Archive for the health Category

Getting real

Posted in health with tags , on May 24, 2021 by jefferyrn

I want to share a story.  It has nothing to do with weight loss or health.  Well, it sort of has to do with relationship health.  In Noom, we are learning to apply our psychic tricks to every part of our life, not just our food choices.  I thought this story would be relatable.

We made an appointment to go to the DMV to get our Real IDs.  The deadline to get these has moved out to May of 2023, but we made this appointment several months ago.  In Nevada, you go online to make your appointments.  There is not a choice for Real ID, just for New Drivers License.  The instructions say to pick the closest one to what you are wanting.  So we made the appointment back in February.

Flash forward to last week.  The day to go into the DMV has arrived.  My husband gets a text reminding him of the appointment and a link to a checklist that tells you what you need to bring in to the office:

A utility bill or credit card statement that has your name and address on it.

A recent check stub.

Your social security card.

Your old License.

We gather all these papers together the night before the appointment.  I say, “Don’t we need our passports.”  My husband says, “No, it is not on the list. It says two of the following.” And he proceeds to show me the list he received on his phone.  It didn’t sound right to me but he was insistent.  This was his thing.  He setup the appointment and I wasn’t in the mood to argue.

The next morning as we head out the driveway of our complex, I say, “Are you sure we don’t need our Passports or Birth Certificates?”  He stops the car and says, “Do you want to go back and get them?”  His tone was that of anger.  Why was I questioning him?  I said, “No, let’s just go.”  I tried to stay calm.

The DMV had moved to a new location all the way across town in an area known as South Meadows.  I tried to pull up a map but google still showed the old location.  I search for an article about the opening day and got the correct address to put into google.  We were on our way.

You can probably tell where this story is going, but sit tight and we will get there.  We arrived and the DMV and there was a long line outside the building.  The facility hadn’t opened yet.  One line was for walk-ins and the other was for appointments.  We checked in and waiting for them to open the doors.

The doors finally opened and we proceeded to wrap around in one of those fun line mazes.  I got called to the counter first.  My husband was in line behind me.  The information person asked me what I was there for and I told him a new ID.  He said, “Well, you have a license.  It works the same as and ID. They will punch holes in your license are you sure that is what you want?”  I said, “ No, I want that new ID.”  I couldn’t think of the name of it.  Finally, it clicked and the clerk said, “Oh, you want a Real ID.”  He pushed me a piece of paper that listed all the things needed to get a Real ID and asked if I had them.  And low and behold what was on that list?  A passport or a birth certificate is required.  I explain to the clerk that I was unprepared.  He gave me a pass to come back later in the day.

My husband went to the counter next and argued with the guy.  Said he in the same boat as me.  The clerk shooed him away. Saying he would have to come back.  My husband asked for a pass like I got.  The man said as long as you return in an hour you are good to go.

The race was on to get back home and get our passports and return to the DMV.  I didn’t say I told you so.  I let him fume all the way home.  I told him to go inside and get the passports because he knew right where they were in the safe.  We made it back to the DMV with 15 minutes to spare.   I was doing my breathing exercises all the way there trying to stay calm and not argue with him.

It was a success.  We turned in our paperwork, got our pictures taken, paid our fees and left.  Again I didn’t say I told you so.  I let him reason it out for himself.  He realized what had happened was that the list he was given was not for a Real ID but for a regular license, because that was the only appointment we could make.  I tried telling him this too, but he had to get there on his own.

So I was right.  He was wrong.  The world didn’t come to an end.  Thank you Noom for giving me some insight into what I have been doing wrong for years.  I can win an argument without even really arguing.  Imagine that if you can, cause it is a rare day in May for me.

The waiting (weighting) game

Posted in health, retirement, weight loss with tags , on April 29, 2021 by jefferyrn

I would like to report that I am losing weight and happy as a clam, but that is not the case.  I am on a plateau and it is starting to be discouraging.  I know I am doing all the right things. I am tracking my food, doing my exercises, drinking water, getting sleep, but the darn scales are going the wrong direction.  It is not going to deter me though.  It will happen eventually. 

