Saturday, August 30, 2014

Fit bit fit

So for my 42nd birthday I have purchased for myself a fit bit. I was extremely jealous of my husbands that he has been wearing and his continual loss of weight. He looks good, and I want to as well. So I took some of my birthday money and I bought it at Costco.

It took me two weeks to get above 10000 steps in a day. Mainly because I was doing my first and second shift and the way I relax is to play candy crush. I play it often, especially when a level is within reach. Or figuring out what needs to be done and getting enough chances to implement a strategy. It is mental self-gratification and justifies wasting time... reminds me of playing Farmville when my garden went to weeds that year.

Do I work at two jobs? Yes, one is full time and so is the other. I am a working mother, but then that is a bit of a redundancy, isn't it? Arlie Hothschild wrote an article about the second shift an it has been stuck in my brain since graduate school, thank you Dr. Paul Colomy.

So I wear the darn thing on my arm and I am disgusted how long it takes to get to 10K and how little I move around at work. My day normally consists of between 2-5K steps. Only when I make the effort to exercise at lunch, or have to walk to pick up my car from the mechanic across the street from work do I have anywhere near close to a 8K. And then it requires another session after work to get the damn thing to buzz on my arm.

It is discouraging when I look at it and I see the little readout stuck at 2 or 3 dots. I KNOW this will help me, but nothing works unless I do. My husband wakes up and will walk until the damn thing buzzes and then go home. While he does his stuff in the am, I am thinking, I want to do that... I keep wondering how how how am I going to fit this into my day? Someone has to be at home with the kids...

We have a 100 mile fitness challenge at work and I have been a member I think this is my 3rd year and I have never once reached the 100 miles. I really want to do it. Since I have started wearing this fit bit, I have logged my miles from active exercise to my fit bit and I am determined this year to reach the 100 miles. I am up to 10 miles now. I have until the end of September.

So how the heck am I going to do this? I have no idea. Meanwhile we are buying the hubs new shoes today and he just recorded a new badge for his fit bit. A million steps. I will get there too. One step at a time.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Coconut and a Cup of Tea

I am just coming off a week of pain and annoyance. I was enjoying my birthday celebration with my brother, having some great cake and enjoying my meal when it hit me. There was this tickling in my stomach than in about 30 minutes moved from tickling to just an annoying presence. Not stabbing, not dull or achy but this pain none the less was there when the cat graced me with his presence or my kids decided to launch themselves upon me. Ouch. What the hell did I eat? I thought back to the last week. New flavor of nut at Costco. Coconut cashew. Ummm coconut. I had a few of those. We ate fresh sweet corn at MeeMaw's house. I went to work on my birthday and had German Chocolate cake. Mmmm coconut. Finally over the weekend, I had dinner at the Silver Diner. Breakfast for dinner. Coconut quinoa pancakes. So many that I had them on Saturday and ate the rest on Sunday afternoon. As I thought about it, it made sense. Coconut is great when it is fresh. However as the moisture leaves it, it becomes hard and crunchy. I thought about that as I snacked on a mini sized Mounds bar. Uh Oh.

It wasn't all the time pain, but it was noticeable. It hung out and decided to get worse. Monday wasn't too bad but it was noticeable. Tuesday there was no mistaking it. Something was wrong. And it felt different from other issues I have had. I had a small bout with Chron's in 2002 that got my perfect appendix out for my trouble. but this was different. Even more different from an issue in 2011 with my gut. It was my large intestine. It was as if I could feel it sticking out, swollen and enlarged.

Now come with me back to the day the Berlin Wall fell. I was walking into a hospital to see my mother. She almost died that day due to a abscess in her colon, and was hospitalized. She has to wear a colostomy bag for 6 weeks and despised every waking minute of it. She had to be very careful with what she ate and they removed a large part of her colon. Not cool.

So knowing what this could be, and not wanting to head down that road, I made an appointment at 11am with my doctor who poked me, heard the history and sent me for an x ray to start. Least expensive option. Could not see any masses but wanted to go a bit further with a CT scan. I agreed. I drive over to the place with is in the heart of Innsbrook on the West End of Richmond Virginia.

