Haunting Thoughts

I would ask my husband not to read this post, as it will upset him more than I was this morning on my commute, but I am sure he will read it anyway.

I was just cruising along. Blasting Ryan Upchurch and Adam Calhoun, singing at the top of my lungs. Just minding my own business.

Then I passed the exit to the emergency veterinary clinic.

It didn’t happen right away. About ten minutes later, I realized I had stopped singing along. That’s what I noticed first. Not the thoughts that were actually going through my mind.

I remember my son driving. Accelerator to the floor. Flying down the dark highway, encouraging me to keep going.

She was in my arms. Had been the whole time. I was frantically doing chest compressions and blowing air into her nose.

I remember her gasping a couple of times while I did this, so I continued.

It was when we sailed down the ramp that my heart shattered and the sobs started all over again. It was at that exit that I knew, deep in my soul, that she wasn’t going to make it. But…

It took a full minute for someone to buzz us in at the emergency vet clinic, because no one was at the counter.

What if that minute had made all the difference?

It wouldn’t have in my case. But it will for someone else.

I always tried to impress upon my fellow receptionists to never leave the counter empty. This is why.

What if that minute is the most important one in a pet’s life. What if that cup of coffee you are pouring in the breakroom while your counterpart is loading a room, costs a pet her life?

We work in a field of medicine. Emergencies happen. We never know what is going to come through that door.

I would think every medical field that has a chance of seeing an emergency would make sure that someone is at the front desk at all times. Especially an emergency facility.

I was on autopilot for another 12 miles. Reliving the horror, the stress, and the sadness all over again.

Keto – Day 25

I have reached the point of discouragement. My weight is static (if not going back up), I’ve had a migraine for a week, discovered my diabetic body can’t deal with only 30 grams of carbs a day, and I miss fruit. So. Much.

But I have to keep my chin up or my tiara slips!

The Franz Keto bread has been a huge help – made french toast this morning and covered it in Smucker’s sugar free breakfast syrup (freaking AWESOME, btw, and you can get both products on Amazon). So I feel pretty good right now, sweet tooth seems to be placated for a least a little while.

I do much better sticking to the diet if I plan out my week of eating all at once. There is usually room to switch things out should I get a craving for something in particular, but I mostly just follow the plan.

I set up reminders in my Carb Monitor app to shoot me a text for each meal and snack – I have had a HUGE problem in not eating enough – so I actually consume something when I should. Certainly a big help, as I check my phone often enough.

I know I should exercise. Of course I should – everyone should. Pain makes it hard to want to move.

For those of you who don’t know, I have diabetic nerve pain on top of bilateral anterior spondylolisthesis of L5 on S1 – which is technical speak for “that vertebrae is cracked on both sides and that disk has slipped a bit, pinching your spinal nerve bundle.”

I have had two shoulder surgeries, a lymphadenectomy (removal and disection of a lymphnode to look for cancer – negative), an appendectomy WAY back when I was 7 months pregnant, a c-section 2 months later and then two years ago, a total hysterectomy. Anesthesia and I are old friends.

I have been told, by a medical doctor, that I have a very high tolerance for pain. Or maybe I hide it really well…in either case, I know my limits and this back thing combined with swollen, painful feet, IS my limit.

I tried the gym membership and swimming, but it is pretty costly and sooo hard to motivate myself to: change into a suit, go to the gym, exercise in the pool, get out, take the suit off, shower, get dressed (again) and leave the gym.

I work 40 to 50 hours a week and run a household with 2 other adults, 3 dogs, 3 cats, and 2 guinea pigs. I like sleep!

I have looked into surgery for my back, which would help immensely, but I have to drop 40 pounds to get it done. So far, after 25 days, I am down 6.

I am not giving up! I have adjusted my diet to 50 grams of carbs instead of 30, with the hopes that I can stay in ketosis and not have a continual migraine or be nauseous all day, every day.

Today is day 3 of increased carbs. My headache and nausea are within tolerance (though still present). Let’s see how this goes!

Keto, Day 11

I have come to the conclusion that this Egg Fast is not for me.

