Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Down with Dr. /Insurance Company Tyrants

Ok worms, here it goes-no holds barred. How DARE you take someone who comes to you with an eating problem and make them 1. PROVE they can't lose weight without help (insurance hoop) and 2. PROVE they WILL lose weight if you promise to give them a band. (dr. hoop).

That's like taking a diabetic and making them document their coma's and then show their loyalty by giving up all sugar for 6 months beforing offering to give them treatment.

It's abusive, cruel and demeaning-and no one will fight it because people want their bands and WLS so they comply comply comply.

The self pay route is a lot less horrific. BUT, if the doctor can make money on 15K (in USA) WHY does he bill the insurance company 30-35K? While all of you play your mind/money games, people are being denied treatment that will help them live, be more productive and less of a burden on our overburdened medical system.

Shame on you.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Did I run out of things to say?

No, not really, just didn't want to say any of it. Friday was my daughter's birthday. We are estranged because she does a lot of drugs and I won't be a part of that. I've never seen my granddaughter, but I wish them both well.

On Friday, Uncle John and I went for a bit of shopping and I took a long nap. And yes I was very sad.

Yesterday I had to put down one of my snakes. Alfred was a gamble from the start-a wild caught adult ball python. Not a good idea, but I wanted to try. He never ate, including the chick I offered him as a last ditch effort. Now I have a pet chick, because I can't offer it to another snake in case Alfred had something contagious. And while chick as snake food doesn't bother me in the least-killing chick because you don't WANT it to be snake food isn't cool.

And I thought I have sunk low at times-too low to be SNAKE FOOD, that's low.

Anyway, Alfred is sleeping with the frozen rats and the chicken is peeping around in a box on the sunporch. Funny old world, eh?

Thursday, July 26, 2007


John is having trouble and I'm not sure what it is. He is having trouble with the TV, but I think he really just wants me out there for some reason-so I'm going to go. Maybe he doesn't know either-sometimes things just work that way.

Tomorrow is my daughter's birthday and the year anniversary of when John got sick. I wonder if he has the same cycle/body memory thing that I do. Or, maybe he senses I need him because I miss my daughter.

The ties that bind families are very mysterious indeed.

Lap Band update: Energy level-hmmmm, moderate. Pain level-almost non existent. Even the morning roll out of bed wasn't bad at all. Each day is the remaining pain has a noticeable decrease. I'm pleasantly surprised at the little pain from the non-port incisions, because stitches on a wiggly jiggly body part can be painful. I've had boobie stitches before a couple of times for lump removals, and those were bothersome.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Mmmmm mmmmm good!

Mom and I had both been thinking the same thing-that my foot might not get better this time. But the rest from the lap band, and the already reduced weight has made a huge difference.

We kind of have a no man's land-my house. My yard is fair game for anyone-Mom mows and gardens with a lot of enthusiasm and Daddy spends quite a bit of time in the shed putting tools together. Daddy and I bought a chainsaw together and we are going to demolish trees in August, before Big Trash Day. Yes, my parents have learned the joy of Big Trash Day.

And, for my first non-protein drink thing I asked for some of mom's yogurt dip (fat free, sugar free, perfectly healthy). I ate about a quarter of a cup with a spoon. She's going to make me some more tomorrow. Yum!

We talked about how the band was going to change things because she loves to cook and concoct-but I laughed and said "It'll be great-I can eat your scraps!"

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

An ah hah moment

So, I was telling my cousin that I walked out in the backyard and mom was hoeing and cleaning my crop circle and Dad was pumping the rainwater out of my cellar. I just snapped pictures (that's what I was doing back there anyway) and hung out and visited and played with the dogs. Cousin Susan says they are really happy to have me here to take care of-they've been missing that in their life.....ah haaaa kind of like I love taking care of Uncle John.

These things that I would have mistook for criticism are just love. (Now, MOm told me she was planning on coming down, so it wasn't an invasion). This whole family closeness thing is very new to me-I've been in Dallas for 20 years, but I'm really liking it.

I bought Mom a tricycle so we can start riding together and Daddy is having fun in the woodshop out back. Mom loves the pear tree. I just like having them around.


Mom found my missing water faucet on the front of the house. I expected it to show up when I had the people clean out the front flower bed but no one could find it. Mom can be a snoop-but when the chips are down, if there is something to find, she'll find it!

Today Daddy and I are taking Uncle John to Circuit City. That's an activity the three of us can all get behind-we really like CC. And it will be good for me to get out a bit and move around.

