Wednesday, October 1, 2014

World Cerebral Palsy Day 2014 (warning long)

(photo credit - http://wellnessdocdfw.com/back_pain__upper)


Last year, I wrote something for World Cerebral Palsy Day. In October 2013 I posted a chart of some statistics about CP, along with where I fall in the various categories. I found out about the yearly event two years ago.

This year, I struggled to figure out what to post. Until today actually. I don't think I've really written about this topic in depth. Aging and cerebral palsy. I've mentioned that my aches and pains have gotten more frequent in the last several years, but haven't really related it to my cerebral palsy, just with my aging.

Why am I bringing this up today? Because I hurt. A lot. Plain and simple. Why do I hurt? Because on Sunday, I stumbled and had to catch myself from falling. I was going into the laundry room and lost my balance. I caught myself by grabbing the door frame. My upper back and arms tightened up like usual when I catch myself. No big deal.

Monday comes along and my upper back is a little sore, and it hurts ever so slightly to turn my head. I thought all day "What did I do?", and couldn't think of anything. Until that night, when it happened again only not as severe. A light bulb turned on. "That's what I did!"

Then comes Tuesday. My husband and I took a walk in the early morning with our niece. We brought the two dogs with us. Jax (our dog) was wearing a prong collar because he's just a tad hyper (sarcasm). Every time Jax yelped (he got too far ahead and pronged himself), I would jump and have to fight not to fall. In doing so, I would cling to my husband's arm (in the past when walking with my older sister I would hold on to her upper arm, and when I did this she called my hand the claw because I would cling so hard).

I jumped and fought about four or five times. Didn't fall once, but it was annoying. I thought maybe the "jerk move" was back, but it didn't quite feel the same. I thought about it Sunday as well, and if it was the jerk move, it was only a slight case of it.

Wednesday morning comes along, and I could barely sit up in bed. My upper back screamed every time I tried to sit up. I finally managed, but it took a while. I wondered "What did I do?". My husband enlightened me by saying "You went for a walk.". Well, just going for a ten minute walk wouldn't put me in major pain like this. Then it dawned on me. All the fighting to stay upright that I did. Yup, mystery solved.

As a kid when I fought not to fall, I don't remember any after effects. Heck, sometimes I didn't bother to fight and just fell. Sometimes it was easier to fall and get it over with. Now I fight like the dickens not to fall. When I did fight as a kid, I never hurt like this. My age is catching up to me.

In a little less than two months I'll be officially "over the hill" (is that what they still call 40?). Everybody is different. Some people turn 40 and have no aches and pains at all, others have a whole bunch of aches and pains. Is it genetics? Is it how active a person is or is not? It is a disability? What is it exactly that have certain people hurt more than others as they age?

For me, I think it's a combination of my cerebral palsy and the fact that from age 19 to 30 I basically wasn't physically active. If I had stayed active during that time, would I hurt this much? My CP affects my left leg and right arm. Basically from both my hips down and also my neck are my painful areas. How I hold my body puts strain on muscles and tendons that a "normal" person doesn't experience. In order to not fall, I lean over so I can grab something, or I'll place my legs in an unnatural (yet more stable) position to have better balance.

In doing so, the tendons, ligaments, and muscles shift and strain aggressively. Over time, this makes it painful to do certain things. I did some pretty decent damage to my knees during the years I wasn't active. I went to physical therapy for my knee pain in 2000 and was prescribed exercises to improve the muscles. I still do those exercises to this day, and I rarely have knee pain any more. It's actually my left hip that I worry about now.

In 2008, I got off my butt, lost 35 pounds and am more active than I was. I still am not as active as I should be. I exercise for an hour maybe, five days a week. But I still sit the rest of the time. I need to get up and move more. Not just during my workouts. I need to get up and move every hour at least. I need to make that a daily habit, to get up every hour for 5 minutes at least. March in place for five, jump on the elliptical for five. Something.

