Excellent Report

My last post was entitled “Good News, Bad News.” Today’s report is just the opposite: Bad news, good news.  The bad news is that Chelsea’s wound vac came undone last night.  She asked me to check under her and behind her to make sure her wound site was dry.  Her mattress pad was damp, and we had to change it out.  When she rolled to her side I saw that most of the left side of the wound vac draping had come undone. The Duo Derm was also white and in need of changing.

The good news is that I got through it like a champion.  I left all the foam in tact and just cut away the Duo Derm and draping that was damaged.  When all was done, the wound vac was purring like a kitten again, only quieter than a kitten!

By now I had seen at least three people change the wound vac, and slowly but surely I’m gaining confidence in being able to do this myself.  Mostly, though, I feel the prayers of God’s saints.  I told Chelsea last night I can feel all those friends who are praying for us. I promise you that we do not take your prayers for granted.

I know that I can’t do this, but I also know that I can do all things through Christ as He gives me strength.  Like Peter, in quiet desperation, I’ve been focused on the waves crashing all around me, not focusing on the Lord. Therein lies my problem. If I’m going to do this (and I have to), I’m going to have to rely on the Lord to pull me through; otherwise, I won’t make it.

I spen003t almost the whole day in Chelsea’s room yesterday and didn’t even have time to make a blog entry.  I told her either we’re going to have to move her hospital bed into the family room or we’re going to have to move a recliner into her room because that wooden desk chair is just not comfortable to sit in for more than a half hour or so.

I started thinking that her being home probably doesn’t feel much better than being in the hospital if she has to spend all day alone back in her bedroom. She wants to get out of bed so badly!  That would be horrible for her wound, but good for her spirits. Chuck told her he would lift her out of bed and into her chair Monday or Tuesday when he was off work.  Hopefully he’ll be able to get that accomplished without angering the wound vac.

Other excellent news:  My lab reports are back!  This is what my doctor wrote on my lab report:  “Dirinda, your labs look so much better! Your sugar is still on the high end of normal, but your A1c is slightly decreased. If you continue working on diet and exercise, we can do a trial off of the Metformin and recheck your labs in six months. I’ll see you then!”

Do you realize what this means?  I get to show up to my DOT physical next month with no diabetes meds on my chart!  That means I can go from an annual physical to a biennial one!  That was my goal!  When I started Trim Healthy Mama last July, this was what I intended to be able to do!

I am here to testify that if you are a diabetic, Trim Healthy Mama can help you with your lab numbers.

These are my new numbers (the old numbers are in parentheses beside them).
A1c:                                                                5.8 (5.9)
HDL cholesterol (the good kind)              52 (38)
Triglycerides                                               100 (218)
LDL cholesterol (the bad kind)               111 (126)
Glucose                                                          91 (105)

I am especially tickled that my triglycerides are now under 200!  My health is improving with diet and exercise leading the way!

I got up this morning at 7:35, even though I would have loved to go back to sleep until after 8:00.  I knew my treadmill was waiting for me, and I knew I had to eat breakfast at a decent time if I wanted to have lunch on time.

A few steps into my twenty minutes I felt some pain in my left leg around my knee somewhere, almost like something pulled.  “Ow, ow, ow,” I said with each step–until another ten or fifteen steps and then it went away!  It’s hard to limp along at three miles per hour, and I was hoping I wouldn’t have to step off and not continue.  I’m completely fine now.  I have no idea what that was.

Stats for 5/31/15
Weight:  I was SO tempted to weigh this morning, but why? I know I’m doing good!  Why spoil success with the scale lying to me again?
Exercise: a mile on the treadmill
Blood sugar:
Water intake:  Still working on it
Breakfast (8:30) E: two pieces of Ezekiel toast with a tablespoon or less of Neufchatel cheese and Simply Fruit jelly and a Mocha cheesecake FSF with a small spoon of 1% cottage cheese and another tablespoon or less of Neufchatel cheese.   The last couple of mornings I have used two teaspoons of Sweet Blend in place of the eight packets of Truvia, and I’ve been pleased with the taste.
Lunch (12:30) S: Lettuce salad with turkey strips, celery, cucumber, onions, grape tomatoes and ranch dressing.
Afternoon snack (4:00) E: Gala apple and Triple Zero Greek yogurt
Dinner (7:45) S: zucchini spaghetti with meat sauce.

 

Good News, Bad News

The good news is that we have our daughter home. The bad news is that she no longer has 24/7 nursing care, and, because of that, my stress level will be higher. For wound vac changes she will have a nurse here on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, but any leaks or other issues that arise in between those times are on me.

Just getting her into bed last night set off her wound vac. Outside of Chuck just manhandling her and lifting her from her power chair into bed, it is impossible for her to do it herself without at least a little scooting on her wound–which, of course, causes the plastic draping and sealant to peel and roll.

Once she was in bed last night, and rolled to her side, I saw that the whole plastic drape had peeled away from the foam packing.  The whole thing.  So I had to put on more adhesive sealant.  Few things in my life have ever made me feel more incompetent.

I can’t even put into words all the emotions I felt as I dealt with that wound last night: “frustrated,” “overwhelmed,” “angry” and “scared” are a few words that come to mind.  “Angry” is a weird word to be in that mix, and yet there it was.  Am I angry at God?  I can’t possibly be angry at Chelsea.  It isn’t her fault at all.  She would happily change her circumstances if she could.

And because “angry” was in the gamut of emotions, so was “guilty.”  I felt guilty for being angry.  Each of those feelings is enough to put me on the verge of a breakdown, but both together almost reduced me to a sobbing puddle in the middle of the floor.

As I was taking deep breaths and trying to find wound vac draping in all the hospital bags, boxes and tubs, Chelsea was trying to encourage me and keep me calm.  She said during and afterward that I handled it better than I did last time, but, let me be clear, I still didn’t handle it well.  It’s hard to keep an even voice when you have tears stinging the backs of your eyelids.

I don’t even know how we managed to get the wound vac quiet last night. It was a series of taping and pressing, and I should have been praying, too.

The praying came later as I was crying in bed, telling God I didn’t understand about Job. I told him I also didn’t understand about babies who are born with things wrong with them.

It doesn’t matter about me:  I deserve everything I get. I deserve God’s wrath, I deserve hell, I deserve every bad thing life throws in my direction, but Chelsea has the sweetest spirit of any person I know.  She is kind, merciful, generous, even-tempered, considerate, and so many other things. She doesn’t deserve this. And she doesn’t deserve having me as the person in charge of taking care of her.

I hope last night was my emotional rock bottom. I hope it won’t get worse than this.

It has been two years with a̶l̶m̶o̶s̶t̶ no improvement in the wound. Dr. James said a wound on the tailbone is the worst kind of wound to heal because much of her day is spent on her tailbone.  Even if she’s on complete bed-rest, how long can a person stay on her side without going stir-crazy?  There are only so many hours a person can sleep during a 24-hour period, without being sedated.

