Tag Archives: arthritis

Review – Renard Compression Socks

I received a pair at a discounted price for review purposes via Tomoson.com.  My views are my own and I do not recommend anything if I don’t believe in it. 

The muscle and joint aches after a solid workout are manageable for the most part until the next day.  That’s when I really feel it, especially after leg day.  Foam rolling, stretching, and muscle rub just don’t do enough after ambitious leg days. Add in the misfiring pain messages (thanks, Fibromyalgia) and Arthritis and I want to skip leg day for weeks. I wear a compression sleeve on my knee and wrap on my ankle when the pain gets bad, but had not considered compression socks until after the 5K in January.  I loved how good my back and shoulders felt after the run/walk and I think the compression top likely played a role.  I know the support for my knee and ankle made a difference, too. renard off

I’ve checked prices on compression socks and leg sleeves and decide I could try them later.  You know, when my wallet felt heavier. I was approached with an offer to purchase my first pair of compression socks at a deep discount and figured it couldn’t hurt.  I am now officially in love with Renard Compression Socks. Sorry, hubby.

Why Renard Compression Socks?  According to Renard (and others), they provide muscle support and functionality, increase blood circulation, inhibit accumulation of lactic acid, all of which reduce soreness after a workout.  I decided to put them to the test while lifting, walking, and in general when a pain flare kicked in.  I felt like I could go further while walking and hit the 4 mile mark at close to a 4 mph pace.  I felt it in my shins and calves while speeding up, but that feeling was fleeting and did not result in excessive soreness or pain the next day.  My feet were also dry thanks to the breathable Nylon/Spandex blend.

I tried them a second time on leg day.  Oh, man, was it leg day.  There were squats, lunges, and deadlifts for what felt like days.  I finished with a good stretch and put my feet up afterward.  I expected pain the next day, but did not feel as much as I expected.  Renard promises calf and shin support and I had it. My thighs, however, were not as pleased.  Then again, they were not covered by compression gear. 

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On the third try, it was just a pain flare day.  My ankles were swelling and I had leg cramps.  I decided to slip on the compression socks to see if they would reduce the pain in my legs so I could sleep.  They did!  I felt a reduction in ankle pain and the leg cramps seemed to fade.  Compression socks were like a constant massage – a gentle, yet effective massage.  I felt fantastic the next morning and couldn’t believe the difference that type of support made.

Like I said, I’m now in love with Renard Compression Socks.  The best part, they’re on sale right now for $15.99 a pair on Amazon and they fit over my healthy runner’s calves.

Do you use compression gear?  What is your favorite type?

Healing by any means

No, this is not another ‘no longer vegan,’ posts.  It’s just a commentary on trying work around meds and supplements that aren’t exactly veg-friendly. 

It’s a struggle,  y’all.  Not sticking to my way of eating, but trying to find vegan supplements and meds.  I’ve found many that work, but not all are veg-friendly.   Does it make me less compassionate?   No.  It means I’m one of the many dealing with this.

If you choose to judge me based on this mindset, so be it. Step into  body on a high pain day(well, week)  and talk to me afterward.  I’m doing what needs to be done while I find the optimal balance.

Does it mean veg-friendly instead of certified vegan supplements?   If the veg-friendly products work best, yes.  Does it mean dealing with meds that have no vegan alternative?   Yes, unfortunately.   Does it make me sad?  Yes.

I need to keep it together while on the journey.   On days like today, that means healing by any means necessary.

Having a bad night

I need to just write a while to keep things honest.

It’s been a good weekend so far.  The pre – holiday food shopping is done, hubs had an extra day off, I completed training on a new project, and the weather’s been great.

It’s been a busy day, so I’m not upset about needing a little extra time to wind down.  Then the pain creeped up a little.   I started deep breathing, but needed something more.  I took Advil and Melatonin,  then went to bed.

I laid here a while, started deep breathing again, then realized I needec zometjing stronger than Advil.  I took half a dose of something stronger and went back to bed.

Out of nowhere,  my hands hands began to ache.  I looked down to see the puffy knuckles of arthritis and Fibro.

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I’m covered in pain relied cream, full of pain relievers, and still feeling 80% of the pain that forced me to reach for the meds.

Nights like this make me sad.  It’s frustrating how quickly a pain flare can steal my joy.  My mind wanders to thoughts of what the next 10 years could bring.  My spine is already 20 years older than my chonological age.  I’m already having trouble with my grip.  Fear clouds my thoughts and blocks the light.

