New lifestyle - Feeling good - Moving on

Disabled and desperate
Over 50, Overweight, Life feels over

December 2007 .. I posted the above sad and sorry saga right here in Runners World Forums .. image

My life really did feel awful .. no hope for the future ... I only came to Runners World to enter the Christmas comps .. started reading some of the forum threads ... made my own tearful contribution .. and the rest as they say .. is history !!

To my amazement my  'desperate plea for help' was quickly answered by some wonderful Runners World forumers .. very quickly I felt huggled by the 'love and warmth' in those early replies .. the genuine kindness of people made me feel I 'must do better' ... 'must get my act together' .. 'should and could do better' ... image

And I became so motivated that I have pretty much changed my whole life around .. it's been a wondrous year for me .. I moved rom my old home in a small very rural village to a brilliant sheltered housing flat here in Cambridge .. everything I need for day to day living is roughly within half a mile of my home instead of at least 8 miles away ... and no more maintenance costs or worries ... image

I now go out several times a week instead of just once a fortnight .. and with the extra activity my general health has improved .. I am slowly losing weight ... and my peviously 'somewhat fragile' state of mind has changed to a much more positive mindset .. I am feeling pretty good about my future ... image

I have even started doing a few voluntary things for my housing association .. so I have interesting challenges and tasks to look forwards to from time to time .. what a difference a year makes ... and I strongly believe it's all down to you .. the Runners World forumers ... you've changed my life .. given me a new purpose in life ... and made me feel GOOD about myself once again ...  in particular I have come to think of GC as my lovely friend .. always helping me and shooing me forwards to bigger and better things .. thank you so much ... words can never say how much you have helped me .. and how grateful I am  image

With all these wonderful changes in my life the old Disabled and Desperate" thread was no longer appropriate ... I'm 'Moving On' ... and who knows what will be happening throughout this year ... one thing I do know is I am going to 'enjoy the ride ... image



  • So lets start the new thread on a really good note ... image

    I am really excited .. last week I ordered an electric bathlift .. image

    Bathlift ... not something I ever thought I would get excited about .. but having searched for weeks and weeks to find the right product I can say .. I have found it ... at a stonkingly good price .. and I am very excited about it  image

    It goes really low into the water .. less than 2.5" high (most are around 4-5") ... and rises to a 'near normal' seating height of 19" (most are between 12-15") .. this means I will feel really safe getting up from the bathlift. It also splits into two pieces .. so I can easily remove it to clean the bath properly and more importantly take it with me if I take a few days away .. no more having to pay 'extra' just to get disabled rooms with a shower cubicle instead of a shower over a bath... It was delivered yesterday ... I charged the battery overnight .. and this morning I had a bath ... image wooohoooo .. and it must be around 12-13 years since I last had a bath ... hahahhha It was great .. I did feel really safe ... had a quick but thorough splishy splashy .. and my legs feel as light as a feather .. now I just need some of those pretty coloured battery operated 'pool lights' ... ohhh and one of those 'air bubble' massage mats ... hehhehhh !!!
  • Glad you're feeling more positive about life patootie. You're an inspiration.

    How did you get on with the wobbliator thingy in the end?
  • hey Patootie, I'm so pleased to hear of your progress - what a great year for you!

    I have to laugh though - 1st bath in 13 years! image

  • Thanks for posting .. image

    I am a 'mucky pup' aren't I not bathing for so long ... heheheh ... showers been well used of course .. but the pleasure of just being able to sit in a bath and contemplate your naval for a while is immeasurable image

    The 'wobbleator' is still in regular use .. I can't do more than 10 minutes .. but my posture and core muscles seem a lot better and stronger .. I've even stopped using my walking stick in the house .. other than on very bad days  image

    And it certainly seems to relax my leg muscles .. if they feel 'tight' before I go to bed I have 2 minutes worth of 'wobble' .. that's cut down my nighttime cramps by about 90% ... image

    Things are certainly very different now .. and I am determined to keep going to get fitter .. I've even started doing a little gentle 'jogging' while waiting for the kettle to boil ... I don't let the balls of my feet come off the ground and just 'bounce' up and down a little .. and when I go out on my disability scooter I often try and 'jog' my feet up and down on the scooter foot platform .. I could only manage about 10 'steps' to start with .. now I am doing well over 50 at a time .. as Mick'n'Phil often say ... small steps .... image

  • hiya patootie,

    Fantastic news that you've had such a good year.. Just think where you'll be this time next year??? image


  • Woooohoooo, what a great new thread to see, Patootie! You've truly revolutionised your life in the last year, and while it's good to know that the forum has helped you (as it helps such a lot of us), YOU are the one that did it!!

