Wednesday, January 14, 2015

The Antidote for Fear

~ headless mom

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Putting It Out There

Sometimes I read posts from friends like Becki (among others,) and I think "Man, she is so brave to put it all out there." After my last 48 hours, I understand a little how she does it. I'll start at the beginning....  And, for what it's worth, I'll try to be gentle on everyone's sensibilities. It is a colonoscopy that we're about to discuss.

Since My husband is past 50 and my dad had colon cancer, our doctor sent both of us to get colonoscopies. Yay! The 2 for 1 special! Ahem. HD went last Monday and the prep and procedure went perfectly. No sweat. Since I'm 'only' 46 I assumed that I would have it just as easy. Boy, was I wrong.

Sunday we went to church and did other things like a normal day, but I wasn't allowed to eat as part of the prep. Liquid diet until 4 pm, then start drinking the solution. Fine. The instructions say that most people start to, um, go after the first hour or so. Nope. Not me. I didn't start going after until 7 pm. (I had even started looking online for 'what if the prep doesn't work?') Anyway, I finally got to bed just before midnight.

My check in time was 9 am, so after getting the kids to school, we went down to the hospital. It was about an hour before I was called back to get ready and was taken in to the procedure room not long after that. The nurse in the procedure room introduced himself, and the female nurse that would be in the room as well. My doctor shook my hand and went back to doing something on his phone while the nurses did their thing. I was given the medication and quickly fell asleep, at about 10:15 or so. Not long after that I woke up. I remember feeling pain and silently starting to cry. I continued to feel what was going on and could see what they were doing on the tv screen. Have you ever been really deep in sleep and tried to wake yourself out of a nightmare? That is how I felt. I let out a pretty loud moan/cry. That's when I heard the doctor say "Shut her up!"

I don't remember anything else until about 12 when I woke up in the recovery room and they called my husband in. The nurse told us that they had removed about 5 polyps and they were sending them to the lab. I started crying and told my husband, in front of the nurse, what I remembered from the procedure. For the rest of the day I slept and ate a little. I think I was still not actually believing what happened to me.

Today, I'm still not believing it but in a different way. You hear stories of people waking up during surgery but I honestly never thought I'd be one of them. And then to feel pain? It's so hard to describe what that felt like. I am actually still in some pain today. Discomfort mostly. I'm now scared to go to the bathroom and scared that I'll start bleeding. I'm scared to go in next week to get the lab results and see this doctor. I'm scared. That's it.

I'm scared.

So, If you're the praying kind, I'd love to have a few headed my way. Not only for good lab results but for my nerves for the next 10 days. Thanks.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

The Unintended Benefits of Being 46

Last summer I turned 46 and some of the most amazing things have begun to happen. It's like the lessons that I've always nodded my head at are finally being internalized. I didn't set out to 'make' anything happen but it has. All on it's own.

And it's pretty cool.

Benefit #1:

I no longer care about the few pounds that have settled around my middle. Honestly. If I lose them, fine. If I don't, fine. I'm not 'really big', and I'm not/never have been 'tiny'. Wherever I hover in the middle is fine. Is my family happy and healthy? Are they fed? That's what's important. I also quit smoking in the last few months and if gaining a few means I've quit then I suppose it's good. I no longer care what you, or society, think about my weight.

Benefit #2:

I haven't stressed out about the holidays or other 'events' that our culture says that we have to out-do each other for. We traveled for the holidays again this year (3 years in a row!) and I didn't even start shopping until days after we arrived at our destination. I had a general idea of what I was going to be getting for everyone, and nothing was one of those types of things that was going to be gone in October. Not every gift, for birthdays or Christmas, has to be the MOSTFABULOUSOMGITSTHEBESTPRESENTEVER! Really, it doesn't. Something that the recipient wants or would love is fine. Even if it costs $5. Headless Dad and I set out to give "gift-card-less" gifts this year for most of our list. Guess what? We did it, and to our knowledge, most of the gifts we found were perfect. (Yes, we gave gift receipts.) It was way more fun to go out hunting for something that we knew each person would like rather than throw gift cards at them. You should try it. A no-stress holiday (or birthday,) is the way to go.

Benefit #3:

I've given up on chasing friendships that are not reciprocal. If we have a give and take relationship, great. We'll see each other when we can, not get bent out of shape when we can't, and pick up where we left off. However, if you can't make or find time for me, ever, then I'm done trying. --->> Funny thing about this one? Those 'friends' don't even notice. So, why exactly was I trying so hard in the first place?

Benefit #4:

By my being in 'middle age', my kids are closer to adulthood than diapers. Having teenagers is pretty cool. I really love spending time talking to these guys. Granted, they don't always like talking to me, and sometimes it's like pulling teeth to get them to talk, but I really like who they are becoming. I know that they have a long way to go, but watching them grow and develop their passions is fun. We are getting better at spending time doing things together rather than everyone hiding out in a different corner of the house with our own screens and you know what? We actually like it. Ssshhhhh! Don't let the secret out!

I'm so glad that I've been listening to life lately. Life is pretty smart and I'm getting better at listening and putting the lessons to good use. Have you?

Monday, December 15, 2014

Oh, Monday.

