Thursday, November 20, 2014

Fat AND bipolar?

Yes.  It's true.

I am fat.  I am bipolar.  I won't go into the rest of my flaws; they could take up and entire and very long entry and there's no need to bore you with all of my junk.  Not that having a mental illness is a flaw any more than having cancer is a flaw.  I didn't ask for it and I didn't do anything to bring it on.  The fat?  That's another story.  That I can control (to an extent).  I control what I put in my mouth and I control how active I am each day.

As I sit here, I have eaten nearly an entire bag of m&ms.  It's not pretty and I expect severe nausea to kick in any minute now.

I know I've said before, I'm an emotional eater.  Here is where the bipolar fits in with the fat.  Life has not been going terribly well lately.  I feel no need to go into details, and some of them are far too personal to write on a public forum.  But, I am an emotional mess.  I've stopped several times at the supermarket and/or Target picking up Ben & Jerry's and a variety of candy and "regular" ice cream - have you tried Turkey Hill's Party Cake flavor?  Wow, delicious!  The emotions that have me eating are not at the mania/hypomania end of the spectrum.  They are where I spent most of my time - at the depression end.  Severe depression.  With death thoughts.  So I eat, and then I feel more angry and more depressed.  It turns into the perfect - awful - cycle.

The stress!  We had to cancel a dream vacation because we weren't able to save the necessary money each month - a new fridge; dental work; a new (to me) car; 2 weeks ago was a new sliding glass door; last weekend was 3 new toilets - which now require new seat covers and floor mats; Casey (the bigger dog) got sick; the list goes on and on.

I wound up very sick in Aug/Sept with a stomach virus and was, therefore, unable to keep my meds down.  Knowing it was a holiday weekend, I paged my psychiatrist that Friday to avoid needing to contact him over the weekend.  I called before noon on Friday.  After not hearing back 2 hours later, I called and got an answer, being told that he was with a new patient and could be a while but she would make sure he got the message.  She called me back and said he never received the page but would call me back later and that he may want my chart in front of him.  To give you the full picture here, the Wednesday AND Thursday prior to this call I was in the ER - most pertinent piece of info here being that I got home at 2:30 am Friday morning.  Being somewhat incoherent I made sure there was someone with me so that I could remember what the doc said.  By 10 pm, no call and hubby and I were exhausted, so we went to bed.  11 pm - I repeat 11 pm (!) the phone rang and it was him.  Totally inappropriate and unacceptable!  He said maybe he'd call back the following day.  Not hearing from him by 11 am-ish, I paged him and took another several hours until he called back.  He gave me a bit of an attitude and a titration schedule for my meds.  Of course I had Mr B stay with  me until he finally had to go to the grocery store so I was home alone, with a list that made only minimal sense to me.  I wasn't lucid and I wasn't stable.  One night at midnight I had a very embarrassing symptom.  I wound up paging my GYN (I verified that she was the one on-call and that she was awake already for a delivery; she is also a family friend).  She called the next day after giving me several suggestions to help with the symptoms overnight.  She had done some research and found a name for my symptoms and the probable reason was one of my psych meds.  Of course I called my psychiatrist back and he was really quite arrogant, saying that he'd never heard of it.  Basically since he didn't know of it, it mustn't be the cause, if it even exists.  Now, the psychiatrist is in his 50's, the gynecologist is in her 30's.

So, I got a new psychiatrist.  I'd had my feelers out for over a year with no success.  I'd exhausted anyone my psychologist knew so was left on my own - and that's ok.  After the above situation I'd had it.  The final straw.  So, I have a new one.  I saw him for my second monthly appointment last week.  There was some horrible traffic shown on the news so I left 90 minutes to get there (a drive that could take 40 minutes traffic-free, rush-hour-free).  He seems to run on time, so I went right back for my 15 minute appt and then headed back home.  Basically I spent 2-1/2 hours on the road for a 15 minute appt.  The "icky" doctor, as we call him here, always ran so, so late that the drive (he was only 10 minutes closer than the new guy) back and forth didn't feel so excessive.  Don't get me wrong - this is not a complaint.  The new doc is totally worth the drive.  Hey, I get to listen to some great music!

And some of the stress is as follows: a doctor's appt with the podiatrist who did my ankle surgery last December who ordered an MRI; a doctor's appt with an ENT who ordered an MRI of my brain (for which I have to have a series of bloodwork done) and an ultrasound of my thyroid; a dental appointment; my usual therapy each week (an hour away) and a number of times getting lost to and from these appts and misinterpreting the date for one appointment (I got lost on the way) and being there a week early.  The list goes on with a bunch of financial stuff and other miscellaneous.

So this may have come across as a gripe-fest but it's the circle my life has been on for the past several weeks.

Stress --> depression --> eating --> depression worsening --> comfort eating, etc, etc, etc.

I have to go, there is a pint of Ben & Jerry's calling my name.

Oh yeah, as a PS: I had lost 32 lbs on Weight Watchers prior to this and have found about 10 of those pounds back.  Crud!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Mail

Here I sit.  On the sofa.  Wanting to write a post and not sure what to write.

Got it!  Now that I've given it a title I will begin.

It may seem silly.  Actually, I'm pretty sure it sounds silly, but hear me out.  Please.

I just heard the mailman come up the street and it struck a chord in my tiny brain.

Who doesn't like to get mail?  I don't mean bills or coupons or ads or just plain junk (which I think is just another way to say "junk")... I mean mail.  It's addressed to you; maybe the envelope is hand-written; perhaps it's a Hallmark card (or any other brand of card) with a logo embossed...

Edit: I wrote the above back in August and since I never really finished a thought, I never published it.  I am changing that today, but it is unfinished and I am aware of that.  Here are some musings from early August.

Crash and Burn

Some of you  may think this sounds like one big gripe-fest, but it's just what my life is like right now.  To start, this whole bipolar thing has gotten out of control.  I saw a new psychiatrist  last month and my diagnosis has been officially changed to bipolar 2 (aka bpII).  My life is less-than-enjoyable these days.  It's not that I can put my finger on something specific and say "this" is why I crashed into a full-fledged depression.  I did lose a friend a few weeks back.  He was from our church that closed in the Spring, so haven't seen him since then.  I'll tell you, though, this guy gave THE BEST hugs!  Every Sunday I would walk into church and he would come over and give me a giant hug, complementing me on something - anything.  One woman teased that she could be wearing a sack and he would tell her how beautiful she looked.  He was just that kind of guy.  He was kind-hearted and genuine.  He is missed.  I also developed a few new friendships who seem to think that mental illness isn't "real" because it is more of a spiritual issue.  I don't want to get into specifics, nor do I want any comments about this.  I only say it because it is something in my life, as it stands right now.

As for my weight... well, I had lost those 25 lbs without trying the end of last year through the early part of this year.  Then I went on Weight Watchers (which rocks, by the way) and lost another 23-ish pounds.  Then my mental health tanked.  I've lost count of how many pints of Ben and Jerry's I've enjoyed.  I also got some regular Turkey Hill ice cream to save money.  Today was a Wegman's brand version of Ben and Jerry's.  It didn't come close as far as flavor.  I'll spend the extra dollar for the real stuff from here on out.  While you probably can't tell from this, I am super ticked off that I'm pigging out.  I'm also super ticked off that the depression is back.  They are absolutely related, although one is a choice (sort of) and the other is not.  Intellectually I know I have a choice over the junk food bingeing but it sure doesn't feel like it.

One of the dogs was sick for a few weeks so I was taking both pups for a walk virtually ever day.  It probably did good things for my mood.  It was so much easier to go for a walk every day when I was doing it for Casey and not myself.  Especially with the depression I have no motivation.  So now, I am not walking.  It's a vicious cycle.  Vicious!

So, as a fat chick I say that it's ok to go off plan every so often.  Weight Watchers actually allows for it.  BUT when this has become a multiple week thing, well, it's hit a bad, bad place.  And those... are today's musings.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

HGTV

I have become addicted.  No, it's not drugs or alcohol, it's not even food.  It's the channel HGTV.  My Mom has been watching it for years.  She's told me how she doesn't watch reality shows... except for those on Home and Garden.  I have essentially ignored the fact that the channel even existed but never scrolled past WE to look for "girly" shows on WE, as well as TLC, LMN, etc.  HGTV is past those and just don't scroll that far.  Boy was I missing out on something!!!

Right now I'm watching "Property Brothers" but also really like "Flip or Flop" and "House Hunters."  MrB is less than pleased with my new obsession.  This adds to my enjoyment of shows on those "girly" channels.  I am a freak about wedding shows.

I saw "GO FOR IT" and turn on HGTV.  You won't be disappointed (at least I hope not after my recommendation  :P )

Monday, August 4, 2014

Obvious

I don't want my blog to be all about being fat.  I mean, this is a fat chicks musings and not musings about being a fat chick.  That said...

