Count Your Blessings

Recently I took my dog, Bailey, to the vet for a checkup. She has allergies and the vet wouldn’t extend her prescription without a check up.

Bailey is five years old and I have spent a lot of money on her. She has had four surgeries: she was spayed and both of her back legs had surgery for torn tendons. One leg didn’t heal properly, so she had a second surgery on it.

When she was about six months old, Bailey was stung by a bee and had an allergic reaction to it, so we rushed her to the vet for treatment. She takes allergy medication every day, because she has environmental allergies.

While sitting in the waiting room, I was talking to another dog owner about how expensive Bailey has been. The woman just listened and smiled, but didn’t say much.

The veterinarian’s assistant came into the waiting room and was talking to the same woman I was talking to.

Listening to their conversation, I found out that the woman’s dog has all of the same problems that Bailey has, but has cost the woman thousands of dollars more than Bailey has cost me, because her dog is huge and weighs about 100 pounds.

That dog has also had the surgeries on it’s back legs. That dog also has allergies and takes the same medication that Bailey takes. The difference is that for Bailey, the cost of the medication is about $60 a month, because she only weighs 15 pounds. The cost of the medication for the other dog is $300 every two weeks, because the dog is much bigger.

After the vet’s assistant left, I felt stupid for complaining about my dog costing so much when this woman has spent a lot more money on her dog than I have on mine. I jokingly told the woman, “You win!” We both laughed and the woman told me about some pet insurance that she has that has helped with the costs. I will look into that.

The moral of the story: When you think you are the only one struggling with something, there is always someone struggling with more. Count your blessings!

Odd Incident

A couple of days ago, the strangest thing happened. My dogs were outside and kept sniffing the cover of the pool filter.

The dogs were very interested in the filter, which isn’t “normal.”

My husband and I thought there was probably a dead animal in there, because that’s happened before. We found a dead baby gopher in the filter a while back.

My husband went out to see what was going on, and when he took the lid off of the filter, there was a live bird in there! We think it was a pigeon.

The only picture I have of the bird, because we were too busy trying to save it.

What the heck? How did it get in there? We were so confused.

The bird was alive, because the bird’s head was above the water line. It was big enough that it didn’t get hurt, because there wasn’t enough room for it to flap around in there. So, it just sat there with it’s head above the water.

I have no idea how long the bird was in the filter. My mom, (who lives with me), is very familiar with birds, because she has owned three of them. She got the bird out of the filter and sat it on the grass. The bird was shivering, because the pool water is cold and of course, the bird was soaking wet. I ran and grabbed a towel so my mom could dry the bird off a little.

We blocked the dogs in the house and sat the bird in the sun so it could fully dry off. The bird sat in the sun and slept for a few hours. It was probably a little traumatized.

My mom put some food and water out for the bird and it started walking around.

After walking around for a few minutes, the bird flew off into one of the big trees next door. We were happy that the bird seemed okay and was able to fly.

I don’t know what would have happened if we didn’t have dogs that alerted us to the filter. The bird was quiet and we wouldn’t have found out that the bird was there until cleaning the filter, which may have been too late.

From Black to Bright

Photo by Karly Santiago on Unsplash

The other day I was looking through my closet for a shirt to wear. I have my clothes hung up in order of colors, from dark to light. It starts with black, to gray, to blue, etc., and ends with white.

As I’m going through the shirts, it dawns on me that I only have one black casual shirt, and for some reason, it made me reflect.

I look for a shirt to wear every single day. I know every shirt that I have hanging up in my closet. There are probably 50 or so shirts in there. I don’t know why today was different. I don’t know why I started thinking about my old wardrobe. I just did.

15 years ago, literally all of my shirts were black, white, or gray, but mostly black. I liked the way black looked on me, plus, everyone said that black is “slimming.”

When I met my husband, he hated that all I wore was black. Slowly but surely, he bought me shirts that were colorful. He especially liked pink. Knowing that he liked to see me in more colorful clothing, I started changing my wardrobe. Now my closet is full of color. I rarely wear black anymore.

It’s funny how things change.

Her Own Person

I have an 11-year-old granddaughter who is very much her own person. By that, I mean that she doesn’t care what anyone else thinks, she does her own thing, even if it’s not popular.

This girl is super smart, at the top of her class. She’s quiet and reserved. She is beautiful, too. I love how she likes what she likes and does what she wants, without trying to please anyone but herself.

Before school started, my granddaughters (the 11-year-old and her sisters; an older sister who is 14-years-old and a younger sister, age 10) all had very long hair and were talking about getting haircuts. The oldest got her hair cut all the way up to her shoulders. The youngest got a lot of her hair cut off, but not quite all the way to her shoulders. The 11-year-old got barely any hair cut off – just enough to trim the ends. She said she didn’t want to get hers cut, because she likes her hair long. It’s still to her waist.

