Monthly Health Challenge- August 2015

It’s that time again….another new month is upon us which means it’s time for another monthly challenge. How many of you struggled with last month? Was cutting back or giving up soda difficult, rewarding or both? Well, no worries, this months challenge should be a little easier for everyone.

The challenge for August is : Have a salad for 1 meal a day.

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This should take very little effort to achieve. Farmer’s markets are bursting with wonderful, fresh veggies. There are road side stands selling veggies everywhere and if need be, your local grocery store has veggies year round. If you spend a little time preparing, chopping, washing, and cooking one day a week, throwing together a salad for a meal should only take you minutes.

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If you have more time and are creative you could even try making your own dressings to top your salads. And please, if you do this don’t be afraid to share your recipes with the rest of us:)

 

Good Luck!

A Look Back At July 2015 In Pictures

This July was like none other for us this year. With both my son and my husband battling with back injuries and me trying to keep everything under control without loosing my sanity meant July has been challenging. Although, our son has almost fully recovered and my husband is making great progress, I just wake up everyday and count my blessings. You would think I would not have a whole lot to look back on in July but I do so lets all have a look, shall we…

Enjoying A Lake Paddle With A Friend

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First Chocolate Cookie Smore Ever

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SUP Fun

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First Pit Campfire Of 2015

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A Visit To An Old Childhood Pool With My Husband

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Visit To My Favorite Farmer’s Market

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Summer Fun Outside With The Kiddos

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Back In My Favorite Footwear Again….Hiking Boots

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Geocaching on the Ice Age Trail

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I have to say….it’s been pretty good considering the circumstances.

How was your July?
Did you do anything fun or new?

Physical Therapy At Home…..It Is Possible

Let’s discuss something that can be quite controversial…..physical therapy. Do you need a professional?

During the last month my husband has seen many, many medical professionals and one of them happened to be a physical therapist. Now, I am not saying all physical therapist are the same or have the same approach with all their patients but after discussing with his neurologist the progression of therapy my husband was receiving he came home and asked me what my opinion was on continuing to keep his therapy appointments twice a week. These appointments had him doing very little and they took up 1 1/2 hours of his day. After discussing what they did, the outlook his pt person had for future appointments, and our normal activity level with the doctor he stated that maybe it would be more beneficial to continue doing everything we have been doing at our pace which would all benefit him greatly. Which then made me say let’s cancel pt all together and we can plan our daily routine around what we know is the best form of therapy for his condition and save us a lot of time and money. So we did.

Now, we are pretty lucky since we already had almost everything we needed that he would benefit from right at home from our years of physical activity. If you are not so lucky and don’t want to invest in some items that are recommended for your condition then you are probably best to still seek the skills of a physical therapist as directed by your doctor.

I would like to share his first week of at home physical therapy exercises. (Please remember that this routine is specific for his condition, so this may not be a routine for everyone and all conditions.)

Monday: hamstring stretch 2x’s day, 30 minutes on the stationary bike IMG_1753Tuesday: hamstring stretch 2x’s day, 3 mile walk, TENS therapy 30 minutes IMG_1701Wednesday: hamstring stretch 2x’s day, 2 mile trail walk, resistance bands foot/ankle IMG_0981 Thursday: 1 hour pool therapy, hamstring stretch 2x’s day IMG_1741

Friday: hamstring stretch 2x’s day, decompression/inversion table 15 minutes IMG_1749

Saturday: hamstring stretch 2x’s day, 30 minutes on the stationary bike

Sunday: hamstring stretch 2x’s day and a hike just short of 5 miles

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If you follow along you all know that the one thing about us is that we are a very active couple. This routine was by far a challenge to endure, but for some individuals it may be considered grueling. We went into this with no plan what so ever. We did what felt right for that particular day. You can see on Thursday, for instance, we ended up in a city pool for open swim time after dinner. He had a very long, hot and uncomfortable day as far as pain is considered at work and water has been our go to ever since it all started. We did not feel like traveling to our normal spot to swim in the bay of Green Bay so we drove and paid $6 for an hour of pool time.