    Your account of your 'first bath in years' was brilliant. And I bet it WAS nice, cos showers are businesslike but a bath is real indulgence. I now have this great soft-focus image of different coloured underwater strobe lights, jacuzzi-style aeration, and lots of frothy bubble bath, with you there like at 1940's starlet image)

    Good news about the wobbleator, too. I remember how tiring you found it at first, so your core fitness must have really increased a lot over the year. ESPECIALLY nice that it's got rid of the cramps that used to be such a painful nuisance.

    Yup, you've come a loooong way since you first posted! As WH says, who can even imagine where you'll be this time next year?!? xxx

  • Thank you GC ... I hardly dare think about 'how far I have come' .. now and then I do go back and read that first maudling post ... what a difference .. a bit scary to think I was at such a low lifes ebb .. and thank goodness I found the courage (constantly cheered on by RW) to make the changes .. image

    I got quite emotional starting this new thread .. because I've said it now .. new lifestyle .. feeling good ... moving on .. it's a lot to live up to isn't it .. blimey ... but I was also really excited to think what I might get up to next .. and this may sound corny .. now when I wake up each morning I feel ready to embrace the day .. to do something positive however small .. to try something new .. and my days seem to be whizzing by ... unlike the 'bad old days' when I almost groaned out loud to think I had to 'endure' yet another long dull day .. just proves the old adage ... "Life is what we make of it" ... image

  • image

    always nice to read threads like this

  • Thank you Plodding Hippo .. and nice to see you again .. image

    I lay awake last night thinking about how I should try and go forwards .. obviously I do want to make some more progress .. but know I need to take care not to get carried away in the excitement of the moment .. if I set too high goals I could be due a big disappointment .. set them too low and I won't achieve as much as I perhaps could  .. image

    So .. and with the thinking of Mick'n'Phil yet again .. I am going to plan ahead in small steps month by month .. this month I have now achieved this 'complete break' with my 'old self' .. cutting the ties to the old thread was harder than I thought it would be .. I suppose it was a kind of 'security blanket' where if things seemed too hard or didn't go well I could use it to say .. 'I told you so .. I can't cope' .. image .. but with GC (that's Gentle Chugger of course) ever eager and gently pushing me on I have come to realise I don't need to look backwards .. that life is done with ... forever image

    Also this month I have achieved another mighty step forward in sourcing and buying the wonderful bathlift .. my Fibromyalgia and Osteo-Arthritis are definitely going to benefit from me taking a bath .. or two .. my skin will appreciate the odd soak .. or two .. and it certainly lifted my spirits .. one more small step back to 'normality' image

    So ... what can I plan for February .. the shortest month .. your ideas warmly welcomed .. come along and help me plan my future ... image

  • Well isn't this thread fantastic - doesn't it make you feel all warm and gooey!! 

    Patootie you've done brilliantly and you should be really proud of yourself.

  • Great to hear you sounding so positive Patootie. I stopped posting on the old thread when it quickly became apparent to me that there were others (such as GC) who had more to give in your situation than I did but I have followed your progress as a regular lurker.

    The real question is - what do you want from February?"

    Don't be afraid to set your sights high, just accept that you might not always reach them first time.

    If you think you can or you think you can't you're probably right.
  • Little M.iss Happy wrote (see)

    The real question is - what do you want from February?"

