Saturday Posts . . .

We’ve had an eventful year so far.

We discovered that an invasive vine had infiltrated our shrubbery outside of our home, and was trying to turn our home from a nice clean “European Continental” look into an “English Manor” look. At one point the vines managed to climb all the way up to the eves of the house. After consulting a few different contractors, who each had different approaches to dealing with the problem, we ended up spending nearly $2,000 USD to eliminate the vines completely. In doing so, we also had to sacrifice our bushes.

I’ve also been binge watching several shows that deal with individual survival in the wild. One in particular was “ALONE” – and while I respected all of the contestants who appeared in the show, what caught my attention was how the show contrasted the caloric intake of the contestants with the amount of calories they were expending just to try to survive. Since I’m not in a situation where I can reduce my caloric intake any further, I decided that I need to increase my daily caloric burn if I want to loose weight. That was when I saw a documentary where I observed a medical Doctor who had a “walking treadmill” in his office, which he used while writing reports in between seeing patients. I talked to my wife about that idea, and she told me that her library had one “walking treadmill” in the public area of the facility, and she’d used it a few times and thought it was a good idea. So we ordered one. It arrived yesterday.

Unfortunately, my wife was experiencing back pain when it arrived, so it fell to me to unpack the treadmill and get it set up. That process alone was a major exercise workout, but I got through it. I suffered a couple of minor injuries while doing so, to my left elbow and left hip. Using this treadmill will be something that progresses on a gradient. I’m still convinced that it is a good idea.

Frustration . . .

I’m beginning to think that the physics is against me. When I last checked into a medical facility – for the unbillical hernia repair – I weighed 223 lbs. Okay, I fully acknowledge that muscle mass weighs more than body fat, so it stands to reason that as I build muscle tone in body areas that have seen long-term neglect, weight loss could be a challenge.

But, seriously – only 2 months after beginning my program to get my abs back in shape, I’m now at 239?

Walt Whitman’s health advice rediscovered . . .

US Poet Wat Whitman wasn’t always a successful poet.  During the years before he became successful, he wrote a series on health tips under a pseudonym, and that series (originally published in 1858) was recently rediscovered in a digitized library archive.  You can learn more here:

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-36177820

(For what it is worth – Whitman would have probably endorsed the PALEO diet!)

 

Well, I think it is about time . . .

A couple of days ago I wrote a blog about my frustration at my primary care doc at the VA trying to push me onto statin drugs for my cholesterol.  In her comment on the blog, my good friend Anita pointed at the Mark’s Daily Apple website ( marksdailyapple.com ) and said it is her Paleo Diet guru.  I’m also on the Paleo Diet, but hadn’t seen this site, so I went to take a look.

My chief frustration with the site (at least at first glance) is that it is typical of sites that specialize in fitness – they don’t have anything to say that doesn’t include a fair amount of healthy exercise.  If I want to use his program, I need to be able to follow the program.  But, after a bone tumor in my left femur in 1980, the femur can’t handle that sort of activity.  The permanent limitations I was given back then included: No walking over 1 mile per day TOTAL, No jumping of any kind (like parachute jumps), No pushing pulling or lifting over 30 pounds.

Every time I have ever exceeded those limits, there has been a price to pay.  Stress fractures around the site where the bone tumor was have ensured that a week on crutches each time was the minimum price I’ve paid.  I actually have a pair of aluminum ones in a closet that I’ve used for years.

But – I had an idea today.  My doc asked me on that last visit if I’d thought about getting a hip replacement.  I half laughed and said I might get it someday, but when I do we’d have to replace the whole femur because of the bone tumor that caused all this trouble.

It may be time to do that.

Why?  Because I’m actually only 53 years along.  If I do get a hip/femur replacement, I would have to do physical therapy, and then I’d be free – FREE – to start exercising in earnest again.  Keep in mind – before the tumor I was a candidate for the US Army’s Special Forces training.  A hip replacement before this summer could mean that I’m able to start training for a half-marathon by the time I’m 55.  I can almost get excited just thinking about it.  If I also get the migraine headaches under control, I might even be able to go back to work, part-time at least.

It is something tempting to think about.  Especially since I just had a short phone call with the Veteran’s Choice program, and they are setting me up with an appointment for a primary care doctor HERE IN TOWN.