my colon hates me

WARNING WARNING This is going to be one of THOSE posts. The squeamish should run away now while you can!

I think you all know I have IBS. No rhyme or reason, no cause, just effect. You know never know when it will hit you, what food will do you in, or where you will be when it strikes.

My digestive system is just ridiculous. You know, you never hear anyone say that they love their intestines. You know why? Because if they work well you take them for granted! You only hear from those of us who hate our guts. And whose guts hate them back.

When my gallbladder up and quit on me I thought my “issues” would get better. And they did! I could eat salad again! Seriously though, a piece of freaking lettuce used to send me running for the loo. I don’t have to play I-Spy a restroom every time I walk into an unfamiliar building anymore. It’s soooo much better. Except when it’s not.

When you have your gallbladder removed, all of a sudden you have no bile regulation. Your liver continues to spurt that acid out on a regular basis, but without the gallbladder there to send it on only when you need it, the bile just goes straight to your stomach and sits there waiting for food. When you sleep at night or otherwise fast for a time the acid really builds up. Stomach acid + say, an egg in the morning? Well, they don’t play well together. I’ve learned simple coping things, lots of whole grains/high fiber, especially in the mornings, make a huge difference.

The problem is, I have other triggers, hidden triggers. I’m still finding them 3 years post surgery. There are the obvious ones, fried foods, high fat foods, high sugar foods, and too many raw vegetables.

Then there are the less obvious. The most recent discovery? Splenda.

F…&%*$#

Ahem.

It’s really hard to try to lose weight when you can’t have any artificial sweeteners. Nutrasweet (aka aspartame) gives me migraines and now Splenda (aka sucralose) gives me diarrhea. Massive cramping, leave you on the floor in a fetal position, diarrhea. Awesome.

I’m going to drink some stupid plain water now. Humph.

 

Saturday

Saturday
A Poem by Josh K. *

You have to make the decision!
Are you going or not?
Maybe make the decision while stirring the pot!

What are you going to do?
Make the decision while tying your shoe!

You have the power!
Make the decision in the shower!

What is the day today Dad?
Is it a weekday which is totally unrad?
Should I go to school?

NO! IT’S A SATURDAY!
Yay! You say.

* I came downstairs this morning to find Josh had written a completely awesome poem and of course my first question was, can I blog it? So I paid him $o.50 to publish it. It’s my first paid content!

the itty bitty football shirt

You guys.

This was 8 years ago.

This is today.

Can I cry now?

His attitude hasn’t changed much.

I found the old shirt. We decided it was good luck since the Pats beat the Panthers that year.

We put it on a stuffed bear but that wasn’t nearly enough fun.

So we put it on George.

No cats were harmed in the making of this post.

Mostly he just wanted to lie down.

Or rip my face off.

Best photo shoot ever.

Fingers crossed the Patriots win this one!

 

advice you didn’t know you needed: bodily fluids edition

Hey feed readers, come on over see my color change. No more bleeding pink and red!*

I’m going to give you all a few pieces of unasked for advice today. And you WILL thank me for it later.

Um. If you’re squeamish, or a man, you might want to go ahead and leave right now.

