1

Happy Birthday, Mr. Lyndsy!

boy-birthday-cake-clip-art-GIFT2

How I managed to marry a man who doesn’t like to celebrate his birthday is beyond me. Fortunately he’s fine with me treating mine like an international holiday.

Anyway, he doesn’t want to celebrate the day he graced the world with his presence. But I do.

I met Mr. Lyndsy at a pretty fucked up time in my life. My health was taking a turn for the worse, my job was killing my soul, and I was trying to figure out what the hell I was going to do next. Meeting him, even virtually, made me smile. He told me that whatever health issues I was dealing with, he’d be right there with me. We talked after all my appointments, he strongly encouraged me to go when I was ambivalent, and made me put myself and my health ahead of my job.

He knows when I’m lying to him about how I’m feeling. He’ll stop whatever he’s doing if I look like I need a hug. He doesn’t mind when I cry and get snot all over him.

Things lately have been pretty stressful. Unproductive doctor’s appointments, trying to make sure I’m taken care of after surgery, job stress. Above all, he just wants me to be happy and will do whatever he can to make sure I am happy.

I was reading in bed the other day and he came to lay down with me. He complained about a headache. I put my phone down and we rested together for a while. He passed the hell out and then got back up and continued playing video games. I asked how the headache was and he said it was better, that he just needed a hug from Wife. He always makes me feel good.

He is the anchor of my life and the one person who can always make me smile. For this, he deserves to be celebrated. Happy Birthday, Mr. Lyndsy!

0

Fed Up – Sugar is NOT our friend

30-day Project

Since this month is the month where I committed to tracking everything I eat and water consumption, I’ve been chatting a lot with a friend who is also using Weight Watchers. He suggested that I watch the movie Fed Up. He told me it was about food, specifically sugar, and how bad it is for us.

That’s not exactly news to me, particularly as someone with Type 2 diabetes. However, if he was willing to make the recommendation, I figured I’d give it a go.

HOLY. FUCKING. SHIT.

It’s a really well put-together documentary about the obesity epidemic facing America (the stats are absolutely horrifying – they expect 1/3 Americans to be overweight or obese by 2050, the 40,000+ YOUTH with Type 2 diabetes) and the role that sugar plays in causing the problem.

One of the main points is that losing weight isn’t as simple as people try to make it. It’s more than calories in, calories out. The “energy balance” is actually bullshit. Not all calories are created equal.

It rails pretty hard on the government for being too much of a sack of testicles to do anything to regulate it and on the food industry for being too soulless to stop marketing crap food to kids, its bullshit marketing, and unwillingness to make actual changes to their products.

Sugar is in pretty much everything and they’re super clever about naming it. Chances are good if you can’t figure out how to say it, it’s sugar.

Apparently, the recommended amount of added sugar intake is like 6-9 teaspoons, but Americans consume something like 10 times that during the course of a regular day. Every now and then it wouldn’t matter so much. But on a daily basis over the course of years, you’re in trouble.

I was also fascinated by TOFI – Thin Outside, Fat Inside. They scanned a family’s kids. Of the four kids, only one appeared overweight. However, when they scanned them, they discovered that in three of the four kids, the belly fat percentage was twice the recommended amount. Yikes.

That’s pretty damn horrifying if you think about. People fat shame all the time, but thin people aren’t always as healthy as they think they are. I’d seen some articles on the idea that fat people may not be as unhealthy as previously thought, and that thin people may not be as healthy as they think they are. Just because you don’t gain weight on the outside doesn’t mean you don’t have fat living around your organs. And that’s what kills us.

It’s about an hour and a half, but it’s worth the watch. I will definitely be thinking even harder about what I’m putting into my body and looking for some ways to make some of my favorite snacks in a healthier way.

0

Foot/Leg Update – PROGRESS FINALLY

cast-clipart-as2783

I went to the doctor last night and there are no words to express my rage and frustration with the doctor. This is the guy who, when I saw him in February, told me he was booked until June and didn’t have his calendar for June or beyond. He recommended a tendon transfer to get me walking without a brace. He also sent me for an EMG/nerve conduction study.

The EMG revealed what I already knew – that my body had done all it could and that I needed to have surgery. THANKS FOR THE NEWS FLASH. The doctor doing the study did say that I should have a nerve transfer because there was still some innervation of the muscle.

