DRAFT TODAY, POST TOMORROW: Some posts may be in draft status until I (aka procrastinator extraordinaire) get around to posting them.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

A New Earth

What an agonizing book. I can't believe I tried to listen to it again. It has some interesting points but it's really, really hard to listen to. The author should NOT have read it; someone else should have read it. I found tiny tidbits of insight but it was overshadowed by the rambling and the obtuse ideas. I find enough blame with myself without having some guy tell me that when I don't like someone, it's because I am like whatever I don't like about them. That doesn't make any damn sense. I don't like when somone is passive aggressive or manipulative so that makes ME passive aggressive or manipulative? I can't believe people find this book life changing. Unless by life changing, they mean life ending, like O.M.G. I want to end my life rather than listen to any more of this drivel.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

"extended family"

Oh, you didn't think that crazy conversation ended when I signed off Facebook the other night, did you?


I didnt put anything in his head, he asks questions and I told him that I IIIIIIIIII had to have done something to push everyone away. I know that you are sick and I am sorry. If I could see you I would but we don't have money to travel to (town) 72 miles away much less 3 states away. I never said it was your fault and I never asked of anything of you. I'm sorry I wanted you to see your nephews, forgive me for being selfish in wanting them to see you since you may die (I'm not stupid my mother in law has the same disease so I know what will happen) before I EVER get to see you
As always everything is my fault. I chose to have kids and should of known that no one would care, b/c they are not yours to have to care for. I didn't realize I was extended family I thought I was your sister but once again I am mistaken. I don't need the visit, i don't want you to come out of pity so don't come at all. We haven't seen each other this long what is waiting until I have the money and means to make to AZ. I don't want you to feel like you have to be in their lives I just thought it would be nice if they knew of the family they had. Once again I'm sorry I asked to see you and bothered you with my petty little life.
I don't understand why you are mad at me for trying to come to visit and asking if you could meet me. How is that at all related to any of this "it's someone's fault" mess you're talking about? I don't understand the "YOUR FAMILY" and "extended family" comments--you are my family and, by definition, your kids are my extended family. I have no pity for you; I never begrudge anyone the choices they make, especially to have children. Just cause they aren't mine doesn't mean I don't care; in fact, it would be nice to get updates every once in a while. I would like to see the boys, but if I don't see them, that doesn't mean I don't care. It seems that you feel that it is my responsibility to see all of my siblings (including the five you don't know) or I'm being selfish. "I told him that I IIIIIIIIII had to have done something to push everyone away" What? Why? Why would you say that? Why would you say that to a kid? Stop trying to find fault with everything I say or do when you know that I am making an effort. And who says petty little life? I'm not the one judging you--you're doing it to yourself. Have some respect for yourself and your life or make changes to be happy. I just want you to be happy and I'm really sorry that my trip planning upset you.

I am mad that would think I would intentionally break my vehicle to sabotage this visit. Also that you would think I talk badly about you or Mike to the boys cause that is not the case.
You have an amazing ability to misunderstand or misread. I did not say anything about you sabotaging anything or intentionally breaking your vehicle--such a thing never occurred to me. You may not be talking badly directly about us but if you say that you pushed everyone away, you are probably giving us a bad association in the kids' minds. (kind of an us vs. them thing.) Just be careful, okay, and stop being mad already.

OMG, I may die! I'm trying to be calm and rational. How am I doing? I don't know that it will work out seeing her and her family during our trip and I will be very disappointed. Bummer.

Facebook makes you hate people you already know. Twitter makes you love people you've never met. --Tweeted by Bill Murray

Tuesday, May 22, 2012


We're trying to schedule this awesome trip to see family this summer; if everything works out, I will get to see nine of my nieces and nephews, several of which I have not met.

So I have asked my relative who lives in a city about five hours drive from where we are actually going, which is about a sixteen hour drive from my house, about visiting during this trip and she seemed open. So I thought I'd firm up some plans, and it was all down hill from there. I asked her: (italics are changed to protect privacy)

