Doctor’s Appointment

doctor who

We went to the doctor’s office today, and no, the doctor’s office wasn’t in a TARDIS lol.  Doctor Who fans will get that, anyone else will be like what is he talking about?

We had our regular appointment that we made last month and it’s very convenient that I was sick at this particular time of the month because I needed to see a doctor.  I have chest congestion, nasal congestion, a sore throat and my saliva gland is swollen causing a lot of pain there and tooth pain.  Of course, he can’t do anything about the toothache, but the tooth is only hurting because of my saliva gland, I’m assuming.

He gave me a prescription for Bactrim which is an antibiotic for my saliva gland.  That happens to me a lot with my saliva gland.  I think it happens two or three times per year and it usually goes down by the time we see the doctor so I never bring it up.  One time it was happening around the same time we saw the doctor and I was prescribed an antibiotic and I don’t remember if it helped, but I do know that this is not a normal thing to happen.  He told me to come back in 5 days and if it’s still swollen then he will send me to get a cat scan and I might need surgery.  When we came home I looked in my mouth and saw a black spot on the inside of my cheek which is probably what is causing the blockage in the saliva gland.

drawing-of-spine-deformities-scoliosis-and-kyphosis-curvature-of-the-spine-and-hunchback-or-round-ba

Last month I had some x-rays on my back and today he told me that I have a curve in my spine.  He didn’t specify which way it was curved, but he told me I need to sit up straight more so I assume it’s the one on the right in the image to the left.  So I need to learn to sit up straight because I have a tendency to slouch.  When I’m sitting on the bed, the couch, my desk chair, my bike and anywhere else, and even while I’m standing, I’m always slouching.  It’s mainly because I’m always trying to be as relaxed as I can because of the back pain.  Perhaps what I need is a brace to force me to sit or stand up straight.  I would totally wear that if that would help.

I try to take good care of my body but I guess I’m not doing as good of a job as I should if I am having all these health issues.  I have no one to blame but myself.

I mentioned that I haven’t lost any weight this month and he said that it’s okay because I have been riding my bike and he said you shouldn’t expect to lose any weight since you are building muscle, which we all know weighs more than fat.  He said that he likes me at the weight I am right now, so he’s happy with how far I have come.

Left Me at IHOP January 1, 2013 – Right Me at Morro Bay July 25, 2013

What a difference a change in diet makes.  I went from eating whatever crap I wanted, whenever I damn well felt like, to watching what I ate, counting my calories and only eating healthy foods and using the Noom app and I lost 70lbs.  I not only look healthy, but I feel healthy.  I am very happy with my progress.

2009 before I was looking for a specific photo yesterday in an old folder and I found a picture of myself from 2009 and I was even fatter than my before picture.  I looked like a balloon.  I couldn’t believe how fat I was.  I remember taking that picture too.  I was trying to get a good picture that I could use as my profile picture for the blog and all of my social networks like Facebook and Twitter, but I looked too blown up so I didn’t use it, but I didn’t delete it either for some reason.  OMG I can’t believe how fat I was.  Holy cow!  So yeah, I am never going to let that happen again.  As embarrassing as that picture is, I still feel like perhaps it would make a good before picture lol.

So I have to go fill this prescription and I will see the doctor again next week about my swollen saliva gland.  I really hope it goes down because I am sick of always being in pain.

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My plateau seems to be over

sports coats

I’ve been freaking out a bit over the last couple of weeks because last week’s weigh in was the same as 2 weeks ago, 197lbs.  Well, today was weigh in day and I weighed in at 195.2lbs.  I should have been 195lbs last week, but I guess better late than never.

