December 17, 2009

FTF Update #1

Dad had a good day today, and I need a break from all the medical drama, so I figured I'd post a quick update about the Fight the Flab plan...

A couple of you asked if I had a specific plan (other than 2 hours per day). The short answer is, not really. But we have an exercise room that is part of our master bedroom suite. It includes a commercial-grade treadmill, an elliptical machine, a stationary bike, a weight bench with barbells, a free weights set, an exercise ball, a bun roller, and a tv with two Tiv.os connected to it.

So, really, I have no good excuse for not being the most in-shape person in the world.

Informally, I'll probably mostly walk and jog on the treadmill, because once I get to the point where I can run at least a mile and doing that feels good rather than feels like my lungs are going to explode out of my chest, I love that feeling - it's highly addictive. Also, it's easy to measure progress in terms of distance, time, and speed. (My goal is to get to the point of being able to run 2 miles without stopping at a 6 mph pace, i.e. a 10-minute mile.)

But I'll probably also do the bike and elliptical from time to time, and I'm making R play tennis with me on the weekends. He's much better at it than I am, but he's very patient with me.

So, here's how it went for the first week:

Day 1:
Did 20 minutes of walking on the treadmill in the morning. Was determined not to fall short of the 2 hours on my very first day, so walked another 1 hour and 40 minutes after work and dinner. Wondered how sore I would be the next morning. Began to think that maybe the one month plan would be better as a one day plan.

Day 2:
Stood on the scale. Down 1.4 pounds from the day before. The one month plan is back on. Not really much soreness to speak of.

Did no exercise in the morning before work. Still, highly motivated by the weight loss, so did 2 hours on the stationary bike after work. After the first 50 minutes, bottom was rather sore and a bit numb. Decided to rig a way to bike from a recumbent angle, so moved the bike to a place where it couldn't move, propped the bun roller up behind it so that I could lean against it (isn't that what those things are for??), sat on the floor and pedalled from there.

After about 20 more minutes, wondered if it would still count as exercise if I popped a bag of popcorn and ate it while continuing to pedal. Resisted the urge until after I finished the entire 2 hours. Popcorn (organic, low-fat) is particularly tasty after burning all those calories.

Day 3:
Stood on the scale. Down 0.8 pounds from the day before. Not quite as good as Day 1, but then again, I did spend an hour exercising while literally sitting on my ass on the floor, so figured it still wasn't bad.

A little bit of soreness, but it was the first day of rest on the plan, so no big deal. I could get used to the rest. Still watched what I ate and ate healthy, though.

Day 4:
Stood on the scale. Up 0.6 pounds from the day before. DAMN. 0.6 pounds equals 2,100 calories. I didn't even eat 2,100 calories in the entire day, plus I burned some just from, you know, breathing and stuff. Not fair.

Had an extremely early, long, stressful day at work. Didn't finish until much later than usual. Renting a movie and vegging on the couch with R sounded like a much better option than 2 hours of exercise. Did no exercise at all, but still ate decently.

Day 5:
Stood on the scale. Up another 0.6 pounds from the day before. Double DAMN. Again, didn't take in nearly enough calories to account for this weight gain. Have I mentioned that I hate my thyroid?? Well, technically I don't have one anymore, but you know what I mean.

Skipped the two hours of exercise again today, but spent hours on my feet in the kitchen baking cookies and homemade donuts with a neighbor and my mom. (Who, by the way, felt compelled to point out to the neighbor multiple times what a lazy person I am because I use a house cleaning service and what a horrible house manager I am because there is dust on the tops of picture frames and I don't fire the cleaning service over it, until the neighbor stepped up and said she'd probably still have a cleaning service even if she didn't work. At which point my mom - who was the one who invited the neighbor over for this festive little holiday gathering in the first place - left the kitchen and went to sit and pout in her room for two hours. Fortunately the neighbor is great, so it wasn't quite as awkward as it could have been.)

Anyway, had only hot chocolate, two pieces of pizza, and a couple of mini cookies the entire day.

Day 6:
Stood on the scale. Down 1.2 pounds from the day before. Yea! Eating practically nothing, although it really wasn't on purpose, paid off.

In a better mood because the backsliding on the scale had been erased. Talked R into playing tennis for an hour. Were on a set of courts that had two courts side by side. Had you glanced over casually while we were playing, you would have thought we were playing some weird made-up version of the game that involved both courts, for the amount of running over to the other court that we had to do. But, heart rates were up from all the sprinting and quick movements, there was lots of laughing, and I managed not to bean R in the head (or at the site of his ICD) with the ball, so the day was a success.

There was more last week, but that's all I can remember off the top of my head for now.

Overall, the progress has been slow. Before we left, I was down a total of about 3.5 pounds in just under two weeks. That's not bad, I know, but with 30 pounds as the goal, I was hoping for something a bit faster. But then again, if I had stuck to the 2 hour a day plan (I'm averaging closer to 1 hour a day), it probably would be coming off a bit faster.

