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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Checking In

Thought I had better check in.  I actually feel a little better today.  Not quite so overwhelmed and out of control.

I got a whole weekend off, and rested for most of it.  Although I have been having to work late every night this week, I have made sure to take a lunch hour, eat a real lunch and walk my dog.  My daughters have helped me out a little with my dog.

I am having to pay a lot of Stephanie’s bills, but I have “required” her to start cleaning my apartment and do other stuff to “earn” the money for the help she is getting.  It is not enough to cover all that I am paying, but I don’t think I should be doing it and not requiring anything of her.  I need to move them all to independence as quickly as possible.  I work all the time and don’t even get to enjoy the extra money, at the very least.

I am starting to push Stephanie to get out and look for a different job.  She was recovering from knee surgery, so gave that a little time, but now it is time to start the hunt.  I told her today I wanted to stop being “Mom’s National Bank” as soon as possible.  We decided what bills she had to pay, how much she needed, I give her what she needs above what she is making and she has to make that work.  No more pretending like Mom’s money is her money, which it often feels like.

I have been eating a little better this week.  Not as well as I need to, but not so out of control as it has been.  I need to get back to tracking food and counting my points.  I will make it a goal to start that Monday, if not before.  I have to start taking my life back.

That’s really all for today.  Just trying to stay in the game, even if I am on the bench for now.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Life to the Extreme (I Really Need a Break)

Well, I’m still here.  My life seems to be about extremes lately.  The extremes in my life include:

1.     Since June, my daughter has had 3 surgeries and 2 life-threatening illnesses;
2.     My daughter (same one) lost her job and has been unable to find a like job to replace the one she lost (although she is working at a much lower paying job); I am having to take up the slack financially;
3.     I moved from the country to the city and now have an empty nest, sort of;
4.     My son disappeared for a number of days so that those close to him became so concerned about him, a missing person’s report was filed; although he has been found, he walked out on the job he had because it had become such a stress producer in his life, he was “having to get drunk every day” just to face going;
5.     I never seem to have any lack of work, working from 50-65 hours per week, officially, and up to 75 hours per week, unofficially (with extra projects for my boss lately), the last example being that I worked until 3:00 a.m. Tuesday morning;
6.     I can’t seem to stop eating, or at least eating the wrong things.

I actually started this post on Tuesday.  My days have been so packed full and “push, push, push” that I haven’t had time to think about anything else.  I am exhausted (although a little better today).

Here is a question for you.  Why are “thin” people always the ones who have candy bowls on their desks?  They seem to delight in watching other people empty it.  My cubie is one of those.  I need that candy bowl to go away.  But if my mind were where it should be, it would not matter if the candy were there or not.  It wouldn’t bother me.

I wrote that last paragraph on Tuesday.  Yesterday, it was my goal not to touch that candy bowl, and I did not.  And I have not touched it today.  I will build on that.

I have been feeling like I am gaining a ton of weight (although I have not weighed).  I have caught glimpses of myself in windows/mirros as I was walking by, and it seemed like I was getting really big.  But then I put on a pair of pants yesterday that had gotten really loose and they were still really loose.  I keep forgetting to take my BP medicine, which has a diuretic in it, so maybe that is one thing making me feel that way.  And if I got on the scale, that would show up.  But I have been avoiding the scale.

I have a little hope that I will go home on time today.  This may be the only day this week, but I’ll take what I can get.

I have decided I have to speak up about my needs more.  I did speak up last night.  I told my boss I was exhausted and I needed to finish up what absolutely had to be done and go home.  I still worked until 8:15.  I was so tired I was not cheerful.  If you knew me, you would know that is a big deal.  He said he was really worried about me when I left, because I am never like that.  I was just so exhausted.  I found out when I got home that part of it was that I needed to eat a decent meal.  I felt a little better after eating.

I did not sleep very well last night, but at least it was still resting.  My mind was too active.  I kept waking up and having difficulty going back to sleep, and I kept dreaming about work tasks.  That and pain issues.  All the work and the fatigue have not helped with that.

