Monthly Archives: July 2011

Feline adjustments.

The cat who has been by my side for the past few months seems at home in the new place already…

While Perl has hardly noticed the sudden change from house (with the other cats) to smaller apartment as she found her usual spot under the couch (and later the bed)…


It was easier in the beginning. Easier to branch out, be social, laugh.

Now all there is…is longing for what was. Harder to accept that the person who was my best friend, the person who knew me inside and out for so long, the person who knew me better than anyone…harder to accept that the person drifted away.

I hope the new place brings a sense of home, because I just feel so lost and lonely.

Extinguishing the swarming mind.

Earlier today, three burning questions came to mind as I prepared for my latest endocrinologist appointment. I feel better in some respects; in others, not so much.

To start, the good news – the A1C is back in “normal” range at 5.9%. To be honest, if it had been taken in May before I started WildFit and went off the anti-depressant, it likely would have been even higher than March’s 6.1%, so I consider this a huge victory.

Blood pressure measured at a healthy 100/72, if not a little low considering the issue lately with dizziness. No big deal for now, perhaps as simple as mild orthostatic hypotension. Maybe something will pop up on the next round of blood work which will include a full metabolic panel, maybe not.

Moving on to the night sweats and hot flashes. The doctor does want to check out the hormone levels that could signal a shift into perimenopause, in spite of continued regular menstruation. Most accurate on day 3 of the monthly cycle, even slightly abnormal FSH and estradiol levels could be contributing to the sweaty mess. (Or it could be thyroid related, adding TSH to the lab order. Or it might just be the sweltering apartment, though it would not explain such symptoms before I moved here.)

Taking a deep breath here.

The high sensitivity c-reactive protein test, a possible indicator of cardiac risk? It came back at 10 mg/dl, a level that signals high risk for cardiovascular disease. Coupled with LDL levels that are consistently in the borderline high area regardless of diet and exercise, this indicates that a statin might be prudent.

To be honest, I worry about the side effects of statins reported such as muscle weakness and brain fog. Not only that, right now is not a good time to be adding another prescription to the budget.


If those female hormone levels come back with any indication of perimenopause, it changes things, even though the condition can last for years before the transition into menopause.

With the family history of early heart disease and knowing that a woman’s risk of heart disease rises significantly once she enters menopause itself, it changes things.

I still have work to do, places to go, nieces and nephews to watch grow. If a statin has the potential to help me do that, then yeah, I need to add it to the daily medication regimen once I know the full picture in November.

(And please do not argue with me on this right now. I saw what a heart attack looks like when I witnessed my father’s eighteen years ago. I then saw what recovery from multiple coronary bypass surgery looks like. Those two things? Scare the living hell out of me, even more than what I have already had the pleasure to experience myself.)

Burning questions.

Endocrinologist appointment in less than two hours, and as always, my mind is swarming with questions.

  • Has all my hard work eating better and exercising harder with WildFit paid off in an improved A1C level?
  • What is up with the dizziness, night sweats, and hot flashes – is it just really that hot in this little apartment or is there something going on with my thyroid again? (GYN does not think it is perimenopause based on regular menstruation, though these are not “typical” thyroid symptoms for me either.)
  • What about the results of this c-reactive protein test? Does it show enough inflammation to possibly warrant a statin, or a closer but more expensive look with a controversial cardiac scan not covered by insurance?
Tomorrow, I will give you all the answers that extinguished the mind swarming.

Journaling #3.

In the next several weeks, I will be sharing some of the journaling exercises from Sara Avant Stover’s The Way of the Happy Woman: Living the Best Year of Your Life, a guide to returning to “daily, seasonal, and yearly rhythms of nature” in order to regain a healthy body and spirit.

Exercise #3 (pages 68-69)

Absolute Yes List (things that make me a stronger, better person and that I absolutely can’t live without):

  • Sleep a minimum of six hours per night, preferably closer to eight.
  • Unplug from the computer, iPad, and television at least a half hour before bedtime and spend the time reading a book, writing in my journal, and/or meditating.
  • Perform a minimum of two cardio and two strength workouts per week. If weather permits, add one outdoors session (i.e. hiking, walking, snowshoeing, or bicycling) to the workout total each week.
  • Use light box from mid-September through mid-April.
  • Eat real food, and be mindful of portions.
  • Prepare one new recipe a week.
  • Schedule a massage once a month; perform a home pedicure every two weeks.
  • Visit with my immediate family at least twice per year.
  • Visit at least one new city or country per year.
  • Participate in some sort of cultural activity once per month – museums, music, theatre, even strolling through botanic gardens.

