A little secret…

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So I’ve got a little project on the go. I haven’t wanted to write about it in case I jinx it.

I saw a different doctor about my breast reduction. I’ve already had the consult! I’ve been approved and they have sent all my paperwork to the hospital to schedule a date. The MOA assures me it will be sooner then I think.

So thrilling!

I think about it all the time. When I put my clothes on each morning I wonder what they will look like when my breasts are a more reasonable size. When I jog with Dexter I wonder what it will be like to not have pain. I can’t wait to lie on my stomach without suffocating.

When I saw the new doctor he suggested that I get some liposuction in the armpit area for a smoother result. This was going to cost me $3600- not really feasible on our budget. So instead I have been making a serious effort to lose weight- in a healthy way! I am pretty proud of the 15lbs I’ve lost so far. My goal is another 30, but if my surgery date is sooner rather then later, I won’t be able to do that. I want to do this in a safe and healthy way. If that means my stable weight is higher then I would like, I just need to accept that.

I’m not following a specific diet, just smaller portions and more veggies (carrot sticks for the win!). I did decide to stop baking unless I had a reason. This is probably the single most important change I made, it’s also the hardest- I LOVE to bake. I also am committed to moving everyday. Walking Dexter, jogging, biking, and weights fill my spare time.

So I’m not sure what weight this will all shake out too, but I do know I’ll lose several pounds of boob in a few months so it will be a success in my books.

100!

Holy shit.

Who would have guessed I would make it here! I don’t think anyone thought I would have this much to say- including me. When I leased the domain I thought it was going to turn out to be a colossal waste of money. My first few posts went out and were only read by a handful of people. Initially I was disheartened but I got hooked on the ability to have total honesty. I didn’t know who was reading and that made me fearless. I began saying things I had never said before out loud. It was so freeing. I could finally be ME, not the me who goes out in public, the deep dark me. The one who sometimes wants to die, and sometimes wants to single-handedly fight climate change.

Over time (and with the advent of a Facebook page), my readers started to come out of the woodwork and send me supportive notes. It was lovely to feel so much love from all over the place. My husband says he can’t believe he read 100 ‘articles’ not about fish or wildlife. I asked if it was a burden or embarrassing and he said no. He’s happy because I’m happy.

I will be honest (because that’s the point) I had hoped to be reaching more people by this point. I am growing very slowly, painfully slowly. My mission of helping others and forming a supportive network seems to be very far in the distance indeed. I won’t stop working to this goal, so link, share, spread it far and wide! Please?

Thank you everyone for sticking with me through all this, I hope you hang around for the next 100 posts!

Much love

Infertility

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My husband and I have been trying to have a baby for 3 years now. Three years of watching the calendar, scheduling sex. It’s not very romantic.

I don’t understand how two people who love each other so much, and who want to love a baby so badly it hurts, can not conceive a child.

I blame myself entirely.

If it isn’t the copious amounts of poison I take to manage my illness, there must be something wrong with my anatomy. I don’t care its been checked. They must be missing something.

For years I have been watching my friends and relatives decide to have a baby- and actually have a baby. They make it look so easy. Sure, some were complicated pregnancies or deliveries, but they all have happy and healthy babies to call their own.

We’ve heard it all. Every trick. We’ve tried it all.

I’ve also heard all the well-meaning comforts. “Maybe it’s for the best, now you can focus on getting better.” “You probably would have struggled raising a child anyway with your illness.” “Now you don’t have to worry about passing it on.”

I know procreating is not the only way to contribute to the world. But my husband wants this so badly. He talks about ‘when we have kids’ all the time. I hate that I have stripped so many things from our life with this fucking disease and now I can’t even do this for him. It’s just one more way I’m broken, that I’ve failed him.

I’ve given up. I don’t think ‘this is the time’ anymore. I am planning a life without kids in my head. What will we do with our time? What will we do when we’re old with no one to care for us? I’ve accepted it and am trying to move on with my life plans.

The hard part now is watching my husband get excited if I’m a few days late. Of him at the store saying: ‘can’t wait to have kids so I can play with lego again’. Of him holding our friend’s babies with that huge smile and glow in his face. It’s absolutely devastating. I hate hurting him in anyway.

I hope that my love will be enough, and he can eventually be happy without babies.

13 Reasons Why

Against all advice, and my better judgement, I have started watching ’13 Reasons Why’ on Netflix.

At first I was frustrated by how slowly it was moving. It took forever to get to the meat of the story.

I think the most eye-opening part for me was when one of the characters vented about how ‘everyone goes through these things. She only killed herself to be dramatic’. I had been thinking the exact same thing! Me! Based on the tapes I thought yeah sure- everyone loses friends, everyone has ex-boyfriends who lie about having boned you. I immediately felt terribly. Everyone has a different threshold. Everyone has different complicating or supporting factors. What seems trivial to one person my be devastating to another based on their specific life experience.

Further into the first season it does get more intense and you can really feel the pressure she must have been under. Also some of the other characters are further developed and you start to see how far reaching a single suicide can be- especially in the impressionable high school age group.

