Kick-Off to Summer {Life Lately}

1. Once the days start getting longer and the temperatures start to rise, I just find it so much harder to be connected to technology once I get home from work. While I have SO MUCH I could share on this space, it’s difficult to find the motivation to spend the hour-ish to sit down and plug away the all the words going on in my head. I don’t like to just put words on paper screen; I proofread, add/edit photos, and add any links as appropriate. Some days (like right now!), that time doesn’t come until after 9:00 at night… and then by that point it’s a question of – what else should I be doing? Going to bed early to get more than 6 hours of sleep (if I’m getting up early for the gym)? Prepping for tomorrow? Cleaning? Just relaxing and enjoying myself for a few minutes? So tough!

2. 2017 just isn’t my year. I had a second tragic family death in my family just two weeks ago. Please keep my family in your prayers!

3. Guys, I’ve been struggling (warning, this is about to get deep).

So in July of 2014 I had a very stupid accident on my bike (involving a parked car…) and have suffered with knee pain ever since. Long story short, I wasn’t in pain immediately after the accident but my knee froze up the next day. After two weeks of excruciating pain (at night), I made an appointment with my doctor where he put me through 4 months of physical therapy. My knee kept flaring (due to overuse via PT) so my PT sent me back to the doctor to get a MRI. The report from the MRI was that I had a torn meniscus and sprained ligaments, but two orthopedic surgeons told me that there was nothing wrong with my knee (the second called it a patellofemoral contusion and that it’d be a few years before I was normal again). However, I’ve had pain EVERY SINGLE DAY since then and, while I have been able to increase my workouts, I can’t push myself too much or I easily start flaring. I also have not been able to add much strength, despite having pretty strong legs otherwise from cycling + strength workouts (I do have to be super careful and can only do so much, so I end up modifying most lower body exercises).

Right now I’m going through a pretty awful flare, maybe the worst I’ve had, for the last 2.5 weeks. I started researching the anatomy of the knee and I’ve figured out the general daily aching I’ve had for at least the past year (maybe two) has been over what I think is my MCL. The pain I have during a flare does tend to spread over the rest of the knee joint, but it is definitely based around the inside of my knee. Yesterday I risked it and pushed myself on a 20ish mile bike ride and now I am MAJORLY flaring. I’m having trouble putting weight on my leg, it’s not bending too well, and I’m having a lot of pain. I almost stopped and called my parents for a ride (I was staying with them)… but then I got mad that two docs told me there wasn’t anything wrong with my knee, so I pushed through.

I don’t regret it, I’m pretty angry. I’m sick of being in pain all of the time and it has really changed my life. I feel like my identity has become my hurt knee. So many things I used to like to do I really can’t do anymore… like hiking. I used to LOVE hiking and now it’s not even an option. I couldn’t even imagine hiking with my knee, it’s pretty much impossible. Just going up hills in the yard or up/down stairs exhausts my knee. I wouldn’t make it 10 minutes on a hike. It’s really sad.

So, anyway, I’m seeing how my knee does this week. If it doesn’t improve in the next couple of days then I’m going to make an appointment with the doctor. Otherwise my annual physical is at the end of June. I even have a new doc because my old one apparently quit earlier this month?! Who knew that was a thing. At this point I’m hoping for surgery even though I’m petrified (I’ve never had surgery), but I’m desperate to move on with my life! I think I deserve it at this point.

4. Switching gears, I currently have the Billboard Music Awards on in the background and how AMAZING have some of these performances been?! Specifically CELINE (goddess!!!) and Miley Cyrus — such a beautiful song and she was crying at the end! LOVE

5. I’ve been exercising my green thumb and I LOVE it! Right now I have two big planters of flowers — first time mixing them into an “arrangement” of sorts and so far so good, a plantar of flowers + grape tomatoes — first time growing tomatoes and I’m really excited to see how they come out, plus I’m trying to revive my herbs (basil from last year + cilantro). All but the herbs are going great. I might need to transplant the herbs into bigger pots. TBD.

6. With my knee pain I’ve been doing a bit of emotional eating. Tonight I meal prepped like crazy when I got home from my weekend away. On this week’s menu: egg cups (egg + deli ham + tomato + spinach) and salads (hemp seed + nuts + hard-boiled egg + chicken breast). I’m also defrosting a soup from Stew Leonard’s (my last Wonton – my absolute fav – which is broth/meatballs covered in a thin pasta/shrimp/bok choy/corn), which contains wheat so I’m trying to rid my freezer of gluten products. I’m saving my last Stew’s minestrone for another week.

7. Um, so Stop & Shop had cherries on sale for $1.98 this week with $25 purchase. YESSSSSS. Cherries give me massive indigestion (polyols category on FODMAP — my third intolerance category), but so worth it for a very short time each year. I’ll try to control my serving sizes!

8. Speaking of FODMAP/indigestion, I made a very very sad discovery this week. I need to add CHOCOLATE to my list of no go foods. I always thought it was the dairy in things like milk chocolate/white chocolate, but this week I had major issues from some dark chocolate that had ZERO dairy in it. WTF! I’m trying to figure out what might be in it that’s causing me issues. What is a life without chocolate?!?

9. On the FODMAP win side, tonight I started my very first batch of homemade pickles! Store pickles all have garlic in them which is an absolute no go, so I made my own! I have some big gallon jars from making my own kombucha (which I’ve put into hibernation for now), so I used one and added over 3 pounds of pickling cucumbers halved/quartered, McCormick Pickling Spice & Dill Seed, plus a mixture of boiled water/apple cider vinegar/salt. Fingers crossed it comes out great!

10. I like to round things off at 10, so I’ll include this with a pic of the new Polar summer edition seltzers. So far I’m in love! <3

xo Nadine

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