Tag Archives: Health

This Week of Renovating

The bathroom vanity before
The bathroom vanity before

The other day I was driving West on I-10, my thoughts ranged from the mundane (how was I going to find the time to stain the floors of the Oldcastle house) to the odd (I love renovation. Why didn’t I do this full-time?).

I’ve discovered laying glass tile is a breeze. If they weren’t so expensive I would plaster rooms with them. Rooms! At the Oldcastle house I put glass tile around the bath vanity, including at the floor around the vanity because the hole that we filled in with cement was filled too high to put conventional tile on. So here you see the dark tile around the new vanity.

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Sure, I could begin a small renovation business. I had just installed glass tiles and grouted them in the master bath of the house.

They looked perfect. I had designed several of the new elements of the house from the cabinets (wish they were all white, though) and the bathroom vanities. I had added a light where there was none to create a dining room area. It was fun. Just wish I wasn’t using our money to do it. How much more fun would this be if it were someone else’s money? I could do wonders for people looking to change their old and drab bathrooms and kitchens.

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We had already been approached by two neighbors who were interested in purchasing the property. So I knew things were going to be okay with it.

Kitchen almost done.
Kitchen almost done.

We had established that this week we would be putting up a “for sale” sign. Finishing touches, completing the punch list, that’s all we have left.

Then my mother-in-law called. She had blood in her stool A lot of blood. She wanted a ride to the doctors. My husband took her, after a consultation with the doctor, they had her at the hospital in fifteen minutes. Her blood-thinner levels in her blood were at the stage where it was surprising that she had survived. She was bleeding internally. There was fluid around her heart. It didn’t look good.

First night in the ICU she called my husband at 2 AM and told him if he didn’t get down there and get her out he would find a dead mother in the morning. We spent time with her the next few days. Every day and every night it was a new conspiracy theory. For instance the hospital staff was conspiring against her to keep her in bed so they could take more of her money. And the electronics in the room were making the clocks and her watch jump ahead every few hours so that it always looked like 2 AM so she would remain confused. The scary one was that no one was visiting her. And who was I to tell her different? We wouldn’t take the time to come visit. We weren’t caring enough to make sure she was fine. Okay.

My sweet, dear, beloved mother-in-law had gone “around the bend” in a big way.

In order to show her that we cared I resorted to bringing her a pile of get well cards from her loved ones – i.e. all of us – with notes and pictures, vases of flowers (fake because “real ones make me sicker”), photos of us visiting when she was too asleep to know we were there and making her drink water (“I don’t need water. Everyone makes me drink water. It’s just a trick.”)

The renovations and the rest of the world had to come to some sort of agreement with timing.

Last night, after several nearly sleepless nights we figured she was calmer. Perhaps it had something to do with the fact that we took the phone away from her. So we planned to sleep. Then the phone rang at 1AM. This time a neighbor across from the Oldcastle house was calling to the report the garage door and front door were open. We asked him to please lock the house up. We rose early to drive over to see what damage had been done. Nothing. Everything was as it had been. Strange.

Then it hit me. I forgot the fundamental rule of property recently abandoned by its occupant.

Change the locks.

This wish for renovation work full-time must have been the thinking of a brain high on paint fumes.

A Hundred Days to Health – the update

Weight Loss (The Office)
Image via Wikipedia

A hundred days have come and gone. I started this crazy attempt at improving my health at the end of January and so much has happened in that short period of time.  Here are the highlights – major house renovation and move, and found out I’m to be a grandmother – but not in that order. In fact, life hasn’t been orderly.

So many things have tried to side-track the health effort. As written I started out a 5’3″ female at 143 pounds and meds included those for thyroid, cholesterol, and diabetes – in other words, a round, middle-aged lady with thinning hair.

I am now at 126 pounds. I’m down one size. My cholesterol meds have been cut in half. Thyroid is fixing to be a thing of the past. Diabetes meds are up (drat!). I’m still 5’3″.

