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Saturday, June 30, 2012

Another Mini Meltdown

I plan on this being a short post.  We will see if that happens.

I did not weigh in today, for a couple of reasons.

Steph had to go back to the ER last night.  Her symptoms seemed to be re-emerging.  Long story short, she has a “slight” case of pancreatitis.  Pancreatitis can be caused by about three things.  One is drinking, and one is surgery.  I can’t remember what the other one is.  Anyway, hers was caused by the surgery.  I worked until about 9:45 last night (almost a 14-hour day) and then joined Steph and Beth at the ER.  I got home at 1:30 a.m.  Pain meds and clear liquids for a couple of days, and she should be better.

I am beyond exhausted today.  More than that, I am so very tired of being pulled in every direction.  No time to take care of myself and I certainly am not being taken care of by anyone else.  I had no plan of attack today.  I was planning on trying to get four workouts this weekend, but I was too exhausted today.  All of this led to a mini-binge.

At the time I should have done my first workout this morning, I was at the store getting things Steph needed so she could have clear liquids.  She was extremely hungry.  Since I was there, I went ahead and got other things I needed.  By the time I got back, I was too tired for a workout right then.  I ate some lunch, sort of.  My pain has been kind of out of hand today, but I think it was more fibromyalgia type pain than the radiating pain from the back.  I felt like I had been run over with a truck.  I hurt all over.  I took a couple of Tylenol PM and fell asleep a little before 3:00 and slept until after 6:00.  Then I woke up and ate without control.  It wasn’t horrible, but it wasn’t good.

I have been reading Breaking Free from Emotional Eating by Geneen Roth.  A quote:

Binges are purposeful acts, not demented feelings…a binge can…be an urgent attempt to care for yourself when you feel uncared for.  Binges speak the voice of survival.  They are…signals that something is terribly wrong, that you are not giving yourself what you need—either physically (with food) or emotionally (with intimacy, work, relationships).   They are your last stand against deprivation.

That about sums it up.

I will try to regroup tomorrow, but more rest is in the program.

Friday, June 29, 2012

It's Friday!!!!

I did have to work late last night (10:30 p.m.).  But, I was working on my budget yesterday and I have certain goals I am working toward by the end of August, when I move.  Last week set me back a little, so I am going to try not to resent the OT.  I don’t usually resent it, but did a little last week when I was going through all the stuff with my daughter.  I knew this was a part of my job when I took the position.  (So did management; I don’t know why they complain about it so much.)  Anyway, I have some cash put away – part of it is birthday money my boss gave me and the rest is cash he gives me here and there when I work extra late or do personal business for him.  I have more than enough to buy the Electra Cruiser I was wanting and I don’t really want to have to spend it on moving expenses or anything.

For dinner last night, I had a grilled chicken salad from Subway.  I have been thinking lately how many carbs are in the Subway sandwiches (especially when I have baked chips or something to go with it), so am trying to do other things to offset that.  The salad, along with grapes, was dinner.  I used my Newman’s Own dressing on it and added a half of an avocado to it.  God did good when He made avocado, didn’t He?  I love them!  That was it for the day, so I had a very good day.

So far, so good today.  I got up and did a workout on my recumbent bike.  I did a 20 minute hills program and then 10 extra minutes.  Those “hills” programs are really not accurate.  Even though it looks like a hill on the graphic, if you were really doing hills, once you reach that top resistance, to be going down a hill, you would really have little to no resistance.  Instead, it just lessens the resistance little by little.  So, really, it is harder than a true hill.  But that is okay.  Hopefully it is getting me ready to ride outside when I get a bike.

Unfortunately, I have flared back up a little and am not walking as “pain-free” as I was for a few days.  I guess it was caused from sitting around the hospital room too much and sleeping on the recliner and/or hospital couch.  And my neck and arm are still sore.  My neck feels kind of “pinch-y.”  Hopefully it is a temporary thing and not the kind of thing that led to my having a double cervical fusion.  I need to get my muscle relaxant refill picked up – I am out.  I am trying to do some stretching to work some of this soreness out.  The loft community I am moving to has yoga classes you can go to.  I am looking forward to this and hoping some of the stretching in yoga will help with my pain issues.

I did not get sick (thank the Lord).  I think my congestion was allergy related and then I was just really tired (I can’t imagine why).  I still am tired, but don’t feel like I am getting sick, anyway.  (I may have aches and pains, but I rarely ever get sick.)

I am a little anxious to see my official weigh-in number tomorrow.  I am hoping I will squeak by with a small loss, but could also show a small gain.  Essentially, I maintained over the last couple of weeks.  I’ll take it, considering what all was going on.

For lunch I made my own “Subway” sandwich (which comes out less calories because I use the sandwich thins for bread instead of a sub roll.  I brought some celery sticks and peanut butter for a snack.  I didn’t have time to spread the peanut butter on the celery before I left for work, so brought the whole jar.  I have to be really careful with peanut butter.  I like it too much and can get carried away on it.  But I plan for just thin spreads on each celery stick.  Protein, right?

One victory – last night when I got home, Bethany had made red velvet cupcakes.  She was taking them to work, but she left three out for us.  After my day Wednesday, I didn’t want to go there and I passed it up with no problem.

Stephanie said she is having more digestive issues today than she is comfortable with (she is afraid of being in that much pain again).  I suggested maybe she was eating too much (in type and quantity) too fast.  She said maybe so and left a message with her doctor to call.  We certainly don’t want to go there again!

My girls were fussing this morning (they are 25 and 22).  Nothing puts me in a worse mood, especially first thing in the morning.  I am a very cheerful, don’t-sweat-the-small-stuff person.  We just went through a life threatening illness with my daughter last week and for them to be fighting because one of them wore the other’s jeans just doesn’t set well with me.  I see both sides.  They will be moving out on their own in a couple of months and hopefully I will be spared these petty squabbles after that.