I don't know if implementing that strategy will help with my pain or not. Please don't think that I'm in pain all the time. I'm not. But lately, when I am in pain, it hurts way worse than it used to. Right now, if I move and the pain hits, I have to hold my breath until it passes.

Not sure where I've going with this. Just sharing my experience with cerebral palsy and aging. To put it bluntly, it sucks. I've been sitting here in my computer chair (probably the most comfortable place for me to sit), and I know once I start to get up it is going to hurt like a you know what. So here goes nothing!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

What You Can When You Can (#wycwyc): Putting It Into Practice

(photo credit - livinggratitude.wordpress.com)

I first heard about the What You Can When You Can philosophy through Roni Noone's blog Roni's Weigh about six months ago (at least). WycWyc (/wikwik/) as it's otherwise known is a fabulous way of thinking. Most people today have so much going on, they don't know which way is up. Kind of like juggling balls. Trying to keep all the balls in the air all the time is tough. Whether you're a working mom (or dad), or a stay at home wife (or husband), or whether you work from home and have no kids (like me), everyone gets flustered and thinks they don't have time for things...such as exercise.

I mention that I work from home...I should clarify....I am working at working from home. What does that mean? I enjoy writing. I like to write for this blog. I like to write articles for certain sites. I like to write little blurbs for other sites. Do I do it as often as I want? No. Can people make a good living from doing what I want to do? Certainly! Freelance writers on the Internet can and do make a very good living. The main thing is to DO IT.

Procrastination is a killer. I am struggling big time right now with procrastination. Now while I don't have a "real" job, I still do housewifely duties. I make sure our place is kept somewhat neat and clean. I don't intend to get into all of the nitty gritty details here, but my husband and I do not live alone. We share a house with his parents. It just works out well that way for now.  I don't clean the entire house (although I would love to), but I do make sure our area is clean. I also do some mad, mad, mad cleaning when everyone is out.

On top of that, my husband and I have one dog and one cat (my in-laws also have a dog of their own and a parakeet). So, all those animals can make for not only messes, but they also takes up a lot of time and energy. Particularly our dog Jax. He's an attention hog like nobody's business. Especially in the mornings.

So I'm not only using the WycWyc frame of mind for getting exercise in, but I'm also using it for writing and getting more serious about it. If I only write 1 or 2 hours a day, so be it. It will increase the more I do it. It will eventually pay off, literally, in the long run. One of my main goals is to get some sort of residual income so I'll be making money without having to do anything. That's a long term goal obviously, but it can be done. People do it all the time.

Start out slow, and things will increase over time. Just like losing weight. I didn't lose 35 pounds over night. It took me a little less than a year. The point is I made it. And now I do what it takes to maintain that weight loss. Same goes for my writing plans. Do what it takes to get to where I'm comfortable, and then do what it takes to maintain that.

I have no illusions, it will take long hours and loads of work in the beginning, but in the end it will be worth it. Just like it was with the weight loss. Lots of work and determination, but it got done. I also have no grand expectations about how much I'll be earning. Some people writing online claim to make a 6 figure income. I highly doubt I'll get that much ever, but one can dream right?

So, What You Can When You Can is my motto from now on. In more ways than one. Exercise, writing, housework, and pet care. Those are my main focuses in life these days. And the main thing I need to eliminate is procrastination.

Keep Moving and keep doing whatever else you do too!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Mileage Monday: Keep On Keeping On

Another Mileage Monday, and more pictures! Things are going well on the exercise side of things. I've skipped a few workouts here and there, but for the most part, I'm consistent. I'm still only doing strength training twice a week. That seems to be working well for a while. Mondays and Thursdays or Tuesdays and Fridays are the days I aim for. If I miss Monday, that it's going to happen Tuesday. Cardio happens about 4 days a week lately. Hoping to increase that again.

