Saturday, April 19, 2014

Color Swap

It was time for a color swap in the Boise house. First up, the bedroom. The room has been living with the wallpaper and trim from when the manufactured home was built years ago. Now a new color scheme. An arctic blue wall color and silky white trim. What a different paint makes. 

And an even more amazing transformation? The bathroom. Dark to light. Gotta love paint!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

High Altitude is Bad

Last night on the treadmill I was dragging. It was a very hard workout where I couldn't hardly catch my breath. I kept thinking it was just because I had a long day so I pushed through all 45 minutes. When I went to the pool, I couldn't swim as many laps as I usually do - I really noticed my lungs were struggling.

But it wasn't until this morning when I had to keep taking rest breaks while getting ready for my meeting, particularly when I had to lean over the sink to brush my teeth (and catch my breath), did it make sense.

It's the altitude. While being home and at work and in Boise my lungs have improved dramatically. But in this almost 6,000 foot altitude in Sun Valley it's obvious the lungs aren't so perfect. Darn.

Guess I needed a wake up call. Remember, Deb, you're not Superwoman. So no more treadmill while I'm here. And walking to my meetings? Not all that fun. And to think I purposely left my scooter home for the first time in a year.

Something else bad? Cheese sticks that have been to Los Angeles, sidetracked to Puerto Vallarta to Minneapolis to Boise to Marsing, then to San Antonio to Marsing to Sun Valley. They don't make for a very good snack. Now they are traveling to the trash.

Something that could potentially be worse? Not getting to spend time swimming. Come on, lungs. Hang in there.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Goals are Good

Go to work.
Go to Boise.
Drop off three bags of too-big-for-me clothes at a local charity.
Go with daughter to get stamps for wedding invitations.
Go to daughter's apartment and help stamp invitations as I watch a webinar for work.
Drive another 160 miles to another work conference.
Hit the treadmill for 45 minutes.
Hit the pool.
Climb into bed by 8:30.

All tasks done, my goals for the day complete. Throw in a picture of a tree blooming outside my daughter's place and a cat put to sleep by both the webinar and the repetition of stamping envelope after envelope? Makes for a long, exhausting, but good day.



Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Tourist

I played tourist today. Our conference ended at noon and with a flight not until six it was time to head out for the sites. 

Can you tell where I've been? While the cactus pictures aren't giving away any clues the other picture certainly does.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

I Forgot

I forgot what it was like eating around other people.

Usually it's just hubby I eat with and he's been really good about keeping the not-so-good foods out of my sight so I can avoid temptation. Now that I'm on a business trip with other people, there are lots of foods at the table. Some of the most delicious:

Spaghetti
Pizza
Hamburgers
Apple pie
Ice cream
Cinnamon roll
Pancakes
Chips and salsa

While at any other time in my life I would have been eating alongside them, this go round it has been hands off. I actually haven't even been a bit tempted. I have to focus. Keep my eye on the prize.

I did forget one more thing. I forgot about the time difference. My 5:00 AM trips to the treadmill are really 4:00 AM trips back home. It doesn't matter all that much, though. What matters is being here when it opens at 6:00 AM.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

The Arrival

LAX to Puerto Vallarta. Spend the night in Puerto Vallarta. Puerto Vallarta to Minneapolis. Spend the night in customs in Minneapolis. Minneapolis to Boise. Spend the night at the Boise airport. Boise to Marsing for a last minute arrival.

Just a few days in the life of my lost luggage. And it's a good thing the missing luggage arrived when it did. For yesterday morning I had a very early flight out of Boise, heading to a conference for work. There were things in that suitcase I needed. Warm weather clothes, undergarments, workout clothes, and my swimsuit.

So this morning while my compadres slept (yeah, it was early - 5 AM early) I made my way to the treadmill for a 40 minute workout. After that workout, a workout in this. While it may have been chilly out, and windy out, and even rainy out, you won't hear any complaints from me. Who gets a pool like this to themselves, with a view like this, before sunrise?

