Walking into a new and brighter life.

Walking into a new and brighter life.

The healthy me

The healthy me

Finding your way around

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This I know.................

This I know.................

Friday, April 29, 2011

What is Emphysema?


What is Emphysema?

Emphysema is a long-lasting and continuously advancing ailment affecting the lungs particularly the lower respiratory tract. The physical structure and the functionality of the lungs are damaged as the very tissues supporting it are destructed leading to breathlessness or wheezing. The exhalation becomes difficult as the tissues surrounding the alveoli is damaged and are not capable of holding their shape. This panting condition gets poorer as time progresses and can be fatal as well. This condition falls under the category of diseases called chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Hollow bag like structures, alveoli are responsible for the absorption of oxygen into the blood. In normal healthy lungs, upon inhalation the air is passed through upper respiratory tract and then within the alveoli and the bronchioles. It has been found that if the lungs of a person have been subjected to irritants and smoke for long, then the pliability of the alveoli and bronchioles is reduced considerably. This potentially hampers normal breathing and inhalation of oxygen due to the destruction of the alveoli walls.

The prime cause of emphysema is smoking. Prolonged exposure to irritants as found in polluted air, chemical exhausts and dust are other reasons as well. Long term passive smoking and heredity are also two of the reasons of development of this condition. Though the chances of acquiring it due to heredity are rare, but it can if a baby is born without a particular protein supposed to protect the lungs. The protein is alpha 1-antitrypsin and its absence is called AAT deficiency related emphysema. If a person already has AAT deficiency and is an active smoker, then his/her condition can be aggravated. The ailment majorly affects middle aged or senior people. Nonetheless it can affect young as well. Complications can lead to additional symptoms apart from breathlessness.

Emphysema Stages and Life Expectancy

The prognosis of emphysema is done by a unique staging process inclusive of pulmonary function testing (PFTs). Here the patient is made to blow air through a tube in order to measure the airflow. Due to emphysema, air is trapped inside his lungs and it will be difficult for him to blow air out of lungs forcefully. Based on the staging test, it can be classified into four stages of mild (stage 1), moderate (stage 2), severe (stage 3) and very severe (stage 4). These stages are referred as GOLD (global initiative for chronic obstructive lung disease) criteria.

For determining the life expectancy with emphysema, spirometry is done. This is actually the measure of the percentage of air which is exhaled in a second. This is termed as forced expiratory volume over one second or FEV1. Almost 80% of mild or stage I emphysema patients have a mild emphysema life expectancy of more than 4 years. If an adult is perfectly healthy, then the reading of the spirometer is betwixt 80 to 100 percent. A person who has emphysema and who’s reading on the spirometer is below 35 percent; then the prognosis of the disease depicts the last period of emphysema and the Stage IV emphysema life expectancy or in other words the end stage emphysema life expectancy is about four years. Only 50% of people with severe emphysema survive beyond four years. However, if the stage 4 emphysema is left undiagnosed then the life expectancy is reduced to 2 to 3 years. In the final stage suffers from extreme difficulty in breathing, absence of activity tolerance along with consistent coughing with discharge of phlegm.

Stage II is called the moderate emphysema in which the FEV1 is below 80 percent but at least more than or equivalent to 50 percent of the normal. About 60-70% of people with the stage II have a moderate emphysema life expectancy of more than four years.

The meaning of the word “bulla” is anomalous growth of the skin which is filled with fluid. In bullous emphysema, the size of the alveoli is increased due to irregular spaces filed with air. The air sacs get enlarged thereby restricting the amount of oxygen into the bloodstream. These enlarged and stretched alveoli gets ruptured in due course and immediate surgery is required. The bullous emphysema life expectancy increases up to after a surgery.

I tend to disagree with the life expectancy.  I think there are so many variables that can prolong life.  A good diet and exercise program, good circulation, good breathing techniques, weight, age.  There are just so many factors.  2 years ago... the above would have scared me to death.  I spent the first 6 months waiting for something dreadful to happen to me.  I finally figured out that I had better get on with life instead of waiting to die.

