Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Checking in with myself and Nitro's leg update.

Nitro is doing well, and has just one week left in the metal pins. They are quite something! I tell you, this has been a rough and hard road. It's been difficult to keep him confined in a cage - it's just NOT a thing you want to do to a puppy full of energy. We are now letting him out more and giving him more freedom but we still do try to keep him as still as possible.

His right leg is always going to be shorter than the left one, but it is growing at the moment, and so we hope it will be enough for him to use it. At the moment, it sure isn't hampering him. Yesterday he took off chasing the hadeedah's outside (something he should not be doing just yet, oops) and he went as fast as any dog I've ever seen!

My Dad's estate is starting to pay out to me and wrap up. I am really feeling all sorts of mixed emotions that I just don't know how to express. I feel grateful, and I feel guilty, and I feel sad still, and blessed and ... it's really hard, actually. It's hard to receive this gift from my father when I am unable to say "Thank you" in person. It's hard to not be able to speak to him and tell him how I appreciate it. It's hard because our relationship was a bit strained and even though I really tried to bridge our gap, it never really became easy between us.

I STILL want to know where the consciousness of a person goes when we die. Where? Where is my dad?

On a lighter note, it's back to school again today! Hooray. The hooray is more for back to normalcy. I love the week days. I don't love the weekends so much. I WORK more on a weekend, or in this case, long weekend, than I do during the week, because I am constantly tidying up after my family and sorting out food for them. Right now is the first quiet moment I have had in five days.

I need to just calm myself and my whole energy. Calm down. Breathe in and out. Aaaah, that's better. I notice that I sometimes just forget to breathe deeply.

And that's all for now.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Nitro's leg, and roots, and my mom.

Here is a pic of Nitro's leg and the "bionic" metal pins. I have to clean the holes every day to every second day. It's quite a process but I am getting good at it. I could be a nurse! The trick is to not stress about hurting the "patient" - just be confident with what you are doing.

Shame, poor pup, he has about two more weeks, then we go back to the specialist and see what he says.

My mom came to visit for three days - I am helping her with her car repairs. It is always lovely to see my mom. She really is a light in my life. An interesting little tidbit: my mom has Banted, or followed LCHF since April 2014, when I introduced her to the concept and I started as well. She hasn't once deviated, or doubted it. Yes, on the odd occasion she has had a bit of a dessert, but not often at all. Her weight dropped very slowly, but steadily, and seemed to stop around 56/55kgs. She was thrilled with that as, previously, she was around 70kgs. Now, all of a sudden, her weight has dropped to 53kgs. It's like her body has just shifted again. Perhaps her hormones are balancing better. Just shows you, never give up on your healthy diet.

And after a nice three month break of not doing my hair, I got my roots touched up. I think I quite like the darker roots although, I also like the blonder look too. What are your thoughts?
See, no make up. I am getting braver with going without make up these days. 

After a THIRD bought of tongue thrush, I have decided, that's it, enough is enough, NO more sugar for me. EVER! (Until I cave and eat cake again....I am an addict, I realise that now.)

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Nitro our puppy is home

I brought Nitro home last Wednesday.

Keeping a puppy calm is NOT easy. Their natural inclination is to jump around.

He has been kenneled at the vet for two weeks - he has been kept very confined.

My clever husband built a cage for him so we keep him mostly in there but we take him out often for walks and food and toilet. The walks have to be calm and controlled. We did try let him off leash, but then he is liable to just take off in a run, if he sees something of interest.

I have to clean his pins (the huge metal screws going in and out of his leg) every day or every second day, depending on the puss that comes out.

Now, it's Sunday morning, and I have him calmly lying at my feet in the lounge. I have the other dogs outside except for the calm Pekinese. The Peke is a young dog but he acts like an "old soul". He is calm, he is sensitive to tones of voice, and he is my shadow. He just watches Nitro and doesn't excite him.

Sitting calmly with the puppy here now is making me feel very meditative. It's a beautiful Sunday.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Vibram Five Fingers for running

Below are the pair of Vibram Five Fingers shoes I have. I watched reviews on Youtube on all the Vibram shoes, and everyone had positive things to say. I saw runners raving about running in them. So I figured I would try a short run here and there, and the novelty would soon wear off, and I'd probably go back to running in my thick, cushioned Asics, right?

