Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Hump Day Poll: May Flowers



What flowers are popping up in your garden?

I didn't do any last year but I might like to get some perennials established this year like phlox out front and maybe a purple rose if I can find one for Mom.  Not quite sure out back but hoping for some good ideas from you guys!


(Also, there's a post coming tomorrow so swing back by)

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Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Like Mother, Like Daughter





I must have stared at this page for 20 minutes trying to formulate how to put into words what I'm feeling.  Trying to make sense of how I went into a vein doctor's appointment for what was supposed to be a routine ultrasound with an expected diagnosis and came out with not just that but a 'bonus.'   I should start by saying it's not the big C.  I guess I'll give you background on why I went to the leg doc in the first place. When I was a kid, my dad's mom was always pale as could be and had horrible spider veins.  She wasn't heavy or anything but she was a nurse so long shifts on her feet.  I always hoped I wouldn't suffer the same fate but I knew the vascular system was probably at least pre-disposed.  Mom gained weight after having me but couldn't seem to lose it.  She had many tests done but no cause could be found that they were willing to treat.  After that, she developed lymphedema but was not diagnosed until it had gotten severe.  Back when she was diagnosed, it was a relatively unheard of disease and certainly never talked about that I'd ever heard.  People are just treated like "well, you're fat" and it's not until it morphs into something disfiguring that they bother to look any deeper.  You know, when it's too late?

This disease essentially stole my mother from me.  Yes, we were close but the things we could do together were limited because she got to the point it was incredibly hard to move.  Those mother daughter shopping trips you may take for granted with your mom?  Couldn't do them.  The ones we could do were always having to make sure a place to sit was available and her disease was always a constant companion.  As a tween, you're already self conscious enough but I knew Mom's condition brought even more when we were out together.  It's not that I was embarrassed to be out there with her, but sometimes her condition brought stares and that just made me want to fight everyone because they weren't seeing her.  They just saw a super morbidly obese woman and made their own assumptions about who she was and how she got to that weight.  Even when she got weight loss surgery back in the late 90's, it did afford her about a 150 lb. weight loss however, the lymphedema made it so there was little difference in her 'tree trunk legs.'  She had better mobility but still not great in the grand scheme of a normal life.  She kept about half the weight off over the years but that effing disease was relentless.  She had weeping legs at times which one doctor 20 years ago told her meant she could never have surgery for knee replacement because her skin would never heal because of the fluid.  (The small bit of looking this up the past week shows that yes, risk of infection appears to be higher than someone without it however it was not necessarily impossible as her old doctor led her to believe which infuriates me.  It depends on stage, the doctor, and the patients adherence to very strict post surgery instructions.)  Their attempt at treatment back then was doctors showing how to wrap her legs in bandages which took two people at home to do as she wasn't able to bend as far as she needed on her own and as soon as any fluid relief was achieved, that went away within three hours of the bandages coming off.  Family attempted to do it as often as they could but with no real relief, it wasn't worth it to her to continue if nothing was going to help.  There were leg pump sleeves but they were $9k and not covered by insurance then despite very obvious need.  I watched this chronic, incurable disease chip at her until she passed.  The searing hatred I had for it and what it essentially took from both of us, her- her mobility and to some degree quality of life despite finding a way to still live a very fulfilling life socially and me- the simple pleasure of mother daughter activities most people take for granted.

So when the vein doctor I went to said (without knowing my family history) "you also have lymphedema", I lost my shit.  Yes, I knew I had one leg a little larger than the other for many years but the fact that I have a discernable leg shape, in my head, told me that it was just a possibility but all of these years of exercise likely kept it at bay.  Apparently not.  All I could hear was how my life was about to change.  After the vein surgery, she wants me to start physical therapy to get and learn how to do lymphatic massage.  She said she was going to order a leg pump (supposedly covered by insurance- it'd better be because I'm not paying thousands of dollars for this thing) and I would need to do it an hour a day.  (We'll see. Some stuff I'm reading in my research tells me that is overkill for the stage I assume I am and could actually cause new problems.)  I would need to wear those hot, horrid compression socks I've used on and off over the years every day to keep it from progressing.  It was like having dodgeballs lobbed at your face as you sob.  I told the Mr I was finally being punished for everything I've done to my body.  She said there's a genetic disposition which plays a part but she was hopeful.  This was 'not your mother's disease' and how she does lectures all the time to PCP's to show the before and after of the treatment which shocks all of them because they keep doling out the same lazy advice my mom was given decades ago.  Advice that she clung to thinking she had no other options and assumed that insurance's stance on treatment hadn't changed in that time.  Then I was just friggin' angry that none of her two doctors over the past 20 years bothered to say "hey, let's revisit this to see if there are any new options for you."  Knowing what I know now about the vein insufficiency, ablation could've likely helped her.  I can already hear her saying "I can't with the fluid in my legs" but the needle is no bigger than the cortisone shots she got on occasion for her knees.  I stopped telling her about the new advances we would hear about including this Kevlar injection the Mr read great things on about 10 years ago for her bone on bone knees because there was just always a reason why it wouldn't work.  I should've pushed harder.