With such severe restrictions, I have had a pounding headache since Monday afternoon and have decided to change things up a bit to see if it helps.

I kept my scheduled egg breakfast, but for Snack 1, I added some pickles to my cheese for extra salt. I think I will have one of those grilled ham and cheese sandwiches for lunch today instead of deviled eggs, too.

I am still totally keto and carb cycling once a week. In fact, I intake less than 30 grams of carbs per day (I have read numerous places that keto is 50g or less) Sunday through Friday. My sweet app, Carb Manager, has a drop-down list in the settings so I can pick a level of keto-ness. And then adjust it for my personal needs!

During the week, I hold my diet to 7% carbs, 69% fat, and 24% protein. The original option from the drop-down menu was 5/25/70 respectively, but I wanted a little wiggle room on the carbs being the carboholic that I am.

On Saturdays, however, I blast my system with 50% carbs, 15% fat, and 35% protein. I’ll admit, I didn’t get to that 50% last week. I should have eaten 210g and only got to 166g…and I even ate a lot of popcorn!

I am still doing it!

Ten days in and I am feeling really good!

Appetite is suppressed (keto bonus), I have less cravings (also a keto bonus), and I found some energy! Good thing, too, as I am embarking on my second week of overtime.

I have planned out all my meals for the week…including about 30 eggs…and I feel so confident that I can stick to this!

If you know me at all, you know that I like dieting about as much as I like spiders (which is not at all, for those of you that don’t know me yet), and I can’t say that I have ever felt confident about a diet before.

I know I may be getting excited about all this too soon, but it’s really nice to feel like I might actually be able to get down to fighting weight!

I started this week on Sunday with an Egg Fast.

I am a complex woman with really simple tastes in food, as ya’ll will soon discover.

I am eating a LOT of eggs today and tomorrow – hard boiled and deviled with mayo, scrambled with cheese, or over easy fried in real butter. Oh, and salt and pepper on all of them!

I decided to only do 3 days because, well, that is a crazy amount of eggs.

It is honestly really hard to get that first egg in within 30 minutes, especially since I have a dedicated routine for getting ready in the morning.

I am sure there are lots of people that make their own little adjustments to this Fast, I get it down as fast as I can!

For the rest of the week, I have plenty of cheddar cheese, Black Forest ham, grilled hamburgers, and of course, popcorn!

Oh! I also have a loaf of Franz Keto Bread to make grilled ham and cheese sandwiches! I am really looking forward to those! The bread itself isn’t terrible – a little dry to eat by itself, but covered in butter and cheese it should be great.

I am working on getting a before picture for ya’ll, but I don’t own a full length mirror and I forgot to have the hubby snap a pic before I left for work this week…maybe my co-worker can get one for me…it is coming though!

I also want to throw a great big thank you to all of you who choose to follow me on this adventure!

Enough with sad…now for dieting!

I know, big surprise.

I have jumped on to the keto bandwagon and am hoping for fast results.

I picked up an app called Carb Manager, free, with an option to join Premium and unlock a ton of other stuff.

Today is Day 7 and I am boasting a 5lb loss. (Mostly water, like the beginning of most diets)

This version of a keto diet also gives me a calorie limit. So as much as I would like to eat all the steaks, I do have a boundary.

I felt this was the best option for me because I need something structured and fast. This tells me what I can and can’t eat, so I plug in my popcorn ( a nightly habit), and work my meals for the rest of the day around that.

I think it’s working!

Yes, I am hungry. A lot of the time. And I have had moments of weakness when I had to hang my head and log the spoonful of Cookie Dough Ice Cream I slowly enjoyed and then I didn’t get to eat something else so I stayed under my carb limit.

I have even been tempted to listen to my friend and stop counting the calories and just go all T-Rex on the kitchen to fill my grumbling stomach, but I have not fallen that far yet.

Into 2020

Well thank the gods 2019 is finally over.

I lost too much. Hurt too much. Cried too much. And now the 90s were 30 years ago.