    Thank you for 'lurking' now and then .. Little M.iss Happy .. I have appreciated every scrap of encouragement over the last year ... so 'lurkers' welcome image

    I'm not sure what I want from February .. I do have plans to try and start walking more .. but don't want to start until the weather is warmer as the fibro' makes my muscles 'overwork' .. in the colder weather I get very stiff and too much movement makes the muscles go into spasm .. so I'm saving walking for the warmer weather .. image

    I could perhaps acclimatise myself better with my new locality ... I've not really explored very far yet .. got to work on that though .. I am prone to panic attacks (dratted fibro' again) if I suddenly feel lost .. so I'll need to check out the route thoroughly before I go driving anywhere .. and maybe that too would be more fun if the weather was warmer .. scratches head .. not at all sure what to do next month .. image 

  • Aw, LMH, I think your wonderful question shows that you've got LOADS to offer in the way of intelligent support!  Seems to me to put the issue in just the right light.  

    Patootie, if you think of what you would like from February, the idea of orienting yourself sounds great, especially if it would give you the confidence to venture out more when the weather improves. What can you do? Do you have maps of the area? Do know already of places you'd like to go --for shopping, theatre, sightseeing, garden, art exhibition? Can you check on everything you need to get there, like access, parking etc? It might be nice to have a little store of already-planned outings for half days, or one or two hour jaunts, so that when we get a nice day you can just grab one and take off, safe in the knoweldge that you've already got it all lined up. Any good?

    Stray thought. You obviously need to be very careful not to do too much physically in cold weather, but is there any chance you could do a little gentle upper-body stuff? Even a few gentle head-rolls can loosen your neck, and lifts with a tin of tomatoes in each hand can wake up your arm and shoulder muscles.

    Another stray thought. You write so well, have you ever thought about keeping a diary? You know, like the Victorian Lady? Any obsevations of nature, memories, reflections on what you see or on what's happened. I really believe that at some point you will write professionally, and it's never too soon to start.

    But the main thing is just what LMH said: what would YOU like to get out of this month? Whatever it is, go for it!

  • Patootie, please think of me tomorrow morning. I have to take one of our three cats---the oldest, and most timid and most ladylike--to the vets tomorrow. She's had kidney disease for a while but the last few days she's clearly been feeling unwell and the vet says it's time to let her go. I'll make sure she is safe and relaxed and happy all the way through, and I know it's the right thing to do, but it isn't easy.
  • Awww  GC .. that's a very hard thing to do .. I felt so guilty when my cats came to the end of their lives .. it's such a fine line between wanting to keep them going as long as possible ... and allowing them the dignity to end their life before the quality of life is impaired .. image

    Be brave .. it really is the kindest thing to do however much it hurts us .. because when you love your pets you never want them to be in pain or suffering ... so well done .. I will be thinking of you .. !

  • You're right, Patootie, it is that balance. But she's done awfully well to manage this long---she's my older son's cat and we were afraid she might reach this stage before he went to uni last September. I spoke to him tonight and he asked if it could wait til he came home next weekend, but when I told him what the vet said, he agreed we should just let her go gently now before she feels any worse. And I'm sure it's best for her, because she really can't get better now. But you can't help wishing it were otherwise.
  • Wow! That's a fantastic story - I'm seriously impressed!

     I'd agree with other people about setting your goal as what you want to do, but have you got an expert patient programme running in your area? Usually run for your local PCT by people who have long term conditions for people with long term conditions (like pain management/arthritis/diabetes/asthma etc). Lots of support and positivity usually! 

  • image  "Expert Patient" programmes .. dashes off to google it ...

    Ahh now I know .. yes I did start going to one of those courses where I used to live .. 8 people .. we were all people living with pretty nasty long term illnesses ... by the time the coffee came round we'd all had enough .. it was a waste of time .. and we all went home .. image

    I would have found the literature fairly useful when I was first thrown out of work .. which is what all the other folks said .. but so many years down the line we had already learnt the hard way about all the tips and coping strategies .. I mean they spent 15 minutes suggesting we made 'lists' of things we need to remember .. well DUH ... you learn that in the first week of a long term illness ... image

    I think we just had a lousy team of people .. one of the ladies told us her long term illness was 'a brain tumour' .. or so she'd thought .. for 5 years she'd worried about it .. then got medical help and only found she was having tension headaches .. tension headaches from worring she had a 'tumuor' silly woman .. 'miraculously' she said I was able to 'cure' myself by not worrying so much .. but she was still off sick and claiming disability benefits .. image

