Wake Up

I mentioned yesterday that my to-do list was ridiculously long. Not surprisingly I didn’t accomplish all the things I supposedly had to.

So, I woke up this morning at 5 a.m. and I figure even if I still don’t get everything done, I did manage to get in my hour of yoga!

My other top priorities today include baking and decorating cupcakes for Thanksgiving #1’s dessert tonight and watching the Firefly marathon and anniversary special on Science Channel. Less important items on the infinite to-do list include cleaning up the house, grooming the dog, buying toilet paper, and finding the dining room table underneath the mountain of random crap currently on top of it.

EDIT: It was brought to my attention that LiveJournal suspended the syndicated feed for this blog. I contacted them and they got it working again. Apologies to the handful of readers there for the backlog of posts that spewed onto your friends page.

Odds and Ends

I had the fastest, most impromptu set of portraits taken last month. One of those “in the right place at the right time” kind of moments except that I literally was still in the process of taking my shoes off while most of these were shot. You may recognize a few of these from recent posts, but supposedly these are for holiday cards. Though, quite honestly, I’m debating whether I’ll even bother this year.

My personal favorite is this one of me lying on the floor with Uschi on top of me:

Portrait of me and Uschi on a black background; me lying on my back with Uschi rolling partially on her back on top of me

Of course there are also some fun outtakes. Specifically, this one taken right before the above photo that I am referring to as proof of why I was wary of practicing yoga for the better part of this year.

I’m thrilled to say that I’m still keeping up my daily routine of an hour or so of yoga. I’m definitely feeling it. Or more precisely I’m feeling the fact that I wasn’t practicing for so very long. I can’t speak as to whether I’ve lost any of the weight I’ve supposedly gained because my bathroom scale reads about fifteen pounds to the left of zero when it’s sitting idle and so I find it’s results highly suspect. However, I have lost an inch around my waist!

Most notable is that the yoga is really helping with the pain issues. I wish I could say it was completely alleviating the pain and stiffness, but so far it’s quite literally the only thing that’s had any real effect. I’m fine with this as a solution; however, I’d prefer a conclusive answer as to the cause of the pain. My latest battery of tests came back negative, including the allegedly more definitive Lyme test. I missed the call with the results so the office left a message that was pretty devoid of anything more than blandly reading the information so I plan to call Tuesday morning and talk with my doctor.

The whole thing is ludicrously frustrating and I’m very close to the point of just giving up. It’s becoming increasingly evident that the only answer anyone is willing to give me is essentially to take a bunch of meds. I’m not surprised. I had pretty much the same experience trying to get my migraines under control. But my concern here is the myriad of potential things that could be causing the pain and the possibility that I am doing something (e.g., working my guide dog) that is exacerbating the issue. For the record, I’m not arguing that it isn’t fibromyalgia, though, I am not willing to believe that it is the sole cause of the pain until other things have been ruled out.

Anyway, enough of my yammering on about all that. Tomorrow I’m having Thanksgiving #1 with Mom and Paul and my list of things to get done before then is likely impossible to accomplish.

November 5, 2012

Much as I keep expecting to sit down and write something substantial, I haven’t quite managed to get beyond sporadic updates. Oh, well.

Had my endocrinology appointment last week and the doctor basically seemed confused as to why I was even referred to her. The nodules that were spotted on my ultrasound are apparently so small that they aren’t even capable of being biopsied, let alone large enough to be felt. But she went through a whole exam and took blood for a thyroid test since there didn’t seem to be one in my file. Everything is normal, but now that she’s aware of the nodules I’m supposed to have a yearly ultrasound and check up “just in case.” Of course, none of that has anything to do with the pain issues so I couldn’t care less. I’m still waiting on the results of my latest Lyme test. I have no idea why it’s taking so long for the results. I keep being told that they might be in tomorrow and it’s been over a week now. I have the sinking suspicion that my blood work got misplaced or something. I blame Sandy.

I am noticing a decrease in the pain and stiffness in my neck, shoulder and back, though. I’ve no doubt that it’s more to do with starting up yoga again than the pain killers that I’m forgetting to take half the time. I’ve been diligent since returning to yoga and have continued to practice for at least 40 minutes every day. Uschi seems to be in favor of this and has also continued to leave me be. Honestly, I’m fine with this as a solution, but not knowing the source of the pain still concerns me.

In other news, I have a cold. :-(


Nearly a Week

It’s been nearly a week since I’ve had Uschi free while doing a yoga routine and she’s still holding strong with her no pouncing record. I’m still baffled by what exactly brought on this new, slightly mature behavior, but I’m certainly not complaining. Yesterday I did catch her inching towards me from her vantage point on her bed, but I gave her a soft “nuh uh” and she just nestled herself there and continued to observe me. So I was even more surprised when she didn’t move an inch while I was lying flat.

