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Showing posts from 2008

The Year in Review - Heather style.

What a year!

I started off the year gardening a lot, bitching about my side effects, and manic for soynuts. February was a month that changed my life. We had a scary meeting with the plant manager, who considered reopening the deli. I invented some Chipolte pintos that Ron adored. He also loved the fried sausage and onions. More gardening, of course, and Feb 20 I gave all my skinny clothes to the Salvation Army. Feb 26, I had enough:

"Now, I'm fat. Clinically, I'm fat. I weigh about 75 pounds more than my ideal weight. OK? I ate all kinds of bad things when I was sick, making me fat....I need to lose about a foot off my waist. I measured. YUCK." The first couple days were hard, but "It seemed like everytime I was about to give up today, I encountered a massive individual struggling to breathe. God really knows how to motivate me. No. Not if I can help it!"

I started my low-carb blog. Ron helped me by fixing me bacon and planned to build me a compost b…

We shouldn't know this phrase...

"Taking the veil". I read that just now in reference to an article on bras. A woman replied to a man's lewd comment with "Should we take the veil to avoid creeps like you?"

That is horrible! We shouldn't ever consider something like that, even in jest. I've been on a shawl-buying kick recently on Ebay. I've bought some lovely "pashmina" - whatever they are, they're nice, shawls, and some blended fiber shawls. I even ordered a natural cotton one, and a dyed silk one. All well within my internet budget.

But everytime I do a search, the damned veils keep coming up - oh, they call it other things. "Abaya" - the cloak-like "getup" that conceals a woman's entire body, "Hijab" or "Shayla" (that's the head covering) and my personal favorite, the "Niquab". Sounds innocent, huh? Kind of like squab or something? No. It's the face covering. Yeah. The one you'd bette…

"... and I don't want them either."

I'm sorry I've been neglecting this blog, but I've been posting a lot in my low-carb blog. You can always click on the Heather Shrinks thing to see what I've been doing, I update that almost every day.

Well, as Ron would say I pissed them off again. I am tired of hearing "Oh, so and so is pregnant! Isn't it wonderful?" and everyone is supposed to act like it's the best thing that will ever happen to her. I disagree.

I didn't say that but I did cast aspersions on her virtue, which got a lot of heated replies. I'm hiding out for a bit.

I couldn't understand for a bit why the whole pregnancy is wonderful thing had me pissed off. I mean, as far as I know, I am perfectly fertile. My mother had a few miscarriages, but she also brought 4 children to term. My sister has 3 kids. My aunt has 4. Obviously we don't have fertility issues.

I like kids. I think my nephew is the cutest baby ever. He is adorable. I'm glad my brother ha…

Resentful and envious

Yes, I am. Thanksgiving, the day to give thanks, and why am I feeling this way?

Well, I hang out on two message boards. One is primarily low-carb, and one is primarily Christian. On both sites recently women have posted about a health problem their husband had, but he's all better now!

I've had to battle a tremendous urge to say something like "Well, good for you." Or "Great, so nice to hear."

A few minutes ago, I went in Ron's room to ask him a question. I won't break his privacy, but it was obvious he was in physical pain and very sad. Why him? Or, why not him? Why can't he be the one who's getting better, instead of the man who gets into a Metrolift slower than an 80 year old woman?

When they see him getting into the vehicle, no one asks why he has the wheelchair. They know he can barely walk at all.

Why does God need him like this? Haven't we both suffered enough? I don't know the answers.

I just tell myself what I tel…

If you'd like to help...

Many times, I approach a door, pushing my blind husband in his wheelchair. If nobody's around, or they don't feel helpful, I'll do a 180 and back up to the door. I open the door, and hold it with one arm as I back the wheelchair into the doorway. When I've gotten Ron far enough into the door, I'll let the door slam into the side of the chair and continue to slide it backwards until "we're" through.

Assuming the door swings inward, I will simply back up and shove with my butt until the door opens. It works well, I call it "Mighty Butt". Then I stick my arm out to the side to catch the door until Ron's through.

If you ever see us approaching, PLEASE do not stand IN FRONT of the door, holding it open for us. There's no way I can get him through the door without running over your feet or having to duck down under your arm. We'll all be very uncomfortable.

Please stand BEHIND the door as you hold it open. Either way, I'll …

On Crying

It's funny how things change on my medication. When I cry now, it's not for long, not a lot of tears, but very intense. I'm clear-headed, just very, very sad. I also feel vaguely guilty. I don't know why, I'm the only one who knows I'm crying. I'm very quiet.

Before, it would be for a while, buckets of tears, blowing my nose, and generally pretty hysterical. Sometimes I didn't even know why I was crying (because I have a mood disorder). I'd be pretty loud.

I was watching a video to one of my favorite songs and I just lost it crying. Basically the singer is crying out to God, and affirming his faith that God will save him. There go the waterworks.