    The other lady had mild asthma .. so neither of the tutors had any idea what long term illnesses really are like .. we all complained .. the lady on benefits had a reassessment and was sent packing back to work .. and the asthma lady was sacked from volunteering for the PCT for falsely claiming how ill she was ..  image

    I've been on waiting lists for the pain clinic .. waited 18 months .. only to be told that there are no pain management medications, tips or tricks to help anyone with Fibromyalgia .. I've done the cognitive courses that they do in America .. or at least I have read the course instructions online and done it myself .. I think it's just that fibro is such a difficult syndrome to diagnose and find appropriate medications for .. shall I give the symptom again ...  do you mind .. don't read them if you don't want to .. image 

  •  Fibromyalgia commonly identified Symptoms (63)

    __ recurrent flu-like illness
    __ recurrent sore throats, red and injected
    __ painful lymph nodes under the arms and neck
    __ muscle and joint aches with tender and trigger points - up to 18 of them
    __ night sweats and fever
    __ severe nasal and other allergies
    __ irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
    __ weight change - usually gain
    __ heart palpitations
    __ mitral valve prolapse
    __ severe PMS
    __ yeast infections
    __ rashes and itching
    __ uncomfortable or frequent urination
    __ interstitial bladder cystitis
    __ chest pains (non-cardiac)
    __ temporomandibular joint dysfunction (in the jaw)
    __ hair loss
    __ carpal tunnel syndrome
    __ cold hands and feet
    __ dry eyes and mouth
    __ severe and debilitating fatigue
    __ widespread pain
    __ other chronic illness(es) usually present (like diabetes, hypoglycemia, asthma, lupus, ms, etc.)
    __ numbness in the limbs, not painful like pins & needles
    __ painful swelling in the hands, legs, feet, neck
    __ GERDs (gastro-esophageal reflux disorder)
    __ “growing pains” start in childhood and teens, continue into adulthood
    __ widespread body pain during/after physical exertion

    __ attention deficit disorder
    __ spatial disorientation
    __ calculation difficulties
    __ memory disturbance
    __ communication difficulties (problems speaking, confusing words)

    __ depression
    __ anxiety and panic attacks
    __ personality changes, usually for the worse
    __ emotional lability (mood swings)

    __ sleep disturbances
    __ headaches
    __ changes in visual acuity
    __ numb or tingling feelings
    __ burning sensations
    __ light headedness
    __ feeling 'spaced out'
    __ desequilibrium
    __ frequent unusual nightmares and disturbing dreams
    __ tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
    __ difficulty in moving your tongue to speak
    __ severe muscle weakness
    __ susceptibility to muscle, tendon, ligament injury
    __ intolerance to bright lights
    __ intolerance to alcohol
    __ intolerance to sound
    __ extreme sensitivity to medications and their side-effects
    __ alteration of taste, smell, and hearing
    __ insomnia
    __ inability to achieve stage 4 restorative sleep
    __ morning stiffness in the muscles and joints
    __ restless leg syndrome
    __ muscle spasms
    __ muscle quakiness and shivering during/after activity or exercise
    __ sleep paralysis (related to stage 4 sleep deprivation)

  • Thankfully no one has been known to get all 63 symptoms (the US list is over 120 symptoms) on the same day .. phew .. but you can get one or two .. or more .. of the above on any given day .. even changing from morning to afternoon .. afternoon to evening .. and there is no way of knowing which symptom will be the next to arrive .. image

    Yesterday I had extreme fatigue, painful heels and very intolerant to sounds along with raging tinnitus .. today I've had the itchy skin, dry eyes and mouth, and 'strange smells'  .. I've been smelling carnations and Dettol image

    Never a dull moment with fibro .. I wonder what tomorrow will bring .. ohh well they do say variety is the spice of life .. image

  • Patootie, I've read your list and description more than once in the last year, and I still find it just fantastic how you cope with all that at all---AND at the same time turn your life around entirely! You are one impressive lady, for sure!

    Hope today will improve. Carnations and Dettol sounds like a pretty weird combination of smells! And maybe now that you can bathe you might be able to relieve some of the itchy skin?

