As you know, Friday was my birthday. The big 53. Actually, I felt less trepidation about this birthday than I have in a long time. Things seem to be getting better this year around.
We had a lovely supper at a neighbourhood French restaurant. By the time we got there and were served the bread, we were all ravenous. I had a largish slice of pumpernickel, and dunked it in oil and balsamic vinegar. It was absolutely yummy, but after sharing a wonderful asparagus, lettuce and goat cheese salad with my older son, the peppercorn steak was just too enormous for words. I ate the veggies and a small piece of steak and brought the rest home. It made a great lunch the next day.
Of course, my husband had another gift for me: a book that has recently gotten rave reviews, The Little Stranger, by Sarah Waters. I'll probably read it this summer. If it's good, you'll hear all about it. Younger son gave me a box of chocolates, and for the first time in a long time, I did not shrink back in horror. It was one of those rather expensive, small boxes so there weren't many in it. I think I've had four since Friday, hubby and kids have had 2-3 each and there are two left. This is good. They taste great, but I haven't pigged out. Older son gave me another book. Lots of great summer reading.
But now, let me tell you about the REALLY fantastic gift I found for myself--a gift that keeps on giving and will probably be re-imbursed by my husband's insurance: the lovely tensor band you see in the above photo!!
Actually this tensor band doesn't even belong to me. My yoga teacher has loaned it to me to try out. I wore it on several long walks this past weekend and then while on the elliptical trainer on Sunday and again yesterday. Normally, after a minute (I kid you not) on the elliptical trainer, my knee feels twice the size and complains for several days afterwards. With the tensor band, I was able to do 10 minutes the first time and 12 minutes yesterday and I felt amazing. In fact, even after I take it off, my knee continues to feel normal for hours afterward. Ten minutes of the elliptical trainer may not seem like much at all, but it's huge for me. The rest of my body could easily do twice as much, but I'm intentionally taking things slowly. I will do another 12 or so minutes tomorrow. My goal is to do the machine every second day and hopefully bring my time up to 15 minutes by next week. I would love to do 20-30 minutes at least three times a week, but I really have to work up slowly.
It feels totally exhilarating to break a sweat.
I will be seeing the sports medicine doctor tomorrow to discuss the band and see if I should have something made to measure (this one is not terribly comfortable since it's made for someone with much longer legs than mine). I think that with a doctor's prescription, the insurance should pay for the band. I think it would also be a good idea to take x-rays and see what the state of the union is in that knee. I probably shouldn't be wearing the band at all times and should be doing further strengthening exercises without it. I need to clarify these things with the doctor.
I am thrilled with my discovery. I couldn't have asked for a better gift!