Saturday, March 29, 2014

The Letter S

Two S pictures.

Sailboats in Santa Barbara.

Sunset at sea.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

In Transit

When a cruise ends and you've booked the next cruise on the same ship, you're considered an "in transit passenger". You get to get off the ship last, be escorted through customs, and be the first folks back on the ship. Being that we were one of these types of passengers today - we are doing back to back cruises - we got back on the ship early and spent the day at my favorite hangout. (Although I have to say the spa is getting up there on my list - I had a seaweed wrap and deep tissue massage today.) I could get used to this.

Even the view of the Los Angeles harbor at sunrise isn't too bad.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Here Comes the Sun

Yep, it arrived. Cool and windy, but look at that sky.
Pool day for me. (As usual!)

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

2nd Verse Same as the 1st

We're stuck in a song.

I'm Henry the Eighth I am, Henry the Eighth I am I am...

Second verse same as the first...

Fog and clouds in this next port. Opted to stay on the ship because of the weather. Spotted a seal before breakfast. Morning walk, two hour swim.

The big difference is what hubby treated me to. I've never been to a spa in my life but that changed today. I had an afternoon appointment at the ship's spa for several 15 minute massages. Scalp, neck and shoulders, feet and ankles, hands and arms. Even get to go back tomorrow and get my poor knotted up legs worked on. Heavenly.

The only pictures I managed today were a couple of Ensenada, Mexico, today's chilly port, that I took on the morning walk.

Hoping for warm weather!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Gonna be Sore

When I think of Santa Barbara I think of sunshine. When hubby thinks of Santa Barbara he thinks of a soap opera. (I guess there used to be one called Santa Barbara?)

Today we got neither one. We did get fog and clouds. With the weather being as it was we opted to stay on the ship. But we did keep busy. We got a seal outside our balcony before breakfast. 

We got in a nice long walk around the Promenade deck. Did you know that sometimes a cruise ship is parked out in the water and not alongside a dock? When that's the case the survival craft (life boats) shuttle passengers back and forth to town. 
And when the cruise ship is sitting out in that water, it drifts a bit. Check out my silly looking walk I took this morning. Trust me, it was the ship's fault this time.
And then came the swim. In the adults-only quiet pool at the back of the ship. The pool I spent two hours in, walking and swimming. Forwards, backwards, sideways. Not once during those two hours did I stop. Just kept a-movin'. Bet I'll be pretty darn sore in the morning.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

All In

I'm not sure what to call it. I'm all in. Grabbing life by the horns. Basically, living deep and sucking out all the marrow of life. Not wanting to die knowing I hadn't really lived. A bucket list while I still have my wits about me to enjoy it. And doing it now - because later sometimes becomes never. I figure there will come a time when things are so bad I will be home bound permanently. (I kinda already had some temporary periods of that so I really know the importance of taking advantage of adventures whenever I can).

So we're on another adventure. Got my walk in on the hotel's treadmill, exercised in the water, had a healthy high-protein breakfast. A delicious salmon lunch. And now this, sitting by the pool getting some warm sun on the Sapphire Princess.

I am so blessed to have this life.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Not in Kansas Anymore

We're not in Kansas anymore. Not that we were in Kansas to start with, but we were in Idaho. 

But not now.
While we're not yet at our final destination here are some clues. 
(That's part of the Great Salt Lake from the sky.)

Los Angeles area. 

Another clue comes tomorrow. 

Thursday, March 20, 2014

I Knew It

I knew exactly what the rheumatologist was going to say. Back to infusions.

He explained all about how the longer I wait, the more my joints will be damaged. In 5-10 years I'll be sorry I waited. Sorry I didn't do all I could to arrest the disease. While he was pleased I was more active, he warned me about needing to be super careful with my joints. I need to listen very carefully to my body and not overdo it. He suggested swimming would be a more appropriate activity for me than walking. Also said how amazing it is that I continue to work with the severity of the active rheumatoid arthritis I have going on. (I should be on disability right now, but I'm not. And not planning on it. Thanks boss, for working with me on that one!)