Just from last year (looking back in this blog) I can see many changes with me.  For one... I am more serious about my weight loss and exercise, but in some areas I can tell I am declining.  My lung pain is probably at least 30% worse than this time last year.  I am quicker to have anxiety attacks when my breathing worsens.  I am having issues with my heart, or I should say my pulse rate.  My eye sight is nearly twice as bad as this time last year.  I think that is due to the inhaled steroids I use daily.  I need more sleep in a 24 hour period to feel like I can thrive during the day.  I am sleeping most days 10 to 12 hours.  I have never done that in my life. 
I am having more issues with air quality and harsh odors inside the house too.  Even bacon cooking can make me run to a different room. 

I intend on fighting this every step of the way.  I won't give up and I won't just lay down and wait to die.  There is too much life to live, and too many people I want to spend more time with.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Before I lay me down to sleep

Did you ever kneel at your bedside as a child and say that prayer?  I don't know why, but tonight I remembered doing that when I was little.  Some nights I would get lazy and say God Bless everyone I know, and other nights I would go on and on naming everyone and their pets.  LoL  Mom or Dad would wait patiently while I dragged out the prayer.  .... Just a memory I had.

I was back on the trampoline today for the first time since the heart catheter.  My leg muscles were tight.  It felt good though and I managed to get an hour and a half in.  I really need to start working on my upper body and arms.  I want a miracle exercise I can do. 

I was reading my hospital release papers today to try and find out how long this dressing has to be over the puncture site from the catheter?  I didn't find out that, but I did read I was supposed to call and make a follow up appointment with the Cardiologist.  Oops.  I called today and the nurse was supposed to call me back, Nope.  I'll call them again tomorrow.

My Weight Watchers group is getting ready to do a 5k walk the end of May.  I am working myself back up for it, then in the first of June the Hospital is having a 5k walk/run that I want to do.  It really will all depend on the course.  If there are any hills I will be out.  I am a flat lander these days.

This will be the first entire week I have kept BodyBugg records since 2 weeks ago.  When I started having heart issues, I quit keeping track.  So, instead of boring you every day with charts, I will just post at the end of each week.  Or maybe on the day I go to weigh ins.  I seem to be keeping on track.  I even drank water today, which for me is like drinking lighter fluid... I just am not a water person.  I found flavored zero calorie water, but I really wonder how good that is for a person? 

I went through my closet yesterday and took out all my winter things.  I had Bill bring the tubs up that I store them in, and then I went through everything and figured out what is WAY too big and can be given away, and what will be good next winter.  Then as I brought out my Spring and Summer things I did the same.  Bottom line is... Goodwill will love me, but I will have to get a few things as the seasons change. 

Oh... Like the new overhaul?  I get bored easily with things and want to change everything.  I move my furniture around at home so much it's kind of ridiculous.  LoL  Bill has gotten used to this over the years.  I also about every 5 years want to repaint and change colors in my house.  It's a good thing furniture is reasonable and paint is fairly cheap.
Anyway... It feels like a good change to the blog, hope you like it.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

A late Weigh in and Catching up

Last I wrote it was Friday and I was feeling pretty well. 

Saturday we went to dinner with the family and after we ordered and after we ate the appetizer's and I drank an iced tea, I leaned in to Bill and told him I needed to go home quickly.  All of a sudden this feeling came over me that I needed to lay down and I was going to soon throw up. 
I apologized and Bill took me home. 

For the next 2 days I had the worst intestinal bug I had in years.  I could not hold food or water down.  Finally Monday I got up a few hours at a time just so I could get back to the human race.  I finally ate a grilled cheese sandwich and water. 

Tuesday I went to weigh in and I lost 3.4 pounds.  I am now at 190.2 pounds.  At least 40 more to go... I have redone my target #'s to be easier on myself.  I am not going to feel badly because I don't lose 2.8 pounds every week.  If I have learned nothing from this month... it's that good intentions don't take the pounds off.  I have so many variables with my health.  It really all depends on any given week or day as to what I can accomplish exercise wise. 

I have been doing some battling with depression again.  I know it's simply a result of having a run of bad health.  Being told to limit activity, new medications, emergency room visits, hospital stays.  It hasn't been the best month. 