Anyway.

We went home and I sat there spaced out and bawling intermittently.  The time constraints already on the coming weeks, the incessant reminders popping up in my email of the things I already can't keep up with in attempts to lose weight, heal my feet, attempt to get out of mental ruts, etc and the thought of saying I need another 90 minutes a day (according to the vein doctor) to hook up to a machine and massage myself was too much for my brain to process.  Of course, more weight loss was recommended and said it can only help.  No shit, Sherlock.  I haven't exactly sat on my ass since the end of January and the results have been minimal.  I feel like my entire life is about maintaining this old hooptie of a body held together by duct tape, caulk and rust.  The mental toll this has taken given my deep personal hatred of what this disease did to Mom and now, potentially me, is nothing less than leveling.  Again. 

The more time I have to sit with it and knowing how easy it was for me to get a supposedly free pump ticked me off given Mom didn't have that available to her.  Thinking of how her veins were likely blown as well and how easy this process is now to fix vein insufficiency compared to 22 years ago the first time the Mr had it done and it was a hospital procedure complete with twilight meds and Frankenhose that cost $400.  Now it's an outpatient procedure done in less than 30 minutes with nothing bigger than a needle hole which she could've easily tolerated.  I'm more angry about her not being given the same opportunities I am.  It's like when some new breakthrough hits the market after your loved one who passed could've benefitted from it.  So there is also some, I don't know, survivor's guilt that this will be easy for me to manage in comparison. 

All I can say is thank God for the Mr.  I don't know how I would even be standing after this between Mom's passing, and now my chronic health problems.  Gosh, remember when I just wanted to lose weight to be like, thin and shit?  🙄  I'd like those days back please.

I don't need LE advice from anyone who has it right now, please.  I'm not there.  This diagnosis is more mental than anything else because of the lifelong torment that dogged Mom and secondarily, me.  Nothing really changes for me except adhering to getting in more movement but I can't put into words what it's done to my headspace.  I need a friggin' break from everything.  I feel like I'm not being given time to heal from anything before the next thing comes busting down the door.  Are we actually in purgatory?  Because it's kind of feeling like that the past few years.  I've done some research.  I'm putting some shockwave into the mix as I've seen a few studies about the positive effects it can have.  I will get into the right mindset about it but that isn't right now.  Right now I just need to process and regroup.

Thanks for listening.

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Monday, April 22, 2024

Low Key and Unexpected Emotions Weekend Recap

How do, all?  Did you have a nice weekend?  It was decent in these parts down from blazing hot (for us) earlier in the week.  We even waited Thursday night until after dinner to walk because when it's over 75, no thank you on the flop sweat.  Saturday the Mr was kind enough to weed out front since things were getting out of control.  We went to grab lunch and then a walk near the water and enjoyed the spring colors and flowers.  



It was a cooler day around 60 but the wind was blowing pretty fierce.  I feel like I'm going to have to invest in a sun hat soon.  The sun is always blazing just over my sunglasses line and blinding me.  Is this how it happens?  Is this how getting old happens?  One day you're prank calling the local pizza place during a sleepover and the next minute you're ordering sunhats and listing your newest diagnoses across the miles?!  Of course it would have to have a string so it doesn't blow away since we're becoming a wind tunnel so I should be playing mahjong and eating ambrosia salad with polyester slacks on in no time.  I got some work stuff done and we went up and chilled out until we conked out.

Sunday was pretty chill as well, I got some work done after oatmeal for breakfast.  I got a message from my cousin with a link to my paternal grandparents house that is being listed for sale.  I told her I'd always thought if it ever came up for sale, I wouldn't mind buying it.  It's on almost an acre and after grandpa died in 2020, she FINALLY got the kitchen and front room remodel she's been begging grandpa for for 40 years.  I was glad she was finally able to get at least 3 years with what he'd denied her.  I sent the link to the Mr and he said it was really tempting and if I really wanted to, we'd move on it especially since the price is about $100K under what we assumed it would be.  As we talked, and I talked about the good memories I had there when I was little (as well as my childhood dog being buried there), then the emotional baggage started popping up.  When dad divorced us, essentially his entire family divorced me as well.  My grandpa always treated me like *I* did something to him and as I saw the Christmases of my early youth, I also felt the disgust he seemed to have for me and the constant pissiness.  If he'd died when I was young, this would be easy but he's the reason we never went to visit because seeing her meant dealing with him.  How would I be able to sleep in their bedroom?  It's not like I have recent memories there but the front room looks EXACTLY the same down to the faux brick applied with black grout in the 70's.  In addition to needing to rip that out, we'd need to replace 60 year old insulation too and who knows what we might uncover once we start ripping things out.  He was not known for his attention to fixing things so I can only assume things were ignored and/or jerry rigged.  Part of me really wants to get it and the other part fears I'd immediately regret it and we both feel like that side of the family would think they had license to drop by whenever they wanted to.  Lots of emotions I wasn't ready for.

