Puppies

As many of you already know, we adopted a puppy this week, and yes even though he looks like a miniature horse, he is a puppy at 1.5 years old. His name is Ernie and he came from southern Ohio. A family there had thought he was displaying the prey instinct and couldn’t handle it. They needed a new home for him and fast. We didn’t want him to go to a shelter or to someone who wouldn’t do what is best for him so even though we were perfectly happy with just Prime and Jesse, we decided to take him on and he’s been a dream.

Our boys get along great with the new addition and he’s even met my son’s two dogs Blaze and Rex. It’s all been positive so far. He seems to want to give as much affection as he receives. He’s very laid back so he’s just fit right in.

In other news this week, I’ve lost 4 lbs. You don’t even know how happy that makes me. I don’t officially weigh in until Monday but I’m telling you, I feel so good about this already. I don’t even consider it a diet, it’s more like a change of living. I don’t crave anything and I don’t miss anything. I’m happy.

I took this week off of my appointments so I could be here with the dogs and I’m glad I did. I needed a break from driving back and forth to Columbus to be poked and prodded every single day. Like I said, I’m happy bur more importantly, I feel good.

Advertisements

Goals

I’m turning 41 today and last week I got some potentially seriously bad news. My A1C tested high. Now it wasn’t over the top high, just a fractionally small amount high but it was enough to scare the pants off of me.

I’ve learned so much about diabetes and Type 1 versus Type 2 in the last week. My doctor put me on Metformin because I need desperately to lose weight. Not a little weight either. I need to lose like a whole person and not a thin person. My doc also asked me to start using my exercise bike for 30 minutes a day and to change the way I eat. I’m looking forward to the exercise bike. Learning how to eat differently will be one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done.

You see, I come from a “clean your plate” generation. You know the one, most of you are from the same generation. Our parents made our plates and always put too much food on them. Our parents also decreed that we would eat every bite or “sit there”. This stressed to us at a young age that we have to eat and we have to eat a lot. It carried over with us as adults and now it’s no wonder our nation has like a 70% diabetes rate and a 90% pre-diabetes rate. My sugar has never been considered high no matter my weight until now. I’m not considered pre-diabetes but if I don’t fix this, if I don’t change, I will be.

My doctor asked me to try the Keto Diet. My husband and I did some research and both agreed to do it together. He has always been an amazing source of support for me and I hope I have been for him. We will do this. We have to. We start today and I’m excited.

My goals for the next 90 days.

  1. Do not stray from the diet.
  2. Do not buy any new clothing.
  3. Take my medications as directed.
  4. Don’t make excuses.
  5. Only weight myself once a week.
  6. Diligently wear my fitness tracker.
  7. Exercise twice a day three times a week and once a day four times a week.
  8. Share my journey and be held accountable.

Is No News Good News?

Are you the kind of person who needs to know, right now? I always thought I was that kind of person, well I did until recently. I haven’t been posting anything super serious online for the last few weeks because I’ve been pretty sick. This isn’t the standard stuff I’ve been dealing with for the last 20 years and if I’m being honest, I’m terrified.

I’ve had bouts of laryngitis four times in the last 4 months. It started a few days after my gall bladder surgery so the first time I attributed it to having a breathing tube down my throat during the surgery and I thought it would go away and that would be that. Just some irritation. It lasted 3 weeks that first time. Finally around Thanksgiving I got worried enough to go to the ER, they told me I had strep throat, gave me some medicine, and sent me home. I took that round of medication and now into the 4th week of having little to no voice, difficulty breathing and swallowing, and ear pain with a slight dry cough thought well this is it, this is going to fix things. It didn’t. I went a full course, 10 days, of antibiotics and was still sick. The first week of December I went to Urgent Care and the doctor there said I had some random bacterial infection. He prescribed a stronger antibiotic and sent me on my way. It worked! I was incredibly happy to be feeling better so I finished my Christmas shopping and thought nothing else of it.

