Friday, January 21, 2011

The Torture Device and Playing Dead

The other day I watched "Dinner for Schmucks".  I admit, there is a bit of raunchy humor, but overall it was an entertaining movie.  My friends' kids loved it and was quoting it for several days afterward.  There is a part in it where Steve Carell is in a wine bottle throwing fight with this crazy woman and after a few throws, he just slides down the wall in a heap as if unconscious.  The crazy woman leaves and the other guy in the apartment comes out to find Steve on the floor not moving.  Eventually he opens his eyes slowly and a grin creeps across his face.  At this point, Steve explains that if you are ever attacked, "Play dead, it works every time."  That was just one of the things the kids and I laughed about and quoted for several days.

A couple days later, I am at physical therapy and the "Green Torture Device" gets pulled out.  (Note that I did not coin this phrase, it was introduced to me that way a few days earlier.  Comforting, huh.)  This device is a hard plastic scraper that one uses to scrape the most painful place of the inflammation as hard as one can.  I was laying down and the scraping began.  Greg (PT) does it in quick strokes and it was hurting so bad, but I was trying to relax and endure.  I suddenly couldn't take it anymore.  I screamed and shot straight up and tried to wave his hand off of my knee, as he then vocalized "19, 20".  Then he stopped.  Whew, that one hurt like...I shouldn't say.  He offered me his arm to slug and I did...several times. I went home and told my friend and her kids what I had just been through and one of the kids says, "Did you play dead?"  "Oh man, I totally forgot!"  And we giggled for a long time.

I've decided to name the torture device "La Cosa Verde" (The Green Thing).  If you say it low and ominous, it works perfectly.  It reminds me of "The Three Amigos" and their nemesis "El Gato" (The Cat).  The name seems harmless, but it's really not.

Thursday, January 20, 2011


The last few weeks I have felt pretty good.  Feeling like I am finally recovered from my surgery.  My energy is up.  My knee has been bothering me for a while, however, from an "almost" fall on the ice so I decided to go to the doctor.  In turn he sent me to physical therapy and I called up my old physical therapist.  I did this purposefully, because, once my knee is up to snuff, I think I am ready to begin exercising again and as I have mentioned before, I LIKE IT THERE.  When I walk in, it's like I'm Norm on "Cheers".  (Remember how every time he came into the bar, everyone yelled, "Norm!")  I told my PT that when my knee was better I wanted to stay and get back to the exercise.  Then something he said suddenly sank in.  He said, and I'm paraphrasing, "Wendy, your body can do more things than you think it can.  You just have to require it and do it.  It will adapt."  Something to that effect.

Epiphany #1:  If I am to improve my physical situation, I am going to have to do a little more than I think I can do and my body will respond by adjusting to the greater demands.  I need to require my body to go up the steps without stopping and soon it will be easy.  I need to demand that I walk a little faster and soon it will be easy.  I decided that I need to stop babying myself, stop thinking that I have to take it easy because of surgery.  There is a time and a place to take it easy and recover, but I think that time has passed for me and it's safe say that I should demand more out of myself.  It's the only way to progress and improve.

I also recently had a visit with my primary care doctor.  He checked my A1C (a measure of how your blood sugar has been doing recently).  It was moderately high and the doctor added some additional medication and asked that I begin testing my blood sugar.  This was a reality check because I have been in denial for years, calling my condition "Borderline Diabetes".   Well, sista, there's no denying now that I indeed have Diabetes.  That was hard to swallow.  Subsequent glucose tests were and are shockingly high, more evidence that I need to accept a pure Diabetes diagnosis. 

Epiphany #2:  I have got to take better care of myself and take a serious turn in my life to eat better and work on getting this weight off.  Diabetes has body-wide consequences.  Uncontrolled, it damages all your organs and extremities.  I really, really don't want that in my future.  I have enough problems!

As I go about my days, I try to keep these things fresh in my head to motivate me to work on these things.  I'll probably be ready for an exercise program next week sometime and I've been experimenting with food combinations, timing, and a little exercise to figure how best to keep my blood sugar down.  I'm thinking I might need a Diabetic Education refresher course soon, cause I'm a little dumb about that.  But I'm definitely adjusting things in my life.  I know what is ahead of me with the exercise thing.  I am absolutely certain that I will cry hard and want to give up.  But I can't give up.  I CANNOT GIVE UP!