If you are not a normal active person and you need that push of a physical therapist and a set time and place then I would suggest you go this route. We, however, do not need a set time and place to be active. We have figured out a way to just change up our normal active routine and adjust it to what he needs to work on to improve his condition. Making it fun, not in a medical facility, and including your family and children will make the actual process of doing whatever your doctor has suggested not so bad. Even my daycare children have started assisting him in ways he never thought he would be stretched.  IMG_1729

If you are suffering and physical therapy is part of your treatment plan, don’t feel like you have no options. For a few hundred dollars in supplies and some help from family and friends in some instances, it is possible to achieve results on your own. Just don’t push too hard and remember to rest when you need to rest. Sometimes that is the hardest part of healing. Your brain says you can do this and your body is telling you no it can’t.

 

Weekend Snapshots: Farmers Market/ Ice Age Trail Hike/Pier Walk

With temps in the high 80’s Saturday and humidity levels up there I decided it was time to get some things done around the house this weekend. I was feeling very Martha Stewart like for some reason. My husband tried really hard to get me to go fishing and wade through the river with him but I refused. I know from past experience that this river has snakes along the edge and I am NOT getting stuck in a river with no way of running for my life to escape these slithery reptiles. He was on his own and so was I, which sometimes is pretty nice. First, I made a trip to my favorite farmers market for some veggies. IMG_1764

After that I came home threw in the laundry and started cooking and preparing things for the week ahead. IMG_1772 I then rearrange my workout area to make room for my husbands new inversion table. He was taking up space in my yoga area so we needed to fix this asap.  IMG_1749 Then I cleaned the entire house before it was time to make a nice dinner to be eaten alone. I decided lemon, dill, shrimp fettuccine sounded fabulous with sauteed zukes and onion from the market. Yummmmmm!

After that it was a 3 mile walk in the heat of summer. I love summer, the hotter the better.

Sunday brought another hot, humid day. Although, that did not stop us from hiking 5 miles down the Ahnapee State Trail also know as the Ice Age Trail.  IMG_1780

We began todays hike at HWY 42 and Cty Rd H. There is a very nice parking area with the cleanest public bathrooms I have ever seen in WI.

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We found a few geocaches along this stretch and only one snake. One too many that is:)

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The trail in this area is completely flat, crushed rock. We saw no other hikers but we did come across a few bikers. It was pretty warm and buggy but still felt great to be on a trail again.

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After our hike we made our way down the road a ways to Kewaunee, WI for ice cream and a cool walk down the pier.

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Then it was time to head home for the day.

It turned out to be a great weekend. The sun was shining, my husband did his fishing, I did my cooking/relaxing/cleaning, and we hiked a good hike in the heat preparing for our upcoming trip.

A Light At The End Of The Tunnel

This week has brought many things to an end. Instead of three doctor appointments a week my husband had one and next week none:) As for physical therapy, we have decided that we can purchase and do everything at home to save a ton of time and do more often to get even more benefit for his condition. All his physicians agreed, so our big order of therapy supplies should arrive Monday. And the last test results we were waiting for finally came back mid week and they were wonderful. Which in our eyes meant we could all take a breath and relax a little. It has been a trying, emotional three weeks but I can honestly say, we do see a little light at the end of this tunnel.

Now onto much happier events…..do you remember that vacation we were suppose to be training for? It is happening in a few short weeks and our goal is to hike for four days straight with our longest hike being 8 miles. I am extremely happy to say we are still planning to go on this vacation. As for the 8 mile hike, time will tell. We have talked with all his physicians and they all say he can and should try and make it happen. Although, we have been walking at home throughout this ordeal and he is only able to make it about 2 1/2 -3 miles until he starts to feel pain and numbness. Which is when all the professionals say he needs to stop and rest. I have him convinced that he should also use hiking poles this time and to my surprise he agreed. So my old poles have been taken apart, cleaned up, and are ready for use. They still had particles of the virgin river in them from our last big hiking trip.

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As for training, this was very short lived. I have been still getting daily exercise but not nearly what I was hoping to get in preparation for this trip. You all know my husbands activity level has been lessened greatly and our son also was set back with a back issue in the past few weeks.Thankfully, I still feel I can accomplish this hike without a problem. I am hoping that we can somehow accomplish it as a family, but if not, we plan do do the best we can with what we have. Our vacation is planned for a gorgeous, amazing place and I have no doubt regardless of how far we hike, it will still be a wonderful, enjoyable time.