So I have to wonder about a couple of things.  Like, in the beginning when I started this journey with Noom I was losing 3-4lbs per week, but then it started to slow down with 2-3lbs and then 1-2lbs etc.  The last month I have been walking and I have been eating a lot more veggies than I used to, and this last week I haven’t gone on any walks and I’ve been laying off the extra veggies and only eating the weight watchers and I lost 2lbs, well, 1.8lbs, but still.  I wonder, did walking and adding so many veggies to my diet really make a difference in my weight loss that would keep me from losing a certain amount every week?  Maybe it was the butter and margarine that I put on the veggies.

I know that a proper diet and exercise is essential to a good weight loss plan, so I’m not saying I shouldn’t be eating extra veggies and exercising.  I should be doing both, but with my back constantly hurting, it makes it difficult to want to go out for walks.  I know there are lots of exercises that I can do at home on my couch or bed or desk chair, but again, my back is in constant agony, so it makes it really difficult to want to do anything.  I mean, I want to succeed, and I feel that I am, but it’s just taking longer now lol.

I feel that I am succeeding though.  Take the picture above for example.  I just wanted to see if these 2 sports coats would fit, and they actually did.  I haven’t worn mine since 1999 when we bought them for a christening.  Well, I wore the grey one for the christening, my partner wore the tan one.  The grey one looks a little bigger than the tan one, so I’m thinking that I was a bit fatter than he was back then.  Well, they both fit me now.  I do remember that back then I was around 190-200lbs so this is about the right weight to be able to wear them, and it’s a good thing they fit me now with all the weddings I’m probably going to be attending now that same-sex marriage is now legal in California.

I wasn’t trying to look like Don Johnson from Miami Vice with my t-shirt and necklace, what you don’t see is that I was also wearing shorts lol.  I just wanted to see if they fit and I didn’t even notice how thin my face looked when I looked in the mirror, I didn’t see it until I saw the pictures.  So I’m very happy with my progress.

So I hope that next week I am down to 193lbs and I hope I don’t plateau again , but if I do, that’s okay too because I am not trying to lose weight for anything or anyone in particular, I am doing this for me.

Until next week…

Hot patch for my back

salonpas hot

I have really bad back pain that gets worse and worse everyday.  I had an MRI on my shoulder a few years ago and they did a full scan of my back and found that I have degenerative disc disease in my lower spine, and I did have a lot of pain in my lower spine, sometimes when I bent over my back would lock up.  I knew the pain was there, but I was at that doctor visit for my shoulder.  Anyway, since that MRI, the pain has gone up my spine.  Right now the pain that I feel the most is near the top of the middle of my back, but not all the way to the top, yet.

So what I’ve been doing besides using the shiatsu massager and my desk chair which has vibrating massage is I will lean against an ice pack.  That really helps, trust me, but I have been told to alternate cold and heat.  We have a heating pad that I bought at Walgreens that crapped out on me after a few uses, and of course I had long since thrown the receipt out so I couldn’t return it.  Instead of using a heating pad, I thought that perhaps a patch would help, so I bought a couple of these Salonpas hot patches at Albertson’s for only $1.79 each plus tax.

Yesterday after I finished with the ice pack, I put the patch on myself because my partner was sleeping at the time and I didn’t want to wake him up, but I put it on crooked and it was way below where I needed it to be so it didn’t really do me any good.  Although when he woke up I asked him to remove it and put it up higher, but removing it took away all of it’s stickiness, so it kept coming off.  Today I asked him to put it on me so it was on right and he did and I can’t even begin to tell you how good it feels.

I normally experience pain most when I am sitting in my desk chair typing, like now, or when I am walking.  The only pain I am feeling is from the heat from this hot patch, so it’s not too bad.  I haven’t gone for a walk yet, but I did walk to Albertson’s to buy 5 more of these along with my other groceries and my back didn’t give me any pain then either.  So I don’t know if the heat helps stop the pain, or if it has some kind of medication in the patch that helps the pain.  I can’t read the ingredients list and I’m too lazy to Google all of those words lol.