Now that the year is over, let’s see how my 2019 Resolutions went…

  1. To let go of the hate I am still holding on to from VCA. VCA can suck it. I am done with all that noise, everyone knows what a terrible company they are to their employees AND their clients. They can’t have any more of my time.
  2. To better control my blood sugars. My blood sugars seem to be ok as long as I rememeber to actually consume food. No, I don’t test as often as I should…
  3. To try to eat healthier (let’s be honest here). Meh – depressions sucks and I am an emotional eater. Safe to say I failed at this one.
  4. To de-clutter my space. My de-cluttering expedition was well planned and not executed. I got rid of some stuff…then ended up replacing it with other stuff >.< I will try again!
  5. To ask for help. I think I have gotten better about asking…but probably not nearly as much as I should. I tend to just get tired of asking and do it myself 😦
  6. To Let. It. Go. Yeah, I am pretty good at this now, I think. Sing the song daily in my head to remind me…that and Just Keep Swimming…

Well, apparantly I need to try several of these again. So let’s size up 2020 for me.

2020 Resolutions:

  1. Eat healthier and eat less. This will help me loose the weight I NEED to lose. I have tried this so many times…if anyone has any tips, I am listening!
  2. De-Clutter my space. Again. I have GOT to get rid of some of this crap!
  3. Write more. I really need to write more. I am getting better, but I can do more!

Yeah, I know. My list is half of what it was last year. Maybe I can get it this time. And let’s hope the loss I have to deal with this year is significantly less than this year, because if not, I just might try to off myself by sleeping without my CPAP.

Forced Acceptance

His ashes came back today.

The little flowered tin. The clay disks with his paw imprints. The clipping of his fur.

I miss him so terribly!

He had this goofy smile and this great little happy hop when he would run to me.

It was bad on Friday when I came home from work for the first time since he passed. I drive passed the backyard, and he wasn’t at the top of the ramp.

I managed to hold myself together until I reached the front gate and realized that he would not be greeting me today. Or tomorrow. Or ever again.

Loss is an incredibly powerful feeling. It seems all-consuming. And for me, it is. Unless I can keep myself distracted.

No, I don’t think of that as avoiding. I am dealing with it, just in manageable chunks. And when I am not distracted, I cry. Because not seeing him hurts and because I feel hollow without him.

He had a huge personality, even if it was mostly grumpy toward the end.

I miss him so much!

And Then He Was Gone

He gave us 13 more wonderful days and I will miss him for the rest of mine.

This year, I went from 12 pets to 8 – three dogs, three cats, two guinea pigs. I may yet lose one more since Moe is at least 150 guinea pig years old.

I miss my dogs the most, since they are ones who run to great me when I come home, Buddy’s howling bays and Sasha’s sweet face. It was hard enough to lose Sasha, but to lose Buddy…he was my second child – around for half of my son’s life. We crossed the United States, lost our kitties to cancer, gained a Beagle soulmate, adopted more pack members, and then watched them disappear one by one.

But losing Sasha seemed to be his final straw. Can’t live without half your soul, and I don’t blame him. There is a huge Beagle-shaped hole that will never close with ragged edges in my heart.

‘People are born so that they can learn how to live a good Life — like loving everybody all the time and being nice, right?’ The Six-year-old continued, ‘Well, dogs already know how to do that, so they don’t have to stay as long.’

~Author Unknown

And that is a god damn shame.

What my dog taught me in his 13 years as my companion:

  • When loved ones come home, always run to greet them.
  • Allow the experience of the wind in your face to be pure ecstasy.
  • Take naps.
  • Stretch before rising.
  • Run, romp, and play daily.
  • Avoid biting when a simple growl will do.
  • On warm days, stop to lie on your back on the grass.
  • On hot days, drink lots of water and lie under a shady tree.
  • When you’re happy, dance around and wag your entire body.
  • Delight in the simple joy of a long walk.
  • Be loyal.
  • When someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close by, and nuzzle them gently.
  • Love unconditionally, every day.

Buddy Joe, you are so very missed – but at least you are whole again. You dogs have fun and save me spot on the porch.

Run free, sweet boy. Run free.

Buddy Joe Van Love
Beagle. Bestie. Confidant.
7.14.06 – 12.24.19

Great video on my personal Facebook of Buddy’s 8 year old self. You can see Sasha, too, for a second 😉