Anyway, I know that some days are just going to make this impossible, but I have decided to tell my boss that if he knows he is going to need me to stay late, then I need to be able to take a good lunch – perhaps even a longer one than the norm.  I need to be able to go home and eat a decent meal and to walk my dog.  I need to make him understand that it is not just for my dog that I need to do this.  If I don’t, when I get home, he is too restless and then he drives me nuts so I cannot rest.  If I get home at 8:30 or 9:00 p.m., I am probably not going to be able to walk him for any distance.  I wouldn’t feel safe.  So I need to get him a good walk at lunch.

I know it sounds strange that I have to ask my boss to take a lunch, but here’s the deal.  My boss is a late night person.  We may work late and then he doesn’t come in to the office until almost Noon, and then he is ready to get to work.  But I have been there since 8:30 and it is time for me to go to lunch, but sometimes I don’t get to because of this issue.  I haven’t been able to come in later in the morning after working late a lot of the time lately because we seem to have something going on – like a deposition taking place, a document that needs to be prepared in time for a meeting, or something else that requires me to be there “on time”.  And then I don’t get to take a lunch and then I end up working until 8 or 9:00.  My boss doesn’t think about that I am not coming in at Noon like he is.  I am going to have to keep reminding him of that.  I just can’t keep doing this.  I feel ready to fall apart.

I also want to talk to him about having enough time to get some exercise every day.  If he wants me to work late, even if I could take a walk or something at 5:30 or so, and come back to finish out, that would be good.  I have to take better care of myself.  And I have to eat a decent meal at lunch and dinner.  No more having dinner out of my cubie’s candy bowl.  If he expects me to work this much, he is going to have to help take care of me in other ways.  I HAVE to start speaking up about this.

Now, for some good news.  My bike is here!  I haven’t gotten to pick it up yet, but will by or on the weekend.  I can’t wait!  I got my bike leash, so I can run Cassie a little bit when I ride.  I hope I do okay with this.  I know I will have trouble with hills, so hopefully I can find a flat stretch to start out with on the Katy Trail, even if I have to just go back and forth, until I build up a little strength and stamina.

That’s it for today.  I need to get moving again, but life has been too overwhelming to focus.  I really need a break.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Whatever I Did to Reap the Drama, I'M SORRY!!!

I have been having a rough go of it.  I cannot remember what I have posted and what I have not, so if I am repeating myself, I apologize.

I just can’t seem to get my eating on track.  I am having various stressors in my life, some worse than others.  I was already struggling, so anything added doesn’t help.  I know this is excuses, but this is “where I’m at.”

My step-mother passed away last Saturday.  I was not particularly close to her (my father died a couple of years ago) and she was ready to go, so it was not a grief-filled event for me, but it was something that happened and that took me out of my routine.  I had to make a trip to West Texas on Monday evening and Tuesday to go to her funeral and there was extra eating involved with that.  I didn’t really try to curb it, to tell you the truth.

I was back at work yesterday when I got a call at work from my son’s employer.  I had not talked to my son in a week or so, which is not unusual.  He is 27 and does not live with me.  His employer said he had not shown up to work since Saturday and they had decided he had just decided to quit, but then Jacob’s friends started calling and asking if he had been there because they did not know where he was and were worried about him.  I had tried to call Jacob Monday to tell him about my step-mother and could not reach him.  I was not extremely worried at first.  I figured he had gotten picked up on a warrant for a traffic ticket and was in jail somewhere.  This has happened before.  However, usually I will get a call about that almost immediately, and I had not.  When I got in touch with Nathan, his roommate (which took some doing, since I did not have any of his friends’ phone numbers) and he told me he was worried, I was a little bit more worried.  Saturday to Wednesday is a pretty good amount of time for no one to know where he is.  Nathan said Jacob has really been struggling with the death of his friend.  Chad was killed tragically in December and Jacob has had a really hard time with it.  I think he blames himself to a degree.  Nathan said Jacob has been drinking a lot, which he had also been doing off and on in the months preceding.  So I was beginning to get more worried.  We decided to file a missing persons report, and since the police wanted whoever filed it to be there in Arlington, Nathan filed it, getting information from me by text.  We put the word out on Facebook with all of Jacob’s friends.  Finally, my daughter got a text from a number she did not recognize, saying it was Jacob.  He said he was in Louisiana “visiting Chad” (that is where he is buried) and staying with a friend there.  I assume Jacob has walked away from his job, although I guess it is possible he talked to another manager and they had not communicated with each other.  I just don’t know.  They were concerned about him and knew it did not sound like him to just not show up.