Sunday night I laid in bed and was feeling so weak and sick ... I just thought this is how my future will be at some point.  Then I remember a doctor somewhere saying... "people don't die from emphysema, they die from it damaging other organs".  Comforting isn't it?  Anyway... Sunday night I realized more than ever that I have to fight this disease. 

I have to be strong and diligent in my effort to lose weight.  I have to continue to guard my health and avoid those with colds/flu.  I have to fight through pain and not give up.  I need mostly to keep a positive attitude, and not let these set backs send me into depression.  They are going to happen once in a while, the sooner I accept that the better prepared I will be. 

Once again I promise to do better about writing every day. 

The chart just shows my progress since I started using the Bodybugg, and my target date that I should meet my goal.  I set my daily goals easier for me.  If I surpass them ... that's great, but if I just make the daily goal then that is fine too.  I am being kinder to myself.  LoL

Friday, April 22, 2011

Shoes and Jelly beans

I slept so deep last night I don't think I moved all night.  I think it was a combination of good meds and exhaustion.  Today I felt more like myself.  I had more energy but I was more sore today.  My arms from where they played poke the patient ached, my groin area and leg was sore. 

I have been showering like I am doing yoga positions.... Trying my best not to get the "site" overly wet.  So I bent over backward to rinse my hair... stood on one foot shaving my legs and looked like I was playing the Hokey Pokey when I was rinsing off. 

I know this is small in the grand scheme of things... but I am afraid I will have a bad weigh in on Tuesday.  I have looked at all the information they gave me when they discharged me, and I see only that they say modify activity for 72 hours.  So, I am assuming that I can tomorrow.  Since we are going out for dinner tomorrow, I think I will wait until Sunday.  We are going to a nice restaurant with Brittney, Fernando and Layla and Maria (Fernando's mom) for an early Easter dinner. 

Then Easter the kids will come over and Layla can hunt eggs and watch movies and we will play some cards and snack.  If it snows we will hide the eggs for Layla in the house.  It won't be the first time we had to do this!  LOL

Britt came over this afternoon and picked me up and we went shopping for Layla's Easter basket and maybe a outfit for her, and maybe an outfit for me for dinner tomorrow.  As it turned out we both bought some awesome shoes... a few dresses for Layla and I bought the cutest big floppy pink hat for Layla to wear tomorrow for dinner.  Britt nor I found any clothes we wanted.  We tried some on though.  Both of us crammed into a dressing room. 
I have the best times with her.  We are so much alike and so close.  We are both somewhat sarcastic and not many people "get" us.  It's fun to be around those who can take a joke and dish them out. 
When she was younger people thought we had an inappropriate relationship because we have always been best friends.  She has always told me everything and I have always trusted her with whatever I shared with her.

Now that we are both older we are even closer I think.  There are never any judgements, because we both get why we do the things we do.  The problem (if there is one) that arises at times is... I don't want to worry her with some of my medical issues until I have answers to them.  Or, if I know she has finals I will hold off telling her things until her life isn't so hectic.  This infuriates her! 

I love her and I am so grateful to the powers that be that I have been so blessed. 

Now... I am off to bed.  The medications are now giving me that warm fuzzy feeling.  Night... :)

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Weigh In and a picture of my heart

First things first.  Tuesday I went to weigh in.... I lost 1.8 pounds finally bringing my total weight loss to 30.8 pounds.  I have been waiting for the moment I broke the 30 pound mark.  So, that was good news and put me in a good mood. 

I had a list of stuff to get done Tuesday.  So, after Weight Watchers I came home and picked up my comforter and took it to the dry cleaners, came home and picked Bill up and took him to Britt's so he could help Fernando paint, stopped by the Heart Center to turn in my event monitor for them to download the 3 episodes I recorded and to change the battery. 

A woman came out holding the event monitor and said there was nothing there... nothing recorded... no pulse, no heart rhythm????  So they replaced it with a different one.

I left there and came home to get my list of questions for Dr. Jennings and left for my doctors appointment.  To make a really long story short... I left the clinic, came home and grabbed a pair of Jammie's, some slippers, bathroom stuff and headed for the hospital to be admitted for chest pain.

She (Dr. Jennings) had tried to get me an appointment with a Cardiologist and the soonest appointment was June 1st.  She said that was unacceptable, so to be a little sneaky she would have me admitted to the hospital (if a bed was available) and a cardiologist would see me the following day.

