Month: September 2018

Connecting the Dots to Awareness

I got on the scale on Monday and saw that I gained a pound.  I was relieved because it was only one pound.  It was no big deal, but I knew that gaining one pound could easily lead to packing on more weight if I let it happen.

I had noticed changes in my body and, before things got out of hand, I insisted on getting weighed.  Great decision.  Facing one extra pound is so much better than facing fifty.  Looking at the food log I keep each day on my phone, I had been eating more sandwiches lately.  Pumpernickel and rye bread exclusively, but still.  So, it’s time to cut back a bit on the sandwiches.

The old me would have delayed getting on the scale, rationalizing that I would lose the weight first and then get weighed.  Instead, I gained more weight and put off getting weighed again and again and again.  I was ashamed of my weight gain and afraid to face it.

Now, at the age of 51, having lost the weight and feeling the healthiest I’ve ever felt—physically, psychologically, emotionally and spiritually—I don’t want to go back to feeling unhealthy and ashamed.  It’s amazing how the mind shifts once you discover what life is like on “the other side.”

It’s even more amazing how one healthy change leads to others, such as …

Once I moved out of the cave (i.e. the basement room I lived in while the upstairs was being renovated last year), I made sure the satellite TV box in my bedroom was moved into the cave so I would not fall back into the habit of having the TV on all the time.

From time to time, I still find myself getting sucked into the “YouTube vortex” to satisfy my video craving.  But now, I recognize when the videos I am watching start to depress me or numb my brain.  So I either watch crocheting and knitting videos that teach me how to make new handicrafts or I shut down YouTube completely.  If I really need some media, I turn on an audio podcast and pick up a crochet or knitting project so I am being productive.

These changes are helping me sleep better, think better, function better, FEEL BETTER.

It’s all about awareness:  My brain is finally connecting the dots to how the rest of my body feels based on the choices I make.

Oh!  Before I close this week’s blog post, I’ll share with you how I get weighed.  There used to be a sitting scale for people who use wheelchairs at Atlantic Rehabilitation in Morristown, NJ.  When I discovered the sitting scale was no longer there, my friend Lisa suggested I wheel my chair right onto the the scale in the reception area at Bernardsville Animal Hospital.  So, thanks to Lisa and the kind folks at BAH, I am getting weighed on a regular basis, right along with your pets!

Until next week, InspiraGang!

Andrea
aka InspiraGirl

Start Before You’re Ready

This is my eighth InspiraBlog entry. When I re-launched the blog, I made the decision to post a new entry each Wednesday.  Sometimes, I don’t post until the afternoon or evening.  But, so far, I’ve kept to the scheduled day.

I have made attempts to start blogs before and, around the third week, I missed my deadline by a day. The following week, I let the deadline slip by two or three days. Then, I only posted once a month and not on a consistent day. Finally, I ended up feeling lousy about myself and stopped blogging altogether because I’d lost my steam and I figured I’d lost my audience.

So why resurrect the blog?  Because I enjoy writing and I want to use my blog to help people, especially since I have so much to share about the experiences, realizations and lessons from this past year of bed rest and healing.

I was scared to do it.  Will people read it? Will it resonate with with my audience? Will they stick with it from week to week?

I have a small audience, but I know growing an audience takes time, so I remain committed.

For now, having a small audience is a good thing.  It gives me time to work out the kinks  … if need be, change the day and time I post based on when the blog stats show I am reaching the widest audience, find out which topics are resonating with people and focus on those areas (and weed out the topics that don’t resonate) based on the readers’ comments.  It also gives me time to increase my confidence.  I keep my blog posts in the draft folder until the very last moment and it takes me and a lot of guts, and sometimes hours, to press the PUBLISH button.  It does get easier–that is, less nerve-wracking–with each blog entry I share with you.

Before I re-launched the blog, I kept telling myself I wasn’t ready.  But that was my fear talking and I can tell you that the fear has significantly decreased in the past month and a half.  So perhaps this blog should be titled Start While You’re Still Scared Because the Fear Will Disappear.

Do you have a fear you want to overcome or a start before you’re ready experience to share?  Also, what topics do you want to read about in future blog entries?  Please post in the comments below.

Thanks for reading, InspiraGang!  See you next week!

