Category: Grooming (Health, fitness, etc.)

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The old and the crochety

So today, I can tell, the weather will change soon. How do I know? Not because my cell phone told me, or the TV weatherman, or even my faithful, trusty friend, the National Weather Service website. No. I know because I woke up with a faint, but definite ache in my fingers, and my toes.

I think about my Grandma, a wonderful piano player, and church organist practically from the time she was married until her physical and mental deterioration finally rendered her unable to play. Even from when I was a small child, I remember her big, swollen knuckles on her otherwise slender fingers. I'm no pianist, not at all, not even on days when my fingers are in such fine fettle they could dance a jig, but I wonder if the same fate my be in store for me.

Of course, one thing to take into account is that it isn't really that painful, and I'm really just kind of whining here. I should look at the bright side, and my future as a human barometer!

Better U than Me?

So, Joshilyn over at Faster than Kudzu is an official spokemodel blogger-type person for this thing called Better U, sponsored by the American Heart Association. I may or may not actually take the time to check the program out online (because my online time is usually taken up with valuable things, but the principle of the thing seems sound. It's basically a call to get fit, not just because it makes your jeans look better (although we all love that!), but also because it's good for your heart.

I like this, because I tend to be a little neurotic about my weight. I'm actually not in too bad a shape. I'm really in the best shape of my life since high school, truth be told, but I can't make my brain see that. I don't know if that's just how I'm hardwired, but for every compliment my brain deals my body, it comes out with two more "but you could do betters." I've gotten a lot better since I had kids, partially because I don't want my little girl to grow up believing that Mommy doesn't get to eat the same food as everyone else. I remember my mom making big, home-cooked meals for the rest of us while she nuked her sad, tiny, diet meals. I remember telling my mom she was beautiful, only to have her tell us how fat she was (which she wasn't.) I guess that's probably part of the issue.

The other nice thing is that it encourages baby steps. Instead of cutting out all your favorite foods at once, and starting a grueling exercise program right off the bat, maybe just modifying one meal a day, or walking more each week. I like this, because I tend to be a gung-ho-er. I like to leap into something, beat it (and myself) to death, and then give up, because either I feel like I've reached my weight loss goal and can quit now (not a good idea) or because I feel like I'm working so hard, but not seeing enough results. This idea seems to encourage a healthier attitude.

So with those ideas in mind, here are my long-term goals:

1. Develop a healthy relationship with weight and fitness, one that has to do with how I feel, not the numbers on the scale.

2. Encourage that mentality, along with healthy (but not fanatical) eating and exercise habits in the rest of my family.

3. Increase my cardiovascular health.

4. Increase my body strength.

5. Pay more attention to my relationship with food (i.e. how situations and emotions affect my eating habits.)

Short Term goals (framed up to match my long-term goals:

1. Only check the scale/tape measure once a week, and only then as a measure of progress. If those numbers don't move, figure out what that might mean, instead of guilt-spiraling.

2. Don't criticize my body out loud. It just sounds pathetic.

3. Stay in training heart range for my entire workout, gradually increasing intensity.

4. Begin strength training.

5. Create healthy meals and snacks for me and my family. AND DON'T SNACK AT THE COMPUTER!! (I just realized today that half the time, I'm snacking when I sit down at the computer. So I either have to give up the computer, or snacking while I'm there.....)

I may even report back on some of these goals! You never know......

Maybe someone needs to do a Better Blog U for blog health. Then I might start blogging regularly again.

And, having said blog so many times it no longer makes sense, my tired brain and I are going to bed.

The head bone's connected to the jaw bone

Once upon a time, in the way, waaaaaaaayyyy long ago, it seems, I talked about needing my wisdom teeth out. Badly. Well....notice how I never mentioned it again? That would be because I went right out and.......never scheduled an appointment. First of all, there was Christmas that year. Who wants major dentistry around the holidays? Then, I was kind of waiting till we finished our taxes. But then, my brother's wedding was coming up, and who wants to be known as the chipmunk cheeked bridesmaid? And then it was summer...and then it was fall...and then it was the holidays again. Well, you get the point. It was a masterful example of extreme procrastination.

However, you can only put off the inevitable so long, and so it was that I celebrated Cinco de Mayo with general anesthesia and a mouth full of gauze. Yum.

Just like every other aspect of my life, Murphy was my companion again for this adventure. I mean, it's nice to have the HHR and all, but I hate to give Murphy the extra leg room! We reached the office at the appointed time, only to discover that their X-ray machine was out of order. Of course. But I wasn't off the hook yet! Luckily (or unluckily, depending on your point of view), the place that Lion had just started dentisting last month had the appropriate machine, so we raced across town, swooping in to.....fill out new patient paperwork and wait. And wait. And wait. Once I was finally able to go in for my close-up (no makeup or anything, but I still say I have a very lovely jawbone), we were able to return to the office, and continue to fill out paperwork.

One thing about the paperwork that we had to fill out: If you aren't absolutely terrified about your procedure before you start to fill out the surgery consent form, with every possible, horrible complication listed, you will be by the time you're done.