Anyway, yesterday was a very volatile day and I was wiped out last night.  I did some stress eating all day.  I have not been overeating in volume today, but have not really curbed what I am eating.

Here is what I am thinking right now.  Until I can get my head together a little more, I think I am just going to try to step up my exercise a little more and minimize my damages until I get my head together a little bit.  My mind is just not in it right now.  I am not giving up, by any means.  I just recognize I am spinning my wheels right now.  Most days I am walking 2-3 times a day, depending on if I have to work late.  I will have my recumbent bike fixed soon and I have ordered my Electra Cruiser and it should be in sometime next week, so I can get in more exercise that way too.

When I try to make a grocery list, I cannot even think of what I want to eat.  Nothing sounds good right now, and when I cook something I think will be good, it doesn’t taste good.  I am going to try some of the recipes in my “Eat This, Not That” Cookbook.  I made the Macaroni & Cheese the other day and it is the one thing right now that sounds kind of good.  Maybe I can find some things that sound good and taste good to me, but are lightened up a little.

I kind of think if I let up on myself a little, my mind will clear.  There has just been too much to deal with lately.  I have had constant headaches, on top of all the other stressors in my life.  I just need “a break.”

I am very excited about getting my bicycle.  I was thinking late last week that maybe I just needed to go ahead and order it.  I had a little money put back (but not all of it), but kept putting off spending it “in case” I needed it.  I decided that day that if my boss gave me $100 that night (he often keeps me really late on Friday nights and will give me $100 for my troubles), I would order it.  Well, he gave me a special project to do at home last weekend and gave me $200!  So I felt like that was my answer.  That almost covered the entire cost of it, tax and all.  So I ordered my bike yesterday.  I meant to order it earlier, but then heard about my step-mother and that kind of got lost in the shuffle.  Plus I was waiting for payday.  Here is the bike I got.  I got the red one.  I also got a basket for it.  My plan is to run Cassie with it (I am getting a bike leash made for small dogs).  He will only be trotting and I will only run him long enough to get him a good little workout to tire him out some (he has too much energy staying in the apartment all day every day) and then I will put him in the basket when he is tired.  I have read up on it and as long as I follow the rules (don’t run him too hard, use the proper equipment, don’t do it when it is too hot, don’t do it in traffic), it is safe.  I will do it on Katy Trail, which is a walking/running/biking trail near downtown.  I can ride there on my bicycle and then run him a little, put him up in the basket, and ride home again.

I can also use the bicycle for going places downtown that are a little further to walk than I might want to.  I will have the basket to carry things, like if I go to Farmers Market or the butcher.  I could also use it to go to Uptown when I get in a little better shape.  I plan to fully embrace the urban lifestyle and walk and bike most everywhere that I can.  I am already doing that for the most part, but this will expand my horizons.

That’s it for today.  Just wanted to check in.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Day One, Here I Come

 I am still struggling.  I was thinking this morning that I need to get back to the concept I started with in this blog.  500 days to where I want to be.  I need to focus on adding one successful day to another in succession in order to get to where I want to be.

I started out struggling yesterday.  After a fairly good day of following my To-Do List, which helped me focus, I got up to start again, but from the get-go was struggling with a pretty severe hardware headache.  After walking my dog, which is always the first thing on the list -- he's got to potty first thing -- I was having my prayer time.  I use some books sometimes that help, particularly in giving me words to express the needs I am praying about concerning my daughter and her health situation.  So I was praying those written prayers out loud.  As I spoke, I was accutely aware of the pain and discomfort in my throat connected to the hardware from my neck surgery.  And this discomfort always leads to a pretty severe headache.  I finally had to stop speaking out loud, it was so uncomfortable.  The discomfort was already there; the speaking just accentuated it.  So I had to start my day with quite a severe headache.

