Tuesday, January 15, 2013

On the eve of 50

I told you getting older was not for sissies.

I went to my first physical therapy appointment on Monday morning.  From what the therapist was saying, "frozen shoulders" are not that uncommon.  What seems to be uncommon is getting "frozen shoulders" out of the blue and not from an accident.  Leave it to me to get them out of the blue.  Whatever.

I was twisted and poked and moved and measured.  All the while she was explaining how my shoulders are going to get worse before it gets better.  And, that getting better part?  It's about 6 months to a year before that happens.  Seriously.

I can't even put my thoughts into words here.  I barely held on to make it to the doctor's appointment.  Now I'm told that too bad so sad, it's going to be awhile before you get relief.  And, that relief won't come until we make you much worse first.  Really?!!

So I did my exercises and was rewarded with a heat pack around my neck since now my neck is as tight as steel bands.  That was the best part of the appointment.  I had the heat pack while she did an ultra sound treatment to my right shoulder.  I'm sore as all get out now but I'm told I have to work through it.  Sounds like fun, huh?

The therapist suggested I buy a contraption for home that mirrors some of the treatment I got at therapy.  I look at this thing and all I can think of is that if I bought this when I was 25 it would have a whole NEW reason for being used.  I buy it today and now it's used as old lady exercises.  Oh the horrors.

In case you can't figure this out, it's a pulley system to try help exercise my shoulders.  Like I said, at 50, it's to exercise my shoulders. 

I think now this is going to be a touchy subject for me.  Lucky for you, I don't think I'm going to be posting updates on this. 

Lucky for me I have cats that keep me stocked in stories to tell.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Let the parties begin!

You know how much I love birthday, especially my own!  My birthday celebrations started Saturday night when my adopted family invited me over for a home cooked meal.  It doesn't get any better than that, especially when I'm not the one cooking!

First, as promised, there were signs and balloons in the yard.  For ME!!


(And, I AM aged to perfection!  Or close to it!!)

The food was fabulous but more important was the company.  Birthdays are all about families and friends and I was surrounded by both.

Everyone was in on the cooking and what a spread they put out!

My job while everyone was working was to take pictures and have a glass of wine.  I could so handle that job.  You know, when you get to be my age, you need to slow down a bit! 

From the bottom of my heart, thank you to Nick, Sally and Ramzi for making my birthday party so spectacular!  And this is exactly why I love birthdays!

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Wanted Poster, Chestnut Ridge Road

From someone else who has been robbed and felt the lack of help from the local police, I wanted to give this guy in Carlisle Township on Chestnut Ridge Road a shout out.  I feel your pain, brother.

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

More Mountains to Climb

Some days it feels never ending.  When one thing starts to go well, somewhere else the poop hits the fan.

You know the issues I have with my back pain.  Just when I think I have it to where I can live with it, or in spite of it, something else poops out on me.  I'm telling you, turning 50 is NOT for pansies!

It started about four or five months ago.  I noticed it while going through the drive thru bank.  My left shoulder would hurt like hell trying to reach out through the window to put the deposit into the little tray.  If I thought that was hard to do, going to the drive thru ATM became absolutely impossible.  It was like my shoulder was on fire!

Easy fix.  Get off my lazy ass and walk in to the bank instead of going to the drive up window and as for the ATM, stop the car before the ATM, get out and walk up and do my transaction.  See?  I can adapt.

That was my left shoulder.  Now in the last few months, my right shoulder started to hurt.  I have no idea what in the hell I did.  But now my right shoulder has absolutely been a show stopper to the point that I now need help dressing in the morning, I can't always drive my own car because it's a stick shift, and sleep?  Yeah, I haven't slept in months.  I can't lay on that shoulder, I can't lay on my back, I can't lay on the opposite shoulder because it pulls somehow and hurts like hell.  If I do manage to fall asleep, the slightest movement of either me rolling over or Ron moving and forget it.  I'm up, I'm done with sleeping.  I can get more comfortable on the couch, but I can't get up off of the couch.  I told you turning 50 wasn't easy.

