Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Healthy Changes

 When it comes to eating right and exercising, there is no "I'll start tomorrow." Tomorrow is disease. 

Terri Guillemets

Good morning.  Rain in the forecast again today.  I don't mind getting wet in a warm rain; it's those cold and damp rains that I don't like. Yesterday I participated in my first advisory board meeting at the Center.  Yes, I agreed to sit on the board.  They've been trying to get me to run a group as well, but I'm grouped out from my job, and to be honest, I don't think they would like the way I run a group.  I don't allow one person to take over, and I also bring it back to topic when they veer off, which happens frequently.  Yesterday after the board meeting we held our "Alert and Alive" group.  Now, this is supposed to be a group where we talk about old memories, but the poor facilitator, also a client, doesn't know how to control it. 

So, yesterday one gentleman took it totally off topic and began talking about Italy, his son, how he raised him, etc.  A lady born in Italy jumped in and the two of them participated in what could be called a private conversation while the rest of us just sat there.  I used to jump in and bring it back to topic, but I gave that up month's ago.  That is not my job.  Therefore,  my genealogy classes and sitting on the board are as far as my volunteer services at the Center will go.   And I only agreed to the board because it meets only once a month, and there are issues I wanted the opportunity to bring up.

Namely, the food that they serve.  Don't get me wrong.  The food is good, but menus don't change.  They don't even change things around a bit.  For example, whenever they make chicken cutlets they serve them with rice and peas and some lettuce with tomato.  How about changing off to mashed potatoes or noodles sometimes?  But, even more importantly is that they use a wee too much salt.  I always say that if you can taste it, then it is too much.  I absolutely LOVE having salt in my food, but because of high blood pressure, should not indulge.  And, lest we forget, it's a senior center so I'd be willing to guess that at least 90 percent of the population have blood pressure issues. 

I've  begun working on getting my health back lately. How many times have I said that?  Too many.  I start off well, but eventually veer off track. I just have to keep trying until I get it right. So, to begin, I went  to the fruit stand and really stocked up on some good healthy foods. I'll be incorporating more salads into my meals, and am looking forward to a brocolli stir fry I have planned.

My blood pressure has been high, and I know that is because I gave up on my diet.  No excuses.  I just got bored.  And winter set in.  I've never been much of a fruit eater, and just when I had learned to enjoy the various summer fruits, the cold months set in and all that were offered were apples, oranges, and pears. Grapes were also available, but how much of them can you eat.  So, unhealthy snack choices returned to my menu followed by sodium rich foods. How quickly we forget!

My blood pressure is up again, and I've gained weight.  I now weigh more than I ever weighed in my entire life, and I feel it.  I don't know which hurts more--my back, my hips, or my knees. I know that my back pain pretty much stems from the arthritis that set in from an old injury, but I am sure with 50 less pounds, it won't hurt quite as bad.  It hurt so bad on Sunday when I was going to church that I could barely walk.  I was almost ready to cry when  one of the ushers asked if I was okay. I know longer take pain medication as often as I once did because it raises the blood pressure, and, besides, it doesn't even take the pain away anymore.  Thinking that someday it will be too much for me to walk really scares me.  I have been such an active person.  And as if that pain is not enough....

My Losartan has  been causing the most awful muscle spasms you could imagine. Not only were my toes cramping up every night,  but sometimes I would be woken from a sound sleep my a cramp in my calve muscle.  I've tried many things, including acupressure and tonic water with quinine,  aside from going off the medication, and nothing worked.  Then, a friend told me about about Hylands Leg Cramps PM.  It's an old homeopathic formula, and so far it is working very well.  Even the toe cramps have subsided. (Knock on wood).  No more of that nasty tasting tonic water before I go to bed.

Speaking of non-traditional medications, I've started drinking a cup of the following each day for my blood pressure...

Hey, traditional medication isn't working.  I guess it must be keeping my pressure down some, but I am so tired of the side effects.  The Lisinipril made me cough so they had to take me off, and now the Losartin is causing the spasms.  Some studies have shown that Hibiscus tea can lower blood pressure as effectively as pharmaceutical drugs. Keeping my fingers crossed.

My gosh, in my youth I felt I was indestructible and lived that way as well. "Don't carry such a heavy shoulder bag," they used to warn.  Now, there are some days I can't even put my jacket on without pain.  "Don't wear cheap shoes.  Invest in good shoes." I always felt that I would rather have three pair of shoes rather than one good pair.  After all.  They didn't bother me feet.  If only I'd known then what I know now. 

So what would I have done differently if back had I known what today would be like? The answer is 'probably nothing'. I'd probably make the same mistakes, wear the same clothes, and eat the same foods.  Because that is just the way life is.

You may wish you knew then what you know now, but remember sometimes... the things you know now were learned from what you didn't know then.

Terri Amshey

1 comment:

  1. Oh, the pain. I know what you mean. I don't know why but eating a banana a day has really helped with the aches and pains for me. Go figure. I'd say it was the potassium but I already eat a lot of foods with potassium. ? I love love hibiscus tea!!! I didn't know it lowered blood pressure!