Return to the Growing Tomatoes Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
Carolyn's health?

Posted by cecilsgarden z5 swPA (tomatotime@webtv.net) on
Wed, Aug 24, 05 at 12:05

How are you doing Carolyn, after your fall last winter? Are you still house bound and will that change soon? Do you think you will get more tomatoes planted next time around?
I hope it's ok, to ask here, because you are an important part of our life (as is all our experts and other posters of course)

CECIL


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: Carolyn's health?

Cecil,

Thanks for asking.

But there already is a thread here titled Ted wants to know, where I've been giving reports back when asked.

And I admit I haven't responded to the last two persons who asked for an update, I have my reasons, but will update those who are interested in that thread already started rather then here when I do update.

Thanks in advance for understanding.

Carolyn


 o
RE: Carolyn's health?

But there already is a thread here titled Ted wants to know, where I've been giving reports back when asked.


And when I went to find that thread today it was gone. I'd forgotten that there is only one page here.

And since there were several folks who has asked for an update at several times during the summer and I hadn't answered, I'll do that now since I saw the surgeon yesterday for the first time since mid April.

No new hip soon, so I stay in the walker, possibly until next summer. Sigh

I've had lots of pain this summer and when I detailed it to him he got concerned and now wants to do two tests. First an MRI for Spinal Stenosis. I'd been diagnosed with that just symptomatically and he wants an MRI to confirm that and it may impact on whether or not more surgery can be done.

The second test is one for diabetic neuropathy of my legs. A neat little test where they stick 30 guage needles into you to measure nerve transmission.

So they'll get back to me on schedulting those and the hope is that both can be done the same day, not in his office but elsehwere. And since it's about an hour drive over to Glens Falls my right leg won't take that distance so I'll have to find someone to take me, hopefully.

he was still pleased that I had regained as much function with the right quad, saying that not all do. But there has been some deterioration of function so he's written script for PT for about 6 weeks. In my home or out? The pain has been so bad that there have been a couple of weeks at a time that I could not, or didn't want to try, to get down the steps to even get to the car. But he felt that any exercise would be beneficial and for me to just grin and bear it. He's probably right.

Then two other issues came up, smoking and weight.

I told him that I had pretty much given up smoking and had even started chewing large anmounts of Sugarless gum to get off the Nicorette gum but fully admitted that about four weeks ago I started smoking more and that's b'c I guess I'm basically a weak woman and I was feeling depressed and frustrated about the pain and all else.

he asked how I got the cigarettes. I told him that Karen who cleans for me brought some. He said fire her. LOL And I said I'd been known to drive into the parking lot of a convenience store and get someone to buy them for me b'c it's really a huge problem getting my walker out of the back seat, hand wealking along the car, etc. He just stared at me until I laughed.

The weight. He said get on the scale. I did after first telling him I had slip off my Birkenstocks b'c they weighed 10# each. He just cracked up laughing. We do have a good relationship and he is very humorous. OK, so he saw the weight and said, with all your risk factors you've got to lose 65 pounds or there's a good probablility of device failure of a new hip. After I responded appropriately to be told to lose 65 pounds and give up smoking entirely, we negotiated over the weight loss and he settled for about 45 pounds to start with.

Then of course he had to say that I'd had far too long to lose the weight, referring to the fact that a year ago this past April I had first seen him just for consultation about the hip situation. As I said to him, I may not have seen him again if it weren't for the quad tear last Dec 12th.

Point and counterpoint.

So I see him next in two months, I suppose just so he can yell at me. Not to worry, I hold my own. LOL

The PT person I'll probably see was recommended to me by the person who was my in home PT person after surgery and is at the same Clinic where he appears every two weeks for one afternoon. I'm just not happy with the PT situation at the clinic which is only a 5 min drive from me and it's only a 20 min drive to that other clinic. There's a big difference between hands on PT and a PT person who watches you do exercises you could do at home and I need some hands on stretching of the hamstring and calf muscles.

So if I'm feeling low and have an appt on one of those Tuesdays I can always roll in and have him yell at me. He's really very good at it. LOL

So with the situation getting more complex and so many risk factors to be recognized or resolved if possible, I don't see any possibility of that new left hip, if ever, until next Spring or Summer. Triple Sigh.

Carolyn


 o
RE: Carolyn's health?

Carolyn, sorry for your news. I know you have to be depressed hearing that. And depression and stress triggers what? The urge to smoke and eat. I will triple 'sigh' with ya on that. Try to keep your spirits up. I know it isn't easy. This life can be tough.

Have you thought of firing your doctor? LOL.

I had a doctor that was 350lbs and smoked like a chimney. He was my favorite. He never preached to me about weight or anything. He got transferred elsewhere. (I think?)

Hang in there kiddo.

Duane


 o
RE: Carolyn's health?

Carolyn,
I just want to encourage you to really listen to your doctor. Do loose those 65lbs and quit smoking, you can do it. As tough as it may be, you can do it. This is what's needed for your health to improve. The doctors can replace your hip but these two things are for you to do. I wish I could help you but the discipline must come from inside of you. You're a lady who has accomplished a lot in life. I'm sure that what got you so far in life can be called on to lose the weight and quit smoking. You can do it.

Take care

Tim


 o
RE: Carolyn's health?

Speaking for myself, I find it's virtually impossible to change my habits in my home surroundings.

10 weeks of travelling and I lost several kilos without trying! Back home, well, I don't like thinking too much about it... *sigh*

PP


 o
RE: Carolyn's health?

Carolyn (dam, dont you know i'd prefer to jus say Dr.C...lol)

Metabolisms within humans are indeed strange. God Knows, i'd take 25 pounds from ya, an send ya lean bone in trade. Why is it, some people naturally become un-healthily too heavy, an others, are naturally too skinny ?

On the Cigarrettes, Dear Friend,...to me...thats gon have to be, your simple choice, an i respect it either way you go. My Grandaddy faced issues from the OUTSIDE, on top of his habit...I'm dam sweet thankful, that he called on me, an that i never shuddered, nor hesitated....to dam put Him at ease, and Peace....anytime,ANYWHERE. I know...his Heart, and in Whose bosom, it rests. Carolyn, smokin has killed quite a few, but there are exceptions, to me, if we could simply go back to it, the N.A. Indian used tobacco, but wasnt addicted. History has many examples, both Pro and Con.
it's up to YOU...C...)))In my opinion, sounds like breathin aint ya real prob...it's mobility. Here's to tryin to send ya, C...extreme spirit of GoodWill, Strength, to overcome this current battle, and i understand, it takes time. a Positive outlook, a Will to Fight, an Smile, is what it Takes, C...))) You allready know that, an SOOOO much More...))) Jus Wanna Bolster ya, ...Lady...))) This year was the first in my life, to ever feel my Mother's health in trepidation. I speak to you, in all Sincerity, an Love, C...)))Positive Thinkin can heal a helluva Lot...)))


 o
RE: Carolyn's health?

Sorry to hear about your health problems Dr. Carolyn. If I lived closer I'd help you with your plant duties, and make you a hot dinner here and there. I wouldn't even ask you to listen to my ranting! I would just be happy to listen and learn from you about tomatoes. I might ask for a pinch of this seed variety or that seed variety. LOL I wish you a speedy recovery.


 o
RE: Carolyn's health?

Dear Carolyn,

I know this is not the news you wanted. Truly it's not the news we prayed for either. Your doctor wouldn't be so hard on you if he wasn't concerned that the risk factors being what they are currently will impact your ability to have surgery. I know the surgery is what you want, keep that as a goal ahead of you and visualize your enhanced mobility with a new hip, less weight, and a smoke-free lifestyle. It's a lot to swallow and it's really hard work, but so was your discertation, right? Remember grad school and how tough that was. We're all praying for you and cheering you on, girlfriend, we want you to succeed. Keep strong and know there are soooo many people out there who care about you very much, even if we're mostly faceless type on a screen, we're real.

Love and prayers,
Julianna, Duane, Munchkin and the rest of your Tomato Forum family


 o
RE: Carolyn's health?

I thank all of you ever so much for your kind words and encouragement b'c quite frankly right now I can use them.

But I think some have you have overlooked what I wrote above which was:

(First an MRI for Spinal Stenosis. I'd been diagnosed with that just symptomatically and he wants an MRI to confirm that and it may impact on whether or not more surgery can be done.

The second test is one for diabetic neuropathy of my legs. A neat little test where they stick 30 guage needles into you to measure nerve transmission.

The key words being...whether or not surgery (for that left hip) can ever be done.

It's not just about the weight, it's not just about the smoking, it has to do with the spinal stenosis and how serious it is, for I know symptomatically I have it, as well as the nerve functionality in the legs. Personally I don't think there's diabetic neuropathy, but I'm not the doc here and I suppose it does have to be checked out.

When I asked him whether it might mean spinal surgery he was not forthcoming on that and I suppose I was anticipating before we know the actual results.

To tell you the truth, spinal surgery scares me. So I'll just have to see what happens with time. There's even a possibility that certain PT can help, as I read online. And I'm all set up with the new PT person for the quad muscle to start next Wednesday but it won't be at the place where my surgeon appears, as I thought. I didn't realize she was in private practice, but her place is but a three minute drive from that clinic.

Carolyn


 o
RE: Carolyn's health?

carolyn,

i read this shortly after you posted it but did not know what to say, what can anyone say? wishing you the best, tho that sounds rather simplistic, it is sincere. kinda lost for words.

tom


 o
RE: Carolyn's health?

Carolyn: I don't know what some of that means, but in any event......I WILL BE PRAYING FOR YOU!!!

CECIL

P.S. I will get your "return" seeds back to you shortly. Tomorrow is the tenth day of drying.


 o
RE: Carolyn's health?

Carolyn

Of course, my best wishes go to you, in hoping all goes well for you in your coming tests.

It certainly is good for you to keep active online. And it is good that you have your fur-friends as well.

Take care, keep strong. Regards...........Doris, NJ


 o
RE: Carolyn's health?

Look after yourself Carolyn. Weight is a bloody sight harder to lose than stopping smoking and that is a trial.
I have about the same to lose thanks to steroids. I look forward to your updates....Jenny Craig, Weightwatchers, microdiet, Atkins Diet, Scarsdale Diet (no wonder he was murdered!)...don't bother..tried them all....
Anyway...without being patronising...my thoughts are with you.
Glenn


 o
RE: Carolyn's health?

Damn, Carolyn, what life's throwing at you this year! Like everyone else, what can I say but I am so sorry for all you're going through and you're definitely in my prayers.


 o
RE: Carolyn's health?

Sorry you didn't have better news. That doctor is a nut, giving you two mutually exclusive orders. After much struggle over two years time and three different attempts, when I finally quit smoking I gained 40 lb. Then shortly developed diabetes.

I don't recall your saying you had any particular lung problems but of course smoking is not good for you. I do recall your mentioning diabetes and of course the bone problems. Both of those make it imperative that losing weight be the top priority. I've learned that when I get enough exercise in the garden and yard, my glucose level is much reduced, So watch the carbohydrates, and exercise as much as you can stand.

Please don't be so reluctant to report next time. So many people are interested in your well being.

BTW, did you see my kidding you about eating shoe leather? I guess no one else thought it was funny.


 o
RE: Carolyn's health?

