I cried. I got back up. I got this!

 

IMG_20170701_191934You know what? I got this! I track my steps. I track my food. I started out in a wheelchair half the time, now I’m mobile and don’t even use the handicap cap cart to shop anymore for the last five weeks. Today, I got myself up off the floor without help. ( Yes, I fell). For me, that was major. Three weeks ago I was able to take a shower without the shower chair for the first time in almost two years. And I haven’t even had the surgery yet, this has been the toughest, yet most rewarding six month prep. I can breathe, I can walk and I am ready for a new life! I can walk the pasture, play with the critters, swim with the grandkids. I got in the ocean for the first time in two years! I’m gonna do this! I decided to be brave, and post a picture. There you go. The fat me, soon to be the old me!

It’s not easy, this pre surgery liquid thing is getting old real quick, but I got this.

All the hoops, all the requirement, all the mental victories, all the new recipes… It had been worth it. I’ve grown. I’ve learned. This is it! I’m ready.

Monday the 3rd is my day. 8:45 I report to the hospital. It has been a helluva ride. This morning I was so ready to be done. I’m so tired of broth. But I have come way to far to do something stupid now.

I’m not gonna lie, the last few months have been busy. I’ve had grandkids here days at a time. M is working doubles all the time so I’ve had B and R here quite. a bit. My JD is thirteen, and grandchild B is nine and half, so they bicker back and forth. Little R is so full of life and energy starting at six AM, thank God for the pool – it keeps them busy and gives me exercise.

 

My mother has been in a bit of downward spiral since Christmas. I have to laugh, otherwise I’d cry. Sometimes it is hilarious, sad, but hilarious. For instance – So, Mom, we went to BJ’s Tuesday after a very long appt with my surgeon (which I had to repeatedly convince her the appt was for me not her), halfway through BJ’s parking lot mom’s slip completely dropped down around her ankles, practically causing her to fall. I tried to discretely take the slip and stuff it into my bag to which she shrilly replied that it came off her and was darn well going back on her. She proceeded to pull her skirt up around her waist as a car parked right next to us, and struggle with the damn slip. I begged her not to make a spectacle and she yelled at me, asking me ” do you really think they haven’t seen a woman in a slip before!!??”. I died a thousand deaths, dad just helplessly shrugged and laughed. Seriously nobody needed to see all that. She just didn’t give a shit. New Mom 2.0 and I’m not so sure it’s the better version, but it’s definitely the funnier one.
Oh, and I lost three more pounds this week…

And then there is this – When mom graduates to eating between 600-800 calories worth of pastries and cookies at a single sitting and your trying desperately to keep her from buying tons of baked goods from BJ’s ( the only things she wanted to get from BJ’s, not one other food in the cart)
She kept putting them in, and I kept sneaking them out… She finally turns around and snaps “at least I’m not the one with the big belly!”.
I got nothing…
I’m over here drinking chicken broth…
She made it out of the store with one huge cake. Which she then proceeded to yell at dad for buying an hour later.
I’m still over here with my chicken broth and protein shake…

My week in a nutshell. I love her too death and someday will look back and be so glad I preserved these stories.

My Dad is a saint, full of love and patience. He’s so hard on himself for being human enough to get occasionally frustrated. So devoted, so in love… Almost 52 years.

I have so many things to share, I can’t believe I let it go this long without writing!

Recipes – one of the soups I’m supposed to be on during this liquid phase was so gross, I made my own. Surgeon approved tomato bisque: I used chicken bone broth with 9g of protein, I added two cans of tomato paste, a healthy amount of garlic powder, onion powder and basil flakes, and 1/3 cup of Carnation powdered non fat milk. You can also add some low fat grated Parmesan.

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It has more than the fifteen grams of protein the nasty soup had.

I’ve also added little bits of “better than bouillon” au jus flavor paste to plain beef broth, because it helps. So does a dash of cumin, or onion powder.

You do what you got to do to get it down. Be creative. Don’t be afraid to tweak it all little or you’ll go nuts. Trust me, I was in tears this morning thinking about another cup of broth.

So, I’m gonna go drink another protein shake! Have a nice night! Be blessed!

Next time I’ll tell you all about how I found my real biological family after 49 years! The power of technology and science!

 

 

So- it’s been a while

Be blessed, move forward, tomorrow is a new day!

I apologize for my absence, I hope you’ve liked the posts I’ve made from other authors that I found relevant.

It has been a crazy ride so far, I have seen the cardiologist, the pulmonary doctor, the psychiatrist, and the endocrine doctor. All have given approval except the Psych, and I have started therapy. I also have decided that even though I felt like this particular psych was a prick, he was right about me not dealing with the trauma of the suicide and my self-esteem issues. Fortunately I like my new therapist, and am wondering why I didn’t do this sooner.