If you're a fat person - not just 25 or even 50 pounds overweight - you become the center of attention just by the nature of being fat.  I have over 100 pounds to lose.  It's unfathomable!  It's a whole person worth of weight.

Let me clarify my comment about being 25- or 50-pounds overweight.  I felt enormous when I carried this amount of extra weight.  When I lost 40 lbs before my wedding, people took notice.  If I lose 40 lbs now -- well, it sure wouldn't be as noticeable.  Carrying 50 extra pounds isn't healthy and I don't want to say that anyone at that weight shouldn't lose it.  I just want to be clear about that.

When I fell in March of this year it was in a park, therefore not in some private environment.  Someone came over to me and asked my husband if he needed help getting me up.  Can you say "ashamed?"  It happened another time, earlier than that.  One person saw me fall and asked if she could grab someone else to help me up.  It was dreadful.

Now, when I began to creep further and further up the BMI chart, I became an obvious human being.  There's no staying in the corner.  No hiding.  This is a big deal.  I feel like people are staring at me all the time.  Kids DO stare.  They don't know better, but it sure is upsetting.

My weight is obvious.

It is obvious that I can no longer eveb shop in "plus size" departments... or "women's" as some stores advertise (presumably to be politically correct).

It is obvious to the point where every doctor I see tells me to lose weight.  This isn't just a PCP or cardiologist... we're talking the ENT and the dentist!

It is obvious that I'm fat.

I am obvious.

At this point, I am working towards not getting those embarrassing stares.  And while I'm doing that I hope that my husband will be less ashamed of me.  Ok he as never actually said it and he carries a bunch of extra weight, too.  But, how humiliating to be with someone who is a hippo?  Sure I'm trying to drop a bunch of weight for myself -- I've proven time and time again that if my motivation is anything outside of myself, I will ultimately fail and will regain far more than I lose to begin with.

Yes, I am obvious.  Yes, I am trying to become less obvious.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

The Before Shot


Both of us loathe this picture.  We despise the way we look.  The weight we carry in our faces.  My several added cup sizes.  Our stomachs.  All of it.  The whole thing disgusts us.

That said, we did a photo shoot with a friend of mine.  Our plan is to do a Weight Loss Series of pictures as we drop the pounds.  You can hold us accountable!!

So there ya have it.  I'd lost just over 25 lbs before this picture was taken (March, 2014).  For our purposes, MrB and I are considering this the "beginning" of this weight loss adventure.

Frustrated

The title just about sums it up.

Now, where to start?

I am a born-again Christian.  I'm sure some people will stop reading immediately and unsubscribe.  And you know what?  I'm good with that.  I mean, I don't want anyone to go.  I'm starting with small enough numbers as it is.  But it's true.  I am a sinner and I am sure that God has forgiven me through the life and death/sacrifice of His Son, Jesus Christ.  I tell you that because I want to lay that on the table and give you a filter through which you can use for future posts and comments.

So, my church of nearly 14 years has dissolved.  It was a church plant, meaning that a larger church saw a need in this neck of the woods.  My understanding is that specifically for my church, there were a lot of people at the larger church who lived in my area and a church plant would offer them a place to worship nearer their homes.

Now that I've gone on and on about that...

The closing of my church leaves me looking for a new church family.  That is the source of some frustration and certainly a lot of stress!  There is a church we've been attending for several months now.  We like love the preaching.  The pastor, his wife, and their 4 kids are amazing.  I guess a big hindrance for us is the music.  MrB's main ministry involvement is in music.  He really enjoys playing on the worship team and did so most every week at our last church.  We've spoken with the pastor of the "new" church and he would really like to update the music.  It seems the big snag is how some of the older members of the church might react to more contemporary music.  The pastor will be speaking with others on the elder board to see if it would be possible to add some "beat" into the songs.

I'm absolutely bogged down with medical stuff.  One doctor refers me to another doctor who orders tests, or at least another doctor to discuss if a test is necessary.  It's crazy.  I've been prioritizing the urgency of each appt or test.  The pile of papers I have from doctors is insane.  I'm trying to keep organized, but it's hard.  First and foremost I have to try to keep current the diagnoses and medication for existing conditions.  That already means a ton of appts and labs.  Some of the docs to whom I've been referred consider me a new patient, either because it's been so long since I've been, or because I am actually a new patient.  This means that it's a long time before there is a new patient appt available.  Meanwhile other stuff is on hold until those appts occur and/or until I can have a specific test.  Needless to say it's another source of frustration, for sure.

Sir Groundhog.  At least that's what we call him.  He travels between the yards of several people in the neighborhood.  Needless to say, our yard is one of those "blessed" yards.  I'm sure I've mentioned that we have two dogs (as well as two cats).  These dogs are wild about Sir Groundhog.  They literally go wild.  There is incessant barking and vertical jumping.  The video to the right is what I mean.  Ok, evidently the video refuses to load onto this page.  Grrrr!  And I just went looking for an emoticon for the "grrrr" and don't see them anywhere.  Grrrr squared!

Ok, just throwing it out there -- I'm frustrated with being FAT!  My weight has fluctuated ever since I was a kid.  I'm pretty sure I've already posted about that and it's not really vital to today.  Anyway my weight has gone up and down, mostly up in the past decade.  I weigh more than 100 lbs than I did when I stopped working in late 2000.  100 pounds.  Let that sit with you for a minute.  I have to say that I'm on a bunch of meds and many of the cause weight gain and/or slow my metabolism.  I do have a number of medical conditions which preclude my ability to workout like a "normal" preson.  Add to the mix that I'm in my early 40s and it's a recipe for failure.  It's not an excuse, just a statement of fact.  I was all ready to join a gym a couple of months back... and to get a personal trainer.  When I mentioned some of the major physical stuff he said that he wanted a doc's clearance before he'd work with me.  That has turned into a nightmare of coordinating physician's service and the joy of hours on the phone with the insurance company.  All that to say I'm stuck in this place...  If I may make a sports reference (and only because MrB had the game on), it's like a baseball player running back and forth between two bases.

I could continue my rant and my griping, but I'm sure I did enough of that for now (and for a long time to come).  I've been working on this for several days now, getting distracted with the dogs, email, searching for new blinds, etc.  Perhaps that explains the length.  Either that or I'm making excuses again...

Friday, July 25, 2014

Isolation

Isolation.  Think about it.  Isolation.  What thought comes to mind?  How does it make you feel?  How do you define isolation?  Dictionary.com defines it as "separated from other persons or things; alone; solitary."

Now, what image comes to mind when you hear the word? Is it positive?  My guess is no.  Do you envision a homeless person begging for food in the subway?  Is it a garden or plantation?  Is it someone working at a winery getting grapes?  Is it a dog or cat home alone while it's family is not home?  How about a person in the middle of a plantation harvesting fruits or vegetables?  A person living in the tundra in Alaska?  I think you need to reign in your thinking.

I am isolated.  Go back and slowly say the word.  Ice-o-lay-shun.  A middle-class woman who is the parent to 2 kitties (Tori and Bert) and 2 pups (Casey and Poly).  I am married with a whose husband is a successful Senior Systems Engineer - read computer geek.  I'm not sure you didn't picture me.  But it is true.  It is one component to depression.  It is also something which breeds depression.  My depression.  The monster has returned making my desire to eat junk food (when I actually want to eat) multiply by dozens.

What does it mean for me?  It means that I can go days without even talking with anyone other than my husband and usually my Mom.  I spend a lot of time having conversations with my computer and my dogs.  I mean a LOT of time.  When my hubby is here, I still talk to the screen.  At least he talks with the dogs as well.  When he hears me whispering to seemingly no one I have to remind him that I personify isolation and am not used to having someone home.  Conversations take place mainly on the phone.  Even those are few and far between and I usually have to initiate.

So, how does isolation look like?  For me, it means I EAT!  Now that I'm doing Weight Watchers, the not eating thing/healthy eating is very hard nearly impossible.  Why do I look like a hippopotamus?  Because I spend the day snacking.  Also, hubster and I eat in front of the television.  We all know that is a super bad idea.  We basically train ourselves by pairing TV and food.  (sorry, that's my psychology degree coming out)  It boils down to telling ourselves that we should eat when in the living room.  It's not good.  The hub and I did it when I worked, and if that wasn't bad enough, now that I'm not working I have the television on most of the time which - you guessed it - means that my brain tells my body that I'm hungry.  I feel like I have hundreds of tests and doctor appointments which all seem to lead to more appointments and more tests.  I've noticed that when I'm at an appointment I talk and I talk a lot!  Human contact.  It's vital.

