Tuesday, March 04, 2014

There Are Days

Then there are days.

I probably should have my butt kicked for not posting any sort of update, but there really hasn't been much to talk about unless I whine. Mostly I struggle to lose several pounds, then the diuretics desert me and I gain it all back. Up and down, back and forth. Just lately, I lost two pounds per day for four days, then gained back four yesterday. I could tell it was gonna happen because my quantity and frequency of urination was not nearly enough. Today, things started out good, but kinda petered out, as it were. I still have to take the other half of my meds for the day, so there is hope that this day might be good or at least break even, but I won't know until I take my daily morning weight.

I have not been doing much in the way of exercising, either. As unpredictable as my legs are as far as just losing feeling and dumping me - I just do not feel comfortable outside walking around away from handholds and chairs to sit in to recover. I've already had one trip to the hospital when I trusted my legs too far, I don't care to repeat that. Next time I might actually break bones and the chance of a severe infection scares me as well. Don't wanna lose a leg because I figured I could make it.

I don't even try at Wally World anymore - I just grab one of the fat bastard lazy riding carts to shop. I can lean on a shopping cart and shop for a while, but I can't take the long distances in a SuperCenter. I did spend about an hour draped all over a shopping cart at the local grocery store the other day, and I pulled it off, but wow, did it ever wreck me. I was beat and useless the rest of the day.

So, I could see this lack of exercise was gonna be a killer should I let it go. So, I ordered this:

That would be this hybrid trainer. I figure I can sit or stand and work out my arms, too, depending on how I feel.

It should be noted that I hate working out with the heat of a thousand suns. I hate working out on machines even more. However, if I want to continue to occupy my little spot on this planet for much longer, that has to change, and change in a positive direction.

So, as soon as it's put together, away I go.

And I've really, really been a sodium Nazi with my food. I went through my cabinets the other day, and pretty much anything that was over ten percent minimum daily requirement for sodium went out the door. I gave it all to Cuzzin Tom, who will pick over what he wants and take the remainder to a food bank in Dodge City. It has been an education in and of itself finding out how loaded with salt our diet really is, and how some claims for heart health are pure bullshit. I'm talking to you, Campbells, when it comes to your heart healthy soups. How can it be heart healthy when your sodium contend starts approaching fifty percent of the minimum daily requirement? Like over forty percent? I read somewhere that when they came out with that line of soup that the sodium was considerably lower (but still high at over twenty percent and well above my cutoff of ten percent), but sales were down until they pumped a bunch of salt in for flavor.

I was buying buttloads of roma tomatoes and running them and other veggies - green bell pepper, onion, celery, mushrooms, carrots and so on into a veggie sauce and cook that down for the better part of a day. I had it all loaded up with a ton of spices, and to make tomato soup I just added some sodium free chicken broth. I'd been a big user of chicken and beef bouillon, but that stuff is basically salt with a flavor added. And I lucked out at the local grocery store - Wally World sure as hell didn't carry this. Hormel makes sodium free bouillon powders in chicken and beef flavors (Herb-Ox is the brand line). The store carried a box with some one cup packets. Turns out they have jars available, but no one around here carries 'em. Amazon sells it by the case, so I'm sitting on a case each of chicken and beef powders.

And Mrs. Dash's hotter flavors really add some zing in food - I've used it in sauces, soups and stews, and pretty much everything else as well. Most of my cooking now has a Tex Mex or Italian flavor with heat.

I even tried mixing hamburger and ground turkey. That worked well for meatballs in spaghetti, but to make a patty and eat that - fail big time. Having the sauce mask the lack of flavor is one thing, but when that crap stands alone - even when it had onion, bell pepper and spices it was crap.

Lesson learned.

And it turns out there is quite a variety of tomato sauces available in low sodium. It's far more convenient to have the canned stuff on hand, but the stuff I made really has that fresh sparkle to it.

I've also purchased a double boiler/steamer pot setup - not much sodium in fresh veggies steamed rather than the sodium loaded canned stuff, or even messing with the frozen.