If we can only make it out for a few days between dates, when would be best for you?
we no longer have a vehicle, we made 1 payment on our car and the head gaskets are blown. I honestly don't know if we will have a vehicle by then to even get to place.
not promising, but what if we can make it over there?
anytime is fine, i'm not taking classes this summer only tutoring biology
We'll see what we can do.
ok love you, sorry i always get dealt the crap hand, only wish i had known it was a lemon, I sold my truck 2 days before the gaskets blew
are you flying or driving?
flying, not sure if we're renting a car or relying on family yet
well I hope we can see each other, I really want you to meet my sons since you are the only sibling that still communicates with me
I don't know why my decision to have kids was so horrible that every stopped talking to me but i'm used to being the lone wolf, but you have always talked with me even if you didn't agree with the decisions I made in life.
they no of youngest sibling and mom but that's it, so I would really like them to know that they are not hated
well, I can't speak for other brother, but another sister is just terrible at keeping in touch with anyone, don't take it so personally. (I know, easier said than done, but really, I mean it.) It's like me taking it personally that I haven't heard from youngest sibling in 15 years. I guess I could but I think that's all on youngest sibling, not me.
And you can't give the boys some impression that they are hated by people they don't know and don't know them.
I don't give them that impression, son (my oldest) see pictures of our family and ask why no one comes to see them and who everyone is and how come they can't talk on the phone and what I did to make everyone not visit.
Ok, why would he ask what you did to make everyone not visit. people live across the country and have their own lives. It has nothing to do with you or with him.
I haven't heard from another brother since son was 1, he is now 6 going on 7. I had a number for him and left several messages and NEVER received a call back. I understand that we have separate lives and I'm the only one with kids. He just doesn't understand why he is this age and still not met his aunts and uncles on my side. He only has 1 aunt of the baby daddy's side and has met everyone in his family that he knows of (his family is divided like ours many of his relatives refused baby daddy b/c they hated his mother or father depending which side they are from)
My teenage nieces that I'm hopefully going to see in month, I haven't seen the oldest in about 15 years, never seen the youngest. Just saying, that's the way it works with extended family. If he wants to place blame (unusual for a kid his age, but he is related to our mom, so sure, let's go with that) then he can blame you for not moving to where I live. Cause that makes as much sense as saying that not visiting means someone hates a kid.
I didn't see any of my aunts and uncles until I was a teenager either. That doesn't mean they don't love me, it means they didn't go to where I grew up cause they didn't live there or have any other reason to be there.
you would think you would of be reason enough what more reason do you need
So you don't have a car to get to place, and I shouldn't take that personally (and I don't, but maybe I should), but people are supposed to travel across the country regardless of their life circumstances... got it. I'll pass that on.
I think I'm getting crabby so I'm signing off and going to bed. Love you.

it's not like i'm intentionally not trying to see, I am poor okay fucking poor, we don't have money or even a house. We made a total of 19,000 last year for 4 people to survive on. I'm doing the best that I can with what little I have.
I understand that, but you are judging people without understanding their circumstances. Even if someone is NOT dirt poor, they have to make choices with their time and resources. I have spent most of my time off at medical appointments the last few years so you can give me a fucking break for not being able to visit all of my relatives all over the country. I might actually get to take a vacation this year and I'm going to see family and now I getting grief over not doing it more or sooner. Anyway, it doesn't matter why I haven't, there's no reason that your kids should think it's about them and if they do, they didn't come up with that idea by themselves, so I understand the attitude, but I'm not going to accept it as my fault. I've been getting the blame all my life, so no thanks.
k have fun seeing YOUR FAMILY goodnight
I'm trying to arrange to see everyone so I don't know how to make you feel like I'm only coming to see you, but it sounds like you'd rather not have us visit so you have more to poison your kids against innocent family members. Let me know if you change your mind. Goodnight.

I closed Facebook then so I wouldn't have to see any more of this mini-my mom's drivel. "Oh, woe is me, it's all my fault, everyone hates me, everyone hates my kids, everyone else is crapping on my life." W. T. F. Seriously, I can't make this shit up. This is my favorite part: you would think you would of be reason enough what more reason do you need. Yeah, people living your own lives 3 states away, how were you not traveling across the country to see me while I lived with a crazy person? I'm going to laugh a little every time I think about it.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Shots or side effects, pick your poison. Really, pick your poison.

A post on Facebook asked What are everyone's thoughts on the concept (let's keep this conceptual) of a Once-a-year MS drug? Well, I am on this not-so-conceptual drug, and it was interesting to see how long it took before side effects were considered. Most MSers know that a side effect of some of the newer, potentially more effective treatments is PML, a brain infection that can cause death. The older treatments are the shots we give ourselves. I have scars on my thighs from mine, and they make most people sick, experiencing flu-like symptoms. So even with the most mainstream established treatments, MS patients are expected to make themselves sick for their health. Here's my responses to the post:

I know you want to keep this "conceptual" but I am in the Alemtuzamab trial (new use for chemo drug Compath) and it is an annual infusion. First year 5 days, second year 3 days. Extension trial for 3 years with infusions for exacerbations only. PML ITP is still a side effect, so yeah, trade your shots for death or permanent brain injury. Also, at least one in 4 are getting thyroid disease, "but it's treatable." My endocrinologist (I had to get because I'm the 1 in 4) has never seen such wacky test results. In the past year, I've been hypothyroid, tested positive for Hashimotos, became hyperthyroid, tested positive for Graves, have to see a special eye doctor for that because you can see the whites of my eye above my eyeball (go look at your eyes, I'll wait) and I might need surgery to correct it if the inflammation doesn't go away on it's own after a couple years. I have also developed a ridiculous number of food allergies during the time I've had MS. I was previously on Avonex, then Betaseron. 

