Going back to Planet Fitness

planet fitness

We had to stop going to the gym last month because both of us got really sick. When I say we or us, I am referring to myself and my partner. I was diagnosed with HIV in 1991 and then upgraded to AIDS in 1994, so when I get sick, I’m not just sick with a 24 to 48 hour bug, when I get sick, I’m down for a month or longer. I literally have no immune system. My viral load has been undetectable for years and my t-cells have been pretty high in the 900’s for awhile now, but I still suffer when I get sick.

The virus from my cold is long gone, but I’m still coughing. I was coughing up and blowing mucus out of my nose even though I had no nasal or chest congestion at all. That first couple of days when we first got sick last month we just so happened to have a doctor’s appointment and the doctor checked my lungs by listening to my back while making me breathe in and out, in and out, in and out… He didn’t hear anything, so he told me I would be fine. I asked him for antibiotics or at least cough syrup, and he refused to give me anything. He didn’t want to give me medicine for something I don’t have. Well, that’s fine and dandy if I was only going to be sick for a couple days, but I was literally sick for a month.

So we could have gone back to the gym a couple of weeks ago, but we wanted to wait until it was fully out of my system. I would hate to give anyone else my germs and then get them sick.

Going back to the gym after being absent for a month is basically like starting over from scratch. Whatever exercises we did today will probably hurt in the morning and for the next couple of days. I mean, I don’t feel anything now, but then again we just came home from the gym about an hour ago, so who knows what may happen later tonight or when I wake up tomorrow. We’ll see.

The surgeon who operated on my broken leg in December told me to do leg exercises at the gym, and of course take my time and not try to force myself to bend my leg on the leg machines and then hurt myself. My leg is in agony, so I will have to be very careful when I do the leg exercises. I haven’t spoken to a trainer, but I already know which machines I want to start using… all of them! LOL No, but seriously, I will have to make an appointment so she can write down our day 3 exercises for leg day. She gave us 2 days for our upper body, and my partner only wants to go 3 days a week, so legs will all have to be done on the last day of the week.

I’m not expecting to lose any weight, I just want to exercise to feel healthy. You see, I have a feeling it’s when you stop trying is when you will actually lose weight. I say that because just about every time I try to lose weight, I end up gaining weight. So I’m using reverse psychology… on myself lol. Hey, whatever works right?

Exercise at Planet Fitness

We started going to Planet Fitness a couple of weeks ago to help lose weight. I’m more interested in going to a gym than my partner is because I have more weight to lose than he does. We both have a gut, but he doesn’t have the huge fatty neck and face like I do. He also doesn’t eat as much as I do. He is always “fasting” because he thinks it will help him lose weight, which I’ve told him does the opposite. He has type 2 diabetes, and during his “fasting” he has forgotten to check his blood sugar, and he recently bought some new test strips and is quickly finding out that fasting is causing more trouble for him than he thought since his blood sugar is too low. Last night it was 34. Yikes! He won’t listen to me though.

We go to the gym and at first he didn’t want to participate. The first day that we went, I did all the exercises that the trainer gave me, and he sat at the table by the door. That first day was brutal, and trust me, I was using the least amount of weight, but I was in pain for 3 days. The next time we went he surprised me by bringing a sweat towel for himself. He’s been doing the same exercises that I have been doing, although, not as many as I do. I do 3 sets of 15 of each machine, and he might do 1 entire set, or half lol. When he’s finished, he goes to the chair and gets on his cell phone to text, read email or whatever it is that he does on his cell phone while I’m on the elliptical machine or the bicycle.

I said in the last paragraph that the first time we went, I was in pain for 3 days. The next few trips I was doing fine, but the last 2 trips I’ve been in a bit of pain because I’ve added more weight to all of the machines. I start with a low weight because I don’t want to overdo it, then if it’s too light I will add more weight. If I do an entire set and it starts to become too much for me, then I will lower the weight so I can finish the next 2 sets.

When I saw the trainer, I only requested upper body because of my broken leg. I mean, it’s not broken anymore, it’s completely healed, but the doctor told me not to put any pressure on it at the gym, to only focus on upper body. So I only have 2 days worth of exercises. My partner only wants to go on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, so one week on Monday I will do day 1, Wednesday day 2, Friday day 1, then the next Monday I will do day 2, then Wednesday day 1 then Friday day 2. If the doctor said I could do legs, then I will tell the trainer that we’re only going 3 days a week, so give me all leg exercises for Fridays. I would love to go 4 days a week, but I’m really pushing my luck with 3 lol.