Isolation + food = hippopotamus.  Isolation + Weight Watchers = hunger.  I get a little cranky when I'm hungry.  Add to it having virtually no contact with human beings during the day I want to pig out!  We are buying unsweetened applesauce in bulk.  It counts as "free" points.  Fruit and veggies are FREE (at least as Weight Watchers is concerned.  I am finding that I have a problem using all of my daily points - and I really need to do that!  I will spend them at the end of the day with junk food.  Yeah, that's not part of the plan.

Now that I've brought up WW I'll let you in... I'm down 8.2 lbs since 6/22, averaging 2 lbs each week.  Slow and steady wins the race, right?  I have to admit, it's frustrating.  I do try to look at the big picture.  I lost 26 lbs between September and February/March.  The whole loss is great (it isn't simple math because I did gain some of those 26 lbs back.  Overall, I'm down 32.4 lbs.

I was totally against counting anything help to lose weight.  Counting isn't natural.  Hubster joined WW before me and went over some of it and now that I've started I think it's a great plan.  I did WW when I was younger - a couple of times, in fact - and have always had success.  Most of the time I was on the go, so went to the meetings to get weighed and then rushed out.  That meant that the online program is just right.  It's obviously been success for me so far.  Sure it hasn't been long, but I'm headed in the right direction.

Ok, I'm off to enjoy some good diner food.  I have about half of my daily points left and about half of my weekly points, too, so I can splurge a bit.  I see french toast in my future!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

General Musings...

First off, a grand HELLO to all of you and please know that I feel blessed you have taken time out of your day to hear my musings.  So, let's get started!

I know this isn't new, but it is a self-esteem buster if ever I knew one.  Plus size.  You know the term.  It's the size given to those clothes that are just too big to don mannequins.  It's a term whose definition has changed over the years.  It's a size I've worn for a long time (read: decades).  When I got married at 135 lbs on my 5'5" frame I was wearing "those" clothes.  There's something humiliating about the term.  It indicates that you have "plus" what society says you ought to.  Should it affect self-esteem or be humiliating?  Of course not.  If you're totally confident with your body, then no, you should have absolutely no problem walking into Lane Bryant and coming out with a bag - not responding to the looks and comments by telling others you are buying something "for a friend" or "as a gift."

I've been shopping the "fat" stores for... well... pretty much my entire life.  Years and years ago, I plumped up to a size larger than what they have in stores.  An aside: don't you love the terms people use to be PC about someone who's fat?  Plump.  Heavy.  Overweight.  Put on a few extra pounds.  Big girl.  There are too many of them to count.  Ok, back to my original thought.  A couple of days ago, I was talking with a very dear friend of mine.  She lives several hours away from me so she sent a picture of herself to me wearing an outfit she needed for an event.  She's a stay-at-home-Mom of a toddler (she has a wonderful blog) and has no clothes for professional meetings.  We got into a discussion about how absurd it is for these stores touting themselves as being for a "Woman" (I think of one store with this as part of their name) start their sizes at 12.  12!

Not to beat a dead horse, but I was a 12/14 at 135 lbs.  You had to know that I'd add a wedding picture!  I felt the most beautiful at our wedding!  It also gives a touch of my Disney side - we entered our reception with these guys on our heads.  Hubby's is a bit hard to see but it's a top hap with ears.  The picture on the right is from our honeymoon (in Disney, specifically the Yacht Club) and gives a slightly better view of my bod back in 1995.

I have probably said (a zillion times) how I've struggled with weight my entire life.  Doctors said needed to lose weight.  The famous "charts" showed me as overweight.  Has anyone ever actually seen these charts?  I did Weight Watchers and Nutri-System with my Mom.  She was doing what she thought best from what the doctors had told her.  She is a smart woman, an RN, but weight issues aren't her area of expertise.  The term "childhood obesity" wasn't used back then.  I was "heavier" than most people/girls in my grade, so I was automatically labeled "the fat kid."  I look at pictures from my childhood and would just about kill for that body (even if I could go back to that age and look the same).  I was no Kate Moss, I was no model, I had a burger and milkshake sometimes  Gosh, do you think everyone and their uncle calling me overweight affected my self-esteem?  It couldn't possibly be contributing to my food and weight issues today, could it?  I get angry every time I think about it!

Whoa, I am getting distracted more than usual today.  Now back to my friend.  She is in between the "regular" stores and the "fat" ones.  How is it that the size 12 girl (to be clear I do not know what size my friend is) can't just walk into any store she desires to find clothes?  Is it necessary to send her into the abyss that is the "fat" store?  Fortunately my friend isn't embarrassed by this.  Fortunately my friend found something to wear.  Gone are the days of "fatties" wearing a muumuu, thankfully.  That doesn't make it ok to force a size 12 to enter a store that caters to size 26...  Yes, I do realize that stores have "plus size" areas, some stores do carry size 12 as well as a size 2, and that I'm making generalizations.  Before anyone reams me about this, I'm trying to make a point!

The entire population of the world has, no doubt, heard the stats about Marilyn Monroe being what is considered certainly what today's standards consider "Hollywood" worthy.  See this article from the files of snopes.com.  Conversely we have the beloved Barbie.  I found multiple sites I'd like to link to.  The first is titled "Barbie as a real woman is anatomically impossible and would have to walk on all fours, chart shows "  The second, The 'average' doll v Barbie (from BBC NEWS MAGAZINE MONITOR), shows what "real life" dolls would appear with Barbie's measurements.  The final link I want to share is this one, which I find impressive, dare I saw inspiring.  You'll have to click on it to see what I'm talking about.


While it is discussed in most references to these stats, I would be remiss if forgetting to mention the way Barbie affects women, specifically as it relates to eating disorders.  The articles above will touch on this and I think it would be wise to take heed to this and apply the positive implications it offers to the girls in your life.  Start early!

Shockingly I got side-tracked... again...  Maybe the best thing for me to do is to let you ponder all of this.  How does the term "plus size" affect you?  Do you find it embarrassing to buy clothes at stores advertising that they sell "fat" clothes, if you do fall into that category?  What are your feelings about using "fat" and "fatty?"  Do you stare at people who are obese, maybe thinking that you're better than... that at least you aren't "that" size?  How do you feel about women, such as myself, who have to shop via catalog, no longer fitting into the "Woman" stores?

Please, share your opinions.  Start discussions.  Think!

As an added after-comment: I have no idea whatsoever how to get rid of the few lines with a white background.  I've spent a ton of time working on it.  Rather than let it drive me even more insane, I'm going to (try to) go with it.  Apologies.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Were You Raised or Did You Just Grow Up?

I WAS RAISED!
I didn't just grow up
I was taught to speak when I enter a room.
Say "please" and "thank you"
Have respect for my elders
Get up off my lazy butt and let the elder in the room have my chair
Say "yes sir" and "no sir"
lend a helping hand to those in need
Hold the door for the person behind me
Say "excuse me" when it's needed
Love people for who they are and not for what I can get from them. 
I was also taught to treat people the way I want to be treated.
(adapted from a Facebook post)

True all the way!  While it's not a straight line, I think that the lack of respect across our nation has led to some of the violence we're seeing.  I'm sorry, friends, but I think that (unless you're super close with someone and are "Aunt___" or "Uncle___"...) adults should be referred to as "Mr. and Mrs. ___."  Then there is a distinct difference between friends and people who are more...seasoned.  And on the topic of respect, I believe that parents are doing their children a disservice by being friends with their kids and fighting *with* teachers (etc) when their child does something be it in behavior, grades, speech, etc, rather than recognizing that their child makes mistakes and suffer consequence.

Kids will learn to respect themselves enough to accept being less-than-perfect, that mistakes happen, and that there won't always be someone there to fight for them.  Kids need to be taught to have a moral compass; as humans it isn't entirely natural to be loving to others.  We *want* to be selfish.  It's all intertwined!  I'm not saying that it's easy, but that's one of the difficulties of parenting.  (and no, I don't have kids, but have many friends who do, and I have taught).

Perhaps I'm too old-fashioned.  Perhaps I'm too conservative.  Perhaps I'm getting older.  Perhaps I think respect is something children should offer their elders.  Perhaps., perhaps, perhaps...  You get the point.

When there are morals instilled in childhood, there are morals in an adult (even if they don't show it)! And yes, I believe that morals fall under the "respect" category.

There are people in my life from childhood and I have a great deal of trouble calling them by their first names. I've shortened it to call them "Mr.J" or "Mrs.Q" because I still know that they are one of my elders.

Don't get me wrong, I don't believe respect is something only to be given to the generations prior to yours. Respect should be given to anyone around you. And to yourself, but the whole self-esteem thing comes in to play with that one. Too much to go into for this post.

So yes, I have strong feelings on this one. I firmly believe in this, some of which can be displayed by not calling those generations prior to yours by their first names. Also, as the above quote says, hold the door for the person behind you, give your seat to an elder, and say "excuse me" and "God bless you" when it's needed.

Please, it's not that hard!

