Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Another Turn on the Path to Babyhood

Today is my D & C. I have to leave in about an hour. I've had nothing to eat or drink and right now I would give you my right ovary for a tall glass of lemonade.

I got my bike out this weekend after about a year of storage. I don't know why I was so reticent to get it out before. I like riding my bike. I miss it. Maybe the fact that it was stored on our somewhat hard to access balcony had something to do with it. Or maybe I was remembering a certain roommate I used to have. She was overweight and decided bike riding would help her lose weight. It worked. But not before she got yelled at, jeered, and stuff thrown at her while she rode. Apparently fitness and exercise is for the fit and lean. People yelled mean things at her before she got down to her ideal weight. "Get off the road, fatty." comes to mind as one of the many things less enlightened people yelled her way. Maybe I am remembering that and putting off exercising in public because of that.

I remember walking home from high school and having older people yell similar things to me. And at that time I wasn't huge or obese. I believe I wore a 12/14 or 16/18 throughout high school. When I look back at pictures I don't seem that far outside the norm. And yet while walking I would get jeers and shouts about my size. Go figure.

Back to the bike. Bob and I went on a bike ride Sunday (I rode my bike, he drove his wheelchair) and it was nice. I didn't feel too labored and in fact I was surprised how easy it seemed. We got home and I parked my bike in our garage stall and locked it up there instead of taking it back to the balcony. The bike ride felt so good that I decided to ride my bike to work yesterday. Ummm, not so easy.

I decided that I was a biking guru so instead of just riding to work in the morning, I rode to the bagel place first for a little breakfast bagel. By the time I got there I was a sweating, sweaty mess. I grabbed a bottle of water and drank half of it before I even ordered my bagel sandwich. I sat outside for 10 minutes before I could gather enough gumption to finish the ride to work. I got to work and my shirt was stuck to my back and my forehead was glistening with drops of moisture. But I made it. I biked to work.

The rest of the day, every time I got up out of my chair, I groaned because the muscles at the top of my legs were so sore. Also the muscles around my vagina area hurt! And I still had to ride 2 miles home.

By the time I got home I was sore, wobbly, sweaty, and tired. I drank a bottle of water in one sitting and threw myself under the direct blast of our air conditioner. Later, I found I was spotting a bit and wondered if that was a result of the biking. I will mention it today before the D & C.

Today I am sore, achy, and yet somehow yearning to ride my bike. It's hard and at times I wonder if I will make it to my intended destination but there is an exquisite ache that comes with getting up and doing something physically challenging. Maybe next weekend I will rent a kayak and take a troll through our lakeways.

How is it one positive physical activity gives way and breeds others? There might be something to this exercising after all.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

All Over the Map

Day 4or is it 5?  No Coke so far.  But tonight is class night and I ALWAYS have a bottle of Coke during class after the first break.  Its because the first break usually comes at around 8:30 and its only an hour to bedtime from there.  Class nights go until 10pm and I have a hard time staying awake past 8:30.  Maybe I need some peppermint or a bunch of radishes or something instead?  Just send good thoughts my way tonight.

I broke my healthy dinner streak last night.  I made home made pizza and while it was yummy, it wasnt the picture of health.  Usually I like chicken, tomatoes, and spinach on pizza but last night I made a half pepperoni and half meatball pizza.  Tonight I am going to pick up a salad from Applebee’s for dinner.

Tonight at class we all have to give a 5-minute presentation as though we were presenting to work colleagues.  I am giving my talk about how to write the perfect annuity.  Sounds exciting, no?  Only two more class-times with this particular class and then 3 classes to go.  I guess there is 115 days to our last class!  Huzzah.  My transcript now shows me as a senior.  I am a college senior and soon will be able to say Im a college graduate.  (Confidential to Jennifer: Im a college ga-gag-a-wa!)

