Ill wife wants to make for better health in 2017

KneelKneel Ten thick coatsRegistered User regular
edited December 2016 in Help / Advice Forum
S'up guys.

In prior issues, you may have noted me speak of my wife and her iffy health.

She wants to lose a bunch of weight, but has a bunch of hurdles, details in spoilers.
My wife suffered bleeding duodenal ulcers in 2006 and ended up with a lot of scar tissue on her stomach. Following the birth of subsequent children, she ended up with lots of pain in her pelvis that's made worse by excessive lower body exercise, but she wants to improve this.

She had a minor stroke in 2009 that nevertheless has left her with a weakened left arm and limited mobility.

She also suffers from contact dermatitis which is aggravated by sweat, which can make gripping painful. Talc and gloves could be an option here.

Furthermore she suffers with psychotic depression, borderline personality disorder and a history of seizures and hemiplegic attacks (the symptoms of the latter are similar to a stroke).

Finally, due to weight gain caused (understandably) by all of the above, she suffers with (although she denies it) sleep apnea. She has irregular breathing during the night and this, combined with an acute deficiency of vitamin D and the side effects from all the medication to control her depression, seizures and hemiplegic attacks, leaves her feeling exhausted.

So, she has asked me to push her to keep on the treadmill. I've suggested three times a day, starting at a walking pace for ten minutes apiece, and some upper body exercises using some light kettlebell weights. I've also suggested that as soon as she's comfortable, to increase either the speed or the length of the walks, as well as the weights.

We have access to a treadmill, four weights of kettlebell (2-8kg), dumbell (2-12kg) and barbell (currently at 32.5kg).

Can you guys suggest anything else, given her condition?

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  • NightDragonNightDragon 6th Grade Username Registered User regular
    This might be something best suited to ask her doctor, and maybe a physical therapist or somebody with training in how to handle rehabilitative exercises. I think that low-intensity exercises right now definitely sound like the best and safest, but anything much more than that I feel would be best handled by a professional.

    Losing weight is also highly dependent on what your wife is eating and how much she is eating, so I'd recommend she look into that as well. Ideally nothing extreme or like a "fad diet", but small steps that lead to a healthier long-term solution...like swapping out white pasta and bread for whole grain, increasing veggie intake, cutting out or reducing the intake of soda and juice, etc.

    bowenKneeldispatch.oXaquinsee317DarkewolfeEnc
  • ceresceres When the last moon is cast over the last star of morning And the future has past without even a last desperate warningRegistered User, Moderator mod
    It's really admirable that it's important to her to do this, and that you want to help. But considering all the things she has going on right now as well as her bad history with her ulcers, I strongly recommend that she do nothing more than walk at a moderate pace until she has a chance to speak with her doctor and/or a specialist regarding her physical condition and how different exercises might affect her.

    She should also, and call me overly cautious, let her prescribing doctor for any mental health related medications she may be on know that she's trying to lose weight. Weight changes and level of activity can change the efficacy of some medications. It's not a huge deal or anything, but it's something on which an eye should be kept because both these things can change how you react to some medications as well as how your body absorbs it.

    And it seems like all is dying, and would leave the world to mourn
    bowenKneeldispatch.oNightDragonCambiatasee317CelestialBadgerEnc
  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    Thirded on that.

    She's in one of those risk groups that apply to the "speak to your doctor before dieting or exercise". That's the best thing to do, her and her doctor can plan out the proper way to do all of this in the safest way possible.

    not a doctor, not a lawyer, examples I use may not be fully researched so don't take out of context plz, don't @ me
    Kneeldispatch.osee317EncRainfall
  • KneelKneel Ten thick coats Registered User regular
    Thanks guys.

    She's aware of fad diets and how ridiculous they are, preferring to do things sensibly. She wants to cut out stuff like takeout pizzas and unhealthy snacks and, with me cutting out alcohol and therefore reducing my own cravings for greasy food, it'll be easier for us both to stay strong on that. We're stocking up on berries, low fat greek yogurt, carrots, etc.

    She's due to see the doctor in January anyway - she's been taking vitamin D supplements for six months and the bastard things haven't helped in the slightest - so we'll discuss the exercise factor further when we see her.

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  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    edited December 2016
    that sort of dieting is something you usually don't need to talk to a doctor about, eating healthy is eating healthy

    if it's something like "cut out carbs" or "going on atkins" that'd be different

    exercise is still 100% a doctor thing at this point, she may be limited by health concerns on what exactly she can do for cardio and all that

    keep us updated though

    bowen on
    not a doctor, not a lawyer, examples I use may not be fully researched so don't take out of context plz, don't @ me
    dispatch.oKneelRainfall
  • dispatch.odispatch.o Registered User regular
    edited December 2016
    Get the apnea taken care of and go on a calorie restricted diet until you can figure out a safe way to add in cardio and resistance training. Some vitamins require fats and such, so you really should see a nutritionist regarding what you cut out/add in.

