Saturday, 26 May 2018

And another thing...

...about getting old.

Don't you just hate it when you think of something like 'I must do so and so', or 2 things you've run out of and need to get in the supermarket - this usually happens to me in the middle of the night.  And then in the morning, you cannot for the life of you remember what it was you need to do or buy.

I think I need a notepad and pen permanently attached to me.

Thursday, 24 May 2018

Losing!

Thank you for the comments, it's gratifying to know that we all have the same struggles.

We overslept this morning....not that we have anything in particular to get up for, we don't.  I'm not a morning person, even though I'm always up early - between 05.00 and 06.00 usually - it takes me ages to come to though and I really like having a quiet hour or 2 drinking my big mug of coffee and flicking through the papers online, or wandering round the garden in my dressing gown.  Husband, who's talking and buzzing around and putting the TV on as soon as he comes down, doesn't usually get up till about 7, so I'm grateful to have my quiet time before he emerges!  Anyway, this morning I woke with a start, looked at the clock and it was 07.20 - OMG!  Jumped (well, not quite) out of bed, did my ablutions very quickly and ran (ok, just moved quicker than normal) downstairs to let the dog out, thinking she must be desperate for a wee - she sauntered just outside the front door, sniffed the air, came straight back in and went back to bed!  (Must have had a restless night, lol).  Husband followed me straight down, so no quiet time this morning, although he's just taken Betty out so I've got an hour to myself now.

I hate oversleeping and having to disrupt my normal morning routine, it gives me a headache and makes me irritable and seems to impact on my whole day.

However, something good this morning:  For the past month or so I seem to have been losing/gaining the same pound, which was annoying me no end.  I stepped gingerly on the scales this morning and found, to my delight, that I've lost 3 1/2 pounds this week.....happy days!  That means that since we started our new healthy Mediterranean style food regime after husband's shock angina/stenting stuff, I've lost 11 1/2 pounds and he's lost almost a stone (why is it that men seem to lose weight so much more easily than women?!).  Mind you, a couple of years ago I was weighed at the doctor's and was so shocked at being the heaviest weight ever, that I went on a bit of a strict fast and quickly lost half a stone....and then stopped, just losing the odd pound here and there.  So since then, back at my heaviest weight, I'm now 20 pounds lighter.

Joy said on her blog this morning that someone she used to work with didn't recognise her, as she's lost so much weight, and she gets lots of comments - how lovely and what a confidence boost.  I'm not at that stage yet, but I can see a difference in the mirror (my stomach's not so big) and my clothes definitely feel looser.  A lady at husband's rehab class last week did say that I have lovely smooth wrinkle-free skin - well, nice as that was to hear, I am about 20+ years younger than she is, so not really a wrinkly yet lol, and having a fat face helps to smooth out wrinkles hehe.  Not really a good enough reason to stay fat though, lol.

We're forecast some rain today and it's certainly very cloudy, not a hint of sun - I hope it does rain, the garden really needs it and it will save us some water!

Wednesday, 23 May 2018

Bugger this getting old lark...I'm not playing anymore!

I was thinking the other day (been in a very reflective mood lately, for one reason or another), reflecting on how much longer things take as we get older.   Things like jobs around the house/garden, losing weight, form filling (god how I loathe doing that!), health recovery.

For instance, my GP said my Achilles tendonitis would take around 6 months to heal - it was actually a year.  When I have a backache flare up, it usually lasts anything from a couple of days to a couple of weeks....this time around it took about 3 months.  Thankfully, both are fine and I'm now pain-free (says she, crossing everything and thinking I've probably jinxed it and will be unable to even get out of bed tomorrow).  Simple things like vacuuming seem to take me twice as long now....might have something to do with the fact that I keep putting it off so when I do finally do it, there are twice the amount of dog hairs to get rid of.  Had to fill out a form for husband the other day - it's nothing that I haven't done before and, bearing in mind I was a secretary for most of my working life, it should have been straightforward and quick.  However, my brain just seems to seize up nowadays, form filling (or anything financial) and my mind just goes blank.  

Losing weight in my 50s is just so bloody hard!  It was a doddle in my 20s - just lay off the takeaways and booze for a week or two and it would drop off (yes I had a very unhealthy lifestyle in my youth!).  Although, to be fair, it would go back on again just as quickly, as soon as a few drinks in the pub after work and a kebab on the way home went down my throat.  My diabetes nurse once told me that this yo-yoing dieting/putting weight back on/dieting again habit seriously mucks up your metabolism, I guess she's right.  For whatever reason, although the weight (both mine and Steve's) is coming off, it's doing it excrutiatingly slowly....at this rate, it'll take us years to get to the 'normal' weight range.  If only it would melt away during the night.

