Saturday, February 25, 2006

My Week

Such a week.
Monday night I was in full cramp mood and I sighed one too many times and Nelson flew into a verbal tirade (which he continues to feel justified in doing since he has not apologized). He then didn’t talk to me for three days. He finally started speaking on Friday night. And now life continues.

This week in addition to being a verbal recluse (really only speaking to Beth and Penelope when they were visiting this week) he also appeared to be on self-destruct mode. I ended up feeling like a stranger in my own home. His back still hurts terribly. He's asked me to get the name of the on the upswing--it takes a lot for him to take care of himself. There has been an on-going battle with Worker's Comp as well--that turmoil isn't doing his depression any good at all!

Work wasn’t much better. Growing up in an alcoholic home I learned well the art of hyper vigilance. I could just sense that something was going on. And while I’m not at liberty to say (since I’m still not sure who’s reading my blog/diary at work), suffice it to say: I was right. On top of that, and trying to deal with home stuff, and cramps, I just struggled spiritually with being content.

Through it all I’m sticking to the NutriSystem plan. Faithfully and completely. And to my absolute delight, I’ve lost 6.5lbs since the 16th. I like the food. I’m drinking the water. And today I will start walking again. Here’s an example of my faithfulness: Last night our Sunday School class had an event. We met at Pizza Hut for dinner. There were about 35 of us. I made my NS pizza ahead of time, doctored it with mushrooms and crushed red peppers and took it with me. When it came time to order our meal, I ordered a one trip to the salad bar, which I ate the good stuff and left the heavy laden and fat filled food for someone else! Then we met at the nearby seminary and watched a movie (The Notebook—loved it!). While everyone else munched on popcorn (which wouldn’t have been all that horrible for me) I ate my NS mustard pretzels—which I love!!!!

Did you catch that a part of this week (Tuesday through Thursday) Ann was also here with the grandsweeties. That truly was balm for my heart. Penelope came running up to me and smothered me with hugs and sloppy kisses. We immediately hit the floor for play. At Memaw’s house, I believe Penelope thinks the best toy is Memaw!

And now I’m going to go walk. The sun has been out all morning and it’s trying to reach 40. It’ll be chilly, but I think it will do me good. More later!

Saturday, February 18, 2006


So would you take a moment and add to my reality check by filling this out:



Boy, did I have a reality check this morning.

I am on my third day with Nutrisystem. I have really been enjoying the food. I don’t feel hungry or deprived.

So this morning for breakfast I decide to have the NS coconut O’s cereal with my egg and cheese. I go to the cupboard and pause for a moment contemplating what bowl to put my meager portion of cereal in. I pull out a very tiny bowl. I think to myself that I’ll have to go larger when I add the 4oz of milk. Nope. Milk and cereal fit more than comfortably in the teeny tiny bowl.

I reach back into the cupboard and pull out the bowl I usually ate my cereal in. Can you say gargantuan? First, I was dumbfounded, then I began to laugh hysterically. No wonder I could play one of the dancing hippos from Fantasia.

I shared my revelation with Nelson, when he finally woke up. We talked for quite some time on how we are part of the super-size generation. For me it started way back in high school. Remember how big the Whopper used to be? How about the Whaler? I ate them daily. When it was time to buy dishes, the size of the dinner plate was a key factor in being considered for the purchase. How insane is that?

Yesterday was our 27th anniversary. Nelson was awake when I came down for my breakfast. He quickly shouted (scaring the pee right out of me!) “Happy Anniversary!” and then told me my gift was on the stand by his bed. I opened the envelope to find a little red velvet bag. In the red velvet bag was the sweetest white gold wedding band. And it fit! I’ve been transitioning over to all white gold and my wedding was the last hold out. This gift was so sweet. It was like he was saying he’d marry me all over again. That felt really good!