on the upside, although I am pretty open about having it, most people are surprised to find out, because I don't look sick. ;) Most commonly I have vision issues (random blurriness mostly), numbness (especially in the fingers and toes, but randomly elsewhere and every couple years from the ribs down) and of course, a lot of fatigue and some holes in the brain issues. I exercise, generally not strenuously, and have been improving my diet over many years--more than I wanted in the past year with the allergies. :) I don't know if the treatments I've gone through changed anything or not. My dad (who I never knew) had MS with serious mobility issues, so I don't know that I would have done anything differently than I did. None of of should regret what we've done--make the best decisions based on the information available at the time, and don't look back!

It was time for my monthly monitoring survey and thought you might like to see what it looks like. I hope you're not eating when you see the photos.

Welcome to your Care-MSSM Monthly Monitoring Survey. You will be asked some questions about bruising, small spots called petechiae, and bleeding. These can be signs of a low number of platelets in your blood and a bleeding problem called ITP (Immune Thrombocytopenic Purpura). At any time, if you have these symptoms, please call your study doctor right away. If you cannot reach your study doctor or staff, contact another doctor right away or go to the Emergency Room.

Each question has a simple "Yes" or "No" answer. Please select the appropriate response for the question. After you have answered all of your questions, click the "Next" button to submit your answers. At the end of the Survey, you will be given the opportunity to review your responses. 

  Q1. The first questions are about bruising. Do you have any of these signs:
        Q1.1. Bruising more easily than you normally do?
         Yes      No
        Q1.2. Bruises that you can't explain?
         Yes      No
        Q1.3. Blood filled blisters or bruises in your mouth?
         Yes      No
Q2. The next question is about petechiae. These are very small, red to purple spots. They can be scattered all over your body or be only in one area. Below are pictures of petechiae (tiny spots) and bruises (ecchymoses) on the ankle and foot.


        Q2.1. Do you have any petechiae on your skin or in your mouth?
         Yes      No
Reminder: If at any time you have had an unusually bad headache, especially if you also have nausea, vomiting, weakness, confusion or seizures, go to the Emergency Room right away. These symptoms could be from bleeding into the brain.

  Q3. The following questions are about bleeding. Do you have:
        Q3.1. Blood in your stool (bowel movements)?
         Yes      No
        Q3.2. Stool that is black and sticky like tar?
         Yes      No
        Q3.3. Bloody vomit or vomit that looks like coffee grounds?
         Yes      No
        Q3.4. Bleeding of your gums that is new or hard to stop?
         Yes      No
        Q3.5. Nose bleeds that are new or hard to stop?
         Yes      No
        Q3.6. Blood in your urine?
         Yes      No
        Q3.7. Bleeding that is more difficult to stop than usual?
         Yes      No
        Q3.8. In the past month, was your period (menstrual bleeding) heavier or longer than usual?
         Yes      No

Monthly survey done--all no answers. Life is good, don'tcha think?

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Eclipse and salsa

I went to IKEA for the first time today with a couple of my girlfriends, A and J. A and I went to Smart & Final to get paper bags and I was only able to get a ginormous package of bags--they should last for a very, very long time. We met K for lunch at Arriba where I got a skinny margarita and chicken fajitas with rice, substituting corn tortillas for flour, no cheese or sour cream. When it came, there was no guacamole, so they brought it separate. When I was almost done eating, I saw cheese in my pico de gallo. WTH.That's pretty disappointing, but what am I going to do at that point. I left a note on my receipt.

A went with me to Target where I got a new food processor, waffle iron, colander, and a few other kitchen things. I also found a dress similar to the one K got there.

Later, when it got cooler, I went out to the sunflowers with a stack of bags and a stapler. I only bagged the ones that looked like they were starting to be attacked or worse. I thought the others could use more time in the sun to develop. I tried to get some photos of the eclipse but they just look like photos of the setting sun.

I was going to use my new food processor but it was missing a couple things when I opened the box, so it's going back. I added more spices and green onions from my garden after I took this photo.
Salsa: tomatoes and cilantro from my garden, my friend's recipe

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Avenged and heard

We decided to go to the movies to use a gift card we've had for a while. Mick asked if I wanted to see Avengers in IMAX 3D and I was all in. It sounds like a few friends were invited but couldn't go, and I was relieved and nervous that we might actually have a date night all alone. It hasn't happened in quite a while.
The movie was very good. I think it would be good without the 3D as well.  Since there was only one IMAX showing, we went to dinner after. We decided to go to Yardhouse; I know I can eat there but I didn't have my "list" with me. I asked the waiter about the dish I sort of recall ordering last time and he decided to get the manager for me. Yes! I approve! In the meantime, he brought me a skinny margarita since it's just tequila and lime juice. Oh, yeah, I approve that too, although it could have used some salt. I got the shrimp rice bowl without the sauce, and the Thai basil sauce on the side. It was very good. I took about half home.