I called Britt and Bill and told them that at least for the day there was nothing to worry about.  The nurses got me hooked up to the heart monitor and blood pressure cuff and oxygen finger clippy thing. 
Bill came up and brought me a few things I forgot.  While he was there my doctor stopped in to see me.  She said that she had spoke with the cardiologist and they both agreed a heart catheter would be the next course of action.  She said that I would really like Dr. Kubac and she would be there to check on me the next day.
A nurse came in and told me that Dr. Kubac was going to be coming back to the hospital and would come in and talk with me. 

At around 8:00 I sent Bill home and told him I would call and let him know when the procedure would be.

At around 9:30 the doctor came in.  Dr. Jennings was right, I really liked him.  He explained what would happen, talked to me about my history and my family history.  Questioned why my Copd was so bad with my young age?  I told him I was a smoker and very good at it. 

He said he would see me the next morning.  That he moved me to the front of his schedule so my heart cath would be at 8:30.

Around 11:00 a nurse came in and said there were a couple students who were there and since I needed 2 I.V.'s started for the next morning, would I mind if they did it?  Not at all... after all Brittney was soon going to be in the nursing program and I would hope some nice person would help her.  This poor girl tried 8 times in my left arm to start the I.V. and couldn't get it inside the vein... she hit all around it every time, but never could puncture it.  After the 6th time the head nurse said... That's enough, she has had enough.  I said... "No, keep going ... I don't mind."  She attempted 2 more times then the head nurse finished putting both I.V.'s in. 

At midnight the nurse came in and told me that Dr. Kubac called and had moved my procedure up to 7:30... so I called Bill and woke him up to tell him, then I sent Britt a text telling her to just go on to school and her dad would keep her informed.

I went down for my procedure... loved all the people who worked in the cath lab.  One girl told me this is what they do every day, all day so they have it down pat... and I believe her.  I remember a guy telling me he was giving me a drug that would make it so I was still awake and able to talk to the doctor, but I would not feel anything and most likely not remember even being there.  He was right! 

Back at the room I had to lay flat and not move my legs at all for a couple hours, then I was ready to go home.  I was home by 3:00 and in bed sleeping for the night.  I remember getting up at 9:00 and getting on the computer for a few minutes.

Today I feel pretty good.  I couldn't wait to get in the shower.

The doctor brought me this picture... he said my heart is in great shape.  He said my arteries were great.  He also went into my lungs and with dye measured the pressure there.  That report will go to Dr. Jennings and my Pulmonologist. 

He said the pain I am having is most likely in my lungs.  He gave me some percoset and told me if or when I have another episode to take the pain meds and increase my O2 to 5 lpm and recline in a chair doing my best to practice relaxed breathing.

All and all a pretty eventful couple days.  It's not something I would suggest for fun... but not all that bad.  And, I have pictures!  LoL

Monday, April 18, 2011

I'll let you know

I layed in bed last night feeling my chest tighten.  I would have an occasional tweak of pain but it must not have been bad or lasting because I went to sleep at 9:00 and didn't wake up this morning until almost 10:00. 

These long hours of sleeping are so not like me.  I had always been a early riser.  Of course mostly because of smoking.  I really enjoyed my quiet mornings smoking cigarettes and drinking coffee.  Once I quit smoking being up early wasn't so important.  Now... it's just being extremely tired all the time.  I could at any given hour during the day, go in and lay down and sleep for 2 or 3 hours.  It is very rarely that I am full of energy. 

Tomorrow is another weigh in.  I am not sure how this week will go.  I had very good days where I ate well, and exercised enough... but then Thursday came and the rest of the week went off track.  I'll post again to let you know.  I am hoping for a loss.  I really need to keep on track.

I have kept up the trampolining even after the emergency room visit.  It hasn't seemed to make any difference, which makes me wonder about the Costochondritis diagnoses. 

