Posts Tagged ‘Health’

Marching right into. . . well, something.

September is the month of changes; Adventures and learning curves, even for those well beyond school age. September is when the old farts club’s newsletter arrives brimming with pages of new classes to sign up for.


As I perused the pages I imagined myself trying out for all kinds of new challenges  but I wore myself out reading the descriptions and in the end, signed up, for a fourth time, in the ‘Tai Chi for Beginners’ class and only one new one—Fitness Level 1. And that one was for two reasons only—it had been a hot lazy summer, and the course was labeled as a class of gentle stretches to increase flexibility along with proper breathing and relaxation techniques to energize.



Bald-faced lying old farts!

Gentle stretches my ass! Remember the medicine ball in high school? Divide that in four and you’ve got what they use as balance balls. Sure, if you’re lying on the floor and it’s resting between your feet.

And those cute-colored, stretchy ropes I was told I’d need from the equipment closet. No one mentioned they were color coded for easy, medium and popeye-arms. Guess which one I grabbed?

Then there was the instructor arrived—trim build, white hair and, wow—no moobies. I admit I was impressed with his body but his footwear puzzled me. He wasn’t wearing rubbery-gym shoes. He was wearing big, brown, round-toed hiking style boots. I didn’t get it until he cranked up the music and yelled, “MARCH!”

Those puppies were floor thumpers. We’re talking lift those knees and slap them shoes to the ground boots. March to the front, then march back again. Stomp those feet to one side then stomp to the other. Side to side — left-right, left-right, left-left, right-right, left-left-left, right-right-right.

You know how shock empties the mind? By the time I remembered which foot was left, everyone was right. By the time I flapped out two, they were on three, or back to one. OMG!

Then the nasty instructor starts telling us to turn our feet and legs this way and that way while we’re still doing the side humps. Crap on a Crayola—let’s just say my legs turned in directions they weren’t meant to, even when they were flexible.

Yeah, it was a tough class but, luckily, I had this nice European woman who leaned close after spotting the fear in my eyes.

“Don’t worry” she said, “look how well I’m doing. A year and a half ago I was just like you.”

Oh, yeah, that was encouraging! And, at the end of all those ‘gentle’ exercises, did I feel I’d learned anything?

That I hate exercising? No, I already knew that. I learned that, even if you think you’re heading into a lay-on-the-floor-gently-stretching-apendages-here-and-there class, don’t wear flip-flops.


Because, during certain exercises those tight elastic ropes will slip out from under flip-flops and whatever body part is closest is gonna’ get whacked. And, when that happens, if you have to swear – be aware that Murphy’s Law will stop the music a split second before.


I have until next Monday to decide if I want to go back.

. . Hmmmmmm

It’s that time of year again. . .

sick woman1

Once again the cold season has reared its snotty head!

Am now into week two (since first sniffles) and so so very tired of hearing my pitiful moans each time I have to blow my nose—which is the ugliest shade of reddish-purple I’ve ever seen and trust me I’ve been doing plenty of bathroom-mirror-staring-up-the-nostrils since plugging up.

I keep thinking Man-Wonder has reached the breaking point in listening to my sniffing and snorting, and has waited until I fall into the daily dozen or so, half-sitting, foggy slumbers before sneaking in, and, lovingly (sure, sure), shoved wads of twisted tissue up my nostrils, in hopes of a few moments of silence.

The other though that keeps me checking is the thought that maybe I’ve sleep-sniffed so freaking hard I’ve sucked up my a shit-load of fibers from my drool cloth.

HEY! Don’t laugh!

Since the nose turned into a solid block of . . . ,  there’s been a lot of serious mouth-breathing. And, since I’m unable to sleep on my back, the drool have the perfect opportunity to make a run for it.

Colds are so disgusting!

Take coughing—mine is now a serious strain on my abdomen it’s causing more embarrassing moments. Like having to run for the washroom because the bladder has been coughed inside out.

Gotta’ go to the doctors? Or run out of cough syrup? Guaranteed the cough-fart, cough-fart, cough-fart scenario is coming up. And worse yet—since the nose is blocked, there’s no sense of smell.

You start a cough-fart session and you better start trotting  running away.

Never mind you’re doing a serious imitation of tugboat Annie as you propel yourself forward.

Never mind that your mouth is hanging open like a demented cat. Or that there’s a thin silver bubble dancing on the end of your nose.

Just go. . . G0. . . GO!

Yeah, I love colds. It brings one down to the humblest of places. I guess in some ways it’s good to get a cold. It makes one appreciate full body control and function.

And now, thanks to the daily pot of stinging nettle, green, and red clover brew, the dark circles under my eyes are slowly fading and the ability to hear the world around me is growing stronger.

Like the sound of Man-Wonder doing a lot of low-level throat clearing. . .

