DEBC1232   14,064
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On the road again!

Sunday, June 23, 2013



Today is a day to celebrate! I was able to get back on my road bike after almost an 18 month hiatus. I started out riding my beach cruiser to work for the last few weeks and did ok with it. My neurologist saw my head and neck MRIs and doesn't think my headaches are coming from my neck like many of the other doctors which is why I decided to throw caution to the wind and see how I'd tolerate the ride. The other useful piece of information my neurologist gave me this week was that my right hand pain which has plagued me since the accident is actually from my elbow-explaining why when I was in the position that took pressure off my hand in the bike that's when it started hurting the worst.

So....I left at 7 am and was supposed to go with my dad but he was sick so I ventured out on my own (tempting to wait another week or so). I rode out the public beach and back through a local preserve for a total of 20 miles which took me about 90 minutes. Not too bad for my first time out in such a long time. I was so happy to be able to feel the wind on my face again and to enjoy the sensation of really getting a good work out. Towards the end of the ride my hand started really bothering me so next time I'll try wearing an elbow support and see if that helps. Worse comes to worse my doctor said I could always have surgery to fix the problem (and I'm so happy to finally know what's wrong so I can deal with it).

Yesterday my hubby and I tackled a lot of yard work and that felt good too. Slowly I am reclaiming my old life (at least the good parts) and am glad I didn't listen to the doctors who said I would need neck surgery and that I would probably never be able to ride my road bike again.

Never give up on your dreams...and focus on what you can do instead of what you can't do!

Deb

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DEBC1232 6/25/2013 9:25AM

    Thanks guys, happy to be able to be more positive these days and looking forward to being even better in the future. Got up late this morning and tempted to not exercise due to the heat-but I'm going to drag myself out now because I know I won't go out later (especially with our usual afternoon rains threatening).

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HAPPYWALKER 6/24/2013 9:15AM

    I loved reading this Deb! It brightened up my morning to read such a positive report.

Congratulations on being brave enough to venture out on your bike again, and by yourself no less!! I'm sure it was not only good for you physically, but did even more for your pysche. It must've felt like coming home again. It sounds like you are definitely reclaiming the best parts of your life and I am so happy for you.

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KOFFEENUT 6/23/2013 1:30PM

    What an inspiration you are! You're so right - focus on what you CAN do. Try. Don't give up. Appreciate the good parts of your life. Find joy in feeling the wind on your face.

Enjoy your time out on your bike!

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Quick tip for keeping you blood sugar levels under control

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Hello,

As I am working on getting my blood sugar level under control I thought I would share what I know does help. If you get exercise (at least 20 minutes but preferably closer to 40) at least every other day it helps keep your blood sugar levels at a more consistent level. If you go beyond the every 48 hours for exercise you tend to lose this extra advantage of exercise. Keeping this in mind I am trying to at least go for a brisk walk on some of the days I am working my 12 hour shifts and am working on getting everything set back up so I can start riding my bicycle to work again which would add on at least 40 minutes total for the days I ride. :)

I am also trying to be better about eating whole foods again as I had gotten into some horrible eating habits while in grad school and dealing with my recovery from the accident I had. It's hard as the days I work I don't get home until around 8 pm, but I'm at least trying to pack healthy snacks for me to eat and planning my meals around the fresh organic veggies that I get every week from the local CSA I belong to.

Areas I need to work on: I need to stop snacking at work-it's very easy to do as the staff members tend to bring in chips, cookies, and other tempting things. My plan it to keep myself full of the healthy stuff so I'm not as tempted. I also need to pick up the pace on my exercising-a 45 minute walk every other day isn't going to get me back to the shape I used to be and as my job is now not as active it's important for me to be more active on my days off. My husband and I are going to check out recumbent bicycles as riding my old racing style bicycle puts too much of a strain on my neck.

Oh-here's a link to the kale recipe-which by the way is delicious!


allrecipes.com/recipe/kale-salad/det
ail.aspx



  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KOFFEENUT 5/15/2013 8:34PM

    Sounds like you have a terrific plan! (And thanks for sharing the kale recipe - it looks YUMMY!).

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MOTTAMAMALOU 5/15/2013 5:03PM

    Good for you! You know just what you should be doing.
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Today's lab results show I've got some work to do...

Monday, May 06, 2013

Well, I've committed myself to getting back into shape, eating healthier, and being more active than I had been for the last few years while in school and recovering from my accident. Today I received the results from my screening evaluation for a voluntary wellness program through my employer. Some of the results were great and much better than they had been in the past. However, I am concerned that my hemoglobin A1c result (which gives you an idea of how well your blood sugar has been controlled for the last 3 months) puts me at a pre-diabetic level of 6.3. My nurse practitioner had been tracking it and it has always been under 5.7 (which is the highest normal).