Tomorrow afternoon I will see my primary care doctor and I am hoping to have some answers for any of this.  I'll let you know.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Back to the Hospital

Thursday the 14th started out normal.  I got up, drank a couple cups of coffee and sat down at my computer.  I remember 2 or 3 times telling Bill, "My chest hurts today".  Not bad... just a twang.  I got in the shower and thought letting the hot water run on my chest would make it feel better... all it did was make me shorter of breath which made my chest hurt more.  After about an hour I called my primary care doctor.  I told her the chest pains were back and should I come see her since the time prior to this after a full day of tests the emergency room said most likely Chostrocondritis.  She said back to the emergency room.  So, off we went again.  After about 7 hours being tested and pain meds given they were sure enough that this is not a heart problem.  I was told to get a hold of my doctor Friday and get in to see her.  She was overly busy, so I have an appointment with her for Tuesday. 

I asked the E.R. doctor "So, knowing that this is not a heart issue... if it comes back again what should I do?"  He says... call your doctor.  I say "She told me if I have a heart problem or pain to go directly to the E.R. that they don't have the requirements there for heart issues."..

My primary doctor tells me she is re-submitting her request for a Cardiologist to my insurance, but needs approval before I can be seen.  Then, it's waiting for them to have an opening. 

All of this... and No One is sure if what is happening is even a heart issue. The only thing they do know is that I have tachycardia (rapid heart beat) and heart medication to this point has not helped it to lower.  And, from time to time I have severe chest pain that is not a heart attack.

I expected things to be the same as they were the last time this happened...

This time I noticed that Friday I was exhausted!  Basically the only reason I stayed awake and out of bed was in case my doctor called, which her assistant finally did @ 6:00.  I was in bed soon after. 

Today I am still feeling it.  Bill went over to Britt's today to help her.  Being by myself I took advantage and turned my music up and did housework and laundry.  Going up and down the stairs even.  I even jumped on the trampoline for 15 minutes. 
My chest let me know I had gone too far.  It has been about 2 hours since all that and it still hurts.  Not as bad as Thursday, but enough to let me know I'd better quit doing stuff for a while. 

This is a few hours later and it's still there reminding me.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Weigh In

Today was weigh in.  Last week I gained 1.8 pounds, this week I lost 1.8 pounds.  So, I will consider this a good week, a loss is a loss.  I am getting back on track, exercising again, eating smarter.  I am not going to be hard on myself.

I went to pick up a few things at the store today.  I decided to treat myself and buy a couple pair of Capri pants.  Guessing my size, because my pants I now leave buttoned and zipped and slide them on and off.

I began with a pants size of 22.  Today I bought a size 16 and it is too big.  This pleases me very much.  I still have SO far to go, but I feel smaller.  I feel healthier.

I am flirting with losing 30 pounds.  At one point I was down 29.4 ... now I am at 27 I have lost.  It's still a great start.  And, I know about the plateau's.  I will have patience and keep reminding myself that slow and steady is much better than rapid weight loss.  I am not just changing my diet but I am also getting up and moving which I hadn't done.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Wednesday April 6th's Stats

I just wanted to get this entrire week's worth of bodybugg information and somehow I forgot Wednesday.

I was just looking back at my blogs and I could have sworn I had been posting my daily calorie count and food list.???  I dunno?  I guess I thought very hard about it and just imagined the whole thing!

So... Here is yesterdays food #'s

I will go back and post them.  If for no other reason than to give me a place to follow my progress.  Layla spent the night last night and Britt used this morning to get caught up on some homework and a hair appointment.  She came to pick up Layla and the grand-dog (Foster) around 2:00. 
I get worn out so quick these days.  I am having sleeping issues again.  Getting to sleep usually is not my problem, it's staying asleep.  I am sure that's why I find getting up early in the mornings difficult.  I probably should be taking some kind of vitamin, but the thought of one more pill doesn't appeal to me.

I made wraps today.  I think I will start to make a few different ones every couple days and keep them in the frig handy for those moments that I need something more than a few carrots or cucumbers. 

I took medium sized tortilla's and on one bunch combined low fat cream cheese and finely diced up cucumber and onion and spread on the tortilla, then layered 3 thin slices of smoked turkey breast and rolled them tightly.
These were 190 calories.

The second batch I used the same sized tortilla's and spread the cream cheese over them, then spread canned jellied cranberry sauce over them, then the sliced turkey and some shredded lettuce. 
These had 214 calories.