But I can see the sun.  I refuse to let the clouds steal it from me.  I will have bad times, but there will be good times, too.  I just to ride it out.  After some sleep.

Here’s to better days.

 

Need turmeric? Try Turmerex.


I know my post yesterday focused on how my current protocol has little to no effect on my pain flares.  But before and after flares, I’m relatively pain-free. I’ve found the combination of prescription meds and nutritional supplements that work for me. Vegetarian-friendly formulas for Glucosamine and MSM, Magnesium, Calcium, and Zinc, protein and superfood blends, and turmeric work wonders.

Because I’ve shared far and wise about my love of turmeric and its benefits, Vitavana approached me and offered a free bottle of its professional-grade supplement.  I gave it a try and definitely feel the difference between it and a lesser-quality supplement.

 

Turmerex Turmeric 95% Extract comes in a easy-to-swallow vegetarian capsule.  Each capsule contains 712.5mg of curcumin and 5 mg of BioPerine.  Curcumin is the active compound in turmeric that’s reported to help reduce inflammation and boost the immune system.  BioPerine is a patented form of black pepper that boosts the body’s ability to absorb the curcumin.  It does not upset my stomach, even when the recommended daily dose is doubled. I take mine in the morning with breakfast because when I don’t, I feel it. Unlike some supplements, Turmerex has no real flavor and I can easily swallow it without water.  I also add turmeric to my food daily.  It’s included in at least one meal every day when I’m at home or have a prepared dish with me.

Life before turmeric and life with turmeric are totally different.  I do not ache as much with it in my protocol. I could not tell you how much the inflammation is reduced, but it is.  I am not as still or creaky first thing in the morning of after a longer session working at my desk.

Remember, I am not a health professional.  Anything I share here has been tried by me, and sometimes the experiments are unsuccessful.  I recommend you discuss any changes in your protocol with your doctor. 

If you make turmeric supplementation a part of your protocol, give Turmerex a try.  Each 60-capsule bottle is $39.95 with free shipping if you have Amazon Prime.  Vitavana offers a 60-day money back guarantee, so you could try the bottle and risk-free.  Turmerex is made in the US in an NSF-certified, FDA-compliant facility.

I’ll share more about what I take and why in other posts.  What works for me may not work for you.

Do you take turmeric?

Flare week two

Your friendly neighborhood Sherrie isn’t feeling very friendly.   The frustration,  anger, sadness, and grump are strong in this one.

Frustration stems from an inability to control pain when it’s in an uncontrollable state.  My daily routine, relaxation,  and even meds only aggravate the pain sensors and make me stabby.

Anger comes from the same place as frustration,  but is magnified by the limited mobility, lack of meaningful exercise,  and fear of the flare continuing past week two.

Cue the sadness.  Once fear comes around,  the tears are sure to follow.  I’m only 46.  If this is what 46 feels like, what will 56 bring?   If I need assistance to stand now, I might need more assistance later.  And what if the degeneration speed increases with time?  How am I supposed to train when I can barely stand?  

Yes, it gets that bad sometimes.  It’s hard to tell when people see me smiling and pushing through.

Once anger passes, the general grump sets in.  Why are people calling me?  Why do I need to cook?  These dogs need to feed themselves.   Bah, humbug.

The longer the flare, the longer this cycle lasts.  I know flares are temporary,  but while living through one, logical thinking flies out the window.  And laughs at me.

Why do I share?  Because it helps keep me sane.  And to let anyone reading this know that the feelings are real and you’re not crazy.  Or alone.  Chronic conditions can do a number on your body, mind, and spirit.

If you need me, give me an hour or so.  I’m riding out the flare from my bedside workstation.   Thank you, flexible scheduling!

Peace.

Inside a Fibro flare

All pain sucks.  It sucks the energy out of the body and mind.  Extended pain due to injuries takes a toll on the injured.  Days (or weeks) of pain seem impossible to handle until the pain eases as the injury heals.  With spinal issues, I ache daily.  When Fibromyalgia rears its ugly head, it’s agony.  Before it fully attacks, Fibro toys with me.  It pokes, prods, and smacks at different body parts before jumping on full force.  Fibromyalgia makes pain worse.