Week before last I mentioned I had 1.1 miles to go until I hit the next town on the virtual walk site. I said I would push myself to get in 1.1 miles on the elliptical, when normally I only do 1 mile even. Well, not only did I do 1.1 miles that day (which was exciting), I also stayed on the elliptical longer than I ever have on NordicTrack A.C.T. elliptical. I made it to 1100 revolutions before I had to take my first break. I know I've made it to 800 revolutions (1/2 mile) in one shot, and I want to say I've made it to 900, but I don't think so. Very exciting indeed, and I surprised myself.

So, since my last Mileage Monday post, I've passed through Burgin, KY in Mercer county and Harrodsburg, KY also in Mercer county. Next up is Mackville, KY which is about 5.8 miles from where I am on the map. I've gone a total of 817.2 miles since I started back in April of 2008. Slow going, but great motivation still. Here are the pictures!

Mile 810 (elliptical for 1.1 miles)

Mile 812.4 (Leslie Sansone for 2.4 miles)

Mile 814.8 (Leslie Sansone for 2.4 miles)

Mile 817.2 (Leslie Sansone for 2.3 miles)
(photo credit - Virtual Walk site)

Keep Moving!!

Monday, August 4, 2014

Mileage Monday - Back To Strength

My efforts to make friends with my hand weights again is going well. Last week I managed only one day, but that's OK. I want to take it slow. This week my plan is two days. I already did my strength routine for today, and I'll do it again on Thursday. Then next week I may try for three days. We'll see.

I do find myself enjoying my strength training workouts more since I've cut out the ab routine. I had such a long ab routine (20 minutes just for ab work), that I found myself really dreading strength training days. For now I don't plan on adding any ab work back into my routine. I may pick and choose a few moves to add back in further down the line.

I'm doing OK with my cardio workouts. I have to say it again, if I don't get my workouts in early in the morning they tend not to happen. I had a few days like that last week, and I regretted not getting those workouts in. So far so good this week.

Since my last Mileage Monday post, I've passed through Burgin, KY in Mercer county, and I have about 1 mile to go until I reach Harrodsburg, KY in Mercer county. It's actually 1.1 mile I have left to go. I plan on doing the elliptical tomorrow, and I typically just do 1 mile on the elliptical. I may have to push another tenth of a mile to get to the next town. I've been thinking about increasing my mileage on the elliptical for a while, so this might be a good excuse to do that.

Here are the pictures I have from the virtual walk site for the last week.

Mile 805.6 (Leslie for 2.4 miles)

Mile 806.6 (Elliptical for 1 mile)

Mile 809 (Leslie for 2.4 miles)
(photo credit - Virtual Walk site)


Make it a great week, and Keep Moving!

Monday, July 28, 2014

The Return! Mileage Monday

Well, I've been back from vacation for several weeks, and you're right, there's no vacation recap yet. I know I said I'd have it up soon after I got back, but it's not. It's an overwhelming task I admit it. I think of the overall picture of writing three or four posts all at once, and it's daunting. I need to look at it one post at a time, sit down, and just get it done. I've already got the web links for everything, I just need to write them up. And I was smart this time around. Rather than trying to remember where and what I ate after I got back from vacation, I wrote it all down that night.

It is coming, I just won't put a due date on it. I stress myself out that way. I'll write it when I write it. But I will write it. Had some adventures, that's for sure.

Back to Mileage Monday updates. I said I would make friends with my hand weights when I got back from vacation, and well, I did my best. The hand weights aren't the problem, it's the crunches that did me in. I think I'm going to get rid of a lot of my ab routine. I strained my neck pretty good, and aggravated a pinched nerve I have from time to time. I couldn't turn my head for about a week, well maybe not a week, but a good 4 days at least. I did go to the chiropractor, and he got it all sorted out.