Absolute No List (things I know weaken, irritate, and lead me away from who I truly am):

  • No depriving myself of “needs” (food, medicine, water, basic clothes, “Absolute Yes List”).
  • No impulse buying of “wants” (material goods, restaurant meals).
  • No stress eating.
  • No excuses for not exercising, unless sick.
  • No sleeping on the bus commute.
  • No complaining about what I cannot change.
  • No procrastinating on what I can change.
  • No comparing myself to others.
  • No use of derogative language about myself to myself.
  • No making plans more than two nights each work week.

This day.

Today is just like any other day.

Except it is not, not deep inside where I still feel so tender and so raw.

This day, so many years ago, the day when we began.


The same words, every time, every single time.

It could be a new acquaintance who catches the tears as a recently popular song of lost love plays somewhere in the cubicle farm. It could be a trusted friend who touches base at just the right moment as love slowly unravels. It could even be the brother who opens up about his own first time around the wedding band.

They all say the same words, more or less.

Refrain from holding back the emotions of sadness, of anger, of fear as they will build and build otherwise; seek help from loved ones and lean on them for support; recognize the blessings in disguise. Most of all, the world may seem like a world of suck out there right now but things do improve, they do get better.


I am counting on that in the long run, but not today.

Today, I cannot hold back the tears full of sadness, anger, and fear.

Not when I remember this day so many years ago, the day when we began.

Journaling #2.

In the next several weeks, I will be sharing some of the journaling exercises from Sara Avant Stover’s The Way of the Happy Woman: Living the Best Year of Your Life, a guide to returning to “daily, seasonal, and yearly rhythms of nature” in order to regain a healthy body and spirit. 

Exercise #2 (page 56)

  1. My favorite childhood foods were: linguine with clam sauce, chicken with Dad’s barbecue sauce, asparagus, cherries, homemade pizza.
  2. A typical family meal felt slow and deliberate.
  3. Three things we often talked about were: school, family news, current events.
  4. The main lessons I learned about growing food, cooking it, and eating it when I was young were: food grown in the backyard tasted fresher than anything at the store; food made at home tasted better than anything in a jar or a package.
  5. My two most positive childhood memories regarding food are: helping my parents in the kitchen; large family gatherings with traditional family recipes.
  6. My two most disturbing childhood memories regarding food are: getting a piece of bratwurst stuck in my throat at ten or eleven; the distaste for food (disordered eating?) that occurred in my early teens due to internalizing problems with peers at school.
  7. Three words that characterize my mother’s relationship with food and cooking are: traditional, nourishing, recipe-driven.

Leaving work at work.

Leaving work at work – a concept that previously seemed like a fantasy.

Don’t get me wrong, there are things that bother me throughout the work day and I think about them while eating lunch or when in the restroom. Somehow, though, those things are left behind at my desk when I head home each afternoon.

Could it be I am maturing? That there is a better sense of what is worth fussing over and what is not?

Or is it that the other situations in my life dominate my mind when the clock strikes 4:30pm each weekday? (And, unfortunately, sometimes permeate the work day itself.)

Is it the culture of the employer? That while there is a job to do each day, our lives at home also earn respect through generous time-off policies and wellness initiatives.

Maybe it is because there is no one else to talk with about the frustrations when I return home each evening. Goodness knows the cat is only interested in me for food and affection.

Whatever the reason, leaving work at work feels rather awesome.

Things that are true, 2.

  • I do not give a rat’s ass about Harry Potter.
  • Despite the scale telling me I have lost only six pounds in the eight weeks since starting WildFit, I know I have grown back curves I lost with all the turmoil of 2010. Today, at least, I feel strong and awesome.
  • Negotiations are very close to a resolution on the NFL lockout. If any sport messes up their season this year, it better be the NBA. (Don’t worry, as soon as the NFL season is turned back on, I will be opening up Garbage Time again.)
  • Need some change?

(Sort of) Wordless Wednesday.

Seventh straight evening of thunderstorms brewing:


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