Tuesday, June 30, 2015

A death in the family

Well...here I am...

...we've had a death in the family.

As I wrote...what...two weeks ago, I had a killer toof - which is still bothering me even though I've had a root canal.  Directly after that, I had to do some business travel.

On either side of the trip, I had planned to visit my parents - my dad and his wife and then my mother.  My stepmother had Alzheimer's, scleroderma, and primary pulmonary hypertension, which is a rare lung disease.  In any event, she was quite ill.  Hospice had been called in to give my stepmother and father some help for which I am incredibly grateful.

Anyway, my son and I arrived on Thursday evening, spent the night with mama, and then went to my dad's for the weekend.  The plan was that we would return and spend a day with mama after my work had concluded.  When we got to my dad's, I was truly shocked at how quickly my stepmother had declined.  Two weeks ago I was talking with her on the phone.  Now - she had few moments of clarity and seemed to be in constant pain.  I knew when we left on Monday that I wouldn't see her again.

At 1:00 am Wednesday morning, I got a call at the hotel that she had passed away.  I sent an email to cancel my participation in the meeting and made my way back to Charleston.  It was sad enough going back given the horrific events that had just occurred - God Bless the Charleston 9 - that felt personal.  This really was personal.

My son and I spent the rest of the week going back and forth between my mom and dad's - an hour drive each way.  My stepmother's children stayed at the my dad's house and really had no other place to stay, so it felt like the thing to do.

It's funny how folks react to death.  Obviously, I shed some tears.  Both my kids were there and I'm glad for that - they always called her "Sugar Granny".  I think my daughter's eyes will be swollen for a while.  My son is like his father and was rather stoic.  The adults were quiet, but like lots of southern funerals, it becomes a family get together where there's lots of stories and laughter.

I was fine until the funeral on Sunday.  My dad went up to the casket by himself.  It was at that moment that I realized how much he was hurting.  He tried to straighten her hair in the way she always wore it and then patted her.  When he touched her hand and felt how cold she was, you would have thought he had touched fire.  After that, he touched her hair and kissed her hair.  Seeing him standing there in his grief, in the gentle way he was taking care of her still was almost more than I could bear.  I had a very difficult time keeping it together when I saw him there.  When I went up to the casket, I saw that he had placed a ring on her finger.

While I'm sad my stepmother passed, she had no quality of life and was in constant pain.  My grief is really for my father - that he'll have to go through the grieving process - I hate that he even has to feel these feelings.  I wish there was something I could do to make it better for him, but there isn't.  I hated it when my mother's husband passed away and I'll hate it now.

One nice thing about the situation is that my kids got to see some step-cousins she's never seen.  She told me later that they all had the same stories about Sugar Granny and Papa - they were just 15 years apart.

And so it goes.

I have no idea what the scale says.  I didn't go off the rails or anything - though there were some Sonic stops and some alcohol.

I got home last night and there's no cooking at home as the kitchen is torn apart with the remodeling - no stove and no microwave - so a peanut butter sandwich it's been today.

I'm back to work tomorrow and home until the middle of the month when we leave again for Vienna.


RIP Sugar Granny

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Killer toof

Well...here I am...

....I had a killer toof.

I was in terrible pain from a tooth this past weekend and ended up with an emergency dental appointment on Sunday.  CT showed an abscess and that I needed a root canal.  However, a good chunk of the tooth had become sclerotic and made it very difficult for the first dentist to even find the roots.

A second dentist came in and FOUR HOURS LATER, I had a completed root canal.  The pain from the abscess went away pretty quickly, but then I felt like I'd been hit in the mouth with a hammer.

The first dentist had assured me the pain medicine he was giving me wouldn't bother me.  Well...he was wrong...VERY wrong. During the sick days, it seems I became quite sensitive to a large variety of pain meds and that sensitivity hasn't waned.

They made me sick to my stomach until it was almost all out of my system and triggered a migraine.  Talk about adding insult to injury.  I stayed home from work again today and I just now feel like I'm coming around.  I can't chew on that side of my mouth - it's still worryingly sensitive, but it was a pretty rigorous experience for that side of my mouth, so I'll give it a few days.

I've not done anything else at all except this.  I'll be back to work tomorrow though and then off on travel on Thursday - not a good week for all this to happen.

I hope to be be back to my regularly scheduled programming soon.


