Writing and Exercising

Two things I’m going to make a habit of – writing and exercising.

Exercising is more or less something I try to do every day.  Since my knee is gone, or mostly gone, I’m stuck with upper body work.  Which doesn’t feel like exercise, but it seems to be working. I’ll note here that I’ve lost 11 lbs and dropped my blood pressure from something like 140/80 to 115/70. Bye bye fast food.

Doesn’t mean I don’t crave me a cheeseburger – and I still have them! But instead of daily, it’s down to about a week or two in between. I’ve just turned 50 and not quite as resilient as I used to be.

Well!  Even if I only write for a few minutes, or exercise for a few minutes – I did it.

Tally ho!

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Hi, Ana-Banana!

Say, looks like I’ve been absent!  Well, time for the stream of consciousness spring to flow once again. I’d love to continue writing documentation about how to do simple things in Exchange – although in a “Cinema Noir” style.

Let’s do this!!

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How To Talk to Your Support Professional

I am sure this has been covered elsewhere, but here is a refresher course.


Many of us wear headsets, and your voice is literally right in our ear. So is your breathing. As well as your chewing.

– Do exactly as I say, when I say it.

This is not a control issue. It is because I cannot see your screen, so I have to imagine what I would do to fix it, then verbalize this image to you. While working with me, I can hear you typing, clicking things, etc. If I am taking you through a series of steps, and you are ‘clicking ahead’, then we are both wasting each other’s time. Example:
ME: Please click on the “Start” button.
YOU: Nope, it’s not working.
ME: Did you click on the start button?
YOU: Yes, and then my email didn’t work and I can’t get to the Internet either!

– Do not lie to me.

I know everybody lies, but in this case, you will NOT get in trouble by telling me the truth. If the error message reads “No domain servers are available to service your request” then read that to me. Don’t ad-lib it into “It says something about how I can’t connect”. Read. It. To. Me. Word for word because it’s one thing if there are no domain servers available; it’s quite another if it says “Invalid username or password”.

 – Don’t take it out on me.

I know you are frustrated or unable to work; otherwise you would not be calling. I am not the person who modified your account/expired your password/broke your machine/wrote the offending software. My job is to help you over whatever hurdles you are encountering.  While you are waiting for my help, try to take a few breaths, and get things in perspective.  Your call goes much easier when we are partners instead of adversaries.

I’m sure there is much more, but this covers it for today.  Enjoy!


~ Namaste

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Fainting Away

I have a tube in my arm. It’s installed just inside my right tricep. It contains a tube that goes through a vein and ends up near my heart. It’s all I can think about since it has dangling appendages to hook up an IV as well as careful stitching to hold it in place. Not only does it make me faint to think about or look at it, all my brain can do is conjure up the myriad ways that the dangling things can snag on something and RIP THE WHOLE THING OUT OF MY ARM OH MY GOD…

It’s called a PICC line (“pick” line). Why the hell did I subject myself to this? you are probably wondering. Well.

It started on a bright Mother’s Day Sunday. There was this lump on my waist, about 2cm above where my clothing usually sits. Naturally! I’ve had little lumps before and they’ve been slightly painful, annoying, and generally just disappeared with no other symptoms. But this one was destined for greatness, because the first time I actually felt it, it was a smallish thing and it was actually about a week before Mother’s Day. I simply taped gauze over it, took an Aleve and went about my life.

By the time Sunday came around, it was apparent that my growth, now six days old, had no intention of leaving, and grew even bigger and more painful. I went to the walk in clinic on Mothers Day, after having five solid days of ever increasing pain. She prescribed heavy duty antibiotics (something I rarely take) and a pain regimen of 500mg acetaminophen and 5mg hydrocodone. She drew a small circle around the lump (which had me squirming and crying in pain; if the wind blew on it, I was reduced to tears) and told me to come back immediately if the lump exceeded the boundaries.

