Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Almost winter thoughts

I was wakened this morning by a long, very loud clap of thunder followed by a torrent from the sky. Very unusual for our part of the country. Within an hour, the clouds had moved on and the sky was momentarily blue. But it is raining again, and it will be for at least another six months. Or so it seems.

I get cloudy this time of year. And sometimes then I eat. Yesterday I joined the gym that took over the gym I belonged to before but never used. And I talked to a trainer and got his assessment of what I need. I'm very flexible but I need to increase my strength. And I need to change how I eat. The trainer recommended a book which I downloaded onto my Kindle and started. So far, I've been reminded of the terribleness of obesity and bad eating habits, and all the diseases, and the life-shortening possibilities. And the three tiny pieces of biscotti I ate last night started to feel like poisonous little chunks. So today I'm eating fruit and not sugar and not much dairy, and I'm hoping the pants that were a bit tight three days ago will loosen up by the end of the week.

I gave blood this morning. My blood pressure was 110/80. I said to the lady, "Isn't that great? Thank goodness for Lisinopril." She looked at me and said, "Do you have a cough?" I said yes. She said, "I had that cough too until I stopped taking Lisinopril." So when I got home I looked up when I started taking that med - about two years ago. And when I got the cough - also about two years ago. Duh! I sent an email to my doc asking for a change to the medication. He responded by suggesting I split the dose for a week, then get off for a week, and see how the bp looks. That had been my suggestion a couple of months ago, actually, but he said then to wait until we got back from Italy in November after we'd eaten all the salt there, and I said okay. I'd really like to not need the meds. But then I thought, well, I've gained a few pounds since we got back from Italy and I started sitting around instead of walking because I had jet lag and then I caught the two-week cold that's going around, so my bp will probably be high when I go off the meds, and I always get nervous when I take my bp and it's high. But then I figured, at this point at least I can go back on meds, if necessary, that don't make me cough! So I'm sitting here, feeling fat and slothful and pre-nonmedicated.

My neighbor across the street has become a friend now that I'm not working. Today she called and asked me to take her to the doctor on Friday morning so she can get a tissue biopsy. Of course I said yes. But now I feel fatter, and guilty because I'm healthy but slothful.

And there's a tinge of sadness in me today because one of my favorite blogging friends is taking a break from blogging and I know I will miss her posts and her comments on my posts. I sent her an email and said if she travels to our part of the country she's welcome to stay with us. She responded with a lovely email, but I still feel sad because I'm not nuts about change. I want all the people I care about to stay around forever, and for some reason they all insist on having their own lives instead.

I guess I should turn on my light box! It's winter, after all.


Linda said...

Tell me more about your light box and the dawn simulator.

Linda Myers said...

In the winter I use a bright light box in the morning. Mine is about five inches square, and I turn it on for half an hour while I check email, etc. It provides the bright light we don't get in the winter in the Pacific Northwest. On the website, you can take a test and get a recommendation for how to use the light.

I also have a dawn simulator. This little device patches into your nightstand light. You set the time you want to get up, and half an hour before the alarm goes off your nightstand light will start to get light, very gradually, so by getting-up time your light is completely on and you aren't trying to get out of bed in a dark room.

My devices are several years old and it looks like the companies have been bought by Philips. Here's the URL:

Good luck!


Unknown said...

Yes, and you're retired. Based on what I experienced during my first dark non-working winter, I'd expect you to feel a little more focused on the blood pressure (good info on the meds, thank you), your imagined slothishness (nobody can take 325 trips in six months and be considered slothish) and generally down on yourself. Take heart - your dawn simulator should be home any day now.

Linda Reeder said...

You may be a little sad, but you made me laugh! "Fat and slothful and pre-nonmedicated"! I share the "fat" part, but not the rest. I have been very busy with holiday preperedness. Right now I'm finishing up a sewing project and I usually never work of things like this after dinner.
You are newly retired. this too will pass, until it creeps up on you again, and then you will beat it down again.

Unknown said...

I didn't know how the light box worked. Sounds like a great invention!

Hope that by exercising, you will be able to maintain your blood pressure better.

Hang in're not slothful at all, just relaxing.

Arkansas Patti said...

I have read that about coughing and Lisinopril. Hope you can either do with out or get something that is cough free.
Winter is always a tough time for exercise. We don't have a mall here for mall walking. I have been almost run down in our Walmart however by serious seniors. Guess I need to get that new belt for my treadmill. I do love using it but right now it is worthless.
The only way I can control my weight is by keeping a food log.
Good luck.

DJan said...

I take lisinopril but have never had the cough. I cut my scrip in half, though, by doing just what your doctor suggested. I was taking 10 mg and now it's only 5, in the morning, but when I try to get off completely, my bp tends to creep up.

In retirement, I've replaced my work life with a workout life, and it works for me. I love the friends I've made at the gym and the exercise is almost an afterthought. I always feel so good afterwards, too. Today is the Trailblazers, and we will be hiking in the rain today. I go for the exercise and the companionship. And the pictures, if it's not raining too hard.

Jenn Flynn-Shon said...

Thanks for including that info on the light box. In the northeast we also experience the cloudy days for most of the winter and my own thoughts seem to mirror yours. I'll definitely look into picking one of those up, thanks!

Deb Shucka said...

I can so relate to all of this. So hard to feel fully alive when outside is so grim and lightless. I hope you find some lightness and some energy as we wait for the sun to return. Reading your words has lightened my day.

Sally Wessely said...

I think many of us feel the same way on certain days. Cut yourself some slack. My mother is 94 years old and doing extremely well. She reminds me all the time that what I don't get done today will be there tomorrow. Retirement is all about learning how to set our own schedules without feeling driven.

Anything Fits A Naked Man said...

Oh, I'm the same way about change! I just HATE it! Other people seem to go along, moving to new places, taking new jobs without batting an eye. It makes me INSANE!! Sigh!

I'm trying to up my work-outs and change my diet recently, too. Isn't just IMPOSSIBLE during the holidays? Every time I have to turn down an order of gingerbread, I die a little inside! But, like you, I know it will be worth it when the pants stop squeezing the life out of me at the waistband!!

Good luck to us both!!

Tabitha Bird said...

Winter is a tough time for me too. It is Summer here now though. And hot as Christmas always is in Australia. Hugs to you :))

Cheryl Kohan said...

That dawn simulator sounds like a great gadget. I might look into that.

I joined our local YMCA and I love it. Haven't been as faithful the past few weeks and I feel guilty about that. I really do feel better when I get my exercise.

I've got the same friend, Linda. I'll miss her posts, too, but you've got to do what you've got to do, right? So I wish her well.