I wait. and I wait. I am waiting for the insurance company to give the OK. It comes in about 2 hours. Meanwhile I have almost killed the battery in my phone by scrolling through things. I drink barium. I surprise the person behind the desk by up ending it into my mouth and firing it all down, setting down an empty cup like it was a Guinness and I was Irish. I want to get this over with. What I thought would be a minor inconvenience like going to the doctor has turned into a major hassle. I haven't eaten since that morning. I am a little grumpy. I has a lovely coaster that buzzes to remind me when I can come back to get it down, so I take opportunity to go out to my car, clean it out a bit and charge the cell phone battery. So now I get to finally take my CT scan. It is close to 3pm.

Medical things fascinate me and I understand many things. I also remember the CT scan  I had last time, probably 2- 3 years ago when I had some similar pain but it went away. I received a copy of that CD to take home and so after the radiologist and I had our chat I asked for another copy. He showed me the last time I has this and now this time. A lovely thing called Diverticulitis. When you eat items that do not have a lot of fiber, your body has to strain to move items through your colon. That strain can make little pouches occur called diverticuli that can get items trapped in them and often cause issues like pain and can abscess and even worse, rupture and cause feces to spill into your peritoneum (that's the pouch that keeps your organs all together), which can cause sepsis, which can mean death. (This is what happened to my mom, not the death part, thank you god for Dr. Castaldi, who was the best diagnostician on the planet and my mom's physician.) There was an area in my transverse colon (it is spanning your stomach across and underneath your ribcage) that was affected. I was satisfied that I was going to be ok, I just needed to get through this and I would be more careful about what I ate in the future. The radiologist said he would call my doctor and that my doc would be in touch about what would be the next steps.

I waited for them to burn me a copy in the freezing area near the CT room. Maybe it was just having radioactive dye or something , but I was not warm. I waited for my CD and I finally stepped out into the waiting room. It is now after 4pm. I am freezing and I spy the Flavia machine to the left in the office. I beeline for it thinking that a cup of tea will be just the thing before I go get the girls and head home. My entire day was blown by this issue. I ask about the closest bathroom know that the barium I drank will indeed be coming out soon, and I need to make a pit stop before I leave.

So enter the restroom, hungry, thirsty, tired and grumpy and I take a large swallow of tea that I had cooled with water. I drink things quickly. But the tea was too hot. I set it down on the TP dispenser and take care of business. I was sitting there, finishing up and I felt woozy. Light headed. Something was wrong. Crud. I was going to faint.

I know there are a few people who have fainted. I have a long history of it starting in high school. I quickly finished wiping and flushing and grabbed my purse off the door. I walked out into the sink area and walked to the end wall and slid down the wall on the floor. It was coming and I couldn't stop it. One of the women in restroom was wearing scrubs and looked over at me. re you OK? No, I replied and passed out.

I come to and there is a bevy of women around me, checking my pulse and putting wet paper towels on my forehead. They call for the doctor who comes in and takes my bp/pulse. 80/62 with a thready pulse. Ugh. Then my cell phone rings. I say, is it Virginia Physicians on the readout? Yes, they say. Answer it, I say, it's is my doctor. So my doctor tells them that I need to go to the hospital and to call EMS. Damn.

There is no graceful way to get off the floor when you weigh as much as I do. I am not saying you need a forklift, but I probably weigh more than most. So picking me up was not an easy task. By this point I am just fine thank you. they wheel me into the lobby to wait for EMS. Most of the folks go back to what they are doing but I have a couple that stay with me including a few of the women who speculate on if they will get the "cute" firefighters.

EMS comes and starts asking me questions about me. I answer them with gusto and humor. I'm FINE. My BP is back to normal and I am fine. In the meantime, my husband has had his eyes dilated at the doctor and was planning on having me pick up the kids. I informed him that I was on my way to the hospital and I really didn't have that option. So he went out and picked them up, hooked them up with some food and a movie and kept in touch with me via text message.

ER doc is a nice man, and has a great bedside manner. He hits me with questions and I volley them right back. My fainting he said, was a classic case and that it had nothing to do with my other issue. He first asked if I was on Blood pressure meds. I said no, but that my BP fairly low most of the time. Given the fact I had just emerged from a cold environment with that dye in me, did not help. Strike One. Second, a warm cup of tea changes your instincts from fight or flight, to digest.  I had just ingested a cup of warm tea, releasing that parasympathetic nerve function. Strike Two. Third, in an effort to clear my bowels before leaving the office. The nerves that help that function is the same nerve. Strike Three and I was OUT.

So I was asked if I wanted to stay and get IV antibiotics and meds or if I wanted to do the treatment at home. I wanted to see my girls and love on them. My oldest was worried as well as my nephew. I had to call both of them to keep them from being worried.