Two days before Christmas it came back. Just as bad this time and I decided to wait it out at least a week. I waited 8 days and went back to Urgent Care. The doctor there told me it had to be GERD or Acid Re-flux as it’s also called. He said it was burning my throat and causing irritation. He upped my dose of Nexium 40 mg a day to 40 mg twice a day (one in the morning and one in the evening). I did this for the next week and it didn’t help. I called my family doctor. He got me in right away and referred me to see an ENT (Ear, Nose, and Throat) doctor. He wanted me to have a scope done. It’s not pleasant. They take a long tubular shaped instrument and slide it up your nose,bending it just right so it then slips down the back of your mouth and into your throat. It takes incredible concentration to fight your gag reflex. It was horrible and felt extremely invasive (and that’s funny to me because I’ve had a speculum in my lady garden).

The ENT does this test and when done he turns to me and says “Your throat is too swollen for me to see the vocal chords. Let’s give you another Acid Re-flux medication to take at bedtime, see if it works, if it doesn’t I’ll see you back in one month.” Now mind you, I’ve now spent 9 weeks in the past 4 months with almost no voice, trouble swallowing, and painful coughing. I agreed to his plan though because then he hit me with “best case scenario it’s GERD, worst case it’s cancer.”

The bottom fell out for me right then and there. My mind started racing, I of course thought first I’m going to quit smoking! And then went right into, well it’s a bit too fucking late for that right?

My paternal grandmother died of throat cancer. I have heard that she even had a tracheotomy with one of those horrible voice box vibrators so she could talk. I do not want to live like that. My grandfather supposedly had lung cancer and I know my own father died of lung cancer when I was only 23. He was 57, just 17 years older than I am now. Like I said, my mind was racing. I couldn’t seem to stop on any specific thing to calm down. My niece (who’s only 2 years younger than me) was with me and she helped distract me.

I texted my husband that I’d be home later and that I didn’t want to talk about it until I could see him. See I know I’ll die before Steve. He’s a much better person than I am. I talk about what I want to happen all the time with him and I know it upsets him but I’ve always hated how people leave things until it’s all too late. I at least want him to know what I want to happen so he doesn’t have to question his decisions when the time comes. I tell everyone I do not want resuscitated, I do not want to live on any type of machinery, I do not want to be paralyzed or incapacitated. I do not want a funeral, I want cremated with an old fashioned wake. I want people to meet up, enjoy some drinks, love the great food they remember me for, and grieve in a joyous way. I want there to be music, and no not funeral home music either. I want good music. I even have a play list I update on occasion. I even have a blue book called “I’m Dead, Now What?” with all of this information. I don’t want to be stage 4 laying in a hospital room while my friends and family struggle to find time and emotion to come see me, say goodbye to me. I want to go out in a blaze of glory like my father did.

He was diagnosed stage 4 and told he had maybe 6 good months. He said fuck it, he got his house in order, he checked in to a nursing home, and he partied for 2 months. My brothers snuck him in beer. My mother brought him pizza and subs he loved. And me, I brought him cigarettes when he asked me to. Even at 2 a.m., I wanted to be pissy about having to take him smokes while he was dying of lung cancer, but I just couldn’t. It’s what he wanted and he knew he was done. He lived the way he wanted for 2 months and I have nothing but respect for that. I just hope when my time comes someone will say the same of me.

So, I didn’t post about this for the last two weeks but just needed to send my thoughts out into the universe finally. I’m terrified. I’m trying really hard not to overreact and I type that as I still have no voice, trouble swallowing, and painful dry cough that no medication has helped for four months. I have 2.5 weeks to go until we do more testing. I don’t pray but I am quitting smoking. It doesn’t matter if I have cancer or not, I want to be done with it.

I’ll update as more testing is done. I don’t want to dwell on it though so let’s all move on.

The Chronic

Do you ever think about the correlation between the Devil’s Lettuce and Pain having the same forename? Chronic. Yes I partake, in both sadly.

About seven years ago I was diagnosed with Chronic Lower Back Pain. I have several Hemangiomas along my spinal column that cannot be removed. I also have degeneration in my right hip and the right side of my coxys. Every year, it seemingly gets worse. This is on top of several other pretty serious diagnoses. One of whitch is Sleep Apnea. Today I met with a Urogynecologist to discuss problems I’ve been having with waking up to go pee.

This was her thoughts and recommendations: my sleep apnea is causing the problem, If we fix the sleep apnea, it will probably go away. We will start a medication that will help me with the urge to pee. I will continue hardcore on my healthy living plan to try and lose a significant amount of weight. Now here is the rub….I have had DD breasts since I hit puberty, around 12 years old. No matter how thin I was or how heavy I became, I’ve always had very large breasts. Her thoughts run along the lines of getting a breast reduction surgery right away. She even called a very reputable plastic surgeon and set me up. The thoughts are that if I get the weight off of my chest area, I’ll sleep better, therefore fixing any urinary incontinence problems.