Carolyn
Dont beat your self up on the smoking its a choice you made a long time ago and one you have to live with.
Its no ones business but your own.
Its your monkey and you can deal with him as you please.
As for the weight you can speed your metabolism by eating small snacks all day and never go hungry, as a matter of fact you dont want to get hungry.
Im past my prime and it worked for me this year and is a life style I can live with for the rest of my life.
I lost 30 pounds this summer and still ate the stuff I wanted.
I feel better than I have in years!!!!!
Im a smoker too and do know what it feels like to not have one, (dam the things).

Best of luck to you and I do hope you get better.

Sincerely
Fellow mater fanatic

Worth Doss


 o
RE: Carolyn's health?

Sorry to hear about this Carolyn. I do hope you can get back up and running. Meantime, I am thinking you need to identify a room (guest's bedroom), strip it bare, install grow light and hydro, and grow about a dozen inside.


 o
RE: Carolyn's health?

  • Posted by Earl SW Ohio 5-6 (My Page) on
    Mon, Sep 19, 05 at 20:12

I can empathize. Hang in there! I have neuropathy in my feet. I haven't decided it they're to sensitive or numb. :-) Sort of like having feet that are half-asleep all the time.


 o
RE: Carolyn's health?

Tough situation. I faced up to it about 5 years back. My ankles were smashed in an auto accident years and years ago and since then I had to strap up those ankles to walk and it was really uncomfortable. Especially by the end of the day when they felt as if they were in some kind of iron maiden. And when my hips and back started to be painful, I realized that I better take steps before I was in a wheel chair and being wheeled into a nursing home. I lost 60 pounds and now don't have to strap up my ankles any more. They still hurt at the end of the day, but so far my hips and back are holding out.
All I did was make a list of the things I liked that weren't starches and fats. Like fruit, raw carrots, celery sticks, sweet red peppers. Breakfast these days is a bowl of raspberries and blueberries with cut up nectarine and a piece of cheese. No toast, no cereal, no eggs. Lots of coffee (my doctor isn't happy about that but that's where I draw the line). And after that I'm snacking for most of the day and on into the night when I'm nibbling on carrots as I read a murder mystery.
You've got my sympathy with that neuropathy test. I've had a nerve conductivity test on my hands a half dozen times now and those needles are no fun. However, once it's over, it's over so just grit your teeth and hang in there.
Thanks again for your recommendation of Big Rainbow. My friends and I agree that is one terrific tomato. I was just saving more seeds tonight so I can pass them on.


 o
RE: Carolyn's health?

  • Posted by Cyn3 z8 TX (My Page) on
    Thu, Sep 29, 05 at 14:57

Carolyn,
I have been traveling a bit and missed this post. Firstly, thanks for taking the time to give us an update. Secondly, sending you lots of encouragement to do what you must in order to improve your health.

I think sometimes, we have to do this kind of change day by day, and sometimes it is hour by hour, as in, "I am going to make a healthy choice for myself today, or right now, or for the next 10 minutes" Self-talk can really help. It is compounded by frustrating injuries - but you can do this!!! I will be thinking of you and sending you every good wish for your healing.

Cyn - I am going to send you an email via your page on gardenweb as I am at work :) and don't have your regular addy committed to memory.


 o
RE: Carolyn's health?

Cyn,
I did get your e-mail and thanks so much and I think some of what I'll be posting here may be of interest to you.

The EMG and MRI tests were rescheduled twice, not by me but by the EMG folks and Margery drove me over to Glens Falls yesterday for both tests.

The EMG doc was terrific, young lad, new father, which is why one of the test dates was changed. The edema in my legs posed a challenge but he finds only very mild neuropathy in the legs which he didn't consider all that meaningful re any hip surgery but the call is the surgeon's, not his.

He then poked some more needles into my back, hit the button to send the juice through and said there were no pinched nerves in my spine. Good news as well. Checking that was a freebie since he was supposed to do just the legs but he knew I was headed for the MRI next and knew that that couldn't speak that clearly to pinched nerves.

The MRI went fine. I was concerned since so many folks had said that closed MRI's can be difficult and if they asked me once they asked me many times if I was claustrophobic. I could only say, we'll see. LOL

Had my choice of music but got Frank Sinatra, and the nice man told me how long each buzzing/clanking session would last and then done and home.

It was a very difficult day b'c a front went thru with high winds, up to 50 mph and torrential rains. When I was at the EMG place the lights were flickering and he said he hoped he could finish before power was lost. We had to make one large detour b/c trees were across the road on a major highway.

How about a posiitve rant? Each person in each of the two facilities was wonderful. I was especially concerned about the MRI b'c I can't lie flat. But they used pillows to raise my head and under my knees and I was able to last the 25 min it took. Margery drove my car and she too was terrific in terms of her driving and also her knowledge of the area where we were going. But I was worn out, both mentally and physically and went to bed early last night and slept late this morning.

Oh, I never knew I had a thingie for clearing the windshield on the dial where you select what kind of airflow you want.LOL Margery asked if I'd ever read the car manual and I said no, it was my third Camry and I thought I knew it all. LOL

This past Monday was a visit to my own Primary doc. And Cyn, this is what will interest you and perhaps the others here talking about weight loss. He looked at all the variables and knows full well I can't exercise as one should and knows how difficult it is to lose weight at the same time as getting off smoking, and there are MANY reasons I should lose weight ASAP, not just for the orthopedic surgeon, so he suggested trying Medifast, which is the best known program where you're restricted to what they tell you to eat, which is minimal.

I'd been on this program once before, and did lose a lot. And I had concerns b'c at that time there seemed to be some gall bladder probklems for some folks. But Johns Hopkins and NIH both have now done studies that show that if one includes some fat in this plan that concern is no longer a concern.

The program I'd be on is the one for diabetics where you do get one real meal per day, very limited, but real, and so I'm giving some strong thought to ordering supplies for two weeks. They now have many more food options than when I was on it and in that first week I can try this and that and see what I like best before I reorder.

The cost is high, $160 for two weeks, and that without the real meal cost, but would it be in the long run? Weight loss should be around 15-20# per month and I would think that perhaps 2-3 months might be enough and then you can sub some of the instant meals with your real meals and the cost goes down.

So I may call on Monday and order. Or perhaps even tomorrow.

The new PT person has turned out to be an absolute jewel. I go twice a week for six weeks and hour each time, week three coming up. I doubt that Saunders will write new script when I see him Nov 8 and so does she, but in the meantime she is helping wonderfully. The edema is even lessening and I know it b'c I had to tighten the straps on my sandals b'c the sandal was falling off my driving foot. My brother had used a leather punch to make the extra holes I needed to even get the sandals on, so I do hope this continues.

So that's where things are right now and don't think I'm not thinking about Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners and all the stuff, food wise, I'd normally buy for myself at the Holiday season. Sigh.

I can handle the smoking cessation, but I won't be replacing Nicorette gum with sugarless gum very soon. It turns out I ODed on the sugarless gum and paid the consequesnces twice in the last week. Xylitol, mannitol, sorbitol are are sugar alcohols used to sweeten so called sugarless products and they all can have the side effect of loose bowels, and yes, I can spell diarrhea, LOL, if you ingest too much. I did, and won't again. LOL

Carolyn, who also asked her primary doc, who is a friend and actually lives on the same road I do, to give her a call when he gets the two reports. I now know the EMG report but no way could I interpret the MRI result. I just didn't want to wait until Nov 8th to get the results from Saunders.


 o
RE: Carolyn's health?

Carolyn, i am so happy to hear some good news about your condition. Glad that you are happy with the people caring for you.
"The MRI went fine. I was concerned since so many folks had said that closed MRI's can be difficult and if they asked me once they asked me many times if I was claustrophobic. I could only say, we'll see. LOL"
Carolyn...did you notice the long look they give you, the many times they asked you if you were claustrophobic? Very long looks. I will be cautious anytime i see that look again. LOL
i have had spinal injections, and the MRI's. I was glad to hear you did not have a claustrophobic reaction to "going into the tube". One of the times i had to do it, i did have a reaction. I'm not sure why,...(maybe because it was a smaller tube than the first time i had a MRI)...but, when that slab started sliding inside the tube, and my nose almost scraped the top of the tube, (i do not have a big nose) i started to feel a little nervous, but i calmed myself.
Then slowly, my arms were pressed in, and it was really tight, (and i am not a huge person), i calmed myself again. I had no problem with this the last time, just relax, i told myself.
Then i felt something like someone was blowing on the top of my head, not blowing hard, but just enough to annoy me. LOL.. I can't take the banging and buzzers for 30 minutes with that blowing on my head!

That was it, my heart started to pound, because i could not find the panic button they had placed in my hand before posing me on the slab, telling me .."if you feel like you may have a problem , just press the button, and we will bring you out."
i finally pressed the button, and a voice came over the loud speaker.

STAY CALM! WE ARE BRINGING YOU OUT! To this day i could swear i heard a siren...way off in the distance,..but i can't be sure. LOL wouuu wouuu wouuuu
I remember thinking "jeez..i wasn't THAT freaked out"... after a couple of seconds, the board started to r


 o
RE: sorry, don't know why it was cut in half

the board started to reverse direction..and i felt better. Relived to be coming out, but feeling very silly. Slowly the board slid out of the tube,...finally i could breath again...but i noticed a red flashing light (like on the old police cars) turning round and round. I thought "hummm, that's weird"... Just then, 3 very large men, with wild looks in their eye's burst into the room.....with their arms stretched out from their sides like they were going to try and catch a cornered kangaroo,(i was just sitting on the end of the table) they promptly took me the 10 steps to the courtyard and dumped me. LOL.. (i think they were hoping for an altercation) LOL... made me wonder what they have encountered other times the red light and sirens went off.
Needless to say, from now on, i do MRI's fully medicated.

jeri


 o
RE: Carolyn's health?

jeri, you have me laughing wildly here. LOL

I wasn't given a panic button, I was told to wiggle my toes and they'd pull me out of the tube if I had problems. LOL

I asked afterwards what they do if someone does panic and they said that after they pull them out someone talks to them about rescheduling same being sedated or they recommmend going to their other facility with the open MRI.

And you should have been glad to feel that breeze in there, as I did, for I'm told that the earlier models had NO air circulation inside.

I just closed my eyes, listened to Frank Sinatra when the kind man wasn't telling me OK, now two series of 3 and 1/2 min and now two series of 5 min each, etc.

And I'm telling you I'm no small woman and my arms were scraping the sides and even tho they added extra cushioning for my head I still didn't hit the top although they were initially concerned about it. Newer model, perhaps.

My primary doc called me this afternoon b'c the MRI reults had been faxed to him.

Diagnosis; Severe Spinal Stenosis.

He started to tell me the pathology at L45, L678. etc., but then I said that I had the EMG results and told him and he was glad to hear those since he hadn't gotten that report yet. He said that functionality is more important than the MRI picture and as long as the neuropathy in the legs was mild and there were no pinched nerves that he couldn't see any reason to have spinal surgery and that with the weight loss a new left hip should be possible.

But we both know that the call is the surgeon's call, so I'll have to wait until Nov 8th to get that.

At least with a firm diagnosis of severe spinal stenosis we now know where a lot of the pain is coming from and I can tell certain folks it isn't all in my head as some have suggested. LOL

Carolyn


 o
RE: Carolyn's health?

Carolyn,

So glad to hear that you are making progress finding out just what the diagnosis is. It's always better, for me anyway, to know what is going on. I don't like to be left in the dark, LOL.

I hope the Medifast plan works for you. It sounds like a good way to start for the weight loss. Are the meals frozen boil-in-the-bag?

barb


 o
RE: Carolyn's health?

