D4D

I may not agree with what you say, but I shall defend to the death your right to say it.

Archive for the category “Health”

Slow Days

This month, I’ve come to the conclusion that taking days off (or even having days of doing Not Much) are actually bad for my health. (Note : This post is slightly tongue-in-cheek)

I know I’m renowned for keeping on going, for doing lots of idiot stuff all the time and staying busy. I do also regularly think that I’m doing too much, and need to slow down a bit.  However, when I do so, I get massively hit with illness and general ill health.

The weekend before last, I took a day off, doing very little (still maintaining my step count, but not much else) which was much needed.  However, that kind of day lets me relax, and my resistance becomes massively lowered – so this time I went down with a stinking rotten cold that hit me like a hammer. which lasted into this week.

This weekend, I did very very little on the Sunday (after a significantly hectic week) and came out of it with the start of a gout attack (happily now faded) and a whole set of aching bones, and an even worse night than usual.

The gout in particular was absolutely my own fault, due to the excesses of the weekend and the fact I hadn’t really planned of prepared for it at all in the ways I normally would. I’ve been able to recover from it quickly this time, because I do know what works and what I need to do.

But all told, I’m pretty sure that days off are just bad things for me.

[NOTE : I actually do know I should slow down more so that things aren’t quite as hyper and exhausting in general. It’s just that I’m incredibly bad at doing so, and this year’s showing no real signs of letting up on that score)

More (and Less) Walking

The weekend just past is the one where I was supposed to be doing that walked Night Marathon in London.  I failed to complete it last year (as I’ve written about elsewhere) and this year didn’t start it – primarily because I just hadn’t been able to get in the practice and preparation that would’ve made it easily doable, so I’d made the decision to not take it on at the last minute.

So it should’ve been this weekend that I did it, and as it turns out, I’m actually quite glad I made that decision.  First and foremost, the weather was vile, and doing it while being cold and wet really doesn’t appeal.

Additionally, I’ve picked up a vicious cold (I really should stop having quiet days – they totally kill me) and been feeling rougher than a badger’s backside. To top it off, this week also involved a couple of foodie events (although I’d have rethought at least one of those if I’d still been doing the walk)

All told, I’m still (mostly) happy with the choice to not do the walk this year. I’m annoyed with myself for having let the time slip past, and for not doing the training and preparation I could have done.  But there we go, I didn’t do them, and while I probably could have just rocked up and completed it, I wanted to be better prepared this time.

I’m signed up to do next year’s one though, so we’ll see how we go from here to there.  And if I don’t do that one either, then I’ll most likely sack off trying again.

Friends and Family

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about the dumb-ass “Would you recommend this hospital to your friends and family” survey that I received. Between here and Facebook, I received a number of comments from friends saying “Yeah, we keep getting those as well”.

So I complained to the hospital about it, and how stupid it was as a question, and how ill-thought-out it was.

Turns out, this question is that this is the “Friends and Family Test“, which is the NHS’ major/primary metric on what people think of their hospital visit.

According to the NHS, it’s “an important feedback tool that supports the fundamental principle that people who use NHS services should have the opportunity to provide feedback on their experience. Listening to the views of patients and staff helps identify what is working well, what can be improved and how.

Of course, that’s still garbage, because the question has absolutely nothing to do with what can be improved, or how the actual visit/appointment was. So it’s all a bit pointless.

So it’s worth knowing that if you are someone who gets a lot of these surveys, you can talk to the PALS department of your hospital and get taken off the survey list.

And finally, if you think it’s a dumb-ass question and a pointless survey, it’s worth registering a complaint with the hospital about the survey. The only way they’re going to learn it’s shit is if enough people keep telling them it’s shit.

Gym Thoughts

Following on from earlier posts this week, I’m back to figuring out a gym routine, what works for me, and what will keep me going. (If anything does)

At the moment I’m working first on “just” getting into the habit of going. Without that, it’s far too easy to give up again, so it’s my first goal.  It’s hard work, because I simply never feel that endorphin-rush that most people talk about when it comes to gyms and heavy exercise. That makes everything tougher, because the “rewards” I get for going are only statistical – reduced weight (hopefully) and improved strength (which I can track and see in an app or spreadsheet) with none of that emotional/hormonal/endorphinal backup.

Initially, I’m using a gym that’s very close to my office – even fewer possible excuses than usual!   On my first visits, I’m not hugely taken with the place, but we’ll see how things go.  It’s different to other ones I’ve been to, which may also account for my current feelings, but time will tell on whether I stick with it.