This morning she didn’t even bother with that formality and just hung out in her crate after eating breakfast. So, instead my mother was the one to cause an interruption and nearly scared the life out of me in the process. Thankfully I was basically done, but so much for that brief resting period at the end of a practice. Oh, well.

Have my endocrinology appointment later this morning and I need to call my GP and report on how the pain killer is working for me. I was in and out so quick on Friday that I didn’t get a chance to speak with her. Oh, and I should have test results today or tomorrow from the bloodwork that was done. Here’s hoping for some conclusive answers. I’m not entirely sure still if the daily yoga is relieving the stiffness and pain in my neck and left shoulder, but my back is certainly not bothering me even with the guide dog induced strain it receives from all the walking I’ve been doing lately. But I do think it’s probably more the yoga than the pain killer, which only really seems to be giving me a spectacular stomach ache.

Upward Facing Dog

During my last year of college a friend introduced me to yoga, which turned out to be one of the most difficult and fulfilling workouts I’ve ever done. Over the last decade I’ve kept up the practice, though, not always very regularly. And since the whole issue with my neck started I literally haven’t done anything. I’m sure if I had tried to find some specific movement or modification I could have maintained my daily routine, but for three months I could barely move at all and I definitely couldn’t be in any position for any length of time.

After the more excruciating pain subsided, though, I still didn’t start back up. Part of that was just plain laziness and it’s hardly the first time I’ve fallen out of the habit of working out because of that. But mostly I was scared I’d hurt myself further. Not from the yoga itself, which is virtually impossible to do if you pay attention to your weaknesses and don’t push past your limitations.

No, it was because of Uschi. See all of my guide dogs have shown some degree of interest in watching me while I work out. Dolly just wanted to be right next to me and no matter where I’d put her in a down-stay she would slowly creep her way right next to my mat. I think it stemmed from watching me go through physical therapy for my knee and having to lie by the pool but not being allowed in. She never got in the way, so I didn’t really feel a need to correct her for breaking the down-stay. Actually, there was a great picture I had of her lying across my mat between my legs in a Warrior II stance; unfortunately, like most of her photos they disappeared in the Great ‘Puter Crash of Aught Six. Yara and Uschi are much more obvious about their curiosity of the actual workout. Always the observer, Yara would just sit and watch me, often with her head cocked to the side as if trying to understand exactly what I was doing. Uschi may well be doing the same thing, but what had me so fearful of her injuring me was that without fail whenever I was done and just lying on my mat she would rush right up and happily pounce all over me. Even worse, most of the time she would come at me from behind my head, standing on my hair and pinning me to the floor while she exuberantly licked every inch of me she could reach.

Admittedly, post-yoga meditation is not the only time she does this and in fact she’s quite happy to pounce on me whenever she thinks I’m prone. I’ve mostly gotten her to be less crazy about it, but it hasn’t completely stopped this weird habit of hers and if she’s behind me I have no leverage to shove her off. And it’s really hard to give a verbal correction with the threat of a dog tongue in your mouth. Yes, I could just crate her when I’m running through a routine. For the record, I did expect that this was going to be how we’d start to fix the issue and for the first few days that’s what I’ve done. But for the most part she has the freedom to go in or out of her crate as she pleases and I’d rather not confine her just for this. And really it’s not resolving the actual behavioral issue.

Anyway, I recently had a doctor’s appointment and was quite displeased to discover how much weight I’ve apparently gained. It’s not an alarming amount of weight, but it wasn’t a surprise either given how my pants have been fitting lately. Given that I tend to walk much less during the colder months this was a big motivational push to get back into an exercise routine. So, I started my morning yoga again earlier this week. I did the most baby routine imaginable and even so I felt it to the point that I seriously thought I might have pushed myself too far and hurt myself. I could have let that be my excuse to stop, but I am happy to say that I’ve diligently done at least 40 minutes of yoga every day since. I can’t quite tell if it’s helping the pain issues since it’s still a bit early and I’m also on a pain killer. I can say that I definitely feel like I’ve been working out in pretty much every area of my body. But the most remarkable thing I can report is about Uschi.

On her birthday I gave her a huge raw meaty bone to nom on after breakfast and she contented herself to the task so completely that I didn’t crate her while I went through my routine. When I was finished she was lying on her bed sort of lazily looking at me as best she could from her vantage point, but she didn’t hop right up and maul me with puppy gusto. Now one time is just a fluke, but I did remark that it was kind of amusing that she turned four and suddenly became enough of an adult to realize the taboo. On Thursday she was still on her best behavior and has continued to leave me be. She’s still pretty interested in watching me. In fact yesterday morning she spent a good portion of time doing her own version of Upward Facing Dog while I was stretching that I’m giving serious thought to training her to do it on command and get a photo of us both.