When I came home from work yesterday, I expected that Nelson would be ready to walk right out the door to head for therapy. I was wrong. He wasn’t ready for that at all. He had just gotten a call from the director of the Rehab Dept who had been talking to the Doctor’s office.

Bottom line: Nelson is done with therapy. Both the doctor and the therapist agree that Nelson won’t do construction work again. He has a second opinion visit scheduled for a couple weeks from now. But neither anticipate much of a differing opinion. This is as good as it gets.

One of the things the doctor’s assistant told the therapist is that they recommended fusing Nelson’s ankle. Neither of us remember this and aren’t sure that this sounds like a good idea, but we’ll have to see about that.

So now we begin to consider what life is going to be like now for Nelson. He can’t imagine what he will do. His skills and training are to work with his hands. On top of this frustrating news, he turned wrong or something in bed and has reactivated his back pain. Needless to say, he’s feeling pretty miserable.

And now for the irony…A couple weeks ago Nelson and I were watching TV and there was an add for some fancy candy company for Valentines Day. Off the cuff, and without giving much thought to what I was saying (or that I was saying it to Nelson) I said that I would rather have a bag of Hershey Kisses instead of that fancy candy. Well, on one of Nelson’s many Ebay explorations he found a box of Hershey Kisses for sale so he bid and bought. Now when I say box, I mean the size box that a store gets to display and sell. It’s full of little individual bags of 4 kisses each. It was supposed to be here for Valentines Day—before I started my new eating commitment. Well, thanks to lousy timing, it arrived today! So now there’s going to be a box of kisses sitting on my shelf in the pantry waiting until I feel like a smidgen of chocolate won’t destroy my resolve.

Now I really can wish you all a Hershey Kiss!

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

All About Love

What a Valentines Day I had.

D came to work on Monday and she was wheezing quite badly. By Tuesday it was much, much worse. Last week it sounded like she had bronchitis, but this week it sounded more like emphysema. I assumed my “mommy” role and couched it in psuedo-supervisor and insisted she go to the free clinic in town. Now I know I’m not her supervisor but I used my influence to get her there.

Our town has this really cool clinic. It’s part of one of the ministries here. Doctors and nurses volunteer to provide medical services to folks in our community who don’t have insurance coverage. I was so impressed.

We got to the building that hosts the clinic 40 minutes before they started seeing people so that we could get D’s name on the list. So we arrived at 5:50 and didn’t get seen by the doctor until almost 8:30. It was horribly hot in the waiting room and some of the less patient patients were starting to complain—even though they had gone out at least a couple times to get a smoke.

Complainers just baffle me. While I was busy marveling that there were medical professionals giving their time off and doing my best to calm D’s nerves others were starting to snap at the volunteers and medical folks. Sure I was warm. I had been waiting too. D was feeling worse than awful but she never complained. It wasn’t going to help anything—that was the difference between us and them—but not the only difference.

I began to watch and listen. There was such an incredible sense of entitlement. Where did that come from? There was no sense of appreciation. There was no wonder that people were giving of themselves, their knowledge, their time. I just didn’t get it. I still don’t.

The doctor wanted D to go to the ER and get a breathing treatment, but D was afraid to go so we talked about options with the Dr. She prescribed prednizone, an antibiotic, and an inhaler. And when we were done, she asked to pray with us. It absolutely touched my heart.

When we were done we made a dash to the only pharmacy still open in town. We’re too small for a Walgreens. Over and over D kept saying that no one had ever done anything like this for her. The culmination of that came when I helped pay for the prescriptions. She fought me on it. I assured her she could pay me back and she finally let me pay. Silly girl. And today…she was much better.

Sitting there with D, I missed Worship Team practice, I didn’t get to spend time with my hub on Valentines Day, and I didn’t get to hold Asher before he went to bed---but there’s no where else I needed to be.

And when it was over, I came home, kissed my Valentine (who bought me a pack of three Turtles—mmmmmmmmm!) and went to bed. And that’s what I’m going to do now.

