Help for Healing

Bitter & Sweet, living daily with grief


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Biopsies

It’s been stormy, cold and blustery in the Buffalo area. Frankie had almost three weeks off of school before he returned today. I was going stir crazy, but have to admit, it was nice to not have a schedule for a while.

Confession time. Rather than catching up on things, I have been absorbed on a client’s ipad. She is a teen and wanted me to watch Dr. Who. I can never tell her, but I am kind of hooked. This is exactly why I do not watch TV to begin with. I get hooked. I’ve watched all of season one, which was 13 episodes. I’m halfway through season two. I don’t think I can possibly watch all seven seasons. My businesses will go down the drain!

I wondered what I could blog about today because I have been in a cocoon all week, as has the rest of the area being snowed in. Then I remembered an interesting conversation I had with someone last month at an event I was selling my book at.

He was passing by and looking at the tables. When he got to my book, he started to tell me his story, which is what usually happens. He pointed to a woman standing an aisle over. “See her? That’s my wife. She’s been with me a long time.”

I don’t remember the exact details, but I do remember that he said he was a simple man. He repaired cars. He said he used common sense to save his wife’s life. When there is a nail in a tire, you don’t pull the nail out or you will blow the tire. Kinda like when you step on a board with nails, you don’t just pull it out of your heel right away. (Remember that blog?) You can do more damage that way.

He surprised me when he said he has made it his personal mission to tell the world that biopsies are hazardous to your health. It goes against what we are told all the time, but he believed it with his whole heart.

Several years ago, his wife had a tumor in one of her kidneys. The doctor wanted to do a biopsy. Pretty standard procedure. He refused and said they should just take the whole thing out. When the surgeon refused to comply, he kept looking until he found a doctor that would heed his wishes. Later, he said the surgeon told him that decision saved his wife’s life.

When they got the organ out, they went to look at the tumor. At the mere touch of an instrument, the tumor exploded, spreading its toxic cells everywhere. Had they done a biopsy while the organ was in his wife’s body, the cancer would have immediately spread everywhere and the disease would have been terminal.

Now, I’m no doctor or surgeon, and have zero formal training. I can’t possibly agree or disagree with this guy with any sort of intelligent opinion. However, I can say that what he said made a lot of sense to me. And there was his wife standing there, and there he was still loving her years later.

I welcome your informed comments about this. I certainly will stop and think twice- and probably several times- if I ever need a biopsy for something. What do you guys think?


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Holiday Hell

Yep, it’s Christmas. No mistaking it. On top of the already busy life we all have, we are also hanging decorations (inside and out), shopping, baking, etc., etc., etc…

But before I get into that, first let me say thank you to all of my followers. I am not very good at remembering to say thank you when I get notification that someone new has joined because I’m just an airhead sometimes. So please forgive me and know I am thrilled that you are interested!

Now, back to holiday Hell.

By now, I am sure it will come as no surprise that I am slightly psychotic. Ok, on some days more than slightly. My OCD tendencies can be quite silly, but if you look at them right, they are harmless and actually humorous. For example, I am big on holiday traditions. Really big. But then I turn a fun and sentimental activity into a “rule” that must be followed without exception, otherwise it just doesn’t feel right.

The day after Thanksgiving, I put up our Christmas decorations. Well, there are so many between the tree, other decorations, and outside lights, that it usually takes more than one day. I have Christmas books, music cds, and Christmas movies. Every year I buy another movie. And then I discovered that Tim had a bunch of Christmas albums and I had to add those to the mix. Oh yea, and Christmas piano music. A few entire books of them, plus some other sheet music. And every single one of those things must be watched, listened to, read, or played. And it has to be between the day after Thanksgiving and Christmas. IT MUST BE THAT WAY. Now, long ago, I gave up on making anyone else in the house share in the absurdity, but it’s my personal goal. I’m a bit of a tyrant too. I figure that I don’t use the TV the rest of the year. So for one month, I get first choice. Everyone else can use one of the other twenty thousand tvs or rooms in the house.

All of that is fine and dandy. But I’m having lunch with Summer and she looks at me (because she has gone through several Christmas seasons with me) and asks me what I am going to do this year?  First of all, I went out of town for Thanksgiving, which didn’t bring me home until the Sunday after. Secondly, Thanksgiving is really late this year. There is no way I could possibly get all that stuff in between Thanksgiving and Christmas. And she knows- it will completely stress me out if I don’t watch all those damn movies I watch every single one, plus the new one I get, every single year.

She was right and I panicked. Then, being the brilliant woman she is, she suggested I make an “exception clause” in my mental contract with myself for years like this. Truly brilliant. I gave my OCD brain an acceptable way out. I can make exceptions to my rules when there are circumstances like this year.

Surprisingly, the heavens did not fall out of the sky when I took down my Thanksgiving decorations BEFORE Thanksgiving was over.  With some help from the boys, I was able to get up the decorations inside and out of the house before we left on our trip. Good thing, because when I got back, the holiday Hell started.

In the last three days, besides living all the regular life of working full-time, I have done the following tasks/errands, while also going through some personal problems:

My spiritual direction appointment

A chiropractic appointment

A back massage appointment

Luncheon appointment with another therapist

Bank

Post office

Market in the Square

Dollar Tree (twice)

Game Stop

Oogie Games

Subway

Applebee’s

Walmart

Eileen’s Bakery

Edible Arrangements

Sam’s Club

Pizza Hut

Olive Garden

7 Eleven

Consumer Beverage’s

Lowe’s

McDonald’s

KFC

Aldi’s

I’m very sure there are more that I can’t remember, but the last one has a funny story. We had no groceries in the house at all from being gone. I also had to buy a lot of things for our family Progressive Dinner, baking supplies, etc.. I filled my cart and realized it was overflowing. So I paid, went and loaded the groceries in the car and went back in and filled another cart. I kept letting people ahead of me that only had one or two items. This sweet older lady gets ahead of me and she clearly can’t believe I would doing something nice for her. We stood in line and chatted about Christmas shopping, etc..

