Thursday, April 25, 2013

Rescheduled Appt, and a New Neighbor Arrived!

I was sitting on the couch this morning, thinking about how I felt physically, and decided I should not try and drive to the psychiatrist tomorrow, even though I've waited two months for this first appointment.  I thought surely if I told them my circumstances, they would be understanding and try to help me out by finding an appointment sooner than two months? 

So...I called, told the girl what type of surgery I had and that I had waited two months for this appointment and did not want to wait another two months if I had to reschedule, but that I wasn't supposed to, and shouldn't, drive.  I was beyond nice, but everyone says I am always too nice so...I don't know.  Do you know what she told me?  She said the doctor my appointment was with was no longer accepting new patients and if I didn't make my appointment tomorrow, she could reschedule me with another doctor, but it wouldn't be until June.  So *I* said, "I guess I'll have to drive to my appointment tomorrow then."  SHE said "Okay, see you tomorrow".  CLICK.  I was just beside myself.  I had just told her my doctor said not to drive, yet I told her I was going to drive to the appointment tomorrow, and she said okay and hung up. 

I was mad, yet didn't feel I had any options.  I called Mark, but he's typically busy and sent him a text - much easier to reach him that way.  His reply was "Are you really going to go there?", and I started thinking about it.  Long term, is this the kind of place I want to care for my psychiatric needs, a place that doesn't care if I drive or not to the appointment if another doctor has told me not to, with absolutely NO compassion whatsoever?  I mean wow, at least say "I'm sorry" or anything at all to show you have a heart!  OR, perhaps the kind of people that are thinking I am a psychiatric patient and may not believe a word that I am saying anyway?  Yes, I know it is just a receptionist or front office person, but...that person reflects on a business.

So I found another doctor - actually, one that I think I will like much, much better and is quite a bit more qualified and while I still can't get in until June, it's June the 4th which is just a little over a month away and the receptionist made it sound like that was so booked up and felt bad about it. 

I called the other office back, and while yes, I was mad, I just didn't want to go there.  She answered, I said my name, my appointment was tomorrow, and that I was cancelling.  I was taking the phone away from my ear and heard her voice talking and just hit the "END" button.  Sure enough, maybe 60 seconds later, the phone rang.  I considered not answering it, but I was curious what she had to say.  She said I had hung up before she had a chance to get my information and asked my date of birth.  I gave it to her and then she asked , "Do you want to cancel or reschedule?"

RE-FREAKING-SCHEDULE?  What the hell?  She just told me if I didn't go to the appointment tomorrow, this doctor was no longer taking new patients and I could *not* reschedule.  But what would be the point in arguing with her?  The world would not be a better place if I told her off, repeated what she said, tried to understand what she had meant or what she meant this time.  I just said "CANCEL" and hung the phone up again.

Something about the whole psychiatric experience is a very touchy subject with me.
 
We've lived in this neighborhood since the beginning of February, and I'm VERY pleased to say that I just answered the door and greeted a new neighbor that came to meet us! (Bailey and I!) She was extremely nice, brought cupcakes and some information about the neighborhood, kind of like a "welcome to the neighborhood" type of thing, and told me about a welcome breakfast in June for new neighbors in the last six months.  We didn't talk for long, maybe five or ten minutes?  She was looking inside the house and commented that we must have the same builder with similar plans because she also has marble diamonds in her hard wood floors and then she was pointing to the front of the inside of the house saying her fireplace was like that and asked about the den and I just did not want to give her a tour!  (And that I had showered - I didn't yesterday - but I wouldn't have opened the door yesterday!)  Thank God the maids came today at least so it looks like we are very tidy people!  (And one of us is, it's just not me or the dog, although I am immensely better, but Bailey?  No, he's still a mess.)

And...more of our furniture is being delivered on Saturday.  And...I ordered groceries online that will be delivered tomorrow, I made dinner last night - beef stew in a crock pot that took just 15 minutes to make, but really need those groceries so Mark will have to bring home dinner (and my breakfast) tonight.  I told him to get whatever - if he brings a cheeseburger, then I will eat a cheeseburger.  I will just appreciate that he brings me something to eat.

I stopped reading that website where women go for hysterectomies - for support before and after.  First of all, I would post how I was feeling, then read other's posts and felt bad about what I posted.  I'm not saying I am doing so much better, but usually when people take the time to write who don't normally write a blog or anything, they are really needing to get something out so it sounded pretty awful, and then I would feel guilty.  No, I'm not laying in bed with people bringing meals to me - I am out of bed, watching television, walking around, but also taking it easy and not doing much, not lifting anything really but the 6 pound dog to let him out and bring him in.  But I don't have people here to make meals and bring them to me, either!  I am here alone, all day, until Mark gets home.  Yesterday he got home at 7:30 and was in bed before 9.  During that time he changed his clothes, ate dinner, washed dishes, I don't know that we talked a lot - I mean we did, but he was very tired and it was late and I didn't feel great.  He didn't have a chance to do anything for me, but I can't think of anything I needed to have done like other women are saying they need.  He just got the necessities done and went to bed.  If I am doing better than other women, maybe I started out healthier?  Maybe I had a better doctor.  Maybe I am taking it easier.  Or...maybe more women post when they are miserable rather than when they feel good, which is more than likely, but I don't want to hear about what I might eventually feel like!  That's scary!  And...I kind of got mad.  One lady, another one who was in bed with meals being brought to her with two or three people staying with her to take care of her house and her kids was mad at the people who were putting her kids to bed.  They weren't "doing it right".  She never told them how to do it, but she was mad because when they left and she was better, it would take her weeks to get them back into regular sleeping habits again.  WHAT?  I don't know her, I don't know the relationships she has with the people helping her, I know none of the background that could shed some light, but if someone has taken time out of their lives to help you, I say...don't criticize the way they do it, especially if you aren't paying them.  Be gracious, be kind.  I'm going to go for option...she had her ovaries removed and is very emotional?

That's it. : )        
Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Difficult Day

Today has been a very difficult day - difficult meaning painful.  I have no idea why, I'm not a doctor.  I wrote a post last night that I deleted when I woke up because I thought it was unfair and angry, so I'm unsure what I said and haven't said.  Since the nurse told me hydrocodone caused constipation and I haven't had a BM yet and she seemed like that was a big deal, I didn't take any when I woke up, just the 600mg of acetiphentemine.  But I'd already had the cramps from the laxative she told me to take yesterday, and honestly, I have no idea why I had so much pain this morning.  Finally after noon today, I gave up and took not only the hydrocodone the GYN had prescribed, but also one my family physician prescribed when I had a concussion along with it because it was over twice as much.  I feel practically the same pain, just a bit out of it on top of it.

Dinner was this HUGE issue last night.  All I wanted was for Mark to bring something home from dinner, and preferably not fast food and I didn't want delivery.  I was going to find a restaurant near where he worked, call something in for us, and he could pick it up on the way home.  Problem is, he called me when he was already on his way home, near the furniture store, I had no idea what was around there, then he started driving by saying "Where do you want to eat?" and I would answer "I don't care, where do YOU want to eat?".  That is one of the most freaking irritating things in the world to me, so I finally hung up and told him to figure it out.  Every single night I make dinner for him and I figure it out.  And many times I ask him what he would prefer I make and rarely does he tell me, so I just make something.  I am dreading dinner this evening, I won't go through that again.  If it starts off like that, I will just have expired lunch meat, cheese on wheat bread with mustard.  I assume it's expired, I don't even remember when I bought it but it's unopened in the fridge.  There's always the boxes and boxes of Velveeta Shells and Cheese I bought.  And I'm almost always fully stocked on Lean Cuisines

My first appointment with the new psychiatrist is Friday, but I haven't been cleared to drive yet.  Mark has taken off too much work (for HIM.  For ME it would be extremely minimal!) that I would feel too guilty to ask him to take me, and he is totally stressed out about work as it is.   I've thought about calling to reschedule, but when I made this appointment, for a new patient, they made me wait two months.  I don't want to wait another two months - what if I don't like her or what if she decides she can't or doesn't want to treat me and I have to find another one who then makes me wait ANOTHER two months?  I'll just have to drive.  I know it doesn't sound safe, they warn that people are not able to hit the brake quick and hard without a lot of pain in their abdomen that soon, but I don't see any other choice.  A taxi?  How would I ever get one to come and get me and take me home?  Wait at least an hour or longer just to go home after the taxi?  Pay for it to wait for me?  I'll  take my chances and drive - I'll be bitter knowing that I wouldn't have been able to reschedule without waiting another two months, but I'll still go and just drive.  I've been hoping I would have a pleasant disposition on my first visit.  Doesn't look like that is going to happen, I'm already annoyed with her office and procedures for new patients, not that other psychiatrists are any better.