I guess I'll look at this as my wake-up call. My weight is up about 8 lbs from where I'd like to be but still considered normal for my height. I have been walking but not as consistently and certainly haven't been having the more intense cardio workouts like I did before the accident (this was almost always done on my bicycle), and my diet hasn't been consistent. So....starting today I'm committing to be serious about my activity level which I believe is the biggest reason for my elevated levels. I'll also make sure I eat less junk food which is a weak spot for me (cakes, cookies, ice cream) which should also take care of my weight gain.

On the upside my cholesterol is pretty good-total is 148, HDL is 50 (high for me but really would be better if it was over 60), LDL was 87, triglycerides were 55, and my fasting glucose was 93. My family history of heart attacks at a young age makes it especially important for me to get my lifestyle factors under control....so I'll keep you updated on my struggle to get back to a healthy me.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DEBC1232 5/15/2013 4:50PM

    Thanks-knowing what to do and getting out of a long rut are two different things...making slow but steady progress with a few back steps along the way.

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KOFFEENUT 5/8/2013 12:35AM

    You know what you need to do in order to be your healthiest, and it sounds like you have a plan for making it happen!

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Never give up on your dreams

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Well, here I am, back after a seriously long hiatus from sparkpeople. Looking at my last post it has been almost a year and half since I was active at all on this site-and that was minimal. I feel blessed to be where I am today after not knowing how my life was going to turn out back in November of 2011.

If you read my previous blog I had been hit by a vehicle while on my bike-to make the story short I wound up with a severe concussion that threatened not only my ability to stay in grad school but also to stay working as a RN. I ended up taking off one month after the accident to try and recover and looking back I tried to go back to soon which just led to more problems with my recovery as well as led to me eventually losing my job after being on leave for another four months.

Basically the head injury made me impulsive and lets just say I might have said a lot of things to co-workers that should have kept to myself. I was also having trouble with short term memory even though my primary doctor and the neurologist I had seen told me I was fine and OK to go back to work. Well, I still had horrible headaches but was coping ok with regular life so I had gone back to work-that lasted for 4 months until my complaints to co-workers about my headaches combined with things I was saying made them concerned I wasn't fit to work. This led to much more specialized testing which showed my short term memory was hovering around the 18th percentile or so (my doctor said I probably should have been around the 90th percentile or higher). Given the test results and the complaints at work, my head injury doctor took me out of work until my results improved and said it would be better if I stopped school. After a long discussion about school she said as long as my clinical rotations were supervised I could continue with grad school. Well, I was still having a hard time learning and even reading a full page and retaining any information was next to impossible so one of my classmates who I had been studying with started reading me ALL the study guides and information I needed to know for the exams (talk about God putting people in your life for a big reason) and I found that although it as more difficult I could still learn and continue on in my graduate program.

Fast forward to today-I managed to finish grad school with a 3.96 GPA, pass my national certification to become a family nurse practitioner, get my license, and am now working at my dream job in an urgent care center. I still have pain in my right hand and wrist that is still being worked on, a few more aches and pains in my knees than before but I can tolerate that, my shoulders give me problems sometimes but it appears I will be able to avoid surgery to correct the torn cartilage. The main problem continues to be my headaches which seem to be worsened by activity that aggravates my neck and sunlight. I at least have finally found a doctor in town who can give me an occipital nerve block (it's a shot of lidocaine in the back of your scalp that works quite well for my particular headache type) which takes away the worst of the pain and more importantly allows me to tolerate being in the sun for small periods of time. I have neck pain that is probably the cause of my headaches and the doctor I see really wants me to have surgery on my neck as the headache never goes away I need the nerve blocks about every two weeks now. At this point I am holding off on surgery and waiting to see a specialist who is both certified for neurology and pain management and specializes in headaches. I'm hoping she will be able to help with other interventions not involving fusion of my neck. Either way I know everything will be ok and I'm learning to enjoy life again in spite of my limitations. Now, I just need to get back in shape and start eating healthy foods :)

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DEBC1232 4/22/2013 9:40PM

    Thanks for the kind comments. I'm just feeling so blessed to be back on a good path, for a while it seemed liked the stress and misery would never end-but the good news is that it always does, and a new day has begun. emoticon

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HAPPYWALKER 4/21/2013 12:00PM

    Wow Deb! Your resilience and strength of purpose really inspires me. After all you went through, I can sense your positive attitude and upbeat spirit. Congratulations on not only finishing grad school, but with a 3.96 GPA! That's awesome!!

