Thursday, May 23, 2013

Ah....Ah....Ah....CHOOO!!!

Image from : Corbis, Guardian.UK


Yep, got a cold! Funny thing colds are or at leat they are for me. Not in the funny, haha, boy that made my bellyache way......no more like the odd, strange and weird way you feel when you look at a painting by Saladore Dali....like everything is NOT what it seems. Cue music from Twilight Zone........

First, I get SO tired when it hits me......during the day that is.....then at night I am wired! Cannot sleep and wish I could. Wonder why, but since I can't change it, I just go along with it. Although it can be challenging as the eyes water, and the body is weary, yet something keeps me awake......what is that all about?

Second, my appetite goes on a rampage! In fact, that is typically the first sign I am getting sick. I could eat and eat and eat and not feel full. I have been like that since I was a child and THAT was a LONG time ago! The GOOD thing is: I don't put on any additional weight or have to pay for my indulgences during these sickie times, as long as I stop them once the cold starts to pass, which it typically does after 3 or 4 days. Calories burned off in the energy headed toward healing the body I suppose.

Third, I get REALLY crabby when it is approaching! Not just a little, I mean a lot crabby! This too has been the same since I was child. Ironic how our bodies warning signals do not vary much from childhood. When I was little, look out, my temper would flare and boy I would get mad at the slightest provocation. Grumpy was a good day for me when a cold was brewing! Today or as I got older, I recognized the pattern so now I am better able to let my loved ones know why I am SO feisty.....although....sometimes it catches me unawares and I react in a way that does none of us any good. At times like these I try to see beyond the reaction wanting to burst out of me, and take a look at the thoughts, emotions or feelings that may be precipitating my current state of mind. It invariably leads me to one of two things: either I did not get enough sleep, (a thing at this premenopausal time that is most irregular) or I am getting sick.

Fourth, I start to ruminate on where I might have picked up the cold......but then quickly stop that train of thought because it could have been anywhere. So why pursue that train of thought or line of thinking since it can never be truly proven and even if it were, it would not change the reality of the situation one bit.

Fifth, I try to give my body what it needs when it needs it! Food, rest, supplements, etc. I go easy on the fact that I am sick. I know many people who get so angry when they are sick, and take it out on themselves for having gotten sick in the first place. Simple fact is germs exist and if you live and breath in this world you are going to encounter them so might as well learn to get along.

Now, this is not to make light of the fact that there are people with a compromised immune system that even a simple sneeze from someone can have a devastating effect on their well being. No, that is a very real threat. But, what I am suggesting for them as well as all of us is this: if we worry about the things we have no control over will it make it better, or will we just worry more? And if the outcome of all our worry results in our worst fears being realized, will more worrry change this fact? And more importantly if we worry and the thing we fear the most, whether it is getting sick or something else, does not occur, then was all that worry truly worth it?

So, I have learned to worry less, have more acceptance of things as they are,  and live more fully. The end result:  more smiles then frowns in life!

Now, excuse me I have to blow my nose.  :  )

Thursday, May 16, 2013

My Semi-Guilty Pleasures

Let me take you all along on a bit of a foray into the things I enjoy in a truly guilt-free way! I am willing to bet a good deal of you are fans of the things mentioned below, you just may not be as willing to admit it as am I! So, here goes........