Lots of talk about dogs on the blogs today.  I had to post a picture of our three.  I think they were having a revival or something.  Lol.

Marley, Tucker and Caspian

Have a great weekend everyone!  Planning on getting my four workouts this weekend.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Back to Normal (Sort Of)

Exhaustion.  That was the only word to describe how I felt when I finally got home last night.  First, I have to say, I pretty much had a melt-down last night.  I won’t go into all the details of what I ate, but it was nowhere under control.  And some of it was faulty planning on my part – I should have known better.

I picked Stephanie up at the hospital and we had to make a few stops (some necessary, some not).  First, Stephanie wanted to eat at Chipotle.  She didn’t eat for seven days and she had certain cravings.  She did eat something bland from the menu (chicken and cheese quesadilla – no peppers or hot sauce or anything).  We shared some chips and guacamole (Chipotle has the best guac).  I ate less than half of the chips or the guac – I felt I was very reasonable in that respect (if you don't know Chipotle, that is not very much).  I didn’t get anything else to eat there.  Stephanie wanted to go to this bakery to get a cupcake.  I got one too and I had planned to just replace my dinner with those calories.  That was my mistake.  I was too hungry to make that work.  I got a small cupcake and a very small key lime tart (yum).  If that was all it had been, that would have been all right.  But I lost control when I got home and I was hungry and so exhausted.  We didn’t get home until after 8:00, so I really didn’t get much of an evening at home.

We also went to get a pedicure.  I had planned on having a pedicure as my reward for 20 pounds lost (I don’t get pedicures often; it is a special thing for me) and had never gotten it done because of working so much and then Stephanie getting sick.  I paid for Steph to get one – she was feeling yucky from being in the hospital for so long.

But it is what it is and I will just get right back to it now that things are settling down.  In fact, I got up and did a workout this morning.  I wasn’t sure if I was going to, because I was so tired last night.  I decided I would not set my alarm (my normal wake-up time is 4:45 a.m.), but if I woke up and felt like doing a workout, I would.  I did wake up and I did feel like it.  Not like I was gung ho to do it, but I knew I needed to and I felt rested enough to do it.  I am glad I did.  It sets the tone for the day.

By the way, I got on the scale this morning.  It is not official weigh-in day, but so far, I have not gained weight, even after last night’s meltdown.  We will see what it says on Saturday.

For breakfast I had Greek yogurt (a little more this time, to hopefully help with my hunger), a little honey and some Kashi GoLean Crunch.  I also had some cantaloupe.  I drank my big bottle of water I normally drink on the way to work.  (I would like to get more drank before I leave home, but it is dangerous when you live as far away as I do and you never know what traffic is going to be like!).  For lunch, for today, I am going back to what was working – Subway.  Just because I had no time to plan or bring me something and my coworker offered to go get us some.  The only thing I don’t like about that is I have to wait on her.  When I am hungry, I don’t want to wait on someone else’s schedule.  I would rather have gone and gotten it myself.

So, it seems certain powers that be are up in arms about the amount of overtime I am working.  I don’t know if they think I do this on purpose so I can have a big paycheck or what.  Anyway, I told them I could not do it yet while I am carpooling, but after I move and will live a block away from work, I will be happy to come in late on mornings when my boss keeps me extra late.  I am tired and I am not asking to work 60+ hours per week.  When I am living a block away from work, it would be nice to come in at 10:00 some mornings.  But I wouldn’t want to do it every morning.  I want a life, at some point, which means wanting my evenings (or most of them) off.  Ultimately, there is not much they can do about my OT.  I work for the Big Kahuna (President of the firm and head litigator who brings in the most money right now).

To give you an idea of how much I have been working, I will have near 40 OT hours on this coming paycheck (and that is even with being out with Stephanie’s hospital stay this past week).  So, yes, I do work a lot.  And I am tired.  Not working so much would definitely help in my quest to lose this weight, but I have to do what I have to do to make it work under current circumstances.  That means getting up at 4:45 a.m. to get weekday morning workouts WITHOUT FAIL (except for this past week with the hospital goings-on) and getting four 30-minute workouts done on the weekend, if at all possible.

I have noticed I look at women’s bodies more than I used to.  Not to compare myself in a bad way.  I see a woman who is really fit, and I think, “I want to look like that!”  And I also realize she put in some work to look like that.  I think I have always thought some women just naturally look that way.  Some do, I imagine, but I am sure a lot of work goes into it for a lot of them.  Am I weird?

I am feeling like I might be getting sick.  My sinuses are getting a little congested, my head hurts and my throat feels a little suspicious.  If I am, I will probably just have to work through it.  I have been gone enough lately with my daughter’s illness.  If I need to, I will call Teledoc (which is a service through my insurance; for minor illnesses, you can call the number and a doctor will prescribe you medicine, if necessary).  Something has been going around the office, but I thought maybe I had escaped it.  I am sure all the stress of the last couple of weeks has weakened me a little bit.

I may escape tonight without having to work late, but I am not sure.  My boss has a funeral to go to, but said he may come back so we can “catch up.”  I am going to assume that he will be back; that way if he doesn’t, it will be a pleasant surprise because I will get to go home on time.  I assumed that today and tomorrow would be long days, since I have not worked late this week.

Tonight (or when I have time), I am going to brine some boneless, skinless chicken breast.  I am trying to see if it will be more tender and flavorful.  Hope so!

I’m really not feeling well…and I am having a hard time staying awake.  When I get home, I should do nothing but rest, I’m thinking.  I need to do that instead of eating.  Being tired is such a trigger for me.

