Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Bad Day

It's just past 8AM and I'm already having a rough day. I knew it was going to be a rough day to begin with but now that the time has come...oh, boy.

First, both boys have field trips today.  I had planned on going with my eldest on his field trip as they had invited anyone who wished to come to follow the buses.  The problem came when we received notice that my little guy had a field trip on the very same day. My little guy has issues with school. He has separation anxiety in a big.bad.way.  So, when they have field trips, his teacher's allow me to be a chaperone.

What broke my heart is when my eldest asked me if I was going to follow the bus. I had to explain to him that his brother's teacher already asked me along to that field trip and Daddy tried to get some time off of work but just couldn't.  He felt a bit deflated. So did I.  I'm thinking I may take him out to dinner. Just the two of us. Tonight.

The part that has me deep in the dumps.  We had to put our sweet kitty to sleep today.  Hubs is on his way to bring her to the vet.  I can't do it. I know that may sound terrible, but I just can't. I'm sitting here trying to keep a cool face while fighting the tears. I don't want my little guy to know until tonight when we break the news to both boys.  I've been hinting to my eldest that he needed to give Sabrina lots of hugs and kisses to make sure she knew he loved her. He knows that her days were numbered, but didn't know that the clock was really running out.

So, goodbye my sweet, sweet Sabrina.  You were a one of a kind cat. You put up with the family (5 kids) who had you before you chose us. We adopted our 2 cats from a shelter. Hubs chose our other cat and Sabrina chose me.  She followed me around the room and would tap me with her paw. I finally realized that she needed to be with us.  Oh sweet girl, kitty heaven is getting a true angel today.  May you rest in peace knowing that we will all miss you terribly.  Thank you for picking us to be your people.  We love you.  

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Weekend Wrap Up

I can't believe I am about to say this but, boy am I glad this weekend is over!

Friday was crazy with trying to follow what was happening in Boston. I wasn't able to watch too much on TV with the kids around but you can bet that I was glued to the tube when they went to bed.  So happy they caught him!

Saturday wasn't all that bad.  We did some stuff around the house and followed that up with my son's baseball game in the afternoon.  Then today I had more baseball stuff to do...had to work the snack shack at the field.  Each team is assigned certain shifts and each parent is supposed to take a shift to work. Today was my day. It wasn't all that bad except that my feet were killing me after standing on them for three hours.  I know that doesn't sound too bad but when you have plantar faciitis, it's torture.  I was so happy to leave there and come home to a nice family dinner.

That is, until I walked in the door.  The first thing I hear is my husband. He sounded like he was in pain. I hurried over to see what the fuss was about and I find him on the floor picking something up and throwing it in the trash.  At first I thought maybe one of the kids got sick and he was cleaning it up...then I realized what it was, paint!  White paint all over the carpet!  I couldn't believe it.  Apparently my little guy took a fit because he didn't like an answer my husband gave him so he pushed over the paint can that I had put on the bench we have in the living room.  It exploded. All over the floor. All over my couch.  The good news is that we got it out. The bad news is that it took 4+ hours to clean!  I am pooped.  My feet are achy!  This should make for an interesting Monday. 

With that, I am off to sleepy town.  Everything hurts after all the work I just did.  Looking forward to getting back to a normal schedule this week. 

Friday, April 19, 2013

I Love Boston

Sorry for being so very quiet.
I'm still here.
I'm still doing my thing.
Have wanted to come on and blog a number of times but keep getting interrupted by one thing or another. On Monday, I thought I would participate in Kenlie's Friend Makin' Monday.  I had the link up and the questions were ready to be answered.  I didn't have the time I needed so I put it on hold to complete later in the day.
And then tragedy hit.
In my own back yard to boot.
OK, so I don't live in Boston. It's still my city though.  I live close enough. When we travel and are asked "where are you from?", the answer is always "Boston".
So, as you can see, it wouldn't have felt right to come back and write about my eating and exercising habits while tragedy was unfolding.
I'm still not sure where my head is on this thing. Honestly, I think I'm like most Bostonians, I'm pissed off (sorry, it's true). I'm so sick of these sickos (whomever they may be), trying to suck the life out of everything. I have news for them. It's not gonna happen. Not here. Not in Boston.  The people here are fighters. We won't give up. We aren't backing down. We aren't going to let you win. So, there.

