I’m very fortunate to have the advice of a fully qualified exercise physiologist, whom I see about four times a year at very little cost thanks to a great Diabetes care plan. He knows his stuff and unlike “personal trainers” who’ve only studied a couple of years, he actually has a degree rather than a certificate or two. I saw Adam a few weeks ago and again last Monday. On the first visit (the 1st this year that is) he gave me four new exercises that use a resistance band called a Theraband.
On Monday, I showed him an updated list of what I’m doing at the gym along with any changes for length of time, number of repetitions or the amount of weight for any particular exercise. He was really pleased with the progress I’ve made so far. We went over the Theraband exercises I’ve been doing at home and he helped change a few where my technique wasn’t quite right. There were a couple that he made a little harder to do by changing how the band is used and then he gave me a couple new exercises. One that uses the Theraband and another that makes use of an aerobic step and will help me work on my balance. I had to order the step so I’d have it to use at home but I really didn’t mind because it can be used several different ways.
My new step arrived last Thursday and I incorporated it into my home exercise routine which I’d added the other new exercise plus the harder, more intense changes that were made to 2 of my other routines on Tuesday. I went to the gym on Wednesday, so by Thursday I found I was doing even more than I did at the gym. When I was done, I kind fell into a heap, took a nap after tea and was generally pretty useless – not to mention exhausted. Realising I’d done too much I opted to have a day of rest on Friday, a day I normally go to the gym. I went instead on Saturday and again had a rest on Sunday.
Today is Monday, a day I would normally be doing my home exercise routines but I need to stop and have a think about what I’m going to do on which days. Before seeing Adam a few weeks ago I’d been using my mini cycle to exercise my arms as it really helps with keeping my lymphedema issues at bay, and using my mini stepper as it helps with balance and being it’s a very short amount of height for each step it really works my thigh muscles. I can do these two exercises with no problems with stamina. For me the point of doing exercise at home on the days I don’t go to the gym is to keep my body moving and to help with things that need help – fluid issues with lymphedema, movement to keep my arthritis from hassling me and of course keeping up on practicing balance. It is not especially to burn calories, build muscles or lose weight. So with that in mind I need to sort through the eight home exercises and split them up into four at any one time. I go to the gym 2 days a week and I want at least two rest days, preferably not together.
So here’s what I’m thinking. Wednesday and Friday are Gym days. That leaves Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday & Sunday for home exercise. I prefer to keep Sundays free so that will be my first rest day. I usually have a lot of computer stuff I do on Mondays so lets keep that day fairly light. Maybe just the arm cycle, mini stepper and the balance step for that day. Tuesday I can do 2 or 3 of the 5 Theraband items plus what I do on Mondays. Thursday will be a rest day and then Saturday I can do the remaining Theraband items and the other 3 from Monday. Now I’ll just have to decide which of the specific exercises to do on which of the two days I’ve set for them.
If you’re under the impression that I’ve been thinking and making decisions as I write, you’d be absolutely correct. I really needed to lay it all out and have a good look at it from a distance. I like and trust Adam, but I also know I need to listen to my body and I absolutely can’t afford to do so much that I burn out and become so exhausted that I give up. Each of the six exercises Adam gave me have a purpose so I don’t want to skip any of them, so by splitting them up into different days and perhaps doing less repetitions of a couple I can have the benefits without burning out. I’ll keep you posted!
A while back, the folks at EcigWizard asked if I’d be willing to try some of their products and share with my readers what I thought about their stuff. This is a first for me but as I love vaping and trying new things I figure why not? So I said yes but made sure they know I’d be giving my honest impressions because I wouldn’t want to steer anyone astray.
They sent me two ejuice samples to try from Vermilion River. Now this is funny. Vermillion River is made in Minnesota USA. I was born in Michigan and moved to Australia several years ago. EcigWizard is based in the United Kingdom. So I’m sampling something made in the USA, sent to the UK and then sent on to me in Australia. Talk about some well travelled ejuice!
The samples came in two 10ml bottles and were both 20mg. I normally vape 18mg so this was a little stronger than what I’m used to, but not so strong I couldn’t enjoy it. I’ve been using the samples for well over a month so I feel I’ve given them a fair trial. There was one I liked a lot more than the other, but because my husband also vapes, I let him try the one I wasn’t keen on and he quite liked it. We definitely have different tastes and preferences.