I hope everyone is having a great Thursday!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Going Home!

Stephanie is like day and night after her surgery.  She got to eat a little last night (can’t remember if I already shared that).  I don’t know that she would be able to go home today, but I am not ruling it out.  She doesn’t even seem like she had surgery.  She just feels better.

I had a pretty decent day yesterday.  I had the salad from Panera near mid-afternoon, so wasn’t hungry enough for a full meal at dinner.  I ate a yogurt parfait (179 calories) and later some trail mix (290 calories).  I think I came out okay on my total calories.  Still not enough water, but I will work on that more as things are getting back to normal.

Looking at myself in the mirror, it seems like I may have lost a little over the last few days.  But I won’t know until I weigh

I had planned to walk during Steph’s surgery, but since she got in there earlier, by the time I got there, they told me to go to the surgery waiting room and wait.  I was only there 30 minutes or less before the doctor came to report.  It was not too long after I got back to her room that they brought her back.  As I may have said yesterday, she was EXTREMELY grouchy for a while.  She wanted to put her clothes back on and they wouldn’t let her for a while and she did not like that.  Once she got to eat something, though, she was in a much better mood.  I guess I might be grouchy too with no clothes and no food for 7 days.

I am feeling pretty tired today.  I thought about going into the empty office and taking a little nap at lunch, but honestly, I don’t think I am going to be really rested until I am sleeping in my own bed.  I have been sleeping in a recliner (except for last night) and my shoulder and arm have been hurting.  I slept on the “fold-out couch” last night (which are usually pretty rough to sleep on for anyone with a back problem).  It wasn’t too bad, but my arm is still hurting some today.  I have a tempurpedic-type mattress and I know will sleep better when I get back home (and hopefully my shoulder and arm will settle down – that is usually neck related).  My back was kind of stiff this morning, but not too bad.  I am having to be careful right now or I find myself sitting here staring into space.

Just got word – Stephanie is going home today!!!  I am waiting on her call to come get her.  Between you and me, I am not coming back to the office afterward.  It will still be a short while before she calls, then I have to drive to Plano, get her loaded up, we have a couple of stops to make on the way home, and I have to drive all the way to Midlothian (which, with no traffic is about an hour, but I am sure there will be traffic).  To come back downtown after that would not be worth it.  My boss has a dinner meeting tonight, so I should not have to come back to work after hours.  And I really could use a night at home to catch up on things and to rest.  Tomorrow we can get back to normal schedule (whatever normal is).

For lunch today I had the Potbelly Farmhouse Salad, without bacon.  I added one-half of an avocado and used the Newman’s Own Light dressing.  Should be less than 450 calories total (it is 310 without the avocado or dressing), but will have to figure that up.  For breakfast I had Greek yogurt with about a teaspoon of honey, ½ cup Kashi GoLean Crunch, and some fruit from the fruit tray I bought last night.  I did have one variation from healthy eating this morning – I ate some Hot Tamales (cinnamon chewy candies).  That was 170 calories.  But I can make that fit in.  I did not have any bread or anything for lunch, so it was lower calorie than normal.

I don’t know if all the fresh veggies I bought last week are still good.  If they are, when I get home, I will likely continue with the main dish salad theme or a sandwich.  I could make some grilled chicken too.

I don’t think I mentioned last week that I bought a rice cooker.  I have never used one, but have heard they make perfect rice.  I will use it for brown rice, for the most part.  I ordered the cookbook today, Cook This, Not That!:  Kitchen Survival Guide.  I read about it on Helen’s blog (a post back in Feburary 2010).  She recommended a remake of the Chicken Fried Rice recipe from PF Chang that is in this cookbook.  I can’t wait to get the cookbook so I can try it and other recipes.

Since Steph is going home today, I can get back to workouts, etc.  I was thinking I would rather take a walk with my dog than ride my recumbent bike, but looking at the temperature, I don’t know why.  I snapped a picture in my car yesterday when I was driving back to the hospital (click to see a bigger picture).  Yikes!

Guess that is all for now.  I am looking forward to getting home and just being there for an evening.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012


Surgery is 4:00 today, so I came on in to work and will leave at around 3:30 p.m.  We are hopeful the surgery can be done laproscopically, but they won’t know until they get in there.

I forgot that I bought an AFLAC hospitalization policy this year (beginning January 1).  However, it only covers dependents under age 25 (Stephanie turned 25 in April).  However, a statement in the application said if they are covered at the time of application, the coverage will last until the anniversary date of the policy after the dependent’s 25th birthday, which would mean through the end of this year.  So we are hopeful Stephanie will have some good coverage for her lost wages.  I am checking to make absolutely sure.

I am sitting here wanting something to eat.  I had breakfast at the hospital this morning – a yogurt parfait (with strawberries and granola) – about 175 calories – and a banana.  I am thinking maybe it would have been better to eat more protein – like a veggie omelet or something.

I did so well last night until I got to the hospital room.  I had some Chipotle tacos and came in at 1400 calories.  I got to the hospital and sat down, and in a few minutes, fatigue just washed over me.  I ate two – not one, but two – protein bars!!!  So I came in at about 1800 calories.  I guess that is not horrible.  I probably will still lose weight with that.  So maybe I shouldn’t kick myself too much.

Anyway, as I said, I am sitting here wanting something to eat.  And, although I feel a little bit “gnaw-y,” I think it is mostly emotional hunger.  I had thought about not eating lunch until I get to the hospital – that would leave me more calories for when I am at my weakest.  I have the rest of my watermelon in the refrigerator.  Maybe I will eat that and see if I can hold out until I leave.  (I did that and also ate a little bit of Kashi GoLean Crunch! -- dry.)

