries (disco fries and gravy were a staple in my diet), nachos, etc..
I can only speak from my own experiences so I do love talking about the changes I saw in my body once I started eating “clean”.
I won’t get into all of the problems with America’s food and agriculture (or lack thereof) industry today you can read Pollan for that. But, I will say that when I cut out sugar and dairy from my diet I saw amazing things happen. I had more energy, I felt better all over, my stomach was no longer the bloated painful bouncy ball attached to the front of my body! Sure, it is super difficult and I have to always think about what I put in my mouth. But the results that I am seeing every day give me the motivation to keep going. I try not to be hard on myself and I do “cheat” here and there, but I am proud to have control over something in a situation where there are no real answers.
I absolutely believe that changing my diet is a large reason why I can say I feel tons better than I did last year at this time. I’ve cut down the amount of “bad days” significantly.
I want to show you how much my pacemaker/defibrillator has moved. THIS is how close it is to my shoulder now. I can actually feel my shoulder muscle hit the device when I move a certain way. I can forget about lying on my left side completely now. I continue to be grossed out by the “squishy” feeling of the metal box moving around in there. What do I do? I think I may have to have another surgery at some point because I am way too uncomfortable.
Home from Columbia.
I voiced my concerns about my Kicker at the ICD Clinic today. It has noticeably moved up and to the left, and my fear is that it will slide so far to the left that it will fall into my armpit and then I will be so grossed out I will not be able to move.
The general response? Yes, normally pacemaker/defibrillators like mine do move. Mine is especially “mobile” because I am very thin right now and I do not have enough tissue to keep the metal box in place. “Some people have ones that really flop to the side and we need to go in. Yours may not. We have to keep a watch”.
Ok… well, What can I do to keep it from moving then? Nothing. Jeez.
The doc did tell me that if I am very uncomfortable (which YES I am) they can go in (she actually said “open you up”) and do something called a Pocket Revision where they move over the pocket of scar tissue that has developed around the metal box so far. I couldn’t eat for hours after this image formed in my head.
The truth is I am very uncomfortable but is it worth risking an infection and dealing with recovery time to “go in” and move the thing? Can’t my Kicker just stay put? It’s so far over that my shoulder muscle is hitting it when I move or lie on my left side (something that is becoming increasingly harder to do). Sigh.
It’s all good, I still love my Kicker because she’s pumping my heart. But can a girl get a break?
I am one of eight ladies in the waiting room. I’m the youngest by over thirty years. Maybe more. I look around and I wonder what kind of older lady I’ll be (I play this game a lot when I’m in Cardiology and Rheumatology waiting rooms).
At one point I would wonder if I’d ever get to be an “older” lady. If I’m being honest, I still do sometimes.
Will I be the trendy minx type? She’s next to me. Three tremendous silver and stone rings on her right hand and two others on her left. She has tinted glasses and her hair is a stiff blonde sculpture. She sits up straight and serious.
The adorable munchkin across from me digs through her plaid purse and emerges with a hard candy. The wrapper is super loud and she is psyched about this treat. She is more relaxed, probably the oldest in the room. Her back is permanenty hunched at the top (note to self: sit up straight).
There is a fabulous lady to my left that is wearing black patent leather orthopedics. Tres chic. She piles her large bag and trench coat on her lap and hangs on tight. The two women in the corner look sad. They stare out. There is another with a wooden cane who looks bored. Her ankles are swollen, it looks uncomfortable.
There is a silver haired lady against the wall facing me. She has a deep voice and today has drawn in thick dark eyebrows. It is dramatic, theatrical even, but it looks cool. Maybe I’ll do that circa 70 years old. Maybe even sooner…
All are wearing large scaled earrings. Clip ons? I’m not sure. There’s a lot of color and florals in their outfits. I’m the only one in black. I wonder what their stories are and what they think about in waiting rooms.
My view as I wait to be seen. For some reason it reminds me of a NYC public school Prinipal’s office. Intimidating.
On the way to Columbia. First stop ICD clinic where they check my pacemaker/ defibrillator. This is my least favorite thing. When they test those leads… So freaky. Then to Dr D my rheumatologist. Let’s see what he has to say. Then some bloodwork. Then finally back home. Not feeling so great today so I’m already wanting to be horizontal again.
This week I’ve got my last round up at Columbia for at least four months. On Thursday I am headed back up there to see my Rheumatologist, Dr. D. I am also going to the ICD clinic to have my Pacemaker/Defibrillator checked (Aka The Kicker). This is an all day event.
I’ll be happy/relieved once all of my appointments are over. Not complaining, but I do get tired of waiting rooms. Especially ones in the hospital that tend to be more depressing than your average waiting room.
Pretty exhausted today. Couldn’t get out of bed this morning.
Today my acupuncturist told me that we are slowly beginning to work on “normal people” things. Meaning some of the stuff I am complaining about can be fixed, and seem to be more common muscle problems as a result of stress, etc. If we can continue to go in the direction of “normal” I’ll be fine with that!
She also said that my body seems to be regulating itself a bit better.
My acupuncturist has helped me with so much. We’ve been through major stomach issues (and she’s gotten me to eat), terrible aches and pains, prevented colds and sore throats from turning into something unmanangeable, and has helped me deal with side effects of my steroids (still 10 mg and trying to taper)!
I am so grateful for acupuncture. I feel like I can move my head again. Aaahh.