Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Just Hang Me Upside Down....



Like a BAT!!

Seriously... I've decided that until the worst of this cold has past ... I should just take up residence hanging upside down from our attic rafters ...like a BAT! Although ..it would be rather cold, lonely and dark up there ... and so I think hanging from the family room beams would be more aesthetically, socially and physically pleasing... plus I can still see outside. I'll just take the corner by the sliding door so I can still watch TV. ;)

Why .. you ask?

As I have stated in previous posts... I have a ureteral stent in me.

No big deal..usually.

I think this one would be fairly uneventful ... but I don't know ..because I went from feeling the post-op pain/discomfort right into this ridiculously awful cold and haven't felt like myself. And... yesterday, I began coughing ... mildly because I am so dry in my throat. Mouth breathing will do that.

By late last night the stent was bothering my bladder ...to put it mildly.

Anyway ... at exactly 3:15 this afternoon when I began coughing harder ... it became painfully obvious that sitting and coughing is just not going to work. Then I realized neither will coughing and standing.

So.. I have concluded that the only way to make coughing with a ureteral stent uneventful is to hang upside down like a bat. Of course..there's always a trade off and I suppose the pressure would then be on the kidney.

I was never sick when I had a stent.

I am open to any suggestions anyone may have to avoid the effects of gravity and coughing...because it feels like it is moving down into my chest and could get a bit more challenging.

The silver lining: I do feel better that I identified the problem, because I was beginning to think something was wrong.

Hmmm ... hanging upside down like a bat works for Halloween too! ;)

Straddling the Coffee!

See full size image

This morning I inadvertently knocked over a big tub of coffee.

It didn't just spill out in one place though. No. It had to roll half way across the kitchen leaving a wall of coffee along it's path ...on the tile and ...on the rug. Big mess! Waste of good coffee too!

When I was a little girl ...my grandmother used to dump coffee grounds outside because she said ants didn't like the coffee. This coffee spill would've been a HAZMAT disaster for any ants in the vicinity.

Fortunately ..as I said..it was a big tub and so I could still make coffee.

I happen to have the mother of all colds.

Between the ureteral stent and the fact that thanks to the cold ...I have the energy level of sleepy slug ...I decided not to get the vacuum cleaner or even a broom and dust pan to clean it up.

No ...instead..I opted to repeatedly straddle the coffee to get whatever I wanted in the area.

I am not saying it didn't bother me... I just didn't have the stamina.

It warmed my heart when my thoughtful son came in from class ... and cleaned up the mess I made and left ...without me having to ask for his help. :)

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Something Special :)



The following is something (then 7 years old Devan - during last winter) wrote about her soon to be born baby sister.

The students were given an assignment to write about something special. Devan's was one of the essays chosen to be in the local paper.

No one helped her with it. I love her thoughts about them being 8 years apart and twins. :)

And I especially love the warmth, love and excitement she was already feeling toward her new sister ... Wrenna. She is so good with her and is a wonderful big sister.
I did cut off the last couple of sentences because of privacy, but she ends with "I can't wait until May!" :)

scan0010 by you.

These too beautiful girls will always be something special to me... to all of us... forever special in our hearts. :)

Funny Post by Dr. Rob

I love this hilariously, clever post written by Dr Rob over at his
"Musings of a Distractible Mind" blog! The following is a brief excerpt from Dr Rob's post .."Coding a Morning":

"PLACE OF OCCURRENCE, HOME ICD-E849.0

6:00 AM

Alarm goes off. Hit snooze button. CIRCADIAN RHYTHM SLEEP D/O IRREG SLEEPWAKE TYPE ICD-327.33

6:30

  • Alarm goes off for third time. Ready to hit snooze button, but knee in ribs from wife prevents more snooze button procrastination. CONTUSION OF CHEST WALL ICD-922.1, ADULT MALTREATMENT UNSPECIFIED NEC ICD-995.8
  • Feeling tired, go to make a pot of coffee. CAFFEINE ADDICTION ICD-304.40
  • Fill bowl with Lucky Charms and start eating. UNSPECIFIED NUTRITIONAL DEFICIENCY ICD-269.9, HYPERGLYCEMIA ICD-790.29"
Go ahead and check out this funny post to see how the rest of Dr Rob's morning turned out as defined by medical diagnostic codes. :)

I can see this hanging up in medical offices everywhere. :)

Friday, October 23, 2009

I Did Something Really Dumb!

http://knol.google.com/k/-/-/PYwIQr_i/GXb8Fg/Ureteral%20stent.jpg

There are different types and sizes of ureteral stents and I'm not sure what type mine is ...although I think he said a size 8.

I had a ureteral stent placed in me yesterday.

I am not a newbie with this stuff. I know what it's like to be stented but I have to say... every stent feels different. I know they are different sizes too. I had one for 4 days that was so easy, others were moderate to tolerate and 3 difficult ..including the one in me now.

This one causes added pressure in my kidney and pain with not much build up of urine and upon urination a sharp renal colic feeling. It reminds me of a stent I had placed by the first urologist I had back in 04.

I am actually a bit vague on the facts because I discussed this in post-op and so not 100% certain ... and my husband seemed to think things were good, but never remembers exactly what the doctors say. (This is when I should have my girlfriends with me because they'd remember every detail like we women usually do. ;) Well ... wait in all fairness to my husband ... I also want to know things like .."Well ..was the Dr Urodoc lighthearted or serious when he told you? Why exactly did he do this, that, etc.?" :)

I was better yesterday than how I woke up this morning, but am guessing I still had hospital drugs in my system then. I woke up with more pain, but med takes it down to a 5. I'm assuming it may also be because of the work he did and will get better with time. That being said ...it has been and is my experience that ureteral stents are not easy to tolerate and can hinder greatly ..or not. I don't know if that is because of size alone ..or position.. or nature of condition being treated for and work involved... or all of the above or something else.

