Friday, November 23, 2007

Lifestyle Update

Yes. I've sort of had I am disgusted with myself. I've only gained maybe 5 pounds over the last couple of months, but it has all appeared in my midsection and as spotty horrid cellulite flesh. I could start the explanation phase of my dissertation (new job, more emails from the crazy ex, lawyers, fatigue, teeth trouble, the kids, my schedule, their schedules, menopause, hormones .... ok, you get the point) but I just must get beyond that and move on. Suck it up, as they say. (I wish I could suck it out).

I've told myself I wanted to lose weight for this or that reason. Upcoming events, to feel better, to enhance my self confidence, to ... well whatever. It never works. My metabolism is so screwed up that the only way I lose weight is to literally NOT EAT. And that's not healthy either. I must truly watch my diet, but increase my exercise by astronomical amounts. Amounts that will preclude my doing anything else but work and sleep (sorry, kids). Moderation my ass. I've tried moderation. I gained weight.

So we are now into the desperation phase as we have just crossed the Thanksgiving finish line and see Christmas and January 1, 2008 looming in the distance. But desperation is not a good look for me. I also am one of those people who don't do well if we don't see progress. I'm not even talking BIG progress. I mean like a pound a week. That's all the frick I'm asking for and even with dieting closely and exercising, I still can't do it most times.

I know. I was a yo-yo dieter and now my metabolism is screwed. However, I cannot believe there isn't something I can do. And I'd like to find something that will support me and not cost an arm and a leg (altho I could lose a good 15 pounds if I lose the leg....). So I found this Everyday Health website that seems to give good advice and be...yes, free.

So I'm taking the eHealth Holiday Challenge (see the link on the side bar) as I sit here and smell the chocolate chip cookies baking in the oven.

At least it's not outwardly self flogging. Yet.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Thursday Thirteen #17!

As I am in incredible pain from an abscessed tooth, anesthesia and pain relief are utmost and foremost on my mind at this moment. Here are some facts about the history of pain relief:

1. The term anesthesia was coined by Oliver Wendell Holmes in 1846 and is defined as a reversible lack of awareness either total or specific to a certain part of the body.

2. The first recorded use of anesthesia was written on a papyrus dating back to 1500 BC. Then, opium poppy capsules were collected and a preparation was made to relieve pain.

3. Classic Greek and Roman medical texts discussed the use of opium and other herbal specimens, which proved a mainstay of pain relief until the 19th century.

4. Most anesthesia preparations were either ingested or smoked, but Incan shamans chewed coca leaves and spit into the wounds they were operating on to relieve the pain.

5. The crucial drawback to old methods were that there was no standarization and opiates, herbal remedies and even alcohol were "useless when too weak and deadly when too strong."

6. Even in ancient times, as often as possible, pain relievers were administered locally to reduce the risk of overdosing the patient.

7. A medicine containing willow leaves (a salicylate, the precursor of aspirin) was often applied to wounds to decrease inflammation.

8. In the late 1700's - early 1800's, doctors began experimenting with CO2 and nitrous oxide (laughing gas). It was mainly used by dentists to ease the pain of tooth extraction.

9. In January 1842, a dentist named William E. Clark used a compound called diethyl ether (originally discovered in 1510) to perform painless tooth extraction.

10. Ether and chloroform were used, but both are unstable and ether proved highly flammable. Because of this, cocaine was suggested as an alternate method of pain relief by Sigmund Freud. He originally suggested it to Dr. Karl Koller in 1884 to use during eye surgery on a patient.

11. The first public demonstration of the use of ether as an anesthetic agent was done at Massachusetts General Hospital by the dentist Dr. William Thomas Green Morton in October 1846. In a letter to Dr. Morton, Oliver Wendell Holmes sited the term anesthesia and Morton eventually patented the ether compound. which was still in use through the 1960's.

12. Eventually, a number of cocaine derivatives and safer replacements were soon produced, including procaine in 1905 and lidocaine in 1943.

13. Opiates continue to be used for pain relief, but are usually used with other agents such as intravenous non-opiate anesthetics or inhalants to produce unconsciousness for surgical patients.

