Update for today (and the last few weeks).

So, I’ve been wrestling with the same 5 pounds over the past few weeks.  Not sure why, as I’ve been doing good eating wise.  I hate plateaus, I really do.  My mantra lately – this too shall pass.

Our lucky puppies have been getting lots of walks lately – today, they even got 3!  Tuckered them out a little though – they’re both snoring away, not a care in the world.  One thing I pondered today, though, is that our walks our getting more interesting now that I have to hold my pants up.  No joke – I’m in desperate need for smaller sweatpants.  I have to say, it would make for interesting conversation in the neighborhood 🙂

Surgery is three weeks away.  I’m anxious, nervous, excited, determined…..scared, and a bit stressed.  It’s coming fast – truth be told, I’m more scared of after the surgery.  I know it’s going to hurt for awhile — but hopefully, the pain will go away.  Which would be a step in the right direction – I’ve been living with the shoulder pain for almost a year.  Almost anything would be an improvement.

I love stewed tomatoes – they add a level of sweetness to whatever they are in. I made soup last night and used up the last can, so I did a little sneaky chef action and added apples to the mix.  It worked well to add some sweetness and nobody was the wiser…except for me 🙂

Fell Off (Again)………

So, I fell off the face of the earth.  Again.  Not sure who all stops by here anymore – I’m a lot more active on facebook, pinterest, goodreads, or ancestry these days.

Cancer – My sister was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma a few days ago.  We are still reeling from that little bit of news – trying not to over-google it…but still trying to research it just the same.  We’ve joined a few support groups and are just trying to process.  It’s definitely a life changer. We don’t yet know what strain or what stage she is in.  There will be a bone marrow biopsy and a PET scan done within the next week.  From there we’ll know more and then the oncologist will come up with a course of treatment.  The prognosis is good, so although we are scared, we are hopeful for a  positive outcome.  Your prayers are very much requested and appreciated.

Reading – Well, no surprise that I increased my reading goal this year to 110 books.  I’m about 75 in so far….fingers crossed.  It’s nice to know I’ll meet one of my goals this year! (ha ha).

Health – You would think that someone who was diagnosed as pre-diabetic would work harder at making better food choices for herself.  I know what good choices are – I’ve gained and lost a lot of weight over my lifetime.  For me, limited processed carbs works best.  I do better with proteins, veggies, and fruits.  I need to lose the weight – over 100 pounds, as a matter of fact.  I need to cook more at home, less eating out, less convenience foods – more movements, less sitting around.  I need to have more respect for myself and I need to get healthy.  End of story.

Genealogy – Still plugging along.  Still a lot of dead ends and roadblocks, but it is a passion of mine that I’ll carry for the rest of my life.  It is wondrous how connected I can feel to ancestors that lived generations before me.

Missing No More

So, I’ve been on “hiatus” – not completely intentional, but I didn’t completely fall off the face of the earth.  I did however fall while rollerskating.  In February.  Here’s the story – I took my 4-year-old niece to a skating party thinking that a) she wouldn’t in a million years want to roller skate and b) on the off-chance she did want to skate, the party was with all of her friends from daycare so she would skate with one of the teenagers that she loves.  That’s what I get for thinking.  Yes, she wanted to skate.  No, she didn’t want to skate with anyone but “Auntie”.  So, Auntie decided she’d take off her shoes and just walk around the rink holding onto J so she wouldn’t fall.  Auntie was quickly shot down by the powers that be at Skateland – evidently you can’t be on that floor without skates.  It’s not safe.  Evidently.  So, Auntie put on skates for the first time in about 10-15 years (after signing a waiver that she wouldn’t hold them responsible if she got hurt).  Auntie and J did a few laps, had a few laughs, and then attempted one of the games.  That wasn’t a good idea.  Auntie fell. Hard.  Hurt her left hand.  Auntie’s left handed.  It’s Bad.  But, I braved it through ’til the end of the party – then J and I buckled up in the car with the help of one of the kind teenagers and went to the Emergency Room.  Nurse Practitioner working took a bunch of x-rays, gave me a bag of ice and said it was just a bruise – a bad bruise, swollen, but it should be fine in a few weeks. If not better, go see your regular doc. I was wrapped in an ace bandage, told to take aleve, then sent on my merry way.   A few weeks come and go.  Still swollen, still achy, and my hand still looks like a bunch of pork sausage links connected by a band aid.  So I see my Doc.  “Try a Spica Splint” he says.  If it’s not better, come see me in a few weeks.  So, I got the Spica Splint.  A few weeks come and go, and still not better. I still can’t bend my wrist – I still can barely use my left hand. I can’t do much in the way of cooking – I can’t do much of much.  So I go to the Doc.  Doc takes another set of x-rays, but doesn’t see anything significant, so I’m sent to an Ortho Specialist.  A few weeks go by – first appointment, Dr. C has me remove the splint and tests my movements – which are none.  I’m sent right away to Hand therapy.  Weeks of this, combined with appts every 4 weeks.  Therapy at least twice a week, home exercises everyday, specialist appts every 4 weeks….for about 3 months.  It gets better, but still not healed.  I have an arthrogram.  Followed by an MRI.  Now, the MRI?  Piece of cake.  I had to lay on my belly surrounded by pillows while they did a bunch of scans of my hand.  I fell asleep.  It was heaven.  The arthrogram?  Not so much.  Even if you were one of my worst enemies, I don’t think I’d want you to go through one.  Or maybe I would.  Repeatedly.  While I watched.  (ha ha).  Anyway, verdict came in that I did have 2 tears in the cartilage and what appeared to be scar tissue under the thumb/wrist area.  Shouldn’t be significant, but I was still having issues.  That was the first time Dr. C brought up the subject of surgery.  I told him “not now” …so we tried a topical cream of sorts that has the anti-inflammatory in it.  Didn’t do much.  So we tried cortisone injections in August. It maybe helped a little bit, but not so much that I could see.  So, more appointments.  More talk about surgery.  More praying, more waiting, talking to my family, researching – I finally decided to have the surgery.  So it’s scheduled for the 18th of December.  We’ll be doing a wrist arthroscopic surgery – 3 incisions.  One on the left under my pinky to try and either fix or remove the torn cartilage, one in the middle of my wrist to try to get the cartilage, and one under my thumb.  It’s minimally invasive, but will still take approximately 6-8 weeks to heal.  Then I get to start all over again with the hand therapy and the home therapy and the doctor visits. I’m only hoping it works because I’m in pain everyday that radiates from my wrist to the tips of my fingers and also down the arm to my elbow.  It’s not fun, and it’s no good to take so many aleve on a daily basis.  A good day is 2-4 pills; a moderate day is 4-6, and a not-so-good day is 6-8.  Everyday.  That can’t be good on the kidneys. Anyway – I’ve never had surgery before so I’m nervous.  And it’s going to hurt.  A lot.