I want this to be my practice stent in that if I am ever stented while working ...that I can still function with minimum pain control and carry on as usual. I see and am reading that people do this and I am wondering what is wrong with me that I find them so painful and/or uncomfortable. ??? And they are in you 24/7 ...for weeks and months sometimes. Fortunately..this one won't be in as long as they usually are.

Also ... When stented ... you want to be on Pyridium ...the med that turns your urine orange ... because it helps numb you to better help you tolerate the stent. I take one pill 3 times a day for the entire time I am stented. I let it lapse by a good 4 hours last night so I could get myself on a 7a/3p/11pm schedule and let me tell you ... you feel things you just don't want to feel without it.

Also Detrol LA helps with bladder spasms ..which can be caused by the stent aggravating the bladder. Then there are sometimes kidney spasms which a pain med will help. Some people can take an anti-inflammatory, but they also aren't good for the kidneys. You have to find what works for you. And aside from all that ...there is pressure in your flank, ruq, ureter and low back as well as the bladder...intermittently independent of each other or simultaneously. Some days are good and some are not. I feel the usual flank/ureter discomfort with this one but more ruq pressure or ..I have just forgotten what it feels like. There is no rhyme or reason to the ureteral stent experience and truly... there are both similarities and differences in each stent I have had. They aren't a day at the beach ... that is for sure.

*** I sincerely wish there was a community of other ureterally stented people I could to comisserate with ...share info and learn from... or maybe help. I find it difficult finding information on stented patients/results and experiences. And I don't understand some of what I have found.. or it concerns me, but may not pertain to me. I just wish I had more comprehensive information to read.

I had been volunteering with phones/time for the Ch*ri*s Chr*istie campaign and so let some things slide a bit around here and thought if I just get some things out of the way... I can really relax.

Pyridium in a woman's system is proof that she too can spray the underside of the toilet seat as evidenced by the orange contrasting the white seat. (We women always think only the guys do this) So of course I wiped that with a Clorox wipe but then thought well just clean the whole toilet..scrub the inside too, okay and the sink, and cabinet and organize a couple of drawers, give myself a facial (walk around with a beauty mask... specifically Jafra's Malibu Miracle Mask (feels so good!). Then folded a whole bunch of clothes, towels and sheets (still sitting on our bed), run the dishwasher, wash bath towels, wash out a couple of things in the sink, wipe down stove, a little of the fridge, counters and table, change table cloth and wipe down place mats. (btw... I was increasingly not feeling so hot while doing this stuff... but kept saying..just one more thing ..just one more thing, etc., organized books and sorted through mail.

As if that wasn't dumb enough ... and I did hesitate... but picked up a whole water melon (from the table). I thought if I just bend down with my knees and come up with my knees it would be okay. The thing is as soon as I had it in my arms ...I felt it in my kidney. ..and so walked a couple of steps (duh!) and placed it up on the counter. How could I be so stupid?!!!

I don't know exactly what can happen but I do know the doc says no heavy lifting. The water melon was more dense/heavier than I realized for a stented person.

So ... I SCARED myself! Thought about calling Dr urodoc ... but then thought better of it because I really don't want to call him for something so stupid! I figure if I have excessive.. beyond the norm pain and/or have blood in my urine ..then call ...although would have to be a lot to show up with Pyridium.

But... admittedly ..it was bothering me and is what prompted me to write this post ..to vent.

But as fate would have it .. someone from the Surgery center just called me for a follow-up and I told her what I was doing. I said that I kept doing one more thing so I could get it all done and she said I had it backwards. Then I told her about the watermelon but wasn't calling my doc, but would only do so if I had the excessive pain and/or blood in the urine and I asked her if that is what I'd look for and she agreed. So.. I feel better that I did talk with someone.

I am still a little concerned because I am sore ... but it is only the day after and I did all this stuff.

Again ..it's not because I feel good ..because I don't. The pain med made it possible and I think I had a rush of adrenaline initially and I kept working through it.

I have been stented multiple times and n-e-v-e-r did this... and I won't do it again.

The lifting was the dumbest thing. I think you run the risk of perforating your kidney with the stent and I don't know what else.

So ... I am in comfy pajamas, blogging and am going to take it easy for the entire weekend. I hear it is supposed to be very rainy around here tomorrow and so I will just enjoy being cozy inside... of course blog .. but also TV, catch up on reading, etc. I have so many good books around here that I haven't read as yet. And sleep. I am going to catch up on some much needed sleep.

And DRINK ... lots and lots of water!

All of this and all the previous procedures and stenting is well worth it if I will ultimately be able to avoid the high risk reconstructive surgery and while I don't recall the specifics of what my doctor told me ... my understanding is that my ureter was more open then it has been when left on it's own. As I have previously stated elsewhere ... I am ever hopeful that my ureter will heal completely once and for all.

And I am forever grateful to my urologist for the work he has done to facilitate healing in me... and his compassion and patience with this patient.

And most of all ... I thank God for all healing and for the good that will ultimately come out of all of this.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

E.O.S. - Exacerbation OF Squirrelly (Also Breathe :)

Funny squirrel face.