I had an old rag - if I'm going to cry I love my old rags. I cried for a couple minutes. I can't honestly say I feel better because my situation is the same.

My husband is really messed up. I'm shouldering his work and mine, caring for him, and caring for myself. All done by someo…

Today, it's about knitting.

Yes, today, it's about knitting.

I finished the Fall Colors shawl. It looks fantastic and I love wearing it whenever it gets chilly. I actually hope it's a colder winter now. I had enough photos taken, that one of them will come out. :) Then I'll upload it and the pattern.

I also finished the fingerless gloves. I used Elizabeth Lavold Chunky Al - a 50/50 alpaca/wool blend. They are very warm, non-itchy, and durable enough that I can push the wheelchair while wearing them. Again, pattern and pictures coming soon.

Last but not least, I finished my 3 color hat. I make everyone else hats, but last year I wore an Army Surplus wool hat. It was very warm, and basic, but it's just wrong. I should have something that expressed my personality.

This year, I dug some Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride Worsted out of my stash. I had one skein each of turquoise, magenta, and orange. I made stripes. It's fun, cute, and original. I like it a lot. I have to confess, thoug…

Prescription: "Listen to your wife"

Ron's impatient. Who can blame him? Becoming hemiparetic was bad enough after his accident. He asked me about it as he recovered. I did some reasearch and told him "Well, if you don't see it by 6 months you probably never will". He didn't like it but 6 months came and went over 6 years ago. I figured it was far better for him to know his prognosis than to have a horrible crash a few years later.

I've treated the whole "Sensory Peripheral Nerve Disease" thing pretty much the same. When Ron asks me when he'll get better, I tell him "We don't know, you may recover, you might not. Nerves are funny and don't have a whole lot of capacity to regenerate. I think it'll be a longer process than you'd like at best."

He hasn't liked hearing that, and has requested that I do more research, but everything comes up the same. He might get better, he might not.

Recently he'd been asking me to find him a new doctor, one…

No more peanuts or Slim-fast low carb!

Waking up everyday with a horrible headache was bad enough, but today's, my OFF day, morphed into a hideous puking migraine. I didn't go to Social Security. I didn't go to the craft store! [Heather cries]

The only "fun trips" I'm going to have are ones I do on the bus. Tomorrow I have to get to bed at 6. Friday I get up at 2.

Poor Ron wore himself out going to Walmart and getting me my medicine. I'm not telling him this: but by the time the prescription was ready I was feeling better.

Thankfully my migraines "Only" last about 12 hours. I suspect peanuts or Slimfast low carb are my triggers, so I won't consume any for at least a month. I can slowly add them in and see if they trigger headaches.

I'm still not hungry, so I'm not eating. :(

You win some, you lose some.

Well. I'm happy that McCain got Texas at least, and I'm glad I voted for him.

I am very disappointed that Sheila Jackson-Lee will be representing me in Congress. I feel she is embarrassing. Only 25% of the other voters agreed with me, though.

The good-guy candidate for Sheriff won. I was impressed by the fact that an obviously off-duty police officer asked for my vote (well outside the polling grounds). As I read the list of supporters, my choice was obvious.

I voted pretty strongly Republican on the other issues. I'm not so concerned with who won or not. The major ones, I won some, I lost some.

I just hope our new president can live up to everyone's expectations.

I walked 5 miles to vote today

I thought my polling place would be the local elementary school. I was wrong. I was redirected to the "real" place about 3 miles away. I walked.

I didn't have to wait at all. I just walked up to the appropriate letter range and handed over my ID card, signed, and voted.

It was an interesting experience. I voted for McCain. I think he'll do a better job. I feel he's already been tested and he did well. I have a very bad feeling about Obama AND his VP. I don't like or trust either of them.

I don't feel Michelle Obama will do a good job of "representing" all that is gracious about America. It has nothing to do with race - it says "Negro" on my husband's birth certificate. She doesn't have a good poker face. I don't feel she is "gracious". I keep coming back to her obviously annoyed expression during the speech Hilary Clinton gave, endorsing Obama.

It's my choice, I made it, and I'm proud I voted…

And all I've got is a link

It sounds like a bad country music song: "I spent all that time at the doctor's and all I've got is a link." http://www.webmd.com/brain/understanding-peripheral-neuropathy-basics

Sad but true. We had been eagerly awaiting a call from the neurologist. Nothing. Ron "reminded" him a few times and the doctor's receptionist called today. "Sorry, all your tests came back normal. There's nothing the doctor can do". Have a nice life, and don't let the door hit you on the way out.

Ron was crushed. Me too. The only information we have? A diagnosis "Peripheral Neuropathy". I can tell from my research Ron has the "Sensory" type.

He's hardly eating at all. I put his statistics into a BMR (basal metabolic rate) calculator and he needs at least 1500. He isn't getting anywhere near that.