Sunday, June 14, 2015

A quickie

Well...here I am...

...felt I needed to check in for a quickie update.

It's been a tough week.  LOTS of eating out since our son and his friend are home, but I'm handling it fairly well.  It's not optimum by any means, but I'm leaving off the white stuff and loading up of veggies.


I had an emergency visit to the dentist today.  I have horrendous pain in my upper left jaw.  The last time I had this type of pain, I had a tooth that had broken in half in my jaw - lots of awfulness.

Anyway, I have a CT - of all things - scheduled for tomorrow morning and then a doctor's visit where I will either have a root canal, a tooth extraction, or nothing.  X-rays today were not definitive and I'm not willing - even with the pain - to have anything drastic done until I know.  Sundays aren't good days for this sort of thing I guess.  Plus finding a new dentist in a new town for an emergency when you're not an established patient was a bit of a challenge.

I've got painkillers that I haven't had since the cancer days.  Doc wanted a Z-Pak, but I refused until an infection is confirmed.

I hate this happening with my son and his friend here.  They are so witty, lively, and sassy.  Looking at my son reminds me of his father at that age.  He's young and has time on his side and he's making the most of it - I'm proud of him.  Graduate school starts in the fall.

Anyway - I'm loopy and off to bed.  Even with these painkillers, the sunuvabitch hurts.


Wednesday, June 10, 2015

A jumble of stuff

Well...here I am...

...Today has been a big ol' jumble of stuff.

First, I got up and walked...AGAIN!...this morning.  It was a bit tougher this morning even though I got more sleep last night.  We walked to yet the next post this morning.  I'm going to measure it at mapmywalk, but I think it's right at 1.5 miles now in about 23-25 minutes - I'll take it.  I was quiet on the first half of the walk this morning, but enjoyed hearing the other two ladies talk.  I'm comfortable enough with them that I don't feel compelled to talk and can remain quiet if I feel like it.

Lots of stress at work today - nothing went the way it was planned with a few zingers thrown in for good measure.

Then I got some bad family news - my father's wife has been ill and I was told that her life expectancy is "a few months".  Incredibly sad news.  I feel helpless to help them, especially from thousands of miles away.  The end of life shouldn't be full of illness for anyone.  I have a business trip next week and will get to visit them on either side of the trip, so I'm thankful for that.

On to good news, my son and his friend arrived and got here just before I got home from work.  It was good to see them and they both had a good trip across the country.  Youth - don't you just love it??

Fun fact:  My son was with me when I wrote and posted my very first blog post.

Food today was okay until dinner time.  Burgers and beer.  A single beer for me.  It was interesting though.  My son and hubster were sitting across from me and my son's friend was sitting next to me.  As we sat there and talked, my mind flashed back to two 11-year-old boys who loved blowing up stuff in the back yard.  They would love to put dry ice in a plastic bottle, close the lid, and then put an aluminum trash can over it.  The sublimation of the dry ice would cause the pressure in the bottle to REALLY build up and then explode with a big ol' loud BOOM!  The trash can just added to the loudness.  They would delight and giggle just like boys at that age.  I loved it.

And here I am drinking a beer with them.  It was just odd.  Particularly on the heels of the news about my step-mother.

Anyway - that was the day.

I'm not walking tomorrow since neither of the women will be at work tomorrow morning.  However, we'll be back to it on Thursday.  I'm glad that I'm sticking with the plan we're setting out.   I'd thought about just walking alone, but I'm not there...yet.

Monday, June 8, 2015

This exercise thang

Well...here I am...

...thinking about this exercise thang.

And yep, I got up this morning and walked.  And yes, I still detest it and I'm sure I will for a while.  I'm inherently lazy unless there's a purpose.  However, a few years ago - 2010 time frame - I was walking at a pace of 5 miles/hour in the humid DC summer weather.  There were several Saturdays that I walked half marathons just for the hell of it.  At the time, I had a higher goal - a higher purpose.

But I hated it then too.  While I got into the habit of it, it wasn't a part of me.  I wish I could get the essence that Crabby or YumYucky have regarding their love...or at least strong like...of exercise.

Fast forward to now.  I know exercise not gonna help me lose weight, but I feel that now, more than ever, I've got to somehow incorporate it into my life.

That is something I really believe.

And I'm going to fight myself every step of the way.