I have finished the first season and I am not sure if I will continue to watch. I hate when they add extra seasons to a popular short-run show just to make more money. The story is never fully supported and they start adding events and characters that don’t gel.

I was concerned watching a show centered around suicide while quite depressed would be like throwing on lighter-fluid, but it was the exact opposite for me. The parent’s grief was so real and vivid I could only think of my husband and my own parents and how devastated they would be.

I can’t really give any concrete guidance about watching or avoiding this series. It think if you are having any kind of suicidal thoughts you should probably give it a pass until you’re feeling better. The cinematography is quite dark and does start to affect you after awhile. I alternated episodes with episodes of The Great British Baking Show which is quite possibly the sweetest and happiest show on television.

If you are feeling strong it’s a pretty interesting (and I would guess accurate) depiction of what teenagers have to deal with everyday. I think if you’re the parent of a teenager it might give you some excellent insight. It might even be worth watching together so you can have a discussion about the heavy topics that arise.

Fat

I went to the Optometrist today. But the fact that it was a raging success anxiety-wise is not the point of this post (but yay!)

The point is I went to get fitted for some contact lenses so that I can be more active. I saw a guy (likely my age) who I had never seen before- aka we had not already developed a rapport. When I sat down he wanted to know how often I would be wearing the contacts. I said ideally everyday because I am trying to lose weight. No word of a lie he looked me up and down and then said: “would it be more honest to say 3 or 4 times per week?”

I didn’t know what to say- his condescension hit me like a slap.

I guess because I did not say anything, he then gave me a lecture about how “weight-loss starts in the kitchen!” How clearly I was not eating healthy foods or portions. That I needed to really commit to things.

Bitch please. I have already lost 10lbs in a few months, I am fully aware of what I need to do. And also- you’re an Optometrist, I did not come to you for lifestyle advice.

I wish I were the kind of girl who was brave enough to storm out of there but instead I took his free samples and paid for my visit without complaint. Ugh. It makes me mad at myself just thinking about it.

It’s a shameful underbelly of the medical community to mock those overweight. When I was in my surgical rotation the doctors would openly make comments about patient’s weight while they were under. I get that the surgery and recovery is harder if there is a lot of adipose tissue but I don’t know anyone who’s fat because they want to be. We all have compounding factors- some beyond our control (hellooo psyc meds!).

I think I can safely say that literally everyone I know is ‘on a diet’. Everyone is working to some mystical ‘goal-weight’ that will FINALLY make them happy with themselves. When I was in that surgical rotation I would throw up everyday. My weight plummeted. I was thinner than I had ever been in my entire life, including when I participated in pageants. But I received nothing but praise. People regularly complimented my new figure and congratulated me for achieving it so quickly- I must have worked hard! But it was never enough, I was never satisfied.

Fate took that weight away from me via one of my longest hospital stays and the addition of heavy-duty weight gaining drugs. I was so unwell, physically at first from my suicide attempt, and then mentally for months, it was the perfect storm for putting all my weight back on. Just a tip- depressed people don’t usually go for jogs.

Ever since this I have been battling with my weight. I refuse to throw-up again. I also refuse to only eat a few apples and rice cakes a day like I was doing. I am trying to find exercise and diet that works for me. Things I enjoy so it doesn’t feel like work and I can make it a lifestyle instead of a short-term weight goal. So when that prick decided to mock all the progress I’ve made, in a completely in appropriate context, I have to really be mentally strong. I must remember that I am in control this time and his stupid comments are just that-stupid.

Dexter

Dexter as a puppy with his chewing antler

My dog and I have a complicated relationship. One could go so far as to call it love/hate.

He’s the sweetest boy in the world- and I honestly don’t think he’s making things hard for me on purpose. But he does.

He is a very large animal (105lbs+). That means if he’s going somewhere you are likely going as well. This is exhausting on walks. I try all the things we learned at puppy school. I give commands in a firm voice, I give treats regularly but not all the time. We are working on two commands consistently: close and heel. Close is supposed to stop the pulling- and it does for 10 sec. Heel is supposed to bring him running to my side, but he has decided it just means stop walking until I catch up. Cheater.

I’m honestly so frustrated with his behaviour. It makes walks so stressful. I can’t trust him to not interact with other dogs aggressively. I can’t take him off leash because he just fucks off. On leash after a few kilometers my arm and back are sore from being dragged the whole way.

As a puppy I was frequently in hospital so he lived in my husbands truck. They went from job site to job site. Since he was so adorable, and everyone loves puppies, he basically ran free in the woods for the first two years of his life. I am completely aware that he is likely struggling with the transition to house dog as much as I am.

He is a wonderful boy. Always excited to see people and play with dogs he knows. He’s very loving and will lick away my tears or give me snuggles when I need them. He loves to dance with me. He even has learned to recognize a manic tone and sticks by me like glue. But I am at my wits end as far as walks go.

If anyone has an ideas or advice I would love to hear it!