I took the opportunity to talk to Mick about the issues I've been having, making sure to say this is how I feel rather than making it more black and white accusations or whatever. I let him know that I used to feel like he was on my side and I would really like to feel that way again. He loves this house and I let him know that I want to feel that way but don't even feel safe here. I need stability and am only feeling uncertainty and lack of control. He said he is on my side.

I also asked him if he could stand up for me when someone says something dick-ish to me. He thought that he was being more supportive by letting it go rather than bringing more attention to me in that situation. The best part is that he wasn't even thinking about the time I was, so now I'm wondering how many dick-ish things have been said that I didn't hear, or maybe I just ignored something because I've heard so much attitude. I was impressed that he had noticed and had made a conscious decision to address it the way he thought was appropriate. I let him know that I can see what he's saying but I also find it a little humiliating that my health isn't taken more seriously.

He doesn't really understand all I expressed but he will be on my side and that's all I ask. He is trying to wrap his head around what he needs to do and how it can be easier on other people involved, too.

At least I don't turn into an enormous green rage monster.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Authentic sharing

I'm having a rough week month year life something--whatever, it's shitty. I start crying every time someone tries to talk to me about it; everyone knows I'm stressed. I almost fell apart because I couldn't figure out how to get those little homeopathic pellets to come out of the container. (I finally found tiny instructions on the container!) I was excited when my friend M made lunch plans with me but warned her it would be late.

A small group has started having a meeting that I was invited to participate in by phone; I was excited to hear the discussion of the agenda question which was about things we learned by a recent employee departure. Most of the discussion is not relevant here, but after so much open back and forth, someone decided to have everyone do a check-in: how are you feeling? It wasn't so much how are you feeling because of the discussion but just how are you feeling. And when it was my turn, I thought about sugar coating it--no one could see me, they wouldn't know, would they?

And then I said I was stressed. That I have no control. Part of the discussion was about things I have no control over but others outside of this group perceive me as "in charge of" while I am not the decision maker. When someone commented on work being the most stressful thing in most peoples' lives, I started to fall apart. I said it's not, not right now, as much as it's stressful, it's not the worst. I have no control outside of work either. I didn't get into details but did the high level. I tried to cover up my crying. I let them know that a solution is in the works so they wouldn't worry. Someone suggested bringing a dog to the office; unfortunately, that is forbidden but, wow, it's amazing how well people get me from so far away. The guy that was next to check in said I am hard to follow. (I've heard that before, LOL!)

M had already gone to lunch so I needed to go get something alone. I am feeling terrible (I had major D this morning, and am having some pain issues to go with it) so I decided to splurge and go to True Food for some (SAFE!) turkey bolognese, no cheese, and a green ice tea. I also had some soup of the day after he checked that it was okay; it was a tomato based chicken rice soup, pretty good. I ate it all. I didn't feel like I stuffed myself until the very last couple of bites, and even then, not uncomfortably. I'm pretty sure there is something to this leaky gut theory.

While I was dining alone, I chatted online and by text with my sister M and my SIL and my husband (all separately) about potential plans for tonight, among other things. My SIL is definitely having some of the same pain I'm going through.

When I checked my work email, I had one from the meeting facilitator, who wanted to thank me for my authentic sharing. I'm such an open book most of the time; I'm not even sure I know how to NOT share authentically. At best, I try to listen and not think about what I'm going to say, so that maybe I won't say anything. I'm embarrassed by myself, especially when I'm authentic, but no one else seems to find it embarrassing or be embarrassed for me. But I don't want to BE a complainer; I think that's at least partially what makes me embarrassed.

I want to be the happy face. The eternal optimist. Positive. Upbeat. In control.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Whine, er, wine.

I was invited to lunch with the girls today. The birthday girl picked Oregano's, a place I used to love. I checked the menu and thought I might be able to have the guacamole (so I took a bag with my own chips) and a salad. When I discussed it with the waitress, I found that the guacamole is just a small part of the appetizer; it's basically a flatbread with that as the topping. Hmmm.

