Nature of Humans

Wanna know something new that I forgot about that is just yet another thing my doctors should have explained to me in regards to my surgery? Sure ya do:

So, all of our stomachs have this mechanism that tells us when we are full. It’s towards the top, naturally, and it activates when we eat to say “Hey, I’m full. You should stop eating.” Well, when you have a fundoplication done, that mechanism gets moved and wrapped around your esophagus and, therefore, no longer works. Which is another reason I was so miserable for those two weeks. I’d been on a spree of food with no regard to how much I’d ingested.

To combat this I have to be mindful of what I am eating. I have to self regulate. I have to pay better attention. And, therefore, I simply just leave food on my plate now because I have no way of knowing if I’m full and I no longer want to feel as bad as I did that last time. So, I’ve been eating smaller meals more often. Which, is the ideal way to eat. But it’s tiring. And it’s just so weird that I have to pay so much attention now. Bleah.

Maybe it’ll help me with my weight loss, though? I dunno.

Today I read some commentary that part of the Prince death investigation wrapping up meant that all of the photos and videos that were taken in Paisley Park during the investigation have now been made public. That includes his death scene. Meaning his dead body laying on the ground. And people are publishing this and, I assume, people are looking at this. And this is where my not being able to understand human natures kicks in because who the hell wants to see that?! Why would you want to see that? I saw the photos of the famous vault the other day and even then I thought “This feels weird. Should we be seeing this?” and now that I know it was part of that photo evidence it feels even weirder. I will not be looking at any of those photos and I don’t understand those of us that will seek them out.

Human behavior is just so tricky and I wish it was easier. Like, I know it’s not best to hold on to things that bug you until you explode…but I also don’t want to hear about every little thing I do that bugs you. I’ve been in that situation. It makes me feel like I don’t do anything right. And I don’t want to be the person that is highlighting the flaws in another person all the damn time, either. But I also know I hold on to shit until I explode. So, what’s the balance? How do you determine what is worth pointing out and when? Bleah.

And on an end note it’s hard to find out that you’re not as important to people as you once thought you were. It stings.

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Imaginary Converstations

I’m riled up today. I’ll get to that in a moment. For now, let’s do a quick catch-up:

  • I did an upper GI test last week that revealed that my surgery has not failed, which is awesome news! It’s just a wee bit on the tight side, which is good so it lasts for a good long while, and my esophagus is tiny so I just need to take smaller bites, chew more, etc. while also making sure my bathroom habits are regular and staying ahead of that instead of allowing gas and constipation to build up. Woo!
  • I’m down 3.2 pounds since February. Not the almost 10 I should be down by now but I’ll take it and run with it. But because we both have a lot going on we’ve decided to not do the challenge any longer. I think that’s for the best, really. But I’m going to continue on my own. Which is also for the best.
  • I had my annual exam on Tuesday. Apparently, with all the other health concerns of mine, I’ve been slacking on the monthly breast exams. Now I know to never ever ever do that again. Because I have a rather sizable lump in my breast and have to wait close to two weeks for the mammogram to see if it’s a clear lump or a solid lump and then have needles inserted into my breast to drain it if it’s just a cyst or take a biopsy if it’s not. I’m a bit freaked out to say the least and my anxiety brain keeps bringing up all the ways I’ll need to tell people when (IF!!!) I find out it’s cancer and that’s not helping. I don’t think. Or maybe it’s my brain’s way of preparing me for the worst? Hope for the best, prepare for the worst! So, I dunno. I also am just slightly superstitious without wanting to admit that I am and I don’t want to worry the bad news into existence so I’m trying to be chill and not think about it but then I find myself fondling the lump and being mad that I didn’t notice it. And then worried that some of my GI issues are actually related to this lump. I had adhesions on the gallbladder. And my stomach. What if….
    So, yes. I’m worried. I think it’s reasonable to be.

Now…on to my riledupedness!