I finally reached my breaking point.  Trust me, I know pain but this had me crying "uncle".  I have now been to three doctors with the last being an orthopedic specialist.  I saw him on Monday.

This guy is no stranger to my life.  He took care of me after my car accident and it was one of his associates that actually did my back surgery back in 2002.  Like I said, I am well acquainted with the practice.  One of the things about this practice is that it is run extremely well, especially for a specialty.  When you make an appointment, they mean it.  They really stay on schedule and I appreciate that.

I gotta tell you though, when I was waiting in the exam room for the doctor to come in, I thought DANG!  Even though I won't be in here for long, you could update your magazines!!  For real, 2006???  For my next appointment, I'm buying him a new National Geographic!

If this is the worst thing I find with this doctor, I'm doing well.  Anyway, he x-rayed both of my shoulders.  He said I have "frozen shoulders" with calcium deposits in my left shoulder.  The calcium deposits are evidence of an injury but I swear, I don't know what I did.  I don't remember falling or getting hit or anything else.  I don't know what happened.

The good news is that it's fixable and surgery is not necessary.  In order to "unfreeze" my shoulders, I have to get my range of motion back.  Once I can move my shoulders again, the pain should go away.  Easy, right?   I think it sounds like a no-win situation.  The only way to get out of pain and to get my shoulders working again is to get into a lot of pain and move my shoulders.  Ugh, I am booked for physical therapy twice a week for four weeks.  I can't wait to get the bill for this one.  Then I go back and see the ortho guy in six weeks to see how I'm doing.

If that wasn't enough, I have come down with the flu over the weekend!  Before you think I'm just over here looking at this glass half empty, I will say that the flu has done me some good.  I have caught up on some sleep that I have missed for the last year.  Plus I've watched some great daytime TV in between my naps!  Thank heavens for the Game Show Network and Investigation Discovery!  A great way to waste a day!  And, thank heavens for cold and flu medicine.  Hmm, maybe I should say forget the physical therapy and just stock up on the meds!  At least I can get some sleep.  Who needs to be able to dress themselves?

Saturday, January 05, 2013

Iced Over

Today at work, I noticed this bush in front of the building.  Too bad I didn't get out there to take pictures earlier in the day when the sun was shining over here.  The ice on this bush was beautiful and these pictures don't do it justice. 

Hey, any excuse to post a picture or two!

I lose weight, but it finds me anyway

I am not a paid spokesperson for Weight Watchers.  Perhaps if I was, by now I would be in the maintenance part of my weight loss journey and not in the still losing part. 

In case you've been watching, I finally updated my weight loss on the right side bar.  In the past two weeks, I have GAINED five pounds!  Ugh, I am still beating myself up over this.   It's not like I have been doing all that well these past few months but geez!  Five pounds?  I know, it was Christmas and all that but c'mon, I honestly have little to no will power.

I am NOT bashing Weight Watchers.  It REALLY does work and is worth every penny I pay.  If I follow the program a little bit, Weight Watchers works a little bit.  If I work the program a lot, Weight Watchers works a lot.  It's just hard to always follow portion control and continue to make smarter choices.

Here is a case in point.  We had my family's Christmas dinner last Saturday at Mike's house.  My sister-in-law surprised us all by making a traditional Slovak dish that my family made every Christmas Eve since what feels like the beginning of time.  I haven't had this dish in over 15 years and I was SOOO excited to see it on the table!  Please note, I am NOT blaming my sister-in-law for my irresponsible eating.  I truly was so excited to have this delicacy again after all these years.

