Thursday, May 31, 2007

You Gotta Have Faith...

There is a VERY interesting conversation going on over at Amalah's place. This post and this post are the two that are involved. I started to reply to her first post and realized my views are kind of difficult for me to express verbally... and... they're a lil ... odd. I'll warn you now... this is LONG.

Let me preface this with the fact that I was raised as a Roman Catholic.

I went to Catholic School from the middle of first grade through 8th grade. I was a lector and a soloist for the weekday masses and a lector for the Sunday masses as well. I went on yearly retreats to the Mother Convent and quarterly retreats with the Youth Group. I was VERY involved in my church. I also welcomed learning about other religions. MUCH to my parents dismay I would invite in the Missionaries from Church of the Latter Day Saints, Jehovah's Witness' and any others that wanted to talk about their religion. I would listen intently while they outlined their beliefs and how the standards, codes and mores of their faith were founded. I soaked it all in.

I became a teenager and then moved half way across the country with my family as a Sophomore in High School. I had to start over. I didn't LIKE the churches in the area we moved. The priests seemed to talk down to their congregation more. I didn't feel a part of things. I no longer felt connected to a church, congregation or to God, seeing as how he allowed me to be jerked out of my circle of friends, my church, my secure little world and thrown into a place where I knew no one and did NOT fit in. I still believed. I still had faith but it started to... change.

My Senior year of High School I became friends with Shannon and her sister Adrienne. Adrienne was very sick. She had cancer. She was cancer free at the time but there were no guarantees she would remain that way. Shortly after meeting her the cancer returned.

They attended a Catholic Church in town just over from mine that had a great "Folk Choir" that they both were members of. I went. I loved it. The priest in that parish talked TO his congregation ... not at. I had found my church and I loved it. I sang with the choir, I became a lector again. I basked in the feeling it gave me and the confidence I had back.

Adrienne was an integral part of obtaining that confidence. She was a nice person. She had a gentleness of spirit and concern for everyone around her. It didn't matter how much she hurt or how sick the chemo made her. She was there for anyone that needed her. She sat up all night with my father at MD Anderson Hospital the night before his exploratory surgery and after having received a chemo treatment earlier that day. She sat with him to calm him and support him and because I couldn't be there. I was finishing up my Senior year of High School at home. Ultimately, Dad was fine but he fell a little bit in love with Adrienne that night. Not in a squicky way... you know what I mean.

It sounds like I'm exaggerating her good traits. I know Adrienne had her bad days. Days where she was angry. Days where she whined. Days where nothing and no one could make her smile... but, she always cared and looked after others and filled any room she was in with this... peace and lightness. Ugh. So cliched eh? Its true though. That's how she was. She was the type of person I wanted to be but never felt I COULD be. She was the best of humanity, yet still as human as the rest of us. I learned, from her, the true meaning of faith and unconditional love and self-love.

She died of cancer a few years later.

I questioned why God would take someone like her from the world at such a young age. Wasn't she the type of person the world NEEDED? Wasn't she the type of person that could make a difference? Hadn't she already?

Hadn't she already? I had to think on that question for a long time. She had been the one pointing to the path where I realized who and how I wanted to be. She had been the catalyst for my believing in everyone having a higher purpose. She helped mold me into a better person... and then... she was gone.

I fell away from church again. Slowly, gradually, I stopped singing with the choir. I stopped lecturing at Sunday Mass. I started to wonder what the point was. I lost the path I was on and ended up in the brambles. I still believed. I still had faith but it was battered and beaten and bruised and locked in a closet for safe keeping. It peeked out over the years and was always there as a basis for many of the decisions I've made over the course of my life but it was never quite the same.

I believe in the Holy Trinity. I believe that with faith you can accomplish anything. I believe that with faith you can be a better person. I believe we all have a higher purpose, but WE will never know what that purpose is. I believe once its accomplished, we move on to our reward. I believe in ESP. I believe some people can and DO see the future at times. I do NOT believe that it is the work of the devil. I believe its a God Given Gift much like a beautiful singing voice or the ability to orate to a crowd and hold their attention as they absorb your words. It has a purpose, a reason for existing. That person has a purpose, a reason for being. I believe some people, at different times during their lives, are able to interpret "signs" and warnings of things to come. I believe in Heaven and Hell and Purgatory. I believe that some spirits still roam the Earth... searching for peace within themselves. I believe in a lot of things that others scoff and this is why:

I believe that everything happens for a reason even if I may never KNOW exactly what that reason is. Everything has a purpose. Everything makes an impact. EVERYTHING MAKES RIPPLES THAT REACH OUT AND TOUCH OTHERS. Yet, often, at critical times, I loose sight of that. I allow life to overwhelm me and make me uncertain, hopeless, angry frightened or hurt. Through it all I have a faith and a certainty that it. will. be. OK.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

7 Things...

I have been tagged by Joy for a 7 Things You Don't Know About Me me-me. We are SERIOUSLY slow here today so I thought I'd take advantage of it and do the me-me.