Well, to my surprise, I was wrong! These Vibrams are dream shoes to run in! Let me explain:
My first run in them was just 3km, down the road and back. I made the mistake of running almost the whole run up on my toes, not really letting my heels down to touch the ground. I say mistake, because you are not supposed to do that, you are just meant to run naturally. But I must say I was scared to let my heels touch the ground.
Anyway, the next run - which was a 4km time trial, I realised I could just run normally and naturally in these shoes, and whilst, yes, the ground was more "felt" - I also felt I could just run in a freer and faster way. Thereafter I had a long run coming up, and I was scared to try it in these Vibrams, so I wore my heavily cushioned, padded, motion-controlled Asics. Well, I had to drop out the run at 18kms due to hip and knee pain in my right leg. It's my "typical" injury - I always get tightness and soreness in my right hip/butt/leg. So I stopped running at 18kms, even though my muscles could have carried on, I didn't want to force it and seriously injure myself. The pain was pretty intense. I rested and asked around for the name and number of good chiros and physios.

Now, an aside: I have had this recurring injury for years. I have been been to three chiros over the last 12 years for it. It has never been solved, it never goes away. I have noticed one thing, that my right butt muscle is weaker than the left - so I focus now on not favoring my left leg, if I realise I am doing that.

Ok, so the next run that I wanted to do with my running club was a 14km route. I had rested four days after the long run in my Asics, and the hip/leg/going to my knee pain was pretty much gone. But I didn't want to exacerbate it - what to do? I was scared to run in Asics, but also nervous to use the Vibrams as I had only gone maximum of 4kms in them. Eek. Well, Vibrams it was. I decided to see if the hip/joint pain would come back in the Vibrams. I wanted to know if the pain was due to the distance I had run, or due to the shoes. And there was only one way to find out.

And the short answer: the joint pain in my right leg didn't recur. I just felt a slight tweak in my right knee, but nothing serious, and that could have been because that knee gets affected when my right hip gets sore - so it could have been left over from the previous run. But after running my best and strongest 14km in Vibrams, even though my muscles in my lower legs, especially the springy ones under my calves, were SORE, it was a muscular pain, a pain that, by the next day was less, and is easy to recover from. But no sore hip, no sore knees. No joint issues. I could not quite believe it.

Running in Vibrams feels completely different to running in traditional running shoes. There is NO help from the shoes. Your feet and legs have to do ALL the work. But that's also better, in that you build up foot and leg strength. Up hills is easier, I find, as I just go up on my toes, taking short little toe push offs. My feet are more sore after running in Vibrams, but it's a good sore. I now realise how little work my feet actually did in my Asics, which makes me think that the Asics makes me move from my hips rather than from my feet, which is where the movement is supposed to start from.

It's only been two comparison runs, but so far, the comparison is amazing. In the Vibrams I feel springy and natural. I feel like a kid set free. I ran that 14km at the front of the group, keeping up with the faster three men! I even had a little energy to do a small sprint at the end! I am beyond amazed. I never quite expected to enjoy the Vibrams so much. So...whilst I can't say that they have solved all my running problems, I feel, at least, for now, that I am onto the right track. The barefoot-running STYLE is certainly one that suits me. And it would appear that these shoes are the ones that allow me to move in a better way. Related image
The pair of shoes I have run in

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Goings on right now in my life: mixed.

Firstly, I have joined South Coast Striders running club and got my running license number too.
I've taken the running plunge!

I ran my time trial in these! They certainly got people talking and one guy even said he saw someone do Comrades in them. 

I did their 4km time trial on Wednesday and, to my surprise, I was the second lady back. Woohoo. I ran the 4km in 22 mins. I want to better that time, obviously. I ran in my Vibram Five Fingers shoes, and although there is no cushioning under my feet, they are so lightweight, I actually felt like I could go faster.

Maybe the extra speed I felt is in my mind? I don't know. But I ran well. Yes, my feet took a hammering, but in a good way. They had to work harder, and under my toe got a blister, but by the next day that blister wasn't sore at all. I am consciously going barefoot now as often as I can in order to strengthen the muscles and ligaments/tendons in my feet and I actually think it's working. I can feel my toe strength has improved, as well as my arch strength, and now, I am finding most shoes to be uncomfortable.