I opted to take my treatment at home. In hindsight perhaps being at home wasn't a great idea. I assured my doctor I could stay hydrated but I was working at a deficit already. But they handed me a pill of Levaquin, the first antibiotic and I took it without issue. Then I sat in the lobby waiting for my nephew and sister in law to come and get me. And then, I felt hot and woozy and thought, I am going to be sick. Damn. I slide down to the floor, turned to the side and empty my stomach from the graham crackers, saltines and apple juice I was finally allowed to have at 6pm. Damn.

Of course because I was already discharged, I would have to get re-admitted, I was like screw this, apologized four times for making a mess on the floor and I left, hoping that I would not get sick again in the car. I made it home and made it upstairs. I laid down and waited for my meds to arrive. My brother delivered them and I was not feeling great. I had to read through all the meds I was given and I looked at the pain killer Lortab, Ibuprofen, Levaquin and some other antibiotic and some lovely propylene glycol something or other.

 I took my meds and went to bed. Drank water like crazy. It' 3am and I woke up feeling like it was worse. I took more meds. Woke up feeling worse. It's Wednesday. I call off work, try to sleep to make up for the deficit and end up getting a killer migraine from not drinking enough water. Really beginning to regret not staying  in the hospital. Realize I am probably hungry and find some saltines. Duh. I hadn't eaten anything for almost a day and a half. No wonder I was sick and weak. All I wanted was tea and Trader Joe's Oyster crackers. I take a nice long nap, dreaming of crunchy crackers.

Wednesday afternoon CJ and I go get my car and the girls. I hit the Trader Joe's and get my fix, head home loaded with bananas and crackers. I come home and go lay down immediately. Another headache. Damn. CJ feeds the girls and takes them to VBS. I sit with my oyster crackers and try not to throw up. Funny thing is, it's the headache, not the stomach that is causing me more problems right now. No more pain in the stomach. Just my damn head that will not stop hurting. My stomach feels full and I don't want to eat. And my entire abdomen is just yucky feeling.

Call off Thursday. Decide to stick with the BRAT diet and eat some bananas and squeezy applesauce and drink tea. Still not feeling well, but know I have to keep myself moving with some food and drink as much water as possible. Have some oyster crackers and catch up on the Newsroom where I left off on Season 1 Episode 3. Still not feeling well. Realize I haven't had an uh, movement since I got home. Damn Lortab. Take some meds to help move that along. Ugh. Keep taking antibiotic and nasty anti emetic to keep from throwing it up. Yeah, I am really not doing too well today. CJ comes home with the girls and I am upstairs again with another headache. But I manage to keep the food down and sleep OK during the night, waking up to use the bathroom and drinking water.

Now it is Friday. I think I am well enough to work but I don't think going in is a good idea. I at some toast. I think I will catch up on email and do some filing and then work towards getting ready for the office on Monday. Wednesday CJ leaves for Arizona, so I have to be better by then. So taking it easy until then will be good. In the meantime I have to continue to take the antibiotics to keep an abscess from happening. I have to continue to drink water like I live in the desert. And I have to watch out for coconut.

And then after this, I need to keep my alimentary canal happy with some great fiber and lots of water. So yes, be nice to your body. Eat well and drink well and de-stress yourself.


Saturday, July 21, 2012

Miss writing

I miss a lot of things.

One of these days I will get back into it. right now, the outside is calling me to work while it is quiet in the house.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Do you ever get the feeling...

That you are stuck in your worst nightmare and you cannot wake up?

That you are trapped in a cycle of fear and fat and cannot break free?

That the world around you is chaotic and crazy and you control nothing?

That there are days when crazy seems better and a straight jacket would be like getting a hug?

This seems to be one of those days... when I can barely get out of bed, can barely hang on, can barely make it through work, can barely keep myself from eating everything in sight, from ingesting make- it -all -go-away items (food, beverage or otherwise) and all i want to do is zone, play solitaire and stare out the window. Ignore the husband, the children, the bills, my health, my inertia. Ignore the weeds, the items on the counter, the silly little things that make me crazy...

The fact that I miss my animal companion whom I got right after Michael died. The fact that hearing Michael's funeral this weekend made me think of Michael all over again, 15 years gone, wound opens wide like a red raw gash in my heart. It takes me back to where I was before... alone, hopeless, in a very, very dark place. Very cold, and alone and unable to care for anything.

