Confessions of an Unintentional Domestic Goddess

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I Won’t Lie…..

Wow. Happy New Year! The new year is always a mixed bag for me. On one hand, I’m happy b/c it’s a shiny new year, full of promise. Goals to reach. Milestones. Adventures. And on the other hand, I really love the festivities of Christmas and packing it all away, makes my home seem dull.

My last post I shared with you my new challenge. I gave up grains/sugar/alcohol. I won’t lie. It was difficult at first. This gal loves her pretzels/popcorn/crackers/bread. Within a couple of weeks I really noticed some changes. My clothes fit better. I slept straight through the night, none of the random waking up for no reason, unable to get back to sleep. My cranky knee and tummy troubles were gone. Unbelievable! It seemed I dropped upwards of 10lbs simply by making those changes.

Then Christmas happened. I thought, what could happen if I have just a little? Have you ever tried to eat just one chip? Just one cracker? Yeah, it so does not work. My one cheat one day lead to cheats every day. While I have not packed on all of the lbs, I have noticed a return to many of the issues I had previously. The cranky knee, cranky. Tummy troubles, boo. Random 3AM waking, yep, that too.

And while it is not easy, I am determined to get back to that state of well being. Sometimes, we have to realize that health is not simply the absence of disease, but all body systems functioning at maximum capacity and if those systems are battling within themselves, they cannot operate as they were designed to do. While I did not completely go overboard on my cheats, a few here and there have made their differences known. I will make alterations to my menu, and feel better for it.

If you are considering making changes to your life to better your health, don’t hold back, and don’t give up. If you fall off the wagon, get right back on.

http://www.wheatbelly.com

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A Small Favor

I wrote a post previously about a friend who’s been diagnosed with a brain stem tumor. Her surgery was postponed because the neurosurgeon, the chief of staff, asked a skull base specialist to team up with him. More skilled hands can only be a good thing, right? Tomorrow is her big day. Where does the favor come in? No, I’m not going to ask for money to help pay her bills, or anything remotely like that. I am, however, going to ask for something from every person reading this. You can choose to do it, or not, but I truly hope you will. Say a prayer tomorrow for her, her family and her medical team. She has four children, ranging in age from 19 to 6 wks. She’s only 43. She needs to see them grow up and they need her.

Jami and I were never friends in high school. I knew who she was, our school was small enough to know who most people were. We just ran in different circles, I”m sure you can relate.  We have become cyber-friends through Facebook and planning a reunion. And now I feel a different kind of bond with her.  The kind I’d really rather not have, but I can’t change it, so I’ll do what I can to help her.

I had a realization a couple of weeks ago. My father was younger than I am now when he was diagnosed with brain cancer. It hit me like a ton of bricks. I never thought of my dad being my age, you know? I only thought of him being older than me, he was my dad. Kind of like never really seeing your parents as having been children, even though you may have seen photos, or even video possibly. By the time he was my age, he’d been handed a devastating diagnosis, gone through brain surgery, chemo and radiation.

The doctors do know now what type of tumor is in her brain, the imaging, as advanced as it is, cannot tell them whether it is benign or malignant at this stage, or what type of tumor, astrocytoma, glioma, etc. So, I’m joining her in praying for an uncomplicated, benign tumor that is easily removed and treated. I do hope that you will join me in keeping her and her family in our prayers tomorrow.

Thank you and God bless.

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Devastation

I think that’s the best word to use, even though it hasn’t really happened yet. I received some news about a friend of mine and writing about it is my way of dealing with things like this. 

We went to high school together. My high school was not huge, my graduating class was about 350. Pretty decent size, without being totally overwhelming. I knew who she was, and I think she knew who I was as well. We ran in different circles. What I remember about her from that time was that she was in choir/music/drama and had gorgeous long deep auburn hair. I really didn’t know anything else about her. I was too busy with myself then.

Last year, she found out we had no 25th class reunion planned and took it upon herself to begin planning one. She thought 25 years of anything is worthy of a celebration. It’s hard to argue with that logic! I reluctantly became her co-chair. I”d done it the last time and you know, there are never enough people who are willing to help plan an event like that. It was really just the two of us trying to pull this off. Long story short, it didn’t pan out, but we got to know each other through this process. She’s divorced and has three children ranging in age from 19 I think to 10. And she’s an 8th grade teacher. That right there takes a special person!