What Can Never Be

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For those of you who don’t know me well I will tell you that I am very (very) gifted in the boob-region. It is nearly impossible (and crazy expensive) for me to find a bra that fits. I am currently popping out of a 38H sports bra (which does very little to contain the girls). The back pain and just general inconvenience of having a chest like this led me to seek a medically indicated breast reduction. This means I don’t pay for it (yay Canada!).

I went to get the referral from my family doctor in early March. Today I decided that if they had received the referral, I should have at least heard from them by now, so I called.

This resulted in two terrible pieces of information:

  1. They did indeed have my referral. And that I was now on a waiting list for 3-5 years for the CONSULT. The consult people. Who the fuck even knows how far away the surgery would be- I could be in menopause by then for god-sakes.
  2. This particular doctor will not do the surgery for people with BMI over 30. I clock in at 33 the very chipper receptionist told me. A little googling tells me I need to lose about 40 fucking pounds to fall in the criteria. Does she not realize about 20 pounds of my extra weight is in my boobs?! The thing I’m trying to get rid of?! I honestly have no idea how to lose this much weight. I am on several weight gaining drugs which don’t exactly help. Last time I was at that weight I had a serious relationship with Bulima and alcoholism- not really a place I’d like to go back to.

So basically my bubble popped today. I had been so excited to get this procedure. I thought it would change my life. Now it seems unreachable, a dream that will never come true. I’m pretty devastated, I’m not going to lie. I guess the ladies and I are going to die together- probably caused by me suffocating in them.

Field Season

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It is field season.

For those without a Biologist for a partner this means they go away and do fun things while you stay home to take care of everything.

Its not entirely awful, but its quite lonely.

So far I have been coping remarkably well. Usually by now our nightly five-minute satellite phone calls are mostly tears. But this year I am staying strong. I am visiting my friends, I am working on projects that I have put off, and of course I have my fur-babies to care for.

My boy just about dislocated my shoulder a week ago. He was scared by a power wheelchair coming around the corner just as a large dog attacked the wood fence we were walking beside. Either thing alone would have been fine but both made him run for his life, which meant I was coming with him. He dragged me flat-out over the grass and gravel until I could get the leash off my wrist (that was dumb I know). I was so full of adrenaline I chased after him as he ran down the fucking middle of a main road, I called and gave commands but he didn’t even look back, just ran. Finally, I herded him into a forested walking path and he calmed down enough that we could walk, but he still wouldn’t let me anywhere near him. At this point I realized my shoulder was in serious pain and my shins were fucked up. But at least I got some serious cardio.

He was then weird on all our walks, hardly wanting to even go out. Eventually I took him to his girlfriend’s house. They played for several hours while my friend and I chatted. It was good for both of us. Today’s walk was back to normal. Thank goodness.

With my husband gone I have also been able to get all kinds of things done around the house. Normally he does the yard work (minus mowing, which is inexplicably my job). I’m really enjoying putting on my harvest apron each morning and collecting the day’s bounty. I also water and pick up poop. If its nice I read until it gets too hot.

It’s a nice pace of life. I go out each afternoon for a few things I need, usually by bike. I try to schedule social visits a day apart so I don’t get too lonely, but also not burned out.

I love my husband more then anything else but having this time to focus on me is making me so strong. For example, yesterday I went to the grocery store for a ‘quick’ few things. The express line cashier could not have physically moved any slower. She chatted about every item. She price checked some cake. She spilt her water on the keyboard which needed to be cleaned up. And she still hadn’t even started my order. Normally I would have been out of there. I would have abandoned my items and tried again tomorrow- but I fucking didn’t. My anxiety was okay. Hallelujah.

I realize that I may be thriving right now but I have a long way to go. His contract is for up to 70 days. That’s a long fucking time when your used to living with someone all day everyday. Let’s just hope he’s back sooner rather then later.

Lessons from Babies

This weekend we went away for my hubby’s birthday. His brother’s family came for one of the days we were at the cabin. It was so nice to see our niece who is growing up way too fast. She can sit and stand and crawl now. It’s bizarre. I always think of her as a little purple potato.

It was fun cooing at her, and she seemed to kind of like the stacking bear I made her. But what struck me most about their visit was how happy my sister-in-law was. I don’t know if she was just shy before and now she feels comfortable with us, but now she is so full of life.

It makes me wonder what having a baby would do for my life. They say pregnancy and all the changes that happen can rewire you. Can fix you. I can hardly remember a world with out crippling anxiety and mood swings. It would be spectacular to just wipe that away- and have an adorable baby.

Now if only I could get pregnant.

Our niece was very excited by Dexter. She can crawl crazy fast and basically chased him around the cabin all day. Dexter was playing along for a while, only going a little way and then lying down. But eventually he got frustrated and gave her a good swift kick. I magically managed to capture this moment:

We all laughed while my niece cried and Dexter curled up to have a nap. The poor girl was fine in a few seconds and right back at trying to grab his tail. Fearless.

I wish I could be like that. Get kicked in the chest by life? Take a sec and then go right back out there. Keep trying, keep exploring. Take the world head on. Reach for that thing you so desperately want without fear of being hurt.

I guess we could all learn a little from babies.