I am reading a new blog.  My latest is Doing a 180.  Helen recommends a lot of other blogs in her posts, so those will be next.  I am so thankful to have these to read while I am at the hospital.

I’ve been writing this post as the day progresses.  At about 1:00, Stephanie called and said they cancelled the surgery in front of hers, so they were taking her in.  So I tried to wrap up things at work as quickly as possible and headed back to the hospital.  It was slow going, since there was a wreck on the Tollway, then I stopped and picked up a fruit tray at Tom Thumb and a salad at Panera.  I got to her room and the surgery nurse called and asked me to go to the surgery waiting room and the doctor would talk to me there.  So that is where I am now.  I don’t know how soon that is going to happen.

I had a lot of thoughts going through my mind as I was running these errands.  When in Tom Thumb, I had thoughts of getting different kinds of foods – good and bad.  I decided the fruit tray was what I wanted and the best choice.  Then I went to Panera.  First I eyed the stuff at the bakery counter – cookies and pastries.  They had these pretty little “flower” cookies.  I kind of wanted one of those, but at $2.25 apiece, I was too “cheap,” for one thing.  And I just couldn’t bring myself to do it in other ways.  I ordered one of Panera’s signature salads (I did get one of the higher calorie ones, but only used a little more than half of the dressing).  They asked what I wanted to go with it – bread, chips or something else I don’t remember.  Bread was sounding really good, so I said I wanted bread.  They asked, “Italian baguette or whole grain baguette?”  My automatic response is “whole grain baguette.”  And that is really what I wanted.  So, as I was driving to the hospital, I was thinking, these choices are becoming automatic for me.  I want the salad and I want the whole grain bread instead of white bread or chips.  I fought with myself over the cookie, but realized, the bread was what I really wanted.  And then I can have the fruit.

As I thought about all this, I was thinking, “I have changed.”  Then I started thinking about all the other ways I have changed.  I am so not the person I was at the end of my marriage – broken, weak (to a certain extent), fearful, full of self-deprecation.  I generally felt pretty worthless.  God knows, that was drilled into me for 21 years.  Now I see myself as strong, a person of courage who faces difficulties with a positive attitude, and someone with endless potential.  Life is just beginning for me.  I know that I will overcome my struggles with weight because I have gotten well on the inside.  I know there will still be more to do in that area, but I have come so very, very far.  Things are a little rocky right now, but that is to be expected under the circumstances.  It has nothing to do with being weak in character – something else that was drilled into me.  I am fighting, and as circumstances begin to smooth out, I will gain momentum again.  I know it.

Incidentally, I am becoming a big fan of Panera.  I never used to want to eat there.  They have delicious salads and some healthy choices.

Stephanie is out of surgery.  Something about a loop of intestine being inflamed and had attached itself to a spot hear the previous surgery.  They were able to do everything laproscopically.  She will still have the tube down her nose until tomorrow morning (she will hate that), to make sure she is over her nausea.  The slowest part of healing will be in getting back to eating normally.  She should recover from the surgery quickly and should go home probably Thursday or Friday – and likely able to work on Monday!  Yay!  She is now back to her room.  Phew. (But she is EXTREMELY grouchy.)

Things are looking up!  Until tomorrow….

Monday, June 25, 2012

Where Does the "Will Power" Go?

Why is it when you go through times like these, your “will power” goes out the window?  I am still struggling, but I guess that is good.  It is when I quit struggling that I have given up.  So I will just keep struggling, even if I am not completely successful.

I am on track so far today.  I slept at home last night and am at work today, so it is somewhat my usual routine.  I did not do a workout this morning.  The days of sitting around the hospital are making me sore and achy and tired.  Probably a workout would have made me feel better, but I just did not have it in me.  Plus I had a lot to do to gather up some things to take back with me.  I don’t plan on going back home until Steph is released from the hospital, so I brought work clothes and everything I need to get ready every day, as well as things to occupy us while we are at the hospital (except food).  Actually, I packed 3 protein bars and my sparkling mineral water.  I found out they have a refrigerator for family, so I could bring some fruit or other items I might need, if I want to.

I’ve got my tennis shoes and hopefully will actually make use of them when I have a chance.  I am still much better pain-wise, as far as walking goes.

We got word a while ago that they will be doing surgery tomorrow.  I think I am glad.  If she is not going to get better without it, then we need to get on with it.  We will not know what time until after 8:00 tomorrow morning.  If the surgery is late in the day, I will come on to work after we hear, and stay until near time of the surgery.  Since I do not know how much care she will require once she gets home, I need to use my time off from work strategically.  I just realized we have a day off next week.  Hopefully it will be a little more restful than these last few “days off” have been.

My plan is to do some walking during the surgery itself and get somewhat of a workout then.  There is all kinds of air-conditioned space I could walk around in.  I will just put on my tennis shoes and set off at a little faster than normal pace than I normally walk.  How long will depend on my pain level.  Hopefully I can get a 30-minute walk or so at a good enough pace to elevate my heart rate.  I know there are two different “sky walks” that bridge from one facility to another, so I could make use of those.

I woke up in the night last night with pain shooting down my arm.  That hasn’t happened since my neck surgery.  I think it is because I have been sleeping in a recliner at the hospital and it is messing with my neck.  I packed my neck collar this time and will try to rearrange the way I am sleeping and hopefully that will take care of it.

My eating so far today:

This morning I had Greek yogurt, Kashi GoLean Crunch and some dried cranberries for breakfast.  I also had just a little pineapple.  I didn’t measure everything, but think my portions were pretty much what they usually are.

