Saxenda is Killing My Dog

I know, it’s weird, but it’s true.

See, my fur baby eats when I eat. I’m on Saxenda to lose weight, which is basically aversion therapy for food. Nothing tastes good. Nothing smells good. I’m nauseous all the time. So I don’t eat. And I’m losing weight.

Except only one of us is overweight, and it’s not him, but he’s also losing weight.

He used to weigh 15.6# and was in fantastic condition. Then he dropped to 14.3#, which concerned the vet, and she told us to give him puppy chow to put some meat back on his bones.

But I don’t eat, meaning he won’t eat, and now he’s so thin you can see all his bones,

For me, the choice is simple. It’s my life or his. And I choose his happiness. I’d rather feel nauseous and eat flavorless goo than watch my best friend die.

So here I am, eating oatmeal. It tastes terrible, like soggy cardboard, while an 18 year old dog is happily going after puppy chow with gusto.

And I have to eat slowly, because as soon as I stop, so will he. And the more I eat, the worse I feel.

But his pain meds are in his food, too, so if he doesn’t eat, he’s in pain. All day. All night. Quite literally, he’s wracking with pain unless he eats his pain meds.

Which is why this post is being written at the same time … he sees me at the dining table with a bowl and occasionally taking a bite, and he keeps eating.

Jr brings joy, love, fun, and happiness to everyone he meets.

And so, I eat.

Site Review — IIFYM

I must admit that I am in love with the If It Fits Your Macros site. It has a lot of great information, and they answer a lot of tricky questions about how your body uses food, the impact and possible diet-related causes of various medical conditions, and when different types of exercise programs make more sense for your needs.

They also have a succinct newsletter that whets your appetite, so to speak, to delve more into the information on their site.


The one glaring issue is their “easy” program. And it all sounds simple, too. Until you pay money. Then you find out that you’ll basically have to live for eating for the next 30 days … buying fresh food daily (or every few days), carefully weighing your food to the gram to enter into a program that calculates the nutrients so you know what else to eat, and so on. And the only way to get your money back is to prove you’ve done the program for thirty days and that it didn’t work for you. There’s no provision for “I can’t do this program”, such as I just had a medical procedure done on my hands and can’t do the necessary food prep and documentation.

The program includes a blueprint that matches your body’s needs (based on your size, shape, age, activity level, health conditions, and gender) to the latest health science. For a much larger fee, they also have coaches available to help guide you through and stick to the program.

In short, if you want a lot of great info, I highly recommend the site. If you’re ready to dedicate a few hours each day to meal planning and preparation (not including exercise), this seems like a good program that matches your needs to real science.

But if you have any conditions that limit your ability to shop for, measure, prepare, and document your food and physical activities, you’ll need to wait until those conditions are cleared up, or have someone available every day to perform those functions for you.

On the one hand, I “wasted” money on a program I can’t use. On the other, I get my money’s worth just by reading all their content a couple times a week.

All the exercises?!

Someone asked what I do with all that PT equipment. Welp, here’s the list! As you can probably imagine, coordinating all of this is a blast. Plus all the usual healing stuff, dog stuff, Dad stuff, house stuff, money stuff, and work. Sure was a lot of fun telling work I needed overtime in order to achieve a good work-life balance 😉


  • Stretch – lay on side, knees bent, arm in front, slowly open toward back, from 1.5, 3, and 4.5 o’clock
  • C – Child pose, feet & arms to right, butt left, forming a C
  • Kick – Lay on tummy, head down and resting on arms, squeeze gut, squeeze butt, lift each leg in turn … thank goodness I don’t have do this one anymore. It hurt, and the goal was already being met by some of the back exercises from PT.

PT: Back

Started at PT for the back the first full week in January 2017, and “graduated” to doing them at home back in May 2017. It kinda feels like I’ve been doing these forever, and that they oughta be a lot easier by now.

  1. Warm up — March in place on foam square; or on the recumbent bike I don’t have

Without Hips – just before or after “hip-day” at PT

While sitting

  1. ‘Walk’ my hands on the exercise ball to stretch to right, front, and left

Laying on foam round

  1. Jesus Christ pose to stretch
  2. Snow angels
  3. Scissor arms

Laying on back

  1. Pelvic tilts – brace the low tummy and breathe, hold for 10 seconds, and release
  2. Twist stretches


  1. Straight-arm and bent arm rows with the Thera Bands
  2. Lean against the wall and stretch sides
  3. Leg stretches – bottom, center, fronts, tops

With hips — not immediately next to a “hip-day”

At barre

  1. Calf raises + stretches
  2. Front, side, back “kicks”


  1. Straight-arm and bent arm rows with the Thera Bands
  2. Squat with ball on the wall
  3. Lean against the wall and stretch sides


  1. In 1′ squares — Walk heel-to-toe, zig-zag

Laying on back

  1. Pelvic tilts – brace the low tummy and breathe, hold for 10 seconds, and release
  2. Twist stretches
  3. Clam shells – with a band around my knees

Laying on sides

  1. Clam shells – right leg while laying on left, left leg while lying on right
  2. Step top leg over bottom, lift lower leg, then bend lower knee in front for balance, kick front and back, and do foot circles both ways; switch sides

PT: Shoulders

Started these in July (I think?) and was making great progress. But then I flunked out in December 2017. See, the surgeon has very different requirements than the insurance company.


  1. Press my elbow into the small ball for five seconds
  2. Roll the small ball front and side
  3. Wash the wall clockwise and counterclockwise with both arms
  4. Stand next to the wall and push my shoulder into it
  5. Stand next to the wall and push my wrist into it, both front and back
  6. While leaning over and supporting my back, hold a 2 pound weight, and do clockwise and counterclockwise circles
  7. Raise the roof using my shoulders
  8. Shoulder blade pushups

Thera bands

  1. Hold the band and walk away… Do this both holding it on the inside and the outside
  2. Hold the band and pull toward tummy, then away from waist
  3. Rows (pull back with 90 degree elbows) and plows (start from 90 and pull down beside outer hips)

Laying on back

  1. Push-ups with the stick
  2. Rest the stick on my hips, and raise it up to shoulder height or over my head, as comfort allows
  3. At waist level, sway stick side to side

PT: Feet

Started these around October 2017. Yes, that meant 4-days of PT for 1.5 hours per day for a couple months. Dropped down to 1 hour once a day around Christmas.


  1. Tape big toe everyday to stop the bunion and toe crowding
  2. Tape my arches a couple times a week for added support
  3. Wear custom orthotics frequently but not always, to ensure my feet keep changing up the muscles they need to use


  1. Heel-toe walking
  2. Pace for 5 minutes
  3. Stand on one leg, and balance other on the ball
  4. Wobble board front to back, then side to side
  5. Toe and heel raises while standing on the foam square


  1. put the Thera Bands around my feet, then pull against the band out, in, up, and down
  2. Hold my right toes down and pull my big toe out

PT: Hips

Just started these in December 2017 after flunking out of shoulder class.

At barre

  1. Calf raises + stretches
  2. Front, side, back “kicks”
  3. Leg stretches – bottom, front, center, and sides
  4. Pigeon / IT Band stretches

Laying on back

  1. Pelvic tilts – brace the low tummy and breathe, hold for 10 seconds, and release
  2. Bridge – pelvic tilt, butt squeeze, then up (hold for 10 seconds when I’m advanced)
  3. Leg raises – up/front
  4. Clam shells – with a band around my knees
  5. Push out / open the front hips while squeezing butt

Laying on sides

  1. Clam shells – right leg while laying on left, left leg while lying on right
  2. Reverse clam shells – move foot instead of knee
  3. Step top leg over bottom, lift lower leg, then bend lower knee in front for balance, kick front and back, and do foot circles both ways; switch sides
  4. Push out like I do with the shoulders against the wall


  1. Straight-arm and bent arm rows
  2. Squat with ball on the wall
  3. Stand on toes on one leg, just a few inches from the wall, and pull myself in and out using the front hip muscles

From shimmy (lying down for now; will standing when stronger advanced)

  1. Circle each hip front and then back
  2. M&Ms — move hips front to back, and then up and down

Cool down

  1. Slowly rise the recumbent bike for 8 minutes

STILT: Best Bathroom Air Freshener

It came as a sudden shock to me that, yes, I, too, can make bathroom stinkies.

Very stinky, actually.

Couldn’t find the usual helpers such as Doody Spray or Febreze, so I grabbed the only thing I could find … feminine deodorant spray.

Well, guess what?

Best. Oopsy. Ever.

Gets rid of the smell immediately with a millisecond spritz. Seriously. It’s amazing. I may never go back to using the normal products again!

Here’s the link to the exact one used:

FDS Extra Strength Deodorant Spray

Note that I am an Amazon Affiliate, meaning I get a small percentage of your purchase. I use this method instead of posting ads on the site. Please use this link if you’d like to purchase this item to help keep this site ad-free.

Physical Therapy at Home

Here is my set up for performing all of PT and recommended home exercises.

As of right now, I am going into the therapist’s office for my feet and hips, while doing my back, shoulders, and Physiatrist exercises on my own. If you’re new to the PT experience, you also get the joy of performing the current body part exercises as homework in addition to the office visits This basically means that I am doing my feet, hips, back, shoulders, and DOM all in the comfortable space of my bedroom.

You may me curious how I do all of this …

First of all, I have a Chore Chart that has rows of the various body parts we’re working on, and columns for each day. There are two sections. The top shows the plan, meaning what the therapists and I have deemed to be a good schedule. My visits and HEP (Home Exercise Program) are checked off each day they’re supposed to happen. The lower section is what actually happened. I’m sure you’ve guessed by now that they do not exactly match. I try … but sometimes things just don’t work out that way.

Second, when doing PT at home, it helps you to have the right equipment is available. This can be quite an investment, and thankfully my insurance, HSA, and/or FSA will reimburse me for (most of) these expenses. This basically means pre-tax dollars are used, thank goodness.

So let’s take a quick look at my home PT setup:

  • Therapy table to perform most of the exercises and stretches on
  • Various sizes of balls for several exercises and stretches (gray/75mm, pink/65cm, blue/55cm, purple/45cm)
  • Therabands are especially useful for adding tension between body parts, such as pushing the knees apart, or as replacements for weights
  • Full round, half-round, and short half-round are all used for various back and balance exercises
  • The sliders, which you may recognize is the miracle furniture slides, are used for foot, hip, and back exercises
  • The wobble board is used to stretch the ankles and improve balance
  • The foam square is used for warm-ups and balance exercises
  • What you don’t see here that are also extremely important are the tapes, such as the surgical tape for my toes, or self-adhesive wrap to support my arches

The cute little bouquet over on the right is actually a birthday card from my BFF, Ren. And when I say BFF, I really mean that, because we’ve been good friends for 29 years (1989).

Here’s the Chore Chart mentioned earlier. Granted, I’m not actually using it for chores, but it meets my needs for tracking PT. Yes, I have terrible handwriting … that’s why I type (or in this case, dictate).


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