I've always got fresh  fruit on hand as well - navel oranges, apples, pears, bananas and so on. Bananas really help with potassium levels - when you have to take meds to pee a lot, you deplete your potassium, magnesium and yes, even your sodium levels. So, I have to take prescription strength potassium supplement as well as magnesium vitamins as well. I had to laugh - my last blood test at the doctor's showed I was low on sodium. I can't win for losing.

But anyways, if your levels drop too much, you cannot believe the muscle cramps. Generally they start in my left hand - and if I'm lucky, I can grab it with my right hand and straighten out my fingers and maybe the impulse to cramp up passe. Or not, and I get cramps in my right hand, and just have to sit there and watch my fingers writhe out of control and in pain.

During my second to last visit to the horse pistol I had a cramping episode that lasted over two hours. I needed another Klor-Con pill, but that required doctor's orders, and it took that long to obtain permission. I did talk 'em out of a banana and a couple little tiny cans of tomato juice, but even that really requires doctor's orders, and those nurses are't gonna lose their jobs giving me something I'm gonna get and everyone knows it, but their asses would be out in the wind doing that without specific doctor's orders. This last trip I pissed off the entire process because I had some of my meds with me and I took what I needed rather than wait for two hours. That cramping episode only lasted a half hour instead of two or three.

I was a bad boy - violating hospital policy. I told 'em they could blow me - I had the solution with me and there was no sense in torturing myself just to follow their slow, ineffective thinking. The nurses really agreed with me, but they had to keep the official policy. Job security, yannow.

So, I am eating the correct stuff and frankly, it tastes pretty good. You might have a problem with no salt, but I've learned to get along without it in a healthy manner. I will be getting some exercise, too. I feel like I'm doing the right things or working on getting to that point, at any rate.

And as far as the bouncing weight - I did get back to my original weight after starting keeping records once, but I'm still about six or seven pounds below right now. And many tell me that it took months to get to this point, it's gonna take that to reverse the trend. Even so, when I gain my 'tude gets pretty low, and my need to post stuff here kinda evaporates. Just. Not. In. The. Mood.

But, overall, I'm mostly optimistic and even cheery some days. Hope y'all are doing well in these supposedly closing days of winter. Supposedly, at any rate!


drjim said...

Hang in there, buddy!

I somehow gained back 6 of the 15 lbs I'd lost, and I don't have a clue how. I haven't changed my diet, it just came back.

As long as your "trend" is going down, you're doing good. I know how frustrating it can be when things don't happen at the rate we want.

I'll probably get my butt chewed off by my Doctor next week when I see him again!

threecollie said...

It really sounds as if you are getting a good handle on this thing, even if you are experiencing some yoyoing. Your food sounds terrific! We don't eat enough of that fresh stuff...not like we should...but we like it. Best wishes from all of us!

WendyFromNY said...

I'm sure you're not terribly interested in other people's opinions, but, if you don't mind, I just wanted to say: I bought a Nutri-bullet (on Amazon for $99.00), I see them at Walmart and the last time I was there, it was on sale for $89.00. I buy fresh pineapples, chop them into cubes and refrigerate. I buy baby greens at the grocery store, wash them in some white vinegar and rinse, store in the fridge. Then I make smoothies! I put a large spoonful of pineapple in first, then like half an avocado, large handful of greens, frozen blueberries, grapes. I also grind flax seed in a coffee grinder and add 2 Tbsp of that. I calls for some liquid, I use Kefir and no sugar added juice, you could use water. Stick a straw in it and suck it up! Lotsa vitamins and potassium and no added sodium! Replaces a meal, very filling! Well, that's my two cents! Hope you didn't mind.

lisa said...

Hang in there, we all seem to go back and forth. I think the exercise equipment you bought will help out a lot. When I was in physical therapy for my shoulder, they had that same thing for some physical therapy patience.

jed said...

I'm a fan of Better than Bouillon stock base. I don't know the specs, but they do make reduced sodium versions.

