Random Acts of "Kindness"

Posts tagged ‘Exercise’


Until my body parts started acting up, I never paid attention to my age. Sadly problems with my knees, and getting up out of a chair or out of the car brought my age into my attention. Then I fell — twice within a very short time. Going up or coming down the stairs. Thankfully I didn’t do major damage to any of my body parts. Now I go up or down rather carefully — paying attention to what I am carrying. I also hold on to the railings more often. I think the first fall was caused by carrying to much weight in both hands. I’ve determined the second fall was caused by the surface of my slippers being worn. I’m not sure they were the real reason. I haven’t regained my confidence or my speed navigating the stairs. Most days my knees are working better depending on the weather.

Then I got sick and lost more of my balance and energy. I’m still surprised that walking up to our church was too far of a walk for me. I determined that I was going to take Robin for at least one walk every day. Then the weather shifted, the snow came and the ice. Safety became a factor. Each day brings us closer to Spring. I’m hopeful that while I won’t be able to run up and down the stairs like in previous years — they won’t become a major handicap. In order to remain in our house, I have to be able to do the stairs.

Age isn’t the only number I haven’t been paying attention too. I don’t remember the ages of my children or grandchildren but I have solved that problem. I have their age and birth date on strips in my daily calendar.
I have strips for the birthdays of some of my friends so I remember to send a card.

The last anniversary of my blog came and I underestimated the number of years I had been writing. Because of my daily calendar, I usually know what the date and day of the week is. When we are in the country it is easy to lose track. Especially when we don’t have any specific plans.

So by now you must be wondering why I’m going on and on about numbers. Recently I was at the store, getting ready to check out. The elderly woman behind me had a cart piled with one brand, one flavor of frozen dinners. I stared at the cart — I was amazed to see so many of the same kind in a cart. I didn’t count the exact number she had. When I asked if that dinner was really good — she replied that she didn’t cook any more. I answered that I still did. Even if I didn’t, I wouldn’t be able to eat the same thing night after night. I can’t even eat the same foods week after week. I have a good friend, who is now on the other side — Thursday was pork chops and Friday was take out pizza. If I knew what the rest of the week was I don’t remember.

I mentioned that experience to my husband. He calculated that I have cooked over 20,000 meals in my lifetime. And I’m still cooking!



I did my best. When my son started coughing, I did my best to NOT CATCH whatever he had that was causing the problem. I was already coughing — admittedly it was a different cough — dry. I knew the cause — it was the blood pressure medicine I was taking. A friend of mine told me it made her cough too. At first the dry cough wasn’t too bad. Then since my blood pressure wasn’t decreasing, my doctor doubled the dose. My cough also increased. I was coughing so much my back started hurting.

Then my husband started coughing. The cough sounded similar to our son’s. My husband has emphysema, which often evolves into pneumonia. I didn’t like his color, I didn’t like the way he sounded. He didn’t think he needed to go to the doctor. Thankfully I had a well being doctor’s appointment scheduled for that week. He wasn’t better so he accompanied me. Meanwhile I didn’t like the way my cough sounded. It was no longer dry. Thankfully my husband’s lungs were clear but the doctor prescribed medicine for him anyway. My lungs were also clear — I got a new prescription for blood pressure medicine. I picked up the new medicine. The pills for my husband immediately worked to improve his condition. Sadly I was correct about the sound of my cough. It deepened and intensified. The weather in our area became much colder and snow was predicted. I thought the cough was just a cold and if I took care of it, drank plenty of fluids, stayed inside, it would soon be gone. I WAS WRONG.

Each evening the news announced the status of the flu — increasing in intensity, more people, especially children were dying. Both my husband and myself had gotten a flu shot in October. Neither one of us was running a fever. We were confident we didn’t have the flu. Normally I don’t take cough syrup but I went through ALL of the cough syrup in the house, even stuff I had for our grandchildren. For many reasons, I didn’t want to go outside — below zero temperatures and snow didn’t beckon. Except for coming downstairs for food or to cook I stayed on the second floor where it was warmer. Our Christmas tree remained up. When I was feeling better, I didn’t take it down because it occupied the space my son’s chair rested in. I didn’t want him by the windows. Then the tree stayed up because I didn’t have the energy to take it down.

Nine days of snow. Thankfully our son did most of the shoveling. My husband was feeling better, at 5:30 AM I was woken my the sound of shoveling. My husband wasn’t in bed. When I looked outside, I saw the top of his coat, dealing with the fresh snow. Under normal conditions, my husband LOVES to use the snow blower on the whole block. These weren’t normal conditions. But he took pity on our neighbors and didn’t start the machine. Both myself and our son expressed our opinion on his being outside shoveling. Our neighbors took pity on us. A few times our walk was shoveled. Once our front stairs were included. When all was said and done, we had more than 10 inches of snow. Normally I sweep the stairs. This wasn’t a normal time.