This whole tragedy has got me thinking a lot about how precious life really is.  Well, if truth be told, I've been doing a lot of thinking on the subject even before the incident. Now it's more in the forefront of my mind.  This last season of The Biggest Loser, along with past instances (and some current ones), have me really thinking about the people I care the most about.  There are a few people in my life who, like me, are in dire need of a lifestyle change.  The thing is though, no matter how worried I am about these people, I can't say a word because I have to first make my own changes.

Oh. Wait. I have.

I've made a lot of changes.  I am eating healthier.  My daily caloric intake is under control (mostly). I am at the gym three days a week for an hour each time and I am more active than I have ever been in my daily life. Are things perfect? Nope. Do I struggle?  Sure. The point is though that I have made a lifestyle change.  Maybe now I can talk the talk because I am walking the walk.

It's so difficult though.
How do you find the words to tell someone that you care about so deeply that you are worried about them? I did find the words for one person that I care about. It was difficult, but something I had to do.
I'm having a hard time finding a way to speak to this other person though.

Let me go about things this way:

There was a contestant on The Biggest Loser this season  that really got to me.  If you watched, you'll remember Jeff....if you didn't, here's a link to The Biggest Loser page to see his video.

 Anyway, from the start of the season, there was something about Jeff that got to me. It was the sadness in his eyes. He seemed so lost. So depressed. So alone.  He was just existing.

I remember sitting on my couch watching the episode where Bob Harper gets emotional with Jeff and I bawled my eyes out. He was saying all the things I was thinking about Jeff all along.I sat there and cried and cried not only because of Jeff's transformation but because the beginning Jeff reminded me of someone I care about. I would say to hubs all season long "doesn't Jeff remind you of so and so?".

Sorry if you're not a fan of the show.  I just want to emphasize that I've been thinking about this for quite some time. Even with all this thinking, I still can't seem to find the words that need to be said.  I know that people need to hit their rock bottom before a change can take place.  I know this is hard work. I know that sometimes we don't recognize a problem within ourselves.  Sometimes it's just easier to put the blame on other things. 
I know all this because it's all that I have gone through and experienced.  It's all stuff I still grapple with on a daily basis.  The difference is that I've recognized that if I don't make the change, I'm not going to be around to see my kids graduate high school. If I didn't make the changes when I did, I would probably be pushing 400 pounds by now.  But I'm not. I hit my bottom. I've pushed off of that bottom and am making my way back up to the top to catch my breath.

I feel healthy.

I feel strong.

I am happy.

I want all of that for this person.

Yet it's so hard to find the words, or more the way to have the talk. In some ways, it's not even my place to have the discussion. Yet, it's one that I want to have. I am very afraid that this person won't be around in 5 to 10 years.  What then?  Will I be angry with myself for not speaking up. But is it really my place?  No one had the talk with me.  If they had, I probably would have punched them out (figuratively speaking, of course). That thought alone, has me back to "say nothing".

It's a fine line we walk.  I believe in the saying "live and let live". But is this person really living?  Maybe.  Maybe I'm seeing things all wrong. But I don't think so.  I see the sadness that was in Jeff's eyes. I see a loneliness and deep sadness that is covered up by forced smiles.

I wish I could wave a magic wand and make everything better.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Saying "I'm sorry"

This post is a bit off topic, but it's something I feel is worth talking about. 

When my boys do something wrong, either purposefully or accidental, I've taught them to say "I'm sorry".  I believe in taking personal responsibility for our actions. If I bump into someone, even if it was their fault (maybe they weren't watching where they were going), I say "Oh, I'm sorry" (OK, I may roll my eyes and think negative things, but I still apologize).  If I've given misinformation at work, I say "I am so sorry, I was mistaken". When someone doesn't like a policy at work I say "I am so sorry about that..." and try my best to spin things back into the positive.

It never ceases to amaze me how two simple words can be so difficult to roll off of people's tongues. I realize it can be uncomfortable at times but it is worth the moment of uncomfortableness (is that even a word) to know that you've made someone feel better.  