O.k. ... onto posting the last couple days stats on the bodybugg, then off to an early bedtime.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Taking time with Layla

I am so tired tonight.  Not for any particular reason.  Layla is spending the night with us and she requires a lot of attention.  That is fine with me, I think it's Grandma's job to let her have all my attention when she is here.  Which works well most the time.

I will try and write more tomorrow and post some more recipes. 

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Turkey Wrap with Cucumber and Cream Cheese

(From Rachel Rays Everyday Magazine)

1/4 cup chopped cucumber
4 tablespoons light cream cheese
3 large flour tortilla's
1/4 pound smoked sliced turkey

Stir cucumber and cream cheese;  Spread onto tortilla, line with sliced turkey and roll up.

Spaghetti Frittata

(Thanks to Rachel Ray's Everyday Magazine)

This is great to make ahead and keep sliced portions for lunch or breakfast.

1/2 cup sliced scallions (green onions)
2 teaspoons Evoo (extra virgin olive oil)
1 cup cooked Spaghetti noodles (or other pasta)
6 eggs
1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese (Fresh and grated)

In a nonstick skillet cook onions in 1 teaspoon olive oil, once tender remove to bowl.
Add 1 teaspoon Evoo and pasta to skillet, cook until slightly crisp.
Whisk eggs, cheese and onions and pour over pasta evenly.  Cook for 5 minutes to set thoroughly.  In same pan brown under broiler.

Let set for 5 minutes to cool, then slice into 6 servings.

Watercress Salad

It's really difficult to come up with tasteful things that are different and something Bill will like also.  He gets tired of "diet" food.

1 bunch of Watercress... it usually is where the cilantro and parsley are in the produce section.  Washed and tear or cut the leafs off the stems... makes about 3 1/2 cups. 

4 ounces 2% mozzarella cheese cubed

3 slices Turkey bacon, crumbled

6 cherry tomatoes, halved

Calories 214, 19 grams Protein, 5 grams Carbs, 11 grams Fat, 59 mg Cholesterol, 650 mg Sodium, 1 gram Fiber, 6 gram Saturated Fat, 517 mg Calcium.

You could use Weight Watcher Mozzarella and cut way back on the fat and Cholesterol.

I use watercress in salad a lot for flavor, and often in place of lettuce for something different.

Crispy Southwest Chicken Breasts

(the spiced cornmeal coating gives the illusion of fried chicken without all the calories)

The chicken may be coated and chilled up to an hour before cooking.
This recipe I got out of my cooking club magazine.

1 Egg White
1 teaspoon water
1/4 cup cornmeal
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon salt (I use sea salt)
2 tablespoons flour
1 large chicken breast cut in half
1 tablespoon canola oil (I coated the bottom of a pan)
1/2 cup salsa
1/2 avocado
3 tablespoons chopped cilantro

1)  Whisk egg white and water in a shallow bowl.  combine cornmeal, coriander, cumin and salt in another shallow bowl.  Place flour in a Ziploc bag.

2)  Pound chicken to 1/2 inch thickness.  (I ran a sharp knife through them and filleted them instead of pounding... it's just much quicker)
Add chicken, one piece at at time to flour; shake lightly until coated.  Dip each piece into egg mixture, then coat with seasoned cornmeal. 

3) Heat oil in a medium nonstick skillet over medium until hot.  Cook chicken 8 to 10 minutes turning once.  Cook until golden.  Remove chicken.

4)  Chop avocado into small cubes.  Spoon salsa and cilantro over breast and then add avocado.  Serve and enjoy!

makes 2 servings
Per serving:  300 calories, 14 grams total fat (2 grams saturated fat), 30.5 grams of protein, 13 grams carbs, 75 mg cholesterol, 475 mg. sodium, 3.5 grams of fiber.

We really like this recipe, I just served it with a green salad with a little cilantro and lime juice  to follow the Southwestern flavors.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

This was Tuesday April 5th.  1300 deficit is my daily goal.  I'll call this day a success. 

My daily food intake and the caloric break down.

I am doing my best to work slowly back up to 2 hours a day.  As you can see I made an hour and that was plenty. Baby steps.

Sometimes this posting my life is easier than others.  When I show a weight loss for instance... it's a pleasure to come here and post.  When I struggle and gain weight, the last thing I want to do is put it in writing.  I think this is what is keeping me pushing forward. 