Speaking of hiking, recently we ventured out for a short hike after work one night. As usual, we were walking along and came across a snake crossing the trail. Now normally, when we hike we walk side by side as many people probably do. While he is looking into the sky at birds, bugs, and keeping an eye out for wildlife, I am scanning the trail for these slithery reptiles. I always seem to find them first and he can normally tell by the immediate stop and few steps backwards(and a scream) what lies ahead. Although, now, I have learned where they normally are hiding and slither out of while on the trail so we have taken a new approach to these slithery reptiles. Snakes never seem to come from the side of the trail. They are almost always laying in the middle where greenery has grown through or right out in the open sunning themselves which makes them easy to spot from a distance. It’s the greenery that has me a nervous wreck, so now I make my husband (whom is not deathly afraid of snakes, unlike me) walk a bit ahead of me right through the middle of this greenery.

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I then follow behind at a safe distance giving the snakes time to slither across to the trail edge and into the woods/grass. It does not make seeing them any more pleasant but at least the fear of them slithering over my boot into the woods/grass is not constantly in the back of mind. God forbid, a snake ever slither over my boot, I would not have the power to walk off the trail by myself. I have a strong heart and great blood pressure, but this may send me into cardiac arrest.

That’s all I have for you all this week. I miss blogging about our kayaking trips, disc golf courses we visit and all that fun stuff. Although, right now our lives are pretty limited to walking, biking, swimming and physical therapy. I try and keep him company through all of this to hopefully make it less daunting for him.

TENS Therapy while spending time together

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So even though it’s quite life consuming, we are still having fun and enjoying just being together. We are finding ways to make the most of what we have to work with at the moment.

Have a Great Weekend!

 

 

Weekend Snapshots

We had a weekend I dream of all winter long, it was 85-90 degrees, sunny, and absolutely gorgeous. We originally had plans to attempt a 6 mile hike on Saturday but when I saw the forecast I knew my husband would not be a happy hiker. So we changed plans and headed to a friends cabin to take full advantage of the beautiful lake they are on. Which then left Sunday (the cooler of the two days) for a small hike along the Bay of Green Bay where there was a nice breeze.

Here are some snapshots of our weekend.

Cave Point County Park

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Lake Fun With the SUP

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Pizza Delivery After A Day of Water Fun

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TENS Therapy  For My Hubby To Finish The Day

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Sunday Afternoon Hike Bay Side

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Ending The Weekend Purchasing Our Annual Date Night Tickets To Feast With The Beast 2015

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I really do have to admit, even with all the struggles that have been thrown our way this summer, we are still able to have fun and enjoy what we can. We have really learned not to take life for granted and enjoy the moments we have because you just never really know when those moments will no longer be possible. We had a great weekend, spent it with some great friends, we were active, we were able to escape the dramas of life, and most importantly relax and let all our worries be gone for a few hours. For this I am so thankful for.

Did you have a great weekend?

Did you do anything active?

Together We Can Do Anything

I suppose it would be best to update you all on what’s been happening here with us.

If you have been following you know a few weeks ago my husband sustained a back injury and we have been waiting, wondering, and hoping for good news from the medical professionals. That wait is now over, we know what is wrong, what they wish to do to try and fix the problem, and we have also finally figured out what we want to do to fix the problem.

Without going into great detail, I will make this brief and simple. Our kayaks are hung, paddles stored, and all our kayaking equipment has been packed away for the summer and it’s not even the end of July! My husband has handed over his disc golf supplies to our son as an early birthday present since this will never be a possibility again. I will now be the person who carries the heavy pack when we hike. The weight machines at the gym will not be getting any use from him anytime soon if ever again and his primary place of exercise happens in a physical therapy room 2x’s a week for the unforeseeable future. His pain is controlled and for this we are thankful. Although, their plan of attack and our plan of attack are completely different. For now, he is very limited on what he can and cannot do. Thankfully some of the activities we do normally are very helpful for his recovery and we plan to continue all these with great hope of success. That being said, it’s a long recovery if even possible.

I have always believed that God does not give us more than we can handle. We are a very close couple and do almost everything together. Which means together I believe we can succeed at improving his condition without drastic measures that involve huge risks to his future. This is the road we have started to travel and my hope is that we eventually find the end. I know it going to be hard, long and sometimes no fun but together we can do anything. For now life must go on…..