Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Thanks

This isn't really a Thanksgiving post, but it could be.

I appreciate your very kind and supportive comments from my previous post here. I'm very grateful you took the time to comment AND to prop me up. I needed that!

I spent some time with a friend Sunday who has gone through the entire hip replacement procedure. She spent a long time in pain before she decided to have the surgery, and offered many many MANY helpful tips to make life easier in the weeks I will have to wait.

The most important thing she said, though, was that pain makes you crabby. Constant, chronic pain wears you down. Reducing pressure on my right leg will reduce the pain. Therefore, I present to you my new BFF:
I was loathe to begin walking with a cane, but after Dr. Google explained how to use it properly (you hold the cane on the good side and advance it along with your bad leg to reduce pressure), I can already see that it's a useful tool.

But still. I'm too young to walk with a cane!

Then again, I guess I'm not. If it helps reduce the pressure/pain, and helps prevent a fall, which would be a seriously bad event, then I'll use it.

I'm still in the practice stage. Until I learn how to manage it and a bag and my keys and and and, I'll probably just be very, very careful when I'm out in public. I seriously think there's more risk of falling with a cane when I'm juggling stuff than without it.

Pretty soon, though, I'll be shaking it at you and telling you to get off my lawn.

Oh, yes, I will.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Failing MISERABLY

I really didn't realize how much walking improved my mood until I couldn't walk any more.

Here's the thing: I NEED to lose some weight before I have this hip surgery. The surgery will be less complicated and the recovery will go more smoothly if I weighed less.

My excuses are all good ones:

  • NO exercise – don't believe what you read about exercise not being a factor in weight loss.
  • Along with that, those endorphins aren't getting released and I'm in a funky mood most of the time.
  • I'm bored, bored, bored – and I eat when I'm bored.
  • Motrin relieves my pain better than anything else, but makes my stomach hurt.
  • Eating makes my stomach not hurt.

Maybe they're not such good excuses, but they're the ones I'm using, to my detriment.

My future physical therapist, who also is a friend, tried to reassure me that the repair will work and I'll be raring to go, once the recovery period is over. I have, maybe, used that as an excuse as well. Delay, delay, delay … hey! She's a professional!

At any rate … something needs to change. I have to rest a lot (to minimize the pain). But I don't have to rest and eat snacks.

I just had breakfast half an hour ago. My stomach is growling. What would you do?

GRRRRRRRR.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

9,131

Nine thousand one hundred thirty-one days divided by 365 equals
Today is a milestone in my sobriety – I've now been sober for as many years as I drank.

(You can read my story here. I've been marking this occasion on this or my previous blog for nine years now, and it's easier for both of us to just point you to the first time I told it.)

In meetings, when you announce a sobriety "birthday," you're often asked, "How'd you do it?" And my answer always has been, "One day at a time." 

I have to admit that this birthday seems a teensy bit more significant. Evening out the drunk days with the sober ones is something to think about. It's … a moment.

But it's just one moment among many. 

I'm not the same person I was at 14, when I had my first drink, or at 39, when I had my last one. I'm not perfect now, none of us are. I've learned a lot about myself along the way, most importantly this: I can't do life alone. 

Sometimes I need you, and sometimes you need me. Twenty-five years of sobriety has given me the gift of community. I'm no longer on that island of stubborn independence, spiraling downward and afraid to ask for help, although it's still sometimes difficult to request assistance.

Will I ever get over that? I guess the upcoming surgery experience will provide some answers.

What I have overcome – and I can honestly say this – is the feeling that you don't need me. I have gifts to give; we all do. Staying sober has allowed me to be generous with them. 

Thank you for reading. Thank you for being a part of my real or on-line life. Thank you for helping me stay sober for 25 years … one day at a time.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

A not-surgery post

Anyone not comatose knows by now that right-wing nuts and fundamental Christians (which may be the same thing, but I'm not sure) are mad at Starbucks. A crazy preacher did a YouTube video suggesting we all tell our baristas our name is "Merry Christmas" so she or he would have to write it on the ombré red but otherwise unadorned cup.

