Monday, May 17, 2010

Turning Stones in the Path

Today some folks at work are argumentative. eh. One of them - like me - always wants their pov to be right so we bounce around a lot, and there's always this residual "ickness" that continues afterward within myself for quite some time. Today, I finally put my finger on it. Unfortunately, not until after I ate something even though I wasn't hungry, and now, though I am not stuffed, it sits in my gut like a rock.

What I discovered today after stuffing my face...I haven't mastered the idea of "inquiry" but I did think it over and talk outloud (I guess that means I had "the voice" chatting at me)...and found that the frustration I feel is about not being able to adequately express my pov IN THE MOMENT. I always regret not being able to say what I mean when I'm having the discussion. I get a bit caught up in the argument and the physical response (fight or flight) and lose my ability to think clearly. Then, I end up having the conversation with myself for WEEKS afterward trying to make my point. 

I am not yet sure what the corrective action is for this behavior, I just know I want to change it. I want to clearly state my point in the moment, not let my emotions get the best of me, not worry about what the other person will think of me and say my piece to be open for discussion.
I realize, in some cases, it isn't going to matter much whether I have any pov on some subjects, but if I'm invited into a discussion, I want to have my head about me so that my stomach won't take over afterwards.

There is also "the voice" to contend with in the minutes/hours/days/weeks ahead (sometimes I revisit the episode YEARS The voice telling me I am stupid. It tells me that I am unworthy of having an opinion if I cannot adequately express WHY I have it in the first place. The voice beats me up about this one quite I'm going to start dealing with that first off. 

Choosing to be Mindful is hard work, but seeing this clearly for the first worth it!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

A Whole New Path

While recovering from knee surgery, I took the time to read a ton of books. Some fiction series follow ups that I love and a few books of the "self-help" genre. A friend told me about a book she was reading so I checked out the prologue on and knew I needed to read it. Why? I've been dieting and beating myself up for most of my life and so I could relate to this book. 

I'm sharing this now because I was moved (as many of you were) by Andrea's Post over at Black nail polish and lip gloss and have been wanting to share this book with the world since I got so much out of it. I know that not everyone will, but when I find a gem like this, I usually end up telling everyone I know to CHECK IT OUT CUZ IT'S THE BEST THING SINCE SLICED BREAD!!! Yeah, that's me...and that's ok. :)

It took me the whole week to read the book not because it is a big book, but because I kept having to set it down to think, absorb, cry, thrash, get angry and, finally, accept. I realized that I had, once again, forgotten who I am and gone back to believing what other people's stories told me I am. I also came to realize that I was trying to fill my non-stuff compiling life up with stuff again to counter the difficult financial times the husband and I have been facing. I mean, if I have all this nail polish, then we aren't struggling so bad, right??? RIGHT???

What I learned mostly was to be present again. Be passionate about life and most of all, remember that I am beautiful just as I am right now, and now and now. 

First thing I did was to cancel my Weight Watchers membership. Yep, I've had great success and some backsliding with that plan but, I learned so much there and because of the time I spent learning their "Tools for Success" I was ready to hear the message in this book.  

I'm done dieting. I'm done telling myself I don't measure up to someone else's idea of what is beautiful. I'm also done eating absently and not enjoying every minute, including the minutes I spend feeding this glorious body I've been blessed with to walk on this beautiful planet I get to call "home."  

And when I hear that little nagging voice, the one that tells me I am not enough, I don't have enough, I'll never BE enough...I will, as soon as I realize I am buying it's bs, tell it to shut the hell up!  It has been a little over a week. ONE WEEK and without counting calories, points, or carbs, without weighing and measuring, without denying myself what my body wants, I'm getting healthier. I've lost 9 pounds. NINE. Just by being present when I eat. I share that because, as the author, Geneen Roth says, "It's not about the weight and yet, it's not NOT about the weight" For some of us, healthier means losing weight, for others, it means gaining or maintaining while nourishing our bodies. For me, it means some weight needs to leave my body...and I will never, EVER diet again. I'm free. I'm back to being me and I'm going to enjoy each moment, even the hard ones, even the tears. I'm here! I'm alive! And that is a very cool thing.

