Posted in about shae, health, weight loss, Yahweh's fingerprints

HOW TO LOOK GOOD NAKED

I’m watching the new Lifetime show How to Look Good Naked, starring Carson Kressley. I heart Carson because he has a true, deep, abiding compassion for people. Besides reruns of Will & Grace, you’d be hard pressed to get me to watch anything on Lifetime, but I like I said, I heart Carson.

The show is almost over, but I’ve had several flashbacks of shopping with Jene’, my own pint-sized guru ala the BBC hit, What Not to Wear. Jene’ will testify that in the past I’ve been a walking billboard for What Not to Wear. She’s the one who taught me how to buy the right size of bra (it’s SO important) and the person who made me swear never to wear pink again or other blue based reds (and for that I will love her forever). She’s also helped me go through my closet, saying things like, “1990, no, 1987, no…1984 called, they want… this…back,” and my favorite, “Rebecca of Sunnybrook farm called…she wants her dress back.”

More than anything as I’ve watched this show, the thing I noticed about the featured young woman was how her attitude changed. She made a transformation in one day that takes some women a lifetime to make. Regardless of the outward changes this woman made, the ultimate transformation happened inside. Ultimately, she embraced herself as she was. The rest of her “look” just fell into place.

Carson gets it. He stood in front of the mirror with this woman and asked her to talk about how she saw herself. He knows beauty begins with how a woman sees herself, and that…starts on the inside. If he’d just put her on a diet and given her a makeover, he would have failed her miserably. She would never have made a true, lasting transformation.

I don’t have a specific point in time where I can say, “this is the day I stopped hating my body,” but I can say that I no longer hate my body. That transformation, however, didn’t begin with the right bra or getting to throw away one of my pink shirts. The transformation didn’t happen after I’d lost weight or gotten a great haircut. The transformation started on the inside.

Inside. The place within all of us that holds our secrets, our hopes, our dreams, and our self-loathing. Inside is the part that can be covered with designer clothing yet still be a pit of despair. Some of the ugliest people I’ve known could be magazine cover models, but their inside is a self-esteem vacuum.

Sadly, many women believe they’d be sexier if they lost weight. Not true. I know many women who know they are sexy and they’re full figured women who have learned to embrace their curves and love themselves. The inside change, not weight loss, was the key to loving their bodies. The more I’ve learned to love myself, the less of a challenge weight loss actually is… because it’s not about looking good (outside), it’s about feeling good and being healthy (inside).

I’ve spent nearly a decade now working on the inside of me. After two decades of working on the outside with diets and desperation and hiding behind a facade of false happiness, I finally came face to face with myself and dove in and what I uncovered scared the hell out of me.

Once I could admit to myself I’d been abused and that how I’d been treated wasn’t normal, I knew I had to do something about my state of mind, and my state inside. I had to change how I thought, how I acted, how I believed. It’s taken seven years, but I finally feel like the best version of myself. My real, genuine self.

I wouldn’t trade that real, genuine self for anything. No man, no job, no amount of money or status would make me go back to where I was. I love who I am now. I look in the mirror and I like what I see because I see beyond my smile and I see inside, and I’m healthier than I’ve ever been in every sense of the word. It took a long time, and it was a sometimes painful journey, but I’ve learned that the secret of how to look good naked begins within.

Posted in health, random

ATTACK OF THE POLLEN

Pollen Mix

I have spent most of my weekend in bed, thanks to all the tree and grass pollen, ragweed and who knows what else is in the air. I have not been to the doctor, because I am trying to remain antibiotic free this year. I have at least one major sinus infection per year, and I’ve had several minor ones this year, but so far, I’ve managed to fight them off without antibiotics.

So, I’m blogging to say, a) I’m still alive, but saturated with pollen… b) I’m still alive, but I’m saturated with pollen… and c) see a & b.

Hopefully what little rain we’ve had will help. I’d really hate to see my head explode…

Posted in health, random

POLLEN, POLLEN, GO AWAY…

I don’t even think it’s technically allergy season yet, but for the past three weeks, I’ve been miserable. Last week went by in an allergy/allergy med fog, and I’m hoping to avoid that this week. I stayed in today and rested, and though at the moment I still feel pretty blah, I know if I hadn’t rested and taken care of myself, tomorrow would be much worse.