    Weight loss is so very much dietary that you can do little else and lose a whole lot of mass, making it safer and more comfortable for your joints. You should probably get a sleep study done, because apea is kind of a big deal and the stuff that goes along with it can make working out frustratingly difficult and possibly dangerous. Your wife isn't in a position to just "muscle through the discomfort" and come out the other side in better shape. There are medical things that need to be dealt with. Example being, a CPAP will change her life if the apnea is bad enough and I'm not being dramatic. It's amazing what sleep means when your o2 saturation doesn't drop into the 60s at night or wake you up 40+ times per hour.


    General Practitioner -> Sleep Study -> Nutritionist -> Physical Therapy -> Normal Exercise.

    Edit: Go long enough with bad enough apnea and the right side of your heart will shit itself.


    Edit2: It's pretty awesome you're going to give things a go with her. Just remember every misstep isn't a moral failing and you're in this for the long game. Being skinny or fat or whatever is somewhat temporary, being on the same team as a pair of encouraging and decent human beings isn't. If you have a shitty week and order a pizza on Friday, don't spend the next 3 days being angry about it. Enjoy the pizza, try again the next week.

    dispatch.o on
    KneelCelestialBadger
  • KneelKneel Ten thick coats Registered User regular
    edited December 2016
    Yeah, I've told her countless times that I love her slim and I love her big. I just want her to be healthy and that's the only scenario in which I'd suggest that she lose weight.

    We can handle a misstep here and there, but in her own words she has trouble keeping on top of a routine. Ten years ago she dreamt of working in the NHS as a midwife, but is frustrated and saddened that her health is a hindrance to this, and she's horrified that, as a disability claimant, she's subject to the unfortunate stigma in the UK of being workshy. It only adds to her depression and anxieties.

    Regardless, I'm confident that we can get through this. Even if the weight loss isn't major, her mobility will be a victory.

    EDIT and I've been pushing the apnea thing for a while now, though she's only just starting to take semi-seriously and is wary of having to wear a CPAP mask, never mind whether it'd be available on the NHS.

    It's going to take some more pushing at my end, as I'm certain that breaking the back of the apnea will go a long way to helping with her weight and therefore her joint problems.

    Kneel on
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  • ceresceres When the last moon is cast over the last star of morning And the future has past without even a last desperate warningRegistered User, Moderator mod
    I'm kind of the same.

    Maybe try taking walks together. I don't mean outside your house, but once or twice a week go somewhere different and walk around for a while and you can hold hands and all that. That kind of activity has a whole lot of benefits from getting away from your usual surroundings to giving you some time to just be together. Since you have to actually go somewhere to do it you're less likely to forget about it or put it off or get bored halfway through and sit down. Since the routine involved is basically "go to this place at 9am on Saturday " or whatever, you treat it like an appointment, get up, get dressed for what you're doing, and leave the house like you would when you go anywhere else. I don't know where you guys live but there's almost certainly a park not too far you haven't been to.

    And it seems like all is dying, and would leave the world to mourn
    bowenKneel
  • dispatch.odispatch.o Registered User regular
    edited December 2016
    Kneel wrote: »
    Yeah, I've told her countless times that I love her slim and I love her big. I just want her to be healthy and that's the only scenario in which I'd suggest that she lose weight.

    We can handle a misstep here and there, but in her own words she has trouble keeping on top of a routine. Ten years ago she dreamt of working in the NHS as a midwife, but is frustrated and saddened that her health is a hindrance to this, and she's horrified that, as a disability claimant, she's subject to the unfortunate stigma in the UK of being workshy. It only adds to her depression and anxieties.

    Regardless, I'm confident that we can get through this. Even if the weight loss isn't major, her mobility will be a victory.

    EDIT and I've been pushing the apnea thing for a while now, though she's only just starting to take semi-seriously and is wary of having to wear a CPAP mask, never mind whether it'd be available on the NHS.

    It's going to take some more pushing at my end, as I'm certain that breaking the back of the apnea will go a long way to helping with her weight and therefore her joint problems.

    I use a CPAP and have what's called a Nasal Pillow, it took almost no time getting used to. The technology has come a very long way and the type I have is technically called an APAP that will automatically adjust the pressure so you can fall asleep. I unfortunately don't know anything about NHS, but most research saying just how badly untreated apnea impacts your health and such I can't imagine they wouldn't at least pay for part of it.

    Edit: They have also come down in price substantially. I use a Respironics Dreamstation by Phillips, and even brand new I think it's 800$. Which is a huge increase in affordability over what they used to cost.

    dispatch.o on
    Kneel
  • KneelKneel Ten thick coats Registered User regular
    That's encouraging, Dispatch. Thank you.