I was obviously not in a very good place by the time they took me back, sure that I would either never see my children again, or that I would be permanently disabled. To be very honest, though, the doctor, and all his nurses, and all his support staff were very, very kind and very, very understanding. When they saw my x-rays, they did recommend that I have all four wisdom teeth out, including the one that had never erupted, but they never tried to scare me into it. They had given us an estimate on the phone weeks before, and understood that was our budget limit, and didn't try to push us into more than we could afford. (Good policy, I suppose, for an office that demands full payment the first day. I suggested to Lion that is why they ask that a responsible adult accompany the victim patient for the entire time of the procedure. That way they can hold the patient for ransom!)

Apparently, after the whole x-ray ordeal, Murphy decided that he was done with us for the day. And you know what? The surgery was nowhere near as bad as I feared. I went into, and came out of, anesthesia without complications beyond an exponential exacerbation of my own clumsiness, and a bad case of motormouth (which is pretty difficult with a mouthful of gauze.) Seriously. By the time we got home, Lion had to tell me more than once that I wasn't supposed to be talking that much. Doctors orders. And then he handed me a note pad. I'm really hoping that is what the doctor said, and that he wasn't just tired of trying to interpret the Marlon Brando-speak coming out of my walrus mouth. (When they packed the gauze in, they REALLY packed the gauze in, leaving me with enormous, drooly walrus tusks.) One of the first things I wrote on my notepad was for him to get me my phone, so that I could text him, and not have to wait for him to walk by and read my notepad again, in which time I would have thought of 5 or 6 more things I needed to ask him/tell him. I was actually feeling pretty chipper when we returned home.

Pretty soon, though, I was tired again, and needed some rest. By the time I woke up, things were starting to get uncomfortable. Luckily, they did send me home with some pretty good pain meds, antibiotics, and a great cold pack/head wrap thing that makes me look like Jacob Marley. Somehow, I don't think that Lion was amused as I was by me drifting around the house after him moaning, "Scrooooooooogggeee, SCROOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOGGGGGEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!" All I needed was a pair of chains to rattle, and I was all set!

Recovery so far hasn't been too bad. In fact, I'd say I'm about 1/4 as miserable as I expected to be. My lower right jaw is pretty sore, and very swollen, but considering that I expected them all to be that way, I'm not too concerned. That was the one that was giving me quite a bit of trouble the week before the surgery, so my guess is that it was exhibiting enough active decay that they might have had to go after it, piece by piece. With a hammer. And a chisel. And a crowbar. Possibly a jackhammer. Still, I'd say being 3/4s less miserable than expected is a good thing. (Now with 75% less suffering!)

I really have to commend Lion. I won't say he's never left my side, because watching someone sleep can get pretty boring, but he has been there to take care of pretty much everything I've needed, making sure I'm taking my meds on time, preparing sore mouth friendly foods, and ensuring that I don't try and exert myself anymore than necessary. (Probably the most difficult task in the bunch.) Plus, he took me out for a caramel milkshake with a spoon, took me to the library for reading materials, and got me a couple of hanging baskets, one with pansies, and one with violas, instant mood brighteners for me. And I know I haven't been all sweetness and light, and I've drooled a lot, so bless him for being so wonderful.

And so, they are out. All four of them gone, hopefully to never trouble me again. Kid thinks I was kind of gypped, since I didn't get to keep them, so I didn't get a visit from the tooth fairy. Cub has been very sweet, and very careful of my face. For the most part, they haven't even wrangled too much.

Tomorrow, I have to go back to work. I've taken two days, and that's about all I can afford to take in a regular work week. I may only go for part of a day tomorrow, but that will still be better than jumping back in and trying to do it all in two, over-exerting, 12-hr (or more) days. I honestly think I'll probably be up to it.

What I don't know if I'll be up to is giving up being a homebody. Despite the pain, I've really enjoyed just being home with Lion and the children. The weather has been great, with warm sunshine, cool breeze, and all the lilacs just starting to bloom. Plus, Lion and I got the pond much closer to completion on Saturday afternoon, making it very pleasant to just sit and listen to the music of the waterfall and fountain in the pond. Today, Cub and I watched in fascination as a snake slithered across the rocks beneath the waterfall, only to recoil in surprise as water splashed on his head. This morning, Kid and I talked about the smells water could have, and why, and whether or not people were made of atoms. Lion's gotten a good dose of what I'll be like as an old lady, as I discuss endlessly my medications, when I need to take them, their recorded side effects versus how I feel, etc. Still, I have to say again just how grateful I am for my family right now.

Of course, after all that procrastinating, to have things go so well makes me wonder just what I was scared for!

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes

Yesterday: Shoulder-length, auburn curls. Side-parted, no bangs.

Today: Chin-length pixie-cut, bangs, highlighted and lowlighted every color from platinum to brunette, with lots of strawberry blonde in the mix.

I love it!


Wish me luck, folks, I'm 15 minutes away from having a total stranger do something humongously different, and potentially suicidally foolish to the hairs of my head.


(As a side note, when I type while nervous, I add y's and e's to the ends of many of my words. It's as if being anxious makes me channel Olde English(y))

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