Fast forward to last night (which was the earliest appointment I could get after the EMG on April 2nd). All of a sudden he’s telling me that maybe I shouldn’t have a tendon transfer after all. That perhaps I should consider an ankle fusion. I flat out told him no to the ankle fusion. After making me get the EMG, he pretty much disregarded it and said that he couldn’t do the nerve transfer and that I would have to consult with a plastic surgeon. AWESOME USE OF MY TIME AND MONEY.

He called in a colleague to consult. That doctor also told me I should have an ankle fusion and that the results wouldn’t be as good with a tendon transfer. I also told him a fusion was not an option.

The doctor then tells me that the earliest date he has for surgery is SEPTEMBER 6TH. I was like, are you fucking kidding me? He told me that he didn’t want me to rush into surgery, and blah blah blah. Clearly he had no idea what it’s like to walk around in an uncomfortable ass brace all day.

Mr. Lyndsy is sitting in the room with me, almost ready to explode.

Perhaps thinking another colleague would be able to convince me to have an ankle fusion, he referred me to someone else. He called that doctor directly and they agreed that  could be seen the next day (today). I was pissed at having to get up early to again see someone else who wouldn’t know what the fuck was going on, but I hoped the doctor would have a clearer surgery schedule.

So I got my ass up and went in. They dicked us around trying to get me in since I didn’t have an official appoint. But, I am glad we stuck it out.

The new doctor checked my foot’s strength and quickly came up with a plan of action. He said an ankle fusion is a last resort and that because the tendon they normally use for the surgery is lacking strength, he would take two smaller tendons that are strong and use them for the fusion. He expects a fairly good result doing it that way.

Then he asked when I wanted to get this done. I told him as soon as possible. He flips through his calendar and I hear May 25th. WHAT??? Then he takes it back. I’m holding my breath, hoping that it’s something earlier than September.

JUNE 6TH.

Fuck. Yes.

To make sure I get in, he told me to try to get admitted to the hospital two days before. If they can’t take me, I go in the next day. If they can take me on the 4th, he’ll release me home but I’ll still keep the bed. If they take me on the 5th, I do the same thing.

He showed me where the incisions would be. I have four weeks in a plaster cast and then six in a boot while I do physical therapy.

Yeah, me in a cast and on crutches should be a great time.

The only issue with this plan is that Mr. Lyndsy has to go to a course from June 12-21. I think I’ll be fine on my own, but he isn’t comfortable with the idea of leaving me home alone then.

So the question is, who’s going to come babysit me for 10 days???

0

An Order of Resentment with a Side of Frustration, Please

30-day Project

Right from day 1 I’ve been feeling like I hate tracking my food. HATE it. Because I resent that I can’t eat whatever I want without looking like a hippo. I get frustrated trying to continuously have food I like to eat that without getting bored.

When I track with Weight Watchers I feel like I HAVE to eat a certain way – basically all fresh veggies with chicken and shrimp almost exclusively. I feel like the Plan Manager is judging me for my choices and that makes me want to tell it to go fuck itself. The app even tells me that the tracker is much happier when I tell it about my food. Creepy much?

For those who have never used Weight Watchers, here’s how it works. You record what you eat into the Plan Manager. It’s pretty helpful and already includes a lot of foods, including restaurant foods. The Plan Manager then converts the nutritional information into a point value. Based on your gender, weight, and goals, you have a certain number of points you can eat each day and you get 49 extra points to use over the course of the week. You weigh in once per week. Your daily point number is adjusted based on your weight.

They changed the system a while ago when they finally acknowledged that eating an apple isn’t the same as eating as 100 calorie snack pack, even though they both have the same calories. Now most fruits and veggies don’t cost you any points and as long as you don’t go apeshit on them, you’ll still lose weight.

The whole point of Weight Watchers isn’t to force you into a particular way of eating. It’s really about helping you make choices about what you’re eating so you can see, quickly and easily, the cost of the food you do eat. They give you extra points so you can indulge from time to time. It’s an algorithm to make eating in moderation easier.

I finally realized this weekend that I was missing the point. This isn’t a race to some finish. It’s more about being able to see the big picture of the food I eat and figuring out how to make things balance. Sure, I can have a burger and fries for lunch, but I probably need to have a salad for dinner that night and I shouldn’t really have that burger and fries too many times during the week.