My sleeping is all wonky.  I dont know if its because Im off the Coke or if its because we have to have the air conditioning on and the fan is turning on and off all night as it regulates the temp in our room or what but I am sick of it.  I hat walking around all zombie-fide.  I wish I could just snuggle onto a big plush bed and go night-night.  Its even more aggravating in that today is my long day and I dont get to go to bed until well after 11.  Arg.

We are in the midst of a hot, humid, heat-wave and yet our office is freezing. Anyone else have this phenomenon?  I work with mostly guys now.  When I first started here 4 years ago, it was all women and 1 guy.  Now its 4 women to a dozen guys.  When it used to be all women, we never argued over the temperature of the office.  Now, we are arguing all the time.  The guys crank the air so far to the cool side that all the women are wearing sweaters.  I brought slippers and a blanket in order to stay warm.  I have to get up several times in order to run my hands under warm water just to defrost the icicles hanging from my flanges.  I come to work in apparel suitable for the weather outside and end up needed apparel suitable for mountain climbing in the midst of an ice storm Brrrr.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Scary Health

I am an addict. I am addicted to Coca-Cola. I’ve given it up several times over the years. The last time was before my gastric bypass surgery. Actually, the last time was Friday. I haven’t had a Coke since then and I’m jonesing for one now. I have the headache, the shakes, the dry mouth followed by the saliva-filled mouth at the thought of a sip of the delicious dark nectar. But no more soda for me. None. Zip. Zilch. Nada. If the news on Tuesday wasn’t enough motivation, the fact that I gained 25 pounds in one month sure the heck is. Not to mention the other health effects such as the rumble tummy and horrible gas. I’m done. It’s now all water supplemented by an occasional V-8. But still, would chuck it all for a fountain Coke on ice right now. I won’t, but I would.

Turns out that gastric bypass is not a magical tool that allows you to eat and drink whatever you want and never gain weight. Huh. Who knew?

As part of the new, more health conscious me (snort), I made a yummy dinner last night. I broiled some tilapia for the main dish. As sides we had corn on the cob, a small side salad, and rice-a-roni in which I added a bunch of fresh broccoli. It was yummy and good and Bob liked it. I didn’t get raves, but he cleaned his plate and asked for seconds on the rice so that was good.

I have the OK for my D&C. It’s scheduled for Tuesday of next week. I had to have a pre-op check-up and that is where I found out that I have gained 25 lbs in a month. I was shocked, as was the nurse practitioner. We talked about changes I can make and things I was already doing. I can’t begin to explain how ashamed I felt and how horrible I still feel. Why is it I can’t seem to make health changes for the better unless I’m under guilt and humiliation? Oh, and I also found out I’m slightly anemic so I need to bump up the iron content in my diet. Surprisingly, raisin bran has the highest amount of iron per serving than most anything so I added a cup to my daily breakfast intake. I also need to get back on the supplements since I’ve been slacking there as well.

I don’t know what my aversion to regular, formal exercise is. I do know that my feet are part of that aversion since they are prone to easily blister. Still, I have a bike I can ride and there is a workout room at the apartment and at work. When I think of using them, I imagine others there too and further think that somehow there will be comparisons made and I won’t measure up. So instead of sticking to a good habit of working out, I slip into my bad habit of projecting a negative outcome on a positive activity in order to avoid said activity altogether. Rather than try and fail, in my head, it is better to not try at all. I have to overcome that. I have to overcome the head part in order to make the body part feel right and healthy.

Monday, July 23, 2007


I woke up at 2:30 to use the bathroom and never fell back to sleep. For some reason I just couldn't. I tried. I went back to bed. I closed my eyes and just as I would find the edge of sleep and hope to slip in, my heart would race, my brain engage, and oh! Awake. After tossing and turning and trying to alphabetize everything I could think of in order to try and meditate myself to sleep, I finally got up and went to the living room to read for a while. I read to 4am when I began battling heavy eyelids. I thought I could get in 2 good hours of sleep still and fell into bed. It was still a no-go. Same thing happened as before. I would just begin to slip into slumber when, again, the heart would race, the mind engage and sleep was once more thwarted.