Friday, July 11, 2014

When Life Enters the Picture


There is no excuse.  None. At all.

However I'm going to offer one up anyway.

Life.

Life is crazy busy.  You know it.  It's true for you, too.  It seems to be true for everyone these days, doesn't it?  Work.  Cooking.  Shopping.  Movies.  Dinner out.  Family visits.  Friend visits.  Cooking for said visits.  Phone calls.  Life.

Personally, my life has taken a turn further into crazy with appointments and testing out the wazoo (I can't believe wazoo is a real word!).  I won't go into all the craziness of it all, but it's there.

My last post (embarrassingly nearly a year ago) was about a month after I fell.  I had had my MRI and was doing PT.  Ahhhh, such innocent days.  After PT was unsuccessful, the doctor and I decided it was best to schedule surgery.  Eeep, surgery!

Ok, I'll back up.  I go to the surgeon for the first time and he tells me that the type(s) of injuries I sustained rarely needs surgery.  I laugh at him because I had the same injury on my other ankle years ago and wound up having surgery.  I have the surgery in early December and was told that I needed to be non-weight-bearing for 3 weeks.  For someone the size of a hippopotamus that essentially means that I have to live upstairs for those 3 weeks.  To be clear, 3 weeks/21 days after surgery is Christmas Day.  Brilliant.  Someone morbidly obese... ok, I cannot use my weak upper arms to hold up my big-fat body with crutches.  I borrowed a Knee Scooter from a friend and that was a life-saver.  It took a bit to get used to, but crutches were absolutely NOT an option, I was thankful for this.  I had a really hard time going up and down the individual steps in front of the house and wound up crawling on my knees.  It wasn't pretty.

Moving on...  ok, so, I had the surgery on a Wednesday and had a quick check-up on Monday.  All looked good.  Monday night the pain was unbearable.  The doctor had already given me Percocet and Vicodin, but when I called him at the end of the day, he prescribed Dilaudid.  Ok, taken.  But OUCH!  I was still hurting in agonizing pain.  I called him after-hours and he said there was nothing else to do; I should go to the ER.  He also mentioned that he's never had anyone go to the ER for post-op pain.  Hours later, after a lot of groaning, MrB came up and said that I really should head to the emergency room.  Off I went.  They gave me IV Dilaudid and I remember nothing after that.

Changing the bandages was a multi-step process on the outside of my ankle.  Given my size it was a difficult spot to make sure the dressings were secure, so MrB helped me - a lot!  One morning it looked as if I had popped a stitch and called the office to see if they would fix it in the office or if I needed to head to the ER (again).  They said to come, so MrB drove me over to see the partner in the practice.  The bottom line of that adventure was that I had a hematoma which burst at the incision site.  A couple of weeks later I had another follow-up with my doctor.  By that point, the area was ugly absolutely disgusting!  After removing the bandages my surgeon said that he had never seen this happen.

Have you lost count?  That's 1) injury doesn't usually require surgery, 2) never had anyone go to the ER for IV pain meds; 3) hasn't ever seen this problem.

Moving on to #4.  The wound was infected and I wound up going through four rounds of antibiotics.  The surgeon has never seen this (I've come to expect hearing those words by this point), but the wound wasn't healing after some time and he had to refer me to a wound clinic.  Yup.  Is anything ever easy?  So, off to the wound clinic I go.  The clinic treated me with some medical honey and it cleared up after 6-ish weeks.

That's enough life for this post.  But yeah, life has kept me busy since I'd last written.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The Joys of Physical Therapy

Yep, I'm in PT.  The results of my MRI are in.  I've done an excellent job.  My motto: "If you're going to do it, do it well!"  It seems I followed through on this one.  I have a few torn ligaments, a messed up tendon and a badly bruised bone - all on my left ankle.  Yep.  I did a good job.

I went to the yucky doctor, got the MRI results and scheduled a follow-up planning to cancel it (well before the date).  He looked at the MRI disc and told me about the ligaments and bone finds (as I think I already wrote about).  My good doc appointment was set for 8/9 and I was good to go.  I woke up on Monday, 7/15 to a call from the good doc's office - I was on the cancellation list and they had an opening at 2:30 THAT DAY and could I make it.  SOLD, I'll be there!!

He had a hard copy of the results and I had the CD with the films on them.  He looked at them and added the tendon injury to the already job well-done.  He ordered PT with an immediate goal being to get out of the boot.  For some reason, I was up for it when he ordered it.  I called the PT place the next day and had an appointment for the next day to have an evaluation!  He also addressed the right ankle and gave me a brace for it.  He is a podiatrist so can only deal with the ankles, but I knew that going in and am willing to suffer through while these specific injuries our dealt with.  Yes, my knee causes pretty severe pain but I just can't put up with finding another doctor to handle that right now.  If it gets worse, I'll think about it, but being in PT three times a week and mental health therapy twice a week, I'm pretty busy.  I know, it sounds like excuses, but I can only be so busy!

I had the eval and when I went to leave found out that my secondary insurance claims I am not on the policy.  HUH??  I had asked the facility when I scheduled if they took both of my insurances.  They did, but for some reason I'm suddenly dropped?  I've had many other claims since the beginning of the year (when the new plan began) and have been arguing with them over a number of claims for months.  I called the insurance and they said that I am indeed on the policy but that this PT facility isn't capitated for my specific coverage.  They gave me the name and number for a new place to go - someplace more than my current 5 minutes away.  Oh. My. Gosh!  Is this happening?  I called the woman at the facility and told her what was going on.  She spoke with a manager/supervisor and was told that they would essentially eat whatever isn't covered by my primary insurance.  WOW!  I realize that this is a new location for this company but they sure don't have to be this wonderful about it!  In doing this, since my secondary insurance isn't being billed, I no longer have to get a referral!  It doesn't get any better than this.

So, my ankle measurements, as far as flexibility, are pretty bad - not a surprise.  I have a number of exercises to do here at the house and even more to add to it when I'm with the therapist.  Last week, he added 6 minutes on the bike.  I lost 65-70 lbs a number of years back with my main exercise being the bike (recumbent bike, specifically).  Perhaps I can get motivated to use it on a regular basis - we do have one in our spare bedroom.  My injuries were hurting after having the boot on ALL day on Sunday and my knee had had enough.  There was a surprise party for my father on Sunday and I was working all day until he showed up - and then I had to visit with people and was on my feet a lot.  Anyway, my left ankle and right knee were killing me a minute into the bike, but I pushed through and made it all 6 minutes.  Whew!  Now if I can only make it up to 25-30 minutes or more, that would be ideal.  In the meantime, working on it....

If it's possible, I'm getting less exercise than normal since I got hurt.  I'm walking less back and forth to the kitchen or even standing.  Just moving causes extreme pain.  Putting all of my zillion pounds onto my ankles and knee is not good.  I am, however, thankful that the therapist hasn't mentioned once that if I lose weight it would help.  Frankly this isn't a chronic condition, it is an acute injury and he sees that.  Praise God!

I do have the Rollator but have only used it once to run errands.  I find myself always putting more weight on my right side since my left ankle hurts so much, making my right side pain increase.  The physical therapist mentioned that at some point I may require a cane.  I talked with a friend who uses a cane to get her review of The Hurry-cane and she loves (!!!) it so I ordered it.  I got it a few days ago, but haven't yet tested it out.  we'll see how that goes (especially since I'm more than 50 lbs over the weight limit - but I figure I won't be putting all of my weight on it at once so it should be fine).

So as it stands, I'm trying to work out of the boot and pray I don't need surgery.  A peripheral goal would be to pump up the cardio while I'm there and have to respond to someone.  When this is all said and done, it's off to find a personal trainer.  Oh, and OT is still on the table but hasn't taken the forefront with as busy as I've been due to my pain.  Whatever...

Monday, July 15, 2013

Visitors

I have the chance to spend time with my brother and his family, including 2 boys (soon to be ages 13 and 11).  They don't live locally... in fact they are in an entirely different country, switching to a different country every two years (my brother works for the government).  This means that unless I travel to them, I only get to see them every 2 years.

Given that, the last time I saw them was 2 years ago.  In those 2 years, I've gained an enormous amount of weight... probably close to 100 lbs.  I was very anxious about seeing them.  They are children and life has shown me that someone of my size gets stared at by the littlest humans.  I've had kids not only stare at me, but be scared of me.  I think I already posted about one 3-yr old who asked if I was going to have a baby.   What can I say to that other than "no, I just don't exercise enough."  I mean, if the kid could learn something by this socially inappropriate (not that I'd expect any different, given his age) question, that would be great.  Get more exercise!

What is your experience with kids (if you're overweight)?  Do they stare at you?  Ask questions?  Act frightened?

Sunday, July 14, 2013

The Saga Continues

Yes, more drama...