Now I have the fun and enviable task of getting a very stubborn man to eat. Nothing tastes right, and he's "not h…

My pants are falling off!

About a month ago, I bought some blue jeans at Walmart. Eased fit, bootcut. Size 12.

Today I noticed they are baggy in both the butt and the crotch, and I had a lot of extra room in the waist. I have a test to see if I need new jeans. I try to pull them off when they're still fastened.

On my way out of work, I used the bathroom. Sure enough, I could pull them off without unfastening them! Not only that, I could get them on again, too.

Time to go to Walmart! I hope ALL 12's fit me now, not just the "eased".
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The gutter nearly hit my house; but I've let the bushes grow. If I'd trimmed them I'd have had some serious damage - 3 windows on the other side of the bushes!

Hurricane Photos

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Our roof, below - totally fine.




These were all taken within a block of my home.

Progress pictures!

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Here I am at my favorite Walmart, getting my picture taken. Walmart employees take excellent photos.

Here's Ron under Happy the afghan, which I finally finished. Notice how he's admiring the stitches (feeling it with his hand).
Is that my butt? I still need to lose 30 pounds but it's a lot better!

Heather's day off

Well, today was better. Ron and I are making each other a priority. He apologized for yesterday and of course I forgave him.

People who've just met us are always surprised to find out we're married. I don't know why - because we love each other? I couldn't tell you.

We just went to Walmart and home. Since Ron left the wheelchair at home, he collapsed onto the bench outside the door. Just getting to and from the bench to the vehicle totally wiped him out; he's sleeping now.

I'll be glad when we have a diagnosis and treatment. I hate to see him hurting.

But, like I always tell myself, one day this'll all be a horrible memory.

Ham Spread - Make God Happy

Today was raw. Waking up was fine. Going to Sam's Club was fine. Not fun to push the wheelchair in the pouring rain. Not fun trying to find a place to "park" him.

Getting the supplies we needed, fine. By the time we had our pickup to work my increased lithium doses had caught up with me. I think I mentioned I'd increased my dose, had to, because I was getting hyper and that will end with me freaking out, paranoid, suicidal, and unable to sleep. I want to forget I'm sick if at all possible.

Today I was "sick" [I]and[/I] brain damaged. I couldn't think and I kept making mistakes. Example, I left a case of milk out on the loading dock. Ron got really agggravated and yelled at me. I yelled back. I was nice to him, doing everything he asked and offering plenty of help when he looked like he needed it. I felt very unappreciated.

I felt like I was pouring all my love down and black hole of unappreciation and disrespect for Heather. That I had…

No means NO

Ron and I had a long hellish day. It involved hours at work, an MRI, a bladder infection, and trying for over an hour to give a specimen for the doctor. That's before we had to wait over and hour to go to Walmart to fill a prescription.

I got him some AZO and a snack. He was pretty hungry. Found out we'd have to wait 3 hours for the 'script so we decided to wait and get it tomorrow. That still meant waiting over another hour for our ride.

Needless to say, when we saw our driver we were very, very happy. When we got on, though, I recognized the other passenger. She is an elderly, partially blind, diabetic woman. She is very lonely and highly addicted to sugar.

The last time we rode with her, I'd gone to Sam's Club and bought a 48-count case of Snickers. She asked me to give her one. No. I don't hand out candy to diabetics, especially not type ones with talking blood sugar meters sitting in their laps. Personally, I think it's akin to assisted sui…

Hell in a handbasket

This last month, I've faced a very ill husband, increased job duties, a hurricane, and most recently a vicious cold/sinus infection. How do I do it?

Well, I have a bad habit of the martyr syndrome. Drop everything; don't take any time for myself, gee, why am I getting depressed?

It's a classic setup for caregiver burnout (http://women.webmd.com/caregiver-recognizing-burnout). I'm trying to be vigilant in preventing it, but Ron has no one but me. I have to prevent burnout because Ron has no one but me.

What am I doing?
I have a small, easy knitting project by the bed. I love the colors of the varegated yarn. I do one row every time I go to bed. MP3 player. Right now I'm listening to "Blessed be the Name of the Lord" - I've also cranked a lot of Skillet too. I'm working on a large knitting project for myself. The last time I did that was 1994. I take it everywhere. It's nearly done. It makes me happy. I've been craving beef re…

Skillet

One of the things I'm doing is listening to music. Specifically,Skillet. http://www.skillet.com/home. I have "Comatose" on repeat right now.