We want her to get better, but sometimes I get scared that she won’t. Sometimes thoughts creep into my head which are better off remaining unverbalized.  I know I’m not the only one who has thoughts like this. Cameron, too, expressed his concern to me when he came over this morning.

Chelsea got out of bed this morning so we could change her bedding due to a leaky Foley during the night, and I suggested–as long as she was already up, the wound vac was quiet and the nurse wouldn’t be here for another two hours–that maybe she could see if Uptown Style could fit her in to get her hair washed.

Karmin said she could squeeze her in at 11:30, so that would work out fine. Chelsea threw on a dress and off she went.

Later:  Meanwhile, as I was sitting here working on my blog, all teary-eyed and feeling sorry for myself, recounting my midnight wrestling with the Lord for the benefit of all my blog readers, who would show up at my door but Chelsea’s IV-medicine delivery driver? I must have been quite a sight.

I signed all the delivery papers, only to find out that it was Chelsea who needed to sign everything since she isn’t a minor. He asked to sit down in the living room while he called his supervisor and awaited instructions on what to do, whether to wait for Chelsea to sign for everything or to load up the boxes and take them back.

After I located my cell phone, I called Chelsea and she said she could leave right away and be home in ten minutes. Karmin had washed her hair and was now in the process of blow-drying it.

So it was just me and the delivery driver, killing time and shooting the bull in the living room, until Chelsea got home.

I was explaining that after being in the hospital for so long she was in sore need of getting her hair washed.

I started talking about her being in and out of the hospital for two years since December of 2013.

“What an ordeal this has been,” I said. “We thought by now the wound would have been a lot further along in healing.” I don’t know what happened then, but suddenly I completely lost the battle with my hiding-just-under-the-surface meltdown.  Embarrassed I held up a hospital discharge sheet in front of my face.  “I’m sorry,” I said from behind the paper.

“That’s quite all right,” the driver said.  “I know it gets hard sometimes, but the Lord loves you and has a plan for you.”

I couldn’t believe the Lord had sent a Christian to my door to minister to me after my tearful and prayerful night.  He started telling me a little bit about his jail ministry, and I started spilling out all the things I wrote about at the beginning of this blog, about my not understanding about Job and about Chelsea’s sweet spirit, and he responded that he could answer my question about Job.

I had told him that I didn’t understand why God had to prove anything to anybody.  Why did He have to prove Job’s character to Satan?

The driver responded that He didn’t, but Satan is the god of this world.  Our spiritual destiny has been taken care of, if we are believers and followers of Jesus Christ. Our here-and-now, on the other hand, is a different story.  We are on Satan’s territory right now, and we will have struggles. What happened to Job happens to all of us in one way or another, but God puts limitations on exactly how far Satan can go in his treatment of us. He likened it to the Royals or the Chiefs playing an away game and having to endure bad calls by referees who are possibly influenced by the cheers and boos of an opposing crowd.  (He kind of lost me on that point, but, as I’m sitting here writing this now, I’m beginning to connect the dots.)  When we’re on enemy territory, things will not go smoothly for us.  In this world, we will face all kinds of temptations and trials, tears and troubles.  We can count on that.  It’s a given.  Because of one man, Adam, sin entered the world, and, along with sin, also evil, pain, thorns, sickness, and death.

As long as we live here on earth, we will experience all these horrible things.

The driver told me that God may have given Chelsea the sweet spirit and the grace to go through everything she has had to go through.  As a mom, he said, it hurts my heart to see her suffer and to have to endure everything she has had to endure.  He told me that Satan may be trying to use Chelsea’s circumstances to hurt my own relationship with the Lord.

Anyway, that lone delivery driver was sent by God to minister to this sobbing mess of a mom this morning.  For that I am grateful–and a little blown away, to be quite honest, at the timing and the odds of that particular driver being the one to deliver Chelsea’s meds.  God sends out His grace via all sorts of people and packages, amen?  Furthermore, if Chelsea hadn’t been gone to have her hair washed, the delivery driver wouldn’t have had the occasion to minister to me!  He saw an opportunity to minister to me and he jumped on it.

The driver asked me if I had ever seen the poem about the two sets of footprints, where at first there’s the two sets, and then there’s just the one set, and the man asked God why He would leave him at a time in his life when he needed Him most.  God answered him and said, “My precious child, I love you and would never, ever leave you during your trials and testings.  When you saw only one set of footprints, it was then that I carried you.”

He told me that it may look bleak right now and right now it may be a very painful time, but when we come out on the other side we will see how God upheld us through it.  We will be able to help someone else possibly who is going through the same thing because we will better understand their pain.

Come to think of it, isn’t that what God did, too?  He came to earth in the Person of Jesus Christ, feeling our pain and knowing our sorrow, to be the perfect Mediator between man and God.

It’s amazing what God calls to our minds and when He chooses to do it.

The IV nurse was here earlier, teaching us how to do the IV meds, since this time they sent us bags and an IV pole instead of the plastic bulbs.  While she was here, she also changed the wound vac, but she struggled with it for what seemed like over an hour.  No matter how she tried she couldn’t get a good seal.  At one point she even had me holding Chelsea’s skin taut while she applied the sealant, and still the wound vac kept making a racket. The nurse took it all in stride better than I would have. She spoke to the wound vac in a soothing tone, as if it were a tiny baby, “I know, I know, you’re not happy.  I’m not happy, either.”

I told her if she was having so much trouble with it, being a professional, to try to imagine how hard it would be for me, an unqualified novice (aka bumbling idiot).

She was the second nurse in a week’s time who had likened changing the wound vac to an arts and crafts project.  All I can say is, I’m glad they have so much fun with it, but it’s a struggle for me and not much fun at all.  Maybe it’s because it makes me feel so inadequate, and not many things do that to me.  The nurse assured me today that it just takes practice.  I hope she is right, but I mostly I hope that I don’t have to get enough practice to get good at it. Hopefully the wound vac will stay sealed and behave itself until the next nurse gets here on Monday.  She told me that hind ends and toes are the two very worst places to get a seal for wound vacs.

She told Chelsea, “I know you don’t want to hear this–”

“I know, I know,” Chelsea said, “I should stay put.”

“Yes, you should stay in bed,” the nurse replied.

And then in two weeks Chelsea follows up with Dr. James.

Stats for 5/29/15:
Weight:  N/A
Exercise: a mile on the treadmill so far
Blood sugar: 86 (4:15, before afternoon snack)
Water: still not nearly enough. After the morning I became lax in setting my timer.
Breakfast (8:30) S: Chocolate peanut butter cheesecake shake (I ran out of instant coffee for my mocha frappas)
Lunch (12:30) S:  Huge salad, 1/4 cups cashews
Afternoon snack (4:30) E: Gala apple and Triple Zero Greek yogurt
Dinner (8:00) S: Sirloin burger and broccoli, coconut crack bars (if I get some made)

 

 

Kitchen Timer Time

A couple of days ago I thought it may be a good idea to also chart my water consumption on the blog. I am hesitant to do this for the same reason that I refused to shake my doctor’s hand when she asked me to commit to two weeks of no bread, pasta, sugar, rice or bananas. I can’t promise doing something at which I’m sure to fail.