The down side: At this age as you lose weight the wrinkles begin to show. It’s true. However, I don’t think neck waddles are the bane of the middle-aged woman’s existence. No, I believe the worst part of growing older as a woman is the baggy knees. I no longer look hot in shorts. The book  Raggedy Ann and the Camel with the Baggy Knees has more meaning.

I’m thrilled to report that at least two of my friends have set their own health goals by also joining the YMCA and committing to a work-out schedule. Whoo Hoo!!

 

 

 

An Elephant Weighs In

This link
This link (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It is day 24 of my Hundred Days to Health marathon. I have lost and gained and lost and gained and lost – one pound. I keep my diet under 1,500 calories, heavy on the protein, low on the fat and sugar. I’ve only broken my code twice with potato chips one day and chocolate on another day. So shoot me.

 

I don’t know what else to do – I have begun racing a bike for two miles, I’ve upped my weight lifting. In January I lifted the equivalent of  12.8 elephants. How is that possible? Well, it wasn’t all at one time! All my machines at the Y are plugged into a computer program – FitLinxx. I can access my information online, and every time I use a machine it transmits the info into the program. They use elephants as an incentive.And I suspect they might be using small elephants.

 

So where am I going wrong? I haven’t really lost a bit of what I want to lose. So … what to do? What to do?

 

I get discouraged. Any suggestions?

 

Soy Bad, Whey Good

Português: Suplemento Alimentar - Proteína do ...
Português: Suplemento Alimentar – Proteína do Leite (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Today is day 5 of my countdown, one hundred days to health. I have to wake up in the morning with a plan and a determination to do this right.

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I found the old can of Slim-Fast in the cupboard and gave everyone else in the house permission to eat it.

“Why? If it’s bad for you is it going to be good for me?” my husband asked. “What does this say?”

It says I hate to throw things away … but I said, “I’m not eating soy protein anymore. Only whey protein.” Thing is soy isn’t bad for people. It’s really healthy. But I’ve been eating soy products steadily for years and it could be what is contributing to my middle fat.

Seriously, I am going to be steering clear of soy products, especially products with processed soy. So I went and bought two kinds of Whey protein drinks. I tasted the one with the Spirulina in it. I have no idea what a Spirulina looks like, or what it is, but it sounds healthy, doesn’t it? I think it’s a green plant, like sprouts. I’m going to turn into a super-healthy person drinking stuff with Spirulina in it. I drink that green stuff in a bottle from the refrigerated section. No, really, it’s good. And it’s chock full of Spirulina, and sprouts.

Today, Breakfast – cooked Scottish Oats with a tablespoon of milk and less of honey. (350 C) Lunch: Dinner out with friend Shirley at Sweet Tomatoes, hungry near starvation, Loaded the dinky plate with all sorts of colorful stuff from beets (no idea the calories), carrots, peas, boiled egg, lettuce, spinach, black olives (25 calories for 3. What???) entire meal, probably 1,000 calories. Dinner, fried chicken nuggets (home-made with healthful oil – 750 C) peas and mushroom, 1/2 cup 200 C, macaroni 1/2 cup (didn’t finish – 50 C), glass of wine – 95 C

Blood sugar this morning 142 (not so good)

Walked two and a half miles on treadmill in 40 minutes. Burned 240 C.

Not so tired today.

What I learned: Fiber is essential for getting rid of cholesterol. Good foods to look for apples, black olives, onions and green tea. (pass the black olives). It’s important to eat plenty of cooked vegetables because cooking helps the veggies help the thyroid. Pomegranate juice is good forcing the system to work for you not against you.

Day 4 in countdown: One Hundred Days to Health

Original caption from the USDA: "ARS rese...
Image via Wikipedia

Weight: 140.1 pounds

No, I didn’t really lose two pounds. I might have been wearing my jacket when I was weighed before.