The early indications of a fibro flare throw my days off.  Yesterday started off great.  We attended the boy’s apprenticeship signing ceremony and had a fairly relaxing morning after that.  By early afternoon,  a dizzy spell hit that took me out for a few hours.  Out cold.  I didn’t see it coming.  By early evening,  my ankle began to tingle.  Tingle isn’t the right word, exactly.   The pain fell between a tingly sensation and pins and needles.   When it happened,  I knew – June’s flare is coming.

This morning,  on went the anke support.  Suppirts ease the pain and keeps those joints stable.  By 9 am, the knees, elbow, and shoulder tingling kicked in. All at once, the discomfort level rose.  I made a note to change my training plans (no lifting) and took the preemptive dose of anti-inflammatory herbs and meds.  By 10:30, my overall pain level went from 3 to 7 as my spine joined the pain party.  I had to switch from a seated to reclining position for work.  By day’s end, I’ll resort to prescription medication and an early bedtime.

The pain will either increase or remain at the 8-9 range for a few days.  Light either annoys me or hurts.  Sunglasses outdoors are a must, even if I’m in the yard with the dogs.  Otherwise,  it feels like heat rays boring into my brain.  There is no movement without pain and no comfortable position.   I’ll smile and socialize, but I’d rather be aslleep until the the flare passes.  I’ll eat because I have to,  not because I’ll want to or enjoy it.

Within a week, the pain level will drop to the 5-7 range with occasional spikes to 7-9.  Within two weeks,  I’ll be back to my usual self.  Some flares end sooner while others drag on for weeks.  While the general symptoms stay about the same,  something new pops up from time to time.  In May, it was a shap, stabbing pain in my hip sockets.

That’s what it’s like for me when a flare strikes.  If someone you know mentions a flare, be kind.  They’re not trying to blow you off.  Pain makes people angry, sad, frustrated,  and forgetful.  And hopefully,  it’s only temporary.

Until next time, I may or may not be in a blanket fort with a book or two and the Roku remote.  Peace.

One week into 21-Day Fix

Thank you, Autum Calabrese!  The 21-Day Fix is legit!



I’m proof that just about anyone can do the workouts and I had a good first week even with the modified moves and schedule! You know by now that I have to modify any program I’m on thanks to the crumbling spine.  I cannot (but can) belive I still had a successful week as far as weight and inch loss.

I made sure I ate my reds, greens,and blues every day without fail. Greens went into my smoothies along with fruit – even cabbage and broccoli.  I ate Soy Curls, tofu, beans, hemp seeds, and Gardein.  I counted oranges and teaspoons with nuts, nut butter, flax seeds and touches of oil in salads, oatmeal, and on bread. (Note:  Sherrie needs garlic bread with pasta!)  Starchy yellows included bread, rice, and oats.  When I ate Gardein as protein, I ate half to three-quarter sized yellows.  When I used beans as protein, I measured them in yellow containers and added more green to my meal.  My blues included homemade hemp and coconut milks.  I didn’t cheat last week.  I also didn’t eat on schedule thanks to a couple of crazy days.

For training, I alternated Upper, Lower, Total Body, and Cardio Fix with PIlates Fix and Yoga Fix to aid in my recovery.  I had a bad day on Thursday, so I did two short sessions with Tony Horton and a short walk.  Ten Minute Trainer is a great one for people short on time.

My results?  1 pound down and lost inches in my waist and hips.  Yes, inches plural.  I lost two inches off my waist and one off my hips.  I’ll take it!  I don’t usually care that much about the scale, but weighed in to prove that modification still yields results.

I cannot wait to see what the next two weeks brings!  I’m checking out Team Beachbody Club and Beachbody on Demand and will substitute a workout from 21-Day Fix Extreme, Focus T-25, P90X, P90X2, P90X3, Insanity, Asylum, RevAbs, Turbo Fire, or any of the other streaming workouts available on BOD.  If you like mixing it up or want to try a program before you buy, BOD rocks!

Here’s to another week of eating clean and training.  It doesn’t matter how you train – be consistent and go as hard as you can.  If you want to join me, just give me a shout.  I’ve got your back.

Note:  The images link to my Team Beachbody Store.  If you want or need support or accountability and don’t have a coach, pick up 21 Day Fix or any other program and I’ll be your coach.  You can join for free if you’re not ready to commit to a program yet and just need some help.  I’m here for you.

See ya, January! Happy February!

I’m glad to see January 2015 go. It was a craptacular month and I don’t think I could easily handle a second month of it. An annoying reason I hated the month is the setback. Grr, the setback. But, January is over and February is here. I’m ready for it.