Of course now it's 6am and I just want nothing more than to crawl into bed and sleep the sleep of the dead for a good 4 or more hours. However, now I have to begin getting ready for a day of work. Bummer. I feel that dull listlessness settling over me. I have that vague ill feeling I used to get in college after pulling an all-nighter with no food and tanks of caffeine. Even though I haven't had any coffee or coke, the feeling is the same. My stomach rumbles but the thought of food right now is less than appetizing. The only thing that sounds good is more time in bed. *sigh* Today is going to be a long day.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Good Reading

I just finished a reading a great book. It took me 4x longer to read than normal because of all the other stuff I HAVE to do...yet that was nice in a way because I actually was able to invest more into it. I had more time to think on it and take things away from it and roll them around in my head. I'm sorry I am finished reading it. I wish I had a slot in my head where I could insert this book so that everything in it would be in me.

The book is called Blue Like Jazz. It's written by Donald Miller. I love Donald Miller's books. I've read everything he's ever written so far. He writes very conversationally. To read what he's written is very similar to hearing his thoughts or having a conversation with him, I imagine. It's funny because while I read along I will get to a passage where he makes a point that I am as passionate about and yet have never been as able to articulate. In those moments I feel as though, should he know me, we would be great friends. How could we not? We think and feel the same on this issue! Yet Don's writing is so honest that later he will share something about himself that makes me think, "oh, he's selfish." and I think I really wouldn't be his friend. Until I get to another part where I again agree passionately with what he's written. I just love that he shares so much of himself and what he's learned. I do think he would be a great friend.

Donald Miller mostly writes about spiritual Christianity and the church and how he finds himself in the most peculiar of circumstances as a believer in Christ. He relates more with those the American Christian church broadly think of as "lost". So his books share how these "lost" teach Donald more about Christ and community and covenant than anyone in the church. They are books rich with stories and ripe with passion. Only not passion of a sexual nature. More like the passion to know God and to love others.

Chapter 11: "Some of my friends who aren't Christians think that Christians are insistent and demanding and intruding, but that isn't the case. Those folks are just the squeaky wheel. Most Christians have enormous respect for the space and freedom of others; it is only that they have found a joy in Jesus they want to share. There is the tension."

Throughout the book Don writes about the tension between being a Christian and living in the world. The tension of being a Christian at a liberal, secular college. The tension of being a liberal Christian in a conservative camp and church. The tension of what is taught by people in the church and what is taught by Jesus in the Bible. In the end, it all comes down to love. And what Don learns, and teaches us through his writing, is that love is treated like a commodity. Like cash. We withhold affection and affirmation from those we deem different or unworthy and we lavish, or spend it, upon those we enjoy being with. The truth is, love isn't cash and popularity isn't a means for earning love. Every human being is priceless and worthy of our love.

I am not doing this book or the author justice. If you have ever wanted to read someone's nonreligious thoughts on Christian spirituality, I highly recommend picking up Blue Like Jazz, or any of Donald Miller's books. One of my other favorites is called Through Painted Deserts.

If you do read this (or any of his others) book, or if you have a good book suggestion, please leave a comment or drop me an email. Thanks!

Friday, July 20, 2007

No Life but Fingers Crossed

Holey Moley!  It’s been almost 2 weeks since my last post.  So what’s been going on?  What’s been keeping me from writing?  Well, nothing exciting, that’s for sure.  Mostly I’ve been busy with school and work.  This past week was insane.  I don’t want to go through another week like this for any time to come.  The amount of homework and class preparation work I that I to have completed by last night made doing anything BUT homework during my free time impossible.  No kidding.  Last week if I wasn’t at work or sleeping, I was sitting in front of my computer completing homework.  Ah…there is nothing like a life with a 9 hour workday followed by 5 hours of schoolwork. Poor Bob barely saw anything but the back of my head for 7 days.  When I wasn’t doing my homework, I was anxiously fretting about it.  Thankfully, the workload isn’t as high for the coming week.  I will be so happy with I am done with school only 5 more months and 3 more classes to go.

