Thursday, March 27, 2008

Happy Easter

I'm tired of sayin' cheese Mommy!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Early morning reflection

My life is interesting. More now than I think it ever has been before. I grew up in the country, and as dreamy and wonderful as that sounds, I was usually bored to tears. We had four television stations that our antenna could receive and one of them was always full of static. I can remember my uncle Keith banging on the t.v. set because sometimes that made it more clear, or turning the knob on the fancy schmancy electric antenna turner to turn the thing in a different direction outside so it might pick up a better signal for a station. Once the desired best spot was found, then everyone tip toed around in the house so as to not upset the television itself. It was delicate business getting your station in clear.
Chores took a much longer time than they do now, but that was probably best given the default boredom that I experienced. We had no dishwasher, that is, except for me and my grandmother. Occasionally I'd guilt my brother into helping with this, but he was six years younger and so short that he'd have to stand on a chair just to get up high enough to work in the sink, and he was young so he was usually more interested in squirting me with the sprayer than actually rinsing the dishes. We hung our clothes out on a clothesline which left my jeans feeling stiff as a board and everything else looking misshapen. My socks had little brown spots at the top or the toe from the wooden clothespin residue. Hanging clothes out might now be hailed as a great fuel saving alternative to the electric clothes dryer, but I cannot imagine going back. I was always so irritated by the inconvenience and the lackluster results. And when it rained for days on end? Laundromat up at the gas station in town. Not a fun experience at all, especially when you don't even know dryer sheets exist.
Nevertheless, my country upbringing has led me to appreciate all things technical and innovative. The iPhone absolutely wows me, and one day I will save up enough money to buy one. I've loved email since my very first telnet account in 1993. My cell phone is so useful that I don't even have a landline anymore. And I drive a Volkswagen with airbags that surround the interior of my car. How did we get from living in the woods to big cities with tall skyscrapers, electronics that operate on information sent right through the air, and underground and underwater highways and rail systems? I think it was because people were bored to tears and looking for a way to get something done in a bit easier fashion.
My life now is incredibly not boring. I have three jobs and I'm trying to start a business. I also have a 3 and a half year old little girl that I mostly keep during the day. I work around her schedule so that I can be there for those silly sweet moments with her. But my evenings are spent in the emergency room dealing with the latest trauma and the impact it's having on a family, or I'm serving up some piping hot coffee and discussing politics or some other topic with the newest customer at Starbucks. Sometimes I'm out taking pictures of a community event for the paper-- my tiny job that I adore. And once in a while I sell some Tupperware to people who come asking for it.
I used to think that to be successful I had to have a career, I had to make lots of money, I had to have a fat bank account, and I had to have the perfect house, drive the perfect car, have the perfect, smartest child, and be married to the perfect man. None of that is true. Sometimes events seem unfortunate when really they are a Godsend. My letting go of those ideals freed me up to appreciate the real world around me like I used to when I was a child. Because on those days when I was bored to tears, I found wonder and amazement in the things around me - like the way tree frogs sing at night, watching a litter of puppies be born, watching fruits and vegetables go from seedlings to harvest, enjoying the simplicity of the silence in the wee hours of the morning, as I am right now. I think now that the formula for happiness and personal satisfaction is opening myself up to new things, and when nothing seems fair or right, charging out into the world and creating the opportunity that I want to have. I wanted my life to be more flexible. I wanted to spend more time with my child. I wanted to be really happy and appreciated at work and to be able to align myself with the same ideals as my employer. I wanted to develop deeper connections with others. I wanted to go home nearly every night wowed with something or someone I'd experienced that day that kept my attention.
I have all of that now. Pure excitement. Happy thoughts. Things are really great.
Except for my broken foot. But I'll complain about that at another time.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Happier Camper

For those of you following the gallbladder conundrum, here's an update. There's this stuff called Stone Free made by Planetary Herbals. It works. I don't know how it works but it does. It apparently helps to break up gallstones by softening them somehow. I have not had anymore terrible pain since I started taking them on Friday night. I'm still very cautious, but I am putting some fat back into my diet. This is a good thing, because one of the mistakes that leads to gallstones is yo-yo dieting or starvation diets (which I have never done).
Whenever I get myself into something, just about any situation that I don't have experience with or have never encountered, I read up on it. I read, and read, and read. My preliminary findings tell me that there are unconventional ways to get rid of gallstones and keep your gallbladder, which some people do fare much better with, versus without. However, I think if I'd had health insurance, I might not have had to dig so deep and find a solution. Interesting the way things happen in life. Some folks have real trouble after getting their gallbladder surgically removed. Like a lifetime of diarreah or acid reflux. Some people do just fine. Who knows which of those I'd be. It won't be too much longer before I'll have health insurance again. But I think I've decided that I'd like to keep this little pear shaped organ that has given me so much grief if I can figure out a way to get it back in the fold and make it stop behaving badly. I read a poem once about how the various members of the body had an argument about which was most important and which should ultimately have control. The brain and several others argued. But in the end it was the asshole that shut down operations completely when he decided to close up and do no work. So in the end the asshole won. I need to find that story again. I wonder if the gallbladder was even in the fight?

Saturday, March 1, 2008

The gallbladder diet (starvation)

Rapid weight loss programs, diet pills, working out at the gym, and Richard Simmons all have NOTHING on the weight loss program I'm currently forced to be on. The I can't eat a damn thing because my gallbladder hurts like hell diet is making me drop some serious pounds! All of my pants are now loose (except the ones I tucked far back into the closet that I wore before Sarah came know, just in case I ever lost the 35 pounds). If I don't wear a belt, they'll fall off. I'm so hungry I'm like a madman if I smell food. Today we went into a Chick-fil-a and I wanted some greasy nuggets SO BAD, but of course I got the chargrilled SALAD with fat free dressing, and it still made me hurt. So then we go to a health foods store and I find some tablets that are supposed to break up gallstones. I buy them, come home, and take two. Now I'm basically in agony that is masked by two percocets. Had I not had those, I'd probably be right back in the ER, which is completely ironic because I have to be there at 6:45 AM anyway to work 11 hours. My life sucks! I have no health insurance and I cannot have surgery on this damn gallbladder that is giving me fits. The only plus to this that I can see is that I am finally losing some weight. Starvation, however, is not how I would have chosen to do it. I'm drinking Shaklee Cinch shakes which are good, don't hurt, and have lots of vitamins, BUT it's not enough. I'm still hungry because there is very little else I can eat. And you'd think for the thousands I'm going to wind up paying for last week's ER visit, the doc could have at least given me a diet cheat sheet. Foods to avoid? I am awake and hurting and wanted to tell the world how utterly miserable I am.
Don't let this happen to you. Don't eat anything with cholesterol, because that is the foundation of gallstones.