Lucky me.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Puerto Vallarta

It's 40 degrees and rainy in Marsing, Idaho. It's 82 degrees in Puerto Vallarta.

Where would you rather be? Yeah, us too. But our vacation is over. Time to get back to work and back to reality. We never visited Puerto Vallarta on this trip. It wasn't even on our scheduled stops. Heck, I don't even know where Puerto Vallarta is. 

But our luggage does. 

When we got off the plane last night and went to pick up the luggage our bag was a no-show. Come to find out that despite being tagged for the Boise airport, a baggage handler in Los Angeles put it on a flight to Puerto Vallarta. And that is where it sits right now.

It sits there with our toiletries, our clothing, my swimsuit, my walking poles, our jackets. Without us.

Thankfully the airline will reimburse us for some costs until the bag arrives. Being that our vacation was 10 days long we had pretty much packed every undergarment we had. A visit to Walmart is allowing hubby to wear clean underwear, me not to have to share his men's deodorant, and us to have fresh breath. If the luggage doesn't show up pretty soon I may be shopping for a new swimsuit. Since I logged over 13 hours in the pool this past trip I want to keep going.

How can I not when my weight loss is looking like this? 72 pounds as of today.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

The Letter S

Two S pictures.

Sailboats in Santa Barbara.

Sunset at sea.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

In Transit

When a cruise ends and you've booked the next cruise on the same ship, you're considered an "in transit passenger". You get to get off the ship last, be escorted through customs, and be the first folks back on the ship. Being that we were one of these types of passengers today - we are doing back to back cruises - we got back on the ship early and spent the day at my favorite hangout. (Although I have to say the spa is getting up there on my list - I had a seaweed wrap and deep tissue massage today.) I could get used to this.

Even the view of the Los Angeles harbor at sunrise isn't too bad.


Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Here Comes the Sun

Yep, it arrived. Cool and windy, but look at that sky.
Pool day for me. (As usual!)

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

2nd Verse Same as the 1st

We're stuck in a song.

I'm Henry the Eighth I am, Henry the Eighth I am I am...

Second verse same as the first...

Fog and clouds in this next port. Opted to stay on the ship because of the weather. Spotted a seal before breakfast. Morning walk, two hour swim.

The big difference is what hubby treated me to. I've never been to a spa in my life but that changed today. I had an afternoon appointment at the ship's spa for several 15 minute massages. Scalp, neck and shoulders, feet and ankles, hands and arms. Even get to go back tomorrow and get my poor knotted up legs worked on. Heavenly.

The only pictures I managed today were a couple of Ensenada, Mexico, today's chilly port, that I took on the morning walk.

Hoping for warm weather!


Monday, March 24, 2014

Gonna be Sore

When I think of Santa Barbara I think of sunshine. When hubby thinks of Santa Barbara he thinks of a soap opera. (I guess there used to be one called Santa Barbara?)

Today we got neither one. We did get fog and clouds. With the weather being as it was we opted to stay on the ship. But we did keep busy. We got a seal outside our balcony before breakfast. 

We got in a nice long walk around the Promenade deck. Did you know that sometimes a cruise ship is parked out in the water and not alongside a dock? When that's the case the survival craft (life boats) shuttle passengers back and forth to town. 
And when the cruise ship is sitting out in that water, it drifts a bit. Check out my silly looking walk I took this morning. Trust me, it was the ship's fault this time.
And then came the swim. In the adults-only quiet pool at the back of the ship. The pool I spent two hours in, walking and swimming. Forwards, backwards, sideways. Not once during those two hours did I stop. Just kept a-movin'. Bet I'll be pretty darn sore in the morning.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

All In

I'm not sure what to call it. I'm all in. Grabbing life by the horns. Basically, living deep and sucking out all the marrow of life. Not wanting to die knowing I hadn't really lived. A bucket list while I still have my wits about me to enjoy it. And doing it now - because later sometimes becomes never. I figure there will come a time when things are so bad I will be home bound permanently. (I kinda already had some temporary periods of that so I really know the importance of taking advantage of adventures whenever I can).