The blog idea is not the same, I realize, because I’m just logging the results, not promising to uphold some verbal agreement, but the blog helps hold me accountable to my diet and exercise. While I need to drink more water, I don’t want to drink more water, but drink more water I must–so I will give logging my progress a go for a while to see if it helps.

My kitchen timer will be my helper. I just took a drink of water out of my pint and a half jar with the cool lid insert and straw.  After I took several swallows, I set my kitchen timer for fifteen minutes. When the timer beeps I will take another big drink (six or seven swallows) and then set it for another fifteen minutes. The increase in water consumption should do two things (at least two, not to mention flushing toxins, clarifying skin, etc.): help my blood sugar and decrease my appetite.  Yay!

Increasing my water may be the very thing I need to get past this weight stall! That doesn’t seem like such a big thing, does it? I’m going to try it!

I’m currently reading The Sugar Solution by Sarί Harrar. I got it from my mother-in-law. So far I’ve discovered lots of useful information about blood sugar and easy tips to incorporate into my life to help keep my blood sugars in the safe range. Of course, Trim Healthy Mama is already doing that! But more information is never a bad thing–unless it’s conflicting information, and I’ve already run into some of that, regarding milk and whole grain wheat, etc. I will disregard what I don’t need and glean only what I find helpful.

Today is the day we pick up our sweet daughter from the hospital. Because of the wound vac I suspect her activity will be limited. It’s a fickle machine because of the awkward wound site. Leaks are common and a lot of movement only increases the risk.

She’s coming home on four weeks of IV antibiotics. Dr. Gupta told her, if her temperature spikes, not to brush it off, but to be seen by somebody. Right now the infection is in her tissue, no longer in her blood, but we want to get rid of the infection altogether and not let it get worse again.

Stats for 5/28/15:
Weight: N/A
Exercise: a mile on the treadmill
Water consumption: I’ve done much better today, but still not good enough. I didn’t count my ounces, either. We were away from home most of the day.
Blood sugar: 79 (two hours after breakfast), 87 (an hour and a half past dinner)
Breakfast (8:30) S: Mocha cheesecake FSF and a coconut crack square
Lunch (12:00) S: Lettuce salad with turkey strips, cucumber, celery, onion, grape tomatoes, and ranch dressing. Coconut crack square.
Afternoon snack (3:30) E: Gala apple and Triple Zero Greek yogurt
Dinner (7:45) S: Sirloin burger with swiss cheese, sauteed onions and mushrooms and steamed broccoli.

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It’s Not About Being Skinny

Even when I don’t have to work, it seems that I can’t sleep much past 7:00, anymore. This is uncharacteristic of me. Of course, so is going to bed by midnight on nights when I don’t have to work the next day.

Chuck and I went to Wal-mart today to pick up some trash bags, a navy blue button for my new-to-me denim skirt (I ended up getting black because our tiny-town Wal-mart did not have a navy button), some Banana Split Twinkies (not for me: I’m not even interested in trying one, thank you), and a couple of new blouses for me.

I got home and found out the two blouses I bought were way too big. I almost kept them, anyway, though, because that’s the kind of mindset I have. “Once a big girl, always a big girl.” It used to be that I thought the more fabric to cover all my flab the better; loose-fitting was the look I was going for.

It’s hard to see myself now as someone who needs a smaller size, but what an incredible feeling! Before Trim Healthy Mama, I was buying 4Xs and 5Xs, and now I’m in a roomy 18-20!!!!

I have on a non-stretchy size-24 denim skirt that used to belong to my daughter. I found it all alone and forgotten in a dresser drawer and decided to try it on just for kicks.  Not only am I able to wear this skirt now, I can pull out the waistband and see daylight showing at the bottom!

I can’t even tell you how encouraging these non-scale victories are. They’re the kind of victories that make me want to jump back on the treadmill and do another mile!

Yesterday I saw a news segment where a fitness coach remarked that the scale is a weight-loss deterrent. Yes, I can definitely understand that. Discouragement undermines healthy choices at every turn. The fitness lady said, “You start thinking, ‘What? I only lost a pound? Well, s*** it, then; I may as well eat this cheeseburger. What I’m doing apparently isn’t working, anyway.'”

I know I have thought that way, minus the use of the “s-word.” And then I sometimes have eaten even more to punish myself for eating more. I know, dumb, right? Food addiction and self-loathing are vicious cycles; they feed off each other.

I do not need a scale to validate my worth or determine whether I am victorious or not in my weight-loss journey.  Any time I choose an apple and a Greek yogurt over a Twinkie or chocolate chip cookie, that is a victory, no matter what the scale says! Any time I load up my grocery cart with celery, cucumbers, lettuce, and onions instead of chips, crackers, candy and dip is a victory, my friends!

I try to keep this in mind because sometimes I forget and step on the scale (I forget that curiosity killed the cat!). The same old number or a new higher number ruins my morning, but it shouldn’t! How long did I weigh this weight before I started climbing to the 325-weight? (My husband insists I must have weighed every bit of 340 or even more than that when we watch old videos from twenty years ago).

It could be that I weighed 250 pounds for a year or two before I finally started escalating out of control.  Why should it concern me if my body rests for a while at 250 or 248 or 249 or 251 before it starts losing all the weight it has taken so long to gain? That’s my thinking, and, if you’re reading this, it should be yours, too!

We didn’t get fat overnight and we won’t get skinny overnight, either. Plus (and don’t make me say this twice), it’s not about being skinny. You heard me, right?  If you didn’t, go back and read that, again.

This “weight-loss journey” is about regaining your health and possibly being around another five, ten or twenty years for your family. It’s about being able to go to the zoo and not have to sit on the bench while the others reluctantly leave you behind so they can see all the great sights and try to make the most of their day (without you, because you’re in no shape to go any further).  It’s about health and energy and confidence and love for your family.  You can’t find all that stuff in a number on the scale, but you can find it in what you feed your body.

Stats for 5/27/15:
Weight: Who wants to know? Not me.
Exercise: over a mile and a quarter the treadmill (I started doing the aerobics setting tonight, and couldn’t do more than six minutes)
Blood sugar: 89 (a couple of hours after dinner, an hour past my coconut crack square dessert)
Breakfast (8:30) S: Mocha cheesecake FSF and a coconut crack square
Lunch (12:30) S: Big lettuce salad with strips of deli turkey, celery, cucumber, grape tomatoes, onion and ranch dressing, plus another coconut crack square.
Afternoon snack (4:00) E: Gala apple and Triple Zero Greek yogurt
Dinner (7:00) S: Sweet and Smoky Burger at Chili’s (no bun, no fries) and steamed broccoli.  Dessert: coconut crack bar (recipe from Chocolate Covered Katie)

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While We Were Sleeping

Early this morning our area was racked by severe storms. We received no damage at our house, but across town straight-line winds (or some residents suspect a microburst) wreaked havoc on neighborhood trees and my deceased mother-in-law’s former home. Of course, since she passed away in November, our family has sold the house, and it now belongs to someone else.

