16 Weeks

Today is my Week 16 weigh-in for Weight Watchers. I gained .4 pounds, which is not a lot AT ALL, but it’s still a gain and it bums me out.

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I feel like after SIXTEEN weeks I should be down more than 13 pounds. However. I know WHY I’m not down more and I take full responsibility. Here is my plan:

More:
Water – At the beginning I was drinking a couple of bottles per day, PLUS 3-4 cups of tea every night. Lately, I’ve barely been drinking one bottle and no tea.

Exercise – I’ve recently started walking every night (well, almost every night) after work. I do about 2 miles. This needs to be more consistent and I need to increase my distance.

Fruit and Veggies – I used to eat two bananas every day, vegetable soup for lunch, and I would have a veggie with dinner. I need to start doing this again.

Less:
Alcohol – When I first started WW, it was during Lent and I wasn’t drinking at all. Now I am having wine (and/or margaritas) just about every weekend and it totally kills my points.

Pizza – We order pepperoni pizza once a week for dinner. This is too much.

Ice cream – Again, I wasn’t eating desserts during Lent. Now I’m eating a WW ice cream cone every night for dessert. I have two boxes of Cadbury snack size bars in the freezer. They’re delicious, but they’re also FOUR points per bar (and each bar is, like, two bites). I can’t eat these every night.

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Seven Years

Seven years ago, right now, I was supposed to be at my best friend’s apartment celebrating her boyfriend’s birthday and hanging out. I decided not to go earlier that day because I was annoyed that she had made last minute plans to go to a party at her cousin’s house later that same night. I told her to just go to the party and we would get together the next weekend or whenever. Seven years ago tonight was the last time she would ever stand on her own two feet.

I can’t help but think that if I would have just gone to her apartment that night, maybe we would have had so much fun that she wouldn’t have gone to her cousin’s party. That she wouldn’t have decided to go swimming. That she wouldn’t have dived into the pool and broken her neck.

Or maybe I would have gone with her to the party. Maybe I would have gone swimming with her earlier in the evening, instead of her getting frustrated that no one wanted to go with her. Maybe I would have insisted on opening the gate and using the ladder. Maybe she would have followed my lead and jumped in feet first instead.

Every June 5th since 2005 has been an anniversary of her accident. I’ve dreaded each and every one, but also felt partially grateful that at least she was still alive. At least I hadn’t lost her. For the first couple of years, when she was in the nursing home, I would spend these anniversaries with her, crying, reminiscing, and trying to help her to see the positive. She could only ever see it as the day she should have died, the day her life as she knew it ended, the day everything changed for the worst forever.

I don’t know how to feel about it this year. This is the first June 5th that she’s not here. I no longer have that little glimmer of positivity, that small fact that at least she’s still here – because she’s not. She’s not here. She’s gone, and probably free of her pain and suffering, and yet we’re all still here stuck with the memories and the grief and our own pain. Part of me feels relieved that she doesn’t have to relive this night anymore, wondering what would have happened if a million little things had been different. She’s not lying in bed tonight, unable to move or even wipe away her own tears, beating herself up for making the mistake she did – a mistake that could happen to anyone – and wishing it was all over or different or had never happened.

But I’m still here, questioning myself, wondering if things would have turned out differently if I had made a different decision. Wondering if I could have done more, said more, somehow found a way to change her outlook, found a way to relieve her pain. I know logically I did and said everything I could, as she told me many many times, and I know none of it was my fault (which she also reminded me many times over), but my heart hurts and my mind wanders.

I Should Be on That Show ‘Mystery Diagnosis’

I’ve had a scary few months. It all started probably a year ago (maybe longer since I can remember it starting around the time my mom passed away)… I noticed a small pimple on the inside of my left thigh, near my knee. I didn’t think much of it since it didn’t hurt and I had had something similar on my right shin back when I was in high school. I saw a dermatologist about it and was told it was nothing and would probably go away by itself eventually, which it did. There’s some scarring, but the bump itself has disappeared.

