Monday, June 24, 2013

Attitude adjustment

I'm in a better place. Not so blue. Shout out to Bonnie who made me realize I overwhelm myself with the "big picture" instead of concentrating on each individual step of the process. Last week, I spent a whole day off figuring out what documents I needed to round up in order to get the title of my mobile home changed. Four phone calls, 1 trip to the court house and 1 trip to the copy store later, and I mailed off a giant packet to the state licensing agency and will hopefully have my shiny, new title in a couple of months.

A couple of other things happened in the last week which have contributed to my better mood. Ten minutes before leaving for work on Friday, these pulled up in front of my house:

I jumped for joy. I could have cried. I WAS SO EXCITED!!! I have been begging the park for several years to cut down a horrible, awful, ugly, disgusting, crappy pine tree in front of my house. It was a huge tree. It's only purpose was to spit sap EVERYWHERE and leave a coating of green pollen on every surface of my house. I hated that dang tree. Here's a better picture of how tall it was:

By the way, I took this through the windshield of my car. That's not rain. It's sap. From the *&#$% pine tree. I was so excited to have that tree come down . . . but I had to go to work and I missed the whole show!! I didn't get home until 11pm and had to be back at work at 6am the next morning, so it wasn't until Saturday afternoon I got a good look at it.

And when I got home Saturday, I also discovered my amazing neighbor had raked up the entire mess from my front yard. All I had to do was bag it up. For the first time since I've lived here, I can look out the front window and see the sky! It is WONDERFUL!! The only bad news is that I can see how filthy my windows are and will need to wash them soon!

To celebrate the execution of the crappy, scrappy pine tree, I declared it mustache day at work.

My crafting talent with no actual craft tools knows no boundaries.

Last week I finally went back to the chiropractor after a several year break. I was, frankly, terrified. But my chiro is awesome and after just a couple of visits, the range of motion in my neck is improving.

I met w/ my rheumatologist today and she is thrilled by my progress on Humira. I've been on it for a month and here's a glimpse of my skin improvement:





My rheumatologist  believes that skin improvement mimics joint improvement. And I can feel it in my joints. Less pain from both skin and joints means a brighter attitude!

The only bad news I got is that I am officially severely anemic. My ferritin level is a 6. Normal is 12-150. There may be iron supplements/infusions in my future. This may also explain some of my tiredness.

I'm currently watching The Sopranos from beginning to end. Gandolfini really was a genius, and I'm sad he's gone!

Monday, June 17, 2013


I've been feeling down. Sad. Blue. And I'm not sure why.

It could be that I'm still dealing with pain. It comes and goes. One day my neck will hurt, the next day it's my hands, the day after that I can barely walk because my toes won't bend. It makes me frustrated. And whiny.

I could be blue because I am so damn tired. I started on Humira a month ago. For my psoriatic arthritis, which is wreaking havoc on my spine, especially. I think it is working because the psoriasis on my skin is clearing some. And my neck doesn't constantly hurt. But I'm finding Humira makes me so stinking tired. I'm sleeping 10 hours a night, and don't have the energy to do much during the day. Today I mowed the lawn and did the dishes. Then I had to take a nap.

Right now my lower spine is killing me. The place where the spine and hip bones connect - it feels like I'm being stabbed. Stretching helps for a minute, but then the pain is back. Yes, I caved and took a Vicodin. I just need it to kick in.

I'm blue because I want to sell this house and move into an apartment where I don't have to be responsible for anything except paying rent. Except the title (it's a mobile home, so it has a title - weird, right?) is in my ex-husband and my name. I never got it switched after we were divorced. And I can't get a straight answer on how to get the title in my name. It makes me tired.

I'm blue because in the summer I have time to miss my family who live 9 hours away. I will visit for 2 weeks in August, but I'm a little bitter and sad that they never (!) come visit me.

I'm blue because of the mountain of reading ahead of me. No, that's not quite right. I quite enjoy reading literature and trying to find interp ideas for forensics kids. What makes me blue is that I fell in love with pieces last year (and the year before, and the year before that) and won't get to see them/work with them/critique them again. It's the circle of Forensics life and I think it's even sadder than a dead lion.

I'm blue because I don't have cable and I miss food porn. The Food Network.

I'm blue because I'm reading "The Heart Has Reasons" which chronicles brave Dutch people who hid Jews during the Holocaust. It takes my breath away that there can be such kindness in the midst of such choking oppression.

I'm blue because my iris are all blooming and are so beautiful, but in a week will all be gone. Some of them were pilfered from my mum's iris garden. Which makes me miss her even more.

I'm tired of being blue. I'm ready for another color.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Celebrating my Surgiversary.

Six years ago today, I had gastric bypass surgery. 6 feet of intestine were removed and my stomach was reduced to the size of an egg. I threw up every single day for more than 6 months after surgery.

Why would a person put themselves through weight loss surgery(WLS)? Because I was dying due to morbid obesity. My addiction to food, public perceptions of fat culture and fat acceptance are topics for another blog post. Today is about celebrating getting my life back.

