Exactly one week ago I woke up with a swollen cheek and was unable to see out of my right eye. At Urgent Care I was diagnosed with cellulitis, given a prescription for antibiotics and told I must see my primary care provider ASAP because my blood pressure was of concern. Because it had been years since I’d seen my primary care provider, I had to get a new one and a conversation with her changed everything. Essentially, I am in charge of my health. If I want to feel better, I should move more and eat less but it’s my choice! Who knew!?!
Exactly one week ago, my husband and I were staying at our favorite hotel in Bend, Oregon. My other 10 family members were at my parents’ house and we’d had two days of Thanksgiving gluttony with our regular family favorite then turkey repurposed as my new son-in-law led us in a tamale making party. When I woke up with a swollen cheek, I didn’t intentionally wake my husband. I took a shower, dried my hair, and had a cup of coffee. I made enough noise to give him an opportunity to wake up and see how icky I looked. He didn’t. I wallowed in self pity. I decided to drive myself to urgent care but when I got to the truck, it was covered in ice. I’d used our ice scraper to carefully scrape away the mud around a leaky pipe the week prior so it was still covered in muck 160 miles away in the garage. I decided to call Uber and waited 3 minutes for my ride.
Exactly one week ago, after my Urgent Care visit, I was enraged as I made my way back to the hotel. The doctor didn’t give me any sympathy or seem take into account the stress of family and holiday fare on my blood pressure. My cheek was on fire! My husband didn’t love me enough to wake up when I wasn’t feeling well and accompany me to the doctor. I hated my diagnosis! The word cellulitis was too close to the word cellulite (a word I’d detested since my junior year of high school when someone used it in reference to the back of my thighs). My grandma once told me that my pretty face would only get me so far if I didn’t lose some weight and her words came back me as tears spilled over my hideously swollen cheek. I decided I’d wait to call Uber or my husband until my emotions were under control.
Exactly one week ago, the snow in Central Oregon was perfect! Sidewalks had been shoveled but there was just enough fresh powder that I made new footprints. Dry snow is so much fun and only one street I crossed seemed icy. The view of the mountains and happy joggers had me feeling better in no time. When the tears finally stopped, I texted my location to my husband and he replied that he was on his way. I made it back to the hotel before he made it.
Exactly one week ago today, I was compelled to do things differently. It took me several days and a visit to my doctor to come up with success indicators for healthy living. Today’s update is below.
Success Indicator Updates:
Body Mass Index: Today I learned how to manipulate the BMI Calculator by using decimals. Instead of putting my height as 5 feet 6 inches, I put 5 feet 6.5 inches and it made a difference. I’m not sure why I didn’t think of adding that extra half inch before but clearly, size matters! I’m tracking weight in pounds and I’m happy with the slope of my data this week.
Blood Pressure: I knew I was no longer sitting at the kids’ table when at a family party, the cousins started talking about what type of blood pressure medication was most effective. My mom’s cousin said that his doctor had explained the benefits of having a healthy blood pressure like this. “Do you want to play with your grandkids or do you want your grandkids to wipe your drool after high blood pressure causes a stroke?”
The shape of my blood pressure data this week isn’t as pretty as my weight graph. In a Mayo Clinic article on improving blood pressure without medication, I discovered a formula that seems pretty logical. For every 2.2 pounds I drop, I can expect a 1 mmHG reduction as well. If I exercise 30 minutes a day, that will make a 5-8mmHG difference. Reducing sodium can make a 5-6mmHG difference. Alarmingly, caffeine can raise the number for people who don’t typically consume it so I need to make sure I have a consistent coffee and tea consumption.
Healthy Fuel: I had spinach, red potatoes and eggs for breakfast with dark delicious coffee. Later in the day I had carrots.
Not so Healthy Fuel:
Kids arrived with Krispy Kreme treats for our Christmas tree outing. I did not eat a single one. After our trip, the kids got pizza. I tried to find the nutritional information before the delicious aroma enticed me but it was really difficult to find. I ended up eating three pieces. I think this means I consumed 1080 calories, 96 grams of carbs, and 2130 of sodium mg.
Quiet Time: My only quiet time today was as I was working on the washing machine. It’s officially balanced! I’m not sure about me.
Nature Parks Explored: I have found that if I set my timer for 15 minutes for an out then back hike, I move for at least 30 minutes. Today I walked at Kraxberger Tree Farm and Nursery. The rain made for a sloppy walk but it was fun and refreshing!
Spinach Salads-My goal in this one year journey of living abundantly was to have a lovely spinach salad every day. The one ounce of spinach took up a ton of space before it was cooked with my eggs. . There were a few tiny tomato pieces on my pizza so between breakfast and dinner I almost had the ingredients for salad.
Beverage High in Antioxidants-My husband brought me coffee in bed and I had another for breakfast. Today’s special roast was brought to me by Keurig.
Walking with My Grand Dog-My son has high expectations. He only allows organic locally sourced food and doesn’t allow screen time at all. As the grandma of my amazing granddog, I try to play by the rules. Dice loves to watch home movies of my son and the dogs of his child hood. Dice was going to come over for a visit today but my mom got to babysit instead. I miss him!
Sand Castles with Cute Kids-I didn’t get to build sand castles with cute kids today but I got to watch my daughter and her husband cut their first Christmas tree. She and her dad reenacted cutting down a tree and we had a ton of fun. We brought home enough mud to build castles. Weather-tech floor mats rock!
Gratitude-My youngest son has asthma but he’s away at school this Christmas so we bought our first tree since the late 1900s. When I was a child, I once went to an exercise club with my grandma. Each of the machines she went to did exactly as the tree shaker did today. Watching this machine, seeing families together, and being out doors reminded me of so many special memories.
My husband brought me coffee in bed today. (Just as he did one week and one day ago at Old St. Francis School as pictured below.)
The Health app on my iPhone makes it so much easier to get a visual of progress.
Morgan Freeman plays an awesome president. I watched Angel Has Fallen today and read just a little bit of Ann Karenina by Tolstoy. My book group recently read The Secrets We Kept by Lara Prescott. This started me on a binge of books set in Russia. Lost Roses by Martha Hall Kelly was another.