New lifestyle - Feeling good - Moving on

What a difference a year makes ....

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27/01/2009 at 11:37

Disabled and desperate
Over 50, Overweight, Life feels over

December 2007 .. I posted the above sad and sorry saga right here in Runners World Forums ..

My life really did feel awful .. no hope for the future ... I only came to Runners World to enter the Christmas comps .. started reading some of the forum threads ... made my own tearful contribution .. and the rest as they say .. is history !!

To my amazement my  'desperate plea for help' was quickly answered by some wonderful Runners World forumers .. very quickly I felt huggled by the 'love and warmth' in those early replies .. the genuine kindness of people made me feel I 'must do better' ... 'must get my act together' .. 'should and could do better' ...

And I became so motivated that I have pretty much changed my whole life around .. it's been a wondrous year for me .. I moved rom my old home in a small very rural village to a brilliant sheltered housing flat here in Cambridge .. everything I need for day to day living is roughly within half a mile of my home instead of at least 8 miles away ... and no more maintenance costs or worries ...

I now go out several times a week instead of just once a fortnight .. and with the extra activity my general health has improved .. I am slowly losing weight ... and my peviously 'somewhat fragile' state of mind has changed to a much more positive mindset .. I am feeling pretty good about my future ...

I have even started doing a few voluntary things for my housing association .. so I have interesting challenges and tasks to look forwards to from time to time .. what a difference a year makes ... and I strongly believe it's all down to you .. the Runners World forumers ... you've changed my life .. given me a new purpose in life ... and made me feel GOOD about myself once again ...  in particular I have come to think of GC as my lovely friend .. always helping me and shooing me forwards to bigger and better things .. thank you so much ... words can never say how much you have helped me .. and how grateful I am  

With all these wonderful changes in my life the old Disabled and Desperate" thread was no longer appropriate ... I'm 'Moving On' ... and who knows what will be happening throughout this year ... one thing I do know is I am going to 'enjoy the ride ...

27/01/2009 at 12:08

So lets start the new thread on a really good note ...

I am really excited .. last week I ordered an electric bathlift ..

Bathlift ... not something I ever thought I would get excited about .. but having searched for weeks and weeks to find the right product I can say .. I have found it ... at a stonkingly good price .. and I am very excited about it

It goes really low into the water .. less than 2.5" high (most are around 4-5") ... and rises to a 'near normal' seating height of 19" (most are between 12-15") .. this means I will feel really safe getting up from the bathlift. It also splits into two pieces .. so I can easily remove it to clean the bath properly and more importantly take it with me if I take a few days away .. no more having to pay 'extra' just to get disabled rooms with a shower cubicle instead of a shower over a bath... It was delivered yesterday ... I charged the battery overnight .. and this morning I had a bath ...  wooohoooo .. and it must be around 12-13 years since I last had a bath ... hahahhha It was great .. I did feel really safe ... had a quick but thorough splishy splashy .. and my legs feel as light as a feather .. now I just need some of those pretty coloured battery operated 'pool lights' ... ohhh and one of those 'air bubble' massage mats ... hehhehhh !!!
27/01/2009 at 14:43
Glad you're feeling more positive about life patootie. You're an inspiration.

How did you get on with the wobbliator thingy in the end?
27/01/2009 at 14:48

hey Patootie, I'm so pleased to hear of your progress - what a great year for you!

I have to laugh though - 1st bath in 13 years!

27/01/2009 at 15:06

Thanks for posting ..

I am a 'mucky pup' aren't I not bathing for so long ... heheheh ... showers been well used of course .. but the pleasure of just being able to sit in a bath and contemplate your naval for a while is immeasurable

The 'wobbleator' is still in regular use .. I can't do more than 10 minutes .. but my posture and core muscles seem a lot better and stronger .. I've even stopped using my walking stick in the house .. other than on very bad days  

And it certainly seems to relax my leg muscles .. if they feel 'tight' before I go to bed I have 2 minutes worth of 'wobble' .. that's cut down my nighttime cramps by about 90% ...