The couple that came to clean the flowerbed also own an embroidery business-I would need embroidered work shirts if I were to start a service business myself (dog visitor, etc. My life continues to work with a synergy that is almost scary. AND they need help with their graphics. So maybe it's their lives that are synergistic.

Anyway, the flowerbeds look outstanding and I am thrilled.

A nice health food place ordered my FAGE yogurt for me. I love that stuff. And since yogurt is one of the few things I can eat over the next week or so, I got two cases. I will share, of course. The world needs to know about this stuff.

I've turned a corner and am now interested in working with the resources I have. Reading posts previous I went through a lot of phases-the Compact, The Scotty, the Dog Cart....some of which still haven't born fruit and some that are already gone-like my dear Scotty.

But Scotty did its job-it served as a catalyst to get me thinking about what I really wanted. I mean what I, me, DEB really wants, not what I think I should want.

Apparently I want to be healthy, active and live in Oklahoma. 20 years ago I wanted to be slim, sought after by countless men, have a blazing career and live in a cool apartment with a pool and drive a fast car. Frankly, that still doesn't sound half bad-until you add up the things you have to do to get there.

Ok, yes, yes yes. I'll admit. Angst ridden as I am, and carry on as I do, I am not nearly as big a basket case as I was in my 20's. Now that's progress!

Monday, July 23, 2007

LAP BAND not Lap Dance

I almost forget to record that I almost died on the way to the airport in OKC. Cabbie asked me where I was going and I said "Tijuana-gonna get myself a lap band." He swerved off the road and the said "could you repeat that....."

Be careful driving in OKC in the wee hours with the windows down.....wind distortion of your words can startle taxi drivers.

Dr. Oz on Oprah (Winfrey Show)

Saw a rerun of Dr. Oz on Oprah-I really like that man. I really like Oprah too. He even devotes a chapter in his book "You on a Diet" to weight loss surgical options and deals with it directly and fairly.

Of course, he points out WLS (weight loss surgery) is just a tool and you have to learn to eat properly. I highly recommend the book.

I've got plans and appointments for the rest of the week-I really can't justify another complete rest day (until Saturday) and I can't just sit here and wait for the fat to fall off. In fact, I read something to the effect that movement increases the rate of falling fat.

I ordered a tricycle for Mom-I hope she rides it so we can ride together. If se doesn't, I will put the dogs in it and ride it myself.

Monday Monday one more day.....

This one aint so bad really-no surgery looming, actually, not one single life altering decision to make today. No moving, nada, nothing. Yay.

Mexico worked its magic again-I just let down and let go as soon as I crossed the border. The tightness in my chest and the worry evaporated-I love Mexico.

Back here in OKC I got to drink my first protein drink today. EAS Myoplex Light (Carb Control) is my poison of choice. Low sugar, low cal and tasty. It wins out over Medifast drinks because you can sip on it slowly for an hour or so-leave a Medifast sitting and it turns to horrible gunk in a few minutes. Hey, you don't get as fat as I am without knowing your way around the diet aisle.

I'm sprinkling probiotics on everything-have a bit of the trots from fruit juice and antibiotics. Ok, that might be TMI. When people ask "how are you doing?" they really don't want to know the details do they?

I did have a delayed wave of "what if what if" roll over me last night, but the only answers I could come up with was "it didn't happen so let it go." Really, surgery in Tijuana is probably no more dangerous than swimming with a Great White, and I fully intend to do that too.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

I'm bacccccck

Skipped Vegas-I was at the airport earlier and took a flight back through Phoenix. In Pheonix I met Carmelita-82 years old and flying to OKC for a family reunion. Carmelita was blind, so I helped her into the bathroom. It made me feel really good to help someone-even mostly wheelchair bound and with a belly full of holes, I could do some good.

I volunteered to sit with two unsupervised minors-this was not a self less act-they are usually well behaved. We visited for awhile, then I dozed while the kids (strangers to each other) shared their toys and their candy and just generally had a good time. I tried out my dog theories-on the kids-be quiet, not excited and it seemed to work-the kids settled in really quickly.

Mom and Dad picked me up and Mom's first question was "so, what have you eaten?" She really wants to know what I can/should have so that she can have that available. I appreciate this, and the fact that she makes the best iced tea on the planet. I'll be walking down this afternoon for some iced tea and visit.