Today wasn’t so bad. I wrote down everything I ate. Breakfast: Oatmeal with cranberries and 10 almonds. (450 Cal) Lunch: raw carrots, raw peas with light Ranch dressing. 1/2 cup whole grain wild rice with ground meat (650 Cal) Supper: 6 Cold shrimp on bed of lettuce and spinach with sliced raw sweet pepper, green onion, celery, sugar-free mandarin oranges, with Vidalia onion dressing. (750 Cal) A glass of Merlot: 95 Cal

I’m learning that I must eat whole foods rather than processed. I’ve got to start reading labels! I brought home some “butter buds” today and my daughter pointed out that the number two ingredient is soy and the number three ingredient is corn syrup.

I also learned that pre-menopausal women produce a type of estrogen called estradiol. Estradiol tends to put fat on hips and butt but this is a good fat helps with insulin response. Estradiol also helps regulate hunger, so you can stay lean. Whereas post-menopausal women tend to produce estrone which shifts the fat from hips to belly. This fat works to store insulin so the body doesn’t even know it’s there so the pancreas produces erratic amounts and the blood sugar goes wild and the fat at the belly stays put and will NOT be moved. The IMMOVABLE FAT will not go, Marvin K. Mooney. I could eat a ham sandwich with mayonnaise and gain five pounds overnight, but I could quit eating for a week and not lose one pound.

I HATE Exercise, Don’t You?

English: Picture of a common measuring tape in...
English: Picture of a common measuring tape in inches. It is divided into 1/32nd of an inch. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This will be an uncomfortable blog. I will share more about myself than I’m used to. It won’t be pretty.

I adore comfort, don’t you? I like to be warm, bedded into softness, my feet safely tucked under blankets. I like to be fed, the cravings vanquished, the night song of satiated stomach lolling without a worry of when the next bite of food need come. I like to sleep and wake up refreshed. I like my caffeine jolt in the morning. I like my day to start so slowly that I don’t even feel it. It’s the luxurious stuff of vacation time.  I strive for this.

Don’t you?

When my children were young I did as every good mother does and made sure they had everything they needed. My husband and I worked hard to provide warmth, safety, comfort, food, love. I hurt when they hurt, was happy when they were happy. I believe my parents were the same with me. I started young in my constant quest for comfort. Not everyone in the world is so fortunate, but that’s another blog. Because this blog is about me, not starving children and puppies in India, it is about me. Comfort and nicety is boring. I hope you have guessed by now that this isn’t about comfort and nicety and so eventually it won’t be so boring, but just in case you’ve about given up and read ahead, I won’t fault you. It’s okay to skip to the juicy bits.

Now that my children are grown and capable and productive adults. Now, my everyday life is about me and I like comfort. As I believe the majority of mankind does. So I’m no different from anyone else. That’s why I think it’s important to talk about it.

That’s right. I’m talking about comfort. Getting it, and losing it.

Because my comfort-level has just been given a left hook out of nowhere, a blow to the crotch, a serious set-back of epic proportions. In other words I can no longer afford to search for comfort all the time. I have to get serious and now I will explain why.

Here’s the juicy bits, the stuff I don’t tell just anyone until now. Now I’m telling you (feel special). I am fifty-six years old. I am five foot, two inches tall and weigh a hundred and forty-two pounds. No surprise to me. I knew that. In fact, I’ve been meaning (and trying) to lose twenty pounds for donkey’s years. With no success. Mind you, part of the reason for lack of success is that I hate diets, and exercise because – you guessed it – it isn’t comfortable. Not only is diet and exercise uncomfortable, it is boring. Not that I haven’t tried diets. I have. I’ve done the Butter Buster’s diet, the Adkins diet, been a vegetarian, cut back on portions, and “left a little on the plate.” All that and I’ve hardly maintained my weight but rather, I’ve gained weight. Bummer! I’ve packed on five pounds every year for ten years starting at forty, until this past six years where I’ve managed to maintain or only put on a pound a year. Isn’t that funny? Not only is my body’s ability to lose slowed, even my gaining has reached a “snail’s pace”. But no matter what I do, it won’t quit.