The Mexico salad was modifiable, so I did that with no cheese, no tortilla strips, and no dressing. They brought me oil and vinegar and a plate of lemons. The salad was actually pretty nice, with fresh herbs tossed with the lettuce and tomatoes; the chicken was cut up very small and cooked with salsa type ingredients. The lemon and a little oil and vinegar (I could have skipped that in retrospect) was fine for dressing. As I was finishing, I saw a little piece of tortilla chip, so I wonder if it was just that piece that flew into my salad or if they put them on and then picked them off. Hmmm.

I got a call late yesterday that Dr. M, the "chiropracter" at the Naturopathic College, could get me in so I took the appointment. I had a new student, V, and she asked me some questions and had me in tears in no time. I think she was kind of uncomfortable, like you don't have to talk about it if you don't want. And that was just asking about my MS treatments and the drug trial! I told her that I felt amazing when I left last time but felt terrible within a couple hours and it lasted at least a couple days as I remember. I also explained that it's hard to see improvements in thyroid symptoms when they are the same as MS symptoms.

Dr. M came in and took me to the next room where he had me lay face up while he started feeling different points. He almost immediately asked me what I was stressed out about. Oh, so much. And then I was crying. And he was understanding. And I was crying. And he was questioning. And I was crying. And he was listening. And I was crying.

I flipped over onto my stomach and he worked on my back quite a bit, reminding me to breathe--harder than it sounds when you're crying. He helped me articulate my feelings. He said that I'm not wrong, and the other people involved aren't wrong either. They may be acting out of fear because of my health. I'd like to believe that but I really don't.

More plausible, they have a misunderstanding of what is helpful. He told me that they probably think they are doing the right thing, and become frustrated when they find out it's not since they don't know what the right thing is--for me. It is a beautiful gesture that says you don't know me or my needs at all. V said that her husband brought roses to her, and every time they died, he'd bring more. She finally had to communicate to him that she hates roses, she preferred sunflowers. Although he was doing the "right" thing, it wasn't the right thing for her.

I realize I am no longer feel like an equal partner in my house and something needs to change. Even if he doesn't agree with me, he needs to side with me.

My husband has really gone on the defensive, and I find myself shutting down. Dr. M says I'm not sleeping well; he can tell by how my body is reacting. Having no safe place is not good for my health. He reminded me that a husband can be right or be happy. I was really surprised when I left and he gave me a hug. I can't remember if a doctor has ever given me a hug. He seems like such a genuinely nice guy.

V asked the doctor about recommending a homeopathic treatment and she suggested Ignatia. She explained that I try to hold my emotions in, even when crying, that the chin quivers, and I hold back as much as I can, so this will help with my emotional state. I don't know if I'm buying into it, but it can't hurt to try (homeopathic treatments do not have side effects or reactions with other substances.) She said I could get it there or one of the healthier grocery stores. I was planning to go to Sunflower Market so she recommended getting it there and wrote the name down for me. Because the doctor has a very full schedule, V and the gal that does checkout decided to find a six week period that I could get in each week and schedule those six appointments. In addition, I will have at least one or two appointments before those start in late June.

Since I had this appointment late in the afternoon, I asked my friend J, who lives nearby, if she might want to get together. We met at a wine bar, Studio Vino, and had some drinks. The waitress brought out the bags of nuts that J had been noshing on so that I could see the ingredients and decide what to eat. The plain almonds and the spicy cashews were okay but the sesame covered nuts also had diary.

J and I had a lot to talk about, and she warned the waitress there would be drinking and cursing. Of course, we did talk about my appointment and situation.

The owner knows J and introduced herself to me. She told us about some wine tours to Arizona wineries; they are planning starting monthly in June. J's boyfriend may not agree, but that sounds like a girls' trip to me!

When I left the wine bar, I went to Sunflower to find this Ignatia. A guy that worked there helped me and I bought 2 so that I could have one at home and one at work instead of carrying it around all the time. I forget sometimes that Sunflower has some really different products from the other stores. I found a LOT of "chapstick" choices, and several had no soy or other questionable ingredients. I don't love paying $2.50 each, but my lips were killing me, so I got a bunch of replacements, for my purse, my bathrooms, my office at home and at work. I also got some groceries, a few things on sale or different from what I find elsewhere. They had my "ice cream" for $3.99, $2 off the normal price! Although they don't have all the flavors Whole Foods carries, if I hadn't just bought a stash, I would have bought all they had.

I went home and had the artichoke Mick had cut today for me. I made a dip of the cilantro pumpkin seed dip I bought at Whole Foods, mixed with a smaller amount of "mayo" and some srirachi. Pretty tasty. I was feeling pretty terrible by the time I got home, most likely from the treatment, but possibly from lunch, so I also had some "ice cream."

As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend. Proverbs 27:17 NLT

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Agility class

I missed class last week, but it got cancelled for weather anyway. Tonight was course night and I was able to run each dog three times.

