Thursday, January 31, 2008

chicken or the egg?

Sometimes I don't know if I had emotional issues and that led to my getting overweight OR if I became overweight and then developed emotional issues about my size.

My non-media perfect size.

It's hard to say because of the media. Most of the time I'm sure it's the former. But then I think that the primary place that I hear that emotional issues are manifested in obesity -- is in the media. And the funny thing is that they are blaming themselves.

So, like Bizarro Superman -- it's hard to tell what's real anymore.

It's hard not to remember a time that I didn't think "if I were just this size, I would be happy..." It's always been this way. I mean, the goal is a moving target. Always just barely attainable so I can continue to keep happiness out of reach. Usually I match myself against someone and then try to aim for where it seems like they are physically. (At least, in mind.) I get to thinking that there's some magic formula of diet and exercise and willpower that will get me close to looking like this person and then I will be happy. I will accept that.

But, it's only mentally that this diseases exists. I don't manifest any symptoms externally -- that would mean that I would really have to exercise and care much more about my diet. To me, this is what REALLY burns calories -- is sheer and utter willpower and determination.


I want to have grit. I want to be tough. I really don't want to care what other people think or feel or say about me. Yet, I still want to be tender at the same time. In certain senses, I am (gag) like the Republican fantasy about the Iraq War -- I want to maintain the hard candy shell but have a soft gooey interior. My marshallow heart caged in a body of steel. (Can't you just see the tattoo of that now, Kay?)

I want to WANT to run around the block and lift weights and find 0 point snacks to munch on all day. But I also want to WANT to have children and like having puppies lick my face and buy people presents for no reason.

It's this constant push and pull that has been the apex of the cone of my existence... (Yes, I know I stole this from some essay -- don't write in.) I want to be popular and well-liked, but yet I want to be left alone. I want to exercise and be active and healthy but I want to joke about being fat and lazy and can't do it if it's not true. BECAUSE I want to be known as someone who is a blunt bitch but yet lies to save people's feeling all the time. I think because I tell so many of those white lies, it makes me want to be brutally honest about how I feel all the time. Which in turn hurts people's feelings which I should just say what I mean in the first place. I want to be good at my job and still be an outsider. I wanted to be respected for my book smarts but yet appreciated for my dingy ditzy blondeness.

I don't even get me!

And now I don't know if I want to go get some exercise and some stretches or have a snack. After all, I wanted to go to bed so I could FINALLY get a good night's sleep before my long day tomorrow -- but I just couldn't wait to pour this stuff out of my head and onto my blog.

Oy, vey!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008


Did I ever tell you that one of the reasons I love my husband as much as I do is because of my cold feet? Every night, when we climb into bed together I will almost immediately put my cold feet all over him to get them warm. One night, I had the epiphany that he never, EVER complained about this. Not even so much as a "damn, woman!" I realized this was fairly remarkable and complimented. He said that it's because he feels so bad that my feet are cold because it's painful when you're feet are that cold and he just wants to help me.

I mean, that's love people.
Kinda shocking that Heath Ledger died. We haven't had a young celebrity death in a while, and in fact I had been thinking that just a few weeks ago when River Phoenix happened to cross my mind. It's always shocking when young people die, but when you think about how many young people are dying in Iraq every day -- what's so special about a celebrity that he's excused?

I know, cynical.
I've been trying to be a better dog mother this year. I'm not very successful, mostly because I have NO patience. I just want to be a good dog mother for an hour a day and then I want to have my own life. But I still want him to adore me.

It's not working out like that.
I finally decided to rejoin Weight Watchers. I have many mixed feelings about it. I am excited on some levels, but mostly I really feel like I just have failed at maintaining weight loss on my own so there's some shame that goes along with that. I just wish that I had more self-control. But only because I want to be able to fit into my clothes and not for any real, respectable reason. I hope to regain the respectable reason, but mostly I just want to regain the self-respect. I am DEFINITELY losing that. I frequently pepper my conversations with the REAL f*bomb (FAT!) and just generally feel disappointed in myself...