Anyway. Sometime around the beginning of this year, I shaved over the new bump. It bled, so I put some Neosporin on it and kept it covered with a band-aid. This went on for quite some time and it never seemed to get better. In fact, it seemed like it was getting worse because the center turned very dark, almost black. I left it alone and tried to ignore it, but it didn’t change.

I finally went to see my doctor about it in March. He took a look at it and told me it looked like a cyst that had gotten infected, and he thought that it had probably turned into an antibiotic-resistant infection. He said I should see a dermatologist and have it removed. I found the number of the derm I saw several years ago for my acne and made an appointment for the following Tuesday. I told her the story and what my doctor suspected, but she told me it wasn’t a cyst, it was just a skin infection. She drained it (ew) and prescribed a topical antibiotic. She told me to use that for a couple of days, and if it didn’t get any better, she also gave me a prescription for an oral antibiotic. I started the topical on Wednesday and by Saturday morning, it was looking worse. The area around it was starting to get red, and it was starting to hurt. I filled the oral antibiotic that morning and started taking it immediately.

By the following evening, I had a fist-sized red, swollen lump on my leg and I could hardly walk because I was in so much pain. I couldn’t sleep because it hurt so bad, so I finally decided to go to the ER at about midnight. Luckily we live literally down the street! The triage nurse told me it was definitely infected and sent me to the back. I explained the whole situation to the doctor and he didn’t seem all that concerned. He left and a nurse came in, who told me that he thought it was a boil. What? Do people still get those?? Whatever, I felt relieved that someone finally put a name to it. The doctor came back and gave me the first dose of a new antibiotic and told me to follow up with my derm in the morning. My discharge papers said I had cellulitis.

I went back to the derm first thing in the morning and told her what happened. She told me to stop taking both antibiotics and wrote me a prescription for antibiotic number three. She drained the boil again (ew and ow), drew marks on my leg and told me to call her if the redness spread beyond the lines.

I finished the antibiotic and the redness and swelling disappeared, but it definitely did NOT look good. The whole area now looked kind of bruised and yellow. When I took a shower, it all turned purple and black. I saw her again and she told me how fantastic it looked, that it was healing, and that the discoloration was normal. She told me the infection had been very deep and it would take a long time to heal.

Fast forward to the beginning of May and it still didn’t look any better. I went back to my doctor and showed him what it looked like. He couldn’t believe it. He said it looked like I might have MRSA and that I would need to try ANOTHER antibiotic and then possibly go see an infectious disease specialist to be tested for various infections, Lyme disease, etc. The medicine, doxycycline, tore me apart, but I was terrified and was willing to take anything to get rid of this thing. I started Googling MRSA and sent myself into a complete panic. I was convinced I was going to die.

I finished the doxycycline and went to follow up. He said that since it still wasn’t gone, there HAD to be something else under there. He wanted to rule that out first so he sent me to a different derm. This one took one look (literally) at my leg and told me there were two cysts under there. He took them out (turned out to only be cyst remnants) and sent them out for testing to determine if it was infected, or skin cancer, or something else. He stitched me up and told me he doubted there was any infection at this point, but that the discoloration would probably never go away due to the “trauma” the other doctor inflicted on me.

The tests all came back negative (yay!) and I got the stitches out a little over a week ago. The blackness is gone, and there are no more bumps, but it looks like I have a vampire bite on my leg (the nurse even made that comment, LOL).

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I’m VERY relieved I don’t have any crazy kind of infection because I was dreading having to go to the hospital and have IV antibiotics. Thank God that didn’t happen. I can live with a couple of weird red marks. It’s not ideal, but I’ll take that over anything worse. I asked my doctor why I keep getting cysts (I have one in my neck, one in my boob, and now there were these two) and he told me that unfortunately some people are just prone to them. He assured me there is nothing I’m doing to cause them, nor is there anything I can do to prevent them. I may have to deal with them for the rest of my life, but he said as long as I get them checked out right away, I should be fine. As long as they’re not causing me any pain, it’s supposedly fine to leave them where they are. I may have the other ones removed, although I’ve had the neck one removed once before and it came back almost immediately – which I’m told is common – so I’m not sure there’s any point.