Well I, for one, am really glad to hear you sound so chipper, Carolyn. Let's hope that the key factors affecting your wellbeing continue to improve!

Here's one solution to the 'after effects' of the sugarless gum. I expect that it will catch your fancy, though perhaps not your doctor's. :>)

Here is a link that might be useful: Solution


 o
too late to correct...

Oops. Sent the above insteading of previewing.

Will just add that I'm sending best wishes for steady positive gains in mental and physical health!!!

Jennifer


 o
RE: Carolyn's health?

Carolyn, thank you for responding to my post.
i started thinking about it, and got kind of anxious,i don't want to
freak you out if you have another MRI.
so i'm glad you understood the humor of the post.

It was a very strange experience. Now i just think of their response to my possible panic....and decided...my valium,..is their valium, we can all relax..LOL

jeri
breathing a sigh of relief, that i did not cause you any anxiety.


 o
RE: Carolyn's health?

Carolyn, thank you for responding to my post.
i started thinking about it, and got kind of anxious,i don't want to
freak you out if you have another MRI.
so i'm glad you understood the humor of the post.

It was a very strange experience. Now i just think of their response to my possible panic....and decided...my valium,..is their valium, we can all relax..LOL

jeri
breathing a sigh of relief, that i did not cause you any anxiety.


 o
RE: Carolyn's health?

Barb, no, the meals aren't boil in the bag. You reconstitute them with water and eat them cold, or if the cereals or other you reconstitute with hot water from the tap b'c they say that cooking actually destroys the soy based protein which is the main ingredient.

The only thing I'll be cooking is the meat, poultry or fish for the real meal and if I play my cards right I won't even have to do that b'c I can use cold turkey, roast beef, tuna, salmon, and the like. The deli in town carries Boars Head Meats and they are tops.

The fact is that I can't stand up in the walker for more than a few minutes and it's one of the reasons I now do so little cooking.

Yeah, I've got to get over my problem with the microwave. LOL

Jennifer, I'm sounding chipper and using my normal LOL's b'c I don't like doing the opposite. And it is somewhat gratifying to have a real diagnosis on the major pain re the severe spinal stenosis Dx.

And if dark chocolate could prevent or cure diarrhea you know darn well I'd never suffer from that, said Carolyn looking at the box she hid which contains the Guittard dark choco Onyx buttons, the non pareils, the Valhrona, the Sharffenberger, etc., which was my winter suppply, and there's no way I can or even want to try and eat all of that in the one week before I start with the Medifast stuff. Never, or I'd have diarrhea from dark chocolate. LOL

Jeri, you caused me only laughter, not anxiety, so thanks again.

Carolyn, who will remain apprehensive until the surgeon and I have discussed this on Nov 8. He is youngish, mid 40's, but also ultra conservative, that I know.


 o
RE: Carolyn's health?

Worse reaction to an MRI that I heard about was my brother-in-law's mother. Her English was limited so she couldn't understand what they were telling her about panic buttons, etc - her only thought was that she was going into an oven and from a holocaust survivor, that was not a good idea. She tried to laugh it off later but obviously was horribly frightened.
I would hope that these days they would have someone around who could translate - though come to think of it, some of us who speak English would need translators too.


 o
RE: Carolyn's health?

  • Posted by Cyn3 z8 TX (My Page) on
    Sat, Oct 1, 05 at 18:26

Carolyn, these are good reports all around. I think the pre-packaged plan is a vey good idea. I have known other folks who have done this with good results. I agree with you completely that it is not expensive when you consider the alternatives. Your limited mobility makes regular exercise + limited calories nearly impossible. But, I do think you'll have some more mobility once the weight starts coming down.

I will be glad to be your cheering section :) It can really help to have someone to help you stay focused.

Cyn - who just realized that, like your surgeon, I am "youngish" - that made my day!


 o
RE: Carolyn's health?

Carolyn
Your last post was so positive..You now are aware that you will keep improving, your attitude is good, you understand what you have to do and have made so much progress after the last medical appointments. You are on the up hill side and will have continal improvement. Yea Carolyn. Your support team is here for you.Karen


 o
RE: Carolyn's health?

Today I got the result of the EMG report in the mail and there dear young lad Dr. J referred to me as a "pleasant elderly woman."

I do so hope we can meet in an alley and I can educate him about paternalism in medicine. Heck, my DOB was there, so why call me elderly, which is in the eye of the beholder.

For quite a few years I taught Medical Ethics, which some folks consider to be an oxymoron, LOL, and I'm dead set against paternalistic medicine practices.

But I digress. LOL

I spent quite a bit of time over the weekend learning about spinal structure and function since I got my copy of the report last Saturday, in order to interpret the MRI, but I gave up when I saw the several rather complete pages of squiggly lines and other alien stuff when I got the EMG report.

So I went with the clinical impression paragraph which I could understand, and it's pretty much what I'd remembered, mild polyneuropathy in the legs attributed to diabetes, some lack of sensation due to edema and NO EVIDENCE of spinal stenosis as measured by paraspinal induction, which means the MRI picture looks horrible but the EMG functionality tests say there's pretty darn good function still there.

Oh there will be some deep discussion on Nov 8th when I see the surgeon. LOL

Am spending this week happily eating up all the no no food in the house, except for the dark chocolate, but I won't be able to eat all the Stilton and Double Cheddar with chives nor all the great Honeycrisp apples nor the Macouns, nor a lot of the stuff in the cupboards and some in the fridge. I will finish off the Lay's Wavy potato chips this afternoon as well as the Triple Chocolate cookies.

So I'll just have to be strong. I expect the Medifast stuff to arrive today or tomorrow and will call Angie tonight about getting some stuff in re the one real meal/day before Sunday.

Carolyn, the pleasant elderly woman. BAH!!!!!


 o
RE: Carolyn's health?

That's why it's good not to be able to read other people's minds!


 o
RE: Carolyn's health?

  • Posted by Cyn3 z8 TX (My Page) on
    Wed, Oct 5, 05 at 22:08

Carolyn,
you make me laugh! It is so very common to indulge in all the foods you are going to have to do without :) Bless your heart - this is a big step.

Hurrah for getting the meals ordered and for taking that step.

Wish I were closer, I would help you with the cheeses.

Cyn


 o
RE: Carolyn's health?

Good news indeed!

Off topic, i know, but could you please tell me something about this "1840's Shaker-style vegetable garden?" you grew.

I like Shaker-style furniture (and Arts and Crafts) and was thinking that you for whatever reason grew an antique garden. Is there such a thing?

Anyway, don't feel compelled to answer. Just curious, as they say.

Best wishes. I sense positive vibes.


 o
RE: Carolyn's health?

You gettum Carolyn!!!!

Good luck and good eats!!!

Worth


 o
RE: Carolyn's health?

(copied from another post)
"Carolyn, who always has that sharp hunter's cheddar in the fridge, even now when I'm on this restrictred Medifast diet. Sigh."

Carolyn, I haven't seen you post anything about the diet since you started it. How is it going? What's the food like?

barb


 o
RE: Carolyn's health?

Here's hoping the medi-fast foods were delayed a week and you had time to finish all the godies. After all - "waste not - want not"!
Robbins


 o
RE: Carolyn's health?

Since this thread was at the very bottom I thought I'd move it to the top rather than lose it as we did the other one, b'c several folks have asked how things are going in various threads and in em's sent privately and I thought I'd wait until I see the surgeon next Tuesday to share with all where things are at rather than answering each person separately.

Carolyn


 o
RE: Carolyn's health?

I am praying for you too, Amen!!, Carolyn.

We can all try to help you lose weight, and we can do it together by posting weekly our weight lost here.

I must say (that My Tomatoes has help my body slim down, but we can always lose more weight. I would like to go from a size 12 to a size 6.

What do you think about my Ideal?



 o
RE: Carolyn's health?

Carolyn,

Best of luck for whatever the most positive diagnosis will be when you see your surgeon.

I know how scary it is when you face any kind of surgery especially the more serious and invasive ones. I was the biggest chicken you ever saw when I had to go to Cleveland Clinic for heart valve replacement ... a complete baby I tell you.

But my surgeon was really top knotch. I realize knowing that your surgeon is tops still doesn't quell all the fear and apprehension, Carolyn, but you've gotta have faith in the guy's experience and ability.

I also know how hard it is to prepare for surgery and to do all the things they want you to do afterwards to take off the weight, watch what you eat, blah, blah, blah. It's really depressing actually. But again, it's all for the best.

The only way I was able to even come close to following the rules they laid down for me was to acknowledge that I had fully enjoyed 56 years of unrestrained hedonistic pleasure when it came to food and beverages, and I guess now it's time to pay the fiddler. Actually, I kinda got used to the low fat, no fat, no alcohol, no salt, no caffiene, no this or that after about six or nine months, although I really miss BLTs and BBQ just to name two things I used to gobble down.

It would be even tougher for me if I were restricted to my home, to a chair, etc. I cannot even imagine how it must be for you after a life of all that creative and productive activity. You must have a very strong will and personal fortitude.

Please keep your chin up and pray for the best diagnosis, and know that there are a whole lot of people pullin' for you, Carolyn. We all wish you the quickest and fullest recovery as can be accomplished through your doctors' care and your own will to make it work for you.

Best wishes, Bill


 o
RE: Carolyn's health?

Hi Carolyn,

I'm glad that you've lost all of that weight!! Can you tell me were you get your Medifast? I have looked for a good price and think there isnt one. I"m going to try to lose more than you did. That will push me. LOL I dont know why Diabetes, High Blood Pressure and all the other things hasnt, but its time to get cracken. Thanks to all the others that are such great support to use all.

God bless,Mike


 o
RE: Carolyn's health?

Can you tell me were you get your Medifast?

Mike, I too went Googling to look at other sources than the main Medifast official site but the other places I looked at don't offer the full range of possible products I'm using for the diabetic 5 plus 1 plan and prices aren't that much lower, so I order all my Medifast products from Medifast directly.

That also gives me access to their nurses and nutritionists if I have questions.

I'm supposed to weigh myself on Sundays but since I cheated a bit the beginning of the week and, errr, accidentally ate some of the skin on a chicken half I was dismantling for meat, I was curious and weighed myself this morning.

Today is the end of four weeks and I lost 4 more pounds this week and am now down 24# for the month. I still don't expect this rate of weight loss to continue, but I'll take what I get. LOL

Carolyn

Here is a link that might be useful: Medifast Official website


 o
RE: Carolyn's health?

Carolyn, 24 lbs is AWESOME! Especially in one month!

As a lifelong dieter, I truly know how hard it is to diet. Keep the faith, we know you can do it!!!!!!


 o
RE: Carolyn's health?

OK Pleasant Elderly One you went to see your Smart A__ oops,
Smart Mouthed Surgeon today. Fill us in on results and how you doing with the smoking?


 o
RE: Carolyn's health?

OK Pleasant Elderly One you went to see your Smart A__ oops,
Smart Mouthed Surgeon today. Fill us in on results and how you doing with the smoking?

Went Tuesday Ted, Tuesday. LOL

Julie his nurse warned me he might be cranky b'c he had a horrible morning in Glens Falls and was late driving down to this satellite location in Greenwich, and when I rolled past his office he was on the phone and I could tell from the tone of his voice he was somewhat stressed.

So I tried to be a good girl. LOL

OK, he's not scraping me nto the ditch like roadkill, for starters. I was concerned I tell you.

He was muey pleased with the weight loss as well as the huge amount of lessened edema of the legs and feet that the PT person had accomplished.

