Saturday, May 3, 2014

Pharmaca Personal Weight Challenge and The Asthma Chronicles

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I have asthma. I think I've been in denial about that. But with my never-ending cough I finally broke down and went to the doctor. My doc was out so I saw a stand-in. He was one of those, "I'm in a big hurry, let's move this along" sort of docs. Hate that. But anyway, here's what he said.

Because I was also waking up feverish at night he thought I might have a bacterial infection, though he doubted that. But he put me on antibiotics just in case. More probable was a chronic lung inflammation secondary to poorly managed asthma. So he also put me on a 5-day course of oral steroids, Prednisone, and a Flovent inhaler. Oh joy.

I remember from my medical social work days that steroids can make you moody. Being in my post-operation recovery phase, I wasn't ready for moody. So I opted to take the antibiotics and hold off on the steroids.

In the meantime, I met up with Janine from Pharmaca for our second session in their Personal Weight Challenge. We reviewed my goals from last session.

1. Maintain my weight in the post-surgery recovery phase. Of course I'll gain some immediately after due to swelling, etc, but within a few weeks I should be back to normal. I won't be able to exercise for a while so I want my eating to be balanced and healthy to help maintain my weight.

2. After the surgery, improve healthy eating habits. Yes, I'd like to lose these 6-7 pounds I gained in the last six months but I'm not putting this goal in those terms. I'd rather focus on the unhealthy eating behaviors with the knowledge that doing so will mean my weight will take care of itself.

I believe I'm doing stellar in both departments. My weight was 144.6, 29.2% body fat - and all my other stats looked good too. So the docs removed about five pounds during the surgery but they haven't gone anywhere as yet. Does that mean I gained five pounds? Ah heck, who cares. I think part of goal #2 needs repeating, "focus on the unhealthy eating behaviors with the knowledge that doing so will mean my weight will take care of itself."

I'm doing great with the eating. There are slips here and there, food eaten that I didn't really want or feel good about, but on the whole, it's been good.

So Janine and I talked a lot about my asthma. In the end I decided to try this, Integrative Therapeutics Ivy Calm. I'm drinking two teaspoons twice a day. I also discussed some other options with Janine, including a salt inhaler and a homepathic spray. In the end I decided to hold off on the others until I do the steroids because I won't know what's working. I also got another round of probiotics and the Vital Adapt for adrenal support.

And the cough just didn't budge so I finally broke down and started the steroids this past Wednesday. The first couple of days they were like a miracle cure, my cough just disappeared.

On Thursday I went to the plastic surgeon for my second post-surgery follow up and got the all clear to start exercising again, with some limitations. NO running and NO weight lifting. What does that leave? The elliptical, the stationary bike and walking.

Did I mention it's been a stressful week? The steroids are making me feel all tense, wound up, almost like I'm looking to start a fight. Not good when you're in my line of work. So yesterday I decided to treat myself to a fancy lunch. I ordered the flank steak and french fries, asked them not to bring the bread to the table, and reminded myself that I can eat all the food I want to eat - IOW, don't be afraid of the french fries.

Yes, it was as good as it looks. And I had all the fries I wanted, which wasn't actually a lot with all that meat. I ate about 1/4 of the fries and felt good. I struggled with the waste a bit but reminded myself that eating food that my body doesn't need is a bigger waste than discarding them. Still, it's hard sometimes, especially when the food is so good.

Like I said, it was a busy, stressful week at work and the fancy lunch was nice but it didn't touch the stress. By the end of the workday yesterday I was SO ready to visit the gym. As usual I was running late and had a preschool party to get to so I only had 20 minutes.

I hopped on the elliptical and within minutes I was thinking, "Thank God for the elliptical." It's like a machine made for someone recovering. So low impact, such smooth, easy movements. I ellipted (is that a verb?) away, built up a sweat and was probably smiling. I was so happy. By the time I hopped off 20 minutes later I felt like a new woman! And then the wheezing returned. Ugh. Guess I'll follow up with the doc soon. My doc, not hurryitup doc.

Today my midsection is a little sore and I'm sure it's from the exercise. I want to go to the gym again but I'm trying to be smart about it. Maybe tomorrow I'll do the upright bike. For today, I'm off to buy new running shoes before I get ready for a work going-away party for a dear friend I used to work with. I went to lunch (and ordered breakfast) with another friend today and as much as I wanted the crab/avocado/jack omelete (and I mean I really wanted it) I ordered the veggie omelet and asked them to go easy on the butter and cheese, with fruit instead of potatoes. I did eat the toast (which I asked for dry but came with butter and I ate anyway).

didn't think to snap a pic until I was halfway done
And, for those of you curious about what I eat, here's a random lunch picture from last week.

work cafeteria lunch - slice of ham, roasted veggies, salad, chili bean soup