For lunch I had the Farmhouse Salad from Potbelly (which is in the basement of our office building).  I had some Newman’s Own Light Balsamic Vinaigrette I used for salad dressing.  I told them to leave off the bacon bits, so the salad came out to 310 calories (It has grilled chicken, some boiled egg and some blue cheese).  I really wanted to get a cookie, but I didn’t.  I brought some watermelon and ate some of it at around 2:30.  I forgot how satisfying watermelon can be.  It hit the spot!  My cravings seemed to die down a little after lunch.  I wanted to do some emotional eating this morning, but did not, so hopefully that urge is past for today.  I am not naïve enough to think it will not be back in the next few days.

I had not budgeted for eating out as much as I have had to do the last few days.  At least all the extra hours are helping with that.  I still had 14 hours of overtime last week, even with missing 2-1/2 days of work.  I should have 37 hours OT (plus or minus) on this check.  Did I mention I got a raise?  It showed up on my last paycheck. Thankfully I also had a little bit of savings too.  I had just began to be able to put back money the last few months when my daughters started working full-time.

Stephanie’s brake light and service engine light came on in her car.  Since she is not earning anything while being off (she had not accrued much leave time at her job yet), I will probably have to pay for those things (service engine means she needs an oil change).  I just need to find the time to get the car into the shop.  I am driving it right now because my son is borrowing my car.  My daughter and I always carpool.  When it rains it pours.

My son just called and said his job is going well and he will be moving out in a week or so.  He had moved home temporarily after his roommate/best friend was killed.  He just needs to work out some issues for his own transportation, since I will need my car back when I move.  But I am happy things are moving along for him.  The stability and well-being of my kids makes a big difference in my life, since when things happen to them, I usually have a bigger load to carry (financially, not to mention emotionally).  The less of that that continues to happen, the more I am able to take care of myself and do what I need to do to lose this weight and have a happier, healthier life.  I haven’t had much help the last few years, which is one reason I work so much.  Actually, I am pretty proud of how I have come to prosper (compared to years past) in the last few years.  It has taken a lot of hard work, but I have been able to raise my kids myself and help them out when needed.  It is getting time for them to not need mama to do that anymore.  But they will always be my kids and I will always be there for them as best I can.

Boss is off to a hearing up in Plano.  I am hoping he will not be back by quitting time.  Taking into consideration the contentious nature of this case, that is a possibility.  Steph is already spending all day by herself at the hospital.  I at least want to be there in the evenings.  She says her pain level has been up a little today, as well as nausea.  I am so ready for her to be feeling better (for many reasons).

Guess that’s all for now.  Here’s hoping I hold things together this evening at the hospital.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Monotony Breeds Temptation

I had a better day yesterday.

After the slice of pizza for lunch yesterday, I had a protein bar yesterday afternoon.  For dinner, I had a Chicken Cobb Salad with Avocado (or something like that) from Panera.  We also got some fruit from Tom Thumb and I had some strawberries and pineapple throughout the evening.  Not sure where I was calorie-wise, but at least ate healthy foods.  I have to admit, if I had a big bag of Skittles or Peanut M&M’s, I would be eating it right now.  That’s why it was good to have the fruit around yesterday.  And that’s why it’s good I don’t have the candy here!  This hospital doesn’t have anything like that in the vending machines.  They have trail mix, protein bars, baked chips, etc.  Guess that’s a good thing.  Most people here are in a vulnerable state, in one way or another, unless they work here.

Steph is not much better.  They took her for an x-ray this morning.  When she got back, she was extremely nauseous.  If she was getting better, she should be getting better in that respect.  The doctor said we are likely looking at surgery.  They may run a scope down later today to better see what is going on.  At this point, I just want her to get better.  I don’t want her to have more surgery, but if she is not getting better, then that is what needs to happen.  She is looking pretty “skinny”.  What a way to lose weight.

I guess my breakfast this morning wasn’t so good.  I had a sausage, egg and cheese burrito and a banana.  That’s not good, but if I don’t get out of control in the amount I eat, I think I am doing okay.

Ugh.  A little later, I was having a major headache.  I was pretty sure it was caffeine.  I went looking for something and got an AMP Energy drink.  It was sugar free.  But I picked up a little package of three cookies while I was down there.  Three smallish cookies (they were like bakery made – obviously they have a little “bad” stuff here).  Guess it could be a lot worse.  I just want to get out of here!

Bethany brought me Schlotzsky’s for lunch -- turkey and guacamole on wheat.  I was not feeling terribly hungry, so ate half of it and will eat the other half later.  I’m going to try to make that all for today.  The caffeine helped.

Incidentally, my headaches have been much better the last few days.  Comparatively speaking, I am not having headaches to speak of.  Of course, I have learned to cope a lot over the years, so to someone else, it might seem like the little bit I am having is a real headache to them, but for me, it is much improved.

Later in the day they decided to try letting Steph drink “clear” liquids to see how she did.  It didn’t go so well.  Very shortly afterward, she was already nauseous and her pain starting to spike.  So they quickly pumped it out again and she immediately felt better.  It is looking like surgery will be the next step.

My plan is to go home tonight and sleep in my own bed.  If they do surgery, I will be back here.  If they do not, I will go to work.  I hate that this is occurring when my backup had planned days off (Friday and Monday), but she is a good sport about it.  I guess she will take the days off on another weekend.  We have both been burning the candle at both ends (although I am the one who has to work 13-16 hours a day a lot of the time).  But she has done it when I have been gone and she doesn’t get overtime for it.  That’s part of being “management”.

I took a little walk around the halls to get the kinks out a little bit.  It struck me why spending all day, day after day, in a hospital room makes you want to eat.  Not only is it the stress, but it is the only thing that breaks up the monotony – the only thing to look forward to.  That’s why I am reading weight loss blogs.  It helps some, but my mind keeps wondering back to wanting something to eat.