We call it bubalki and I'm not guaranteeing that the spelling is correct.  We would make small balls of bread.  By small I mean marble sized.  Half of these bread balls would be mixed on Christmas Eve with butter and sauerkraut.  The other half would be mixed with poppy seed paste and milk and sugar.  Now, the bread alone put up a red flag when it came to choosing what I was going to eat Saturday.  We won't even talk about the butter, the milk or the sugar involved.  If our Weight Watcher's leader would have been there, she would have told us it's ok to eat the bubalki, just take a spoon of each to get a taste and move on.  THAT would have been the responsible answer.  Forget that!  I figured it's been over 15 years since I've had this stuff, and it may be another 15 years before I get it again.  I started off with one spoon of each and when I ate that, I filled up my plate with more.  I figured I was going to eat this stuff until it was coming out of my ears!  Damn that was good!

Was it worth five pounds?  In hind sight, I don't think so.  It would have been worth three pounds, not five!  It wasn't just the bubalki, it was everything else I shoved in my mouth over the holiday.  I'm usually good as passing on sweets but the last couple of weeks I just passed them right onto my plate. 

I keep saying it out loud and to myself.  I really need to get my head back into this.  I am making excuses as to why I am not succeeding but that's what it is; excuses. 

It's no secret that I hurt.  A lot.  I have reached my pain threshold once again.  So I have not been exercising.  At all.  That is ridiculous.  I have a treadmill right in my living room, and I have no excuse not to step up and walk for 1/2 hour instead of sitting on the couch watching TV.  I don't have to walk fast I just have to get moving.  Any activity at this point would just help my cause tremendously.

I am trying to take this excuse off of the board.  I have an appointment on Monday to see if anything can be done.  This is my third doctor visit but this time it's with an Orthopedic who hopefully will get to the bottom of it and get me motivating once again.  Keep your fingers crossed.

I put my weight loss tracker on the side bar of this blog to help keep me motivated.  I thought if I was public about my journey I would be accountable to the three people that read this blog!  In reality, I'm not accountable to anyone but me.  I need to realize that I am worth the fight, worth the hard work, and worth the results.  I need to do this for ME.  I may have gotten to the level of being a "former diabetic" but I still have a long way to go. 

I tell myself every day that it's a new day and today I will be successful.  As long as I have more successful days than non-successful days, I will go a long way. 

Friday, January 04, 2013

Happy Birthday, Georgia!

Happy birthday, Georgia!!!

What's Your Name

One of my pet peeves:  Someone that wants to know my name that just doesn't need to know my name!

There used to be a bagel place that was by the job I had in my last life.  Unfortunately, it didn't last long, but while they were there, they had the most awesome bagels.  I would stop there at like 6:30 in the morning on my way to the office.  I would order my cheddar cheese bagel (the cheese was baked right in!  MMMM!) toasted with just a little cream cheese.  Since they had to toast it, you would pay for the bagel, they would fix it as requested then hand you the finished product and you were on your way.

Did I mention I'd be there at like 6:30 in the morning?  There was NO ONE else in the place!  They would ALWAYS ask for my name before they'd go heat my damn bagel.  My name is not a state secret, but it just irritated the heck out of me that they had to ask.  It was their policy to call you by name when your order was ready so that the right person would get the right order.

Call me silly, but I'm darn happy with a number system.  If I have check #4, call out #4 and I know it's mine!  Or, and this is my favorite, since I am the ONLY person in your store, trust me, I will get the right order!

Then it got to be a mission.  If I'd stop in the morning for a bagel, I would change my name every day for my order.  Hey, same person was working the counter and if you can't remember my name from day to day, you don't deserve to know my name.  On Monday I'd be Petunia.  Tuesday maybe Zelda, Wednesday I could be feeling like a Mamie Eisenhower.  The fun came in if we would go there for lunch.  They actually make some kick butt bagel sandwiches for lunch.  Now I'd get more creative since they usually got pretty busy at lunch.  You never know, there could be two Petunias in the restaurant.  Now for lunch, I'd pick better names.  I have been Frankenstein, Bambi, Andi Hardy, Humpty Dumpty and my personal favorite, Harry Potter.  There is nothing like a room full of people turning to look at you when they called out "order for Harry Potter!"  Yes, there were a lot of disappointed people in the house when they would see that the "real" Harry Potter wasn't there and the order was just for me.

