Terrafit, Uncategorized

Five Reasons I’m Trying Terrafit

If you have been reading this blog for long, you know that I struggle with commitments.  I often start things enthusiastically, only to totally give up on them a few days later.  My fitness and weight loss experience demonstrate this.  I’ve tried Jazzercise.  I went twice but just didn’t feel like it “fit” me.  I tried doing Weight Watchers but it was just all too overwhelming to keep track of the points and figure out the points when I didn’t have them, etc.  I tried to do Beachbody and the meal planning and colored containers was just too much.  I signed up for Flipping Fifty and didn’t even start it, perhaps because I am trying to dismiss my fifty-year landmark.  I have tried online fitness trackers, apps, etc.  Nothing works.  But, I’m not giving up.  I recently stumbled upon a mention of Terrafit on a blog and read up on it and here are five reasons I’m choosing to give it a try:

  1. I get points, but I don’t have to calculate them for every meal.  I love the idea of getting points for doing good (and deleting points for doing bad).  Weight Watchers was fun that way, but I got overwhelmed with having to do each meal, broken into its components to figure out the points.  This one allows me to just give myself points for eating healthy foods and take away points for eating not-so-healthy-foods.  Easy peasy lemon squeezy.  I get points for all sorts of things and they are easy to track.
  2. It uses Doterra Oils and products, but you don’t HAVE to buy them to participate.  I have fallen in love with Doterra Oils, but I don’t want to get a bunch of supplements, shakes, etc.  This program allows me to use some oils, but not necessarily do shakes, etc.  You CAN do them, but you don’t HAVE to do them.  It focuses more on eating and exercising than the products related.
  3. You can win money!  Yeah.  Weight Watchers never offered me that.  In each Terrafit challenge, there is a pot of money that is divided between coach and participants to recognize the top performers (point-wise).  It probably won’t end up being a ton of money, but I bought a whole year for $99 and that allows me to do unlimited challenges.  Usually, they are $25 each.  So, I need to do more than four in a year to get my money back.  I think I can do that.  And, there is the possibility of winning some money back.  It is like playing the lottery, but with healthy food and exercise instead of scratching.
  4. You get a coach.  I need accountability and help and a swift kick in the tush sometimes.  So, getting a personal coach sounds really good.
  5. You get to be on a team.  See #4.  I need all the help I can get!

So, there you have it.  I start my first challenge in two days.  I am the heaviest I have ever been in my life – hovering around 190, sometimes slightly under, sometimes slightly over.  That is a lot of weight on my frame.  I remember when I hit 160 in graduate school and thought I was heavy.  I haven’t grown in height since then, but I have 30 more pounds on me.  It isn’t surprising that I am tired most days, my feet hurt, my back often hurts and I just don’t feel like doing really strenuous exercise.

That has to change.  I want to be active with my daughter and my girl scouts.  I want to do fun things and go on adventures.  I want to feel good, be healthy and set a good example.  So, here goes nothing.  In six weeks, I hope to be lighter in both weight and mood.

terrafit

Health and Caregiving

Where does a child’s anxiety end and a mother’s anxiety begin?

I have never considered myself to be an anxious person.  I’ve always been able to get through things relatively unscathed emotionally.  My daughter’s illness changed all that.  My parents’ illnesses also changed all that.  Now, I feel like I have a certain level of anxiety most of the time.  But, that anxiety is nothing compared to what my relatively tiny 9-year-old holds in her heart on an almost daily basis.

Actually, that may be an overstatement.  Maybe it isn’t an almost daily basis.  Maybe it isn’t even that often but every occurrence seems like a huge ordeal for me.  Or maybe sometimes her being upset about going somewhere or doing something isn’t anxiety but just plain old moodiness or tiredness or too much sugarness.  I don’t really know anymore, but I feel like I should know.  I feel like everytime something happens that could be related to anxiety, I should be doing something about it, making sure that she does not become a statistic.  She has been through so much already.  She doesn’t need to be feeling like she is not on her own side in life.  But, she is 9 years old.  So, how do I talk to her about it without making it something else that gives her anxiety?!?  Please, someone tell me.  Because at this point, I’m a little lost.