 I also decided that for a week or so I’d eat the way I always do to see what it looks like and get a feel for why I was turning into a blimp.

So yesterday I indulged a gross amount at the mall. The fact that I felt like crap for overeating and eating stuff that’s not great for me probably should have been enough of an indicator that it wasn’t a great way to eat. But seeing how I used up all my daily points and then almost all of my weekly points really hammered it home. (Fortunately it was the end of the week so I get all my weekly points back today!)

Anyway, I’m a lot calmer now. No need to tell website where it can take itself.

2

30-Day Project: May – Food/Water Tracking

30-day Project

And so it begins. I was thinking about giving up soda for the month of May, but I’m not quite ready to do that yet. I suppose that means that giving up soda is exactly what I should be doing, but I’d rather not fail right from the beginning.

I’ve been paying for a Weight Watchers subscription for months now, but I haven’t been using it. I’d gotten a great deal on 3 months so I wasn’t thinking much about it, but when my card got dinged for this month, I figured I might as well use it. I gained a bit of weight while visiting in Florida for most of April. I don’t regret any of it, but clothes that had been loose are now tight, my wedding band no longer fits, and I feel a bit like a bowling ball.

I’ve had success with Weight Watchers in the past, but I also got a little carried away too. I didn’t eat the extra points, started not eating all the points they give me, and that isn’t how they want the program to work. They step you down for a reason – to make it more lasting. At any rate, I’m going back to tracking because even if I eat over my points, at least I’m a bit more conscious about what’s going into my piehole. (Which, ironically, probably won’t be a lot of pie…)

I’m also going to use Waterlogged to track my water consumption. I know with great certainty that I don’t drink enough water, especially on days when I have a soda. My lips and feet are dry and cracked. I’ve read enough to know that if I want to fix those things, I’ve got to do it from the inside out.

Thirty-one days of tracking all of this is already making me twitchy. But, if it were easy, it wouldn’t be a 30-day Project topic. The question now is whether I can get Mr. Lyndsy to join in with me…

0

The 30-day Project

30-day Project

I learned a lot working as a prosecutor in Drug Diversion Court in King County. One of the biggest takeaways came from Judge Wesley Saint Clair. When the participants were struggling to make it to their meetings or not use drugs, he used to tell them, “It’s 30 days. You can do anything for 30 days.”

I have loads of things I need to work on, but when I think about doing them all at once, I get overwhelmed. My big focus right now should be on my health. My body is working so hard to heal (though it apparently has done all it can), I need to give it some help. I also haven’t really be doing things I enjoy as much as I would like (coloring, blogging, cross-stitch).

So, for a year, I’m going to pick something to focus on each month and do it every day that month. May will be the first month I do it. I haven’t decided yet what I’ll do in May, but it’ll probably be something easy to do, so I don’t burn myself out.

What kinds of things would you be doing if you were playing along with me?

0

Shame on you, Indiana (and others)

Since the federal courts have been churning out decisions that require states to recognize marriage equality, some states have been responding by being complete sacks of shit. By that, I mean that they are working on enacting legislation based on the Federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act. I mentioned Georgia’s briefly, but Indiana’s governor is about to sign  SB101 into law.

Essentially the law that even laws which are neutral (requiring equality across the board) may still infringe upon someone’s right to religious freedom. It requires that the government have a compelling interest and that the law requiring equality is the least restrictive way of achieving the compelling interest. Otherwise, the religious freedoms prevail. The legal mumbo jumbo here is that the states will argue that laws related to sexual orientation don’t constitute a compelling government interest, and thus the right to religious freedom prevails.

I see it like this: A person’s sexual orientation isn’t something they can change AND it relates to the essential nature of life. Thus, it is deserving of the highest level of government protection. It boggles my mind that something that is highly variable and can change over the course of a person’s life (religion) can somehow trump human nature.

I’m disappointed that states are even considering this. However, 19 states already have laws on the books. I don’t think any of us will be surprised by most of the list:

Alabama, Arizona, Connecticut, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana (not totally passed yet), Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia.

The thing that amazes me is that I don’t remember ever really walking into a store (except Christian bookstores) and thinking, “Oh, the owner must be Jewish!” “This guy is totally Christian.” Very little business actually has anything to do with religion. The cases that seem to make the most news relate to products/services related to weddings. A business owner doesn’t want to help a gay couple have a beautiful wedding day. Well buddy, fuck you too.