Things are certainly very different now .. and I am determined to keep going to get fitter .. I've even started doing a little gentle 'jogging' while waiting for the kettle to boil ... I don't let the balls of my feet come off the ground and just 'bounce' up and down a little .. and when I go out on my disability scooter I often try and 'jog' my feet up and down on the scooter foot platform .. I could only manage about 10 'steps' to start with .. now I am doing well over 50 at a time .. as Mick'n'Phil often say ... small steps ....

Edited: 27/01/2009 at 15:07
27/01/2009 at 21:03

hiya patootie,

Fantastic news that you've had such a good year.. Just think where you'll be this time next year???


27/01/2009 at 21:17

Woooohoooo, what a great new thread to see, Patootie! You've truly revolutionised your life in the last year, and while it's good to know that the forum has helped you (as it helps such a lot of us), YOU are the one that did it!!

Your account of your 'first bath in years' was brilliant. And I bet it WAS nice, cos showers are businesslike but a bath is real indulgence. I now have this great soft-focus image of different coloured underwater strobe lights, jacuzzi-style aeration, and lots of frothy bubble bath, with you there like at 1940's starlet )

Good news about the wobbleator, too. I remember how tiring you found it at first, so your core fitness must have really increased a lot over the year. ESPECIALLY nice that it's got rid of the cramps that used to be such a painful nuisance.

Yup, you've come a loooong way since you first posted! As WH says, who can even imagine where you'll be this time next year?!? xxx

28/01/2009 at 05:46

Thank you GC ... I hardly dare think about 'how far I have come' .. now and then I do go back and read that first maudling post ... what a difference .. a bit scary to think I was at such a low lifes ebb .. and thank goodness I found the courage (constantly cheered on by RW) to make the changes ..

I got quite emotional starting this new thread .. because I've said it now .. new lifestyle .. feeling good ... moving on .. it's a lot to live up to isn't it .. blimey ... but I was also really excited to think what I might get up to next .. and this may sound corny .. now when I wake up each morning I feel ready to embrace the day .. to do something positive however small .. to try something new .. and my days seem to be whizzing by ... unlike the 'bad old days' when I almost groaned out loud to think I had to 'endure' yet another long dull day .. just proves the old adage ... "Life is what we make of it" ...

28/01/2009 at 07:45

always nice to read threads like this

28/01/2009 at 10:07

Thank you Plodding Hippo .. and nice to see you again ..

I lay awake last night thinking about how I should try and go forwards .. obviously I do want to make some more progress .. but know I need to take care not to get carried away in the excitement of the moment .. if I set too high goals I could be due a big disappointment .. set them too low and I won't achieve as much as I perhaps could  ..

So .. and with the thinking of Mick'n'Phil yet again .. I am going to plan ahead in small steps month by month .. this month I have now achieved this 'complete break' with my 'old self' .. cutting the ties to the old thread was harder than I thought it would be .. I suppose it was a kind of 'security blanket' where if things seemed too hard or didn't go well I could use it to say .. 'I told you so .. I can't cope' ..  .. but with GC (that's Gentle Chugger of course) ever eager and gently pushing me on I have come to realise I don't need to look backwards .. that life is done with ... forever

Also this month I have achieved another mighty step forward in sourcing and buying the wonderful bathlift .. my Fibromyalgia and Osteo-Arthritis are definitely going to benefit from me taking a bath .. or two .. my skin will appreciate the odd soak .. or two .. and it certainly lifted my spirits .. one more small step back to 'normality'

So ... what can I plan for February .. the shortest month .. your ideas warmly welcomed .. come along and help me plan my future ...

Edited: 28/01/2009 at 10:12
28/01/2009 at 10:22

Well isn't this thread fantastic - doesn't it make you feel all warm and gooey!! 

Patootie you've done brilliantly and you should be really proud of yourself.

28/01/2009 at 18:56

Great to hear you sounding so positive Patootie. I stopped posting on the old thread when it quickly became apparent to me that there were others (such as GC) who had more to give in your situation than I did but I have followed your progress as a regular lurker.