Mark is extremely, extremely unhappy at work.  When he gets this way, he looks for instant gratification.  Instant gratification means buying a new expensive car that will make him happy for a very short time, then he will be back to being miserable.  I've seen this pattern over and over again, and seen expensive cars come and go (eventually). Some are a complete surprise when he pulls up in the driveway, some he gives me some notice what he's about to do, and some he's actually asked what I thought, but I knew he was going to do it anyway.  We've had huge, huge fights over cars.  Right now he's totally obsessed and consumed with them.  I am so freaking sick of him talking about them, not that I didn't know he was a total gear head when I met him, but his obsession and compulsion is over the top.  I now associate it with bad experiences.  If we're on the phone, he may randomly interrupt the conversation on two separate occasions with what I think are meaningless comments about a car(s).  For instance, last night with restaurants, he was naming the restaurants he saw and all of a sudden, off topic, "Oh, there's a Maserati!", and I had to get him to refocus.  He was driving home, same conversation, and said "Such nice weather, everyone is in their convertibles with the tops down!"  OKAY, I get IT, you want a new car!  We'll be sitting here and out of the blue, he'll say "You know what would be cool?  A Shelby kit car."  As if he would ever own a kit car, and I'll say that, and it will make him mad.  He went to get his hair cut, and had to tell me all about the conversation with the guy who cut his hair and what he had to say about him buying a new car.  He found a car online at work that he thought he wanted, and had to pull it up on his computer and show it to me to see what I thought of it.  He keeps saying things like, "If I could have any convertible, I think I would want...., and you know why?  Because it has...", and I'm totally not listening, but he's so unaware of it, he doesn't care that I'm not listening and he's annoying me and making me angry because I feel he has some kind of addiction, some kind of disease.

Does he deserve what he wants?  Absolutely!  Do I want him to have everything he desires?  Of course!  I completely want him to be happy - as happy as he can possibly be!  But he doesn't recognize this is a problem that he has, and if he does, because I certainly point it out, he doesn't care.  He's looking for just that little bit of happiness, no matter how fleeting.  Maybe for an alcoholic, they take that drink, and know they are not going to feel better tomorrow, but at least for tonight, they will feel better when they are drinking.  I think it is like that. 

I would not rather he be an alcoholic, God no.  But...at least a bottle of whiskey is a lot cheaper than a Porsche.  We've already been down the Porsche road, the Mercedes road, the BMW road, the Ranger Rover road (twice), the Cadillac road, I wonder what it will be this time.  I reined him in on the Maserati road - we happened to be in counseling then. 

He stayed in his office when he got home last night, and I kept asking him what he was doing.  He just kept answering "the budget" over and over.  That is very suspicious.  He only does the budget on the weekends, and never for that long.  I think he was in there figuring out how to buy whatever car he has chosen. 

You know, why do I care.  I give up.  If he buys a car, he buys a car.  He's got a problem, he's not willing to do anything about it, I can't change him, whatever.  The thing is, it keeps him from addressing the REAL PROBLEM.  All of his emotions are tied to his job.  If his job is going well, he's happy.  When it's not, he's so depressed.  I've been in the competitive corporate world and know how crappy it feels, especially when you're successful in it, people want to bring you down, but I haven't been in it at his level, and I've seen that they are very cut-throat, they can be very sneaky and will do anything to get ahead, step on you to get there and not think twice or look back.  I've tried to talk him out of leaving, although right now he's committed to being there for a year from the time we moved here, and of course I can't guarantee that the grass is greener anywhere else, and his emotions would still probably be tied to how things were going where he worked.  But if it were a SMALLER company, if he was a larger fish in a smaller tank, wouldn't that be better?  Less people to compete with?  Less people smashing your hands with with their feet on the pyramid of people in suits?  That's exactly what I picture when I think of Mark at work.

Ugh, I feel so awful.  And what I'm writing about is awful.  I wish Mark weren't so miserable and I could just snap my fingers and make everything okay for him, but I can't and it irritates him when I try to make him see things from other people's perspective because that's how *I* am, that's how *I* make myself feel better about troubling situations. 

I want to go to bed and sleep, just sleep, and never wake up, or at least until my tummy doesn't look my Buddha.   

 



Sunday, April 21, 2013

The Surgery - I Could Never Have Expected This

Mark is freakishly OCD about being on time or early everywhere we go, so when we left to go to the hospital for my surgery, the traffic was bad, it was lightly snowing (yes, I know, on April 19!!), and it appeared we were going to be a bit late.  I kept trying to calm him down, telling him they give people huge windows of two to three hours before their surgery even begins to get there.  Everyone has their buttons, though.  His is traffic, another one of his is finding a parking spot in a parking lot.  NOT a good pet peeve living in Chicago.  Now *that* I totally dread.  I can go from being so excited to being somewhere to telling him to just take me home because it's all been ruined, and it may have all happened in five minutes.  It's just that bad.  No one wants to be around someone that unpleasant, and it ruins any experience for me. 

Off-topic.  So while he was freaking out about traffic when of course there is absolutely nothing you can do about it so you might as well make the best of it - listen to your favorite music or whatever, the hospital calls me.  My first instinct was that my surgery had been cancelled, but actually, no.  They asked if I could come in earlier because they had a room ready for me.  I don't think they realized I lived over an hour away (40 miles, but...it IS Chicago traffic), so I told them I would actually be a little late.  But I thought that was odd, why would they want me to hurry to nab a pre-op room when my surgery wouldn't be for 2 to 3 hours after 2:30 when we were to arrive?

I got there, navigated through everything and when I went to the surgery window, they told me my doctor had actually been asking if I had arrived yet.  WHAT?  I've had enough surgeries to know that that is just not normal.  Actually, they usually aren't even there yet when I get there, why was he so anxious for me to arrive?

I went through all the procedures and had on a gown and socks, on the bed with the warm blanket on me, and my doctor came in.  I was thinking wow, this is all so fast, they are on top of things!  I hadn't even had a chance to freak out yet.  But that wasn't the case. I was supposed to be getting a Davinci hysterectomy - robotic, but there must have been some complications in the procedures before me that had the robot behind, because the wait for my surgery was at that time five more hours, which means the surgery wouldn't have even started until at least 7:30 or later, and it was at least a 3 hour surgery.  Although he didn't say it, I knew it could be longer if anyone else had complications.  So...he wanted to do a laprascopic hysterectomy and remove the uterus through the vagina.  Of course I had done a lot of research on davinci, but luckily I had found this website called Hyster Sisters and had read everything I could about every procedure - everybody's stories are just all mixed together, but you can see which procedure they had or are about to have, so I felt informed enough to make a decision without being coerced if that was what I wanted.  He explained it all to me very detailed, I asked a lot of questions which he carefully and fully answered  I agreed to do the procedure.

So then there was a flurry of action, and I'm not really sure what the rush was - maybe to use the surgery room?  I did not, in any way, get rushed through anything or get substandard care, I'm just used to sitting around waiting and waiting for a surgery, nurses coming and going while Mark and I sit/lay the same room for at least an hour while saline drips into my arm and I have to think, think, think about the surgery.  I hate that part.

Once I decided I would do the procedure he suggested, someone came to roll me away - and fast!  I hardly got a chance to say goodbye to my husband!  As I was turning the corner I yelled goodbye, and he said goodbye as well, and I saw tears in his eyes.  Like I said, it was so fast, we didn't even get to say goodbye properly, I did not expect that.

Everything else went okay except for some reason when the anesthesiologist was putting the IV needle in my hand, it really, really, really hurt.  Yes, he numbed it, he told me he was doing it, I watched and felt him using some kind of wipe on it, but then as it was going into my vein, oh my gosh that was so incredibly painful!  I did my best not to yell but I'm sure my body came off the table like a cat's and I was grabbing the sides of the bed.  It was so obvious that a couple of the nurses came by and asked him "Did you even numb her first??"  Yes, he did, and afterwards I started to cry.  Not out loud, but I couldn't stop the tears.  He told them I was anxious although I didn't think I was any more anxious than anyone else who would be having surgery, but he must have really believed that because he told me he was putting something in my IV for anxiety.  He asked a little later, when I was being wheeled into the surgery room, if I felt any better and I did not, but I said a little, I don't know why. 

The next thing I knew, I woke up and felt like I had to go diarrhea so bad - it was going to come out at any minute and I needed to get out of bed and find the bathroom.  Obviously the person assigned to me in recovery was not about to let me get out of bed.  I knew where I was and what had just happened to me and was surprised at how I was reacting.  I had read that people woke up in the recovery room screaming from the pain in their stomach - but I felt like I had diarrhea?  All that I can figure out is that the day before was liquids and laxatives day which gave me diarrhea cramps, and I must have associated those cramps with what I felt in the recovery room, only much worse, so I thought I had to *really* go at any second.  My brain didn't understand the signal in my drugged state.  He wanted to use a bedpan, but I refused.  Surely I wasn't rude, but I know I wanted to get up and use the restroom, so who knows what I did or said.  I don't remember what happened until I was being wheeled to my room and felt a bedpan being removed from under me - so I guess he won that battle. 

We met my doctor and Mark at the elevator, and I remember my doctor telling me what he had found which didn't sound good, and Mark followed me to my room.  I looked at the clock when I got to my room - 10PM!!  Yesterday I asked if my GYN was tired when he came to talk to him after the surgery.  He said yes, he looked incredibly tired, so much so that he commented on it, and Mark never does things like that.

I had brought the hospital staff a box of chocolates, and they loved them!  I was treated like a princess, at least until the shift that I had given the chocolates to were there.  I had a roomie, and she was awesome.  I was a chatty Kathy for awhile, and we found we both thought Nordstrom's had the best customer service of any retail store (because it totally does, I love Nordstrom's!), and we both loved Zappos.  We talked about Obamacare, her father was a family doctor and we were actually able to talk about ICD codes and the loss of the solo-practicing family doctor, and honestly?  Who knows what else.  I now know I was out of my flipping mind high on drugs.   But we even found out we have some of the same shoes, so apparently we were describing our shoes, I don't know.  I do know she gave me some good advice on some cute winter boots next year since I told her we had moved from Texas this year.  Later, the curtain was moved back, and she looked like she was maybe 20.  Ha!  Age is just a number. : )  Her mother came to visit her, and I was probably closer to her mother's age, but I think I have more in common with her daughter and I think that's sad - for me.