Here are the lyrics:
I hate feeling like this
I'm so tired of trying to fight this
I'm asleep and all I dream of
Is waking to You
Tell me that You will listen
You're touch is what i'm missing
And the more I hide I realize I'm slowly losing You
ComatoseI'll never wake up without an overdose of You
I don't wanna live,
I dont wanna breathe
'Les I feel you next to me
You take the pain I feel
Waking up to You never felt so real
I don't wanna sleep,
I don't wanna dream
'Cause my dreams don't comfort me
The way You make me feel
Waking up to You never felt so real
I hate living without You
Dead wrong to ever doubt You
But my demons lay in waiting
Tempting me away
Oh how I adore YouOh how I thirst for You
Oh how I need You
Comatose
I'll never wake up without an overdose of You
I don't wanna live, I dont wanna…

POD envy

I wondered what I'd write about after going through a big, bad, category 2 hurricane. Not much to say about the storm, really. Big gusts of wind, rain, no flooding thank you Jesus, all done. Wait for utilities and transportation to come back online.

Since I have Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, I can't drive. I'm incapable of processing the infomation I'd need to drive safely, so I don't drive. My husband is blind, he can't drive. We depend on public transportation.

Normally, I'm fine with that. I meet fascinating people, see interesting sights, and get plenty of motivation to stick to my low-carb diet. So far I've lost just under 46 pounds. That's a lot of lard!

I don't usually see myself as limited or disabled in any way. I've got a good life and I enjoy it. I can provide my husband with the care he needs, help him run his business, and take care of my adorable 2 cats.

However, after the storm. No paratransit service unless you were a d…

Hurricane kit product reviews

OK, I'm back up and running now. I've got running water (and a boil order, but at least I can bathe), electricity (cold food! laundry!), phone and internet.

As I disgustedly tossed out a few items, I thought "Other people should know these items SUCK". Other items were quite useful and bear mentioning

The good
1. RCA Pearl MP3 player. Excellent tunes for the worst of the storm, AND an excellent FM reciever. As I discarded 2 radios that either got lousy reception, or ate batteries for breakfast, I was consistently impressed with the excellent quality of my MP3 player.
2. Rayovac Heavy Duty and Alkaline brand batteries. They lasted forever and were well worth the money spent. I was very impressed with their performance in my LED lantern, I didn't have to change the batteries for 4 days.
3. Discovery brand 1 led lantern. It cost less than $10 at the camping store. It runs on 4 D cell batteries and it was very efficient. I was able to knit by its' lig…

Hunker Down

I am getting so sick of this phrase.

"We're all hunkered down now." Poor Ed Emmet. He had no idea the monster he was creating when he first used the phrase a few days ago.

Big gusts now and then. We've lost power once, came back on almost instantly. I lost internet once but it came back in a minute or two.

I'm thirsty and figuring out what to drink. I think I'll get into my disaster kit sodas and have a diet decaf.

Rock you like a Hurricane

It's overcast and the wind is picking up. 12 hours before landfall.

I cleaned out the tub and filled all my empty pop bottles with water. I stuffed as many as possible in the fridge. I'm in the process of cooking up the raw meat and freezing it. Ron asked me to wait on the chicken until later.

I've got 30 gallons, plus 5, plus probably 5 more bottled, plus the whole bathtub. I think we're good in the water department. Oh, yeah, and my 5 gallon mopping the floor bucket is going for "toilet flush" water. Just in case. We did call our utility district and their pumps run on electricity, no backups. Ack.

My hands are shaking, but I'm taking my pills. God knows I have plenty of them! I'm going to try to take a nap.

Something bad WILL happen

That's my motto: Something bad will happen. You can search my blog for "Disaster Kit" entries. Suffice to say, I have a fairly extensive disaster kit, especially given my budget. It's a nice feeling to have when a hurricane's about to make a direct hit on your city.

Ron and I each have a small, battery operated fan. I actually have two. We've got our music players and extra batteries. A battery operated TV. I've got flashlights and battery operated lanterns. Batteries to power all of the above and then some. Hand crank radios and flashlights. Small battery operated radios.

Food: I've got loads of canned food, easily enough for a month. Lidded, 5-gallon buckets for storing water. Ron's got plenty of shakes because I always assume a hurricane's headed our way. I told him on Tuesday, "Assume this will get us, what do you need?" and we went and got it. Plenty of shakes. I needed more pills so we got them.

My computer'…

Goal 1 - Walmart size 12; 9-6-08

I'm in shock today.

Let me explain. Today was a fairly normal day. Get up, go to work. Worked hard. Went to Walmart, something I never do on a Saturday but Ron needed more shakes. The only palatable foods to him are Atkins Shakes, Strawberry and Dark Chocolate flavors.

He wanted to look at boom boxes. We did. Then I got his shakes and we checked out.

Now it's my turn. I noticed the waistband of my size 14's was getting fairly baggy, and the back pocket turns itself inside out when I take my work keys out. Time to at least try on a pair of 12's. I figured, maybe they won't fit.

I did not expect them to fit in a way where I could wear them in public. I didn't.

