Meds Reminder

With my last post I talked about having to take eye drops every hour when I’m awake and then an ointment for while I’m asleep. I thought it would be hard remember to put them in and keep track if I had done it for this hour yet or not so I wanted to set reminders for myself.

On my phone I have almost all notifications turned off but on my Fitbit I do get notified of phone calls or text messages. Very rarely do I get either of those so typically when I do it is something important. Instead of setting an alarm for every hour of the day I thought I could finally try out the Twilio trial I had signed up for some time ago and send myself a text message every hour from 6am to 10pm. It was surprisingly easy to setup.

I’m most familiar with php and I’ve been really limiting my screen time so I can rest my eyes. I haven’t worn my glasses in days so it’s a strain to read without them and keeping them closed is when they feel the best.

Here’s the very simple setup I did, most all of it came directly from the Twilio documentation and all of it was done from the terminal.

  1. Signup for a Twilio account.
  2. Create a new site on an existing hosting account I have.
  3. Downloaded the Twilio PHP SDK using Composer.
    I’m not really familiar with Composer but these are the commands I used:

    • Download Composer
      php -r "copy('https://getcomposer.org/installer', 'composer-setup.php');"
      php -r "if (hash_file('SHA384', 'composer-setup.php') === '544e09ee996cdf60ece3804abc52599c22b1f40f4323403c44d44fdfdd586475ca9813a858088ffbc1f233e9b180f061') { echo 'Installer verified'; } else { echo 'Installer corrupt'; unlink('composer-setup.php'); } echo PHP_EOL;"
      php composer-setup.php
      php -r "unlink('composer-setup.php');"
      
    • Download the SDK
      php composer.phar require twilio/sdk
  4. Create a new php file with the following code
    <?php
    require_once 'vendor/autoload.php';
    $sid = "ACxxxxxx"; // Your Account SID from www.twilio.com/console
    $token = "xxxxxx"; // Your Auth Token from www.twilio.com/console
    
    $client = new Twilio\Rest\Client($sid, $token);
    $message = $client->messages->create(
      '+15555555555', // Send text from this number
      array(
        'from' => '+15555555555', // From a valid Twilio number
        'body' => 'Take your drops'
      )
    );
    
    print $message->sid;
    
  5. Create a cronjob to run the hours you want and visit the webpage
    0 6-22 * * * wget -q --read-timeout=0.0 --waitretry=5 --tries=5 --background http://{url for file created above}

Now I get a text ever hour on the hour from 6am to 10pm and my FitBit notifies me that it’s time to put in the drops.

Eye have had a tough week

For over a week now I’ve been suffering with an eye infection. Just before last weekend my right eye started itching and I could tell something wasn’t right. From there over the weekend it continued to get worse swollen and red. I’ve had eye infections a few times over the years and usually over the counter antibiotic drops have always cleared things up. This time it didn’t seem to help at all as things kept getting worse.

By midweek I decided it was time to see a doctor as I couldn’t deal it anymore. The past number of years my body hasn’t handled infections well so I take things more seriously now than I would have when I was younger. Back in 2011 we were on vacation in Ottawa and I ended up in the hospital having emergency surgery and I think that’s where it started. My bowels had torn and infection was all through my body, it took lots of antibiotics and healing. When I made it home I ended up back in the hospital with an infection. In April 2015 I ended up having an infection which turned into Cellulitis in my throat that landed me back in the hospital as well. Right on the heels that with all the antibiotics I had in my system I was struck with Clostridium difficile or C. Diff. which was a terrible experience.

With those rough experiences I wasn’t messing around so I went to the hospital to get my eye looked at. After a couple hours of waiting the doctor looked my eye over and with the poking and prodding I wanted to cry, but he told me it wasn’t infected and that it was likely the drops I was using which were causing irritation. He gave me some just lubricant drops to use and said things would clear up in a couple days. A couple days later things were getting worse not better. My eye was pretty much swollen shut, sore, red, and so painful. I went to a couple eye doctor offices trying to get in and see someone. Neither were able to help me as they didn’t have doctors in but one felt so bad they started calling around to their other offices in other towns and got me an appointment for the next day. Back in she was much more gentle than the previous doctor and she was confident that it was infected and prescribed a stronger wider antibiotic drop and an ointment for night.