So we're on another adventure. Got my walk in on the hotel's treadmill, exercised in the water, had a healthy high-protein breakfast. A delicious salmon lunch. And now this, sitting by the pool getting some warm sun on the Sapphire Princess.

I am so blessed to have this life.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Not in Kansas Anymore

We're not in Kansas anymore. Not that we were in Kansas to start with, but we were in Idaho. 

But not now.
While we're not yet at our final destination here are some clues. 
#1
#2
(That's part of the Great Salt Lake from the sky.)

#3
Los Angeles area. 

Another clue comes tomorrow. 

Thursday, March 20, 2014

I Knew It

I knew exactly what the rheumatologist was going to say. Back to infusions.

He explained all about how the longer I wait, the more my joints will be damaged. In 5-10 years I'll be sorry I waited. Sorry I didn't do all I could to arrest the disease. While he was pleased I was more active, he warned me about needing to be super careful with my joints. I need to listen very carefully to my body and not overdo it. He suggested swimming would be a more appropriate activity for me than walking. Also said how amazing it is that I continue to work with the severity of the active rheumatoid arthritis I have going on. (I should be on disability right now, but I'm not. And not planning on it. Thanks boss, for working with me on that one!)

So after the doctor visit I guess I'm being a bit rebellious. I'm not starting infusions yet. The fatigue, the malaise, the all around icky feeling they cause is too fresh in my mind. And anyone who has been around me these last couple months can tell you fatigue/icky feeling/looking is not a word to describe me.

And I'm not giving up walking yet. While I might give up on that idea of walking a 5k in May (yeah, I kinda had that as a goal), I still am going to use my trusty iPhone GPS walking app.

Even used it in the grocery store. While I thought I had my list all planned out so I wouldn't have to do any backtracking, two things caused detours. One, I forgot to pick up the ad on my way in the store and had to head to customer service. Two, I couldn't find the sandwich hubby was wanting me to pick up for him. I must have looked crazy going 'round in circles looking for a doggone sandwich. At least I did a good job of shopping the perimeters and staying away from the bad-for-you foods up and down all the aisles. Even got a 1/2 mile in!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Couldn't Make it to Four

The notes I put in the GPS walking app this morning tell the story of my attempt at four laps.

Lap 1, foot hurt
Lap 2, knees hurt and couldn't breathe
Lap 3, knees hurt, right hip hurt, and really couldn't breathe

As much as I had my heart set on making it around the paved park path four times this morning before work, it wasn't meant to be. While my Achilles tendon took two days of ice and heat to recover, my knees and my lungs aren't going to be so lucky. The knee will take a replacement to fix it up. The lung? Losing more weight may help but that's about it.

But how can I not feel lucky anyway? I walked 1.2 miles today. And just a year ago - almost to the exact date - I had crossed my final line in the sand on my health. On March 19 of last year I started the infusions for rheumatoid arthritis. And here it is a year later and I am walking again - with no infusion drugs in my system. (Although I have my rheumatologist appointment tomorrow and I'm sure he'll want to start me back on treatments. I've been able to put them off because I've been recovering from surgery. Can't use that excuse anymore.)

While four laps didn't happen today, maybe they will tomorrow. Maybe tomorrow I'll get just as pretty pictures as I did at sunrise today.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

A + B = C

Walking in the sun + sitting in the sun + working outside in the sun = a bit too much sun on the forehead and nose. While it may appear Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer is visiting early, it's just me.

Walking in the sun + a bad knee that makes me walk weird + a good night's sleep = an Achilles tendon that won't work. I woke up with a sharp pain that wouldn't let me move my foot up or down. Putting on my shoes? Excruciating. My hope was that it would calm down, but no go. So hubby said no go on the walking for the day.