He insisted that I see a neurosurgeon about the MRI and spinal stenosis problem.

Actually I've been having big problems with pain in my upper left back that I thought was a muscle pull, not new but in the past has come and gone. This time it's been about 24/7 for two weeks and I have to lie down most of the time b'c I can't sit up.

I asked him about it, he said he was an orthopaedic surgeon who didn't do backs, LOL, and to see a neurosurgeon who does. On the way out I told Julie to see how far down the road she could make that appt for since it would be in GLens Falls and I may have to get someone to drive me there and weather will be closing in soon.

And he wanted to see me again in mid January, so I have an appt for Jan 17th. I told him that there was no way that by that time I'd have lost the weight he requires, but I think his reasoning was more psychological and supportive than anything else.

And he readily wrote script for home PT thru the County as suggested by Cindy, the wonderful PT person I finished with two weeks ago. He seems to think that the quad muscle can still be worked on to allow that leg to be straight and not buckle as it does. I do so hope he's right b/c it's the one main blocking issue towards a new left hip.

my garage is maybe 60 ft from the house over non paved non level ground and I can't take the risk of going out when snow and ice appear so the car is going into the garage for the winter season. AS I left on Tuesday he once again said to watch where I went all the time and to please not fall again. Sigh,

So, I hope he's back to his what I call sparkling personailty when I go back in January. One thing did seem to amuse him. I was saying that this year I won't be delivering the wreaths and kissing balls to the businesses in town as part of the Friends of the Library winter fund raiser, said items being purchased from the business of one of his other patients whom he knows and actually asked me about.

He choose to interpret the word kissing in Kissing Balls as a verb rather than as an adjective. LOL Sadly, I had no immediate comeback but of course since then have thought of several. LOL One of my goals is to render him speechless, and I'll do it somehow. Actually Meg, the person I'm referring to was almost able to do that. He was talking to her about the fact that his son is academically talented and Meg remarked that his son must have a smart mother. LOL Meg is also a Cornell grad as well as her husband, I think, as am I as well, so sometimes Cornell talk does slip in during conversations.

Actually his wife is very smart, and was either tops in her class at Cornell or tops in her major, Meg couldn't remember which. He met his wife on the first day of freshman orientation at Cornell. Nice story .

Carolyn, who stopped smoking for a second time on Oct 9, the same day I started the Medifast program. I had stopped the day before surgery back on Dec 22 and didn't smoke again until perhaps July but then the pain from the spinal stenosis was so bad I gave in and smoked a bit, but nothing like I normally would though, until Oct 9.


 o
RE: Carolyn's health?

Hang in there you're doin' Grrreeeaaat! You'll get that new hip and then there'll be no stopping you.
Even if you don't quite reach your weight goal, you have already increased your life span. Bet your glucose levels are better too. Don't become a yo-yo dieter like my wifey. She tries various diets but when she reaches her goal she relaxes and bounces right back up again.
Took me over two years to completely quit smoking and it was hell but worth it. I still want one ocasionally after 4 1/2 yr. but not real craving. So if you fall off the wagon, climb right back on.


 o
RE: Carolyn's health?

Kissing balls - hmmmmmmmmm - a lot of possible replies there, but where are they when you need them?!

Sounds like you are doing better - 24 pounds is big!, and quitting smoking! You'll be glad to know Brook and I toasted you with a smoke last week at the Farm Conference. He too had lost weight - if either of you need it back, I've found it and would be more than happy to give it back. I'm planning on re-quitting smoking on Nov. 17th. Hope I do as well as you.

OK, he's not scraping me nto the ditch like roadkill, for starters. I was concerned I tell you.

Sounds like a good thing! Seriously, glad things are somewhat brighter and hopefully by next tomato season we'll see you on the mend!

Robbins


 o
RE: Carolyn's health?

Carolyn,

Can you feel a difference since you stopped smoking? My 22 yo son smokes, and he coughs something awful when he's in the shower in the morning. He quit for 3 wks and could feel the difference right away.

Unfortunately, he's started back up. I told him he is more sensitive to smoking than other people I've known and he's going to die in his 40's if he keeps at it. His grandmother died at 48. It makes me very sad. :-(

barb


 o
Hurrah for Carolyn's health

  • Posted by Cyn3 z8 TX (My Page) on
    Mon, Nov 14, 05 at 13:47

I am so excited to read your updates - you have been doing a lot of really good things. Congratulations!!!

I hope your back relaxes or whatever it is stops, so you can enjoy having more mobility and energy with that kind of weight loss - very impressive indeed.
Cyn


 o
RE: Carolyn's health?

Can you feel a difference since you stopped smoking? My 22 yo son smokes, and he coughs something awful when he's in the shower in the morning. He quit for 3 wks and could feel the difference right away.

Sure I can Barb. The most obvious difference is that my nose doesn't get stopped up at night. LOL And I mean it b'c it's rough when you have to mouth breathe and wake up b'c of that.

And I think I've solved the back problem. I sat down and asked myself when this all started on a sporadic basis and it started when I moved here in 1999. I then asked myself what I was doing with the left arm/shoulder that I wasn't doing with the right. And immediately I knew what it was. It's something I do repetitively in terms of getting up from, OK, here's the truth, getting up from the toilet b'c I need to balance my hands on something to do so and did even before I fell b'c of bad hips and knees. My house is a series of hexagons and so is my bathroom off my bedroom. It's hard for me to explain the specifics, but I've started using the grab bar on the left rather than bracing that left hand against the wall which then torques that whole left side backwards.

And things are much better. Not entirely, but much better. I just wonder if I've somehow torn some muscles.

So on Jan 17th I shall tell said surgeon that I made the diagnosis my self and if he has other patients with a similar complaint to refer them to me and I'll give him a small kickback. LOL

Weight loss has slowed. I lost one week b'c I was taking an antibiotic for a mild gingival infection above one tooth and even the Medifast book says that being on antibiotics stops/slows weight loss. And then this past week I did "accidentally" eat the skin off the turkey drumstick that was kindly brought to me, and last Monday I fetched home about 12# of apples from my fave apple place since I was missing fruits so very much and it only adds about 70 calories to eat one small apple per day, or a small orange or small bananna or 1/2 grapefruit.

But I think the big mistake I'm making is not drinking all the water I was in the beginning, as I'm supposed to be doing. So I'm trying to rectify that as well.

Weight on scale this AM was down about 27#, I didn't have my glasses on so I can't be absolutely precise.

The PT person from the County starts in home PT this Monday for once a week until I don't know when and that's good b'c I've been lazy lately and haven't been doing the exercises that I should be doing.

My goal was to lose about 45# by Feb 9th and then transition off this Medifast to a slightly higher calorie intake where I'd still lose weight, but more slowly. After all, at about $400/month for Medifast supplies that would be about a four month investment of near $2000 and that's significant.

Time will tell.

Carolyn


 o
RE: Carolyn's health?

$2000.00 A small price to pay in exchange for what you recieve as in your future, Less pain, mobility, and more years of growing tomatos. Glad it's working for you. Maybe you will transition to Jenny Craig or Nutri-System? I am so glad someone brought you some turkey. Hope you had a great Thanksgiving.
Natasha687


 o
RE: Carolyn's health?

Carolyn, I am in awe. Your willpower and determination are inspiring. May you reap the rewards of your perseverance!!!

Jennifer


 o
congratulations

  • Posted by Cyn3 z8 TX (My Page) on
    Tue, Nov 29, 05 at 11:16

Carolyn,
this all sounds like a great success. I am so glad for you, and especially glad you can feel it in your body. That is great encouragement.

Funny about the turkey skin - it is sneaky stuff.

Cyn


 o
RE: Carolyn's health?

I inject Cajun spices into my turkey and let it sit overnight before deep frying in peanut oil at 350 deg. for 3 1/2 min. per lb. The skin slips off easily and I pitch it while carving. The meat stays moist and flavorful. Much better and faster than dry baked turkey. Surprisingly, it absorbs very little of the oil. I recover most of it and can reuse over and over again.
Undoubtedly there's something about that location that is more attractive to the deer, Carolyn. It may be minerals from the rock it'self leaching into the soil slowly. The Auburn Wildlife Dept. ran an experiment several years ago where they limed and fertilized 5 ft wide strips across a patch of honeysuckle vines. Within two weeks those strips were eaten down to the ground while the unfertilized strips were untouched.
The farmer adjoining our hunt club asked us several years ago to thin out his deer herd as they were eating the bark off his apple trees and he could get no harvest from his bluberries.


 o
RE: Carolyn's health?

Natasha,

You are right in a way when you say that the money for the Medifast goodies is money well spent, but when that amount isn't in the budget from the get go and other unexpected expenses have arisen, then it is a concern.

And there's nothing in the future that even says that a new left hip will allow me to do what I once did, and probably I won't be able to. But being able to get into peoples homes and stores and all the places I now can't go with the walker would be a big plus.

And I wouldn't transition to Jenny Craig, or similar, for the transition diet/menu is quite set and in one of my books and I'll follow that to a tee, b/c the last time I was on Medifast they weren't so particular with what you ate after reaching goal and I suffered mightily from taking in too many carbs to quickly.

The goal is to eventually develop my own SANE eating and cooking program.

But that's at goal. RIght now I'm trying only to lose the weight asked for by the surgeon. If there's to be any surgery in late Spring/early summer I have to be fully transitioned off my current plan and so right now I'm planning to go to Feb 9 and then starting to transition b'c the food I'll get in the hospital and in rehab will be diabetic, as it was before, but will still have more carbs, etc.

After any surgery is time to go back on Medifast and lose the rest of the weight to get to goal.

I weigh myself Saturday and I hope to be down 30# by then.

The new PT person from the County showed up yesterday and she feels I need two, not one PT session/week, so will call Saunders and see if she can clear that.

And I finally threw up my hands and said no more chef salads I've got to do a bit of cooking, so when Angie brought my groceries yesterday I had asked for fresh broccoli and b sprouts/ which I got, she couldn't find even frozen asparagus, and I asked for two each of yellow and green summer squash but she didn't know zukes were summer squash so what I got were two wee 4 inch long yellows, which will make but one meal. LOL

And I got some lean hamburger, cube steaks and fresh scallops.

making the chef salads has been easy, and I'll still do it some nights, but I really want some fresh cooked veggies and some hot type of meat or poultry or fish, but I can't stand up at the stove to cook, so we'll see how this goes. ( smile)

Carolyn


 o
RE: Carolyn's health?

What I've been having for dinner on these chilly nights is a sort of oriental stir-fry without the fry. I use a soup base which is supposed to be lower in salt and don't use much of it, put a teaspoon in a cup or so of water and boil, add maybe an ounce of whole wheat pasta, cook for five minutes and then add sliced mushrooms, diced zucchini, maybe a broccoli floret. And mince up a scallion to add at the last minute. And sometimes some minced parsley from my indoor pot of it. And fresh ground pepper which makes up for the low salt. It makes a big bowl of hot food with maybe 200 calories over-all. Some of the veggies can be gotten already cut up at the salad bar - all you need to do is pop them in broth along with your pieve of chicken or whatever.
I still remember the day I came home from the hospital (more than 26 years ago now) with casts on both legs from toes to over the knees. I wheeled myself into the kitchen, locked the wheelchair and made coffee and then an omelet with Indian pickled eggplant in it - very spicy. What a wonderful change from hospital food. I also remember my battles with the dietician at the hospital (I was there for 2 long months) - I would cross off the lousy bread and butter and she would cross off everything else I asked for and one never-to-be forgotten evening, the server whipped off the cover of the dish and revealed one very small meat ball all alone in the center of the plate. Fortunately I was too concussed and too doped up to be hungry so I just laughed.


 o
RE: Carolyn's health?