I am recharging myself this month.  April will be my month to get back on track.  I hope to show good weight loss... but also I am going to work to get back to 2 hours a day and 10k steps.  I am half way there.  I won't give up.  If I do, well ... that is letting emphysema beat me.  That will not happen. 

We, well Bill repainted the kitchen for me.  I can say I painted the drawers and the fronts of the cupboards.. but for the most part he did the hard work.  It was gray and black before (his man kitchen).  Well, I took it over and My kitchen I wanted red.  It still has his black touches here and there.  I Love it.  Keep in mind that our house was built in the 20's and the walls are lath and plaster instead of drywall, so any renovation is a major job.  And, nothing is square!  LoL 

I am proud of how it turned out... so I'll share pictures. 

Our kitchen is small and there is NO room for anything.  So, when I asked Bill to take the doors off of this set of cabinets to show off my dishes he wasn't so sure.  I think he likes it now.  We just have more in the pantry and hardly ever used things hiding in plastic tubs under my bed.  LoL

Like I said, we have NO room.. so my spices are on the wall.  At one time they were in that long narrow door right there.. but we turned it back into the ironing board it was meant to be. 

 One last thing before I give in and go to bed ... I have (for the moment) given up late night eating.  Well... I should say... I am eating carrots or grapes or berries instead of chips, crackers or cheese.  Keep your fingers crossed with me that I can keep it up. 

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Weigh In

Tuesday.  Weigh In day.  I layed in bed this morning and so badly wanted to pull the covers up over my head and not go to Weight Watchers.  I didn't though.  I knew this was not going to be a good week because I did ZERO exercise and pretty much just sat around.  Which, would be fine except I did not lower my calories.  That means a weight gain.

I was pleasantly surprised that it was not more.  I gained 1.8 pounds.  I came home with a new determination to get cardio in everyday.  Even if it's 10 minutes.  And, I am back riding the bike.  I am only doing 2.5 miles at a time.  I simply don't have the lung capacity I did a month ago.

After Weight Watchers I went to the Heart Center and had them change the batteries in this monitor I have.  Of course I had to wait.  With my disease pretty much every doctor I see the waiting rooms are filled with people much older than I am.  It is just not common to see someone in their 40's with oxygen.  I would think that this is one place I would fit in and not get looks.  But it's quite the opposite.  No one will make eye contact but when I look up from a magazine they are looking. 
I wonder if there will ever be somewhere I can just be me.  Not the young one with a lung disease.  Or, the one that sticks out at the cardiac center? 

I will keep you updated this week on my weight loss progress.  I plan to be able to see a good result daily in my caloric deficit.  I have a new determination.  I can't just coast along and gain here and there.  I want to reach my goal.  It may not be in June or July... But I will get there!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

A good day

Today was almost Springy outside.  Still cold, but the sun was shining and it was beautiful.  One of those days where you can open the doors and let your house air out for a while. 

I hate the long winters we have.  I always feel like I need to get air circulation to make the house smell fresh and not trapped stale air. 

I turned on my IPod and turned up the volume and cleaned, got dinner ready and walked on the trampoline for 14 minutes today.  I "trampolined" gently and with 2 sports bra's on.  If felt wonderful to exercise.  It made me want to be better about what I am eating, and it just made me feel better about myself.  Funny what 14 minutes can do isn't it?  LoL

It was a wonderful day.  I needed a wonderful day.  I have been fighting depression for a while and today is just what the doctor ordered to get me out of it.  It makes sense now that I think about it... for 3 weeks I have not felt very good, I have been on steroids, then in the emergency room, and told not to do any exercise.  Depression sunk in...
Today I felt better, I exercised and I cared about what I was eating.  Hence the depression lessening. 

So, I have this event monitor on.  They explained to me that when I felt an "event" happening to push the record button.  They said it would hold 5 events and then I would need to bring it in for them to upload the information and clear it back out for me again.  There is a #5 in the upper right hand corner of the device.  Well, no events :) have happened.  I need to take it back in tomorrow to have the battery replaced and get some new leads.  It really is awkward to wear this.  I am glad to have it, in case there is another issue ... at least this would let them know what I am feeling. 