At any rate, it sure is helping me and I really love it.  I don’t like having to spend a lot of money buying patches, but it sure does beat having to buy heating pads that crap out on you and using electricity AND not being able to bring the heating pad with you out on walks.  I really like that it’s on me until I take it off, which it says I can wear for up to 8 hours.  I wonder if it will be hot for 8 whole hours?  I’ll have to find out later tonight when I take it off before my bath.

By the way, I am not a spokesperson for Salonpas or Hisamitsu and I have not been paid to write this post.  Opinions expressed here are my own.

@Noom Week 24

week_24-1 large

This is the beginning of the 3rd week of my 2nd goal to lose weight with Noom.  I started  my first goal on January 5th, 2013 with 63lbs to lose and I lost it with 2 months to spare.  Although I did get lucky that I was 200lbs by my birthday because the weight wasn’t dropping as fast as it was in the beginning, but I think when you have a lot of fat to lose, with just a change of diet it will probably drop a lot faster in the beginning.  Now that my body is used to this new healthy lifestyle, I am not losing weight as easily.

When I started working with Noom, I wasn’t exercising as much as I should have because of my back problems.  I can make excuses all day long, but there really isn’t any excuse for not exercising.  I can do some exercises in my bedroom, on my bed, in my desk chair or standing in front of the TV or even in the hallway or kitchen, it doesn’t matter, but it’s difficult for me to do anything with Degenerative Disc Disease.  I am usually sitting on my desk chair at my desk and of course I have a ton of pain here, but when I go sit or lay on my bed, the pain goes away.

I do have a bicycle and I attempted to ride it on the bicycle trail.  I bought a pair of cycling bib shorts from Bike Nashbar and 2 shirts for cycling, and of course I have 3 shirts from Noom that wick the moisture like my other cycling shirts.  But then I had an accident on my bicycle and broke my arm, so I couldn’t go bike riding.  I bought one of those no flat tubes that’s like a solid rubber tube, but I can’t get it on my wheel and now I’ve ruined the rim AND the tire, so I’m afraid if I buy a new tube, the wires sticking out of the tire is going to pop the new tube, or I might have damaged the rim so there might be metal sticking out of the rim that might pop the new tube.  A new rim is about $30 and I’m sure a new tire is around $20 or $30.  It wouldn’t even be worth my money, I’d be better off buying a new bicycle, but I can’t afford anything, so I have no bike now.

I haven’t examined my bicycle to see if there was any damage to the front rim from the accident.  I bought the bicycle from Walmart in 2004 for $60 so it was a cheap bicycle from the start.  I have replaced about 75% of the bicycle over the years, so I have put literally hundreds of dollars into that bicycle.  The only thing original is the frame, the (I’m going to sound dumb here) the mechanism that the pedals are attached to (LOL) and the chain.  Everything else has been replaced.

Instead of cycling, I’ve been walking which is agony for my back, but I’ve been doing it a couple of times per week just to get some exercise in.  Of course by the time I get home from doing that, I am in so much pain that I just can’t stand living anymore.  Speaking of which, I am in so much pain sitting here typing this that I had to go get the ice pack and take a Vicodin.

walking workout june 14 Anyway, I’ve been trying to walk a mile, but instead of only walking a mile, I will add some distance every time I go out.  Yesterday I walked more than 3 miles.  My back was in absolute agony the entire time, but I didn’t care because I really wanted to burn some calories, which I did.  Here is that workout (left).

I went out with my black Noom shirt, my Noom water bottle and my Noom sunglasses.  I absolutely love my Noom swag lol.  I normally like to go out with my Noom backpack, but I really don’t have anything to put in it, so I don’t have much of a reason to bring it.  If I had a bicycle, I would put my Camelbak inside of it with the hose sticking out and I would clip the hose to the strap to secure it.  I could probably do that on my walk, but I like to hold the water bottle.  I really don’t need 3 liters of water on a 3 mile walk anyway.