My injuries have created a difficult time.  I have been instructed by the yucky doctor that I am to begin non-weight-bearing.  What is this guy thinking?  First of all., my "900 lb" body cannot be held up by my arms (on a walker or crutches).  In addition, my other ankle and knee are also injured!  So, I am supposed to put all of my weight onto a sprained ankle and knee.  Sure.  No problem...  Well, I was WRONG.  I have to say, I have a Rollator so I was still weight-bearing on my injured leg, but attempted to at least lessen the amount of my fatness being put onto that ankle.

That was yesterday.  There were some errands the hubby and I ran.  For a normal person, it would have been fine, in fact it would have been very few stores.  For me, let's just say that I was virtually unable to put any weight on either leg by the end of the day.  I wasn't able to make it to church today and wound up in bed until 11:30am.  I think the pain wore me out and/or kept me sleeping because it was so bad.  You know, pain can be exhausting!

Hubby has been great!  He isn't letting me get up from the chair for the most part since he got home from the supermarket.  However, he can't get me to the bathroom and sure can't carry me up and down the steps.  I have a therapy appt on Tuesday and his office is on the second floor.  I'm not sure I can make it - especially when I take into account the hour's drive to get there.  Wednesday is a haircut.  Friday I have to do a ton to get ready for a party for my Father on Sunday.  Just writing it is making me tired and causing my knee and ankles to throb.

I am scheduled to see the yucky doctor in about a week and a half.  He danced around the idea that he'll order PT for me at that point (but that I'm too fragile for that right now).  I think it's best (maybe) to wait and see what the good doc says - though that isn't until 8/9.  I don't know... do I wait that long so I can see the good doc, or do I go with the yucky doc and try PT, even though I'm not entirely non-weight-bearing, so don't feel like I"m ready for that; I need to rest my ankle more since I am putting weight on it.  Any thoughts/suggestions would be appreciated.

Thanks, y'all!

Sunday, July 7, 2013

We All Do It

Yes, we do... and I, for one, don't enjoy it!  It's painful, it makes me feel stupid, and I've done it enough for a lifetime.

My guess is you all think I'm talking about sex, or that I've lured you into reading this hoping it's about sex, but it's not.  It's about falling.  Indeed, the simple act of falling.  Being fat alters one's ability to maintain a good center of balance.  While I've had weight issues almost my entire life, I'm most embarrassed about it at this moment.  It's the fattest I've ever been.  It's the most at risk I've been for injury (and I've had a LOT of injuries in the past; it wasn't a big deal for me to enter my High School on crutches... nobody took a second look).

I was at a baseball game two weekends ago.  No, I'm not a huge fan, but it was a birthday gift from my parents to my husband.  Anyway, I have a handicapped permit due to my arthritis and disk disease so of course we parked in those spots.  I noticed that the only ramp I saw served probably a dozen parking spaces.  I was in the middle of making a comment to my husband about it (and how the curb in front of the many handicapped spaces should really be ramped) and the next thing I know I'm on the ground.  I'm yelling "ouch. ouch."  Now I go up steps every day at home and I successfully navigate ramps all the time at a variety of stores but this one had to get me... it had to win.

As I try to get up, I hear someone yelling at me to stay where I was.  It turned out to be a security guard.  As I hear her, I see ballpark paramedics coming towards me.  The next thing I know my parents, along with her pastor (also a PA) and bunches of professionals have surrounded me.  Fortunately I was far enough away from the actual park that my fall didn't cause a huge hullabaloo.

It takes two medics to heave me up onto the curb (you know, the one which should be a ramp).  "What hurts?  Are you okay?  Do you need an ambulance?"  The barrage of questions continued for a bit.  "I don't think anything's broken."  I'd have to agree, I can move all of my extremities and there are no bones sticking out from under my skin.  My right shin was pretty cut up and my left ankle hurt (later my right ankle took over as the pain-ridden appendage, so was the one to get medical attention).  As for the ambulance - how silly would it be to take the ambulance to a hospital I don't even like?!?

The medics squished (and I mean Squished - with a capital "S") me into a wheelchair and we took the elevator up to the box my Mom's church had gotten.  The next thing was to pry me out of the chair - an adventure all of its own.  They iced my abrasions and my right ankle and I spent the entire game in our air-conditioned box.  As time went on, I noticed my right ankle causing me more pain, but I didn't think it was worth hunting down the paramedics.

Oh, did I mention they did an incident report?  I mean, I guess they had to, but it all seemed so over the top.  I fell.  So what?  Yeah, and I had to sign a "refusal of treatment" form.  My father was there to make sure I wasn't signing my life away.

That was Saturday.  Sunday comes along and I'm barely able to walk, with my left ankle swollen as if there was a baseball under the skin.  I try to get up and nearly fall to the ground.  My lower half has been beaten up, or so it felt.  I decided that after church I needed to have x-rays done.  Off to OUR ER we go.  The x-rays were negative, but both ankles and my right knee were sprained.  Since my left ankle and right knee were the worst, I was given an air cast and immobilizer, respectively.  They gave me an ace bandage for my other ankle.  And off I went.

Fast forward to over a week later; Tuesday.  I see a new doctor who gives the most attention to my worst injury, giving me a (huge, ugly) boot for my left ankle and ignored the rest of my injuries.  He wanted to do an MRI and PT (with PT first), but I let him know the severity of my pain, so he ordered the MRI.  Oh, did I mention that he wants me to see some friends of his at a local family practice to test me for diabetes.  Yeah, more joys of being fat.  Yes it runs in my family.  Evidently given those two facts I must have fallen because my lower extremities were numb.  No, they are far from numb - they hurt like the dickens!  I've not done anything about the diabetes.  I just got out of 3 weeks in the hospital and am certain their bloodwork included a sugar level!  Remember, I'm fat and it runs in my family.  Everyone assumes, yet somehow I've managed to avoid the beast.

So, the MRI was Friday and I await the results.  I haven't scheduled a follow-up with this guy.  I did NOT like him.  He didn't listen to me and a medical student spent the most time with me.  He was in and out and spoke so fast I couldn't follow.  I was overwhelmed and didn't even have time to process what he had to say enough to tell him that even Vicodin wasn't helping the pain, so I said it to the student, who ordered an anti-inflammatory (yeah, Aleve didn't work either).  Just so there is no confusion, I don't mind having med students in with me, but when he spends three times the amount of time with me than the doctor himself, I have a problem.  I'm paying to see the doctor!  Anyway, I had ligament surgery on my other ankle several years back and loved that doctor.  I sent the MRI results to him, but unfortunately his first available appt isn't until early August.  Ugh.

To sum up: being fat leaves one vulnerable to falling; being out of shape makes the likelihood of injury greater.  If one is fat, s/he is bound to have diabetes so we'll just chalk this up to that and essentially ignore the pain of said fat person.  Actually, I wonder if often my ailments are assumed to be fat-related.  I KNOW losing weight will improve a lot of my pain issues, but in the meantime, I'm still in PAIN!  I rambled about that in another post, so I'll let you go back and read that one - haha.

And I leave you with a word of gratitude for making your way through this incongruous post - in which the topic was far from your initial suspicions.  Once again, I say that I will try to post more often - and hopefully with shorter posts and good news of any sort!  :)


Wednesday, April 17, 2013

How is This Possible?

I am writing about the horrific events of Monday in Boston - the bombings at the finish line of the world-renowned marathon.  Whoever did this knew it would get worldwide attention but is too much of a wuss to come forward.  Accept responsibility for your actions!  For crying out loud, you killed a number of people, including an 8-yr old.  If you think it's ok to murder innocent men, woman and children, step forward and take your punishment!  My heart goes out to those who lost loved ones and those who were injured.  It's an impossible situation.

Do I understand the concept of accepting responsibility for my actions?  Absolutely!  I am fat because I eat too much and don't exercise.  I am the only one who is at fault here, just as whoever destroyed the lives of innocent people is solely responsible for that action.  I'm not trying to compare the two events (my weight and the bombings) and minimize what happened in Boston.  It was - and is - ghastly and heinous.  I am simply saying that most of us can take responsibility of our actions and this monster needs to do the same.

Monday, March 4, 2013

And so it Goes...

I'm having extreme back pain - I'm talking can't stand for more than a few minutes, scream out in pain when I try to move,  don't touch me kind of back pain.  I finally gave in and went to see an ortho doc.  When the PA was doing the initial evaluation, I told her that I KNOW losing weight will help, but I've had this pain on and off since high school (I graduated in 1990).  The doctor comes in and in his less-than-five-minute exam he tells me that I need to lose weight (as if I didn't already freakin' know that!) and he sent me to PT, which I told him in the past has caused my pain to worsen.  He did throw out there that I might want to try to find a low back pain water class at the Y...  When checking out, the receptionist told me that I am likely very limited as to which facility I can even use for PT and will need a referral (I might add here that the referral I requested for this appointment last week hadn't arrived - and it's done electronically!).  This is the way my life goes these days.  More reasons to hate the insurance company.  So, what did I do with my frustration when I got home?  I opened up bags of candy and ate until I felt nauseous.  Yeah, this is helpful.