Vermillion River Fresh Mint
30% VG / 70% PG blend
Back in the days when I used to smoke cigarettes, I smoked menthol. I was also very fussy. I stayed with the same brand and lord help me if it wasn’t available and I had to smoke something different. Those days are long gone – it’s well over a year since I quit cigarettes. One of the most pleasant surprises for me with vaping is at any given moment I can change flavours to match my whim. When I first took up vaping I naturally migrated towards any ejuice that had menthol or mint in the name. I’m pretty sure if I looked through my bottles I’d find at least 20 variations of mint, menthol or a combination of tobacco and mint flavours. I tried I really did, but I never found anything that I could relate to, and after awhile I was enjoying the variety of many different flavours and realised I didn’t need to replicate the old taste of ‘my’ brand of cigarette. Who needs that horrible taste? So I moved on and left all the menthol experimentations behind me.
Then EcigWizard sent me a sample of Vermillion River Fresh Mint. I can’t tell you what it is about this juice that’s different from others I’ve tried, aside that it works for me. It’s not overpowering or overly sweet, it’s just well, perfect. I normally avoid eating mints because I never know whether it’s going to clear my sinuses (and taste buds) or burn my mouth. I do like creamy type mints with chocolate such as Peppermint Patties, and that describes the taste of the Fresh Mint rather well. It’s not far off from crème de menthe. Yum. This is the only mint ejuice that’s ever made it into my handbag when I’ve gone out. One of the things I really like about it is that it stops any nicotine cravings stone cold. Some of the menthol flavours I’ve tried are fine at the start but I find if I vape them exclusively too long I start feeling ill. Something about too much mint just upsets my system. I don’t have that problem with this juice. I’ve spent many a happy evening vaping this – it’s lovely with coffee after a meal. I give this juice a big thumbs up.
Vermillion River Classic Blend
30% VG / 70% PG blend
This ejuice has a very smoky flavour which took me completely by surprise. I wish I had had this juice when I first started vaping and was looking for a taste closer to a cigarette, because this does the job. The description of it reads “Imagine a blend of all the best of traditional tobacco flavours in one e-liquid and you have the Vermillion River Classic Blend. The pinnacle of tobacco vapes, look no further if you want something as close to the real thing as possible.”
The reviews are mostly positive, but I’m not surprised to see that it’s a flavour most people either love or hate. I’m not “most people” though and I’m rather neutral towards it, but you’ll need to excuse me as I’m way past the point of wanting my vapes to taste anything near what a cigarette tastes like and when I did smoke I only smoked menthol. I’ve given this juice to my other half who seems to quite enjoy it and that makes sense. He smoked regular cigarettes and has only been off the smokes for a few months now. He disagrees about it tasting smoky and feels it’s more a caramel, oak or woody taste. He likes it and gave it a thumbs up so I’ve added it to his vape stash.
Did I miss anything I should have mentioned in my reviews? It’s important to realise that taste is a very subjective thing. What I love and rave about might taste like donkey juice to you and vice versa. If there’s anything you’d like me to write about regarding vaping, feel free to let me know in the comments.
I just finished reading over the last year or so of blog posts as I’d like to write a bit about what I’ve been up to lately but needed a frame of reference that doesn’t appear to be here. In fact, there’s a lot missing perhaps because I shared quite a bit of it on Facebook and made the assumption that my blog readers are also my friends on FB. So this is a bit of a fill in the blanks before sharing where I am now.
Last year, on Easter Monday I decided I really needed to get a bit more active and decided to take a walk by the beach. This is something I’d looked forward to being able to do once I had my provisional drivers licence but hadn’t yet done. At the same time unbeknownst to us, Rod’s thyroid levels were dangerously low. On the day I took my walk, I felt as if I’d spent the entire Easter weekend alone and looking back, I had. Rod slept more hours than he was awake. I didn’t wake him before I left, which was also a first for me.
