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So I am 60! --- Now What?

Discussion in 'Fitness Journals' started by Justitia, Apr 6, 2008.

  1. Justitia

    Justitia Elite Member
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    Well... not yet... but getting closer. I broke my clean eating on Thursday through today (Saturday), though it wasn't too bad. Not like in the past. And the only think I ate today that was not clean was about half of a Ciabatta bun with my Angus beef burger -- which I bought at a restaurant.

    SO my size 10 pants are getting a little tight again but not too bad. I have re-stocked with temporary supplies of healthy food until I get over this hump. By next Friday, I should be OK.

    My courses will be under control finally. This past week and this coming week is a bear because I am getting my students underway in writing their research papers. My seminar for some reason is unusually large and I have individual conferences with each of my students and repeats next week for those who got a little stuck. It's a lot of fun because I am motivating them each to find a topic that they are interested in thinking about and exploring themselves.

    I give my students wide latitude as to what is acceptable because the real purpose of the seminar (and all students have to take some course with a major writing paper) is to teach them how to write, think about ideas and then put them together in some insightful way. The only way that can really be done is if they are working on something they want to work on.

    So my seminar is technically about business law but my requirement is that money somehow has to be involved and there must be some legal ramifications to what they are thinking about.

    I give them pretty tried and true strategies for finding a topic. I make them do a 15 hour research venture before class even starts and make them come in with at least 2 topic if not 3. Some breeze right through this phase others struggle and some don't even do the work. They think I can't tell but it is pretty evident. Those present the biggest challenge but in a certain way they are the easiest to get going though the most time consuming.

    I usually just sit there with them and do the actual work with them. Because my technique really works -- it is very simple -- but sounds incredibly boring but in fact it isn't. I first try to get a glimmer of what really grabs them through chatting and then we start going to the journals online and start doing a search. I suggest some search terms that I think may be of interest but I make them pick which one they want to use. so we start plugging away at the data bases and see what articles start coming up. I read the list of titles allowed and I tell them to say no as soon as they can tell from the title it doesn't interest them. When they hesitate -- I ask " well do you want to look inside -- it only takes a sec -- see if it is of interest to you."

    They usually say yes -- because the reason they hesitated on that title is because they are starting to get interested, not just in the topic but in their own thoughts... That's what is critical -- that they get engaged n their own intellect. Many of them have had limited experience with this before if at all -- that is why they are at my law school and not a better one (though the quality of our students is going steadily up.)

    So I sit there with them, open up the article and tell them to just read the first paragraph -- see if it interests them. Usually the first one or two doesn't but now they are beginning to see what it means to find something interesting. They usually suggest a different search term and we pull up the list of articles that come up with that. Usually by the 3rd or 4th one, they see one that definitely interests them, We go inside, they read the first paragraph and tell me if they find it interesting. Usually after about 2 or 3 of them on this second round there is one that really interest them. Then I say well lets go to this article's footnotes (in legal scholarship, everything is footnoted to death... you have to relate every thing you say to anything that came before. And so there are always a ton of articles being cited....

    So we scan through the titles of these articles and they go "wait -- that one looks really interesting... open that up." and so we do -- and if they like it I email it to them right them and there so they know they have it in their hands so to speak. But the critical thing is that now they are telling me what to do ... rather than my sort o nudging trying to entice them, try to get them to reveal what's going on in their head. Now that is over and they have taken over and take control... because it is their interest that is driving them... I am irrelevant at that point.

    And usually for these type of students .. they can't believe that there this stuff out there that people are writing about that they have a particular interest in. Once they realize that and know now they just have to find it ... mining data-bases with search techniques... they are raring to go.

    My last one on Thursday was someone like that .... totally unprepared...never did this on his own, though of course he claimed he did. And I said, "really, in all the whole world of writing you couldn't find anything,,, at alll... that interested you!?!" He said no, not really... So we started... just as I described. For his topic he started to get really interested in, I knew I had to get him into a database I didn't know if he, as a student, had access to. We had already looked at it through my portal and he found a slew of articles on a topic that was really intriguing him.
    So I walked him over to the law library, we talked to the reference person-- she was a little behind the times (law librarians are supposed to be NEVER behind the times -- they are real professionals) so she had no idea. SO I said let's try and I started to see if I could sign him up. He was so impatient with how slow I was typing his email address, etc. that he finally pushed me aside... :lol: got himself on and was so psyched that he had unlimited access to all these articles, he just about jumped in the air.. :lol:

    So as we walked out, I started to ask him " well do you feel yo are enough on your way that you can get going from here?" But before I even got the sentence out he said "I am going to crush this this weekend... :quadzilla: " and he was just beaming and just couldn't wait until he could get home and onto his own computer. He shook my hand and went running off to the elevator...

    That took about an hour and 15 minutes... but it was so worth it.