So after the doctor visit I guess I'm being a bit rebellious. I'm not starting infusions yet. The fatigue, the malaise, the all around icky feeling they cause is too fresh in my mind. And anyone who has been around me these last couple months can tell you fatigue/icky feeling/looking is not a word to describe me.

And I'm not giving up walking yet. While I might give up on that idea of walking a 5k in May (yeah, I kinda had that as a goal), I still am going to use my trusty iPhone GPS walking app.

Even used it in the grocery store. While I thought I had my list all planned out so I wouldn't have to do any backtracking, two things caused detours. One, I forgot to pick up the ad on my way in the store and had to head to customer service. Two, I couldn't find the sandwich hubby was wanting me to pick up for him. I must have looked crazy going 'round in circles looking for a doggone sandwich. At least I did a good job of shopping the perimeters and staying away from the bad-for-you foods up and down all the aisles. Even got a 1/2 mile in!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Couldn't Make it to Four

The notes I put in the GPS walking app this morning tell the story of my attempt at four laps.

Lap 1, foot hurt
Lap 2, knees hurt and couldn't breathe
Lap 3, knees hurt, right hip hurt, and really couldn't breathe

As much as I had my heart set on making it around the paved park path four times this morning before work, it wasn't meant to be. While my Achilles tendon took two days of ice and heat to recover, my knees and my lungs aren't going to be so lucky. The knee will take a replacement to fix it up. The lung? Losing more weight may help but that's about it.

But how can I not feel lucky anyway? I walked 1.2 miles today. And just a year ago - almost to the exact date - I had crossed my final line in the sand on my health. On March 19 of last year I started the infusions for rheumatoid arthritis. And here it is a year later and I am walking again - with no infusion drugs in my system. (Although I have my rheumatologist appointment tomorrow and I'm sure he'll want to start me back on treatments. I've been able to put them off because I've been recovering from surgery. Can't use that excuse anymore.)

While four laps didn't happen today, maybe they will tomorrow. Maybe tomorrow I'll get just as pretty pictures as I did at sunrise today.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

A + B = C

Walking in the sun + sitting in the sun + working outside in the sun = a bit too much sun on the forehead and nose. While it may appear Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer is visiting early, it's just me.

Walking in the sun + a bad knee that makes me walk weird + a good night's sleep = an Achilles tendon that won't work. I woke up with a sharp pain that wouldn't let me move my foot up or down. Putting on my shoes? Excruciating. My hope was that it would calm down, but no go. So hubby said no go on the walking for the day.

Which is where the sitting in the sun came from. Sitting in the sun + squawking seagulls = hawks chasing after them. It also equaled pictures for me (and you).

Saturday, March 15, 2014

There's an App for That

After a long plateau with the weight loss I knew I had to do something different. These last few weeks I've been using a new app to track my food intake. My Fitness Pal lets me put in my meals, water, exercise, and notes. It calculates all the important things, but for me the protein, calorie, and sodium count are the most important. I've been obsessive about making sure every calorie is counted. It's paying off. According to this morning's scale I'm down 66 pounds.

Now I'm obsessed with another app that I have linked to the fitness pal one. Map my Walk is a GPS that when turned on, tracks where you are walking, the distance, the time, and calories burned. It's exciting to see right away what I've accomplished. And it's pretty darn accurate. As I made my three laps around the paved park path I can see where I walked off the path to sit at a picnic bench to catch my breath (which happened several times this morning since hubby went with me - he's a fast walker and I had a hard time keeping up). I can see where I cut through the grass instead of going through the parking lot to make the loop. I can see where I stopped for a rest before heading to the car, where I paused the GPS and forgot to turn it back on. I can also see that I don't know how to walk a straight line. An entire 1.16 miles of it today.

And I can see where I went swimming. Not really, but the GPS thinks so.