I slept really well last night-it's much easier to sleep with a cat on your pillow than without.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

45 minutes to taxi

Undies are almost dry, everything else is assembled in the chair next to my backpack. Old blue was no where to be found, I'm taking the Swiss Gear-smaller than blue, but well padded in case I bring back a delicate item...like vanilla.

I'm taking:
Money about 200 in cash. A couple of credit cards and a debit card.
My cell phone
tooth brush
gas x strips
An extra pair of shorts
A shirt set to wear home
A tank top for tomorrow
A mumu and a t-shirt sleep shirt
panties (no bra-it's Mexico for pity sakes)
reading glasses
A book
My cane
few vials of eye wash
my car keys and house key

Shoes are kinda iffy-I'm leaning towards the crocs-not the best walking shoes but easy to get in/out of.

No laptop-how long has it been since I went anywhere without one? I didn't take one to California in May...Ok, so it hasn't been THAT long.

The snake has been secured and the cat has returned to the house. (She slipped out when I was tossing the uneaten rats from the ball python babies)

I hate not having a laptop to write on. Right now I'm in list making/final countdown mode, but soon I'll be in the midst of an adventure and great thoughts will abound.

Expect the Unexpected

Finding a 5 foot python on my back steps when I was going out to the garage was not on this nice list obesity help sent me....but that's what I found. Tarzan was asleep with his little head tucked on an empty mouse box....

It was 3 am and I was too bleary and hungry to be distraught about what could happen...he could get outside, a multi hundred dollar SNAKE on the loose....I just got the snake hook, picked him up, cuddled him (he was chilled from the floor) and put him back up-securing the top of his container a little better.

Tarzan's eyes, I noticed, are now silver like Molly's. In fact, I woke Molly up trying to put Tarzan in her tank. No time to ponder IF that was in fact Tarzan-when the time comes to breed they can figure it out for themselves...


Some things you can expect:

Expect that there will be such a flurry of activity after you arrive at the hospital that won't have any time to worry or be scared.
Expect that you might wake up feeling very cold. Don't worry, they will put warm blankets on you.
Expect to feel some pain as you wake up. They will give you pain medication.
Expect that once you are nicely awake, you will be transferred to your room and be able to see your family there.
Expect them to get you out of bed within a few hours, even if getting out of bed is the LAST thing you might feel like doing. If no one does, DEMAND that they do. This is extremely important to reduce the chance of blood clots.
Expect to take DEEP breaths as often as you can remember to. This will keep your lungs in the best shape.
Expect to feel thirsty. This is normal but you will probably be getting plenty of fluids through your IV.
Expect to be awakened several times through the night. They have to take your vital signs and check your dressing every so often.
Expect that if you have any complication, these things usually get resolved within days. Report any changes to your doctor right away. Watch your temperature after you go home at least a couple times a day and if it is above 100, tell your doctor. Don't ever worry about "bothering" the doctor, just call when needed.
Expect that your friends here at ObesityHelp.com are here for you!!!
Coordinating with Your Angel

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

adios for now

Damn I hate typos in photoshop. But you get the idea. I'll be back soon.

Was that a nervous twinge?

Really no more so than the usual realization there is no way I am going to get everything I want done that I wanted to do before ANY trip.

I NEED trips-they are the only way I can shut things off. Out of sight, out of mind. Well not really, but I give myself permission not to worry about it. Yeah, yeah-TRUE freedom would mean being able not to worry about it when I'm HOME...but I am merely a fledgling in the Don't Worry, Be Happy frame of mind.

In a few minutes I will go water Mom's precious tomato so it doesn't perish while we are both gone. They get back on Friday, so it should be ok.

Confession time. Mom gave me a tomato and I put it on the table by the front door. The doorbell rang, I banged into the table as I was opening the door. I was so excited by the sight of my traveling books that I grabbed them up, turned around and, oh, the horror, stepped on the tomato with my orthopedic boot. (I was wearing the boot because I was going to wrangle snakes and needed the extra support).

Yes, I stepped on a home grown tomato. Mom is growing the tomato in a garden cart I gave her while the Hammerschlammer whoever high tech grow your own tomatos anywhere contraption rattles around in the back of my truck. So, in addition to moving here too late in the growing season, I have now defiled a tomato.

I really paused for a moment-hoping it wasn't a sign. But, I decided that it meant the shell of my former self is being squashed into a new form. Ok, yeah, I'm a little nervous.

The Last Supper was really Breakfast

It just hit me, my true "last supper" was breakfast.