  1. Okay ladies, we all know when we’re getting a UTI, right? We don’t need no stinkin’ medical degree to tell us this diagnosis. Ahem. But sometimes it’s the weekend and it’s snowing and you just don’t wanna** go sit at the walk-in clinic all day just so you can pee in a cup and they can tell you what you already knew. Right?! So you start researching home remedies on the dear ole Google. Well let me just tell you right now, if you run across the one about dissolving a teaspoon of baking soda in some water and drinking it (because it changes the ph of your pee and all that) just keep in mind that this concoction is ALSO a home remedy for CONSTIPATION.*** But they don’t tell you that part. Until the stomach cramps start and you start Googling other uses for baking soda because you think you might have just poisoned yourself. That’s when you find out about baking soda super-quick (!) laxative effect. Except now YOU know and you didn’t have to learn it the hard way. Like me. I’m ready for my colonoscopy now. Yeesh.
  2. You guys! I warned you to stop reading.
  3. Moving on, those of us with kids know that pukage is an eventuality. Yes? I mean some kids hurl a lot and some not so much. If your kid is like mine and you can’t remember the last time he puked then I have some words of wisdom for you.**** He/she will not have the puking instinct! He won’t know it’s coming and he won’t even come close to thinking he should run for the bathroom, EVEN though you’ve said repeatedly “If you have to throw up there’s a bucket next to your bed, but can you please try to get to the toilet?!” No. No. No. He will instead come to your room, complain his stomach hurts, and proceed to climb in your bed. You will then have to basically shove him off your brand new comforter that doesn’t fit in your washing machine and bodily throw him toward the bathroom. He will then miss the bathroom (the first time anyway) and spew across the rug. I think we all know who HE is. Hint: Josh.
  4. For those of you with a cat and/or dog, fyi, the above applies to them as well. I really hate my carpets yo.
  5. And last but not least! When dealing with a 5 day, 7 day, 10 day long snot-filled MAN COLD in your house, just go ahead and get him a humidifier and every single kind of cold/flu remedy available asap. In fact, just go buy it all now in anticipation of the MAN COLD. It will save you all pain and suffering later. Oh, and buy extra trash bags for the enormous volume of tissues the Man will use.*****

We are all FINE now, so we don’t need get-well wishes. I just felt it best to share my recent experiences with you so you could enjoy them as much as I did. You’re welcome!

* I still want a full redesign but this will do for now! I don’t have the skills myself, nor the money to hire it out, and Damon doesn’t have the time to do all that. But I swear I’m going to learn how…maybe next year.

**You have to read that with a little whine in your inner voice. It helps.

*** LAXATIVES and IBS DO NOT MIX. EVER.

****I want to say that the last time Josh threw up was at least five years ago but it really has been so long that I can’t remember. I know, we were totally due.

*****It’s really snot funny. Oh, wait, yes it is. And I hope he doesn’t read this.

brainstorming always comes back to the cat puke

You know how right before you fall asleep you think of something so totally freaking brilliant you’re sure you’re going to remember it in the morning? And you wake up and don’t even remember you thought of something much less what that something actually is. I swear that’s why I haven’t written anything here for weeks. I always come up with great topic around 11pm. When I was a newbie blogger I would actually get up and write it out as soon as I thought of it, and then I would hit publish at 2am and no one would read it. By the next day I was happy that no one had read it because my middle of the night ramblings were never quite as good as I thought they were going to be. Usually I wrote stuff about cat puke. Wait, that’s not a good example because cat puke is actually funny. Unless you’re the one cleaning it up. Or stepping in it. Especially when it’s cold. And the ickyness of it makes you hop around on one foot, in the dark, when your muscles are already screaming at you because you went to Zumba the day before. Okay that didn’t really happen. Stepping in the cat puke after Zumba that is. That was a hypothetical situation that I made up to illustrate the typical things that befall me. Stepping in the cold cat puke in the middle of the night was actually 2 weeks ago, and well, the week before that too. Going to Zumba was only a few days ago, and although I couldn’t walk for days I laughed my butt off while I was there. If only that were true, right? That you could actually laugh until your butt fell off? I would be sooo dang skinny. But then I wouldn’t need to go to Zumba. And I wouldn’t be able to laugh with my friends there. And then I wouldn’t be skinny anymore. It’s a vicious, vicious cycle I tell you. Obviously Zumba is bad and I need to get my exercise some other way. Like shoveling the driveway. Which I am certain to have to do again tomorrow. Because of course it’s going to snow again, again, again. And January is never going to end. And I am going to have to rake the stupid roof one more time and my arms will fall off and we’ll get killer icicles. I won’t be able to defend myself from the killer icicles because I won’t have any arms and that is much, much worse than not having a butt. In conclusion, snow is even worse than Zumba and the only good thing about this post was the cat puke.

And I didn’t even write this in the middle of the night.

Go ahead I dare you to comment.

the night I fell down the stairs

I was at my parent’s house, wearing (as I now know) the slipperiest socks on the planet, and because I was hurrying, I slid on the top step fell as hard as I possibly could. Landing, of course, on my ass. (If you know me you know this is not a first.)

