Weighty Matters

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Creaky and Cranky

Day two of the lean-green-clean effort is pretty much a wrap.  I had another strong day of recovery eating-wise.  I’m working the tools by planning and preparing, doing readings, engaging in some spiritual reflection, and regularly giving myself pep talks.  I’m not, however, going great guns on my exercise.

You’ve all heard me whine often enough about my right knee with the considerable osteoarthritis.  I just got my tax refund back so tomorrow I’m calling the orthopedic doctor I was examined by last year and scheduling the two remaining shots on his suggested treatment.  I sure hope it helps because I know that my knee is worse than it was.

Worse or not, I can function and stay active with it as is, but what’s hampering my activity level right now is the heel pain I frequently experience in my left foot.  I haven’t been to a doctor yet about it, but I’m familiar with the symptoms and am 100% confident in my self-diagnosis of plantar fasciitis.  When I first get out of bed or stand up after sitting at my desk for a while, it’s almost comical how much I hobble for about a dozen steps.  That’s how long it takes for the knee to loosen up and the tendons, etc. to stretch out in my foot.  The heel pain comes and goes but when it’s aggravated, every step nearly makes me wince.

There are things I try to remember to do, such as stretching exercises before I get out of bed or while I’m sitting.  I wear some comfy slip-on sneaks more often right now because of the cushy protection for the heel and the better arch.  I’m a big baby about having to wear shoes instead of flip flops.  I know the doctor would also tell me to not go barefoot.  Silly as it might be, I hate wearing any kind of footwear in the house and can’t quite bring myself to take this next healing step, as it were.

I hope that with the little treatments, stretches, some occasional over the counter meds to reduce inflammation, and at least wearing sneaks more frequently than I normally do, the plantar fasciitis flare-up will go away.  It did before.  In the meantime, when the foot doesn’t hurt, or doesn’t hurt horribly, I walk.  If I’m experiencing a lot of pain, I’m not a masochist.  I take things a little easier.  So far, even with heel pain, I can handle the pivots and steps that are part of Tai Chi.

I also try to not whine too much, even too myself.  After all, it’s only an arthritic knee and an inflamed foot.  There are worse physical problems I could have.

Do any of you watch Dancing with the Stars?  One of the celebrity contestants this season is a military veteran named Noah Galloway.  During his service in the war, he lost one of his legs above the knee and one of his arms above the elbow.  Let me have a cougar moment and tell you that the man is totally hot and ripped.  Go ahead and Google his image and you’ll see.  He’s also quite the dancer!  Every week I watch him and am inspired.  I’m so grateful to him that he put himself out there in the public eye and goes for it week after week after week.

I’ve seen Noah in person.  I’ve met numerous other veterans who have undergone truly horrible injuries.  My knee and my heel are nothing to complain about.  Not when there are men and women who deal with lost limbs and more.

When working to recover, it’s important for me to keep things in perspective.  For me, right now, that means not indulging too much in my creaky crankiness.

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Blowing Past Limitations

Okay, you know that I’m a big fan of entertainment reality shows like The Voice and Dancing with the Stars. Not only am I entertained, I am frequently inspired. Never more so than tonight’s season premier of DWTS.

One of the dancing “amateurs” is Amy Purdy. She was terrific with pro partner Derek Hough. Sharp, snappy, quick footed, graceful, energetic. Really great. Amy Purdy is a double amputee and wears prosthetics below her knees on both legs. She’s a bronze medal winning snowboarder who competed in the 2014 Paralympics while also training for DWTS.

She’s my new hero. Here is a beautiful young woman who doesn’t believe in limitations. I’d venture a guess that if someone told her she couldn’t do something because of her physical challenges, she’d laugh in their face and then show them that they’re wrong. She doesn’t have any disabilities. She’s missing her legs below her knees but under no stretch of the definition is she disabled.

Then there is comedian/actor/game show host Drew Carey. When he first became famous, or at least when I first heard of him, on his television show, he was 80 or so pounds overweight. He was diagnosed with Type II diabetes and he had to have an angioplasty procedure to open a clogged artery. In 2010, he committed to losing weight, cut out carbohydrates, did 45 minutes of cardio most days each week and ended up losing 80 pounds. When he appeared on tonight’s DWTS, he looked terrific. He talked about how, now that he’s lighter and fitter, he enjoys finding out what he can do in his body. He’s thoroughly enjoying the new freedom he’s experiencing, including the greater ease of movement. Ohhh, boy, do I ever relate!

So in one night, I witnessed the stories of a woman who refused to let anyone define her in terms of limitations and a man who experienced limitations and did something about it.

Color me inspired. This helps me remember that the only roadblocks in my way are the ones that I either manifest or that I permit to remain in my way. I, too, can blow past them as I continue on my recovery journey. That’s just what I’m going to do.

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