It is Time!

Image Yikes!!! This was me this morning stepping on my scale! I have been very neglectful in my weight loss maintenance. So…I am back on the ball. I have no junk food in my house. Much to my chagrin.

I have been working on the list that was in my last post. I love lists. I must have at least 3 different “to-do” lists around my house right now as I write. Everyday has a to-do list and most days have more than one. It just depends on where I am and what I am doing when something pops into my head that I should do. Do I get everything done? Unfortunately, no. Yesterday I started working on my second bedroom. This room used to be a bedroom but recently has become a storage unit. I had gotten to the point that I would open the door and just close it as it was too overwhelming. Yesterday I took a deep breath and dove in. What a disaster! I cleaned out the dresser drawers, the closet, and everything that had been thrown on the floor. I haven’t gotten to everything on the bed yet. And a lot of the stuff on the floor ended up on the bed! I threw out a lot of stuff but for some reason it looks like I haven’t done very much in there. hmmm…..

I have been having some health issues. Well, I always have health issues! But I went in for some blood work and it showed my liver function tests were high. They redid them. Still high. Tested me for all hepatitis, mono, and HIV (which made me laugh since I am just so high-risk! That is sarcasm.) All of them negative. Redid the test again. Still high… The numbers went down a little but one went up. Sigh. On Friday I had it done again and I am waiting for the results to be posted. Tomorrow morning I am having nerve testing done for my right arm. It has been hurting like there is no tomorrow. I had physical therapy for the first time (in many years) and I have been doing the arm stretches…and what a difference! Last night, no pain. They think it is like carpal tunnel, but in the elbow. From what? From using the computer! Will it get me to stop? Oh, no! This morning it hurts a little, but I will keep on doing the stretches. And if my blood work keeps coming back weird, I will have to see my gastroenterologist. They will have to look at my liver. Oh, don’t laugh at this too hard…I had an intestinal ultrasound so they could look around. It was inconclusive as part of my liver and my pancreas were “obscured by unfortunately placed intestinal gas”! First of all, I didn’t know that gas could obscure organs in an ultrasound, but evidently, it can. Second, I didn’t feel gassy! So there was nothing I could do. I know, TMI (too much information).

I have decided to stay with my TOPS group, basically because they are my TOPS group. I can’t use them as my only social outlet, so I am going to do more meetup events. I have signed up for some–I am going to go to a country western bar and take free country western dance classes (on my bucket list). I have also signed up to volunteer at the Hot Sauce Festival in Austin next weekend. Yes, there is a Hot Sauce Festival. I hate spicy stuff, so I certainly won’t be taste-testing. I’m excited because we will get a free teeshirt. That is enough for me to sign up for anything! I might only wear it once, but I will get a free teeshirt.

I am tired of being broke all the time. I keep thinking that I am 51 years old (52 next month) and I shouldn’t have to be so incredibly broke all the time. What age has to do with it, I don’t know. I am on Social Security Disability. I probably signed something when I first went on it in 1993 that said “I promise to be broke for as long as I am on disability” (which for me, will be until I am 62 and it reverts to regular Social Security). I am actually looking forward to turning 55–I will be eligible to get into federally-funded senior apartment complexes. Some have little cottages (here in Texas they are called “casitas”) Maybe they are called casitas in other states as well, but it wouldn’t surprise me if it is only in Texas. These “casitas” are so cute. These complexes are not slums, even though they are federally-funded. As much as I love my house, I am ready to not have to mow the lawn, etc. Anyway, because I am tired of being so broke all the time, I have scheduled an appointment with CCCS (Consumer Credit Counseling Services) to have them look over my budget and to figure out what to do with my car. I owe more than it is worth, but I can’t afford the payments. I had already refinanced, which is the main reason I owe more than what it is worth. I love my car–an apple green Hyundai Accent. But I need a car that I can afford. I was able to afford it when I first bought it. It was tight for my budget, but I was earning more with part-time work than I am able to now. So I am trying to figure out what to do.