I know what you are sayin about the salads, I like soups so much more in the winter. Warm up from the inside. Could you prepare everything sitting down then throw it all in a pot and stick it on the stove? But, knowing you, you've figured out everything and every trick you can for the eating situation. Are you still going for drives or is it too dangerous in the winter?
Natasha687


 o
RE: Carolyn's health?

Hi Carolyn...

Well, your not going to beleive this but after razzing you about the chocolate and hearing about your great success on the Medifast plan, my wife and I went up on the web and ordered two weeks of the diabetic food for the both of us!
Yesterday was one week and my wife lost 11.4 lbs. and I lost 12.8 lbs. and we both can't beleive it. My wife said that her ankles have stopped swelling and my morning blood sugar has dropped 50 pts. on my meter!! We both had rough days but after seeing the fast progress and improvement in our outward health in one week we are sold. The next time I go to the doctor for my regular diabetes check I'm going to chew the Dr. for not knowing about this. He sure can gripe about the weight gain, but where is the support???
We we will keep you posted and good luck on your continued weight lose. Your humble admirers. Mike & Becky


 o
RE: Carolyn's health?

If you can get there, or someone goes for you, Costo or Sams Club has great deals on big bags of chicken breast, frozen veggies (i know they arent the same!) and flounder filets for really great prices .... would keep your freezer stocked for quite some time ... and the posibilites are endles with just those ingredients ! I get "cooking lite" magazine, and there are alot of great cooking lite recipes ~ I hope everything gets better for you Carolyn ~ Tom

I'm telling you - if I could shovel you out, tend your maters, and head out to Costco for you ? I would !!!!!! Would be the best job in the world ~


 o
RE: Carolyn's health?

Oldroser, Natasha and Mike/Becky

Oldroser, some great ideas there and I love soups. Actually I was thinking of poaching the scallops I still have in the freezer in the minestrone soup that is one of the Medifast soups. I just called the young woman who does my grocery shopping for me and since this time period covers Xmas, I splurged and asked her to get some cooked shrimp for me and some fresh haddock, which was pricey. Now how to cook the haddock. LOL I use my oven as an overflow for my safety deposit box, so that's out, and I refuse to use my new Microwave for reasons too stupid to air publically, so I guess I'll poach it in some chicken broth or similar.

Natasha, I'm pretty much inside for the winter. The car has been in the garage for three weeks now. The garage is 60 ft from the house on the other side of the bridge underneath which flows a brook, driveway not paved and not even. And there's a slight incline up to the garage. So too darn risky to try and get there when there is snow around, which there is, and more coming.

I'm not a shy retiring person, as you may have gathered, LOL, and I do miss people interactions and my two cat kids don't speak my language. LOL

Mike/Becky, I am just thrilled for you two. After just two weeks on Medifast I could do away with my evening glyburide diabetic pill and blood glucose AM readings have been fine. I expect to see the AM gluburide go next and then after that a lowered Actos amount. My primary doc is of the opinion that if I get back to a normal weight I can control my diabetes just with what I eat. We'll see. And of course it doesn't maen I still won't be diabetic, but it would be wonderful to get off the pills.

I also lost about 10# the first week, and a bit less the second week, but the loss has been gradual but continual until about a week and a half ago when I hit a plateau, which of course is expected.

But I started Oct 9 and am now down 34#. I did cheat yesterday b'c is meant going under a specific weight barrier, and I cheated by eating two, mind you, two Guittard onyx wafer dark choco buttons, one inch in diameter, and my blood glucose this AM was fine.

Now this doesn't mean I feel free to cheat with choco again, but it sure was good to see that glucose around 95.

problem is my penlet, as they call it, for the lancet is malfunctioning some of the time so I had to call the pharmacy in town and order a new one. And you'll love this. I change the lancet only about once every several months. My feeling is what's to worry about b'c it's my blood and only my blood and I don't have any blood borne diseases. And I find they stay sharp that long. Who needs a new lancet each day? Not me. LOL

So persevere. I don't know how much you two want to lose, but I intend to go to Feb 9 and by that time I expect to have lost the minimum 45# the surgeon wants me to. I'll then transition off in case there will be surgery in late Spring/early summer, and even in transition I expect to lose a bit, but then maybe in the summer I'll go back on to lose the rest of the weight I'd like to see come off to reach my goal.

Now it would mean all new clothes, I'm already down one size, but it would also mean about a half million in cosmetic surgery to shore up the sagging skin. LOL I jest, trust me, I jest.

Yes, I'm so very glad my primary doc suggested it and as I said above, he has several patients on it with excellent results.

And now that I'm doing my one/day hot lean and green meal every other night instead of the cold chef salad, and I'm really happy with the hot food. Last night was a hamburger, 90% lean with a ton of summer squash seasoned with I can't believe it's not butter and salt and pepper and it tasted like ambrosia. LOL

Carolyn


 o
RE: Carolyn's health?

Zucchini has been excellent in the market here though the price is creeping ever upward. My favorite way of fixing it is to chop up a couple of garlic cloves and soften in a skillet with a tablespoon or less of olive oil and then add the sliced zucchini, cover and let it steam until just tender. With enough garlic, who needs salt? And if you don't want to be bothered with mincing garlic you could use garlic powder - Penzey puts out a great product.
This mix is also good with whole wheat pasta if and when you get a little room on carbs.


 o
RE: Carolyn's health?

Penzey puts out a great product

Puts out GREAT products actually.

And yesterday my latest order came.

I'd ordered a variety of herb and salt and pepper blends to use on raw and cooked veggies and fish and meat, etc. as well as some peppercorns and salts for my grinders for same.

Love that company!

And alread had garlic salt and onion salt and lots else, including a wide variety of single herbs and spices.

Xmas gift for myelf, ya know. LOL

Eating differently when I get off this strict diet has to be a life style change and I'm getting ready now.

Carolyn


 o
RE: Carolyn's health?

I hope carolyn can walk better soon.


 o
RE: Carolyn's health?

"Eating differently when I get off this strict diet has to be a life style change and I'm getting ready now." [Carolyn]

Carolyn, do you mean you'll be goin' back to your former eatin' preferences, or you'll be adopting a permanent lifestyle change of diet?

Bill, who hopes your diet has really improved your chances for full mobility soon.


 o
RE: Carolyn's health?

I forgot to ask, Carolyn, does your diet allow salt, or how much do you have to restrict salt, I guess I'm asking?


 o
RE: Carolyn's health?

carolyn as state early she may walk easly again once she has some reconstruction work done.


 o
Keep going Carolyn!

  • Posted by Cyn3 z8 TX (My Page) on
    Sun, Dec 18, 05 at 17:51

I am so proud of you!
big hurrah for thinking of using herbs and spices to change your diet - they can really help turn something bland into something interesting.

Stay warm,
Cyn


 o
RE: Carolyn's health?

Carolyn,
Too bad about the snow. When do you think you'll be able to go out safely again? Thank God for the WEB or you would really be going crazy, huh.
Natasha


 o
RE: Carolyn's health?

This fell off on to page 2. Must be something new since we never had 2 pages in/on the conversation area before.

Hmmmm.


 o
RE: Carolyn's health?

Penzey's Creamy Peppercorn dressing mix is great sprinkled on just about everything as a seasoning salt. My favorite for tomato's right out of the garden (7 months away, how are we ever going to last that long?) but also on omelettes, baked potatoes, steamed broccoli, whatever!


 o
RE: Carolyn's health?

For Bill, Cyn, Natasha and oldroser

Bill, I have no salt restrictions but use it sparingly anyway. One of the newer Penzey's I ordered is called 4S, Special Seasoned Sea Salt, and it is absolutely terrific with many different herbs and spices added. Some of the blends I ordered have salt, some don't. And I do enjoy just grinding some fresh pepper and salt onto this and that.

Cyn, you may be proud of me, and quite frankly I've surprised myself about staying on this strict diet, but today I shall have one peppermint patty, yes I will, and no, they are not wee wafers. LOL

Natasha, I can get out to the garage anytime there's no snow/ice on the path I have to take from the house to the garage, which is about 60 feet away over unpaved, somewhat uneven terrain and there's a slight incline up to the garage that I will not attempt, either going up or down, unless the driveway is bare. So yes, my computer and contacts are very important to me these days, they really are. And right now I don't see that driveway being bare for quite a while. LOL

Oldroser, what a great idea to use the Penzey's dry salad preps. All I saw was the mix with oil parts and skimmed over them. With my next order I'll have to try some of those although I now have lots of little bottles out there with blends I haven't yet tried. So thanks.

Carolyn


 o
RE: Carolyn's health?//

Duane, I forgot to add my comment to you when I wrote the above post.

I did end up writing to the webmaster about what happened here in the Off Topic area and I asked if any of the threads that had been deleted could be reinstated? Looks like they can't be.

But I also asked if it would be possible to add more pages to this area and whether or not my comment was responsible for the added page, I know not.

Carolyn


 o
RE: Carolyn's health?

Hi Carolyn,

Just a note to tell you how we are doing on the Medifast diet. Today we have been on the diet 3 weeks, and we are as suprised as you were that we were still staying on the diet ourselves! Becky has lost 13lbs, and I have lost 20. Becky had a hunger relapes and ate 4 or 5 of the diet bars and made herself sick! We both hope that you're doing as good as you can and eat a peppermint patty for us. Have a Happy New Year, Mike and Becky


 o
RE: Carolyn's health?

Becky has lost 13lbs, and I have lost 20. Becky had a hunger relapes and ate 4 or 5 of the diet bars and made herself sick! We both hope that you're doing as good as you can and eat a peppermint patty for us. Have a Happy New Year, Mike and Becky

Superb!!!!!

So nice to have some fellow dieters here on the same program as I'm on.

I cheated on Xmas day, couldn't resist the thick slices of ham with that charred terrific fat on each slice that was delivered with my turkey leg, which I didn't eat yet. That ham was at least 4X what I should be eating for a meal, but Sheesh, I've been a good girl.

Also had my peppermint patty. LOL

And an orange, which is OK at about 70 calories, but well, I also had some shrimp as well, which is OK, but it's about the cocktail sauce. LOL

Xmas eve I was down #38 and this AM it looks like I've gained about two, and it will take a few days to get back into a state of ketosis to start losing weight again.

My goal was to lose the 45# I negotiated with Saunders by Jan 17th, and I expect to meet that goal. What with the weather I may have until after Jan 17th to do that b'c I don't leave the house to go to the garage when there's snow and ice.

Had haddock/mushrooms and summer squash last night. Excellent. Tonight is chef salad night so I've got to go out there and take something out of the freezer unless I want to use canned tuna or salmon or chicken breast.

Carolyn


 o
RE: Carolyn's health?

Hi Carolyn,

Just wanted to say Thank You for talking about your diet. I am a VERY slow loser and had not been able to lose much weight before now. I cautiously ordered a sample pack to see if I could stand the taste.

Well, here it is week 8 for me, and I've lost 24 pounds with no cravings and no hunger. I've never seen the scale show weight loss so fast. I feel so much more energetic now too. Thank you a million times. I NEVER would have tried this without knowing your story and trusting your ability to research it first.

Hope your next visit with your doctor brings great news for you and that you've reached your goal.

Linda


 o
RE: Carolyn's health?