My younger granddaughter, who will be ten-years-old in a couple of months, is very outgoing, bubbly, and always performing in some way. She likes to sing and make videos, or pretend she’s an actress. She also has a habit of asking people silly questions about what they would do for six billion dollars.

Yes, six billion dollars is the amount she’s chosen for her silly, “Would you do this or that for six billion dollars” question.

Recently, she asked her 11-year-old sister, “Would you cut your hair for six billion dollars?”

After thinking about it for a minute, the 11-year-old replied, “Probably not.”

My daughter and I are still laughing about that one.

Hello Hot Flashes

I’ve been having hot flashes for a couple of years now.

Image by Christian Dorn from Pixabay 

Every once in a while, I feel hot and start sweating. It makes me very uncomfortable.

And it’s always just me. Everyone else is fine.

It’s embarrassing when I’m out in public, like at a restaurant, and I start sweating. I grab anything I can use to fan myself and my husband says, “It’s comfortable in here.”

I’m having hot flashes more frequently now, so I went the the doctor last week. He said I am going through menopause. It makes sense. It’s about that time.

So, he prescribed some hormones for me to take. Great! Now I can go out and not worry about having a hot flash!

Well, today I went grocery shopping and about halfway through the store, I started feeling hot and I started sweating. Great. The pills aren’t helping.

I don’t know if the pills take time to build up the hormones in my body, or if the dose is too low. The doctor did start me off on a very low dose. I will ask my doctor about it.

In the meantime, I’m trying to figure out if there is anything else I can do to help prevent hot flashes.

Does anyone have any advice?

My Weight Loss Journey: The First Meeting

I met with the Registered Dietitian today and I learned a few things.

First, I was measured and weighed on a scale that analyzes body mass. The numbers on the scale helped determine what my calorie and macronutrient needs are. I talked to the dietitian about my experiences with dieting and she said that just cutting calories isn’t enough.

Image by TeroVesalainen from Pixabay

I also got a lot of information about the requirements for completing the Weight Loss program.

I have to complete two 12-week courses that cannot be taken at the same time. Phase one is with a trainer at the gym, and phase two is with the dietitian. I also have to attend a couple of seminars and meet with a psychologist and weight loss surgeon during phase two of the program.

Unfortunately, I can’t start phase one of the program until the end of September, when the class starts again. I was disappointed, but happy to learn that I can start working with the dietitian now.

The dietitian wants me to start tracking my intake using the My Fitness Pal app on my phone. She said that she will continue to monitor my numbers and measurements and advise me on what changes I need to make to my diet. She also gave me a book that has a lot of information:

  • How to read food labels
  • Portion sizes
  • Mindful eating
  • Meal planning
  • Good nutrition
  • Goal setting

There is a lot to learn, but I am going to dive in and give it my best shot!

Image by Alexas_Fotos from Pixabay

Back to Square One: Starting a New Weight Loss Journey

“Ability is what you’re capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it.” – Lou Holtz

Okay, I’ll admit that this whole dieting thing is hard, especially doing it on my own.

I recently blogged about starting a new diet. I signed up for WW and followed the program.

I lost 3 pounds the first week and then nothing. I was stuck. Already? It is very frustrating, considering the HUGE changes I made to my diet.

Last week, I saw my orthopedic surgeon for a follow-up on my back surgery. When I last saw him seven months ago, he told me to lose weight. At my recent appointment, we talked about why I hadn’t lost the weight.

I told the doctor what I’ve been doing to lose weight, and he said that I wasn’t eating enough. I told him that I was following the WW diet and eating only the allowed number of points a day.

The doctor knows the results of my last blood tests and knows that my metabolism is incredibly slow and my inflammation marker is very high. He said that I need help losing weight and suggested weight loss surgery.

Ugh. I really don’t want anymore surgeries, but I told him that I am willing to talk to someone to see what my options are. He gave me a referral and I called the Weight Loss Center in my medical group.

I was told that the way it works is that I have to attend weight loss classes for eight months before insurance will cover any weight loss surgery. Plus, I have to lose 5% of my weight.

The weight loss classes consist of meeting with a nutritionist to learn how to eat and prepare healthy meals, and meeting with a trainer at the gym to learn how to exercise safely, due to my restrictions.

To me, this is great news! Great, because if these classes help me lose weight, I definitely won’t have any weight loss surgery. Instead, I’ll continue to use the tools the classes give me and keep losing weight on my own.

I think the worst thing I’ve done is give up on myself after my surgeries. I not only avoid exercise because of chronic pain, but I also fear it. Using weights is what caused the incisional lumbar hernia I got, that had to be surgically repaired.

At first, when I was told I had to complete eight months of classes, I was upset. I told them I couldn’t do the exercise part. After thinking about it, I realized that I CAN do it! I just need to learn how to do it safely. It’s important that I incorporate exercise back into my life, and what better way than to have support from a certified trainer?

I’m going to give it my best with a positive attitude.

I will share my journey, in case it helps some of you. My first appointment with a nutritionist is tomorrow and I’m excited to get started!