Because a red cup with a green logo isn't Christmas-y enough for him.

Well, you don't get to be a billionaire by encouraging the populace to buy stuff from a company you don't like. So Donald Trump has upped the ante by saying this:
“Maybe we should boycott Starbucks. I don’t know,” he said. “Seriously, I don’t care.”
Maybe Starbucks should roll out a new cup design with baby Jesus in a manger on it, and start a REAL war on Christmas. Whichever cup sells better wins.

Which really means Starbucks would win, if winning means making a huge profit on already overpriced hot beverages. 'Cause you know everyone will flock to the one on their corner for a Gingerbread Peppermint Whatever to show whose side they're on.

I mean, I have friends who went to Starbucks for a red cup of the devil's brew yesterday who would otherwise be perfectly happy supporting the local roasted beanery – or drinking home-brewed.

And you know how lazy Democrats are when it comes to voting. [Insert heavy sigh here.] I guess not voting with your dollars, though.

Trump also said:
“If I become president, we’re all going to be saying, ‘Merry Christmas’ again. That I can tell you.”
Well, guess what? No one is telling you not to say 'Merry Christmas.' Even if your employer tells you 'Happy Holidays' is the company policy, the boss isn't going to be standing over your shoulder every time you ring up someone's Made-in-China crap.

Wish someone well. But don't stop at Christmas. Actions speak louder than words. If you really want to bless someone during the holidays …
  • Donate to a local food bank.
  • Adopt a needy child from an angel tree.
  • Leave a huge tip for your busy waiter or waitress. And your hotel maid.
  • Leave caps and scarves in an area of your town where they might be picked up and used.
Those are just a few ideas to get you started. What else can you think of that would bless someone during this most wonderful time of the year? (The jury's out on that one, by the way.)

Merry Christmas.

Friday, November 6, 2015

In preparation …

If you're following along, you know that after months of painful walking, I stopped in July, saw a doctor in August, and have finally made an appointment with an orthopedic surgeon to begin the process of fixing my right hip, which is currently cartilage-free. Sometime next year I'll be having a total hip replacement.

In a previous post, I had set a date of November 1 to go back to primal eating. So far, I've only been able to eliminate sugar. And that's all I'm going to do, most likely until I'm completely recovered. Meal preparation is just easier if I can include dairy, legumes and grains. Sugar is my opiate, adds no nutritional value to my diet, and is physically – if not mentally – easy to ditch.

I've been thinking about how to make that recovery period a little easier on my husband. He's more than willing to do whatever it takes and offer whatever I need, but I'm the chief cook and bottle-washer around here. I've been exploring the idea of preparing a bunch of freezer meals, and yesterday I got down to work, turning these:

into this:


There are now six individual and two large chicken pot pies, labeled and wrapped in my freezer. And one for tonight's dinner in the refrigerator.

Today's job will be to make a vat of chicken-and-rice soup with the rest of the chicken meat. I only used the white meat for the pot pies.

What's kind of silly about this is that we never eat pot pies. I may have made it one other time during our marriage. But the recipe looked good and it will certainly be easy for my husband to pop them in  the oven.

And that's what I'm looking for: EASY.

Other freezable meals on my list are ham-and-cheese quiche, vegetable soup, and chili (which I will freeze in gallon-sized bags and store flat to save freezer space – that's your handy-dandy tip du jour). I'd love other suggestions, if you have any. Leave a comment!

I think you can surmise that keeping grains, legumes, and dairy on the menu will make this whole freezer meal project a lot simpler. (See that line above about looking for easy.) We don't eat a lot of pasta, so I wasn't planning to do a big mac-and-cheese casserole, but I might. I'm thinking I might need a little comfort food disguised as dinner once I get back home.

At any rate … the ball is rolling. I picked up my X-rays yesterday to take with me to the surgeon. I'm looking into the best health insurance plan for 2016. I often say I don't want to wish my life away, but I wouldn't really mind if the next few months kind of flew by.