Which is where the sitting in the sun came from. Sitting in the sun + squawking seagulls = hawks chasing after them. It also equaled pictures for me (and you).

Saturday, March 15, 2014

There's an App for That

After a long plateau with the weight loss I knew I had to do something different. These last few weeks I've been using a new app to track my food intake. My Fitness Pal lets me put in my meals, water, exercise, and notes. It calculates all the important things, but for me the protein, calorie, and sodium count are the most important. I've been obsessive about making sure every calorie is counted. It's paying off. According to this morning's scale I'm down 66 pounds.

Now I'm obsessed with another app that I have linked to the fitness pal one. Map my Walk is a GPS that when turned on, tracks where you are walking, the distance, the time, and calories burned. It's exciting to see right away what I've accomplished. And it's pretty darn accurate. As I made my three laps around the paved park path I can see where I walked off the path to sit at a picnic bench to catch my breath (which happened several times this morning since hubby went with me - he's a fast walker and I had a hard time keeping up). I can see where I cut through the grass instead of going through the parking lot to make the loop. I can see where I stopped for a rest before heading to the car, where I paused the GPS and forgot to turn it back on. I can also see that I don't know how to walk a straight line. An entire 1.16 miles of it today.

And I can see where I went swimming. Not really, but the GPS thinks so.

(Lisa, did you get your walk in?)

Friday, March 14, 2014

Just a Walk in the Park

Who is lucky enough to have lung capacity for a walk in the park? Enough lung capacity to make it 3/4 of a mile with only one sit-down-and-catch-my-breath-break? Me.

Who is lucky enough to live by a river and see this on her walk in the park in the early morning before work? Me.

And to those who commented yesterday? Thank you. It's good to know I'm not forgotten!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Choosing Joy

Something just occurred to me on the drive to work today. It is so very much easier to choose to live a life of joy when you are feeling better.

In my case that means my non-working lung isn't always interrupting my daily activity like it did just a few short months ago. It's pretty darn amazing how much different life is when you can breath. Oxygen is so important!

Recently I've done some simple things I didn't think I'd ever get to do again. Work in the rose garden. Go grocery shopping (by myself - with no scooter). Get up in the morning and shower and get dressed and eat breakfast and pack a lunch and go to work - all in a row with no breaks to stop and catch my breath. Load boxes in the car (gotta work on those 100 things).

And walk. In the store. At school. In the park. Just last weekend when kiddo was over the three of us went down to the park by the river here in Marsing. We made one loop around the paved path and I wanted to do more. So under the bridge we went, past the first boat dock and all the way to the second boat dock. For most folks it would seem all that walking might be just a short little jaunt. But for me with one operating lung, rheumatoid arthritis, and a knee needing replaced it was a big little jaunt. I was walking a pretty brisk-for-me pace so there were lots of catch-my-breath breaks. But I have to say I pushed myself, was proud of myself, and it felt good to do something I thought I'd never get to do again. (Now I just need to make it a habit.)

Even took the camera down, hoping to catch some pictures of ducks. The best picture came as I was backing out of the driveway before we even left the house. I think we're gonna have babies around again.

How can I not be joyous?

Monday, March 3, 2014

March 3, 2011

Being that today is March 3, and three years ago exactly was March 3, I figured I might as well look back to that day. Some of you were around back then and some of you weren't, but in either case let's take a walk down memory lane to 2011. To the first post ever of this blog. My, how times have changed.

Day 1 of 365
So the last 18 months have been rough.

First there was a back injury that make it difficult to do most daily activities. Then came the Rheumatoid Arthritis diagnosis. Total knee replacement surgery was next. Then, a root canal gone bad requiring gum surgery. Took a year's leave of absence from work to help expedite my healing. Broken finger. Torn rotator cuff in my right shoulder and subsequent surgery. Followed by torn rotator cuff in my left shoulder and subsequent surgery. I've spent 17 of the last 18 months (including this month) in physical therapy and have taken more pain medicine than a person should. Back issues still plague me, my knee doesn't bend completely, I still can't raise both arms above my head, and the chemotherapy medication I'm taking for the rheumatoid arthritis isn't improving my condition.

