Annual Fall Celebrations

Good morning friends.  Hope your Thanksgiving was pleasant and peaceful.  We had a busy weekend with family and were happy on Sunday afternoon to sit and watch football.  However, by Monday morning it was obvious that I needed to see my doctor because I’d been coughing for 10 days and it wasn’t getting better.  He diagnosed my annual fall upper respiratory infection with bronchitis.  I’m home on the couch with my Zpak and cough syrup with codeine.  Still coughing but maybe a bit better.

We took our annual trip to Chicago this fall and I was proud of my steps on one of the days.  7.45 miles with a knapsack on my back.


I walked the whole city that day and not only did it feel good, I felt great the next day as well.  So I think that the knees are healing very nicely.  Ski season opened over the weekend (another fall annual tradition), and I hope to hit the easy slopes late February for some skiing.

Mr. Phat’s heart has strengthened and he’s feeling better in that respect.  Two heart procedures, an extended hospital stay and new medications and he’s doing very well.  However, he still has nerve pain on the left side of his body.  We thought he had Lyme Disease, but now we’re not so sure.  We’re thinking it’s some degenerative discs in his neck and back.  We’ve seen a pain management specialist and see a spine specialist later this week.  Seems we are finally on the right road for him after many many months of searching.  Let’s hope.




I’ve been mostly a downer lately on my blog.  Talking about RA Flares, cortisone shots, medications, including pain meds, and sinuses.  It was a tough winter for me, but all in all, I managed.  I can afford my health insurance and my medications.  I can afford to see the doctor.  I can afford a personal trainer to help me feel better.  And I am feeling better.  I’ve been hitting close to 10K daily steps more frequently.  Then there’s this which Fitbit sent me earlier this year:

Screenshot_2016-03-30-20-04-22 [393131]

I took 2,709,353 steps in 2015!!!  That’s 1148 miles!!  Which is 22 miles per week on average!!  The step challenges I participated in last year really helped propel me.

Then this week I got this from Fitbit:

Screenshot_2016-03-30-20-04-56 [390922]

Since getting my fitbit 12/25/13, I’ve gone 2500 miles!!! Even I think that’s commendable for a full time, chronically challenged person.  And I have this one to thank for taking alot of those steps with me:

20160327_094420 [390500]

I’m going to keep moving no matter what!!!


Not to be redundant, but I need to give some thanks today, Friday as I finish out the week with my first Fitbit Workweek Hustle Challenge with Bridgette from Bridgette’s Digits and not only did she rock her steps this week, but she made me step up on mine as well.  No pun intended.

Screenshot_2015-11-27-14-53-48This is where I am today at 3pm – the day after T-giving, with a total over 60K for the past 7 days and it’s because of her motivation, and the challenge.  I’ve already been out and walked the dog for 2 and a half miles, run a couple errands and still have 9 hours left in the day.  Bridgette and I have been neck and neck this week in our friendly competition and we confessed that it was both fun and motivating.

So Thanks Bridgette.  You’ve come a long way this year.  Last year I know you couldn’t imagine yourself taking 5,000 steps a day, never mind 10K or even 20K.  I know that you have shaped up big time this year and I’m very proud of you.  I’m happy that I had you to kick my butt around this week – not sure I would have done half this week without you breathing down my neck.

If you want to increase your steps – an activity tracker is a great way to challenge you to move more!  Which I needed today after a day of eating.  This was our contribution to the Thanksgiving spread:


Mr. Phat’s Antipasti

Happy Thanksgiving Weekend Everyone.  Hope you had the chance to Opt Outdoors today like I did and that you’ll participate in Small Business Saturday tomorrow.  What great concepts!


Fall.  Leaves fall.  Temps fall.  Daylight falls.  Phat50chick falls.  I usually get sick this time of year.  I push through summer and try to pack in all the summer fun we didn’t get to in September and then crash and burn in  late October.  I skipped last year – the first fall in years I managed to stay healthy.  Last week I felt punk early on and thought it was medication related, and I finally felt better on Thursday.  So I got my flu shot.  Probably not the best move.  The first time I got a flu shot it knocked me down, but I’ve escaped that until this year.  Luckily there were no plans beyond Friday noon that I had to abide by, so I spent yesterday prone on the sofa and expect to do the same today.  It’s a good time for reflection, enjoying the autumn leaves out the window, the warmth of the wood stove, and the smell of the soup in the crockpot.

It was a good fall.  We accomplished alot.  IMG_0547  20151018_094454

Once again we participated in Providence’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk.  Mr. Phat has done this walk each year since 1993 and this year our grandson walked most of it with his Papa.

sailing1  IMG_0619

We also had the great fortune of a late September sail with friends.  Curiously enough, the photo on the left is of me and my friend Debbie.  She’s the closest person to me with RA.  We are on practically the exact same medication regimen.  She’s had it for 5 or 7 years and reached out to me when diagnosed.  She was in such pain.  I remember telling her it would get better and happily it has for her.  She is an active grandmother and she and her husband sail most summer weekends.

20151020_175352  20151029_175400  I’ve done a lot of walking on the East Coast Greenway this fall as well.  You can see the fall progression from left to right in the pictures above.

So now it time for a little rest before my second favorite season behind Summer.

DSC02405Yup.  That would be winter.

Walk Across America

As part of a work wellness program, Blue Cross/Blue Shield had a challenge called Walk Across America.  It was a 9 week event and the idea was to get 10,000 steps each day for a total of 630,000 over the entire Challenge.  Participants formed teams and we had weekly updates.  My results are below:


Not only did I hit the goal, but I exceeded it.  And walking that much for 9 weeks, after doing a 4 week challenge in the spring has made my legs tight and strong.

Here are some of the ways I got my steps recently:

bSailing along Narragansett Bay.  I know it seems that I wouldn’t get that many steps sailing, but getting to and from the boat and to and from a restaurant and loading and unloading gave me alot of steps.

IMG_9087  IMG_4857

We had a beautiful day.  The couple that own the boat are old friends and she has RA.  She’s one of my only really close friends with RA and we are on the same meds and I think probably have about the same level of disease activity – which is that we lead busy, active lives and try not to let the RA keep us down.

IMG_1270   IMG_1276

One last Trip to Fenway Park for the last home game of the season.  This involves a lot of walking through the city.  The Red Sox have not had a very good season.  Better luck next year.

With all this walking, I should have lost some weight.  I definitely slimmed up a bit, but all this activity can’t be done without some eating.  And we’ve had some good eating, including a trip Friday night to Frank Pepe’s Pizza in New Haven, CT.  20150925_182318 That was the summer sensation pizza.  Fresh Tomatoes, Fresh Garlic and Basil and Mozzarella.  They’ve been making pizza since 1925 and it’s the very best I’ve eaten.  I wish I could say that was all I had……but it wasn’t!

My favorite way to get steps through the entire summer was like this:

abbieOn the bikepath next door with Abbie the Jack Russell.  Those walks should be able to continue until the snow flies!!  Gotta keep my legs in shape for Ski Season?!?

DSC02405It’s coming quickly!!!

New Year, New Post


Phat50chick is still alive and thriving!!  I’m still Phat, but I’m happy and feeling really good.  Haven’t felt this good in a long time.  RA still makes me ache a bit, but for the most part I’m in a good place physically.  For Christmas I got a fitbit.  I have wanted one for a long time, and I’m loving it even more than I thought I would!

It’s tracks steps, stairs, activity and calories burned.  It syncs with the laptop and my mobile phone so I can keep track throughout the day.  I can add my food to the log to know the calories that I’m consuming.  Best of all, it will log my sleep and tells me how long I was asleep, how many minutes was I restless and how many minutes was I awake.  I have a long history of poor sleep, so this has been eye opening to me!!  No more blaming my fatigue on RA, the meds or getting older.  I truly am a restless sleeper and I do wake up very often during the night.  Not sure what to do with this information about my sleep, but I’m going to watch the patterns and chat with my primary care physician when I see him next.

I visited my rheumatologist this week.  He was so impressed with my progress.  We talked mostly about skiing as he is a skier.  And yes, I’ve done some skiing this year and most of the days I’ve skied, I haven’t had to take any pain meds.  The only day I did was the day AFTER I went bowling for the first time in 10 years.

So while there are days that I want to cash it in and step off the treadmill, I believe that I’m thriving right now and I need to keep doing what I’m doing.  RA be damned!!