I went on to work, and by mid-morning, decided to take a muscle relaxant to hopefully alleviate my discomfort a little.  I was doing my best to keep my chin tucked, and it helped some, but my neck felt so tight and stiff, so I decided to take a muscle relaxant.  I took a half of one, to lessen its undesirable effects (sleepiness).  I went home for lunch, walked the dog and had the lunch I planned.  But sitting at my desk when I returned, the sleepiness hit me.  I had been fighting off temptation all morning from my cubie's candy bowl and the donuts in the break room.  Being tired and in pain together is a huge trigger for me.  I finally gave in to the temptation and had a fun size candy bar from the candy bowl.  That did it.  I let down my guard and couldn't pull it back together.  I grazed on the junk all afternoon.  All day, ice cream sounded so good.  The cold and the smooth always feel good on my achy throat.  So that was my dinner.

It is October and time is marching on without making progress.  I don't want to do this anymore.  So I have to focus on getting through this day.  My main focus today will be to just not eat sweets.  For some reason, nothing except what I don't need to have tastes good to me right now.  I am trying not to beat myself up about all this, but at the same time, I need to get back on track.  I need to feel better and for my health to improve.  I need to feel like getting out and enjoying life.

This morning, I am not starting out with the same pain issues as yesterday, thank the Lord.  I don't know why my neck was so out of whack yesterday morning.  I have been struggling with it for a couple of weeks, but I don't know why it was so flared up yesterday morning.  Possibly the way I slept.  I don't know -- I wore my cervical collar, which usually helps.  I would like to never have another headache.  The back problems are bad, but at least they mostly kick in when I stand up and walk.  The headaches are constant and the only way to get away from them sometimes is to sleep.  And I obviously cannot do that during the day, most of the time.  I will try to be very careful not to set one off today.  I am feeling a slight achiness in my throat right now.

Regardless of the pain issues, I have to get going.  If I wait until I don't have pain issues to deal with, I will never get moving again.  So I am praying for strength to do what I need to do, even when I don't feel like it.

Okay, time to get up and get moving.  I need to have one successful day in order to have the 500 I need to get where I want to go.  So, day one, here I come.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Working on Staying Focused

I am being flaky about posting, I know. I guess I have been kind of “caught up” the last few days with my daughter staying with me after surgery. She went home last night, so it is just me and the dog again. Kind of nice, I have to admit.

Food has been unfocused the last few days. No good excuses, except the stress of the last few days. I have walked every day.

Today I am trying to get focused again. I woke up thinking about everything and began praying about all the things going on. I prayed for strength and motivation. I also prayed for things having to do with my kids and, particularly, Stephanie. She told me last night her stomach is feeling strange again. She told me she just wanted to let me know, in case I got a call in the middle of the night that it was starting all over again. I pray not. I have noticed that her face is breaking out again. It did that when she had the intestinal blockage and cleared up after they finally got it fixed. So it does give me pause. But worrying about it does absolutely no good, so I have purposed to pray and not worry. That is all I can do. One thing we have considered is that when her system gets slowed down because of taking narcotics for the knee surgery, does that added stuff in her intestines contribute to the problem. I told her to take the maximum dose of stool softeners to help combat that. I hope that helps and that is all it is. Please, Lord, not another blockage.

But, as I said, worrying about it does absolutely no good and I have purposed not to do that. My only problem today was that someone sent our office donuts as a thank-you and I had one of those. But I did stop at one. Usually I would be visiting the break room several times. I had extra pain this morning – the all-over kind that makes you feel like you have been run over by a truck. I used that as motivation and stopped myself. I also had a little candy out of cubie’s candy bowl. Why do people want to do that? But I just have to be strong. There will always be temptations. Today it is already done, but I need to get going on “no sugar” tomorrow. At least for a while until I am under better control with it.

I went home and walked my dog at Noon – about a 30-minute walk. And on the way back in, I climbed the four flights of stairs back to my loft. When we got to the landing on the 2nd floor, he pulled the leash to the exit door and looked up at me soulfully. My response: “Honey, if I can do it, you can do it.” So we went on up to the 4th floor. He made me laugh. A little energetic Yorkie – less than 2 years old and not overweight. But he did not like climbing those stairs. But I need to tire him out more and I can use the extra exercise. I plan to do it each time we walk, which most times will be 3 times a day. If I have to work too late or can’t make it home for lunch (or only long enough to let him out to potty), then less.

