Embracing Imperfection

Today I went shopping for clothes. I haven’t been clothes shopping in, um 5 years, maybe? I don’t even know. The last time I went shopping, I was a different size. I am not happy about the weight gain, but clothes must be worn, so clothes had to be purchased.

Long ago, I read an article that addressed this problem. It said, basically, don’t dishonor yourself by either wearing stuff that’s way too small, or buy clothes that you don’t like because you are mad you gained weight. Just be with it, in the moment.

My personal opinion is that there is always someone who can use them. Whether it’s a relative, a close friend, or a stranger, there will always be someone else you can help out by passing them on when you’re done. So yeah, basically, just buy the damn clothes, assuming you have the means to do so.

But, that’s not entirely my point…

Imperfection.

I’ve mentioned before that it’s not one one of my strengths. My family still expects a lot from me, despite my having been through hell. And I know that I can be hard on myself, too. Nature? nurture?- probably a little of both, I guess. Just know that it’s a struggle.

Before all the craziness, I would occasionally deposit myself into a mall or some such and get clothes when needed. It was something I always enjoyed doing, but obviously, was the first thing to go.

The thing is, I used to just sort of wander around… meander and really take in the whole experience for what it’s worth. This time, yes, of course, naturally, I was grateful- both to be physically and financially able to enjoy such a luxury. It’s not lost on me. It was just…harder. And, this frustrates me. I try to rejoin the land of the living, and I’m still struggling very much with simply walking. It hurts the pride while simultaneously making you proud that you are doing it.

So… imperfection. I’m trying, I really am…

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Update

I don’t even know where to start…

I joined a gym.

I took a little vacation with Girlfriend.

____________________________________

Put all of this together, and yes, I wholly over-estimated my abilities. Pain is a thing… nearly all of the time. Just from existing, before I even get to the gym.

When I go to the gym, I am kind to myself. It’s actually a re-charge from the physical toughness of the day.

Don’t get me wrong, I am in love with it. It is just very, very hard, and if I didn’t like just being part of the world again so much, I would not be putting myself through this.

I go home and my body is swollen, and I sleep with parts propped up on pillows, sometimes my whole body, sometimes I sleep nearly seated- like I was in the hospital bed. I take NSAIDs according to their directions. I am kind to myself. But yes, it hurts.

GF says that it will get easier with time. I want to believe her. I kind of need to, for my own piece of mind.

But I am good inside. I feel happy. I feel alive again. It’s been a long time…

 

Plan for the day you are hit by a bus

I’m gonna getcha getcha getcha

 

In the US workforce, there’s an expression, “Plan for the day you are hit by a bus.” It means that a smart employer, and an understanding employee would know better than to make one person “indispensable”. I use quotes because none of us are indispensable. The best we can hope for is to make ourselves valuable.

So, that day when you are hit by the metaphorical bus, what happens? You are busy performing triage on the situation, meanwhile, life continues on….

All of the sudden, it is May. I was in the nursing home/rehab/I mostly called it hospital when writing about it… almost exactly TWO MONTHS. Right now, I feel as if I would no longer choose inpatient rehab. Yes, there should be a dash in that word, but the way I have it is much more appropriate.

I was treated in what is basically an old folks home. I am not that old of a folk. But, I’ve mentioned before, our healthcare works in mysterious ways. I don’t think I would make the same decision now, but understand, I was asked the question while heavily medicated post-surgery and in a hospital bed, and I did not want to burden my family.

But, on to the present… I have bills near due and possibly past due, my favorite plant is nearly gone, my rice milk sat in the fridge since March…. I’m just really overwhelmed. I decided to stop all my meds bc I am tired of it, but I am wondering if I should go back on one. But, the thing is, it is normal and natural to feel overwhelmed in a situation like this, yes? So, I don’t know.

When we last left my life, I was trying to find a job. The only interesting thing that happened on this front was that I filled out a questionnaire… I had to borrow an outdated machine to do it, but of course, I was grateful. I haven’t heard anything since then, so onward.

I am supposed to start outpatient PT in a couple of weeks. Right now, in this moment, I don’t feel like going. I am sick of Drs and hospitals and everything having to do with them.

