Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Of Stones and Geese

Yesterday was an odd day. It started out with Nicole and I being the only ones up--the boys were still sleeping and J was taking a nap. We decided to watch a musical and since she had never seen "The Sound of Music" (yes, I know, shocking . . . . what kind of homeschooler am I, really???!), we put it on. I noticed my back hurt. It hurt more. It kept hurting more. Now I was having trouble concentrating on the movie. I got up and moved around. Began to pace. Then, WHAM. I knew what was happening. It was a kidney stone! How could I have possibly forgotten the hideous pain from last October? It was just like that and honestly, I wasn't sure if I was up to handling that again. I wasn't about to go to the hospital either since they tested me, said yes, it's a kidney stone, gave me pain meds and sent me home . . . . all for a MERE $5,000!

So I paced and got really nauseous and talked to J and called a couple of doctors . . and then the pain shifted from my back/side to my urethra/ureter and WHOO, a hot poker sensation where one should never, ever, ever go. I said, I bet this means it is moving from the kidney to the bladder . . . . so hang on, Tami. Breathe, walk, breathe and it will end soon.

It did. It took about 90 minutes from start to finish. By the time the doctors called back, I was asleep on the couch (it is an exhausting experience, believe me). Now, I'm back to fine and I didn't incur another medical expense. Win-win. But . . I'm done now. No more of those, ok? Thanks.

So, this has WHAT to do with geese, you ask? Well . . . nothing. I just happened to go out to the mailbox to put my outgoing mail in it and stopped to watch some geese flying by. I was inspired to actually write about it, so here it is. Today's poetry assignment. Let me know what you think of it.

A gap of robin's blue forces through
Separating white and gray twins
An overdue promise of warmer days.
Like a black bracket against the clouds
The geese streak overhead
Chattering as if sharing directions and
Laughing at the barefooted woman below
Watching their flight with chilly toes
And longing for spring's return.

Okay, it isn't Dickinson or Browning, but ain't bad!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Dietary Discoveries

So, the diet continues. It has been five weeks. Here are ten things I have discovered recently:

1. Getting weighed can be exciting, instead of depressing and embarassing.
2. My tastes are changing.
3. I have more willpower than I ever knew.
4. My BP is going so low that if I take my full meds, I damn near collapse. My BP went down to 90/40 and my pulse was 44 bpm. That was a little scary. I've been adjusting dosages ever since then to keep it between 110/70 and 130/90. Not easy.
5. Snacking moments are the hardest. I deal with meals okay but when I want a nap and all I can reach for is fruit or vegetables, I get bitchy.
6. I like getting rid of jeans because they are too large.
7. I cannot, cannot, cannot get warm. I am cold all the time and have taken to wearing sweaters and (gasp) socks.
8. I still can't let J in the bathroom with me when I get weighed. Why is the actual NUMBER that important? Not a clue . .. . but it is.
9. I still miss coffee runs as much as I did. Not for the coffee, although YEA I MISS COFFEE, but because of the fun we had on them. I miss finding quaint restaurants on the way home and stopping. I miss the unexpected stop at a neat store that usually involved grabbing a cookie or a hot mocha.
10. I am absolutely bull-headed, determined to keep on this diet because of all the good feelings, the dropping BP, the weight loss but I hope it keeps getting easier. I have willpower but I get tired of having to use it so often.

Oh, and in case you're back to sleepless nights because you want to know how much weight I've lost so far, in 32 days, I've dropped 21.5 pounds. Go me.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

"Sunrise, Sunset" is my Background Theme

My children are growing up.
Yea, I know. BIG surprise. Happens to the best of us. But sometimes, it seems like they do it all at once, you know?
This week Nicole stars in a new play at the Sandy Actor's Theatre . . . and then heads out of town for five days to stay with a friend in southern Oregon. She will be going to Indiana in May and then . . . well, we're not sure where next but it will be exciting. She also interviews for a neat new job this weekend (cross your fingers for her!).
This afternoon, Caspian is off to his first official interview. He is hoping to go WWOOFing this summer (working on an organic farm) and is meeting with the owners today to see if they think he is a good fit. If they choose him, he will be gone a good deal of the summer. He will only be about 90 minutes away, but still. . ... much further than just down the hall.
Tomorrow I am paying the deposit for Coryn to go to Not Back to School Camp this summer. He will be gone for two weeks this time. He is already counting the days.
I know that many parents yearn for a time when the kids are gone, but not me. My kids are my best friends (along with my hubby). I love their company. They make me laugh and all three give the most amazingly wonderful hugs in the world. I know that their ability to leave and experience and find adventure means Joseph and I did things right, but gosh, I will miss these creatures. They are such incredible people, so different from each other but still utterly charming. (Shhhhh. I know I'm prejudiced. It's a mother's right.)
So please put up with me as I sniffle to the lyrics of "Sunrise, Sunset" playing in the background. I know that I will love my time alone with my hubby, but gosh, it is gonna be QUIET. Let's hope eventually that will be filled up with grandchildren, eh?

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Gosh, I'm so PURE (snicker)

All righty gang. Let's hear it for Tami. For 23 days now, she has been sugar free, dairy free, wheat free, alcohol free and (shudder) coffee free. I'd love to tell you that makes me vice free, but alas, I still collect too many books and too much paper and still swear on a regular basis and don't even attempt to keep up on housework, so NOPE, no chance of being vice free.

Since I know you have been staying up nights frantically waiting for a report on how I am doing, here it is. My 23 day report.

The first week was AWFUL. Anger, resentment, bitterness, old feelings about dormant topics dredged up and brought back to light. Not a good time. Second week . . . resignation. Depression. Frustration. (I sound like the lyrics to an old Moody Blues song . . . . ) Now, third week. Surprising acceptance. Comfort. Even, dare I say it, appreciation? My BP is staying down and I am sleeping better with less pain. Best of all, every single day, my weight drops. 17 pounds in 23 days. Not too shabby. And my tastes are changing. I can actually drink tea without sweetening now and not shudder. My occasional burst of emotion because I can't eat a sandwich (the main thing I crave) is mitigated by digging down further in the jeans pile to the next size smaller (am I the only one out here who has four sizes of jeans in her closet?) and they actually fit--and I can still breathe. I feel . . . in control and while this ain't easy, I LOVE that feeling.

So, there you go. We've saved at least a billion dollars by not eating out and not going on daily coffee runs (which turned into coffee/donut/pastry/stop at a thrift store on the way home runs). We walked into Starbuck's today for the first time in 23 days and the staff stopped and said WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN? (a sure sign you've been going there a lot). We got hot cups of tea, read our newspaper (mostly the comics) and came home. Go me.

Work is hanging in there. Money hasn't started to flow yet but it will. I'm in a better place than I was. On the other hand, I have two friends who could use your extra thoughts. One is facing her fourth surgery in about 18 months and she is way too nice a person to deserve this much pain. So send good thoughts her way. The other is a someone I don't know well but who recently confided in me that through a bizarre set of circumstances, she and her teenage daughter are homeless and desperate. My heart hurts for her as well and I am going to do what I can to help. I've already offered our couch and shower when needed.

So, give a little cheer for Tami's determination and now wish better luck for my friends. They deserve far better than what they are dealing with now.