We went to bed with the attic fan on, but, when Chuck got up at 3:00 a.m. to use the bathroom, he said the wind was blowing through the bathroom window at a velocity of eighty miles an hour (an exaggeration, I was sure!) and he got cold so he turned off the attic fan and closed our bedroom door.

I remember waking up a time or two during the night, but I don’t remember any thunder or lightning.

At 7:13 a.m. I was still lying in bed, thinking about getting up, when the phone rang. Chuck was calling from work and said that Zach, his coworker, was telling him about all the damage in his area of town overnight. He described how Chuck’s mom’s porch roof had been torn off and bent backward up on top of the house and how there was a chimney lying in her front yard.

Later, the lady from the Fox 4 News team said that the chimney, which was too heavy for her to budge, came from half a block away.

I decided to take a little trip across town before I had breakfast (or my shower!) to see what had transpired during the night.  When I saw the giant trees that had been split and broken in half, my jaw dropped. If we hadn’t recently had our tree taken down, our yard could have looked like those other yards. That “eighty-mile-per-hour” wind could have brought our tree crashing right down on top of our roof! Of course, I don’t think we received the brunt of the storm, but, still, what could have happened is a sobering thought!  

Chuck’s mom’s house was featured on Fox 4 News as they covered the storm damage in our town. (Click here to see the news coverage.) My son’s apartment is also in the area that was ravaged by the violent winds. After I had rushed back home to get my camera, I was taking a photo of a huge tree that had snapped like a toothpick in front of his apartment building when an elderly man called out to me from his driveway across the street. He and his wife chatted with me for about five minutes or so about the severity of the storm and what they had experienced.  His wife was certain it was a microburst because the trees that were bent and broken were not all bent in the same direction. The man who was standing in front of Chuck’s mom’s home on Fox 4 News sounded equally sure it was straight-line winds.

My son called me and said he had a therapy appointment (for his finger that he badly jammed, playing basketball) this morning, but after that he was coming over to watch my DVR recording showing his grandma’s house. He said the storm was so loud that he was awakened at three in the morning, thinking that someone was trying to break into his apartment. After a minute or so, he realized that it was “only a thunderstorm” and went back to sleep.

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Cameron decided to swing by his grandma’s house before heading off to therapy, but he said police had already blocked everything off. It looks like I arrived with my camera just in the nick of time.

Today is the day I get back on track with Trim Healthy Mama. I was almost on track yesterday, but Chelsea offered me a chocolate chip cookie when I visited her in the hospital and I suffered a moment of weakness.

Today–so far so good–I’ve had an S breakfast and have done a mile on the treadmill. In other plans I intend to talk to God more and enlist His help. I cannot do this in my own strength! Initially I had thought to crack open my THM book and do a little review, but then I found The Sugar Solution in my library and decided to give it a go instead. My SUGAR BUSTERS!! book was instrumental back in July in helping me get a grasp on my sugar addiction and learning which veggies to avoid (potatoes, corn, beets and carrots). Trim Healthy Mama only prohibits the consumption of white potatoes, but I believe it is also best to avoid the others if possible. I can easily do without beets and carrots, but in the summertime it will be especially hard to prevent serving and eating corn on the cob. In fact, I’ve already decided to make an allowance for myself for the summer.

Stats for 5/26/15:
Weight: N/A (I saw a segment on the news this morning saying that the scale is a deterrent to weight loss. I believe that!)
Exercise: over two miles on the treadmill (the last five minutes were at a 7% incline, then one more minute for cool-down)
Blood sugar: 93 (two hours after breakfast)
Breakfast (9:00) S: chocolate peanut butter cheesecake shake and two deviled eggs. To make the chocolate peanut butter shake a cheesecake variety, all you have to do is add about a tablespoon of Neuchâtel cheese and a fourth of a cup of 1% cottage cheese. Since it is an S, you may use more than a teaspoon of natural peanut butter, but keep in mind that, although we don’t “count” calories in Trim Healthy Mama, calories still count! I discovered there are two hundred calories in two tablespoons of my natural (no sugar added) peanut butter!  WHAT?! Now, if you add the calories in the whey protein, the Neuchâtel cheese, cottage cheese and almond milk, you can see the calories are really starting to pile up! What I’ve been trying to avoid is the 700-calorie McFrappe from McDonald’s, so that’s why I try not to go overboard with my peanut butter when I’m making my shake.
Lunch (1:00) E: Baked blueberry yogurt oatmeal.
Afternoon snack (4:30) E: Gala apple and Triple Zero Greek yogurt.
Dinner (7:45) S: HUGE lettuce salad with slivered deli turkey, celery, cucumbers, grape tomatoes, onion and ranch dressing, two deviled eggs.

Here’s to a back-on-track Tuesday!

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Moving to the Music

I decided to try something new today–maybe not totally new; I may have partially done this before: I did my treadmill time with my eyes closed. The Royals game was on, so, instead of watching a movie, I listened to my mp3 player. Instead of watching my time or my distance I decided to estimate my time by counting songs. I figured that most songs are about two-and-a-half to three minutes long (unless we’re talking about the Beatles’ “Revolution” or Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven,” which are in excess of eight minutes each).

Taking into account the standard length of a popular song, I estimated that six songs would put me in the neighborhood of eighteen minutes maybe. I figured it would be great if I opened my eyes to discover that I only had a couple of minutes left to go.

As the sixth song finished I opened my eyes and saw that I had been on the treadmill for over twenty-three minutes! Ha! What was another couple of minutes? So I kept walking through part of the seventh song. That brought my distance (at 3.0 m.p.h.) up to a mile and a quarter.  Woo hoo!

I am so glad I decided to bump my speed up from 2.8 to 3.0 miles per hour a couple (or three?) weeks ago. I can’t really even tell a difference, and now, even if I don’t do more than twenty minutes a day, I know I’m getting a mile in!

I never could have done this before Trim Healthy Mama. Lots of things are different now, my weight being chief among them. Definitely my energy level is higher, my need for naps, diminished, and my left knee doesn’t cause me nearly the pain that it used to.

I surprised Chelsea with a visit last night. Chuck and Cameron were going to stop by and see her on the way to the Royals game, so, on our way home from seeing her on Friday, I said, “Why don’t I come with you? You can drop me off at the hospital and I can stay there while you guys are at the game and you can pick me up afterward?”