We went down to get in our workout.  One mile Walk Away the Pounds then LIIFT4 Back and Bi's.  It really killed my left shoulder.  I had to spend quite a bit of time rolling my shoulder against the cement wall.  It wasn't just the rotator cuff muscles but also the parts of the front of the arm as well as the lats just under the armpit so there is a whole capsule that needs to be seriously rolled out.  Once doesn't do it because there is so much dysfunction there.  In thinking back, I think it initially started when I fell the first day of vacation last year because I instinctively put both arms out to not faceplant.  While my shins got it quite horribly, I never thought about my arms/shoulders.  A couple of months later, we went through everything with Mom and I started sleeping with my arms crossed over my heart in addition to being on my side so everything just locked up and I've been fighting it for 4 months.  The chiro really wants me to go to PT for it but I have some other things I need get in check before I can commit to that so I have to look up crap on YouTube.  

In addition to that, I just got another diagnosis that came out of the blue so swing back by tomorrow for that.   Again...is this what getting old is just getting diagnoses flung at you?  😒   I don't know that we got the stuff done that I thought we would because work stuff got in my face more than I would've liked so I guess I need to make a to do list so we're not totally screwed this weekend.

How was your weekend?


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Friday, April 19, 2024

What I'm Reading This Week #16

Happy Friday y'all!  I hope the week hasn't beat you up too much and you're ready to get out and enjoy the weekend!   It was a busy week full of appointments.  My usual twice a week chiro appointments which is nice (though I wish I had faster results with pain relief) and I also got a 'bonus' appointment of having my leg veins evaluated by the Mr's doctor.  My dad's side has notoriously crappy veins and the past few years I've been noticing some disturbing changes in the ankle/foot area so it was time to do the deed.  Essentially I knew it was just going to be ultrasounds and the results of it but I also knew from the Mr's initial session that it wouldn't be easy as he almost fainted during his.  (But he also didn't eat breakfast sooo.)   Well, I got it done and it wasn't bad as far as the scans are concerned.  I did receive a mentally devastating diagnosis in addition to having to have the vein stuff done so I need to do a little processing and I'm sure I'll do a post on it soon after I stop randomly crying.


Now let's get to:




How Much Caffeine Is in My Tea?  (Good stuff to know!)

How to Decompress Your Spine to Reduce Back Ache and Pain  (If you have access to your joists in your basement or something, you can use those to do the dead hangs.  Hurts so good!)


3 Steps to Workout Motivation  (It can be hard to come by sometimes)

5 Foods To Help You Sleep (I'll take all the friggin help I can get but if these don't work, the tryptophan supps I take on occasion actually work over melatonin and even antihistamines for me.)




15 Gorgeous Deck and Patio Ideas You Can DIY  (In case your outdoor space needs a little zhuzh.)


We've got a crapload of stuff to get done this weekend that has gotten to the back burner when it absolutely should not have.  So I guess we activate whirling dervish mode and hope for the best!  Why do I do this to myself?? 😑

What are you whirling into this weekend?

(I challenge just one other person in addition to my hubs and bestie to answer!  
Y'all keep telling me this isn't an audience of two but...)

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Monday, April 15, 2024

Delivery Driver laughs and Weekend Recap

Howdy do, all!  We're back to Monday.  I hope you guys had an awesome weekend and are rarin' to go for the new week.  (I can't remember the last time I was rarin' to do anything but I digress.)  I hope all of you late tax folk remember today is the day to get everything submitted!  (We're the people getting it over with at the beginning of February.)

I had to share this 'warning' from the Amazon delivery person that made us crack up:



TOO funny and I encourage more tomfoolery from this person because who couldn't use a random smile when opening your Mrs Dash Lemon Pepper seasoning?

Saturday we had mediocre eats which always sets the tone.  We tried to go to the historic district for our walk but it was way too crowded and there was construction going on so that was a bust.  I told the Mr to drive to my grandpa's cemetery not too far away and we could make a loop of it.  (It's been a LONG time since I've done that.)  We showed grandpa (a car guy) the new ride then got on our way.  The sun was hot even though the wind was blowing.  When we made it back to his stepdaughters grave, I noticed it, along with her dad's headstones, were being swallowed whole by grass.  I was ticked.  "Perpetual care" my ass.  I got the clippers we keep in the car and got to work.  Both graves looked like the top pic below:


The bottom is what her grave looked like when I was done.  I didn't have enough full charge to get his but might in the future.  Those clippers are awesome and really went above and beyond.  I did order some grave stone cleaner since I saw my great grandma's stone has that black crap creeping in on it and I don't want it to get out of hand.  When we were done, I'd burned 700 calories so that's good.  I'd pay for it later but I'm used to it.  Didn't really do much after but I did get to do a fun, grief soaked panic attack with ugly crying for two hours.  I guess I should've started the workout button!

Sunday I made brunch for the first time in forever.  Then we went in the basement and tried to tackle some of that.  Again...there's progress but it just doesn't feel like enough which probably had a lot more to do with the heap that is the craft table that never got used for it's intended purpose but any progress is good progress.  The Mr hung up some baskets that I didn't need from the previous shelf configuration but I didn't want to get rid of so now they are installed under our laundry center we built back in 2019 holding random stuff in one and laundry supplies in the other.  We got the curtains that go over the shelves washed and re-hung.  I found a box that I thought was living room stuff but turns out to be nightstand stuff from July 2022!  It has stuff I have no idea where it goes but don't want to throw out either so I condensed stuff as much as I could and got three smaller boxes unloaded and a lot of the stuff under the right side of the table gone through so at least ONE stool could go back where it belonged.  The Mr donated our old Bissel since we don't have carpeted floors anymore which made me sad but it needed to be done.  We got a portable one that will hopefully clean the couch in between wrestling the slipcovers off and he did the stairs going up.   The friggin' battery died again in my car and I have a chiro appointment today so the Mr got a free battery since it was on it's last month under warranty.  I came up to take a break and my friend called and we gabbed for 90 minutes which was nice.  But then it was 6:30pm and I didn't have it in me for a workout given how crappy my legs felt so I didn't have a choice.  Then it was chill time and that was that.  I miss exciting weekends.

How was your weekend?


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Friday, April 12, 2024

What I'm Reading This Week #15

The weekend is finally upon us!  I don't know about y'all but this week was L-O-N-G around here.  The Mr ordered eclipse glasses like 6 months ago but I had a chiro appointment close to the same time.  So he drove me over and we watched it out with the staff not far behind us too.  Not like it got dark or anything but it was still neat to experience together since it's the last one of our lifetimes.  I managed to get into the basement here and there and get a couple of things organized which felt good.  I had other things that took my attention away from it but it'd be nice to see a little more progress on that.

Now let's progress into:









Are You an Over-Apologizer? 5 Steps to Curb the Habit  (I probably say sorry more than most words.)



The Right Way to Use Lubes for Sex  (If menopause is now or in your near future, pay attention.)

The Business of … Death  (Definitely isn't your grandma's funeral)

The Best Botanical Gardens in the US  (We can vouch for a few but looks like a trip back to Chicago is in order.)

I'd like to make maybe a little more of a dent in the basement but that will be a Sunday job because there's a few little things to get hung and test out.  I would like to get out of the house a bit too because we sat on our bootays all last weekend except for our walk.  

What's YOUR boo-tay doing this weekend?

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Monday, April 8, 2024

Bittersweet Milestone Weekend Recap





Hello there!  Back to Monday.  Is it Groundhog Day?

Last week I was able to get some more stuff somewhat organized in the basement.  The goal since Mom passed was to get her stuff up off the floor even though they were in bins in case Lord forbid we ever had a water issue.  It's awfully hard to give up two full shelves of space you already didn't have to stuff you will never use.  Two of the totes are full of fabric totes!  When I say the woman had a lot of totes, I mean there were over 75 of them in her closet because she sold for Thirty One.  She saw, she bought, she sold, she bought more at a discount.  I know at some point I'm going to have to thin them down but that's a future me project if space becomes a bigger issue.  It really sucks to feel like you made so much progress but visually it looks like none because of how much crap we STILL have from last years reno still in piles.  I truly can't take it and am overwhelmed as to where to start.  There is a HUGE construction bag of towels, shirts or something down there that I have to go through.  The craft table is stacked to the hilt and I can't even right now.  Very frustrating.  On top of that I'm dealing with a delightful rash and I find myself looking skyward saying "can You not, please?" and He responds with letting the cut brioche bun from my turkey burger bounce into water in a pan soaking which was my only attempt at happiness that Friday.