I joined the YMCA of Downtown Houston about two years ago. The old 1910 building’s inside air stank, especially if there were enough people (read that as men) working out at the same time. I figured the outside air downtown wasn’t the best quality anyway so being at the gym to work out was much like taking a good long walk around my neighborhood.

This year they opened the new Downtown YMCA. I adore it. It smells good. The pool is a comfortable temperature (yes, comfortable) and the weight machines are new and clean. Airy, bright, every machine hooked up to a computer program that logs on exactly what weights I use and how many pounds I lift. This place rocks! This past Saturday I logged thirty-seven minutes on a treadmill and lifted an impressive 7, 640 pounds.

Okay, now that you’ve not been impressed by my boasting, let me explain. If I lift ten pounds, ten times, that’s a hundred pounds. I do three sets of ten lifts on each machine in my workout. If I walk around and use enough machines I can rack up some astounding poundage. Believe me, it isn’t that impressive. To give a better picture, I’m still in the yellow zone after two years. Like a yellow belt in Karate, I’m a beginner.

So this past week I went to get my body “composition” measurements done. I know I’ve got fat around the middle, the dangerous fat, the kind that holds the insulin and tricks the body into believing it doesn’t have enough insulin, so more insulin is produced thus adding to the fat and not helping a bit. It is also the fat that contributes to heart disease, high cholesterol and a ton of other bad stuff. I know that. I’ve read up on it. Reading up on it doesn’t make it go away. I thought exercise would help. So, on this day, I go to get my body composition stats done so that they will be added into the computer program that my weight lifting and cardio workouts are on.

The young lady takes my height and my weight and enters them into the computer. There’s a chart that pops up. I can see it from across the room. Green, yellow, red. She looks at it, her finger trailing across the range of numbers that look much like the chart on the back of the pantyhose box. She says, “You’re in the normal range.”

“Wow,” I say. “You’re kidding!”

“Nope. Now let’s measure your fat.”

Another young lady enters the room. She will enter the numbers while the first girl measures. I have to take off some layers of clothing, all the way to my T-shirt. It was cold outside. I don’t like cold. It isn’t comfortable.

She takes out a calibration thingy that looks like a cross between a pair of pliers and a drafting compass. She uses a measuring tape to measure an exact distance between my shoulder and elbow. She kneads the fat part at the back of my upper arm, yes, the part that “flaps”, and she pinched it and measured it with the thingy. She said, “Thirty.”

The other girl in the room tapped the computer keyboard.

Girl number one has me roll up my gym pants. She measure from my hip bone to my knee and punches my thigh right in the middle, where the muscle is. I’m proud of that muscle. “Flex!” she says.

“I am,” I say.

She pinches my fat in the thingy. “Forty,” she says.

Entered.

She lifts my shirt so that my FAT shows. “This is where it’s embarrassing,” I remark.

She doesn’t say anything. She pinches the fat. There’s lots of it. She says, “Forty-two.”

I think – that’s all?

Then, and this is even worse than the fat-omometer. She uses a tape measure. “Chest, thirty-eight, waist, thirty-eight (AACH!) hips, forty-four.”

Oh, now that’s going too far. I can’t be that bad off.

Girl One bends over the computer while Girl Two presses buttons. Girl One straightens up, looks me in the eye and says, “You’re obese.”

“I’m sorry. What? I thought I heard you say ‘obese’.” I chuckle.

“You’re obese. Sorry. It’s what the chart says.”

I’m shocked. “You mean I went from normal to obese? What happened to fat?”

“It’s the chart. Are you exercising?”

“Yes.”

“Then you’re doing the right thing. What about your diet?”

“Well, I do like butter and cream.” (fatty meat, gristle, turkey necks, caramel ice cream and any other comfort food out there.)

“Well, you need to think about a diet. Exercise alone isn’t working.”