The first pair performed as expected. I developed a disgusting "muffin top" of fat pushed over the waistband. YUCK. Discard pile.

Then I tried on the bootcut. Oh. My. They fit like a dream. They have a little bit of stretch, in addition to the 98% cotton. I hate synthetic fibers…

What do I want for my birthday?

It's a good question. This is probably one of the only years in my life where I've been properly medicated. I can't think of much.

Here're a few random ideas:
Purple 100% cotton tops (no polos, please) in 14-10 size range. Long, 100% cotton nightgowns with short sleeves or sleeveless, in 12-14 size range. I'm not a PJ gal. Gift card for Amazon.com so I can buy tunes (like $10 or so).Rose or Jasmine-y Bubble bath Can't think of anything else except maybe Walmart card for $20 or so - I could use it to buy jeans as I drop sizes. That's it!

185.5 - Popeye's

I lost another pound! It's great to see that I can still lose weight while under a lot of stress.

Ron still says all his food tastes terrible. He can, at least, drink some of the Atkins Shakes. He says the dark chocolate and strawberry flavors are "good". That's HUGE for him. Everything else tastes so horrible he can barely gag down a bite or two.

Yesterday I realized - yet again - how horribly this antibiotic has affected him. He could barely pull his cart, much less load it (so I loaded and pulled the cart). He seems 20 years older. It's scary for me, I had hoped he'd be more vigorous by now. He's so weak. We can't even walk as fast as we used to. He can only move pretty slowly, gripping my elbow as I support him.

But I tell myself it's a matter of time. I'm still going to love him, no matter what. Heck, he came back from the dead for me! When he died at the scene of the accident, God showed him a scene that happened 2.5 year…

Newest Downloads

I bought Ron "Still the One" by Orleans and downloaded it to his MP3 player. It's kind of our song.

These aren't in order, just the order they went to my MP3 player:
1. "Whiskey You're the Devil" - Clancy Brothers - great song for someone with FAS
2. "Wherever we Go" - Newsboys (Christian)
3. "Praise you in this storm" - Casting Crowns - also Christian
4. "Newsboys Mega Mix" - Christian
5. "Savior" - Skillet (Christian Metal)
6. "Never Alone" - Barlow Girl
7. "Paradise City" - Gun's N Roses - not Christian
8. "Strong Tower" - Kutless - Christian
9. "Cheri Desis Potpourri Congo" - by Spirit of the Serengeti - lots of happy native music
10. "Ainda Que" - Afro - cool steel drum percussion and flute
11. "Sofa" by Spirit of the Serengeti - lots of cool percussion, singing, flute.

That's it for today!

Make it a good one.

Heather Cleans

I'm about to start picking up around the house. I thought it might be fun to share as I go along.

11:02 - began hunt for large plastic garbage bags.
11:03 - not under sink. Lint rolled some white cat hair on black sofa
11:04 - found contractor bags by back sliding glass door.
11:05-11:13 - updated blog, emptied trash can by my chair, found lunch-box cooler by my chair - returned to top of fridge, replaced cold packs in freezer. Collected several empty aluminum cans, placed into recycling bag.
11:14 - found 5 more cans in computer room, placed into "can bag".
11:15-18 - Found dirty dish under couch, put in sink. Picked up several empty Walmart bags and placed in "bag-bag" inside pantry. Discovered "Bathroom Cleaner"/Roach killer under couch. Returned to bathroom. Began to lint-roll cat hair off of couch.
11:19 - updated blog
11:20-11:24 - Lint-rolled white cat hair off black couch. Used 14 sheets. Returned lint-roller to "home" in organ…

Why should be rebuild New Orleans - AGAIN?

Well, we've got a nasty hurricane headed for New Orleans. Again. It's a bowl, below sea level. Of course it's a hurricane magnet.

My question - why keep rebuilding it? If it's so flood-prone, so costly to repair, why not just write it off? The government could buy out all those affected and they could move somewhere safer. No more worries about hurricanes and no more evacuations. It would probably be a lot cheaper.

It seems incredibly wasteful to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to repair homes and business that in all likelihood, will be severely damaged by the end of the week. Three years. That's how long it's been since the last one. Is it really worth it?

Are we going to perpetually "bail out" New Orleans every hurricane? Or will we finally stop and cut our losses? We have enough national debt as it is.

It's not worth it.

Taste perversion

"Taste Perversion". Sounds harmless, huh?

Well, when you're blind, can't hear that well, and eating is one of your only joys in life it's hell. Yeah. My husband is suffering "Taste Perversion" as a side effect of God Knows What, probably the Bactrim.

But Bactrim, that's harmless! I had a family member tell me it is "safe". Here's a link to "safe's" side effects: http://www.rxlist.com/cgi/generic/bactrimiv_ad.htm

The ones that got Ron: Stomatitis, nausea, abdominal pain, vertigo, hallucinations, "taste perversion" and he had a horrible psoriasis flare up. I mean, look at that link! Kidney failure! Horrible, horrible, stuff.

