Out of the Mouths of…Husbands

Reacting to my aching back and the fact I announced I was about to carry some loads of laundry to the basement, the conversation went like this:
Me:  I’m gonna take down some laundry in a little while.

Devoted Spouse:  No, you’re not.

Me:  Oh, yeah, I am.

Devoted Spouse:  No! You can’t carry down; you can’t carry up…but…you can karaoke.

Seriously, this is my life…sigh…

Dig Deeper

image courtesy of learnsomethingtoday.com

I’ve recently joined a gym and started on that exercise regimen – ya know the one where you have a trainer and their sole reason for living is to make you hurt as much as possible.  Oh, and laugh when the sweat gets in your eyes?  Yeah…that’s my life now.

This morning I went to see my trainer after a rousing 15 minute bike ride.  This trainer is female and my second trainer.  My first was a male and I named him Torquemada.  He used to say things to me like “Dig Deeper.”  “Dig Deeper.”  One day I replied, “You tell me to dig deeper once more and I swear to you you’ll be speaking soprano tomorrow morning.”  Dig Deeper.  Gahhhhh.  Anyway, now I have this lovely lil teensy weensy young thing I could flip over my shoulder she’s so tiny.  She may be tiny but she’s sure strong.  She makes those exercises look like a piece of cake — then I try them and know that I can actually feel all my internal organs shifting as I heft that 10 lb dumbbell from my head crisscross to my opposite leg and back again.  Ack.

Her favorite phrase is “Five More”.  Today we worked on my core.  Now I used to think a core was something that came out of an apple.  Today I discovered a core is that part of me internally that screams and  burns right about the time she starts hollering “Five More.”  That’s my core.  My core is like a volcano — if I have to do five more all my magma is gonna come bursting through my bedrock and ruin that gym.

Me and my bright ideas.  After that grueling workout, I was lying (laying?) on the floor mat, draining the rest of my water.  My trainer looked down at me, sweetly smiled and said, “Same time next Monday?”  I wanted to rip out her throat but I was in the midst of flopping around the floor with a leg cramp. I hate it when that happens and I look stupid in front of all the buff girls working out with their weights.   My trainer just keeps smiling and eats it all up….sigh…

In Physical Therapy It Pays to Keep Your Mouth Shut

 

Today I had one of my thrice-weekly physical therapy sessions with the gang over at the House of Torquemada.  It went rather well all things considered.

I have very nice professional people working with and on me.  But I have a tendency to tell them exactly how I feel.  While describing what hurts and where to a physical therapist is exactly what you should do…what you should NOT do is….

Tell the PT (Tyler the cutie) that the resistance on the exercise bike is way too low for you.  So for five excruciating minutes I pedaled up Mt. Everest and got nowhere but I did get burning thighs and not burning thighs in a good way.

Never tell the PT “Oh I’ve done this machine before – it’s a breeze”…because he will increase the weight from a measly 30 pounds up to 70 pounds in a heartbeat and you will do those extra set of 10 leg presses with sweat hiding under your bangs and a smile on your face all the while keeping up a light banter so as not to show this 20-something that you are dying slowly right in front of him.

Above all never, NEVER ask the PT…”have they added any exercises to my routine?”  Oh for the love of all that is holy….if you ask them that question and they HAVEN’T added a new exercise, well now you have backed them into a corner and they must add something new.  In my case it was this bizarre machine where I pulled levers back toward my body much like rowing a boat.  I didn’t want to row a flippin’ boat even if it WAS only 25 pounds.  I kept up my breezy banter and the sumbitch added another set of 10.

When will I learn?  Apparently never.  So when I return to PT on Friday I will have my brain fully engaged before I open my mouth and beg them to increase the weight because I can take it; I’m strong and I’m there to get better.  And, yes, they DO, indeed, call me their best patient.  They probably, behind my back, also call me a sadomasochist.  I know I have names for them…..bwahahahaha.

And they wonder why I fall asleep during my anodyne treatment?  Because I’m an old broad who should be in a home with a cabana boy wiping the drool off her mouth….not in spandex shorts doing extra reps for a hottie named Tyler or another cutie named Kris (that’s a guy and yes it’s Kris with a K) who actually gave me an exercise the other day that is simply designed to show the world my batwing arms flapping in the breeze.  Had he laughed he would have felt the excruciating wrath of the redheaded stepchild — she who puts up with nothing.  Nothing I tell you.