And I'm 45 years old.

Despite the fact that I have more bad days than good and my body is failing me, I am thankful.

I'm thankful for my family. For my husband who is now the breadwinner for the family. For my daughter who let me come live with her for my last surgical recovery. For the cat that climbs up on me when I'm not feeling so great. For the roof over my head. For the view of the river I have from my living room window. For being able to, on some days, do something that will benefit others. Collecting coupons to send to military families. Blankets for babies in the hospital. Cookies for my physical therapists.

But over these last 18 months I haven't felt so thankful. Out of work, in pain, struggling to get through each day.

But today that is going to change.

For the next year, I have a goal. A picture goal. A take-a-picture-every-day-to-see-that-you-have-lived kind of goal.

Every day, I will take a picture of something I did, created, saw that was interesting (or even boring), somewhere I went, or anything else I decide to capture at the time.

I don't know where this will lead me, but hope it will lead me back into the land of the living instead of the land of the existing.


Fast forward to present day. Here's something I found this week on Pinterest (my new obsession). How appropriate. Happy blog anniversary!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Salad Plates

I tried to keep looking for the beauty. I tried to take pictures. I tried to start the blog up again. Made it through several days last week.

Then nothing.

For a couple days this week, I think I actually forgot I even had a blog. We've been busy around the house getting rid of things. We're on a mission to 100. Owning only 100 things each. Two car loads to charity, several bags to the trash, some things to kiddo, some things to my mom. Boy, do we have a lot of stuff.

We've kept about 20% of our books. Most of the remaining books are hubby's school related, history and government related books (and he won't give those up until he retires). We've been through our clothes closets and our linen closet. We've been through every cabinet and drawer in our kitchen. We got rid of casserole dishes and loaf pans and muffin tins and cheesecake pans. We got rid of utensils and silverware. Speaking of silverware, how serious are we about cutting down? We now only own three butter knives. How about dishes? Got rid of our whole set. We now own four salad plates and one dinner plate. Crazy, right?

I think the best thing for me is the salad plate. It makes my dinner look like plenty of food. Yeah, we're talking about just three shrimp but don't they look delicious on my little salad plate?

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

2024

I remembered when I got my passport 10 years ago. We were planning a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Alaska to celebrate our 20 year anniversary. Then we got our daughter's the following fall as we were anticipating a trip to Jamaica. The Alaska trip happened but the Jamaica trip didn't. Back that long ago I really didn't think beyond those couple trips. As I think about it now I could never have predicted the traveling we would have done over these past 10 years.

8 trips to Alaska, 2 to Hawaii. several to Canada. A road trip from Idaho to Florida to Maine and back again. Tents and campgrounds, cruises and hotels and cabins.

In a job interview you might be asked, "Where do you see yourself in___ number of years?" The more important question for me (upon seeing the expiration date of my new passport) would be, "Where do you see yourself traveling in the next 10 years?"

Exciting to think about, isn't it?

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

A Bit of Air

Get up. Take a shower. Get dressed. Cook breakfast. Make a sack lunch.

A typical routine for millions of folks around the world. Except for me that routine has required me to take a rest break/catch-my-breath break in between each one of those steps due to my lung issue.

But as I was driving to work this morning something occurred to me.

I didn't take any breaks this morning. I got up, showered, dressed, made my omelette, and fixed my sack lunch. In that order. Back to back. And I wasn't totally out of breath. And no low oxygen headache.

I had started thinking something was up this weekend. Hubby made me go outside and shovel snow with him. (I agreed because I wanted to get a picture of PJ boy shoveling snow in his pajamas.) I took the easy way out when it came to shoveling and just did the small sidewalk. When I was finished I realized I had a bit of air left. My lungs weren't totally used up.

I do think the lungs are getting a bit better.