I don’t see how this is any different than how blacks were treated before the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (and still are). Separate but equal was complete horseshit. Looking back now, it’s pretty obvious that requiring black people to eat at separate restaurants, use different restrooms, and drink from different water fountains was pretty ridiculous. I already think homophobes look really fucking ridiculous. And about 50% of the United States agrees with me.

When the history books look back on this period (well, those they use in states that teach actual history, not some weird made up version of shit), this is going to look really bad. We’re going to look like an intolerant bunch of shitheels who don’t know what’s really important in life.

The other thing that really burns me about all of this is that the United States was founded by people looking for religious freedom and who wanted a government separate from religion. Conservatives rail about Islamic terrorists and how they do their government, but let’s face it, what they’re advocating isn’t all that different. They want their religious views to take precedence over everything and they want it entwined with the government. Because for real, if Christianity were all about marriage equality, this wouldn’t even be a discussion.

One of the articles I saw about why the Religious Freedom Restoration Acts mentioned an anesthesiologist who didn’t want to participate in an abortion procedure because it went against his religious beliefs. My suggestion to him is that he find a nice Catholic hospital to work from. Religious institutions aren’t bound by the same rules as everyone else because they are inherently religious in nature. If your business isn’t, then shut your piehole.

I’d like to say that I’ll never go to Florida again because I hate that they have a law like this on the books (and because Florida is so backwards in so many ways), but my family lives there and DISNEY is there. Also, it’s not the entire state that’s fucked up. As I mentioned before, since we’ve got these laws, I’d really appreciate knowing which owners are bigoted schmucks so I know not to support them. I’d also like to know which computer system they’re using since Microsoft and Apple are both gay-friendly. And I hope they never go to Disney since they’re also pretty gay-friendly.

 

0

Sometimes abortion IS the answer

A friend of mine recently posted a link to a fundraising page for his wife. I give to these pretty freely, especially if I know the person, so I clicked through. I probably should have paid a bit more attention to the link before I clicked.

His wife is participating in a “Walk for Life” benefiting a “pregnancy support center.” I didn’t notice that though and just saw her description, that it would benefit a place that supports women through their pregnancies. Then this caught my eye:

“Abortion is not the answer!”

At that point I had to close the page and pretend like I didn’t see it. That didn’t work though. (Obviously).

Once I realized I wasn’t going to calm down about it, I wanted to fire off my thoughts on this blog. However, I told myself I had to be fair and check out the group the money would support. Maybe it wasn’t what I thought it was. Maybe I was being judgmental.

At first blush, the place seems like it genuinely wants to help women, regardless of which road they’re contemplating taking. Either way is tough. Being a parent is a huge decision. My husband is already freaking out and we aren’t really close to having kids. Choosing not to become a mother is also a really tough choice. Both have long-term consequences.

However, when you dig a little deeper, you can see that it’s a place that is very clearly pushing women towards having the child. They don’t perform abortions or refer them out. However, if you’re interested in keeping the child, they’ll put you in touch with all sorts of resources to help you make ends meet as you do it, and will refer you to local agencies in case you want to put the child up for adoption. (To be fair, they say they offer post-abortion support.)

My question for people and organizations that say “Abortion is not the answer!” is this – will you be there after the kid is born? Will you babysit for a single mother who has to work two jobs to keep them fed? Will you make sure that the mother whose child was conceived through rape gets all the counseling she needs if she finds trouble coping looking at the product of the brutal invasion of her body? Will you be there all the time to protect the mother and child from the abusive husband/father?

There are obviously less extreme cases. Accidents happen. Plans change. The man who says he’ll stand by you, promises to be there, leaves. You’ve taken every precaution and it still happens. Why should a woman be forced to continue a pregnancy simply because someone else believes she should.

No organization or individual can guarantee that a child will be adopted by a loving family, particularly special needs children. The foster system is overworked and underfunded. A lot of those kids end up in dangerous homes and are not properly cared for. Is that better than a woman choosing an abortion? Is it better to have a child be neglected, physically and emotionally abused? What kind of life can that child expect to have growing up?

Not that I know personally, but I’ve heard that motherhood is an amazing experience. It’s also a very, very personal one. If a woman doesn’t want that experience for herself at that time in her life, we should trust her and her judgment. Whether people believe it or not, she’s making the best decision for her AND her baby.