I am a voyeur! Yes indeed and what I like to watch, every now and then is, are you ready for this, it may come as a suprise?  QVC and Home Shopping Channel. Not for the reasons you might think. I think I have purchased something about five or so times over the many long years these two channels have been broadcasting. SO, if am am not buying, why watch? What I do enjoy, is  seeing Suzanne Somers hawk her latest product of the moment, or Joan Rivers and her ornate jewelery which looks like it would weigh a ton to wear. Something about these people, who are retail mavens makes me smile! Recently, I even caught THE Donald's wife, Melania, chatting away and selling some really exquisite pieces of costume jewelery. (Anyone else notice she has the same squinty-eyed look that Donald has, although on her it looks MUCH better!) I also love to see that woman who looks like a very petite version of Angelina Jolie sell anything! Not sure what her name is, but all the callers seem to love her. I think I heard her mention recently that she was invited to the White House and met the Obamas, now THAT'S salesmanship! I watch it every now and then because for some crazy reason I find it soothing, mindless and just what I need when I am channel surfing. I love how the sales people establish these warm and loving relationships with loyal followers who tune in to see them every time they come on and I am fascinated by this aspect of home shopping. I just hope all the people spending dollars for hundreds, if not thousands of products, can truly afford the things they are buying. I hope they realize a lot of the stuff is NOT as it seems on the TV. Despite how many gemstones that man, (oh, what's his name?) who "travels all over the world to find the BEST for you," he is still probably paying cheap labor wages, in parts unknown, to make all that affordable sparkly stuff to drape on your neck, arm and fingers. So, buyer beware...but it is fun to watch, if just for the pop phenomenon that it has become in our culture, BUT in small doses and only for ten or so minutes at a time now and again!

In addition to being a bibliophile and bookaholic I  am a magazine junkie! On any given day in my home you can find a myriad of magazines. Everything from Shambhala Sun to Martha Stewart Living. I have to admit though, that I am picky about the mags I read, and yes, I should be more "green" but I just can't stop myself! Well, I could but it is something I really enjoy doing and all gets recycled or passed along to friends. Frankly, I  learn a lot from those Scientific Americans and Eating Well issues that are dog eared and slightly frumpy/bumpy from being read in my next guilty pleasure: the bath tub!

Yep, I like to take long soaks along with some bath scents to relax the mind, soothe aching muscles and enhance the experience. Dr. Hauschka makes some incredible products for just such a purpose . Aromatherapy in a tub! I know it is more drying to my aging skin/body, but it is heavenly to set foot in a warm filled bath and read my latest mag or even a book! Now, there is a good reason why I read in the tub.....to keep me awake! Sometimes those scents in the water are so soothing I have almost fallen asleep a few times and that could be a very dangerous thing indeed. So. I read, soak and come out of the tub knowing a bit more then when I went it!

I have to admit, that some of my guilty pleasures have come and gone in my life. When I was a teen and young adult growing up in New Jersey I was passionate about diners and in particular my favorite fare was a cheeseburger, french fries, a chocolate shake and yes indeed, New York Style cherry cheesecake for dessert. Oh and with those delicious dill pickle spears, with the meal of course! YUM!!! I know what some of you might be thinking! But no, I was thin and trim my whole life until my late 30's/early forties, long after I gave up those Cheeseburger Deluxes! So, it was indeed divine in my youth to imbibe!!! I also had to curb my love of glassware and lighting....no, not together, although wouldn't that be lovely combination in a retail environment! For years I have had a penchant for collecting glassware from the 50's and 60's and a love all lights, lamps and chandeliers. Take me to a lighting store (there used to be tons of them long before all these awful box superstores came along) and you could not get me to leave until I had seen everything. The shine, sparkle and glimmer of both my guilty pleasures from the past still delight, I just refrain from purchasing!

So, it would seem my secret passions may not be quite so odd (I have others, but those shall remain a secret, would not want to reveal too much here.......or should I????) Suffice it to say I am someone who respects others who dare to different and go against the societal norms, especially those norms that have taken over and homogenized our world to the point of blandness, (QVC and HSC do this EVERY day) mediocrity and utter boredom. So while my guilty pleasures may be more "normal" or tame then say, someone who secretly steals from shops or someone with a sex addiction (hmmm.....) they are nevertheless worth pursuing in my book!

Hope your "guilty" pleasures are wonderful to pursue.......within reason of course! HAHA!


Thursday, May 9, 2013

Post Surgery and Recovery

I finally, after two years of trying to "deal" with the pain, discomfort and endless days of heavy clotting and bleeding, decided to remove a fibroid that has been the bane of my existence on a monthly basis. Operation was this past Thursday, the day before my 51st birthday. Trust me the irony of that fact is not one lost on me.