Top 10 Surprises since having Gastric Bypass Surgery

10. I didn't realize just how much throwing up I would do.
  • I threw up nearly every day for the first 6 months after surgery, and still throw up if I eat too fast.
9. I'm surprised that I struggle with anemia and low calcium levels.
  • This is why I can't donate blood.
8. I didn't realize how hard it would be to take compliments graciously.
  • I get embarrassed when I'm complimented. I've learned to just smile and say "Thank you"
7. You really can lose weight so quickly that your underwear becomes too big, and it almost falls down around your ankles during class.
  • Yes, this really almost happened. I went to the Walmart and bought underwear that fit when I was done with work for the day!
6. It takes a really, really, really long time to stop looking in the mirror and seeing your "old" self.
  • Sometimes I don't recognize my reflection when I'm passing a store window. It's surprising when I realize the reflection is me.
5. I get drunk really fast on 1/2 glass of wine.
  • This is because I have a pod-stomach, so alcohol quickly drains into the intestine, which has more surface area to absorb alcohol. Don't you feel educated now?
4. I'm still just as socially awkward as I was before surgery.
  • Meeting new people or being in crowds of people just freaks me out. Guess that will never change, even with more self-confidence.
3. Wearing high heels makes me feel powerful and sexy.
  • Fun fact - I went down 2 shoe sizes and 3 ring sizes as I lost weight. Weird, right?
2. The cost of vitamins just blows me away.
  • I take a double dose of a multi-vitamin, 5000mcg of B12 and Calcium citrate supplements. I spend about $30 a month just on vitamins.
1. I knew I would have sagging skin issues, but jeesh, I didn't know just how awkward and painful the sagging skin would be!
  • I have the biggest issues with my arms and belly. If my insurance covered it, these are the two areas I would get plastic surgery on.

My Top 10 Best Moments since having
Gastric Bypass Surgery

10. Being able to fasten my seat belt
  • I was too big to do this before surgery
9. Fitting in a seat on an airplane
  • And not having to use a seat belt extender!
8. Being able to mow my lawn
  • To be clear, I hate mowing the lawn, but I can do it!
7. Completing a 5K
  • I came in last, but I finished!
6. Being able to walk long distances without having to rest
  • Before surgery, I had difficulty walking from the parking lot to my office.
5. Being able to fit into a booth at McDonald's
  • Yes, I see the irony with this one.
4. Being able to stand and teach for an entire class
  • And I can even do it in high heels!
3. My cholesterol going from over 300 to 190
  • Though the downside is that I'm chronically anemic.
2. Being able to buy clothes at The Walmart
  • I know it's not classy, but dang, if I need a t-shirt it's nice to not have to special order it from a catalog.
1. Finishing a triathlon
  • I was chubby. I was slow. I came in 2nd to last, but I finished.

Six years out from surgery and I still marvel at this gift I was given. I'm considered a "success" because I've kept off 50% of the excess weight I initially lost. And that, in itself, isn't easy. In my first year and a half after surgery, I lost a total of 194 pounds. In the years between then and now, I gained some of that back, then started following Weight Watchers and started losing weight again. 

My goal has never been to be "skinny" - it's just not in my DNA. My goal has always been, and continues to be, to maintain a weight that allows me to do all the things I want to do. WLS gave me my life back. Today, I'm celebrating with a fresh made salad. It tastes like success. 

Saturday, June 8, 2013

What I did today.

Well, I did a lot today - I worked a crazy-busy shift at the phone place, I graded, graded and graded some more. But the most monumental thing I did today was mow my lawn. Big deal, right?

But 6 years ago, I couldn't physically mow my lawn without taking 2 or 3 breaks. I have a small lawn. It takes 25 minutes, tops, to mow.

I have an anniversary coming up in a couple of days. Below is a post I made on a blog I kept before this monumental event took place. Whenever I need perspective, I re-read this. I wrote it on 5/01/06 . . .

I want to ride a roller coaster again. I want to feel someone fit their arms all the way around me to give me a hug. I want to not spend the week before a flight wondering if the person stuck next to me will mind if I have to raise the armrest to fit in the seat. I want to be able to participate in a run/walk event that raises money for charity. I want to stop having to always find a place to sit down and rest. I want to visit someone's house without first worrying that their furniture might not be strong enough to sit on. I want to drive my car with the seat belt fully fastened, and not rigged behind me. I want to walk my dog further than half a block. I want to have difficulty floating when I get into the pool. I want to go to the movies and have room in the seat beside me for my purse. I want to go to work late because I don't have to worry about getting their so early just so I can get a parking spot as close to the door as possible. I want to wear red and not feel like a giant red tomato. I want a closet full of colors. I want my mum to stop worrying that I will die from morbid obesity. I want to have saggy skin. I want to stop feeling 80 years old.

I want to live.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

General Malaise

I've felt crappy all day today. I blame the gloomy weather which is making all my joints hurt. My fingers & toes are fat sausages of inflammation. Great mental picture. You're welcome.

Yesterday I had dinner with Sauce Guy. I was seriously dreading it. And it was seriously awkward. I think Sauce Guy thought this was a "real" date. He held our hello-hug just a bit too long, kept his hand on the small of my back as we walked to our table . . . my head was working overtime trying out how to send signals of "No! This is just a "friend" dinner!" Through dinner conversation, Sauce Guy talked and talked and talked. About himself, his kids, his health, his job, his cats. He never asked me one single question about myself. It may be a little thing, but it completely validated my decision to end our dating relationship. I'm pretty sure that's the last I'll see of him, and now I'm back to figuring out how to unfriend him on Facebook.

Though I've felt crappy all day today, I did get a couple of kitchen drawers cleaned out. Here's my most interesting find.
Yep, that's a book of matches from my wedding. Ufdah. It's so odd to think that If I were still married, I would be celebrating my 17th wedding anniversary.

I have a much more exciting anniversary coming up in
just a week!

Never forget.

Monday, June 3, 2013

I thought June was a warm month?

Happy June!!! It was 42 degrees when I crawled out from under my warm electric blanket this morning. And the highest temperature forecast for the next 10 days is 72. What the heck, weather?

In any event, I'm celebrating this month. I have an anniversary fast approaching. Wonder what it is? Well, you'll have to wait until the actual day, when I shall reveal all. Until then, here's a hint: