Sunday, April 13, 2014

In the Middle of a Loss

Saturday was a difficult day for me. My husband petted our sweet cat, Chloe as he left for work early that morning. I woke up two hours later to find that she had passed away. Her body was still warm when I tearfully put her in a box to take to the vet.  I had neither the will nor the strength to bury her myself. 

She wasn't a perfect cat nor was I a perfect pet parent. But she filled a place in my life that is just empty right now. Today when we came home from church, she was not there to greet us and tell us she needed more food, water and a treat. And rub her back while we at it. And my heart broke a little bit all over again. 

Chloe was not a lap cat when she moved in back in May 2001. I adopted her because she did not get along with the senior cats of the family that rescued her. She howled on the drive to my house for the entire 30 minutes. She attacked my feet under the sheets until she understood that it was not a good idea. She saw me through my mother's heart attack later that same year as well as the emotional aftermath of 9/11. She liked to chase lizards that got into the house. I could shake her treat bag to bring her running when I was unable to find her latest hiding place. She slept at the foot of my bed and sat beside me on the couch to be petted. She fussed whenever I was gone for more than the day. I always made sure someone looked after when I went on a trip but she still fussed when I came home. 

When Mr. MoaM came into my life after Hurricane Katrina, she sniffed him out and approved him. She liked him so much that she sat in his lap. In fact after we married, she would fuss at him when he came home from work until he sat on the couch and crossed his legs so that she could get in his lap. He had always been a dog person but she converted him.

I only have a few pictures of her because the camera containing her pictures was stolen back in November. She was black and white and her facial markings made it look like she had a "hair-lip." She liked to look out the window. I have a picture of that. I have good memories and I know she didn't suffer. She was old and was going to die. But I still miss her. As my cousin, Kenna put it so aptly, I have a "kitty-shaped hole in my heart."  I just wanted to honor my friend. Thanks for your understanding.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Good Intentions

There is an old Randy Travis song that runs through my head sometimes that says, "I hear tell the road to hell is paved with good intentions." Good (meaning productive) intentions often run through my mind as well, such as, writing for the blog, cleaning the house, etc. If you look at my published post list, you can see how far such intentions have taken me. That being said, this is not a post about regrets; rather it is a post to jump back into blogging.

So, my health has been slowly improving as my weight has been slowly declining. Mr. Middle of a Mess (MoaM) and I have been experimenting with different low-carb foods. Mr. MoaM had a come to Jesus meeting with his doctor and has been better monitoring his intake and his daily glucose levels. It has been fun to try different foods made in different ways. We have recently made basic Cauli Rice (as in "rice" from cauliflower), Coconut Lime Rice (also from cauliflower) and Broccoli Pesto over Spaghetti Squash. These were all "do again" worthy. We have tried to make exercise a part of our lives but that has yet to take hold.

Mr. MoaM has also started working on the backyard since it is no longer bitterly cold. The backyard is a small bog. I don't say this loudly lest the EPA come and declare it a wetland. We are not sure if the water that it holds is from run off, a broken pipe or possibly a spring. Mr. MoaM is putting down gravel and planting water-loving plants to (1) take up some of the water, and (2) accept that it is not a regular backyard.

I have been making small strides in the house-cleaning category. My motivation at this point is that we are hosting the family Christmas this year. While that might not mean much to you, I need the entire year to whip the house into shape. It's been slow going because of the aforementioned good intentions with the corresponding lack of action.

So how have you been doing?

Sunday, December 1, 2013

No Post November

So apparently I didn't post anything to the blog in November, making it a No Post November. I had every intention of posting. I tried out my witty remarks in my mind and thought of funny catch-phrases. Then my husband called me at work to tell me our house had been burglarized. My priorities then became very narrow and focused to a single thought: secure the house. We have made significant improvements in that direction but I continue to fear that it is not enough. I know intellectually that the fear will diminish over time but emotionally it continues to affect my mood. I have come to a place of serenity that what will happen will happen but I'm not there all the time. Most of the things taken can be replaced in some form, except for my mother-in-law's pearls. These were given to me on my wedding day by my sister-in-law as my mother-in-law passed away many years ago, before I had even met my husband. I like to think that we would have gotten along quite well and that she would have forgiven me for the manner in which the pearls were lost.  

