Thursday, October 6, 2011

Stress, Aging, and an Epiphany

I find lately that I get along just fine with the elderly, comparing medical conditions and discussing which gastro doctors, orthopedic doctors, and neurosurgeons in the area are the best.  It's kind of sad - I'm only 43 and have a three year old and a much younger husband. 

Last week my aches and pains were getting much better.  Then everyone in my family got sick, I got no sleep.  This week the numbness and pain in my foot increased.  I felt like crap at physical therapy yesterday.  My PT kept asking if I was OK.  I figured I was just tired.  Maybe I needed more coffee.

Last night I was laying on an exercise mat multi-tasking - stretching while editing my novel.  I looked up at my daughter to talk to her.  I looked down at my manuscript and couldn't see the words I could see a minute earlier.  They were completely blurred.  Yikes. 

I have a little blood pressure machine that I used when I was pregnant (apparently when pregnant at 40, it's good to have this particular device around).  It squeezed me until I wanted to cry, which I know from my pregnancy is a sign it's very high.  It was bad, super bad. 

Today is one of those days I already have a full schedule of driving the kids to multiple places that have already been rescheduled once.  My husband offered to work at home to help out, but honestly that stresses me out more than being home alone with the babes.  So I checked the internet for ideas of how to get my blood pressure down naturally.  One seemingly reputable site said exercise could do the trick, daily exercise of 30 minutes, but not so much to stroke you out.  They advised lifting weights but also said that could cause a spike in your blood pressure.  Tricky.  I'm limited on what I can do with my foot, so there aren't a lot of options without lifting weights. 

This morning I decided to do my morning PT, decrease my coffee, and start exercising (gently) now.  I rode my exercise bike for ten minutes (all my back can handle right now).

While I rode my bike, I thought this:  I'm home just with my three year old, and he goes to preschool three days.  My only work is writing, besides the daily cleaning, laundry, cleaning more gig - which I could probably outsource with one phone call and some cash.  I only write a few hours a week.

So there's really no excuse why I can't control my diet and get 30 minutes of non-heart-attack-causing exercise every day (except for the foot thing).  What else do I have to do?  I could load the dishwasher - or I could take my babes for a swim at the indoor pool down the street every day and follow it up with a super healthy Greek yogurt and cup of fresh fruit they are happy to sell you for $8 a person.  Better than paying for open heart surgery or leaving my kids with only the dads.  I think the dads (ex and husband) need me too - I take care of business so they don't have to.

So today I will schedule a doctor's appointment and join the gym.  Maybe I'll find time to go for a swim with my babes, assuming I can squeeze myself into a swimsuit - the very sexy mommy kind with a skirt.  I will pretend I love multi-grain cheerios and that I don't desperately need coffee.  Evil will surely set in by noon tomorrow, but it will likely be followed a few days later by a better attitude. 

We will see if my husband can survive the evil before I start feeling better. 


  1. You'd be surprised what small changes over time can do. Start with what you know you can live with and stick to it, then gradually add more changes. If you try to do everything at once you'll want to hit someone by the end of the week. :)

    Swimming sounds ideal for your condition, though I understand perfectly the swimsuit avoidance issue. Blah.

    Take care of yourself.

  2. Alex - Thanks!

    LG - I lost my mind at 2:00 and ate a handful of M&M's. I agree that small changes are good. My husband was very sweet and made a very healthy dinner tonight.

  3. I gave up caffeine earlier in the summer. Not easy, but doable.

    Do take care of yourself. Regular exercise is very important. Good for the brain, too. Swimming is great exercise.

  4. M Pax - This weekend I switched from two cups in the morning to one coffee and one green tea. Baby steps.

    My PT wants me to try walking in the water. When I went to tour the gym, that's what the elderly people were doing. The tour guide from the gym informed me I'm not far from being able to join in with the seniors. What? I had my three year old with me. Maybe he thought my little guy was my grandson??