This is a picture of me tomorrow morning when I run back out and hide from my husband and the surgical staff. If you happen to drive by and notice me... shhhh don't tell! ;)

I don't know if there's an ICD.9 code that specifies squirrelly... but I'm running on internally squirrelly as I type. Heck ...I won't even miss the caffeine in the morning!

Why you ask?

Okay ... well I'm just having a little fun ..venting a bit. :)

Seriously... really ...no big deal ... I know this and I know the drill.

I'm not really afraid ... yeah ..that's it .. I'm not afraid.

Actually ... I do know I've been overreacting a bit. It's just been a long haul ...intermittently with this urology stuff. And I have been doing well and pretty much believe I am healing.

I am only going in for a uro procedure that I believe I have done a gazillion times before ..or something like that and is how I've earned my frequent flier status at the hospital and urodoc's office.

For those of you who have followed my posts the last few years know all about this ... but in a nutshell ... I had a kidney stone back in 2004 that damaged and scarred my ureter at the distal end. The damage is more then a centimeter long , thus more prone to scarring... which has caused a completely constricted ureter ..twice..causing me to be quite ill... the last time being June of 08. I have had a ureteral stent placement multiple times with last summer being the largest one.

I have been advised in the past that I would need a ureteral reconstructive surgery ... a psoas hitch ..but I am not the best candidate for this surgery at this time and would be high risk. So because I would be high risk ... and I basically don't want to die or throw a clot... I have been desperately trying to avoid surgery and hoping and praying that the stenting will have worked.

I am not afraid of surgeries. Well I don't mean to sound like I am lining up to go in the OR with all the anticipation of a good Saturday night movie... especially since I'm out for the whole show. ;) Seriously ... I went in to have my C-sections with mild concern and believed everything would be alright. Same with the knee surgeries. But this one has me stopped in my tracks and I have simultaneously had my life on hold too... more than I needed to ..just my reaction to it all.

I am just not on board with it yet and do not have a green light in my spirit.

So tomorrow ...my urologist will be be scoping and possibly doing work and stenting if needed. I am hopeful that the ureter has remained open this time ...sans scarring. The last stent came out August 14th, 2008. So it's been 14 months.

The longest I went before a relapse was 16 months. The problem is that when the ureter is closing off it is pretty much asymptomatic. This is a good time to see where I am at.

I am encouraged because my last lasix renal scan was good 6 months ago. I don't think I have the odd symptoms that I may have when it closes. It is very difficult to tell... until it is almost closed... and even then I am not sure. You just can't feel the scar tissue building up.

But.. I do think he will probably give me a good report. It's just that uncertainty ..until I hear it.

I mean if he tells me it is staying open ...I am going to be one happy SeaSpray. If it's not ...well then I'll deal with it. So this is where the squirrelly is coming from.

I mentioned I was a frequent flier at the hospital ..well that also means in the OR. I am going to a different place tomorrow and so will have anesthesiologists I've never met. It feels weird and a little disconcerting. I am just so used to the other guys. They always make me laugh.

I am most grateful for my terrific and skilled urologist and know I am in good hands under his care. And most of all ... sometimes I forget and get a bit squirrelly ... but God is in control. Why things work out as they do sometimes... I don't know ... but no matter what... in the end ... things do work out for good. All of this will too. :)

I am trusting whomever I get tomorrow will have gone through anesthesia humor 101 and get me at least smiling. I also hope they warn me just before they put me out. For the 1st time ever last summer... i was just out without anyone telling me and it bothered me. maybe I am being silly ... but I hate losing control ..I really do... I don't care how relaxed the drugs make you. So when you have those last few seconds ... it gives you that last bit of control. That's how I feel anyway.

I liked how in Private Practice last week... the physician asked the woman about to go under about her children. She got a big smile on her face, began naming them and was out. :)

Anyway ... on a lighter note... here is a video of the Laryngospasms singing "Breathe". I love these guys and this song is especially soothing... and of course quite humorous. :)



All prayers and good thoughts welcome. :)


Me ...Tomorrow

Fish in Endoscopy

Well ...I'm gonna shave my legs ... and I'm not bald ...and I'm not a guy ...oh and I probably don't have a couple of fish swimming around in my bladder. I can't speak for my ureter or kidney... but definitely not in my bladder. I know these things. ;) I will have that doohickey up my whizzie winkler though ... well maybe not just like that one ...but I know there's gonna be a whole lotta scoping goin on.

Do they really shackle patients ankles like that?

Well... I have a whole lot more to say about this but have some things to do first and will finish posting on this later. I have to be there bright eyed and bushy tailed ...well maybe not bright eyed and bushy tailed ... but I do have to be there at 07:00 ...which means I have to be up by at least 5am.

If anyone feels inclined to pray for the doc to get the fish out.. um I mean for good results ... I'd be most grateful. ;)

Thanks! :)

Monday, October 19, 2009

Song of Autumn

http://www.esquire.com/cm/esquire/images/autumn-leaves-1108-lg-55265504.jpg

I woke up feeling down this morning.

A lot of good things are going on and I have much to be grateful for ... I do know this ...and I am grateful and happy about a lot of things. Sometimes it's just a matter of perspectives ...you know.. just get your head in the right place.

And I miss Mom.

That was one of the things that caused me to feel sad before I went to sleep.