I'm really pleased that, aside from a thoroughly enjoyed pig out at Jake's, I didn't really go overboard on the eating thing this past week. For one thing, I WILL eat again so the whole stuffing of the belly didn't seem necessary, or prudent. I'm only dwelling on it because I love the imagery.

I didn't dwell on the omelet, I enjoyed it, but there was a middle aged/semi homeless couple in the diner and I was too busy eavesdropping to focus on my food. I don't think it is denial, I truly believe that my nosiness is a greater force in my life than food.

He could barely walk and she had some bi-polar-ish issues going on, but they were enjoying their meal and each others company and support. She was planning on selling a printer to come up with the rent money and he was encouraging her to calm down and believe that an idea would come. I really envied them their friendship at that particular moment.

I was torn between the wish that I had someone with ME at breakfast on Wednesday (a week day) before going off to Mexico to have surgery and the delight at being able to discretely eavesdrop on something of interest. Actually, that's my life in a nutshell, caught between the need for people and solitude.

I'm the yin and the yang, the fat ass and the bombshell, the austere and the decadent, the bad girl and the dutiful daughter. Yes, I am Debra K, and I am full of shit and bad cliches.

Heading down the runway

Took the dogs in so I could feed the snakes without their "help", and ate my last solid meal-a lovely omelet (bacon,cheese, avocado, onion) and hash browns and toast. The Old Chinese (don't remember its real name) is now an Omelet place that Mom and Dad have never tried. That will change soon as eggs are about to become a big part of my diet. Actually, eggs and beans are my main source of protein during the summer months anyway.

I went to Alligator Alley to feed the alligator-it was my treat for the day.

Came back home, blogged about the dogs and how much I missed them.

Omigosh, while at the vet the receptionist made an appointment for a Mr. Cable-and I asked her if it was Ron Cable, my old biology teacher from high school. It was, so I left him a note. He might have some real insight into the Oklahoma City market and what a girl can do with a handful of dogs, a lot of snakes and a desire to help people. At the very least he can give me the low-down on teaching in OKC so I can see if it's a viable thought.

The chance encounter aspect pleases me as well. It's kind of nice that the universe is putting potential ideas, resources in my path. Frankly (big surprise) I'm well out of my comfort zone-the corporate zoo was at least familiar. This whole closer to family thing and lack of pretension is really strange. Not bad strange, or at least not all bad. But strange.

The funniest thing is-even though part of me wants to say "hey look, I didn't turn out so bad I have a ton of degrees and I'm a kind person," what I REALLY want to tell Mr. Cable about is my snakes and that I got to see a real live honest to god Great White Shark last fall. YOu know the really important stuff.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Michele is taking flight

EVERYONE is on the move. It's a happenng thing in my group of friends. It's funny how we all started migrating at about the same time, and all for completely different reasons. We can take comfort in each other's angst over our "stuff", what to take, what to leave, what can we could never live without.

My own needs are pretty simple-good heat, good A/C, hot and cold running water, no carpet or curtains, fenced backyard. I've pared down to 2 bedrooms, but that is with a garage and an outbuilding, so I am not sure I've really made progress. I've just come to recognize that the majority of my stuff is outdoor stuff.

Today was a good day. Mom and I took Uncle John to lunch. Mom had never eaten at Applebee's and I wound up ordering for everyone or we would have never eaten. I'm learning to step in and do it without hurting feelings. After we visited with John, we went to Walmart Grocers and I played around in the electric chair while Mom shopped. I picked up some post surgery items-my favorite protein drink, some water, some Gas X strips and some of that thinning hair crap.

Better use it and get really hairy than to lose it and be bald.

I have oodles to do-some surgery/trip related, some just stuff I am way behind on, but today I just focused on spending time with my family. I'm going to Arby's tongiht to get a Reuben to split with Mom, Dad is having Mom's sanwich from lunch and the Curly Fries. We are all comforted by this-them more than me. I know I will still be able to eat after the surgery, but to them it seems like I am giving it all up.

I have loads of stuff on my mind-new business ideas, my never ending battle with clutter, but today seems like a pause and chill day. I'm still waiting for the OMIGOD feeling to hit me and it just hasn't.

The lapband people said I could call them if I needed to-but even if I did call to ask if they would be sure and pick me up on Thursday, I still wouldn't be comforted. I won't be comforted till Thursday, when I see them at the airport. At that point the OMIGOD feeling will probably hit.

At this point it doesn't seem real, but in case it is, I've made all the necessary preparations. It hit me that I'm not procrastinating because it IS real-really real real. Omigod. (Only lowercase though-just practicing).