Around 4a I decided to lower my bed and sleep for a bit.  NOT GOOD.  I woke up in tons of pain.  They gave me pain pills which didn't work, and finally morphine which made me feel better, but not 100%.  That may have been too much to expect. 

They made this huge deal about my asthma.  I had a special doctor visit me because of it, breathe in some kind of tube for her that she left that I was supposed to do 10 times an hour which, no, I didn't do. They gave me a pneumonia shot that they offered for everyone who has asthma which yes, I definitely took advantage of.  Whenever I get any type of respiratory infection, I can't shake it like everyone else can, it takes for freaking ever and my cough is horrible, horrible, horrible.  She gave me something to use with my inhaler that I'd never seen and told me why I should use it which was so smart - I love it.  Yes, I did cough a little in the hospital, and yes, it hurt, but I can't say it wasn't anything unusual.  I didn't need my rescue inhaler although my nurse carried with her in her pocket all the time.  Crazy, they really went a little nuts with it. I'm not the girl in the movie The Hand That Rocks the Cradle!!!!  I kept telling them only exercise and dust triggered it which I should encounter neither in the hospital but...I'm sure they have liability reasons.

I was told in order to leave that day, I had to:  1. urinate, 2. walk, 3. pass gas.  I had walked maybe 3 or 4 hours after surgery, shocking everyone.  I felt that good.  I urinated the next morning, passing gas took a little longer, but my doctor came to see me and said he would release me without it.  However, I did pass gas before I left.

Mark was a sweetheart the whole time.  He brought flowers when he came to the hospital to see me yesterday which is just so thoughtful!  Yes, he does buy flowers for me for special occasions, but just someone thinking to do it is such a nice gesture.  He sat there and waited all day for the surgery, sat there until almost midnight, sat with me almost the whole day the next day and kept me company, and has tried to make my life as comfortable as possible since I got home. 

But now...the pain has really begun.  I cannot miss any pain meds, I pretty much have to stay on top of it - when it's time to take it, I need to take it, and it does not take the pain away, it just makes it bearable. 

So...now I'm on the road to recovery.  The doctor, thankfully with Mark sitting there, said no sex for 8 weeks.  Oh, and I had several fibroids about the size of a golfball, and endometriosis everywhere, on just about every organ and he said he had to do something like a "cancer surgery" to remove it all, so maybe that's why I'm in more pain than what I expected.  I remember him saying it was even on my rectum, how the hell would it have gotten there, as well as my bowels, I can't remember where else, he said just every organ. He's going to show me the pictures on my visit.  And he saw lots of scar tissue from my other surgeries, but I don't know why that wouldn't be expected.  My cervix is gone, with so much endometriosis, I didn't want to take a chance and still have pain by leaving it.

But hopefully, no more periods now!  Yes!  Hello white jeans and shorts!  Bah-bye laying in bed being miserable (after I'm done laying in bed being miserable) : ) And I kept my ovaries, so no early menopause, at least not right this second.

Okay! Enough gore, I like to record things in case I forget for the future!

Hope everyone is doing well! : )

 


 
Friday, April 19, 2013

The morning OF!

So, bummer.  Yesterday was an all liquids and laxatives day and then I found out yesterday afternoon I don't have to be at the hospital until 2:30, and my surgery will be 2-3 hours AFTER that!  Why is that bad news?  Because I can not eat *NOR* drink anything today until after my surgery!  That's freaking crazy.  I did get up and drink a cup of coffee this morning, come on, it's JUST coffee.  I was going to snack on a little something yesterday when Mark was home, and he freaked out, saying I would throw up during surgery and choke and die, and I told him they must be prepared for those situations, I'm sure that's happened before, and I wouldn't even know it had happened if did, I would wake up with no knowledge.  That was not the right answer, ha.  So, to ease his worries, I did not eat anything.  That was actually a good thing, because once I started drinking the 64 ounces of gatorade mixed with the laxative, I felt so incredibly naseaus towards the end.  I could not finish it, if I started to take another gulp, I knew I would throw up.   Honestly, even without the laxative, and even though it wasn't the super sugary kind but still too sweet, gatorade is disgusting.  I have absolutely no clue why people drink it, ESPECIALLY during or after working out.  I did start that cough that turns into a throw up gag where you get that feeling that your stomach is lurching up, and you get scared that you're about to throw up, does anyone know what I'm talking about?  I mean think about how much liquid 64 ounces is, and I was supposed to drink it all in two hours.  My stomach simply is not big enough I don't think, that must have been the problem.  I did my best, and that's all I can do. I probably drank *maybe* 2/3 of it and it seemed to do the trick, or at least good enough so they can tell I at least tried. 

There's a website I found awhile back, when I first was considering the hysterectomy called Hyster Sisters.  It's so awesome, the women are very supportive, answer questions, you can read their stories and get an idea of what to expect, on ALL ends of the spectrum - from the good, bad, and ugly, so I  feel somewhat prepared for anything - but you never know until it actually happens.  There all kinds of tips about everything I can think of, and all kinds of things I would never, ever would have thought of.

So I posted about how freaking emotional I had been and this morning I read all their replies about how they had felt the same - but even so much worse!  Getting sleeping medications and anxiety medications days or weeks before their surgeries because they were so upset and emotional - and yes, I already take those, but...they hadn't been I'm assuming and never had, so it tells me that yes, it's normal and I'm not even on the extreme end. 

Now I finally feel ready to just get this over with.  I'm no longer dreading it.  I feel like I'm running up the hill and I want to get to the top and start my way down to recovery and feeling better.  So much dreading, so much worry and anxiety, so much waiting, ugh!  Just get it over with already.  Tick-tock-tick-tock.

Once I'm there though, I know I will be scared out of my mind and want to run the hell out of there!
Thursday, April 18, 2013

Who Cares? If Anyone Did, I'd Never Know.

Today is my liquids and laxatives day before the surgery!  Yay, I've been so looking forward to this day!  Kidding, of course.  When I went shopping yesterday for things on the list that I could have, one of them was jello.  I've always hated jello, but that was the most substantial thing I could eat.  I didn't want to make it myself, it's that disgusting to me, so I found some in the deli and bought it.  I had to make sure there wasn't any milk product in it because it did seem like there was whipped cream or something mixed in, but the ingredients sounded horrible!  I mean, it's just jello!  What are those chemical sounding names - like 40 or 50 in jello??  This is why I don't trust what I eat unless I make it myself!

So I got up this morning, scooped up some of this jello into a bowl, and after the first bite, I realized my mistake.  Just because I couldn't eat anything else didn't mean I would suddenly be able to eat jello.  No, I still hated it and it's still sitting on the end table next to me where I try and take a bite now and again, but even the dog won't eat it.  Why would he - it's jello.  Bananas mixed in would have helped, but that would defeat the purpose of a liquid diet.

I had a pretty bad day yesterday.  Very, very emotional.  At one point, I was so low, I was wondering if I should beg God to just take me during the surgery, it would be so simple and it would appear so logical, people die during surgery all the time.  Not that God would do it just because I asked, I used to beg God to take my life constantly and it never happened.  But when you ask God something, you wonder if it might actually happen just because you ask.  I know, it's a selfish thing to want, but when you're THAT low, you think there's no one who would care that you were gone, and if there was, that they would be better off without you anyway, even if they didn't realize it in the short term. 

I tried to shake it off, and Mark called on his way home but he could tell I was pretty down.  When he got home, I found he had stopped and bought flowers - very happy flowers, bright colors, to cheer me up.  Incredibly sweet, sometimes I don't feel like anyone really cares - okay, actually most of the time, and it was a very kind gesture. 

I still haven't told anyone that knows me - except my husband - about my surgery.  I was going through old emails because it hit me all of a sudden that the woman that took me in when I was a teenager that is acting very standoffish and not replying to my emails except when I send an email out of concern for her, she gives excuses about not replying that I know to be untrue, never asks me how I am.  She says things like she has been unwell, yet she posts things on facebook regularly. Do you have to be well to send a short email, and if you can type on facebook, can't you type a few words in a reply in an email to someone you care about?  I know this sounds so petty, but it just seems like it is her overall attitude towards me, all about herself and her problems, but doesn't care about how I am at all.

I read through them, and I am always asking her how she is, her health, her well being, what is she doing, all kinds of questions, interested about her in general.  I talk very little about myself, which I know seems unbelievable to anyone reading this blog, but I don't share much about myself with people that isn't trivial.  I could only find one instance where she asked me a question about myself.  One time she asked me how I liked Chicago.  That was it.  One time she said she hadn't replied to one of my emails because she had been visiting her daughter to help her move.  Interesting, because her daughter lived about the same distance that I had and she had misunderstood my invitation to visit me one time in Chicago to mean visiting me where I lived in Texas, and told me her car wouldn't make it.  Then, I invited her to Chicago, told her I would pay for a rental car for her to get to the airport, buy her plane tickets, drive her to the place where her mother was buried that she hasn't been to in decades...nothing.  Not even a thanks but no thanks, and yes, she got the email because she responded to it...eventually, talking about herself.

