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Friday, July 21, 2017

Monday, July 17, 2017


Well, it turns out that doing a lot of kneeling in a 90-minute yoga class can cause a swollen bursa that brings a lot of pain.  I've been babying the right knee but finally went to the doctor for x-rays.  The right knee has two bone spurs on the right and one larger bone spur on the left and the bursa is swollen.  The doctor said the swollen bursa is normally caused by kneeling and the only kneeling I've done recently was in that yoga class.  The doctor advised me to stay away from yoga for the time being.

And last week I decided -- for the millionth time -- to give up coffee because it is causing me to have extreme tremors.  So I stopped coffee around the same time I took the yoga class.  Over the course of the next few days the tremors stopped, but I also developed extreme joint pain -- especially the hips -- and when I did some internet searches one thing that I came up with was caffeine withdrawal.  Caffeine withdrawal can cause a myriad of side effects that can last 7 to 14 days.  The sciatica has let up a bit so I'll wait it out and see what 14 days brings.

I did a bit more "surfing" and came up with a blog of someone who gave up caffeine and they were recording each day of withdrawal.  Sciatic pain was at the top of his list.  But he included a little blurb that I thought was hilarious:

Once upon a time everyone woke up and all the coffee in the world had vanished. In the next week all companies went bankrupt except panadol and ibuprofen. Everybody got divorced or killed someone. Nobody blogged or did any study. Children took over the world and the remaining parents didn't care about that or anything else. The end.

Friday, June 30, 2017


I took a yoga class for seniors today and it was perfect.  So I will be going back.

I had a session with my personal trainer yesterday and that is also going well.

A dear friend of mine died this morning.  He died exactly like Marshall.  Prostate cancer caused by Agent Orange in Viet Nam.  He's been fighting it for several years just like Marshall did.  So sad.

Now, on to the topic of skin cancer.  I've been going to a dermatologist regularly (mainly because my mom died of skin cancer) and there have been a few of what they call pre-cancers and they froze those off.  But there were two spots -- one on the nose and one on the cheek) that they wanted me to use Efudex on.  Efudex is a chemotherapy cream.  You apply it to the designated spots every morning and night and after two weeks if nothing happens except for some redness, it means that those spots are just normal actinic keratosis (I think that's how it is spelled).  What is fascinating about this cream is that you can put it on areas of your skin that are perfectly clear and if there are cancers hiding that haven't surfaced yet, this cream will bring them out.  In a way, that's kind of scary, isn't it?  

Well, if after two weeks, those spots get all ugly looking, that means it was either pre-cancer or cancer.  Well, my two spots got all ugly looking.  So I will have to make an appointment for a double check to be sure this cream got rid of it.

I did a little research on this cream and it appears that some people -- if they can get a prescription -- will apply this cream to their entire face and when the redness clears up, their skin is all brand new and younger looking.  Boy, that seems a little excessive... and dangerous.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Mia and Artemis

Mia's trainer wanted to get Mia out in public today so that hopefully we might encounter other dogs and we could see how Mia reacts.  It was a very hot day so we met at the lake at 5:30, hoping that it would be cooler.  Cheyanne brought her pit bull Artemis again.

Mia continues to get along with Artemis (it's unbelievable the progress she has made).  Here is a picture of Mia getting "re-introduced" to Artemis.
 So we went on our walk and Mia and Artemis were walking side by side beautifully.  Incredible.

However, after a few minutes, Mia started panting and wheezing and having extreme difficulty breathing and her body felt extremely hot.  Cheyanne had water and poured water on Mia's body and forehead and that helped a bit.  We immediately headed back to our cars and Cheyanne carried Mia.  When we got back to the car, I got the air conditioner going and put out water which she devoured.  She started improving immediately.  By the time I got her home she was acting normal again.  She sure scared me.  I'm sure that was a reaction to heat.  I guess we will limit walks while the temperature stays so hot.

I had a session with the personal trainer this morning and that is really progressing nicely.  I see him again on Thursday.

Saturday, June 24, 2017


This morning I went to the Rec Center to take a yoga class.  The title of the class was "Basic Yoga."  To me, that sounded like it might be perfect for me.  HAH!!

I got there 15 minutes early so that I could talk to the instructor about my limitations and what I should do, etc., but he was way too busy to talk to me.  He just said, "get a mat, a strap and a block and find a spot."  So that didn't sit well with me.

There were about 25 or 30 people in the class and they were clearly all very experienced at yoga.  While I, on the other hand, could not master anything he wanted us to do.  Frankly, I didn't understand most of what he was telling us to do.  Eventually he noticed that I was having difficulty and he came over to help me and it was kind of embarrassing the way he did it.  So obviously "Basic Yoga" isn't what I thought it was.

The only other yoga class offered by the Rec Center is called "Chair Yoga."  So I will try to take that class and see if it's more my style.

Mia is showing progress in her tolerance of other dogs.

Thursday, June 22, 2017


First of all, Mia's trainer come on Tuesday and she brought her pit bull with her.  Whenever I take Mia out for a walk, if we run into another dog, Mia goes crazy.  But Cheyanne was able to "introduce" Mia to her pit bull Artemis and within about 5 minutes Mia and Artemis were buddies and Cheyanne took them on a walk together.  I've got a lot to learn.

Then on Wednesday I saw my trainer and actually worked out.  I am really liking the Thornton Carpenter Rec Center.

I've also been trying to find a place where I can take some dance lessons -- I think it would be so much fun.  But so far, every place I've found on the internet is only for young children or they are on vacation for the summer, etc.  I'll keep looking.

My cardiologist told me to start monitoring my blood pressure here at home and it has been consistently high.  I believe the exercise program will help to bring it down.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Cardiology visit

This morning was my quarterly visit with the cardiologist as well as my pacemaker "interrogation."  The pacemaker checked out perfectly and I haven't had any A-fib episodes.  There are still 5-1/2 years left on the battery.

I asked the Medtronics guy about the hacker possibility and he said that right now the hackers are only able to mess with the wireless pacemakers and the Medtronics pacemakers (like I've got) have wires and can only be reprogrammed with a special apparatus that sits on my chest.  So that was pleasant news.  He said that the other pacemaker manufacturers are quickly making the appropriate changes to keep their pacemakers hacker-proof.

The cardiologist said that I am now truly released for any and all exercise now.  So I will pass that on to my personal trainer when I have my first actual session tomorrow. I met with him on Monday to talk about my health and my goals and he showed me the equipment.  He also wants me to take the yoga class that is offered at the Rec Center, as well as the Silver Sneakers class.  But he wants me to start slow so that he can monitor any pain or any bad form.

My blood pressure was high today and the cardiologist wants me to start taking it every day and keeping a chart.

He also showed me the printout of my Pacemaker "interrogation" and pointed out what changes we can hope to see as I get involved in the sessions with the personal trainer.  If I understood correctly -- and I'm never totally sure I understand this pacemaker stuff -- the more I work out the more my heart takes over and the pacemaker rests.  I hope I understood that correctly because that is very motivating.

Mia's trainer comes to the house today.  I may have to cut back on that, though, because it's $60 an hour and it is getting way too expensive, especially when I am also paying for my own trainer.