I haven’t been using the Total Body Enhancement machine because of my partner wanting to participate, but I used it on my last visit and then again today. One of the concerns that I had was will this hurt my leg? I have a metal bar with metal screws screwed into my shin. I’m sure the screws aren’t going to vibrate so much that they unscrew… wait, that won’t happen, will it? I’m sure nothing like that will happen. I didn’t have any pain in my leg at all, so I’m not too concerned, although I should probably ask my doctor just in case. I will see the doctor in 2 weeks. I walked the dog and as soon as I opened the door the pain came. It’s supposed to rain tomorrow, so the pain told me it will probably rain.

Of course after only 2 weeks I haven’t really seen any loss on the scale because I’m building muscle. I haven’t built enough muscle to notice a difference, but I do see that my face is starting to thin out a tiny bit. If I am consistent, the fat will melt away and I will be happy. That’s all that matters. I know that what matters the most is my health and not my happiness, but screw that, I just want to be happy, and I will be most happy when I can breathe while bending over to tie my shoes, and when I can actually see my junk without having to look in the mirror.

My Leg is Healed

I had a doctor’s appointment for my broken leg. They took new x-rays, which to me looked exactly the same as the one from my last visit, so I didn’t bother to take a new picture. The doctor was shocked to see that I was walking on my own since the last time he saw me I was still using the wheelchair. I was using a cane, and he told me that he’d like to wean me off the cane, at which time I showed him that I could walk without the cane. I told him I only use it when we go out in public if I’m having pain and limping a lot because it hides and explains my limp to people. He said perfect, don’t use it if you don’t need it.

So I took a new picture of my scar to show that it’s almost disappearing. It’s flat, not bumpy. I’m sure it will eventually disappear, even though I would love for it to stay. I know that sounds odd, but I like it lol. It’s like a battle scar, like a trophy. I show it off to anyone who will look. Of course it helps if I wear shorts, or sweat pants so I can lift the leg.

The doctor told me that he is sending me back to physical therapy, which is awesome because I miss going there. He also wants to see me in 3 months for my final visit. I wanted to ask for a new prescription of my pain meds because it still hurts. It hurts when it’s cold outside, but it also hurts like the dickens when I wake up in the morning. You know how when you wake up and your body stretches all the limbs? Yeah, that hurts lol.

Physical Therapy

physical therapy

I have been going to physical therapy for my leg for probably a month and a couple of weeks. I went every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 1pm. They gave me several exercises with balls and straps and a giant piece of rubber, which they gave me on my first day so I could do those exercises at home twice a day. When I saw the doctor, I asked about riding the stationary bike at PT and she said that I could, so they added that. They decided that I was ready to start putting pressure on my leg, so they told me to stop using the crutches and start using a cane, which I did.

The best part of going to Physical Therapy were the other patients, because they had 6 beds in a row, plus they had 6 chairs all in the same room that they called the gym room. Everyone came at the same time, so everyone started to get to know each other well enough that we all knew each others names, like Cheers. Every Monday we would discuss The Walking Dead since it came back, which was so awesome, because it gave us something to talk about.

Unfortunately, my medical insurance provider capped me (no they didn’t bust a cap lol) and so Monday was my last day. I’m pretty sure I am good now and that if I wanted to continue my therapy, I could, at home, but it was a fun routine and it was fun getting out of the house and having other people to talk to, you know? It gets boring just laying in bed or sitting on the edge of the bed playing video games. It’s fun to actually get out of the house and meet new people.

I have the tools at the house, and I know what exercises I should do, so I am pretty much set to continue my therapy on my own, but it would be nice to have more therapy. I think they should call it physical and mental therapy. Maybe the doctor will prescribe another couple of weeks for me, who knows.

Predicting the Weather

When I broke my arm a couple of years ago, my aunt told me that I might be able to predict when it rains because it will suddenly start to hurt where the bone broke. Well, that never happened. Today I had such awful pain in my leg where the screws are in my bone and I started to wonder if I was walking too much.

I took the dog outside and saw a neighbor named Pal. He asked how my leg was doing and I told him it was fine until today, and that it’s been hurting really bad. He told me that he broke his leg a couple decades ago and he has 3 screws and a pin. He said there are certain molecules in the air that just before it rains, it acts like a magnet and gravitates to your screws and gives you a headache like pain in your bone where the screws are. He told me that it will be like that until cartilage grows around the screws, which could take a couple or few years.

