It was raining all day, but I went out tonight with Linda to exercise, even though my hair was a sight and then some. Exercise is good. I can now do over 30 full push-ups. I found some Columbia shoes/boots with stiff/solid toes. I get my body in position and drag the feet forward then back so they are resting on the solid toes. Then it is just a case of inducing a seizure lock in my quads and then pushing up. Since I have long arms, it seems pretty far up there.
The first week I tried this, it didn’t work. I’ve been working on it for months, adding a few push ups each time. I still do the rest of the 100-150 pushup. Today was the first time I was able to do a full lift of the body in a fist push up. It really strengthen’s the arms and the stomach muscles. And I need the arms to pull me up, push me off the toilet, transfer, push me out of wheelchairs, seats, etc. I have this tendancy to fall, out of wheelchairs, off chairs, beds, toilets, just about anything. It is official: I am a klutz.
And the stomach muscles are to lower the pot, keep the intestines bound and moving and maintain some control over the bowels. With everyone from GP to specialists still in the ‘Gosh, that’s a complicated disease, I don’t have a clue what comes next or how you stay alive’ – I’m the one who needs to keep going.
Afterward I do 8 minutes on the treadmill as that gets the heart going strong enough to flush the blood and broken cells out of the feet and arms. It tends to itch in a ‘my feet have been covered by an anthill’ way. Then it goes to, ‘oh gee, I’m Joan of Arc and someone set my feet and legs on fire’. Thankfully, I have my mp3 player, which gets me through the worst of it. Just today I added 20 songs including Fake Empire by the National (from Ohio, USA) and Challengers by the New Pornographers (From Vancouver, BC) and Slow Club’s ‘When I Go’ (Linda says she’ll hold my hand: band from UK). After a minute past the defrosting of feet from a week of walking on ice, I stop, the treadmill carries me to the edge. I fall off (this scares the staff). Then I retie my shoes as the edema is now gone. And start again.
Holding onto the sides or front arm tray, I do several minutes on an incline of 5.5 to 8.5 which the machine tells me burns 717-800 calories an hour. It is this which got me down to and up from the beach. I was going a stair at a time, and sweating heavy by the top...where, between huffs and puffs I could see a guy standing at the top staring down at my boobs the entire time, right to the last step! Hey, I wanted human interaction; that’s a KIND of interaction right?
On the treadmill, I mostly push a bit the speed to sweat, then slow it down. I do this because it is low impact, it strengthens the quads for mobility and the stomach and lower back. I do the walking at night in front of the window, which due to light behind, acts as a mirror so I can see if my leg starts to walk off the treadmill.
It is an odd feeling, to watch yourself weave around on an incline without feeling the legs or feet. Then, in the shower, there is a body search for dead or rotted skin. I had several places where there had been rubbing and the had been torn and worn for several days, hanging in pieces and strips. ‘Look Linda,’ I called out, ‘I’m a zombie, ARGGGGG! BRAINS!’ Yes, Zombie Beth wears a kimono (still slave to fashion).
We laughed. Who would have thought a year ago I would be laughing about using a loofa to scrub off dead or decaying flesh; my flesh? But then, there is a time for tears and a time for laughter. I've had my fill of tears, so there will be laughter.
Here is a song that Linda and I can both identify with. I hope youtube hasn’t added commercials. It reflects how I feel about my body changing and the theme of Sakura-con is goth loli with h.nauto and three or four other top designers coming, as well as hosting a high goth tea. I will take pictures (except the tea which is $50 – but for those who paid $380 for a dress much less $50 for the fan, then another $100 for gloves, stockings, and don’t get me started on shoes…..so it is a full Gothic Loli peacock ‘look at me!’ scene – as the heroine of Kamikazi Girls would say, “How Rococo!”)
I have the clothes and corsets, just a body which changes hourly with Edema, and while Helen of Troy’s had the face which launched a thousand ships, as this song says, ‘with a face that was launch to sink’ and
And this endless crutch, well it's never enough
It's been the Worst Day Since Yesterday
Here is a link to a Stargate Universe version. Join me in laughing, and singing, no matter how bad it gets.
13 hours ago