For the first couple days I need to have the drops every hour I’m awake. Jen was supposed to fly out today to meet up with her team for the week. With my history she was worried about leaving and cancelled her trip. I feel terrible that she is missing out on this experience but after waking up again today with my eye swollen almost shut and a terrible night sleep, I’m glad I’m not responsible for the kids and house by myself. The love and support of my family, friends, and colleagues at work, never cease to amaze me.

I won’t gross anyone out with pictures but I’m very hopeful that the combination of medication I have now will clear things up and I can get back to myself.

Stupidity and Laziness

Back in August 2014 I had reached a big milestone after a lot of hard work. I was so proud of myself and swore I would never go back. At that time I reached my goal weight of under 180lbs after months of hard work and dedication. Things went up and down from there but for a long time I stayed in pretty decent shape. In March 2016 I ran my longest distance ever, 20km. Since then though I’ve been on a pretty steady decline health wise and really broke the promise to myself. I’m getting pretty close to having put back on all the weight I worked so hard to lose in 2014.

For the past bit I’ve been in a pretty big funk, not myself, unhappy. This is a big part of that, though there are other factors of course. Most of them are beyond my control, but my health is solely mine to control. How could I be so stupid and lazy?

Today I went on the incredibly demoralizing task of organizing my closet. Over the past few months I’ve been slowly buying new clothes that fit because I’ve gotten too fat for the ones I had. My closet was getting overrun with clothes because I still had all the clothes that I should fit in but they were making their way to the back of the closet. So today I moved everything out that I no longer fit in and put them into storage under the bed. Time for things to change, again.

Instead of just keeping up with a pretty healthy eating plan and exercise I reverted back to my old ways and now need to go through all the hard work again. Of course as I get older that will likely be even harder than it was almost four years ago.

Last time I blogged and shared on social media constantly about my progress, how far I ran today etc. I won’t put people through that again, especially because it isn’t nearly as meaningful the second time around, but I’ll work hard anyway. I’ve ordered myself a new Fitbit to help me track progress and keep my honest. Last time that sort of tracking was really motivational, I just won’t publicize it so much.

So I’m getting started, again, and hopefully I’ll finally be smart enough to get off this weight roller coaster I’ve been on permanently.

Failure

Feeling an overwhelming sense of failure these days. I’m generally ok with failure and making mistakes. Failing is a leaning opportunity.

Most of the time though there are there is usually a mix in my life. Some areas where I feel I’m succeeding but others not so much. This is ok I can concentrate on the things going well and make effort to fix the areas I’m failing. 

Right now I’m having a hard time seeing the successes. Parenting, career, health, finances, all of these areas of my life which need serious work. 

Overall I know my life is privileged which makes me failing in these areas all the more painful. 

Fight Fat February

For the past little while I’ve been doing pretty good health wise. I’m been running quite a bit and usually eating well. There have been some setbacks in eating though where I for about a week recently regressed and ate way to many snacks especially at night. So far though the scale has been going in the right direction, even though if it has been slower than I like.

In the spirit of 30 challenges I’m going to make February my Fight Fat month. There is still some weight to before I’m happy so I want to set out a series of goals for this month which will hopefully end me up where I want to be. They are going to be ambitious goals and there are some especially that I’m scared already I won’t be able to do, but we’ll see how it goes.

Food

The first thing is food. I’m going to do my best to eat healthy for the whole month, with no snacking on junk. Also make sure my serving sizes are proper portions. This should be one of the easier ones for me to hit. As long as I stick my mind to it I can usually do good at eating well.

Five Fitness Workouts

Starting a workout program again and aim to do it at least five days a week. Jillian Michaels has always served me well so I’m starting with her Ripped in 30 series. I like it because I can do it in my house and all I need are some hand held dumbbells and my own body.