Last May, to her surprise and delight, she remarried and was very happy. Then, a few months later, she found herself pregnant. She was not happy about it initially. She was 43 years old and not planning on more children. It was funny, the conversation we had. I had been trying to reach her for several weeks and she was not returning any messages I left. when we finally spoke, I could tell she was not happy about something. But I’m not the person to pry. If she wants to tell me she will. And she did. She was pregnant and not thrilled with the idea. She said, ‘I just don’t know how it happened!’ Um, do we need to revisit Biology 101? Well, you see, when a man and a woman love each other….And when all the plumbing is still connected, that is always a possibility, I don’t care how old you are.

Fast-forward to March. She had a beautiful baby girl they named Amelia. Now comes the not so fun part. She had been experiencing double-vision and having some balance issues.  An MRI revealed a brain stem tumor. Yes, a brain tumor. Any time I hear the word ‘tumor’ I hear in my brain, Arnold Schwarzenegger saying  ‘it’s not a tumah’ from ‘Kindergarten Cop’. All joking aside, real tumors are not funny in the least. In fact, I can’t begin to imagine how her life has turned upside down in March, first a new baby and now this.

One huge reason I feel for her is that my dad had a brain tumor. It was more of a frontal lobe, not brain stem, but they removed it and it was cancer. My dad being my dad, wasn’t going to take the surgeon’s word for it when they told him the survival rate for that type of cancer and basically said, ‘screw you, you don’t know what you’re talking about.’ He drastically altered his diet and lifestyle and lived nearly 20 years after his initial diagnosis and treatment. Which leads me to say that doctors, while educated and knowledgable, don’t and can’t know everything. A patient’s desire to live and determination factor in the prognosis more than they would like to admit.

My friend will have surgery in a couple of weeks to remove the tumor. At that time they will biopsy and determine what type of tumor it is, as the MRI cannot reveal that, only a microscope can tell that information. We are working on the assumption that it is benign.

I just ask that you keep my friend, and everyone else diagnosed with cancer, in your thoughts and prayers. And that we continue to fight for a cure to this devastating disease.  I don’t think there’s a person on this planet who has not been touched by cancer in some way. Say a prayer for the patients, their families and especially the doctors treating them.

This is for you J.

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Merry Christmas to all….

I have been a bit MIA of late, and I do apologize. It will be one of my New Year’s Promises to post everything that I’ve been wanting to post. Life has sent me running in circles, chasing my tail of late. I’m hoping that will change after the New Year.

I just wanted to wish you all the merriest of Christmases ever. I hope you are all healthy and well and stay safe during the travel season. Enjoy time with your family and friends. Try not to over indulge too much! or stress out about the ‘perfect gift’. The perfect gift is your presence, kindness and caring toward others. And know that you are all in my prayers.

Merry Christmas and God bless us, every one.

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Suck it up and stop being a “Man”

This applies to all men out there, young or old. A friend told me last week of a friend of hers who was too much of a ‘man’ to go to the doctor. This man had an 11 yo son (the only child I know of, she told me an abbreviated story) whom he took to football practice every week. And for all intents and purposes he loved his son.

Here’s the rub. He had an ulcer. He knew he had it, for 13 years this ulcer was a part of his life, his health. And yet, he ate aspirin like candy, according to my girlfriend. Guess what! Ulcers do not like aspirin. Aspirin is a blood thinner. And if you are in pain enough to need that much medication, you need to take yourself to the doctor because there is something wrong that you need to have checked out. He was at his son’s birthday party a week ago and wasnt’ feeling well. Two days later that ulcer perforated. Can you say bad, very very bad? In the 40 minutes it took to life flight this man to the nearest major hospital he bled out. In case you don’t know what that means, all of the blood in his body drained through this ulcer that has now basically ruptured and into his abdominal cavity. When he arrived at the hospital he was clinically dead. DOA. Ever heard that one? At the ER they pumped 19, NINETEEN, units of blood into this man, and were able to get his pulse back, but it was too late, there was no brain activity. He was on life support for a couple of days before they decided to take him off.