It wasn’t really funny for that split second it was happening, you know that moment when your life flashes before your eyes and you’re sure you’re going to die? In this case when it was the ceiling flashing before my eyes, and the certainty that I was going to break something. Or yes quite possibly die. Or both. Obviously I’m writing this so I wasn’t actually dead. Once the shock passed and I knew I was still alive, well, then it was funny.

One minute I was walking and the next I was sitting on a step with my butt on fire and the breath knocked out of me. I heard my mother freaking out. She was in the next room on the phone with one of my brothers, and probably freaked him out too. I think they both thought I was dead. You know, since lack of oxygen = no talking = must be dead. I couldn’t talk so I started laughing hysterically.

Unlike my mother, my dear husband and darling son, who know I am the klutziest person on the planet, didn’t show the slightest bit of surprise.

I reassured my mom I was fine and just needed to sit there for a moment. That moment came and went, and the fire in my butt became an inferno and I couldn’t sit any longer. I couldn’t stand so crawled up the freaking stairs, creeped like a snake into the living room, and lay down on the floor. Laughing. Hysterically. Because really sometimes you have to laugh at yourself. Or you’ll cry.

I begged my husband togo get me an ice pack, and stick it in the back pocket of my jeans. That right pocket was exactly where I had landed. Two inches more towards the butt crack and I would have been in the hospital with a broken tailbone that night, probably in the room next to my father.

Let me tell you right now, I have never had a bruise as big as that one was. Two inches tall and about 8 inches across. It was a perfect painting of the edge of edge of that step, in vivid purple and yellow. Oh, and the lump? Was like a double butt. One that I couldn’t sit on for almost a week.

This was on Saturday night, two days after Thanksgiving.

***********************

You may or may not have noticed that I didn’t write about Thanksgiving this year. I didn’t because, well, we didn’t really have one, and frankly, I wasn’t feeling particularly thankful. In fact, every time I saw a cheerful blog post, or holidayish tweet, or sappy Facebook message, or really anything remotely happy, I just wanted to smash something. I did all of my holiday shopping, what little there was, online so I wouldn’t have to talk to chipper freaking salespeople.

We found out in October that my father’s lymphoma had spread to his bone marrow and his lungs. He spent most of the Fall trying a different chemo in hopes that it would knock it back, again. It was a last resort and although we weren’t sure yet, it didn’t seem to be working. Talking about it, much less writing about it, or anything, was the last thing I wanted to do.

I’d been trying for weeks to get to Maine to see him, but my kid and I had both been sick since before Halloween with one cold after another. Visiting someone with a compromised immune system when you have a sniffle, cough, or anything other sign of illness is out of the question. We made do with lots of phone calls, until finally we were well and able to go on the day after Thanksgiving to spend the weekend.

We drove up on that snowy Friday morning, to find that Pop was at the hospital for the day having yet more blood transfusions and platelets. Since my mother was heading back after lunch there I grabbed my crocheting and went with her. I sat and chatted with him for hours, hours I’d hoped to have with him at home, but that was not to be.

Later that afternoon he had a bad reaction to the transfusions, just minutes after we had gotten him back to the house. We didn’t know it, but his lungs were filling with fluid.

***********************

I spent most of the next day at the hospital again. In the morning I sat in his room, chatting with my mother, and with Pop when he was awake. He dozed some but was talking more than I expected, and we even had a few chuckles over some joke about ice cream. I can’t even remember what it was, I was just happy to have a laugh with him. All too soon he needed a real rest so while he slept I quietly wandered the deserted halls of the hospital. If you’ve ever been in a hospital on a  holiday weekend you know that few but the sickest are there.

In the early afternoon, one of my sisters arrived and we stayed in the waiting room together, both of our crochet hooks flashing. When it was clear he would sleep the rest of the day, I went back to my parent’s house. I was tired, the kind of tired that gets into your brain and shuts you down. Mentally, emotionally, and physically exhausted; and yet not as exhausted as he was, not even close.

That was the last day I had a conversation with my father. It was the last time I heard him laugh, and the last time he looked at me. But I didn’t know it then. How do you know something is the last until it’s already over?