So...with this surgery coming up tomorrow, it's really made me think about who is important in my life, and who really just doesn't give a damn.  I wanted to tell her, of all the people in the world, to share with her my fears, but...deep down I know she doesn't want to know, she doesn't care, she doesn't want to hear it.  If she did, she would ask me how I am, she would care about my well-being, but she never asks.  I know there are people I might share this with that would possibly at least act concerned, I just choose not to tell them, not to bother them.  But with her, she's always told me to CALL her mother, she tried to get me to label her as my mother on facebook, I would just never do it, I'm not sure what my hesitation was.  She certainly seemed to care more about my well-being than my own mother had, at least when I was 16.  But now?  I've been thinking and thinking FOR MONTHS what her deal is, and for YEARS, DECADES what her daughter's deal is, and I give up.  I'm tired of trying to please them, to cater to them.  Of course I've felt like I've owed them so much for taking me out of a bad situation, like maybe everything, but I'm now 44 years old, I lived there for two years.  That was 26 years ago, we've grown apart, none of us are even remotely alike anymore.

So...yes, I know this is dumb and childish, and they will probably cackle about it, make some comments about my personality, but I unfriended them on facebook.  Every time I saw something in my news feed from them it annoyed me more and more, and yes, I considered just removing them from my newsfeed like I have other people that annoy me, but I wanted something more symbolic to myself, not necessarily just sending a message to them. 

Mark wonders why I have to do this - why I feel the need to "cut people out of my life".  Why not just go on with my life and forget about people altogether?  Move on?  Not that he doesn't mind if I cut them out of my life - he can't stand them, and not from anything I've said, but because he met them when we first started dating and has always said they have horrible personalities.  Yes, they do, but...I've always felt I could never repay them for helping me, so I overlooked their personalities.  And...I don't know the answer to his question.  In a non-facebook world, sure, I could do that, there would be nothing "symbolic" to do, I suppose moving her email address to spam could be symbolic which I am still considering.  I don't expect to be asked an explanation, I don't expect anyone to care.  To notice?  Yes, it will be noticed, I have no doubt about that.  I am sure both mother and daughter don't understand how their lives are what they are, and mine is what it is.  I'm sure they think I'm living the high life when I came from such horrible circumstances that they offered to take me in, so how did I get to where I am while they are where they are, when no doubt they believe they are "better" than I am.  They probably think it's not fair, I have no idea.

The thing is...like I said, no one even cares to sincerely ASK me how I am.  I'm definitely not one who wears my heart on my sleeve and tells people my troubles, not at all.  I keep them to myself, so I could see where someone would think I have no troubles, no problems, maybe a seemingly perfect life, I have no idea what people think.  But because people don't ask and because I don't volunteer, they have no idea.  Do I ask how other people are?  Yes, all the time.  And I sincerely care.  Maybe I do this BECAUSE I know that it is extremely rare that someone will ask how I am, and maybe it's because people assume that I don't have anything wrong.  I am happy in public, I joke, I smile, I laugh, I try to make others feel good, there is probably no reason for anyone to think there is anything wrong with me, but a sincere "how are you" once in awhile from someone would be appreciated.

Yesterday when I was so very down, I did remember a time when someone asked me if something was wrong.  So bizarre when you remember *a* time when someone asks you if something is wrong.  But it was at the worst possible time!  It was before I went into the hospital for....here I am again questioning what I was.  Suicidal?  What does that mean?  That you have a plan on how to do it and a time and place?  Or that you beg God to take your life every second, you know how you would take it yourself, but you haven't mustered the courage to do it just yet, but you want to more than anything in the world and thinking of ending your life is the only thing that comforts you?  Well, I was the second one, so...whatever that is, that's what I was.  So...I went to lunch with a big group of coworkers and when you're THAT depressed, you try to act normal but you can't remember how you used to act when you felt "normal".  I think someone made a joke and I might have pretended to laugh, and someone that I probably had let get close to me all of sudden asked, in front of everyone, what was wrong with me.  I said nothing was wrong, but she wouldn't let it go.  She kept asking and asking and asking until it became uncomfortable to the point of other people telling her I was fine and to just leave me alone.  Now had she waited until we were alone and said something like "I've noticed you seem a little down, is everything okay?", I might have shared a bit with her.  No, I would never have told her the truth, I wouldn't have told a single person on earth at that time, but I would have told her that yes, she was right, I wasn't feeling like myself and was down or something.  Not in front of a whole group from work, though.   

I remember in my 20's I went to counseling for a long time - individual and group, several rounds of group therapy.  I had an awesome therapist who told me I had big fears of intimacy and abandonment.  All of this time I had always considered them opposites, how strange to be afraid of two things that were completely opposing.  Then it recently hit me - no, they really aren't.  Maybe that's my whole problem.  I'm afraid of getting close to people because they will abandon me, I guess that is what she was trying to say.  And it's true, I've realized I don't let people in, there's virtually no one I'm close to besides my husband, I share hardly anything with anyone, yet am always asking about themselves, always concerned about them, and they will tell me intimate detail that always surprise me when people open up so quickly.  Then I feel this bond that is pretty scary and I'm not sure what to do with it.  I certainly don't reciprocate the sharing which maybe you're supposed to do.  I might share something that doesn't really mean much to me - like being in an abusive relationship with an ex-boyfriend I lived with that led to jail time, a protective order, etc.  I don't find that to be terribly revealing, it's happened to a lot of women and I think more awareness of it needs to be out there so more women will get help.  But that's in the PAST, so maybe some are thinking - why aren't you that way about mental illness - tell people about being bipolar?  Because I did something about my abusive relationship, it's something I've accomplished, it's in my past, I've triumphed from it.  My mental illness?  I still have that affliction, the stigma is still there, I will be judged on that, not on who I was yesterday, but who I am today, and not that I've changed and am now stronger. 

Ugh, the nurse from the hospital just called and we went over EVERYTHING in my medical history.  I thought I was so healthy, maybe I'm really falling apart.  Good news - she was very excited about my BMI!  It's 20 she told me.  I wish I could say I was as happy as she sounded.  I did reach my goal weight this morning - 125.  Well, 125.7, so does that count?  I guess not, I need to lose that 0.7 to stay true to my goal.  I suppose, with the percentages I see of overweight and obese in America, maybe she hears the majority of people are overweight or obese that she talks to every day, I don't know, didn't seem like much to celebrate although - sure, go back two years in my blog and you'll see me lamenting over my weight and arguments I've had with my doctor about medications that caused me to gain weight.  Therapist visits where my husband wanted me to lose weight and how devastated I felt.  But now...I worked very hard and it just doesn't seem like a big deal. 

Back to disgusting jello and whatever else.  I guess I'll be writing again either tomorrow before surgery or....after.
Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Probably a Different Reaction

So...three days before my hysterectomy, and I'm symptom free of everything!  No coughing, no allergies, I'm so happy!  Sunday was miserable - walking around the furniture store wiping and blowing my nose with everyone around, but a girl has to do what a girl has to do!

I'm sure everyone is upset and touched by the Boston Marathon tragedy, I was very shocked and saddened when I heard about it.  I wasn't paying any attention to the news and when my husband asked if I had heard about the Boston, and for some reason this is how horrible tragedies are always relayed to me - on the phone by him, with him saying.."Oh by the way, did you hear about?" with my saying "WHAT WHAT WHAT?"  It all started with 9/11 and still continues.

I haven't been in a lot of races, but I can't convey enough the feeling of safety as well as encouragement by others that I've felt when I have been running in one.  Why wouldn't anyone?  There is every kind of first responder everywhere, along with medic tents, volunteers, people lined up cheering and watching you, runners beside you, behind you (believe it or not, I'm not the last one! Hard to believe, I know. :) ), in front of you, places to grab water as you run by, it's always been an incredibly friendly, safe feeling where it feels great to be with people who share the pain and joy of doing the same thing you do and also those who support you.  Strangers talk to each other about anything and everything, it's like a lot of things - you know you each share something and feel a bond.  It's a WONDERFUL feeling, so motivating to get out there the next time to run.  Whether competitive or not, the feeling of camaraderie, although yes, people like my husband are way too competitive and take it waaaay too seriously, it still is a very warm and friendly environment that I enjoy.  Sure, I've seen some over-competitive running snob type people, but those are rare and, well, they are there determined to not go away without winning and....they usually do win. : )

So when I heard about the bombing, maybe my reaction was different than others, I don't know.  Of COURSE I'm horrified for the victims, angry at whoever did this, so sad for the families, I really, really hope they catch this person or people QUICKLY and justice is served as fast as possible, I mean I hope all that happens FAST!!!  It can't happen fast enough, and I don't think justice could be harsh enough, no way.

But it makes me mad that this little vacuum of feeling complete safety with achievement was ruined that day.  To qualify for the Boston, and how long it may have taken some of them and all the races they had to go through to prove their qualifying time?  As soon as I read that it had gone off at the 4 hour mark I knew that would be the busiest time because I've seen what the qualifying times are to enter.  So I read later that yes, it was a very busy time, because that is when the "slow-paced, recreational runners would have been crossing the line".  Are you kidding me?  Okay, maybe those people don't run professionally and make a living from it, but slow paced, seriously?  I think 26.2 miles in 4 hours averages out to around 6.5 miles an hour unless my math is way off, and I'm horrible at math.  Considering it is a marathon, that is quite a fast pace, but of course, they did qualify for the Boston Marathon!  I just felt like the writer was putting them down for crossing the line around 4 hours, seriously?  "slow paced recreational runners"?  Suddenly if you aren't an Olympian, even though you qualify for the Boston, you just "run for fun" and I guess on a whim one day enter the Boston Marathon?  Um, no.  People work very, very hard to get there, I've seen people freak out over their finishing time at a race because it was a few seconds off from qualifying for the Boston - very, very good runners.