(Lisa, did you get your walk in?)

Friday, March 14, 2014

Just a Walk in the Park

Who is lucky enough to have lung capacity for a walk in the park? Enough lung capacity to make it 3/4 of a mile with only one sit-down-and-catch-my-breath-break? Me.

Who is lucky enough to live by a river and see this on her walk in the park in the early morning before work? Me.

And to those who commented yesterday? Thank you. It's good to know I'm not forgotten!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Choosing Joy

Something just occurred to me on the drive to work today. It is so very much easier to choose to live a life of joy when you are feeling better.

In my case that means my non-working lung isn't always interrupting my daily activity like it did just a few short months ago. It's pretty darn amazing how much different life is when you can breath. Oxygen is so important!

Recently I've done some simple things I didn't think I'd ever get to do again. Work in the rose garden. Go grocery shopping (by myself - with no scooter). Get up in the morning and shower and get dressed and eat breakfast and pack a lunch and go to work - all in a row with no breaks to stop and catch my breath. Load boxes in the car (gotta work on those 100 things).

And walk. In the store. At school. In the park. Just last weekend when kiddo was over the three of us went down to the park by the river here in Marsing. We made one loop around the paved path and I wanted to do more. So under the bridge we went, past the first boat dock and all the way to the second boat dock. For most folks it would seem all that walking might be just a short little jaunt. But for me with one operating lung, rheumatoid arthritis, and a knee needing replaced it was a big little jaunt. I was walking a pretty brisk-for-me pace so there were lots of catch-my-breath breaks. But I have to say I pushed myself, was proud of myself, and it felt good to do something I thought I'd never get to do again. (Now I just need to make it a habit.)

Even took the camera down, hoping to catch some pictures of ducks. The best picture came as I was backing out of the driveway before we even left the house. I think we're gonna have babies around again.

How can I not be joyous?

Monday, March 3, 2014

March 3, 2011

Being that today is March 3, and three years ago exactly was March 3, I figured I might as well look back to that day. Some of you were around back then and some of you weren't, but in either case let's take a walk down memory lane to 2011. To the first post ever of this blog. My, how times have changed.

Day 1 of 365
So the last 18 months have been rough.

First there was a back injury that make it difficult to do most daily activities. Then came the Rheumatoid Arthritis diagnosis. Total knee replacement surgery was next. Then, a root canal gone bad requiring gum surgery. Took a year's leave of absence from work to help expedite my healing. Broken finger. Torn rotator cuff in my right shoulder and subsequent surgery. Followed by torn rotator cuff in my left shoulder and subsequent surgery. I've spent 17 of the last 18 months (including this month) in physical therapy and have taken more pain medicine than a person should. Back issues still plague me, my knee doesn't bend completely, I still can't raise both arms above my head, and the chemotherapy medication I'm taking for the rheumatoid arthritis isn't improving my condition.

And I'm 45 years old.

Despite the fact that I have more bad days than good and my body is failing me, I am thankful.

I'm thankful for my family. For my husband who is now the breadwinner for the family. For my daughter who let me come live with her for my last surgical recovery. For the cat that climbs up on me when I'm not feeling so great. For the roof over my head. For the view of the river I have from my living room window. For being able to, on some days, do something that will benefit others. Collecting coupons to send to military families. Blankets for babies in the hospital. Cookies for my physical therapists.

But over these last 18 months I haven't felt so thankful. Out of work, in pain, struggling to get through each day.

But today that is going to change.

For the next year, I have a goal. A picture goal. A take-a-picture-every-day-to-see-that-you-have-lived kind of goal.

Every day, I will take a picture of something I did, created, saw that was interesting (or even boring), somewhere I went, or anything else I decide to capture at the time.

I don't know where this will lead me, but hope it will lead me back into the land of the living instead of the land of the existing.

Fast forward to present day. Here's something I found this week on Pinterest (my new obsession). How appropriate. Happy blog anniversary!