When I go home this time, I am going to bring several changes of work clothes with me so that if she is here a few more days, I can toggle between here and work as needed.  It is too far to go home very much.  Work is in the middle of home and the hospital.  I am also going to bring in my tennis shoes (they are in the car right now).  I think I would have done more walking if I didn’t have to go out to the parking garage to get them.  I just wish I could bring Cassie with me.  I miss him and I feel bad that he is being left alone so much.

Guess I will end this now.  If I don’t do much more eating today, I think I will have had an okay day.  We will see how I do.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Hospital Blues

Hospital Steph
Spending the day at the hospital today.  Right now it is just a waiting game.  Steph is resting quietly right now.  They may clamp off the stomach tube late today and let her drink something.  They are trying to see how much stuff continues to be pumped out of her stomach before they decide to do that.  They said her x-ray looked better – not so distended.  Steph's young adult minister and his wife came to visit her.  We answered all the questions of what needed to happen for her to be making progress.  He summed it up nicely by adding his input to "Today's Plan" on the message board in Steph's hospital room.

I'm afraid I wasn't very successful the second half of yesterday.  I worked until almost 12:30 last night.  I was past the resentment by that time.  It occurs to me that I should probably watch what I say.  You never know who could read this blog.  But hopefully I have made it clear that I think the world of my boss.  He just has a blind spot at times (when he's overwhelmed with work).  I wish we had more backup help at work.  We have a skeleton staff, so when one person is gone, it means quite a load for the rest (depending on which person is gone; I would venture to guess I have the heaviest work load, except for my backup – she is admin and has to wear many hats; that’s one reason why I hate to be gone because it makes too much work for her).  They did bring on a new girl this week (another one who refused to carry her load was fired).  She is willing to help and once she learns about our cases, etc., I think she will be a much-needed help.  It would be wonderful to have someone else to help carry things when things like this happen.

I was sitting at the desk last night and caught a glimpse of myself in the reflection of the window (in the high rise I work in).  This is not the first time and I have to say this is a negative that provides a measure of motivation.  I don’t usually like negative motivation – it usually does more harm than good – I will use this image to remind me that I don’t want to look like this anymore.  I have to say, the image looks a LITTLE better than the last time.  Maybe update pictures will be in order in the future.

I hope today will be a little easier because I don’t have to juggle responsibilities between work and my daughter.  I slept pretty late.  I bought some Tylenol PM last night and took it right before I got to the hospital.  I went to sleep fairly quickly and didn’t wake up until after 10:00.  I went downstairs and got a yogurt parfait and a banana and a bottle of water.  That was good, but by a little after Noon, I was hungry again.  They don’t have the full healthy fare on the weekend that they have at lunch, but it is such a hassle to leave the hospital, so I got one slice of cheese pizza.  It was good and I feel satisfied.

I hadn’t been focused on this the last couple of days, but the good news is my pain level has been pretty good lately.  I can walk with little pain at all.  Hopefully that continues and I can start at least walking my dog and building from there.  (I miss my doggie!  The little ornery thing.)
Caspian (Cassie)
I caught up on Shelley’s blog (it really helped to have it to read here at the hospital) and now am looking for another one to read.  A lot of them I am seeing are maintenance blogs and I really want to read about the whole process of how the weight was lost.  One thing I have observed – I am a little more “prolific” in my writing.  Perhaps I should shorten my posts.  Lol.

One last picture.  This is my beautiful Steph when she is feeling better.

I will close with this.  I have struggled the last few days with all that is going on and the time spent in the hospital and trying to manage work and everything.  I have tripped up.  But that doesn’t mean I cannot pick right back up and continue my journey.  This is temporary and these things will happen throughout life.  This is a lifestyle, not a diet.  I just need to do damage control and then get right back to what has been working for me.  I will probably give myself a pass on weigh-in this week.  This blog gives me a way to vent and also keeps my eye on where I want to go.  So I will report back.  Through the failures and the victories.

Friday, June 22, 2012


I am at work this morning.

I did not have a good evening last night, eating-wise.  I am trying to do better today.  Someone brought cupcakes, but so far, I have stayed away from them.  My eating yesterday was not on particularly bad stuff, just too much.  Stress is getting to me.

Stephanie’s vein (for the IV) blew this morning, and they have not been able to get another one.  They are putting in a main port (something about through her upper arm down to her heart).  Her glucose dropped low this morning (she hasn’t eaten in a couple of days now) and they need to be giving her some sugar water.  I am not sure what the status is of them getting the line in.  My backup has gone to a meeting (she was supposed to be off today), but is going to come back when she is done and I will go to the hospital then.  Then, she has to leave for something tonight and Jerry needs someone to work late to get him caught up for the weekend, so I will need to come back.  If I feel like I cannot, my backup said she would cancel her plans and work for me (bless her).  My other daughter, Bethany, said she would come this evening and stay with Steph, so at least I have that comfort that someone will be there for her.  She seemed a little hesitant because she wanted to get a workout first.  I understand that.  Hopefully she can take a few minutes to do that and then be there for Steph.

Even though I slept at home last night, I did not do a workout this morning.  Just too much going on.  I did weigh and probably will still show a loss this week (if I am on track today) even after last night.  Just have to stay away from those cupcakes.  I don’t have to eat them just because they are there.

I took a break to go see my daughter to see how she was doing.  When I got there (sometime around Noon), they had just gotten the line in and she finally got some pain medication, etc. (she had been without since 6:00 that morning).  She said she was extremely nauseous, but did not throw up.  She was hurting quite a bit, but not like she was Wednesday.  She went to sleep soon after I got there and slept a bit.