My back still hurt. I decided that Tai Chi — the gentle stretching would help it. Other than that — most days I got in less than 3,000 steps. I tried to get more sleep. Coughing didn’t help. Except for one day between the snow storms, I hadn’t been outside. When another big storm was predicted we traveled to the store for supplies — milk, bread ,and vegetables. Finally a littler bit of my energy returned. Enough to take off the ornaments and lights. To take down our Christmas tree. It was February — time for the tree to come down. I even got the stuff together to prepare for income tax.

I hadn’t been outside except for the store run in 10 days. I walked to our accountant — 7000 steps when I returned. I couldn’t believe how tired I was. His office was close to our church, a distance I normally walked. Both my back and knees HURT.

Caught — I was outside cleaning up the yard before the rain came. Working on the icy steps, shoveling a tiny bit of snow off our cellar doors. My son caught me. He had warned me not to go outside when the back was icy. Now he told me to put the shovel down. He would take care of the snow.


Since I neither see nor hear “my friends in high places” — I try to pay attention. When I opened the bible to Isaiah 47:11 and read “Disaster shall befall you which you cannot allay,” I was worried. My youngest daughter and family were on the road, going to visit her sister. I wrapped the family in my prayers. I should have wrapped myself.

Late in the afternoon — both hands full — I headed upstairs, only to have my foot slide off the stair, causing me to fall backwards. I couldn’t stop the fall and landed on my back on the first floor. It was only a couple of steps up, somehow I turned the corner and sprawled on the floor. I aged my husband by 10 years and also my son. I was glad the disaster predicted was for myself instead of my daughter and her family. I wasn’t glad that I had caused concern not only to them but to myself.

THANK YOU LORD — I wasn’t seriously injured. No broken bones — slight injury to various body parts. I was lucky. Reviewing the fall, I surmised that wearing the slipper socks wasn’t in my best interest. They don’t have the traction needed for the steps.

This was the second time that I fell in December. The first was heading down the basement stairs, both hands full. I surmised at that time that I was too weighed down — out of balance. Thankfully that time I landed standing on my feet, injuring my side but no broken bones.

Two falls in one month, thankfully no bones broken but I didn’t like the direction I was going in. Was a message trying to get through and I wasn’t paying attention? My son, who lives in our home, had recently purchased a new blood pressure machine. I checked my blood pressure and was surprised at the reading. Extremely high. When the news was shared with the rest of my family, they were very concerned. Some thought I should go to the emergency room immediately. I determined to monitor the situation.

My readings over the next few days decreased but not into a zone that I liked. I promised I would go to the doctor. When I phoned for an appointment, mentioned my problem and gave my current reading, the person on the phone said it was too high, to come in that afternoon.

When my blood pressure readings were examined on the computer, I learned that they had been in the high range for some time. Even though I didn’t have headaches or other high blood pressure problems, meds were prescribed. Since I remember a time when my aunt had a serious stroke, I’m not against taking medicine. After all, I’m no longer young.

Making my children happy, I signed up for a well being check next month. I had promised my youngest daughter that I would schedule a doctors visit this year. A visit was arranged as well as a few other tests.

Heading for the pharmacy, I reviewed the past month. “My friends” listen to my problems, and often help. I’m hoping this was the action I needed to take. I really don’t want another fall. The next one might be more dangerous.

I’m taking other positive steps. I need to improve my balance and strength. Exercise is in my daily plan.


My youngest daughter invited me to go to a woman’s retreat hosted by her church. I have attended a few over the years and totally enjoyed each one of them. It is a chance to take a break from my life, spend time with my daughter and see if there are any messages that haven’t gotten through because I’ve been too busy.

Normally the retreat is held in September, this year, it was later, almost November. Cooler weather — winter coats anyone. Thankfully I had already switched my summer clothes for Fall. We had been at the Abbey before, but I had forgotten all the stairs involved in getting from place to place. In the warmer weather, we had just exited the building, walked through the grass and entered where we needed to be. Not wanting to carry a coat around, that wasn’t the option this time.

Thankfully my knees have improved. I don’t know how I would have managed if the retreat was held during the summer. Arriving at the Abbey, before dark, the parking lots were already full. Eight hundred woman had signed up for a refreshing of spirit. My daughter parked close to the spa. And we entered that door. It was building three of five — all of which are joined by hallways and stairs.