Apparently, my lower back was in rough shape, because he said it was way out of whack. I didn't realize it because I had so much pain in my neck. He said "pain masks pain", and he's right. He spent longer than usual on me, and he had to do the ultrasonic therapy (heat therapy) twice on me, because I had pain still. It took several days before I could really turn my head (also bending my head backwards was painful) again. Even now, it's not quite right. A lot better than it was though.

So yes, ab routine is going away for a while. I'm not too bothered by it. My abs are strong as it is. The elliptical and Leslie Sansone DVDs take care of any ab work also. Particularly the elliptical. I'll give my hand weights another go this week and see what happens.

I've gone several miles on the virtual walk site since being back. I've now gone a total of 803.2 miles, and since my last Mileage Monday post, I've passed through Bryantsville, KY in Garrard county. I have about  3 miles until I get to Burgin, KY in Mercer county.

Here are the latest pictures!

Mile 797.8 (Leslie for 2.4 miles)

Mile 798.8 (elliptical for 1 mile)

Mile 799.8 (elliptical for 1 mile)

Mile 802.2 (Leslie for 2.4 miles)

Mile 803.2 (elliptical for 1 mile)

There ya go! Hope everyone is having a great Monday so far. Keep moving!

Monday, June 30, 2014

Mile Monday And Adios!

I'll be leaving tomorrow morning for vacation for a little over a week. I had planned to get some posts written to upload while I was away, but that didn't happen. I got distracted by errands and other things, and well, it just got away from me. I only got in one workout also since last week. But that's OK, I don't want to be worn out while I'm gone.

I plan to write up a recap of my vacation when I return, and I have a few other posts to write up when I get back. Hopefully our flight back East will be uneventful, unlike last year when our flight was delayed an hour and we missed our connecting flight in Dallas. Spent 6 hours in the Dallas airport waiting on standby. Wasn't fun. Hopefully everything will go smoothly this time around.

Here's the lone picture from the virtual walk site from last week.

Mile 795.4 (Leslie Sansone for 2.4 miles)
(photo credit - Virtual Walk)

Have a great week and a half, and I'll see you when I get back! Keep moving!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Mileage Monday!

This might be the last Mileage Monday I post for a few weeks. I thought I had more of a backlog of pictures, but looks like I'm all caught up after this post. Next week, I'll be out of town for about nine days, but I should have at least 4 or 5 pictures, so I might squeeze in one more Mileage Monday post before I go.

Still going strong with my cardio workouts. Strength training is another story. My hand weights and I need to become reacquainted when I get back from vacation. I haven't done consistent strength training since late November 2013, maybe even October. So, it's time to get back to it. At least I'm back into consistent cardio workouts, which for me is more important. Strength training is important, but for me to keep moving is even more so.

I've also been fairly good at getting my workouts done in the morning. I may even start earlier than I do now. Normally, I wake up, have coffee right away, and check email. I get sucked in, and that's my problem. If I get up, get dressed, and get my butt on the elliptical or some other workout, I can get all that out of the way, and THEN have coffee. That might be tough. We'll see. I can be a zombie first thing in the morning. Don't talk to me until I have coffee, or you might lose your head. Nah, I'm not that bad. We'll play it by ear though when I get back. I need a cut off time in the morning though so I don't get sucked in.

OK, on to the pictures from the virtual walk site!

Mile 782.6 (elliptical for 1 mile)

Mile 785 (Leslie Sansone for 2.4 miles)

Mile 786 (elliptical for 1 mile)

Mile 789.6 (Leslie Sansone for 3.5 miles)

Mile 792 (Leslie Sansone for 2.4 miles)

Mile 793 (elliptical for 1 mile)

I will try and have one more Mileage Monday post before I leave. I also plan on writing up some posts this week to auto upload while I'm gone. Maybe do a few posts this week, and a few posts while I'm gone. I do have things I want to write about, I've just gotten side-tracked with other things. And of course, I will be writing up a vacation recap when I get back. Within a few weeks of returning if not sooner.

Keep moving!