So ... this morning while sipping my coffee and looking out at the exquisite colors of the fall foliage, I noticed how beautiful the falling leaves looked as they fell softly to the ground and the carpet of leaves now covering the grass. It's a beautiful, sunny and crisp autumn day here in NJ. I just love this time of year. :)

As I watched the leaves falling, I was reminded of a French Poem that I love and can identify with. I've put it up before and now I shall again today.

I am excited about something I think will be both fun and interesting.

I am going to assist with the campaign for the republican candidate for governor, Chris Christie. I am looking forward to this new experience and meeting new people and most importantly... assisting in getting him elected as our much needed new governor.

After that I am doing a fun, girly thing ... treating myself to a pedicure and a pretty new color... something pink ...until Christmas "No Autographs Please" red. :)


Chanson d'automne

Les sanglots longs
Des violons
De l'automne
Blessent mon coeur
D'une langueur
Monotone.

Tout suffocant
Et blême, quand
Sonne l'heure,
Je me souviens
Des jours anciens
Et je pleure

Et je m'en vais
Au vent mauvais
Qui m'emporte
Deçà, delà,
Pareil à la
Feuille morte.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Make Cheese With Urine

http://nikkyhall.files.wordpress.com/2008/04/funny-pictures-cat-asks-who-throws-cheese1.jpg
This pic has nothing to do with the post... other than the cheese connection. I just love the disdain on the cat's face. Well ...okay ... you can't exactly see the cat's face ...but you just know it is disdain. :)

"Make cheese with urine" was the google inquiry that led to this blog and got my attention.

I just had to follow it.

There is making cheese with goat urine. I don't know what that is exactly or why and I saw that there are videos on making cheese with urine, but I really don't care to know why or how.

But ...I was curious to know why someone's google search for making cheese with urine led to the SeaSpray blog. If I type in urine ... or with urine .. no google searches lead here ..at least not with the first few pages. Cheesy urine or urine cheese don't do it either.

But "make cheese with urine" leads here.

It turns out because I have so often spoken of urine and urology in this blog and mentioned cheese doodles once that "make cheese with urine" leads to this blog.

LOL! Are you thinking this post is going somewhere?

It's not.

Just sharing the pondering of an exhausted SeaSpray who is now going to bed after a long ... but interesting day. :)

Friday, October 16, 2009

One More Pic

scan0004 by you.

Here is an old pic of older son Jonathan when he was about 4.

I love autumn pictures.

I still have to buy pumplins ...although we have 6 small ones out back that we are going to let Devan have fun picking. I also have to buy corn stalks. We grew corn... but with the lack of sun this past summer.. they are very small.

She can decorate a few. She'squite the artist at heart and in skill and no doubt will enjoy doing that. :)

October Snow in NJ... and About Herbs



These 2 pics were actually taken in October 08. It is unusual to have snow in NJ in October. We had it again yesterday too for October 09.

Normally.. the earliest snow would be mid November. We might get flurries earlier.. but not sticking to the ground.

I love snow and get so excited when it does snow.

I ran out to pick more fresh herbs in the snow and my fingers were frozen by the time I finished gathering them. I hope they will be alright and I still want to dig some up to try to grow inside during the winter.

I am absolutely crazy about the herbs and want to extend the herb garden along the length of the house next summer. The thyme ..one of my favorites.. is prolific. Greek oregano.. my other favorite. Parsley, mint, and sage are also bountiful. The rosemary isn't as much.. but I think it comes back. The basil is done.

I took a lg basil leaf and put it across a fresh chicken sandwich and it tasted so good!

the lavender has really grown but I am not sure if I should leave it or do something with it. What can you do with lavender? bath water? sachets? I like to put sprigs of it in floral arrangements with mint leaves too for the greens.

And I love how my hands smell after picking the herbs. MMMMM so good. :) Even the air is aromatic with the different scents as the herbs are being gathered.

i wish I began an herb garden much sooner. it's been fun. also.. there is nothing like using fresh herbs in a recipe.

I wanted to dry some and may still if they live through this cold weather. Otherwise I will use the ones I've frozen in soups and other recipes.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

And On a Lighter ...NOTE - Mr Gasman (1:11)



I love these guys! LOL!

I'm drained and happily going to bed and I'm hoping Mr Sandman will wave his magic sleep wand over me and I will have a sound, deep ...deep sleep... something that has been ever elusive for me ... even with the melatonin lately. But then tonight ...I have exhaustion in my favor too.

My husband has been quite ill the last few days and in great pain, but I am happy to say he seems to be turning the corner now. I was scared because I have never seen him this way.

I guess that means we are really fortunate. While it is no day at the beach being ill ... it's an awful feeling to see a loved one ill and to experience feelings of fear combined with powerlessness because you can't do much to help them... and this wasn't serious as compared to other things ...although, it could've been the way it was going... and it was serious for us.

So ... I am looking forward to a sweet sleep momentarily ... the kind that causes you to wake up whistling and singing with the birds in the morning ...or something like that. ;)

And Mr Gasman ... how apropos for sending me off to bed with a smile. :)

So now... I'll listen just one more time.

Nite all. :)

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

What If?

http://www.excesshollywood.net/elements/istock_new/iStock_000002534812XSmall.jpg

Henry Kissinger just gave a chilling account of what could happen if Iran develops a nuclear weapon. He basically described the domino effect it would have in causing the other middle eastern countries to want nuclear weapons to protect themselves.

He said it will be a different world than what we know now.

Why can't people just get along and work toward the betterment of mankind everywhere?

What if there was no more war?