I have steadily been going to the local Y (my gym) and can go for a entire hour without pain or bad fatigue. I am getting stronger every day. I was able to go to my favorite horse rescue yesterday and stay on my feet for a change. I think I needed to see them more than they needed to see me!

I have lost over 9 and a half pounds since December, as of last Tuesday ( I really need to get a scale for home use). I am still smoke free and passed my urine test. I had my first group meeting at the bariatric center last Tuesday. A lot of support and a lot of information was gained. I downloaded the MyFitnessPal app on my phone, which syncs with my FitBit and tracks all nutrition, steps, exercise, calories, fat, and carbs for me. IT IS AWESOME!

I discovered riced cauliflower!!! I’ve been making stir fry with veggies and chicken while using the cauliflower in place of rice. (See photo above for finished product) I dump these veggie-blog3veggie-blog6

in and Viola!

It’s only like 217 calories per bowl  made with shredded roast chicken, a bunch of sliced mushrooms, 1 TBS Hoisin sauce, 2 TBS soy sauce, 2 TBS teriyaki sauce with sesame seeds, 2 cups of spinach,and a quarter cup of chicken stock to help soften the veggies. I cook mine in a wok, but any frying pan will do!

Also I have made a cold tortellini, baked chicken(shredded), feta cheese, and spinach salad (with a little shredded kale and cabbage in it) topped with Greek salad dressing. It only has 220 calories in it.veggie-blog1

On another note-  I was viciously attacked on social media the other night, it had to do with a parental responsibility issue. A family member of the parent in question felt the need to attack me for being fat, stupid, alone, etc. Comments like “Whats the matter? did  you miss your Fitness all you can eat cheeseburger and fries class?” That perhaps I’m alone because I’m ugly, fat and stupid. “You’re a piece of trash fat bitch” and “you’re such a fat-ass”. I tried to remain calm, and completely resisted the urge to name call and body shame back. But the truth is I cried, all night. You see, I learned a long time ago that there are some things you never say, even in the heat of argument, because once said- words can never be unheard. I say all this to tell you, I know how hurtful people can be. I know how painful harsh words about our bodies or our past mistakes can be. I have seen how cruel some people are. Never give up on yourself, never give in. You are valuable, you have worth. You can change, whether it is your body or your life or your situation. Do NOT sink to the level of the type of person that takes pleasure in causing pain. Rise up! Show that you are better, stronger, and more honorable.My past was thrown up at me, which actually didn’t upset me like she though it would, which is probably why the name calling and body shaming escalated so much. I stayed strong about that because I know who I am, I know where I’ve been, and I’m usually pretty open about my past. So here is my past, if you have questions feel free to ask. It is what it is, and I am constantly moving forward.

In case anyone doesn’t know
For the record- I smoked crack for two years … I’ve been clean almost nineteen years…. I’m an Honor Student that has won five scholarships for academic work, professional bearing, and volunteer service….. I’ve been an asshole, I neglected my kids while I was high, I chased men to fill a gap in my self esteem, and I’ve recovered. I’ve reconciled with my family and my God. I’m a better mother, a better person, a better daughter because of where I’ve been and what I’ve seen. I’ve dedicated countless years to volunteer and humanitarian service. I’ve spoken at recovery groups, women’s groups, and churches. I am not afraid of who I’ve been or the path I’ve walked. I’ve faced death over and over and I believe God has a purpose for me, otherwise I wouldn’t be here. I am a work in progress
Just so you know…

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Be blessed, move forward, tomorrow is a new day!

If you like what I’ve written please like or comment! It’s nice to know I’ve been read! If you have questions on recovery, suicide, depression, or healthy choices please feel free to ask.

Ugh

All the more beautiful for having been broken and repaired

So, I’ve been sticking to my gym schedule and have managed to increase my workout by ten minutes each day (I go every other day for now) so I’m up to forty minutes in the pool. I wasn’t expecting this much pain, but I should have known. After all, I did it to myself. I lost basic muscle just being lazy and letting pain control me. I just keep telling myself the pain is good and it will fade.  It has faded some, this last workout didn’t hurt much at all, it just left me tired. My legs and arms are soooooo tired. The pain comes at night in the form of leg cramps (or for those that know what they are – charley horses).

Thank God my breathing is improving more than I had hoped, that is an incredible encouragement. I now forget to use my inhaler instead of walking with it clutched in my hands.  I do think about smoking every single day. Not one day goes by that I haven’t wished for a cigarette. I’m really hoping that goes away in time.

I saw the pre-surgery psychiatrist yesterday. That did not go well. He flagged me for three months of therapy. Apparently my lack of whatever about my husband’s suicide puts me at risk for stress eating, along with all the other things I worry about. I’m not even going to go off on a tangent trying to explain how ridiculous it is to put a lifetime of emotion in a twenty minute interview with a stranger. Because suicide is so frikking easy to talk about. Hhhhhhhhh!!! Fine, I’ll go. Whatever the hoop is, I will jump through it.

