Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Getting Healthy for Summer

Um, so...

I am seriously back in "Gotta" mode.

Gotta kick this cigarette habit, gotta lose this weight, gotta get myself thinking straight so I can get back to work.

Hell, I even feel like I gotta do something with the crazy hair of mine. You might think that's silly and vain, but, trust me, I look like a hot Edward-Scissorhands-is-my-stylist mess. Really. It is that bad.

The exercising is going well. I'm a little frightened by how well. I keep thinking that I'm starting off so good that there's nowhere to go but down. (I am so cheerful these days!) Anyway, here are pics (aka: PROOF) of my stats from the past few days...

This (on the left) was actually NOT my best day. I have proof from my family that I did an hour once. Funny thing is, the calories for that hour were about the same as for the 45 minutes.
Not so bad. Did it all to Chaka Khan & Etta James.

For some reason, THIS dang near killed me!

I am missing some pics from my camera. Think I stored them to different places. But, anyway, you can see I am making an attempt at the exercise.

Dieting is extremely easy. I am a proud person, so I don't like to eat food that's not mine. Also, I've gotten so picky lately about what I like. Kind of back to the yogurt and cereal phase. I am listening to my doctor and trying to fit proteins in there.

The cigarettes? That's just insane. I'm  not slipping up and smoking, but I am so cranky that no one wants to be around me...

Oh, and the hair situation? Not sure about that yet. I will either break down & relax it (and risk having to make an emergency trip to my friend Sharon to have her fix it) - OR... I will leave it natural and add some length with a weave. I'm not good at doing self-weaving, just so ya know.

As for getting primed back up for work, I tried going over one of the old Broker's Exams the other day. Totally depressing! Every answer, every concept was right there on the edge of my mind... I actually even forgot how to code garments. Like I didn't clear imports for fifteen freaking years!!!

The best I can do is stay hopeful and hope everything gets better. Something wonderful is going to come out of this nightmare, I just know it.

Here is hoping that you guys are all staying healthy or getting there.


Saturday, February 25, 2012

Doctors, Staff. Patients & Patience

(Note to readers: Not posting as much because I have some trouble putting my writing together lately. I have to write things out longhand before typing them. The Sarcoidosis makes it hard to put the thoughts and words together spontaneously - though, surprisingly enough, I can still type pretty well. The writing and proofing on paper has got to be good for keeping my abilities up. I hope I can get it finished and posted soon.)

Anyone who knows me has heard me speak about my doctor. I know that there are many, many excellent physicians, but my doctor is the best one for me. I truly believe that God put me in his care when I fell sick with the Sarc. For one thing, I have always hated having to see a doctor and  had never been hospitalized before. I was terrified at the idea of being that ill, and everything was very confusing to me at the time. My doctor is "new" enough that he is still passionate about his calling and tireless in the pursuit of it. On top of that, he is just a good and decent person.

Having said that, I have to admit that I am probably the worst kind of patient! I'm scatter-brained (somewhat by nature and somewhat by Sarc) and can be difficult. I don't always readily follow the doctor's orders and I am sometimes resistant to common sense.

Still, my doctor is the soul of patience. I think maybe one reason God put me in his care was to build up his patience for patients (not trying hard to sound cute!) and show him the worst right off the bat.

I have gone in for appointments in various stages of lucidity, fear, hysteria, depression, optimism... You name it, I've felt and shown it. And, through it all, my doc has been steady, hopeful, truthful and uplifting. He stays honest with me - not sugar-coating anything, but he doesn't ever make me feel like I'm  facing something I can't handle. Matter of fact, I could swear that he oftentimes has more confidence in me than I have in myself.

Most doctors (at least the few I'd previously seen) feel only responsible for the specific physical health issues of their patient. Like if you go to a doctor because you have migraines, they work to treat the headaches - ease them and find ways to maybe end them. They don't have to give a damn about whether or not you are depressed because you have the headaches, or whether your headaches make your life hell in general. They don't have to, but some do. My doctor does give a damn. I guess that about sums up my situation.

I think that if I were my doctor, I'd probably be ready to go into therapy by now. Probably I'd have to pray for strength, meditate or do some calming, stomach acid-cooling pill-popping just before an appointment. (I take that back. I would not be my doctor. Period.)

Actually, I have two doctors. The other one is a specialist. He's excellent and has been wonderful to me during my treatment. He's a little more remote. I know that he's had his "me." Somewhere, at some point, he had the patient like me who just broke him right in. I'm sure that's why doctors put up those cool exterior defenses - to keep from being worn down by so much caring. It's great to care, but I bet when you've got a bunch of patients to deal with, there's only so much of yourself to give.

So. I am thoroughly grateful to be my doc's patient at this time in his profession. Or maybe (and I really believe this might be the case), maybe my doctor is just in the right profession for his personality, character and depth of compassion. I think he may be one of the rare ones. One of those who won't "burn out" because his well of sincerity is deep enough to span his lifetime.

Oh, and I can't talk about my doctor without talking about some of the nurses I have been under care of. Talk about having to be a special kind of person! I could never be a nurse because all my feelings show so clearly. Apparently nurses have additional skills that concern facial muscles. During just that one stay in the hospital, I saw what these men and women really go through. I thought I was a unique pain in the ass. Noooo... I saw nurses having to deal with patients who went out of their way to be human headaches.

One of my hospital roommates had a knack for waiting until the nurses were at their busiest before she became a quality assurance tester for the Call button. She'd announce to me what her request was going to be just before she buzzed. "I'm going to need a snack because that meal was just flimsy." (Our meals were not the least bit "flimsy.)  Or, "I think they're going to have to give me a sleeping pill. I feel like I'll be up all night." (She was up all night because she watched TV and yakked on her cellphone.) People I know and love are fair game, but I hate being rude to strangers, so I'd just vaguely acknowledge this woman and then go back into my stupor of boredom. She'd lean on that buzzer until I just knew everyone at the Nurses' Station was visualizing a strangulation, Hell, if I'd been lucid enough, I'd've done it for them and claimed emotional duress or something. Did those nurses grit their teeth or roll their eyes or, I don't know, come in and slap the tastebuds off this woman's tongue? Nope. They came in just as if her every need was their only duty. Wow. Just a beautiful bunch of folks they were. (And me with my crazy ass, I couldn't remember not a specific name when I was surveyed later! That has bothered me a lot ever since. The best I could do was indicate the dates I was in their care.)

So, if you are ever sick enough to need a doctor or a hospital and nurses, be thankful for the good ones. Be nice to nurses. It takes special people to do such a disgusting and stressful job with a smile and kind word.


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

A Lovely Day

Summer is coming.

I can't wait to sit in the sunshine and just... be.

Maybe ride in a car with my hand out the window.

Or find a pretty spot outside and dance a little.

Have some wine.

Smile and think of pleasant memories.

Be thankful for family and friends.

Thank God for His bringing me through some things.

Smell the air, feel the breeze, glow in the sun.

I am for sure going to play this song and dance a little, smile a lot and be thankful...


(P.S.: And, yeah, I will be thinking of you & you know who you are...)

Futuristic Architecture?

Was over on G+ where someone posted this. Fascinating to think about, but one of my G+ pals and I were wondering exactly how living in one of these buildings would work. I commented to him that I'd rather be the neighbor that could just observe it. His question: "How would you enter the building?" I wonder that myself because, as I told him, I have trouble with revolving doors. (That's actually not a joke. I am the woman who reacts to revolving doors like someone trying to jump in a a fast game of jump rope.)

Still, this is quite a strange idea...

The more I look at this, the more questions I have, like: Who are going to clean the windows? SMH... This looks like something the Antichrist would live in! LOL


Thursday, February 16, 2012

Writer's Note (or) Beautiful People

I haven't written anything (creatively) in several months - not since before my diagnosis. The other day, I began to feel something stir. Don't know what it will lead to, but I have a plot in mind and a few words in my head:

Beautiful people should never fall in love

Except with us

Those so longed for should be frozen in time

Or not exist at all

Because they break longing hearts

They get into the minds and dreams of other us

Beautiful, longed-for people

They make us want them and all we can not be

We are so

Beautifully done in

By the beautiful

Beautiful people

... We will see what I can do with this. Hope my brain cooperates.


Sunday, February 12, 2012

R.I.P Whitney Houston

I started getting texts and social network notices the minute people heard that the singer Whitney Houston had died. My first thought was one of the sadness, then I hoped that her daughter, her mother, all her loved ones were not drowning in grief alone.

Of course, vulture that I can be, I checked out the news sites and gossips mags to get the latest tidbits of "information." How did she die? Where? Why? Who was with her?

As if it's any of my business. As if there is anything I can do to comfort her family or aid them in any way other than by being one of the many, many voyeurs of her musical ability and celebrity life. Not that the family might not appreciate the public displays of affection and mourning of her fans. I am sure they will, but there are levels of intimacy in these things that belong not with fans or this person's "public."

This poor woman was a product (largely) of her natural talent and a victim (mostly) of her celebrity. We fans are really strangers, knowing about her only what was exposed. We don't have a vested emotional right to her life other than what we have to every other human being in the world. We don't lose anything familial or "ours" by the loss of her. We don't have, really, any more right to "mourn" her than we do to mourn any of the many names in the Obituary page of any newspaper. Her celebrity makes us feel we do, but we don't.  We can miss her voice, her talents, her contribution to an art, but, really, that's about it. Her family, her true personal friends - the assorted loved ones - they are the only one with a right to truly mourn. All the rest of us will move on with our lives, not being spiritually altered by her death. Possibly the mourning we do for celebrities is so much more about us than them.

This celebrity culture we live in has diseased us all a bit. We can't just let someone be talented without having to brand them and elevate them to some surreal being. If we didn't "celebritize" people, we couldn't claim some right to them. We couldn't justify our intrusion into their lives. Without celebrities, we might have to learn to just enjoy talent rather than be entertained by the talented.

So, I apologize for my bad manners. I offer condolences to the family as I would want offered by any stranger to mine. I apologize in advance for the ridiculous curiosity that I am going to be exhibiting throughout the circus the world is going to make of this situation.

We are all of us going to be dead. Some of us will be lucky enough not to have been put on pedestals of sand.


Monday, February 06, 2012

Love & Hate. Chris Rocked It

Now that I am not in a relationship, I find it easier to laugh at things like Chris Rock's take on being in love. Maybe this wouldn't be funny if I hadn't been so deep in love, but...

Yeah, it's rude and nasty, but that is some funny (and mostly true) stuff, so shut up cos I know you're laughing.


Friday, February 03, 2012

What Did Being Good Ever Get You?

There are a lot of things I don't understand about people, but the top 5 have to include:

- Why do some people have to be the Rice Krispy Treats lady... Remember the old commercial where the mom is making the very simple treat, but she throws flour all on her face and makes a mess of the kitchen so that her family thinks she slaved at it? There are people who, if they do anything for someone, they have to make themselves into a martyr. Always having to just mention or make a little joke of what a strain their good deeds are. (I have noticed that these are the same people who never think of what was done for them. Maybe because their patrons never bring it up.)

- Why do some people have to pray for something and wish for something and crave something, then when they get it, all they can do is talk about the negatives? It's like wishing to own a Ferrari then always making a big deal of the price of gas.

- Why do some people have such sharp eyesight and sensitivity to their every pet peeve, but never see that they tap dance on other folk's nerves every freaking moment of time??? (Once, again, maybe that's because they squeak about their crap all the time and others don't.)

- Why is that the most annoying, frustrating, irritating people in the world are the most easily annoyed, frustrated and irritated? It's as though they wear life's glasses facing wrong side out.

- Why is it so hard for people to just be and do the best they can - just because it is the right thing?

Okay, yes, I can be all of the above, but I work at not being that way. I try to catch myself  and stop immediately when I drift into, say, Rice Krispy Treat mode... My biggest problem is that, the older I get, the more I notice these things about others. Maybe I never saw it before because I never had to. 

One thing that worries me about myself is that I am becoming very regretful. I am almost starting to regret many of the things I ever sacrificed for others. I am fighting not to regret the things I didn't do for myself so that I could do for others. I am fighting not to regret the money spent, the time spent - the worry and care that I truly felt. But I am really having to fight it hard.

That scares me.

I don't want to regret these things. 


I once knew someone who walked away from one huge part of her life to satisfy another part. Her walking-away words (to those of us who stood by watching with our mouths hanging open in shock at her choice) were a question I think about a lot these days: "What did being good ever get you?"

I am trying my damnedest not to have to ask myself that same question. Especially since my time for making different choices is long behind me.


Goodbye Jerry

Another of the people I got to know while going with my sister to dialysis was a man named Jerry.

For the first couple of years that I saw them there, Jerry and his wife would come to the center in their big wide-body truck. She would be driving, of course, and it always tickled me a little to see her jump down from the drivers seat. (She is about 5 foot even and weighs around 95 pounds from the look of it!)

Back in those first days of seeing them, Jerry was walking. He would get out of the passenger seat on his own. The two of them would stand in front of the entrance for a moment where he would lean down from his almost 6 foot tall height to give his wife a kiss. Whether they knew it or not, this was always their little gift to me, the woman who has always seemed to fail at love.

So, for two years I witnessed the love, humor and devotion between these two elderly people. She, faithfully, tirelessly, making the drive in with her husband. He, accepting his role as passenger, accepting his wife's care. Sometime I could see a sheen of frustration, weariness and exasperation between them, but that aura of love never dimmed as far as I could tell.

My sister and I didn't get to the center as much for another two years while she did her treatments at home. When she did start more regular visits (while doing a different type of home treatment) we saw that things had changed some for Jerry and his wife as well. For one thing, the huge truck had been replaced by some type of small vehicle that seemed not quite as sturdy. (Jerry later told me that their children had recommended the change as a something more fitting to their mom's physical abilities. Climbing into and jumping down from the truck had gotten to be too much for her. Jerry preferred the truck because he felt it kept his wife safe in the Alaska weather and traffic.)