Fast forward to today.  My brother Phil has been sick all week.  Actually, all three of my brothers are very sick but Phil lives with me so I have a vested interest in him getting better before he gets the rest of us sick!  Thursdays is my Weight Watchers weigh in after work, so Ron and Phil usually each go out to dinner that night since I'm not cooking.

I wanted to be a nice sister and I figured that with Phil feeling as badly as he does, he probably shouldn't be out in this cold.  I offered to stop and pick him up some dinner after weigh in.  Phil decided he had a hankering for some Arby's and since it's right across the street from Weight Watchers, I stopped in on my way home.

I ordered Phil his sandwich and then decided I was ordering something for myself so I didn't have to cook when I got home.  I wanted to order something healthy.  I decided to try the turkey and swiss wrap.  Then they asked me!  WHAT IS YOUR NAME!  What the heck!  I paid cash, what does it matter?  I was told they need it for the receipt so that they could call me by name.  Are you serious?  Once again, I am the ONLY one in line!  Trust me, I won't be confused when you come up with my order!  You know, if this were a high end restaurant, I would appreciate being called by name.  Or, a low end restaurant where I am a regular, I like that I am called by name.  But a fast food restaurant that I haven't been to since I lived in that area 10 years ago?  Trust me, you don't need to know my name!  I know it's a stupid point but it irritates me.  What irritated me even more is that I was too tired to come up with a cool name.  So, last night I was Katy.  Don't ask me why.   It was either that or Armour Hot Dog (that song was stuck in my head all day long yesterday but I was trying to get that OUT of my head!)

To continue my irritation for the day, I get home and start to try to enjoy my sandwich and what do I find?  My lovely turkey and swiss wrap had dijon mustard on it!  Eww!  What a way to ruin a sandwich!  This was absolutely disgusting.  So much for my dinner last night, blech.

On the good side, here is what I saw when I parked my car!  If you know the Arby's on Detroit and Abbe Roads, you know that is a huge hill that goes from Detroit Road down to the restaurant.  I wish I would have seen the person/persons running up and down this hill!  Now THAT would have been a picture! 

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Challenge: Complete!

My friend Lisa was doing a photo blog, posting one picture a day throughout 2012 from within the city limits of Lorain.  That sounded like so much fun, I joined her in this challenge!  We were Lorain365 and our tag line was "2chix, 2pix, every day".

I committed to the blog, to the cause.  I posted 365 pictures in 366 days of 2012.  Ok, personally I figured if it was Lorain365, I had a pass for one day!  I took it!  What can I tell you, that's the way my mind works.

Now 2012 is over and my commitment is over.  This was more of a challenge than I ever thought it would be.  On the other hand, this was also more fun than I thought it was going to be.  This challenge gave me a better appreciation and understanding of Lorain.  I also learned a LOT about my camera this past year.  I still have a far way to go, but I am much farther along in my knowledge than I was a year ago today.  I want to thank Lisa for the allowing me to play in her reindeer games, for letting me pick her brain on all things camera and pictures and of course, for being my friend!

As much as I like playing with my camera and taking pictures, it was time for me to put a fork in it and call it done.  My true passion in blogging and my reason for the blog is writing.  I will still take pictures, but they will be to support a story that I want to tell.  And I know as I approach my 1,000th blog post, I still have a lot of stories to tell. 

While I have completed my commitment to Lorain365, this is still Lisa's passion.  So, for 2013, Lisa and Laura will be the new 2chix for the blog!  Please continue to stop by and check out what they are doing.  You never know when I will pop up as a guest blogger!  This can be one crazy city sometimes.  I'm sure I'll see something that needs to be put out there!

For this first day of 2013, I have to post a picture of what I saw today looking out my window.

It looks like the kitty highway was all coming to my house to surround me!  Aaah, life is good.

2013 - Life IS good.  Stay tuned!