My life in the old folks home consisted of me going to music classes to prepare for the yearly talent show. I also did arts and crafts. That part of life was sweet. I made friends and influenced no one. People said such wonderful things to me when I was leaving- that I was beautiful and kind hearted and that they will miss talking to me. I will miss this.

I am totally overwhelmed because I don’t have tons of help. GF helps, but wants me, quite rightly, to be independent. This is hard, because when we are weak, we tend to overburden those we love. I think my friends and family are sick of me being sick. GF says I have been feeling sorry for myself. I do. And I feel jealous of people who seem to have their lives together more than I do. Friends and family who are married with kids, living in houses…

So, it’s a tough day, internet friends, but your posts are a great distraction…

 

On the road again

1

When I was recovering from crazy surgery times, I wasn’t able to drive. Prior to that, I was too weak to feel up to it, and also my car needed work. While I was in the hospital the first time, Girlfriend offered to spot me the expense to fix it… and I said ‘no’, because my medical prognosis was at least 12 weeks out, and then I ended up back in the hospital.. (Btw, this is not normal, so don’t be scared if you are anticipating surgery! I just had some really messed up insides that are definitely atypical!)

My thought at the time was “why bother?”. But then, I got better, and was finally able to drive… (which was actually not that long ago), and “ohhhh, rightttt… car doesn’t wroom!”… So, I accepted her kindness. It hurt my pride a little, and I hated leaning on her that hard after she’s been so amazingly supportive of me, but she was right, I needed her.

I took it out after it was fixed, and it’s still doing something stupid, but only occasionally, and of course, unpredictably- kind of like how my body was acting prior to surgery. We are tied together, like Pokemon and trainer, if you’re into that sort of thing. It’s my “Brad”, if you’ve seen that commercial. My Brad is older now, just like I am, and I’m not sure how much longer we will have together.

So, I decided to take the somewhat questionable step and thoroughly clean it. I used what little pocket money I had to wash it and vacuum it- twice actually, because it sat for so long. I was always good at that sort of thing, but I know zero about mechanics. Like I said, it’s not totally fixed yet, so this could be for nothing.

You can’t imagine how thankful I was to be able to bend in weird ways to do the vacuuming. You have to understand- I was barely mobile for so long- even walking a few feet was a big deal, so to be able to contort brought me great satisfaction. I’m not totally healed yet, either, but we are both looking much better.

 

More This & That

1 You’re gonna do WHAT with that?

I need a colonoscopy… and it’s coming up soon. I am mostly ok with it- not looking forward to it, but it will be nice to have the results.

 

2 MMM cookies!

I got “fat”. Please, let me call it what it is. Everyone irl has been sparing my feelings, which is nice, but a weight gain of about 15 lbs makes me feel fat. After everything I’ve been through, I’ve earned the right to just blurt it out, I think.

And why did I get fat? Well, I can now eat things I couldn’t eat before, and that is awesome. At least, that *may* be part of it. The other part is me trying to figure out the ins and outs of surgical menopause, which isn’t easy.

3

One of many exasperating, but not painful, symptoms.

But on the bright side, there’s this:

4

Yes, I am referencing actual dairy-based ice cream! I can eat it now! It turns out, the problems I experienced were due to my malfunctioning gallbladder! That’s pretty much all I’ve tried, but I’m looking forward to trying other former problem foods.

 

5

Yay! No more periods!

Boo! Surgical menopause is almost exactly like PMS (for me), but without the pain.

I’ve been cooking and eating, so there will be more of those types of posts on the way. But, I might not get to it until after the exam, for obvious reasons.

 

Take care! 🙂

Stuff and Nonsense

1

It’s Week 17 since the surgery, and a few weeks out from the surprise stay. I’ve been trying to think of inspirational and/or funny posts, but the truth is, I’m not always all that inspired or funny.

Things are going fine in the grand scheme of things. I’ve been able to eat things I really shouldn’t be eating. I’ve been drinking soda again since about a month after the surgery. I’m not proud of this, but there are far worse habits out there. My plan is to get back on the water train, but I will finish what’s already around first.

I’ve been able to do a little somethin’-somethin’ with my beauty regimen. I no longer have to stick to unscented, un-anything types of products. So, since the incision healed, I’ve been using a lavender body wash/shampoo combo, which has been appropriate for the chill mood I’ve been trying to work.