The course started with a jump to another jump, wrapping back to the first jump before heading into a tunnel. Both of my girls seemed to think they did something wrong that they were heading back to the same jump, so they were slow to start and I had to re-motivate them as we headed into/out of the tunnel. From there, I moved left but kept my arm up, telling her "out hup" for the next jump, then "here" as I took a left turn. The tunnel was a straight shot and I rear crossed and moved to the right. As she came out, I called her name and got varying amounts of success or spinning. I called her over the jump, turning to send over the next jump and then a subtle fake cross to send her out to the weave entry. They both got it except for Teka missed it the third time through.

From there, she was on my right and I sent her through the tire, over a jump to a broad jump. I was able to rear cross for Cassi, and Teka did it the first time, but then I had to run past the broad jump for her and then U-turn back to the next jump. To make sure she didn't go back into the long tunnel, I shifted my shoulders to the right for the triple jump, then called "switch" for the next jump. I used "wrap" to get her to U-turn to the tunnel--I was really surprised that they both did it without me going all the way out with them. It was great distance, especially for Teka.

Coming out of the tunnel, I was on the left, and the next jump was a right turn, so we were instructed to do a front cross, but I kept finding myself too far behind, getting to the tunnel exit around the same time as the dogs, so I rear crossed. The last time through with Cassi, I tried to do it anyway and ended up looking like we were doing a weird dance; everyone was amused. Then I tried it with Teka, and I actually beat her to the end (it was her slowest time through the course) so I did the front cross. On my sixth try. There were just the two jumps after that, kind of a U-turn shape.

I have to decide between going to class next week, which is our last class--I'm super surprised, thought we had another after that--or going to a meetup that I was invited to for discussing my crazy diet. I feel like I should do that for my health but running agility is for my health too. Conflicted...

‎"You have to decide what your highest priorities are and have the courage -- pleasantly, smilingly, nonapologetically -- to say 'no' to other things. And the way to do that is by having a bigger 'yes' burning inside. The enemy of the 'best' is often the 'good."--Stephen Covey

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Don't be jealous--I have it all.

I have a new PA at the endocrinologist. The thing I love about a new PA is that they tell you about things in your chart that you may or may not know. Currently, I'm hyperthyroid and I have Graves disease. Previously I was hypothyroid and tested positive for Hashimotos. I'm not sure if I knew all of that. I have too much!

She did not change my medicine, said my numbers were "about" where they want them. I'm scheduled to come back in three months when I will be due for my thyroid ultrasound also.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Turmoil. And an alternate explanation.

I don't talk about work much, but I'm going through some craziness. First, I was yelled at by someone who just got back in the office after a long vacation because something didn't go out earlier (because that person needed to send it). Then I had to send out the notification that someone was resigning, and all hell broke loose, as they say. People seemed more relieved than anything, but I heard some anger, essentially that it hadn't happened differently earlier. And I was kind of ticked that this person has some serious balls, putting in notice and then "reminding" us that this person has several days of vacation scheduled, and then taking off the rest of the day to take care of a sick kid. Big. Balls. Huge. Giant. Fucking. Balls.

I got a call back from the research center finally, and the contact asked me to come in today for my blood draw, so I went in. It looks like I'm getting a big bruise. It could just be a lump; we'll see. I noticed that it's "month 11" for the extension trial; the page started at month 0 when I was 183 pounds and I was 144 today. And I forgot to ask about when I get my damn MRI.

In a meeting, I was questioned a little because I was looking at the other person kind of weird. Well, shit. This is the second person to say this in about a week. I think I'm going to have to tell the office about my Graves disease. I told this person and got, well, we'll go with sympathy or empathy and skip the pity. But I think this person was a little shocked that I have something else wrong with me. Well, yeah, me too! FML. Oh, wait, my husband thinks I have a perfect, great life and should never say FML. But I have a bad attitude. I'm working on it though.

I told that same someone about my drama (where I "overreact" to other people's actions) the other day. She suggested that although it sounds like someone is being mean, perhaps that someone is going senile. Wow. Wow. I know I'm stuttering, but wow. Is it better or worse to think someone is senile in order to understand their behavior?! Is it terrible that I'm entertaining this theory? I just can't figure out how to make sense of some of this crazy. Nope, not crazy. Senile. Wow.

Mick had to go to a club meeting, so I was on my own for dinner. I made my artichoke with some fake mayo and sriracha (sriracha, it makes everything better!) and then I used my Paleo fried chicken breading recipe on some turkey cutlets coated in coconut milk creamer. They turned out great and would have been excellent with mashed potatoes but I was out of energy.