I’m flabbergasted. “I see,” I say. I don’t like this. I’m not happy. I’m obese. I begin to re-dress in a daze.

Girl One says, “Aren’t you going to stay and exercise?”

“Uh, no, I have something I have to do.” Yeah, like go home and weep.

And eat something.

Chips.

I need chips.

Girl One says, “If you need anything I’m studying to be a dietitian. I’m here to help. Just ask.”

She’s cute this girl, with her perky nose and gorgeous hair. I hate her. With a pleasant controlled voice, I say, “Um, that’s great. Thank you so much.”

I leave and drive home and sit in a fug of despair for a while. Kimberly calls. I tell her I’m obese. She laughs. “Who told you this thing?” She does great impressions and cheers me up no end.

“The girls at the Y.”

“They lie.”

“No, seriously. I’m obese. My fat – it’s taking over.”

“Well, they still lie.”

I’m in a better mood. I decide to hit the library and look at diet books. I get one about the South Beach Diet. I’d heard it was good. I haven’t done that one.

But because I’m a little obsessive and a whole lot research-oriented. I pull book after book from the shelf and check them all out. Ah ha! (throw in evil-genius heinous laugh) I will conquer this obesity by reading about a diet and doing a diet and sticking to a diet. That’s the trouble – I don’t stick to it when I go on a diet. Got to change, I repeat this over and over in my head. Got to change. Got to stick to it.

One of the books I checked out was written by that energetic, exercise guru on “The Biggest Loser” Jillian Michaels. I hate her. Don’t you hate her? She is pretty, and perky, and can afford to be on TV telling people how to lose weight. Ugh! But I know I am insulin resistant, and that has to do with how I metabolize food, so I’ll read a little about what she says. Ugh!

The first few pages are all about her. Oh right, you were a fat kid. Yeah, and I studied to be an astroNOT. But I kept reading. Hmmm. Okay, so this makes sense. It isn’t so much about the amount you eat but WHAT you eat. Duh. But some of this stuff about hormones and estrogen and thyroid and all this is making a lot of sense all of a sudden because I’ve been struggling with hair loss and splotchy, flaky, sallow skin, and weight really since about the age of thirty-four. About two years after my daughter was born. I slowly fell apart physically. By the time I was forty-two I had poly cystic disease of the ovaries and endrometriosis. The pain and such got so bad that I had to have a hysterectomy. And I’ve tried the creams to boost my progesterone and boost my testosterone and taken pills that reek made from the adrenal glands of a pig . . .

And then I read this (quoting from Master Your Metabolism by Jillian Michaels):

NORMAL WEIGHT OBESITY – DO YOU HAVE IT?

Even if you’re not officially overweight, you could be overfat – and that excess fat makes you more susceptible to insulin resistance. Recent Mayo Clinic research show that many normal-weight adults actually have high body fat – greater than 20 percent of men and 30 percent for women – as well as heart and metabolic disturbances. Researchers found this “normal-body-weight obesity” (what I call “skinny fat”) in more than half of the patients with a normal BMI. They also tended to have altered blood lipids (high cholesterol), high leptin (a hormone found in fat that is involved in appetite regulation), and higher rates of metabolic syndrome. Body composition is what really counts, not weight.


Okay, I no longer hate her. I love her. She’s wonderful. She’s nailed it. I’ve got to read this book cover to cover. I’ve got to have this book on my shelf! I’ve got to get control of my body fat. Because right this minute, my body fat is controlling how I feel, what I think, and my comfort level, to the point that it will kill me. And I’d rather not die of fat.

This moment I’m taking medicine for my insulin resistance, my low thyroid, and my high cholesterol. I want to get off some of my medications. I want to get rid of the middle fat that is contributing to my high blood-sugar, and cholesterol and according to this book my low thyroid.

So I’m going to be blogging about this for one hundred days. This is day ninety-seven because for three days I have been eating zero processed sugar (yes, I crave it), and low-fat, high protein stuff.

