We had pleasant temperatures for the first time in seems like forever today and a beautiful sunny day. I got out of work as quick as I could and hopped over to Kickapoo. I walked approximately 2 miles on the Riverview loop in 38 minutes. Two bits of nature that stood out from the trip: a doe with three fawns, and a group of about four turkeys (the kind with feathers) sharing the trail with me. On the way home, there were more turkeys just outside the park, including some that crossed the road right in front of my car; the latter may be the closest I've been to a wild turkey.
A few weeks ago, when I got things sorted out with my neighbors, I started taking a walk around the block immediately upon getting out of bed. Starting my day with a mile walk has helped me to feel better and has also helped me to get more functional in the morning. (It can sometimes take as long as 20 minutes for me to get out the door for this walk, but once I get back, I lose a lot less time to the morning zombieness as I shower, dress, get breakfast, and all that.) But that extra mile a day is still not enough, and somewhat inspired by the discussions with Dr. K about my heart and blood pressure, I've been pushing myself harder to do more walking every day I can. The last couple of weeks, that's been a fair bit, and my weight is actually down a couple of pounds and I'm feeling physically better. Now I'm starting to worry about being able to continue to fit walking in as the days get shorter and colder. (When it's too cold in the morning to just slip on a pair of shorts and shoes, I have to dress. Logically, I should shower and dress for the day and then take the walk, but I'm afraid that by the time I do that in the fog of just-woke-up, I'll lose so much time that I have to choose between eating breakfast and my walk. And when it's dark in the winter before I can even leave work, to say nothing of getting home and then to someplace to walk, walking after work becomes less attractive.) I've been talking with TC about walking with him; hopefully our schedules will mesh and pleasant company will make up for a less pleasant venue than the woods.
Dr. B has tried to convert me to meditation, but I'm slow to take it up. But sometimes I can achieve a good approximation of "being in the moment" when I'm walking in the woods. I was doing fairly well on the first part of my walk at letting go of my thoughts and letting the world go by, and it certainly feels good. Of course, when I'm walking is also some of my best thinking time, and for the second half of my walk I was thinking about my ideas of what's wrong with our economic system. Perhaps I will actually blog about that.
One other health related point: When I had my initial consult with Dr. D the sleep specialist three weeks ago, he brought up nasal saline irrigation again. A number of people have recommended the neti pot to me, both friends and health professionals, but the one time before that I got enough off my butt to actually look for one at Walgreen's I didn't find it, and I got back on my butt until kicked by this discussion. I actually got one when I went shopping that weekend, so I've been using it almost three weeks now, in the morning, when I get home, and again a little before I go to bed (if those are different times). It's not really pleasant to use, but it's certainly bearable. And while it certainly hasn't made my nasal symptoms disappear, it seems to be helping some. I'm also trying to cut down on the Afrin at bedtime; it's supposed to be bad to use it long-term but for a couple of years at least it's been the only way I could breathe through my nose through the night. (And with the dry mouth from my other meds, breathing through my mouth through the night is really bad news.) I still seem to need the little bit I'm now using, but I'm down to as little as I can get the inhaler to deliver -- much less than a full pump per nostril. With luck, the power of the neti pot will be able to hold the nasal badness at bay as the year turns into the low-humidity torture time.
Did anyone that uses a neti pot read this far? If so, what's your opinion on isotonic vs. hypertonic (or, in less fancy words, how much salt do you use)? If you make your own solution, what kind of salt do you use, and if you add baking soda, how much? Do you warm the water above room temperature? Do you have any advice on getting more water farther in? It seems like I stand to benefit more from getting more moisture deeper into my head.