Okay, this isn't a break but really just a skew from the disappointment in myself... I was trying to re-center my disappointment in myself and frame it in more positive light. Instead of focusing on what I have done wrong, I have really been desperately trying to focus on what I am doing right AND what could have gone even more wrong. I could have gained much more weight; I have ironically gained the weight by over-indulging in somewhat healthy foods; I know how to rein it in; and I had a friggin' brain tumor so let's be easy on ourselves, shall we? Also, I have set realistically small goals for myself with my re-entry into Weight Watchers. Anyways, I tried to share this positive spin with my mother at one of our weekly get-togethers and she just basically laughed at me. AND minimized my idea to set realistic weight loss goals, saying that it was just ridiculous.

And here's the thing -- I am 34 years old and I just had the lightning strike tonight and realized that my mother is really not emotionally supportive. Which is, of course, one of the most DUH! moments that anyone can have but it just never really occurred to me to articulate it in that way. Don't get me wrong, she is supportive in her own way and financially has always helped me in any ways that she could always. And when things are good, she's happy for me and proud, I guess. But, she just doesn't do that rah, rah cheerleader thing that you really need your mom for. She definitely doesn't try to minimize my worries -- if anything, she thinks of 20 things to add to what I was worrying about. And if I am struggling with things in my life, like trying to lose weight or quitting smoking she really sucks at those things. Emotionally, that is.

I just can't believe that it never occurred to me that this was the case until now. I feel like so much has cleared up. And again, I'm not saying that I blame her for all of my problems or any of that crap. She had a LOT on her own plate and I really think she did the best she could. But, it just explains why I am as emotionally needy as I am. I always thought it was a daddy issue -- but it's not.

And after that Freudian delve, who has time for more randomness? I was saving snippets of stuff to blog about one day but most of them were specific to holidays and other crap and now are not relevant.

If I ever write again, I'd like to talk to you about marriage. What does being married mean to you? Why should people -- especially women for whom it's close to slavery -- do it? Are there more pros than cons? I believe yes, and not just for the romantic reasons -- from a statistical perspective, you're better off being married than single. I'm not sure if this is the case if you just settle, but who knows?

Anyways -- I have to go -- the cycle of routine and drudgery and the slow march towards death awaits...


Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Okay, I didn't think I would really be able to sit through that asshole Tim Russert, but this was truly great stuff! I mean, anyone who can withstand Russert AND call him out -- even a little -- on his clippy whippy, well... I'm not saying I'm going to put a sign in my yard just yet, but I have a lot of respect for that.

Politics are bogging my brain

I am not a political blogger. (I mean, I am barely a blogger at all based on the number of posts.) I do not have an array of witty discourse to share with you about my particular feelings about the '08 election, but I gotta tell you I eat this shit up with a spoon. I like reading about it almost as much (maybe even more) than celebrity news crap. (There is only so many Britney stories that one can tolerate in week without wanting to fly out to California and smack the shit out of that poor confused fucked up girl...)

That is a good example of why I am not a political blogger right there. I can barely right a complete paragraph without including the shit and the f*bomb. (Obviously, I will say fuck but f*bomb is just wicked funny isn't it?)

Plus, I am an emotional voter. I vote for who feels right -- as long as they are a Democrat.

Anyways, I have been swinging back and forth between Obama and Clinton for a while now. I occasionally dabble in John Edwards, but I just can't see myself going for the white guy in this historic year. It is just so ridiculous that we are this allegedly free nation and yet we keep re-electing these asshole white guys. What the fuck do they care about my problems?

You probably already know about this whole issue about Clinton making comments about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. that were interpreted as a slam against the entire Civil Rights Movement... And then it is being spun OUT of control by assholes like Tim Russert here. I mean, Lord have mercy.

I don't know why I thought we could get through this without talking about race and gender and then further saying that one of them was playing that for their own end. Clinton cries during an interview, Obama is offended by comments she made about Dr. King -- I mean, I am losing respect for both of you and particularly for you possibly taking us down a divisive path that could cost us the White House.

And goddamnit, if we do not get the White House then I am going to get on a plane and smack the shit out of one of you. After Britney. If she's still alive.

Anyways... I was going to ask for some input but now I'm all pissed off and have decided that I'm for John Edwards again.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Off the radar (again) because...

