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


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


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).

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


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 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.


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!