    Anyway, I hope it's a good day for you! xx

  • Wheweee .. went to the dentist this morning for a long overdue check up .. now admittedly I know dentists are expensive .. and I have 'prevaricated' about going for the last 3 years .. but flippin' norah .. I had no idea prices had gone up so much .. basic examination very fairly well priced at £15 .. but then came two x-rays at £7 each .. followed by the 'clean and polish' at a staggering £30 .. so I spent £59 in all .. a sum of money I can ill afford at present .. image

    Then again I do have the satisfaction of knowing my whole mouth and throat are clear of anything 'nasty' starting to happen .. that I have no obvious tooth problems, no cavities or repairs of old fillings needed (thank goodness for the wonderful sonic, ionic electric toothbrushes) .. and that my dental hygiene was in fact so good that a clean and polish was 'hardly' needed .. (image now she tells me .. after she's taken £30 of my money) .. so I dare say it was worth the money overall .. image

    But .. I know I will be brushing furiously over the next 6 months .. no more hygienists 'clean and polishes' for me .. image

    Edit .. just thinking back .. the last time I needed a filling was roughly in the 1970's .. image 

  • BB ✭✭✭

    Hi Patootieimage I think starting a new thread is a brilliant idea. I used to see the disabled and esperate thread and think that it was a shame you couldn't change it because you have achieved so much in the last year and that description no longer fitsimage Glad to hear about the bath after 13 years! I like the idea of achieving something new each month. Like GC says getting to know the area better would be good - maybe you could use mapmyrun to look at some routes and measure distance to ensure they are within range? I use it sometimes if my gps battery runs out while I am out so that I can measure my runs.

    Talking of doing new things I have been talked into a 5 mile cross country race tomorrow. I am not in race- shape at all, but it will be fun to run with other people, and in all honesty I fear that without the need to meet up with the others I would probably stay in by the radiator tomorrow!

    Dentists - I need to make an appoitnment to have a cap fitted where I broke a tooth - I think I need a mortgage for that. But I too use a sonic toothbrush and can't recommend them too highly, I never need to go to the hygenist, though Mr B does and uses one - I guess in part it depends on your teeth ...

    With all best wishes for a happy 2009 full of new experiencesimage x

  • How right you are, B, I love the new thread too. And what a brilliant idea that Patootie could use something like mapmyrun! That would make it a lot easier to measure distances, AND without having to have fistfuls of local maps. Genius!

    And I agree with both of you about the sonic toothbrushes. C2 has always had difficulty with his teeth (the dentist told us when he was about 7 that he just had mouth chemistry that was very friendly to bacteria) but since he started using the sonic a couple of years ago he's had no trouble (and he's about to turn 20!).

    And even though that was a jolly expensive outing to the dentist, Toots, you should congratulate yourself on such good oral hygiene---and be thankful for it, too, cos if you had needed anything much doing you would have cost MUCH more (however difficult that is to imagine!). Dental charges have just reeled out of all control, so it's really good to hear a) that you went and b) that you didn't need anything!

    Very cold here, with a bitter east wind straight from Siberia. We went to the beach this morning and took Rossie with us. We threw the ball for her and she was frantic with delight, flying over the sand to get it and streaking back to throw it down at our feet. Very refreshing, very bracing, but tonight we were glad to sit by a fire with warm soup!

    B, hope you have a lovely time tomorrow---just relax and enjoy yourself and make sure you stay warm! Do let us know how you get on, we'll be cheering for you.

    When it's cold like this, it's so good to know that your new home is so lovely and warm, Patootie. If you are feeling the very least bit off, for any reason, it's ten times worse if you're cold, so it's great to know that you're nice a toasty.

    Sweet dreams, all.