I get out to my car with my second load and lo and behold I had left the car door wide open. Wide open. I nervously went over and nothing was missing. The car started too. Can’t believe I did that. (Last week I walked the dog the morning of our trip and came back from the woods and found I had left the car door unlocked, the keys to the car inside on the front seat, sitting next to my wallet with $500 cash in it. Someone is watching out for me!) I turn around and there is that dear, sweet, old lady. She looks at me with her car keys in her hand and tells me she can’t find her car anywhere. I told her about leaving my door open. We just laughed and laughed at ourselves. Of course, she had about twenty years on me (which makes her confusion more acceptable than mine) but we didn’t mention that.

So I’ve been ridiculously exhausted every night when I drop into bed. My whole body aches. I feel like I could cry.

But I love it anyway. I have Christmas music playing in the car while I’m running all those errands. I sneak in a few minutes of Christmas movies whenever I can. People love my lights on the house, especially my big, red stars. I walk around humming “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” spurred on from watching Elf. I’m just a big kid who loves the spirit of Christmas. A big, OCD kid. So good luck with your own holiday Hell, but remember to stop and smell the hot chocolate :).


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Mounting Excitement

It’s been quite a week. I’ve written before that I keep trying to be excited but I mostly get terrified. Saturday, the Buffalo News printed an article about the book. I WAS EXCITED!!! The editor said he was having trouble cutting it down because he didn’t have enough space so I was expecting a column. So when I opened it up and there was a full page article and a big picture, I got VERY excited. I usually hate pictures of myself and I actually thought this one was good. Very cool!

Today there is a smaller article in the Bee. It was also great other than getting the name of the book wrong. It was kinda funny too because it was listed right next to the picture of the cover of the book LOL. People will see the name on the picture.

Monday was AM Buffalo, our local 10 AM TV station on ABC. It was only five minutes, but everyone says it was a great piece. It is the most popular footage on the station’s site right now. People say I didn’t look nervous, which really makes me laugh.

But the biggest excitement of all came about a half hour after the show aired on Monday. My dad called my cell phone. Now, you have to know my dad. He is the perfect German stoic. You know he loves you, but it would embarrass the heck out of him to say so. All my life people would tell me how proud he was of me because he couldn’t stop talking about me when they bumped into him. But to give a compliment to you verbally, face to face, would really be tough for him.

So I answered the phone. I truly expected to hear something like “I couldn’t really hear you very well” or something like that, because that’s just his way. I said “Hey Dad, did you see the show?” He said “Yes. That was really, really nice.” He then asked if we could get it on a dvd for him because he “would really like a copy of that.” I hung up and looked at Brigitte. Here come the tears again, this time for joy. I doubt I’ve ever felt prouder in my entire life.


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MOTIVATION

The good news is that I am booked to appear on AM BUFFALO on Monday, March 11, 10:00 AM, channel 7. This is the Monday before the book launch, which is perfect timing. The show and the launch are both a reminder to me that yes, after 25 years or so of struggling, I am still overweight. Most maddening is that I lost it a few years ago and then gained most of it back.

I’ve tried it all – diets, “life-style changes”, exercise… I know about toxins and all the things I shouldn’t eat. Hence, my latest attempt that I have never tried before. Hypnosis. While I would love for there to be a magic pill where I could eat whatever I wanted and still be healthy, I’m pretty sure that won’t happen in my lifetime. So I’m not trying to find the fast cure, just trying to find some motivation. I WANT to eat bad stuff. I DON’T WANT to eat healthy proteins and vegetables. Maybe hypnosis can help.

I had my first session on Friday. To my great surprise, I went under very easily. You know everything that is happening so it’s not scary or anything. First he had me do some image work. This kind of thing always fascinates me, or I guess I should say what comes out of it. The side of me that wants to be healthy and trim took on a red color, heart in shape but it was very fluid and flowing. The side of me that is stuck was a solid black rectangle, non-moving. I thought the image work would have the red swallow the black. However, my brilliant hypnotist wanted me to blend them together because both “sides” serve a purpose in our lives. (Remind you of the glass half-empty and half-full?) So the black became an outline around the heart, but the heart still moved around. It kept more form but it still was fluid. Interesting.

Then I got to picture all the foods I love but are unhealthy for me on my kitchen island. I’m not lucky enough to have one vice like sweets or salts. I love them all. So my island was full of cookies, potato chips, doritoes, cake, and carbs like breads and stuff too. While I was drooling on myself, he then added to the image that all of those foods were dripping with thick, white, slimy fat. He pointed out how disgusting they all looked. Makes me want to throw up even as I’m writing this. Then he told me to knock it all off the counter. When he said this, he snapped his fingers and said “Beets!”. We had discussed earlier that beets are a food I really hate. He wants me to associate those yummy but bad foods with beets. Interesting though, it’s not so I see them as just “bad”, but to break down the hard line barriers of good and bad food in my head.

Lots of homework. Cds to listen to, a workbook to read and do exercises in. So much for the magic pill theory. But I think I’m ready to take this on. All the exciting things that are coming up are making me be a little more willing to face my life-long demons. You ought to try it. I’m not sure yet how it will “work”, but so far it’s been fascinating and fun. Gotta go and make my protein shake 🙂