It was a great plan. Chuck was trying to brainstorm what to bring to her in the hospital, some kind of surprise, maybe a piece of jewelry. I told him she had everything she could possibly need, but that flowers would be nice. Flowers brighten up the room and are seen by everyone who comes in. Flowers lets you and everyone else know you have someone who loves you. That’s important for women. I don’t think men look at flowers quite the same way women do. Chuck thinks of them as something that dies and, hence, a waste of money because they don’t last.

He thought to get her a People magazine because Chelsea is our “Rona Barrett” of the family. She and my dad were a lot alike in that respect. They always could keep up with actors and actresses, who they were and in which movies they starred. Chelsea can go a step further and tell you to whom they’re married and how many kids they have.

I’m always calling Chelsea into the living room and saying, “Chelsea, look at this actress.  Who is she? Where have I seen her before?” To me, it’s not as important to know her actual name as it is to know what movie I saw that had her in it. Sometimes it drives me crazy, trying to place where I’ve seen someone before.

I couldn’t find a florist open in Higginsville Saturday morning because of the holiday weekend, so we got Chelsea an arrangement of spider mums and Gerber daisies at Hy-Vee on our way to the hospital. We also stopped at Big Lots and got her a bag of dark chocolate Lindt truffles and a bag of extra dark chocolate Lindt truffles. Dark chocolate is her favorite.

Before we headed to the hospital, we stopped at Chili’s to eat. I found something else I love to eat there besides the steak: either the Southern Smokehouse Burger or the Sweet and Smoky Burger.  I think the main differences in the two are the cheese and the sauce. Yesterday I meant to order the Sweet and Smoky Burger (pictured below with the pepper Jack cheese and mango-infused BBQ sauce), but we were trying to save time by ordering right away so our waitress wouldn’t walk away without getting our order first, so we didn’t look at the menu. Anyway, I accidentally ordered the Southern Smokehouse Burger (sharp cheddar cheese and Chili’s signature sauce), but both burgers are extraordinary, and you know what? I don’t even miss the bun or fries, anymore! Chalk one up for Trim Healthy Mama!

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When we got to the hospital, Chuck and Cameron walked in first while I stood out in the hall with her flowers and gift bag. After a minute or so I entered the room, right after her nurse, who I was afraid would say something, indicating my presence, and Chelsea’s eyes got wide with surprise. “I didn’t know Mom was coming, too!” she exclaimed.

“I thought I’d hang out with you while they were at the game,” I said.

After they left, we turned the game on, hoping we would catch a glimpse of Chuck and Cameron, sitting in the crowd along the third-base line, but we didn’t.

I was almost praying the rain wouldn’t get into Kansas City until after the game, but Chuck and Cameron didn’t mind because we won. They said when we were up 3-2 they were hoping it would rain harder because rain is better than a loss. The game had already progressed to six innings so that was enough to call an official game. (Today we weren’t so lucky. The Cards beat us. Boo.)

Stats for today, 5/24/15:
Weight: N/A
Exercise: a mile and a quarter on treadmill (so far)
Blood sugar: 109 (9:15, two hours after dinner)
Breakfast (8:30) FP: Mocha cheesecake FSF.
Lunch (12:30) S: Salad with turkey strips, cucumber, celery, grape tomatoes, onion, and ranch dressing, one-fourth cup cashews with sea salt.
Cheat: Lindt Lindor chocolate from Big Lots (too much, blah). I also ate over a fourth of a cup of cashews half an hour or so after dinner. (I have to get back on track tomorrow!)
Dinner (6:00) crossover: Ribeye steaks with Cookie’s seasoning, broccoli, and corn on the cob. 001Corn is a starchy vegetable and is high on the glycemic index scale, so it should be eaten rarely or at least in moderation. It was a small ear, though, so maybe it was just barely a crossover. The Cookies is a pretty good seasoning, but it’s a little spicey. Next time I won’t use it as liberally.

Pictures from last night that I took with my new AARP RealPad tablet (Look around first before you decide to buy, if you want a RealPad, because mine cost only $113 at Wal-Mart.):

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Chuck, Chelsea and Cameron

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Chels, Cam and me
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Chelsea, Chuck and me
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Me and my firstborn

Accidentally On Purpose

I put my laptop into the shop before I thought to print out my blood sugar log from my blog. Since I wouldn’t be getting my laptop back until after my doctor visit, I canceled my appointment. I wanted her to see how my blood sugars had stabilized so that she would take me off Metformin. That was what I was looking forward to most at my appointment, that and a referral to a podiatrist, so I figured going in empty-handed would defeat my purposes.

When I mentioned to Chuck over the phone that my laptop was fixed he had me call right away to reschedule my appointment.

I called the office and told the receptionist I needed to come in for an A1C. She asked me what doctor I saw and I told her Kendra. My appointment was set up for this morning; however, when I arrived this morning I was told to sign the labs-only sign-in sheet and that Kendra was not in the office.

I said, “Wait, I’m supposed to see Kendra.”

“I’m the one who took your call,” one of the office girls said, “and I was under the impression that you just needed an A1C done.”

“I do,” I explained, “but the reason I stressed that I wanted an A1C done was that the last time I came in to see my doctor she did not order an A1C even though I always get an A1C since I’m a diabetic.”

“Do you still want your labs done?”

“I don’t know. I guess.” As I sat waiting to be called, I wondered what to do. I reached into my purse for my cell phone to call Chuck, but my battery was dead. “You know what?” I said to the receptionist. “Why don’t we reschedule for a morning when Kendra is back in the office? Make it early since I can’t eat first.”

“How about June 1?”

“Yeah, that’s fine.”

“Eight o’clock?”

“Um, no, that’s the first day of summer school and I’ll be driving. Well, I may be able to be here by then.”

“Okay, how about eight thirty?”

“Yes, that’s better. Thank you.” I picked up my purse and was about to stand when a nurse showed up at the door and called my name. She asked me to come back with her so they could fix the misunderstanding if possible. She told me I could reschedule if I preferred or there was a nurse practitioner there who would see me if I wanted.

I decided to see the nurse practitioner. Her name was Haley. She was excited and proud (even though she hadn’t ever met me before) of my weight loss and my log of blood sugars and treadmill activity.

She said she had no problem with taking me off the meds for now and my following up with her in six months, providing that my labs results showed an improved A1C–because, she said, Kendra would wring her neck for taking me off Metformin and then she would wring my neck.  Haley said Kendra would have never taken me off the Metformin. “Kendra is a diabetes guru,” she said. “Kendra is on a crusade to cure the world of diabetes!” A lofty ambition, and it would benefit anyone to have such a person in his/her corner, however, I really want to have Metformin taken off my portfolio of meds to share with my DOT examiner.

Chuck had told me that all I have to do is tell the examiner that Lipitor is the only medication I’m taking–because that is true. The only reason I ever take Metformin is because Chuck makes me once in a while. Certainly my normal blood sugars haven’t warranted it.