What is this book? If you clicked the Amazon link above, you already know, but if you didn't, the book is 
Women, Food and God: An unexpected path to almost everything.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Two years - 60 lbs

I am up 60 pounds from my lowest weight on this blog. I found the one thing that can derail me and I've not yet found the way to deal with it in a healthier way. Suggestions are welcome for future bouts with this derailer.

Chronic Physical Pain took me DOWN for the count. I can handle emotional challenges like nobody's business, but physical pain that grew worse over time with no relief in site...that did me in. I was reaching for the comfort foods all over again.

I am happy with the fact that in two years I've managed to only pack on 60 pounds instead of all of it and then some. Each time I go down this path, I learn more and gain some but not all of it back and more, as I used to in my younger days.

I'm not happy that I am not at my goal and enjoying lifetime status at Weight Watchers. I am back to blogging, lose or gain because it helped. Motrin helps and the upcoming knee surgery and some physical therapy will help too. Weight loss will help as I know...though I almost punched the doctor who told me that losing weight would help my back and knee. DUDE, I was 60 lbs lighter before all this PAIN me outta pain and I can do this. Duh, sometimes...I just kick someone.

I don't expect to be full on back on the wagon til after surgery, but will blog here as it helps me clarify what I'm doing and what I'm learning and keeps me honest.

Thank you all for stickin' with me. I'm going to get there before I hit 50! (I've got a little over a year to do so, and therefore, I know I can.)

So, once again...join me on my trek as I continue to learn what my obstacles are and learn to overcome them.

RANT about healthcare and Kaiser Permanente in particular.

This has been sitting in my drafts, but I thought I'd go ahead with the that I'm on the road to recovery and have gained a boatload of weight back...the light at the end of the tunnel...TWO years close. I hope to be back on track by end of April...after knee surgery.

I'm in pain and I'm tired so this will be highly emotional. Bear with me and hopefully this will reach the realm of the people in charge of healthcare reform.

When I was a young woman, about 21 or so, I don't remember now exactly but I know I was at least 21 or so, I was out riding a bicycle that was a bit too tall for me with my friend DeeDee (aka Deanna) in the San Francisco Bay Area at a park known as Coyote Hills. I bumped in to my brother's best friend who, at the time, I was dating...or so I thought...and he was there with another young woman. Upon finding this, in my pride and shame, I rode the too tall bike off in a huff and braved a hill I shouldn't have...not a big hill, just too big for my emotions and physical stamina at that time. This hill led out of the camping area and to the bike trail toward home. A place I really wanted to be in, to have a good cry, be where my mommy was and generally wallow for a bit.

Instead, I took on this hill with not enough push and the bike began to fall over...I put my left leg down to stop the fall. When my foot hit the ground, I heard and felt a loud "Pop!" and immediately knew I had blown my knee. Why did I know this? My brother, Chris, who was 4 years older than I, had done a similar thing whilst playing high school basketball. We were close at the time and he shared the details of the day with me...including the sound and feel of that "Pop!". So I KNEW.

Adding insult to injury...the new girl was my ride home. I am grateful she did that for me and over the long ago. The real story starts NOW.

Off to Kaiser Permanente I went. You know: the people who want you to live long and thrive. Back in the 80's they didn't care so much...and I was too young and hadn't been taught to be my own advocate in the world of medicine where the doctors are only PRACTICING medicine as there are new findings every MINUTE.

So, months go by...Kaiser doesn't do an MRI on my knee, they feed me bullshit about how it's just a "stretched tendon" and how "it happens all the time in girls, especially cheerleaders" of which I was never one. The years pass, and I deal with injury after injury to the same knee, stupid things really: walking! wrestling with my (now ex) husband, hopping over a fence in Idaho...each time I am back at Kaiser Permanente only to be told the same bullshit as before and handed a new brace to wear.