I stepped outside of my comfort zone and applied for an opening at a local radio station.  It’s been 9 years since I’ve done anything remotely radio related and I miss it.  There is little to no chance I’ll be interviewed for this position but hey, why not throw my hat in the ring?  Nothing ventured, nothing gained, right?  But man oh man if I could get this job, it would be my DREAM job! *fingers crossed*

So, huh…two weeks have gone by and well, I have nothing much else to report.  I guess that’s what working, sleeping, and doing homework will do to you.  I have no life outside work and school right now.  That doesn’t make for an interesting blog though.  Sorry.  I will try to get some semblance of life back in the next week in order to create blog fodder.  Have a good weekend.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

What I Did Today

I started the day by cleaning the apartment. It feels so good to get things clean and spiffy. The cats hate it but it has to be done.

We got our property tax refund and Bob gave me half so I could go clothes shopping. I had a list in my mind of what I needed but I also had some things I wanted. I had what amounted to roughly $200 to play with. I started my day at the high end consignment store hoping to get at least a t-shirt or two. I came away with a red denim dress, a pair of Liz Claiborne shorts, slip on brown sandals, and three t-shirts. The best buy here was probably the sandals which were leather and only cost me $13.00. Although the Liz Claiborne shorts were only $10 so that was good too.My next stop was the mall. I wanted to check out Von Maur which is somewhere I usually NEVER shop since they are super expensive and hoity toity. However I thought they might carry the Liz Claiborne women's line and I wanted to see what they had. I was in luck, I found a pair of Liz Claiborne capri pants and added two t-shirts. Even though the stuff was on sale, I spent the most here. The capris were $36 and the shirts were $15.I was on my way to the next store when I saw that Kohl's was having a sale on shoes. I was able to get another pair of leather slip on sandals to replace a pair I bought in Amsterdam 7 years ago. They were only $15. I also got a pair of walking shoes to replace the pair I bought 2 years ago. They were on sale for $25! Two pair of leather shoes for under $50!My last stop was CJ Banks. They were having a HUGE sale and I did really well. I got three pairs of pants and three shirts. The best buy was a pair of light lime capri pants for $7.00. I didn't spend over $20 for anything in this store.Oh...I forgot. I also stopped by Lane Bryant to get some underwear. They were having a sale where you could get five pair for $15 so I got five pair. Not a bad day of shopping. I am set for summer/early fall. Now I just need to gear up for fall/winter/early spring. This was a good weekend for the summer shopping as every store is having sales to move the summer stuff out to make room for the fall stuff.

Friday, July 06, 2007

New Church Wrap Up

We liked the church service last night.  The weather was beautiful and the park is lovely and shaded.  There is nothing like singing worship songs outside.  We were greeted and welcomed.  No one asked Bob to join the choir but no one mentioned the disability support group either so there’s that.  In the bulletin there were name tags so whenever we were greeted, it was by name.  It was a little disconcerting until we remembered we had name tags on. 

We didn’t go for the pre-service meal but we did stay for the post service communion and ice cream. (Um, they are not served together, although wouldn’t THAT be fun!  A communion wafer stuck jauntily in your ice cream with a nice red wine sauce poured over the top?)  Bob liked the service enough that he is actually talking about going on his own while I’m in class.  I think that’s a good sign.  If that’s the case, I may take in a Sunday morning service on my own while in school.

They did do this cool thing where they handed everyone a prayer card to write prayer requests.  After the first worship song, someone came around and collected the cards and we were told there was a team of people praying for each card during the service.  That’s cool. 

As I was preparing to back up the van to leave, another van slowly cut us off and pulled up along side us.  I rolled down the passenger window and this odd man told us to look him up online because he had some information on the important work being done with stem cells.  He made me repeat his web address and promise to look it up.  Then he backed up and took off.  Ooookaaaay.  Unfortunately when I got home my computer was acting funny so I just shut it down and read a book.  I could not remember the web address this morning so I guess we will be forever in the dark about the brave new world of stem cell research.

