Recovery | Mt. Greylock

Mt. Greylock, Arthritis, Travel, Hike

My recovery goal was to be on top of a mountain by the time my birthday rolled around. I didn’t care which one, but I wanted to hike. This required over the course of my recovery to rest early and often so I didn’t injure myself or worse, face a relapse. Per doctor’s orders, I was to limit my activity for 8 weeks, and I’m proud to say I followed it. Okay, to be honest, it’s all thanks to Mr. P reminding me! Every time I felt the urge to walk a little bit further or when the weather was perfect for a run, I held back and reminded myself of the quote, “Pay now so you don’t have to pay later”.

The recovery was difficult towards the end since I ended up with the flu. I was literally told by the doctor that if I didn’t get my flu shot, I would’ve ended up in the hospital. I think at the moment, he patted himself on the back, but I was grateful as well. The entire month of April was dedicated towards recovering from the flu, including my husband. It was rough, but we’re finally on the mend, well at least from that journey!

As soon as the 8 weeks were up, I saw a physical therapist twice a week and worked on my exercises at home. I walked every day and started to run, albeit very slow, twice a week. I took this time even more serious than I did the 8 weeks of absolute pure rest because I knew this was a critical step back into my active lifestyle.

So, was I able to make it on the hike?

Yes, yes I did! After approval from the doctor and tips from my Physical Therapist, I hiked Mt Greylock, the tallest mountain in Massachusetts at 3,489 feet and 17 out of 50 tallest in New England. It’s peak located in the northwest corner of the state in the town of Adams in Berkshire County. It’s known for its expansive views of encompassing five states and a seasonal automobile road climbs to the summit, where stands the iconic 93-foot-high lighthouse-like Massachusetts Veterans War Memorial Tower.

Mt. Greylock, Arthritis, Travel, Hike

And recently, J. K. Rowling released a new story telling the origins of a magic school set on top of Mt. Greylock. The short story, released on Pottermore, details the history of the Ilvermorny School of Witchcraft and Wizardy, founded in the 17th century, which is part of the North American school of magic. I strongly feel that all those who have chronic illness are magicians. We make it looks easy to those who are healthy and therefore, those who are healthy are the muggles.  I mean how else do you explain the air I caught in this picture? I’m flying!

Mt. Greylock, Arthritis, Travel, Hike

The days post-hike I had to recover like a mad woman. I was extremely exhausted and not sure if hiking was the best idea. However, as the days passed by, I felt better and better. I continued with walking and supplementing running when I could. Having a goal at the end of my recovery was the true motivation I needed to stay on track during recovery and keep going.

Next goal? A 5 mile race 6 weeks later!

150720_header

FB-transparentTWITTER-transparentINSTAGRAM-transparent PINTEREST-transparentBLOGLOVIN-transparentGPLUS-transparent

Advertisements

how to cope without your medication

During this time of year, colds, flu’s and all sort of nasty bugs are roaming around. So, what are you to do to when you’re recovering from one but can’t take your medication? Well, I’m here to share my wonderful tips!

howtocope

move

 

 

Move more every day. Lack of activity makes my joints more stiff and painful. Therefore my flares can become more intense. However, you don’t need to go out and start running in order to “move”. Stretching in front of the TV or walking to the mailbox are examples of easy exercises you can do. The most important thing to keep in mind when exercising with a chronic illness: Listen to your body!

managestress

 

 

Learn how to manage your stress. This is something I’m constantly working on. Last Saturday, I wanted to have the house 100 percent clean which included all of the dusting, vacuuming, dusting, laundry, and dishes. I did it, but paid the price for my accomplishment because I was 10 days behind my Remicade Infusion. Mr. P immediately drew a bubble bath and played playlist called “a relaxing night” from Songza.com while I relaxed.

Here are some additional ideas on how to manage your stress:

  • do yoga, including meditation and deep breathing. DoYogaWithMe.com is FREE and has some great videos which you can customize to your “flare” level.
  • schedule a gentle massage. For me, I called Massage Envy immediately after canceling my infusion appointment so I could reap the benefits.
  • Take a long, warm bath.
  • Read. There’s nothing like escaping from your reality through a good book!

foodtriggers

 

 

Know what food triggers your flare-ups or increase in pain. If you’re not tracking your food through a food diary like MyFitnessPal, I highly suggest you do. You’ll become more aware of what you’re eating and start to see patterns. Keeping “minimalism” in mind, stay away from processed foods like those frozen dinners, ice cream, chips, and cookies. Although they’re very easy to grab and go, check the nutrition label to see how many ingredients are included, as well as, if there are any ingredients you can’t pronounce. If there are usually more than 7 ingredients and/or include ingredients I can’t pronounce, I don’t buy it or eat it.

foodfighters

 

 

With that in mind, know what foods help you fight flare-ups. I know a ton of chronically ill patients who strongly believe in the Paleo Diet or going Gluten-Free. For me, I know that lean proteins, whole grains, foods that contain Vitamin D like fresh milk from the dairy, and consuming a ton of fruits and veggies help ease my arthritis flares and help keep them far, far away. Which is why I’m such a strong advocate for green smoothies. Here’s a great website to help get you started. Find out what works for you and stick with it strictly during a flare-up.

sleepandrest

 

 

Rest and Sleep. This is sometimes easier said than done and can feel like you’re stuck in a catch-22. You can’t sleep because you’re in so much pain, but you can’t get over your pain unless you sleep. I think if you can’t sleep, definitely try to rest. This can include meditation, reading that good book, playing board games (something like scrabble or checkers), or even a TV binge session. A few of my favorite TV binge shows are: Downton Abbey, Orange is the New Black, Scorpion (brand new, just finished the first half of the season and LOVE IT), Scandal, The Good Wife, and Once Upon a Time. I sometimes like to schedule a day like this once a month to force myself to rest, especially if there been a consecutive amount of activities in the weeks prior.

 

How do you cope without your medication? Next time, I’ll talk about what products I use.

signature_2014Jan17 FB-transparentTWITTER-transparentINSTAGRAM-transparent PINTEREST-transparentBLOGLOVIN-transparentGPLUS-transparent