Unbelievable. As unbelievable as hubby being dressed in real clothes on the weekend.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Not 'till Noon

My obsession of checking school mail every 5 minutes is creating havoc with my days so I decided on a mantra.

Not 'till Noon. No checking email until noon on my days off.

It's been in my head for the last few days. I go to bed with the thought, I wake up to the thought.

And did I make it on this first day of using it? Not even close. Even as I repeated the words to myself I was checking it. And replying to it. Why the obsession? Maybe it's because I want to stay on top of things. Maybe it's because I don't want to be left out of things. Certainly checking email would not be at the top of most folks' list for the best way to spend their day off. So why is it on mine?

Grrr.

On a more visually pleasing note, take a look at the snowy creek bank. Or should I say, my interpretation of one. It's really the water coming out the downspout of one our gutters. The snow is beginning to melt off the roof and making a little trickle of water flow into the snow covered wildflower-turned-perennial garden. Not all that exciting, but it sure is better than checking email.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Senior Project

High school students in Idaho are required to complete a Senior Project in order to graduate. At my husband's school that project is career-based. Students research a career, secure a mentor, and spend time working in that particular field. Hubby is the one that runs the projects for his district and I was able to benefit today because of it.

About this time of year students come to him and need more service hours or another mentor. One gal was getting tired of practicing her skill on the same members of her family and was looking for others who might want her services. He signed me up.

So this afternoon while the snow fell and I sat in my recliner, the high school senior came over and worked on my feet. What was she doing?

Reflexology.

I've had my feet massaged the one time I had a pedicure, but this was different. I sat there as she pushed and rubbed and stretched and pulled, all the while describing the different parts of my body that are reached through my feet. It was quite nice. (Probably the first time I didn't get a bit ticked at hubby for signing me up for something!)

The only downside was that I didn't want to get out of my chair afterwards. Three hours later I finally moved and found out it is still snowing. (Thanks for sending it our way, Lisa.)

Thursday, February 6, 2014

My Lucky Day

Actually most of the day was sucky. Yesterday's multi-stop trip (actually a two stop trip) left my knee in pretty bad shape. I thought the store walking was going to tax my lungs, but alas, it was the knee in need of replacement. But as I told hubby, nothing is going to stop our upcoming plans. Even the fact I had to use a cane just to get around the house. Sucky.

But the afternoon phone call helped. We had booked our spring break flight quite a while back and the airline called to say they were overbooked and wanted to know if we had flexibility in our flight.

Heck yes! First class seats to LAX. $400 in future flight vouchers. Sign me up.

You can also sign me up for my version of Mandarin Chicken. Cook up some boneless, skinless chicken breast, onions, green pepper, and pineapple. Toss with a bit of jarred sweet and sour sauce. Other than being a little too sweet for me (I think hubby thought I was crazy...wasn't sweet at all for him) it worked for me. All six bites.



Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Gotcha

The Universe played a "gotcha" on me today.

Today was one of those days I had been planning for. One of those days I'd been thinking over in my head, one of those days that I would make perfect.

Meeting in the morning. Lunch at home. Then my biggie - go to town and buy cat food. Drop off donations. Pick up prescriptions. Go grocery shopping. All by myself. I haven't made a scooter-less multiple-stop trip by myself in a very, very long time. But I was prepared. I had my schedule of stops all planned out.

But then the meeting got moved to the afternoon, so a change of plans was in order. While first thing in the morning is a rough time for me, I committed to getting up and doing my biggie trip before the meeting.

But then, snow all morning. Being it was going to take every bit of strength and stamina and concentration to get through the multi-stop trip to town I decided it best I not go. Goodness knows there is no need for a driver who isn't at the tip top of her game on the highway on a day like today.

Gotcha! Said the Universe. Stop over planning things!

But wouldn't you know, by the time I headed to the meeting the roads started clearing up. 
And after the meeting they were clear even more. So onward to shopping. 

It all works out, doesn't it?

