Monday, September 24, 2012

Envious

I got bitten by the envy bug yesterday, so pardon me while I vent.

I noticed that one of my cousins updated her profile picture on Facebook last night. This normally only warrants a look and then I'm on my way. The picture was taken at the gym, and of course she looks fantastic. Hello envy bug!

 Last week was not a good weight loss week, to put it mildly. Yes, I gained some weight. So to see my cousin looking good just depressed me a bit. Yes, it's a bit sad, but considering my health issues lately, I guess it's understandable.

 This also gave me a wake up call though. I got to thinking about said cousin. She's a go-getter and I know gave this her all to lose her extra baby weight. What's my excuse? 

Friday, September 21, 2012

The Space Shuttle Endeavor

  The Space Shuttle Endeavor made its final flyover in Southern California today. It was to fly over Disneyland this morning, so I took a drive down to Anaheim to see it for myself. Keep in mind that I live a city away, so I could've seen it in my city, but I don't think closely as I did by driving down to Anaheim.

 Facebook friends went to Disneyland today to see it-and took their kids too. Heck no. Cheap me parked in a residential neighborhood along with the rest of the world and stood around chatting with everyone until the shuttle flew overhead. It wasn't the best neighborhood, as my pics prove. (The gang bangers riding their bicycles as they lit a blunt proved that to me also....)  Cheap me was happy to be quick though. I came, I saw, I went home. Here are some pics to prove I saw this bit of history:

The sky before the shuttle flew overhead. Yes, it was a beautiful day! 

Notice the umbrella? The people in this house just got on the roof to wait . It was hot out! 

The people I chatted with while we waited. 

Keep in mind that this wasn't the best neighborhood. The chairs in the yard I was standing by made me laugh though. It reminded me of a doctor's office! 


Me, sans makeup. And yikes, I look like I'm balding! :( 


The crowd by Disneyland. 

Here it is! It looked a lot closer to me in person. 

Here it is again! A fighter jet is in the distance. 

Woops! Didn't get it all! :) 

Buh bye blur at the bottom left!


 This was a cool bit of history to see. 

Monday, September 17, 2012

Minus 6

 Week 1 of the umpteenth weight loss journey is done, and I'm happy to report that I lost 6 pounds this week.



 This picture was taken at one of the many weight loss classes I've been to over the years. The registered dietitian running the class passed this around at the beginning of class to give us an idea of what fat looks like in our bodies. How many pounds worth of fat is it? Five pounds. So, I choose to say this is what my weight loss looks like this week, but add on a pound.

 And now, I need to add in exercise-the dreaded E word. I know that will make the difference. I know a lot of people who have lost weight, hit their goal and gained it back. Part of the reason was that they never developed the habit of exercise.

 There are many more weeks to go with this, but so far, I'm happy to have a lighter week. :) 

Friday, September 14, 2012

And that's why we have primary doctors

 I made an appointment to see my primary doctor to get my questions answered and move forward. I figure that he can yell at the endocrinologist instead if there was a serious mess up. I can yell at the endocrinologist later.

 On the upside though, I'm having more good days since starting Bromocriptine. I read that it's used to treat Type 2 diabetes, so maybe that's why I'm feeling more alert?

 Today was one of those good days even though it was over 100 in this neck of the woods. I hated moving from the car to the restaurant when I had lunch with my friend Chris at Salt & Pepper. Chris has also been diagnosed diabetic, so I think that lunch was possibly the healthiest we've ever eaten together. She has lost 35 pounds and is really doing well managing her diabetes.

 Tomorrow is going to be busy. Laundry duty awaits so that my clothes don't stink in public. :) It's supposed to be hot again tomorrow, so I'm not looking forward to going outside at all. There may be a drive to Monrovia though-if I'm ambitious....