What gets me even more is that Corporate America is stepping away from being sorry. Back in the day, the saying was "the customer is always right". When I worked for a certain retailer, we were never allowed to say "no".  We couldn't tell people that we didn't have something.  Instead, we'd offer to either order it (if it was something that we could order) or offer up other retailers that (may have) carried whatever it was they were looking for.

Nowadays you'd be hard pressed to find companies that really care about what you think about their product and/or service. Half the time they only care about the bottom line and won't give you a second thought.  Seems counter intuitive if you think about it, if you're displeased with something, you're more likely to look elsewhere the next time. 

What exactly is my point here?  Well, it all started with my mother...

My mother was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis about fifteen years ago.  She is a "lucky one" in that up until the last few year, her mobility has been slightly affected. Over the last few years though, she has needed to rely on a wheelchair when she goes to places where there is a lot of walking. She is able to walk around the house and her office while relying on a wall to hold her up when she gets a bit wobbly.  When she needs to go places that require more walking, like shopping, she asks myself or my father to go with her.  A lot of stores now have electric wheelchairs for customers to use and she's now at the point where she has accepted that she needs to use the chair.

The thing about my mother is that she does not "flaunt" her disability (please don't berate me for using the word 'disability' - my mother isn't afraid or offended by the word). She isn't one to say "woe is me", she doesn't hate the world or feel that the world owes her for what God gave her to deal with. She takes everything in stride and honestly she's not afraid to laugh about it.

She even had a little bit of a chuckle when what I am about to share with you happened...
My parents just flew out to California to visit with my mother's sister and family. My cousin, her two kids, my aunt and mother ventured over to Disneyland for an adventure.  And an [mis]adventure is exactly what they got.  My cousin wrote a great post here on her blog about what happened. I'm going to give a quick synopsis but invite you to please check out what she had to say as she witnessed most of what happened.

Most of their day at the park was fine.  They ran into a few instances where they weren't sure what the procedure was for someone in a wheelchair and it seemed the park may have been understaffed for a day during spring break. The biggest problem was when they went to ride on the Haunted Mansion.  From what my mother tells me, the cast member asked her if she was able to walk, she said "yes" so he had her "hop out" of her chair and enter into the elevator portion of the ride. 

If you've never been to Disney, or if it's been a while, there is an "elevator" which "stretches" and then goes dark for a brief moment - it's all to set the mood.  After the elevator, you walk down a fairly long hallway and on to a moving platform.  The elevator doesn't have seating so my mother had to hold on to my aunt in hopes that she didn't topple them both over. Then she made her way down the hallway and on to the ride.  Now, somewhere in there she was told to let "them" know that they needed to slow the ride down in order for her to enter/exit the "doom buggy".

She entered the ride fairly unscathed but the ending was another story. Suffice it to say that she couldn't get off in time and was left on the ride to make another go around (she was alone now).  When she got back to the end and was able to exit, her wheelchair, my aunt and the rest of the support was gone. They were all forced to exit for one reason or another, leaving my mother to her own devices.  The cast member couldn't have been less helpful. Again, if you haven't been to Disneyland or if it's been awhile, when you exit the ride you walk a short distance onto a people mover. People movers are not easy for someone with mobility/stability issues to tackle.  The cast member simply told my mother that "it's a short walk" - basically "good luck to you". 

My mother and company where annoyed with what happened, but my family being who they are, found the comedy in it all and went about the rest of the day.

After spending some time thinking about what happened, my mother decided to write an email to the customer relations department at Disneyland. She simply wanted to relay her concerns about the training (or lack thereof) and hoped for an apology. Instead, she got a proverbial slap in the face.  The woman never offered an apology.  She told my mother that she should have said something while she was in the park. She said she would forward the message on...

Long story short, my mother did end up speaking with the woman on the phone. Instead of listening intently to what she had to say, she went on to tell her what SHE did wrong. She was more interested in lecturing my mother than hearing that the cast members on that particular day, could have and should have had better training on how to handle someone in a wheelchair.

So much for Magic.  Disneyland, at least in my mind, has lost it's magic and I'm willing to bet that poor Walt wouldn't be too happy with the "magic" of Disney.