I may be able to help a little with the Taste Perversion - I read another link that suggests that zinc supplementation may help. It can't hurt!

We are definitely reporting it to the FDA - I found the https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/medwatch/medwatch-online.htm Medwatch l…

GO AWAY!

It looks like Hurricane Gustav is going after New Orleans.

What does Houston think?

"Finally, some plain old common sense prevails.......i.e. No vacancy at the Dome for hurricane evacuees."

"I know that not all of the Katrina evacuees are thugs, gov leeches, etc---but if you live in the Houston area, you know that this type does make up the majority of the refugee group. "

"Another 3 to 4 year vacation for the new orleans people. I think they need to tatoo the prisoners now, so we can tell them from the rest of the people coming. We did our duty with the people from Katrina. Let another state help now. Do you think mother nature is telling someone something. Wasn't a statement made that new orleans would be a chocolate new orleans.
8/28/2008 7:35:38 AM "

"Direct the evacuees EAST this time - share the devistation with the rest of the country. We did our bit LAST TIME and we're STILL paying for it. Schools overloaded with disrespectful children an…

Be Rude to the 'Tude

When I took my nap today, I was feeling very discouraged and inadequate.

When I woke up, I had a phrase in my head "Be rude to the 'tude". It really resonated. Don't respect the bad thoughts. They're not worth it.

All they'll do is drag me down.

Hostage/Doubt

My husband's moving like an old man. His voice is weak. He's tired. It's awful to watch. Loving someone who's hurting is very difficult. You've got a hostage.

I care so much for him, and things are so uncertain. It looks like he'll be getting the hand surgery next week. I'm not worried about what happens afterward - I do his job and mine for 6 weeks. That's easy. I assume he will not be in a lot of pain after the first few days. I may have to help him eat; which I don't mind. Ron's not the clingy, dependent type. He'll do whatever he can for himself.

When he's in really bad shape, I don't worry so much about anesthesia and procedures. If he's in obvious pain or trouble, they've got to do what they've got to do. I just sign off and say "God's will, not mine". God's wanted him to live so far.

I don't even fear the what-if's of surgery. Either he'll make it or not. It's a si…

Stigma

Today, on a message board, someone told me I shouldn't joke about having mental illness. Excuse me?

Yes, she went on to say, because someone she knew got stabbed by someone with mental illness. I'm sorry, but to my mind, it's not surprising. I've gone into this before: it's nearly impossible to get treatment for a mental illness in America.

If I became delusional and locked myself in a closet, I'd get a quickie "shot in the butt" treatment and they'd throw me back out on the street before I woke up again, doing nothing to treat the underlying cause. I've seen it. God, the paperwork alone would kill a normal person, much less someone who isn't in reality!

Why is it so easy for my husband to go to an emergency room and get treatment for physical pain, yet, when I went to the same hospital suicidal they gave me a pat on the head, a few names and numbers, and best wishes? The hospital asked detailed questions about my husband's livi…

Home Again.

Ron's doing better today. He was actually able to put in a few hours at work without collapsing in exhaustion. We came home so he could take a nap before I go to Walmart.

I need more Lithium (!) and groceries. I need to do dishes, wash my bedding, housework, etc., but right now I'm blogging because it's fun. I need to take care of myself, too. To quote a very wise woman "I'm no good to him if I'm no good to me".

I did ask Ron if he liked having me there when he was in the hospital. What if he'd said "Oh, it didn't matter either way, you could have gone home"? Well, I'd know not to stay next time! Anyway, I asked and he said "Definitely". Good. It's nice to know he wants me around.

Does that mean I want a clingy, dependent husband? God, no! One of the sexiest things I find about Ron is his fierce independence and self-determination. He won't let anything stop him. Not even being hit by a pickup truck…

Bug out bag

When we left for the hospital, I brought a small (next time, large) cooler filled with low-carb snacks, my purse, and my bug out bag.

What the heck is that? Well, in my life I've found it handy to have a bag packed and ready to go at all times, because you just don't know what life's going to throw at you. One thing I'm working on now - loading all my digital photos and music onto a flashdrive. I can throw that in there too. I need to evacuate? Road trip? So what? I've got what I need.

So, what did I have?

Clothes. One time Ron was in the hospital and I had one change of underwear. I didn't get home for days and then my period started! YUCK. I brought a couple of t-shirts, a nice comfy pair of knit pants (drawstring waist, kind of scrub-like). I wore them to sleep and when I was awake. A fresh bra, 3-4 changes of underwear, t-shirts, and comfy pants and shorts. A blanket for Ron, who's always cold. Everyone remarked on my wrapping technique. …

In Sickness

In addition to the hand arthritis and the facial abcess, Ron developed agonizing stomach pains and nausea. I had to take him to the hospital. Good thing I had the bag packed. Next time, I'll bring more food and yarn.