My thoughts, I’m freaked out. I’ve heard some bad things about breast reduction surgery. I’ve heard it takes an inordinate amount of time to heal and recover. I heard it’s extremely painful and leaving awful scaring because they literally have to cut off your nipples and reposition them. I’ve also heard you end up losing all sensation in the nipple area. I mean, how will I ever know if I’m cold again, haha. But seriously, this is a huge thing for me to think about.

I discussed it a lot with my husband tonight. We both kind of agreed we’d go to the plastic surgeon, listen to what he has to say, get the facts. But in the end I will be making the decision to use this year to get as healthy as I can. I will use the year to get back down to a healthy, manageable weight. If, in January 2019, I still have size DD breasts, I’ll go for the surgery.

It’s been a long day. Who am I kidding? It’s been a long two days. Yesterday I had 14 Botox injections in my face, head, neck, and shoulders. I do this every 10 weeks to try and stay Migraine free. I’ve had excruciating migraines since I was a kid and this has been the only treatment I’ve found so far that works, and I’ve tried pretty much everything, including sensory deprivation therapy and giving myself shots of Imitrex. The Botox injections take every bit of any energy I have out of me. I always come home and sleep for hours afterwards. This usually lasts 2 to 3 days.

Today I had this appointment with the Urogynecologist and not only was the drive an hour to get there but the appointment lasted 2 hours. I felt bad for Jewels who went up with me so I wouldn’t be alone (the husband had to work). The testing was super weird and invasive, like get naked, put your feet in the stirrups, invasive. I even had a catheter inserted for testing, they had to use a pediatric one because I’m a huge baby.

There was a silver lining to the darkness today. Jewels and I stopped at this quaint little Mexican Restaurant called Fiesta Jalisco. It’s apparently family owned and operated. Isn’t that the best? The food was plentiful and it was so delicious it almost made the day worth it. We both had to get to-go boxes there was so much food left.

Tomorrow I get to hang out with my brother and his wife, my kid and his partner, and any grocery store employees I encounter. I’m still exhausted and just want the week to be over so I can get snowed in on Saturday and not do anything but decide which pajama pants are the cutest for when my husband gets off work.

Some Of That…

New Year, New Me bullshit.

The year is now 2018 and I decided as part of my “Resolutions” I’d be writing and sharing via blog more often. Last year was manic for me and I’m finally starting to mellow out. Don’t get it twisted, I’m not getting complacent about my political views, I’m slightly mellowing on how manic I’ve been to gather information and share that information with people who obviously need to be informed. I’ve heard so much in the last year about how Liberals and Democrats needed to sympathize with conservatives and try to “start a conversation”. Let me be the first to let you all know it just doesn’t work. I’m not a turn your other cheek kind of girl, I’m more of a slice your neck kind of “progressive”.

Enough about that, we’ll discuss politics more and more throughout the year I’m sure. I’ve been reading a lot lately, not that I don’t usually but it seems like I’ve been reading even more, I guess taking some time off of 24/7 News has cleared up some time for me. My husband and I are also working towards some home renovations and that is going super fantastic, thank you very much! It’s almost as if I’m a personal assistant again, not that I ever really stopped. I guess on some levels I’ve always been my husband’s personal assistant and it’s a great job, lots of perks if you know what I mean.

My list of resolutions:

  1. Write and share more. Not just blogs but poems, short stories, etc. I write every day, mostly though I keep it to myself.
  2. Accept all compliments at face value, same as last year, great self esteem boost.
  3. Be healthier through my lifestyle and medical choices.
  4. Be kind.
  5. Play with my dogs more.
  6. Learn some new recipes.
  7. Fuck more.
  8. Try to let things go.
  9. Be less judgmental.
  10. Quit smoking. This is a big one for me. I feel like I really want it. I’ve tried a few times and failed, I know deep down that failure stems from not really wanting to quit. I feel ready now.

I really like this list. I know it won’t all be easy to achieve but it won’t break me if I don’t. I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season. I did.