I updated my “To Do List” template. I have kept it at times in the past – just a day to day list of what I need to get done. I do so much better if I stay focused. Too much time on my hands does not work for me. Of course, that is usually not a problem, as much as I work, but I do have more time than I used to since I moved. If I stay focused on a list of things I need to get done, that usually helps. And it certainly helps with the fact that I am organizationally challenged. I still have time to watch some television and read, etc. I even have a nap on my list for Sunday afternoon.

One thing I have put on the list is neck exercises in the morning and low back exercises in the evening. I have never done those consistently. But I should be doing all I can do to make my back better. I don’t know why it is so hard to make myself do them – they are not overly strenuous. When I get my recumbent bike fixed, I will add that in too. I can go to the fitness center at the lofts, too.

I did finally connect with the guy who is supposed to repair my recumbent bike. He has come by to see what parts to order, and that is in process. When the parts come in, he will be back by to fix it. I will be glad to have it back. It is so much easier to get it done at home. I know I overdo the guilt about it, but I already feel like I leave my dog alone too much. It feels bad to leave him more to go to the fitness center. I know that is silly.

I have been toying with the idea of getting a kitten. I am hoping if I started with a kitten, it and my dog would get along and they could be company for each other. I do not want a second dog. Dogs are a lot more work than cats. And I never can tell how my dog is going to react with another dog. Some he is fine with and others he goes ballistic. The last thing I need is fighting dogs to deal with.
Later

I am home now and have been working on my list.  I had some cooking to do tonight, since I had some meat thawed out that needed to be finished up.  I am making some stuffed pasta shells with ground turkey and part skim ricotta.  I am also making up a salad to last me two or three days (depending on if I am having it with a main dish or as my main dish) and some rice to go with some left over stir fry.  I really wasn't in the mood to do this, but once I got going on it, it wasn't as involved as I feared.  I hope this recipe is good.  I had another that I have used in the past, but I can't find it.

Hopefully I will have a little time to relax.  There is no law that says I have to do everything on my list.  It is just a tool to keep me focused.  And it is working as far as keeping from not thinking about eating.  I haven't thought about grazing like I do when I just sit and watch television.

I took Cassie for his third walk for the day and another time up the stairs (he still doesn't like that, lol).  He still has enough energy that he has brought me his rope toy and is "asking" me to play tug of war.  He can resist that face?

Guess I will close now.  Time to give him some attention.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Friday's Post -- Thank God for the Weekend

Okay, I think I know why I am having more hardware headaches lately.  I remember when I was having them before, I realized that my posture had a lot to do with it.  I have to be very careful to sit up straight and tuck my chin, as opposed to kind of sticking my chin out, which I have a tendency to do when I slump.  Because I have been having the upper back pain, I have been slumping more, so it has been creating this chain reaction.  That means I have to stay really aware of my posture.  And I need to work at keeping the muscles in my middle back more relaxed so it doesn’t tire me out so much to sit up straight.  I may need to start getting some chair massages to help with the upper back issue.

My “bed wedge” came in yesterday, and it did seem to help last night.  Maybe after a few nights, I can get my upper back muscles to settle down and stop spasming and I won’t get any more kinks in that area.

I didn’t have a great eating day yesterday, but at least I wasn’t eating all day long, which I am prone to do when I am stressed.  I am fine with how much I ate, but what I ate could have been a lot better.  I am having to work a lot more OT again (3 nights this week, so far).  I have to start planning ahead for that.  So I need to do some cooking ahead this weekend.  Too tired to cook what I planned when I got home last night, but I did eat a semblance of a meal instead of just snacking.  I had some smoked sausage on some whole wheat bread and had a “hot dog” of sorts.  It tasted good.  Need to eat my veggies though.  I need to prep them for fast cooking.

I walked the dog twice yesterday, but did not last night.  My daughter took him for a short walk last night, so I didn’t try to do that when I got home at near 8:00.  (And yes, this is the daughter who just had surgery.  The doctor told her she did not have to use crutches and she was bored, so she got out and walked him.  But then felt like she overdid.)  I walked him this morning and he was so feisty, it was difficult to make him behave around other dogs.  He has too much pent up energy.