By Tuesday, it was down a little bit but not much. I figured I was on the mend, but noticed that the “pain regimen” wasn’t really putting a dent in the pain. Then it started interfering with work in that I was getting chills for no discernible reason, and by Friday, the muscles in my core on the right side started to ache. Over the weekend, I lost most of the function of my right side in doing things like getting up from sitting, sitting back down from standing, reaching for things, etc.

Looking at it on Monday, I saw it had definitely grown quite outside the boundaries of where the doc had drawn seven days ago. I decided to make an appointment with my primary physician that afternoon. He took one look at it and informed me to march myself into the ER.

I was in the hospital for four days. The first two days were a haze of pain and Dilaudid. Honestly, I don’t have words for the intensity of that pain, and I birthed a 10 pound baby naturally. No drugs. I don’t recommend that, by the way. Take the drugs. Anyway, I was so determined to heal myself that I literally put myself into a trance. I have always been somewhat grateful for my general good health (in spite of obesity, that is) that this whole ordeal has strengthened it. A lot.

I have a battle scar on my side now, a reminder of the 6 cm deep and 5 cm wide hole they had to drill to get all the poison out of my system. I learned later that had I continued ignoring my symptoms that there was a real chance of the bacteria getting into my bloodstream and causing serious heart trouble. I’ll take the battle scar. It’s a good story to tell, and it’s not like I’m going into swimsuit modeling anytime soon. I am much more at peace with myself, oddly: with who I am, with what I look like and with the things I have. I guess a good health scare will do that to you.


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Stream of Consciousness

Or: Just a little post to let y’all know I’m alive and stuff. In Internet parlance: **bump**

I have some ideas I’m working on in drafts – definitely not ready for posting yet. I come up with the best stuff just as I’m about to fall asleep.  You think I can remember it the next morning?  Hell, no.

There is definitely nothing to complain about recently, I’ve made some observations about myself and what I’d like to correct, but other than that – no “bad stuff” or even drama. Thank the Goddess. I’d like to get some stuff down on parchment and burn it all away when the moon goes dark in a couple of weeks. Time to work on specifically what I’d like to get rid of.  Spring cleaning for the soul, don’cha know?

I have a Roku box now in my room. It’s amazing. I’m going to be calling the cable company and seeing what sort of deal we can work out, if any.  Otherwise, I’m going to FiOS. Mostly because FiOS will let me have HBO Go.  See, I won an iPad in a drawing at my weight loss center. Yeah.  I really did.  And I know I’m going to be using it as my book and I can read anything I want at lunch. Usually, I practice the bass at lunch, and since Petey found me a little battery powered amp, now I can go to the beach with it.  Yay! I still suck when it comes to legato and speed, but I’m still going to try to master the basics of plucking and muting before I tackle that. Wow.  Taking things in order – this will be new territory for me.

Along with now being at a weight I haven’t seen in over ten years, I’m no longer afraid to get dressed.  I no longer have that dread I used to have before putting on clothing for work. I’m still beating myself up a bit over the lack of exercise, but I’m really going to give yoga more of a try. I subscribed to a Yoga magazine, and am getting excited about it.  I’m going to put together my own routine of poses I can do comfortably now, and refuse to be intimidated by the ones that have my feet horizontal with my head while balanced on one nipple, or some such. Start with the basics. I wish I could find a good guide for that.  I know there’s lots on the Internet, but what I specifically want to know is:

– When to breathe in and when to breathe out – how ‘fast’ should I be going when changing between poses?  Because right now, picture a three-legged giraffe trying to rear up on only one leg….it’s not a pretty thing. I feel awkward and gangly and that’s only in my garage. I know that the gazelle-like awesomeness with which I will move will come with practice, but then I start in with the mental “Am I doing this right?”

– What should I be focusing on while in each pose? I’m so obsessed with getting it “technically” right that I’m not sure what I’m supposed to be getting out of it.