Update

It’s been a few weeks since my last post. I’d like to say I’ve been busy but I haven’t. I’ve been happy and I tend to write my most prolific pieces when I’m not happy, or more importantly, when I’m depressed. I have been writing mind you, just not posting. I have been remiss. I have also been really sick. I ended up getting strep throat about 3 weeks ago. It got so bad I went to the ER in the beginning and was prescribed antibiotics and steroids for swelling in my throat. After about 12 days none of my symptoms were going away so I went to the doctor to be re-checked and it was still there! The antibiotic had not done it’s job. The doctor told me then that when prescribed an antibiotic your symptoms should all disappear within 48 hours. If they don’t, it means the medication is not working and to get yourself back to the doctor right away. Good to know 14 days later. I ended up having strep and laryngitis for about 22 days all together. It was horrible. I still have a bit of a tickle and cough but I’m definitely on the mend.

Mother’s Day is coming up and I’m of course having a few little gatherings with the kids and probably one with my husband, he always does something cute from he and our doggies. Other than that, I have nothing planned. I don’t speak to my own mother so the day is pretty stress free for me.

I’ve got a few projects going on Saturday in the yard. I’m kind of excited about it. I’ll be working on my fence repairs and filling some holes the dogs have dug up around the property. Every time my husband mows the lawn he hits a hole and knocks a tire off of our Zero Turn, lol, it’s insane. So I had some dirt delivered and I’ll be spending the beautiful Saturday weather out there getting some much needed things done. I’m also going to get a new planter for my front porch. The husband bought me the most gorgeous rose bush just out of the blue this week. He said when he saw it it made him think of me, awww. So now I want to plant it where it will re-bloom every year.

I also need to get a hair cut and a pedicure this week, I may do that tomorrow. I’ve been paying close attention to the news lately and for real shit is messed up right now and I think it’s only going to get worse. I hope all the conservatives out there who were so staunch and judgmental have been paying attention to what is truly going on and I’m not talking about all the Russia stuff, pay attention to the smaller stories: the EPA, the Earthquakes in Alaska, Grand Jury Indictments, states passing bills that hurt workers, LGBQT rights, healthcare, climate science, etc. Pay attention.

So that’s me the last few weeks.

War Whores

Okay, so I’m going to spring something on you here and let me know if you don’t follow.

Rodeo cowboys have really exuberant fans. They even have their own set of groupies like Rock Stars. These groupies though, they aren’t called groupies on the rodeo circuit, they’re called “Buckle Bunnies”. Isn’t that cute? NOT.

I’ve been seeing so many memes from conservatives and republicans lately touting Rapey Cheeto’s military prowess, how he has bigger balls than Obama, or it’s about time we kill some towel heads, and he’s a real leader because he’s not afraid to go to war that I’ve decided to call these people “War Whores”. It’s their very own groupie name.

I guess it would be easy to be a mindless drone and an uncaring fuckwit and just drop a few bombs (of course he owns stock in those companies) on innocent civilians. You know: men, women, and children who just want peace and prosperity. I can’t imagine it would be that difficult to make an uneducated decision that effects masses of people and ecosystems when you have no knowledge of how diplomacy or foreign policy works. I suppose it’s easiest to send our troops secretly into those countries to fight wars that you nor anyone in your family has ever sacrificed for. Yeah, I guess to the War Whores in America that looks like big balls, to the rest of us who actually understand what’s really going on, it just makes you all little dicks.

Are you happy that these actions are directly affecting our gas prices in America? Are you thrilled that our scientific and medical communities are now suffering? Is your sac all filled up and stiff because your Rapey Cheeto is a flip flopping War Whore? Are you running down to your recruiter to sign up for military action? Are you watching and supporting a war with North Korea? Or are you just keyboard warrioring it and posting some bullshit meme about how happy you are that your President dropped 59 Tomahawk Missiles on an obscure airbase in Syria, literally doing less than 20% damage. Did you even acknowledge that this fuck called Syria and Russia first to let them know? Were you upset that Syria literally sent more planes with bombs out of the same airbase the same night to bomb their innocent babies your Rapey Cheeto got on TV and spouted his concern over?