The real question is - what do you want from February?"

Don't be afraid to set your sights high, just accept that you might not always reach them first time.

28/01/2009 at 19:47
Little M.iss Happy wrote (see)

The real question is - what do you want from February?"

Thank you for 'lurking' now and then .. Little M.iss Happy .. I have appreciated every scrap of encouragement over the last year ... so 'lurkers' welcome

I'm not sure what I want from February .. I do have plans to try and start walking more .. but don't want to start until the weather is warmer as the fibro' makes my muscles 'overwork' .. in the colder weather I get very stiff and too much movement makes the muscles go into spasm .. so I'm saving walking for the warmer weather ..

I could perhaps acclimatise myself better with my new locality ... I've not really explored very far yet .. got to work on that though .. I am prone to panic attacks (dratted fibro' again) if I suddenly feel lost .. so I'll need to check out the route thoroughly before I go driving anywhere .. and maybe that too would be more fun if the weather was warmer .. scratches head .. not at all sure what to do next month ..  

28/01/2009 at 20:14

Aw, LMH, I think your wonderful question shows that you've got LOADS to offer in the way of intelligent support!  Seems to me to put the issue in just the right light.  

Patootie, if you think of what you would like from February, the idea of orienting yourself sounds great, especially if it would give you the confidence to venture out more when the weather improves. What can you do? Do you have maps of the area? Do know already of places you'd like to go --for shopping, theatre, sightseeing, garden, art exhibition? Can you check on everything you need to get there, like access, parking etc? It might be nice to have a little store of already-planned outings for half days, or one or two hour jaunts, so that when we get a nice day you can just grab one and take off, safe in the knoweldge that you've already got it all lined up. Any good?

Stray thought. You obviously need to be very careful not to do too much physically in cold weather, but is there any chance you could do a little gentle upper-body stuff? Even a few gentle head-rolls can loosen your neck, and lifts with a tin of tomatoes in each hand can wake up your arm and shoulder muscles.

Another stray thought. You write so well, have you ever thought about keeping a diary? You know, like the Victorian Lady? Any obsevations of nature, memories, reflections on what you see or on what's happened. I really believe that at some point you will write professionally, and it's never too soon to start.

But the main thing is just what LMH said: what would YOU like to get out of this month? Whatever it is, go for it!

29/01/2009 at 21:04
Patootie, please think of me tomorrow morning. I have to take one of our three cats---the oldest, and most timid and most ladylike--to the vets tomorrow. She's had kidney disease for a while but the last few days she's clearly been feeling unwell and the vet says it's time to let her go. I'll make sure she is safe and relaxed and happy all the way through, and I know it's the right thing to do, but it isn't easy.
29/01/2009 at 21:19

Awww  GC .. that's a very hard thing to do .. I felt so guilty when my cats came to the end of their lives .. it's such a fine line between wanting to keep them going as long as possible ... and allowing them the dignity to end their life before the quality of life is impaired .. 

Be brave .. it really is the kindest thing to do however much it hurts us .. because when you love your pets you never want them to be in pain or suffering ... so well done .. I will be thinking of you .. !

29/01/2009 at 21:44
You're right, Patootie, it is that balance. But she's done awfully well to manage this long---she's my older son's cat and we were afraid she might reach this stage before he went to uni last September. I spoke to him tonight and he asked if it could wait til he came home next weekend, but when I told him what the vet said, he agreed we should just let her go gently now before she feels any worse. And I'm sure it's best for her, because she really can't get better now. But you can't help wishing it were otherwise.
30/01/2009 at 00:08

Wow! That's a fantastic story - I'm seriously impressed!

 I'd agree with other people about setting your goal as what you want to do, but have you got an expert patient programme running in your area? Usually run for your local PCT by people who have long term conditions for people with long term conditions (like pain management/arthritis/diabetes/asthma etc). Lots of support and positivity usually! 

30/01/2009 at 01:09

  "Expert Patient" programmes .. dashes off to google it ...

Ahh now I know .. yes I did start going to one of those courses where I used to live .. 8 people .. we were all people living with pretty nasty long term illnesses ... by the time the coffee came round we'd all had enough .. it was a waste of time .. and we all went home ..

I would have found the literature fairly useful when I was first thrown out of work .. which is what all the other folks said .. but so many years down the line we had already learnt the hard way about all the tips and coping strategies .. I mean they spent 15 minutes suggesting we made 'lists' of things we need to remember .. well DUH ... you learn that in the first week of a long term illness ...

I think we just had a lousy team of people .. one of the ladies told us her long term illness was 'a brain tumour' .. or so she'd thought .. for 5 years she'd worried about it .. then got medical help and only found she was having tension headaches .. tension headaches from worring she had a 'tumuor' silly woman .. 'miraculously' she said I was able to 'cure' myself by not worrying so much .. but she was still off sick and claiming disability benefits ..

The other lady had mild asthma .. so neither of the tutors had any idea what long term illnesses really are like .. we all complained .. the lady on benefits had a reassessment and was sent packing back to work .. and the asthma lady was sacked from volunteering for the PCT for falsely claiming how ill she was ..  

I've been on waiting lists for the pain clinic .. waited 18 months .. only to be told that there are no pain management medications, tips or tricks to help anyone with Fibromyalgia .. I've done the cognitive courses that they do in America .. or at least I have read the course instructions online and done it myself .. I think it's just that fibro is such a difficult syndrome to diagnose and find appropriate medications for .. shall I give the symptom again ...  do you mind .. don't read them if you don't want to ..  

Edited: 30/01/2009 at 01:10
30/01/2009 at 01:13

 Fibromyalgia commonly identified Symptoms (63)

__ recurrent flu-like illness
__ recurrent sore throats, red and injected
__ painful lymph nodes under the arms and neck
__ muscle and joint aches with tender and trigger points - up to 18 of them
__ night sweats and fever
__ severe nasal and other allergies
__ irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
__ weight change - usually gain
__ heart palpitations
__ mitral valve prolapse
__ severe PMS
__ yeast infections
__ rashes and itching
__ uncomfortable or frequent urination
__ interstitial bladder cystitis
__ chest pains (non-cardiac)
__ temporomandibular joint dysfunction (in the jaw)
__ hair loss
__ carpal tunnel syndrome
__ cold hands and feet
__ dry eyes and mouth
__ severe and debilitating fatigue
__ widespread pain
__ other chronic illness(es) usually present (like diabetes, hypoglycemia, asthma, lupus, ms, etc.)
__ numbness in the limbs, not painful like pins & needles
__ painful swelling in the hands, legs, feet, neck
__ GERDs (gastro-esophageal reflux disorder)
__ “growing pains” start in childhood and teens, continue into adulthood
__ widespread body pain during/after physical exertion

__ attention deficit disorder
__ spatial disorientation
__ calculation difficulties
__ memory disturbance
__ communication difficulties (problems speaking, confusing words)

__ depression
__ anxiety and panic attacks
__ personality changes, usually for the worse
__ emotional lability (mood swings)

__ sleep disturbances
__ headaches
__ changes in visual acuity
__ numb or tingling feelings
__ burning sensations
__ light headedness
__ feeling 'spaced out'
__ desequilibrium
__ frequent unusual nightmares and disturbing dreams
__ tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
__ difficulty in moving your tongue to speak
__ severe muscle weakness
__ susceptibility to muscle, tendon, ligament injury
__ intolerance to bright lights
__ intolerance to alcohol
__ intolerance to sound
__ extreme sensitivity to medications and their side-effects
__ alteration of taste, smell, and hearing
__ insomnia
__ inability to achieve stage 4 restorative sleep
__ morning stiffness in the muscles and joints
__ restless leg syndrome
__ muscle spasms
__ muscle quakiness and shivering during/after activity or exercise
__ sleep paralysis (related to stage 4 sleep deprivation)

Edited: 30/01/2009 at 01:13
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