Forty Kilometers

This is the one I’m most scared for. My goal is to run forty kilometers each week for the month. I have done it a couple weeks, but my legs get sore and tie it in with the other work outs, not sure I can keep up this distance each week for the whole time. I’m going to try though.

Fifteen Pounds

By sticking to these other goals, I’m hoping the end results will see me down the last 15 lbs that I want to lose. That will put me basically at the healthy BMI for my height. Even though I know that isn’t a perfect indicator I felt very good the last time I was there and want to get back to it.

So far, one full day in and I’m on track to hit my targets 🙂 Even though February is a short month there is still a long way to go. I haven’t done well at hitting these goals I’ve set for my self the past little bit so I’m going to work especially hard this time to make it happen. Wish me luck!

Making Progress

If there is one thing I can take away from today is that I finally think I’m making progress. For the past couple weeks the scale has been seeing a steady decline, although not huge. I’m putting in lots of km’s running, and tracking my calories has helped me stay on top of my eating. But this isn’t the main progress I’m pleased about right today.

For some reason today I woke up with a poor attitude. Without even knowing the reason I’ve just felt down all day. These days happen sometimes and they go away fairly quickly thankfully. Normally when these days happen though my default to get through them is by eating. Eating a pile of food that is not good for me and not needed. In the end it always makes things worse because then I feel down about all the food I just ate for no good reason.

Today, even though I still feel the same way, I stuck to eating the way I should. Just a few minutes ago I came very close to grabbing a bag of chips along with a homemade muffin and cookies, but instead I grabbed a little container of yogurt and am now done eating for the day.

The plan is to wake up tomorrow feeling like myself and make sure I force myself out for a run, as that in itself has a way of clearing my head and making me feel better. All the while keeping my eating in check so the progress can continue.

Fitbit Observations

So far I’ve been wearing my Fitbit for almost three weeks and have come up with a few interesting observations about it. For the most part I really enjoy tracking everything and having a record, but at the same time there have been parts which have been depressing.

My water intake is really good, I drink plenty each day without even trying. I get more sleep than I thought I did, but I’m not confident in the awake restless times it tracks. It could be something that is built into me from all those years of pretending I was still asleep in the morning so I could get five more minutes before school. Now I’m so good at it Fitbit can’t tell I’m really awake.

There have been a few instances where the GPS when tracking runs has been off by a bit, but nothing enough or frequently enough that will stop me from going to it only for tracking my runs soon.

The biggest observation which I’ve make that is depressing is the lack of movement I do in the run of a day if I don’t specifically force myself to do something extra. Most days I’ll go for a run. A 5k run typically takes me about 30 minutes and I get about 5000 steps in during that time. The rest of the day combined, especially on days I’m working, I struggle to get that other half by the end of the day. If I don’t run it is almost impossible.  The other thing is it is far to easy for me to go grab something extra to eat that I don’t really need.

If I don’t watch myself every single day and be extra vigilant it is now very easy to see why my weight can go up so quickly. Since starting to track I haven’t really lost any weight, but I haven’t gone up either. To get down to where I want to be I’m going to have to cut out the snacks all together and focus on moving even more. It’s probably about time Jillian Michaels and I get reacquainted again.

Fitbit vs Runkeeper

For the past few days when I’m out running I’ve been tracking my runs with both Runkeeper and my new Fitbit Surge. Even if I was extremely happy with Fitbit’s tracking I would still be doubling up with Runkeeper at least until the end of the year when my goal is reached.

The first day I ran with the Fitbit I was impatient and didn’t wait for it to find GPS and hit quick start. It seemed to be taking a really long time to find and I just wanted to go. Since then I’ve waited for it to connect to GPS before starting out though. Today I started both Runkeeper and the Fitbit within seconds of each other and the results were pretty off. It looks like Fitbit didn’t really have a good GPS signal after the first km it seemed to catch up and track things properly.

You can see the difference between the maps above, Runkeeper on the right is pretty much bang on what I ran. Fitbit on the left should have started the same place as the ending is marked.

Has anyone else had issues with the GPS in their Surge? It’s not a really big deal, but I’d like to be able to depend on one and so far I love everything else about the Surge so I would like it to be it.

