Archive for June, 2012

So, doctors appointments numbers two and three were scheduled today. However, appointment three was indefinitely postponed because appointment two went on far too long.

I definitely have arthritis. No doubt about that. Dr. number two today said that I may also have fibromyalgia. He had some blood work done to see if there’s anything else that can be ruled out, so I’ll know more when the results come back from the lab.

You know, inside, I still feel like I’m young. I still have some of the same dreams, the same insecurities, all the things that make me me. But dang! I used to like to sit on the floor and lean up against the sofa or chair or wall. Now I can get down onto the floor just fine, but can’t sit there for long because it starts hurting, and then getting up is a bitch.

It kind of reminds me of Gulliver’s Travels. There’s one bit where Lemuel Gulliver is introduced to some people who have eternal life. Gulliver foolishly wishes he had eternal life, but is taught by people who learned the hard way that there is a difference between eternal life and eternal youth. Just imagine all your aches and pains and tiredness, and how much they have increased between your youth and whatever age now, and then imagine how they would increase from now to, oh, say, 300 years. 500 years. 1000 years. Do you really want eternal life, without eternal youth?

And that gets me to thinking about eternal physical youth as opposed to eternal mental youth. Because I’m definitely a lot smarter now than I was when I was a nubile young lass. So I’m going to shoot for: eternal physical youth, but the knowledge I have now plus everything I can learn going forward. So basically let’s let the physical body be the awesome body I had at 17 or 18 years of age, and stay that way, but let my mind and spirit  keep growing. Deal?  (And no, not offering to sell myself to the devil. I have a higher opinion of the worth of my spirit. But if some awesome angel has the right connections, come talk to me. I’m just sayin’.)

Okay. All that aside, I will confess that my efforts to get off some of my medications apparently backfired. One in particular is actually prescribed to help with arthritis. So I’ve been instructed to return to the original dosage, which means I guess I’ll be taking it forever. If it helps, though, I’ll try not to complain too much.

For now, I’m going to enjoy my day off, take a nap, snuggle with my Emmylou Who, and dream of having my house actually completed and live-in-able.

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I had my third trip to the podiatrist this morning, a follow-up to last week’s MRI. Basically, I have arthritis. There are no breaks, no tears, just some degenerative wear. 

Problem is, per my bariatric surgeon, I’m not supposed to be taking any anti inflammatories such as ibuprofen or naproxen. There’s also a wee chance I might be battling fibromyalgia as well. Let’s just say I hurt. A lot. A lot of the time. So I don’t really need to follow up anymore with the podiatrist (which is nice, because as nice as he and his staff are, he’s way the heck the other side of town) as much as my regular doctor, my bariatric surgeon, and perhaps a rheumatologist. 

So tomorrow I get to visit the awesome Dr. L. and then will follow that up with a trip to the equally awesome Dr. K’s office. 

And for now? Well, I’m going to take some tylenol and lie down. 

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Sisters, Sisters, there were never such devoted sisters….

I got to go to Longview with the incomparable Izzybella Saturday. While we were sitting at Waffle House, where we’d stopped for a cheap yet surprisingly delicious breakfast, I suddenly felt that our sister Alicia was sitting right beside me. I mean, I could feel her warmth. Like she was leaning against my right arm, filling me with her love.   It was amazing.

I miss her. I keep a picture of her on my desk at work, and look at it every day. And when Izzy and I have gotten together lately, we’ve both felt that she’s been with us.

The overarching theme of the book Izzy and I are writing is the importance of family. I think Alicia approves, and is reminding us that she’s an important part of our family.

I love you, sister mine.

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A Helpful Tip

I keep meaning to post this, and keep forgetting. So forgive 2 posts in 1 day, and ignore this if it doesn’t apply to you.

I went to the podiatrist for the first time last month, and whilst there I apologised to the nurse for my stinky feet. (And yes, I had wet wipes and wiped my feet off before presenting them for inspection. But they still stunk.)  She was very nice, told me not to worry about it, they were used to it, and oh, by the way, put antiperspirant on your feet. The smells come because your feet sweat, and they get all mucky and yucky. So just put antiperspirant on them.

Well, I refused to put the same stick antiperspirant on my feet that I do on my underarms, so I got some spray. And lemme tell ya, it works! It keeps my feet dry, they don’t stink, and all is well in footville. Except for the hell spurs and whatever the heck is causing the pain on one foot, which is why I had an MRI on Tuesday. But even though they hurt, they smell just fine. Yay!  (Upon review, noticed I typed “hell spurs” instead of “heel spurs.” But I decided to leave it, because they hurt like hell.)

I know I’m not the only person in the world with hideously stinky feet, so I’m hopeful this will help other sufferers. And you know I’m going to be watching search terms, to see if anyone gets here by searching for stinky feet, smelly feet, how to keep feet from stinking, my feet smell so bad that you could gag from the stench…

Heh heh.

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Road Trip!

Tomorrow the incomparable Izzybella and I are headed to Longview for a road trip. Just a short one, one day only, but it will be nice. There will be a mini family reunion at Johnny Cace’s at 1 p.m.  I’m excited–I haven’t seen one of my uncles in years and years. And one of my cousins might be able to make it, and I actually haven’t seen her since she was a baby. To put that into perspective, I was in middle school and she’s now a mother. It seems like every time she and I tried to meet up, something happened–a kid got sick, I had knee replacement surgery and wasn’t up for the drive to Longview, etc.

Izzy and I will also be scouting around to get atmosphere for the book we’re writing, which is set in part in Longview. I think we fully intend on getting thoroughly lost, and it will be an abso-freakin-lute blast.

What are your plans for the weekend? Anything fun? Share!

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You may recall that several posts ago I mentioned my ambitious plan to get completely out of debt in relatively short order.

So I finally got around to getting everything set up. I’ve scheduled payments on my big credit card, and it should be paid off by the end of January at the latest. We already make a payment on it each month from our family account, so my adding payments from my personal account will more than triple the original amount.

Then I calculated how long it would take to pay off the car if, when I’ve finished paying off the big credit card, I apply the same amount of money to the car. Another year or so.

I then calculated how long it would take to pay off the car if first we slightly more than double the amount we’re paying from the family account each month, and then, once my big credit card and the car payments are gone, that money gets applied to the house.

All other things remaining the same (no job changes, health issues, etc.), at the outside it will take 5 years to get the house paid off as well, although I think we can probably do it in 3 years.

Do you know how wonderful I’ll feel when I’m no longer carrying any credit card balance, when my beautiful car is paid off, and when my house is paid off?

When I do manage to get a promotion and a raise, the equations will change for the better. (Notice I said when, not if? Yeah, I’m thinking positive here.) I like having a plan not just written down, but programmed.


How are you working to eliminate financial stressors in your life? Or have you already paid off all of your debt? If so, what tips can you share?

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Here We Go Again

I applied for another team lead position that posted today. You may remember I tried several months ago, and didn’t get that job (which really is just as well–I’m not sure I’d have been the best fit, and honestly I don’t particularly care for either of the two people I’d have been supervising). Nothing appealing has come up since then.

But a couple of people either have retired or are about to retire, and their jobs are going up. I’m a big Wayne Gretsky fan–you miss 100% of all the shots you don’t take–so I’m shooting that puck like mad. 

This may sound like I don’t like my job. That wouldn’t be strictly accurate. I like it okay, most of the time, except when I’m retesting the same process month after month after month because it’s not passing. But I like the people I work with, and I like getting to understand the wider picture of what we do here at my location and division.

But I also like money. Money can be a good thing, particularly when one is eager to get one’s credit card, car, and house paid off. Then the money that was going to pay all those bills can go to things that are a little more fun, like vacations and awesome clothes.

I’d also like the opportunity to grow. I’ve been very fortunate in that I was able to move out of the secretarial/admin assistant field; while I was extremely good at it, I didn’t really enjoy it. So getting into quality assurance, and then into operational controls, has been fantastic. I have learned so much. I’m looking forward to learning something new.

So send me some positive thoughts, if you can spare a few, while I’m making the move into the next stage of my life, whatever that may be.

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I’ve been listening to the cast recording of Les Mis, and thinking of Jean Valjean, and how much I adore him, and how heartbreaking a character Javert is. And hearing Valjean sing about how he is 24601–he’s defined himself with a label placed upon him, unjustly, by an unjust society and an unjust world. And that got me back to something I’ve had on my mind for several weeks now: Labels. 

Artists are traditionally resistant to labels.
Patti Smith

Despite a large body of work in films, TV, theatre and concerts, I am viewed by many as a Jewish artist. I do not resent the label, except for the fact that I disapprove of labels in general.
Theodore Bikel

I don’t care what people call me, labels have the negative value of making smaller boundaries for people.
Michael Graves

I don’t put labels on myself.
John Engler

I had gotten to a place where I truly believed everything I was called: ‘not sexy,’ ‘not funny,’ ‘too intense,’ desperate.’ All those labels they gave me, I took them because there wasn’t a trace of my true self left.
Naomi Watts

I love round people, I love skinny people. I love people in general; we’ve got to get past labels and stop being so critical about everything.
David Arquette

We are too quick to put labels on things. It is my profession. I get up and paint. Everyone wants to put a label on it, but I am a free spirit, so I fight against that.
Geoffrey Holder

What I really resent most about people sticking labels on you is that it cuts off all the other elements of what you are because it can only deal with black and white; the cartoon.
Siouxsie Sioux

Whatever labels are being pinned on me have nothing to do with me.
Skeet Ulrich

I’ve never concerned myself with the labels people want to put on you. What matters to me is my own estimation.
Jean Dujardin

It’s just someone has labelled us as having a different label to do what you do. I find that labels are the worst thing in the world for artistic expression.
Ornette Coleman

Labels are for cans, not people.
Anthony Rapp

Labels are for filing. Labels are for clothing. Labels are not for people.
Martina Navratilova

My feeling is that labels are for canned food… I am what I am – and I know what I am.
Michael Stipe

That’s a lot of quotations to illustrate something that’s been on my mind a lot lately. Any time I begin to label myself, or to believe someone else’s labels that zie places on me, I instantly start to sweat and get gut-wrenching cramps of wrongness.

 The fact is, we cannot label ourselves or anyone else without immediately restricting who and what we (others) are. If I tell you that I’m a woman, you’ve already put a label on me, whether you know it or not. If I tell you that I’m a round woman, you’ve put another label on me. I have no children. Another label. Drive an American car. Another label.  Write novels. Another label.

And the interesting thing is that all of those labels you’ve just placed on me have nothing to do with me, and everything to do with you.

If you’re a misogynist, that “Woman” label means you automatically fear or distrust me. If you buy into the whole “women have to conform to an ideal size and shape,” my roundness means you have stamped me with the label of “Unattractive” or “Fat” or “Sexually unappealing.”  If you know nothing about my history of trying to have children, you may label me “selfish” because I don’t have children, or because I haven’t adopted.

So those labels you have put on me say nothing about me.

But it’s more than other people labeling me. It’s how I label myself. I caught myself today thinking about how I felt when I was vegan/vegetarian, and thought perhaps I need to return to that lifestyle. But then those gut-wrenching wrongness cramps started again, because I fail. I fail every day. I can’t be 100% vegetarian or vegan. My life doesn’t work that way. I can eat vegetarian 90% of the time, vegan 50% of the time. And there are so many labels—flexitarian, ovo-lacto vegetarian, pescatarian, blah blah blah.  Why do I have to label it?

Thus, whenever I catch myself beginning to apply a label to myself, I stop. I am infinitely more complex than any label or group of labels can even begin to express.  If I buy in to the labels I or anyone else places upon me, I have already begun to limit myself.

Unlimited. That’s me. That’s you. That’s every person on this earth. Let’s let go of the labels, and let’s fly.

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