That was the night I fell down the stairs.

jalapeno burn

Duuuuude. Here is my very best New Year’s advice: never ever cut up hot peppers with bare hands.

Oh, really, you all knew that already?? Then how come no one told me?!!

I made a really amazing three bean turkey chili for lunch yesterday and of course it included a couple of freshly chopped hot peppers.

I thought that I had washed my hands pretty well, until around 5:30 last night when the burn started on my left hand under the fingernails, and then traveled down the 2nd knuckle of the inside of each finger. Oh my hell.

I’ve had a jalapeno burn before, but never like this. One of those peppers must have been really freaking hot.

I tried everything the online forums suggested; vinegar, milk, rubbing alcohol, baking soda and water paste. Well okay, I tried almost everything, I didn’t have any vodka in the house, and frankly I wasn’t sure if I was supposed to rinse my hand in it or get drunk to dull the pain, either way I wasn’t about to make a liquor store run on New Year’s Eve anyway. Oh, and I didn’t pee on my hand either, as one forum commenter had suggested, because, well, I don’t really think I need to explain why I didn’t want to do that.

Anyway, I finally combined the milk and the baking soda into a thin paste and soaked my hand in it for about half an hour. Then I dumped the stuff, made more, and soaked for another half hour. Thankfully that combination actually worked, and it gave me a good excuse to sit on the couch and watch tv for an hour. Oh, wait, it was New Year’s Eve – I already had a good excuse to sit on the couch and watch tv!! Dang wasted excuse.

Anyway, my next shopping list will include rubber gloves. And more baking soda.

Happy New Year peeps, let’s hope 2011 is better than 2010…

ps. The things I do for really good food…because honestly, I’d suffer all over again for that chili. 🙂

pss. These sorts of things happen to me all the time. I really am a walking disaster and I finally feeling like writing about it again.

psss confidential to F & S. That was the best lobster I ever had, and it’s a good thing it was so big because Josh ate half of it. 🙂 Thanks!!

some days I just shouldn’t be allowed to leave the house

Because I do things like this:

Those would be my new Christmas slippers.

I decided I need a last minute pre-New Year’s quick trip to the grocery store, so I grabbed my keys, my purse and took off. The minute I walked into the store I got a cart and headed for produce. As a I walked I happened to glance at my feet. D’oh!!

I forgot to change into shoes.

The old me would have cared enough to go back home and change. Seriously. The current me giggled, texted my friend about it and kept on shopping. 🙂 My jeans covered them up pretty well, and I’m hoping anyone who saw me just thought they were Uggs, but probably not if they saw the back of them…

I am that awesome.

questions

If you have a good answer to any or all of these, please tell me in as much detail as possible! 🙂

Bonus points if you can guess MY answers to those questions.

never again!

So. The yard sale sucked in oh so many ways. Someone please kick me if I ever say I’m having a yard sale again!

It was so humid in the morning that I had to take my glasses off while we were pulling all the junk out of the garage because they kept fogging up. And then there was the sweat. I don’t like to sweat!!

I had hopes of decent traffic when people started showing up at 7:30 to shop. Except the early birds only wanted old albums. ~grumble grumble~ I don’t have any records and I wouldn’t sell them to you if I did. Harrumph.

Do you know how boring a yard sale is when no one shows up? Okay, not no one, but almost. Ugh.

Damon had nothing to do so he played with the panorama feature on his iphone. It’s weirdly accurate and yet not at all. Um, our driveway is supposed to be a straight line?

Then he cleaned the garage. Now that’s bored!

Josh was trooper. He manned his toy table until 1pm when he finally gave up and went inside to watch tv. I couldn’t blame him, I desperately wanted to go inside too, sit in front of the air conditioner, and freeze my face off!

In the end, I made $38, Josh made $21, and we still have massive piles of stuff in the garage. I refuse to bring any of it back in the house lest it never leave again. I took some things to the transfer station to the area people can pick over for free, a bag of clothes went into a Salvation Army bin, a box of books are ready for the used bookstore, and the rest of it will be donated to my favorite charity yard sale in September.

I’m close to selling a dining room table on craigslist today, which is what we should have done with everything in the first place. ~sigh~

Yard sales are so not worth the effort. Lesson learned.

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