Healing: Getting Better All the Time (It Can’t Get Much Worse)

I was just going to title this Getting Better, but the Beatles song came into my head.  Let me be clear, I am doing well with my health journey.  I’m down two pounds from last week’s check in, but I’ve been having trouble in my hip.

Last week, I had a bad hip flare in the acetabulum joint.  The pain was bad, but it only lasted about 8 hours.  However, the tendons and muscles around it haven’t stopped being inflamed.  The pain there comes and goes. It isn’t debilitating. I have been able to run and do yoga.

Let me be upfront and clear right here, I’M NOT A BEACHBODY COACH. I like their workouts but I think that a lot of their supplements are way over priced and have no interest in buying most of them.  Most of the reviews of Beachbody videos online seem to be from coaches.  I can still say unequivocally that 3 Week Yoga Retreat, so far, has been a great program for me.  My back feels better when I do it.  I’m two weeks into it and I already feel some differences. I feel like I’m sitting with better posture.  The first sessions, I could barely do downward dog.  Now, I can do it for quite a few breaths and in the proper position. There are a lot of moves I obviously can’t do yet, but that’s why this needs to be an ongoing process.  I plan on doing it every day until April.  Then I might scale it back to a few days a week.  There are also plenty of different other yoga programs on Beachbody, so I plan on having this as part of my regular exercise repertoire.

We also have been doing our Easy 5K with Joey Galloway.  Since we are just starting we have chosen a walk 45 seconds/run 30 seconds ratio for our runs.  This gives us a lot of time for our muscles to recover.  Once we feel really comfortable with this ratio, we will change the ratio. However, this program works us hard without wearing us out.  We also have been taking advantage of the running trails near us. Running in the neighborhood is fine, but sometimes you need a change of scenery. 



Healing: New Year, New Me

I know, the title of this post is as cliched as they come. I don’t care.

For me, it has become a mantra.

I have palindromic rheumatism.  Basically, my white blood cells attack joints and the muscles and tendons connecting them even though they are health.  I don’t have arthritis; I have an autoimmune disease. The joint pain are symptoms.  The joints aren’t the cause. You can read more about my condition here and  here

One of the tings that I have neglected to mention in the previous posts is the depression that comes with this disease.  Pain causes depression.  Chronic fatigue causes depression.  Helplessness causes depression. Now, the medication for me has worked well and my flares are few and far between.  However, the fatigue hasn’t really gone away.

This has led me to not doing much over the last three years.  This in turn has led me to  gaining weight.  Lots of it.  The highest I have been was 242 lbs. At Christmas, I was 239.  I’m on the short side of 5’6″. Most of my weight is around my waist.  If I stay on this path, I’m on the way to having more health problems.

So, I’ve decided new year, new me. I have to clear my mind of can’t.

Step 1:  Diet.  I’m not going to do any weird diet.  Not paleo, low-carb, low-fat diet for me.  I’m going to restrict calories by counting them. I’m going to eat smaller meals and more often.  You can follow my diary on My Fitness Pal. I am making better healthier choices, but not telling myself I can’t have this or that.  I just need to make adjustments for those treats.

Step 2: Yoga.  I’m not one of those people that are very flexible. That’s why I want to do yoga!  Also, it’s not heavy on resistance so It is not hard on the joints.  Any resistance comes from my own advancement into each pose so this allows me to do only those poses that I can. I’m using the yoga programs on Beach Body on Demand, which leads me to…

Step 3: BeachBody on  Demand.  We decided to subscribe to this streaming service.  $99 for the whole year is better than both of us joining a gym from a financial point of view.  Besides the yoga, they have P90X and Insanity as part of it’s lineup. We probably won’t get to them this year.  More our speed is 10 minute workout and T25.  The great thing about it is that they have different aerobic activities for each level.

Step 4: Cycling.  I won a trek hybrid bicycle from our insurance company’s wellness program.  I love it. Living close to the Mississippi River, I’m fortunate that there is a paved path on top the levee next to it.  It’s a tough ride because the winds off the levee can be extremely difficult.  Mrs. Nola Nerd Couple also got a hybrid so hopefully she will join me on a few rides.

Step 5:  Running.  We started doing Jeff Galloway’s run walk program. It’s great on the knees and he has designed it for every speed out there.

Now for the goals:

Main goal:  I’m 229 lbs right now.  I want to be 190 by Christmas.  I want to lose the weight slowly but surely.  If I lose more, that would be fantastic.

Level Up goal:  I do the above and will be able to run a 5K easily. By easily, I mean a sub 40 minute 5k.

+5 experience goal: To do next year’s Star Wars Half-Marathon – Light Side  at Disneyland.

+100 experience goal: To do next year’s Star Wars Half-Marathon – Dark Side at Disney World four months later. This would mean I would have completed the Kessel Run which is a Disney coast to coast challenge.

I’m going to write posts time to time giving updates of how I’m doing, both successes and failures.

Now excuse me while I go work on a new me.




Healing: Palindromic Rheumatism Update

It’s been about two years that I have been diagnosed with Palindromic Rheumatism.  PR acts like Rheumatoid Arthritis except in two important ways.  One, RA is bilateral where PR affects whatever joint it wants.  RA also will provide structural damage to the joints where PR doesn’t. Treatment is the same and pain is the same; however, because of those two reasons, I’m not complaining about having PR instead of RA.  There is some disagreement if there are two separate diseases.  Some believe that that they are, but in more than 40% of cases PR will develop into RA.  This makes some believe that PR is just an early stage of RA.

Before I started treatment two years ago, I was in pain everyday.  A different joint would flare causing immense pain. It made me think that I would have to start early retirement.  After being diagnosed, the pain lessened.  Flares, the intense moments of pain in the joints, decreased in number.  For the last two years, I can count my flares on my hands.  That doesn’t mean they are less intense; they are just less frequent. This leads to me not looking sick so people don’t think I am.

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Healing: How Not to Get PR for Your Website, or Palindromic Rheumatism and Me

My 2014 seemed to be the year of music.  I saw more concerts last year than any other year.  Every trip included a stop at a record store. It was also a year in which my life changed.

Of course, this change started on the day we were going to a concert.

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