1. I sang in the finals of a nation wide Karaoke contest when I was 21. I sang as a solo female artist and as part of a duo.

2. I married my husband after knowing him less than 3 months.

3. I got pregnant 2 months after being diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes and High Blood Pressure because the medicine they put me on is ALSO used as a fertility drug and no one warned me of that.

4. I love being a Customer Service Rep.

5. I have had a nervous break down.

6. I have read all the Trixie Beldin Mysteries.

7. I have always been afraid that I'm not "enough". Not pretty enough. Not Smart Enough. Not funny enough. I often wonder if my weight issues aren't, in some odd psychological twist of psyche, how I compensated for that with myself... yeah its bizarro logic but, really, THINK about that.

I'm tagging Amalah, BusyMom, Ree, Lena, Lauren, Linda, and Amy. Most of these girlies don't read my blog but I'm taggin' em anyway! Heh.

Oh! The DRAMA!!!

Shecky is... a Drama... KING! I swear to you people he is going to be an Ack-TOR when he grows up. He flipped his 4-wheeler over the weekend. He and another little boy were riding together and they hit a horrible rut with a tree stump sticking out of it and ... well.. . FLIP! Fortunately for the boys, one of my parent's friends saw the accident and helped them. The other little boy, here on out to be known as Sparky, had his leg pinned under the 4-wheeler. He was unhurt, thank goodness. Shecky got no more than a 'lil road rash on his leg. He was also COVERED in sand. The gentleman that saw the event said he almost couldn't tell where the road (sand/dirt road mind you) ended and Shecky began. The 'lil stinker snuck into the house, snuck upstairs and gave himself a bath. He then found us at the Poker Tournament and told Grandma what happened. I, being completely taken over by POKER! $200.00 Big Blinds! and Reading the other players tells!, didn't know he was there at first. Then I looked around and saw him, red rimmed eyes and looking very upset. I started to get up and Mom motioned for me to stay put. It almost KILLED me not to go to him but she felt like it was something he needed to deal with by himself! He's only 6!!! He's still a BABY! Isn't he?

Fast Forward to Monday night. We were back home. His injury hadn't slowed him down AT ALL for the remainder of the visit to the lake. He had been in bed for a little while when he got up and came into the living room. His face was VERY serious and he was all wide eyes and a grim face. I asked what he was doing out of bed and had the following conversation:

Shecky: "Momma, it looks like its NEVER going to heal. Its going to be like this forEVER!"
Me: Shecky, honey, it WILL heal it will just take a week or so.
Shecky: REALLY?
Me: Yes, Really! Now, GET. BACK. IN. BED!
::Shecky limps S-L-O-W-L-Y in the general direction of his room::
Me: STOP LIMPING! You haven't limped since the accident! Your leg is FINE!
::Shecky slowly turns to face me with sad eyes and a poorly concealed grin:: Yes Ma'am.

Oh.. Mah... GAH! That kid. So... today I was emailing with his teacher and I told her that if he starts limping to just IGNORE it and explained the events of the weekend. This was her reply:

"Yesterday he wanted us to call the ambulance because his leg hurt so much - but I said I would just call you first and he said never mind. I know him pretty well! When he is hurt YOU TRULY KNOW IT."

HAH! She so busted him! I love this woman. She's been amazing with Shecky all year. Hopefully all of your Drama Kings and Queens have had wonderful teachers this year as well. I've written a letter of Compliment to the District Superintendent and the school's principal about my experiences with her this year. Hopefully it will make them realize what they have in her. :) If you appreciated your child's teacher(s) do the same, eh?