Happy to report the surgery went very well. It was a quick, out patient surgery, although I had been told to expect recovery times to be in the range of 4 to 5 hours. I was at the hospital being prepped by 6:30AM and home by about 10:30 or so. Most of that time was the hour or so it took to drive home. The actual surgery was no more then about 30 minutes! And my recovery was indeed swift. It felt to me like like I awoke, feeling the effects of the anesthesia wearing off, just as they were wheeling me into surgery. It was fast! I lay there in the bed alert and awake, was offered and took some water and almost immediately felt like I had to use the bathroom. A sign they look for in most surgeries as an indication that all is functioning as it should!

It was not long after my awakening that my surgeon/doctor came in (a dead ringer for Noah Wylie, for those that recall the actor) and also my husband. The doctor informed me that there was a second fibroid removed as well, and showed me the photos taken on the uterine wall, with and without fibroids growing. The docotor was grinning from ear to ear and seemed so very "boyishly" proud of his accomplishment. He basically told me to expect some cramping and bleeding on and off for a week (Oh joy! Just want I want, more bleeding...hahaha!) and that I would be tired from surgery.

What I had not counted or recalled from my last surgery almost 10 years a go, was the after effects of the anesthesia and the drop in mood from the healing process. I totally forgot about this as it hit like a ton of bricks on Sunday night, and then every once in awhile till later Tuesday.

It would seem that even though I had prepared myself mentally for the surgery I neglected to prep myself mentally for the actual time needed to "recover" from it all at home. I think given the fact that this surgery was far less serious in nature then the mastectomy I had done in 2003, I hadn't really thought much of the recovery.  So, when I started feeling like I needed to cry, something I have not felt in a very long time,  I was initially caught unaware and wondered what the root cause was for these waves of sadness.

Looking at what was happening mindfully,  I stayed with the emotion and let it be just what it needed to be, although it was hard at times, since it felt so very blue and heavy. It wasn't until I happened upon a wonderful website, written by a doctor/surgeon who shed some terrific insight on why surgery leaves many of us feeling blue afterward. He mentioned the obvious causes, such as the anesthesia effects that can be felt for days and sometimes weeks afterward, the type or severity of the surgery, the drugs dispensed, etc, This all made sense to me, but tell me something I don't know thought my curious mind. He then went on to describe the healing process and the fact that prior to surgery the body is generating a good deal of adrenaline in all the excitement, anxiety and anticipation leading up to the actual procedure. I learned my body is expending a good deal of energy to mentally prep for sugery, so that after all is said and done the body/mind has a sudden drop in adrenaline which causes a deflated like effect to the nervous systtem. Plus, all your body's energy is now being directed toward the site of the surgery, which means you feel more tired then usual as the body prepares to heal.

WOW! I was propelled back to my surgery 10 years ago and recall how I had worked hard to prepare myself mentally and physically for the before and after of this major surgery. It seemed that even though this recent surgery of mine was not as magor in nature, it definitely had a similiar effect on my psyche. The doctor had a great suggestion at this point, write down what you feel or go through after surgery. In other words if you know this is just a part of your body's way of healing post surgery, note it somewhere so that when or if you find yourself in similiar circumstances you can breath into it and recognize it as just another temporary cog in the wheel of healing and recovery. It passes.

Reading that was like a light bulb going off in my head moment and I instantly felt the recognition of past surgical procedures wash over me.

This was indeed a process......and I just needed to let it proceed as is, not anlayzing or judging, but simply letting it go where it needed. But more importantly, to be kind to myself in the scheme of things, give my body the rest it was craving and not look for it to be "other" then what it is/was for me at that moment!

Today, is precisely one week post surgery and I am moving along quite well. The drop in mood has rebounded, the pain and cramping has subsided, And my energy seems to be better, not the same as pre-surgery, but it has improved. So, it would seem that a gentle reminder from a doctor whose site I will attempt to relocate so that I can add the link to my Blog, lifted me up when I needed it most and helped me to RE-member that post surgical blues is a very real part of the healing process, no matter how minor the surgery.