There is another gym that’s easy to access from my office – but it’s about a mile away. It’s the one I was using before, and is one of the new breed of “always open” gyms. (And also cheaper than the current one, but that’s less relevant)   I don’t know which one I’ll end up using, but for now it’s more about the routine, the habit, than anything gym-specific.

Ideally, once I’ve established myself a routine/habit, I’ll be able to work on a decent exercise regime as well. (I’ll be doing that from the start, of course, but the routine is the key)  I’ll be keeping track of that on the Fitocracy app (or some other equivalent, but I’ve used Fitocracy before)

For now, it’s all just a process, and I’m planning to work on it alongside other things (which will be written about elsewhere/elsewhen) so we’ll see how it goes.

Despite the evidence of this week’s posts, I’m not going to become some kind of gym/health/fitness obsessive – but there’ll be other posts on the subject over the next few months, as I see how things go…

Weaker

Before I made my decision to not do the Shine Night Marathon this year, I was working on losing weight and improving fitness.  (That’s another set of posts for later on, though)

There’s some stuff that has taken a long time to happen, and one of those things was getting my arse back into the gym. I stopped going nearly three years ago (October 2015, according to my Fitocracy tracking) because I wasn’t enjoying it or feeling any particular benefits, and I didn’t really regret stopping.  I haven’t been paying all that time without using it – I’m not insane! – although I did start a new membership a couple of months back, as part of the process of getting back into it. I just hadn’t actually been in. *cough*

With some other changes in the last week, I finally darkened the door of a gym again this week, to see how I do with it.

And as it turns out, it was OK. Not perfect – although I’m not going to judge on that, because it was just the first visit, and still a learning experience. So I’ll continue to see how it goes, and aim to get back into some kind of routine with it all.

What is interesting though – and is purely a facet of those records with Fitocracy – is how much strength I’ve lost in that three years. For example, when I left the previous one, I was able to do leg-presses at 325lb for 5 series of 50 repetitions. (Yes, my legs are/were monstrous. I know)  On my first visit back, I was only able to do 110lbs for 4 series of 20 repetitions.  That’s a massive reduction in strength (I can’t even work out the percentage drop)

[Updated : I’m also a massive fucking idiot. Turns out, the weights in the new gym are in Kg, not Lbs.  So I’m still weaker than I was, but a lot better than I thought I was doing. That 110lbs? Well, 110kg = 240lbs. Still less than before – but I’m happier with things again now]

I will see how it all goes, and it’ll be interesting to see what progress I make, both with the gym stuff, and the other odds and sods that are going on at the same time.

Decisions

Last year, I signed up for (and started) Cancer Research’s Shine Night Walk in London.  I didn’t complete it – various odds and sods conspired to make it impossible without sustaining a lot of damage – and signed up for this year’s one, at the end of September 2018.

I should have been out doing preparation for the last three to six months. Instead, I’m out of shape – with the heat we’ve had this year I haven’t felt at all able to sensibly get out and do the distance walks. I can still beast a seven or eight mile walk with no problems, but the marathon is three or four times that figure.

Right now, it’s five weeks away, so there’s not even any realistic chance I’d have of being properly prepared for it, either.

So I’ve made the decision – I’m not going to go through with it this year. It’s something I do want to do and complete, but trying to do it this year would again likely result in more damage than benefits.

I probably *could* do it – and complete it – but I’d be running the risk of hurting myself in the process, and I’ve done enough of that over the last couple of years.

It’s incredibly annoying, and I’m really pissed off about it – but also I’m acknowledging that it’s the most sensible option for now.

Next year, on the other hand…

Satisfaction

Yesterday, I had a (non-urgent, outpatients) appointment at my local hospital.  All went well, and I’ll be returning occasionally over the next few months.  Which is all as expected.

What was less expected was a text message today from the hospital, containing a “Patient Satisfaction” survey.

The first question? “Would you recommend this hospital to your friends and family?“, and a set of five options for the likelihood of doing such a thing.

Now, I don’t know about you, but I really don’t recommend that my friends or family visit a hospital. Certainly when none of them are even in that hospital’s catchment area.

What kind of cretin comes up with this shit? Even more relevantly, what kind of cretin approves this shit?

And if I’d been – for example – visiting the Oncology department (I wasn’t) for treatment, I wonder if I would have received the same survey?

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