There are lots of reasons I am not losing.  Salty food, too much food (even though I am meeting my target), not moving enough on the days I don’t exercise.   Some people would tell you that muscle weighs more than fat.  Not so sure there is any real science behind that unless you are a body builder with extreme muscles.  I tell myself that the dream machine/ humidifier is filling me with water vaper while I sleep.  But that tank is not that big, holds maybe 8 ounces of water.  Looking for excuses is not the best idea. 

If the plateau last longer than two weeks I need to change something.  But for now I just need to wait (weight) it out.

Waiting

In other news, we lined up a realtor for Palm Springs.  He wants to have a Zoom meeting with us on Saturday before we come down.  My how things have changed with the pandemic and technology.  He looks like a nice guy but I am not sure he is the one that will be on the Zoom call.  He says they are a team.  Intriguing to say the least.  So I need to look sharp on a Saturday morning, combed hair, clean shirt, maybe even pants.

There is no doubt that we qualify to buy a second home.  The question is how much can we afford and still get what we are looking for without becoming “house poor”.  My husband has been crunching the numbers.  We are prepared.  Of course, I have my wish list, affordable or not.  There is some wiggle room.  I have some sources of income I am holding back for my future.  We need something that either one of us can afford should the other leave this world.  That’s what those sources are for, but in the back of my mind I want it all now. 

Finances

Eventually, I will retire and we will sell the Reno condo for what looks like now to be a hefty profit.  So that money could replace some of my stash if we go that route.  Husband is more cautious and thinks I may need that money too to survive without him.  He is probably right, darn him.  But what if I go first?  Then he gets all that money.  Maybe that is his secret plan, lol.

Hidden stash

I am sure I have bored you with all of this financial stuff so let me just end here and say we are going to have a nice week off and enjoy the warm weather in Palm Springs.

 

 

 

 

Sleeping better?

Posted in health, weight loss with tags , on April 27, 2021 by jefferyrn
The pink supermoon. Caught this picture last night with my cell phone. I can’t believe it myself!

Sleep therapy has commenced.   I have been using my cpap machine for 4 days now.  At first it seemed strange.  Every time I would put on the mask I envision Anthony Hopkins and had a strange craving for fava beans.  I have it down now.  I get up to pee, of course, and that is my opportunity disconnect, take the mask off, and adjust the straps.  The machine is set for a strength of 10.  But I have a modern version that has a ramp button.  It starts at 4 so I can fall asleep before it reaches 10.  I know this doesn’t make sense to non-users but imagine being in high wind verses a gentle breeze.  The wind is being blown directly into your mouth and nose.  It is a little jarring at first.  But then you get into the rhythm and everything is fine.  My husband says he can’t hear anything.  Even better.

The dream machine.
The mask – I added the scary teeth. It looks more menacing.

It is too soon for me to realize if I am feeling more rested, especially since I had a software upgrade to do at work over the weekend.  All that time on the computer wears me out and makes it hard for me to see straight.  Of course, I never see straight.  I have noticed my dreams are more vivid and real.  So something is happening.  And my husband had not tried to smother me or kicked me for snoring too loud.  I was worried about the hose and how I would turn over.  The hose swivels, but believe it or not I don’t toss and turn anymore.  I sleep on my side.  Each pee break I switch sides.  I don’t seem to be as hot anymore either.  Actually, I get cold and pull up the covers.

My machine is also a humidifier.  The lady at the equipment pickup/fitting place said that she goes through a tank every three days.  But since I am a mouth breather I go through almost a whole tank every night.   It uses distilled water.  Remember that stuff we used to put in irons.  After some searching I found it at the grocery store, took three different stops.  I don’t think irons require it anymore, but it seems everyone has a cpap.

Enough about this boring thing I call my “smog mask”.   We head over the hill to our son’s house in Sacramento on Sunday.  Everyone is properly vaccinated and we get to see the granddaughter and our great grandson. (Damn I am old.)  From there it is on to Morro Bay to visit my mother.  Sister and brother in-law are barred from the visit.  One reason is because they refuse to get vaccinated and the other is because we argue and it ruins my visit with mom.