And props to you for doing something about the exercise. That contraption looks like just the ticket for getting some activity in, without having to worry about falling over. Only thing is, I don't see any motor mounts.

Jeffro said...

wendywoo I don't mind at all. I'm open to good ideas.

jed: I was sure hoping to see a V-twin hung off there, but alas......

jed said...

I'm a bit skeptical about any product with "ninja", "magic", or "bullet" in the name, when it comes to small appliances, or for that matter, most types of products. There are many blenders to choose from in the $50-$150 range, from KitchenAide, Cuisinart, Waring, and Oster. Granted, the Nutri-Bullet gets a lot of good reviews. I still look at the old reliable brands, and what I see looks more sturdy and versatile.

V-twin? I was thinking more like a small turbo-diesel. :-)

jed said...

The other thing that occurs to me is, did Warren Zevon wax poetic about a Nutri-Bullet?


Jeffro said...

Now THAT was very apropos!!!!

Yeah, I've got an Oster that seems to work pretty well when it comes to liquefying various veggies.

WendyFromNY said...

I have to come back here and say that my nutra-bullet is much better than any blender I ever had, for making smoothies anyway. It has LINES on it so you know how much liquid you can get away with before it all blows up in your face! I put those grapes in it, Concord grapes, with those nasty seeds and after running the machine for several seconds, those nasty, HARD seeds are virtually liquefied. An occasional tiny chip or two, but you can just spit those out (grape seeds are good for you). And then there's the clean-up! Just rinse the propeller under the faucet, stick in the dish drainer, then drink out of the blender body, and wash that when you have drunk it all. That's it, no other stuff to disassemble and reassemble. Try it, you'll like it!
Okay, done with that. LOVE the exercise machine, wish I had that instead of my treadmill... now WHERE did I bury that thing...

Dad Bones said...

What they should do on those machines for motorheads like us is put speakers on those pedals that sound like a Chevy 350 with a full race cam. When you pedal slow it would idle rough and uneven but smooth out as you pedal faster and the rpm's increase until you get it up to 7 grand and so loud you can hardly stand it. It also would help to have an interactive video of a race track in front.

In the meantime do the best you can!

Jeffro said...

By Gawd now yer talking! Dad Bones, you are a genius!

jed said...

Another question for wendywoo: when you say "greens", are you talking about something specific, such as collard greens, or just green food things, maybe kale, or broccoli, or ... ?

And, I can't be completely serious. So I must mention that I can't help hearing Steely Dan in my head.

jed said...

Oster makes a
"blend 'n' go" cup
to fit your existing blender. Comes with the ice-crusher blade.

jed said...

Smoothie experiment.

I bought an Oster 450 watt blender. The main reason for choosing Oster over another brand is that I already had an Oster jar from a blender that I got free years ago, in sad shape, which finally bit the dust. Other justification for buying a blender is to make milk shakes.

I made a smoothie consisting of an apple, a carrot, a small handful of raisins, a small handful of walnuts, a couple large dollops of plain Greek yogurt, some almond/coconut milk, a bit of fiber supplement, a half scoop of whey protein powder, and some ice. I usually don't measure things out for concoctions such as this; I just go with "looks good to me". The raisins are primarily for sweetener. Final volume was about 20 ounces.

This tasted quite good, and was very filling -- I was starting to feel full after only about half of it. Well, I'd already had my morning coffee, also 20 ounces, but I assume most of that was out of my stomach by the time I made the smoothie. Consistency was mostly very smooth, though one raisin mysteriously escaped the whirling blades, and very tiny pieces of I assume were apple skin and walnut were still present in small quantity.

Although the taste was good, it'd benefit from a bit of spice; maybe cinnamon / nutmeg. Some fresh shaved ginger would give it a nice kick.

I have on order the "Fusion" type blender blade. Maybe that will improve on the total destruction of solid ingredients. Of course, I ordered the milk shake blade too.

Jeffro said...

Kewl! Thanks for the update!