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Antithesis

an·tith·e·sis. anˈtiTHəsis. noun: a person or thing that is the direct opposite of someone or something else.

As in, Debbie's new behaviors are the antithesis of the old Debbie.

During the life of this blog I believed in living one day at a time.

I believed I should look for the beauty in each day. (Hence the daily pictures.)

I believed that doing things for others made you lead a fuller and more blessed life. (Hence all the sewing projects for charity.)

I believed that, even while I wrote about my struggles and triumphs, life wasn't all about me.

But in the last month I've become obsessed.

Obsessed about the future, always thinking and planning for future times (when I might feel better) and no longer living for the moment.

Obsessed about not wanting to go into the sewing room. Why am I so scared of working on a new project?

Obsessed about not looking around for the beauty in the day. I can't even look beyond checking my school mail every five minutes, no matter what I'm doing. Can't even get through a movie without looking at the phone.

Obsessed about myself. What can I eat? When is my snack? Did I get all my fluids in for the day? How should I space out my vitamins? How much weight have I lost? (50 pounds, for the record.)

This is so not me. I've got to get back to the old me. First up, out to dinner at Alejandra's. Four bites of chicken fajitas - and a picture of the day- and I'm done.

Baby, baby steps.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Lessons Learned


After having a rough time of going to work a couple week back, I took this past week off. I used it to more-or-less drop off the face of the earth. I did no school work and replied to very few emails. I used the time to rest, relax, and learn some lessons.

In no particular order here are my Top 10 Lessons Learned:
  • Despite my previous thoughts, I found out my health really does come before work. 
  • A plastic fork can substitute when no hair brush is available.
  • A couple bites of the moist, delicious white meat inside a KFC extra crispy chicken breast is quite tasty. However, if you've had weight loss surgery do not even think about taking a bite of the skin. Because what goes down must come up. And it ain't pretty and it ain't fun.
  • A hairdryer works to warm up a leftover omelet when no microwave is available.
  • The only way makeup can make it on my face for the first time in ages is to have a daughter take her wedding party (and invite her mommer) to a Mary Kay thing. (That's how out of the makeup loop I am - I don't even know what it was we went to!)
  • Sometimes it's just nice to hang with your daughter, even though she keeps pushing you to walk more and more to get your exercise in for the day.
  • If you spend some time in your Boise house to keep away from flu-ridden husband you just might come home to a changed man. All thanks to a book he's read while you were gone.
  • When you are prepared to go grocery shopping by yourself, it is guaranteed that there will be no electric shopping carts available. You'll have to go it on your own. You'll have to take a break in the middle of the store, but you will make it.
  • The pintos and cheese at Taco Bell is the tastiest meal on Earth.
  • A slice of pepperoni and a slice of mozzarella rolled up and dipped in tomato sauce makes the tastiest snack on Earth.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Like a 3 Year Old

I've been feeling pretty icky these last couple weeks. I still have no energy, my dizziness and weakness and close-to-fainting episodes are pretty constant. My hands and feet regularly go numb. As I've been checking my blood pressure at home I suspected that was the issue, especially since the monitor keeps reading it as an error. I was waiting for the doctor and the nutritionist follow up visits to get an official reading.

The blood pressure of a 3 year old he tells me. What would that be?

90/62.

That explains a lot. No wonder I can't function! So a change of meds is in order. What other changes has the doctor and nutritionist ordered up?

I get to eat soft foods. I've been a good girl with my fluids and protein. I've been doing my best to exercise despite the lung (and the blood pressure). And it's obvious in my weight loss for the month. Here's the tricky part in reporting a number of pounds lost - the nutritionist is using a different starting weight than the doctor (my preop visits with the dr and nutritionist were on two different days and I weighed a different amount each time). So depending on who I go by...doctor 33 pounds; nutritionist 40 pounds. Hmm...which one to pick??

