Monday, February 11, 2013

And Then The Cops Were Called...

One of the things that I hope(d) would happen with my getting a personal trainer is an end to some of my joint pain.  Carrying too much weight and not exercising enough is a recipe for aching joints--and I have had some aches and pains for many years.  I have a knee that has bothered me since high school and as I've gotten older, the rest of my joints have joined in to cause me discomfort.  And add to that my carpal tunnel and I am a bit of a mess.  But this is something that my trainer says can change.

We have been working on my knee(s) for some time now and there might be some improvement.  But, I have had problems for 40+ years, so it isn't going to get better in a short amount of time.  Also,  I haven't been consistent enough in what I need to be doing at home, so things aren't getting better fast enough.  Change is in my hands and I have to do what needs doing.

Last week I woke up to a carpal tunnel flair.  My thumb was causing me considerable pain and I told this to my trainer.  He has told me that there is no reason to even consider surgery--which I wouldn't until things got terribly bad--and that we can take care of the problem in the gym.  (And by what I do at home.  ;))  The gym is a proponent of something called trigger point therapy.  Here is a short description of this.  And if you want a bit more, you can go here for the Wikipedia article.  As far as I can understand, this is basically deep tissue/muscle massage to the nth degree.

Anyway, last Wednesday G started to go to work on my arm/wrist/thumb.  I could feel the easing of the tight muscle/s when he was working them.  (Of course, this is not 'permanent' and has to be done over and over until the muscle learns to work properly.)  One thing that I have learned at the gym is 'what you do on one side, you do on the other.'  After working on my right side, he went to work on the left arm.  And we found a couple of very tight, nasty muscles in that arm.  And he went to work.  And it hurt.  A lot.

Imagine, if you will, having a pea sized, hard-as-a-rock spot in one of your muscles.  (Okay, it could be bigger, it could be smaller.)  With trigger point therapy, this 'mass' is massaged out and pressure--a LOT of pressure--is put on it to help ease the tightness.  And it does work.  This is what went on with my arms last Wednesday.  And this is what my arms looked like later that night:

It's hard to believe, but my arms looked MUCH worse the next day.  As of today, the only bruising that is left is on my upper arms and that is fading fast.  I actually will be going to the gym in short sleeves on Wednesday.  :)

On Thursday, K had his session with our trainer.  K told G that, looking at my arms, ONE of them will be going to jail.  :D

Oh, my left arm is feeling much better.  My carpal tunnel is still bothering, but it is doing better, also.  And I am continuing to do what is needed at home.

Saturday, February 02, 2013

I Love Getting Gifts

Last weekend we did another one of our road trips--something we hadn't done since the beginning of December.  While we try to do an over-nighter every month (during K's monthly week off,) circumstances don't always allow.  Last month the week off was during the New Year's holiday, so the road trip didn't happen.  And after the expenses of Christmas, it probably was better to NOT spend money on a hotel OR shopping that wasn't quite necessary.

We were able to get together with our good friends who live a half hour out of the city where we stay.  Saturday happened to be my friend's birthday, so we were able to celebrate with them.  And we always have such a good time catching up with what everyone has been doing.  It does seem as if 'old' friends are the best friends, sometime.  We have much history together and haven't allowed the years to erode the friendship.  (For those who have forgotten--or never knew--she has been my friend since fourth grade when my family moved in next door to hers.  He was K's best friend in the Navy.  We introduced them and they got married.  LOTS of history.  ;))

I have always been jealous of my friend's artistic abilities.  She is quite creative and paints wonderfully.  HE is very good at woodcraft and the two of them have combined their talents and make wood jigsaw puzzles.  She does the design and painting and he cuts the wood.  The results are quite spectacular and we were the recipients of one of their creations last week.

As I said, this puzzle is wood and is in its own frame.  There are 50+ pieces to it and every piece is a different color.  Each piece is completely painted, front and back.  And the puzzle can be put together both ways--so I can turn the puzzle over and make it that way, as well as from the 'right side'.  I haven't removed this from the frame yet and am not sure I will--I'm afraid if I take this apart I won't be able to put it back together  or that it will take days (weeks?) to complete it.  I'm sure if I decide to take it apart, I will put a mark on each piece so that I can distinguish the 'right side' from the 'back side'--that will make it a bit easier to put together.  :)

I'm not too sure what I will be doing with this puzzle.  Of course, I want to keep it on display, but I'm not sure how.  We don't have a coffee table--and this would be the PERFECT spot--so right now I have it on our chess table.  If I keep the puzzle flat, I would like to get a piece of plexiglass cut for the top so that no damage can be done to it.  However, I might just prop it up and put it to the back of one of my book cases and use it as a background for some of my other 'treasures.'  For now however, I just want it where I can look at it and be amazed at the wonderful craftsmanship.

And here are a couple of closeup pics to see how nicely this is was done: