Stomachtime blues

I spent the entire day Tuesday in the emergency room.  I don’t so much have a problem with that because, I mean, I did call my PCP complaining of a weird pain in my upper abdomen that felt like something was stuck and I DO have a gastric bypass…so it could have been any number of things.  The most prudent thing to do to get me seen quickly and tested promptly was to send me straight to the emergency room.

It was a whole day adventure which involved a whole lot of barium which culminated in a short-lived CT scan which showed a thickening of some connection between my stomach and my intestines.  I probably should follow-up with my PCP and get a referral to my bariatric doctor.  It scares me a little because while I have my little tiny Frankentummy, my great big “remnant” stomach still hangs out as well.

And that sometimes worries me because, well, what happens to that if something goes wrong?

In this case, the problem is with my Frankentummy.  I can identify when the problem started which is when I was hospitalized in June and they switched me from prilosec to protonix.  I remember clearly (which makes me a little complicit I suppose) being told that prilosec was THE drug of choice for us RNYers (that is the type of bypass I had) and not to accept another kind.  But I was also assured in the hospital that protonix was the “same” thing.  Then when my THEN PCP substituted it for my refill of prilosec, I lemmingly went along.

And now we see where that has gotten me.  Yep….with a pre-ulcer and enough discomfort that I can’t sleep and sitting for long periods is uncomfortable and letting my stomach get empty isn’t exactly a walk in the park either.  Of course filling it up hurts too.  And drinking?  OY!

So far my bypass has been pretty cooperative.  If I eat right and exercise moderately we get along okay.  I started to think about getting a pretty radical revision done but in the line of exploring why I have gained 40# I discovered a lot about my slovenly ways.

I don’t move enough and I eat entirely too many processed carbs.  My battered Frankentummy is quaking as I remember!!!

I have since decided NOT to proceed with the radical surgery, to buy some clothes that will fit, to work hard on my really wayward habits and if this is what I am then this is what I am which isn’t bad at all.  I can live with this.

Emphasis on LIVE.

Sadly one of my online friends who had a revision (not the one I was considering but equally as challenging) passed away from complications and that was a HUGE wakeup call.  I don’t need that surgery and because I don’t need it…I can live the way I am.  I am fine the way I am.

So…I spent Tuesday in the emergency room.  My Frankentummy is a little battered but hopefully it’s on the mend.  My stupid insurance wouldn’t pay for the meds I need but I have a slush fund I could pay for the over the counter brand with.  So I am good.

And really.  I am good.  I am really good.

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Childhood Memories

I know we are all used to those posts filled with bright green grass, sapphire green pools and brightly colored hair ribbons hanging off perfectly curled ponytails swinging behind the gossamer curtains of childhood memories mixing with the smells of vanilla and strawberry and all those special things which take those writers back to perfect childhoods.

And those are very good posts…they’re just not MY posts and, really, they never WILL be MY posts.

I thought a lot about it today. What is my favorite childhood memory? Do I even have one? Do I have ANY happy memory?

While it’s well-known I don’t have a lot of memories of the years between 4th and 12th grade (and thank Gd that my best friend Christine keeps those memories very much alive for my son Evan for me…and keeps them for me when I am ready for them) – I have memories of my young childhood. I remember where we lived, where I went to school, the kind of saddle shoes I wore in third grade (black and white as opposed to brown and tan which is the kind I REALLY wanted), my brownie uniform that I wore every week to school and then walked to the Methodist Church in town for our meetings.

I remember the house we lived in, the year we lived with my grandparents and everyone forgot my birthday and then got me an old applesauce cake from the Thrift Store after we had supper. I hate applesauce cake to this day.

I remember the year I had a skating party for my birthday and I got beaten afterward. Beatings on my birthday were kind of expected. That particularly birthday I was also raped by an older boy who was visiting us. Later I was beaten for that too because, of course, it has to be a just-turned-8 year old little girl’s fault right?

And along with that I remember the same house and brutal beatings, the blood and the police who came as the sun rose and the broken glass and the screams going unanswered. Cries for help echoing in the subdivision in which we lived, blood curdling screams as faces were broken, glass was shattered and little girls were scared into silence.

Yes, there were happy times I suppose. I have seen some pictures that other people have. I don’t have any. My sister took all the pictures long ago and never gave any to me. She says I don’t belong to her family and so I don’t deserve any.

Whatever.

Maybe if I had happy pictures I’d convince myself it was all happy even though in my heart I know it really wasn’t. But I am also not so jaded as to think it was all bad. I know that everything is not so black and white.

But could I pick out a sunshine and rainbow moment of happiness that was all encompassing that involved time with my immediate family? Let me just say I qualify this only because I did spend so many happy moments with my grandmother and it was only with her that I can say I ever felt truly safe and happy. So my question then becomes and the question I have been framing is…

Do I have a happiest moment from the childhood I spent with my mom, dad and sister?

Sadly, the answer is no. I can’t for the life of me really think of one. And yet, there were opportunities. The Harlem Globetrotters Game, Disney World, so many opportunities.

But each opportunity that I think of was tainted either by a violent fight or by some other situation that had no business happening.

I don’t really know how to say this other than to just come out and say it. I can allude to it and it’s hard to just say. I can’t freely talk about it yet but if you want to know why I have no favorite childhood memory, this is why – being molested can ruin everything that ever comes after it. No matter what that “everything” is…nothing will ever be happy again no matter how happy it seems.

Remember that.

Sore Fingers Today

I have severe hypoglycemia.  It’s a real bitch too because I have had two grand mal (tonic-clonic) seizures from it and I live in absolute fear that I’ll have a really bad low, won’t be home and I’ll have a seizure.  I blame my 30# weight gain on it AND my food addiction.  I just worry that I won’t be able to keep it steady so I eat all the time OR it drops and I eat and then it drops unexpectedly and I eat and well, you get the picture. 30# later if I am not full ALL THE FREAKING time, I panic.

It’s a sad way to live.

I finally decided I had to see an endocrinologist and I decided to go the distance and see the one I’d been seeing before I left for Israel.  In some ways it was a good choice because he had my records from 2010 when I was there for (go ahead and guess) hypoglycemia although it wasn’t so good because his middle name is NOT bedside manner.

He told me that my failed glucose tolerance test meant absolutely nothing to him (thanks, I drank that nasty ass orange crap and had a 40 low for nothing then) and that I’d have to go “make nice” with the lab and then get myself into a bad situation (read: nasty low) and go get gallons of blood drawn for half a gabillion weird tests that no one has ever heard of.

And that’s not exaggerating because when I went and made nice with the lab (good tactic if I do say so because….) they hadn’t even HEARD of two of tests and had to call their regional HQ to get the coding for them and even the regional HQ had to look them up.  Even THEN they couldn’t identify two others without calling the doctor AGAIN for guidance.

The supervisor at the lab keyed it all in and then told me that when I hit that “sweet spot” and had a good low to get myself in pronto and they’d take me right away.

So…I talked to him last week when he called me to tell me not do strenuous exercise before one of the tests (really?) and assured himthat today would be the day.  Actually it had to BE the day since it was the only day when poor Scott wasn’t running everyone back and forth all over Gd’s creation to doctor’s appointments and whatnot.

This morning I got up and started off with toast with apple butter.  When Scott got up at 7:30 I was at 180.  We talked about when we wanted to have to low hit and I knew it would happen about an hour after I ate something so terrible it couldn’t even be classified as food.

In this case it was going to be two packages of Little Debbie Swiss Rolls (I am gagging even as I write this.)

So…Scott went to get his hair cut and I sat in the car and ate 3 of the 4 rolls.  There was no way for love or money you could get me to eat that 4th roll.  I was almost ready to just hurl it all out and I couldn’t imagine anyone ever eating more than one package of these even though I know there are those who do (and I am NOT judging) – all I wanted as a hash brown or something that didn’t taste like crusted sugar and chocolate to cleanse my overloaded palate.

But…I had to suck it up.

So we went to pay the insurance, get Scott’s license picture taken and do some shopping at the grocery store which is where I hit the sweet spot.

I knew it when I couldn’t see anymore so we scurried into line, paid even though there was a HUGE error on our receipt and ran out and across the parking lot to the lab.  I was shaking and in a sweat.  I checked my glucose and I was at 50.  I knew we were on borrowed time before my liver decided to take some of my fat and send it northward to my pancreas so we ran in and wrote RUSH on the signin.  Scott even told the tech that his wife needed to be drawm immediately for her blood sugar before she had a seizure!

HUZZAH!

That pulled me past two folks who were there with appointments who weren’t really pleased with my cutting line (I am SOOOO sorry…really) even though I sort of had an appointment which I sort of made three weeks ago sort of but hey, they wouldn’t have known that would they?  Sorry again.

Once we were done I was STARVING so I had a 7 layer burrito and a taco (now you know why I am FAT) and went to my therapy appointment.

I have to admit my fingers are sore from all the finger sticks I did today.  I have hit three lows since that induced one and I know the rest of the week will suck until I can get a good diet of fruit, veg and protein back into my system.  But strangely that’s okay.

I know that I still could have a seizure but I also know that MAYBE this time something can be done.  MAYBE something WILL be done.  When I was in Israel my endocrinologist put me on acarbose and that worked really well.  I’d like to do something like that again.  Something that will keep me steady.  Then I can get on a good, low calorie diet…more activity including my daily 5k…and hopefully kick my metabolism back into gear.

So…while I may have very sore fingers today..I also have hope.  I think it’s a fair trade off.  I’ll keep you posted.

Good Eats? Then Why Am I So Offended??

Cooking is like an art to me…a form of self expression.  I collect cookbooks and recipes.  I pore through them and pick and choose things that I think my family will not only like but will also EAT.  In short, I really enjoy not only the process of cooking but I think what I enjoy most is the CHALLENGE of cooking.

I admit I am a big cookie artist.  I love to find all sorts of different kinds of cookies to make.  I recently started to feel the same way about basically any kind of cooking I am doing.  And to me, it’s so much of an art that I also get really offended when the family turns its collective nose up at what I have worked so hard to produce.

Every night for me is like Cupcake Wars with real food!

And it’s hard to even figure what they’ll accept or reject.  Take for example Sloppy Joes  – REJECT!  In fact, one of the children asked where were the noodles for the spaghetti sauce, very clearly missing the hotdog buns (I think they create less messy Joes) set beside the plates.  He also missed the plates and got another one instead – yeah, the “children” are 21 and 29, respectively, but please, bear with me.

Tonight I made lemon chicken with sweet and sticky green beans and rice.  I even made the effort to make applesauce raisin bars for dessert.  Not even touched.  Last night I made them cheeseburger macaroni from scratch with Velveeta and most of ended up in the fridge.

I was crushed both times.

Last week, I went on strike and proclaimed for all to hear that I wouldn’t be making any NEW food OR cookies until all the leftovers STOPPED.  I stopped making human sized portions too and stuck to child sized fare so there really wasn’t a lot to eat anyway and it was all first come, first served.

But now, I realize that I do get really offended when they reject what I make.  Even the easy stuff.  I mean, what am I supposed to do?  I can’t even judge based on past experience what they will eat or won’t eat and I’m pretty much stuck making Happy Meal sized portions for a family of four adults for the forseeable future.

It gets even worse because I feel compelled to EAT this stuff when I prefer food I know they won’t even touch.  Like chumus or falafel or vegetables or an apple.  You get the picture.

Which brings me to my two evil confessions.  First, yes, I hide food that I want to eat.  Why?  Because they are like locusts here.  If I would put out a bag of tortilla chips that would take me a month to eat with salsa on the side as a snack….I’d never see them.  So yes, I have a stash.  And the second thing is I dole out cookies on a need to eat basis.  I realized they were wolfing down my hard work like dime a dozen Dollar Tree cookies and so now I put out about half a dozen at a time.  Is it mean?  Probably but I felt so hurt that my hard work was eaten with such little regard.  And I proved it, too, when I got them 3 dozen cookies for $0.99 from Aldis and they were gone in a day.  About the same as it took them to inhale mine.  So I don’t feel too badly about my evildoing.

It’s just all so difficult. How do you feed a pack of people like this?  You can’t tell what they like (other than chocolate chip cookies from ANYWHERE) and you never know when or what they’ll eat.

So what do I do?  Any ideas?

I bought a head of cauliflower and tomorrow I am making Buffalo Cauliflower Bites with it.  No one in this house will even go near it and I don’t even want them to.

They can have leftovers and believe me, there are a lot this week!  They’re all made with good food from top notch recipes and you can take it from me, I worked hard to make them all.  On second thought, maybe I SHOULDN’T complain OR be offended.

I’m getting quite a few nights off from cooking!

What Makes You Happy

It’s easy to write a blog post about those things that make me unhappy…and Lord knows I have written a lot of those lately.  But what about those things that make me happy?  I know it shouldn’t be that hard so why don’t I write more about them?  Tonight I plan to do just that.

Sometimes when I am in the abyss it’s hard to think of anything that would make me really HAPPY.  I mean what IS happiness anyway?  But the reality is I know what happiness is.  Happiness is beig with my son even when he’s rambing away for the gabillionth time about exacting revenge on the unsuspecting victim of the day as his alter ego, the Oera Ghost.  Happiness is looking at my two freaky dogs when they are sleeping and wanting to hug and kiss them.  Happiness is listening t o “I’m Just a Gigilo” at the end of my walk when I am on my way home.  Happiness is hugging Scott when he comes home from work.

See?  That’s not so hard.

Happiness is knowing Shabbat is right around the corner.  Happiness is being an Israeli citizen and aving had the greatest experience in my life of living in Jerusalem with my son.  Happiness is having a warm home and a soft bed and heat and air conditioning and a mixer to make cookies with.  Happiness is having running water.  Really.

Happiness is having a best friend who listens when the going gets rough and who isn’t afraid to say, hey, listen to ME when I get lost in myself.  Happiness is being safe.  Happiness is being loved.

There are so many things to be happy about.  Probably way more than there are to be sad or angry about but sometimes it seems that the bad things seem so enormous and overwhelming.  At least to me they can be consuming.

I hope that when I am down or sad or overwhelmed I’l remember to come back to this post or even just to my private journal and be happy in the moment because there are so many happys to put the bads in their place.

The Apology That Never Came

I am so sorry that I spread a story about you.  It doesn’t matter whether it was true or not.  I should have thought more about where it would go and what it would do to you in the future.  Oh, I knew it would hurt you which is precisely what I intended for it to do because yes, you did hurt me and yes, I know you did apologize and yes, I did accept your apology.  But that was long after I told the story.

Now I want to ask YOUR forgiveness.  Can you forgive me?  I can never take back to story and I can never give you back the friends I took from you or the reputation I stole from you as I spun a story designed to make me look like a martyr.  I mean, isn’t that how everyone tells a story when they feel victimized?

I know there were lots of stories to be told during our time together and many times you didn’t tell them and I thank you for that.  You never made a point to make me look like a bad person on purpose even though I know you had your support people and I know you told them….you told me you did and I knew that telling them was like telling a wall.  It never went anywhere.

But what I told had legs and still has legs.  I’m sorry I can’t get it back.  I stopped telling it because it doesn’t do anything for me anymore but I know others still get something out of it and for them, it’s just another day of personal satisfaction for them to continue to wallow in it.  They always hated you and this just keeps that fire going.  I wish it didn’t because, really?  To be honest?  I’m about as tired of it as you are.  I want to move on too.

I liked being the victim for a long time but now even I want to do something else but when they say karma sneaks around to bite you in the ass?  They’re right.  So while I can apologize to you, I can never make this one right.  It’s like a game of telephone gone wrong.  What you did happened and it was over.  What I did is like a stone in the ocean….and it never, ever ends and sadly, I didn’t anticipate that.

So please forgive me.  I’m sorry.  I’m sorry for you and I am sorry for me.  I am really sorry that this just won’t stop.

I’m sorry too.  For me, it wont’t stop until I die.  Tragically, I do know how you feel and unfortunately, I don’t feel all that sorry for you.