I am SO FUCKING TIRED OF EXTREMES! Guys. It’s ok for me to say “man the education system here in America really needs some work.” Nowhere in there did I say “Man, America fucking sucks!” It’s possible to enjoy a thing while, also, seeing where it can improve. But nooooo, the “Get out of American if you hate it so much!” crowd cannot be reasoned with. Shut up.

I’m also tired of the extreme liberals who think everyone that isn’t a liberal is some racist, dumb-shit mouth breathing moron. No they are not. Stop being a snob, you assholes.

I’m tired of people acting like if someone you admire did anything at all bad even once in their life they are now “problematic” and should not be supported ever. With that mentality Martin Luther King, Jr. wouldn’t have gotten very far. None of us would. Stop being so all or nothing, damn. Humans have issues.

If you can see the headline “Trump advised that Cohen is likely to flip” and you can still tell yourself “Trump ain’t done anything wrong!” then I do not understand you. A person cannot “flip” if they have nothing of value to share! That’s not how it works, folks.

Starbucks is having a racial bias awareness training. This is dumb. I’m sorry, but it’s dumb. The country, mostly the white citizens of this country, simply need a “Do not call the cops unless you see a literal, verifiable crime taking place. Is there no crime happening? Then do not call.” It’s really that simple.

Hell, for that matter can we all have a “Be a Reasonable Person Training.” I think that’s what I want. I want for everyone to reset back to neutral. And then if I’m talking to a friend of mine and I say something that is racist but I’m not aware it’s racist and they say “You know, Andrea, that’s racist.” and I then respond “Oh, my goodness I had no idea, I’m so sorry.” and then we both move on with our lives…. That. That is what I want every single person alive to be able to do. No drama. No butthurt. No defensiveness. Just….reasonableness. Why is that so impossible?

If you know better, you do better. Right?

I’m tired of journalism being a joke. There are so many other things this administration is up to than porn stars, Russia, and dumb shit tweets. Scott Pruitt, the head of the EPA (protecting the environment is right there in his fucking job title!) is too busy spending money to protect his phone calls, his car, and his plane rides and then scaling back actual protections of the environment yet it gets very little notice. Ryan Zinke is running around shrinking public lands so we can drill and frak and log on them. They’re making it so it doesn’t matter if a rare type of bat lives in the area, log them trees, bats be damned!! I hate it and I hate that journalists are keeping the other dramas alive instead of highlighting the bullshit that is happening in EVERY department of this administration. Do your jobs, journalists.

Basically, things have gotten to the point of being so extreme on both ends that I have very little faith that we can ever be a truly united citizenry ever again. I’ve lost that hope. And that makes me sad. Because it’s very much a sign that most, not all, people are truly that simple minded and selfish. On both sides. And that is heartbreaking.

Shorty

Work is incredibly busy right now so this is just a super quick update:

I’m down 1.8 lbs from February 1 and that keeps me in first place in the weight loss challenge. I feel super motivated at the moment and am devoting Sunday evening to meal prep of the week’s breakfast and lunch. Watch out!

I feel good about being in first because, at the moment, I’m also the only one losing AND I’m the only one eating real food and not just protein shakes and yogurt. Real food for the win!

My allergies are horrible and making me NOT want to walk but thankfully I have a friend in my neighborhood to keep me accountable and I’m always happier after I walk, even though it really does make my allergies worse at the moment.

Same friend also kept me accountable at lunch yesterday and I had a good, healthy sandwich from a local cafe instead of a quickie fast food lunch. It was better for me, tastier, and cost the same but really less because I have half of it left for today’s lunch. Boom!

I’m super duper sick of people and their gun love and their nonsense and calling the victims’ friends and families and survivors actors and all of the arguing and lack of facts. Sick of it. But I’m also sooooo impressed with the teens and I want to do whatever I can to support them.

That’s it. Gotta get back to this massive pile of projects that suddenly appeared in front of me this week. Earn those dollars!!

Just Keeping It Real

I said last week that our office official weigh in would be on Mondays but it’s not, it’s staying on Thursday. Because people like to live on the weekends and we started on a Thursday so consistency and all that crap! Which means I weighed in today. I’m up .6 from my original weigh in. HAHAHAHAHA! Oh, well. Not a sprint, but a marathon, etc. The end goal is the prize not the week to week.

This week my attention was pulled to two different online people who are ranting into the void and being assholes and when called out on their asshole ways they say “What?! Me? Noooooo. I’m not an asshole. You haters just can’t handle how real I am!!”

So, when did “keeping it real” turn into “I’m gonna just act however I want!” which is most usually as a jerk?! That is not keeping it real. You can be real and still be rational. You can be real and still have manners. You can be real and still find a way to not be delusional. You can be real and still be kind in your honesty. I really, really dislike how people are just spouting off at the mouth and then whining that they have haters if/when anyone decides to say “you know, you really are coming off like an asshole.”

The news from yesterday made me sad. What made me sadder is that while I’m reading about it I read that there was an incident the week before in Kentucky and I swear I’d not heard anything about that! Now, I know I’m actively avoiding the news because Trump and his administration are seriously bad for my mental health if not, also, my physical health. What with all the changes they are doing to the environmental regulations and shrinking of public lands and National Parks. It’s shameful. I could cry daily if I kept up with it. But I need to be able to function in society for myself, society itself, and my dogs. So, news break. But, back to my point, I have watched some news and I saw not one mention of the school shooting in Kentucky! Not one! It was all Trump and the porn star and Trump and him not acting quickly enough on a domestic abuser and Trump and who will he throw under the bus this time and Trump Trump Trump Trump. I get that he’s the President and he does terrible things….but there’s other news. I don’t want to learn a week after the fact that there was a school shooting as if that’s just acceptable and normal now. It will never be acceptable or normal to me!

And all I’ll say about gun control is this: One person, one time, failed to light his shoe bomb on a plane and now everyone everywhere has to take off their shoes before getting on a plane. Some people use Sudafed to make meth. Now everyone everywhere has to ask a pharmacist to give them Sudafed while having their license scanned into the system. Mass shootings happen, apparently, on a weekly basis but nothing is done. We have existing gun laws. I’m not even asking for new ones. I want the existing ones enforced. And I want it remembered that Trump repealed the mental health regulation about gun control that Obama implemented. Never forget that. He’s so set on repealing any fucking thing Obama did that he took away protections to keep Americans safe.

I said more than I thought I would. I’m not sorry.

I don’t want to lose all faith in humanity. I know in my heart and soul that there are far more good humans than bad. But you guys, the bad ones are just really fucking it up for the rest of us.

Stop fucking it up for the rest of us!

And Knitting And Knitting Aaand Knitting

I never made it to the doc to look at the gaping hole because it wound up covering up on its own once I let it breathe and now it looks so much better. Yay!

All of the muscle pain on the left side is gone now! Yay!

The bloating and uncomfortableness seems to already be resolving itself. Now I just get a bit of pressure in my chest and a feeling in my throat of there being a gas bubble and I’m still not quite able to burp but it resolves much quicker than it had been. Without any Gax X so I never even took an entire package! Yay!

I stopped my Prilosec on Sunday so cross your fingers that no heartburn or reflux like symptoms appear. Please and thank you.

So, it appears my recovery is going well and all I had to do was calm down, be patient, and listen to the nurse in the family that kept telling me 6 to 8 weeks. Tomorrow is 6 weeks.

Sunday I did a wee bit of meal prep and then last night I spent time clearing out stacks of paper, scanning in items for my photobooks, and generally being productive and I just felt good after doing so. So, yeah, I’m baby stepping in all the right directions!

There’s this snark site that snarks on bloggers and Instagrammers and I’ve read the forums of just two of the bloggers or Instagrammers they feature for a while. The Instagrammer is this girl that is a fucking nightmare of a person and she goes on these days/weeks long rants in her InstaStories and I used to watch them in horror and wonder what the hell is wrong with this girl then go to the snark forum to read other’s reactions. Well, I stopped with all of that. This girl is a mess and the forum is a mess and I just cannot be part of that any more. She’s insane and I don’t need to invite that into my life.

More baby steps!

Basically I just want to get back to the confident, truly happy version of me. These health issues did a number on me. Likely because I was still reeling from the election and the whole mess that’s happened since he took office and how I feel watching all of the hate and negativity and backwards “progress” being made. It’s hard. So, it was nice this last Saturday to watch the David Letterman interview with Obama on Netflix and then attend a Pete Souza event and be reminded of what a good hearted leader is. You don’t have to agree with all of Obama’s policies, I sure didn’t, but you need to be honest with yourself if you find him to be just a monster of a person. You dislike him for reasons that are within yourself and not him. Because anybody that lights up around children that way is not a monster. Anybody that lights up as he discusses the innate goodness of the American people is not a monster. You cannot fake that light in your eyes. The man cares, very deeply, about the world around him and making it better for those that inhabit it. If you don’t see that, you’re blinded by reasons I won’t point out but you do need to do some reflection.

So many baby steps over here. Because I finally realized that you climb a mountain by taking a step. Then another. And another. And eventually, you’re at the top.

Pity Party, Table for One!

So, when we last spoke I mentioned I’d accidentally/on purpose rubbed off a scab and I had a gaping hole in my body, right? Well, that turned out to be a good thing because it scabbed over in a much better manner and it’s not so tight and weird and I feel better about that one.

But to not let me get too comfortable another incision site scab came off totally on accident and it’s a huge gaping hole that looks like an open wound and it is NOT scabbing back over on its own and now I have to go have this one looked at. Oy. Without question that area will be one nasty looking scar.

The gas issue is still an issue and I’m trying out different things to help it not be an issue. One of which is Gas-X but it, honestly, doesn’t seem to do a whole lot but a wee bit of relief is better than no relief so I’ll take it and when I’m out of that I’ll buy some Beano and see if that works better.

I also, in all of my research, found a message forum full of people that have had this operation and they seemed super supportive of each other and knowledgeable and I thought “This will be helpful. I can stop sounding like an old country grandma with aches in her knees when the rain is coming and just talk to people that have experienced this and it’ll be great!” Cut to my very first post resulting in a person telling me to stop feeling sorry for myself.

I don’t think that I was, I think I was simply explaining what’s happened, what’s going on, how I wasn’t mentally prepared for this as nobody told me the side effects of the surgery going in, etc. If that’s me feeling sorry for myself, I guess put me at the table in the back near the kitchen.

Another hike happened! A still not hard hike but with two long uphill portions and when I got home I crashed out on the couch for about an hour so I guess I’m either still recovering or just way out of shape. Or both!

I’m doing my hallway walks at lunch at the office and getting myself used to not just going home and plopping on the couch. Slowly but surely I’m building back up to the 10k steps each day minimum and soon I’ll even venture to the gym. Baby steps, I guess.

Tomorrow I get my temporary crown. One of my life goals was to keep all of my teeth forever and now that I’m getting this crown I feel like I’ve failed at this goal. I mean, technically the tooth will still be there. It’ll just be a ground down, covered version of itself. Bleah.

Overall my mental status I would put at an “yeah, I’m ok” level. Because I am. I’m just not super perky yet and that’s fine.

Current events are ridiculous and I’m dead tired of people being ridiculous over everything. No to Oprah for President! Yes, men, you can still flirt with women! Just don’t do it at the workplace if you’re not picking up a vibe from her! If you flirt with a woman and she expresses no interest stop flirting! Do not ask a co-worker or subordinate to watch you masturbate or anything else sexual! No, women, a man simply saying hello to you is not harassment, settle down! If a man tells you he likes your shoes, it’s fine to just say thank you! Unless he adds “I’d like to see them up on my shoulders.” A compliment is nice, say thank you. It’s ok to indicate and understand that a man yelling “Nice tits!” out of a car window is not the same level of horrible as a man forcibly stripping off your clothes and attempting to put his penis inside you. They are both wrong but they are not the same level of wrong and I’m a bit tired of being told I’m a bad feminist for understanding context and nuance. Stop thinking that just because one person of color says something isn’t hurtful to them that they speak for all persons of color! Stop only reading the headlines of stories and getting all social media outraged; the articles usually give way more details and you find out that there is a more complex story there than the headline implies. This includes 7-11 raids that everyone is mad about even though Bush AND Obama did the same thing. And on and on and on and on and on.

CONTEXT AND NUANCE PLEASE RETURN SO PEOPLE CAN BE REASONABLE AGAIN!!!!!!!!

I might as well just be pissin’ in the wind…

Back That Thing Up

2017 is damn near over….let’s recap this bitch!

January

We started the Weight Loss Challenge at the office.

I wasn’t ready for the National Trail Trek this year even though I signed up to do it. So, I just didn’t do it.

I hiked the usual New Year’s Day hike. Then another hike. That was all the hiking.

February

My Dad visited for the Waste Management Open, as per usual. We had a great time, also as per usual.

My boyfriend decided he was ready to bring a new doggy into his home and started the process of meeting with Rudy and I was at the home visit and then we found out we were approved and now there’s a little Rude Bear in our lives.

I hiked three times.

March

I did the Hike for the Homeless, which was great. Then I hiked one other time.

Rudy’s adoption became final and official.

April

We ended the Weight Loss Challenge at the office and I didn’t win but I did lose weight so I won!

Went to a friend’s birthday party at As You Wish and we all drew names then painted mugs for each other. It was so much fun!

The Final 4 was in town and we went to the FanFest and got in free thanks to it being sponsored by CapitalOne and I have a CapitalOne card! Woo! I like free fun.

I hiked three times.

We went to a Seder with my friend’s family again.

I gave my trainer the news that I would no longer be partaking of his services and he understood and I promised I’d still go to the gym on a regular basis and that he’d still be seeing my face. That was true for a little while…

May

We went to Spain and I ate my weight in chorizo and potatoes and it was lovely and nice and I enjoyed it immensely! So good!

I hiked twice.

I had my very first episode of feeling like I was having a heart attack.

June

I stayed home with Rudy while my boyfriend went to Texas without me and that was all for the best. Little Rude Bear was sick and my boyfriend is a good uncle and wanted to be at his niece’s graduation.

Went to an Eddie Izzard book event! He wasn’t doing a meet & greet or signing but he did read excerpts and expand on the stories and was funny and charming and I enjoyed it immensely. I’ve not been lucky enough to make it to one of his stand up shows so this was the next best thing.

We put together a surprise hike birthday party for one of our friends that was turning 60 and she was, in fact, so surprised and happy. We then had a party later in the day and it was so nice.

We went to Kartchner Caverns and OMG!! Best caverns I’ve ever visited. I want us to go back in 2018 to see the one that was closed to protect the bats. It was just that good.

My issues with eating and feeling like I was having a heart attack reached a high point so I went to the ER. Fun times.

July

I hiked three times!

I went to lots of doctor appointments and had lots of tests that revealed nothing at all other than my gallbladder is likely acting up. So, we scheduled to take that buggar out.

I turned 45! It was such a nice day. Until I threw up on the side of the road after trying to eat Mexican lunch because YOLO! Sometimes you really shouldn’t YOLO. But my birthday was still really nice despite that.

August

I had surgery to remove the gallbladder and I recovered from that really well.

My boyfriend had his birthday and we had a lot of good times. One of which was going to the Odysea Aquarium and it’s really great! Way better than either of us had imagined.

I took him to a baseball game to see the Cubs play the D-backs. This was three days after my surgery.

One of my Flickr friends was in town so we met up with him for lunch.

My symptoms all returned so I started the process of seeing the docs and tests all over again.

I hiked not at all.

September

I took my boyfriend to a Phoenix Rising soccer game and it was really so much fun. So exciting and great!

