Tuesday, October 28, 2008

I transferred.

I officially transferred to a new meeting. Tuesday's at 930am with Wendy. I figure with all the other things I've been making routine through WW, I should have a set meeting with a set leader. No more wandering around to different WW centers with different leaders and only when I felt it was convenient for me. I found it very easy to accidentally on purpose miss a meeting because of a possible gain. Now, I'll be accountable. I'm going to get Wendy to know me---so she asks me why I wasn't at last weeks meeting if I miss. I need that support.

Even better news? I lost .4 lbs since Friday. That's .4 in four days! Kinda makes me wish I didn't weigh in til Friday to see what I would have done for the whole week. Guess I will just have to wait for next Tuesday.

Please don't get me any gift certificates to any of these spas!

I was just reading some articles on the Internet and came across this. I can't believe people pay money for this stuff. Fish biting my toes? Snakes in my eyes? Bull semen? Bird poop? Oh, no. No, no, no, no, no! Looking at the first picture made me gag a little. It went downhill from there.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Not over, two days in a row!

I calculated my points for yesterday and I didn't go over. I ate exactly 23. And today? I still have 1 I can spare. I think I'll hold on to that one. I'm sure somewhere down the road, I'll be looking for one lonely point to help me out.

Its amazing what putting a little thought into my eating can do for you. And, I even got to have my pizza for supper tonight. I just had to spare some points for breakfast and lunch. Hopefully this trend will continue and I'll have good things to post in the near future!

You know what is really awesome?

When your baby cat decides it will be cool to somehow put a hole in a down comforter. Oh yeah...on the bed that tomorrow night you plan to have out of town guests sleep in. Good timing there dummy. And, all the feathers were a nice touch too.

You mean just writing my food down doesn't help me lose? Rats.

Funny. I started journaling my food two weeks ago and I haven't lost. In fact, I may have gained. I don't know. I guess I miraculously thought when you write down what you eat it makes you lose. But I guess not if you don't make any changes about what or how much of it is entering the body.

Brian and I had a little pow-wow about how he is going to be supportive. I don't want that to come off the wrong way. He's helping in his own little way, but I guess deep down it wasn't really supporting me. At times, he was probably enabling me to do bad.

So, we've come up with a solution. When I tell him I don't want something early in the day I want him to tell me no when I suggest it later in the day. Since I tend to run out of points by supper time and then I just eat what ever is on the table, we've decided to make a weekly menu of different suppers. That way, I already know what the point total for the night will be. Then, I can adjust my breakfast and lunches accordingly. I also have to realize I need to make better choices. I thought that I made all the changes I needed to, but in reality that is completely false. Like Brian wanted to make chicken parm the other night. Sounded yummy. Then I realized how many points I actually had and I made a decision to alter my menu. No sauce and cheese for me saved two points and kept me right at my points for the day.

Today Brian was a sweetheart and made my lunch for me. I told him how my mom used to make my lunch and put it in a brown bag and I ate what was in there no matter what. At work now, I tend to put a bunch of food "choices" in my bag and, well, eat all of them. Except the fruit. So, this morning, my lunch was laid out for me. Supper was in its own container. Cinnamon bun oatmeal (my new favorite!) was in a tupperwear container waiting to be made, and there was a brown paper bag with my lunch in it. And to make it feel like old times, he even wrote "Sarah Richards" on the outside so it would feel like it did 15 years ago when my mom made lunches. (Richards is my maiden.)

I did well today. It wasn't easy. I swear I even went thru a mini withdrawal this evening. I ate grapes and oatmeal for lunch. My partner and a ride along went to a really good bagel place this morning and I opted for pretzels and a diet soda, which I forgot was one of my favorite snacks. It occupies my time when I'm bored eating and usually they're not too bad for me, depending on the type. Lunch was reduced fat PB on cinnamon raisin bread, 12 grain Trader Joe's crackers (another yummy), and a pear which I didn't eat yet because its hard. Maybe on the ride home tomorrow AM. Supper was leftovers from last night...chicken, new potatoes and green beans. FF tapioca pudding was a snack. I think I ended up being 1 point over, but I guess its better than the 7 or 11 I've been recently. Maybe I'll finally see some changes if I can continue this.