Haley told me not to be surprised if in a couple of years I have to start taking Metformin again to “stay ahead of the beast.” She repeated what Kendra always says, that diabetes is a progressive disease. There may come a day when diet and exercise are not enough.

She felt the hard spot on the bottom of my foot and agreed to write me out a referral to a podiatrist.

While I was there she shared with me that she had also lost a substantial amount of weight in the last couple of years. Fifty pounds. When she asked me how I had lost my sixty-five, I pulled the first third of my Trim Healthy Mama book out of my document folder, and she wrote the title down in her notebook for her own future reference.

I don’t think it was an accident that I saw Haley today. This may have been God’s purpose that I see Haley instead of my regular doctor. If I had seen Kendra and she had refused to take me off Metformin I may have been very discouraged by that.

While I was there, Haley told me about a Hy-Vee s002easoning powder, Cookies seasoning, and wrote it on a scrap of paper for me. She said it is so good that a friend of hers began putting it on salad and liked it so much she doesn’t even use dressing now. Haley said it’s wonderful on all kinds of things. She puts it on her meat and claims it is excellent on salmon.
When I told Chuck about the seasoning powder, his ears perked up, and we had to stop by Hy-Vee on our way home from the hospital today to get some. I bought the last one on their shelves! A manager was helping me look for it, and at first we only saw Corkey’s seasoning. “That’s odd,” I said. “Maybe she made a mistake. I thought sure she said Cookies. No, it was Cookies. She didn’t just say it; she wrote it down.”

Since Big Lots was only a couple of stores away Chuck also let me run in to get some Bob’s Mill unsweetened shredded coconut.  SCORE! I had bought three bags last week at $2.82 for only eight ounces at Supercenter. I found it at Big Lots for $4.70 for 24 ounces! The shelf price was $5.30, but when I got it to the checkout the girl rang it up at $4.70.

“Wow! That’s great!” I said. “The sticker on the shelf said it was $5.30.”

“No,” she said, double-checking. “I have Bob’s Mill shredded coconut, twenty-four ounces for $4.70.” I ended up running back and grabbing a third bag. I put two of them in the freezer when I got home.

I see a lot of Coconut Crack Bars in my future!

We went to see Chelsea in the hospital today. She didn’t look good at all, and I asked her if she was tired. She didn’t seem too much like herself. Her wound vac had stopped working, and her nurse and someone from wound care did a wound change while we were there. Chuck left the room, but I positioned myself right behind the wound care professional because I know this is going to be my job when Chelsea comes home. It took her forty or fifty minutes to change it, but it was done with expertise. Every square inch of skin around the wound was protected with sealant. I’ve never seen anyone so adept with scissors and tape. She commented that working with wound vacs was kind of an artsy endeavor.

“I bet you love to wrap Christmas presents, don’t you?” I said.

“Actually, no, because that gets a little monotonous. Wound vacs I can do all day long because wounds are always different.” She threw herself into it like it was arts and crafts hour at the library.

I think Chelsea is completely worn down and plain tired of being sick. She said she broke down, bawling, as soon as we left her hospital room this afternoon. She is just “done.”

Her case worker came in while we were there to discuss her discharge and where she was going after Centerpoint. She mentioned Chelsea’s going to an “L-tech,” which I assume is another term for “long-term health facility” or “acute-care” establishment.

Chelsea was quite adamant about not being willing to be sent there. I quickly agreed.

“I don’t see the point,” I said. “It’s not like she gets better while she’s there. If anything she usually ends up even sicker because she comes down with C-diff or VRE or MRSA or something else. She has been at Kindred for months at a time, undergoing six weeks of hyperbaric oxygen treatments, plasma injection treatments and so forth, and as far as we can tell there has been absolutely no progress.”

The case worker didn’t press the issue. She said, “Okay, I’ll go ahead and get the wound vac ordered.”

“I was afraid this was where this was going,” Chelsea sighed. “We haven’t had a lot of luck with the wound vac at home.”

I added, “Not only do not feel qualified to care for her wound, the home health nurse said she doesn’t, either.”

The case worker’s short answer was, “Then get another home health nurse. Because I guarantee there are nurses out there who are qualified.”

When Chelsea comes home we will contact the VNA and specifically ask for a nurse who specializes in wound care and wound vacs.

Before I forget, my non-scale victory of the day:  Not only did I walk two and a quarter miles on the treadmill today, five minutes of those miles were on a 3, 5, and three full minutes were on a 7 incline! Haley had mentioned today that walking on an incline sends calorie-burning through the roof!

I feel absolutely fantastic!  Eating on the road, going back and forth to the hospital, is hard, but I’m doing pretty well, considering, taking baby steps toward better health.

Stats for today, 5/22/15:
Weight: the doctor’s office recorded a 65-pound loss since this time last year.
Exercise: Two and a quarter miles, five minutes on an incline (three of those minutes on an incline of SEVEN). Kicking it into high gear!
Blood sugar: 87 (10:30, two and a half hours past dinner)
Breakfast (9:15) FP: Mocha cheesecake FSF
Lunch (12:40) off-plan: Popeye’s chicken: five tenders, two cole slaws and a biscuit.
Afternoon snack (4:15) E: Gala apple and Triple Zero Greek yogurt
Dinner (7:40) S: zucchini spaghetti with meat sauce

 

 

“Tomorrow, Tomorrow, I Love Ya, Tomorrow!”

“You’re only a day away!”

Tomorrow I go to see Kendra, my doctor. Tomorrow is potentially the day I am released from my diabetes medication, which I normally do not take, anyway. My blood sugars are stabilized and normal, whether I take my Metformin or not, so what is the point in taking it?

I have copied all the stats from my blog onto a chart which I will print off and take with me to the doctor. She mildly chastised Chuck for not logging his blood sugars. She is going to be quite impressed with my chart, logging not only my blood sugars, but also my meals and exercise!

My goal is to be put back on biennial DOT physicals instead of annual ones. Another goal from this doctor visit is to get a referral to a podiatrist so he can examine the hard spot on the ball of my left foot and maybe write a script for some special shoes to make walking less painful.

After my doctor visit Chuck and I will leave to visit our daughter in the hospital. The poor girl missed her grandma’s funeral back in November because she was in the hospital. Tomorrow afternoon she will miss her grandma’s memorial for the same reason.

Chelsea has had a rough two years; that’s 007for sure. In a little over a month, on July 5, she will turn thirty, the big 3-0. It’s a milestone birthday for anyone, but, in her case, we especially want to make it even more extraordinary and memorable because of the hardships she has endured over the past couple of years. We are thankful to still have her with us and hope to have her for many more years.

We want to have a party for her, but planning an event like this is beyond my ken. I guess I’ll hit Pinterest and ask a couple of friends for ideas and help. Any ideas and comments from my dear readers are welcomed and appreciated! I want this to be special!