Truth be told, I’ve been getting some flack for not getting my act together faster, and it’s affected my mood. Some people get motivated by that sort of criticism. I don’t. Especially when I was just starting to get back on my feet and feel good again. This isn’t a rant blog, but this has been a part of my life since I wrote last, and if you want the facts, I feel like I must include it. I’m sure everyone has their own versions of this on the road to surgery recovery- that well-meaning friend or relative who thinks you can leap large buildings in a single bound, while you would just be happy to walk to one.

I kayaked with Girlfriend, which confused everyone but her. I should say: “She helped me into the boat, pushed me off, then pulled me back in when I was finished”, but that takes too long. She also found delightful little spots for us to take breaks and sat there and played floaty with her boat so I’d stop and rest. So, um, technically, I kayaked, but mostly I took pictures of nature and put my feet and hands in the water.

I actually did walk around with a sports bra and shorts while we were at the cabin. She’d gotten me these scar patch things that I used to protect my scars from the sun. But, while we were out boating, I felt a little too shy and a little too worried about exposing them like that. It just felt better to have a bathing suit on over them.

The scar itself is still huge, long, and purple. I don’t think I have average feelings about it, compared to what I see elsewhere. Mostly, I feel proud that I survived. I never had the courage to get a tattoo, and this is kind of like one. Though, at the same time, I also hope it fades. It will take at least a year before I will know for sure. I am lucky that Girlfriend is not squeamish- she has seen the scar since I started taking pictures of it, and heard me talking about it since Day 1. So, I don’t feel like I have to hide it from her, which is very nice. I can’t imagine what those feelings must be like, on top of actually experiencing surgery.

…Just a little of this and that.

Celebration Roast

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As I mentioned in an earlier post, I recently was lucky enough to catch this nifty product on sale. I’m sure my readers also know by now that my wee little blog does not receive sponsorship of any kind, and if this ever changes, I’ll be forthright about it. Funny thing about Field Roast, though, I’m not sure they actually *would* request my opinion on their own.

I recently read an interview where they claimed they’re not actually positioning their products for vegetarians, but rather, for those omnivores who just like to switch it up. (At least, that’s what I got from reading it). In this interview, they also said they’d never make faux bacon, which broke my little seitan-loving heart, since I’m allergic to the soy based crap, er, products, that Morningstar produces. The justification for the omnivorous approach is their correct assumption that most vegetarians are interested in the health aspects of what they eat. They state with a refreshing honesty that their products are not particularly healthy, but taste good.

As someone who was formerly teased for being the most unhealthy vegetarian on the planet, I can say while that while many vegetarians go for the healthy approach, not all do, and not all the time. Some vegetarians have trouble figuring out the ins and outs of the diet at first. In my opinion, better to offer them seitan than have them eating cheese fries every night.

This time of year, I don’t always have the time to linger in the kitchen, or even to prep food ahead of time like I usually do. Having a little seitan around keeps me from reverting to the frozen pizza option, and actually offers some protein my body can use. I discovered Field Roast right before my camping trip this summer, and so we ended up taking the faux hot dogs, the faux Italian sausage, and the faux lunchmeat slices (the reddish ones, I forget the flavor). All three were the perfect compliment to my partner’s meat-based selections, and we were easily able to share the rest of the sandwich components like bread, lettuce, and the like. It was also fantastic to have this protein in my system for a very active vacation. I was kayaking, walking, swimming, and I even tried a short zipline! Knowing that I get easily tuckered out without a proper diet, we consciously made an effort to ensure I had enough protein in my system to enjoy myself. When I returned home, I tried the mushroom slices, and then, the Celebration Roast pictured above. Everything I’ve tried, I’ve liked so far.

I first microwaved the Celebration Roast. It’s fine microwaved, because, as they state, it’s already cooked, you are essentially reheating it. Once I got mid-loaf (about midweek), I tried frying it, and obviously, I enjoyed that even more. It’s also fine right out of the fridge. The closer it got to Xmas, the more I needed quick but good, and this fit the bill. And now that the Celebration Roast is finished, it’s time to celebrate!

Happy Holidays! 🙂