Got a bit of an expensive month - the car's just had it's MOT (thankfully it passed, although with an advisory that will need doing sooner rather than later), a vet visit for Betty to check her ears again and she needs her 3 month supply of flea/worming treatment, replacement of an essential gardening tool (I forget what) that Steve broke the other day, and a couple of other things.  Some saved up for (like the car and Betty's treatment) but others weren't, so a bit of belt tightening needs doing for the next couple of weeks.  Fortunately, we've recently done a big shop, so all I'll need to get early next week is milk and eggs.

Thanks once again for the comments, although I don't usually answer them individually, they are all read and much appreciated.

Sunday, 20 May 2018

Soonish

Sorry, that last post was a bit (very) abrupt.  We're fine, just got a lot going on and not enough hours in the day, and I'm very preoccupied at the mo with something that's making me a bit emotional.  

Got another busy week ahead, normal service will be resumed asap.  Hope everyone's enjoying the sunshine....I do enjoy it, but being a typical English rose with pale skin that freckles and burns and gets prickly heat rash, I don't cope very well with it.  

Back soon.  Ish.

Friday, 18 May 2018

Wednesday, 16 May 2018

Could you do it?

Thank you so much for the comments again, you've all been so kind and have given some helpful suggestions.  It's also reassuring to hear about the experiences others have had, makes you feel like you're not alone, even though it may feel like it at times.

Yes I do think women, generally speaking, are more health conscious - men don't usually like going to the doctor, and often aren't as willing to make changes or take responsibility for their health.  Joy, you asked if husband (Steve!  I guess there's no reason not to give his name) would be willing to use a Wii Fit - a resounding No to that, it's not his thing at all.  I've got a couple of exercise/dance videos (not that I use them much....the initial enthusiasm soon wears off!), he flatly refused to do them with me, even at home with just him and I.  It might work though to get him to choose what he wants to do in the way of exercise, especially if he feels like it was his idea!  I don't want to feel like I'm chivvying him up or chasing round after him all the time, I'm his wife not his mother.

A step counter I think will be a good idea (not a Fitbit type thing though - too much technology will just confuse him - and me).  When he was working as a shunter, yard supervisor and driver trainer at a large haulage firm, he used to wear one then and frequently did more than 12,000 steps daily, he did enjoy seeing how much walking he was doing without even realising it.  We'll have to get a couple, no idea where his one went, it was a few years ago.

I admit I have found it all a bit scary at times - we've found that, whilst all the doctors and cardiac nurses have been unfailingly kind and always cheerful, they don't sugar coat anything - they tell us the truth, however scary it might be.  Not that I'm complaining - I would much rather know exactly what we could be facing.

The talks given at the cardiac rehab classes have been the most illuminating.  Yesterday, along with risk factors, we were told what to do in the event of our spouse having a heart attack at home.  It might be useful to others if I say what we learnt, especially since the advice has changed since I did a St John's first aid course paid for by my employers about 25 years ago.  They used to say to do 5 chest compressions, followed by 2 breaths into the patient's mouth whilst pinching their nose.  Well, the advice now is not to bother with the breathing, chest compressions only.

We were told that the first thing to do is to phone 999 and open the front door.  Then drag the patient onto the floor, if they're not already on it, and put them on their back.  Start chest compressions immediately - don't bother trying to find the 'correct' spot, just do it in the centre of the chest, one hand on top of the other, and press down hard with the heel of your hand....harder than you might think, an adult body can take a lot of pressure.  You must do it at a fast speed - aim for around 100 compressions a minute, it might be helpful if you do as that footballer/actor bloke Vinnie Jones did in those adverts on the TV....sing to yourself the BeeGees song Staying Alive as that's about the correct rhythm.  The most important thing is to keep going, don't stop until help arrives.  Obviously it would be better if there was someone there to help you and take over when you get tired, but if it's just you, you're the patient's only hope until help arrives so keep going, even though it's hard and you will get tired.

The reason for keeping it up is that it keeps the patient's blood circulating around the heart and brain.  If you don't, heart tissue can start to die within 20 minutes - yes, as short a time as that.  And once it's died, that's it, it doesn't regenerate or heal, it's dead.  Even if you survive the heart attack, if your heart tissue had died because of lack of blood circulation, then you've got a damaged heart for the rest of your life.  