And then I read that authorities were stopping people at Mile 25 from completing the race after the bomb(s) went off.  Why wait until they were 1.2 miles from finishing?  Oh my gosh, if I had run 25 miles and only had a little over a mile left and was stopped after all the work to get there, going all that way, had just a mile left, well sure, my life is more important, but why Mile 25?  Why not get in a golf cart or whatever and stop them anywhere - everywhere they were?  Weren't they concerned about their safely no matter WHERE they were on the course?  Why let them keep running Miles 22, 23, 24 if that's where they were?

I'm not saying in a disaster all decisions are perfect and well thought through.  I just feel so horrible for those people that worked so hard to get there, and this little bubble that has now been burst by some freak who wants who knows what this time. 

I will race again in my own shorter races, and I'm sure, like everything else, security will be everywhere, maybe we'll have to start taking off our running shoes and go through some metal detector before getting on the start line and lace them back up, who knows what domino effect this will have. 

It was just so innocent, harmless and fun before.  People all worked so hard towards a goal - and everyone had their own personal goals.  Mine is so different than my husbands.  People I would talk to had goals so different than mine.  It was all very unique, and that was a common question, "What made you decide to start running?" because there was always a reason you hadn't considered and it could be a very interesting story, and then...maybe their reason to run would then become another reason you decided to run as well. 

I asked my doctor when I could start running after my surgery.  His answer?  "You can start elliptical exercise about four weeks afterwards."  That wasn't my question, I don't even have an elliptical machine nor membership to a gym - I just walk out my front door, so I didn't say anything and considered repeating myself, but knew he had heard exactly what I said.  I sat there thinking about it for a bit of uncomfortable silence until he finally said "you can run in about six to eight weeks after surgery".  Will I be lacing up my shoes on Day 1 of Week 7?  Probably not.  I only get one chance to completely heal properly.  If I screw it up, I can never get that chance back and people have had horrible complications for the rest of their lives from not letting themselves heal properly.  I've gone several months without running and then gone out and run 3 miles.  It's hard, I have to force myself the whole way not to stop and walk, but it's really a mental thing.  Even if I'm running at almost a walking pace, but I'm still running, that's all it takes.  The next time I run, in my mind I'm thinking, "I know I can run the whole thing, I just did it last time", and it's all good, it's not nearly as hard.  It's all mental, totally, at least for me.  I know others are physically blessed, I happen to live with one who swears he is not and has done the research and work and blah blah blah, and sure, I wouldn't want someone to tell me I don't work hard, I'm just naturally gifted when yes, it is very hard work, and I'm proud of his achievements and his medals, but seriously, there are people who ran all through high school and college with coaches and then he picks it up five or six years ago and blows them all away.  I would say...that's natural talent, and that's what I have to live with and try not to compare myself with or get down on myself about.  I used to be really good at things, really good.  I don't know what happened.
Saturday, April 13, 2013

How I Generally Feel on the Weekends

I usually feel better on the weekends and feel like a complete moron for writing such pitiful, self indulgent posts during the week.  I guess it's hard to have whole days alone just to think - think - think, waiting for surgery, waiting for school, always waiting! On the weekends Mark is home and we keep somewhat busy, where during the week he gets home and is *so tired* from working so hard, I make dinner, and he goes to bed incredibly early.  Maybe by 9:00 or usually before?  When you get home at 6:30 or sometimes later, take the time to change your clothes, put things away, eat dinner, and he cleans the kitchen after I cook (totally not my idea - he just thinks it's fair if I cook then he should clean, I can't stop it, I've tried), there's not much time left before he goes to bed.  So I take my medications really early and go to bed with him and get up super early with him as well, usually before him.  4:00 am?  5:00 am?  I try to sleep *as late* as I possibly can, but if I can sleep through the night, I consider that a success no matter what time I wake up.

A few pieces of our furniture were delivered today - the console and the dresser.  The dresser - oh my gosh!  It's beautiful, I had no idea everything he was picking out for the dresser, I just saw the total price for that piece and was like "What the??  It's one piece of furniture!"  Now that I see it, I get it.  They set it up and left and I asked him which drawers he wanted - he wanted none of them - he said it was all mine.  Like I am going to be so selfish and take up the whole thing?  Not that I don't have enough clothes to fill it, but it's ours, not mine.  He then, just I suspected this whole time, started saying how horrible he had felt for so long about not buying that dresser I wanted so long ago with the bedroom set we bought and insisting on the armoire instead.  Yes, I will concur it was foolish to buy an armoire and not a dresser, but I got over that a long time ago, and buying this elaborate dresser and being so selfless and not taking any drawers to ease the guilt is ridiculous! Incredibly sweet, but totally unnecessary.  After awhile, I started moving my things into the dresser, and wow, as huge as the darned thing is, I couldn't believe all of the clothes I have that needed a dresser and was filling it up!  I left him three drawers, smaller drawers, but still - three drawers, but he hasn't even attempted to put anything into them, saying he has what he needs already.  Come on, one of the things he uses is a plastic three drawer see-through cabinet I bought for each of us at the Container Store (because we didn't have a dresser!)  He can at least move THAT!  If he won't do it, then I will. After all, I have all the time in the world. Suddenly, our bedroom furniture that people used to compliment (regardless of what it cost) doesn't look so great anymore in comparison, but I still like it a lot and it matches well enough. : )

Today I finally feel better, I think the medication for my "asthma" and "allergies" is kicking in.  I use parentheses because...it's just really difficult to completely believe I have what doctors say I have.  Yes, I know that one of the ways to prove cough-variant asthma is when treated, it gets better and/or goes away.  But...I also have not been running since last Sunday, so which is it?  The medication or stopping cardio?  This is exactly what happened last year.  The doctor said I got better because of the medication, it was cough-variant asthma, but I told him I wasn't running nearly as much, so I stopped taking it and I was fine until...I started running again in Chicago which for some reason makes me feel way, way worse than in Dallas. 

Mark thinks it's because I'm "not in shape", and compared to HIM, no, I'm not, but he runs about 30 miles a week and has a pace of less than 7 minutes.  I'll probably never do that - especially the speed.  That's just crazy fast.  I can run 3 miles, no problem, and I just ran 5 miles, but was worried about my stamina, then realized later I should have been worried about my finishing time, my stamina was fine.  Everyone has their own definition of what "in shape" is.  I have absolutely no upper body strength, I mean ZERO.  My legs are chicken skinny, yet they are strong and can run up any hill at the same pace I started the hill.  I think my breathing problems have taught me to push through anything, no matter how hard the run, which Mark has never had to learn to do, not that everyone doesn't have their days of having a hard run for no particular reason.  I have all of these mental ninja tricks when I think I can't go any further, when I'm about to give out, when I want to quit or stop, to keep myself going.  I asked Mark if he did this too, and he had no clue what I was talking about.  So I said it was just easier for him, to which he took offense.  No, running was NOT easy for him, he worked very hard at it, and yes, while he does, I don't think he understands how much I suffer to do it and I'm realizing he doesn't experience what I do.  It's like he's in the Olympics and I'm in the Special Olympics or something, we're just not made the same and for some reason I've been handicapped, but it doesn't make it impossible for me.  I just have obstacles to overcome that others don't and it's difficult to live with someone who is a superstar runner that amazes people with his talent while I just feel lucky to be there and participate.  I was offended that the Shamrock Shuffle sent him a survey about everything about the event, asking him to rate everything, but they didn't even bother to send me one.  Yes, they wanted someone in the top 2% of runners to be happy with the event and make sure he comes back next year, but someone like me, they couldn't care less what I thought about it. 

Now I'm rambling, I'm going to go to bed.  Night. : )

    







   
Friday, April 12, 2013

All Alone

I'm down today, I felt like if I started to cry I might not be able to stop so I took a couple of klonipin.  I'm don't really think that is why they are prescribed as I believe I was given them for panic and anxiety.  I've usually been very good at taking my psychiatric medications as prescribed except perhaps I don't always take AS MUCH of everything as is prescribed, but maybe I'm living under false assumptions and am not facing reality.

I may have already been down, I don't recall, but I was reading a forum that is *supposed* to encourage students in my future industry, and it is usually incredibly encouraging.  It is very hard to be a student where you practice for hours on end every day just to fail tests day after day, week after week, and the drop out rate is incredibly high, I think the average graduation rate of those who begin a program is 5%?  That's horrible, but it's very hard to stay motivated. 

So...someone had interned while they were in school, would be graduating soon, and were approached by a firm and offered a job while still in school.  In her state they don't require certification, and she was very excited and accepted the position and was going to start taking night courses.  She only posted because she was happy and excited, and I'm sure wanted our support and congratulations, as well as to encourage other students, which I did find it encouraging.  BUT.  At first there were a lot of well wishes...until...someone currently IN the industry, not a student, was, what I thought, quite rude and a debbie-downer.  She told her to stay in school, which okay, maybe that was good advice, I don't know, but then went further to say how her work would not be up to par and she would contribute to giving the industry a bad name since she wasn't ready.  There was more, I don't remember what, and don't care to read it again, but seriously?  She doesn't even KNOW this girl.  She doesn't know what school she attends, what her work looks like, what she will be doing or what will be required of her in her new job, I could go on and on.  She just wanted to be negative or a know it all, or who knows what.

So more people in the industry jumped on the bandwagon, and it became a discussion of certifications.  I mean, hello?  This is a forum to ENCOURAGE STUDENTS?  Who are trying to stay motivated to stay in school because they keep failing tests after practicing their hearts out? 