What if all the money spent on the military... all of it that is currently being used for man power, weapons, equipment and operations... for all the military... in all the countries... was pooled together and used to eradicate world hunger, provide basic necessities, advance medical research and help to provide medical care?

Unfortunately ...there is evil in this world of ours and the best way to deter it is to remain strong militarily... while simultaneously preventing dangerous regimes from developing nuclear weapons. Continue negotiations ...keep communications open ..but never be lulled into a false security with a pseudo peace.

Walk tall with a big stick.

Be gentle as a dove ...and as wise as a serpent.

But...

What if?

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Inexcusable!

http://wwwdelivery.superstock.com/WI/223/1614/PreviewComp/SuperStock_1614R-11085.jpg

I heard on the news today that patients received 8 times the radiation dose while getting brain CTs at Cedars-Sinai hospital in California. EIGHT times!!

206 patients and 40% had patches of hair fall out because of overexposure to radiation and this went on undetected for 18 months.

"The magnitude of these overdoses and their impact on the affected patients were significant," the alert states. "This situation may reflect more widespread problems with CT quality assurance programs and may not be isolated to this particular facility or this imaging procedure."

I've had some concern about all the radiological procedures I've had ... but this would be freaking me out for sure.

I feel so sorry for those people!

As a patient... we put so much trust in every medical person we meet.. that they do know what they are doing ... that they are doing their best for your well being. It's not like if you go to a facility and ask them about the safety of their equipment that you can really know they are right.

It would never have occurred to me that something like this would happen. I just assumed they all know what they are doing and have protocols in place to assure quality and safety in care in all areas of the system.

Gosh... I can still be so naive! I just want to believe the good things. But when humans are involved... mistakes happen... but this case... this case is egregious!

I don't know if medical people would agree with me and my opinion is based on my own experiences... but I think physicians should inform their patients of risks involved in getting CTs. I know that could be a potential problem to cause unnecessary fear... particularly when the medical condition dictates that a CT (and other radiologic procedures) are needed for an accurate diagnosis. Some people might then be too afraid to follow through with a necessary test.

If I had known.. I would never have sought my 2nd abd CT ... when the DR wasn't concerned about a particular dx and neither was the radiologist. If the risks had been explained to me.. I would've let it go. Oh.. and there wasn't anything wrong.. thank God!

I could've avoided a couple more CTs too.

I also think that medical staff should have a way to view a patient's radiology history. I guess this is where a universal EMR system would come in handy.

As far as I go... my exposure was nothing like these poor people got. I didn't even know there was concern about over exposure to radiation from CTs until I read about it in the med blogs and I am so glad I did. Now that I am informed... I know to speak up and ask questions. And the rest... I have given to God.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Medical on My Mind and SeaSpray Confessions



Waking Up Is Hard To Do by the Laryngospasms (These guys are great!)

I figure a little levity is in order since I was so serious in this post. LOL! I'd so totally LOVE going under if these guys were in the OR singing. Okay..well I'd still be squirrelly about loss of control... but I'd definitely go under with a smile.. maybe even singing in my spirit. Ha! Maybe that should be an OR prerequisite.. you know... the docs and nurses all singing the patients to sleep. ;)



Medical is on my mind ... and so I see my posts seem to be going in that direction.

I'm scheduled for a urology procedure soon.

No big deal really. I mean.. I know the drill...frequent flier and all that.

But I have some concerns.

I mean.. I am 90% sure urodoc will give me a good report. (I'll come back to the uro in another post before I go in.)

Wait...someone recently told me that I am supposed to say.. "I am healthy. I am healthy. I am healthy... because I told her one of my main goals is to be healthier and make the lifestyle changes I need to make.

One of them is to lose weight and let me tell you.. it is not easy. I certainly have... but then go back up..not all the way.. but some.. enough to lose the good recent ground I've gained.. or should I say lost? you know what I mean.

I am not in full swing yo-yoing... but lost and then small increments upward.

Why?

Why does that happen so easily?

I am not a stupid person. *I* could write a book on what I should do... what is good, etc., etc., etc., blah!

I am able to shop in places I couldn't before and wear their clothes. That is such a great feeling!

It also feels great to feel thinner!

And to look thinner... although I have to lose more.

* I am especially frustrated that I can't go down past this *key* (for me) number on the scale. I was within 2 lbs in Feb 07... then went back up 25lbs... then have yo-yo'd between 15 pounds lower and up for a couple of years and then recently went down a few more and I was so excited... and now I'm starting to go back up these last few days. !!! WHY???

Oh.. I know the obvious... too many calories in and not burning enough.

So.. if I could just go down *15 lbs* (as of this date), I could break the pound barrier goal I have.. that I have not been able to get past. If I do that... it would be so motivational! I haven't been that weight since the late 80s... 1989.

I know it is an addictive behavior which is underscored anytime I eat... and I am not hungry. After all... why in the world eat if i am NOT hungry? They say.. a collective they from various sources ...that if you *only* eat when you are hungry... and stop *just before or as soon as you are feeling full*...you *WILL lose weight* and go down to the weight that you were created to naturally be. They even say... you could do that eating *anything* you want because the key is to pay attention to the fullness signal from your brain. (more on that another time)

I am not advocating that we should live on junk food but rather making the point that it is volume as determined by our individual bodies. then of course there are the individual metabolisms and lifestyles, i.e., ...sedentary vs active, etc.

It would seem that it should be so simple but it is not because there are so many variables.