I will keep you in my prayers that you get the help you need to alleviate the headaches and any other physical difficulties. You are a very strong person, and I know you will get back into tip-top shape! Blessings to you, my friend.

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KOFFEENUT 4/18/2013 10:46PM

    I am SO GLAD you were able to keep alive your dream of finishing school and accomplish it successfully! You're right - we sometimes don't realize why God puts certain people in our lives, and then they end up playing a pivotal role. (Just like we don't always realize the pivotal role we play in the lives of others!). WOOHOO to you and congratulations on hanging in there, resulting in getting your dream job!

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KNEWMETODAY 4/18/2013 10:03PM

    Glad you came back. I hope you continue to improve.

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TWINKS55 4/18/2013 9:53PM

    you have done excellent!
What a strong spirit you have.
I am proud of you.

~Dianne

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DEBC1232 4/18/2013 9:33PM

    Thanks Sandi, although I thought about quitting school I just couldn't give up on my dreams that easily-I just had to take things one day at a time and somehow I made it though the most challenging time of my life.

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SANDICANE 4/18/2013 9:30PM

    Your story is a PERFECT example of the reason never to give up on our dreams!
Thanks for sharing,
Sandi

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Being hit by a truck isn't going to keep me down.

Friday, December 23, 2011

I've been thinking a lot lately about how unpredictable life can be, how unfair, yet how much of it is still up to how I decide to handle what I've been dealt.

Life was rolling along as planned. I was on track to graduate in one year with my master's degree in nursing and the ability to practice as a nurse practitioner; I was working full time as an ER nurse, and life with my daughter and husband was going well. That all changed on November 18th when I was out on my weekly bike ride and was hit head on by a large commercial van while stopped at a light. I don't remember much as the van hit me, threw me quite a ways and knocked me out. I had damage to most of my extremities and especially my right knee where I believe the van probably made contact with my body.

I am lucky that I was wearing my helmet as I always do, that I wasn't killed, or that more permanent damage was not done to me. The bones of my lower leg are badly bruised and I have post-concussion syndrome that involves headache, dizziness, and concentration problems. My doctor prescribed Ritalin so I could take my final exams (I ended up passing them all) and I was even able to go back to work this week after being unable to function properly for the last 4 weeks. I am still in pain and loathe the dizziness that plagues me along with the difficulty remembering details but feel myself gradually returning to normal.

I am still a bit bitter that the man driving the van was careless and cut his left turn short leaving me wounded and all my plans for school and work were in jeopardy. I am frustrated by the other recent events in my life-my home was burglarized, and my dishwasher, refrigerator, and garbage disposal all decided to quit. However, in the grand scheme of things these are not permanent and are more of an annoyance.

I am back to being able to go for walks and look forward to being able to ride my bicycle again once the dizziness subsides. I long to be able to wake up one day without a headache, but know that time will also come. I am thankful that I am able to write this blog and enjoy the company of family and friends. Life IS good, and things will get better. :)

Here's a pic from last year's Thanksgiving ride (we usually ride just over 50 miles and stop at Starbucks half way for a treat)-couldn't do it this year but next year I'll be back!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HAPPYWALKER 4/21/2013 12:04PM

    You've gone through a lot and accomplished so much in the last year. I'm happy you're back and that you have peace about the adversities you've had to deal with. Eating healthy and getting back to fitness should be a piece of cake (pardon the pun) after all of that! Best wishes for your continued success.

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DEBC1232 4/18/2013 8:49PM

    Looking back on this post I'm realizing I never even replied to any of the comments-sorry about that, I suspect that I just didn't get back on Sparkpeople for a while...like until a few weeks ago. I am happy to say that I'm no longer bitter about the accident, work, and everything else that happened to me back then. I graduated, now have a good job, and am trying to get back on track with eating healthy and getting into shape-but boy it sure is a big challenge after a long time of inactivity and poor eating.

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HAPPYWALKER 12/24/2011 9:44AM

    You are such a strong person, Deb, I admire you! Through all these tragic events, you've managed to stay positive and focused in on your goals.

I know you'll be back on your bike enjoying your rides soon. emoticon

You're on a wonderful career path and will be a great nurse practioner! emoticon

All the best to you in 2012...it's going to be a great year!!!
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KOFFEENUT 12/24/2011 1:04AM

    WOW - you HAVE been thrown some curve balls lately! Good for you on keeping it all in perspective. While none of us want to deal with pain and disruptions in our lives you're right - it could have easily been fatal. Glad you're coming back from it with such a great attitude!

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