Dr. James told her yesterday that he would be in to see her today, but that he wouldn’t see her again until next Wednesday since he’ll be out of town. He told her, “Don’t worry, you’ll still be here.”

I guess that means she won’t be coming home until at least next Thursday or so of next week.

Dr. Gupta, her infectious diseases doctor, honored her request to be taken off the flagyl. She told him there’s just no way she can tolerate it. It upsets her stomach too much and taints the flavor of everything she eats or drinks, making even her water taste nasty. He said he could prescribe something else instead, something penicillin-based.

The infection in her blood is Streptococcus anginosus, “strep,” for short. That is Greek to me, although “strep” sounds familiar. I’m guessing this strain, though, is not the kind people get in their throats.

Thanks for thinking of our daughter and keeping her in your prayers!

Stats for 5/21/15
Weight: 250.4 (with my shoes and watch on. I told you “I got this”!  🙂 )
Exercise: THREE miles on the treadmill
Blood sugar: 70 (11:15, two hours after breakfast; no Metformin taken), 88 (4:10, before afternoon snack)
Breakfast (8:30) S: Mocha cheesecake FSF, two coconut crack bars
Lunch (12:30) S: Lettuce salad with turkey strips, celery, cucumber, grape tomatoes, onion and ranch dressing.
Afternoon snack (4:00) E: Gala apple and Triple Zero Greek yogurt
Dinner (7:45) S:  Zucchini spaghetti with meat sauce, two coconut crack bars

The Tree

I spend most of my time in the family room now with Chuck. I used to consider the family room his room because that’s where he watches all his Royals games  and MU games and Chiefs games, etc.

Meanwhile I would watch movies and HGTV shows in the living room, but that was a few years ago. Sometimes Chuck and I will watch something we’ve DVR’d on the TV in the living room together, and, occasionally, I will also still watch movies in the living room, particularly at Christmas time.

One of my favorite things about sitting in my chair in the living room has always been the big picture window.  And the tree. My gentle giant. It was enormous and full–and vibrant in the autumn.

014What I loved most about it was that it was up close and personal. Looking at it outside our picture window, it put me in mind of the View Master I had as a child. Bigger than life and 3-D. All the other trees in the wooded area across the street faded into the background, but my tree was vivid and real and I could see each leaf turn and twist in the breeze.

When the weather turned, the leaves would quietly announce the coming storm by turning themselves wrong-side out. My grandma used to say that the trees were looking for a drink.

Stormy days were when my tree was at its finest. I could have listened to the rustling of the leaves in the wind and watched the branches swaying to and fro with the darkening gray sky as a rumbling and rolling backdrop for hours on end.

A couple of those storms were unkind to my beloved friend, however. Its limbs were severely damaged under the force of violent winds.

The tree became a proverbial thorn in Chuck’s side as he had to pick up its twigs and limbs before he mowed every summer, especially each time our area was shaken by heavy winds and rain.

Tree removal crews began to stop by our house periodically, offering their services and shooting us estimates on how much it would take to trim it up or cut it down.

This was the year Chuck had finally had enough. “It’s dead,” he told me. “Everyone who looks at it says it’s dead. I’m tired of picking up limbs and branches all the time. One of these days a big storm will come through, and we will sustain some major damage from that tree.”

A couple of weeks ago he called someone to get an estimate on what it would cost to take the whole thing completely down. I don’t remember if he actually talked to someone or if he left a voicemail, but the guy never came out to look at the tree and never called back.

It was a reprieve for my tree–like the governor had called at the last hour and granted my tree a stay.

A few days ago, though, a crew from Blue Springs came by our house on their way to another job. The spokesman for the group told Chuck he could take the whole tree down and cut the stump just as close to the ground as possible, plus trim away some of the limbs on a pine at the side of our house for 35% off his usual price if he could do it that day.

Chuck told me they were coming after they finished their other job. Still it didn’t prepare me for the sight that awaited me as I crested the hill back to our home after my afternoon route on Monday.

There were about eight guys gathered around my gentle giant in our front lawn. It’s lush, leafy branches were lying all around. It was like a chainsaw massacre. I couldn’t help myself. I almost cried. In fact, I think I did cry a little.

Robert Frost said it best, “Nothing gold can stay.” Life is always changing. And I don’t want it to change. I want to keep the things I love and the people I love in my life forever. It doesn’t work that way and there’s nothing I can do to make it work that way.

I loved that tree. I hated to see it come down. Our yard will not be the same without it.

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Stats for today, May 20, 2015:
Weight: 252.6 (still not worried, still not concerned.  I got this!)
Exercise: two miles on the treadmill (Feel that BURN, baby!)
Blood sugar: 103 (3:10, two hours after lunch)
Breakfast (8:30) S:  Mocha cheesecake FSF, two coconut crack bars
Lunch (12:30) S: Lettuce salad with turkey strips, cucumber, celery, grape tomatoes, onion and ranch.  NO NUTS TODAY!  I told you “I got this”!
Afternoon snack (4:30) E: Gala apple and Triple Zero Greek yogurt
Dinner (8:00) S: Sirloin burgers with cheddar cheese, an egg, grilled onions and mushrooms, and green beans. Coconut crack bars for dessert.

Which Will We Be, an Example or a Warning?

Your life can either provide a good example for others or it may serve as a warning. Unfortunately, yesterday I inadvertently chose the latter.

I used to think I could be a weight-loss program all by myself. All anyone would have to do is tape a photo of me to the front of their fridge with this caption: “Don’t let this happen to you.” I was the poster child of bad eating habits and a non-existent exercise regimen.

Yesterday was the last day of school. I knew in advance that we were having a retirement pancake breakfast for one of our drivers. Our “chef” for the day had even asked me last week if there was a special kind of flour he could use for me since he knew that I had made changes to my diet over the last several months. I politely declined his gracious offer of making some specialty pancakes just for me. One breakfast would not undo me, after all, and it wasn’t like I was going on an out-of-control pancake binge. I had two medium size pancakes with, yes, off-plan Blue Bonnet margarine and off-plan syrup, but my pancakes were not swimming in butter and syrup. I tried to at least be sensible with my off-plan choices–if that sounds logical at all.

Generally I do half a mile on the treadmill before work and then a mile while I’m waiting for my oatmeal to bake, but yesterday I knew I wasn’t having my oatmeal because of the retirement breakfast so I talked myself into doing a mile before work. When I got back from my morning route (and the off-plan breakfast) I did another mile.