My estimated end date isn’t until November, although the Noom weight graph says September 17th if I lose 2lbs per week.  Last week it was September 15th and I lost less than 2lbs this week so naturally the date got pushed by 2 days.  I’m really not in any hurry to be 170lbs though, so no pressure.  I feel that if it happens then it happens.  I don’t want to rush myself because I feel comfortable in my skin the way I am now, so if I lose more weight, then bonus.  The main thing is that I don’t put any pressure on myself to lose any more weight because that’s too stressful and I don’t want my brain releasing cortisol from the stress which will prevent me from losing more weight.  Although the back pain from walking might end up doing that for me.recumbent bicycleI really wish I had a bicycle, it would be so much easier to exercise because then I could sit down the entire time.  I really want a recumbent bicycle though, because then I could sit back which will REALLY be easier on my back.  That would be ideal, but those are REALLY expensive.  If and when I finally get a new bicycle, I’m going to get a beach cruiser or a hybrid.  I mainly just want a bicycle with the big handlebars that will allow me to sit straight up.  My mountain bike had me sitting forward which hurt my shoulder and back, that’s why I had to replace the handlebar with a beach cruiser handlebar.  A hybrid would be better for me than a mountain bike or a road bike (10 speed).  When I do buy a new bike, I will go to Target and get a Huffy because I know Huffy is a good brand.

Anyway, back to reality lol.  This week I weighed in at 197.0 and I still have a way to go to get down to 170lbs.  I am positive that I will eventually reach that goal by September, if not then it happens when it happens.  I will still eat healthy no matter what and I will still go for walks despite the pain until I finally get a new bicycle.

Until next week…

A message from the American Osteopathic Association

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Michaelbeitz for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

Are you aware that more than 100 million Americans live in constant chronic pain from sitting in their office desk chair?  70% of them sit in their desk chairs for more than 5 hours per day and 2 in 5 wouldn’t even consider getting out of their chair to talk to a co-worker, they probably chat on the phone or send each other text messages.  That’s how lazy electronics are making us, but I’m sure they would just rather not get up because they are in too much pain, and I can certainly understand that because I am one of them.  I have been diagnosed with Degenerative Disc Disease and I am in constant agony, so much that even prescription strength Ibuprofen won’t help.

The American Osteopathic Association is helping Americans avoid and prevent pain in the workplace by showing some stretch exercises that you can do at your desk chair to help relieve some of the pain.  Take a look.

I did do those exercises and I will start doing those stretches because I am sick of being in pain every minute of every day with no help from medication.  There is something you can do to help your back pain.  Get up and get some exercise.  Go to the office kitchen (if any) and wipe down the counters or make a new pot of coffee.  Sweep and mop the floor, even if it isn’t your job.  Instead of sending your co-worker a text message or calling them, go talk to them in person.  When you are sitting in your desk chair, don’t slouch, sit up straight.  There are lots of things you can do to help your pain, so why not help yourself by being more active?  Visit the American Osteopathic Association for more information.

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Cloudy Lava Lamp (Updated)

lavalamp

I have enjoyed my lava lamp since I got it for Christmas last year.  It is my very first lava lamp and I sit at my desk chair sometimes staring at it for literally 10-20 minutes.  It is that interesting to me.  What is even more interesting, or probably more disturbing, is the fact that the water used to be crystal clear, and now it’s yellow.  I don’t know why it has turned yellow, but apparently it’s a common problem with lava lamps.

Here is my lava lamp in December 2011 when I first got it, and here it is now in January 2013 a year later.

 lava lamp december 2012 lava lamp january 2013

What a huge difference.  I wonder what would cause the water to turn yellow like that?  I never thought anything of it until I was browsing through the pictures in the My Pictures folder on my computer and came across it.  I then suddenly remembered how clear it used to be.  Naturally I went to Google to research it to see if anyone else has had this issue and to see if there was anything to do about it.  I did find several websites that mentioned it and even a solution.