It didn't occur to me to pack the scale when we were throwing things in our suitcase (yes, I'm serious - I would have brought it with me), but I think I'm still doing okay so far. My jeans are lose now to the point that I keep pulling them up several times a day, so I either need to buy a belt or get the next smaller size. And I spent half an hour on the hotel's treadmill yesterday. The fitness center had a scale. I stood on it after I ate breakfast, with my running shoes and workout clothes on, and I was okay with what the number was, so I'm hoping that means the number on my scale (na.ked, first thing in the morning after going to the bathroom but before eating) would have been good.

And yes, I am the kind of person who would cut my hair or shave my eyebrows off if I thought it would make the number on the scale lower. But I only have so much hair, and I suspect that being bald and eyebrowless probably wouldn't be my best look...

December 16, 2009

Dad's Still With Us

We arrived at the hospital at about 9:30 Sunday night to find Dad awake and talking, his personality and sense of humor totally intact. After his wife called us to let us know it looked like the end was eminent, he started to improve a bit.

She told him we were on our way. He had told her earlier that day that he was ready to meet Jesus, but when he heard we were coming, he told her he wanted to try to still be able to see us, and he didn't want any more medication that would cause him to be sleepy or not be able to communicate, i.e. no pain meds and no anti-anxiety meds.

So I've slept in his room (along with his wife) for the past three nights. He's having ups and downs, but he's a fighter, and now he's saying he has more living to do here on earth.

This afternoon, we were able to put him in a wheelchair, and his wife took him for a "date" sightseeing around the hospital. While they were out and about, I stayed in his room. I realized I was starting to feel a sore throat come on, so I called R to pick me up. I'm going to try to get a good night's sleep at the hotel and hopefully fight this off.

We're not quite sure what to do about the length of our visit, though. We only bought one-way tickets, and we've been extending R's hotel room day by day. When R's not chauffering me to/from the hospital or running around doing errands for us (like doing a load of laundry so that Dad has clean shorts to wear), he's been hanging out in the hotel room trying to work, but it's somewhat difficult for him to do remotely.

I may have him go home in a couple of days, but figuring out what to do myself is a bit more difficult. The doctors haven't really been able to give us a clear timeline; they say it's possible that there could be a sudden turn for the worse in a matter of hours, or it could be a month or more.

I'm considering trying to find an apartment that can be rented on a weekly or monthly basis and staying here, because it's easier for me to work remotely. Or maybe we should both head home and plan to come back in a week or two. I don't know what to do.

December 13, 2009

Rushing to Dad's bedside

His wife called a few hours ago. We may not get there in time. She asked if I wanted them to try to keep him alive until then, but I told her I'd rather we do what is best for him. We saw him in October, he was healthier then and happy. It was a good visit, that's the way I want to remember him.

We're rushing to the airport now. I'm holding up fine, except when my thoughts drift to "If we have babies, he won't get to meet them when they're born." And then the tears come, so I must stop thinking that.

We don't have internet access where he lives, so it may be several days before I have a chance to update again.

December 03, 2009

My Crazy Plan (aka Fighting the Flab)

I think I spent more than half of November asleep. During the awake part of the month, I managed to fire the endocrinologist (well, not so much "fire" as "slink away silently") and cajole my family doc into giving me an Rx for T.3 toward the end of the month(also lowered the Synt.hroid at the same time).

Miracle of miracles, the first day I took the T.3, I no longer needed a two-hour nap in the afternoon and haven't needed one since. It continues to astound me how much of an advocate thyroid patients need to be for themselves! Far, far more than you need to advocate for yourself during IF treatments, and that's saying something.

So, now that I am once again wide awake and have enough energy to do something more than just drag my sorry self back to bed, I have devised a plan. You all know how much I love a good plan. Hopefully this will be one of the rare ones that actually works out.

I feel like I need to lose more weight before we attempt a transfer, not so that I can look svelte on the transfer table - because believe me, the amount of weight loss I have in mind still won't get me anywhere near svelte - but so that I can approach a potential pregnancy from a healthier starting point.

Translation: I'd like to lose another 30 pounds between now and the end of February or March, which is when we're tentatively planning to do a transfer.

The first 30 pounds pretty much fell off between March and August after I realized my problem was that I hadn't been eating enough for my overactive thyroid. But since the little sucker was removed three months ago, the weight loss immediately came to an abrupt halt. I gained about 5 pounds at one point after the surgery, but I've battled it back down so that now I'm only about 1 pound above where I was since the surgery.

This sounds crazy, and ambitious, and probably ill-advised I realize, but I'm going to give it a go. Because what have I got to lose, except for hopefully an amount of weight that is nearly equivalent to one of our dogs? So, here's the plan: Starting with Dec. 1, the goal is to exercise for two hours per day on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, then take a break on Thursdays, back on for Fridays through Sundays, a break on Mondays, etc.

All in all, that should equate to 44 hours of exercise over the course of a month. Uhh, maybe I shouldn't say it like that, because that sounds like a lot.

Keep in mind, I'm not planning to do this forever. My goal is to start with one month, and if it works and I feel up for another month, I might continue in January, but that's as far as it will go, and then I know I will have to settle into a much more sane plan.

I'll post periodic updates, because I'm sure some hilarity (or hopefully at least some mildly chuckle-worthy moments) will ensue...

Wish me luck. And muscles that overcome soreness quickly. And joints that don't hold this against me.