My daughter has been exceptional.  She survived an infant heart transplant, severe sleep apnea as a baby which led to a tonsillectomy/adenoidectomy, then a bump during a heart biopsy leaves her with a severely leaking tricuspid valve that requires her chest to be drained of fluid that had backed up and then several bouts of pneumonia and then an attempted repair that failed and probably led to her needing a pacemaker for irregular heartbeat.  She has quarterly cardiac clinic appointments where she has to get poked for blood, examined with gel and a probing device on her chest and abdomen.  So, to my rational mind, after all of that, what could possibly be scary?  What could possibly make you feel threatened?  Well, it seems that it is a lot of things.  Places where she doesn’t know anyone.  Places where she does know someone but for some reason feels like she doesn’t belong.  Math.  Sports that take place on a team.  Someone being late to pick her up from school.  Any change in classes and teachers.  Staying overnight, even with family and friends, without us there.  Sleeping in her own bed up until about six months ago.  Going to bed without someone going with her, even now.

So, what do I do?  I want to “fix” it, but I know that isn’t possible.  I am not a mental health professional.  And anxiety never really gets “fixed” it just is something people learn to deal with in a healthy way.  But, I don’t want to put some other thing on her to be “dealt” with like her chronic condition of being a heart transplant recipient and having a leaky valve and having a pacemaker.  She has to deal with so, damned much.  I just don’t want her to deal with this.  And maybe in some small way (or a large way), I don’t want to have to deal with this.  It is yet another thing on the long list of things to be “concerned” about, to be “aware” of, to know how to properly “deal with” to be sure it is not something we make harder on her in the future.  It is a lot.  For her.  For me.  For us.

I don’t know the answer to the question in the title of this blog post.  I don’t know what is her anxiety and what is my anxiety about her anxiety.  I may never know the answer to the question.  The best I can do is my best.  That is the best I can do in any situation.

DON'T QUIT

Life Updates

Patience is a Virtue

William Langland said that in a poem in the 14th century and we still say it today.  So, it has stood the test of time.  But, it doesn’t mean it is easy to uphold that virtue.  I guess it is defined as “moral excellence”  for a reason.  Tonight, I am a bit short on that virtue.  I am typically a very patient person, but at times, I reach a level of frustration and anxiety and tension that makes me want to scream.  I have reached that level tonight.  And for no real good reason at all.  Overall, today was a good day.  A long day, but a good day.

We drove to my sister’s house last night and stayed the night, allowing us to get up at 4:45 this morning instead of 3:30 a.m. to get to Bean’s heart clinic appointment in Stanford by 7:15 a.m.  My sister was nice enough to go with us, so we got to use the carpool lane and we made it a little bit early even.  The appointment went really well.  All looked good.  I was surprised to learn that her pacemaker is pacing her upper half of the heart 22% of the time and her lower half 9% of the time.  In all honesty, I thought it might just be a precaution and it wouldn’t pace very often if at all.  But, it is pacing almost one quarter of the time!  It is set at 70, so dropping into the high 60s will cause it to pace.  But, still.  A little surprising.  The doctor also said that a transplant may be done before a valve replacement if the right side of the heart becomes overwhelmed by the regurgitation.  So, there’s that on my mind.  Hell, my tension and lack of patience tonight may all be part of a little PTSD that kicks in even when we hear good news, because it often is followed up with disconcerting news (pacemaker is working great and Bean’s health looks great, BUT it is having to be used 22%/9% of the time; the regurgitation does not seem to be increasing or causing her heart issues, BUT it could get worse and could require another open heart surgery for either a valve replacement or a second transplant).  It is a lot to take.  I want to be happy, but it is also tempered.  I’m also exhausted.