source


Saturday we didn't do a whole lot.  The Mr was still coming down from his stress of the week so we got lunch and attempted to watch the Johnny Depp trial on Court TV.  His slow manner of speaking was driving me up a damn wall as I've heard plenty of recordings of him able to speak in a normal cadence but chooses not to when in public for some reason.  For as much as I wanted to hear the dirt, I was also going insane so we both agreed it was nap time.  We then packed up flowers and headed to Mom's grave.  Her sib told me a few days earlier her headstone was in (and I'd already given them the heads up the outlines for it had been spray painted so I knew it was going in soon.)  I couldn't tell if they liked it or not as they said they needed to stand further away.  (There are four pictures of her on it in bronze.)  The stone has a texture but they also kind of make indentations and stuff as well so if the sun hits it a certain way, it can look a little odd.  I'm on it with her and a bird had freshly shat on my face.  I hope that doesn't mean Mom disapproves.  Luckily the Mr had some napkins and wipes so we got that taken care of and I put flowers in her new vase and removed her temporary marker from Grandma's vase and put grandma's new pansies in there with a small plaque with her picture.  (The assholes decided all decor had to be in a vase and threw away the flag we had there for 5 years that I had just replaced only two months earlier.  I was not a happy girl.)  This has a stake that goes into the vase and hangs so it should be good.  (I also sealed it with spray mod podge to make it waterproof.)   All of you who have had the agonizing weight of waiting for the permanent stone to go in, know this is a bittersweet milestone.  I guess I got my crying out when her sib sent me a pic of it because seeing it in person I was more focused on trying to decide if I was going to have to go around with the cemetery again or not but the Mr said he thought it was good.  They should've made it more clear that there would be some 'texturing' but of course they sell you with a stone inside that has had the most perfect of conditions, retouched, airbrushed, etc and don't offer those options to you.  I'm not saying it looks bad, just that some areas are a little darker than I would've liked and know that isn't how they looked on the proof I went round and round with the manager on.  In the end, the Mr said that Mom always mentioned how much she loved that she had the flag with Grandma's picture on it that I provided since she passed.  She said it made her feel like she was better able to talk to her having the picture.  He said he thinks she'd want that for us too.  To have pictures of her with the people she loved with a big smile on her face and doing things she loved.  I agree but if another bird shits directly on my face, I'm going to take it that she's not happy.  We came home and pretty much chilled the rest of the night while the Mr got laundry going.  

Sunday we watched a little tube then got down into the basement to try to get things straightened up a little more.  I got some winter and paddling clothes into space bags and put them into bins that would replace the spot Mom's stuff originally was under the stairs.  I put them on the wheeled furniture movers I got and put some anti-vibration pads I already had on them so the bins wouldn't move around.  I used my label maker to get stuff clearly marked and while we did have a lot of things where they needed to be, all I could see was how much is still to go through.  We're trying to get a PT bar up and have to wait until today to get it drilled in since the lack of a stud there was being a poop head.  Then before we knew it, it was time for our strength session.  It had to be legs because the Mr has what we hope will be his final vein appointment this week and he'll be unable to do those workouts for 2 weeks following.  I know that'll mean today shall be a fun one for me but I'm hoping the chiro can help me out with that at my appointment later today.   Then it was time for dinner and chillin' later.

How was your weekend?

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Friday, April 5, 2024

What I'm Reading This Week #14

Happy first Friday of April everyone!  I don't know about you but Mother Nature is PO'd in our parts.  We've had everything from tornadoes to hail to rain to sun to rainbows.  I'm not going to say that stupid cliche about "if you don't like (ANY state's) weather, just wait 10 minutes."   I wish we were in Vermont right now because Stowe just got a helluva dump over there!  Le sigh.  The one good thing about preparing for doomsday is I needed to clean a spot under the stairs for us to ride out a twister so I actually got the stuff off of the shelf in front of the stairs into the pantries that were assembled, you know, at Christmas?  To be fair, I was hoping the funky smell that comes free with pandemic era IKEA would dissipate but nay...not even 6 boxes of baking soda each could tame it.  The next day I moved stuff from the back shelves to the newly cleared one so we wouldn't have to go as far for crock pots, bakeware, casserole stuff, etc.  That was a big win.  I'm hoping to be able to get some more arranged down there but we're waiting on some wheeled furniture movers for some bins under the stairs today.  I figure if we need to get under the stairs again, we're going to wheel some bins out and both sit down to be safe.  

I'm sure the Mr is glad to see this week end.  He was mandated to work in office every single day and the peopley peopleness of a bunch of mooks who all like to hear themselves talk along with Benny Hill level incompetence was more than he could bear on the daily.

Now let's bear:





5 Common Pieces Of Sleep Advice You Should Actually Ignore  (Interesting especially since I hear most of these in everything I look up to get some zzz's.)

This $0 Little Luxury Instantly Transforms Meal Prep  (Cute idea if you loathe meal prep the way I do.)

Feeling Biceps Pain After a Workout? Can't Straighten Your Arm? Here's Why  (This is me every single time I do LIIFT4 after a break.  A month or so ago it was an entire week!)

