What is a "tiehacker"?
"Tiehacker" is a term originating in the Ozark hills of southern Missouri. It referred to a class of people from WAY back in the hills that made a living cutting trees into ties for the railroad. I first heard the term from my wife shortly after we married. I had been working outside all day and was dirty and stinky. She had learned it from her father, and thought it just meant "a bum". Never having heard it before, I looked it up. Although I am not really a bum, I thought it was interesting, and I do have a life-long love affair going with the Ozark hills, so ... there you have it!
Monday, February 9, 2015
Health and weight loss
So many things going on, it's been hard to decide what to write about. With the onset of winter weather, the rioting and nonsense related to the Ferguson, MO mess in August died down a great deal. But I can't help wondering what will happen once warm weather returns. Might be an "interesting" spring & summer.
The Debster is doing better and better. She is driving again, for the first time in almost a year. Hooray! And, as she becomes more and more mobile, her self-confidence and attitude about herself have started perking up. Triple-hooray!
My own issues remain. The leg has pretty much healed up, but the other problems still exist. The hematologist has had me undergoing a weekly phlebotomy (blood-draw) to get my hemoglobin count down. I normally don't have a problem with needle-sticks, but those things they use for drawing off entire units of blood aren't needles, they are more like sharpened hollow pencils. At least that's what it feels like going into the bend of my elbow.
The metformin that the doctor has me on to help control my blood sugar was rough on me, to begin with. The literature warned of the side effects, and they weren't kidding. For the first week or so, I was afraid to get more than a few steps away from the bathroom. Wow. Sure am glad that has faded away.
One positive is that because of the changes I've had to make to my diet, I have begun to lose weight. As of about 2 weeks ago, I had lost 6 pounds, and I'm pretty sure that I've lost a few more since then. I don't have a scale at home, though. Just going by the one in the doctor's office. I refuse to obsess over this. I know that I need to lose a LOT of weight. Really. A LOT. Like about one hundred thirty pounds, at least. One fifty wouldn't be out of bounds. But, thinking in terms of those kinds of numbers is guaranteed to only cause despair. So, my goal is to lose FIVE pounds. Once that is gone, then ANOTHER five pounds. It is much easier to think in those terms.
At this point, systematic exercise is difficult for me. I am so heavy that it doesn't take much at all to get me out of breath and my heart pounding. But I know that as the weight comes down, I'll be able to do a little more, and then yet a little more, and so on. And, as the exercise rate increases, so will the weight loss. That is a spiral that is the opposite of vicious! I will say, that even when I was young and fit, systematic exercise bored me to tears. I tended to keep fit by normal but strenuous physical activity, like hiking, wood-cutting, running up and down stairs instead of walking, playing sports, stuff like that. And I suspect the same will happen now. Just looking at a barbell makes me want to run the other way, but I have been eyeing my shovel and spade and garden space a lot lately. That kind of thing.
There were other things I wanted to talk about, like the garden I want to put in, my desire to get into woodworking using only hand-tools, getting ready for the fishing season, and so on. But this has gone on long enough; I'll save those for another time.
Ron (and the Debster)