Archive | June 2012

The Magical Maneuver

June 17, 2012

The Magic Maneuver

Last night I gave in. I did an Epley maneuver on myself. I hate doing it. It makes me feel so dizzy and ill during the process, and then nauseated for a time afterwards. But, I’m much better for it today. Whew!

For many years I’ve dealt with a vestibular disorder, which causes bouts of dizziness and problems with my balance. Often, an Epley maneuver can help dissipate the dizziness when it occurs, depending on what is causing it. Since the Epley is non-invasive and can’t hurt, it is worth a try, but I tend to stall because, in my case, it temporarily feels so awful. I’m a coward. I keep hoping the spinning will pass on its own. It usually doesn’t and I usually end up giving in. This week, it didn’t go away, so……

I didn’t do the Epley until I went to bed, so I wouldn’t have to do anything afterwards except concentrate on feeling miserable and sorry for myself. When I awoke this morning, however, and turned over to get out of bed, the room didn’t twirl. It worked! I’m so glad, because my son, his wife, and their little one are coming to visit and I don’t want to be feeling unwell while they are here.

The Epley maneuver, named for the doctor who discovered it, is believed to move particles in the semicircular canal of the inner ear out of the area where they are creating havoc. The condition it works so well for is called Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo, (BPPV) and is the most common cause of dizziness. It is more likely to happen to people like me, who already have another vestibular condition.

One of the ways you can identify BPPV is if the dizziness occurs mostly when you move your head, like up or down, or roll over in bed. Physiotherapists who deal with vestibular disorders know how to perform the Epley, and most physicians today are familiar with the maneuver. I DON’T RECOMMEND THAT YOU DO IT YOURSELF. PLEASE CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN. I was carefully coached by my own wonderful physiotherapist, who did it on me so many times, she thought I could finally manage it by myself.

For more information about vestibular disorders, go to the B.C. Balance and Dizziness Disorders Society’s website: www.balanceanddizziness.org

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The Pedometer Project

June 11, 2012

The Pedometer Project

At a free talk I attended sponsored by a local arthritis clinic, they said we should walk 10,000 steps per day. They even gave us free little pedometers. I had a smashed arthritic knee, was awaiting surgery, and hadn’t walked much during all the years since I fell and injured it. 10,000 steps would have to wait.

A few weeks ago, I decided the time had come. I bought such a fancy pedometer, it took an employee of the shop to read the complicated instructions, set the date and time, and then ready it to record those important steps. I was ready!

Soon enough, I learned my oh-so fancy instrument doesn’t record how many rotations I do on my Exercycle, which I use daily. Nor does it record the gliding steps I take when I do Tai Chi (for balance). Okay, I noted that…. My aim? 10,000 steps a day. Not easy. What could I do to make my usual 4,000 to 7,000 steps increase to 10,000?

I’m not much of a TV watcher, but decided that whenever I do, each commercial break is a fabulous stepping opportunity. When one comes on, I haul my body out of the LazyBoy, up onto my feet, and march around my small apartment like a mad woman. Around and around I go, back and forth, ten steps this way and ten steps back in the living room, through the hallway into the office and then my bedroom around the bed, and back at a clip to the dining area, circle the table and chairs, and past the stove and fridge in the small kitchen. Then, I do it all over again until the commercials are over. Just picture it. Anyone seeing me would think me insane. However, I manage hundreds of steps if I move quickly.

I’ve discovered two things with this project. 1) Be careful what you wish for. You may get it. The first time I managed to achieve my goal of over 10,000 steps in a day, my knees ached so badly all night, I couldn’t sleep. I’m lowering my expectations for now. 2) Getting up and moving around during each commercial is a wonderful thing to do if you have arthritis. The stiffness I experience after sitting for awhile doesn’t happen if I get up and move around at commercial time. Yeah! That, in itself, is worth knowing.

This morning I …

Exercise classes for Rubenesque Women

Sunday, June 10th, 2012

This morning I read about exercise classes especially designed for larger women. They are apparently really successful. The article talked about how uncomfortable larger women feel at regular gyms where they are judged and looked down upon by thinner gals. That’s true. Most of us don’t understand or accept obesity, including doctors.

Many years ago when I lived in Los Angeles, I joined a local gym. I knew I needed to exercise, and certainly could have been classified as a “larger” woman. There were movie starlets there (including Tina Louise) and I not only felt awkward, out of place and judged, but also invisible. The staff and other clients swarmed around the beautiful people like bees. No one ever said hello to me or acknowledged my presence. I must have been the only overweight person there, or at least that’s what I thought. No one on staff felt I qualified for any assistance or direction — and I needed both, plus encouragement.

Needless to say, I didn’t last long. And, with that unpleasant, demoralizing experience behind me, it took many years to feel comfortable enough with my own body to be able to join an exercise class. I’m glad I did. If you have hesitated to do so for any reason, go for it. These classes have kept me going.

Still, kudos to the enterprising women who recognize the need for such special classes for larger women and start them. May their businesses thrive.

Favorite sayings

‘The very purpose of existence is to reconcile the glowing opinion we hold of ourselves with the appalling things other people think of us.’ (Quentin Crisp)

‘He has no enemies, but is intensely disliked by his friends.’ (Oscar Wilde)

‘Some cause happiness where er they go; others, whenever they go.’ (Oscar Wilde)

‘Worry is interest paid on a debt you may not owe.’

“The greatest delusion about communication is that it exists.”

“How long a minute is depends on which side of the bathroom door you are on.”  (Zall)

“The road of modern culture leads from humanitarianism via nationalism to bestiality.” (Stefan Zweig, Austrian author, during WWII)

“Many amusing events occur in Egypt, but the laughter there can resemble crying.” (great 10th century poet al-Mutanabbi)

“Go ahead, travel first class. Your heirs will.” (Sign on a local travel agent’s wall)

“I no longer have the time to be angry.” (My wise friend Berta)

“Everyone has a photographic memory — some of us just don’t have any film.” (Steven Wright, comedian)

“Creativity is our most precious gift.” (my friend Ian Wallace)

“Parents are the bones on which children sharpen their teeth.” (The late actor Peter Ustinov)

“We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children.” (Native American Proverb)

“In individuals, insanity is rare; but in groups, parties, nations and epochs, it is the rule.” (Friedrich Nietzsche, 1844-1900, German philosopher)

“It takes a village…to do a crossword.” My own

“If silence is golden, then speech is platinum. It spreads wisdom, dispels ignorance, ventilates grievances, stimulates curiosity, lightens the spirits and lessens the fundamental loneliness of the soul.” (Jan Struther, author of “Try Anything Twice”.)

“A birthday is just the first day of another 365-day journey around the sun,. Enjoy the trip.” (unknown)

‘You don’t have to believe everything you think.’

‘What your mother tells you know, in time you will come to know.’