Thursday, February 26, 2009

Mol Dogs

I am not sure why we started calling her that, is just fine. When we went for our early A.M. walk she was a splendid dog. She heeled on the leash while we were tiptoeing over the ice and ran like a mad dog when we hit dry ground. We now walk her without a leash most times. I thought she would run off but she stays fairly close. She waits for us when we yell wait. She is a ham. She swims through the deep powder snow or skids across the top of the crusted snow. She sank through the crust the other day and was marooned with just her head sticking out. Mark had to go rescue her. I thought I was going to lose both of them. Walking without her now would be boring.

I have learned to be a pack leader. For someone terrified of dogs this is quite something. I know all the dogs in the neighborhood. Mollie does not get to run free so all the "kids" come over to our yard to play. I am not kidding. Yesterday I had five of them lined up at the gate waiting to get in. They run around and play tug toy while I shovel snow. When I have had enough I shoo them out. I can hardly believe it is me ordering all these dogs around. I am teaching them to sit in a row and wait for their treats. While all the people who own these lovely dogs are at work, their dogs run free. It makes me worried for them. But they love it.

Mollie can sit, stay, walk on a leash, put her toys in a basket, and no longer jumps on people. She was always house trained and she stays off the furniture. I can leave her at home for a couple of hours and she voluntarily stays in her crate and doesn't bother anything. I think the cats have a lot to do with that. She obeys them. They don't like her walking around the house if we are not she stays in her crate.

I have sort of figured out how to curb her leash aggression. I turn her around so we don't meet the other dog face to face. Or if the other dog looks friendly I let her off the leash. She only gets nervous and aggressive when meeting other dogs if she is on a leash. We both need more practise at this. I am glad we live in an unincorporated hamlet where we don't meet many other leashed dogs.

I am plum nuts about this dog. I think all the bad behaviour at the beginning just made me more determined to make something of her. I knew she had the potential to be a great friend. She is currently curled up at my feet. I'd be lost without her. Amen.

Take care of yourselves. Bea

P.S. This estrogen is driving me nuts. I look like two dirigibles have landed on my chest. more hot flashes and I SLEEP at night. The trade off may be worth it. Supposed to snow 3-6 inches again today. sigh

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Not There Yet

Okay my chest swelled up and I am five pounds heavier. My skin looks better and I am not having hot flashes during the day. I still wake up at o'dark hundred every night. I am now only suicidal when it snows. (This is normal for here.) Is this success?

Now for something completely different. I hate, hate, hate to cook. Is a problem as I want to eat non-processed stuff. In response to Annimals' questions I reviewed my cooking history. Very interesting.

In doing my culinary retrospection I was shocked to discover my horrible experiences with cooking.

1. At four I did all the shopping and cooking for my mother and I. I would stand on a stool at the counter and she would direct me from the bedroom how to stir up pancakes and cook them in a frying pan. I also fried hunks of bologna. That's what we ate most of the time.

2. At six in the foster home I peeled potatoes for thirteen people every evening. Also carrots, turnips and beets. My first grade teacher thought I had some sort of disease after one of the beet nights. Here also began my dish washing odyssey.

3. At eleven I moved back in with my mother and took over cooking again. She was much better by now and helped me, but getting meals on the table was my responsibility.

4. At thirteen I began cooking supper once a week for the 25 old people in the nursing home. My adopted mother cooked the other nights. I made pancakes and eggs mostly. Sometimes I branched out with macaroni and cheese and vegetables. My first paid job was washing dishes in the nursing home. I started at twelve and finally graduated at fifteen when I became a nurses aid.

5. My adopted mother could cook like a dream, and she hated it. She was perpetually exhausted and cooking made her back hurt. But she cooked anyway. We did not eat our meals at the house, we ate at the nursing home.

6. During nursing school and after I mostly ate out or ate t.v. dinners or sandwiches. That is twenty-some years of junk food.

7. When I married at 32 I began cooking three meals a day. We have not been "in the funds" for a good portion of our married life so we have mostly eaten at home. Mark cannot taste much of anything so elaborate meals do not matter to him.

8. The only time I now go "all out" in the kitchen is when we are going to have company. As we usually have big gatherings I am tired and stressed out before, during and after these dreadful cooking marathons.

Is it any wonder I can't stand to cook. I am glad to have learned why I detest cooking but...I don't have any idea how to fix the problem. This cooking hangup is one of the main reasons I am fat, so I would really like to learn to appreciate cooking. Any ideas?

Bon Appetite, Bea

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

All Patched Up

Okay, I went to the doctor on Friday. Was a hassle just getting there. We had to wait an hour while they dynamited avalanches in the canyon before we could even leave. Then it snowed the whole darn way. Mark, bless his little heart, took the day off and drove me over. He said he had a "vested interest" in this doctor's appointment. Ya think he is tired of me yelling at him? Anyway we arrived intact and on time.