– How long (or how many breaths?) should I stay in each pose? I did take a couple of classes, but they seemed to move very quickly, and I cannot hear the instructor.  Since this isn’t an aerobics class, I can hardly expect her to accomodate my semi-deafness with drill-sergeant-like orders: “Downward dog, your mangy mutt!  Get that butt in the air! Now Warrior II! Up!” and so forth. No, these classes are flowy and dreamy and quiet and peaceful. Therefore, I cannot hear and because it’s HOT yoga (and we are not kidding about the ‘hot’) to minimize injury, I cannot wear my hearing aids. Try wearing two pieces of expensive metal behind your ears with silicone type thingies in your ears and then sweat like a motherfucker. The chances of damaging or losing my really expensive pieces of metal? VERY high. Also the discomfort is annoying as shit. Peace and serenity are not attained by constantly upending your body and adjusting your hearing aids or keeping them from falling out.

Anyway.  So those ar emy issues. Pay for private lessons? Sure!  Better if I just read about it, though.  Talking to me in a calm serene voice only makes me anxious.  Although when I translate something wrong, it’s pretty entertaining.

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It’s happening.

I have lost over 45 pounds so far. Eighteen inches total off my bust, waist, thighs and hips. Moderately exercising and sticking to my eating plan has been key. Slip-ups have happened, but by learning to be honest about them and why they happened, it makes it MUCH easier to deal with. And you know, paying attention to myself for the first time in about 30 years feels quite invigorating. There’s still a lot of trouble with letting go of extreme control over my environment, but I am learning to pause, look at it again, and realize what I can and what I can’t control.

Slowing down in life and refusing to take on “too much” has also been key. Stress has been holding on to my weight for years – well fuck you, cortisol. You will not control me again! <shakes fist for emphasis> I started doing some yoga, however I’m not yet consistent with it. I always need to know if I’m doing the poses “right”, or what I’m supposed to be concentrating on while doing each pose. Sorry – I gotta know that stuff or I can’t get into it.

I closed my Facebook account because, being honest with myself, I felt anxiety each and every time I logged in. Like I HAD to respond to people’s posts even though I didn’t have anything meaningful to say other than “Woo hoo!”. And if I did have something meaningful to say to a post that, for instance, pissed me off or was factually incorrect, then I had to craft something that wouldn’t cause my friend distress (how can I know something like that, right?  I mean, look at the medium we are using here!). Maybe my words could cause them to not be my friend for realisies! My other option is to, of course, ignore it. But then I’d simmer a little, keeping my words to myself. All in all, it just made me feel bad. And that started to happen with astonishing frequency. All the things on the screen, clamoring for attention – it was too much.

So I left my email address up on my wall. I’m on Google+ exclusively and I check in at my leisure. Weekly, mostly. It’s a great change. And putting on clothes that are three sizes smaller than my usual?

Fucking awesome, guys.

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Starting a New Road

I signed up recently for SlimGenics. I went in there with a very healthy skepticism, and told the counselors there that I don’t want someone to tell me that I should be eating salads and not cheeseburgers. My problem is, I know *what* to eat, I just don’t do it. I don’t do it all in a mental fog of “Just this one time – nothing will happen to me”. As if my brain  has gone totally irrational. Well, it has.

Now that I weigh more than any NFL linebacker, my health is going to become an issue. It’s not right now, for which I thank the Lord and Lady for each day. But someday, I know I will hear the dread words, “You have diabetes” or some other such phrase. I know I can prevent this now.  And I’m taking steps, this time with my eyes wide open and my brain about to be beaten into rationality.

This won’t become a ‘diet blog’ or anything like that – this category will just be my personal journey out of the fat and into the fit, or at least semi-fit. I don’t believe in magic pills or powders, and I’ve tried them all – even OA and FA. Yes, I am a food addict. I think, with the help of the Goddess, I can turn my talents on and my addiction off.

One day at a time.

Blessed Be.

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