We had an early out yesterday on the last day of school, so when I went into the bus lot to inquire about where my bus had disappeared (it was in the shop getting a once over because it was leaving for Texas soon, never to be driven by me again. Sniff, sniff.) I noticed a table all decorated and set up with party punch and desserts to celebrate our last day of school. “WHAT?  Is that CHEESECAKE?” I wondered as I visually absorbed the table of goodies. I grabbed a chocolate chip cookie to nibble as I pre-tripped my bus, and when I got back from my route I returned to the table and loaded a generous serving of the “cheesecake” onto a plate, but the cheesecake turned out to be some kind of lemon-sandwich-cookie pudding concoction instead. Perhaps that was God’s way of giving me an out since it wasn’t even remotely as good as cheesecake and turned out to be a major disappointment to my taste buds. I don’t even know why I finished it. Our mechanic came in while I was eating it, and we chatted for a few minutes. I said, “Well, at least I did two miles on the treadmill this morning.” I glanced down at the pudding I was eating and added, “After this I may have to do another one.”

As soon as I arrived home I grabbed the new tablet I had gotten in exchange for the one I received for Mother’s Day (there had been some kind of malfunction with the off/on switch)  and we were out the door to visit our sweet girl in the hospital. I wish I had thought to take the time to grab an apple and some yogurt, but I had just sabotaged myself with party pudding and wasn’t thinking about lunch.

I had called Chelsea while I was waiting for the kiddos to come out of the school to find out if Dr. James had debrided her wound, yet, and if she needed us to bring her anything. She said that he had and asked if we would stop by Burger King and get her a Whopper Junior with no pickle or onion.

Chuck and I had planned to eat after our visit with Chelsea so we didn’t really want to buy anything at Burger King. We decided to split an order of chicken fries, just to try them out and to hold us over until we left the hospital.

Dr. James had debrided Chelsea’s wound and had told her he would be available to talk to us later if she would have him paged when we arrived.

Chelsea was in good spirits, but looked a little pale to me. She was able to eat half the sandwich we had picked up for her. As we talked she started making weird faces, saying, “Why do I taste flagyl?” She took a sip of her water and said it still tasted okay. She glanced up at the dry-wipe information board on her wall, which recorded her blood pressure goal and other important stuff and saw “flagyl” listed in her medications.

“Why wasn’t I informed about this?” she said. “I knew I was tasting flagyl!”

Dr. James came in to talk to us and gave us a brief rundown of what was being done for her. He didn’t know too much about the infection in her blood, but said that he had been informed of that, also, and that we would have to ask her general doctor about further details. He didn’t appear to be too alarmed over the appearance of the wound and said it was a difficult wound to heal since it was in an area that received constant pressure when she was in her wheelchair or sitting up in bed.

He mentioned again about a flap surgery, but added that it wouldn’t even be an option until Chelsea was healthy. Right now, of course, she has too much infection in her body to make her a viable candidate for any kind of surgery. He also said he couldn’t speak for any plastic surgeon about the other particulars we asked him, but he would be happy to follow up on Chelsea, providing she was willing to commit to seeing him at the hospital every week or two. He’s only there on Thursdays to see patients in clinic, and Chuck’s schedule would only allow an every-other-week visit, but he did tell Dr. James that in the summer I could bring Chelsea on weeks that he had to work.

When we left the hospital I picked up a couple of things at Costco, and then Chuck and I decided to try a new place to eat, Slim Chickens. An aide on my bus had recommended it to me. It’s a fast food place, but we enjoyed it. I thought it was a little expensive for fast food, but it was still good.

I ordered the Hungry Plate, which is seven chicken tenders, two dipping sauces, fries, a piece of Texas toast and a drink for $9.99. I asked for cole slaw instead of the fries. It was mayo-based and may have had sugar in it, but it was still a more healthful choice than the fries. I got an unsweetened tea to drink with it.

Chuck ordered the Five and Five. I don’t know what it was called, really, but it was five chicken wings and five chicken strips for $11.49. He liked it okay, but said he wouldn’t order it again. He asked for mild wings, but he said they were still buffalo wings and were small and messy.

He concluded that it was a good place to eat, but there were things they could do to improve: one being that they could get bigger chicken wings and another being that they could change their location to one that is not so out-of-the-way. The restaurant is hidden behind Cheddar’s and if not for the plastic banner with an arrow no one would even know it was back there.

Here’s the most exciting news of the day, along with my good blood sugars! When we got back from the city last night, I walked a THIRD MILE on the treadmill!  ME!  I did!  How far I’ve come since July of last year!  Wow. Happy days are here to stay!

I just picked up my computer and have finished this entry on it, but it’s running like junk, slower than it has ever run before. The keyboard is working splendidly, but the computer itself is not keeping up with my pace. Sometimes I’ll type a sentence and it will take thirty seconds or so to put the letters on the screen. Other times I’ll try backspacing over mistakes and the computer will freeze up and not backspace for about ten or fifteen seconds, and I’ll be at a standstill, having to wait to see how far it will backspace before I start adding more text. In other words, my computer is now a royal pain, and I may have to end up taking it back.

There appears to be more background noise than before. When I tried rebooting earlier, the screen said it was waiting for background programs to close.  WHAT background programs?  Finally I got tired of waiting and did a hard boot. Something is not right. Back to the shop it goes.

Before I end this entry, thank you, thank you, THANK YOU for ordering Trim Healthy Mama products through my affiliate link!  The computer guy came by the house to retrieve my laptop, but, before he did, I checked my email and discovered that I had received TEN “woo-hoo, commissions!” emails from Trim Healthy Mama! (and one more at 1:50) this afternoon!  That’s ELEVEN in just five days!  I am one happy, happy, happy Trim Healthy Mama!  Thanks! Again, you may find my affiliate link page on my sidebar menu or click here!

Stats for yesterday, 5/19/15:
Weight: N/A
Exercise: THREE miles on treadmill, plus a couple of power walks from the parking lot to the hospital and back, not to mention walking around in Costco and Supercenter (but those weren’t “power walks.”)
Blood sugar: 104 (10:30, two hours after breakfast), 96 (7:21, before evening snack)
Pre-breakfast snack (5:30) FP (or S):  Mocha cheesecake FSF
Breakfast (8:30) OFF-PLAN: retirement breakfast for coworker, two pancakes and three pieces of bacon
Pre-lunch cheat: last-day-of-school-party chocolate chip cookie, half a cup of punch, and some kind of lemon-sandwich-cookie pudding that looked like cheesecake, but wasn’t nearly as good. WASTED calories. Junk. Garbage. Poison. Blah.
Lunch (12:30) OFF-PLAN: four chicken fries from Burger King (I shared an order with Chuck because I forgot to grab an apple and yogurt on my way out the door to go visit Chelsea)
Dinner (3:30) OFF-PLAN:  a new place called Slim Chickens: seven chicken tenders with two dipping sauces (ranch and honey mustard), a piece of heavily buttered Texas toast, a cole slaw substitution (for fries) and unsweetened tea (I put a zero calorie sweetener in it called Sweet Life, but it wasn’t on-plan. I should have run out to the car and grabbed a couple of Truvia packets from the box I had just bought from Costco).
Evening snack (7:30) S: Chocolate peanut butter cheesecake shake, one-fourth cup cashews with sea salt and two coconut crack bars.