So yes that was scary, but incredibly informative.  I didn't know that before, now I do, so feel better able to cope if the worst happened.

And on that cheerful note, I must finish by saying welcome to SusanM, Yarrow and Scarlet - please accept my apologies if you've commented before and I'd forgotten.

Tuesday, 15 May 2018

Adjusting our lifestyle further

Thank you for the comments, I'm going to really keep on top of portion sizes now and make sure I weigh everything, instead of guessing and thinking 'that looks about right'.

We went to husband's rehab class this morning, he got on better with the exercise (he didn't look so miserable for a start!) as the initial shock of it from last week had worn off.  The talk afterwards was a bit of an eye opener, it was about risk factors for heart disease or a heart attack.  We all know what they are:  smoking, drinking too much (particularly binge drinking), eating too much saturated fat and not enough veg & fruit, being overweight, lack of exercise.

We were all given a sheet of paper with boxes to fill in, with questions like 'What specifically do you want to change?'.  Then 'What will you do to make that change happen?'...'How much of this will you do and how often?'...'What needs to happen to allow you to do this?' - and so on.

I was asking husband the questions and filling in the answers for him.  One thing that immediately became apparent was that he was just generalizing and had no real idea of what he wanted or needed to do.  For instance, to the first question about change, he answered 'Get fitter' - when I asked how, specifically, he just gave me a blank look and shrugged his shoulders.  It was the same for nearly every question, he just didn't have any specific goals in mind.  There wasn't much chance for group discussion or questions afterwards, as unfortunately the session was dominated by 2 people - 1 bloke who's a joker and just keeps butting in with daft comments, and another elderly lady who seemed determined to regale us all with her experience of what happened to her.  At one point, when the nurse was trying to explain about how bad saturated fats are for us, this lady came out with "Well, if you can't eat whatever you like, then life won't be worth living!".  I had to bite my tongue to stop myself saying that with that sort of attitude, she wouldn't have much life left to live.

Anyway, on the way home in the car, I asked husband to say exactly how he thinks he's altered his lifestyle since his heart scare and stents - his answer (his only answer) was that we eat a healthy diet now.  Well yes we do - but that is entirely down to me, not him - I'm the one who researched healthy heart diets, writes a menu plan and shopping list, and prepares the meals.  It transpires that husband thinks he has a healthy enough lifestyle by doing gardening and walking the dog twice a day (and at least one of those 'walks' is usually just letting Betty off the lead in the field directly behind our garden - so mere steps away - and letting her run around whilst he stands and watches!).  

I specifically said some weeks ago that I'd like for us to start going for more (and longer) walks.  Well, it doesn't happen very often - he's quite often 'too busy' - and it's always my suggestion, not his.

Now, his heart scare has been a big wake up call for me - I'm not healthy by any means, I don't have much wrong with me fortunately other than mild hypertension and diabetes, but I am about 3 stones overweight, and up till now I've not really been motivated enough to do anything much about it.  Husband is also fatter than he thinks he is, he said initially he'd like to lose a stone (he's lost about 10lbs so far, 9lbs for me), but he really needs to lose at least another stone and a half.  I've said that it's not enough that we're losing weight, we both need to do a lot more exercise - a lot more walking and using our static exercise bike for at least a few minutes every day.  The cardiac nurse said it's important that we do at least 30 minutes exercise 5 times a week, we're not doing anything like that.  I think he's a bit shocked, he really thought he was doing alright.

Neither of us smokes or drinks, we now eat healthily, it's just the exercise we really need to get to grips with and improve upon - a lot.

Oh, and another thing - he really needs to start taking more care.  He's very accident prone and clumsy, I've often said that he should wear a complete suit of armour when he goes outside to do any gardening or DIY, he nearly always comes in needing a plaster, or a large splinter digging out of his hand, or his eye washed out as he's got grit in it.  Well, yesterday he nearly cracked his head open, bashing it on a wooden shelf attached to the fence (he put it there, it's not like he didn't know it was there!).  He came in saying he thought he'd grazed it (he's bald on top) - it was a gash about half an inch long, bleeding quite a lot - the blood thinning and anti-clot tablets he's now on mean he bleeds profusely.  I had to sit him down, put a pad on his head and press on it for 5 minutes to stop it from bleeding, then make him sit there having a drink for another 10 minutes to ensure he was ok.  I've told him (for about the 100th time) to please make sure he's wearing a hat!!  He'll be the death of me one of these days.