I went to Christies Beach Bluff and walked along the trail enjoying the view of the bluff on one side and the sea crashing against the rocks on the other. The fresh sea air felt great. When I was near where the trail ends, a young lady passed me with her dog. At the end of the bluff she stopped and started doing yoga stretches. I was so impressed. What a great place to exercise with the sound of the ocean, fantastic view and fresh air. What happened next isn’t anyone’s fault. Her dog (medium sized) noticed me and came over to greet me with more enthusiasm than I was prepared for – he jumped up to say hello to me and I toppled like a rag doll, spinning around trying to catch my balance. I landed on the sharp rocks and I’m lucky to have escaped with only a broken rib. The young lady came to my rescue as did another older couple and I ended up having a ride in an ambulance to the local hospital. Imagine Rod’s surprise when I rang him and told him he’d have to get the neighbours to drive him to the beach to pick up the car!
That fall set me back quite a bit more than I realised at the time. It shook my confidence and over time I noticed that I had many many near misses with losing my balance and nearly falling. Fortunately it was often while getting dressed or standing up from my desk and if I did lose my balance I landed in either my chair or my bed.
I saw my rheumatologist in August and told him about my fall and the near misses since then. He offered a suggestion that has truly changed my world. He recommended me to the Falls Clinic at the Repatriation Hospital. Normally they only accept older people but made an exception for me. I had a few appointments with a specialist that included blood tests and a brain scan, then I was enrolled in the clinic.
Leg Press machine
Joined a Gym
My work out list
I hate this machine!
Half of the fitness gym at the Repat
A new friend
Leg Extention / Quads Machine
Recumbent Bike workout summary
Chest Press Instructions
Instructions for the Leg Extension / Quads Machine
New Gym Membership
Triceps Extension machine
Dual Adjustable Pulley
Did it anyway
I bought this today
Theraband with door anchor
View of the Treadmills
Wednesday Workout at Anytime Fitness
Noble steps down
Rowing Machine Readout
Home from the gym
Rowing Machine screen
Twice a week for a month I attended two separate exercise sessions with a bit of an afternoon tea break in between at the Repat. Each day was an hour of balance exercises and an hour of strength exercises. When I graduated from the clinic, I had the option of continuing to use the gym at the Repat or take part in one of a few different options for older people locally. And the third option was to join a gym on my own.
After a few weeks of driving to the Repat to use the gym twice a week, I was pretty keen to find something more local. I checked out the choices and decided to with a gym membership as the cost was nearly the same and I have much more flexibility in what days I go and what equipment I can use. My other consideration was the age of participants. I’m probably one of the older users of my gym, but I think it’s healthier for my psyche than spending time with the older crowd. I’m still going twice a week but my time at the gym has increased to a couple hours as I’ve increased the time I spend on some tasks or do more repetitions. Most importantly the last fall I had was two months ago. I’m much more balanced and I’m feeling better both in confidence and physically.
I have a few items I use here at home for the days I don’t go to the gym – a mini stepper that imitates walking up stairs – this requires I really work on my balance, and I have a mini cycle for my arms. It helps a lot with the lymphedema issues I have. My latest addition is a little device called a Fitbit. It’s a pedometer but also measures any climbing of stairs and is a great little motivator. It syncs to the website whenever I’m in rang of my computer which is also pretty cool from a geek perspective. I don’t have to hand enter any data. I love this little device and love that when I’m more active it grows a little flower. I’ve also seen it send me cheery little messages like “You Rock Gaelyne!”. Aww. Everyone needs a bit of encouragement now and then.
So that’s where I’ve been and where I’m going. From very little strength to enough to stand up, walk and not fall over! Coincidentally as I looked at the photos I took the day of my fall last year I was really surprised to note that it was one year ago today. I’m very tempted to take a walk along the same trail just to prove to myself that I can, and to get over the last bit of fear in facing the memory.
Added later in the day: I did it. After talking it over with Rod about whether or not he wanted to go with me, and if he thought I was OK to go alone, I went to Christies Beach bluff this afternoon and had a lovely – and emotional walk to the end and back. I stayed away from the rocks and only walked on the side that’s parallel to the bluff. I had a few tense moments as people walking their dogs passed me but I made it. I feel so much better for having made the trip and faced my fears.
Oh, and I should also mention that I now have my full drivers licence as of a week ago. Whoo hoo!