I was going to throw out my old lava lamp–I think I got it back in the 1980s as a Christmas present. I thought it was broken, but decided to plug it in and see what it did. Do you know that thing is still working? It survived a move to Texas from Maryland and has just sat there being a strange decorative item for a lot of years. I thought my cats would be enthused by the globs floating up and down, but they are not impressed. They are not dumb. They know it isn’t something they can eat if they could somehow get to it.

DirecTV is getting a call from me today. I love DirecTV and have been “a loyal customer since 2005”. That is what they thank me for whenever I call. Well, put your money where your mouth is, DirecTV!!! I have a teeny little package–the Family Package–that I pay not-very-much for compared to their other plans. I downsized my plan in order to save money. The new customers who are now signing up are getting a huge plan with a lot of channels, the NFL Sunday Ticket (!!!! I could watch Washington Redskins games instead of the icky Dallas Cowboys !!!) (not meaning to offend any Dallas Cowboys fans here!) and they get the Genie–where you can watch tv in all the rooms of your house and record a bunch of shows at one time. Last time I called, they offered the Genie to me for a mere $200 or $299 or something like that. Oh sure, sign me up. (Refer back to my paragraph on being broke all the time if you don’t understand my bitter sarcasm there!) ha ha I also want to speak with them about DogTv. Really???? I have 2 cats. I don’t get Animal Planet with my measly little package, but they give me DogTv??? Why???? If they are going to give me DogTv, they should add Animal Planet onto the package as well for us other animal lovers. Don’t get me wrong–I love dogs. I expect that I will end up getting a service dog at some point in my life since I live alone. I love animals. I cry during Dances With Wolves (I should say, I sob) when the animals all get killed. I don’t when the people die, but I do when the animals die. I don’t know what that means… But, come on DirecTV…DogTv?????? I want Animal Planet (which you might think would be included in a Family Package plan!) Instead they include Discovery Investigation (I think that is the name). So they include a channel with murders, adultery, more murders, etc. in a package that is geared toward the religious channels. But not Animal Planet. Does anybody else see the problem with this? Or am I just bitter that I don’t get Animal Planet but I get DogTv? So, DirecTV is getting a call from me today. My problem is (and yes, I do have a problem as always…) when I got my new tv after my old one died, I got a HD tv. So I had to start a new contract for 2 years. It is up in April, 2014. But I have no leverage to get more from them (I can’t threaten that I will leave). If you have the leverage, and you threaten, and they do nothing? Go through with cancelling your service. Because you will get a phone call within days from them offering all sorts of things in order to get your service back (and they do!) Sometimes you don’t even have to get that far–just threatening will get them to give you anything you want! But I am going to try anyway. I won’t get anything, I’m sure–except maybe some free movie channels for 3 months or something, but I don’t watch them because they don’t show anything good or anything new!! But I am going to put up a good fight anyway. I’ll go down trying… They may start saying “Thank you for being a crappy customer since 2005”! ha ha  I will post and let you know how it goes. It won’t be good. Promise.

Sigh. I am looking at the clock and know that I have to get up, get into some shorts and a teeshirt (after next weekend it might be my free Hot Sauce Festival teeshirt!) and start working on the 2nd bedroom. I was going to mow, but am putting that off. I have some time during the week that I can do that. Why do it today when I can put it off?

DirecTV better be on the lookout….I’m coming….I just bet they are shaking in their boots! ha ha