Then comes the real fun.  We are going to Palm Springs for our anniversary and Ricky’s birthday.  We are also going condo shopping.  I am so ready to retire and move there permanently.  One of the oncologists I work for just bought a house there with his husband.  It sits in a canyon high above the rest of us peons, which I suspect is the reason he chose it.  They call it a fixer upper/teardown.  It is actually a 1.8 million dollar estate that used to be an underground casino.  It was at the end of a canyon and high up so they could see if anyone was coming and close up shop before they got caught.  I want to drive up there and leave a note on his door, “Jeff was here.  Do you need help with your Wi-Fi install?” A girl can dream.

 

Temptations

Posted in health, weight loss with tags on April 22, 2021 by jefferyrn

When I returned to work last Monday a Christmas gift was still on my desk.  It was a water mug filled with Hershey kisses. I dumped them in a bowl to use the cup and covered them with tangerines.  I have not eaten any of the candy. 

The cup.

Despite it being nearly 5 months old the aroma of chocolate is tempting.

The bowl of temptation

In MOBE news, I talked to the pharmacist and she is going to make some recommendations to my primary care physician.

It was a good talk. She gave me some advice about supplements. The ones I had considered she said not to take as they could have adverse effects for a diabetic.* I asked what she could recommend for weight loss and she told me what I already knew, there is no magic pill.

*Don’t believe those Goli commercials. Neither the ashwagandha (kind of fun to say) or the apple cider vinegar have been scientifically prove to do much for weight loss. And for me they could cause extremely low blood sugar. Not a fun thing.

MOBE jumbo and Meditation

Posted in health with tags on April 21, 2021 by jefferyrn

I had my MOBE call on Friday.  The “guide” Joe was very nice. There are four pathways he is supposed to guide me down:  Eat, Sleep, Move and Smile.  We went over the basic intro to the program and this Friday we are going to pick a path to start on and set some goals.  He also set me up with a pharmacist appointment today.  We will go over my medications and talk about supplements and the pros and cons, interactions, etc. 

I am sure you can guess what these path names represent but I will spell it out for you.  It is not the Ellen Show.  Eat is for your diet.  Nutrition and balance.  Weight loss approaches.  Sleep is exactly that, how to improve on your sleeping.  I am getting a CPAP on Friday so that is taken care of for now.  Move is of course that dirty word exercise.  I am doing circuit training videos three times a week.  Smile is all about stress.  This may be the one we discuss the most.  It is covered by Noom as well.  In fact we are working on that one this week.

Zen

Mediation is on the agenda for dealing with stress. We are not talking about crossing your legs for an hour and humming. It’s only 5 minutes and leg crossing is optional.  So is the humming.  Just take five minute to close your eyes and be with your thoughts.  Next step is to try and control what those thoughts are about.  There are three options given in the course.

First you can try being more aware of your senses.  What do you smell?  What do you hear? What do you see (with your imagination since your eyes are closed)? What is the temperature of the room? of your body? What’s for dinner and how will that taste? What are you thinking about? How do you feel emotionally?  Repeat for 5 minutes.

What I see with my eyes closed.

The second method involves breathing. Inhale to the count of 4.  Exhale to the count of 4.  Repeat for 5 minutes.

The last method is similar but it is called the counting method.  Inhale and exhale.  Count 1.  Inhale and exhale. Count 2.  Continue counting for 5 minutes.

“Meditation is a detour you can take to break out of the neural pathways that your mind normally takes when you experience stress. It immediately helps you feel calmer , more centered, more objective, in tune with your body and in touch with your feelings.  This will help you focus and reduce your stress.”

I just needed a diversion and this is hot.

That’s how it is advertised.  I am going to try one of these methods at 3 pm today and let you know.  I don’t drink much anymore so it’s worth a shot (pun intended).