I'd like to add that we went to DisneyWORLD a few years ago with my mother and couldn't have had a better experience. I've heard many rumors that Disneyland had lost it's magic and am so very sad to know that the rumor appears to be true. 

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Birthday Gift

It's my birthday week! I don't usually "brag" about my birthday but I am this time because I "received" a wonderful gift and I am giving myself a great gift! I went to Boston last week for my six month check up for my Cancer-NOT-Cancer thing (that's what I call it, MGUS is what it really is).  Anyway, my appointment went well.  All the labs I could receive back that day were all "fine" but I still had to wait for the important ones to come back.  I received a call today from my doc that things are getting better!  My numbers are still dropping!!!  It feels so great to know that I'm getting closer and closer to not having the "C" least not the kind that I was facing.  Huge relief.

My gift to myself?   I'm getting back on track.  I needed a mental break.  I really did.  This is hard work and takes a lot of mental preparation.  I was feeling burned out and wanted to throw in the towel but I'm not going to.  I've taken the last 2-3 weeks to evaluate where I was, where I am, and where I want to be. I'm fairly certain that I'll need these mental breaks every now and again. I have a long way to go to be at "normal weight".  This is going to be a process.  Just need to deal with it in small chunks at a time. 

While on break, I've mostly been OK with foods.  The choices have been getting worse and worse but the amounts have been within the reasonable range.  I was craving some mac & cheese from a local restaurant so I had hubs take me there last night for my birthday.  The mac & cheese is so good! They make it with five kinds of cheese, top it with bread crumbs and bake it to a golden goodness.  The top is crunchy while the inside is gooey.  The potion size is obscene. It was obscene when I was eating more but it's even more obscene now!  I didn't care, I wanted it so that's what I got.  We were able to make four meals out of it though.  I had a portion last night for dinner, another bit for lunch today while I also shared with my husband and son.  Could I have had the whole thing?  Probably. I opted to keep it within reason though.

So, tomorrow is "Weigh in Wednesday" and it's my back on the wagon I go.  I needed the break but am ready to bring on another phase of this journey.  I'm six months away from my next check-up and I would love to be that much closer to not having to worry about the "C" word.

Happy Birthday to me!  Next year, I hope to be nearly 1/2 my size.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Sensory issues?

Time is just getting away from me these days. I'm still stuck in hoarder's you-know-where with the tagsale stuff.  Thankfully, I'll be packing the van up in order to unload all this stuff  tomorrow.  Can't wait to get this done so I can move on to other house projects. Never ends, does it?

Catching up on what's been going on...
I'm up about 4-5 pounds this week. Not a huge surprise seeing all the sodium I've been taking in. I did end up having way too much on Easter. I felt gluttonous but at the same time I think it was "good" for me to remember how terrible I feel after gorging on bad food.  Now it's time to move on. 

 I had a great, lengthy chat with my therapist yesterday.  A huge lightbulb went off in my head after we came to come realizations about why I hate preparing and cooking good food.   We were talking about the foods that I like and the foods I don't.  The list of likes is much shorter as well as more calorie dense than the foods I do like. 

We realized that I seem to have a sensory issue going on. It's mostly an oral one, but because we have to eat to live, it's also an important one to figure out and probably has a lot to do with my weight and food issues. 

What do I mean about sensory issues?  Well, let me give you some examples of foods that I can't/won't eat...
Chicken:  I will eat chicken but there are a lot of conditions that go along with it.  If it's over-cooked, no way. If it tastes like chicken, not gonna happen. If there is a piece of fat that makes it's way in undetected, you can bet I'm not finishing it.   It mostly comes down to texture with a little bit of taste issues. 

Pork:  Another one that's not-gonna-happen.  I don't like the way it feels on my teeth. 

Mushrooms:  Oh boy!  This one sends me in a tailspin. I can't handle the "bite" to them followed by the bit of "squishiness"  

I could go on and on here.  The point is that we really realized that I get burned out so easily because there isn't much that I can handle.  I tend to stick to the kinds of foods that disguise the goodness....sauces and gravies come to mind. 

I know it all sounds so crazy, but I think I've really hit upon something with this.  My therapist is doing some research, as am I.  We'll figure this out.  Until then, I will just keep on keeping on the best way I know how.