Some Mondays sure do live up to their reputation.

I had made my dentist appointment for 10 am on purpose. I like to take my time waking up in the morning and knew that in December that mid-morning would allow me to make stops on the way to and from the office. Trying to multi-task during the holidays--I should have known better.

I left the house early so I could drop by a store to grab a gift card. When I got there I slipped into the parking space right in front and made a quick call to HD. He didn't answer and then I realized that the store wasn't even open. OK. That's no problem. I can come back after the dentist, right?

When I got to the dentist's office, early, the office wasn't even open yet. Staff meeting. It was only a few minutes until they opened. No problem! They got me in right away and I got started with the hygenist but before we had made actual progress we had to evacuate the office. Gas leak! Rather than wait for an unknown amount of time, (they were estimating 2+ hours,) I left to run the rest of my errands. I couldn't even get the toothbrush heads that we needed.

I hit Costco for a couple of things: razors and an item for a friend. I thought of a couple of other things while I was in the store, and went to the personal care section to grab the razors. Which weren't there. Our Costco now only carries 2 types of men's razors, neither of which were HD's preferred brand. Of course. A text to HD solved the problem and off I went to my next stop.

Up the road at Lowe's I needed 2 things: specialty light bulbs and keys cut. I was helped by the most helpful person that I've ever encountered in that store with the light bulbs. Seriously, the nicest guy. He even directed me to where I needed to go for the keys. So I get to the key cutting kiosk..... and wait. And walk out into the main aisle to find someone to help me. And wait. And look for someone. And wait. After 5+ minutes of, literally no one coming by the key booth, I left. (This is a common problem at this store. The last time I was there, almost 2 years ago, I was told by a sales person that I was stupid. No, I'm not kidding.)

So I grabbed lunch on the way home, and I'll try again this afternoon. Hopefully Monday is done being a brat, because I'm totally done with dealing with it.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Gift Giving 101

Melissa from Rock and Drool wrote a great post of blog topics and I've been kicked into action. (Thanks Liz!) Check out the list, get over your blogstipation, and get writing, already! Yes, I know it's the holidays but there is more than one idea that will only take a few minutes to write and publish. Get moving! I'm using #96 but giving it my own twist!

*****

I've always prided myself on being a pretty good gift-giver. Yes, some people are super hard to buy for but that doesn't mean that you can't do a good job of finding something great to give them. Here is a list of ideas for great gifts and thoughts on how to find the perfect gift.

  • What is this person's hobby/passion? This is kind of a no brainer, but does your friend/family member love golf? Fishing? Knitting? Music? Sports? Wine?
  • The easy answer here is a gift card to a store that supports that hobby, and that is a great place to start but not the only place.
  • You could go for the experience... A round of golf at a local favorite course, or a 'dream course,' a boat rental for a day on the lake, a specialty class, tickets for a concert, tickets for a college or professional sport, a day of wine tasting. 
  • Go small: find little things that pertain to that person's passion: a bracelet, a book, a pen/pencil/pad with a logo on it, a coffee mug, key chain, license plate frame, tshirt, etc..
  • Do you have a shared history? Think 'Memory Gift.' There are dozens of things that you can get with pictures: mugs, iPad or Kindle covers, phone cases, Christmas ornaments, photo books, throw blankets, key chains, you get the idea. 
  • Get a journal and make the first entry a letter to that person about why they are so important to you.
  • A trip to the restaurant/museum/place that means the most to your shared memories. Bonus if you can do it together!
  • Many destinations now have online gift shops which make it easy to get something from that location--think Grand Canyon, Hawaii locations, ski lodges..... Where did you say you met your spouse? 
  • Add to their collection. Most people have a collection of some sort. It can be an easy gift if you always keep your eye out for a unique addition to that collection!
  • Something useful is good, but make sure they need/want it. For example, if someone is asking for a new vacuum-GREAT! then get it. If they haven't asked for it, it wouldn't be cool.
Some solid suggestions and ideas that I've used/been given:
  •  A hand-carved, collapsible basket/trivet to add to my mom's heart collection. She had never seen one before, (nor had I,) so it was an obvious choice!
  • A set of high ball glasses with a cassette tape on the side with a wax pen to write the name of your 'Mix Tape'. This was for my brother who used to sit in his room for hours making his own mix tapes on a tape to tape machine in the 80's.
  • A wine glass with 'shoes' hand painted on it for a friend that has a shoe obsession.
  • A bag of Hershey's kisses with the tags replaced with personal messages.
  • A bag full of little Bronco's memorabilia for my son who is a giant fan: rubber bracelets, book, lanyard, etc.
  • One year I was giving everyone pajama pants. I was able to easily find a pair for everyone with one of their interests/favorite colors/characters on them, except for one person. I think I googled something like 'music pajama pants', and came up with a pair that had an all-over keyboard pattern for the music lover. Not super easy to find but perfect for the recipient.
Some websites where I get great ideas and gifts:
And finally, for the really, really, really hard person to shop for, what about a donation to their favorite charity in honor of them? That's the gift that gives twice!

Share your favorite website for unique gifts in the comments or tell me about your favorite gift idea. See? I haven't even started my Christmas shopping yet and I need your ideas, too!!