If anyone knows of a pill that will make all this go away, call me.

Posted in health, random

BLESS ME, I SNEEZED

Colds are the worst. On top of the bug I just had at Christmas, now I have the sniffles. I am congested, I’m sneezing, and I’m not sleeping all that well because of it. Did I mention that I’m coughing, too? So much fun!

I started some new duties at work and so far, so good. I made up my mind before I went to work Tuesday that no matter what, I wasn’t going to get stressed out over my circumstances, and I’ve renewed that vow every day. My first week as the new work me has gone all right and I know it’s because I was proactive in my thinking.

Right now, I’m going to start thinking that I’m going to get a good night’s sleep and see what happens. 🙂

“Achoo!”

Bless me, I sneezed.

Posted in dental adventures, health

MISS MOOD RING FACE

I went in to get my teeth cleaned last Monday. I told them I thought I had a broken tooth. The next thing I know I am getting a root canal. Love those things. I’ve yet to have one go right using the “drill the canal out” procedure. The only one that’s gone right so far was when the dentist used the surgical root cut method.

You see, I have funky teeth. Small. Unusual. My mouth is small. I usually expect that a routine procedure isn’t going to go smoothly.

Therefore, when the dentist was halfway through my root canal Monday, I was not surprised to hear, “we’ve had a little setback. Your canal is bleeding and I can’t continue.” He put me on antibiotics and told me to come back Thursday.

And I still hadn’t had my teeth cleaned.

Thursday, I had to take the whole afternoon off to finish the procedure. Yes, complication number two reared its ugly head when the dentist either a) accidentally touched a nerve beyond the tooth’s root, or b) the solution that kills the tooth’s root hit a bone. Either way, pain shot through my whole cheek and I demanded something for relief.

After another shot for the pain, he continued. The dentist was mortified. He was so upset that I was in pain, and I knew it was an accident and tried to assure him that I was not surprised, nor did I blame him.

Finally, after a botched tooth mold (for the crown) that we had to redo, and a hasty tooth cleaning, they let me go with a big fat prescription for hydrocodone. By the time I got home, my face had swelled considerably.

That night, I called my boss and told her what had happened, that I was taking the pain meds and that I wasn’t sure what would happen in the morning. I took the hydrocodone and babbled that I was “fuzzy” at my roommate who had been in my room for HOURS getting rid of some nasty viruses on my computer. I’m glad she is compassionate and doesn’t charge me.

Anyway, she finished with the computer after midnight, and the medicine had helped, but I wasn’t asleep. Finally, I did sleep, but then at 4 AM rolled over onto the grapefruit-sized cheek and I took another pain med and fell asleep. I did not hear my roommate leave for work at 8:20ish. She called my boss and told her I was out and perhaps, if I could, try to come in at lunchtime.

At lunchtime, I was still dizzy and nauseous from the pain meds, so it was no workie for me. It wouldn’t have been so bad, but I am helping prepare for a major conference at work that starts the Wednesday after Easter. Not good. (Let’s just say this made today a very busy one).

The swelling started to go down Friday, but the fun was just getting started. I now have a purple mark just to the right of my upper lip that looks like the thumbs up on the cover of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. A light green patch runs between the thumbs up and the area just over the base of my throat, where I have a silver dollar sized bruise.

Good thing my self-worth isn’t wrapped up in my face. I had all my friends at work look at my mood ring face first thing this morning and got it over with. Though it still hurts somewhat, I am thankful I’ve overcome the issue of having to look my “best” at all times. Three or four years ago, I’d have never ventured out of the house with my face looking like this. This weekend, I was taking pictures of the evolution of my mood ring face.

Last night, while sitting in church, the setting sun shone through the stained-glass window and my entire face was covered in a myriad of colors and shades, blending my wounds with other beautiful colors. Nobody seemed to notice my mood ring face, even after the sun went down. All they saw was the light inside me.

I am not as I once was. And that’s very, very good.

Posted in health

I HAVE WHAT?!

It started Sunday night, I think. It was that final glass of chocolate milk that sent my allergies into overdrive. This isn’t good news. This may mean that chocolate may be off my list like chicken is, but I digress. I’ve eaten way too much chocolate over the Christmas holiday, and the chocolate milk was irresistible. So I downed an 8 oz glass full before bed and it was yummy.