So that’s not good news lol. I mean, it would be nice to be warned that it’s going to rain just before I go to the gym on the trike, because if I’m having pain in my leg, then I won’t go. Other than the gym, I don’t see how this is going to help me if it just causes me headache like pain in my leg bone. It just sounds like a nightmare to me lol.

I’m all for having super powers, but couldn’t I have the power to heal rather than having the power to be in agony? It just seems unfair. Like my life isn’t bad enough, now I have to walk with a limp and scream in pain when it rains? Gee, thanks.

Ahead of Schedule

The surgeon who operated on my leg told me on January 28th that I could put pressure on my leg in 6 to 8 weeks. Last Friday, Paul, my physical therapist told me that he thinks I’m ready to start putting pressure on my leg now, and that he would like to see me using a cane instead of crutches. I’ve been using a cane since I came home that day, and have been using a cane ever since. I’m supposed to start putting pressure on my leg in 2 – 4 weeks, but I’m doing it now.

Of course I’m not jumping up and down or walking all over town, I’m just walking to the bathroom or the kitchen. We went to Dollar General Market a couple nights ago and I did just fine, except for when my partner kept stopping to look at labels, or to look a greeting cards. Every time I had to stop and wait, it put pressure on my good leg to keep me upright, which really hurt. I could have put pressure on both legs, but I didn’t want to put too much pressure on my bad leg.

I’m excited because I wasn’t expecting to be able to walk for another 2 to 4 weeks. It doesn’t hurt as much as I thought it would, but I do feel pressure on the top of my bone at the knee. I can feel the pressure from the metal plate (or rod?) and screws when I wiggle my toes. It’s a strange feeling, but I’ll get used to it, I’m sure.

I haven’t gone out on my new tricycle yet because I’m afraid I might have an accident if I go out this soon. I’m having issues with the fenders, because they feel like they are too close to the tires. The back fender is a little bent from shipping. I am also having trouble turning right, which isn’t that big of an issue because I will get used to it, and my body will get used to how odd it is and it will compensate, but for now I’m just a little afraid. I’d like to take it to the grocery store on a test run soon. I still need to buy more chains and locks to chain the seat to the frame and another U shaped lock to lock the frame to the handicapped sign pole. I would love to buy one with an alarm, but they cost a lot of money.

The one thing I am happy about is that I am no longer bed ridden. I actually have freedom again. I can go to the kitchen on my own with my cup and get my own drinks. I can make meals, do dishes and laundry and I can feed the cats outside again. It still takes me forever to get anywhere, but at least I get there, and that’s all that matters to me.

Back to a Normal Life. Sort of.

Walking_Cane

Yesterday I put my new Schwinn adult tricycle together by myself in the kitchen, which meant that I had to put pressure on my bad leg as I walked around the bike. I told my physical therapist what I did, and that last night I really paid for it because I was in a lot of pain. He told me I was in pain because my leg isn’t used to it, but he said that I’m ready to start putting pressure on it, even though I’m 2-4 weeks early according to my doctor. But I agree with him about being ready because it doesn’t hurt at all to stand only on my right leg. I actually did that at physical therapy with both hands ready to grab something if it hurt, and I didn’t feel any pain. I was more surprised than one of the girls that work there.

One of the therapists showed me the proper way to use a cane. Yes, there is a proper way, I did not know that. I thought I would use my right hand and extend the cane on the same side as my bad leg. I was half right. I have to use my left hand, and I extend the cane and extend my right leg at the same time. So it’s good to know. I used a cane when I came out of the hospital when I had pneumonia only because I felt dizzy. I didn’t have a specific leg that I had to use the cane with, so I just used it to keep my balance.

We happened to have a cane in the car, so when I was on ice in PT, I called my partner and asked him to bring the cane to me, and he did. I walked out with a cane and holding my crutches and the other patients were shocked that I was walking without my crutches. We see each other every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at the same time, so we’ve all become friendly and all know each others names heh. It’s like Cheers.

When we came home, I figured since I can start walking with a cane, it will be so much easier to start doing chores around the house again, like doing the dishes, taking out the dog, doing laundry etc. I took the dog out during The Ellen Show and I was fine. I just did the dishes the other day so we don’t really have that many dishes to do, so I’ll wait until tonight after dinner because I plan on making dinner tonight. I’m so sick of ham sandwiches for dinner lol. Oh, speaking of laundry, we put some clothes in the washer before going to PT and there are towels in the dryer that I have to fold, so I think I’m going to get started. My life has to start getting back to normal some time, it might as well start today.