. . Crap, Crap, and double-crap—I do believe round two in the battle of the travelling mucus is about to take place.

Walking Idiots . . . or. . . Idiots Walking?

Morrell Nov 8 2014 (10)

Man-wonder and I have been wandering in the bushes again. Okay, bushes within park boundaries.

We decided it was time to retry our luck in Morrell Sanctuary—a skookum inner-city walking park wrapped around a small lake. The last time we walked it we accidentally ended up on the highest peak in the park. Which is not a place I’d go willingly, since I grew up in a small town built on a steep hill.

And, yes, once again we wandered off onto a wrong path. Our big clue this time, after long passing Morrell Lake,  was seeing the sparkle of another lake through the trees—a much larger lake, and one that didn’t belong to our park.

Or should I say, the park we shoulda’ been in? After getting ourselves turned around the right way, we had a fun walk back; kicking and crunching our way along trails thick with  leaves and marveling at how quiet, aside from us,  the park was.

Eventually, we arrived back at our starting point—and because we were finally  in a ‘let’s pay attention to the signs’ mode we caught the two we’d missed going in:

One reported recent bear sightings.

The other listed a cougar sighting from that morning!

. .  . . . . So what did we learn?

That either we learn to read every freaking sign OR we take up running. Because, at our normal speed, where we are regularly passed by the elderly with their walkers—what’s our chances of outrunning a wild beastie . . . ?






What’s a pound anyway?


“You have two months to get your blood pressure down to a normal state or you will begin taking medication.”



An excerpt from my most recent conversation with my doctor. Nice person but one I try not to see more than twice a year. Mostly because I can find much more comfortable places to wait, and wait, and wait. . . Nor do I like sitting in a large room where a small percentage of the other ‘waiters’ are coughing up god knows what into little white tissues they hold in their fists like a child holds candy. And it is kind of terrifyingly fascinating to watch those poor souls who you just know aren’t going to be coming back for many more doctor visits while wondering if that will be your fate also.

Aside from those reasons, I find one visit to the doctor for a simple matter will always lead to two or three more visits because she/he is determined that since you are there they are going to check every freaking little and not-so-little part. They are going to poke and probe and tap and maybe, if they are lucky, they’ll find some rare or catastrophic disease in their hunt.

Not that I’ll ever admit it but I like her thoroughness. I just wish she could use a bit of physic ability and see into my energy fields for problems. It sure would save a lot of time and blood testing. . .

So, Man-wonder and I are embarking on our second time on the GI Diet lifestyle. This time it truly does have to become a lifestyle . . .

one pound of fat — A motivational image to keep us hanging in there.


The throat bone is connected to the nose bone and the nose bone is connected to the brain bone and the brain bone is . . . . .

Finally the last little nagging-tickle-in-throat cough from the spring cold has departed. Spring has indeed arrived inside our bodies as it has outside.

We’re free of the muscus-maker.

Well, maybe.

Step back one day: We’re standing in line at the grocery store when my nice, clear, unplugged nose picks up the familiar scent of lemon-coated medicine in cough drop form. Casually pulling up my collar to cover my nose and mouth, I glance around, hunting for the culprit. Then, to my horror, the cashier in front of me softly clears her throat—sending another sickly sweet cloud my way while she man-handles our purchases with virus-carrying, germ-bagging hands.

Oh, crap!

My first instinct was to duck and run but I stood my ground and fought like a princess-warrior against both it and my second instinct, which was to grab the plastic bag out of her hands, pull it down over her germ-spewing face and shove her out the door, telling her to go home and rest. Alone. Out of the public.

But I didn’t do that either.

Instead I put on my pleasant little old lady persona and said, “Oh dear, you have a cold. Shouldn’t you be at home with your head down and your feet up?”

“Can’t. Anyway, it’s my second one this spring.” She croaks, sucking like a demon. “In between I had strep throat.”

I look over at Man-wonder. He’s looking back at me (from a safer distance) with one eyebrow raised. I wonder if I cave and  make a dash for the door, leaving him to handle things—would he? His eyes narrow. He shakes his head.

Sometimes being together for a long time can be a pain; too much mind reading going on. I sigh.

He’s right. If I ask him to take over with germzilla he’s more likely to end up with another cold and to be honest, it’s not worth it—who’s his nurse going to be since I’ve about used up my this-year’s-supply-of-nice already? Things could get sad in an ugly way fast.

And then, that’s when it hit me—what if this rampant virus-spewing epidemic of forced sharing is part of our evolution? Maybe, since the majority of our population is aging, there isn’t going to be enough of the sturdy-studly generation to care for all of us. So maybe, just maybe, this is natural selection at work.

Hmmmm. . . . oh god, is that a germ I feel climbing up my nostril?