How long until I decide to do something about this nightmare?

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Frustration!

I don't know what to say.  I'm fuming right now.  I've been fighting with an insurance company and the healthcare provider over a specific claim and both ends, of course, say it's the other one's fault.  Now, here I am, stuck in the middle with a past-due bill while we're trying to refinance the house.  Oh, and I had the car in the shop yesterday for regular maintenance and because of a weird jerking movement it was making.  That turned out to cost $600 - I know it could have been worse and this was almost a relief, but it is also $600 we don't have.  On top of this, I have woken up the past week or so with headaches and disinterested in taking medications because of the tendency for bounce-back headaches.  I finally gave in yesterday and again today.  I was also having abdominal issues yesterday, presumably after a virus from over the weekend.

Today, my dogs go out and play in the mud, one of them digging just a little and listening when I said "STOP" but the other totally and completely ignoring the fact that I'm even talking (yelling) and continued to dig to the point where when I finally drug her inside she was muddy from the bottom of her feet to the top of her legs.  I had to wipe both dogs' paws off and in order to do so had to bend over.  Now we come to the pain issue - my back did NOT tolerate the bending over well - at all!  I was screaming and almost in tears (not being able to cry is another issue...), so, so very frustrated with my life and the dogs.  Of course they are now sound asleep on the sofa as if they've been good all day.  The big digger, Poly, knew I was angry because I yelled IN her face, something I've never done before and with an unknown history, something which I think scared her (frightening her as if she was going to be abused was NOT my intention; I pray she knows she is loved and safe here.... but also that she MUST behave).  He sensed my anger and finally came running inside, mostly compliant as I attempted to clean him up.

I am not in a place where I'm handling this stuff well.  Yes, in the grand scheme of things none of this is a big deal, but when I'm starting out in a bad place this just sends me spiraling.  My language has not been good the past week-ish.  While that may  not seen like a big deal to anyone reading this, I am a Christian and do not want my language to be something that doesn't glorify Him.

I want MY therapist back.... 3 more weeks - halfway there......

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Another Doctor Visit, Another Weigh-In

I had to see my PCP for a transitional appointment from my hospitalization last month.  Before even going back to the examining room I'm put on the dreaded scale.  If I thought the scale at my appointment on Friday was bad, this was horrible!  I realize that for both appointments I had eaten and was dressed, but for the Monday appointment I weighed over 10 lbs more than I did yesterday morning at home.  My home scale is a digital one from amazon and I know that they are sometimes less accurate than the ones at most doc's offices, but 10 lbs?  TEN POUNDS???  That's just crazy - I was not wearing 10 lbs worth of clothing, although I did have pasta for dinner an hour or so before Monday's weigh-in.  I do step on it enough times until it reads the same number twice.  Yesterday it took 3 attempts, but two of them were the same, so that's the number I went with.

Last night I saw the therapist - the one covering while mine is out on medical leave... the one who is an expert on food issues.  Yeah, her.  Well, I alluded to my body issues, but it wasn't the main focus of what I was saying, so she didn't ask me to expand on it.  I didn't bring it up again.

I'm scheduled to go away in the Fall.  Away to a place which requires a lot of walking - Disney World.  Last time I was there was this past December and the arthritis in my back was acting up in a way that I was in so much pain.  In fact, it's still really bothering me.  I know that losing weight will at least help with that pain.  I'm just not sure I'm ready to give up my junk food.  I realize that I don't have to give it up - that it's not about dieting, but I won't be able to eat in the way I am now.  Do I take advantage of her "area of focus" in "eating disorders" (as it says on the practice's website) or do I wait until my therapist comes back (where the website says he has "extensive expertise" in treating "food addiction") and work on it when I'm ready?

Only Furry Kids?

This is a post from my other blog, A Tale of Two Dogs, but I thought I'd post it here for you to get to know about me further...


I thought maybe I'd spend a post talking about why Keith and I are childless... or at least have no 2-legged kids.

Keith and I tried for quite some time to become pregnant, both naturally and with treatments.  Not only did I take medications, but he had surgery.  Even considering those treatments we did not become pregnant.  At one point Clomid had me sporting four (yep, you read that right), four eggs.  We could have had quadruplets!  Looking back I can't even imagine what life would have been like.  We are both totally anti-abortion and I would have carried all four to the best of my ability had we become pregnant with all four eggs.  As we discovered later, I had endometriosis and adenomyosis.  The names aren't really important.  What is important is that there is treatment out there, we tried it, and decided - a conscious decision - to stop trying.

We chose to finish with treatments in 2000.  It's still painful to talk about pregnancy, to see a pregnant woman, to hear children laugh, etc.  Even seeing babies is painful - but to those of you whose babies we love (and you know who you are), we don't love them any less!  I promise!  I love to look at babies, albeit painful.  I love to see babies when we're out or pictures of little ones!  While it is a reminder that we were never given that gift, someone else was and even through the hard times parents have, I pray that those little miracles grow up loved and happy.

For us, though, the decision to end our seemingly constant trips to the fertility specialist was the best decision we could have made.  Not only are treatments expensive financially but they take an enormous toll on our emotions.  The roller coaster we went through each month was more intense than the most intense roller coaster imaginable.

So now we are blessed with our four-legged kids!  We believe that it was God's plan all along.  Of course He knew that I'd never carry a baby and that we'd save the lives of 5 critters - so far!  For any of you who know someone going through infertility or who is childless, this post will help you further understand.  I encourage you to read it!

As always, ask questions, make comments, link to my post - it's all appreciated!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Have you ever just opened a bag of chocolate chips...


Have you ever just opened a bag of chocolate chips because you craved chocolate and it was the only thing in the house?  Yeah, that's where I'm at.  There is a bag of candy in the fridge, but it belongs to Keith.  Ok,, sure I've had a little bit of it - who wouldn't?  But I'm not going to gorge myself on it.

I did have a small-ish dinner last night... only one piece of meatloaf and some mashed potatoes.  Neither of us felt like messing with the fresh green beans.  I know, I know, that's no good but I tire easily and Keith, well, he does so much around the house; I'm very blessed!

We're waiting for a new leash to come in (it's on order now).  It's called the Wacky Walkr (yep, that's how it's spelled) and it's supposed to help with pulling.  The pulling really aggravates the arthritis in my back.  Once it comes in (along with the "Crazy Coupler" - which you can see on the site), I'm hoping I can take the dogs out for walks; short walks to start and working up to longer ones.

Whoopsie.... I just noticed that I had posted the above on my other blog!  It's A Tale of Two Dogs and certainly those readers don't want to hear about my chocolate chip dilemma!  If you'd like to read it, please, link to the above and it will take you right there.

As I mentioned, my therapist is out for a number of weeks.  I met with his colleague last week, and will again tomorrow.  She's quite nice and understanding about my feelings on my doc being out, which is nice.  I was afraid that she'd think I was crazy to be "mourning" this time without him.

I saw a doctor on Friday.  First thing when I sat down in his office I noticed a scale.  "No big deal" I thought; perhaps he's keeping track of his own weight or some odd thing like that.  No.  It seems new insurance regulations require that he take height, weight, blood pressure and pulse at each appointment.  And, since everything has switched over to medical records he can't get away without doing it.  Now, my Mom works in a doc's office and said that they are required to enter 3 vitals into the system.  Who knows....?  In any event, having eaten breakfast and lunch before my appointment and being fully dressed except for my shoes, I weighed 7 lbs more than I last did at home (when I'm undressed and haven't yet eaten).  Either way, though, it's 7 lbs and was quite a shocker to see, let alone for anyone else to see.  I don't talk numbers with my weight, I just don't!

Ok, well, if you're reading my blog(s), please join so you can get an email when I make a new post!  Also, I'd love to hear your comments!!  Is there anything you'd like to talk about or read about?  Let me know!!

Friday, February 1, 2013

Books, Furry Kids and More

I love to read!  The problem is that my concentration is seriously affected by depression.  Right now, I am reading Not Lost Forever, a story I heard about on an old 20/20 episode.  It's written by a woman who survived a murderous rampage by her father when she was just a toddler.  Keith would say that it's my kind of book, my kind of story.  What books are you reading?  What do you enjoy?  I just love to read biographies and autobiographies, to learn about other peoples' stories and what they've experienced.  I think it's my inner psychologist.  LOL

Not only does the depression affect my concentration, but I am receiving ECT treatments for it and they have destroyed my memory.  That means that if I can get through a chapter, the next day I will have virtually no idea what I read.  You may be asking yourself "what on earth is ECT?"  Well, I'll tell you - it's electroconvulsive therapy, aka "shock therapy."  About half of you are probably thinking something about "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" or some such thing, but it's not like that.  It's not torturous, it's not for "crazy" people (gosh, I hate that word!), heck, it doesn't even hurt!  It's done under anesthesia.  If you're curious to read more about it, click here.  Or, please, feel free to ask me questions - I don't know you, you have nothing to lose!