Monday, July 16, 2007

The Rudos have landed

Sue and Jay are now in Florida and are reveling in the unpacking joys. Yes, you only think the move is over when you've arrived. I'm kind of glad Sue is the midst of not knowing her own phone number or exactly where her underwear is...I feel less alone.

Sue and I were always going to have gastric bypasses together. She finally had a lap band and I went on Medifast and I'm fat again and off to Mexico. We are thinking about reviving our pact and going to Brazil for plastic surgery. Yeah folks, when you lose a lot of weight and are over 40, skin happens. Deal with it.

Of course, the lap band is for health reasons. Plastic surgery could be placed under mental health I suppose, or even as part of my mid life crisis research. But that is for much later. Sue and Jay are now in Florida, where swimming season is year round and scheduling things around swimming season isn't really a viable option.

As I project into my future-the possibilty of returning to TJ for fills suddenly is appealing. Maybe I could schedule "fill tours". Have I just invented a new business line?

Daddy told Bill who told....

My Tijuana secret is out. Actual my brother said "I hear you are going S.O.B" and I had to think long and hard about what that meant. (South of the Border) So much for not worrying people.

I'm leaving detailed intructions for business matters relating to myself as well as Uncle John-but I leave those anytime I go anywhwere. Bill is second in line if I drop dead for Uncle John (and first in line for me) as executor/administrator, so he really would prefer that I not drop dead. Besides, he's my brother and I think he likes me.

But, the likelihood of my dropping dead increases with every day that I stay fat. I can finally feel the effects of it beginning to creep up on me-a little easier to tire, a little slower to heal. Ok, the age thing is there too but let's just keep it civil, shall we?

Almost Last Supper

Not really-there is no last supper-just a 24 hour clean out period-but I'm laying off the fatty stuff and have since the "last" supper at Jakes.

Every doctor is different-but I have to say that I think the liver shrinking torture test that some folks are put through is just another way to get a last jab in a demean fat people. Psycho babble would say it's making you "want it" and "work" for it, but you are asking a 300 pound person to perform something that they have documented in excruciating and humiliating detail that they are unable to do. What's that about?

No one made me jump through hoops like a trained dog when I had my gall bladder removed-and this surgery is very similiar. Of course, then I was "thin" having just medifasted myself down to a respectable weight.

Why do I feel the need to point out that I don't weigh 300 pounds, that that was just an example? What difference would it make it I did? Wanna know how much I weight? Hah, fat chance. I never tell-it's a very private thing to me, the actual number.

Thank You Mother Nature

The scene: me sipping coffee eyeing the wreckage of my living room and thinking "no matter where you go, there you are...." and composing yet another diatribe on messiness and my upbringing and justifying it by saying that I accomplish things besides cleaning. Good stuff, you can read it later. Because I got a sign.

I was looking out the window trying to focus my eyes and I noticed something glinting in the pine tree. The pine tree was planted by the first husband of the lady that died here, she loved it and I am leaving it alone. But, I digress. Back to the glint.

My first thought was trash, but that I realized I was looking at a bona fide sign. A rather large snake had shed its skin. It either climed the tree to eat the baby birds in the nest, or momma bird brought it to feed to feather her nest. Since the skin was newly shed, I'm going with the snacking/shedding theory. But I digress. Back to the sign.

I grabbed my camera and snapped away, praising Mother Nature for giving me this clear signal to shed my skin-drop the past. Just in case I missed it, the residendt dove (probably her nest) scolded me too.

Yes there is a huge differnce between wallowing and reflecting, and I was starting out my Monday by dipping my toes in the mud of a well used wallow. Shed your skin-let it go.

I don't get many bona fide signs, so this one really excites me. And, having a big old snake living in my flowerbed is fun too (I am pretty sure that's where he makes his summer residence, or maybe under my shed. But I digress.

I got a sign. Shed your skin. Let it go.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Look Ma Just Like Me!

I finally found a group of people who have the same foot condition I do-their misshapen feet look exactly like mine, they can't wear high heels and some of them can't walk at all. I feel like that pudgy girl in the video for "No Rain", you know, the one that dresses up like a bumble bee and gets laughed at and then finds an entire field of bees.

I am surprised at the depth of my reaction-yes, I cried when I saw some of the foot photos, because it felt so good to know there were others out there. All these years of trying to pass for normal and keep up with people who had arches in their feet was a little harder than I thought. And, I finally took a minute to acknowledge that I've had considerable pain over the years.