Hi, everybody. You've given me inspiration to get back on the wagon. I use a modified Atkins method and it works very well for me. By modified, I mean I do eat fruit. I steer clear of processed sugar, refined flour and at the start, potatoes and corn. However, since Thanksgiving, there have been too many goodies in the house and I've put about 15 back on. Now 15 pounds in a couple months sounds like a bunch to some of you I'm sure. But I'm a big 'un even when I'm skinny. 15 pounds is like 6% of my body weight where it could be as much as 12% to you ladies. And the 15 pounds will drop as fast as many of you will drop 5 pounds. Anyway, it needs to come off and with a little prodding by you who have done it will help. Thanks, in advance.


 o
RE: Carolyn's health?

Hope your next visit with your doctor brings great news for you and that you've reached your goal.

Linda, I am just sooo happy about your weight loss on Medifast as well. Note that the rapid loss won't continue and there can be some ups and downs as fat is replaced by more dense proetin in the body.

I started Oct 9th am now down about 44#, so there's no doubt I'll reach my intermediary goal by Jan 17th when I see my surgeon, if the weather cooperates and I can getr someone to get the car out of the garage for me and get it up near the house, or drive me there.

And I say intermediary b'c as you know from the Medifast booklet you have there is a transition off phase and if he's going to do somethng in late Spring, early summer, then I have to be able to eat what is served in the hospital and in rehab, and so need to start transition soon.

So I plan to stop on Feb 9th , for now. I need to lose more but can go back on Medifast after surgery, or start it again if he says no to surgery.

There are just two Medifast food items I'm not that fond of. Now I know you aren't on the diabetic program and thus have more choices than I do, but I don't like the vanilla shakes, nor do I like the French Berry oatmal, far preferring the maple sugar and apple and cinnamon ones.

I have them around and would use them in a pinch, but from the beginning after I got my first two week pack I've ordered by item to get what I want, which is one reason that I only order the chocolate shakes these days. But you know me and chocolate. LOL

I looked at myself in the mirror this AM and said to myself, self, this weight loss is accentuating your face wrinkles, but then for the last 20 years I've relied on inner rather than outer beauty anyway, ahem, so what's the problem. LOL Besides, I'm going to be 67 in June. Did I think I was some celebrity who could cruise along on Botox? LOL Old skin is less pliable than younger skin. Sigh.

Mike, whatever diet works for you is the one to use. And I'm so glad that some of the stories here have gotten you to shape us as well.

Aye carumba if I only had 15# to lose. LOL

Carolyn


 o
RE: Carolyn's health?

Carolyn, it's not that I ONLY have 15 to lose. I have 15 to lose to get back to where I started. I'm satisfied being mildly pudgy. I could lose 35 and be about right. As long as I can bend over to set out tomato plants and still be able to breathe. The other 20 will come off this spring when I get back out into the yard. Good luck with yours.


 o
RE: Carolyn's health?

I started Oct 9th am now down about 44#,

I said that above and when I weighed in this AM I'd gained 2#. I know why and I'm not talking. LOL

So Mike, thanks for the good luck wishes, but it wasn't luck that resulted in those 2 additional pounds. LOL

Carolyn, who has until Jan 17th to lose those two pounds and just one more to reach her interim goal of 45 off and that's a cinch as long as I eat what I'm supposed to. ( smile)


 o
RE: Carolyn's health?

Carolyn,

I just wanted to let you know that even those of us who are primarily lurkers are rooting for you and wishing you well. When you are ready to say how things went on Jan. 17, we will be here for you.

Cynthia


 o
RE: Carolyn's health?

I keep checking back here to see if Carolyn has posted what she hints to be bad news about the hip surgery she was hoping for, and the prognosis for being able to walk again in 2006. Carolyn, dear, I understand you not feeling like talking about it just yet, and I know you'll fill us in when you get ready. In the meantime, you are in my prayers, and you know the rest of the forum is pulling for you too.

Hugs,
Regina


 o
RE: Carolyn's health?

Cynthia and Regina,

The Jan17th appt with my surgeon was an utter disaster, as far as I'm concerned, and I left feeling confused, upset and very depressed and have remained so but am slowly trying to crawl out of the pit.

Later today or tomorrow I'll try to cobble together what I wrote to my brother rather than retype everything, and perhaps you'll then see what is of major concern to me and my future.

I have a Mar 2 appt with a neurosurgon, that's for sure, weather permitting.

Carolyn


 o
RE: Carolyn's health?

Carolyn, I certainly don't like what seems to be a rather dire, cryptic message here. Whatever is happening, I will continue to send my thoughts and prayers your way. So far, 2006 sucks. I was hoping it to be better than a really lousy '05, but not so far.

Duane


 o
RE: Carolyn's health?

Duane,
Couldn't have said it better myself ~
Carolyn, do take care ~ Tom


 o
RE: Carolyn's health?

Sending you prayers, Carolyn. Thanks to you, I have like 95% germination on my 2006 garden!

Please take care and know we're all sending great vibes your way! Keep us updated soon!

Janie


 o
RE: Carolyn's health?

Carolyn,

The love of my life had multiple sclerosis when we met and we had 20 wonderful years together until she died in December 2004. She was quadriplegic the last 10 years of her life ... so I have some idea what your appointment with your surgeon was like, getting frightening and painful news. It takes awhile to adjust to a change, to grieve for what has been lost and to sort out what to do. My heart and prayers are with you.

Cynthia


 o
RE: Carolyn's health?

  • Posted by cyn3 z8 TX (My Page) on
    Tue, Jan 24, 06 at 16:56

Hey Carolyn,
I am thinking you were writing to the other Cynthia - but I popped in to say Hi and that I hope things are unfolding in a way that you can manage.

You remain in our prayers -
Cyn


 o
RE: Carolyn's health?

Carolyn,

Just to let you know that I am thinking of you and waiting to hear whatever the news might be...so we can all offer up words of support.

Your friend,

Barbara


 o
RE: Carolyn's health?

Sorry it took me so long to get back here but I was working on those seeds to send to Israel yesterday, last night and this AM so that when Angie brought the groceries today I could give the two packages to her to mail and get this stuff off my back. So I did and then spent the afternoon relaxing by watching tennis from the Australian Open.

I've decided not to cut and paste what I wrote to my brother b'c it's too detailed, so I'll try for a shorter version. Having just finished it isn't very short, so read at your own risk. LOL

Cast of Characters

Dr Saunders, aka Rich, my orthopedic surgeon
Dr Scialabba, aka Fred, the neurosurgeon I'm to see Mar 2
Greenwhich, one of the several Health Centers run by Glens Falls Hospiatal. Greenwich is just a 20 min drive for me but Glens Falls is an hour away. Rich comes to Greenwich every other Tuesday afternoon. Julie is a nurse from his main office in GF who also drives down. Sandy is the person who schedules surgery for Rich and two of the other four orthopeadic surgeons in the group. I've linked to the group below. North Country Sports has an excellent reputation in the area.

So, I went on Jan 17th. He always asks about pain I've experienced, weight loss, quad function, etc. For two weeks before Xmas I had bad pain, which I've had before where I can't stand up in the walker and am bent over at a 90 degree angle.

He said he wanted me to see a neurosurgeon and said he wanted Fred to tell him what percent of my pain was coming from the hips and what percent from the spinal stenosis b'c if most of it was coming from the stenosis, then why put in a new hip b/c I'd still be left in pain.

I was shocked. Why? Up until then the rationale had been that the left hip goes out on me and was the main reason I couldn't transition to a cane, so putting in a new left hip, if the quad was OK, might allow me to walk with a cane or two.

No connection had ever before been between the spinal stenosis and hip surgery. But perhaps he thought so just by having me have the MRI and EMG in late Sept.

He said I was being difficult and probably in denial. Difficult, yes, probably b/c I told him I didn't want back surgery. He said he was an orthopedic surgeon, and that neurosurgeons manage spiunal stenosis. Denial? I said maybe b'c I didn't know what he was referring to. That I'll never walk by myself again? I just don't know.

He said Julie would make the Fred appt for me and he signed papers for Julie to take back for Sandy to scehdule a surgery date, saying that he was booked 3 months ahead, and that any surgery date could be cancelled, and he extended the PT at home.

On Friday Sandy called and I said I was expecting to hear from Julie and she said Julie was sitting next to her and Sandy gave me the Fred date and told me my MRI films had to be picked up and brought to the appt.. She asked if I wanted to wait until after that appt before scheduling surgery and I said yes.

I then told her that I though Rich and I had lost communication and told her my story. She said that her own mother had to have spinal surgery before she could have a new hip put in, She also said I was free to get a second opinion. But I told her that I respected Rich's surgical skills and that I liked him as a person, and I respected his opinion, so I'd see Fred and see what happens. Rich just finished a 3 year term as Head of the Dept of Surgery so he's also well respected by his own colleagues , since it's an elected position.

Rich had also said that he works closely with Fred b'c one often needs that type of input when doing his kind of surgery.

I may well be wrong but I know my pain and I think that Fred and Rich might decide that I need spine surgery first. This depresses me greatly. It's been a long haul here, as of yesterday I've lost 51#, I've read a lot about that surgery online and I don't want to go there.

Will I if they say yes? I suppose so, but no sense theorizing until I know what's happening.

And I want it made clear that Rich should call me with their decision b'c I need to know if I do have that surgery, what kind of functionality does he expect me to have if after that he goes ahead. Or even if no spine surgery, same question, He knows my right hip is bad and both knees are as well.

I forgot to say that on Jan17th I asked him about the one muscle in the quad complex that doesn't seem to be working for me and the PT person has IDed it as the one that allows the leg to be straight. He said that after a year he didn't think it would come back, but Kathy the PT person has me doing isometrics with it, along with other exercises, b'c I know that leg was stright last Spring, so perhaps the capability is still there.

So that's where I'm at and perhaps you can see why this reversal of intent re pain vs left hip instability has been of great concern to me.

And thanks so much for all your good wishes.

Carolyn

Here is a link that might be useful: North Country Sports Medicine


 o
RE: Carolyn's health?

Carolyn, thank you for filling us in.

Would you mind saying what it is about the spine surgery that is so worrying to you? From the superficial Google search I just did, it seems that the surgery for spinal stenosis (lumbar laminectomy) has high rates of success and relatively low risk. Obviously it's not minor surgery. And there's a rehabilitation period that would seem long (6-9 mos) if not in comparison to what you've already been through for the quad tear (or hideously long in combination with what you've been through!). Is it that? Or are there other risk factors, maybe related to your diabetes, for example? From the little I've read -- OK, yeah, I wouldn't want to go through it! But I guess I was braced to find scarier things about it.

P.S., My sister once had brain surgery. A little piece of her left temporal lobe was cut out because there was a defect in some blood vessel that was causing epileptic seizures. Now that was SCARY!! She could have lost her short-term memory, or her ability to communicate normally in words (like, maybe she could write her thoughts but not speak them, or vice versa - that sort of thing). Thank God, she's as absent-minded and ineloquent as ever, no more, just like the rest of us.

Still praying for you,
Regina


 o
RE: Carolyn's health?

Dear Carolyn,

You sure have a long row to hoe, as they used to say.

I'm glad you have an engaging project (Isreal seeds) to occupy some of your hours. And I'm delighted with your weight loss success. What an accomplishment! That shows real strength of character (of which I never had any doubt in your case and which I firmly believe will carry you through the next few difficult months).

