Gym & Remembrance

Today was my first day back at the gym since my infection surgery at the beginning of August – and I’d been away for most of the five months before that as I healed from the plastic surgery.  Although I’ve been walking, it hasn’t been much and certainly not up to pre-surgery activity.

So we started again, my trainer and I.   Because I still have the open wound (yes, after 7 weeks it is still open, though greatly healed), today was more about movement and not lots of weight or pulling motions such as lat pull downs which could pull on my wounded area.  I doubt I’ll be sore tomorrow, usually my clue about how well I worked my body, but it did feel good.

It’s scary to see how easy it is to gain weight back.  Oh, I’ve done it lots of times before (it’s my pattern) but I don’t like watching the scale and the way it has been nudging up a few pounds.  I know what to do to turn it around but have lacked the focus to actually do it – and all of this time away from regular exercise has not helped.  So it was particularly important that I had the appointment today, to get back on track.

On the other hand, it was definitely NOT good to be in the gym on 9/11 with memorials and interviews and related movies showing on every on-screen channel.  I was on the treadmill ten years ago in my Boston gym, watching as the planes hit the towers on one screen with Top Gun air fights on the next screen over.  It looked as though we were watching military scrambling to go after the people who struck the towers.  Unsettling and vivid.

I have only watched one of the myriad 9/11 shows this week.  I overloaded on all the coverage 10 years ago and cannot watch now.  I remember it all without seeing it again.  The one I did see was about baseball and the role it played for New York in the days, weeks, and months after the towers fell.  HGTV has been playing most of this weekend when the TV has been on.

At least we had power.  After Irene came through, almost 70% of Connecticut was without power for at least some time, including many of my staff.  My director’s house had major structural damage from a big tree crashing into the roof.   Roads were closed from flooding all over the state.  Schools ended up using “snow days” before the doors even opened for the year, due to power outages, flooding, and/or damage.

But I was fine here, other than leaking windows and losing cable for 8 hours (and with it, my internet and phone).  I have a good supply of lanterns and batteries, and those will come in handy later in the year when the warning is to prepare for a blizzard.

You Too Can be Satisfied with 2 oz per Meal

Orchid close-upI read up on all of this stuff before the surgery – before even committing to the surgery.  And I sort of wondered at the time how it would actually work to be on clear liquids for two weeks.  Well, clear liquids plus 8 oz of Ensure or Boost, delivered as four 2-oz portions.  Sounded kind of silly but it was an improvement over the 1-oz serving they gave me at the hospital after I had the barium test and had proven I could actually swallow.

But the reality is different.  I drink  64 oz of water and Crystal Light a day, plus my single can of Ensure spread out into 4 meals.  And I’m really full.   I forgot that I could also have sugar free popsicles until today, but just nibbled on an Hawaiian pineapple pop and it was soooo tasty.  I don’t know when I move from one stage to another, but as long as I’m in the clear liquids stage, there’s no point in being whiny about it.   Changes will come when it’s time.

I should be out walking more and I promise that tomorrow I will take 3 walks outside instead of the one outside and one inside.   My concern is that as the pain meds become a thing of the past (yes, that quickly – go figure), my knee and back pains are coming back.  In the hospital, they didn’t hurt at all.  But now, yeah.   So it’s a line to walk between getting the exercise in, and I know I need it, and taking care of the other pains.  It’s also colder out so the arthritis is kicking in.

But excuses are not acceptable.  One thing that’s to my advantage while I’m staying home for this recovery period is that I have a crack at the fitness center here in the complex.  Mostly I avoid it like the plague because 1) it’s small, 2) equipment doesn’t always work, and 3) the student residents seem to have claimed it.  Hopefully during the day it might be easier to get in and use a treadmill or maybe the elliptical.

So the plan for tomorrow is to actually walk up to the main building and ENTER the fitness center to check it out.  The walk alone is more than I’ve done in quite a while (and it’s not even that far, I’m just lazy) and it will be a good goal.  If I’m tired, I’ll just rest up there for a bit before heading back, which is downhill anyway.  And I will come back knowing what, if any, the options are for me up there to use while I’m home and unable to drive.

I feel pretty good, just a little tired and sore around the middle when I move weird.  So far, so good!