Saturday, March 15, 2014

Progress Report

So, how am I doing? Much better than a month ago, actually.

This winter has been tough physically as far as rehab from the hip replacement last March 27th. Since basically December, I haven't been able to go out to walk; I ran out of insurance-paid physical therapy visits so had to do independent workouts when I could get to the facility. Was having continuing pain problems in my left knee, some new ones in the right, and occasional stabbing left hip/groin pain, to the point that sometimes I found myself walking, as my therapist described it, "like someone who needs a hip replacement". Was beginning to wonder if I'd ever really feel good again.

But in the last two weeks or so, things have turned around. I've been able to get out here and there to walk on safe bare ground and not freeze my butt off -- only a quarter mile at a time, far from the one-plus up to two miles I'd been doing regularly before the winter, but I accept that I'm deconditioned and have to work back up to where I'd been. Better yet, I figured out the cause of a lot of my pain -- certain stretches I'd been doing -- and cut them out. Mirabile dictu, within less than a week the hip/groin pain has dwindled to rare and almost nothing. Both knees are doing so much better that I was afraid to even acknowledge the change at first, for fear that the Gods of Hubris-Smiting would come after me.

I saw my therapist yesterday and his assessment was basically "Wow, fantastic!" Did the best I've done since we started working together on the stair climb/descend and other tests. I have certain strength-building exercises to continue doing. Best of all, he said that I still haven't reached an end point; that it's still possible to make further improvements before I arrive at what I have is what I'll have.

Oh, and I've also completely cut out junk food -- no more chips, no more chocolate, my two great weaknesses. If I want a crunchy salty snack, there's cashews. If I want something sweet, there's fresh blueberries in vanilla yogurt. I stick to satisfyingly yummy but healthy meals which don't overload the calories but leave me feeling full, not hungry. Results: I'm sleeping better and have shed a couple of pounds in the last two weeks.

This pleases me. It also makes it much easier to stick to what I'm doing. At a pound a week, it'll take a long time to get where I want to go (20 pounds lighter would be nice), but I'm much more likely to get there and stay there. And who knows? Once I can get back to daily (or nearly so) walks and up the distance, I might dwindle more quickly.


The next morning:

And the Hubris Gods apparently are keeping an eye on me.

This morning the hip is somewhat achy and I had one episode of sharper hip/groin pain -- nowhere near as bad as it had been getting, but a warning shot across the bow: Don't do too much too soon, and I had been doing more than usual over the last two days. It's a lot colder today, too, and I wonder whether that might have a role to play. So, dial it back, take the ibuprofen, and pray for spring.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Ben and the Sliding Roof Monsters

Poor Ben. The last few days he hasn't been at the fence to greet me when I drive in; the last couple he hesitated to come get his bucket of mash; today when I finally coaxed him to come get it, he ate about two-thirds, then went back to the far end of the paddock, and wouldn't come to me till I carried his bucket a good two-thirds of the way to the back.


Because there's still bits of snow sliding off the barn roof, and the poor thing is spooked! Monsters are sliding down to eat him up! Aaaiiieeeeee!

There's hardly any snow or ice left on the roof now; should all be gone by tomorrow; but who knows when the Benster (not the sharpest pencil in the box) will figure out it's safe?

This is where he should be:

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