The hospital's selection of low-carb foods was DISMAL once you got past breakfast. If I eat another cup of tuna salad I'll scream. I was already burned out on tuna salad because I'd made batch after batch for Ron this last week.

No, I don't think my tuna salad put him in the hospital!

He has gastritis; his stomach isn't emptying properly, and he may have a gimpy gallbladder. He spent one night in the hospital, in agonizing pain. I stayed with him.

Why? It's what I do. If Ron's in the hospital, I stay with him. Ever since his accident, he's always done better when I'm around. Doctors have actually come to me and told me they've written ordes that I'm to stay with him in his room. Respiratory therapists have dema…

When Crisis strikes

I'm going to go back in time. January 7, 2003. My husband had just been hit by a pickup truck while walking to work. I'm at the hospital. It's lunchtime.

"Heather, you have to eat." I'm prodded. What do I get? Chocolate ice cream. I did pretty well after that until Ron's dad let slip the fact that the hospital had a bakery. I really did not need that information.

I had lost 20 pounds or so by working out 10 hours a week and adhering to a low-fat diet. I ate so little red meat I was rejected as a blood donor. Needless to say, after I learned about the bakery I gained it all back in a few weeks.

Future reference: If Ron has a health crisis and you know of a bakery nearby - DON'T TELL ME!

We had some very emotional and exhausting "family meetings". I was not feeling the love, very emotional and tearful, I'd head for... the bakery.

Fast forward: 2008. I've broken my sugar addiction. I'm eating low-carb. I'm eating…

Playlist

With all the drama and stress the last couple weeks, Ron and I each bought ourselves an inexpensive MP3 player. Mine is a bright red, 1 Gigabyte, and $30 retail.

I thought you might get a kick out of my playlist:
Come Sail Away - Styx
Don't Bring me Down - ELO
Beverly Hills - Weezer
Blessed be Your Name - Tree 63
Carry on My Wayward Son - Kansas
Heart and Soul - T'pau - the first "album" I ever bought
Tubthumping - not even going to try to spell the artist
Welcome to the Jungle - Guns N Roses
Pure Energy (I want to know what you're thinking) - Information Society
When I grow up - Pussycat Dolls
Dadra - Ravi Shankar (Indian music)
It's My Life - No Doubt
Hey Ya - Outkast
Knew you were waiting for me - Aretha Franklin and George Michael
Let's Fall in Love - Diana Krall
Bridge Over Troubled Water - Amen Singers
Jump - Van Halen
Would I Lie To You - Eurthythmics
It's the End of the World - REM
Mirror - Barlow Girl
Don't Ask Why - Step Rideau and the Zydeco Outlaws
Monkey …

Lumpy

Things were pretty quiet for a while, except for my losing weight. I've lost 8 inches each off my waist and hips, only 4 more inches to go. Working out regularly, eating smart foods.

About a month ago Ron decided that his hand is bothering him enough to have surgery. Here's the press release from The Hand Center about the procedure:
"
THE HAND CENTER’S ARTHROSCOPIC INTERPOSITION ARTHROPLASTY PROCEDURE for treatment of basilar thumb joint arthritis. Continuing with Dr. Brown’s tradition of developing minimally invasive techniques to reduce patient pain, suffering and minimize recovery time (The Brown Procedure endoscopic carpal tunnel technique, Brown Endoscopic Trigger Release, BETR) Randolph Lopez, M.D. and the other Hand Center surgeons have developed a modified minimally invasive arthroscopic technique for treating the very common problem of basilar thumb joint (metacarpal-trapezial) arthritis which commonly causes pain at the base of the thumb.
Using a simple two-por…

Hello Dolly!

Today we had about as much of a hurricane as I ever hope to see. We had a few rain bands from Hurricane Dolly, but that's it. Good. I hope everyone is safe "Down South".

I saw my doctor today, my psychiatrist, also known as a P-doc. He loved Ron's "I didn't escape, they gave me a day pass" t-shirt and complimented me on my weight loss (the lady who runs the deli mentioned it as soon as she saw me). He was thrilled I've lost it and wanted to know how (I told him). Oh, and he'd dropped his prices. I have $10 more in my pocket. He gave his approval to my medication changes (less!) so we'll save a lot of money on prescriptions and I won't be so foggy-headed.

I also saw the ads from Atkins Nutritionals that have got everyone on the low-carb message boards so inflammed. LEAN MEAT? You can do it, using our sweet treats? Poor Dr Atkins must be rolling over in his grave. He never, ever said you had to buy special products to lose we…

Don't whine about side effects, Heather

It always happens. My lithium was really kicking my butt today. I tend to feel dizzy, weak, glue-brained, very sweaty, and slow.