Anyway, as a result of the fall I wasn’t able to do a lot.  I couldn’t even open an easy pull bag of salad.  I still can’t do a lot of cutting – softer foods, yet; but pomegranates (which I love), pineapples, squash, etc., etc…forget about it.  Doesn’t work.  So I wasn’t able to cook for awhile, so I reverted to a lot of convenience food and takeout.  And not the “good for me” kind.

So, part of the regiment for the surgery was a physical.  Which is fine – I was due for one.  Just putting it off because I didn’t want to face the dreaded scale.  The nurses tell me all the time “We really don’t care what you weigh.” Well, that’s not the issue.  I do – and there is a lot of shame when I’m not taking care of myself.  It effects the whole psyche….add to the fact that I’m on anti-depression and anxiety meds, mixed in with some blood pressure meds for good measure and you can imagine what kind of hot mess I am when I have to face that dreaded scale.  It’s a lot of things – mostly shame, though I think.  So, had my appointment last week.  Still waiting on the results.  Got my meds renewed for another year.  Got my labs ordered for two weeks from now (has to be done less than 30 days from surgery) – Dr. P talked to me about taking some appetite suppresents short term to maybe help get me back on track.  I said I’d think about it – I don’t eat because I’m hungry, I eat to fill some sort of void.  Also, need to get at least 30 minutes of exercise a day – or a minimum of 150 minutes  a week, and I need to start immediately.  So life went on – until Monday when I checked my messages and found a call from my doctor after my appointment stating they found blood in my stool.  So I have to do stool cards at home for three days.  And may I say there is really nothing more shitty than having to dig through your own fecal matter to spread it on lab cards? (Pun completely intended).  It’s absolutely disgusting.   I also did decide to start on the tenuate at least for a few months to see if it gives me the boost.  So far, I’ve made good choices – I’ve eaten lots of veggies and fruits, drank my water and even braved the scale.  That was the most surprising part.  I expected it to be worse than it was.  Yes, I gained some back.  But it was only 10 pounds – I can be happy about that  and I can move forward from there.

I guess the last bit of news would be in my genealogy stuff.  The adoption agency that we think handled my grandma’s adoption has opened a file for me – if they do have records on grandma, I’ll be able to get something – at this point I don’t know what that something will be.  They say they won’t give any identifying information – but this adoption happened in 1919 – everyone that was involved has passed away. So, I’ve petitioned for all information.  My father has even signed off on a letter releasing those records to me.  So fingers crossed and say lots of prayers.  This is something I would really like to discover!