After our short walk, I decided to try the stairs back up to my apartment this morning.  I did the 4 flights of stairs with no problem (it didn’t seem to bother my back or knees, and I really wasn’t as out of breath as I expected). Cassie did them too, and he seemed to be breathing heavier after we got done.  So here is my plan.  In addition to my walks, each time I come in, I am going to climb the stairs to my loft (4 flights).  When I get off too late to take him for his evening walk, I will use the stairs to help drain his energy and for me to get some more exercise too.  And I will use them for just him – I can toss a toy or a treat down and let him retrieve it, all while hooked to my long leash so I can coax him back up if he is being stubborn.  I can drain his energy a lot more this way and he will not be so whiny or feisty with the other dogs.  (Half of the time he is fine with other dogs, and the other half he acts like he wants to rip them to pieces.  I am working on this!  He wouldn’t really attack them.  It’s all show.  Have to work on my energy and being calm and assertive!)

Since I seem to be having trouble with eating right now, I can at least increase the amount of exercise I am getting and counteract it that way.  I know things will settle down and I will get back to eating like I want to, but hopefully this will help.  Cassie keeps me active because he will drive me crazy if he doesn’t get enough exercise.  I guess that is good motivation.  (He really is a sweet dog, but he is energetic and is much better behaved when exercised enough.  I am determined to get him past this behavior around other dogs – he didn’t do this until recently except when being territorial with our other dogs.)

I did not get him walked at lunch after all.  Some other things intervened.  But I will do a long walk tonight (I do not have to work late) and maybe a little work on the stairs.

Eating has not been good today.  Someone brought donuts.  I ate a half of an apple fritter and a half of a cinnamon roll.  I felt bad about those extra calories, so didn’t eat any lunch.  But then had a little more cinnamon roll.  Not good for my blood sugar and insulin resistance, that’s for sure!  I need to do better.  I do plan to make the chicken and broccoli tonight.  Then will watch the Ranger game.  It’s do or die for them tonight in the playoffs, since they blew their lead in the West.

I grow really tired of some things that go on around the office.  If it were not for my boss, I think I probably would have left and gone somewhere else.  And yet, this job has been a real blessing for me.  I have had to work hard, but it got me through the years of getting my kids raised and has provided well for me with all the extra things that go on in my life (like all the medical issues with my daughter).  So I really can’t complain.  Sometimes I just wish other people would leave me out of the drama.  But I am thankful for a good job.  There are many people who cannot say that.

The day is winding to a close, so I will post this and wind up my day.  Have a great weekend everyone.  Thank God for the weekend.

Thursday's Post, Friday Morning


Yesterday’s post, which I am just getting posted.  Maybe more tonight.

This is Thursday, right?  I really need it to be Thursday and not Wednesday.

I just got to work and I am already tired.  I worked until 9:20 last night.  Stephanie is staying with me and both girls were at my apartment when I got home, so I sat up until after 10:30.  (I am not a night person; I am usually in bed by 10:00).  I got up at about 5:45 (which was late, for me) and walked the dog.  Then I spent the rest of the morning taking care of Stephanie and getting ready for work.  I had to get her prescription filled.  Thankfully, there is a CVS next door, but I was running back and forth doing that.

I have to say, I miss my haven.  If Stephanie should read this someday (I know she doesn’t read it presently), that is nothing against her.  I just enjoy quiet in the morning and being able to get things done around the house and stuff before I leave for work.  I don’t begrudge her being over and my having to care for her.  But I do miss that quiet place where I can relax and rejuvenate.  She will be staying with me until Sunday, I believe.

So the girls were over with their dogs last night.  At least Cassie had some company and didn’t whine like I was afraid he would.  I wasn’t able to walk him at all yesterday, except for when we first got up, and that is always a shorter walk.  Not enough to drain his energy.  I anticipated that he would be wild.  Bethany did take him and the other dogs for a walk, so he got another short walk and the interaction with the other dogs was good.  Except he has gotten pretty possessive of me.  He doesn’t want the other dogs to get my affection, so he jumps in my lap and tries to block them from being petted.  The spoiled little thing.  I didn’t let him get away with it.  Anyway, it was pretty lively around my place last night.