    Those kind of experiences really get me really psyched. And each student has their own deal... and we get to work on it together ... we can also chat a bit more freely about particular things they're interested in that one wouldn't want to take up a whole class's attention on. And all the students have such a wide range of interests and I find everything they are interested in interesting.

    But 16 of them in 3 days on top of my teaching -- I am getting a new art exhibit ready for the law school art gallery -- I am chair of our Institutional Review Board -- which is the university body that explores all research proposals that involve human beings to make sure that the subjects are duly protected... The charge is under the Federal Statute guarding proper care for human experimentation. Our university never really put into place a proper procedure and though our studies are all some form of data studies and surveys, there are risks privacy violations and emotional intrusions and the IRB's job is to consider all research proposals carefully.

    SO I've been charged by the Provost to clean this all up and implement good procedures. It's kind of a mess... and it is tapping into both my skills as a data analyst and as a lawyer... not something that happens too often... and my innate compulsion to organize disorder.

    But it is really time-consuming... I had to get a lot of training.. I am fortunate that there are some very bright and able research social scientists on staff who have a lot of experience in the area I can call on for counsel.

    Anyway, it is a good group I am working with ... we feel very productive... and so it goes.

    But everything should be under control by the end of Thursday. I probably will not be able to workout this week... cardio if I am lucky.

    I am writing this as a way to unwind. I got home from the office at 3:30 Am. I can't keep going, working like this.. but I really believe it will not be much longer.
     
  2. Chopaholic

    Chopaholic Well-Known Member

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    Well, yeah, it would be exhausting to be so awesome! :claphigh:

    I want to take a class with you! :nod:
     
  3. Justitia

    Justitia Elite Member
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    You're sweet.... :) You would be a fabulous student and I sort of suspect you would take over the class... and that would be a delight to see... :nod:


    Well, another student saved from herself. This was also over an hour. I ahd 5! students today -- all repeats... They are moving forward but it is inching forward...

    The one I referred to in my previous post, I meet with him tomorrow. But I have a feeling he really will have "crushed this!" He's very bright.
     
  4. Justitia

    Justitia Elite Member
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    I had my sinus surgery 2 days ago. It lasted 4 !/2 hours -- an hour longer than ti was supposed to.

    I was in the recovery room for 5 hours when they expected it to be under 2. I was in so much pain but not where the surgery was but like massive toothaches. They could not give me enough drugs to kill it. It started to subside after about 3 hours. My doc, who is young, -- I think was a little freaked out by the pain I was suffering. He said nobody ever suffered from that before -- it is normally just a sore throat from the incubation. I kept saying I thought it was "referral" pain -- I was using the wrong term. But I meant a common dental phenomenon when pain with respect to one tooth is felt by other teeth. After 3 hours the anesthesiologist came by to check that it had nothing to do with the anesthesia. He was an older more experienced guy -- and he used the proper term -- he was pretty sure it was "referred" pain. I've had that before -- it is exactly what it felt like - so it was comforting to hear him come up with the same diagnosis. By the end of the evening it was all gone.

    But the good news is -- 1. no fungus at all in my sinus cavities, no black mold nothing like that. So I don't have to move.

    2. This may not sound like good news but it is -- the ENT said he found a huge pile of infection in my left cheek. He had never seen that before. He said that usually the course of antibiotics gets rid of any infection before the surgery and then the surgery is to get rid of any infected tissue. He said that I will probably start feeling more energized. He also believes it was connected with the dental work I had done.

    I am pretty sure I know what happened. When I lost additional teeth on the left, when one of them was pulled the dentist found a huge pocket of puss and pulled it out. It probably had leaked through the other side. I had continuous dental pain over there for the last two years -- but the dentist kept insisting that there was nothing wrong.

    I am assuming that given my ENT's surprise -- all the x-rays and MRI's are not able to show this kind of infection. But I know exactly when I started to lose my energy. It was the fall 2006 -- ^ months after the dental stuff started. It was also when I had my hysterectomy and I went back to work too soon.

    But my primary care physician kept suspecting black mold. given my symptoms. But it was the infection building up that was just staying permanently -- draining my energy.

    Since the surgery I've been reading studies and they are discovering that a lot of people who go in for sinus surgery find a chronic fatigue they had been living with lifted and that within a year their energy levels returned to where they were before all this started.

    It was about the time of the build up of the infection that I found it increasingly harder to get myself to work out. And then repeated injuries related to the hysterectomy to finally the herniated disc.

    It was like the perfect storm of medical problems.

    But I am already feeling better. I hope it is not a placebo effect -- but I do feel like a drain on my energy has stopped. But we will see.

    Unfortunately, I am back on the d*mn steroids. My weight at the doctor's for my preop was 167 lbs and that is after I lost weight from my previous round of steroids. Last August I was 154 lbs up from 149 before I had to stop working out.

