"When faced with a problem you do not understand,
do any part of it you do understand; then look at it again."
~(Robert A. Heinlein - "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress")

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Wednesday, July 14, 2010

"That which does not kill me..."

"...makes me stronger". (Well, at least according to some guy named Nietzsche.)

I started this post, two days ago, in full "whine" mode. I was going to reply to Mr. Nietzsche's quote that I was still awaiting that second part.

This is a follow-up to Ready to hear God laugh? and Day Nine..., in which I publicly announced my intentions to begin and continue a regimen of walking to improve my very shaky health and then told about early results.

Two days ago (Day 44), I was suffering bitter disappointment and depression over the lack of any apparent progress, even though I had told myself that it would most likely take months (plural) to see such.

Today (Day 46) the situation changed, as must the general direction of this post.

The problems (outlined in the two previous posts) were that, on turning 68 on May 25, I seemed to be having circulation problems; shortness of breath, feeling faint at times, and deadening of finger and thumb tips, making doing some things with my hands feel as if I'm trying to do them with gloves on.

This morning, the first thing I noticed was that my fingers and thumbs seemed less numb and had a bit more feeling in them. Not a great difference, but enough to notice. Two days before, a simple thing like doing or undoing a button would almost bring on tears of frustration.

The second difference was being able to get out of bed with only a whimper, instead of screaming agony. The third was not feeling like I was going to pass out when I stood up.

I emphasize that these are only small improvements, but it's beginning to look as if the walking (so far, 46 days without skipping) might really be helping circulation after all, instead of just being a useless exercise in futility.

And now, we're getting to what's really been bothering me about this; the naked fear that the lack of results at my age might mean it's really all over, that it's the end of the line.

Although there is a long way to go, today felt as if I might be getting my life back.

How long is there to go? A couple of days ago (probably what triggered the frustration), I attempted to run a little bit. Could not even begin to run; the strength simply wasn't there. That's a new goal further down the line.

I wouldn't mind hearing from others who have been there and done that. What they had to go through, or are still going through.

For example: just learning how to breathe. I constantly find myself having to force myself to breathe; you'd think that was something the body already knew.

What other learning experiences await me?



Webutante said...

Paul, As someone who has suffered many health problems over the decades, I know how difficult this new exercise program is. Keep it up! However, any and all exercise is tremendously dependent on changing your diet.....disease and wellness is ever more dependent on diet than exercise, imo.

Several things for you to consider: cut sugar in all forms outta your diet. Replace it with fruit ---but no, NO, fruit juices. Cut out dairy except for eggs, the perfect food. Use extra virgin olive oil...And the biggest recommendation of all is to cut out almost all grains, grainy cereals....except for rice and brown rice. Grains and dairy put a huge burden on your upper and lower respiratory system and cause mucuous.

I assume/hope you don't smoke---it's the kiss of death on top of everything else. If you want more information then feel free to email me at my gmail account.

Best wishes.

Paul_In_Houston said...

Thank you, Web.

As for your advice, I already have considered much of it, and will consider the rest. (Believe it or not, I've even implemented some of it.:-)

Why the ban on fruit juices? Too much sugar?

No, I don't smoke. Was very lucky there. While in the USAF, several friends urged me to give it a try, which I did several times, but it did NOTHING for me. Whatever they got from it, I never did. So, avoiding that addiction was never a problem for me. (Thank God! I couln't even begin to afford it now, assuming I had survived it.

My major vice was alcohol; at several times in my life I could probably have considered myself a full-blown alcoholic. It's been a couple of decades since that has been a problem.

How did I overcome that? I didn't. I Think that eventually my own body made the decision, "ENOUGH!", and declared "Either you stop, or we're parting company!".

Drugs? Never a problem. Again, sheer luck. A long time ago, I had to spend a few days under observation in the psychiatric ward of Fort Root Military Hospital following a pathetic and botched suicide attempt, being released after we all decided that, even drunk, I could have done a better job of it if I was serious.

Seeing, up close, the conditions of some of the people confined there absolutely guarantees that the very LAST thing you ever want to do is deliberately mess with your brain by using it as a test subject for strange chemicals. Totally beyond scary.

Yet again, I am struck by the number of serendipitous occurrences in my life that have led me to where I am today, instead of somewhere much worse.

Thanks, for dropping in. If you get a chance, I hope you'll take a peek at the John Hawkes piece. As I'm not droning on about myself, or going on a political tear, it's something a bit different for me. :-)


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