I ate lunch while at the hospital (a “sizzling salad,” which was fresh vegetables, a little pasta and “steak” stir fried with some sauce, served over greens, and some yogurt for dessert).

My backup had to leave at 3:00, so I went back to work.  I was so tired and not in a very good frame of mind.  I ate a cupcake.  I am afraid I have added to it since then.  I guess nothing too major, but it seems like it because of my frame of mind.  I am stress eating.  There is not much available, so I guess I haven’t done as much damage as I feel like I have – a few hard candies, a protein bar and a granola bar.  I just want to get back to normal.  I need to try harder tomorrow.  I think it will be easier since I won’t have to be juggling work responsibilities with hospital/daughter “duty” (I would rather be there with her than anywhere else, really).  I think part of my problem is I am feeling resentful toward my boss for making me be here tonight (it is now after 8:00 p.m.) when I feel like I need to be with my daughter.  I know he feels the need to be caught up before the weekend, but it seems like as long as there is not a strict deadline we are missing, it could wait.  Or he could dictate it all and I could do it Monday.  But I am punishing no one but myself by letting it make me stress eat, so I really have to get a handle on it.

I am going to shut this down now so we can finish work and I can go.  Hopefully I can do a little walking tomorrow and maybe make up for some of the damage I have done the last couple of days.

I snapped the picture below just to show you how tired I look.  I didn’t intend to have the glum face, but accidentally snapped the picture before I was ready.  I guess it showed how I was really feeling, so I just went with it.  (For some reason I am having a big problem with chapped lips right now.  I just can’t get them to heal up no matter how much I slather on chapstick, etc.)  I did not ever get makeup on today.  At least I have decent skin (for a 52-year old).

Have a good weekend everyone.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Hospital Updates

I guess I will save some of this for tomorrow, but it doesn’t mean I cannot write about it.

Stephanie is noticing a pattern.  Every time she vomits, the pain intensifies.  When they give her Phenergan, she settles down a little bit.  When they give her the other nausea med, it does no good, and the pain stirs up again.  But they can only give her Phenergan every four hours and it wears off more quickly than that.

For lunch I grabbed a turkey sandwich in the cafeteria.  It was on wheat bread with some Swiss cheese, lettuce and tomato, no mayo or anything.  I also got a banana.  I was okay with that.

When Steph’s pain was a little better under control, I went to run an errand or two – I had to buy a phone charger because I did not have mine with me and my phone was dead.  Of course, the stress is getting to me.  When we went to The Porch (Restaurant) the other day, they had Starburst fruit chews on the hostess stand (where most places would have mints).  Since it was a splurge meal, I ate one.  It tasted so good, but I only ate one and that was it.  Well, today they sounded good.  So I got me a package while I was out.  I looked up the calories on them and they have 20 calories apiece.  I was only willing to spend 60 calories on them, so I only ate three of them and I left the rest of the package locked up in the car so I won’t finish them here in the hospital room.  I am okay with that and actually feel good that I only wanted three of them.  The whole package only has 240 calories, so if I eat the rest of them in one sitting, it wouldn’t be horrible, but I plan to only eat 2-3 at a time.

I need to give you a little history here.  Stephanie is no stranger to hospitals.  I think it started when she was about 15 and she had to have knee surgery.  That was before my divorce.  Then she had her gall bladder out when she was 17.  She has had 5-6 foot surgeries (for a congenital problem that also affected her knees), another knee surgery, major back surgery (from a major car accident) and surgery to remove a diverticulum in her intestine (or something like that).  These have all been since my divorce.  So I have done this hospital thing a lot.  But there is something different about this.  It’s one thing when she is having surgery.  There is a certain amount of pain after surgery, they give her pain meds and she gets better.  This is different.  They don’t know what is wrong and so they don’t know what to do to fix it.  So I am seeing her writhing in pain and there is nothing I can do about it.  And I don’t know what’s wrong.

I am naturally a pretty passive person.  I have not been feeling all warm and fuzzy about this hospital.  They don’t seem to listen (particularly one nurse).  We have been trying to tell them about the pattern we have been seeing and she seems to jump to the conclusion that Steph is some kind of drug addict or something and writes her off.  I had to go out to the desk and tell them that this is not how Stephanie acts and something is WRONG.  Hopefully they are listening a little better now.  I think Stephanie would have liked a Mom who got up and cussed everyone out today, but that is just not me.  But I had to work a little harder to come out of myself and be her advocate.

During one of her major foot surgeries, which happened in 2010, we spent 5 days in the hospital.  That was part of when I really fell off track after all the weight loss.  It was so stressful and I never felt so alone in all my life.  She was in an extreme amount of pain and I was cooped up in that hospital room.  Plus I had started having the chronic headaches again.  I started eating then – cookies from a bakery in the lobby of the hospital, cheesecake that came from the cafeteria (and was really good), vending machines, etc., etc.  So I have to be really careful.

Here is what I have eaten today:

1 protein bar
Turkey sandwich (wheat bread with Swiss cheese, lettuce and tomato, no mayo, etc.)
3 Starburst chews
1 SF Red Bull (oops)
Grilled Chicken sandwich with sautéed onions, peppers and mushrooms (on white bun)  -- I could see oil on this, but it seemed like the best choice
App. ½ cup cantaloupe
1 protein bar

I had approximately 4 hours of sleep last night and I have taken two cat naps today.  Plus I have been doing some crying (it’s hard to watch your baby in pain) and that’s very tiring.  I only just now had any pain medication (except for some Aleve this morning).  I took a half of one because I only had one left and I am far away from my pharmacy.  But pain has not been a big problem today.  I have done a lot more walking than normal.

All in all, I think I am doing pretty well.  So far.