The other thing that broke a small piece of my heart was that Jerry was now in a wheelchair. He had to be helped out of the vehicle and into the chair by either his wife or, sometimes, one of the attendants at the clinic. His wife always hovered nearby, supervising the transfer. They still paused at the entrance to kiss, hug, reassure.

One day a couple of months ago, I happened to overhear an attendant refer to Jerry by his surname, which I had never bothered to know.  I was a little startled because I recognized the fairly uncommon name as also belonging to an old acquaintance of one of my brothers.


I called and asked my brother about this guy's father. Turned out that "my" Jerry was the father of "Hugh."

The next time I saw Jerry, I mentioned the connection and he was as amused as I was.

"Small world, kid." (Okay, he was in his late 70's so it's okay with me that I'm 50 and he called me "kid.")

"Sure is, Jerry. Sure is."

About three weeks ago, not feeling well at all, I dropped my sister off at the clinic and returned home to rest. When she called me halfway through her session, I thought it was because she'd forgotten something at home or in the car so I answered, ready to tease her. I knew something was wrong the minute she said my name.

"Jerry died."

I swear my heart actually ached.

"One of the techs just told me," she said.

Jerry's wife had actually stayed with him for his treatment that day - something that didn't happen often since they had gotten older. He'd had a great treatment, had been his usual charming self, joking with everyone, teasing the techs, flirting with his wife.

When his treatment was over and he'd been un-tethered from the machine, he just suddenly dropped and died. He'd had a heart attack.

I thought of his wife. I thought of how she happened to be there on that day. Blessing or curse, I don't know.

I thought of how they'd always shared a kiss and a moment. And then I remembered something else.

One time when we were talking and I mentioned Jerry's wife, he had called her "my sweet girl." I can't remember the conversation, but he had said something like, "I have to see about it for my sweet girl there."

His sweet girl.

Of course, my sister and I wondered how Jerry's sweet girl was doing in the days after his death. We wanted to be able to send condolences - a card or a call, something.

Days passed with no newspaper obituary, no information passed along from the clinic staff. Nothing.

The other day, I Googled for information and found out that this family has had their share of heartaches.  Untimely deaths of children and such. And now, the patriarch gone.

Maybe there will be no services. Maybe they are just dealing with their loss in a very closed and private way. I can respect that. I don't really need a funeral to say goodbye in my heart.

Rest in peace, Jerry. God will keep watch over your sweet girl.


Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Everyday People

I am always thinking about why people are the way they are. I have not figured that out - and probably never will since I don't think I am intended to. So, while I don't understand WHY people are the way they are, I love watching THE WAY THEY ARE... And like with Edrick, I wonder how many people you know who:

~ Never makes mistakes.
Well, they DO, but they somehow manage to auto-correct history. For example, the person who rags on ANYone who runs a red light or has a fender-bender. Then when they have an accident that dang near rips off the hood of the car... Suddenly, there is a very logical reason. or else it's not that big a deal. Somehow, that accident never comes up without SOMEbody changing the subject. Give it a few weeks and you'd swear there had never BEEN any accident.

~ Can solve EVERY problem in the world.
This is the person who never just listens and empathizes when someone unburdens themself. Nooo... This is the one who wants to Dear Abby you to death. Everything you did that got you into a heartache, a debt, an argument... they are going to tell you exactly where you went wrong. This person doesn't know how to just be an ear and a shoulder. Solutions might be welcome later, but sometimes folks just need a friend, not Captain Fix-It-All.

~ ... Every problem, that is, but their own!
The same person saving people from themselves can also sometimes be the one mired in a mess of their own. (My mother used to wonder aloud if people like this "hear themselves.") It's disconcerting to hear a person talk at one point about their heartbreaking marital issues, then later express their brilliance in choosing the perfect partner. Every time this happens, I tune out the Hallelujah chorus and remember that some folks do their wishful thinking out loud.

~ Like picking on their cousins: Pot and Kettle
These are the ones who are so busy making note of their peeves to ever recognize their own annoying habits. I personally know people who will complain about noise and lights early in the morning, but sound like soldiers coming home from war every night on their way to bed.

~ Love you most in front of an audience
My favorite. Truly. These are the ones who just love you to pieces, always has your back and will never let a tear fall down your face. IF there is someone around to hear and appreciate this warm affection. It will really make your heart melt. Until you need anything after the audience has gone away. You can probably get what you need, but, boy oh boy, it WILL come with a price.

~Are not bad enough to make you not love them.
These are the majority in my case. Lord knows, I have my faults, so I have no problem loving my friends and family in spite of the "bruised" parts of their personalities. With only a couple of exceptions, I truly like AND love my people. I love the others, but other than that, I just use them as subjects for some of my blog postings! lol

So, um...