Working it out

Posted in health, random, weight loss with tags , , on April 17, 2021 by jefferyrn

I finally  went back to my exercise routine. It’s a circuit training video called d-fit. I am on the intermediate level. Just barely though. I follow the girl in the back doing push-ups on my knees etc.  I texted my doctor and was given the ok to start again. Just watch for chest pain and shortness of breath. Kind of funny cause excise always makes me breath harder but there is a difference between  breathing hard and being out of breath. So far I am fine.

MOBE

Posted in health, weight loss with tags , on April 15, 2021 by jefferyrn
MOBE

Now that I am doing Noom the company has decided to work with third party on a similar program called MOBE.  This is supposed to replace our old HealthyTracks system.  I don’t know why I need all of these darn health apps on my phone.  I am doing the bare minimum on MOBE to get credit.  It is truly redundant.  The difference is I have a “live” counselor assigned to me.  We have our first call on Friday.  I feel like we a dating. He sent me his bio (see below).

Guide Bio – Joe

Hey, I’m Joe!

I love to perform in live theater and love to watch it. I’m an easy audience member and love to suspend disbelief to be transported into a new world. I love movies, TV, and books for the same reason. I love animals and rescued two of the cutest dogs, Jake and Cindy. They came with their own “Oprah story” that is too long to tell here, but would melt your heart. I live with two cats and I now realize that my favorite animal is the one that is front of me. I love the way I feel when I meditate so I try and do it for an hour each day. I have always wanted to help people and have been learning about health and how I can use that to help myself and others. Now, as you and I start this journey together, I feel honored to be able to share what I have learned with you.

We’ll see how this goes.  If MOBE is okay I could stop paying for Noom.  But then next year the company will cancel MOBE and so it goes.

It is nice that our hospital is at least trying to address wellness. I am just a little overwhelmed with health experts right now.  Three health counselor, two cardiologist, and a pulmonary in a pear tree.  My cpap has been ordered and I should have it in my hot little hands in 7 to 10 days.  No more losing sleep over that one. (Pun intended.) All the other follow-ups are next month.

And next month is our anniversary.  We are going to see the grandchildren and my mother before going on to Palm Springs.  I can hardly wait.  Things are opening up a bit, so I am looking forward to going out for a drink or two or three.  They had to start serving food to be open.  People are complaining that the food is not good.  Who is going there to eat I ask you?

Thinking too much

Posted in health with tags on April 12, 2021 by jefferyrn

A lot of things to think about.  I got back a bunch of test results that make very little sense to me.  I have an appointment this afternoon to go over the results of the polysomnography (sleep) lab.  I had an appointment Friday with the electrophysiologist (device doctor).  I took Friday off as a stress/sick day.  I needed time to absorb all this new information.

Thinking too much by Lou Xiang

The upshot is that they want more tests.  I am to wear some sort of cardio monitoring device.  This will show how often I go into A-Fib, if at all during a 14 day data collection.  I am what they call asymptomatic, because I don’t know when I am A-Fib.  Apparently, others feel every heart beat change and are immediately destressed by these irregular changes.  Not me.   This is good and bad.  It is good that I have no outward symptoms or discomfort, but bad because I don’t know how long I have been experiencing A-Fib and how far along the decease has progressed.   It is just luck that I had an episode in the doctor’s office and she caught it on tape so to speak. 

The doctor went through a laundry list of treatments that may or may not be in my future. It was a lot to take in all at once.  All though he is a “device” doctor, he is hopeful that medication may do the trick.  But he warned that it is a progressive decease, meaning it worsens with age.  Something called ablation might be in my future.  I started reading about this and the possible complications and how I might need a pacemaker, etc.  Then I stopped.  I am not going to go there.

The test results from the sleep lab suggest that I need a cpap machine.  We will discuss this later this afternoon as I said.  So in May I will be hooked up to a heart monitor and wearing a mask to breath at night.  How exciting.  NOT.  I wonder if they get a kick back for how many of those damn things they sell.

As for my Nooming, it is right on schedule.  I need to find out if I can go back to exercising because I stopped with all this medical crap happening.  I am reading that I should not stress my heart.  So I am afraid to do much.  Maybe just some low impact weight training would be okay.

