Archive for the ‘health’ Category
Cheri and I stimulated the economy a couple weeks ago and bought an elliptical machine from Dick’s Sporting Goods. We’ve been wanting something that would help us get into better shape. We considered buying a treadmill, but with Cheri’s ankle pain, we figured the elliptical would be a better choice.
Cheri conducted all the research into which model to get (with the help of ask.metafilter.com). As I stuffed my face with Cheez Doodles, she informed me the most recommended model for our price range was a Horizon E901. Its not too big and not too small and was a good price at Dick’s. It has plenty of workout modes, a heartrate monitor, and an iPod dock with speakers.
So instead of choking down a gallon of ice cream each night, we both have been making a better effort to get more exercise. So far the machine has been used almost every day by both of us, and we’re already noticing changes in our energy and the fitting of our clothes.
Once we are in much better conditions, we plan on trying to start jogging outdoors again. Do I smell another 5k in the fall? Perhaps, or it might just be the cookies our neighbor is baking.
These plans work similarly to the Couch-to-5k running program. They start you off slowly, and gradually (over the course of 6 weeks) work you up to the point of being able to do 100 push ups and 200 sit ups. Both programs have three workouts per week. Each workout is composed of a number of different sets of push ups / sit ups with scheduled rest time in between each set.
Before you begin the plans, you have to determine your ability level. To do this, you do as many consecutive push ups and as many consecutive sit ups as possible. These numbers determine where you start in the programs. I managed to squeeze out 14 push ups and 19 sit ups. As pathetic as that seems, maybe it’ll be for the best. If I successfully finish this program, then I’ll feel more accomplished. If I fail, then it won’t feel like such a loss.
I figured these programs would work pretty well since I had moderate success with the Couch-to-5k program. We’ll see in approximately 6 weeks if I still have functioning arms and stomach muscles.
Cheri and I started the Couch to 5k beginner’s running routine this week (with inspiration from our friends Kate and Jason). Since this is our first week we alternate running for 60 seconds and walking for 90 seconds for a full 20 minutes (plus warm ups and cool downs before and after). We’ve been doing this around the lake that hides behind our apartment building. Cheri used Map My Run to determine the distance around the lake (about 0.6 miles).
The first day I think we slightly over did ourselves. We were both really huffy-puffy by the middle of our routine and struggled to finish. Today, we didn’t have much of a problem at all. I think the main reason is that we talked during our runs. Talking helped us keep a slower pace because we knew we couldn’t talk to each other if we were gasping for air (this is why drowning victims are often not very vocal).
Cheri found out that there is also a Couch to 5k podcast available on iTunes that coaches you through your routines. It seemed interesting but the music was mostly frenetic techno that wasn’t too appealing. I think we’ll keep talking while running instead.
Cheri and I have started trying to work out again. Yesterday and today we went to the gym in our apartment complex. Cheri walked/ran on the treadmill while I attempted to use the elliptical machine. Our gym has two elliptical machines and I used the one today that didn’t have the arms that moved. It felt awkward at first (like I was running backwards) but once I got into a rhythm it felt fine. It felt good to zone out to my iPod while watching Hard Rain on TNT with the captions turned on.
I think tomorrow we’ll take a break so we don’t overdo ourselves.
Ok, ok, status updates:
1. I graduate this Saturday.
Yup, that is right. After two years of classes learning about fingerprints, firearms, DNA, autopsies, homicides, crime scenes, and the like, I will be getting my Master of Forensic Science degree from The George Washington University. I’m feeling a tad ambivalent about it though. On one hand I’m extremely happy that I’m done with school (for probably the rest of my life). On the other hand, I’m wondering what I’m going to do with myself. I won’t have classes, homework, a job, and a life to juggle. I’m fearful that I’m going to be bored. But I have lots of hobbies I want to pursue (like my photography, guitar, and violin). Maybe I’ll actually keep updating my blog consistently (what a concept!).
2. No Remicade for Me.
I visited my GI doctor last month and he decided that it isn’t the right time for me to go on Remicade (more about Remicade here). He felt that my symptoms weren’t severe enough to warrant me going on such an extreme treatment method. Instead, he upped my 6-MP dosage. Hopefully this will slowly heal my fistula. Since the visit the pain and discomfort from my fistula has dropped a lot. I’m going to set up a visit with my colon and rectal surgeon for next month to see how it is doing and hopefully see if the drain that is set in there can be removed.
3. Flickr and Twitter Updates
I have seriously become uber-addicted to Twitter lately. I’m updating at least once a day (if not more than that sometimes). I’ve also set it up so that I can update it via SMS text messaging through my cell phone. Since I don’t have an unlimited text messaging plan with my phone company (T-Mobile), I am trying to keep myself from updating via SMS only when I’m not within reach of internet access (which is pretty rare).
I’ve also updated my flickr with a bunch of pictures. Some are from my friend Larry’s wedding and some are from Cheri’s friend Melissa’s wedding. There are also a bunch of random other images as well. Here’s one of my favorite photos from this last batch, our friend Kate (left) with Cheri (right) getting ready for Larry’s wedding:
I’m not quite sure (and too lazy to look) when the last time I posted a Crohns Disease related update, but now is as good as any other time.
Its been over a year since the surgery I had to correct three fistulas caused by perianal abscesses (which in turn were caused by the Crohns). I had three setons put in (basically threads to help keep the fistula open to allow for drainage as they healed) at the surgery and have since had two removed. I still have two fistulas present while one has closed up completely. I’ve been going to my colon and rectal surgeon almost every month wherein she examines my fistulas and treats them will silver nitrate to promote healing.
I’m still taking daily doses of both Asacol and 6-MP (aka mercaptopurine) to manage the symptoms. I haven’t had any major symptoms nor flare ups since last year when I was first diagnosed. Occasionally I will have some minor temporary stomach cramps and/or some joint pain (mainly in my fingers or my knees). But these have been relatively minor and infrequent.
Since my fistulas haven’t been healing as quickly as my surgeon would like me to begin treatment with the drug Remicade. I’ve been hesitant to be put on Remicade since it is administered intravenously and once you begin treatment, you must remain on the drug for the rest of your life, otherwise it will become ineffective. From what I’ve read, Remicade has been a wonderful treatment for those with Crohns Disease and perianal disease. I have an appointment with my GI doctor next week, and I’ll discuss this option with him and see what he suggests.
But overall, my health has been greatly improved over this time last year. I’ve gained back most of the weight I initially lost when I had my first flare up, and I haven’t had a flare up since that initial attack. I give great thanks to my wife Cheri, my family, my friends, my doctors, my co-workers, my church small group and God for all the healing that I’ve received this past year. Hopefully the healing will continue and soon I will be completely symptom free.
He is strong. He fools most people. His co-workers and classmates do not know that the words “Crohn’s Disease” now sit under his name in medical files. They do not ask about the three pills he takes quietly at lunch, nor are they aware of the eleven others he will take throughout the day. Each month, while working a fulltime job and completing his master’s degree, he still must carve out even more time to devote to this on-going battle. This monthly routine includes, not only visiting Target for refills of his many prescriptions but also remembering to have has his blood drawn, meeting with his surgeon and waiting, sometimes hours, for his appointment with his gastroenterologist.
You can visit her site for the full post. (Link)