I read through this one post and all the comments and thought....wow, just wow.  You would have to read it to get the full effect, I haven't read it all since last night and I don't want to read it again just to remember how negative it was, it upset me.  So...I did finally post something.  I congratulated the girl because I felt so bad for her, but was also very happy for her, and one person actually called her a "wannabe", but then I also posted how as a student, the comments from those currently in the industry had me greatly discouraged.  I thought as an industry people were more supportive of each other than that, but wow, either that is just a bad batch, or...these are some competitive cut-throat bitchy people.   I logged on to facebook this morning, and had several messages attacking ME.  Really?  I'm being attacked for saying I'm discouraged by someones comments?  How exactly does that change my mind about the way that I feel?  And apparently they are not at all there to encourage students, I'm not really sure why they are there at all.  Superiority complex?  It seems like they are threatened by new people coming into their field, which if that is the case, please don't join that forum!

So now...what the hell am I doing?  I've worked in corporate, cut-throat environments with people clawing their way to the top, stepping on the heads, hands and toes of each other to get to the next level, yet...at least to each other's FACES, they ACTED as if they were happy for each other when they got a new job, a new promotion, whatever.  It was more political, people knew how to be politically correct at all times.  And I've worked at the toughest corporate places - places where people can stay an average of about two years and then get the hell out unless they're a Partner or thrive in that type of environment, like Mark seems to do, although it's really, really tough on him some days.  I decided long ago I'm just not a person who should live that way, it's not healthy for me.  Some can handle and even enjoy the constant competitiveness and stress, but it gets to me eventually as do the long hours and I've consciously chosen what I thought was a path that would not in any way deal with people that were like those in the corporate world.

So...I read this forum with these bitchy women and am just floored and crushed, especially after being attacked over saying I was now discouraged instead of encouraged.  Sure, I know everyone is not a nice person.  And...I'm also sensitive to the fact that I am not getting much human contact so the smallest of interaction with people I'm sure is magnified.  It's not something to feel like crying and crying over...yet, at the same time, this is my future career that I've been working so hard for quite some time and I'm just finding out the people I may be working with have horrible personalities and want to bring people down instead of up.  They say negative things, and cover it up by calling themselves "realists".  Sure, I've done the same thing - known I wasn't saying the nicest of things but claimed *I* was being the realist while others were in fairyland.

I think, to me, I've learned an important lesson.  They don't know how fragile my mental state is right now.  They don't know how hard I took their comments and attacks and it made me want to cry.  They don't know my living situation, that I'm alone in a new city, facing a surgery next week, home all day by myself after taking a quarter off from school.  When I get in my own moods, sometimes I say things without thinking, not nice things at all, and I don't stop and think about this very situation, what if there was someone who was where I am today taking in what I had to say on that day, which wouldn't be pleasant.  I'm not replying to them and I've unfollowed the post for my own mental health.      

I could also be, unknowingly, somewhat sad, and of course I'm scared, about the hysterectomy in a week and am choosing not to think about it as much as possible.  I'm not happy that I don't feel 100% after the Shamrock Shuffle on Sunday, but the doctor did say to give the medication two weeks to feel better.  It just seems like now the old cough-variant asthma symptoms are returning as well, but maybe that's part of the healing process, I don't know.  Going to the doctor isn't the answer, what would he say?  Take the medication, use the inhalers, wait two weeks.  Okay, I'm doing that, I'm not miserable, I don't feel "sick" like the flu, I'm just a big baby and want to feel okay.  I really think I've turned into a big baby, maybe I'm an attention seeker.  It doesn't seem like I am, I really hate going to the doctor, but I don't understand why I keep finding myself there.  I must be going for things that before I used to blow off I guess, I can't explain it.  Did I just not get sick before?  I know when I did, I always understood why, and could buy the answer over the counter.

Mark's said his coworkers keep asking him when am *I* going to have them over to see the new house.  *I*?  Like *I* am keeping them from coming over?  I don't see them every day.  I'm not the one that would be inviting them over.  But yes, I would like to finish furnishing the house, and unfortunately, furniture just takes a freaking long time to build the way you want it and get delivered, and we still have two rooms to go. 

I don't even know if I'm suitable to be around people right now.  Sure, I hung out with his coworkers for a brief time last week before my allergies hit after the run, and they were so nice and we had a great conversation, but it was short.  I wonder what in the world do I even have in common with ANYONE anymore.

I feel so alone.  I'm just really, really lonely.  And the very few times I do reach out, it seems like some of those get handed back to me with my ass on a plate.  For some reason, I've been thinking about this once in awhile lately.  You read once in awhile where old people will die and leave everything to their caregivers and nothing to the family, and the family gets all upset and take the caregivers to court, yet the family was never there for them, or rarely.  Besides Mark, who is mostly absolutely wonderful to me, do you know who the very nicest people to me are?  Our maids.  They are always SO nice and SO friendly, they light up just because you want to have a conversation with them, just giving them attention outside of a worker/employer situation seems to make them very happy.  They are very warm and pleasant individuals.  I can totally see why someone would choose to leave their wealth to their employees over their family.  True, you pay employees to do a job, they're paid to be with you, to take care of you, to do your work, whatever, and your family isn't.  Yet, being paid or not, being their job or not, they are the ones that stay with you, and the family wasn't.  They were the ones that kept you happy and kept you company and made you feel good for however many years they worked for you, maybe made you feel loved and special, who knows.  The family?  It usually sounds like they abandoned them and waited to inherit their fortune.  So who deserves the money?  Is it a reward?  Or is a right?  If it were me, if I were the lonely person who had been deserted by friends and family with only my caretakers and employees, I wouldn't think twice.  To hell with family and, well, can they be called friends?  I think it's people who make you happy and who are loyal and are there for you, whether you pay them or not, who most likely expect nothing but the paycheck that they've earned, that should be left part of the fortune, and ZERO to the family, absolutely NOTHING.  But of course, always something to animal shelters, always. : )  Animals are very special little beings that we must take care of, all of us. : )
Wednesday, April 10, 2013

So, I Guess We'll Go With Asthma.

I finally caved and went to my new family doctor today over my crazy exercise induced allergies that are so bizarre and I couldn't figure out.  I did tons of internet research, so did my husband, and we found a lot of people with the same thing who couldn't find an answer.

He came in and I was just embarrassed to be there AGAIN.  Obviously we both know I'm healthy - I was just there for a physical and had blood work and I couldn't possibly be more healthy as far as those things are concerned. 

I had told him on a previous visit for some reason, I don't know why, about my issues with coughing in the past, how it was diagnosed as cough variant asthma and I'd had to drop out of school and all that drama.  That time was much worse than this time.  But I let him know I wasn't convinced it was asthma, perhaps I'd just had bronchitis for a very long time.  He told me it was asthma, but I remember thinking, how in the heck do you know?  All you know is what I've just told you, and if I'm not sure it is, how can you be so sure?

So...I went into a lot more detail about my exercise induced allergies, how I've had cold-like symptoms  since the 8k Shamrock Shuffle and no medication has worked, how I hadn't been running or training before the race because I didn't want to run and be sick for the rest of the day, knowing nothing helps.

I actually had no hope, I didn't think there was anything he would do or could do.  It was just a step to take, something to try, but I would end up leaving upset and frustrated.  Hasn't anyone else ever felt like that?  I absolutely *loathe* going to the doctor, so for me to even BE at the doctor, there has to be a pretty damned good reason, so whenever I leave without a glimmer of a resolution, I am beyond upset, I'll sit in the car and cry, but that's what I expected today.

He got pretty serious for a minute and told me I had asthma, I needed to believe it, and it was caused by allergies, like being induced by exercise, and I needed to treat it daily.  He said there were no blood tests he could show me to prove to me that I have it, but I do, and last time he had almost prescribed steroids for me, and then he turned around to his computer like he was going to prescribe steroids!

I said no - no - no - don't those make you gain weight?  I'm sure I sounded a bit hysterical.  I've been down that road already with the allergist/pulmonologist and he knows that, I had told him I took those before.  It wasn't necessarily a bad experience, it's just that I hear the word "steroid" and I don't want anything to do with it. He said yes, and then listed off about five or six other horrible side effects and I thought there must be another way.  So he actually did think of something else.

He prescribed the same daily medication for asthma and allergies that I took when I had to drop out of school last year.  I was thinking "Why didn't I think of that?", but I don't know what really fixed it - the steroids for the bronchitis or the medication for allergies and asthma?  Or both?

So we'll see, I start taking it again tonight, ugh.  Back to Singular, Symbicort, Allegra at night and ProAir as needed for asthma and allergies, and too many to list for bipolar.  I don't EVEN know what to do when I stay overnight at the hospital.  They are going to ask me "Do you need to take any medication at night?"  Where in the frick do I start??  

I really hope this works, I want to get back to an active lifestyle and not be afraid to run and exercise, IF that is what I choose to do. : )  If I don't, fine, but at least I want the choice!  If you can NOT do it, that makes you really, really want to!

But asthma - it reminds me so much of a psychiatric disorder.  No one can PROVE to me that I'm bipolar.  There's no test I can take, and if I compare myself to other people that I have seen in movies or what I've always thought to be bipolar, no, I will not believe I am bipolar.

That's how I feel about asthma.  Do you know what I think of when someone says asthma?  There's a scene in some movie where the wife can't breathe because she's upset and she's grabbing an inhaler and it's out of mist and not opening her airway, she's panicked and freaking out, thrashing about with her appendages, but someone took the time to empty it ahead of time.  I think she's able to find a couple of them in the kitchen while she can't breathe - all of them are empty.  Somehow she doesn't die, but I can't remember how.