Given the ECT, any question starting with "do you remember..." usually gets the response "NO!"  Let me tell you, it's frustrating!  When I was in the ER last week the doctors kept asking what meds I was on, what specialists I saw, what surgeries I've had, etc.  It's mortifying to not know the answers to these questions.  It makes me feel incredibly stupid.  I've even forgotten an entire vacation Keith and I took.  I work hard now to make memories "stick."  We'll see how that goes.  For the record, such severe memory loss is a rarity!

Back to the "reading" thing... I have a Kindle and love it!  I look at the multiple full bookcases I have throughout the house and then at my little Kindle and wonder why I'd ever buy another paperback!  This thing is so easy to use and amazon makes it so easy to buy books and download them onto the device.  I have a "Kindle Wishlist" on amazon that contains something like 71 books!  Is that crazy, or what?  I sure wish I could read faster!!

On a completely unrelated topic, you  may have noticed that I switched the background for my blog to pawprints.  I adore animals and as I've mentioned before, we have 2 dogs and 2 cats (Casey and Poly, Tori and Bert).  They are all named with Disney references: Casey's is a hot dog quick service restaurant in the Magic Kingdom; Poly is the abbreviated way to refer to the Polynesian Resort; Victoria and Albert's is a very fancy restaurant in the Grand Floridian Resort (Keith and I enjoyed it on our honeymoon).

Nikki
All of our furry kids are rescues.  Tori and Bert came first.  It was just over a week after our dear kitty, Nikki, had to be put down and we fell in love with these guys at the pet store.  They are biological siblings and sure act like it!  Casey we met through a rescue and the woman fostering him brought along Poly.  We just couldn't separate them!  They "play" just like siblings, too, even though they don't share any DNA.  The rescue told us that Casey is a shepherd mix and Poly is a vizsla mix - who knows, but does it really matter??  No!

Tori (bottom) and Bert (top)

Casey (left) and Poly (right)


There is never a dull day here at the "B" household, that's for sure!  These four guys keep us on our toes!  It took us a while to tell the difference between the kitties without seeing their collars (Tori's is red, Bert's is green), but now we're pretty good at it; she's the more petite one and he, well, he likes to eat, like his Mom.  Casey is a lover - will give kisses until his tongue falls off - but he is very protective of us and does not like strangers, especially males.  She is more reserved. To get kisses from her is cause for celebration.  You dog lovers will know what I'm saying...!

So, please tell me what you're thinking, ask any questions, and don't hesitate to drop a comment!  Thanks for reading my musings!

Thursday, January 31, 2013

This and That

I like to write.  It's true.  My problem is that I don't always have a topic.  And yet, here you are, reading my nothingness.  Maybe it'll turn into something - you'll have to keep reading and see!

Keith gave me an amazing birthday gift.  We're going to Disney World to see a couple of my favorite musicians, Steven Curtis Chapman and Michael W. Smith.  It's going to be awesome!  And he was super creative in how he gave me this gift.  The plus and equal signs are made of bully sticks (for dogs to chew on) then it was:
a MWS cd + a SCC CD + tix to the concert = a trip to WDW!!!  It's going to ROCK!!!

I'd love a new camera to take with me on this trip.  I have my eyes on this one:
Product Image 
It's a Canon T3 and some photographer friends of mine have said it's a great starter camera, very easy to use.  The problem is that it's $429.  Ouch!  I know it's actually pretty inexpensive for a digital SLR but it's still more money than we have.  I'm saving up, but won't have enough before we leave.  I wonder if Cupid has his eyes on it?

I think I mentioned that yesterday was my last therapy session with my long-term therapist for 6-8 weeks.  He is having surgery and will be on medical leave.  Yesterday he shared with me that the woman covering, with whom I will meet regularly, is an expert in food issues.  Yippee.  This is not something that excites me, not something I want to discuss.  Am I fat?  No question.  Do I want to lose weight?  Absolutely.  Is now the right time to go into it all with a virtual stranger?  Ummm, NO!  Perhaps I'll feel differently after we've been meeting for a few weeks, but for now I'm enjoying birthday cake and pasta.  I know, I know, it's about portion size and regulating intake. I know which foods are healthy and which are not.  You don't live your entire life being overweight without learning a few things.  D-I-E-T is indeed a 4-letter word.  If you go on a diet, you can go off it.  It's about changing the way I eat, about adding in regular exercise... blah, blah, blah.  I could be an expert in food issues - you know what I mean?

Keith and I went to a Tim Hawkins comedy concert on Sunday.  It was one of the reasons they *needed* to discharge me from the hospital on Saturday!  He is amazing!  You have to go on his site or onto YouTube's Tim Hawkins site.  He is absolutely hysterical!  He is a Christian and some of his comedy is about church or denominations, but for the most part it's just clean, solid humor!  I hope you enjoy - let me know!

So... what have been some of your most amazing birthday gifts?  Is there an item you're coveting these days?  Do you feel like you're an expert in food issues?

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Seriously?

It's been an interesting week.

I've had this cough for a month now.  Last Wednesday I started feeling dizzy/light-headed when I coughed when standing.  Life goes on.  Thursday I woke up with a migraine and started to feel dizzy all the time, even when sitting down and not coughing.  Then I noticed some vision changes in my right eye.  I called and spoke with a couple different nurses at my doctor's office and together we decided that it would be best if I go to the ER.  Ok, arrived at the ER at 5pm and saw the worst nurse known to man.  He had no personality and made me feel like I was bothering him and angering him when I asked to go to the bathroom and when he had to do things like get my vitals or check the IV fluid.  By the way, he put the automatic blood pressure cuff on the same arm as the IV.  Can you say OUCH?

After all was said and done - a CT showed I did not have a new stroke and the bloodwork showed no abnormalities explaining my symptoms - they admitted me.  I got up to my room at 1am on Friday morning and was awakened every 2 hours for neuro checks.  Good times!  The docs did all sorts of checks and I saw a bunch of different specialists on Friday, but they would not discharge me, despite everything coming up basically normal.  I do have a visual field deficit from my previous stroke, which was sometime between 2003 and 2009.

Saturday - my BIRTHDAY - I woke up and saw both the hospitalist and the neurologist.  The hospitalist said he wanted to keep me another day.  WHAT?  I said that I really wanted to go home, plus explained that it was my bday.  After disagreeing with me about it being my bday (evidently my chart said it was Thursday - or he misread my admit date), he agreed saying that nobody should be in the hospital on their birthday.  Whew!!  Shortly thereafter, the neurologist came in.  He is an colleague of my regular neuro and is quite young.  He did his checks and told me he wants me to get a sleep study -- that I am at high risk for sleep apnea, which can explain a number of my symptoms, including weight gain (!).  I had heard the recommendation from another doctor so was not surprised at this.  They did decide that the symptoms were due to the migraine (even though the headache part of it went away Thursday morning).

What came next, though, blew my mind... in fact I still can't wrap my mind around it.  He said that he did not want me driving and that I have to take a driving test/evaluation.  Is he serious??  Evidently he is concerned about my visual field deficit and how it affects my driving.  HUH?  I've been driving with said deficit since I had the stroke, more than 3 years ago!  I have not gotten in an accident, hit anything, heck, I have never gotten a speeding ticket!

I call the facility which performs these evaluations and they have to have the doctor complete a form before I can schedule.  Oh, and they are booked through February (and this is before waiting for the doctor to fill out said paperwork)!  Of course I have more than a half dozen appointments in the next month.  I have to rearrange and reschedule everything on my calendar and rely on my husband to drive me places.

I suffered from agoraphobia for years and was afraid to go anywhere, having panic attacks.  I stayed in the house, except to go see my therapist - for years!  Now I'm forbidden to drive so am stuck in the house and going bonkers after a very short period of time!  I did beg of the neuro to allow me to drive to see my therapist yesterday.  It was his last day before going out on medical leave for 6-8 weeks and I needed to go.  He worded his order in such a way that I could drive there.

Now I'm stuck - and going to lose my mind!!  You may read some pretty irrelevant blog posts for a while.... me trying to keep busy.  Don't judge me ;-)

Monday, January 14, 2013

Life

Life holds many things, some of which are positive and some of which are negative.  If I'm going to reveal some things about myself, I'm not only fat, I'll share that I suffer from bipolar disorder and have a number of physical problem which are unrelated to my weight (not to mention those which *are* weight-related).