My breath stinks and I’m tired.

There are lists to be studied of foods that contribute to hormone imbalance such as soy and many processed foods which contain soy which raise estrogen levels in the body. Estrogen contributes to the fat cycle, inhabiting the waist-fat cells and instructing those cells to be fruitful and multiply.

It isn’t about calories and non-fat and non-sugared foods. It’s about processed food that contain unnatural amounts of chemicals that work against weight-loss. It’s about eating healthy foods in healthy quantities. Yes, I must stay away from sugar and fat, but those won’t kill me if they pass through my body without “sticking”. So cheating isn’t an issue. It’s about getting rid of things from my pantry that don’t help. It’s about adding things to the pantry that will help.

So I’m not going to comfortable doing this. I’m going to complain. I’m likely going to be boring. But I will be honest. I will tell about failure.

Note: I”m weak. Heavy emphasis on weak.

Especially about comfort, which I like, just like you do. And ultimately I hope that by being honest, reporting failure when I fail, and success when I succeed, that you will find encouragement to join me.

Just the fats, Ma-am.

Fact #1  America’s number one health issue is obesity. I’ve been aware of this perhaps longer than the average American because this hugeness issue first showed up at my house. Not saying we were the only ones, just that it was what it was already in 1969 and that’s a long time ago.

Weight is an issue I struggle with, yet while I type this I remind myself this obsession isn’t a weight issue at its core, it is a food issue. You see, my parents were foodies before foodies were cool. In fact, my parents were so uncool in their foodicity that many, many years ago I said that I hoped they lived to see their grandchildren graduate. I wasn’t a cool thing to say, more like a cruel thing to say. It was then my father took me out to eat, something he did when he needed to discuss some serious something. During that wonderful Italian meal, he said, “It cost a lot of time, money and effort to put on this weight, why would I want to take it off?” Why indeed.

Fact #2: Obesity spawns incredible health risks such as diabetes, high blood pressure, hypertension, heart disease and stroke, breathing problems, sleep apnea, joint pain and strain, and the list goes on. It may be un – PC to talk about fat. Sorry. While there is a movement undertaken by overweight young persons to reclaim their sagging, uh, self-esteem, the monetary toll that fat takes on health care in general will only increase as the largest generation ever (pun not intentional), the baby-boomers, reaches medicare age as it is on the brink of doing.  Can we afford it, I doubt it.

My father did make it to my children’s graduation. Sadly, he died of pancreatic cancer (not known to be related to weight problems) and in his last year of life he lost so much weight I was begging him to eat.

My parents loved food. They took the family out to eat every week. I’m traveling down Memory Lane as I recall all the places we ate at. We hit every good place in Houston: The Golden Palace on West Gray, the original Antoine’s Imports and Deli, Valone’s  across from The Shamrock Hilton, Alfred’s on Stella Link, Captain John’s Seafood or the original Christie’s in the Med Center area. On Sundays after church we would sometimes take a drive (over 80 miles) to Don’s Seafood just this side of Beaumont or to Gaido’s in Galveston. (With the exception of Christie’s, Antoine’s, and Gaido’s all these places are gone.) When we kids left home the parents reported their visits to Tony’s, Brennan’s, Kaphan’s, Sonny Look’s Steakhouse (where an armored knight sat on a white horse in the parking lot), San Fransisco Steak House (a girl on a trapeze swung over the patron’s), Vargo’s (peacocks in the gardens), and all the ones in between.

My parents loved food. Not just at restaurants, my mother was an exceptional cook. My parents made a point of inviting the large families from church over for a meal – because who else would invite a family with four or more children to their home? Since we were a family with four children, we knew from experience. It was a great ministry they kept up for all the years we were growing up. My mother was an excellent cook and we children developed enduring friendships. It was all good.

Eventually their love of food caught up to them with lots of extra weight and later with diabetes, strokes, and sleep apnea.