Okay I put up with physical therapy….but only because they’re cute.   Sigh…

Zen and the Art of Physical Therapy

 

Ya’ll know my history — my back from Hades — the new journey to physical therapy (especially if you read my recent posting on Cruella De Vil)  — visits with my adorable Agador again for the entire month of May, 3 times a week, in the hopes of getting me walking again more than a block without limping like I’m 189 years old.  The cane simply is not an option.  There, I said it.

As part of my physical therapy evaluation appointment last week, I was given the Wedgie thing (you already saw that picture I won’t bore you by posting it again….it’s nasty-looking anyway) and a list of specific exercises I must do several times a day with specific time frames to “hold” the exercise and the amount of reps to do.  Sounds easy enough.  Some of these exercises I already do, having picked them up from the last go-round of physical therapy.  Oops…found out I wasn’t doing them correctly.  When you do them my way they’re easy.  When you do them properly it hurts.  Ow.

So Wed evening I skip the exercises…I had somewhere to be and by the time I got home I was just so tired I had to go to bed.  Thurs would be time enough to start this exercise regimen and lay on this stupid pink Wedgie thing.  Ick. 

Thurs morning Devoted Spouse had gone to do his volunteer work.  It was just me and EmmaLou, Golden Destroyer, in the house.  I took my exercise handout, my cell phone (to time myself), my yoga mat, and the infamous pink Wedgie thing into the living room and I proceeded to get down onto the floor to do the exercises.  That was my first mistake.  Getting onto the floor means I am on the same level as EmmaLou and when I am at her level she interprets this as play time and what did she see as the closest toy available?  Oh yeah…my pink Wedgie thing. 

EmmaLou is running around the house with the pink thingie in her mouth and I am following her yelling “Treat!”   “Treat!”  like a lousy piece of dog kibble is going to get her to spit out the pink Wedgie.  No, this has become her favorite new toy and I am toast.  So I do what any smart fur-child mom does….I head for the sterilized bone and the jar of peanut butter.  EmmaLou drops the pink Wedgie in trade for the bone stuffed with peanut butter.  Whew – a tragedy is averted — I have my little exercise helper and off I trot back to the living room to start those exercises.

I hate to get personal here, but I was following the instructions and they bluntly say to place this thing at the top of the crack in your butt with the narrow end facing toward your feet.  Now that doesn’t sound difficult — but I’m here to tell you this is easier said than done.  You have to be on your side to begin with, with your legs bent — get the stupid thing placed properly, then roll onto your back AND onto this teeny little piece of foam that fits under the wedgie.  Four times I tried…four times I missed the foam completely.  In total frustration I held the wedgie thing AND the foam piece together, placed them the best I could and rolled onto my back. 

Oh dear Gawd I thought I would die from the pain.  Straightening out your sacrum is not a fun thing to do.  By that time EmmaLou had returned, reeking of peanut butter — she thought since I was still lying on the floor, it was play time and proceeded to nudge me.  “Stop it, I’m working with my wedgie.”  Thankfully no one heard me utter those words.  I made it through the 10 minutes, rolled over and got the infernal thing off my posterior and laid it on the coffee table.  Guess who reached over and gently picked it up and took off like lightning?  Oh yeah, EmmaLou.  I struggled to get up off the floor and we went through the abovementioned scenario again ending up with her receiving another healthy dose of peanut butter.

I still had exercises to do so back to the yoga mat I went.  I looked at the exercises and started doing them.  The pain was tremendous – there was no way I was doing 10 reps of this stuff – I barely made it through 1 full session.  But I am happy to report I got every exercise done.  Then I read the instructions again and discovered I have to do these things not once but several times a day.  This is going to be challenging.