Today's Celiac or Gluten-free post talks about the decision to have, or not have, a gluten-free kitchen, with a great link on setting up a shared kitchen and some important information on getting rid of gluten in the kitchen. I don't think these posts are helping me have less paranoia.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

The abbreviated version

I slept in. Really, really slept in. Then I got up and did stuff around the house and got ready to go for a family event. Then I packed food to take for my lunch. We took the dogs with us.

I was glad I took my own food. In my own dishes. I feel paranoid, but...

It was nice to visit with everyone and watch the hockey game, but it was nicer to go home.

There is shit going on that isn't right. I have to keep working on understanding it's someone else's reality, that I don't have to react. But my emotions get the better of me.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Garden update, post-dust storm

My camera is doing some ridiculous lighting thing, so I only have terrible photos. Fortunately, I got a couple from my husband, too.  I'm pretty sure you can tell which are his.

artichokes (one is already in the fridge!)
tomatoes, everywhere, tomatoes
flower on the butternut squash plant
there's the little butternut squash!
The second garden box--lots of onions, a little lettuce and carrots
bell peppers--still going bad before they fully develop
that's a fig. lots of leaves and one upside down fig.
pomegranates. lots of flowers, aka pomegranate babies.
the cornfield, a little damaged from the dust storm.
butternut squash and flower in the cornfield
first watermelon (finger shown for size)
the broke tree, dust storm collateral

Losing my mind. I mean my hair.

I did some time in the garden, cleaning out some overgrown veggies, harvesting tomatoes and swiss chard, and taking a few photos. It was getting hot, for me, so I headed in to work on cleaning my harvest and cleaning house. It was exhausting.

I thought I was losing my mind, but today, I found out that I'm (also?) losing my hair. I called my hairdresser, S, and she said she could get me in for highlights today. She looked at my hair and said there was no way she was putting bleach in it, no highlights. As we talked about it, she asked about my diet, which we have discussed a couple times since this whole allergy thing started. Then I said something about my thyroid and it was like a light bulb came on over her head. Of course, she has seen this thyroid issue with a lot of clients, and she wouldn't suggest any bleaching or highlights until I get my thyroid under control.

She was concerned with how fragile it looked. It is most noticeable in the area I notice my grays coming in so I was reluctant to forego color completely. She asked why I was thinking of going lighter and I explained that I thought the gray would be less noticeable. We looked at the color book and she showed me where I usually am with the darker color, and said I could go across that row for my color, but based on my skin color, she wouldn't suggest I go to another row that had more blond. We agreed on a slightly lighter version of my darker color. She noted that I would probably be lighter on top for a while, that the ends are darker and wouldn't hold the new color well.

We discussed bangs or no bangs as well. I wondered if I would be able to cover up the thinning by either having more bangs or growing out my bangs. She played with my hair a little and said no to both, but mostly to the idea of more bangs as it would make the hair look thinner. We decided to just trim the bangs a little, not as much as usual, in case I want to grow them out after all. But when I pull my hair back, it's very noticeable that my hair is terrible. I told S that I've been terrified for years that I would end up with hair like my mom's. I remember her telling me that she didn't like to cut her hair because it wouldn't grow back out, and it was always, well, it was never very polished or smooth.

I think the hair color turned out pretty well and she said it will improve as it grows and we do another round.

Later, my husband and I were going to go out with a friend, but the plans were very late and we got stuck on the freeway for almost an hour before we decided to turn around and go home. We're just too damn old to be leaving our house at 10 pm to go out to the other side of town. He made drinks for me with a juice I picked up, pineapple coconut, and Malibu rum and cream of coconut. It was like a lovely daiquiri type drink. Yum. Great end to a not so great day. But my hair looks good. If you don't notice it's thinning.

For Celiac Awareness Month, check out this fantastic post on mistakes we make while avoiding gluten.

Friday, May 11, 2012

I've lost my tshirt. And my damn mind.

A group invited me to a meeting; they are in one location and I'm not there, so I attended by phone. They joked that I was on a bar stool in the middle and they were all looking at me. Like that's the first time that has happened to me--LOL! It was my first time, so I tried to keep my participation to a minimum, but I loved the format, where there was an opening question, a main topic question, and a closing question, and the three are not really related. It was an interesting discussion. I tried to not think about things like what's happening outside of work.

I'm trying. I really am. I want to have a better attitude. I don't want to be that person, the one who is known for a bad attitude. But I've been told that I have a bad attitude. So I am that person. And I'm trying to change. I know I can't control everything; I can't control other people. It's unfortunate, I know, I hate to break it to you, but I can't control people. It's really terrible. So I'm trying to control my reactions. But underlying my reaction is this overwhelming anger at how I can't control my life because of other people.

The other day, we had a terrible wind storm and there was damage that my husband is working on fixing. He had some help today.