Monday morning, the left side of my face started to swell. My breathing was a bit raspy, so I figured it was an allergic reaction, most likely caused by my overindulgence with chocolate. I took a series of benedryl that evening, figuring that I’d wake up to some relief, but when I woke up this morning, my face was still swollen (though my breathing was better). Swollen as in I looked as if I’d put a Hollywood fat suit on half my body.

The fever started this morning, so I decided to go to the doctor’s office. Whatever it was, it was out of control and I can ill afford to let an illness get to me. Better to stay on top of things.

First was the insurance fiasco, which, I was not in the humor for given the pain in my face and the fever. The lady at the window said, “your insurance has changed your primary care physician.” We are in a transitory period as far as insurance is concerned, but that should not have happened. I called my insurance person at work, she assures me that shouldn’t have happened. The lady at the window calls my insurance, I talk to the lady and we get things changed. After waiting forty minutes past my supposed appointment time, I was in an examination room.

The nurse made me get on the scale. Not only have I gained weight (ugh) but she asserted that the swelling in my face did not account for the difference in the weight. I waited for the doctor and wondered exactly what was wrong with me.

Mumps? An infection? A severe allergic reaction that the benedryl couldn’t handle?

Well, I showed him a spot on the back of my leg that was infected and then he asked me what else I was here for. He looked at me and saw my face and I could tell he was concerned. He saw the blisters (which had just popped in that morning) and hurriedly wrote a prescription and told me to RUN, not walk to the pharmacy, and take the first pill as soon as possible.

“You have shingles,” he said. (see: Web MD – Shingles)

I think, I have shingles, and not the kind you put on a roof. Great.

“Old people get shingles,” I said.

He smiles. “Not always.”

“Am I contagious?”

“Well, for the next day or so, you might not want to share your phone or cook for anyone, that sort of thing, but you could sit in an office and not bother anybody.” He goes on to tell me that after I get a few doses in me, it will be better. I still have a fever as I type this, so I doubt I go to work tomorrow regardless.

My roommate came home and baptized everything (including the remote) with Lysol, which got me all paranoid about what I’ve touched and who I’ve talked to in the last two days. That I can remember, I haven’t touched any pregnant friends or babies recently, and definitely none since last week, so it seems to be all good in that area. She says I can relax on that note.

I’m in a bit of pain, but it’s not that bad, considering I got the medication in less than 72 hours after the initial onset of symptoms. So I will rest and take meds tomorrow and go back to work and try to act like I’m not typhoid Mary. ha ha

And how are things in your world?

P. S. You can’t get shingles from reading this blog.

Posted in health

LA VIDA SIN POLLO

Ah, yes, dear friends, la vida sin pollo (life without chicken). Until my allergist told me, “no more chicken,” I didn’t realize just how much chicken I ate. Gone are the days when I could stop by Chick-fil-a and get a box of nuggets to eat on the way home from work. No more chicken breasts, legs, thighs, wings, or varied body parts. Chicken soup. Sesame chicken. Chicken ceasar salad. Fried chicken. Chicken fried steak or chicken fried chicken. No more chicken. Ever.

Yes, I have developed an allergy to chicken. I have reactions to chicken that cause my tongue to swell from slightly to scary. Rather than eat chicken and be uncomfortable (or possibly develop a worse reaction), I have decided to take my doctor’s advice and just cut chicken out of my diet permanently. Better safe than in anaphylactic shock.

The jury is still out on chocolate, which he told me to be cautious about… but back to la vida sin pollo.

I used to eat chicken about four times a week. I rarely eat red meat and I am not fond of most fish, though I will eat tuna, salmon and shellfish. This leaves me with limited fish choices, pork, turkey, and tofu for primary protein sources.

Fast forward to tofu. Tofu tastes like whatever you cook it in… and I think I cook an okay tofu stir fry. I use olive oil to kill any icky taste the tofu might have, but it still looks icky for the innocent bystanders at the office lunch table. I will have to investigate further tofu offerings as time allows.

The transition to la vida sin pollo has made me feel cheated… especially when I drive by another favorite chicken stop, Whataburger. I can smell the chicken cooking as I drive by KFC. Many of my friends apologize for eating chicken in my presence. At times, I feel as if I should cluck just for nostalgia’s sake.

