Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Parkinson's Update or Parking Lot Deal

We drove to Anchorage today to participate in a parking lot swap of money and goods. Eggs for money,  that is. 11 dozen of them.  The Anchorage group replenished my carton stock.

While in the parking lot, we decided to go ahead and visit Michael's neurologist for a 3 month check.  😏 Pesky symptoms were noted - increasing "off"/Parkinsonism times and restless leg. These  could possibly be controlled better by upping medication. He was also offered some occupational therapy for a few areas where she thought it may improve "functionality."  At this point, we opted to skip the offers. Michael says the "off times" - tremors, rigidity, balance issues -  don't bother him overly much, and we don't get worked up over things such as flying peas and leaping lettuce. (Though I am going to look at some weighted or gyro silverware online.)  Michael is at the level if he ups doses we've been warned he  may begin to experience dyskinesia - think Michael J Fox. Here's a one minute clip if you want to see, or know, more about dyskinesia.   Michael chose to deal with what he is already dealing with rather than increasing drugs. He'd like to increase drugs as slowly as possible...he's young and has years on this journey.  They were fine with that choice.

This was our first appointment in a while where we didn't come out with another med, upped medications,  or another round of one kind of therapy or another. It was good. We will go back in in 4 - 6 months.

We ran other errands in town and got back in time for me to grab a salad before heading to the church for Bible study. Stacia has taken over Tuesday dinners and it is an incredible help. No photos but she made Chicken Parmesan, garlic lemon green beans, and rice.

It was a very long day.

We Choose Health

The kids and I are all-in on a new health initiative. Quite simply, "We choose health." For the kids this means portion control and cutting back on sugar. I compared the recommendations from the VA dietitian*  and the USDA website for a calorie goal and  idea of what a 17 and 14 yo should be getting. Surprised to see the changes at USDA - it lines up fairly close with the Nutritarian life-style....the difference being where one gets protein, though the USDA now lists several plant based protein sources and doesn't recommend dairy for those over 18.  

For Alex and I, choosing health means an hour a day on exercise equipment...Stacia works out with Arielle and YouTube videos.  

I have begun to drastically restrict sugar, have eliminated white foods (except cauliflower) from my diet, as well as preservatives and added fat. Because I hear this so often,  I GET MY FATS - nuts, avocados, coconut oil, nut butters.... I also GET PLENTY OF PROTEIN. My doctors repeatedly check and I'm always at the "high" level of normal. Michael does his own thing,  no one really understands what that is, but he is encouraging to us all. The deal is, if we don't feel good about our progress in 3 months we're joining a national program. 

It helps that Stacia is not baking 2 - 3x a week. Alex and I have done great getting rid of sugar. We've had a bit each week....maybe once a week....but not every time it's available. I'm working down to going off of added sugar completely by March 10th. I need to pace myself! ::snort:: 

Stacia made some GIANT chocolate chip cookies. YIKES. I said I was going to eat one...and I had 1/2 and saved the other 1/2. Saved cookies will go stale and then they are no longer tempting.  I call my new revelation the "secret of 1/2," and it works well.   Alex resisted for 2 days...and then I saw this happening. 

Look at her face! 

I told him to eat it slowly and savor it.... it is o.k to splurge once in awhile....after all he's young and hungry. He IS learning to fill up on produce. I figure he'll branch out to other options in a week or two.

In our first two weeks we lost a combined total of 14 - 15 lbs....Obviously, Alex and I are losing the most out the gate. That is ONE advantage I have in this marathon....I started needing to lose 35% of my weight....so I am losing quicker than poor Arielle with a measly 10 lbs she'd like to lose. ::Snort:: My goal is to re-establish a clean nutritarian eating plan, re-establish a workout plan which has me moving 6 days a week, and lose 5% of my body weight by Easter.

The rest don't seem to need baby goals. LOL

*In Anchorage we were told Michael's dependents could be on the VA's program....which includes exchanges, food journaling, and a weekly weigh-in/motivational meeting. When we talked about signing up  at the clinic in the Valley they INSISTED only Michael could sign up. Blech!