Picture 4c

Tissue Town

When Man-wonder picked up a cold I avoided him where ever possible. We air kissed hello, goodbye and were seldom in the same room. Didn’t matter a diddle-squat—I still inhaled germs somewhere along the lines. So that’s the highlight of our lives at this point; waiting for bedtime so we can collapse. Sometimes our coughing and hacking almost sounds synchronized—like the mating call of the moose, or geese on the fly-by.

Living in this MHP has been a bit like taking a can-opener to my foggy brain. Here I was—in the usual self-pity state of mind, looking up every symptom online until I was sure I was developing some other deadly virus. I swear I could feel my body shriveling, dying, cell by cell. To shake myself out of my melancholy I worked up the energy for a trip to the mailbox (roughly one hundred feet from our door.) After checking that no one else was outside, loitering in the vicinity, I made a hobbly-dash for the post boxes.

And immediately ran into two neighbors!

They quickly and politely moved away from my hacking frame but continued to give me the run down on the neighbors.  Like the fellow who’s working on his  third go-round of the cold. Another one was struggling through a chest cold right up until he had a heart attack. And another neighbor, suffering from emphysema, picked up the virus too and is now in hospital fighting for her life. It’s not looking good.

So my snotty attitude has been wiped away. And I’ve been able to shush the child in me who wishes someone would wrap her up in a soft blanket and rock her until she feels better, and the adult in me wishes someone would just pick up a big honking rock and put her out of my misery. And. even though, right now, I feel like a big old icky sticky bag of germs I know it’ll soon run its course.

Besides, I still got my stash of herbs and tinctures . . . so bring on the hot water and let’s concoct until the germs are running for their lives. (Man-wonder makes a fine guinea pig).

Hurray for Spring and all it brings eh?

An Amazing Breast Cancer Book

Breast Stories, Cancer survivors speak out, Portraits by Phil Carpenter.


What an amazing book. When I saw this book, I knew I had to read it. My sister survived breast cancer and many times I wondered about the things left unsaid, the emotions buried deep and held secret.

And having read it all I can say is, OMG!

Some stories made me cry; some stories made me cheer and some left me wondering why. But every one of them are survivors. Champions who have faced a battle most of us pray we won’t.

The funny thing about this book, well, not so much the book as me, was the hesitation I felt looking at the pictures. At first, it felt like I was in a peep show gawking at strange forbidden sights. I thought I was looking at women stripped of their femininity; ripped open for the world to stare at and deep in some shameful hidden spot I wondered how could they hold open their battle-beaten chests?

I learned. Oh yeah, I learned! As I read their stories, I realized I needed to take a look at my own sense of self-worth and uneducated thoughts.

Sure, they’re holding up their battle scars but they are also showing such a deep sense of female self, it’s awe-inspiring. They hadn’t lost anything other than flesh. They’d had to fight not only a life-threatening disease, but also their own unworthy thoughts and beliefs. AND THEY’D WON! What they are so proudly showing the world is a deep sense of self-worth and strength.

I wish I could stand in front of each one of them and give them a standing ovation; And I pray that should I be faced with the same battle, I find the same level of courage and self-worth as they have.

And yes, I always knew my sister was strong. I just didn’t realize the depth of her strength.

Right on sis, right on!

It Ain’t Easy Being Green

This past week has been an unhealthy one. First Man-wonder went down in a blaze of mucus and I had to finally shut the bedroom door on him—sealing him in bed in his own hacking hell.

Our concern was my 92-year-old mom picking up his germs and it worked. Sort of.

She didn’t pick up his cold. She developed bronchitis instead which was not a good thing at all. The illness caused her heart medications to go wonky, which in turn, made her worse. She ended up in emergency care with digoxin toxicity. It was a scary time. Especially with Mom having serious memory issues (won’t call it dementia since we haven’t had any formal testing done).

Poor Mom had a rough go of it but recuperated enough to return home a couple of days ago.

And I, in turn, stopped taking Advil, which allowed what I’d been ignoring to hit me like a sledge-hammer. I don’t believe if I threw myself off our back deck (one story high), rolled down the wet grass until I landed splat into the ankle-deep mucky creek and then ran naked and screaming like a banshee along our road, it would cause me to feel any worse . . .

It’s hard to see past the piles of used Kleenex, the over-heated house and sounds reminiscent of our inner harbour (when the seals return). It’s hard to feel nice. And I don’t. I’m pretty sure if I looked real close in the mirror, I’d see cold snake-like eyes staring back at me.

So, if you’ll excuse me, I hear the kettle whistling and I want to be alone with my latest witches’ brew —elderberry tincture, ground licorice root, sliced ginger root and loose green tea—to which I’ve added a nice hunk of raw honey just in case any sense of taste has returned.

Here’s hoping next week isn’t as green . . .