I had little time to pay attention to my eating too much yesterday, and I was stressed and not caring enough about it.  But at least I was not eating constantly throughout the day.  What I ate wasn’t that great, but the amount I ate wasn’t bad.

I have had my “hardware headaches” pretty bad this week.  In case you missed a post where I might have explained this, I had a double fusion in my neck last year and I have a plate and screws behind my vocal cords, etc.  Sometimes it seems like I can feel the hardware – kind of like a big lump in my throat that I can’t swallow – and this sometimes sets off headaches.  My doctor says she doesn’t think it is that I am really feeling the hardware, because it is only millimeters thick, but that is what it feels like.  My other theory is that if my glands are a little swollen, it makes me feel it more.  All I know is it is not pleasant and it sets off a pretty powerful headache sometimes.  Thankfully, it is not this way all the time, but more often than I would like, that is for sure.  That is what I was dealing with yesterday, along with everything else.

I don’t have any big grand plans today.  I wanted to buy myself something sweet when I came in the building to work, but talked myself into just sticking with what I have with me.  (I had a breakfast sandwich at home and I brought a peach with me.)  I am planning to make some chicken and broccoli stir-fry tonight, since I have not been able to make it yet.  I have worked too late the last two nights.  Lunch will probably be a chicken salad sandwich, since I haven’t planned anything else.  Other than that, I just need to try to not go find any food elsewhere.  Hopefully I can get home at a decent hour tonight and catch up on rest a little bit.  But I still have to make dinner, walk the dog and take care of my daughter.

One bit of good news is that I got through my round of yucky medicine that has been making me feel whacky and got a refill of my old brand.  Hopefully I will be feeling some better in that respect.  Already, it seems like it works on the pain better without all the other side effects.

Yep, I’m tired.

I am sure that someday, this season will be behind me.  But right now, it seems like it is never going to end.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Another Surgery

I woke up this morning with my stomach churning and feeling pretty stressed.

I don’t think I have said anything about it yet, but Stephanie is having another knee surgery, and it is today.  I did not even ask off work this time – there is so much going on.  You have to understand, this is somewhere around the 15th surgery in the last 4 years or so.  I know it has to bother her that no one is going to be there during the surgery itself.  I just need more help.  I am taking her and dropping her off, and her sister will be there as soon as she gets off work at 4:00.  So, hopefully, she will be there when Stephanie wakes up.

One reason I did not want to ask off is my co-worker, who used to be a recruiter for a company that places employees in law firms, is helping Stephanie in her job search and will provide a recommendation, to a certain degree.  I don’t really want her to know about this surgery because I am afraid it will weaken her confidence in Stephanie.

I have to go in to each one of these believing and hoping it will be the last one.  But, so far, that is not working.  Stephanie had congenital problems with her feet from birth.  The way they are shaped and aligned caused her to walk pretty pigeon-toed and the alignment of her legs, particularly her left one, is affected by this.  It all started when she was in high school and her kneecap popped off, and kept popping off.  She had surgery to stabilize that.  Later, they diagnosed the foot issues and she has had 5 foot surgeries.  A lot of them have been because she had nerve damage on the left foot caused from a wound infection and scar tissue (Stephanie scars very heavily).  Her knee began giving her problems again, and they did another knee surgery and did a tibial transfer (actually moved the bone and pinned it in a different alignment).  I don’t understand it all.  Now, a ligament on the top of her knee is torn and the knee cap is popping off again, so they have to repair it.  So, it is not major, major surgery, but I would still rather be there.

Bethany is going to take her to my house after the surgery and she will likely stay there for a couple of days.  One reason she wants to stay there is that I have cable and she and her sister do not.  Lol.  But I can imagine she will need something to occupy her during her recuperation.

She is going right back to work in her nanny position on Monday.  She is keeping a 3-month-old, who is very easy to care for, and there is a way to push her around so Stephanie doesn’t have to carry her.  I am a little skeptical about that, but the doctor says this is a quick recovery, although she will be on crutches at first.  One good thing is that her nanny job has gone from 3 days a week to 5 days a week.  That will be a little more money.  The trouble is, they are not paying her very much at all.  But it is better than nothing until she finds something else.