Sunday…A New Week…

I am hoping that my whining is gone! It is Sunday morning. Getting too close to 11am and I am still in my pajamas–but that is because I have been “playing” on my computer. Not playing games, but trying to figure out what I am going to do. I can’t go on like this. Well, yes, I can if I have to, but I don’t want to. And unfortunately, there is nobody else who can change it except for me. I am not a good role model. I do not practice what I preach. I lost 109 lbs. and am supposedly a great role model in TOPS, but I am way too human. I ate my freakin’ way through last week. I am not even going to list what I ate that I should have stayed away from. I did walk away from the Ben & Jerry’s ice cream pints–even though Walgreen’s had them 2 for $4.99. It is the beginning of the month and I feel really rich evidently. I had Walgreen’s on my list of stops to make on Saturday morning–just to buy the ice cream. I eyed Ben & Jerry’s in Walmart. I wanted Ben & Jerry’s–how many times did they join me on my couch to watch The Biggest Loser? Yes, I ate ice cream while watching the show–until the trainer, Jillian, popped out of the television and beat the crap out of them and accused me of watching the show while eating ice cream. Well, she was actually yelling at a contestant, but I KNOW she knew what I was doing. Crap. That was the last time. Ben & Jerry have wanted back in, but I keep slamming the door in their face. That doesn’t mean that other contraband items didn’t somehow get into my house. Since I live alone, I know that some evil elf is sneaking these things into my house when I am not watching. Last week I loved this evil elf. But even when I was scarfing down the contraband foods (which normally are not contraband as I believe in moderation, not deprivation–but definitely contraband when there is no moderation involved!) I knew that I needed to STOP. It is so much easier to put the weight back on than it is to take it off. Last week, I couldn’t stop. Today I vow to STOP. No more of this food will enter my house. Ben & Jerry can keep on trying to visit, but as lonely as I feel, they are unwelcome visitors in my house. So…this morning I have been trying to make a game plan. If I am the one in control (God, help me!) then I have to make things happen, right? I am already tired just thinking about all of this! So…here goes:

1. I will write down every single thing that I eat…If I bite it, I will write it. I am going to live the TOPS lifestyle again. I CAN do this. (Note to self: google how to keep away evil elfs!)

2. Exercise every single day, except on days that I have procedures done. I can’t take a day off. For me, it is like allowing myself to gorge on junk food for a day and then expect myself to “get back on track”. It is too hard. Unfortunately, my body can’t exercise the way it could two years ago. But if I can get on the treadmill for 30 minutes, even at a slow rate, I will be happy. I have to give up the “I’m going to walk a 5K!” thought for now. My thought will be “I’m going to walk!” Obviously I won’t be able to exercise on days that I have injections, my nerves burned, bones fused, joints replaced, etc. The next day, yes. Just not that day.

3. Somehow find a way to manage my pain. I see my primary care doctor Aug. 19th. My rheumatologist evidently is not my rheumatologist. They are so busy and so short-staffed that they are only handling cases of inflammatory diseases. I told them when they called me the day before my appointment (that I had made 2 months before and had been counting down the days to!) that they needed to change the Scott & White webpage description of the Rheumatology department. If my primary care doctor refers me back to them (he originally referred me to them back in 2005) I am afraid that my head will explode. Luckily I love my primary care doctor, so hopefully he can put my head back together. Last week was very frustrating and disappointing. I did get in to see Pain Management, but of course got the physician’s assistant. Didn’t see the doctor as he is so busy. I heard him in the hall and I almost went out and grabbed him! But you don’t want to piss off the doctor who sticks long, icky needles into your body and joints! Not recommended! I am scheduled for PT and was told to use topical creams. Oh yeah, gee, I know they will work. Sure. I do like BioFreeze, but my cats follow me around after I put it on–I don’t like being sniffed relentlessly. Sigh.

4. I joined some groups and I also signed up for Game Night. I was supposed to go in July, but managed to come up with excuses not to go. I have to get out and meet people. Loneliness sucks and the mental pain just makes the physical pain so much worse. Plus, it attracts that evil elf who sneaks all that food into my house! LOL  It is all a cycle that I have to break.

5. Stick to my “spending plan”. I hate the word “budget”. It just makes me want to go out and shop.

6. Clean my second bedroom. Is it a bedroom? Or just a huge closet that was supposed to be a bedroom? I open the door and close it–it has gotten so overwhelming. I think I did this on purpose–it used to be used as a bedroom when I had a girlfriend stay a lot…but she turned out not to be such a good girlfriend…so in the pain of that relationship abruptly ending (and I had a lot of fun–for the first time since I had moved to Texas!) the room just reminded me of her spending the weekend. The friendship was not a true friendship and that hurt. Ben & Jerry almost moved into the room, but I told them there wasn’t even room for a pint of ice cream in there! It is a mess, disaster, whatever. It needs to go back to a bedroom, if I can stop feeling overwhelmed!

