Thursday, February 23, 2012

Pacing and Tracking activity throughout the day

One thing I've started doing since about Feb 2011 is using a pedometer to keep track of how far I walk throughout the day. It's been wonderful for me because at the end of the day, I can mentally align it with how I feel and after a week or so I picked out patterns in how I feel. So now I've got a pretty good sense of what I can manage throughout the course of a day without over-botching it (.6 miles over the whole day is my limit) and I know when to stop (if it's a situation I have some control over). It's also nice because I know what to expect at the end of the day after I come home from work; I can guess how I will feel and can rest extra to prevent crashing or just to reset my energy. Plus I get a general sense of how much walking certain activities take (it's surprising how much I walk around my apartment getting ready to go to work, making dinner, etc) and can plan my day around ones that fit well into my allotted steps/distance for the day. I highly recommend it to anyone! My pedometer has been quite the little lifesaver. I've gotten quite a bit of use out of the Omron HJ-112 Digital Pocket Pedometer, and it's quite reliable.

And then! I got this AMAZING gift for my birthday in November from my beaux. It's a bit more expensive but he knows someone who works for the company so he got a hefty discount. My new best friend--Fitbit Wireless Activity/Sleep Tracker, Black/Blue! It's a pedometer/accelerometer that can transmit your information wirelessly to your account on their website. This way you can track your activity throughout the day on a graph (I love graphs! such a nerd I am). You can also wear it on a wristband at night and it tracks the quality of your sleep. And it can count steps (like up a staircase). Not that I can take stairs haha, but maybe one day it might be a useful feature ;) Anyway, you can see your history and it plots a little graph of your sleep and your distance and such over the past 30 days. I'm sure this is way more useful for people who can make actual progress over the period of a month, but sadly there's only noticeable progress over periods of a year for me, c'est la vie.

Anyway, I'm attached at the hip to my pedometer, quite literally. If I leave home without it for even a few hours, I feel almost lost because I haven't tracked that bit of steps and have an incomplete understanding of how much I have left in me. I don't know how I did it before! Is that sad? Maybe a little :) But it's so useful!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

New Lyme Disease Culture Test

I just saw another person's post on Lyme and decided to give my (quick) 2 cents. Forgot to mention, I got the new snazzy Lyme disease test by Advanced Laboratory Services, per recommendation of my CFS specialist doctor at the Holtorf Medical Group in Torrance, CA. He said he was perplexed that I wasn't improving faster (and yet, would refuse to admit if other people he's seen get better faster than me; quite perplexing). The lab cultures your blood samples to see if they can grow little Lyme bacteria, and if they do it comes out positive. It's *supposed* to be much more accurate than what's currently out there right now (Western blots, which are not clear cut, black/white results).

Here is the Advances Lab website with information on the Lyme culture test. Ok, here is the disclaimer. It costs $600 and insurance does not reimburse the cost, even partially (but fingers crossed it will one day). That's not to say I have $600 laying around, but I scrounged, borrowed, etc, and it felt worth it if it means I stand a chance of improving after this finding. Granted, I really don't think I have it since I live in California and only went camping/hiking occasionally and my case of CFS started with a clear cut case of mono that never went away. But at least I'll know I can exclude Lyme!

Anyway, I'll update when I find out more, it takes 2 months for the full results to come back if the preliminary report was inconclusive (which mine was).

Ok, that was much longer than I intended. My wrists hurt :(

Sunday, February 5, 2012

If it's not one thing it's another...

Or really it's just everything all at once! I've finally found a tiny bit of extra energy to invest in developing some interests (ie learning about design, web programming, this blog!) and of course, with the added use of the computer because of all this, I've damaged my wrists with the repetitive motion. I guess laying in bed while using a laptop really isn't helping any, who would have thought. So much for trying to make something of the useless lump that I am :) I've had this pain now for 3-4 months now; while it's gotten better, it's taken typing with one hand and forcing myself to be a lefty. And now my left hand is acting up. Boo.

Sigh. Maybe going back to work after being out for a week+ with a cold will help the wrist situation. My laptop is quite the wrist killer it seems. But, ugh, work. That is the energy killer. Anyway, I will try to save up some wrist strength to write some of the stuff that's been rolling around in my head, hopefully sometime soon.