Tomorrow I start Nutrisystem. I guess bed will have to wait until I make a grocery list.

Sweet dreams.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

It's a Miracle...

He’s healed!
But nothing’s changed.
The doctor said that Nelson is to start wearing a work boot and loose the crutch. He prescribed work conditioning therapy and told him to come back in two months. He never asked to see Nelson walk. He didn’t really listen to what Nelson was trying to tell him.

Nelson went for his therapy session. His regular therapist couldn’t believe the new orders. He had the head of the rehab program evaluate Nelson. He asked Nelson to walk. He asked Nelson what Nelson would be doing when he went back to work. Nelson told him: lots of walking, climbing stairs and ladders, lifting many heavy objects. The director was beside himself and told Nelson there was no way. He’s going to call the Doc on Monday and let him know his findings.

Nelson got his new glasses yesterday. When he fell, back in June, he crushed his and has been using cheapo reading glasses since then. He was quite happy to have glasses scripted to his eyes!

There were both good and extraordinarily frustrating days for me at work this week. I got some orders out and that felt good. Yesterday a tool I was working with came apart and I mashed a steal pipe (about an inch in diameter—not real big) into my forehead. It still hurts and I have a bruise and bump right over my right eye. Owie.

Nelson has offered to let me give Nutrisystem a try. So I’m going to start that as soon as the food arrives.

I guess that’s all for now. I’m reading an article in my Prevention magazine about sneaking food: how it’s related to sense of worth and stress. Given what I just wrote here I think I’ll go reread the article and let you know what I’m thinking about it later.

Until then.

Thursday, February 09, 2006


The last time that Ann was here with the kids, Penelope did something that just cracked us all up. But after about the third time that she did it Beth looked at me and said there’s probably a sermon there. I guess she knows how I think.

Beth has one of those picture phones and the picture that’s always on it is a picture of Penelope. Beth asked her who that was a picture of and Penelope said, “You.” For the longest time when you asked who was in picture Penelope would identify everyone and when the person pointed to Penelope in the photo she would say that it was “baby.” And we would always respond, “No, that’s you.” So now she identifies herself as “you.”

Isn’t that interesting? Some people can’t look in the mirror without seeing someone else. It’s always someone else’s voice speaking in their head. They have no sense of self whatsoever. Others, clear on who they are, can look in the mirrors and while seeing themselves think only of others. They aren’t lost, but they know that their completeness is build by their connections to others.

Who do you see when you look in the mirror?
It’s been quiet here this week. Beth went to visit at Ann’s—so my grandsweeties are together there and I’m here (insert big sigh). I guess if I get really honest it’s been a nice little break and I’m sure it will make me all that much more happy to be with them when they get home tomorrow. And then it’s my night. I take care of the baby on Friday nights so Beth can sleep.

Tomorrow Nelson has an appointment with the doctor. We’re a bit anxious about what the outcome will be. We imagine one of three things will happen. For two weeks his physical therapist has basically told him that therapy isn’t helping. So we’re imagining that the doc will say one of a couple things: first, he could say that Nelson needs more surgery or he could say that this is as good as it gets. The latter is concerning because Nelson still can’t put weight on the ankle and needs either the crutch or walker to get around. The implications that this holds regarding his inability to work are mind boggling to us. What will life look like? The former doesn’t appeal to Nelson either. Sure, having surgery might (heavy on possibility) make things better, but he’s just so tired of hurting—and I’m tired of watching him hurt.

Work is going. I’m getting it better and getting along better. I’m able to step back a little and D handle more of the packaging responsibilities. That’s good because the work load is increasing in my new area. Sometimes my head feels like it’s going to pop trying to keep things straight in both areas. I’ve made several mistakes, but caught them all before they left the area. I just have to cut them down and then out all together. There’s still just so very much to learn.

And now I’m going to watch Dr. Phil and then make supper. Until later.