Do you find it weird that someone would drop tomahawk missiles on an obscure airbase in retaliation for a gas attack on citizens of Syria instead of say I don’t know, lifting a travel ban? Setting up safe zones? Dropping aid or weapons to the resistance? Seems totally legit right, but fuck it, whooo hoooo he dropped some fucking bombs, oh hellz yeah. Amiright?

Did it turn your stomach when he said on television “God Bless the World”? Oh I’ll bet that chapped your ass. Cause you know, “they hate us for our Freedom!”

I hope your memes give you comfort and I’ll let you in on a little secret, those men and women in the military laugh at all you War Whores.

Beautiful

It took so long to find you. I feel as if I searched my entire life. I traveled, I met hundreds of other people, different people, and delved deep into their minds to to try and see where I fit in. I read books, all kinds of books about life and how to live a great life. I researched and studied.

You taught me how to laugh at even small innocuous things and that even the most serious things in life can be funny. You showed me that stress can fade away with a song. You’ve woven the most wondrous stories proving that an imagination is truly something not to be wasted. You helped me face my fears and allowed me to be vulnerable enough to lean on someone else in my times of great sadness. You pushed me to survive.

You have been the one person I could always count on in a crisis and the only person I trust with my deepest darkest secrets. I am secure in the knowledge of who you are and I’m proud to know you.

After all I’ve been through to find you I know one simple truth. All I had to do was look into a mirror. I stare into those blue/grey depths I see you are not like anyone else and that’s not okay. It’s absolutely beautiful.

Comfort In Pain

Comfort in Pain

Let it Hurt.

Let it Bleed.

Let it Heal.

Let it Go. – Nikita Gill

I’ve always found comfort in my pain. When it hurts you know it’s been real and very rarely in life are things real. Think about that for a few minutes. Think about how many times you’ve felt betrayed by someone who turned out to be a fake friend, how many lovers have you sunk faith into that turned into cheaters? How many coworkers did you back up who turned into lazy users? It happens to everyone, none of us leave this life unscathed.

I love the quote above because it reminds you that pain is a process to healing. A lot of people get stuck in the comfort of their pain. I do. It’s easier to wallow in it. It feels almost good to mope around with it because of the attention you get with it.

I think it’s healthiest though to let it hurt, whatever it is, just let it in and let it consume you. Let it make you scream. Let it make you weep. Let it break your heart because if you just try to seal up the tiny cracks for a little while, just bottle it up for the now, you’ll seek release elsewhere in destructive behaviors.

Let it bleed and by this I mean let the rage out where it needs to be directed. If someone cheats on you, tell them all the ways they’ve hurt you, all the ways they’ve betrayed you. Tell them their word is no longer any good to you, that you’ll never be able to trust anything they say to you again. If someone hurts you, bleed it out on them, let them know, don’t let them walk away as if they had no part of it. I often write about accountability and I truly believe it’s the downfall of our society that we no longer hold anyone accountable for their actions. Every single person should know when they do something hurtful. Bleed it out.

Let yourself heal. They say time heals all wounds. I don’t believe that. I do believe that invigorating your mind, your heart, your body heals all wounds especially those of the soul. Don’t wallow in your self pity. Read a book, learn something new, take a class, date someone, fuck, just talk to someone new, get something crafty, be silly, dance, sing, heal. A side note to this, you don’t have to do it alone, but don’t do it with the person/people who fucked you over to begin with. When you walk away, walk away strong.

Let it go. I struggle with this. I’m sure you’ve read from my previous posts, I don’t believe people truly forgive others. It’s because we retain memory. Memory is a bitch. It forces us to acknowledge every bad thing that’s happened or been said and you just can’t take it back and you can say a million times you forgive, but you don’t, not truly, and it’s because you can’t truly forget. Think about any time you’ve said forgive and forget and then gotten into another spat with that person, you went back to what you said you forgave and forgot right? We all do. We all do.

I tell my son and daughter often, You Teach People How To Treat You. This is one of the best lessons in life to give everyone yet it takes so much time for people to actually heed the words, to learn what it means. If you allow someone to constantly use and manipulate you into doing or being what they want, you’ll never be happy. You are teaching them to treat you like a doormat, you’re telling them it’s okay to cheat on you, to call you names, to be shady, to withhold their love, etc. You are making it okay and why would they change when you complain? You’ve taught them that you’ll stay, you’ll keep coming back even if they don’t change. You give no real consequences to their bad behavior. You’ve taught them to treat you badly. The only thing you can do, is let them go. Be honest about your feelings, be honest about it never really going to be able to work because the history is too rife with discord and that’s the way to honestly let it go.