As funny as it seems, what I woke up worrying about was the dog.  He is taking a lot of attention since I have moved.  If he doesn’t get walked enough, he gets very restless and ornery and whines a lot.  I was not able to walk him last night because I worked too late, and I will not be able to walk him at lunch because I will be taking Stephanie to the hospital.  When I get home, Stephanie will need attention and he will need to be walked.  I hope he doesn’t drive her crazy.  But the dogs at their apartment would probably do the same.  Bethany will have to make sure they get walked and exercised.  Stephanie has been doing most of that for them.  When I say I was worrying about the dog, it is not him I am worried about, but me – I don’t want him driving me crazy when I am home.  I wish I could pay a dog walker, but I am strapped too much right now with the extra expenses.  I had to make a payment on Stephanie’s COBRA insurance, which was over $500.  I have to make sure I hold back as much money as possible, because I will likely be having to cover other expenses for her this month, and another COBRA payment at the 1st of next month.  I sincerely hope she will have another job by the end of October or first part of November.  This knee surgery and recovery is not helping any.

So, I am stressed.  Because I worked late last night, I did some snacking at work during the evening.  I ate some peanut butter crackers and a granola bar.  I decided that when I got home, I was just going to eat some fruit and that would be it.  I did that, but also ate a few crackers.  Not what I wanted to do, but still not too bad of a day.

Later

I have now dropped Stephanie off at the hospital and come back to work.  I tell you, that does not feel good.  It just doesn’t feel right.  But I didn’t have much choice.  Today turned out to be (so far) one of the busiest days I have had in a long time, with clients and co-counsel in and running back and forth to help with that.

Later Still

Surgery went fine and she is with her sister right now.  It is 7:15 p.m. and I am still at work.  What a day.  I just want to go home.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Have to Stop Fooling Around

It has been a busy couple of days.

I did not do great this weekend.  Saturday I was kind of haphazard on my eating because I was out and about a lot of the day, and Sunday I did fine until late afternoon, and then lost it.  I ended up having to work a couple of hours Sunday, and then I got stressed out about something and that is what set me off.  I don’t know what my deal is.  I used to handle stress better than this.  I think it just built up on me too much.

Yesterday I did good (I know that is bad grammar) until after dinner.  But I was still hungry and I ate too many crackers with peanut butter.

As far as exercise, I walked some over the weekend, but we had a lot of soaking rain, so not as much as I would have.  Yesterday, I probably walked a total of 1-1/2 hours, so that was pretty good.  I am on track for that again today if I do not have to work late.  Tomorrow I need to start wearing my armband again and see how many steps I am putting in every day.  It is certainly much better than before I moved.

Sometimes when I am walking (not all the time), it feels like my legs are working against me.  It’s like I have to work twice as hard to make them move.  I know it is the nerve issue from my back.  I wonder if I burn more calories, because what would be the same amount of exertion makes me out of breath and sweating a lot more than usual.  It is not exactly pleasant and it is certainly not easy.  And now I feel wiped out, like after a really hard workout.

So far so good on eating today.  I need to eat more vegetables and that is my plan tonight to keep from getting as hungry.  For one thing, I bought a big bag of fresh broccoli from Costco, and need to be eating regularly so it won’t go bad.  I have a recipe for roasting it with garlic, and I think I will try that.  I am not sure what the main dish will be.  I have some things to cook, I just didn’t thaw anything out yet.  I could make a stir-fry with the broccoli, and may do that.

I really have to get going in earnest on my weight loss so I can get to feeling better.  I did not sleep well night before last, so last night I was falling asleep on the couch before bedtime.  I lay down on my side for a few minutes, and I don’t know if that is what did it, but when I got up to go to bed, I could barely walk.  I felt better this morning, but I really do not want to deal with this level of pain indefinitely.  And I am dealing with this even while taking narcotics for pain relief.  If the weight loss does not help, I guess I will have to have surgery.  But I have to get the weight down to see if it does.  I sincerely hope so.  I DO NOT want to have back surgery.  All I know is, I have to stop fooling around.

That’s all for today.  Sorry I’m such a Susie Sunshine.