Yes, they did an examination. This involved the doctor trying to force my knee to bend in ways I am unwilling to allow as it's just UNNATURAL and it's been years now since the original injury and I've developed some serious muscle to keep it from bending that way unless there is some serious stress on the joint.

So...2002 or so and I'm living in a new town, still on Kaiser Permanente insurance even though it means I have to travel 45 minutes to get care. I injure the left knee at work...can't even walk on it. After the fiasco of dealing with the incompetent doctor at the clinic for occupational injury...I decide to go to my own doctor (Kaiser) who, upon finally getting me under anesthesia finds she can "bend my knee every which way from Sunday" as she tells me upon my reawakening. The "second opinion" insisted upon by the worker's comp insurance says: "if the ACL (anterior cruciate ligament is in need of repair and you're going in to repair a "bucket handle" tear of the miniscus, then by all means, repair the ACL too."

So, the orthopedic surgeon finds that, it's been so long since the left knee has HAD and ACL that there isn't even any remnants of one...they use a cadaver ACL, some screws and fashion me a new ACL...and, oh-by-the-way, that bucket handle tear needs removing and now you only have half the cushioning on the inside of your left knee than you had before...

I am know almost 50 years old. I suffer many repetitive issues with my left hip and my sacrum going of synch because of this. I deal with pain, recovery, weight loss set backs, depression, anger and frustration because Kaiser Permanente didn't care if I lived long and thrived back then. All they cared about was that MRI's were expensive and they didn't want to spend that kind of money on a young woman who might just have a stretched ACL. I wasn't taught to be my own advocate for health. I wasn't taught that doctors are only PRACTICING medicine and don't LIVE in MY BODY so they, therefore, have no clue what is going on...that I have to be consistent and insistent on getting the care I believe I need to be healthy. I knew back then that they were wrong...but I let them do what they did, I lived with NO ACL for over 20 years. Thanks Kaiser Permanente. I live long and thrive now with hip and back pain that recurs at least annually. Requiring trips to the chiropractor and massages and constant stretching.

Had you kept your promise to care for me, and to educate me to care for myself, I would have had my ACL repaired when I was in my early 20's and might have escaped the secondary and tertiary injuries to the left knee joint as well as so many years of left hip and back pain due to the atrophy of muscles in my left leg.

If I come across as bitter, it is because I sit here, yet again, with back pain an unable to MOVE as I'd like to and therefore gaining weight and adding to my frustration. But wait! There's more!

I took my son to your doctors when he was a wee small boy...maybe 4 or 5?...he was having intermittent chest pain...and though the doctor took it seriously and did what he wasn't until YEARS later and new insurance that we took him to emergency and they caught on their heart monitor that he was having PACS induced by stress and manageable.

Thanks Kaiser Permanente, we live long and thrive in spite of your lack of care.

I'm bitter tonight. Humor me. This is all true. I'm in pain and angry...again.

I know this seems "off topic" for my blog, but it's not. If I can't move properly, exercise is a serious challenge. If I am in pain, everything else is a serious challenge. I'm working on regaining my focus. This week, I am focusing on drinking two of my 1.5 liter bottles of water a day. So far, since committing on Thursday, I am only up to one full bottle per day...and it's been a slow built up to that over the past few days. But progress is progress and it COUNTS dammit!!

I miss riding my bike, walking without pain, SITTING and SLEEPING without pain (or drugs to numb the pain!!!) I want my health back and Dammit Kaiser Permanente, you owe me!

I can't go back, but YOU can educate the young people coming to you, you can encourage them to be their own advocates, to ask questions and demand the care they know they need.

Health care reform? how about just health care in general...

enough ranting. I'm going to sleep.