He also seemed very concerned that I was underestimating the recovery, which I didn’t understand. Every one I’ve talked to or read about seemed to be okay other than tenderness and nausea which is standard for abdominal surgery. I explained that I’d had four C-sections and also had my gallbladder removed and he scoffed at me, literally to my face scoffed at me and told me I could be bed ridden for weeks, and did I have someone to care for me.  I’d really like to talk to the surgeon again at this point. I don’t remember seeing bed ridden as one of the probabilities.

I ate a horrible breakfast today, I could have had salmon and rice or nachos. I picked light nachos. It was low carb, but cheese is not low calorie. I didn’t eat much, just a taste. Still, I should’ve picked the fish.

I feel broken, the shrink thinks I’m broken, I must be broken. Part of me thinks, “yeah therapy probably would be good for me”. The other part screams “you’re broken! They know you’re broken! You’re not worth fixing! You don’t deserve this chance. You don’t deserve this surgery! He saw failure written all over you!” There is yet another part of me that says “screw these people, you will do this!”

I got my period yesterday – I should probably write off all internal responses and re evaluate at a later, less hormonal date.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I did it! I survived the gym!

I did it! Took me a while to work up the courage, but I finally left the parking lot and actually entered the gym. I am now a member! I immediately went and did my aqua aerobics. I changed in a bathroom stall, waited until there was absolute silence and crept to the door of the pool area. I was the fattest one there. I kept my head down and did what I went to do. I worked and worked and worked. (PS, my body hurts so bad today!!!) The good news is that I had no difficulty breathing and it’s been a whole month since I’ve touched a cigarette and it is paying off!!!

Afterwards I slunk back to the locker room, saw several naked women and realized I had zero chances of privacy. Hhhhhhhhh. I was unwilling to dress in a bathroom stall so headed for the lockers (I didn’t want to drag a wet suit over a toilet floor). A few kind women stopped me and asked if I had a good time, we made small talk for a few moments and I ducked around the corner of the lockers to an empty area to change. I thought I was going to be alone, but lo and behold a woman came in to use the locker across from me. I was doing the typical shrugging the bathing suit down to my waist while tugging a shirt simultaneously over my head trying to mask the fat. Damned if this woman doesn’t try to start talking to me as I’m panicking trying to figure out how to undress and dress my bottom half. I gave up and avoided eye contact while sitting on my towel, hunching under my over sized shirt to skin out of the suit and tug my undies and skirt on discretely. My clothes only got slightly damp. Lol.

Apparently she has some five step beauty regimen involving applying different creams that takes forever.  She did complement me on my skin and asked me what I use (I only use ivory soap! No creams), she also asked what SPF I use ( I usually don’t use any unless I’m on a beach). She was trying to be friendly, I got her name and some advice about locker rental.  I also got a lot of advice on why I should become a vegan- I don’t see that happening any time soon. I just quit smoking, no way I’m giving up meat and dairy right now. I also learned she has a great disdain for the trainers, I need to form my own opinion about that- I’ll take any help I can get and a six week training period came with the membership so I’m gonna use it.

I met my parents for a triumphant salad lunch afterwards. I had never been to Salad Works and it was really good! Mom is getting worse every visit… My poor Dad is so patient. I’m glad I get to see them as much as I do, it gives me a better chance at being remembered by my mother.

I’ve been cooking constantly trying to keep healthy foods in the fridge. Counting calories is so different than counting carbs. I manage to stay under budget almost all the time, at least six out of seven days a week, I’m avoiding even being in the friendly “zone”, I want to be under! Cheese is a problem, I love cheese. As a matter of fact it is cheese that always does me in. Some things are ridiculous, like beef sticks – only 1 carb, but 95 calories. BellaVitano cheese 1 cubic inch is 120 calories but extremely low in carbs. Who the hell eats 1 cheese cube?! On the South Beach diet both cheese sticks and beef sticks were my ‘go to’ for low carb snacks… Not anymore.

Today I’m going to aim for a few five minute intervals on the treadmill. My body still hurts from yesterday and I’m tired. Plus I’ve been driving Amish off and on all day and have to pick them back up by three for another errands run.

Tomorrow is back to the gym!for-blog-11

 

 

Crippling fear…I know it’s stupid

Here I sit, outside the gym. I have my packed gym bag in the car. Hhhhhhhhh. Every person I have seen so far is tiny, with cute little Yoga pants and cute little work out companions. I seriously want to cry. I know it’s stupid. I know I’m too old for this shit. People will see me. They will watch me walk in awkwardly, doing my fat shuffle. They will see me struggle to breathe. They will be in the changing rooms. They will be by the pool. I just want to go home. I’m crying. I can’t breathe. Now my eyes are red and puffy. How did I let myself get like this?! Don’t these people have jobs? Why are so many here? Oh God, there go a bunch of soccer mom with their yoga mats… Even the old geezers are thin. This is ridiculous. I hate people. I hate being fat. I hate being afraid. This sucks. for-blog6

Alzheimer’s and Depression

We’re not in Kansas any more Toto….. Hell, Kansas ain’t even on the map.