I’ve made a decision. The other day I got a phone call from a place I’d never heard of before that had received a referral for me to continue my balance and strength rehab with them. This new place is very local, and does indeed have the equipment for balance exercises. So I cancelled an appointment with my GP to fill out forms for the Strength for Life and instead went for the initial interview for the new place. It was a ‘good’ interview but as I left there was something in the back of my mind that was troubling me. It’s taken a few days to come to the surface and it’s done so in typical Gaelyne fashion. I’ve found myself ranting about stuff with people I know understand me. Not ranting verbally, but in writing, which makes sense because that’s how I tend to work through things that bug me.
I’ve just rescheduled the appointment with the GP to fill out the permission forms for the Strength for Life program at Noarlunga. I’ve decided to keep my options open and only make any further decisions about any program after being able to compare the choices available in person. The current choices are continue driving to the Repat Rehab gym twice a week, The local place (ECH) which is local to me, Strength for Life at Noarlunga Leisure Centre, or a membership with a gym such as Anytime Fitness.
So what is it that was bothering me about my interview the other day? Well. ECH is for people who are basically about 15yrs older than me. The girl doing the interview kept trying to play detective to “figure out” why I have issues that most people don’t deal with until they’re over 65. At the time I was too polite, and too surprised by the questions to put words to it, but since then it’s been mulling in my brain and found voice in my private rants with friends. The answer to the question boils down to having had breast cancer when I was 40. My cancer thrived on estrogen, so I had to take Tamoxifen for 5yrs to keep estrogen at bay from my system so any residual cancer cells wouldnt be able to take hold. This in turn caused early menopause and my bones and joints responded to the lack of estrogen by pushing me into early osteoporosis and worsening osteoarthritis. So there we have it – premature ageing.
For a very long time I’ve been feeling frustrated and angry about this whole premature ageing thing but I realised today that it’s a bonus. Yes that’s right, a bonus. If I hadn’t had the tamoxifen and had plenty of that youth elixir estrogen in my system, I’d probably be dead. Given that alternative, coping with all the stuff I do seems like a worthwhile trade off. Better yet, I can still do something about the ravages of age by continuing on this path of rehabilitating myself, strengthening my bones and muscles, learning better balance techniques and improving my well being.
Next week I have a one to one session with the girl at ECH to learn how to use the equipment and so she can evaluate what my exercises will be. I’ll keep the appointment and probably attend at least one session so I can meet the person who will actually be running the sessions and of course the other people going through their paces. The girl I see initially isn’t someone I’ll be dealing with regularly so I will withhold judgement on whether their programs are acceptable or not until I see what a session is really like. I’ll do the same with the Strength for Life program, and see if I can get a tour for the Anytime Fitness gym before making a final decision.
Hey there! Happy Boxing Day! We had a nice Christmas. I gave Rod a Samsung Galaxy Tablet – a 7inch job. He’s still finding his way around with it but so far seems happy with it. He gave me a gorgeous jewelry box that looks like it belongs in a D&D setting. I’ve never had a full sized jewelry box before and honestly, this is the first one I’ve ever seen that really suits the person that is me. Santa also snuck a speaker tower into the house and put it by the tree after we went to bed. This uses bluetooth so I can just start music on my phone and away it goes. The speaker is so much better than what I had in mind to go with my phone for music. It has a built in radio, can charge my phone, and as it’s bluetooth I can connect the computer, iPad, Rod’s computer, or his tablet to it so it’s very versatile. It was a big surprise, but a really nice one!
But I’m not really here to talk about Christmas. As many of you who know me on Facebook are aware, I quite enjoy a few different Bingo games and Solitaire Blitz. Although to be honest, I haven’t been too happy with Solitaire Blitz since they changed the format over about a month ago. I still play it though as nothing better that’s similar has come along.
The other day I noticed something I had never seen before and thought I’d mention it in case others might be interested too.
When you go to select your boosters, have you ever noticed the little triangles on the bottom of the screen? I thought they were decorations, but then one was lit up so I clicked on it and discovered I had a bunch of free Jokers to use that I didn’t know existed. Here’s what the triangles and the second page (if there is one) looks like:
If you’re a Solitaire Blitz, Bingo or Bejeweled player on Facebook, feel free to add me – the more the merrier. Leave a note though so I know who you are and what you play. Otherwise I might not realise why you’ve requested the add.
I know I don’t normally write about Facebook games, but it crossed my mind and I thought I’d share. Cheers until next time!