Memorial Weekend Musings

This past weekend was SO much fun. We went to my folks place. They live on a lake and the Memorial Weekend is always a party there. The community they live in was founded on Memorial Day, way back in the day, and as a result its a weekend of fun. We played Bingo, participated in a cake walk. Shecky swam and rode his 4-wheeler and made a new friend. I came in 3rd in a Texas Hold 'em Poker Tournament. Let me tell you, THAT was a kick! Mom ran the tournament and did a GREAT job. She even had to get onto one of the participants who was giving her a hard time about what time the blinds were supposed to go up. (Hi Dad! Heh) Dad and I both participated. He's a poker fiend! He has a regular weekly game that he plays. They're all sharp players. Most, if not all, of them participated in the tournament as well. I was so STOKED that I came in 3rd. I had to re-buy twice but STILL! I only made 2 really awful mistakes. One was more embarrassing than the other but BOTH cost me dearly and are what resulted in my 3rd place finish.

My grandmother and aunt were there too. It was really nice to see Grandma out there. I think she enjoyed herself even if she WAS convinced snakes were going to hide in her bed and get her. (She's not so much of the nature lover heh.) My aunt, who basically takes care of my grandmother, got a chance to relax a bit and have some fun herself. It was a great weekend all around!

Now, its back to the grind. Bleh. Back to work, back to school for Shecky, though for HIM its only until noonish tomorrow. Then he's free for the summer. We'll be going back to the lake this weekend to drop him off for some intensive time with the grandparents and his beloved 4-wheeler. Heh. Kids are so lucky... and they have no CLUE!

Friday, May 18, 2007

I'm Back!

Hey everyone! I know I've been a bad, BAD blogger. No posts for over a week. I've been having a very... meh... time of it. The new meds are working well but mentally I've been in a swamp. I've had no energy. Always tired but not sleepy. Nothing really piques my interest or sounds like fun. I'm either, depressed or anemic. I'm taking my Zoloft (insert happy blue pill here heh) so I don't see how it could be depression but it kinda SEEMS like one. NOTHING interests me. I HATE it when I get like this. R and J do too. Shecky just wonders why I'm so cranky and then hugs me very enthusiastically. (That HELPS... a LOT but I can't staple the kid to me 24-7... Can I???) It only helps for a short while though. Bleh.

Anyway, I'm trying to get my head out of my ass and back into everything. I've been reading the blogs that I regularly haunt but not saying much. I was checking out Oh, The Joys today and saw that Jessica had tagged me for a Me Me. 7- 10 Things You Don't Know About Me. I'll work on that tomorrow and post it for y'all.

As far as the weight loss front, that's kind of what started the mental spiral. Its not going really well. I was completely off plan for a couple of weeks. Monday I started trying to count points again but I've been unsuccessful on that front. I'm not eating a lot but I'm not eating WELL either. Back to the old bad habits. So... I'm kicking myself in the ass, yet again. Starting tomorrow morning I COUNT MY FRICKIN' POINTS. I'm going to eat regular meals and pay attention to WHAT I'm eating and stay within my 34 points. Period. End. No Excuses. No dodging it.

I'm also researching Gastric Bypass. My doctor suggested it to me last visit and I've been thinking about it a lot. My health insurance won't pay for it but R's will. I'll be on his insurance June 1. Anyone out there that's had one or knows someone that's had one and is willing to talk to me about it gimme a hollah. (ESPECIALLY if you live in Houston, TX. I know NOTHING about the Bariatric Surgeons here... sigh)

Ok. I'm out for now. You all have a great rest of the day and I'll be back tomorrow with a food diary, some jokes and a Me Me. :)

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Project Hope Week 2 and A Rant About Child Rearing

One of the things that I want to instill in Shecky is a sense of altruism. I want him to have the desire to help others when there's nothing "in it" for him other than having done something that makes a difference to someone. I'm finding its one of the most difficult lessons to teach him.

I informed him two days ago that we will be going through his MULTITUDE of toys and boxing up many of them that he no longer plays with. I explained that we would be donating them to a local shelter for kids that were much less fortunate than him. Kids who's mommy's and daddy's were cruel to them. Kids who were beaten and abused by their parents and forced to leave them for their own safety. I told him how, many times, these kids have nothing to give them comfort or make them smile and feel happy. His response to me? "But... ::sniffle:: they're... MIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIINE!!!!"

I know, I know he's only 6. He's an only child. He's spoiled ROTTEN by us AND his grandparents. Blah, Blah, BLAH! I'm at a loss as to how to make him understand how important looking beyond himself and his "wants" is. We've been cracking down on his misconception that every time he goes into Walmart he gets something. We've been limiting his time for doing what he wants and started making him do things that are necessary yet "not fun" or "not fair" (at least in HIS estimation).