Of course, since I have stopped eating chicken, my tongue hasn’t swollen painfully once and my citrus tolerance (problems there, too) has increased. Hmm… so I can now eat more pineapple in one sitting. Maybe the trade off isn’t so bad after all.

So, my official food allergies (in order of harmfulness from greatest to least) are watermelon, grapefruit, chicken, an accumulation of citrus, and ever so slightly, chocolate. I’m sure I’ve forgotten to list something.

La vida sin pollo.

Suddenly, I’m craving nuggets…. do they make turkey nuggets?

Posted in health

A FUNCTIONING INSOMNIAC

By Thursday afternoon, I was spent. A grand total of 3 1/2 hours sleep in two days left me dry and frazzled. I could hardly think a complete thought, yet I decided I need groceries since it was payday. After work, I went to the grocery store… a task that is usually simple and over in twenty minutes.

I went shopping for what we like to call, “easy food.” Easy food includes things like cereal — things I can eat with absolutely no prep or fully functional brain waves. Too bad I can’t shop without fully functional brain waves.

I made it to the grocery store. I had made a list earlier that day when I was lucid, so I would go and follow the list only and not go home with things like cumquats and overly ripe kiwis… things I didn’t need.

I thought I was doing great, because I found everything on the list and then got in a short line. I was fishing my wallet out of my purse and then realized that my favorite ring — a cubic z daisy — the top part had fallen off. I remembered looking at the ring while in the store, so I got out of my short line and retraced my steps… which is extremely difficult when you aren’t sure where you went in the first place.

Using the items in my cart as a map (see, I wasn’t completely brain dead), I calmly retraced my steps. The part to my ring was in the middle of the aisle where I picked up my refried beans, thank goodness. I was grateful I was able to keep calm with my emotions as raw as a homemade noodle. I’m not sure the ring is fixable, but maybe I can use the top part of the ring in a necklace or something. I don’t know, but it’s found.

I got home and started putting my groceries away. My hands were shaking at this point, I was so tired. I dropped a plastic jar of juice on the floor and the cap broke off. At this point, I was mildly amused instead of angry. I managed to salvage half the jar. I threw every towel we had in the kitchen on the floor, then went upstairs to change clothes, because, well, scrubbing the floor was in my future and I didn’t want to do it in my good clothes. I called Jene’ and told her that I’d do my best, but if the floor was sticky, I was sorry. She laughed and told me to go to bed. I wish I could have.

Since I still had to take my meds, I couldn’t go to sleep yet, so I scrubbed the floor, then ate some cereal. I took the meds, did some Tai Chi and then took a nice, long hot bath. I was in bed by 10. Slept a half hour or so then fell back to sleep around 5.

I took my last pill Friday night and slept, though fitfully in 2-hour increments, most of the night. I woke up at noon face down in my pillow, which is not how I sleep at all. I stayed up all day and went to bed again at midnight. All that to say, I think my sleep patterns are on their way to returning to normal.

I’m happy for that… but now I can’t blame the silly things I do on lack of sleep!

Posted in health

INSOMNIA MUSINGS

I’m taking prednisone this week and am not sleeping, so I thought I’d share what I’m learning this late at night with you. Granted, I am usually the night owl, but it’s tough being a night owl when there isn’t proper rest between night owlings.

1. When trying to relax, do not listen to Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass.

2. It’s difficult to play solitaire when you forget the order in which the numbers go. Mahjongg solitaire… it’s sad when you can’t match simple pictures together. Scrap solitaire all together.

3. When you Google “nerd” you get 3 million hits. With “geek” you get 23 million. “Star Wars” nets 63 million and “insomnia” gets you over 5 million.

4. How I feel right now reminds me that it’s good I went to college when I was much younger… when it was fun to stay up all night for no reason.

5. Poetry is impossible to write while this tired. Even the haiku, a favorite form of mine, which oft does not rhyme.

6. Note to self: buy some more sleepytime tea.

7. If Spock were here, he’d so that Vulcan pinch thing on my shoulder and it would be LIGHTS OUT!

And now, I’m going to TRY closing my eyes and we’ll see what happens.