That's not me, that's not how I feel, so why is it hard for doctors to understand that's it's hard for me to believe I have asthma?  Yes, I get the sense they get frustrated with me that I don't just automatically believe every word that comes out of their mouths to be true, that I question it, and even when they think they've explained it to me, maybe what they've learned in their textbooks so they believe it, that doesn't mean I believe it.    

Maybe over analyzing, questioning, and not always believing your doctor comes from being a longtime psychiatric patient?  You're told SO many things, psychiatrists will PROMISE you a medication will not have a side effect and you find it does while you're taking it and read on the internet that it commonly has that side effect, or they tell you that you feel a certain way because "bipolars are known to feel..." whatever?  For me, I trusted a psychiatrist month after month after month of telling her how horrible I felt, how depressed, my husband even went with me to try to get through to her how bad it was, and all she did was keep increasing the one medication I was taking - Topamax.  One medication.  Just increase, that's it, month after month while getting worse, no improvement.

So really?  Just believe a doctor because they "say so"?  Riiiight.  I've done that before and ended up in a psychiatric ward and out of work for six weeks when I SHOULD have gone to another doctor! 

I really like my family doctor right now, I think he's awesome, but I will be honest with any doctor I have.  If I have questions or I don't agree with something, I'm going to be honest.  Okay, right now I will trust him that I have asthma.  Maybe it's not the "movie" type asthma that I have pictured in my head, but I finally believed I was bipolar after being diagnosed enough times, maybe that's just what it takes with diseases you can't prove to certain people that don't have symptoms 100% of the time, I don't know.
Monday, April 08, 2013

Shamrock Shuffle!

I whined in my last post about my allergy type symptoms, which are still here the day afterwards, but I never wrote about the Shamrock Shuffle.  It was AWESOME!  I just loved every single part of it. 

Because I had not been running as far as I used to about a year ago, I have been running (when I do run), 3.1 miles (5k) instead of what I used to run 3 times a week which was 5 miles (an actual 8k like the Shamrock Shuffle), I assigned myself into the very slowest corral - people who thought they could complete the race with at least an average pace of 15 minutes.  If you ran any slower than that, you were told not to register at all on the website.  I normally am a very slow runner, but since I had no idea how I would do on those last two miles, I went ahead and put myself in the slowest corral.  There was a limit of 40,000 runners, and even though the race was yesterday, the registration closed early to mid March because they had that many people register already!  It's that popular!

It took FOREVER for us, the slowest corral, to start, because everyone else had to go before us.  The race started at 9:15, and we stood there until 10:00 waiting our turn!  Mark was not with me.  Because he runs so fast, he was in a completely different area and his run started at a different time - 8:30.  Even his bib was a different color than mine!  He had had to submit the proof of a race with a finishing time to get his assigned corral which was pretty far in the front, and even THEN he was not happy with where he was assigned and wanted to fight it. it was not the FIRST corral, it was the second (out of at least 9 and 40,000 people!).  He is so competitive.

So finally we crossed the "Start" line, which was a big deal after waiting so long and my toes had actually gone numb from waiting so long.  These "slowest runners" started charging past me, running really quickly, and I was like "What the?", but I didn't speed up.  I knew I would need that stamina for the last two miles.

My pace was very steady.  In the beginning it was so congested, but then there was more room and I would pass people, other people would pass me, and then there were the people who couldn't figure out a pace and would pass me, slow down and I would pass them, and that would go on for awhile until they lost momentum and drop behind.

So around mile 2.5, I started noticing a lot of people were getting fatigued and more and more people had stopped running and were walking.  But I hadn't made the rookie mistake like I did at my first race - start out running fast and wearing out halfway through, praying I could just finish!

So around mile 3 or so, it was so amazing!  All of these Chicogoans had come out and lined the streets to cheer us on!  They had cow bells and were shouting encouragement and had signs, it was totally amazing.  There were businesses, and these businesses had been shut down because the streets were closed, that had set up huge speakers and were blaring inspirational rock (and rap?) music - like one of my favorite running songs - Eminem's "Lose Yourself".  That's actually the very first song on my "fitness" playlist - the words and the beat totally motivate me and I'll find I always speed up when I hear it and I forget I'm tired or whatever I'm feeling that's unpleasant.

Around mile 4 or so, MORE people, and now there were several coach-type people with bull horns that were in the streets on the side yelling coach-type sayings of encouragement.  And all of these people that didn't know us, I mean I'm assuming, just clapping and yelling and smiling, it really made me feel good, and I could tell it inspired everyone around me as well.

So, we're getting towards the end and it's down Michigan Avenue.  I was just overwhelmed!  It was packed on either side with people, the whole street, up and down!  Some people who had run at the same time Mark had run (they still had the same color of bib on that he did) holding out their hands for us to slap, I saw someone run beside another in the race who was looking very tired (just for a few feet) shouting encouragement to him to keep him going.  So many examples, way too many to list and even way too many to remember, just that I was really overwhelmed with how awesome Chicago residents can be to each other.  Really?  THAT many people come out to encourage runners, and some had run their race and came back to Michigan Avenue to cheer on other racers?  I realized that I am pretty selfish and I sure could offer encouragement to others because I had no idea how much it meant to someone.  You could say...well sure, there were 40,000 racers, of course there were a lot of people there to watch and cheer their friends and loved ones on.  BUT, we were the very last wave, there couldn't possibly have been THAT MANY PEOPLE to cheer just us on, all of the other racers were already done except for us.  Yes, there were a lot of us, but there's no way there were that many.

When I saw the finish line way in the distance, yes, I was tired, and my first instinct was "whew, I'm almost done...just keep on doing what you're doing".  But then I thought..."I'm almost done, after I pass that finish line, I can rest and I'm going to remember the finish time for the REST OF MY LIFE", because I just do, you just do, you never, ever forget it, and I've seen Mark has never forgotten his time in any race either, so I ran full out, as fast as I could until I crossed the finish line.  I heard the MC comment on it over the loudspeaker and it was embarrassing, but what do you do?  Stop because someone has pointed you out and attention has now been drawn to you?  I just tuned it out, passed the finish line, and started searching for bottled water.  It was table after table of disgusting GATORADE.  Who in the world drinks that sweet, sticky stuff when they are thirsty and dehydrated from running or intense exercise?  I don't get it - they had that on the water stops, too.  I tried it on the first water stop and yuck, I had wished I hadn't.  Finally, after passing maybe 10-15 tables, they had bottled water, and the table was packed with people grabbing them faster than they could get them out of the packages.  I took two.

I finally found Mark, then we found his friends, then my allergies hit and I told Mark I couldn't finish the rest of our plans with his friends for the day.

For some reason they took a ton of pictures of me during the race - they've posted them on their website, but I look horrid!  I had thought I looked cute in my outfit, but I look so freaking fat!  It's further proof that what size you wear is not indicative of how you look.  When Kirstie Alley said she wore a size 6, did she look great?  Absolutely, she looked fabulous and beautiful.  Could you tell she had lost weight?  Most definitely, and an incredible amount that was amazing, inspirational and so hard for most people to do, she must have had an incredible amount of willpower and I'm so impressed.  Did she look like the size 6 she said she wore?  Totally not.  Maybe that is truly what she wore, but in my mind, what I think a size 6 is was not what she looked like.  And that's the case with me as well.  What I saw in those race pictures, that is not the size 6 I was wearing.  I was a big, fat green melon.  Why they took so many pictures of me, I have no idea.  Maybe my lime green shirt stood out, it was festive at the Shamrock Shuffle, and I looked like I would buy a lot of pictures from them.  But I want to erase that I looked like a roly-poly green superball with black chicken legs who looks more like she's power walking than running!

But, I think I did qualify for the next faster running corral for next year, and I had an absolute blast!  If I can figure out this allergy thing, I will DEFINITELY do it next year.  And if anyone lives in the Chicago area and you didn't do the Shamrock Shuffle this year, you TOTALLY have to do it next year!  I'll never forget the experience, it was just totally, totally awesome! : )         

    
Sunday, April 07, 2013

Just Whining

We ran the Shamrock Shuffle  - an 8k run today with some of Mark's friends.  He, of course, had an incredibly fast time that impressed everyone.  I was just happy that I finished all five miles without having to walk to rest at all during the run.  But I keep fighting all of these doctors about what happens to me when I do intense cardio.  I get these bad allergies, similar to a bad cold, but I know I'm not sick, it's just what always happens in certain situations.  I would run MUCH MORE OFTEN if this didn't happen so many times when I run, but then I feel sick the rest of the day and it just doesn't seem worth it.  Who gets a runny nose and sneezes, coughs and itchy eyes after intense cardio?  It doesn't make any sense.  All the doctors tell me it's asthma (cough-variant asthma) caused by allergies, but it's not the symptoms I read for that type of asthma, and the pulmonogist/allergist tested me for tons of allergies, and all he came up with was mites (like dust).  I told my new family doctor about it, but I shouldn't have told him about the breathing test I took when I first began running when I may have had bronchitis because then he just decided it was asthma.  I wanted to RUSH to his office after the run and SHOW HIM my symptoms after the run so he could see - no, it's not freaking asthma, but it's Sunday and his office is closed.  Even Mark says "it's your asthma" - you're overexerting yourself and you can't breathe.  He used to fight me when I really did think I had asthma before these other weird cold symptoms that I did NOT have asthma until I was diagnosed - he would say "I have trouble breathing when I run too, it's normal".  No, it wasn't HARD to breathe because I was running too fast, there was a time when I couldn't get any air at all for a few seconds and it totally freaked me out, my airway was completely blocked, but it seemed like by mucous, it's always mucous that is the problem.  Sorry for being so disgusting, but how exactly is that asthma?  It wouldn't matter what doctor I would choose to go to -  pulmonologist, ENT, any specialist would decide it was one of the many disorders that THEY could treat and again, it could go undiagnosed as whatever it truly is and would not be fixed.. 