And then there is the psychological component... learned behaviors, cultural, medical -physiology/depression. Not every person is wired the same and so not every person wrestling with weight issues is struggling with weight loss for the same reasons.

It is complicated.

But not impossible!

I know I got the wrong messages when I was younger, then misinformation and then I fell prey to every starvation/crash diet that came along. And when I was 15 and maybe 20-25 lbs over weight... my doctor gave me diet pills and I lost most of the weight... but not because I understood healthy eating... which by the way.. the medical profession was sadly informed too. I say that when I think of those little unrealistic diet sheets they handed out without giving any understanding to the dynamics going on... both physically and emotionally.

I heard a physician say once that they only got one class on nutrition and most of them were misinformed too. this was back in the 80s/90s and this particular doctor was one of the first that I know of to teach the public about anti-oxidants and the Mediterranean diet. He was the one who said people should never use the margarine's that turn to plastic in your system.. that small amounts of real butter was much healthier. Also that eggs were getting a bum rap and that they had so many good things in them. In my aunt and uncle's house... all we ever had was margarine and they didn't eat eggs. My uncle had a medical hx of an aortic aneurysm and3 angioplasties. he did live to be 86. he also almost always maintained a healthy weight.

Again..this was in the 80s and early 90s these doctors were teaching these things. They were regular physicians who along with traditional medicine also embraced holistic approaches... with heavy emphasis on good nutrition. They believed mind, body and spiritual health were all key to good health.

They were talking about these things way before the AMA came out touting the importance of anti-oxidants.

I also belonged to a local food co-op for a few years. I volunteered my time to work for free in exchange for reduced prices. It was fun actually! Wrapping cheeses, packing herbs, stocking, cleaning, the register..what ever was needed. And I learned a lot there too.

My point is that regardless of the past mistakes when I was a teenager and young adult... I have since learned the error of my ways... and yet perpetuate the same counterproductive, self sabotaging behaviors...day after day and night after night and I feel like... what? do I have to DIE first before I get it??? well okay.. that would be too late.. but you know what I mean.. it feels that ridiculously extreme to me. Can you tell I am quite annoyed with myself at the moment?

Seriously... a-n-n-o-y-e-d at myself!!!

Oh.. and never mind that we women always want to look good, feel pretty sexy or whatever... I feel all that... but now.. and more importantly.. I want to live a healthy, productive, quality life for a long time. I have been frickin pussy footing around with this yo-yoing BS since January 06.

I can honestly say.. that the weight I did lose initially... wasn't hard. LOL!.. I joke it was because I was on the Percocet diet. I was on it and stented and didn't care about food as much. But alas... one can not live on Percocet. Seriously.. that may've been part of it in 2006, but I also lost on my own too.

And do you want to know the only things I have to do to lose weight??? at least for now???

I can still eat what I want...within reason of course... but nothing stringent to lose weight.

1. Eat breakfast and lunch. (I tend to only have coffee or water... oh and some supplements.)
2. Also have snacks in between. (I don't like the feeling of having food in my stomach when I am busy)

*Did I mention that I am a non-insulin dependent diabetic.. Type II? So... I KNOW all day fasting is not good. I KNOW that it is important to have 6 small meals a day. Someone once said that the diabetic diet is good for anyone who wants to lose weight. And diabetics can still have sugar..if they really want to have something... but it's a trade off. You can't have peas, potatoes and pies in one meal. I DO know these things. But I guess for all my supposed knowledge.. I am behaving stupidly. I have put my head in the sand and haven't wanted to focus on the consequences of not paying attention to these things.

Oh and about sugar... it is empty calories...no nutrition in sugar and feeds cancer cells. I do think you should be able to enjoy it once in a while... but moderation is key. And that is one of my things I wrestle with... that moderation thing. I'll talk about moderation another time.

One thing I've discovered about sugar as it pertains to me... it n-e-v-e-r satisfies me. It is a trigger food and I want more and more and more.. verses my having a complex carbohydrate with which I will feel completely satisfied.

And you may now have an image of my lying around eating Twinkies (blech) or something and I do not. I am a wholegrain, complex carbohydrate girl! the closer the food is to how God made it the better I like it.. you know..with the real flavors.. not the greasy, fake food with additives.

That being said I also like dairy (cheese) too much, mayonnaise (Hellman's) and other things and I do like sweets..although not soda..or rarely anyway. Stuffing and gravy is my favorite part of the Thanksgiving meal.. oh and the potatoes. :)

And here is the thing... I can have them... but it is that darn moderation thing again.

3. Do not eat anything after dinner other than one healthy snack. (That could be a delicious wholegrain cereal with milk, grapefruit, baked apple or other fruit or yogurt. So many things I like that would be a good choice), or no snack if not hungry.)

4. Go to bed before midnight and the earlier (10-11) the better. (I don't eat all day because I feel better on an empty stomach and then I eat all night once I have dinner. But staying up late is the worst thing... because then I am eating into the wee hours of the morning.)

5. Exercise... (doesn't have to be a marathon... just get moving. I have an unused Y membership. I LOVE to swim!(low impact and good for cardiovascular and muscle) They also have a program with a personal trainer to use the equipment. I live in a beautiful country area for walking. I do have knee issues... but the more I lose.. the better I feel. I carried a whole watermelon in from the garden last week and couldn't believe how much more my knees hurt. That demonstrated how much weight impacts knee pain.

There are probably more things but those are the basics for me.