Splurges and stuff from Whole paycheck
I left work at a reasonable time for once, although I really meant to leave early, and went to Whole Foods and Trader Joe's before going to the gas station and heading home.  (photos do not include the cold goods--mostly chicken and coconut milk ice cream)
Things from TJ's

I get home and had a lot of things to do.

I can't find a hand wash t-shirt I was going to wash tonight.  Where is it?

I ate my yummy dinner; he liked it too, he thinks it's the (Sprout's spicy chicken) sausage that he likes.  It was the sausage, garbanzo bean, zucchini, sweet potato, onion, garlic, marinara sauce mixture I'm becoming very fond of making.  I follow up with some German Chocolate coconut milk ice cream.  It's fantastic.

The other night, I went to the gluten free foodie tour (#gffoodietour) and was a little underwhelmed while I was also overwhelmed. The people were great, once I got past the initial shock of everyone seeming to know each other (and I knew no one) but the extensive gluten-free menu had very little that I could consumer. I saw this review of the event which included a link to the Twitter stats. My favorite was that someone said  Flemings offers a full #glutenfree menu! That's amazing!#gffoodietour  and someone responded so does my kitchen and it's 100 times better. Boom, indeed! Also, I'm still mad I lost my sweater.

At least I found my T-shirt before going to bed.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

It could be worse. Exhibit V: me.

Today I had my blood work done for my thyroid, so I left the house without taking my medication or eating.  Afterwards, I took my medicine and went to get an almond milk vanilla latte.  I think coffee is now on my no list.  I wouldn't want the rest of my no list to get lonely...

I had debated about going to the gluten-free foodie tour event at Fleming's in North Scottsdale.  I would have to skip agility, I would have to go alone, I might not be able to eat anything, it might be a complete waste of time and money and energy.  But these are people dealing with allergies, and the restaurant is ready to meet our needs, and really, how else am I going to find out if it's worth my time if I don't go.  So I let my agility instructor know that I wasn't coming, and I reserved my spot.

Late in the afternoon, I looked out my office window and it was really dark towards the northeast where I was going to be heading in a couple hours.  It started raining and the wind was crazy.  By the time I left, it had calmed down and was just raining.  It cleared up as I headed north, but when I was headed east, it got very windy.  I made it to the restaurant and went inside, and was directed to the patio.  I found a table with wine and the server asked if I had the pomegranate mimosa, but it had champagne so I couldn't have it.  I saw some food on a couple of tables, but wasn't sure I could have anything so I had a glass of red wine.

I didn't know anyone, but saw a woman who seemed very familiar, so I approached her and the women she was talking with and they were very nice.  I was able to talk to Russell who was the main Fleming's contact, and he offered to get an allergen menu for me.  He was gone for a while, and then the event organizer, Ken, called for everyone's attention and made announcements and then we had our photo taken.  I was concerned that food was coming out for everyone to take, and I didn't think I could eat any of it.

Russell found me while I was talking to Julie, who has recently started a website, Can I Eat That?  She mentioned having me write a guest blog.  Huh.  I should really get my shit together on this blog before I get any "publicity." Russell gave a copy each to me and Julie of the allergen menu.  Between the dairy, eggs, and soy, I was able to have grilled shrimp skewers and asparagus.  They brought a plate of 3 shrimp and several asparagus for me and two more plates for the serving table.  When I was done with my plate, I had another shrimp and a couple more asparagus since they were still there but then the rest was gone.

Everyone was eating lava cake and banana creme brulee, so I had another glass of wine and then met a lovely young woman who has a serious condition I've never heard of before.  Her parents were there as well.  After she left, I met Ken in person, as well as the chef.  As I had told the marketing woman earlier, I told Russell, Ken, and the chef about my experience at the Fleming's in Palm Springs, when I had to argue with the waiter who thought he could just tell the kitchen I was gluten-free and I would be good.  It took me three times of explaining I was not *just* gluten-free before he "got it" and frankly, I was embarrassed to have to argue with him in front of my coworkers and my boss.  Well, I was trying not to complain but I think if they want to claim that their corporation is so aware, they should be aware of the challenges facing those of us who aren't *just* gluten-free.

On my way out, I lost my sweater.  For real.  I have one white sweater, and I lost it.  I started driving away, realized I didn't have it, went back and couldn't find it.  WTF.

On my way home, I realized that I was really disappointed with the night.  I wanted to go home and eat (I had cookies and a terrible version of chocolate milk) and I wasn't feeling great and I was just kind of let down.  I knew ahead of time that I shouldn't get my hopes up, but the people were so nice and understanding, I guess I let my guard down and thought I was one of them.  But I'm not.  They get an entire menu of yummy deliciousness, and I can literally have one dish on the menu.  (It did appear they have sorbet that is non-dairy, too.)  It is disheartening, to say the least.  I may just stay home for the rest of my life.