I got frustrated. Snapped at Ron, even.

Came home, ate too much whipped cream, collapsed into bed with the cat. Napped for hours. Woke up, still feel the same. I almost died walking to the mailbox.

OK, you've had enough of my pity party. Then I went to post on a message board and I saw a thread titled "Mentally ill...". Hm. I thought I have some experience in the matter so I opened it up.

Someone's family member is bipolar, type one, psychotic features like me. Except THIS lady ain't taking her medication! She's making life hell for everyone she meets.

Do I want to be her, or me?

I'll suck up my side effects and try not to whine.

Dizzy Spells

I wish I knew what was up with my body. Was I stupid to donate blood on Wednesday? Are my new generic (Thank you, Jesus!) Risperdals more potent than the old version? Am I getting so thin I need to cut down on my Risperdal? Is the heat getting to me? Is it PMS?

I don't know... all I know is I'm dizzy! Lightheaded, all the time. It's aggravating. I almost blacked out a few times, too, very embarrassing. It was bad enough that I decreed a WEEK off of working out - unheard of for me.

I'm still busy at work, I lifted plenty of heavy cases of drinks today and moved a couple of vending machines, but I feel very delicate. I don't like it at all.

Eating seems to help so I'm assuming it's low blood sugar. I have a lot of the symptoms and even though I've eaten over 2000 calories today here I am, lightheaded and hungry again.

I plan to cut my Risperdals in half for a few days and see if that helps. Riseperdal has been linked to hypoglycemia and diabe…
I've been feeling a little uninspired with regards to my blogs lately so I've just done the low-carb and workout blogs. Even those have been pretty basic.

This morning was a busy day for me, I woke up, ran, came home, did weights in the garage, ate, cleaned up, went to the blood bank and donated blood, and went to the mall with Ron to get a new cell phone. He's got ringtones for me and a good freind, and "Taking Care of Business" for everyone else. I think it's great.

He got the same model I did, but in a different color.

I was worried about donating blood for a couple of reasons: I'm probably fatter than I was the last time I donated. It's harder to get at the veins. I'm taking mood stabilizers, antidepressants, and antipsychotics. Would I get sick? Would I freak out?

No. It was a very easy stick and the Blood Bank did their best to spoil me rotten. The center is only about 5 minutes from the house, it's very easy. Actually, now'…

On breasts

A few days ago Ron realized I was short on cash and gave me a small cash "gift". He's a sweetie. Buy yourself something fun, Heather.

I went to the bookstore and looked at the weightlifting books. Nothing really appealed. I paged through all the magazines and found a few that looked interesting. I'm always interested in articles about performance nutrition, protien powder supplementation, etc. I don't care so much for the chemically enhanced bodybuilders but it is nice to clearly see the muscle groups I'm improving in such awesome detail.

I find the women in the magazines both inspiring and pitiful. Let's start with the two girls in the magazine ad for supreme protien bars. They have obviously embarked on an extensive program. They eat clean. They have very little visible bodyfat and they are very sexy. They have obvious curves and nothing to be ashamed of - so why breast implants? They are plenty attractive without the silicon blobs in their …

Squatting in the garage

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My home gym

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Me on July 5th

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Onto happier subjects

I finally put up links to my other two blogs. I enjoy them.

Heather's Heavy Metal is my powerlifting blog - all about the weights. If you're not interested in weights you can skip that one. Some of the language is a bit strong.

Heather Shrinks is my low-carb blog. If you want the recipe to the latest thing I created, or a detailed food log, workouts I'm doing, etc, go there.

Everything else goes here. Tonight I plan to cook up some cube steaks and freeze 'em. I'm going to be a horrible person and go shop at Walmart tomorrow. I swore I'd never do that when I worked retail - now I'm becoming the thing I hated! [grin]

I went to the fireworks stand today and bought some. We like "Things where you light the fuse and they go up in the air and go bang" - Ron. We're very fond of Twitter Glitters and Saturn Missles. The artillery shell things make me nervous. Those could do some damage. I got some 36-shot items and some other count items (…

Enough about his family

Ron's decided to leave things the way they are. He's made enough attempts at reconciliation. He doesn't want to play games. He has (in my opinion) absolutely nothing to apologize for. "I'm sorry I was seriously injured and it looked like Heather might need some help?" I mean, what do you say? They have our number and address, we're in the book. Ron and Heather ____ . If they want to have a relationship with us, we've offered the olive branch for years.

It is my humble opinion that they don't want a relationship, they are terrified of the idea that one day Ron may have a complication and end up moving in with them. That fear overwhelms all other emotions. My opinion only.

Sure, I wasn't easy. Hell, I was in about the most stressful situation possible! My husband's dying, I got laid off, he got robbed, I had no rent money, I'm looking at eviction... my whole life is in turmoil. Thank God I had a loving family that stepped up…