Feeling connected to others is so important, isn't it?

Oh why Not

I'm going to give myself a few months to pursue some business ideas I have-concerning things I can do with the dogs. A few months won't likely generate financial ruin, and I'll either be smashing success or I will get the whole notion out of my system.

Momma was surprisingly supportive-she really does believe I can do anything. Daddy was more skeptical-but the thing is, just because HE wouldn't pay for a service doesn't mean other people won't. Hell, I paid people to sweep my floors.

I've been doing some driving around the city, and there are signs of conspicous consumers who could support me and my critters. Not in this, my own little blue collar neighborhood, but in other neighborhoods. One of the things that KEEP people in blue collar neighbors is not thinking beyond the subdivision to other lifestyles.

Then there is me, who just moves back because she wants to.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Last Supper

So Mom talked about diet and nutritiion the whole way down to Jakes, then she wanted me to bring the leftovers home in case I got hungry. I don't think she's quite with the program yet. She wants to get a list of foods I can have. When I told her in the beginning it's a texture thing, she began thinking of all the things she can grind up.

My mother feels about food the way I feel about, oh snakes-excited and wanting to learn everything there is. It has something to do with living in the depression, being poor, and made to feel fat by the popular culture. I feel about my mother the same way-suddenly I want to learn everything there is-without judging, just letting her be and trying to understand.

We, or maybe just me (but I don't think so) burden our parents with a lot of shoulds-this is how they should be to please me. This is how I wish they were-then MY life would be perfect. Yet I am the same person who held up a snake in the air to admire her belly, and laughed at a 7 foot python because she was in a bad mood and struck at me. Somethings not quite right about that.

My lap band is not going to be a solo journey. Food is like this major battle between Mom and me, as well as body image. But like me holding up the snake-maybe she really just wants to hold ME up and look and try to understand.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Farewell to Jakes

My first thought after finalizing my surgery was that I wanted my last supper to be at Jakes. So, we are off to Jakes-timing is perfect because Mom and Dad go out to lunch every Friday. I don't have any insight to share pre-repast, but maybe something will come to me while I gnaw on a rib bone.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Can 't keep a secret

Ok, I told a friend who asked me to tell my parents because if I died she would feel forever guilty that she knew and didn't stop me....shit.

So, I hobbled down the street to tell my parents (and make arrangements to go eat the Last Supper) and they took it pretty well. Prissy, the bad chihuahua, helped by appearing at the front door right after I told them and getting everyone in an uproar about how she got out.

Despite my joking demeanor, I have thought this out-it's one of those things I think about for like 10 years, research off and on, and the appear to just DO out of the blue.

But, what style-fly to Mexico, implant some hardware and then off to VEGAS baby!

When I get an idea, I really get one

Date Flight Routing Details
Thu Jul 19 2743 Depart Oklahoma City(OKC) at 07:20 AM
Arrive in Phoenix(PHX) at 07:35 AM
1687 Change planes in Phoenix(PHX) departing at 09:50 AM
Arrive in San Diego(SAN) at 11:05 AM
Sat Jul 21 1554 Depart San Diego(SAN) at 11:50 AM
Arrive in Las Vegas(LAS) at 01:05 PM
57 Change planes in Las Vegas(LAS) departing at 02:20 PM
Arrive in Oklahoma City(OKC) at 06:55 PM
This is an itinerary only and is not considered a receipt.

Next week Mom and Dad are going to Lousiana-it's raining here and my camping trip is going to be rained out (flooding will take river awhile to get down to manageable.).

So, I took the opportunity to book a trip to Tijuana for lap band surgery. If I survive the surgery I will spend a night or so in a nice Mariott hotel, and fly back via Las Vegas.

Take THAT for a midlife crisis!

(all mention of research, soul searching and years of planning have been omitted for the sake of a good, short blog entry).

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Sludge Brain Syndrome

I have sludge brain syndrome today-no ideas, no energy, no will to even move. I tried to stay off the foot yesterday and today when I walk I am going to use the dreaded boot.

This is just how it goes sometimes-if I don't walk, my foot won't improve, if I walk too much it has a setback and swells up. No predictability whatsoever.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Status Update

It's not all a bed of roses, but I notice I wake up without a clock between 8 and 9, and I'm eager and ready to get up and go about my day. This is a really new feeling, because for the last few years waking involved throwing the alarm clock across the room and curling up in a fetal position, followed by an hour or so of coaxing to get out of bed and into the shower.