My joke is that if I get a day job... I will lose weight because I will have to go to bed early... hence would not be eating at night. :)

So... I can talk about this till the cows come home... navel gaze ad nauseam and I am certainly able to talk/write... but at this point words without action is futile.

ACTION ...A-C-T-I-O-N is what will make the difference now!

I know what I have to do and so just DO IT ...DARN IT!!!

*Maybe for my next post I'll put a pic up from when I was seventeen and thought I was fat. I was not. But I again took diet pills and starved myself and probably screwed up my metabolism.

And then young girls today... they do have better information about nutrition ... but most people are tempted for the quick/artificial fixes that do not promote long term weight loss... but set them up for a life time of yo-yoing on the scales.

Oh... and coming back to the urology for a moment... the ureteral reconstructive surgery wouldn't be as high risk either... if I achieved my normal, God designed weight loss for my body construction. I am really curious to know what that is. Not what the charts say... but what is right for my body.

I'll write about the urology procedure soon.

Emergency Medical Humor (Sexyback song ..Bringing Patients Back :)



LOL! They obviously had some down time! That looks like it was fun to do. :)

Sunday, October 11, 2009

My First Hospital Friend

I keep hallucinating - A Nurse!!!
A couple of weeks ago I got a call on my cell from an ER nurse I used to work with. She was up from Florida for a wedding. I'd been out all day and so her timing was perfect and we got together for a late dinner at a local restaurant.

She was one of the first friends I made at the hospital when I first started there. She invited me to hang out back with her and the ER staff and the rest is history. My personal life was challenging at that time and going out to work with them was something I looked forward to every day I worked. I felt like I should've paid the hospital for that job.

I had the pleasure of working with this nurse for quite a few years. She was an excellent nurse... the kind who really knows her stuff and she was great with the patients too. And she has a fabulous sense of humor! We would laugh really hard at work and we laughed hard at dinner a couple of weeks ago... and I cried...about Mom.. just a little and she was sweet. :)

She had to leave to pick up her son who was flying in to Newark and so we had to talk faster than usual..which is fast and so we had to talk faster than fast. ;) But we think with lightening speed and our mouths keep up and so we got a lot in. It was hilarious when we ordered dessert at the same time in the same way without knowing the other was going to say exactly the same thing.

I remember one night when we were walking out of the hospital after our shifts and she said to me, "You know..i don't know why I like you.. but I do." LOL! I knew exactly what she meant because I felt the same way. We were so different and that is what she said. We weren't anything alike. On the surface.. we are different politically, religiously and morally with some things. She had a big snake.. a Boa constrictor I think and named him Satan.

Okay.. first off... I would never own a snake... but if I did.. I'd name it Angel or George.. NOT Satan. We were and are so different. But.. we love our families, are true to our friends, compassionate and love to have fun and have known pain in our lives and so I think there is an undercurrent of understanding that isn't spoken but is just there. I don't know if she'd agree... but that's how I feel. I could tell her anything and I know she'd understand and never be judgmental. We are tolerant of our differences. And she looks great.. a size 6 now and has the most gorgeous dark brown eyes I have ever seen.. you could get lost in them.

She has a favorite ER story about me involving a naked electrocuted man ... but I don't want to be offensive and so not sure I should tell it. It's a very short story. Reveals my naivete is all. She busts out laughing every time she tells it. :)

It was really great getting together with her. We laughed like old times. I think it's neat when you don't see someone for a long time.. 5 years for us... and can pick up like you never parted.

I'm so glad we got together again. :)

Monday, October 5, 2009

Happy 21st Birthday - October 5th


Chris holding his niece, Wrenna on the day she was born back in May of this year.