Fact # 3: My parent’s generation grew up during the Great Depression. They didn’t have much food. If their families couldn’t grow it or raise it they probably didn’t eat it. And my parents were better off than many, at least they had a home. My mother in her old age tends to hoard her food. When my father passed away and we had to relocate my mother to a safer environment, I found food in drawers, in cabinets, hidden in bookshelves. Candy jars and cookie jars resided throughout the house. I’m not sure but that my parent’s love of food wasn’t colored by their childhood want.

This doesn’t excuse the younger generations of large people – generation after generation of fat. I worked for twelve years in a public school where I noticed a growth in numbers of large kids and fat families. There were always exceptions — large child, skinny parents, large parents, skinny children but the most common phenomenon were large parents with large children. And The Great Depression can’t be blamed for this.

So what can be blamed? We’ve gotta blame something. I say let’s blame Poncho’s Mexican Buffet. It’s those little flags that you could raise at the table when you ran out of something. It was non-stop, all-you-could-eat mexican food and it was cheesy, it was greasy, it was yummy. My parent’s loved that place. I loved that place. I can’t believe they went out of business.

Plenty of all-you-can-eat restaurants have taken hold and I see this no matter the size of the city or town. I saw an all-you-can-eat Chinese Buffet in Lufkin, Texas! Don’t-chu know that’s gotta be some good stuff in there, boy howdy!

I don’t even like to go in an all-you-can-eat place any more. Mainly because it’s a waste of good money. These days I try not to eat my weight in food. Also, it seems such a waste of food. Health laws require that any food set out in a service area can no longer be re-served, even if it was never touched. All that food must be tossed at the close of the day. Now don’t all rush to eat it up, ’cause they’ll just put more out. And isn’t it a shame with hungry people all over the world that so much food is thrown out every day? I say if no one patronizes those places they will gradually go away.

Fact #4: (Okay, opinion) Poncho’s was the first of its kind that I recall. I still say it’s Poncho’s fault we’re all fat.

My Bladder’s IQ

Portrait of Jan de Doot and the kidney stone h...
Portrait of Jan de Doot and the kidney stone he removed with his own knife from his own kidney with the help of his brother in the 17th century. This story is described in the book Observationes Medicae by Nicolaes Tulp. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Now I’m not given to posting disgusting anythings but a funny thing happened on the way to Saturday. It was Friday and time to get my bladder tested. Lately, I’ve had some routine-if-you’re-over-fifty tests and I don’t know but if that isn’t the weirdest test out there I don’t know what is. I felt like a pin-cushion and science experiment all at the same time.

Except for the antibiotic shot, it didn’t hurt. Not in the traditional sense of pain but let’s just say, it weren’t comfortable. Yeah, bad-grammar squirming uncomfortable. It wasn’t a test to sit and read a book during either. Wish it had been.

After many tubes were hooked up, attached, and added the nurse told me she had five questions for me. The test started out like that. Nice, you know, pleasant, apart from the discomfort. I thought – Oh, questions. That’s nice. I like questions.

But after the first question, “When you feel your bladder fill about how long before you think you need to find a toilet?” it was all downhill. Let’s just say, not the pleasant conversation I had thought it might be. Plus the fact that I am totally, completely, and constantly aware that I’m sitting on a padded chair with a hole in it and a pee bucket underneath. Never-mind.

Because of a routine CAT scan done before my colon-scope, a kidney stone made itself evident to the doctors. It was news to me. I saw the scans, the thing was a bright white dot. Yep, there’s a kidney stone. That wasn’t all I saw. Wow, the clip the surgeon left where my gall-bladder used to be thirty years ago is not unlike one of those pincher-like devices I used to use in my hair. I searched but didn’t see the spot on the lung that the radiologist noted on the written report. I won’t know about that until further tests after the kidney stone removal in two weeks.

After all these tests I hope I’m more educated and more informed. I think I’m smarter for it already. On this one I won’t get the test results until Tuesday. I hope my bladder passed. Heh. Heh.