Five years ago my mom forgot the Christmas tree in the trunk of her car…I thought that was bad. Now she thinks every day is Sunday. We’re not in Kansas any more Toto….. Hell, Kansas ain’t even on the map.

As mom progresses, my grandmother Helen comes to mind more often, Helen died of Alzheimer’s back in 2005. I was never as close to Helen as I am to my mom, but the symptoms are all to familiar. Some days I just cry for the mother I’ve lost- the confidante, the shoulder to cry on, the unconditional fan of my life. Other days I struggle with patience as we go around and around the same topics endlessly during a single conversation. Daily I thank God for the patience and strength of my father, who is an absolute rock through all of this. Most get-togethers are actually amusing, some can be stressful since she seems to get more angry more often. Yesterday was a good day, we had a late breakfast together at a restaurant and she kept it together most of the time. She talks to everyone now, and I mean everyone! She was best friends with the waitress by the time we left, even though she had no clue as what meal she had just eaten. We watched a huge party of elderly people come in with their walkers and wheelchairs and she commented on their diminished capacities and mental state, thanking God out loud that she still has her wits.. .I bit my tongue. Then we all went to BJ’s food shopping, I only lost her maybe five times. She is always easily found talking to random people, especially people with children. Somehow she feels the need to tell everyone that I’m adopted and all about God providing her with children. It’s cute actually, most people are very friendly and kind. One particular bitch almost got her head handed to her for being mean to my mother. She was so rude! Lord give me patience, because if You give me strength I might kill someone! Fortunately mom forgot in about two minutes, I however stewed over it for quite a while. My mom is obviously old and genteel looking, there was no need to be ignorant. The good news was we got her out of the house, she got some exercise and some socialization.

Christmases are harder now that she is not herself. My mother and my aunt (her sister) were the two that kept traditions and made Christmas spectacular. My aunt died of cancer so those Christmases are over. Mom doesn’t decorate or bake or shop or play old Christmas music anymore. It’s just not the same. My Husband is gone, his birthday was December 30… Christmas is just not right anymore. My daughter turns 18 next week, and she’s missing her dad for the milestone birthday, and she hates Christmas without him.

Depression sucks, it leaves people vulnerable and hurting. It robs you of joy, it impedes communication, it steals motivation, it can give you physical symptoms- headaches, loss of appetite, fatigue, weakness. My daughter and I both suffer from clinical and situational depression. Occasionally communication gets skewed and we both end up feeling attacked and hurt.

That happened this week. She’s been struggling real bad this month (see post Suicide… The elephant in the room), and so have I. I had a bad day, I wasn’t ready for my final exam, I ate at McDonald’s twice that day (after I just lost six pounds, I know, I’m stupid), I was trying to be a good parent and I ended up hurting her feelings trying to be parent, and then she hurt mine with the silent treatment. She had a bad day, she was too depressed to function. We both lost it, I went to my room and had it out with God – “You promised life wouldn’t be more than I can bear”, and my dead husband- one of those “if you can hear me I fucking hate you for leaving me alone” rants. Then I thought of all the million things I have failed at (there are many), and “what a waste of space I am, they’d probably be better off without me” crying jags complete with hyperventilation. She went and drove back roads for hours in the dark with her best friend feeling like she wanted to die, believing I hurt her on purpose,  and that I’d be better off without her…

It’s bad. Depression is dangerous and bad. I get scared for her. I don[t think either one of us would ever actually kill ourselves because we’ve lived through the aftermath of a suicide, but that doesn’t mean we don’t think about it or wish for never-ending sleep. It doesn’t mean we don’t occasionally feel like we are worthless, useless, and broken – because we do, all too often.

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There is no magic pill for Alzheimer’s or depression. You have to fight to live through it. Every damn day is a battle. It’s a choice to fight for one more day.

That was two days ago- we still are walking on eggshells around each other. I’m not ready for Christmas, I’m not in the spirit, even the tree holds little joy for me this year. Happiness comes in spurts, one minute I’m happy about my progress- the next I feel lifeless…

I’m just trying to keep it together one day at a time. So is my daughter.

Be kind to each other, be clear when you speak. Remember tomorrow is not promised. Be wary of each other’s feelings and never leave the words “I love you” unspoken.

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PS – I told you when I started, if you want a pretty story go read a fairy tale. This is real life. The good, the bad, and the ugly.