One thing I find interesting – sodas are not even on my radar screen anymore.  Usually a time like this would call for sodas out of the vending machine.  Except for the SF Red Bull, just water (except not enough today).


At least we got a little sleep last night.  The nurse on the night shift was much better.  She actually listened and Stephanie had a little more bearable level of pain.  However, she is vomiting dark bile.  I called that to the nurse’s attention and she said I definitely should have.  I guess we will find out what that means today.  A friend of mine, whose father was misdiagnosed at first when he had acute pancreatitis, told me I need to press them about this.  I am going to have pull out of my passiveness and make sure they have absolutely ruled that out.  It could mean a blockage too.

For breakfast I had a yogurt parfait from the cafeteria and a banana.  Approximately 280 calories total.  It was pretty tasty!

The doctor came in and Stephanie has a blockage.  They have put a tube down her throat (she hates it!) to pump all the bile, etc. out of her so she won’t be vomiting anymore.  He said if he had been told that last night (he was not on call), he would have told them to put it down her throat last night and saved her vomiting so many times last night.  Anyway, it should help her pain level a lot.  A surgeon is going to come in and look at her sometime today.  They want to treat it conservatively to start with, because the blockage came from scar tissue from the last surgery and if they do more surgery there will be more scar tissue.  She cannot eat or drink until the blockage is fixed.  Talk about a forced diet!  Bless her heart.

She is resting reasonably comfortably right now (considering she has a tube down her throat).

I went to run a couple of errands – getting her a change of underwear and pants and picking up my medicine.  I had a hard time going to sleep last night because I was hurting.  They transferred my prescription up here so I could pick it up.  Seemed like that took forever.  It was almost noon when I got back.  Picked up a small tray of “seasonable fruit”.  I was eyeing the candy at the checkout counter in one store, but then forgot and didn’t get any.  I saw the fruit when I went in Wal-Mart to the pharmacy.  I picked up another sandwich downstairs for lunch and then had some of the fruit.

Now, I’m worn out.

Struggling some today.  I confess I have sought out some junk food, but they don’t seem to have any in this hospital!  Guess that’s a good thing.  I got a protein bar.  That means I have eaten fruit and a protein bar this afternoon.

Wish I had some more help….  I just want to go home, but of course, need and want to be here for my daughter.  I am also concerned about work.  I have to go tomorrow, if things stay along this track (they are using conservative treatment to see if that works).  My backup cannot be there tomorrow.  Wish I didn't feel so torn, and it is times like these I wish I didn't have so much responsibility.

I had tickets to the Rangers game for tomorrow night (it was my birthday present), but won't be able to go.  :(  Oh, and I miss my doggie.  Am I pathetic or what?

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

ER Again

I probably will update again later, but I am at the ER again with my daughter.

I worked until Midnight.  My daughter had called me at work saying she was in a lot of pain again.  The doctor called her in pain meds.  Didn't help a bit.  I got to bed about 1:00 a.m. and my daughter woke me up at 2:00 saying she was still in extreme pain.  She took another dose of medicine.  I was so dead, I fell back asleep, thinking she would let me know if things didn't improve.  She woke me up at 6:00 a.m. and said she was still in extreme pain and hadn't slept all night.  We called her doctor, who told us to go to the ER.  We could either go to the one near our home in Mansfield, or go up to the one in Plano where her doctor is located.  Steph wanted to do that so they would have all the background information.  So I drove like a mad woman to Plano (about an hour drive).  They got her right in and gave her some morphine a few minutes ago.  She was starting to calm down when they came to get her to take her to ultrasound.

Needless to say, I am tired.  I came prepared in case they hospitalized her.  I also brought my tennis shoes so hopefully I can do some walking around the hospital campus if I get a moment, since that could be the only opportunity I have for exercise.  Otherwise, I will make sure to keep my calories below my limit and let that do the work for me if I am not able to get some kind of a "workout."  I'm just trying to do what I know to do.  If I can stay on track now, I should be able to do it anytime.

I had a protein bar for breakfast, so far.  May go find some fresh fruit in a bit.  I just wish I had a decent chair to sit in so I might could catch a few winks.  But this type is all there is for now.

I don't think I will try to be a hero and try to go to work after this.  I had planned to sleep in a little and my son was going to take me to work.  Boss will just have to get by without me today.  I am beyond beat.  Sorry Jerry.


They did all the tests they could do in the emergency room.  They released her to her gastro.. doctor.  We didn't want to drive an hour home when she was still in this much pain, so we went straight over to her gastro doctor (who is the one who told us to go to the ER in the first place).  They are admitting her.  I came a little bit prepared for that.  Don't want her to be in the hospital, but don't want to go home without some relief/answers.  It is going to be a tiring day.  Hopefully when we get in a hospital room, there will be a comfortable enough place to sit where I can get a little rest.

When I left the ER, we were checking out/paying and I was trying to find my keys.  I set everything down and was digging through my bag and layed my laptop down.  I ran off and left it in the ER.  Somehow they tracked down my phone number and called me.  Thankfully, it is almost the same facility, so I just walked back over to the ER and got my laptop.  (I need it to keep myself entertained during all this!)  At least I am walking a lot.

Another Update:

Count this as one of my worst days ever.  And I don't mean diet-wise.  My daughter has been writhing around in pain for hours while they have been trying to figure out what is wrong.  It's like they weren't taking her seriously until I was in tears.  There is nothing worse than seeing your kid (no matter how old) in pain and not being able to do anything about it.  I am passive by nature and I had to work to try to convince them that they needed to get off their behinds and do something.  Finally her gastro doctor came in and saw her and could tell how much pain she was in.  They are actually going to put her on a pain pump to try to get her comfortable before doing any more tests.  What in the heck is wrong?