I had a pleasant surprise. It had been a four hour drive and since my daughter has an SUV, my knees didn’t hurt. As a matter of fact, I didn’t need the adjustment time that normally occurred when I had been sitting for more than an hour. Our next car might need to be an SUV.

The distance from where we had entered to the front lobby was interesting. Made more interesting when we decided to help a fellow member who was loaded down with luggage, bags and a cooler making her way to building five. We offered helping hands. Many hallways and flights of stairs later we arrived at the lobby, helped by the lobby signs pointing the way. Only to learn that our room was on the first floor, near the spa, in building three.

I was VERY GRATEFUL that I had been taking Arthocin for three months. I hate to think how I would have managed if my knees were still as painful as they had been in the summer. I have to admit that I shared my experience with the Arthocin with many of the woman at the retreat.

I won’t bore you with the minute details — just the highlights. The theme of the weekend was Grace Overflowing. And I noted many times that Grace was Overflowing. It started on the way to the Abbey. We stopped at a Barnes and Noble in Rockford — just to break up the trip. I found a mystery book by Donna Andrews that has given me many hours of laughter — two books in one, at a reduced price. I was unfamiliar with her books and plan to investigate further.

During the opening prayer, I closed my eyes and had a vision of many rosaries — the whole screen filled with strings of beads. Many people praying for not only the retreat but family members, our world and other concerns. The room assignment near the spa gave me signs to follow getting back to our room. We decided that since the car was parked so close to our room, to leave it there and eat at the Abbey. The food was excellent.

I opened the bible on Saturday morning to Psalm 107:21. “Oh, that men would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness and His wonderful works to the children of men.”
Snow showers during Saturday morning. I attended a session on the importance of taking care of your body and soul. The importance of celebrating the Sabbath — taking time to refresh, restore. I talked to the person who was leading the yoga and decided my time would be better spent in the pool and hot tub.

We crashed a party on Saturday of some of my daughter’s friends. The restaurant was completely booked, they had reservations for thirty five, not including us. The manager found a couple of chairs, we became a party of thirty seven and totally enjoyed the buffet of crab legs and prime rib.

Sunday morning, I opened the bible to Isaiah 6:8 “Whom shall I send and who will go for us.” And I laughed.


In the city, BEAUTIFUL FALL DAY — blue skies, sunshine, very windy. I went to the Garden. Thankfully I brought the hat my oldest daughter bought for me in Florida. It has a ties that can keep the hat on when the wind blows. I would have lost the hat at least three times. I almost did when I put it back on and forgot to tie it under my chin.

When I left the house, the temperature was in the low 60’s. I wasn’t sure how warm it would be at the Garden so I wore a long sleeve shirt and a hooded vest. Then I tied my jacket around my waist. I had to laugh when I saw my shadow. In fact, it was so silly that I had to take a photo of the strange person walking ahead of me.

It was late in the year but many flowers were in bloom. I LOVE the roses. When I first entered the Garden, a white rose was high lighted. It had a lovely fragrance. And a lovely name — MOONDANCE. I wander the Garden with camera in hand. I must admit that I probably take the same pictures each time I go. That morning, the sunshine on a bush made the leaves look like silver. A closer inspection revealed that the leaves were really green, no silver any where.

I usually follow the same route when I visit. I arrived just as the bells rang out the hour of noon. This time I decided to be good to my knees. I sat down three different times during the ramble. Each time I decided to sit, I paid attention to the wind and picked a sheltered area. I also made sure that I would be able to get back up. The first time, I looked at a sheltered brick open building but decided to sit on a bench and enjoy the fountain and white mums instead. Soon after I sat down, a dad and his little girl wandered to the space. Perfect place for her to play and good photo opportunities. I was glad I picked the bench.

I wandered down a lane that is full of flowers on both sides. In the spring, tulips and poppies hold court. They are replaced by an assortment of summer — fall varieties. They are the favorite hangout of hummingbirds and photographers. A woman stood at the ready, camera in hand. I asked if hummingbirds were still at the Garden. She replied that they had left but she was on the lookout for Monarch butterflies. She had a bigger camera than mine. When I felt the weight, I was very glad that my camera is SMALL and LIGHT. Her camera was a retirement present to herself. She has tremors in her hand and the speed of the camera keeps the tremors from showing.

The waterfall was still flowing. Another opportunity to sit and listen to the falling, singing water. I wandered to the island just as the bells rang the one o’clock hour. I thought I saw mountain mint, it smelled like mountain mint, but I was surprised when the sign read Russian Sage. If I remember, I would like to get a plant or two for our garden in the country.