Crap on a crutch – I think I’ll just duct tape the pink wedgie to my butt and leave it there – that way when it’s exercise time I’m ready and EmmaLou can’t run away with it.  Might get some odd looks as I walk through the store though.  sigh…

P.S.  Crone and Bear It is gonna take a little technology break for a few days — I have too many irons in the fire, so to speak.   I promise to return real soon.  Hang on – you can live without me for a few days.  Just think of me and my pink wedgie and that should keep you smiling until I am back online.  xo

So Long and Thanks for All the Fish

Thursday was my final session of physical therapy for my back.  I knew I wanted to do a blog about these folks but I have jokingly referred to them in the past – there’s of course Agador Spartacus (Paul), Officer Sam (Samantha), and my precious little Chunky Monkey (Steve) or I sometimes call him a cuter James Belushi.  Quick note to Steve:  Chunky Monkey is not meant in a mean way – on the contrary it is a compliment.  Why you may ask?  Because Steve has the most amazing personality and such a sense of humor and he’s silly and compassionate all at the same time — he can be an imp – and that’s close to chimp and well, he has this adorable little tummy on him (I know he’s gonna get teased about this – sorry swee’pea!) and my Devoted Spouse also has a little tummy and well, I just Looooove men with little tummies – so Chunky Monkey is a term of endearment. I just love the stuffin’ outta you, Steve.    Whew – got that one explained.  Now you all know why I call Paul Agador – it’s coz he reminds me of the actor Hank Azaria (although he just doesn’t see it)  and he’s just cute as the dickens (“clench those butt cheeks, Linda”)  (“kiss my butt cheeks, Agador”)  :)    And  Sam is Officer Sam coz she really read me the riot act one day when I had overdone the activity and I could just envision her in the police outfit with the handcuffs (whoa up – don’t go down fantasy road) – but she cracked the whip on my activities is what I’m trying to say.  She is the sweetest lady around.

Anyway – these folks have gotten me through the painful rehab of a dislocated shoulder and then the painful rehab of a broken back and all told I’ve spent 9 months with them.  They became like family to me.  We laughed and we cried – okay I’m the one who cried.  Steve and Paul were always nice enough to say it was the lights up in the ceiling that were too strong and made my eyes water.  Simply said, I couldn’t have made it through this personal injury hell of mine without the tenderness and kindness of these folks – and that includes those who helped me with my exercises, Lori, and Kristen who always made sure I didn’t bang my head on anything or break any of their equipment.

So because I know my 6 faithful readers expect something at least slightly humorous from me I’ve decided to give all of you some of the wisdom I’ve gained from these past 9 months of physical therapy.  In fact I’ve made you a little list.

1.  Please bathe before you go to PT – they will make you exercise and to start out smelling bad and then sweat while exercising is just plain cruel and these people don’t get paid nearly enough to sniff your stinky body.  Shower first.  Drowning yourself in perfume is not the solution.

2.  The night before you go to PT kindly refrain from eating beans or any cruciferous vegetable, whether or not you have eaten a bottle of Beano prior to your meal –  trust me don’t eat anything that will cause your body to go into severe Toot-mode prior to your appointment.  These folks twist you, pull on your limbs, put your legs over your head at times, and contort your body in all kinds of positions that just begs to push out air — and when your PT is telling you to clench your butt cheeks, he’s talking about general muscles while you may be thinking I’m clenching and if you only knew why…   Trust me – no chili the night before – ever!  And no breakfast burritos either!

3.  Don’t b*tch at your exercise coach when she tells you to do 3 reps of 10 each.  Yes, it seems like torture and yes, it IS torture at times, but it will help you.  I’m just thankful my Drill Sergeant there (Carol) never told me to “drop and give her twenty” because there were times I felt she might do just that!

4.  Don’t think for one minute you can tell them you did your 3 reps of 10 when you’ve only finished 2 reps of 10 because these people are flippin’ psychic – they KNOW what and how much you are doing.  It’s creepy.  I learned early to add one or two more times on the bar or a few more leg pushes just to keep them happy — 5 minutes on the bike?   I always gave at least 6 if not more.  So there!  I did my work.  But they cruelly always turned the tv on to Regis and Kelly and the rest of us had to exercise while looking at the ripped arms of Kelly Ripa (who actually should be force-fed in my opinion and made to always wear long sleeves).  Talk about incentive.

5.  When they give you exercises on a nicely printed sheet of paper to take home and perform – do that — take the paper home, study it, and do the exercises.  Don’t wad it up and play ball with your dog.  He will get the exercise; not you.  Although there were times I looked at the paper and WANTED to wad it up, I never did.  Nope – I DID those exercises and I’m STILL doing them (I hate the new bridges Sam, whine, whine).  I sound like somebody’s mother when I say this and I can’t believe I’m going to say it anyway:  This is for your own good – so follow through!