How sad is that? Something that was preventable and needless and didn’t have to happen, all because he was a man and didn’t think he needed to go to the doctor. His son is now without a father. His dad can’t take him to football, teach him how to drive, see his son graduate high school, or college, or get married, or see his grandchildren. That boy’s life will never be the same. Can you imagine what life would have been like if you had lost your father at an early age? I almost lost mine, not from something preventable, but to cancer, when I was 13 and I have no idea how differently my brother and I would have turned out if we had been raised by my stepdad alone. dont’ get me wrong, he’s a good man, but completely different from my dad.

I am writing this because we really don’t like statistics like this. Pain is your body’s warning signal that there is something wrong. Here’s a comparison for you. If your car’s ‘check engine’ light comes on and you just put a piece of tape over it and ignore it, eventually the car will poop out, or fall apart, or blow up, or whatever. That is what pain is, your body’s ‘check engine’ light. If you ignore it, or mask it with pain meds, eventually you will end up in the doctors’ office, in the ER, in the operating room, or in the morgue, take your pick.

So I say to you today, if not for yourself, for the ones you love, suck it up and go to the doctor. I have a newsflash for you, no one will think less of you for going. No one will think you’re being a baby, or a whiner, or a wimp for doing it. They will think you are responsible and smart for going. And while I’m giving newsflashes, doctors don’t think you’re complaining when you tell them what’s wrong. When you see the doc and they ask ‘How are you?” IT IS NOT A RHETORICAL QUESTION! Tell them what is going on and why you are there. They need all the info you can give to best help you. It is not complaining when you are asking them for help. I promise, no doc will laugh at you, look down at you for being there, or consider you to be a wimp at all. This I know for a fact.

Take care of yourself and never ever say this again:

MAYBE IT WILL GO AWAY”  Those are the five most dangerous words in a man’s vocabulary.

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It’s the end of a DECADE?

You know, I really hadn’t thought of it that way until I heard them mentioning it on the news last week.  But it really is. Wow. So, needless to say, I was thinking I hope the next ten are as good as the past ten have been.  It will be hard to top though. I was also kind of compiling a mental list of the past decade of my life.

  • My son was born in 2000. Also in 2000 was that embarrassment of a presidential election. Honestly, I wish we would toss out that damned electoral college and just have a direct election. WTF? It may have been useful at some point in time, but it’s antiquated now.
  • My daughter was born in 2003. And shortly after I decided I need to be a domestic goddess and be the one who’s actually raising my children, rather than a daycare worker making $6/hr who could really care less about my children.
  • Our country went to war. Again. And once again, Georgy boy messed up. “mission accomplished’ indeed. What an idiot. The Dixie Chicks said they were embarrassed by him. I have to count myself in their numbers. It’s a travesty what he did and now we can’t seem to get ourselves out of it. I say bring all of our people home and let them blow themselves up. Who cares? they don’t want us there and we don’t want to be there.
  • We moved into a beautiful new home.  Pretty darn close to being our dream home, minus granite. Wonderful neighborhood, neighbors and schools. We are very happy here and don’t plan to move unless we get an offer we can’t refuse.
  • All of our grandparents passed away, starting in 2000 with my husband’s sweet grandmother, Helena. And it seemed Helena started some sort of mass evacuation. Howard followed, then Helena’s husband Quentin, my great-aunt Millie, my grandmother Janet, and Howard’s wife Pearl. They all had good, long lives. But that doesn’t make us miss them any less.

Now, what do I want from the next ten years? To finish the novel I’ve been working on, and seem to be nearly halfway through and get it published. Also to complete another project I’m working on with a friend whose life is as wild as a movie. Get my children graduated successfully from high school and on to college, at least one of them anyway. To continue being as happy and healthy as we all are and to find my husband a job that doesnt’ require working nights, weekends, and 12 hour days on a regular basis. That seems to be quite alot, but I’ve got ten years to do it! Actually, I’m seriously going to work on finishing my novel by the time school is out for summer break. That is my New Years’ promise to myself.

What about you? What do you wish for in the new year and decade? I wish you happiness, health and prosperity. Anything beyond that, is up to you.

Happy New Year!

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