I did know what to pick for my first meal. Shredded chicken and refried beans. About four teaspoons of each. Only made it through two teaspoons of each before I was full. Gonna have to learn to love leftovers.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Most Embarrasing

Today's picture is the most embarrassing picture I've ever posted here. (Clothes.) And this topic is the most embarrassing topic I've ever written about. (Weight gained over the past years.)

Over the last 10 years I have gained and lost and gained and lost over 100 pounds. Each time I gained, I bought new clothes. Each time I lost, I bought new clothes. Each time I thought I was going to lose just a bit more weight I bought a bit smaller size. Just like anyone who struggles with weight fluctuations I held onto on those sizes (when you're talking 100 pounds you're talking a lot of sizes) in the hopes of being able to fit in them again someday.

That someday never came. But now that I'm "sleeved" I know those days will be fast approaching. I anxiously await my official weigh-in at the doctor's appointment at the end of this week, but according to my unofficial home scale I'm on track to be down 30 pounds in this first month.

What better time to go through those containers of clothes in the basement that are sizes - in some cases many, many sizes - too small? Time to take stock of what I have, what I don't have, what clothes I never even took the tags off of because I never fit into that size.

It turned out to be a horrible mess. All dumped on the bed for me to sort through.

Hi, my name is Deb and I hoard clothes of all different sizes.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Invincible? Nope.

Since I didn't get to go for my walk today (today's picture shows why) I went grocery shopping with hubby. Usually all my grocery trips over the last several months have involved my scooter. Unfortunately since surgery I'm not allowed to lift more than 15 pounds and my scooter weighs 35 pounds. And one-armed hubby can't help much either. So everywhere I go I'm scooter-less.

But I thought it would be okay shopping without the scooter today. I've been walking. I've been bowling, playing golf, tennis, and baseball. (Granted they're on the Wii, but at least it's something.)

Boy, was I wrong about my capabilities. Walking around the store, pushing the cart? Horrible. Bad enough I had to go sit down in the middle of the shopping trip. The lungs just won't kick in. Just like on my walks. Panting, sweating, lightheadedness, terrible headaches, inability to think straight. My oxygen level drops and I feel miserable, just like before surgery.

So one-armed hubby and post-op wife will be figuring out a way to work together to get the 35 pound scooter in and out of the car. No more shopping trips without it.

And no walking down the street today or tomorrow for sure.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Waiting for my Owner

Hubby has been pretty protective of me. Stayed with me every night in the hospital. When I recouped at our place in Boise he carefully portioned out all my liquids, made sure I took my vitamins, and took walks with me. Once we came back to Marsing, same thing.

But now he's returned to work and I haven't. I sit all day at home with not much to do. I sew fabric squares, I do Wii bowling, I organize things like the linen closet, I do some school work. But mostly I rest and sleep in.

And wait for hubby to come home. For part of his protectiveness involves outside. I'm not allowed to go into the gardens without him and I'm not allowed to take my walk without "supervision" he tells me.

I feel like a puppy dog waiting for her owner to come home.

I've ditched my walker and traded it for walking poles. I go to the power pole at the end of the street and turn around and come back home. With hubby "supervising" me all along the way, of course. It's not that far, but it sure feels like it to me. By the time I get home I'm panting like that puppy dog!

Friday, January 3, 2014

Just Squares

I've been pretty much keeping quiet lately. Protein, water, protein. Few more pounds gone. Naps. Still no walking on our icy street but I have been using our new Wii. Bowling and tennis mostly. Boxing? I tried it but it's a little too much work for me right now. As with any surgery it'll be a few weeks before I get my strength back.

So what do I do to keep myself busy? Reading, books on audio, and retreating to the sewing room. Doing what I'm good at, something I'm passionate about, something that doesn't require lung capacity.

Cutting and sewing charity quilts.

344 squares cut out, sewed together to make 86 square quilt blocks. Not sure what the quilts are going to look like (my brain is a little tired, too) but several kids in the hospital will get to see them first hand. That is, when I get all nine quilts put together.

I