But it is just my mind that is there right now. I haven't completely gone off the deep end. Something holds me back from that precipice.

I really need to move on to a new way of thinking.

I want to break free.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Behold, the power of Elmo

This morning, as Elmo came on, Emily walked over to the couch that is Emily sized and sat down, eyes never leaving the screen. Then she gets up and walks closer and closer to the television. It was the same way with Maggie when she was young. Elmo is meant for kids. It drives adults crazy but it isn't meant for us. We have the televison on in the morning on PBS and Sprout, the PBS cable channel in the evening.

I decided that I would not subject my children to adult television because it is not worth the hassle to explain adult situations at this point. I also see nothing valuable about exposing them to silly people acting stupidly, from the commercials to the sitcoms. We normally limit the television watching to sports like football and golf, and Discovery Channel's Mike Rowe, and the Nova's and Wonders of the Universe's in the house. At least, that is my thoughts on it. I used to watch the food network, but it is worthless now, full of crappy "reality-type" drama driven shows. I hate that kind of stuff. I try to learn things from watching TV. Sports are the exception to that rule.

So the TV watching in the house is dictated most of the time by the youngest. Not that we put on what they want to watch, no, it is not that. It is just that we are mindful of the smallest eyes in the house (other than the cat of course) and think about it. Call me snooty or whatever, I don't care. I also limited the princess items in the household while MM was young but now I have given in. It was horrific how early the marketing begins and Sesame Street is not exempt from that either. I guess it is being mindful of that.... because we changed out the princess for the Elmo when she was young... but it is still consumerism. I look back now and realize that is what happened. It is hard not to fall into the trap.

So now as the morning progresses, we'll turn off the TV. After Calliou.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Mornings are not a four letter word

This morning I am enjoying my coffee because tomorrow morning will be hellish. Maggie's party will be fun but there are things to get ready for the party. So I have to make some things happen. Last night I ate too much and now I have a grease hangover and my liver was pissed at me for it and kept me up. I am annoyed and so to piss it off even more I took some Vicodin this morning to help with back pain which will make me sweat like a banshee. Just like pretty much every thing is causing me to sweat. Sugar and white flour... it is amazing.

I just hope that people will be coming to her party and that it will be fun. I am hoping. I have a LOT to get done today and tomorrow. argh.

I wish I had my new place to make this happen. Not yet. Soon. The next parties will be at our house. I am so glad for that.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Change and Loss

I was looking at a wasp nest today. I saw the wasps busy building their nest, laying eggs, caring for the grubs and doing whatever it is that is needed to be done. I watched at a nice safe distance as my girl napped in her car seat. It is getting on the end of summer and I want to nest myself.

Right now I am working on getting my house ready to sell and trying to figure out how I am going to make it all happen so I can move into the house that is for me, a mix of perfection and longing. I wanted this house as soon as I saw it. It was so incredibly beautiful and it had all that I wanted. It has a few warts. I saw beyond the small issues and cosmetic items. I looked at the solidly built wonderfulness and knew that it was what we needed. I feel like I am getting ready to tidy my nest and move on. It seems like the end of summer brings the changes of life.

There is a rip in my heart right now as a friend has to suddenly go away. I am mourning the loss of her structure and her nest as a tragedy stripped her of her livelihood. I am sad for her and her children as they face new unknowns. I am concerned for her safety. I will miss her because I saw her daily for almost 5 years. She has helped me as much as I have helped her and our relationship is now moving on to another stage. I am sad for that, because I will miss seeing my friend. But she will always be my friend.

Sometimes I wonder whether we are all just like the wasps, building nests, creating our own lives and creating offspring where they will build nests. But I don't think wasps contemplate their existence. I don't think that wasps navel gaze. If they do not procreate and continue on, eventually the species would die out. But would they find a nice condo to buy and move to Boca for the winter?

Change happens. It always occurs. Every day. Small things make big differences in our lives. Little things we do make a difference in the outcome of our lives. How is it that I can be okay with knowing that and still not be okay with this change? It is the suddenness? No chance to prepare? The fact that Em will not have the same kind of experience that MM did? It makes me want to cry and rail against God for causing these kinds of tragedies in our lives.

I have always thought that things happen for a reason though I do not know the reason behind why things happen. I have to trust and have faith that it will be okay and that God will watch out and take care of my friend and her children. Crisis can make us stronger.

Well, this house isn't going to fix up itself. I should get to work.