Oh my gosh, I am so frustrated with doctors!  Like I've said, they don't listen to me.  And yes, my family doctor said, when I said "the doctors said it's asthma, but I don't believe them", he said "of course, why would you believe a doctor?" in a very joking and good humored way that wasn't meant to be sarcastic, but seriously, they can absolutely be wrong.  I know what I experience, and what they've said just isn't true. 

I swear, sometimes I feel like maybe there is absolutely NOTHING wrong with me.  Maybe I'm a hypochondriac, maybe this is all in my head, it's psychosomatic.  I just need to "snap out of it" - everything, the whole works.  Perhaps I'm melodramatic, make too big of a deal over things that others don't.  But I've just gotten so tired of simply putting up with things, living with things that effect my every day life.  I mean, what would that new family doctor think if I went to his office with allergy type symptoms, but they are so bad right now, just to show him what I was talking about?  Is that really worth an office visit?  I'm not sick like when you go to the doctor for antibiotics, yet...how do I show him what I'm talking about?  When you don't have the symptoms, it's so hard to explain what you mean.  I don't even know for sure that he believes me, but maybe if he sees what I mean, he'll see why I don't think it's asthma.  Okay, maybe I do have asthma at times, I don't know, I could possibly buy that, but THIS isn't asthma.

I just want to be able to run.  That's all, and unpack the boxes in my office, but I know that at least is allergy related because you walk into that room and the dust from the boxes overwhelm you.  Mark commented on it today and said we should get the maids to start cleaning the spare bedrooms.  No allergy medication works, I've tried them all, prescription and non-prescription.

Oh my gosh, I hate whining, but if I don't have my blog to whine to and poor Mark hears too much of it already, where else can I go except the doctor, who tells me the wrong thing and doesn't convince me I have what I don't think I have?  Where's the proof?  No one has been able to induce an asthma attack in a doctor's office, which they should be able to do, so that's just one more reason it doesn't make sense.  AND they can't fix me with inhalers, not these allergy type symptoms, so it totally can't be asthma.
Saturday, April 06, 2013

Weight Loss And Weight Ramblings

I've felt better, much better the last few days.   The irritation has subsided, mostly.  I'm still taking two Lamitcal daily instead of one which I will continue to do for awhile, although I have no idea if it has had time to have had any effect on me whatsover.  I don't really care either way, I just want to feel and be better and that is one thing that has worked in the past so I will continue to do it.

Friday was my weigh day, and I was shocked to see I had lost another 3.1 pounds!  I am so surprised that the weight loss is really not slowing down at all.  So in about seven weeks I've lost around 21 pounds.  For me, that's a freaking lot!  In the past, I've always been and felt very lucky and happy to lose 5 pounds in one month.  Today was my monthly checkup at the weight loss clinic, and yes, I did look out of place there now that I weigh 129(.4), (I'm 5'6"), and the women were pretty much sizing me up and down, but I don't know that everyone wasn't doing that to everyone else in general.

I got on the scale and the, I guess she's a nurse, I don't really know what she is, seemed shocked and told me I had lost 11 pounds this month.  What do you say to that?  I was embarrassed for some reason, I just said "must have been because I wore boots last time...".  So...she wrote everything down and gave me a bottle of phentermine for this month and I asked her if I didn't reach my goal weight, which is 120, could I come back again the following month?  And she said, "you'll reach your goal weight."  And I said, "yes, but if I don't, can I come back?"  Actually, she didn't know it, but it was really a test question.  I wanted to see how shady this place is, if they just keep giving out medication to anyone who wants it.  So she finally said "yes".  Yes, of course I WANT to lose more weight, I'm not at my goal weight yet, but would a doctor would actually prescribe a prescription diet pill for me?  I don't think my family doctor would do that, but I haven't asked him, either.  He ran a blood test on me and I didn't tell him I took phentermine and it came back normal.  I was so scared it was going to say I was on something!

But....I was feeling pretty good about myself...until I went to Lululemon to buy something new to the Shamrock Shuffle - the 8k run in Chicago tomorrow.  I tried on these size 6 running pants that were so cute and fit really well, but I wanted to also try on the size 8 just to see the difference, so I asked the guy to bring them to me.  When he was going to look for them, he asked another girl how the size FOUR's were going for HER!  Ugh.  I instantly felt fat again.  There will always be thinner, younger, and prettier girls no matter who you are, where you live, what you do, it doesn't matter.  But I started thinking...maybe she wears a 4, but I have friends in Texas that wear a 0 and find it hard to find clothes.  So would she feel fat compared to them?  Lululemon is crazy - they have size DOUBLE 0!  Who in the FREAK wears a double 0 as an ADULT???  I think I wore a double 0 when I was 14 and my mother (who was a very young mother and was serious about jeans) took me jean shopping at an adult clothing store, and that was the smallest size they had and only one pair fit me.  But again, I was in junior high!  Somehow I don't think I'll be able to get back to my fighting 14-year-old weight again.  Ha!  Especially since I was a very late bloomer in every way!

I know this is an entry all about weight, sorry, it's just on my mind.  When we walked all over Chicago to pick up our packet today, I was observing people wondering why they were overweight or obese because it seemed so easy to lose weight.  But then I thought...no, it's definitely not easy AT ALL.   It's really, really hard.  I didn't lose almost 70 pounds overnight, I started this journey almost two years ago and I'm not finished yet, so that's a slow progress of maybe 35 pounds a year.  It's not easy, and it's not fast, and I had an obesity related death that inspired me and a husband that told me I needed to lose weight which were both very tragic and heartbreaking to me.  I found out I was moving out of state and gained ten pounds that I had lost, but I learned to run which is one of the hardest things I've ever done, and it's been about two full years of hard work and SO MUCH willpower.  Yes, the last 20 pounds I've gotten help from a weight loss clinic.  I stalled and needed a push, a jump start, what I was doing had stopped working.  But even then, the 20 pounds I just lost, those were super hard too and took major effort.  Of course there were so many times I was starving and wanted to eat something else instead of a hard boiled egg for a snack, or snack on something when I woke up in the middle of the night, somehow I've been able to stop myself, but it's tough.  I mean TOUGH.  Honestly I don't know where I get the willpower, but if I don't have it, I know from experience it doesn't work.  Diet pills, no diet pills, exercise, no exercise, anything, without the willpower, I fail every time.  Nothing just works and you change nothing about your lifestyle like some claim on television.  Of course you have to change...like, just about everything about your lifestyle! 

So, losing 4 more pounds was my original goal - 125 - we'll see how I feel when I get there.  I already know I will see myself as fat, maybe it's a body dysmorphia thing?  Perhaps I need counseling, I don't know. 

One more thing about weight but it's not really about weight.  Mark and I went to get our Illinois driver's license, and they put us together because, I don't know why really, but they did.  So they ask us questions at the same time, we do everything by the same person at the same time, one after the other.  SO.  They guy asked Mark, "Hair?  Eye Color?  Height?  Weight?"  And I'm thinking...oh my gosh...I've never told Mark a single time in 15 years how much I weighed!  So the DMV guy gets to me and asks me to same questions, and I take off a few pounds and say 125.  I think that sounds okay enough, and besides, who cares?  Texas asked that too, and they must have just put it in their computers.

So...they give you your ACTUAL license before you leave, you don't leave with a temporary license and wait for the original in the mail.  Of course, what girl doesn't look to check out the picture right away?  But then I was horrified!  My WEIGHT was on my driver's license!  Why in the world does my weight need to be advertised on my driver's license?  People's weight goes up and down in four years by so much, or at least it can, or it has for me anyway.  Height, that stays the same, eye color, sure, hair color?  Probably the same, but you never know.  But weight?  One nice thing about it though was that the DMV took 5 pounds off of what I said and put my weight as 120, so I wasn't quite as horrified, but still...my weight on my driver's license?  What if I had said I weighed 95 pounds or 250?  What if I had said I was 6 foot 6 or 4 foot 11?  Would he have broken out the hardware and measured/weighed me?  And WHY do they need to know this, and if they do, which they must because Texas does too, WHY does it have to be advertised on my driver's license?  Very frustrating.

I would have loved to have seen my dad get asked by the DMV how much he weighed.  That would have been entertaining, he would have been so offended, not that I would have wanted to see him be offended, but his reaction to the DMV person would have been priceless.  I wonder if my dad even knew how much he weighed?  I told Mark this, and he said "your dad would have never gotten a driver's license."  I got mad when he said that, I didn't understand what he meant, but then I realized, oh....he had glaucoma, he was legally blind, he couldn't drive a car!  But still, it made me wonder, those people who fight for "obesity acceptance" and hand cards to doctors saying only to weigh them if needed to know for things like medication dosage, and then only tell them the number if they ask for it, how do they react when asked what they weigh, and then see that it's printed on their Illinois driver's license for all to see?  And NO, I don't think anyone should be humiliated or shamed because of their weight, no one should be cruel, people aren't what they weigh, but accepting your loved one as being obese knowing the dire health risks, no matter how active they are, is not acceptable in my opinion.  But that does not mean to belittle them, which I never did to my father.  But obviously, I did not do enough of whatever it was I should have done.

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