Viva anesthesia!!!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Failure is NOT an Option

NaNoWriMo update:

Still hovering around 3,000 words. However, and this could be a ploy to avoid the actual competition of NaNo, but I've started 2 other stories. One at a respectable 3000 words and another at a measly, but nonetheless productive, 1500.

So, in my effort to keep myself bouyant, I have added all the stories together into a genre hodgepodge and came up with a total of close to 9000 words written since the beginning of November.

Not anywhere near the 20,000 I should be at, and spaced between a romance, chicklit and a fictional short story, but still. 9,000 words.

I heard a story about a women who went to medical school at 40 years of age. She was criticized for being too old and was told she couldn't keep up physically with the challenges. It took her several years and when she was 46 and a physician with her own practice they asked her how she did it.

She said, "I just figured I'd get older either way and gave 100%."

Point well taken.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Abuse 101

For those of you wishing to learn the finer nuances of abuse, whether to hone your craft or be aware of the bag of tricks an abuser uses, allow me to introduce you to one that is a favorite of my ex. It was the tool he used many a time to inform me of the continuous error of my ways. Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you: The Driveway Ambush.

Here are the steps you need to follow in order to create this work of art. You, as the justified wronged one, first must get good and angry about something. Anything. It can do with the ex or the kids or child support or your job or how your football team lost or how your girlfriend doesn't dress right or how your mother beat you as a child. Whatever. Get yourself primed and whipped up. Decide that the only relief you will get revolves around addressing the one that REALLY causes all your pain: your EX! You must, simply must, drive to the house you once shared and give that woman a piece of your obviously superior mind. Set her straight. You know it will help ease your gnawing pain....and what else is your ex good for? So jump in your car and begin your journey. Start swearing. A lot. Pound on the steering wheel until it hurts. Give other motorists as well as those damn pedestrians the finger. And really mean it. Honk and honk and honk at people in your lane or in any lane. Take Road Rage to new heights. Dare a squirrel to cross your path and survive. Continue to your old house and wait for your ex-wife to come home. Must be timed perfectly so you arrive about 10 minutes BEFORE she gets home from work. You can get even angrier that you had to wait on someone who should have KNOWN that you were gonna show up.

Car placement is very, very important in the “Driveway Ambush.” It has to be positioned just so to be effective -- about 5 feet from the front door, with the front fender just about even with the nearside door frame. Personal body location is also important here. You must be stationed between the car and the front door, so that the ex-wife would have to pole-vault over the evergreen in order to avoid you and get into the house.

Then, and here’s the pinnacle: Stand there and wait. Folding of the arms is okay, but leaning on the car or standing on one foot or the other is not allowed. Straight and tall is the order of the day. Hands on the hips is only used to punctuate, and must be accompanied by a 20-25 degree pitch forward from the waist, usually reserved for the full strike intimidation phase.

The problem is, like Pavlov’s dogs, they eventually learn. If they see your car in the driveway, the little chickens just keep on driving. And driving. And driving. So don't overuse this handy weapon in the quest for ultimate control because it can lose it's efficacy once the victim gets smart or hires a bodyguard. And for heaven's sake, you certainly don't want any violence.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Thursday Thirteen #16!

13 Jobs I Have Had, Not in Any Particular Order:

**And yes, I can hear you: not my most original or witty TT, but hey, I'm trying to produce 2 billion words a day for NaNoWriMo -- what do you want from me? :-)

1. Waitress/Hostess (like almost every other woman I know)
2. Legal Secretary (sucked. Absolutely sucked)
3. Receptionist (I was 19, my first job in the city. It was fun and left me lots of time to daydream about other things...)
4. Radio Traffic Reporter (working hours were nasty: 5am-10am and then 3pm-7pm. But it was fun being on the radio and I learned to talk about 100 mph.)
5. Medical Staff Secretary (working with doctors is always fun, ain't it??)
6. Office Manager for a Chiropractor (zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz)
7. Billing Manager for Doctor's Office (it was actually fun and I learned so much about medical billing.)
8. Patient Coordinator in Pediatric Cardiology (hard. Very, very hard dealing with sick babies and little children)
9. Babysitter (my first, first job. The kids played and I watched "All My Children")
10. Practice Manager for OB/GYN group (I love to hear the sounds of the fetal monitors registering the little heartbeats!!)
11. Cashier (now this is fun -- worrying that the next person who comes in has an eye on your register and a gun in his pocket)
12. Data entry person (see number 6)
13. Cleaning lady (hard work and very little reward)

36 years of almost uninterrupted employment!!!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Crash and Burn

Ok. According to the website, as of this moment I have 24 days, 1 hour and 53 minutes to write about 47,000 more words to hit the 50,000 mark. There has been approximately 171,000,000 words written so far by the entire collective.