I wonder how many other people-who look "normal" and have "real jobs" suffer the same fate? It's something that no one talks about, but I am sure that I am not the only one. However, while it was happening, I convinced myself that I was that I was weak, stupid, yadda yadda yadda. The litany of self abuse is too long to go into here.

Frankly, it feels a little weird not to be on vacation and STILL want to get up. I'm glad I had this de-programming time. Retirement isn't in the cards, but I want to find a job that I actually enjoy. I am really focusing on this feeling of not being overstressed, terrorized and all that good stuff so that I can associate that with NORMAL vs. the fetal position method of beginning the day.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Not strong enough for healthy eating.

Heh-I'm still recovering from day of "rest" yesterday. This whole regimen of three meals a day, no naps is taking its toll on me. My foot has that swollen ham look that says "come on punk, walk on me. MAKE my day....."

The old weekend warrior sydnrome. Push yourself beyond capacity and pay for it the next day. But there is such a guilty, sick pleasure in doing that. And, within reason, I think that is how our capacity grows. There is also a little bit of pleasure in being slightly stove up from a good days' work. Makes kicking back somehow "justified" and the right thing to do.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Too old for 14 hour days

It's almost 10 am and I am still going at it, albeit more slowly now. Building demo'd, Daddy built a desk, Mom cooked lunch, I moved snakes and cleaned cages-I'm about halfway through that. Elvis was in shed and acting like a maniac, Molly was her usual self and bit me and Tarzan came FLYING out of his rack. I change all the babies to either bermuda or aspen and one of the non eaters ate-so I only have one non eating baby and old Alfred.

I still have to move the juvenile and adult Balls and I'm not sure what I'm going to do with Bette. The goal was to get the snakes out of the bedroom so I can get the wheelchair IN to unload the office stuff. Then we will build more snake racks and move the snakes back in. Or rather Daddy will help with snake racks and I will move the snakes back in.


Time for demolition of buildings and snake photography. I am taking a day off!

Friday, July 6, 2007


Ok, I got bit by a snake 3 times today-in front of one of the great snake guru's of all time-Bob Clark. It was his snake (a piebald beauty) and it was a baby-but I was really proud that I didn't flinch or act preturbed. I felt like I was way cool not to show fear in front of the master......

Ok, I doesn't take much to boost my self esteem these days.

Thursday, July 5, 2007


Daddy actually said I had a good idea about a building project (snake rack on modular shelves). AND-he admitted he didn't know what a fair price was for building demolition. I am paying 200 bucks for building demo, and he said immediately "that's too much" so I asked him what he thought I should do and he said "I don't know".

It really is just a life long habit for him to criticize me because building things is NOT my forte. However, ordering people around and hiring people to do things for me-I have vast experience in that arena. I know it bothers Daddy that he can't do more (he spent all day breaking down boxes for me) but shit, it bothers me that I can't do more.

The day to day closeness is causing each of us to realize how much we have hidden from the other in terms of physical limitations. We are all a little bit slower than we've led people to believe. But today, Mom unpacked the kitchen, Daddy broke down boxes and unloaded the cubicle and I cleaned out the camping supplies and unpacked boxes. We all had a water break and really just enjoyed doing things together.

I'm beginning to realize that comments like "we really need to get the roses finished" isn't criticism, but just excitement at having a project. The neighbors are happy to see us coming and going-this has really been one of my better ideas, although a week ago I was questioning my own sanity.

Daddy's going to buy a new computer tomorrow (he hates his laptop) and is talking about driving to Louisiana for a little gamble. I may go too, although I haven't yet been invited.


Mom, Dad, Uncle John and myself were together for the first time on the 4th of July in oh, about 30 years. This was Mom an Dad's 55th anniversary.

We wound up eating my food at their house-my house was just not ready for guests-my last chair is arriving today. But, we all enjoyed being together, eating hot dogs and fried chicken. Mom is letting me bring take out over-I can't cook, but I can order with the best of them.

I'm still tired-STILL. That's getting a little frustrating and old, but I'm trying to do the old "do what you can rest when you need to thing." We are working out boundaries-I will accept help, but only when I can work alongside. I am not an invalid, and if the cardboard boxes stay on the patio for an extra day, the WORLD WILL NOT END. However, if I let myself be pushed beyond what I can do, the world will definitely slow back down for awhile.

I am sure the newness is just as delightful and frustrating for my parents-who are really trying to adapt as well.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Adventures in the Electric Chair

I still have to use the electric chair for big shopping trips-today I was able to go to Target AND Walmart grocery. At Walmart, I unloaded my cart and wheeled up to the credit cart machine and waited while the clerk did his thing.