During the meet and greet part of the service, one of the members came over and introduced himself to us.  We said we were first time visitors and not usual attendees of this denomination.  He lowered his voice and said conspiratorially, “Oh, don’t worry.  We are the more ‘conservative’ branch of the denomination if that’s an issue for you.”  We assured him that we were OK with what we had seen, read, heard so far and he seemed OK with that. 

Later, we met the pastor who asked where we were from. When we mentioned the area where we live, he said, “Oh, quite a ways from here then.”  We laughed about that later because this church is a scant 5 miles from where we live now and the closest church we’ve attended since being married.  Our old home church was 10 miles away but took us about 20 minute to get to.  The church we thought we would move on to is in Eagan, MN and is 25 miles away and took us about 45 minutes to get to.  5 miles in 10 minutes is CAKE!

This weekend is supposed to bring temps near 100 degrees.  My plan for the weekend is to clean and do homework in air conditioned comfort.  There is some talk that I might get to utilize our budgeted clothing allowance to buy some clothes but that remains to be seen. I might also get my bike checked out and try a bike ride to church Sunday morning if it’s not too humid.  Like the saying goes, it’s not the heat that gets to me, it’s the humidity.

Thursday, July 05, 2007


For the first time in ages I am excited about going to church.  Bob and I wanted to find and have been looking for a church that had an evening service so he could better attend.  His pain and sleep schedules are such that regular Sunday morning church is difficult to get to.  I did some Googling and found a church less than 5 miles from us that has a Thursday evening service.  It seems to be all year long and not just for the summer months as some churches do.  However, in the summer, this congregation meets in the park behind the church; have a cookout before and ice cream after.  The only real problem with this is that I usually have class on Thursdays through mid-November (unless we are on a break) and if we like this church, Bob will have to go by himself unless I have a break.  (I suppose I could go on Sunday and he on Thursday but that’s kind of an odd arrangement.)

I have scoured their website and have found other things that excite me about the church.  They have a parish nurse and a ministry to the disabled and their families as well as a health and wellness ministry team.  They also have an infertility support group.  They have small groups and active outreaches into the community.  They believe in preaching Jesus.  They have the Alpha ministry and Precepts Bible study.  They even have a women’s bowling team! The only thing that gives me pause is that they are of a denomination I was not raised.  They are a mainline faith in which I’ve been taught to be wary. 

Bob wants to take it slow and if he doesn’t like it, we won’t continue to go.  His main concern is that they will treat him like a cripple and immediately lump him into the disability support group, which is what has happened at other churches we’ve visited.  I just like that they even consider the disabled at their church at all.  Most churches kind of lump the disabled in as an afterthought.  This church seems, at least in their literature, to actually care about them from the onset. Bob’s idea of answered prayer about finding a new church would be for someone to ask him to try out for the choir right up front.  We are going to go to this church tonight and see how it goes. 

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

D & C Update

The D & C has FINALLY been scheduled.  The new date (and the date set in stone) is July 31st.  I talked to the scheduler about how I miscounted my cycle the first time and could we push is back a week.  She said no to that as they are completely booked.  Then she added the caveat that we abstain or use 2 forms of protection until after the procedure.  I actually laughed at her and said something to the effect that we have been trying for almost 6 years with nothing to show for it.  I doubt we will get pregnant just now.  She said it happens all the time.  Hmmmmm, and me ovulating RIGHT NOW.

I’m out of work early today and off tomorrow.  We don’t have big plans though.  We might go see fireworks tonight so we can sleep in tomorrow and then go fishing.  We haven’t been yet this season and Bob is itching to go.  I don’t mind sitting by a nice lake on a nice day and may even bring a book.  Bob tends to fish for the big ones while I take whatever catches my line.  That means he is usually worming my hook and defishing my hook a dozen times before he even gets a nibble.  He might appreciate me reading more so than fishing.