Update: I deleted everything I had typed out before and retyped it.  I took out those links and here is why.  I followed their instructions which seemed legit to me because more than one website mentioned the same exact thing, but all it did was mess up my lamp.  Here is what it looked like after I tried their fix.

lava very cloudy from salt

I was devastated when this happened to my lava lamp.  The instructions were to let it cool so the wax was solid and open the top of the lava lamp and dump the water out into the sink.  Then put new water from the tap in and swish it around to get all the grease off the walls of the lamp which meant doing that a couple of times.  Then they said to fill it up with tap water and add a couple drops of dish liquid and add a mixture of epsom salt and water with a straw.  Those white flakes in the image to the left is the result of the epsom salt.

I let the lamp cool down and dumped the water out and added new water and more soap, but not the epsom salt and turned it on and there was still epsom salt in the wax at the bottom, so it took several times of rinsing it out to get it back to this…

lava afterI was thrilled beyond belief when the lava lamp was back to normal and the lava was rising.  But then it stopped rising and went back down and never went back up again.  What did I do wrong?  Like an idiot I mixed a tiny amount of epsom salt with a lot of water and added an inch full from a straw and I got that image from above again.  UGH!

That blew my mind that such a tiny amount of epsom salt would do the same thing as a bunch of epsom salt in a smaller amount of water.  I didn’t know what I was supposed to do.  I rinsed it out again and didn’t add ANY salt at all and the lava wouldn’t go up again.  I searched for more instructions because I really want this working again.  I found one guy who made a video and said don’t use too much soap because it will ruin your lava lamp.  He also said to use 1 tablespoon of regular table salt and use the straw to add it, which I did and it still won’t rise.

I’m not sure if every time I had to rinse it out and added more soap if the soap ruined the wax or what, but it’s not rising anymore at all.  I rinsed it out again and didn’t add anything and it is just not working.  I think I screwed it up beyond repair.

Of course I have questions, like did I use the wrong dish liquid?  It’s Palmolive anti-bacterial, maybe it didn’t have enough of the right ingredient.  Maybe I used the wrong epsom salt.  The epsom salt I have is generic and it’s hard as a rock.  I assume it’s because the ziplock bag it is in wasn’t manufactured properly because the zips don’t line up right so air gets in, maybe that’s why it’s hard, maybe moisture got in.  Perhaps if I bought a brand name epsom salt then it might work, but what if I bought some and tried it and it still messed it up?  What if, what if, what if…

Another update:  It works!  Here is a brand new post with a video.

Did I Have A Mini Stroke?

Ok I know someone is going to call me a hypochondriac but this happened to me last night and I want to know what happened to me.  I might have had a mini stroke, at least that’s what someone told me.

Last night I was watching Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles on SyFy channel and I sneezed.  It wasn’t a small sneeze, it was one of those sneezes where you scream AAAAAACHOO nearly at the top of your lungs.  Right when I sneezed, my left ear popped.  You know how when you are driving for a long time going uphill and through mountains and your ears start feeling clogged up?  It was like that but in my left ear and worse than driving uphill.

I thought it would stop and my ear would pop back to normal but it didn’t.  Everything around me started spinning so I sat up.  I was looking at my desk chair and it was just spinning out of control, but it wasn’t the chair, it was my eyes, I could feel them spinning.

I sat there on the edge of my bed waiting for it to stop, thinking “what am I going to do if this doesn’t stop?”  I started yelling cuss words, although that didn’t make it stop lol.

Gradually the spinning started to slow and my ear slowly started going down, you know like how a balloon deflates from a tiny microscopic hole?  It went on for about 5 minutes or so.  I didn’t know what to do, I couldn’t move past sitting up because my balance was totally off.  You know, the inner ear thing.  It even took me a couple of minutes to sit up because of my balance.  I can’t imagine if I had to get up, I’d probably walk in circles and not get any where.

So, what was that?  Did I have a mini stroke or what?