Chris, with his nieces Devan and Wrenna

Today... October 5, 2009... our youngest son officially turned 21 at 08:49 this morning. :) It was just as sunny and beautiful with colorful autumn leaves as it is today. I wrote the following for Chris because I was feeling so sentimental about his 21 year milestone and gave him a copy and will share it here now.
~~~~~
I will forever remember the joy and profound love I felt for you ...even before you were born ... but when you were first shown to me by my obstetrician... all that love just exploded in me and has never ceased multiplying. I have loved you more every day since you were born.

And that first moment ... hours later ...when you were finally placed in my arms... it was as if all my love for you blended between our two bodies ...and while no longer one in body... we'd forever be one heart ... as mother and son. I knew I would love you forever... unconditionally ...forever. My first words whispered in your ear (as you were crying loudly) were “I love you. You’re precious.” You were so beautiful. I saw you as fresh from God himself… brand new, ready to be loved and we were all anxious to have you in our lives and couldn’t wait to bring you home.

Your brother Jonathan, chose your name… Christopher and we loved it instantly. Good thing… because Dad and I just couldn’t agree on one. :) And your brother insisted you had to be a boy. .. because he only wanted a brother.

You are a terrific uncle with your nieces and Devan adores you. No doubt… Wrenna will too. :)

Christopher you have been a joy and a blessing to all of us.

You're a good friend to your friends.

You're a great guy.

You were especially good to my mother... your grandmother; last summer and actually … most helpful with Mom during the last couple of years of her life. But last summer ... when I was stented with a big ureteral stent for most of the summer... which kept me close to home and not able to be active.

Chris ... you were right there for Mom and helped her with whatever she needed. You took her grocery shopping and saw to it that mom and her groceries got safely up to her apartment. Shopping was not easy at that point in time with Mom and most young guys would not want to be doing that. But you *never* complained. You went over to fix her TV remote when she changed the settings and you went over to unlock her door when she locked herself in. You were there for her.

My mother felt very loved by you. She bragged about you to the other elderly people in her building and the elderly ladies would come up to me to tell me how nice you are.

We know.

We have always been very proud of you.

Happy Birthday DEAR son. :)
********************************************************
Dear Chris,

May God direct your paths... so that you will experience all the things in life that make it great... that you will be strong and become stronger when the winds of adversity blow... that you will know peace and joy with lots of laughter... good health and prosperity... friendship and love... lots of love and that you will always have faith in God and remember to seek him... because our Heavenly Father will carry you through so many things, bringing insight, wisdom, and so much more... and may you continue to be a blessing to others and may *you* be blessed in wondrous ways. :)

Love forever,
Mom and Dad


xoxoxoxoxoxo :)

P.S. I may have written this ... but I KNOW that Dad agrees 100% and there isn't anything he wouldn't do for you. You should have seen him just beaming when he came back to me in recovery and was telling me all about you. He was so very proud and in love with you too. He still is. :)


****************************

It's Wednesday afternoon now and we are celebrating his birthday at home tonight. We usually celebrate on the actual date but Chris had to work on his Birthday.


Birthdays usually mean a taco or pizza meal but I am making large pan of lasagna instead, since I already have the ingredients. Also a big salad along with Italian bread baked with butter, fresh garlic and Greek oregano from the garden. I am using a whole grain bread and the regular Italian and will fill the Longaberger bread baskets with the sliced loaves. of course there will be the usual chips and dip. (Not a good thing when I am getting weighed for my PAT Friday morning ;)


And the piece de resistance ... the birthday cake. (and ice cream) I didn't do anything great and confess to using what I had ...a box of confetti cake mix with... ugh.. do I dare admit to this... a can of Betty Crocker icing. But what makes it great is that Chris' niece Devan decorated the cake last night and the funny thing is ...with pink writing, a heart and the number 21 along with his name and some other things. It's a *girly* looking cake... which was causing Devan and me to laugh about it because we all like to play jokes sometimes and Chris gave his 29 year old brother a card for a 3 year old on his birthday. So we're having a little fun with it. :) Besides.. the only alternative was green writing..shamrock color. The pink is pretty and Devan did a good job. :)


I love birthdays! My family never celebrated this way. They gave a card and a present.. but no big fuss or anything. I did have 2 parties when I was a child... but otherwise very uneventfully celebrated.


My husband's family has always celebrated everyone's birthday .. including singing Happy Birthday. i have gone completely opposite my upbringing and thoroughly embrace birthday celebrations. Not only are they a chance to honor someone you love and is important in your life... but they are bonding... and create lasting memories to look back on... giving a stronger sense of family and friendship.


And.. birthday parties.. no matter how small or large... are just plain fun! Oh.. and the presents... ;)


Sunday, October 4, 2009

I LOVE Tonight!! :)


*Click on pic for artist credit. I was drawn to this, but my monitor is so dark..not sure if other things are in the picture. I related to this.. because I love to turn the lights out..even now..get all comfy and look out at the moon and surroundings... and also let it shine inside. I still open the curtains to let moonlight in when I sleep. :)

Oh my Gosh... what a B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L full moon tonight... shining brightly amidst pretty clouds... illuminating the mountains so that they look like tidal waves and the silvery light cascading across the fields.

What a gorgeous autumn night in Northern NJ!

This is absolutely one of my favorite kinds of night. The only thing better would be if there was snow on the ground and then the silver blue light of the moon would sparkle and reflect off the snow that is covering everything. :)

I admit to looking for something about Mom in the clouds... but I'll explain that another time. Sometimes..when I look up to the heavens... I feel so close... like I belong there... as if I could become one with the light and all my surroundings. I actually feel the full moon... almost like it calls to me. I know that sounds weird and I'm not articulating my feelings well. A full moon has always affected me this way. :)

But I have always been drawn to the full moon. To me... the moon is one of the universe's most awesome sights and the way it reflects down here on earth... never ceases to evoke strong... moving feelings deep within me. If I could be one with the moon and what I feel.. I would be.

Once... on a full moon night in the middle of winter, I took a walk around my lake community. I felt such a pull to be outside walking in the moonlight. Not a big deal... except.. I was only 17, it was a school night and about 2 in the morning. I also didn't tell my aunt and uncle but rather I snuck out into the cold night while they slept.

There was snow on the ground... but a very clear, frigid night. Everything was so quiet and still... except for the crunching noise I made while walking on the different streets. I enjoyed walking in the silvery blue moonlight that was reflecting off of the snow. I went back in after about a half hour.. not sure now. The house felt so warm and cozy.

I got undressed and opened my curtains wide so that I could fall asleep with the moonlight coming in as I nestled into my warm covers.

No one ever knew I left the house earlier. :)

Moon shadows. I also like moon shadows... that it is so bright under a full moon you have a shadow.. as do other things. Even tonight (later now) ... I was outside.. gleeful walking and talking with my friend... until we heard some noise in the woods... then we parted ways and went inside. :)

Saturday, October 3, 2009

I LOVE this! :)



This is so beautiful!

I was looking for things to help the baby sleep last night and she wasn't responding to the usual ocean sounds and music I play. So.. I went on youtube and found this.

It soothed her right to sleep. :)

I absolutely love the mix of Native American and bagpipes sound and it would be neat to learn in Cherokee.

And I've played it a gazillion times.. make that a gazillion and one now. ;)

When Equipment Breaks

The valve's stuck.