1. We FINALLY got our Wii. Paid a little more than we needed to, but it is what it is. It wasn't terrible and I'm just so happy. I mean, you wouldn't know my glee based on how often my ass is getting handed to me by Scott on a regular basis, but in theory it's fun! :)

2. Scott is finally taking the plunge to pursue getting a career in I.T. This will mean a lot of study time and going to class three nights a week. So, this has been our last hurrah and we've just been mostly spending time together and enjoying the free time.

3. I finally got Netflix. I'm mostly addicted to adding movies to my queue. Since I am on the one at a time plan, actually getting the movies has been kind of slow. Should be really interesting once I too go back to school. And really, when you factor in the satellite dish, the movies borrowed from the internet, the game systems and then just the internet itself -- we spend a ridiculous amount of money entertaining ourselves monthly. It's a good thing I am not wanting to have kids any time soon, I wouldn't have time to create them.

4. And finally, I am reading Barbara Kingsolver's The Poisonwood Bible. Scott read it and liked it and so that my last pre-school hurrah. I am really enjoying it. It's the story of a Baptist minister and his wife and 4 daughters and their missionary trip to the Congo in 1959. Not something I would normally be interested in on the surface, but have really been enjoying it. Getting to accidentally learn about the history of the Congo (at least, a little of it) in the process. It's always nice to learn things, especially accidentally.

Anyways, just wanted to blog a little to stay in the habit.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Just so you don't have to look at the gamma stuff forever...

I've been gone for so long that I actually have stuff to blog about...

I lived through my Hulk procedure, here are some photos and everything you wanted to know about gamma knife and were afraid to ask.

This is the "before" taken at 4:30 a.m.

This thing I had screwed into my head from about 7:00 a.m. til 2:00 p.m. They do not knock you out, but they do sedate you a little and, of course, my head was numbed. In fact, it still is a little and it's two weeks later. (No, this is not a blonde reference, but a statement of fact.)

No one seems to think this is as cool as I did. So, this bubble thing is placed over the frame and then they insert a metal measuring rod through all the holes. They then use that information to create a virtual image of my head which they use to set up the gamma program.

This is the gamma knife machine. Basically, it's an MRI like device. I did not feel anything during the actual "zapping", but what I DID feel is the pressure from having my head mechanically turned. That's what the frame is for -- the screwed in one.

This is the salad bowl through which they shoot the gamma rays. Interesting note: when Scott went back to take these pictures for me (and even before that when they wheeled me back there), he made several Hulk jokes. Some were a little more specific, referencing the names of his girlfriend, but most were like don't make her made afterwards and is she green and that crap. None of the people in there acted like they had EVER heard a Hulk joke/reference before. Maybe they were tired of them and just feigned confusiong, but still -- it was pretty surprising.

(I thought I included an after photo, but I guess not. I don't know how to add a photo after I've already added and have it be in the right order. Sorry.)

Anyways, I had the procedure done at Riverside Medical Center in Newport News, VA. I am including this information, because I googled gamma knife a fair bit prior to my procedure, but don't remember ever seeing any photos and I think it would have helped with the anxiety. (Maybe add to it, who knows?)

I'm two weeks, exactly, out from the procedure. Because I am NF2 my results are possibly different than someone who "only" has an acoustic neuroma. So far, my balance has been a little wonky (my favorite word from another site re: balance issues) but that has been the most noticeable thing. I notice this particularly after driving or if I have been sitting for a long period and then move. No noticeable difference in hearing and (thankfully) no facial paralysis. My tumor was 19 mm when they performed the gamma knife and the maximum they prefer is 25. They were able to set it up so that 80% of radiation used went into the target area and Dr. Chang was able to direct the remaining 20% into bone. (There is a word for this, but I cannot remember it.) Scott's impression from Dr. Chang telling us this is that Dr. Chang was "pleasantly surprised" that it worked out to 80% (as this made it an "A" procedure or optimal conditions) because of the size of the tumor and the NF2 factor.

So, that's all the stuff about gamma knife. We'll get into more interesting stuff soon...

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

A quote I liked

We should be careful to get out of an experience only the wisdom that is init -- and stop there -- lest we be like the cat that sits down on a hotstove-lid. She will never sit down on a hot stove-lid again, and that iswell; but also she will never sit down on a cold one any more. -Mark Twain,author and humorist (1835-1910)

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