Why Some People Have More 'Food Noise' and How to Quiet It  (Most days I'm fine then sometimes I'm thinking about the next meal as I finish the current one.)

8-hour time-restricted eating linked to a 91% higher risk of cardiovascular death  (Wow, anyone doing intermittent fasting should give this a read!)

Here's Why You Won't Find a Green Pepper in a Bell Pepper Multi-Pack  (Huh...never really thought about that but yep, ain't no green in there!)

6 Signs That You're Stuck in a Negative Narrative  (I think when you order this book for yourself like I did, you kind of already know.)

5 Signs You're Dealing With A Toxic Parent As An Adult and How To Cope  (There's nothing more hurtful coming from someone who is supposed to accept you as-is seeing as they helped create you and all.)


How to Realistically Save for Retirement  (We need all of the help we can get.)

No idea on stuff for the weekend.  I'd like to go through and rearrange some stuff in the basement to get a jump on things but that isn't what I want my whole weekend to look like so we'll see.  Some grocery pickups are also on tap and trying to stretch out the gams consistently.

Anything cookin' on your end this weekend?

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Tuesday, April 2, 2024

Another "Holiday of Firsts" in the Books Weekend Recap

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I know, I didn't do a weekend update again but it was just a somewhat crappy one and I didn't have it in me to do one Sunday night.  I think I've mentioned it before that when I get overwhelmed, I have dreams about tornados.  Well, I had two and since I wasn't taking action to acknowledge them, on Thursday my body said "fine...maybe you'll pay attention to a room spinning panic attack!"  It sucked bad and I had to hold onto the shower before my chiro appointment and I had to have the Mr drive me.  I made a list of the things swirling in my head at any random time and I was able to name 24 off the top of my head.  Some small, some large, some unfinished projects from last year that feel like they'll never get done.    It did help to write those things down and acknowledge the things weighing on me.

Friday, I started doing a bit of cleaning.  I am someone already overwhelmed on a good day.  Throw grief, other things on top of it and random crap and I just want to pull the covers over my head.  I feel like I'm failing every day.  One project seems to have a ripple effect to others.  "These things need a home...well, their new home would be here but these things need cleaned out/rearranged before those can go there and these things require me to be on my feet for a long time which then blow out my legs and I need them to do workouts."  On top of that is about 3-4 bins of Mom's stuff that I have to find permanent homes for in a space that had NO ROOM for someone else's extra stuff.  I'm not trying to be an ass but anyone who has been through a parent's death knows what I mean.  It all feels like problems that will never be solved.  I wanted to at least have a table to eat on when we had our pithy little Easter lunch/dinner so I got to work on that and in the kitchen.  Nowhere near where I would've liked it to be but good enough for us.  I worked until my legs waved the white flag.  The Mr helped in the kitchen.  When I say it's been months, I mean the Sleigh Rides sign was still over our fireplace and neither of us cared enough to say "maybe that should come down?"  The most I made was my cheeseball because everything else was just mac and cheese or open something and heat.  

We did our Easter on Saturday so we'd have an extra day to work it off.  I had zero weight loss but I also wasn't surprised about it because I did the shockwave the night before and my legs were swollen the next day from it.  Note to self, no shockwave the day before weigh in.  Sigh. I did share my brain swirl list with the Mr and he thanked me for sharing it with him and it was helpful to know it was more than the blanket assumption of grief.  Oh no sir, I have room for multiple modalities of self torture!   We ate way more sweets than we should have as we do every year to the point of wanting to yarf.  We went on a walk at the old park with inclines and stuff.  I wanted to take my new OrthoFeet shoes for a spin.  I really think Brooks did something to their base sole that totally screwed up my feet.  When I put on old Echelon 8's from Saucony's, the heel drop was MUCH less and initially felt better so I went to get some.  Of course they don't have my size in the old version so I went to get the new version and saw they turned the Echelon 9's into a ROCKER shoe which is what initially screwed up my feet to begin with!  (Many shoes are going this route which SUCKS!)  The OrthoFeet are the closest looking to flat soled shoes I can find.  It pulls on my calves but I need to elongate them and I can't be over padding my feet like so many people do.  They got a little more comfy the more I walked but still had the usual pain the rest of the night.  So hopefully with more walks, the gams will get used to them.  I also got a slant board.  I used to use one when I did PT back in 2016 so I made a crude one for home that I use after workouts.  But I thought if I could use one that had adjustable notches, I could work up to the maximum dorsiflexion on my ankles to stretch out the calves.  Definitely something I need to keep up with for life.  Then we got sucked into the Peacock series Apples Never Fall.

