Tuesday, December 30, 2008

This, That and the Other...

Yesterday I lost a weakling.

Yep, an entire weakling.

When I stepped on the scale, I weighed 98 pounds less than I did on October 31.

By tomorrow, December 31, I may hit 100, and I'm kind of freaking out.

I know you guys are probably tired of reading about this, and hopefully within the next couple of weeks I'll get beyond it.

But for the first time in about 12 years, I actually weigh less than what is stated on my driver's license (I get to keep renewing it by mail since there isn't any licensing office within 40 miles).

Here's a pic of the feet, and my "sharpei" slippers.

I went to see the doc today. My EKG is good, my blood pressure is normal, my heartbeat is in the targeted range, and my oxygen level is great. Oh, and my cholesterol level is fabulous, which left us all scratching our heads.

I confessed that I haven't been able to stay on the oxygen 14 hours a day, because I got stuff to do and I can't carry the nose-hose out of the house, or downstairs, etc. Doc said that's ok, he's cut me down to using it when I'm sleeping or out of breath. His office is almost 10,000 feet above sea level, and when I saw him, I hadn't been on the hose for about 10 hours. If I could have the oxy level that I was at, it means I'm absorbing what I've been sticking in there. Yippee!

And for anyone who is worried---apparently it's not unusual or particularly dangerous in cases of severe edema to lose around 2 pounds a day when monitored and with diuretics. I've had blood tests every other week, and my dance card has been full between family doc and cardiologist.

Which brings me to this....

When we moved up here about 12 years ago, I wanted to lose about 30 pounds. I've gone up from that, obviously. And in the few months between last July and October----way way up.

Now that I weigh less from simple water weight loss, Doc and I are wondering if it all started when we moved up here (oxygen deprivation from altitude) and if it crept up under the radar. You know, like retaining 5 pounds of fluid every year or so, when I thought it was fat. I still have a little water left, and I still want to lose that extra 30 final pounds.

Anyway, now that I've been mostly clear-headed for the last couple of months, I just don't feel funny or even particularly creative. Maybe it's because I had the bejesus scared out of me.

Or possibly it's because all the funny, creative stuff was invented by an oxygen-deprived brain. I've been worried about that. How sad would that be?

I think maybe it's because for the last 2 months, between being scared and trying to deal with it and trying to comfort all my guys, I found out that as prepared as I thought I was about dying as far as administrative stuff goes, I really wasn't.

I hadn't updated my will in years. Both kids are now legally adults. So I had to do that.

I went through a bunch of personal papers I had saved since I was a teen---old love letters, notes from friends, assignments, etc---things that wouldn't be understood or appreciated by anyone else but me. I put them in their own separate tub with a big "burn me" sign on front. There's nothing in there that's going to hurt anyone's feelings---it's all ancient history. But it will be there for me if I ever want to look at it, and disposed of if the worst happens.

I wanted to make sure that there would be current medical information to more than one person out there for my guys in case they needed to access it.

As an adoptee, I had absolutely no medical history until I found my birthmother at the age of 35. Those of you who know me intimately know how much I could have used her information before I decided to start a family. When I first found her through a court order directed to the adoption agency, she was under the impression from old school friends that my birthfather had died of a heart attack while in his 40's.

I searched for his surviving family, and actually found him alive through his military records. I spoke to him once on the phone, and yes, I know it WAS him (not going to tell you why or how I found out specifically), but he didn't want to acknowledge our relationship, so I got no medical information. I didn't want to intrude on his life or hound him, so I never called him again. We did have a nice conversation--he was a nice man--and he was very interested in how my birthmother was.

I felt that I needed to talk to my ex-husband about Little Guy's future if something were to happen to me. As most of you know, this last summer, I went for and was granted legal guardianship for him.

I called ex and laid it on the line for him.

"This is what's going on. This is what I'm worried about. I'm going to send you a file of my med records in case something happens to me for the guys so they have as accurate a history as possible."

He said, "What will happen to Little Guy if you die?"

I said, "I don't know. You're his father, and I haven't made provisions for that yet."

He said, "But xxxx (my hubby) has been his Dad. What do you want to happen?"

Me: "Little Guy loves you too. You're his dad too. He has a life, and a girlfriend, and a community support system here, and I don't know what to do. I'm afraid of YOUR dad. "

I've talked about my ex-FIL and what a controlling SOB he is. I'm afraid that if I tried to "leave" Little Guy with Hubby, ex-FIL would fight to get custody, because unlike the rest of my personal family (my adoption), he is actually a blood relative. Courts are wonky sometimes.

Ex: "If you want to go ahead and make Hubby legal co-guardian, I won't fight it. We can work out visitation with me and other stuff if the worst happens. Little Guy will always have a home here, but I know that his life is there."

How very kind he was.

On the 9th of January I'm going in for some tests to see if I need to have a defibrillator stuck in my chest. I'm sure I'll write stuff before then, but send good thoughts, would you?



Wednesday, December 24, 2008

...and Now for Something Completely Different


You don't see this every day. I'm handing over my crown.

Hope you all have a very merry holiday tomorrow!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Who DID You Sleep With to Get This Job?

I've been asking this every day for the last week.

A month or two ago I complained about the talentless hacks who produce the headlines for what passes for "news" on AOL's Welcome screen. Specifically the ones designed to draw readers into clicking on the link, but turn out to have very little to do with the actual article.

This week I noticed that the company thesaurus seems to be broken. I read three headlines in two days, all of which had the word "icon" in the title.

Being sufficiently annoyed at the sloppiness and overuse of the word, and of course, being me---I decided to keep track.