Relationship Equality

I’ve been thinking a lot about equality in relationships and how it comes in many forms. Nothing is ever 50/50, nor should it be.

My respect/equality meter remains full and has for the entirety of my relationship.

My husband does not not cook, he doesn’t wash dishes, he does not wash-dry-fold-put away laundry, he doesn’t clean the house, he doesn’t take the dogs to the groomer, he doesn’t typically grocery shop. In general he doesn’t do a lot around the house that is considered typical “women’s work”. I know that sounds bad but please continue reading.

My husband never allows me to pay for anything when I’m in his presence. We could be just stopping at the pharmacy for my medication and he will not allow me to pay for it. It can be as simple as stopping to buy a soda and he will not allow me to pay. He also never asks me or even implies that I should go in when we stop for soda or the pharmacy or a quick gift card. He always lets me sit in the car listening to music and he goes to take care of whatever we’re out doing. He always opens my door for me. Be it the car or whatever building we’re entering or leaving. He does all the typical “men’s work” around the house: mowing the lawn, changing light bulbs, oil changes, etc. He brings me surprises every single week, really great surprises. He has always shown me his appreciation for all that I do in small and large ways and I’ve never once had to say to him “I’m feeling unappreciated”. He takes me to every single doctor’s appointment (it’s a lot), he always drives no matter where we go. The most important thing my husband has done to keep my love meter full is he has always encouraged me to work at jobs I truly love and am happy doing. He has always encouraged me to follow my dreams with my writing. He has allowed me something very few people get in this lifetime, I have never had to stay in a job that made me unhappy because of his love and support and that has been invaluable.

I should say here also that I love the fact that we practice “traditional roles” in our relationship. It’s not for everyone, I agree. I’m old school though, all I ever wanted to be was a writer and wife, a great wife. I really do enjoy cooking and doing things to make him happy. I enjoy it even more because I know how deeply he appreciates it.

All of these are things between us keep us equal in our relationship. Too many times I hear others focusing on the things their partner doesn’t do instead of all the great things they do accomplish for them. I’m more than okay with the way my relationship is.

My husband works, a lot. He works usually 7 days a week. He hardly ever takes a day off and although I miss him, I understand the reasoning and I support him. I would say 4 days a week he can get up with his alarm with no help from me, on time, with no problems. There are a few days, roughly three days a week that he’ll maybe stay up a little late watching TV shows with me and get to bed a little late. On those days I’ll help him out a little, if I notice he hasn’t gotten up by a certain time, I’ll of course go in to our bedroom and gently let him know it’s time to get ready for work. This has never ever been a problem for me. I’m retired, it’s not as if I have other shit to do and it gives me a few extra minutes to hang out with him before he has to leave for the night.

I used to have a really hard time explaining this to an old friend. He thought my husband relied too much on me and was just spoiled and lazy. I don’t see it that way at all. Relationships are all about support and confidence. I love being that person who my husband counts on to help him out when he needs it most. I love the fact that he has confidence that he can count on me for that support and he never has to question it.

So why am I writing this? I think we all need to do a better job teaching our youth what a healthy relationship looks like. Is it any wonder our society has fallen into such disrepair when we look at divorce statistics over the last 40 years? What are we really teaching our children about relationships and what’s okay and not okay? What are we showing them is acceptable behavior when engaging with a mate?

Are we teaching them selfishness is okay? Cheating is okay? Open relationships work? On again off again is perfectly acceptable? Abusiveness is okay as long as you attach the word love to it? Walking away from responsibility is widely acceptable? Is this the society we want? It’s repetitive you know, we come from broken homes, we break our homes, and we teach our children that well, that’s the way it is, broken is acceptable. But we can change it. We can teach our youth a better way, a healthier way of dealing with love, respect, honesty, and realistic relationships.

These are just some of the thoughts I’ve been having lately as I have two young adults who are navigating life and love. I give them as much advice as I can but two of the most profound pieces of advice I impart to them on the regular are these: Love don’t pay the rent and Life isn’t fair but it doesn’t have to be a fucking circus either. Maybe I’ll elaborate on another blog later. Just some things to think about today.