Sunday we didn't even utter 'happy Easter' to each other that I can recall.  The neighbors were in rare form on both sides of us and I yelled I needed to GTF out of the house.   We drove to my old elementary school (while it still stands) and talked about a lot of heavy, not fun stuff for a while.  Then when we came home we did LIIFT 4 Legs which really took its toll on me the next day.  Yeesh!  Then we had dinner and later went up to head bob to some Autopsy shows because that's how we roll.  

Yesterday was no picnic either.  Some family stuff that just makes me feel sad and like life blows off another limb and tells me to swim yet again.  (One of those things you don't realize how it affects you until it does and suddenly the nails you worked so hard to grow back out are gone.)  Then I ended up getting my time wrong for my chiro appointment and they called me 15 minutes after the time and I had to haul ass down the street.  He didn't even notice but he seems glad I got the slant board and he got a good pop out of my ankle.  He said he can feel the muscle a bit better too so I just need the pain to back off and get everything all evened out...some year.  I can tell you the day after leg day that yesterday wasn't it!

How was your weekend?  Did you do anything for the holiday?


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Friday, March 29, 2024

What I'm Reading This Week #13

Haaaa-deeeeeeeeeeee (Minnie Pearl style and if you don't remember who that is, you're probably at the wrong blog.)

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Welcome to the last Friday of March and Easter weekend.  I hope you had a great week and are ready for a nice holiday weekend.  The Mr seems to be finally turning a bit of a corner with his sickness.  He went to the pharmacy to get an official Covid/Flu test that are more accurate than the home tests so if he needed meds he could get them and thankfully just a cold.  Because he knows that colds for me are a multi week ordeal, he's been kind enough to take extra precautions and I've cleaned handles more than I did in 2020.  (I think the incentive is more that he wants his Easter bunny on time 😉)  

Now let's hop to:

Wednesday, March 27, 2024

A Quick Note About Recipes




Hey y'all!

I could've sworn that I had a recipe page here at one time but it wasn't until a former Sparkie swung by last week and asked if I had a recipe page that I realized I didn't!  😬  I went through the archives and pulled all of the healthier recipes and put them up on a page in case anyone wants them all in one place.

I plan to start doing recipes a little more when it pops in my head to grab a camera and I hope to remember to update that page when I do.  

If you feel so inclined, head over to the new Recipes page and give it a peruse!


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Monday, March 25, 2024

Visits and Wheel of Ick Weekend Recap

Goodbye weekend...we barely knew ye.  

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It was different.  We started things off by meeting my cousin but not where we agreed.  We were supposed to meet at a park but of course some light rain moved in.  This isn't an issue for us because we relish being in a park, umbrellas popped and alone because people are wusses and act like they're in the bloodline of the Wicked Witch of the West and will melt if a droplet hits them.  I got a message did we want to meet there or at their place since it's "rainy and gross."  Sigh.  I guess I know what the non-asshole answer is to that.  Sigh.  

Friday, March 22, 2024

What I'm Reading This Week #12

Howdy y'all and happy Friday.  I don't know about you but I'm ready for the weekend.  It's been an emotionally exhausting week on many fronts and I've got some stuff I need sorted out that will unfortunately keep me in that mindset until I get some paperwork together and in order.  I'm hoping maybe a week or so if I can push through but I'm not putting a hard deadline on it if I need an extra week.

After talking, the Mr and I decided screw Shrek, and I had my last appointment with him yesterday.   It was not pleasant as I told him from the beginning he is NOT to touch anywhere around my neck and that effer snuck one in quickly and I was pissed.  So even if I hadn't made that decision, that little sneak attack sealed his fate with me.  The fact is, he's not using the shockwave right.  He's using it over my socks and this man's ego will not allow you to point out that every single manual or video shows it being used with ultrasound gel directly on the skin.  I've never been able to get a clear shot of the name of the machine he uses but I know what the outside looks like and we found a version on Amazon that looks identical and was basically the cost of 4 treatments.  The Mr has wanted to use it for his shoulder so even if it's a piece of crap that breaks in two months, it's still cheaper than going to a schmuck that doesn't even use it right.  So I will go back to my guy and have him do the manual manipulation on the calves/feet and the Mr and I can do shockwave maybe three times a week.  I've got a shoulder impingement that is impeding my ability to get stronger and I'm hoping it can help with that too.  