 And finally...Happy Birthday, Robyn! :) 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

NOT happy

 So I previously mentioned that the doctor told me I was insulin resistant and to lose weight. That's cool, but I wanted to fall asleep yesterday after eating my lunch, which is when I realized that I needed to be more on it.

 Friends who are diabetic were shocked that this endocrinologist, who's touted as one of the best in this medical group, didn't get me a monitor immediately or talk to me about steps I needed to take. So, I decided to call his office today. I asked if I needed a monitor or needed to take the classes this medical group offers for diabetics. The assistant asked for me and guess what?! Yeah, it'd be helpful for me to take the class, he said. The assistant told me she was going to fax over the referral promptly to get me in the class.

 I'm sorry, but that's a big DUHHHH if I ever heard one! This doctor may be great at diagnosing, but he's horrible at explaining what needs to be done! I am just incredibly frustrated that I had to make the call and sit on hold while they had to ask the doctor this question. I understand that people aren't perfect, but I'd think that this would be par for the course with a doctor with this much experience. I'd think that he would explain how often I'd need to be monitored, etc., without even batting an eye.

 So, I'm debating what to do. I want to be honest with him at my next appointment and tell him how I feel and that I want him to quit talking to his damn recorder and start talking to me. Is it reality that I'd blurt that out? Probably not. I feel that I need to say something though, whatever that may be.

 I'm just NOT happy right now about having to ask today, after my appointment. I'll sit with questions at my next appointment, but the reality is that I probably need to switch endocrinologists.

 AARGH! 

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

11 years later


 It was an honor to visit a 9/11 memorial today that someone in the city I live in put up in his front yard. The man is a firefighter and put over 2900 flags in his front yard to honor the fallen on this day 11 years ago. Crosses also adorned the yard with the names of first responders who lost their lives at the Twin Towers that day. It was spectacular and awe inspiring all in one.


 Large crosses were put at various areas in the yard to honor civilians, NYPD officers and also fire department first responders who lost their lives that day. Smaller crosses were beneath the larger crosses with the names of those who perished. 





  The names of civilians who perished at Twin Towers are written in red and blue on the cross.




 As I sit here writing this post, I am awe struck as I think of how time has passed before my eyes. On this day 11 years ago, I was sitting at work around this time. I was a marketing assistant. My office mate and I had the radio on and were worried, as was the rest of the company. I went to Carl's Jr. a short time later and got a special edition of the local paper for 50 cents. It's sitting somewhere at my parents house now. And now...I remember as clear as day. It's amazing.

 May I always remember. 

Monday, September 10, 2012

Now that you all know this....

It's sad to be in this place once again. Now that I am though, what's the plan?

Well, I obviously need to lose weight again. How is being figured out. I think it'll be a combination of 2 ways.

 The first will be using the site fitday.com. I used it this past summer when my church was going through a fitness series modeled after Rick Warren's Daniel Plan. The Daniel Plan recommended that site, which I can see why. It's a good site to record what you eat and also record your exercise. Needless to say, I'm back at it today recording what I eat. Exercise will come next.

 The second thing I should do is start rewarding myself for exercise. I can tell you that weight loss is a reward in itself. Exercise is almost the bane of my existence though. I can lose weight. Adding exercise in though has always been an issue for me. How in the heck can I add it in to really be effective at losing weight? An idea came to me as I thought of that question.

 My friend Robyn rewarded herself this past summer whenever she hit a new weight loss level. They were all non-food items and were given at 5 pound intervals. I don't believe in doing this for weight loss, because like I said before, weight loss is a reward in itself. For exercise? I can muster rewarding myself for that. :) So.... I'll start in rewarding myself for that. I've decided that for 5 days worth of exercising I'll make a trip to a scrapbooking store to get myself washi tape.

 I need to start small, and hopefully this will help me be able to accomplish my goals.

Health issues that could be coming up....

 Before I get too depressing, I want to congratulate my friend Robyn and her hubby TJ who closed escrow on their house this past Friday! While I'm envious at how dirt cheap they got it for, I'm also happy for this new stage in their lives. Your house is really nice!

 So anyway, let me say that some health issues may be headed my way shortly. At the endocrinologist's appointment this past Friday, I learned I'm "insulin resistant," which in laymen's terms means Type 2 Diabetes. I did my "fun" urine donation today to check for Cushing's Disease because diabetes always goes along with it, as it does with PCOS, which they're also checking with me. Honestly though, even though he has a good reputation for diagnosing illnesses that many doctors miss, his personality leaves much to be desired. He doesn't talk to you during your time with him but instead speaks into a recorder. He told the recorder that I needed a thyroid biopsy and then looked over at me as if to say, "That okay with you?" It was really weird! He said that losing weight will solve the diabetes issue. Okay, fair enough. What do I need to do though while losing weight? I'm sure that was also one of the reasons why he put me on Bromocriptine, but I'd like to hear that from him. Google has shown me that it's also used to level out blood sugar in diabetics. I've noticed over the few short days I've been on it that a disgusting problem I've been having has become less frequent and I'm also less tired. And I'm not as moody. Woohoo!

 So, this one I'm taking seriously. Diabetes is a serious problem on both sides of my family. My paternal grandfather died at age 61 from it. My maternal grandfather also died from it, but at age 84. The poor man underwent dialysis for a few years prior to his death. Yes, he lived a long life, but I remember how sad it was to see his body wither away those few years before his death.

 I'd appreciate the prayers if you're so inclined to pray for perseverance for me to get this weight off. I don't want to have to deal with such a debilitating disease as this, so if losing weight can take care of the problem, so be it. 

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Let the fun begin today! :(


 No folks, your eyes are not deceiving you. That's the bottom level of my fridge-with a huge container in it. What's it for, you ask? 

 Urine. I gotta pee in it all day and night. :( 

 Twenty-four hours worth of urine needs to go into this thing, which will stay in the refrigerator until I can lug it to the lab in the morning to test it. I think I uttered a swear word when the lab brought me the container. It's huge. Plus I was grossed out that I need to keep this thing in the fridge. I cleaned out the bottom level though, so not like it's mixing with much. ;) 

 I have to do this because the doctor thinks one of my tumor options is Cushing's Disease. There is a blood test for it, which I took. That's a random shot though. This obviously gives a complete picture. 

 I'll be so glad when all of this testing is done with. I'll be discussing this in the next post, but the doctor did find something that's quite concerning. It could go along with Cushing's though. If it doesn't, major health changes are coming my way. 

Da Plane! Da Plane!




 Does this house look familiar? It should if you were a child of the '70s and '80s. This house was shown at the beginning of the TV show "Fantasy Island." It's a gorgeous home located in the LA County Arboretum. I decided to take a trip there yesterday. 


 Admission is pretty reasonable here compared to other Southern California attractions, which I was gleefully happy about. It was hotter than you-know-what though, which is why I only stayed an hour and then went home. I wanted to see this house though. The last time I was here was on a field trip in 4th grade and only caught a glimpse of it. I wanted a do over, I guess. :) 


 This home is pretty close to the mountains, so I was glad to catch a nice view of them on this day. 


 An adobe was built on this site but wasn't accessible because it's being restored. I found it almost hysterical that it was so hot outside that no one really gave a damn to do the math on the sign below. 


 A family was walking by this adobe and the dad said, "Oh kids, look at this sign. This was built in 1839. That makes it.........um, almost 180 years old!" Yeah, not quite, but I didn't care and I'm sure the dad didn't either! 


 This oven was right next to the adobe. Palm branches were thrown in it. Works. The lake used for Fantasy Island is in back of the oven. 


 Imagine the plane touching down on the lake and Tattoo saying, "DA PLANE! DA PLANE!" :) This home was built many years ago by Lucky Baldwin and the lakes and rivers around it were an aqueduct for many in the area. Many TV productions have used this arboretum (and house) also. 


 Wasn't this tower of the house used quite a bit on the show? I remember that but wasn't sure. 


 I sat down on the porch because it was so damn hot out and this view above me was a pleasant surprise. 


 More of my view. It's nice that they keep this house up so well! Too bad I noticed a beehive a few seconds later. :( 


 The view from where I was seated. A fantastic site to behold. I can only imagine Lucky Baldwin seated here  on a balmy summer day such as yesterday and looking out seeing what I did. 


 The view of the aqueduct/lake as I was walking back to the car. It's absolutely huge. I probably would have explored more on a less hot day, but... It was hot....


 Happy to be in the shade and headed to the air conditioned car. :) Nice exercise, but it was hot! 


Thursday, September 6, 2012

What do I have again?

 My follow up appointment with the endocrinologist was today, and we discussed the blood work, ultrasounds, etc. Fun times are coming my way!

 I just started the medication Bromocriptine today. One of the many tumor possibilities I have is something called prolactinoma. This fun discovery was made when I had my first breast ultrasound back in April. This hormone starts working when you're pregnant, which I'm not. There is no need for me to nurse right now! The first blood test showed the level to be at 41. Normal is 27. The second blood test showed it to be at 61. Yesterday's blood test had it at 37. I asked the doctor today if the latest number meant I didn't have to go on it. No such luck. A female hormone is also low, so he hopes this medication will bring it up to normal again. I started it this afternoon. So far, so good with no medication side effects.

 Another possibility is that this is a thyroid secreting tumor. Prolactin issues can be caused by an out-of-whack thyroid. I've known I've had a thyroid goiter for 2 years now, but was told there's not much you can do for them. That's not true, because the doctor said today that these will have to be biopsied. I have to get a thyroid scan first to determine which ones.

 Aaaand, another fun possibility is that this tumor is Cushing's Disease. That makes a lot of sense. The treatment sounds horrendous-going up your nose to take the tumor out, but if it stops some of the symptoms, go for it!

 So, this is the fun stuff otherwise known as my life. I hope it stops soon. :(

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Summa Time


 Being that Labor Day has come and gone, Summer is now over. I tried to be intentional this year about how I spent my summer and was fairly happy with what I accomplished. Fall is now upon us and I'll try to be equally as intentional while being honest with myself about what I need to get done.

 I need to earn more money, so priority number 1 is to obviously solve that issue in obvious ways. God has provided for me, and I know He will continue. I just need to obviously solve this issue.

 I also have parents who are having health issues right now. My mom had cataract surgery a week ago and I'll be driving her to the doctor's tomorrow morning. Her next eye will be done in a few weeks. Then it will be my dad's turn for more eye surgery. I guess his is beyond thick. So, that means that I've been grocery shopping for my parents also this past week. Just call me shuttle. :)

 Intentionality is coming. It'll just have to be sandwiched in. ;) 

Saturday, September 1, 2012

August 2012 recap


 August is over! Fall has arrived.

 I learned this month that I don't have breast cancer. Hoorah! I also paid my first visit to the endocrinologist to figure out what kind of tumor I have. (Talk about giving a bucket load of blood after that appointment!) I realized that I'll be hitting 6 months of doctors visits soon. I hope to get answers soon and be on a path of wellness before I know it.

 I also had to take my mom for her surgery. Being at a medical facility at 6AM is not my idea of fun, and I'll have to repeat it in a few weeks for her second surgery. :( This past week has included driving her to doctors appointments and grocery shopping for them also. Aaah, the funness of older parents....

 Freelance writing took me to some great spots. Who knew that there was a barn in Huntington Beach perfect for a party? It also brought sadness. I met the mom of someone I went to high school with who was killed by a drunk driver while covering a meeting.

 I'm pretty happy overall with how I spent my summer. I welcome Fall with open arms and hope it's free of medical visits and full of hope.