Downfall for the weekend? Brandon's birthday party. I'm hoping I will be good. I am making a chicken broccoli casserole from www.anniesadventures.com. If you've never been to that site, she's got plenty of really good WW recipes. At least I can feast on that. But I will have to make some room for funfetti cake. What can I say? The boy requested it!!

Brian, thank you for being supportive. I know its not easy, but I do appreciate it very much. The lunch was cute. It was something very different than what I am used to. Love you!

Monday, October 13, 2008

I'm not getting anywhere.

I wasn't going to tell anyone that I seriously followed WW this week. I weighed in on Tuesday and was 178.4. Boy, I recall a post saying I'd never get back in the 170s. But now I'm close to pushing 180. Anyway, I bought a journal and a dining out guide and sat in for the meeting which didn't do me much good because all they talked about was gross soups. Everyday I've journaled and made different decisions. I prepared myself by eating lower points for some meals in anticipation for others where I may want to indulge a little more. I've even checked off my waters and didn't lie about how many of my 35 points I devoured. I exercised. Seriously. Sweated even. Not only did I exercise, but one day I did it in the living room where Brian could see me. That's a big deal. Never has anyone seen me do my videos.

But, here I am almost a week later and I feel like I'm not doing a good job. I look at my body, the scale, the work and I feel like I can't do it. I'm following the plan but instead of feeling good about it I feel like its not going to work. It's never going to work and that just makes me want to order delicious fries and a chicken cheesesteak. (At least it was chicken!). Maybe its the work. Maybe its the easy way out, which I tell a certain someone on a regular basis he can't take the easy way out of his life anymore. Guess that would make me a bit of a hypocrite.

I hate to keep referring to the time when I lost 70 pounds, but I don't remember feeling like this. Then I was a young 21 year old. Now, I'm older and feel like I'm destined for the beginnings of an old lady body. I feel myself just dealing with and acccepting that body. And the attitude of that's how its supposed to be.

Quite honestly I think I lost this week. But, why am I not happy about that? I'm sure because I've been up and down forever. Even if its 175 (which I don't know if it is) I'm not happy with that 3.6 loss. I've seen 175 so many times before, its just like ok, I'm 175 now and eventually I'll be back.

I'm typing now because I don't want to go get something to eat, even though I really do. Did I mention I hate Weight Watchers?

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Help the cause that helped me get fat!

I grew up in Northeastern Pennsylvania in a little town called Forest City. It's small---one square mile, about 2000 people. Let's put it this way. Most people graduate with hundreds of students. My school housed K-12 grade in one building with a total of 940 students. I believe we only had 60 some kids in my graduating class. With the exception of some people knowing about the Poconos because of their winter homes and skiing, most had no idea the area existed. At least not until NBC introduced The Office to us all. But anyway, the deal with that area is it used to be booming when coal mining was still in existence. Now that the mining is gone, it really doesn't have a "thing." It is by no means "booming" anymore, although plenty would like to get it back that way. European immigrants found their way to NEPA and started working in the mines. With them, they brought their ethnic (pronounced "etnic" in NEPA--for more PA talk go here) food. "Lean" anything is not allowed and its not a real meal unless there is a minimum of one stick of butter (not light margarine) included. We ate kielbasa (homemade, not Hillshire Farms and definitely not made of turkey), halpuki (stuffed cabbage, AKA pigs in the blanket to us), haluski (cabbage and noodles and 3 sticks of butter I think), povitica (pronounced po-tee-sa and its a very delicious nut roll), and most importantly pierogies.