So, my life now holds a membership to the Y.  For several weeks at the end of the year I was talking water aerobic classes.  Being in a bathing suit is not thrilling, but being in the water is far better for my body than trying to workout in the gym.  I did lose 16 lbs, but haven't been in weeks and gained back 4 of those lbs.

Life also holds a house full of critters - 2 large dogs and 2 cats.  I haven't been able to walk the dogs due to the abuse on my body from the pulling but we've ordered a new leash (the Wacky Walk'r) which is supposed to buffer that pressure.  We also got the related Crazy Coupler so that I'm only holding onto one leash and the dogs can't get tangled.  We'll see how this works.

Food.  This really deserves a post all of its own, but I'll just say that I have a sweet tooth which is absolutely destroying me.  My eating habits have gotten pretty bad - not only do I crave chocolate, but I totally have an addiction to carbs.  These things aren't the best way to enjoy food if I'm going to lose weight.

I need to lose about 150 lbs, although I'll settle for 120 (from this point, so on top of what I've already lost).  As I said in another post, I've considered lap-band surgery.  I don't want to do gastric bypass, but it seems like lap-band is a reasonable alternative.

This is my life as it stands now.  Ironically, I'm off to go have some tortellini for dinner.

Back

I've ignored this blog for far too long.  It's true and I can't ignore that fact.  But I'm back... and I'm still fat.  I looked up lap-band surgery this past week.  It doesn't look like my insurance will pay for it.  Being fat is one of the last minorities where there is ignorance - that and mental health issues.  I'm "fortunate" enough to deal with both.  But that's not important.  Where have I been?  Nowhere.  Exciting, huh?  I did take a trip to DisneyWorld since I last posted.  This is not a good place for a fat person.  The food is yummy there!  There is also lots of walking - I've heard it said up to 10 miles daily.  This fat body cannot handle that kind of pressure on itself.  Nothing else is really new.  I'm going to try to keep up with this blog, though I can't make a promise about that right now.  Fat chicks unite!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Illness

I just got over being sick.  I had 4 days of barely keeping anything down - not even Coke or Ginger Ale.  It was bad.  During this time, I lost 14.5 lbs (+/-).  It was almost worth it.  No, I don't have an eating disorder and nobody can tell that I lost that weight because I do weigh so much to start.  But I know and there is something mental about knowing I lost weight for once and didn't gain.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Ridiculous

Yes, this is ridiculous.  I continue to get to my top weight.  I'm disgusted by my appearance and the clothes I have to wear... none of which are flattering.  My brain is just all screwy and it's like I'm driven to eat.  None of it really matters, does it?  I mean, I'm too fat to be intimate with my husband but other than that, it's just worthless me in my big, fat body.  Yeah, I'm tired of it, but don't have the energy to do anything about it and wonder what it matters anyway.  Hmph!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Disgusting

I. Am. Disgusting.  It's true - I'm totally and utterly gross.  I hate to obsess about my weight, but I can't get away from it.  I can't hide from it.  I move an inch and am faced with my obnoxious body.  There's no pretending.  I wish it was as easy as convincing myself that I was thin or that I could wish myself into smaller clothes, but that's not reality.

This has been a public service announcement.....

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Tops

Yes, I've reached the top - my top weight, that is.  I'm not proud of it, but that's where it stands right now.  My home scale is about 4 lbs more than the scale at a doc's office on Tuesday.  I choose the doc's scale number instead, but it's still higher (tell it like it is) I'm still fatter than I've ever been.  There's no reason I should weigh less.  I am eating horribly and not exercising.  So much for a fresh start.  Am I the only one who has less motivation than a cinder block?

Monday, January 23, 2012

Boring....

Yes, that's my life - boring.  I have no motivation to do anything, except check email and Facebook (and sometimes not even that).  I hurt too much to walk the dogs - or walk at all.  I am still post-op, so can't do the exercise bike, even if I wanted to.  I'm just feeling really blah.

I got a sewing machine for Christmas and want to learn to use it.  One of these days, a friend and I will make it to a class we've already purchased on LivingSocial.  It is, obviously, not an active activity (should it be allowed to be called an activity if it's not active?).

I want to eat junk.  I don't care if there is healthy food in the house; I do freak out of frustration if there isn't something sweet in the house.  There are these wonderful wafer bars by Skinny Cow and Chewy Clusters (I can't remember the exact name) which are also quite tasty.

I need to find some motivation!!!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

There's No Way!

I made the mistake of stepping on the scale the other day and it read 14.5 lbs more than the day prior to surgery.  Seriously?over my last weight?  Ummm, no.

I did get dehydrated post-op and they pumped me full of fluids for 3 days, but 14.5 lbs?  No.

I already hate my scale - I hate what it "tells" me.  I already know that I'm fat and to see a number is just delightful <note sarcastic tone here>.

I. Think. Not.

It may be a while until I step on the scale again.  UGH!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Still Fat

Yep, it's true - I'm still fat.  Ugh!  I had surgery on Thursday and begged the doctor to just suck out some of this fat while he was in there.  His response?  "Most women ask me to do this" (it was a gynecological surgery, so he only operates on women).  Well that doesn't answer my question!  I have my answer now and it's a clear and resounding "NO!"  Hmph!

To add to it, I had the joy of repeated humiliation each and every time someone had to inspect my incisions (5 little laproscopic holes.  Nurses, doctors, medical techs - heck, the folks who delivered meals might as well have asked me to pull up my gown!  I'm not proud of my flab and NOT excited to show it off for all to see.

I'm very thankful that none of the doctors told me I need to lose weight.  I hate that!  It's like they are the first person to have this revelation and it's news to me!  I was certain as they lifted up flab, I'd hear about it.  I'm so thankful that I didn't - thank you doctors!!

So, I spend the next several weeks with limited activity (as if I started out super active, right?) and taking painkillers - which doesn't thrill me.  Hub's car is paid off in June.  Then we're off to the "Y."  I have to do something.

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year?

I have to ask the question - is it a happy new year?  It is the time of the year when people vow to D-I-E-T.  Do you know how much I despise that word?  It's almost as bad as the "F" word!  Diets aren't for losing weight; lifestyle changes are what do it.  So, for those people making RESOLUTIONS <ugh> to lose weight, do you have a plan or is it just the general "eat better, " "drink less soda," or "go to the gym more?"

Do I have a plan?  Yes, I do.  My husband's car is paid off in the Spring and we are going to join the "Y."  I am going to take water aerobics classes.  I am going to eat less junk food, fewer calories, not have a full dessert every night for dessert and pay attention to <gasp> portion size.  Yes, these things are all important.  No, they are not "fun."  I have to admit the last water aerobics class I took was pretty fun!

However, I have surgery this week and am going to be laid up for 4-6 weeks.  That gets us that much closer to when we can get to a workout facility.  I do have an exercise bike here (recumbent, so better on my back), but I'll still be very limited with any extreme movement for a bit.

I lost 75 lbs in 2007 and it felt great!  Then some stuff happened and I gained it all back, not able to go to the gym or interested in eating right.  Well, I had surgery that year, too!  Maybe this is a sign.  (no, I don't really believe in signs)  So, is anyone with me?  Does anyone want to join in?  We can share progress reports!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Home Again, Home Again

Well, it's official, I am at my highest weight ever, although I only gained 1 lb while on a 10 day vacation in Disney World (WDW).  The seat belt extender worked fine, but my poor husband wasn't comfy sitting in the seat next to me - we both couldn't lean back, as our shoulders didn't "fit."

I had someone take a picture of my husband and myself, despite the fact that I despise that.  I am tired of being this weight, looking this way, feeling this way... BEING this way.  So, that picture can serve as my "before" photo.  Now, I am having major surgery next week and will not be allowed to do even light exercise for at least a month afterwards.  However, when I lost 75 lbs before, I had ankle surgery that May and was unable to do anything for 6 weeks.  I had a trip to WDW the end of that year, too.  Oh right, did I mention that we're booked to back the end of next year, too.  Yes, it will be my 11th trip and yes, I know that I am fanatical.

You know, maybe this is just the right combo for success: it's a new year, I'm having surgery and I have a trip to Disney planned for the end of the year.  When I get within 20 lbs of goal weight (136 lbs away, though at this point I'd be happy with it being 126 lbs away), my father will send us on a cruise.  It's not exactly a "carrot" since it's been out there for 6-7 yrs, but I won't turn it down, that's for darn sure!!

So, I have some food leftover that we bought on vacation and then it's on to my new lifestyle.  D-I-E-T is a 4-letter word in this house.  People go on and off diets, but this is something that has to be a change everyday for the rest of my life.  Will I allow myself to have some sweets which aren't "light" or enjoy dessert most nights?  Absolutely!  I would be setting myself up for failure otherwise!  A few more days of being less-than-careful and then it's "new way of eating" for me!