For me it is very hard to try and explain.  And, as funny as this sounds ... Sometimes it is very hard for me to tell the difference between heart pain and lung pain.  There are times when I can definitely feel sharp pains in my lungs, and there is no chance it is heart related.  There are moments though that I really can't tell. 

One thing I will remember and keep in mind is ... when the E.R. doctor told me and then again my primary care doctor told me if you think you are having a heart event... have someone press firmly on your chest.  If the pain worsens then it is most likely NOT a heart issue.  Good to know.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

I took a nap

I trampolined for 10 minutes today and did some walking around through the stores.  We dropped Layla and Foster (her dog) back at home with Britt, and I came home and took a 2 hour nap.

I can't even remember the last time I went in and got under the covers in my bed and napped? 

I just thought it note worthy only because it really is out of character for me. 

I must build back up my stamina.  I must get my strength back. 

This event monitor is a pain.  I only have 2 leads and a control box about the size of a pack of cigarettes.  At night I have to secure it inside a sports bra and hide the wiring.  During the day if I have pants with pockets in them, then the control box can go into a pocket, if not then I wear really baggy shirts and keep it tucked inside the front of my bra. 

With the cannula around my face and this lumpy thing on my chest... I feel like a leper.  That and my forearms are still black and purple with bruises. 
I look forward to the end of the month when this monitor can be given back.  So far no events to record.  Knock on wood for luck. 

Friday, April 1, 2011

I'll do what I can

I have been in a slump.  I recall sometime ago mentioning my depression was creeping back.  It's not completely gone, but I'm feeling better. 

I am finding it very difficult to accept my limitations.  I had a lung infection 3 weeks ago, and then a "heart event" and ended up in the emergency room.  Days prior to that I was feeling fine, exercising, dieting and in control of my life.  It is just so hard to be not in control. 

I have to turn everything over to this disease and during times like this realize that I Will Not spring back from an illness.  That "events" are going to happen whether I like it or not. 

I recall an early visit with my Pulmonologist... he explained Severe Emphysema to me and said this... "Normal healthy adults will get a cold or the flu and be down for a week or so... heal and get back to their life.  People with the damage that I see in your lungs will get a cold or the flu and struggle to recover, and with each episode, do more damage to their lungs and never get back to that point prior to the illness.  He likened it to the rings of a tree.  Slice a diseased lung and you can see the "rings of damage".  It made sense to me then... But I had NO idea how real it would become.

I cannot get my stamina back.  I am trying.  Still no exercising.  I really miss it and keep trying little by little to get to 5 minutes or more.  My lungs hurt.  There is a constant achy feeling in them.  Especially in my right one.  At times the pain is dull, but suddenly for no apparent reason it can get sharp and stabbing with each breath I take.

I am embarrassed by my whining when I was first diagnosed.  I thought I knew pain... I thought I knew what depression was, what helplessness and hopelessness felt like... I had no idea.
And, I am sure I still don't.  I am reluctant to complain too much only because I have seen the end of this disease, and I am not close.  That is not a comforting thought.  To have seen the worst, to have heard that unmistakable gurgling sound, the sound of a chest cavity rattling with each exhale. 

That's why I try tirelessly to be optimistic.  To try and find a positive.  To look at what I can still do, instead of what I've lost.  I know what's coming, so pain or not... tired or not... I will push myself as hard as possible.  The time will come that I won't be able to go and do and see and be part of.... So, I have to do it now.

I am continuing to follow a healthy eating program.  I understand that this is not a "fad" diet... it is a life altering change.  It's O.K. to eat red meat occasionally.  However, at the store today I bought Tofu for the first time.  I had to hide it under the produce so Bill couldn't see it.  LoL  I have never tried it... I have heard it assumes the flavor of what it is cooked with.  So, I am going to try.  I thought a year ago I would never drink anything other than Whole Milk... now I drink skim milk and can't tell the difference.  There are some things I hold onto for flavor.. and use sparingly... like real mayonnaise, butter and cheese. 

I am looking forward to a new week with the hope that I may get back into light biking and gentle trampoline-ing.  I miss it.  I was proud of myself and had the feeling of accomplishment that I don't want to lose.