So, which "me" is going to win?  I dunno - like a lot of things, I'll probably have lots of starts and stops.  This time is indeed yet another start, but it's better than not starting at all.

Several folks have commented that if I hate it so much, I should find something different or a different time.  At this point, that won't work for several reasons.  I mean - should I attempt to exercise after I've been up for a while and have worked at least a 10 hour day?  I *KNOW* that's not gonna work.  Lunch time won't work because I'm usually cramming in lunch between meetings or working while eating.  So morning time seems best

As far as some other activity - I gotta work in to something more rigorous.  Since regaining weight, my knees and ankles ache more often.  Something is wrong with my shoulder and I really do need to get an MRI - I don't know if I tore something in my shoulder or if the vertebra in my neck are all wonky again.  I'm still dealing with the swelling from the cellulitis infection in my left leg - that is quite the story.

So walking seems to be the thing.  Walking in the morning really seems to be the thing.  I'm fighting myself with excuses to NOT do it every morning, but I know every excuse is just a lie in a pretty package.

One good thing is that I'm really tired at the end of the day - I mean really tired, so I'm not staying up late and trying to get more sleep.  And getting more sleep is a good thing.

I'm often feeling negative about this whole weight thing lately and feel that it's coming through in my writing.  I'm trying to work through it and regain a healthy perspective.

Food was good today.  Yeah me.

That's about it for today.  My son and his friend are supposed to arrive tomorrow - I'm one excited mama!


Sunday, June 7, 2015

At the end of the weekend

Well...here I am...

...at the end of the weekend.

It's been a really busy weekend.  Friday was super busy and food sucked.  Fast food for breakfast and lunch and then a restaurant for dinner.  I wasn't off the rails at any of them - just the main food with no fries, etc.  But still, it was 3 meals out in one day.

So - the scale is up.  I don't even need the scale to know it's up.  I can feel it in my feet.

Yesterday was fine because I didn't the house.  Today we were out and about and had lunch.  I ordered a salad and everything was fresh and good - it really was a good salad.  I'd thought about ordering a sandwich, but thought better of it.  So I was doing alright there.

And then came the "blast".  We stopped at Sonic for Happy Hour to get a drink.  Mindlessly, I ordered a mini blast, but got a medium instead.  It was a mistake on their end, but really it was a mistake on my end.

Sonic is difficult for me.  Period.  We didn't have them in Maryland, so it was out of sight, out of mind.  However, there are several in the local area and I pass one of them about half the time.  I've got to learn how to handle it better.  It's not like I go every day or stop every time I pass it, but it's just easy to do.  The big reason?  Honestly - it's the ice.  I *love* their ice!  If I could just keep it at the ice, it'd be great

Tomorrow is Monday and I'm supposed to get up at 4 am to walk.  I will do it, but it's still incredibly difficult.  I wish I liked it.  I wish the positive aspects would override my laziness..like right now, but I suppose it will take time.  Dedicated exercise has always been difficult for me.

Oddly enough though, in Vienna last year, I was walking way over 10K steps each day with no problem and enjoyed it.  Maybe I need to pretend I'm in Vienna.

My son and his friend will arrive here on Tuesday.  They've taken a slow vacation ride from Texas to Idaho and have seen some awesome things - I'm happy they had the opportunity to make that trip.  My husband and I took the same trip 31 years ago when we moved to Idaho the first time.

I applied to renew my passport Friday - had to expedite because the Vienna trip is next month - so that's done.  I would be some kind of pissed to spend all that money on a ticket and then not be able to take it because I didn't have a passport.

The house is a wreck.  We're having the entire house painted and there is stuff covered and crammed everywhere.  The bedrooms are in good shape since we're having company throughout the summer, so that's a plus.

There's so much to do, I've gotta get my ducks in a row!


Friday, June 5, 2015

And I did it again

Well...here I am...

...and I did it again.

Yep - that's right, I got up before the crack o'dawn and walked.  It was a bit tougher today - it took 3 slaps on the snooze alarm before I got up, but I did.  That extra 10 minutes was good for the sleeping, but tough for getting there on time.  I really had to hoof it to get ready and get out the door.

We walked to the next post today, so just a little further, but we walked a little faster and got back a few minutes earlier than yesterday.  I still didn't like it.