That is one shitload of words.

I contributed about 3000 to that pile and I figure I must write 1,958 words PER DAY to reach the 50,000 goal. Yes. I know what you are thinking. Not a chance in hell.

I seem to write way too slowly and have precious little time to devote to the pursuit. However, I am not deterred. I shall march bravely on, like a little Kamikazi novelist, knowing that at the end, I will crash and burn.

My new, more realistic goal is 25,000 words by 11/30/07. Then next year, I'll start writing in August like everyone else and hit that 10,000 word mark in 3 days like all the others!! There are all these people posting that they've hit 10,000, 20,000 words since 11/1. I can't even spit out that many words talking in that time frame. And trust me, I'm an expert talker. Something tells me they were typing and formulating and plotting way before 11/1/07. I registered 10/31 and started typing 11/2/07, not knowing what the hell I was writing about.

I'm rather proud I've gotten this far! So onward I march, even sacrificing my very nice long nails for a shorter version, quicker on the keyboard.

Wish me luck. I'll need it.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

What Have I Done -- Parts 1 and 2

Is it hormones? Is it menopause? Is it the looming specter of empty nest syndrome? Or is it a woman who, after surviving an abusive marriage with the help of dear friends and 6 years of psychotherapy, has finally starting rediscovering who she is and what she wants to do?

I don't know. The flip side shouts that perhaps the meds aren't working as they should.

But over the last week, I've done some fairly uncharacteristic things. And I have more in the works. I'm relatively free of my ex, although those emails still keep coming in, which I will share with you again soon, I have a good job that I like, I have dear, true friends, my kids are growing into healthy adults. Sure the shit hits the fan and I take a nose dive, but I'm starting to do things just for me. I do have leftover Ex baggage which manifests itself in my little voice telling me I can't, I shouldn't, I'm not smart enough, I'm not organized enough, I don't have the time, the stress will make me eat more, eating more will make me fat-ter....etc. You get the point.

But I've stopped listening -- most of the time.

I didn't listen when I signed up to participate in NaNoWriMo ( which is National Novel Writing Month. 50,000 words in 30 days. I've done 1324 words as of today and have no idea what else I am going to type! I'm looking forward to the challenge and just hoping I can make it to 30,000 words. I'd be happy with that! There's always next year!

Then, I signed up through the Manilow Fund for Health and Hope ( to attend a charity event next year which includes a "how do you do" with Mr. Manilow himself. I saw the ticket on line, I waited 48 hours, a ticket was still available and I took it. I can't believe I did it. It so isn't "me".

But I've decided these things -- NaNo and Manilow -- are good things. I'm breaking free of the victim I was and seeing things through totally different eyes. Don't get me wrong -- it's taken a long time to get here. A Long Time. But it is so worth it.

For any of you healing from abusive relationships, get therapy. Talk to your friends. Don't isolate yourself. Try new things. Realize you are going to backpeddle sometimes, but that's ok. Progress will be made.

You are worth every single thing you do for yourself -- silly or not!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Questions I Have Been Asked

I got one of those "Getting to Know You" emails from a friend and one of the questions was: "What do you rely on most?"

Now I believe most people answered their "higher power", or a family member or themselves. You know what is the first thing that popped into my head?

What do I rely on most: The Kindness of Strangers.

This is not to say I don't believe in a Higher Power or have wonderful friends. I do and I do. But there are so many times in my life that some person I hardly know held my hand or gave me a word of encouragement or made me laugh.

This has firmly rooted my belief in the basic goodness of people and has led to my being taken down the "stoney road" once in a while. But lumps and bumps aside (and one crazy ex-husband) I still believe that people are basically good and kind. Most of the time.

So thank you to those either in person or in blog who practiced "Random Acts of Kindness". You have made me smile and lifted a sometimes heavy heart.

I only hope I have done the same for you.