A lady pushed up behind me and said "would you move so I can get through?" so I moved up to let her and her cartload pass. Then she said "I'm sorry, I need to get over there," indicating another line, "would you mind going out to the front of the store?"

I kept calm and said "actually, yes I would. You DO realize I am in line checking out at the moment and this is not an aisle?" and she got soooooooo flustered. She said "Oh, I'm sorry, I thought you were with her," and pointed to the stranger behind me who had her own cart of groceries. "I didn't realize you bought groceries."

I should have kept my mouth shut, but I couldn't. I said "well, how the hell do you think I'm suppposed to eat?"

Now, the electric chair alone is concession enough for me-I can load that sucker down and shop with the best of them. But being asked to move out of line while being checked out is just a bit much.

What would the neighbors say?

I got my first "what would the neighbors think" today....I took my new snake down to Mom's to show him off.

Mom was a bit rattled because there was a 3 foot SNAKE sitting in her recliner-I thought the experience would be good for her. But, as for the neighbors..."what would the neighbors think if they saw you carrying that thing down the street....." I said they'd probably think I was taking my snake out for some air.

When I was a renter-I sort of cared what they thought because a complaint to the landlord would be bad....but now, as long as I am responsible and safe, I don't really care.

Oh the irony! This morning a loose rottweiler was running down the street, and no one was worried about what the neighbors would think.

Monday, July 2, 2007

Think it's going to rain

I don't see how the folks in Seattle stand this stuff. Rain rain clouds mud rain....BAH.

Mondays are hard, rainy mondays are harder....but what's hard? I have to do some unpacking, go visit Uncle John, have lunch with my parents.....Oh yes, and find a job and figure out what I'm going to do for the rest of my life.

I ordered pizza for dinner and the cinnamon dessert tht even MOm admitted was good. I am opening new vistas of fast food for the folks. Every meal does not have to be five minutes, NOR does it have to be a 12 course banquet-Mom and I have a lot to learn from each other in that respect.

Daddy is coming to hook up my dryer-I really need to do laundry on slow starting days because at least I feel like I've accomplished something. And, I am really running out of clean clothes.

Work clothes are a problem too, but since I don't know what I'll be doing I don't know what to buy. Which comes first, the clothes or the job?

We have a routine in this no mans land of no job. Mornings I spend at the house, I go have lunch with Mom and Dad, work chores we do together are afternoons. Dinner is kind of up in the air. Basically, all schedules revolve around Mom's 3 meals a day. Hell, it's as good as anything else I guess.

Sometimes I have to bite my tongue. Mom does a class A job of keeping and running a house-truly. I don't. But I have a Master's degree, I've had plenty of travel, etc....In some circles that counts for more than a clean house.

It's almost as if Mom and Dad have locked themselves away in this little insulated world-well almost, it's exactly that. And I have to remind myself that I am being judged according to the world according to Betty and Claude standards and let it go at that.

Fortunately, my time spent in the cesspit of corporate America has served me well. I can now accept the harshest criticism without bleeding. And my parents love me-that's an added bonus.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Hanging Out

We are going to dig in an unpack today-many hands make light work. It's been an adjustment to have people who want to help me-I'm just not used to it. I'm beginning to understand how overwhelmed Uncle John must have been-he was far more isolated than I.

I displayed inherited hoarding behavior. Went to the grocery store and they had slightly out of date carmel/chocolate swirled Hershey's chips for (big pause and raised eyebrows) A QUARTER. So, I bought a dollars worth.

Then I got to the car and remembered I don't cook, I don't hoard and I don't need 4 bags of chocolate waiting for just the right crisis-so I took them to Mom. I also gave her my 4 tomatoes-pennance for giving her unhealthy things.

Memories keep plopping into my head. I've been back to OKC lots since leaving-but usually just straight to Mom and Dad's. Now I'm snooping off the beaten path again and memories just appear. It's really weird to come back home and find out home has changed.

I am 5 blocks from the house I grew up in (first 18 years of my life), 2 blocks from my grade school 1/2 a mile from the first boyfriend I ever had, 2 blocks from my former best friends house....Now my life wasn't all sunshine and roses, but it wasn't thundershowers either, and the good times are what pop up most often.

And, my old friends age and experience are on my side too-when the bad things pop up, I know that they are over. It's done, past and resolved. The boogy man doesn't live here any more.