I think what your doctor said about 'in denial' is off the mark. 'Difficult' of course, but not 'in denial'. LOL! The advice these days is to take charge of your own health, don't leave it totally to the professionals. Fortunately you are well equipped, both intellectually and tempramentally to do this. As they say these days, "You go girl!".

Jim - One more member of Carolyn's rooting section who is pulling for the day when things take an upturn for her and our friend Duane as well.


 o
RE: Carolyn's health?

It sounds discouraging but not as discouraging as to be impossible. And yes, there does seem to be a lack of communication somewhere. My brother had spinal surgery - must be 40 some years ago now - back when they knew far less and hadn't had as much success with it. He lucked out and was pain free after that for the first time in 12 years and has been ever since. It's isn't a great deal of fun but...
I also remember when I was hospitalized after a bad auto accident - it's nearly 27 years now. In casts from both sets of toes up the thighs and immobile. I was pretty doped up but was wondering about getting through life with a walker, in a wheel chair?? There was a lot of discussion as to whether I'd ever walk again. When the surgeon finally got around to saying that I had a lot of walking left in my legs, I mentally threw away the wheel chair. Of course, he never said that I'd need a walker or cane for the rest of my life and he never mentioned how much it would hurt at the end of the day but.... And back then I didn't realize how long it was going to go on either.
Your surgeon may be good at his job (I think I'd prefer Albany myself, knowing what I know now) but he certainly doesn't sound very good at empathy. But then, he just fixes bones - he doesn't worry about the rest of you.
Good luck and I hope the neurosurgeon is a bit more forthcoming.


 o
RE: Carolyn's health?

Carolyn -
You are in my thoughts. I can defenately sympathise - I recently discovered that I have 2 herniated discs in my back, and am going through pysical therapy and possibly looking at back surgury as well.

Reading about your struggle is almost like having a "buddy" going through this with me :)

*hugs*
Marie

Marie


 o
RE: Carolyn's health?

For Regina, Jim, Oldroser and Marie and thanks to all of you.

Regina, there are many reasons why I don't want back surgery, and while the final decision is mine if that's the recommendation, I can only wait to see what the neurosurgeon says before sharing with you those reasons, which range from the trivial to the serious.

Your web search was I think rather superficial in that there are various degrees of seriousness of laminectomy, vertebral fusion is also a possibility and while serious complications are rare these days they also include permanent paralysis.

The specific type of spine surgery that might be suggested and the rehab period, is very much dependent on the actual pathology seen in the MRI, as correlated with ongoing symptoms, as well as the age of the patient and what physical condition the patient is in at the time of surgery.

Jim, thanks for your support. I do perhaps ask more questions that many patients, but that's me. Remember that I spent the major part of my career in the medical sphere teaching med students and I'm not one to sit back and ASAP accept all that is told to me.

As far as I'm concerned, most of Western Medicine is based on the two "i" words. One is idiopathic, which means "we" don't know the cause of this or that, and the second word is iatrogenic, which means physician induced. ( smile)

Oldroser, and thank you for your continuing support. As for any loss of communication, yes, I think that has happened, but the point is that I'm where I'm at in the now if you know what I mean. Since you have posted before about your past physical problems, a bit, I do know of them a bit. I think I remain wary, but since the Spinal stenosis part of my pain, which I can ID and separate from the hip pain and I think the neurosurgeon will as well, is not a 24/7 happening, I'm hoping he'll see it my way and let me put up with what I'm already putting up with and tell Saunders that as well. The problem is that the spine pathology is not good at all with several bulging discs and while bulging discs don't always equate to herniation, there's also foraminal narrowing and the possibility of a synovial cyst. And the fact also is that with time and continued aging, which is pretty certain as long as I don't pop off from this or that, LOL, pathology/symptoms only get worse.

Marie, off and on I've been doing PT for my spinal problems since about two years ago when it was first diagnosed, albeit symptomatically, by my local PT person. And my current in home PT person has also continued that. But there comes a point when one has to recognize that PT is not going to help that much.

About 50% of MRI films show spinal pathology and of those, about half have symtoms, so it's the symptoms and related pain that really dictate what the prognosis might be.

And thanks so much to all the others who weighed in here after I mentioned there were new problems, but before I got around to typing what was going on currently.

Carolyn


 o
RE: Carolyn's health?//

Your surgeon may be good at his job (I think I'd prefer Albany myself, knowing what I know now) but he certainly doesn't sound very good at empathy. But then, he just fixes bones - he doesn't worry about the rest of you.

Oldroser,

I forgot to speak to this comment of yours when answering you above.

Both Albany and Bennington certainly were options, but I weighed them carefully and perhaps you didn't realize it but Glens Falls Hospital is now the largest between Albany and Canada and has attracted many fine MD's who want to live and raise families in such a lovely setting.

Being familiar with Albany Med myself, I can see how many want to be more rural, if you will. Bennington is actually closer than Albany Med for me and there are some fine surgeons there as well, but I'm content with Glens Falls, using the ctiteria I used to make such a decision.

Rich is empathetic, and perhaps that hasn't come through in what I've posted. He does care about me as a person aside from my bones and muscles and tendons.

I really do think what happened as that while he thought back in November that he had indicated to me his concerns and recommendation to see a neurosurgeon then about the hips, he did not, from my perspective indicate that as being that important and I thought it was for the spinal stenosis alone. And since I was the one living with what symtoms the spinal stenosis was causing and didn't realize that he had possibly indicated it could be tied up in his mind with new hips, etc., I opted to deal with the pain myself.

Yes, he does see me as being difficult at times, and well I remember his mini-tirade in September when he once again told me that I HAD to lose weight and that he first told me that in May of 2004 when I first saw him for a second opinion about hip surgery. And it was his mini-tirade in September that finally convinced me to go on this diet Oct. 9th. And on Jan 17th I thanked him for that as well as suggesting he could buy me a new wardrobe and split the cost of cosmetic surgery with me, says Carolyn who abandoned outer beauty considerations decades ago. LOL

As I've said before, he can be very humorous and is a master of repartee and we do get along quite well most of the time. But he's strong willed and so am I and I suppose he's more accustomed to totally compliant patients.

Carolyn


 o
RE: Carolyn's health?

"I do perhaps ask more questions that many patients, but that's me. Remember that I spent the major part of my career in the medical sphere teaching med students and I'm not one to sit back and ASAP accept all that is told to me."

Exactly. That's what I had in mind when I said you are well equipped, both intellectually and tempramentally to take charge of your health matters. And that's a very good thing to do.

Jim


 o
RE: Carolyn's health?

Carolyn,

I laughed out loud when I read the following in your post above:

"As far as I'm concerned, most of Western Medicine is based on the two 'i' words. One is idiopathic, which means 'we' don't know the cause of this or that, and the second word is iatrogenic, which means physician induced. ( smile)"

You are fortunate to have scientific training--so you have no trouble understanding the information you need to know about your health. And you are fortunate to have long experience in teaching medical students--so you are accustomed to getting doctors (well, proto-doctors) to shape up rather than the other way around. It does rather boggle their minds when they come across patients who know they are fallible medical doctors, not infallible medical deities. ;-) Still, it sounds like you have good working relationships with your doctors, which is a great blessing.

Also, you deserve heaps of praise for your progress on your weight loss. I am impressed and inspired.

Good luck with everything!

Cynthia


 o
RE: Carolyn's health?

Being a compliant patient doesn't win you any gold stars. When my sister had her first cancer surgery (she's had three rounds of it), her surgeon said he was putting her on what they call a chemotherapy protocol. When she asked for detailed info, he got very huffy and wanted to know why she was questioning his prescription. She replied it was her body and she intended to find out exactly what the therapy consisted of. What she found, when he finally gave her the info, was that it was extremely experimental and not extensively tested. At which point she told him no thanks, experiment on somebody else and find me a well-tested approach. He was unhappy about it but ended up changing the prescription. To something that was no fun but worked very well.
Anyway, hang in there - you've got everyone rooting for you and I think that your weight loss is astonishing! Give yourself several pats on the back, if it isn't too hard to do.


 o
RE: Carolyn's health?

oldroser,

Amen to that! I could add several anecdotes to yours about patients who got beneficial treatment only after assertive prodding of their physicians by themselves or by someone who was advocating for them. A couple of these were life or death situations.

I will not stay long with a doctor who is not a good communicator. And I will continue to ask questions until I am satisfied with the answers. That doesn't mean to make a nuisance of yourself for no good reason. Only on occasion it's necessary. Fortunately, I found a doctor years ago who takes a genuine interest in explaining things to me.

It has been widely advised for patients to take charge of their own health and that can't be done without good communication.

I don't mean this as a blanket condemnation of the medical profession. Doctors have a tough job and they deserve to have a life too. It's understandable that, working under time pressure as they do, they will be tempted to take the easier rather than the harder path at times.

Jim


 o
RE: Carolyn's health?

Q...What do you call someone who graduates at the bottom of his medical class...
A...Doctor.

Sometimes (rarely) I think my doctor has the IQ of a hamster. But then I realise that if he's a hamster the others in town are termites.

Sorry that you are still in the wars with your health.
Glenn


 o
RE: Carolyn's health?

Carolyn,

I smiled at your comments about Western Medicine, and agree with oldroser and others who have commented on taking charge of your own course of treatment and staying informed. FYI, I'm a medical anthropologist, and have had plenty clashes with medical students and Med school grads.

Over 20 years ago an MD gave me 6 months to live. He was wrong - and I went back to school to learn why, and to get a better understanding of the system.

Thank you for directing me to this thread.
It's a pleasure to meet you, and those who have rallied to your support.

Dee


 o
RE: Carolyn's health?

I echo Dee's thoughts. I've been seeing wisps of your health situation on the regular web pages, but was redirected to Conversations from a tomato thread.

What a road you are on! When I read about the challenges you face, even getting to the garage, it makes my own "problems" seem so trivial. I wish I lived nearby, just to come over and play a card game with you and keep you company. I'm hoping you have enough people contact, the cats do have a bit of a communication challenge :)

It took me a few days to make the connection between the great book I bought last month, and the charming strong woman I've been meeting on the website. It's an absolute pleasure to read your posts.

Although I may not post too often (would rather learn from others unless I just have to ask), know that I'll be thinking of you and sending good thoughts and prayers daily.


 o
RE: Carolyn's health?

Back on Jan 23rd I posted:

(I have a Mar 2 appt with a neurosurgon, that's for sure, weather permitting.)

And luckily the weather permitted, although it was touch and go until yesterday AM when a final decision had to be made as to whether or not Margery would come get my car out of the garage and drive for me.

Just a quick response, for I was so exhausted when Margery got me back home from the neurosurgeon appt yesterday that I went to bed very early last night.

This will be a Summer of Surgery for me.

He's recommending to my orthopedic surgeon that the left hip be done first, followed by spinal fusion for my severe spinal stenosis a few months later.

And since my ortho surgeon is booked about three months in advance it looks like a June date, which I'll have to schedule soon, for that followed later by the spinal fusion and removal of a spinal synovial cyst. Only one vertebra of the several vertebrae with pathological changes is seriously in trouble, but one is enough to warrant surgery.

The point he made is that being able to walk as best one can is mandatory following spinal fusion, thus the recommend to do the new left hip first.

The hope is that eventually I might be able to walk with one cane and of course this means that my future tomato growing of hundreds of plants and varieties each summer is truly at an end.

So I'll have to live my tomato life vicariously thru the rest of you.