We went to see Napoleon Dynamite in the theatre and laughed out loud a lot.

I cancelled my trip to California to see The Muppets Live with Randi and I was bitter about that for a while but I’m over it now. Shit happens, ya know?

I participated in the world wide Book Fairy Day and dropped five books at five different bus stops around the area. It was a lot of fun and I hope nice people took the books and enjoyed them.

Doctors and tests and not being able to eat and generally felt like crap.

I hiked once.

October

We took all of the dogs to Barktoberfest. My dogs were bored, his dogs were tired.

Went to the Cardinals v Buccaneers game. It’s always fun to go to live sports, I think. Even though I’m not sportsy.

More doctors, more tests, more feeling like crap.

I hiked once! A puppy hike. Those are always fun.

I decorated a bear for charity.

November

My GI doc finally decided that an endoscopy was in order and it quickly revealed the issue and I had to rush to a different place for further testing and it was all terrible. Then my surgeon’s office called to tell me how serious it all was and it sounded like I was in grave danger and could possibly die (now that it’s all said and done I’m gonna admit that, yes, this was a possibility for a bit. It’s not a good thing to have twists in your stomach for too long. I don’t recommend it.) So, another surgery was to be scheduled but now we’re in the holiday season and schedules are hard so I felt like crap, was scared shitless, and had to sit and wait and wonder when it was all going to happen. I had one very sleepless night due to being worried I’d go to sleep and never wake up.

Due to all of that first paragraph the decision was made for me to not go home for Thanksgiving. It was the right call. And I had a very lovely Thanksgiving here so that all worked out nicely.

Since I was here and not in the air going home I was able to go to Woofstock with all of the dogs and my boyfriend and it was so much better than Barktoberfest. It’s a really good event.

No hiking.  But I was able to go to the finish line of the Phoenix Summit Challenge to cheer on my hiking friends and that was nice.

December

I started the month drinking terrible Barium milkshakes for a CT Scan so the surgeon could see what all he was dealing with so he could have his plan of action in place before opening me up. They found that my stomach was no longer twisted, which is why I was feeling a bit better. And surgery was finally scheduled. On a Monday. Surgery was two days later!

I was so nervous for this surgery. It was way more involved than just having a part removed. So, I was just really very nervous. But it all went well and I’ve already talked all about that. To update: the allergic rash and subsequent skin sloughing off is almost all gone, most incisions look great but I have one I’m keeping my eye on. I still have a bit of muscle pain but the less precious I am with moving around the better so I’m doing that. And eating is going really well and I look forward to starting to eat like a normal person on the 1st. No more processed, boxed crap. Yay!

I saw The Last Jedi and LOVED IT even though other hardcore Star Wars nerds, and my boyfriend, hate it. I love it. I think it was beautiful and deep and opens things up for new possibilities while, in my opinion, being true to the original trilogy. I won’t spoil it but a thing happens that made me absolutely sob like a fool.

I was able to attend my company’s holiday dinner and that was nice.

We went to my boyfriend’s sister’s for Christmas Eve and that was nice. I spent Christmas morning with my boyfriend and our dogs, we went to a movie, then he went home and I spent late afternoon and evening with my friend and her family for dinner and that was great. I had a nice little Christmas.

I somehow managed to pay off all medical bills and just have a few low ones that I’m waiting to arrive but I have the funds in my HSA to cover them and they need to come today so I can get that all closed out by the end of the year but I suspect that shit ain’t happening. That’s a huge stress off my shoulders. Whew!

I hiked zero.

Conclusion

So, yeah. This year wasn’t great but it also wasn’t the full-on crapfest I sometimes feel that it was. I think the overwhelming negativity of the news these days pushes all of the personal good down and I have to push that shit aside to get to it. I’ve started paying less attention to the news, which sort of sucks as I want to be able to take action when I can, but for my mental health right now…I just can’t. I’m very white, I guess.

Happy New Year! I hope it finds all of us healthy, happy, and whole.