Andrea
aka InspiraGirl

Shoulda, Coulda, Woulda … Yada, Yada, Yada

Yesterday was 9/11. I also had a wound check-up scheduled.  On the way to the appointment, we passed Heartworks House, where the memorial ceremony was taking place.  Knowing that I had to take care of my health, I still didn’t want to be going to the doctor.  On this day of all days, I wanted to be at that memorial supporting my friends.  Thankfully, I had the Heartworks meeting to look forward to last night (via Skype) and it did my soul a world of good because …

My check-up did not go well and I was bummed.  Last week, the doctor declared the wound healed and stopped the stem cell treatment, even though I have the availability of three more applications of the treatment.  I had an uneasy feeling from that moment on and it would not go away.  I should feel so much happier hearing that the wound was healed.  Why didn’t I feel like shouting the news from the rooftops and celebrating?  Well, now I know.  The wound is not fully healed … NOT YET.  In the past week, the wound opened up slightly–those pesky .2 centimeters (2 millimeters)–a minuscule amount, but distressing nonetheless.  So, I started “shoulding” all over myself.

I should have listened to my intuition.

I should have known this thing wasn’t healed yet.

I should have insisted on continuing the treatment.

I didn’t and I was pissed off at myself.

Was all hope lost?  No.  We are resuming the treatment next Monday, and I have faith that it will work and the wound will heal completely.  Still, the nagging questions and negative thoughts linger in my worn-out brain.

What if I this thing doesn’t heal?

What if I did have the surgery?  Would it have worked and would I be up and about by now?

What if I wasted this whole year?

Then, it hit me…  I was wasting time on “should haves” and “what ifs.”  It’s a huge waste of friggin’ time, my friends, and it doesn’t do any good.  It’s counterproductive and it just makes you feel worse.  You can’t change the past, but you can make changes in the present that positively affect your future.

What I can do going forward is:

Regain my positive outlook.

Keep saying and writing my positive affirmations, especially “I am healthy.”, “I make healthy decisions.” and “My derrière continues to heal.”

Continue to reach out to you, my InspiraGang, when I need a boost of encouragement.

Please keep the prayers, positive vibes, cards, letters and visits coming.  In fact, I would love it if you would post some positive thoughts in the comments below.

Oh, and please share the link to this blog with your friends, family and colleagues.

Thank you for being there for me, InspiraGang.  You heal me and I am eternally grateful.

Until next week,
Andrea
aka InspiraGirl

The “New Normal”

Tuesday, September 4, 2018 was a memorable day.

It was the day I received the news that my pressure wound healed.  It was also one year ago to the day that I broke the news of my wound diagnosis on Facebook.  Fifty excess pounds ago as well, I realized as I watched the video.

I knew when I shared the healing news that some might think this journey was complete, that I would immediately be sitting up and that my life would resume as it had before the wound interrupted it.  I also knew that would not be the case.  A “new normal” is now staring me in the face.

When the doctor told me the wound had healed, he also said that I was to continue on bed rest and come in for weekly check-ups for three more weeks to ensure that my derrière stays healed.  If it does, then I can start what is being called a sitting protocol.  This is where I sit for perhaps a half-hour a day for a time, then an hour, then two hours, and so on, until I reach this “new normal”, which is supposedly sitting only eight to 10 hours a day for the rest of my life.

Yup.  The wind was knocked out of me with that news this past February.  I have not shared it widely until now because I have been absorbing this gut punch.

More accurately, I have been trying to figure out how I can buck the system, or at least modify it to fit my lifestyle, because I couldn’t imagine how I was going to do all the things I wanted to do with this restriction.

Despite my handicap, or perhaps because of it, I lead a very active life … out and about on a regular basis facilitating my inspirational workshops, networking, spending time in my favorite virtual offices writing new inspirational material, creating websites and social media profiles, meeting with clients, socializing, etc.  As long as I had access to a wheelchair-friendly restroom, I could move about my day easily and with few restrictions.

But now … Hey Universe, Is this really the “new normal?”  Are you telling me I am sentenced to sitting only eight to 10 hours a day for the rest of my life?  How the frack am I going to do that and still maintain an active lifestyle?  Un-freaking-imaginable, not to mention, un-bleeping-acceptable.

Is this punishment for my already embarrassing weight gain that supposedly contributed to the pressure wound in the first place? (Shaking my fist at the sky)

Believe me when I tell you that bitching about one of life’s crappy curve balls becomes counterproductive very quickly.  I have to move on and figure out things like:

  • How to get in a bathtub (Sitting on a hard surface, even for a short bath, will probably be a no-no.)
  • How to drive ( I cannot drag my butt over the wheel of my wheelchair to get in my driver’s seat like I used to do.)
  • How to travel by car or by plane for long trips  (Wouldn’t a tour bus be awesome?!)

Have I figured any of this out yet?  Nope, and this is just the tip of the iceberg.  I have tons of logisitics to figure out.  As Marie Forleo says, “Everything is figureoutable.”  Well, let me tell you, InspiraGang, I am up to the challenges.  I can do this.  I know I can.

More to come on this topic in future blog posts.

When you were faced with a “new normal”, how did you deal with it?  Please share your experience in the comments below.

Your never-normal InspiraGirl (and thank God for that!),
Andrea