I was a nervous wreck. I have issues about anyone peering at my private parts except my husband. AND I have major issues with health care in general and in particular. I had a list of demands for the doctor so as not to be fobbed off with the usual medical jargon and procedures. I was determined to understand and agree with everything done to me before I acquiesced to a "treatment plan." In my anxiety I still think I may have been semi-fobbed. But, over all, I believe I got what needed.

For fobby starters, She, physician does not prescribe compounding pharmacy made bio-identical hormones. She does not do blood tests to ascertain current hormone levels. She does not prescribe hormones based on blood tests. She does not prescribe thyroid meds with both T4 and T3 components. So I got none of that.

For semi-happy enders, She did the most thorough intake interview I've ever experienced. I had an opportunity to relay all my symptoms and have them explained to me. She did a gentle pelvic exam. She addressed each of my requests and explained her rationale for not using a damn one of them. The exam room was warm and the gown fit. Oh, they did not weigh me. The nurse told me they had decided it was a waste of valuable time as almost every woman could tell you what she weighed down to the ounce!

I was prescribed a low dose non-synthetic transdermal estradiol (estrogen) patch. It is the lowest dose possible. I change it weekly. I was not prescribed progesterone as I have had a hyster and "do not not need it to protect my uterus." The office visit was covered by my insurance and so was the patch. The patch cost me out of pocket $11 for three weeks.

I am not anxious or unhappy about my "treatment plan" but I think it could be better.

I believe the blood tests would have given a clear picture of where I am hormone wise and I would not have to use the trial and error method to determine the correct estrogen dosage. At present I use the patch for three weeks and if I am still having hot flashes and night sweats the dosage is increased in small increments until my symptoms abate. This is the usual and accepted medical model of treatment and one I am very familiar with. But...wouldn't it have been lovely to get an individualized dose immediately.

I think I may need some progesterone. The blood tests would have told me this. In the mean time I will study up on it, and wait to see if the estrogen alone does the trick.

I would have liked to have had a more specific thyroid blood test. I pushed for this and was told that my insurance would not pay for it as She (the physician) did not believe it was needed. Not a very subtle coercion.

So, that is my story. As of today I do not think I have noticed any changes from the patch. Maybe a few less hot flashes. She told me I might have to wait the full three weeks before noticing any changes. I told Mark this and he looked crestfallen. Come to find out the only symptom he really wants to go away is my lack of libido!

Markovian theory:
1. Every time you walk past your wife rub that estrogen patch on her bottom real hard. It might be heat activated.
2. If one patch is good, five would work much faster. Gluing them to the bottom of her feet while she is sleeping will guarantee they will not be noticed as quickly.
3. Do not inquire on the hour "Are we there yet?" It just makes her mad.

Sigh, Love Bea

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Masks 2

I just called Mark at work and yelled at him for losing the remote to his t.v.. Have I lost my mind? You betcha. I am longing for Friday and my Dr's. appointment to get here. Hi Nory.

Vickie I read the chemical post. (see previous comments) I believe whole foods are the healthy way to go. I have not been able to commit myself to the work it takes to eat this way. I want fake food because I feel lousy and it is easier to eat the stuff with chemicals in it than to shop and wash and chop and cook the real stuff. But...I want to be less fake in all areas of my life. Read on.

I am trying to take off my masks. It is scaring me spitless. I teach the adult Sunday School class at our church. I try to keep to the middle of the road with everything I teach so as not to offend anyone. Damn boring, for me and for them. This past Sunday I went off lesson and brought up a subject that I had questions about. We had a lively, to say the least, discussion. I revealed my true thinking about the subject. Was fairly well received...and I have been a mess ever since.

I hate letting my "real self" show. She is sooooo vulnerable on all levels. I let the false self take the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune and retreat to my real self to rest/hide. Only a couple of people get see to the real me. I am fakish with everyone else. Interestingly enough it is the real self who over eats. Lately it is taking more and more food to insulate the real self from the trials of the false self. I am getting tired and sick from living my false internal life. So, on Sunday I decided to let what I thought were parts of the real me show through. And that felt fake too. Poop.

Have I lived to please for so long that I can't even recognize who and what is the essential me? Am I incapable of either an unanalyzed action or a self recriminating reaction? Mebbe. Hard to reveal your real self to others when she is a semi unknown entity. I think the real self eats to pad out bad stuff but also to shore up who she is. She is weak. What I found out during Sunday's escapade is that I need to build up my real self's muscles. When you have been so agreeable for so long you develop a really tough "nice shell." I am not yet strong enough to break the shell of my false nice persona. How to get stronger? First, I have to exercise my "No." Then I need to spend time with my real self to get to know her. I am grateful for my false self's auto pilot ability to carry on with daily life while emotionally I am gearing up for the great escape.

My goal with all to this is to finally get to "authentic compassion." It is going to take longer and be harder than I figured. Maybe a year. A first step could be to stop eating fake food.

Take care, Love Bea