    So I think just as when I was put on steroids for back surgery 16 years ago - I put on about 30 lbs -- which took years to get off -- I suspect I put on about 20 lbs during the fall steroid bout and lost about 8 of it (I wouldn't weigh myself -- I was too disheartened.) So now I will probably put that 8 back on again -- but I am being much more careful about the food. I am making sure I do not touch one drop of sugar. That is a trigger food for me.

    I have one more day of 30 mg of steroids and then 4 days of 20 mg and then 4 days of 10 and I am off. I started 4 days before surgery at 40mg. So after tomorrow -- I should see a drop in the water weight. It is amazing how my belly swelled up in just days.

    But I am really feeling optimistic now. Before -- with all my false starts back -- it was more emotional determination that my body couldn't follow. Now I feel my body wanting to work-out too.

    I can't do anything for at least another week, maybe 10 days. Actually I don't know how long.

    Fortunately, my ENt is not only young but he works out.Not lifting weights but he gets up an hour early to work out every morning -- swimming, cardio.... So he will know when I can go back. It really takes a physician who works out himself to give one good guidance -- otherwise they are excessively cautious -- and they find the whole workout routine a little weird.

    So when I am ready to get back to working out -- it will be time for a new thread. :nod:
     
  5. zero to hero

    zero to hero Active Member

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    Really glad to hear that the root of your problems has finally been identified and rectified. It will take a bit of time but I am sure you will be stronger in every sense in the not too distant future, good luck :D
     
  6. Jedi

    Jedi Well-Known Member

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    Really keeping my fingers crossed that this surgery/discovery will put this energy zapping, painful time behind you:nod:
     
  7. Chopaholic

    Chopaholic Well-Known Member

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    So did he excise the tissue? How will you know that this is rectified?

    I am so happy to hear that things went smoothly! :love:
     
  8. Justitia

    Justitia Elite Member
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    Well -- these days the drs use minimum invasive techniques. What the doctor found was a huge pile of stored puss that had built up in m cheek and was just sitting there. (You may use the barf smiley here... :p)

    He of course cleaned that out as well as any tissue he felt necessary. It was mostly to open up passages and correct a deviated septum. He said it was so clear that this pile of puss was the cause of all my problems that he didn't even bother to take a culture. He will when I got to the office and he cleans my sinuses out again, later this week.

    Recent studies are showing that, other than to open up passages, most tissue in the sinus cavity is rarely infected. It is the mucus that carries it -- so removing tissue is more likely to cause damage than any good. And with the new surgical implements (they have one of those endo type names) and techniques, little tissue is ever removed.

    I have to irrigate my sinus passages 3 times a day with a warm saline solution (NeilMeds) and spray my nose once an hour. This to keep things moist and remove any caked up mucous and/or blood. By today, most of that is gone.

    I can't believe how well I can breathe.

    I always had problems breathing -- particularly when I was younger running. I always breathed through my mouth because it was such an effort to breathe through my nose.

    Lying on my back during sleep was equally uncomfortable for the same reason. Stomach sleeping was always terrible for my back.

    It is day 4 post surgery -- and I've already emailed my ENT asking when I cam start back with weights. My body wants to now; not just my spirit.

    I can't believe how fast my energy is coming back. And they say it keeps on improving for up to a year. :spaz:

    So --I have begun starting cleaning up my apartment -- something I've been saying I was going to do 3 years ago and never could carry through on. My place looks like squatters have lived here for years -- things just kept piling up because I did not have the energy to do them.

    Anyway -- here I am off to another energized day.. :nod:
     
  9. Chopaholic

    Chopaholic Well-Known Member

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    :barf:

    You are, hands down, the grossest person I know. :nod:
     
  10. Justitia

    Justitia Elite Member
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    I did cardio 3 times this week for the first time in a long time. My food was not perfect but except for eating some of the chocolate form a box given to me by a student I was eating only food on my plan.

    I am not yet there back into working out regularly and eating consistently well but I am inching closer and closer.

    I can feel it this time. The infection in my sinuses is gone. My herniated disc is healed, my shoulder impingement in 90% recovered -- I think I need to get to a doctor to find out why it is not healing 100& -- I suspect a bone spur in the rotator cuff area.

    It just feels like slow but steady progress back to the frame of mind and activity level I had 3 years ago before I started in my medical dental odyssey.

    Technically I can start weight next week post-surgery. It will be more than 2 weeks and the doc said I can start after that. But he is away on vacation and I won't see him until next Wednesday. I am a little scared to start without him seeing me first for a second time.

    But as long as I ma moving in the right direction and this week is better than last week over all-- I am happy.
     
  11. Seltzer

    Seltzer Elite Member

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    Justitia, I'm so happy to read that your energy is returning and that it looks as if your medical problems of the past few years are finally in the rear view mirror.
     

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