On Friday I got a top up on my lip filler. I had it done about a month ago to try to correct asymmetry in my top lip: so they just put filler on the right side that was less voluminous. But the thing is, you pay for a full syringe of filler, so he had left over, and so of course, I went back to use it up as this stuff is not cheap! But the problem is now he needed a bit more than what was left in order to do my top and bottom lip to even things out. So I bought another syringe of filler. Now he has used about a syringe full, but now he has left over of the second syringe. However, I don't think I will go back for that filler, as this time, I swelled up and bruised really badly. He hit a blood vessel, I think, on the lower left side, and it's really looking terrible. Plus, the pain! My god it was and is still sore (I am typing this the next day.)

Gosh it looks really bad hey? Never again. 

I thought to myself, as I drove home "Why do I DO this to myself?" I start off with a simple thought: let me correct my natural asymmetry. And it just escalates from there.

I also got Botox done the day before, and THAT is fantastic. It doesn't hurt (well, hardly) and there is no down time, really, except to not exercise for 24 hours afterwards, and the results are great. However, I sometimes wonder even about that. Yes, it works. But it's costly. If I saved that amount of money every year, I could add nicely to any investment or retirement fund. I MUST think like that, because, as my husband points out, we don't want to be 85 and battling for money. We want to be financially independent and able to enjoy our golden years. I think he has a good point and that having a smoother looking face is all well and good but what will it really help me? It won't feed me or help me earn more money. It's a waste of money, I guess. It's nice but not essential. I think I am maturing enough to NOT do these things. My partner loves me, and he is not expecting me to be wrinkle free forever. So what is wrong with me that I feel the need to do this?

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Nitro's Leg Part Two, and a bit of running.

Yesterday I took part in a 5km fun run for Hospice, and I ran a PB (personal best) time of around 27 mins! Hooray! I was the second lady home too! Happy dance! I would have been the first, as I was leading until over halfway, but a strong woman overtook me when I had to stop and walk a bit to catch my breath. I need to practice not needing to walk for 5kms.

In other running news: I have bought myself a pair of Vibram five fingers shoes. I did a run in them and I was thrilled with how they felt.
The Vibrams are supposed to feel as close to barefoot as possible. I think they are pretty close. The only thing is that the fabric between the toes is a little clumsy. But they are very comfy overall.


His leg is healing well, apparently. He is being kenneled in Hillcrest, at the surgeon's practice, for two weeks. Then he will come home for another four weeks. They recommended he stay there initially for the wounds to heal a bit, and for the sister to keep an eye on him.

Nitro before his op: look how skew his paw was due to the one bone curling around the other. 

My mom took this picture when she went to visit him.
My mother, who lives nearby, goes to visit Nitro and sends me updates and pics. 

We are praying that all goes well and that he heals well. Here he is with his "cone":

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Death....tiredness....bloating and painful tummy

I don't know where to start, however, I have SO many thoughts crowding my brain right now, I know I need to start somewhere.

Death: yesterday my best friend in Durban phoned me up to tell me that one of her friends, who is the wife of a guy who was in school with us, died in a car crash. She died at the scene of the accident. I am in such shock. This young woman was turning forty this year and had a fortieth party planned. She was mother to twin girls. It's such a final, quick thing, death. She was vibrant and alive one moment, and within a short space of time, she was gone.

I thought the exact same thing when my dad died. He was alive (ok he was not so vibrant, he was very depressed) and then, next thing, gone, just like that.

What the fuck for? Excuse my swearing. But really! Death teaches us what? It teaches us the impermanence of life. But what are we "meant" to conclude from that? I don't know. Is death's message telling us not to wait, if we want something badly we must just go for it? Or is it telling us to slow down, stop and appreciate the simple things? A bit of both?

I am mentally drained after a week or two of worrying about Nitro, our puppy, and his leg. I KNOW that worry doesn't help any situation, but I couldn't help but worry about it. Now that we have acted, and he's had his operation, I feel better, however, I still worry about how he will heal and whether the op will be successful. I know better than to worry, and yet, my mind is full of worry. I have not slept well at all thinking about him.

I am now suffering with something that I NEVER used to suffer with before: a very bloated, painful, swollen tummy. I don't know what's going on, but I am in agony. Could it be stress? It's very weird and unlike me. I have always had a flat, pretty easy-going tummy. If this continues, I must see a doctor. Another weird and unrelated thing: I have had no period for going on three months. Early menopause?