A funny thing happened at my grandma’s birthday party.  The younger kids were in the house watching the Twins play ball.  One of the youngest was perusing my aunt’s plethora of cooking magazines when she happened upon a periodical that is definitely NOT about cooking.  My nephew came running out to tell us what happened while the other young lass ran to tell her mom.  Needless to say, they were all giggly and a little grossed out and my uncle certainly needs to hide his men’s magazines better for future family gatherings.

A sort of random thing happened as well over the weekend.  My brother and his family were at the Mall of America on Friday and they ran into a family they knew from their home town/church.  What’s really weird is that they didn’t run into them at the Mall itself, they ran into them at a restaurant across the street from the Mall.  (Most people eat at one of the bajillion restaurants at the Mall.)  Then, on Sunday my folks took me to lunch after church and as we were getting ready to leave, this same family from home/church walked in.  It wouldn’t be so weird except the Twin Cities Metro is fairly large and the Mall is nowhere near where we all ended up having lunch.  Not only that, but there were about a dozen places to eat in that one area so the odds of us all ending up there had to be pretty high.

Bob and I are looking for a new church.  We think that a church with a Friday night service would be ideal.  I went online and found a couple that fit the bill, but I also found one nearby that has a Thursday night service.  In the summer, they meet in a local park.  We’re going to check it out this week.  The only drawback is that while I’m in school, Bob would have to attend by himself unless I have a break (as I do this week) but he misses fellowship so much that he may just be up for that.  They also seem to be very aware of accessibility needs so that’s another plus.  As an aside, let me just say that there seems to be a church out there for everyone.  From the super conservative and/or liturgical to the radical free-spirited type, it’s all out there for anyone who may be looking.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Plan B Sucks

On to plan B* (or is it Plan C or D by now?).  When I submitted my time off request for the time I need for the D & C I found that I had forgotten about the continuing education I had scheduled at that time.  So we must reschedule.  I called the scheduler but had to leave a voicemail and as of yet she hasn’t called me back.  My fear is that we will have to now move to August because my period is due the 25th of this month and ideally, they like to do the D & C closer to the end of the period than we even scheduled it this time.  Arg!  For a while things were going so smoothly and now there seems to be a glitch at every turn.

Guess what?  In the midst of typing the above, the scheduler called and said we have to schedule the procedure for RIGHT after my period.  I consulted my datebook and saw that I’m due the 25th so we scheduled the D & C for July 31st.  However, as I was flipping through the book, I saw that because my period was 5 days early last time, I am ACTUALLY due the 19th.  Soooooo I called the scheduler back to see if we are still OK or if we have to move it back a week.  I had to leave a message and am waiting for her to call me back.  Guess what else?  I also have to have another pre-operative physical because something could go screwy and haywire between the one I had last Friday and the one I have to have the week before the procedure.  Apparently I was incredibly lucky the first few months of traveling down this road and now, all of a sudden, I’ve come across the mucky, murky place where all good planning goes to hell. 

I’m still getting inquiries about my photos.  The most recent request came from a producer of a television health show for a new cable channel.  I am in the midst of getting releases signed from my photo subjects so this channel/show can use my photo. “The show will premiere in August, on a new Health and Wellness channel called Veria, though we do not have finalized dates for airtime. Whoot!  Also, my family really liked the photos I took at my grandma’s birthday party.  You know when your family tells you that they like the photos you took, that’s when you know you’re good.  (My family tends towards the “if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all” philosophy when talking about talent and ability. Unless they are talking behind your back…then they let it all hang out.)

Bob and I still don’t know what we are doing for the 4th of July holiday.  I work the Monday and Tuesday before and the Thursday and Friday after so we are slightly limited.  Also, the people we usually celebrate with are out of town so we feel kind of lost.  We may just spend the day fishing and watch some fireworks from a parking ramp nearby in an effort to miss the crowds and traffic.  What are you doing for the holiday?

*Did I ever mention that I hate plan B?  That I am task oriented to a fault and changing plans throws me into a tizzy?