Stepping It Up With FitBit

Today I jumped on the FitBit band wagon. Only I won’t actually be on the wagon because that won’t up my step count 🙂

This is either going to be a real good thing for me or a bad one. This could be the push and the motivator for me to get back on track. It could also make me a bit obsessive. It put it on around 4:00pm today and was at times walking laps around the main floor of the house just to make it to 5000 steps. 

I also started tracking my food and water intake as well. At least I drink enough water. I tried eating well today and still ended up way over the calories. Tomorrow I’ll do better and I’ll also burn more calories. 

The FitBit is one of the newest benefits from Automattic which is amazing. We have a group setup and I know there is no way that I’ll keep up with some of my coworker leaders but it will be good motivation to try. 

I’m looking forward to trying out the run tracking on it tomorrow and seeing how many steps I get on a regular full day. 

  

Stressful Couple Weeks

Glasses seem to be a common thing in our family. Jen wears glasses for some things, for the past few years I have worn glasses pretty much all the time, Caile now wears glasses, and Alex did wear glasses when she was younger to help with an eye turn. So even though Ella hasn’t had any problems with her eyes yet we figured we should get her a proper eye exam.

She was pumped for the idea, in fact she hoped she would have to wear glasses. She counted down to the day of her appointment. Everything went great, but they did determine that she measured about +3 far sighted. However her eyes were able to pull things in to focus so she was still able to see everything. In fact when they had her test through lenses that matched her measurement it made things worse for her.

We ended the appointment where they gave us some of the pupil dialating drops to take home and take before a follow up appointment. They wanted to test her with her eyes relaxed to see what she could read at that point. Figuring it would be closer to what their measurements showed. Shortly after getting home though the Doctor called and told Jen that she hadn’t wanted to say anything in front of Ella but she had seen what looked like could be swelling near her optic nerve. It could be something called drusen, or something causing pressure behind the nerve. They referred us to an Ophthalmologist who works in the same building for further tests.

At this point Jen and I were pretty nervous and feeling a bit of stress wondering what could be wrong and what it would mean. Sometimes with all it’s resources the internet can be scary for situations like these. Luckily we received an appointment fairly quick and this past Friday we went in for some more tests that would be shared with the Ophthalmologist. This included more imaging of her eyes and a field of vision test. The whole time with all these tests Ella is being a champ and very interested in what’s happening and all the cool machines. Seeing the back of her own eye in a picture was one of the highlights.

We had another appointment booked for the 24th to see the Doctor and so he could run some more tests and give his diagnosis. Not knowing what was actually wrong is probably the worst part, but I was doing OK. During the last round I heard them saying that some things looked good and she was doing well etc. So when I was out for a run this morning and Jen wrote me to say the office had called and asked if we could bring her in today because they wanted to see her, that’s when all kinds of horrible thoughts and worry started going through me.

Once I was home and clean I picked her up from school and took her to the Doctor’s office. We had a fair amount of waiting and some more tests. Finally the Ophthalmologist came in and gave asked about the results of the last tests and perform his own visual inspection while her pupils were dialated and eyes relaxed. When he was done he was pretty certain that there wasn’t any actual swelling at all. It looked like things were swollen but that it was tissue and the way the nerve was looked like there was swelling because of it. Being far sighted as she is he said that it all fit. Given she has no eye or neurological problems he was confident everything was fine. The next step would be to do an MRI or a Cat Scan to get a better look to be 100% sure, but he said if it was his daughter he wouldn’t and would instead just keep an eye on it to make sure things stayed as they are. To top it off because she has no eye turn and her eyes are able to compensate so she can see fine, she isn’t even getting glasses at this point.

With great deal of relief we booked a follow up appointment for two months out so he can see her again and make sure all is still good. It is amazing how much stress and worry can take out of you. Even after being hit with the feeling of relief, my brain was scrambled for the day. It wasn’t just my mind though, I was physically exhausted as well. Thank goodness I’m starting to feel normal again now tonight, but I’m looking forward to waking up tomorrow fresh with the good news we received firmly settled into my thoughts.