In addition, I am feeling overwhelmed again.  I feel like everything in my life happens just a little later than I need it to.  I feel like I wanted so much more done at this point – on my housecleaning and organizing, on my class prep for Fall (good Lord, it starts in just four short weeks), on my finances, on my life in general.  My DH comes home in three days after being gone for five weeks and I feel like I’ve accomplished little-to-nothing.  My birthday is on Sunday and I’m feeling like I don’t even want to celebrate.  I realize this is probably temporary and things will look better when I get up tomorrow and I’ve slept longer and better than last night, do not have to face medical appointments and have two days to get some things done (well, three really because my DH doesn’t come home until Saturday night pretty late).  I need to be productive, not procrastinating. I need to get my #!*^ together.

But, I also feel overly tired and lacking in energy and motivation.  What do you do when it all seems a little overwhelming?  I would love to hear some ideas.  I only have a few more days until my Year of Fun kicks off and I need to get over this feeling of BLAH and FRUSTRATION in order to really have some fun.  I know part of it is probably diet and lack of exercise and who knows what else…

Tuesday Truth

Tuesday Truth…Embracing the Fun in Year 48

I can’t believe that I will be THIS old in one week:

out-of-my-way_quickmeme-com

Yeah…I won’t be THAT old, but you know what I mean.  I used to think 48 was ancient.  Now it seems like just another year.  Trying to make every year the best year ever is getting exhausting.  So, I’m just going to try to make this year a good one.  Simple. Some things I want more of:  reading, time outside, travel,exercise, and fun.  I have not really been having as much fun in my life as I would like to.  I need to let loose.  I find myself constantly on guard.  I really can’t explain why.  And sometimes it isn’t even conscious.  I want to let that go.  So, I’m hoping to make year 48 my year of “letting loose”.  After all, if you can’t let loose at age 48, when can you let loose?  And letting loose will not include a bunch of “goals” and “plans” and such.  That isn’t very loose is it?

Now, I’m not going crazy and quitting my jobs or anything, so I still need my planner.  And I still have a 7 year old, so there is school and activities, etc.  But, I don’t need to feel tied to my laptop and constantly playing catch up.  It will take some “planning” to make it work, but it doesn’t have to be a list of action items that I check off as the year goes by or specific goals that I end up giving up on and then being upset about my “failure”.   The major requirement is getting off my couch and out of my comfort zone.  There are a ton of opportunities for fun, but I choose to skip a lot of them for some unknown reason.  So, this year, I will embrace the fun!

I think that as we get older, we sometimes lose our capacity for joy.  We let things get in the way of us experiencing joy when and where we could.  We have so much baggage that has built up over time that we have problems setting it down so we can enjoy the fun.  If we’re weighed down with problems and past wrongs and frustrations and all those bags are so heavy, we can’t focus on enjoying ourselves.  So, maybe the key is to set our bags down at the door and take a load off!  That will be what I try to do at each and every opportunity this year – set my baggage down, no matter how difficult it is to pile up at the door and let go of it all!  Because taking that load off will allow me to loosen up and enjoy myself.  And who knows, maybe I will find a way to leave some of it behind at each occasion.  A small package here, a piece of baggage there and I will feel less weighed down all the time!

So, here is to my year 48!  The year of embracing the fun, letting go of the baggage and doing the things I want to do while still getting done the things I need to do.

 

Simplicity Sunday, Uncategorized

Simplicity Sunday – No such thing as “simple”

I am quickly coming to the conclusion that there really is no such thing as simple.  According to the Oxford Dictionary, simple is:  easily understood or done; presenting no difficulty.  Not much about my life seems easily understood or done.  Much about my life presents some difficulty.  But, I’m not sure this is all bad.  As the saying goes, nothing easy is worth pursuing.

The last few weeks have been tough.  I didn’t sleep particularly well before leaving for the pre-hospital trip, getting grading done and the house cleaned up.  Then there was the hospital, where I didn’t really sleep at all one night (in the CVICU), barely slept the next night and slept on and off the next couple of nights.  I slept a bit better back at home, but Bean was still up every few hours complaining of pain or needing to move.  My husband left for five weeks a few days after we got home and soon after I left my DD at my in-laws to go to a conference in San Diego.  The first night, my MIL called me with Bean scream crying in the background, saying she was upset because she had forgotten to call me to say goodnight.  That was obviously not the reason she was scream crying.  She was scream crying because she wanted me THERE, with her.