    I'll be bringing it up at her doctor's appointment next week.

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  • CaedwyrCaedwyr Registered User regular
    edited December 2016
    For the Apnea, if her apnea is is positional then a pillow or two to help position her body so she sleeps on her side might help. I got a sleep study done (paid by for by the Canadian healthcare system) and it really helped understand the mechanics of my apnea. I tried CPAP and it was just as bad for quality of sleep. I got two of these:

    images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTzpebT1YR1prBKikdyNArevVlUaEjctrM8H4sT00eZO2Slnez9qg
    images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTOOmNrC4bXJcicGBJ5qcxsWy_idFbU7Mocgsl_eDUciUGCyMNWYw

    And I position one on either side of me while I sleep. It's funny, but it works and keeps me from rolling over onto my back. Get the Apnea treated one way or another though, it can mask a lot of other problems or manifest in other ways. Depression is one of them. Weight loss will help even if she doesn't have obstructional apnea, but good quality of sleep will help with the weight loss too.

    Caedwyr on
  • CelestialBadgerCelestialBadger Registered User regular
    Could she do yoga? Obviously check with her doctor first. There are yoga groups for older folk which might seem silly as she is young, but she sounds like very, very gentle exercise is the order of the day. It helps with depression.

    It wouldn't help with weight loss of course. Perhaps the two of you could really focus on healthy cooking as a hobby. If you can make sushi at home you won't be tempted by curry and chips! From what I hear (never dieted myself) weight loss is mainly diet unless you are very active, which would not be possible with her health.

    ceresdispatch.oNightDragonZilla360bowenfirewaterword
  • ceresceres When the last moon is cast over the last star of morning And the future has past without even a last desperate warningRegistered User, Moderator mod
    edited December 2016
    Actually, it CAN help with weight loss. Any time you stretch and/or condition your muscles, they get more efficient at burning energy and also use more to maintain. It won't be a noticeable effect till you become more active, but as that happens and movement gets easier it becomes a bigger deal.

    Also, drinking more water (as in water specifically, not just liquids) on a regular basis helps keep you hydrated, and that will make getting rid of fat easier due to the chemistry involved with making and breaking down fats. Plus all your systems just work better.

    I know the goal isn't to lose weight but to be healthy, but these things all contribute to making that easier to do anyway.

    edit: YES, swimming aerobics classes are awesome.

    ceres on
    And it seems like all is dying, and would leave the world to mourn
  • DraygoDraygo Registered User regular
    Swimming is also a low body stress activity that may help especially if you have joint issues, as always, check with the doctor first. If she gets bored with a particular activity, switching activities every few weeks might help keep things fresh.

    NightDragon
  • KneelKneel Ten thick coats Registered User regular
    She's TERRIFIED of the water so I hope you won't be offended if I leave the swimming suggestion by the wayside :)

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  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    Yoga is a great gateway into working out, and classes for older people or for stress reduction are usually good. If you live in a hippie enough town to find some low key ones that focus on breathing and meditation, that's a super low key start, and they should still go through some basic poses.

    I suggest if you do this, to try and find a small class where the teacher is willing to talk to her before hand about her injuries. In theory, every teacher should do this, but in practice some classes/teachers gloss over helping individuals with their specific needs.

    There are lots of youtube channels with little nighttime routines, so if you guys have some carpet and space, she can start doing small things at home to help relax. I'd recommend starting with a teacher, because there are lots of alternative options to get around injuries, and correct movements, that a teacher should be able to advise on when watching her.

    firewaterword
  • DraygoDraygo Registered User regular
    Kneel wrote: »
    She's TERRIFIED of the water so I hope you won't be offended if I leave the swimming suggestion by the wayside :)
    If she is terrified of water it is a bad idea. I have no reason to be offended as well - this thread is for you and your wife and not me.

  • SanderJKSanderJK Crocodylus Pontifex Sinterklasicus Madrid, 3000 ADRegistered User regular
    How does she feel about walking. Pick a podcast you like, and just be outside for a while.

    The most important general health benefit is being on your feet for over an hour a day, which roughly tracks with 10.000 steps.
    Being outside also means you are catching enough sunlight, which helps vitamin D (The only vitamin deficiency people regularly have, worse in colder climates and with darker skins, and which is not easily countered with pills because absorbtion through food is horrid), and being active in general helps with mental issues.

    With such a complicated medical history, I would definitely ask doctors/physical therapists for specific advice before doing a lot of straining work.
    You can get rid of some complaints with the right kind of therapy, but you can also overextend yourself and make matters worse.

    Steam: SanderJK Origin: SanderJK
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