Now let's help ourselves to:

Tuesday, March 19, 2024

Poof There It Went Weekend Recap

I hope you read that in the style of

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Good Lord, just when I thought a weekend couldn't go any quicker, there went ours.  It was all over the place.  Thursday, I finally found a place to book for my 50th birthday.  I wasn't going to do anything, we really can't afford it given the other places we're going but the thought of sitting here in our demon neighbor hell listening to barking dogs and slamming on a milestone birthday would push me over the edge.  It's already going to be a hard one.  The one I thought she'd be here for buying me joint and muscle cream, my first pair of readers, some smart ass card that I wasn't ready for when I turned 30 and 40 and told her 50 is when she could rag on my age.  I spent all last week looking for an acceptable place, away from people and it looked like we weren't really going to find it.  I couldn't help but think of hers because I remember planning her 50th birthday party for 9 months.  The secret emails, finding the perfect songs from her record collection to play, getting candies from her childhood to put on each table in baskets (people were talking about that for weeks), inviting people from high school, co-workers new and old, friends and family.  I know I won't get that and honestly, without her, it doesn't feel like the way I always thought it would even if I did.  So I found a place with a horse farm in the front yard.  The Mr and I were happiest when we had to quarantine at a place next to a horse farm and it brought us a lot of peace.  So here's hoping it's peaceful and not a sweltering hot minefield of horse manure since that seems to be default mode over the past year.  That relieved a good amount of pressure that we were both under and I never want to look at VRBO again.

Monday, March 18, 2024

Weekend Recap Coming Tomorrow


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Kind of in a mental spot right now and don't have the brain power to throw together a post right now so I'll see ya tomorrow.

Happy Monday!

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Friday, March 15, 2024

What I'm Reading This Week #11

Top o' the morning to ya, this Friday before St. Patty's Day. ☘️  We're halfway through the month somehow so if you had beginning of the month goals you wanted to meet in an area of your life, are you still on track?  I had my deep tissue massage with a woman who used proper pressure this time which was awesome.  I still could've stood a little more but it was good and I'll likely go to her again.  I had my appointment right after with my chiro, not Shrek.  Since his office is right next to the shockwave dude, I had a post-it ready and when he closed the door I flashed it.

"FYI - you have set the bar for chiropractors unreachably high..."

He smiled- I flipped it over.

"Are you SURE you don't do shockwave therapy!?"

He laughed and said he loved it and how I kept it on the downlow.  I showed him the pain drawing I presented the brute and said "if I'd come to you with this, how would you have proceeded?"  He said it very obviously looked like a posterior chain issue and stemming from my usual trouble spots.  He said while my plantar fascia is affected, he didn't think it was presenting as plantar fasciitis.  I asked if the shockwave was a waste of time and he said some people respond really well, other people it does nothing or very little.  He said it can't hurt but he wouldn't go past the 6-8 typical protocol.  He had me lay down on my stomach and checked my calves in the exact way the brute did only two days prior and told me they were absolutely fine and said "oh wow, yeah...LOTS of adhesions in there."  I KNEW IT!!!!!  I knew I wasn't crazy.  He did some release on my problem areas, where I ASKED for it with the other guy, and then asked if the other guy was adjusting my feet.  I said no, so he did my ankles and I told him I was going to finish out the shockwave with the other dude then come back to him.  He said he was going to look over my x-rays at lunch and because the other one was out the beginning of the week, I would go back to my guy and have him work on me again then do my next shockwave Friday.  That'll be #4 under my belt so 2-3 more after that.  I'll schedule those and tell him that I'll see how things improve.  I DO NOT want him adjusting my ankles.  The LMT told me she'd been adjusted by him a few times and he was aggressive and she hasn't been back.  When my guy asked how it was going I raised my eyebrows and shook my head and said "he's a bit aggressive" and he smiled and said "I get that feedback a lot from people who toggle back and forth between us."  So yeah, my time with that schmuck is limited.  I will say that after our walk, I didn't have quite as much pain so I'm hopeful my guy will get me where I need to be.  

Now let's get to: 

Wednesday, March 13, 2024

Struggle Bus Midweek Check In





Happy hump day everyone!  I hope your week is going well.  

Y'all.  I don't know what da heck is up with this week but it can kiss my dimpled azz.  Saturday just really got to me and Sunday was the first time in 5 weeks I didn't drink my 25 oz water before getting out of bed.  It set a tone because I didn't reach my water goal for the day either which was about 30% less than it should've been.  I didn't do my bike that day either, which is optional Sunday anyway but still.  Monday wasn't a whole lot better on the water front coming in at about 80% of my goal.  That was mammogram day for me and vein day for him.  I had to laugh at the tech who was 67 years old and politely let me know she wasn't going to do the amount of pressure I requested and how she never heard of such a thing.  Really?  Have you heard of unnecessary callbacks, lady?  Have you been on the receiving end of them twice and gone through the death spiral for a few days??  But that's not why I laughed though.  She told me I've obviously lost weight since the last time I was there which I knew that wasn't true and said "why do you say that?"  She said the contour of my boobs were different and showed me the difference from last year to this year.  Well my sweet friend, after checking, I'm actually up 13 lbs from last year so time for you to head to the eye doctor.  (The sneak peek at the comps allowed me to see all is well on that front.)  I'm guessing it was the droopy arm fat area that really gave her the tip off but its less desirable to say "I see you have a built in bat suit from weight loss."

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