For the sake of accountability, I must report that my chain for scheduled workouts was broken. I was visiting my brother and his family, and actually started well, walking in the bitter cold. Then illness overtook me and instead of stubbornly pushing ahead, I stepped back and took care of myself. When I have been treated and am reasonably well on the road to recovery, I will resume my workouts. I do not feel the need to beat myself up. The chaining idea is to maintain my motivation to work through the boredom. It is one thing to say I didn't work out because I was sick; it is quite another to say I didn't because I was bored. The first is reasonable, the second unacceptable.

So my steps now are to resume my life, perhaps with a bit more vigilance, and to resume my exercise regimen at an appropriate time. What is your next step?


Thursday, October 17, 2013

The Next Step in the Health Clean-up

Today I had my follow-up visit with my primary care provider (or PCP like we like to say in the healthcare biz). My doctor is a no-nonsense kind of guy, in every sense of the word. I've been working hard at making lifestyle changes in order to change my life, and I wanted it to show. I think he was pleasantly surprised because he said, "I see you took our last visit seriously." To his credit, he always gives me a copy of my lab results and discusses them with me. It is not a hurried discussion. Rather, it is a review of my health and family history, his plan for what comes next and what steps he or I will take in that plan.

So my changes are this:
  • fasting glucose = within a normal range and lower than when I measured a couple of weeks ago,
  • A1C = within a normal range. This is the "look back" value for glucose,
  • triglycerides = within a normal range and 100+ points lower than last time, and
  • cholesterol = still out of normal range but improved.
These are all improvements. My weight was lower but I'm less concerned about that number than I am about the values listed above. 

Here is my one beef with the whole visit: he still considers me to have Diabetes; controlled but still there. He didn't think I need medication for it specifically but did want to change/add some blood pressure medicines due to the vascular damage that diabetes can cause. He said I did need to continue doing what I was doing.  So my goal for my next visit (in February) is to solidify the normal numbers for glucose and A1C so that I can argue that he is basing my alleged diagnosis on one irregular number.

So I'm wondering, do you argue with your doctor?

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Checking back in

I haven't been on here in awhile but kept meaning to do so. That statement can apply to many areas of my life. I have good intentions with poor follow-through. While I have been consistent with my workouts, blogging has not been so consistent for me.

Anyway, I have talked about my health before and I mention it again because I will return to my doctor this week for a follow-up. My plan is to knock his socks off with the fact that I took his information to me seriously. My blood pressure has been better when I measure at home, and so have my glucose readings. Again, no big change with the weight but my husband said that he has noticed my body has been slimming. I should point out that he didn't say that just to be nice and I didn't ask him if any particular clothing item made me look fat. He is quite truthful about how he thinks clothes look on me.

Since I have been exercising and trying to eat better, I have become more aware of my body. I'm not totally in tune but I am improving. One big thing I have noticed is my posture at the computer. I have caught myself hyper-extending my neck and/or slumping. When I notice, I will correct my sitting with better posture but this happens more than I realized and more than I like.

I did have a moment yesterday that I need to focus on more than I currently do. I try to limit my intake of carbs and sugars but especially after three p.m. to a very small amount, none if I can get away with it. But yesterday, I didn't pay attention to my body or what I had eaten and at what time. I ate lunch at 10:45 a.m. and didn't have an afternoon snack. By the time my husband got home from work, I was queasy and weepy for no particular reason. He gave me some liquid B12 and I ate a little cheese, and I felt better. So I didn't pay attention to the fact that my blood sugar had gotten too low before I ate something. I know I would be better off if I would plan my meals and snacks but I haven't gotten there yet. It's on the list of thing to do.

So what new things have you noticed about yourself lately?