After stopping for lunch in the cafe, I left the Garden as the bells chimed two o’clock. I was very surprised — my knees DID NOT hurt. I was also very surprised when I learned that I had walked over 12,262 steps.


I might have mentioned or complained before that my knees were giving me problems. Now the smart thing to do would have been to go to the doctor and get x-rays to determine what was causing the pain. But I didn’t do that. At first I gave my self a time limit — if my knees weren’t better by —–? That day came and went and I still delayed.

I tried to lose weight. My problem is that for the most part, I eat healthy and don’t snack. I eat candy — but I only have a couple pieces of dark chocolate a day. I drink a couple glasses of red wine a day too. But I don’t drink pop or a lot of juice so most of the stuff that is given up to lose weight is not on my eating plan. Nor do I eat a lot of processed food — most of them are high in sodium and I’m restricted. I have been drinking apple cider vinegar with honey in the morning to help my digestion. I think that drink has contributed to my loss of belly fat.
This summer when we were at the camper, I joined others in the pool for aquacize. Exercising in the water was good for my various body parts. I didn’t use any weights so I didn’t stress my shoulder or knees. I was careful when it came to leg exercises. I wish I could say that the pain decreased. If I paid attention to the wear on my shoes and got a new pair in a timely fashion it might have. I didn’t go for the long nature walks that had been my practice in other years.

So I’m rambling on and I bet you are wondering why. I just have to share. I’m so pleased! In August when we were in central Illinois, my husband and I drove to horse county (my granddaughter’s term for Amish). There we visited their bulk food store, stopped for lunch, then visited their health food store.

I asked the young (80’s) man if they had anything that was good for arthritis and he recommended ARTHOCIN — for joint lubrication, flexibility and comfort. 2 pills a day along with Curamin for pain. They only take cash or checks at the store. I didn’t have enough money to buy both so I got the Arthocin. I’m happy to announce that after a month, the pain in both of my knees has diminished. I bought a joint specific Tumeric Curcumin to take for pain until I was able to get Curamin.

We are home at the moment but the pool is closed for the season at the camper. I might look for a pool in the city but we aren’t ready to just stay home yet. I did Jane Fonda’s strength training the other day and was surprised on the emphasis on the knees. I thought I might be in trouble — but thankfully I wasn’t. I’m able to sleep at night without knee pain keeping me awake. This morning I surprised myself when I walked down the stairs like I used to before knee pain. My shoulder is better also.

This morning, I started month two of taking Arthocin morning and evening. I don’t know if I will need to take it long term, but I’m happy with the results and have to share.


I don’t know if I will ever regain my flexibility. I don’t know if I will ever be able to get down onto the floor and easily get back up. I don’t know if I my knees will work like they did when I was young. A couple of years ago I DID NOT feel my age or even really remember it. Sadly the restrictions that I’m experiencing because of my aching body parts remind me that the years have flown by. I have discovered that water exercise is VERY GOOD for me. Our campground has it every weekday morning. If we are at the camper and the day is dry, temperature 70 or above, I’ll be in the pool.

The person who volunteers to lead the exercise has a GREAT routine that helps many of my body’s issues. Weights are available but I have learned that it is better for my shoulder to just use my body weight instead. I have also learned what leg exercises to do and which ones hurt rather than help.

Sounds positive right? Our instructor had to miss a session and arranged for a certified instructor to teach the class. She does water Zumba also. Her warm up exercises where high energy. I should have been paying attention. I WASN’T. I thought moving quickly the width of the pool would be okay. I WAS WRONG. It didn’t take much time before I had a pain in my knee. “You can do this”, I told myself. It wasn’t too much longer when I realized I could not keep up with her. I also wasn’t able to do the gentle exercises my body was used to. I hadn’t acknowledged my limitations. I left half way through the session. By then I realized that not only did I hurt my knee but the pain traveled down to my ankle. I’M NOT THIRTY ANYMORE, OR EVEN SIXTY. It has taken more than two weeks to get my body parts back into the shape they were before. Soon we are leaving for the city. We will be back but will there still be water exercise? I KNOW I’M NOT DOING ZUMBA.

Recently a man came in to the exercise hour. He did not WANT TO EXERCISE,. He wanted to swim — first in the deep by the diving board, then in the deeper water. Before we knew it, he was swimming in the shallower part of the pool, underwater near me. I told him if he wanted to swim, he needed to go into the deep. His actions brought back a memory. Last year a man swam underwater near me, catching my leg and almost removing it. I’m still dealing with the effects of that accident. That probably explains why I don’t go to the open swim. That also explains why I’m having more trouble with the knee — water exercise is helping make it better.

Tag Cloud