Getting old is not at all what I had envisioned.  I should be lying on a beach in Hawaii without a care in the world. Maybe worrying about which tropical drink I want next or if that cocktail waiter is ever coming back.

Affirmation

Posted in health, weight loss with tags , on April 8, 2021 by jefferyrn

I reached a goal this morning.  So far I have lost 10 pounds in six weeks. Slowly but surely the weight is coming off and I am eating better.  I feel better too.  After some rest and the realization that I don’t have it so bad after all, my depression from Monday is all but history.

Roma’s Brazilian goalkeeper Alisson Becker

We have company coming for the weekend.  First time in months.  Everyone is vaccinated so the risk is lower.  This will be the test of my ability to avoid the food pushers and stick to my healthy eating habits.  I think I can do it because they are habits not a diet this time. I am sure to go over my budget at least once depending on where we go to eat but I am prepared. I have the tools to choose wisely and still not feel left out.

Noom lessons this week have been comparing different “diets” and their perceived benefits.  We have looked at Vegetarian/Vegan, Paleo, glutton free, and today Low-cab.  There are pros and cons to each of these.  In tandem to that we looked at what constitutes a balanced diet and how the has changed over the years.  We also looked at how it differs from country to country and different regions of the world.  These differences are based on availability of certain foods, culture, political, and religious beliefs.  It is interesting stuff without too much detail to bog it down and become boring.  We are also learning how to evaluate studies and whether they meet certain criteria to be trusted or not.  This is a little subjective but they give examples and list out the facts. We are given the chance to agree or disagree and then Noom tells us what they think.  It seems to be a fair approach.

I am sort of writing this blog today as an affirmation to myself.  I have made it.  I am still on the journey.  Success is the only option.  Slips and slides be damned.  I can and will lead a happy, healthy and fulfilling life. 

Doctors be damned too.  I got the results of my stress test.  Didn’t have to wait for my appointment.  They sent an all clear text message through MyChart.  Yeah!

Unpleasant dreams

Posted in health, weight loss with tags on April 7, 2021 by jefferyrn

Well, I made it through the sleep lab and the Nuc Med stress test.  Now we wait for appointments to go over the results. 

I will say that the sleep lab was not a pleasant experience.  Oh, the people were nice, but that room was so sterile and the bed hard.  Plus all those wires stuck to my head chest and legs made it an ordeal to get up and go to the bathroom.  Had I thought it through I would not have taken my diabetic meds as they make me pee a lot.  And for some reason they kept waking me to reattach nodes that were no longer responding.  They woke me up at least 4 times for that and then one more time to hook me up to the Cpap machine, smog mask or whatever it is called.  That thing scared me. The one they used went over my nose and mouth kind of like the ones they use to give oxygen in surgery.  It was attached to what looked like a vacuum cleaner hose.  Talk about hard to roll over.  Oh my god.  I tried not to need to get up and pee but at 5:30 am I could hold it no more and called the nurse.  The whole thing was going to be over at 6:00 but I just couldn’t make it.

Cassandra Peterson – Mistress of the dark aka Elvira as she looks out of character.
Elvira *

This part I have not shared with anyone. ** When I went back to bed for that last half-hour all I could do was cry.  I think it was a combination of being reminded of my near death experience in outpatient surgery with that damn mask on my face, and the general acknowledgement that I had somehow failed myself by being obese for the past 30 years.  The nurse (ponytail boy) looked in while I was crying but said nothing.  I was never so glad to leave a place in my life.

As for the Nuc Med exam, that went way better.  I was in familiar surroundings at the hospital in a department I used to support before transferring to the Cancer Center.  A much more relaxed experience for a stress test.  Does that make sense? I have an appointment on Friday with the electro cardiologist.  Maybe he will go over the results with me, but that is not the purpose of our visit.

On the diet/Noom front, lost another pound through all this drama.

*I included this picture because I got the chance to interview her once in another life. Plus she is much easier on the eyes than Freddy Krueger.

** I did share it with my co-worker. She said I was breaking her heart.”It sounds horrible, but honestly it would be worse if you end up in a hospital. Hang in there.” She is a dear friend indeed.