My mom guilt was extremely high.  I should not have left her so soon after she went through so much.  I’m afraid her anxiety will come back due to this craziness.  How important was this conference (well, it was pretty important because I need it to work on this year-long project I am working on)?  Could I have figured out a way to bring her here (tough one…it is expensive and difficult logistically)?  Should I just give up on making it all work (probably…let’s face facts)?  From there, things got much better and she was fine.  So, on the roller coaster of mothering, I was on the short, fun drop instead of the upside down, traveling way to fast to be comfortable part of the ride.

We’ve been home now for a little over a week and things are going pretty well.  Although, she missed two days of VBS this past week with a fever, so there was a bit of panic for that.  But, it must have been some 24 hour bug because it was quickly gone.

I also didn’t get one of her medications in the monthly delivery, but when I called the pharmacy they said the doctor had not sent a refill.  When I called the doctor, it was a problem with pre-authorization.  And it turns out, we can just buy this stuff over the counter for about the same cost as the copay (maybe cheaper if I can catch it on sale).  So, we took care of that issue.

So, this is what I mean by NOTHING being simple.  But, I think that gives me all the more reason to simplify whatever parts of my life I CAN simplify.  So, decluttering my house (I feel like I have rid myself of VOLUMES of stuff in the past six months, but we still have VOLUMES AND VOLUMES of stuff left.  What is with that?!?  Decluttering my schedule and establishing routines so I don’t have to constantly think about what I should be doing next.  I want to surround myself with things I love and enjoy and that make me feel peaceful and content.  Then, when the inevitable complexity of life pops up, I can not only survive, but thrive.

I am quickly approaching my 48th birthday (what the heck?).  I want to live up to what this blog title suggests…being more in my 40s.  I have a limited time to achieve that though.  A very limited time indeed.

Tuesday Truth

Tuesday Truth

This week’s Tuesday Truths are here!

Tuesday Truth

First, illness sucks.  It especially sucks when the person who is ill is 7 years old and just spent three weeks recovering from surgery.  That’s right.  My DD, who had just started feeling better a week ago (after her pacemaker surgery) seems to have picked up a flu bug or something.  She woke up last night at 2 a.m. complaining of stomach pains, was awake and asleep and awake and asleep the rest of the night, was determined to go to VBS today so she could have her planned play date with a school friend and then one hour into it showed up where I was volunteering crying about her stomach really hurting and having a headache.  So, we came home.  She took Tylenol, watched TV for about an hour and then slept for over three hours.  She woke up feeling better, ate a small amount of yogurt and raspberries and a cracker, drank some water…and about an hour later threw all that up.  😦  She is now asleep again and I’m thinking no VBS tomorrow and probably a trip to the pedes.  Poor thing.  She can’t catch a break…I’m hoping it is a 24 hour thing and she will be all better tomorrow, but with her immune system, it could be a while.

Second, flies suck.  We always have a problem with flies.  We live backed up to a giant field where everyone walks their dogs and lets them poop and cats go to poop and probably kill things and then we have our own pooping dogs in our backyard.  So, we have a crap ton of flies all the time in the summer.  They seem especially bad right now.  I hate them.  I wish I felt comfortable just spraying the toxic fly spray all over our yard, but I don’t.  So, I have a fly trap in our tree, which has trapped a lot of them already, but there are all those plus more flying around back there and subsequently into our house every time the backdoor is open, which is often with a puppy.  Hate, hate, hate them. If anyone has any non-toxic suggestions, I would love to hear them.  I tried the pennies in a bag of water last year and it was a fail.  So, please, something other than that!