Also – I took the new DNA test that ancestry.com is doing for $99.  For the most part I wasn’t surprised with the results.  I’m 61% Scandinavian (well, duh! I’m mostly Norwegian, but I do have some Danish and I also count my German in this category since they were from the Schleswig-Holstein area and intermingled with the Danes quite a bit); but here’s where the confusing part sets in.  24% Eastern European – Russia wouldn’t surprise me, because my g-g-grandma Clara said she was part Russian although I haven’t been able to find anything that validates that.  Then again, Clara was raised by her Aunt Frances – her parents either died or just disappeared after she was born.  So I really know next to nothing about her dad except he came from Manchester, England.  I also wouldn’t mind having some Greek in me – maybe that’s why I’ve always been so fascinated by Greek Mythology and dream of seeing the ruins one day. Here’s the surprising part — 15% Southern European  (Italy, Spain, Portugal) – have no clue.  None whatsoever.  What’s also interesting is no British Isles?  No Ireland?  My Hughes are all based from Ireland; my Schofields, Farleys, Coes, Pyles, Gallups, Andrews, and Collins all come from England – so I have no clue.  I might question the results a bit, but I’ve already discovered some new-to-me family connections with common ancestors, so there is a level of legitimacy.  I guess that leaves me with more to discover.

Once More with Feeling :-)

YAY for successful weigh-ins!!! I’m down -5 pounds today – bringing my total loss to -14 pounds to date.  Woo-hoo for me!!! (the sound you hear is me patting myself on the back).  The challenge now is to start exercising…..

So, for the readers out there that are on Goodreads ~ Any idea why they’re removing all of the Amazon content from their site?  I think I remember reading on their site somewhere that the cost to keep Amazon’s information has gotten so prohibitive – yet………….none of the other “reader sites” seem to have that problem.  I’ve been trying to rescue my books, but then again, for the most part I only read on my Kindle; amazon is the only seller of kindle books………so finding their info on other sites has been a bit difficult.  I’ve looked on publisher sites, author sites, etc.  So at this point, I just don’t know.  I’ve spent a lot of time (yes, years!) building my library, inputting books onto the goodreads system, and now that work just seems to be going away with a click of a button.  That being said, I’m not that fond of librarything (although they have improved their site over the years) and I quit using bibliophile years ago (I think they’re gone now; I tried to find a link and I keep getting connected to Gospel Media Network??).  I did stumble on another reading site, The Reading Room; but all in all, Goodreads still seems to be the best.  Deep sigh, I guess.  I just hope when they pull the kindle books from their collection that the new edition that they link my book to is still an ebook ~ that’s the only way I’ll be able to know which of my books are paperback or not.

Food plan for today:
B: Yoplait Key Lime Pie (6 oz) w/ 1/4 c. grape-nuts (6 pts)
S: Apple w/ 1 babybel (1 pt)
L: Sun-Dried Chicken Roll-Ups w/ 1 c. mixed veggies (9 pts)
S: Grapefruit
D: ??? Either roll-ups again or I’ll cook something
S: ???
E: ???

The First 6 Pounds

First weigh-in was today and I’m happy to report I’m down 6.2 pounds!!  Now, that may seem like a lot, but not when you are considered “morbidly obese” (aren’t those ugly words??) ….. plus, I think it was water weigh versus true weight loss. Either way, though, I’ll take it! What a wonderful way to start off a Monday morning!

In other news, I’m morning a long time friend this week.  Not sure how many of you watch soaps, but I’ve been a faithful One Life to Live fan since I was 15 years old.  I’m 42 now, so do the math.  That’s more than 1/2 of my lifetime.  Funny story on how I got started – my best friend’s step-father, this big, burly tow-truck-driving-mechanic-biker-dude had to be home everyday at noon to watch his soap.  When Carol and I would go to her house, we’d sometimes find ourselves watching with him……..and that’s all it took.  I was hooked.  So this week is the final week of a show that has been a fairly consistent part of my life.  Despite all the changes I had going in my world, that has been one thing that hasn’t changed. I have a feeling I’ll be a puddle while watching the final show on Friday….and P.S. ABC I will not be watching the drivel you’re replacing my show with. If I weren’t such a fan of Castle and Grey’s Anatomy, I wouldn’t watch ABC at all.

Food plan for today:
B: Good Value Light Key Lime Pie Yogurt w/ 1/4 c. grape-nuts (4 pts)
S: Grapefruit
L: Butternut Squash Ravioli Lean Cuisine (7 pts)
S: Apple w/ 2 LF Baby Bel (3 pts)
D: ??? I’m thinking Chicken Piccata…..or Chicken Roll-ups w/ Ham, Spinach, Sun-Dried Tomatoes and LF Provolone Cheese……….
S: ???

Victory is Mine!!

The dreaded freezer has now been moved to its’ rightful place in my office.  Woo-hoo!!  And it only took me 3 days 🙂

I had this for dinner tonight (with a few modifications – I used agave nectar in place of the honey and used the smuckers low sugar marmalade.  It was amazing!!!

Thirteen Days…

is all we have left until Christmas?  How did that happen???  I didn’t even realize it until Jill Shalvis mentioned it on facebook yesterday, (thanks Jill!).  So, I did some last minute shopping (thanks Amazon.com!). I’m still not ready, though.  Who would think that the hardest one to buy for would be the 4-year-old?  Yup, she’s spoiled!