Time Of My Life
I'm Goin' In

My MIL Rocks!

So I never got to post this yesterday, because I was doing my monthly online charity crochet thing and was too tired when I finished. Here we go...

Since Thursday, I've been having weird side-effects from my Side-Effexor, which helps control my bipolar disorder. Usually when I miss a dose or take it a few hours late (which I try never to do after the one or two times I have!), I not only become rapidly depressed and/or suicidal (hey, I'm an open book), but I have physical symptoms as well. Every time I move even the slightest bit, I get these weird shocks and twinges in my brain and upper body, and they don't stop when I stop moving. They interfere greatly in my daily functioning and throw me completely off balance.

Anyway, for some reason, that started (minus the depression/suicidal ideation - none of that, thank God) on Thursday and continues 'til now. The shocks are major and extremely disruptive. I HATE it and am really not looking forward to the day when I actually have to get off Effexor. BUT, I have not missed any of my meds, and have taken them completely on time, so I don't know what the deal is!

Also, I've been sobbing uncontrollably over every little thing. I mean, really, over non-things! The first time was watching Martha Stewart yesterday. She made a pretty greeting card, and I just burst into tears. Then, an audience member on her show was asking Martha's fitness trainer about pregnancy exercises, and I couldn't stop crying. WTH is that?! I'm crying right now just remembering it!

About eleventeen more times yesterday, I cried at the drop of a hat over who-knows-what. I couldn't even tell you. I do know that even though I'm sans uterus and one ovary now, I still get the hormonal changes and surges every month from my remaining ovary (TMI? Sorry). So, I attributed all the crying to that. It was - and remains - pretty ridiculous, though.

And to top it all off, I've come down with that cold! And so, it's been a very trying few days for me. But we'll get back to that.

In the afternoon, the mailman brought a delightful and completely unexpected package from my MIL. The first two things I pulled out were some lovely crocheted sets for CARE Package! Unfortunately, I don't have pictures for you, because I packaged them up and put them away already, and forgot to take them. But let me tell you, Rob's mom does beautiful work, and this was no exception!

Dollar tree ad 

The next goody in the box was Chloë's Valentine's Day Dollar Tree ad! I didn't even think to look for it yet, but it's OUT. So run, don't walk to your nearest Dollar Tree and pick up an ad; she's in there! Now both of my girls have had nationwide ads. Pretty cool, yes?

That wasn't it, though! She also sent an order for 10 boxes of cookies to send to our Gift of Caring organization, the USO for overseas military! Awesome, awesome - and it brings her total Gift of Caring sales up to 28 boxes! Go Chlo!! (For those who are interested, according to Rob, he can ship the boxes for free to Iraq or Afghanistan, so no worries about paying the shipping costs!) 

And there were the usual Box Tops and Campbell's soups labels for the kids' school, which help raise money for equipment and supplies.  Thanks, Mom! Great package, it made my day - really!!

In the evening, I had to once again make the drive up to Hampton's Sentara Careplex hospital campus. But this time, I was going to their Health and Fitness Center for a consult with a trainer. I was NOT looking forward. Not that I don't plan to exercise; I do! But for one thing, I am most definitely NOT a gym person. You either are or you aren't, according to the shrink who gave us our surgery class on Monday, and it's fine if you're not. You just have to figure out what you like to do. For another thing, I physically can not do much right now, because of the many-times-mentioned nerve damage in my back. I'm good for a maximum of two minutes in a vertical position right now.

The first thing I did, after finally tracking down my training guru, T., was inform her that I've been sobbing all day for no reason and to expect it to happen again. Which it did. Several times. Hello, embarrassing!

Then we sat and talked for a half-hour about all the expectations, goals, and exercises I can and must do after surgery, including the stretches I can start right away. I actually learned a few things, despite my snobbish "I'm a biologist and I know this stuff" attitude going in. Same thing with the nutritionist. But as Rob and I like to say, "I do fish," so I need to quit doing that and realize there are always going to be people who know more than me, particularly if that's their specialty!

T. was great. She was tiny and perky, and just exactly what I'd love to look like when I lose all my weight. Fat chance of that (seriously, she was as big as my pinky)! But she was also intelligent and knowledgeable, and that's something I can always respect and admire, of course. Plus she was nice, and not the "I'm in such good shape, and you are a mega fat ass and gross and I can't even stand to be in the same room with you" type that some gym-people definitely are!

Anyway, we made a list of all the kinds of exercise I like to do and have done in the past and will start doing again as soon as I'm able. Wanna see my list? No? Well, I'm gonna share that puppy anyway because I can do that:

  • Wii Fit (okay, so I don't actually have one and haven't ever done it, but Stephanie and my sister are loving theirs, and I plan to get one just as soon as we are able to swing it)
  • Walking - We have this big ol' family-room-taking-up fancy-schmancy treadmill, and I really should take advantage of it. It's easy, it's low-impact, and I can do it while watching TV, listening to my iPod, or even reading a magazine. And I can start immediately.
  • Rollerblading - More often than not, in college, I could be found blading around campus, and to and from work. I love it. I can't run for doody, but man I can skate! And I have a good pair waiting for me in the shoe box by the front door, so yay! Free!