7. Travel. ha ha ha ha. I wish. Won’t happen as much as I would love to. Would love to do a TOPS retreat. Won’t happen. This subject just hurts. I guess I have to work on that and get over it. I will never be able to afford to do what my siblings can afford to do.

8. I have somebody who I have to forgive. I just feel a lot of anger and TONS of hurt towards them. They act like nothing has ever happened that was wrong. They know that something did happen that was very wrong, was not our agreement, and I now have to pay for it. Literally, I have to pay for it. They are normally very generous but this has caused such a hardship for me. They know it. They know they are wrong. But they are unable to change it because their husband is unwilling to fix the mistake. I will never understand this one as I felt like a part of the family. It is too complicated to get into details and I shouldn’t anyway. I am just trying to forgive. I see her on a regular basis unfortunately. It just keeps picking at the scab.

9. I might have to consider switching TOPS groups. For a few reasons. When I think about it, I want to run and see if I can find Ben & Jerry hanging out somewhere…

10. Look for a warm water pool. Aaaaahhhhhh

11. Look into student massage programs so I can get inexpensive massages. Aaaaahhhhh

12. Look at my spending plan to see if I can even consider looking into #10 or #11…

13. Pray. Meditate. Do my pain meditation tape (well, it is on the iPod)

Great, I am going to end on lucky #13. Regardless, IT IS ALL UP TO ME.

Does Life Ever Go As Planned?

Seriously, does it? I will be 52 next month–my mind is screaming at me that I am really only supposed to be 30, but my body is wanting my mind to slow down as it is going at an 80 year old pace! I am not trying to be so philosophical here and I am not meaning to whine, if that is what it ends up sounding like I am doing. It has just been a bad week–in the sense that I am worn out, I am hurting–both physically and mentally, and what it really comes down to is that I don’t have one of those close girlfriends who I can call and we could just whine together (maybe while even drinking wine!) and most importantly–I wouldn’t feel like I was just dragging them down all the time. I am at a point that anytime I come close to having a good friend, I think they get tired of my problems (and there are plenty). There was a woman who I talked to on a very regular basis until over the past few months I have noticed that I am always calling her. She never calls me anymore. So I have stopped calling her. I see her every Friday morning at my TOPS meeting, but I know that I cannot go to her if I need someone to talk to, or cry to, or just bitch to. I used to be able to. Or I thought I was able to. Then I guess I did it too much. I said something at our meeting yesterday and she did the “exchanging of the looks” with another lady–I saw them. Ouch. I walked out of the building just feeling blank. I am depressed. I want to go back to Maryland. I am tired of always being alone. My parents are here, but I certainly don’t burden them with all of my shit. I am lonely. There….I said it. I AM LONELY. I want real friends. I want my sisters. I am tired of having to help my parents with everything–I am not saying that I mind helping them, because I don’t. I am just tired. And lonely. And whiny. What the hell happened to my life?? I don’t get it. I would never have thought I would be without close friends. I have friends back in Maryland, but I don’t talk to them as much as I used to. And we can’t call and say, “hey–you want to go to the mall?” or to the movies? Or wherever? I haven’t had a good friend like that since Maryland and I moved to Texas in 1997. Sixteen years. Holy shit. I thought when I came to Texas that I would make a new circle of friends. Not people that exchange looks at each other when I say something or just never call me anymore. I used to be social–within my group of friends. I have always been shy until I get to know people and then WATCH OUT! ha ha But I am a good, loyal friend. I don’t screw people over. I never thought my life would be how it is. Of course, growing up I never thought I would live to the age of 40. That is the mentality of someone who was suicidal. Depression is part of my genetics. I seemed to be the only child out of five to have been lucky enough to have inherited the gene. Woo hoo! So I lived past 40. But the question really is: have I really lived past 40? What have I done? Have I really lived? I used to write, in fact I have actually had some short stories and poems published. I haven’t written, except here, for a long time. I was going through some drawers and found an old notebook that had some poems that I had written a few years ago. It was strange reading them.

There is a lot more on my mind, but I have to get some DVDs back to the library. They are due today. I watched the first season of Downton Abbey. Oh my gosh–it was so good. This and those romance novels help me forget that I am lonely! Now I have to wait for the 2nd season to come back in…