6.  Don’t push them; don’t tease them; don’t piss them off.  These are highly trained individuals and they can put your limbs where you will never find them again – do everything they tell you and do it with a smile on your face.

7.  Always bring them something good to eat – they may live a healthy life-style but we ALL know an occasional blueberry muffin is good for the soul.

That’s my list and I’m stickin’ to it.  If you ever find yourself in my neck of the woods and you need physical therapy these are the folks to see – my friends at OrthoAdvantage - and now to introduce the team themselves:

PT dude

Hank Azaria look-alike Paul

Officer Sam

Officer Sam

Chunky Monkey/James Belushi but he lost the mustache YAY

Chunky Monkey/James Belushi but he lost the mustache YAY

So, that was my team – and I love them all dearly for their wonderful treatment of me.  I’m going to go do some exercises now and then eat some yogurt – oh joy, the life of a recovering broken backaholic is just one fun thing after another.  BTW if you don’t understand the title of this posting (and I’m really disappointed in those of you who don’t get it), go Google Douglas Adams coz you’re obviously not an enlightened fan of Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

How to go Postal at the Gym…or Tell Me to Suck it in Once More & You’ll Be Looking Up From Under the Treadmill

beer-belly-of-fail

Criminy, I told my 6 faithful readers I wouldn’t be blogging much due to my school schedule and where am I?  In front of my laptop writing a blog post.  It’s a sickness I tell you – I have to write – I wish this “sickness” spilled over into my school life because there is some writing due over there and I’m obviously not getting to it.

Why you might ask am I doing this post instead of reading a scholarly (zzzzz) book on intertestamental Judaism and the New Testament?  Why, you might ask, am I not finding it absolutely riveting that early Jewish people in Palestine made their homes out of rock or stone (I’ll huff and I’ll puff, and I’ll blow…no wait that’s the wrong story)?  Because I’m just not in the mood.  I am convinced there is a direct correlation between how much homework I have and how many blog posts I write; the more homework, the more postings.

What I really want to discuss is a little blurb I saw in our paper this morning.  Now this isn’t a small-town local type of paper; it’s a city-wide newspaper that’s supposed to give us national as well as local news.  It actually misses the mark a good portion of the time and it’s waaaay too expensive, but I still get one every day and I’m getting off track here.  Back to the blurb I saw.

This morning’s Lifestyle section had what they thought was a great tip for ladies who wanted to look good. It’s not original to the paper, thank goodness; I’d hate to think they actually had writers this awful, but they inserted this invaluable piece of physiological information into my reading material nonetheless.  It’s so amazing I simply have to quote it verbatim:

“You will look like you have a flat (or at least, flatter) belly if you stand up straight.  When you hunch down, your belly pushes out.  While you’re at it, pull your abdominals in, giving even more of an illusion of flat belly at the time, and creating more of a flat belly in the future by tightening your core.”

To say I almost spit out the cottage cheese I was gagging down at the time I read this would be an understatement.   Someone out there thinks they have come up with a good idea that no woman over the age of 18 has ever considered before:  pull in your stomach.  Oh holey moley Batman, what man said this – if I could find him I’d slap him.

Why do I think a man came up with that?  Because the other day while I was working out at my physical therapy session, one of my therapists (the ultra slim, cute as a button Agador) walked by and with a big smile on his precious face announced to me, “Linda pull in those abdominals!”  Little sh*t – I HAD them pulled in and if I had sucked my stomach in any further it would have blown out my butt.  Oh yeah, at the same time he says to me “Tighten those butt cheeks!”  So I’m pulling in my abdominals and tightening my butt cheeks and my body was so incensed with this double whammy that I got a spasm in the back of my left thigh.  I thought all my internal organs had rearranged as I let my butt cheeks droop again and let out my tummy because I swear to you something inside moved. I prayed, Lord let his abs fail him at the worst possible time please and may he lose his butt and go bald.  Okay I was just kidding about the prayer – but I was sorely tempted.

Hold in your belly and stand up straight – those are fighting words buddy.  Feel free to kiss my tightly clenched butt cheeks.