I tried to post this yesterday, but the January Kick Ass continued for an extra day. My saved pots disappeared three times.  I was not amused.

My goals this month are to get my eating back on track and learn more about what ails me. Research might drive some people crazy, but it helps me feel like I have more control. The Fibromyalgia quirks and tummy issues don’t bother me as much since I have an idea what to expect. I hope that makes sense. I wonder sometimes if it does. If it doesn’t, I blame Fibro Brain. 🙂

And speaking of research, I picked up this goodie a few days ago. candida

Ricki Heller‘s blog is one of my favorite stops and I know the advice in this book in my hands will make a huge difference.  I’ll share more about the book and recipes here and in my Examiner column.  If you need sugar-free, gut-healing whole food recipes, take a look.

I was advised to consider the possibility of candida overgrowth a little over a year ago.  I took the assessment and scored in the top range before I completed the whole thing.  Oy.  Overachiever, I am.  These recipes work with my eating plan.  I just have to tweak things here and there.

For fitness, I’m starting another round of 21 Day Fix starting on February 8.  21 Day Fix Extreme drops today, but I am not ready for that one.  Both 21DF and 21DFX are designed to get you on track with 30 minute workouts (yes), an easy clean eating plan, and quick results.  All moves include a modifier front and center and only minimum equipment is required.  I’ll use resistance bands and my favorite exercise mat.  If you’d like more information on either program, give me a shout or visit my store.

21 day fix dvd
30 minutes a day, clean eats, and modified moves that even I can do. Love it!

 

Do you have specific plans or goals for February? If you need or want support and encouragement, give me a shout.  If you’re following a different program, it’s all good. This is all about support for whatever your goals are. Swing by Facebook and say hi.

Until next time, be good to yourself.  Remember that you are not alone and that you are your competition.

Peace!

 

Stormy Weather

Just call me the human barometer.

A nasty thunderstorm popped up a little over an hour ago.  I knew it was coming because I felt it in my bones.  My already sore knee and ankle went into overdrive.  Pain that burns, tingles, and feels numb at once.  Then my shoulder decided to join in.  The day went from awesome to holy crap in just a few hours.  The plan before the flare was to get some cooking and organization going.  It hasn’t changed,  but the timetable has.  Instead of going nuts in there, I’ll tackle cooking today and finish organizing over the weekend.   Listening to my body makes a huge difference in my good and bad days.  I hope you listen to yours.

What are you up to?  How’s the weather where you are?  No matter what it’s like,  I hope you have a great weekend.

Happy Friday, all! What’s shaking?

So, what’s shaking?  The same old thing here, but with a little more happy.

If it seems like I’m extra happy right now it’s because I am.  I went to physical therapy as usual on Wednesday and was released as a pt client.  That means I’ve improved enough that I can start the work on my own.  While I plan to stay on as a wellness client (to use that fab Endless Pool), I’m also going to slowly get back to my old activity level.  Part of my ramped up activity includes more low impact bodywork, including PiYo.

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I’m sure you’ve heard of PiYo by now because it’s the newest Beachbody release from Chalene Johnson – love her!  It’s a home version of the PiYo classes offered in clubs all over the place.  I need low impact workouts like Pilates and yoga so that I don’t hurt myself or slow my recovery.    As much as I love 21-Day Fix, even the modified movements are too much for me right now.  I’ll go back to it when I get the all-clear to do so.

There’s no shame in admitting that you need a change and moving on.  Never feel ashamed or let anyone tell you that you’re lazy because you recognize your limits and are working around them .  Do not ignore them for the sake of proving you’re not lazy.  It’s better to work harder and smarter than to go all out when you’re body is unable.   Trust me, I fell into that trap and did much more harm than good.  

Now back to my regularly scheduled message. 

PiYo has a six days on, one off weekly schedule.  Because I’m going to listen to my body, my plan is to start with three days of PiYo with one day of aquatic therapy each week.  I’ll train for a day and take the following day off.  On my rest days, I’ll still get in my usual five to ten minutes of gentle yoga and walking.   My eating plan will stay about the same for now with one exception.   Gluten has to go, doc’s orders.

So that’s what I’m up to.  If you want to know more about PiYo, my eating plan (regular and cheat day), or how I modify fitness and eating plans to suit my needs, give me a shout.   I’m on Facebook and all over social media.  Just look for Sherrie Thompson or WAHMinSC.  I’d love to hear from you.