I really am beginning to fear I've failed my child and waited too long to start impressing this ideal upon him. He's a great kid. He's got a loving heart. He's just so damn self-involved it makes me wanna scream. I don't want him to be a brat as he grows older. Any suggestions? Anyone else having these issues? Am I just overreacting? Am I expecting to much of him? Am I failing him?

I found this story about a teenage girl who took her parents similar desire into her heart and her own hands and did something AMAZING with it. She's my hero for the week. Go read her story!

Friday, May 4, 2007

Project Hope

I just realized I missed my VERY FIRST Tuesday installment of Project Hope. I apologize for my sucktitude! However, I'm kind of glad I am late with this. Otherwise, I may not have thought to share this post over at Oh, The Joys with you. Its a perfect example of how one person can make a difference. If you've never read her blog... consider yourself on notice! She's amazing with her heart and her funny!

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Health... Stuffs

I went to the doctor today as planned. It was a new doctor that I'd never seen for my chronic conditions (diabetes, high blood pressure, PCOS, gastroparesis blah blah blah). She read my chart and was prepared, which was a nice surprise. She was very frank about my size. I actually APPRECIATED that more than she'll know. Most doctors I've been to try to act like its not an issue. HELLO! I have mirrors in my house. Not really any way to escape the fact that I'm YOOGE. :rolls eyes:

Anyway, we talked about the increase in pain and the stomach issues in depth. She's fairly sure its not anything super serious and that adding another medication to my regimen will alleviate the "waste elimination" problem. The SAME medication is also used to treat Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) and diabetes. You may ask WHY I wasn't put on this medication previously. Well, I was, actually. I took it for 3 years at the maximum dose and had a lot of problems with it. I had the runs for 3 years. SOOOOOOOO not pleasant. This, however, is the reason she wants to put me back on it. Irony, I am your bitch.

I've taken the new medication twice today, as prescribed, and I'm actually feeling quite a bit better. The bloaty feeling and the pain are almost gone and the "waste elimination" issue is better thus far. I have to go see the doctor again in 3 weeks. She's hoping this medication will help the PCOS and kick start my weight loss as well.

We also discussed my lack of success with WW and the dreaded 44 points. She was SHOCKED that they (WW) keep insisting that I eat that many points. She wants me to drop down to 34 points a day and see how that works over the next 3 weeks.

She has forbidden me to exercise unless its in a pool or some other large body of water. I may have to join the gym for this and since money doesn't grow on trees (And we're about to move from one apartment complex to another which is NOT an inexpensive proposition) it may have to wait a lil while before I can afford the gym.

3 weeks, 21 days, seems to be the magic number here. I'm pinning a lot of hopes on this medication doing what she thinks its going to. If it doesn't I have a lot of research and thinking to do. The doctor is afraid that if the Metformin doesn't do it's thing, along with the reduced points intake, that my only hope for loosing weight will be a gastric bypass. Not because I don't have the willpower to make WW work, but because my lack of physical activity is preventing the weight loss and without loosing weight increasing my physical activity is virtually impossible. I think all the going in circles just made me dizzy... whew.

Yeah... I'm freaking out a bit. I really do NOT want that surgery. I've been fighting against it for a long time when any number of people have suggested it as an alternative for me. The potential for death with this surgery scares the crap out of me. However, I'm beginning to fear that the potential for that being my outcome WITHOUT the surgery is starting to overtake the odds of it WITH the surgery. I'm just gonna go curl up in the corner for a while and quietly have a nervous break down....

UPDATE: My health insurance won't cover the gastric bypass. Lovely, yes? ::groan::

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Running on Empty

I know I've been really unfaithful to posting here. I apologize to anyone that's been checking in for updates. I've been having a lot of issues with my health the last week or so and, frankly, its scaring the ever loving bejesus out of me. Pain... LOTS of pain. Pain bad enough that it wakes me from a deep sleep and keeps me awake. Stomach issues. I feel full even when I don't eat much/anything. Even with taking the Reglan. I'm miserable and sad and nervous and uncomfortable and I HURT. I spent the weekend crying from it. I spent Monday night awake because of it. I spent Tuesday at home with no pay due to all of it. I'm off again today. I have a doctors appointment at 9:30am. I've mentioned all of this to them before and the seem to just wave it off. I'm not letting them this time. I know my size poses problems diagnostically but I'm no less worth finding the problem and fixing it than someone that's smaller than I am. Even if they have to work a little harder to do it.