  • (Windsor) Pilates - I used to do these before and after I had Sophia, and I got pretty good at it. Don't know why I stopped, but since I have all the stuff, I shall start it up again.
  • Yoga - Love me some yoga; same descriptor as the Pilates.
  • Biking - I used to ride my last summer after college, every day to work. My legs were fantastic then! I don't have a bike to ride now, but maybe by summer I'll be ready to get on one. 'Sides, the bike I rode in Miami was a men's bike borrowed from my  housemate, so maybe I can just ride Rob's. If he can bear it; it's his pride and joy. Hmm, maybe not...
  • Swimming. Y'all know I LOVE to swim, right? I tried going to the Rec Center down the road when my back started getting really bad, thinking the no-impact swimming would be great for it. I was wrong; it still wrenched up after just half a lap. So I can do some exercises in the water for resistance, and when my back is stronger, try laps again.
  • CORE workout, on the exercise ball - I own the whole set and actually like it, but I didn't really keep up with it. I'm ready to give it another go.
  • Kickboxing - just kidding. Me? Yeah, right. But who knows?
  • Stretching and Weight Lifting - I don't actually love this, but I am required by my docs to start doing it. And strength training, as we know, is just as important as cardio. We have 5- and 20-lb weights, and besides, I could always use water bottles or cans of soup.

So that's my list. It's not a short list, so I definitely should be able to find something fun to do a minimum of 4 days a week, and there's enough variation there to keep me interested. If you have back pain-friendly suggestions for me, let's hear 'em? [I've never actually been on an elliptical trainer, so if you're going to say that, my answer will be "I don't know" if it will hurt me. Everyone, but everyone, tells me to try it - but I am NOT a gym person! ;) ]

I was back home two hours after I left, feeling better about the fitness thing and more ready than ever to have this surgery and get started on my new life! And what's more, though what I really wanted for dinner was a grilled chicken sandwich from Wendy's - and even had Rob's approval to get one - I resisted the urge and went home to see what I could find for dinner. No more fast food for me for the rest of my life. Ever, ever, ever. Does Subway count? Pizza? Panera??! Moe's? (Yeah, Moe's counts, because I can't have rice anymore.) I ended up having a Healthy Choice sweet and sour chicken entrée, and it wasn't half bad. It had rice too, though, so I can't have that either!


After I ate, Sophie insisted I take her picture with one of the Wall-E posters that came with their DVD. So, here's that... and see? Her hair is starting to grow out. It's pretty shaggy looking right now (not unlike mine), so she could stand a trim.

I spent the rest of the evening on my crochet thing online, and while I was there, I started a new craft I'll show you below. When I finished, I knitted about four rows on my green baby sweater - it's finally starting to look like one now - before putting on my CPAP and conking out for the night.

The kids woke us up earlier than I would have liked this morning, and I was definitely sicker. Major cold symptoms, and I had a sore throat and huge, swollen glands. Which made me think a string of four-letter words that would make you blush if you'd heard 'em. I started praying like crazy for that to go away before Monday, because they'd postpone my surgery for sure if I showed up like that. No fever though, thank goodness!

I didn't last very long, between being sick, not having had enough sleep, and the weird twinginess from my Side-Effexor, before I headed back to the couch for a good three-hour nap. I don't know how restful it was, though, because I was plagued with horrible nightmares as I have been for several days now. (And according to an extensive internet search tonight, that's another Effexor thing! Gah!)

I felt even worse, so I chugged a bunch of OJ, and then Rob brewed me some hot tea with lemon. The prayers were in full force! And before I knew it, the gland swelling had actually started to go down, and I was feeling better and breathing easier.

We were supposed to go out and have a tax-return shop this afternoon - I usually do ours, but it pays very well and we could use the extra money - but I canceled it. Just didn't feel like going. They called me later, though, and will let me do it after I've recovered.

Anyway, the only other thing on my schedule for today was selling cookies with Miss Chlo, and since I'm bound and determined to help her meet her 172-box goal by tomorrow night, I wasn't missing it!

We stayed out for two hours and only managed to sell another 20 boxes. She was really getting frustrated, I could tell. Poor kid. She is really trying hard out there, and so many people are saying 'no' this year. It's the economy, stupid! I figured, hey, Girl Scout cookies, everyone loves those! But not so much, not this year! She has managed to sell 117 boxes so far, though, which is 69% of her goal. Awesome job, my baby! We'll go out again tomorrow and try like the dickens to make up the rest of it. And as troop cookie chair, I can always fill out her order to make it to 172 (why that number? because she'll get a cookie credit that pays for her registration for next year) and use the extra boxes when we continue selling after the Initial Order is due, and at booth sales. Not stressing it. Much.

Mucho cleaning was in session when Curly Sue and I returned home. The kids have been cleaning their room ALL DAY yesterday and today, and they are STILL not clean.  Why? Because the are unsupervised while doing it, which just doesn't work for them. Our kids need to be told "do this, pick up that, put those away, throw it in the garbage, etc." or they just won't get it done. They'll play instead, or just sit there, or go to sleep! When it's me telling them to clean, I sit there with them and do that. Daddy, no. Since the goal is to have this house looking decent before Julie comes, they better get on the ball tomorrow! But I doubt she'll care either way, so again, not stressing it. Much.

As for me, I went upstairs too, to delve into the laundry. No surprise there, we had a huge mountain of it to fold and put away. Rob's been washing and drying it for me (us), but that's as far as he goes! I sat there for a couple hours folding it and putting as much away as my back could tolerate;  the kids will help me with the rest tomorrow, I suppose.

I had the brilliant idear to send Rob out for Panera for our dinner. Who knows if I'll ever be able to partake of the loveliness that is Panera again? And so, it was my Last Supper before Fat Me kicks the bucket and New Me emerges. And behold, it was good. Very, very good. I savored it for as long as I could.



This is the latest side project that I've been working on today: hand-sewn felt hearts with fiberfill stuffing. Why? I'm going to make a mobile or something for a Valentine's Day decoration for the kids. Not quite sure yet. The kids are having a ball with the hearts alone, so I hope they really love what I end up doing.  Cute, no?

Sorry this was so long. I'll leave you alone now and go back to my knitting and heart-sewing. Hope you're having a swell weekend!