And there's still the right hip and two knees that need attention as well. ( smile)

I'm trying to square myself with all of this since it means continued reliance on others for getting groceries, running errands for me to places that I can't get into, and more. Right now, for instance, both of my cat kids need rabies update shots and more just in terms of general checkups, and even if my vet offers to come to the house, which she has, there is absolutely no way she or I can catch them to give them their shots. Trust me on that. LOL

On the upside my brain, mouth and fingers all appear to be in fine shape, and that's a self assessment. LOL

Martha, who posts here has made an offer of raising a few plants for me of varieties that I want to grow, for a few can be put in the raised bed out back and about 10 in pots here and there, and I simply will NOT go thru a summer without fresh tomatoes. Of course I'll have to hire someone to plant them and care for them and harvest fruits but I think I can do that.

There are a few other folks who had offered, even prior to my appt yesterday, to grow some specific varieties for seeds so I can at least continue some of my SSE listings. And knowing what I know now, I just may take them up on their very generous offers. I want to at least try to maintain some of the things I've been doing, and listing new varieties at SSE is one of them.

And so it goes, the good news being that I have hundreds of not yet read books around the house.

Carolyn


 o
RE: Carolyn's health?

As I've stated in many other places Carolyn, anything I could do to help, just ask. Even if its just growing one plant for some extra seed.

John


 o
RE: Carolyn's health?

  • Posted by elise 9b BayArea CA (My Page) on
    Fri, Mar 3, 06 at 18:38

Carolyn:

An article in the San Francisco Chronicle caught my attention last week. It is a new surgical procedure, just approved by the FDA, for treatment of spinal stenosis. The procedure takes 1/2 hour and is performed under a local sedative. It might not be appropriate for your case, but then you never know, and you like to read about these things.

Here is a link that might be useful: SF Chronicle news


 o
RE: Carolyn's health?

There's supposed to be an ABS TV special on that operation - don't know if it's on tonight or tomorrow night but it was mentioned in the Times today.
You may not be able to raise 100's of tomatoes any more but there's no reason you can't garden even with a cane. I managed to get two dozen tomatoes planted and cared for last year while leaning on mine - and that was in addition to roses and other things.
Currier McEwen was doing iris crosses as he neared 100, using a walker to get around his garden. He did get someone else to do the digging and weeding but he did his own planting.
I'll pass on to you a tip I got many years ago - the whole trick to being handicapped is not being any more handicapped than you have to be.
I was thinking of that when I was out tapping maples this afternoon. It's a slow process doing it while leaning on a cane but I got five trees tapped and will do more tomorrow. Generally manage to tap 16-18 trees though I have to admit that my nephew now does the boiling down. i still do the collecting but can only handle one pail at a time so it takes twice as long as it used to. But it gets done.


 o
RE: Carolyn's health?

  • Posted by cyn3 z8 TX (My Page) on
    Tue, Mar 7, 06 at 16:52

Glad to know how the appointment went - the sequencing of surgeries makes sense, in a painful sort of way.

My vet comes to the house, and the cats know she is coming about an hour beforehand, because they disappear. One trick I have tried is NOT thinking that the vet is coming and that seems to help - don't know fi they really read my mind or not, but it is a weird coincidence.

Take good care,
Cyn


 o
RE: Carolyn's health?

JOhn, thanks so much for the offer but right now I've got several folks who spoke up even before you did, but it's good to know that you're ready and willing.

Elise, I don't know enough about spinal stenosis surgery to know if in my specific case if that new surgery is possible, but I certainly can bring it up with the neurosurgeon.

Yesterday the surgery date for the left hip was confirmed for May 31 and today I got a copy of the report sent by the neurosurgeon to my ortho surgeon. He wants me to contact his office when the surgery date is known, as it now is, and make an appt for about 6 weeks after that. He says if the recuperation is going well he'll consider going ahead with the spinal surgery. And he described what it was, decompression and form__________ something, but I don't have a clue. I do know the synovial cyst and the area that is most serious is the L4/L5 vertebra, and altho there is "widespread" degenerative changes in the lumbar region, as he put it, he intends to do only that one region.

Oldroser, my PT person is still saying that she hopes for me with two canes and is still saying stay off the lawn and the garden area, and same with the walker. All I can say is that I'll just have to see what happens here with time. It's also possible I could have new very tall raised beds put in with firm walkways, but that's also in the future to be considered.

I've been practicing walking with two canes in the house when she is here and she says do not do it when she isn't here. Same with the step ups and downs to increase strength of the quad of the right leg.

So we'll just have to see how this summer goes, b'c quite frankly, the neursurgeon is concerned, and in the letter said that if I couldn't walk better with the new hip then I could be bed ridden after the spinal surgery b'c to be up and walking a lot is critical to recovery.

And he emphasized to my ortho surgeon, whom he knows well, that I'm a complicated" case with several serious problems re the hips and the spine coexisting at the same time.

Carolyn


 o
RE: Carolyn's health?

Certainly good to get all these updates. How many responses are we allowed anyway. Total count 112 so far.
That's a lot of surgery, I'm sure you will get lots of prayer support ;-)

"So I'll have to live my tomato life vicariously thru the rest of you."

In that case I will try not to kill my tomatoes this year. I have high hopes for my choices this year.

CECIL


 o
RE: Carolyn's health?

My nephew Garrett has agreed to post updates re my upcoming surgery next Wednesday so I'm bringing this back to the first page so he can find it easily and then post to let me know he found it.

Lots has been happening, but I have no time right now to share with all since a day guest from MA is expected at any moment; he's bringing some tomato plants for me and the ones Martha ( gardenmama) grew for me should arrive today as well.

I'm bringing this to the first page b'c in some threads in the main Forum some folks have been asking if Garrett was going to be able to update folks here as to what's happening with me.

Carolyn, off to complete the application for the rehab place I want to go to so I can get it in the mail today.


 o
RE: Carolyn's health?

  • Posted by cbars z5b6a MO (My Page) on
    Thu, May 25, 06 at 8:14

As always, our thoughts and prayers are with you!!

Looking forward to Garrett's updates.

Gary


 o
RE: Carolyn's health?

Thanks ! We'll check often. Best of luck!


 o
RE: Carolyn's health?

Carolyn, be assured of prayers and good wishes every day for you and your doctors and therapists. God bless you with better health, patience and peace of mind and heart. Thank you for your presence here and for all your good advice. You are a wonderful and generous teacher!

Sara Jane


 o
RE: Carolyn's health?

Carolyn - Best wishes for a quick recovery and as pleasant a summer as possible considering your upcoming surgeries.

If my tomatoes were further along I'd send you an enormous bouquet of tomato flowers to decorate your recovery room! (That tomato "aroma therapy" sure does put me in a good mood!)


 o
RE: Carolyn's health?

Hi Carolyn,

Best wishes to you today, I hope all goes well...you are in my thoughts.


 o
RE: Carolyn's health?

I guess today is the day.. GOOD LUCK, we are all with you in our thoughts. Hello Garrett...I remember you from a few years ago,good work..Matha/zucchini


 o
RE: Carolyn's health?

Hello all, this is Carolyn's nephew.

My dad (Carolyn's brother) and I drove her over to the hospital mid-morning today. Aside from the expected butterflies, she was really upbeat, optimistic, and in very good spirits (joking with the nurses, surgery escorts, etc.).

We left the hospital at about 11:30 this morning just as she was wheeled into the pre-op waiting room. Surgery was scheduled for (I believe) 12:15.

Just got a call about 5 minutes ago from her surgeon: she is awake and resting comfortably, the surgery went very well.

(He is very succint in his phonecalls, even after major surgery, LOL). Oh well. So, it looks as if everything went as expected, if not better than expected. I will probably go back over to the hospital tomorrow morning and should be able to give you some more details/info once I see her in the flesh.

Thanks!


 o
RE: Carolyn's health?

Glad to hear Carolyn's doing well. Give her my best wishes and tell her I'm saying a prayer for her.

Mike


 o
RE: Carolyn's health?

That's great news, garrett_The_nephew! Please tell Carolyn that we love her and are thinking of her and are pleased that she is doing well. Pass on a hug, please!

Bitterwort


 o
RE: Carolyn's health?

glad it is over..now the work begins for her..I am sure she will do well..she is a strong woman! In mind and now her body will get stronger too...martha/zucchini


 o
RE: Carolyn's health?

Hello to all once again.

Just wanted to give an update on how Carolyn was feeling when I visited her Thursday afternoon. While she still was *mostly* herself (smiling, laughing), the post-op pain had begun to set in. It didn't seem terrible, but it was quite noticeable whenever she tried to push herself into a more comfortable position.

Unfortunately, I think that kind of pain, as well as some annoyances (having a cath, having one's legs separated by a giant foam wedge, eating hospital food for days) are all part of the experience which is major surgery.

However, while I was there, she did enjoy a hospital-prepared egg salad sandwich and chicken noodle soup (LOL), so I guess there are some happier moments to take some of the edge off the pain, that and the morphine drip...

I should be heading back to the hospital later today, and hopefully, the pain level will be less.

She does say HELLO! to everyone :)


 o
RE: Carolyn's health?

garrett,

Any chance of sneaking her in a frid breakfast? How's a body supposed to get better on egg salad sandwiches? ;-)

Thanks for keeping us posted.

Zabby17


 o
RE: Carolyn's health?

or at least a big fat tomato !!!!
WE MISS HER AND WISH HER A SPEEDY RECOVERY
Richard


 o
RE: Carolyn's health?

A bit more of an update...

Carolyn has now successfully moved into the rehab center she wanted to stay at (although she had to get there in an ambulance - hospital policy- and sort of depressing. Oh well).

I am back in NC but spoke with her on the phone and she seemed well. One interesting and unforeseen result of the surgery... the leg with the new hip is now about 1 inch longer than the other!

This pretty much is a result of the size replacement the doctors had to use. As Carolyn put it, the replacement hips come in small, medium, and large sizes. I believe she has the largest size, yet it is not a perfect match to her natural right hip, thus resulting in the length difference.

While it does sound odd, it is manageable. I personally have lived successfully for 19 years with two different-length legs.

Her options are to:
1) Live with it
2) Wear a shoe with a slight lift on the bottom
3) Equal it out with a hip replacement for the right leg. (I guess her doctors say this will need to be done in the future).

So now she will stay in rehab for a few weeks practicing walking, having physical therapy, and adjusting life to living with a new hip.


 o
RE: Carolyn's health?

  • Posted by cyn3 z8 TX (My Page) on
    Fri, Jun 9, 06 at 10:36

Garrett - thanks for the info.
Many good wishes to Carolyn as she navigates through rehab.

Cyn


 o
RE: Carolyn's health?

Carolyn,

Hurry back, I have lots of questions for you!

Sincerely, I hope you're doing as well as can be expected, and that your recovery is speedy! It's just not the same around here without you...........

Janie/Materlvr


 o
RE: Carolyn's health?

I wish we had an update.

Jim


 o
RE: Carolyn's health?

Ah. I just noticed a "welcome back" post above. Excellent!

Jim


 o
RE: Carolyn's health?

Dr. Carolyn, You've been home now long enough to show some progress and we'd all like an update. How well can you perambulate with the new hip and is the pain getting less?
Are you able to grow any tomatose at all?
Can you drive?
Are you still keeping the weight off? Still losing more?
Still cheating a little on the smoking?
Give us the full rundown.


 o
RE: Carolyn's health?

Thanks for the update, Boston. I've been thinking about her for the last few days, as I'm sure everyone else has.
h.


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Growing Tomatoes Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here