I'm looking for and trying to internalize the positive aspects of this walking at the crack of dawn thing.  So along with getting this *THING* done before 6:30 in the morning, I'm getting an awesome parking spot, so there is a plus to that.  As well, by the time 8 am rolled around, I'd been up for hours and had gotten lots of work done.

The good thing about all of this - I don't have to get up way before the crack of dawn again until Monday.  I know I shouldn't look at it like this, but I do and I'm working on it!

Food today wasn't good.  There was an event at work and a buffet lunch was served.  I hadn't taken my lunch, so the buffet it was.  I've avoided buffets for years because I've never handled them well - like a pig to a trough.  It was a bbq pork sandwich with beans, cole slaw, and salad.  While the food wasn't the most nutritious, I also took too much of it.  Not good.  Then I swiped a mini Snickers mid-afternoon.  It's interesting because I feel my behavior at lunch was much worse than my behavior about the Snickers.  I did stop at one with the Snickers and I did savor the taste - I think that's okay.

So, hubster was out for a work dinner tonight and asked if I wanted to join them, but I declined and came home.  When I thought about dinner, my thoughts strayed to all sorts of things and I considered a lot of options...all of them bad.

And why did I consider them???? Because I was actually saying to myself, "Well - you've already screwed the day up.  Might as well go ahead."  I caught myself before I tossed in the towel and ate trashy stuff.  I wonder how often I've done that without realizing it?  I'm gonna have to keep an eye on that.

There's painter's tarp all over the house - folks are here painting.  They'll paint the dining room tomorrow - it's a beautiful red.  We've painted the ceiling a light yellow to remove the starkness of the red/white combo and to remove the Christmas feel.  I'm excited.  I've not posted about all the house renovation/remodeling we're doing, but we're making good progress and the house is looking mahvelous!


Wednesday, June 3, 2015

I did it

Well...here I am...

...I did it.

I got my ass up at 4:20 am this morning after 2 snooze alarms and got to work in time to start walking at 6 am with two women at work.

Just let me be clear about it.  I DID NOT ENJOY GETTING UP EVEN EARLIER.

At all.

However, I enjoy the two women I walked with quite a bit.  They're quite intelligent, but very down to earth and funny.

We didn't walk for distance, but rather walked for time.  In this instance, it was 30 minutes.  We'll probably keep this time for a bit and just try to walk faster as time goes on and then extend the time, but there is only so much time and I do not plan to get up any earlier!  Period!  I do think I have somewhat of a chance of continuing - else I'm sure they'll make fun of me if I don't and I expect it would be brutal!  At this point, I'll take whatever reinforcement - perceived or real - I can get!  Besides, can't let the new friends down on such a positive activity.

The walk itself was fun.  We talked and laughed and just had a good time.

There were a couple of benefits.  After the walk, I realized my commitment was DONE for the day and it was only 6:30 am.  The second was that I was already at work and ready to go.  The third was that I did enjoy it - the weather was cool, the surroundings were pretty to look at, and I did a lot of laughing.  So all in all, it was a good thing.

Of course, this will all go to hell when the alarm goes off at 4 am tomorrow morning, but I will get up anyway.

I was thinking about it on the way home tonight and I'm gonna try to be realistic about this walking at the crack of dawn stuff.  First, I'll have to get up an hour earlier and only for four days a week - and only on the days I work.  I don't have to do this on my days off and I'm not going to commit to doing it on my days off.  Second, I will walk when at least one of them walks, but I'm not going to go to work early to walk alone - I don't love it like that at all.

So while walking for half an hour isn't earth-shattering by any stretch, it was a positive "thing" for me and I'm proud of myself for following through - particularly since I don't have a stellar exercise record.  I hope I continue.


Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Walking...or not

Well...here I am...

...Walking or not.

At 3:09 am this morning, I received a text message that the woman I was going to walk with was staying home because she was ill - she's been fighting it for a few days.  I read the message, said "Thank you Jesus", rolled over, and went back to sleep.  I didn't regret it for even a second.

This is not a good attitude to have.  It's something I'll have to work on.

Food was good today - no going off the rails.

One awesome thing that happened today is that I made our reservations for Vienna.  We went there last year for our anniversary and had such an awesome time that we're going again this year.

All the more reason to be good - so my fat ass will fit in the seats!  Perhaps not a perfect goal, but it's definitely a realistic, short-term one!