Third, because there has to be something that doesn’t suck on my list, bulldog puppies are hilarious.  Our new puppy, Scout, is a character.  Bulldog puppies are much less energetic than lab/shepherd mixes, but she is plenty entertaining in her own way.  Often in the way she sleeps!  And snores.  What isn’t funny is her gaseous fumes she releases on us!  But, she has been a great addition to our family zoo!  For your enjoyment, a lovely picture of her and our Seven snuggled up together:

Seven and Scout

So, there you go – my Tuesday Truths this week.  Back to worrying about my DD and hoping her illness goes away quickly!

Tuesday Truth

Tuesday Truth: Life in the ICU

This place is familiar, but also somewhat unknown.  I believe it is a safety mechanism in our brains that protects us from remembering the full experience of unpleasant places.  Here I sit in a CVICU room, something I’ve done for months of my precious daughter’s seven years of life.  It all looks somewhat familiar.  The myriad of machines that beep and pulse and beep some more.  The bed that is at once, highly technical, yet still totally uninviting.  My daughter, with the tubes and tubes and more tubes coming out of what seems to be every area of her little body.  She has grown a lot since those first days in the PICU and CVICU as a premature four month old, but she is still a similar vulnerable child who needs lots of love and care and wears her anxiety like a hated piece of clothing, trying to cover it up, while knowing that at some point it WILL be seen by others.

This is a good visit.  A quick in and out – one night only.  But, it is a very, very long night.  There is never peace in an ICU (really, any hospital room), but this night is not so good for someone else, so the lack of peace is even more pronounced.  There is an emergency.  Everyone is gathered around one room.  At some point, privacy screens are put up and doctors and nurses suit up and there is some procedure being done.  Right there in the ICU.  Usually, that means there is no time to move to a different location, which is never good.  This morning I dreaded walking that hallway.  Fearing the sight of an empty room.  But, there was a patient there.  Still surrounded by a number of doctors and nurses, but there, with machines beeping and pulsing and beeping.  So, at least that was good news.  But, from here, who knows?  The child next to us screamed at night about being “firsty,” but each time he had something to drink, he would go into a coughing attack and sometimes throw up.  So, they put him on “NPO” meaning no matter how “firsty” he would get nothing but a little pink swab soaked in some water to rub around his mouth.  I am thankful that my daughter was so little when she was suffering the literal heart ache of cardiomyopathy.  If not for her sake (as I’m sure she was quite often thirsty or hungry or hurt when she coughed), for mine. I did not have to be the parent who tried to rationalize this seemingly torturous behavior of withholding vital needs to their child.

My daughter is whiny.  She wakes up every hour or so to call my name and has me come from my uncomfortable perch in the less-than-cozy rocking chair to rub her arm or simply remind her she is not alone in this place that could easily be mistaken for a house of torture.  She is in pain at times.  She tells me she wants to go home a few times.  But, overall, she is able to be comforted and will go back to sleep, at least temporarily.  I am exhausted.  And somewhat resentful.  It is not unheard of.  Why us?  Why do WE have to go through this AGAIN?  Then I remember the alternative is not having the opportunity to get better, and it all gets put in perspective.

The doctors and nurses go about their business.  They are not unconcerned, but deal with the pain and suffering all around them with professionalism, compassion and as much happiness as is possible.  Some are downright joyful and you wonder how they do it.  It takes a certain type of personality to be sure.  Working in an adult ICU is one thing, but a pediatric ICU is something altogether different.  These are people who have not reached a stage of life where they should be this seriously ill.  And most of the cases in the CVICU are not trauma or accident victims.  They are victims of their genes. They are victims of random statistics.  They are victims of early births or birth defects.  And so many are babies.  And so many are having their third, fourth…tenth surgeries.

We are now home and hopefully will not face time in the CVICU for a long time.  But, if you have a spare prayer or some positive thoughts, please send them to those who aren’t as lucky as we are and are still sitting in that room, in the uncomfortable chair, trying to be hopeful that they too will one day roll out of that wing to the “step down” unit, and then home.  #thankful

Goldfish in hospital