In addition to the original 3 headlines (which I didn't think to jot down), these popped up in the next 6 days:

Storm Dumps Snow in Las Vegas
Photo Shows Iconic Sign Covered in it

Iconic Childhood Game Turns 60

Iconic Store Shutting All 815 Doors

Music Icon's Home Open to the Public

We've Lost a 'Notorious' Legend
But Iconic Pinup's Pictures Live On

Pop Icon Snapped in Bizzare Mask

Iconic SUV Company Up For Sale

Music Icon Hiding Secret Pop Star Sister

Iconic Brand Files for Bankruptcy

Geez Louise. Even if there were 5 separate unimaginative writers who produced this dreck, you'd think an editor worth his or her salt would have caught it.

Makes me think of those old SNL Weekend Update skits where Dan Ackroyd turns to Jane Curtain and says, "Jane, you ignorant slut."

Who DID you sleep with to get this job?


In other news, I passed my fall semester with A's. I'm amazed, because I got a little behind when I was at my sickest, but was able to catch up at the end.

My legs are almost 100% back to normal. Except for the excess skin. Kind of looks like I'm wearing nylon knee-hi's that are sagging around the ankles. The soles of my feet even have flappy skin. Eww.

Oh, and I lost 85 pounds of water. That's right. 85 pounds.

I peed out an entire person in 7 weeks.

Of course, it's a Calista "eat a cheeseburger" Flockhart-sized person, but still....I weigh less than I have in at least 5 years (dropped 4 sizes).

I had to go digging in the basement to find some old moderate fat clothes because all my pants are falling down. I'd like to lose some more, so I don't want to go spend $$ getting new stuff just yet. But I have to get shoes. My shoes are falling off too.

Went to see my cardiologist and things are looking good. My blood pressure is normal, my EKG looked good. My pulse-rate is still a little high, but has been coming down with the meds. The side effects were bothersome at first, but once I adjusted to them, I have to say that I feel really really good.
(Cripes. I just noticed I used the word "good" 3 times in that last paragraph. How iconic---er ironic.)

Unfortunately, I'll probably have to take most of these for the rest of my life, and stay on the oxygen indefinitely, but my energy level has gone way up, and I'm glad they caught it when they did. Still have a bunch more tests to do after the holidays, but I'm just going to wait until then to think about it.

So how was YOUR week?

Friday, December 12, 2008

Christmas Shopping

Well, at least you know what NOT to get her for Christmas!

Friday, December 05, 2008

You're a Douche Bag!!

While I was down for the count in the last month, it seems like the universe held a parental douche baggery convention. And I missed it.

Can't quite fit back into the killer bunny slippers to kick some heinie yet, but that's ok. My left foot looks like it's wearing a shar-pei. Even the sole of my foot has loose folds of stretched-out skin which is really really freaky. Who needs a scary slipper when the real thing is hideous on its own?

Anyhoo, thought I'd introduce a few douche bags to the hall of shame since it's been awhile...

Your daughter and her friend take nekkid pictures of themselves with their cellphones over the summer. They send a photo to one of the girls' boyfriend. A photo "accidently" gets sent to the cell phones of the entire football team (whether via the boyfriend or one of the girls' phones wasn't made clear).

Someone anonymously sends a copy of the picture to school officials, who suspend your daughters from the cheerleading squad because their actions violate the code of ethics.

So you sue the school for damages (amongst them is negligent infliction of emotional distress and outrage), because it's "obviously" their fault that your daughters are Suzi Slutpanties who can't control themselves.

You're a Douche Bag!


Your child is at an age where he wants everything he sees on TV. Kick-Me-In-The-Head Elmo. Brite-Lite Barney with the Kung-fu Grip. Now that the holidays are approaching, toy manufacturers are stepping up the promotions during their biggest season of the year and your kid's Santa wish list is getting bigger, longer and backbreakingly expensive.

Do you:

1). Limit Bratleigh's TV time so that Power Rangers with thermonuclear lunch boxes aren't constantly dancing in his head? Make him read a book instead? Go outside and play in the yard? Bake cookies or do some other kind of activity together?

or do you:

2). Use this as an opportunity for teaching life lessons? Such as, "life is full of disappointments, and we don't always get everything we want. How about looking at the list and picking out the one or two presents you want the most (if it's a young child) or rating each item as to wantability (if it's an older child)."

Life isn't going to hand them everything just because they want it. Better they learn that early at home so they can be prepared for the real world as adults.

Unless of course you really want your kid living in your basement when he's 30.

or do you:

3). Band together with 1400 other wussyboots and contact toy companies to ask them to stop advertising so aggressively during the holidays because you're unable to tell your cupcake "no" or keep the little dictator away from the TV.

If you picked number 3, then You're a Douche Bag!!


It's a rainy day. You're dropping your kids off at school and the only available parking space in the loading zone is the one reserved for the disabled. And you're in a hurry, dammit.

Who's going to notice? You'll just take a minute to walk your cupcakes inside the building.

When you come out another father is waiting to talk to you. He is the parent of two children, both who have MS. He's waiting to use the disabled spot and asks you not to use the reserved space in the future because they are needed for families who have children who have physical disabilities.

Instead of apologizing and high-tailing your soccer-dadding-mini-van-driving butt out of there, you decide to give him a good talking to. "Just because you have a hard life doesn't mean the world owes you everything."


And a 5-star Douche Bag!

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Checking In...

I haven't fallen off the face of the planet. Yet. ;-)

Finals are this week and I have just a few days left of school.

As soon as they are over, I'll have a whole month to come and dish.

Thank you all for all your kind and loving wishes.