  • I've had a look at Mapmyrun .. what a good idea .. I was already using the aerial views to try and 'see my way around' the new locale .. but it's even better to have a reasonably accurate way to check out how far away something is .. now .. if I could just work out how to get the thing centred on where I live I could show you all .. I did try last night but I was having one of my 'super exhausted' days .. and I couldn't fathom it out .. image

    My 'super exhaustion' was almost certainly caused by stressing out about the dentist .. as a child the school dentist was nicknamed "The Butcher" .. he was a really nasty man .. he looked very much like a butcher used to look .. a big man, sweated profusely, large red raw looking fleshy hands, wore a bloodtsained canvas apron  .. surely a man more suitable for chopping meat than prising teeth from tiny fragile children .. his work ethic was if it only takes a few minutes to do it doesn't need any numbing .. so fillings and teeth pullings were mostly done without anaesthetic .. and if you struggled he'd put his big fat knee on your chest and hold you down .. image

    I well remember both boys and girls who were sat in the waiting room wetting themselves in sheer terror .. even now a visit to the dentist sends me into a flap .. and of course getting stressed flares the fibro .. I had a terrible night on the Friday .. filled with nightmares .. waking up drenched in sweat .. and all caused by one nasty man who crossed my path some 45 years ago ..  image

    Ohh and during the course of last night I finally remembered when my last filling had been done .. 1974 !!! And ironically I suppose I have 'The Butcher' to thank for that .. knowing how much I still 'fear' going to the dentist I do take good care of my teeth .. because the better I look after them .. the less likely I'll need treatment image

  • Oh Patootie, what a perfectly hideous experience to have had!! No wonder you are afraid of the dentist. But did you tell your new dentist about this? Most of them are extremely sensitive to this sort of thing, and if they know you're anxious they will go out of their way to make sure you know what's going on, and to offer you a local anaesthetic if you're going to feel anything. There are NO brownie points for pain--none!--so if it's going to hurt you should DEFFO get an anaesthetic. Hopefully your teeth are so good that you will never have to have anything done ever again, but if you do, talk to the dentist honestly, I'm sure s/he will be understanding.

    And I think B is a genius to think of mapmyrun. It means you can plan out a whole expedition in advance. I hope now that the dentist is behind you, you'll be able to relax and get some rest and feel a bit more like doing things.

    But if it's anything there like it is here, I wouldn't plan on doing much outside for the next few days! It's a really bitterly cold wind, straight from Siberia, and between the cold air and the wind, it's about -7C. If it's anything at all the same there, you stay inside and stay warm!

  • Ohh yess GC .. I explained it to the really nice lady dentist .. she went very slowly with me .. explained everything step by step and gave me clear indications when things were about to start happening .. I can't praise her highly enough ... gentle, efficient, kindly and most of all very understanding image Only once did I have to ask her to stop .. and that was because I have temporomandibular jaw dysfunction (TMJD) on my right side .. when my mouth is wide open it has a tendency to try and pop out of joint (the one near the ear) .. just another part of fibro ... sigh ... !

    The weather is around the 2-4C mark ..  no wind to speak of .. it had started out as a beautiful sunny morning .. but rapidly turned into snow flurries .. some of which has patchily settled on rooftops and in various corners .. but I can see the sky is a watery blue again so I think the snow could be over for a while .. image

    I was going to go out for a 'run' on my scooter this afternoon .. but decided against it when the snow started hehehe .. Instead I have stayed nice and cosy in my lovely warm flat .. but maybe tomorrow image

    Just having a lazy afternoon catching up on all the tv I missed during the week .. I don't feel like being energetic .. lazy I know .. but ... sometimes you just have to listen to your body ... or at least that's my excuse heheheh !!!

  • BB ✭✭✭

    Thank you for the good wishes for the race. It was so cold at the start, a brisk wind and snowflakes swirling in the air, but we were there, so we were going to run! It was an undulating 5 mile course with one nasty steep hill we had to do twice. I warmed up after about half way - but I am so glad I did it - even a piece of fruit cake at the endimage Well down the field, but it was about doing some miles not racing.

    The snow is laying here and more is forecast in the night - luckily I am not working tomorrow so I may hibernate!

    Patootie I agree about listening to yourself and resting - I am lucky that I only work part time now and sometimes I love having a day where I do nothing much, just pottering at home, watching tv, reading and foruming - I can also do puzzle books for hours!

  • Woohooo .. thick snow here ...

  • Only 18 fibro symptoms for me this week patotie, so I guess it could be worse!  Well done to you, and keep on keeping on.

    Sass xx 


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