Pierogies, for those of you who don't know, are pure deliciousness. Its a Polish dumpling filled with mashed potatoes and cheese, sauteed in lots of butter and onions, with more butter on top. Sometimes its filled with sauerkraut, mushrooms, cabbage, meat, or fruit. Nothing against Mrs. T's brand pierogies, but there's nothing like a real, homemade pierogi, made by some old lady in her tiny kitchen, or in the kitchen of a church or firehouse hall. (Everything happens at firehouses, as well. Everyone has a "firehouse" wedding in the banquet hall. And usually you lose a bunch of your guests when their pages go off alerting them to a call. Even though I tried to avoid it, Marshall and I ended up having a firehouse wedding.) I'm sure by now you catch my drift about just how much "bad" food we ate, especially pierogies and how all of that wonderful food set me up for multiple visits to Weight Watchers later in life.

So, now, in honor of making me the fatty I used to be, I'd like to thank the pierogi by helping make Forest City, PA, the Capital of the Pierogy Pocket 2009. Our town is in the final competition round along with 4 other cities. Each year we have a pierogi eating contest (which is actually quite gross to watch...I think this years winner ate 50+ homemade pierogies in 10 minutes) and this year they started telling the legend of Mr. Pierogi Man stories.

I'm asking that you vote for my hometown so we have a better chance of winning. The winner gets $10,000. If FC wins, they plan on putting the money towards a Living History of Forest City exhibit.

To read more, go here.
To vote, go here.

If you vote, thanks for helping put my hometown on the map!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

A little fighter

I think this is an awesome story about a kid fighting off an intruder. Why can I picture a little Christy doing this?

Out it comes. Probably soon to go back in.

About 16 hours after insertion of the packing, I lost it. I couldn't tolerate it anymore. My nose was running, I couldn't stop sneezing, I couldn't sleep. It was worse than the original splints.
The next morning, I called and made an appointment to see the doctor. She apologized and said although it was her wishes to keep it in, it wasn't worth the agony I was going through, especially since I was going back to work Friday. She said she didn't want me snotting on my patients. She removed the packing (which hurt like hell) and said the septum was where it should be. I agreed because I could breath out of the right side again. She didn't expect it to stay like that but said, "you never know." If by Thursday it seems like it shifted again, my doctor wants to repack it and leave it in for at least a few days--over the weekend so I don't have to worry about work (even though I'm supposed to go back to work Friday).

Today is Wednesday. I can feel its going back to where it was before. I'm just hoping I'm stuffy because its morning, but I'm pretty sure I'll be back in tomorrow getting repacked. She said this time she would try to make it a little smaller and maybe that will cause me less misery. I think the thing that would cause less misery is just not putting it in at all. Trust me, I don't want to go through any of this again, but I also want to breath like I should be, especially after going through all I have so far.

Monday, October 6, 2008

I knew it wasn't right.

I went to my ENT this afternoon for my 2 week post-op checkup. I felt like my septum went, or was on its way to going back, to how it was prior to the surgery. The last day or so I wasn't able to breath again out of the right nostril. After examining me, my doctor agreed. The shift is not as bad as it was prior to the surgery, but it is definitely not where it should be. So, unfortunately, I got packed today, in hopes it will act as a splint and shift my septum to the left. To be honest, I'm not a big fan. I sneezed non-stop for 15 minutes in the office. Finally, the doctor decided it was best if she numbed me so my nose could get used to the packing. I have to go back next week for an exam, but she told me to expect to have the nostril packed for at least two weeks. At first I was okay with it, but four hours later, I'm not. I feel like I have a sinus infection in only one half of my face. I feel like my nose is running/congested, but in reality its not because there's no place for anything to go. I wish they made the packing a nice skin color. It's very white, if you are looking at me straight on, it's not noticeable. But, if I'm above you or I raise my head slightly I've got a attractive tampon sticking out. It's hot. So, I thought I was on the way to better breathing, but instead I've got at least two more weeks of yuckiness. I'm sure getting the packing yanked out will be as pleasant as when the splints were removed. Ugh.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Its 7pm

and it's dark out already. No wonder I don't feel like doing anything besides getting ready for bed!!

Thursday, October 2, 2008


I had a few naps off and on today. Each time I dreamed of Bird. All she wanted to do was dye my hair. She lived next door and sat out on her deck talking on her cell waiting for me to come out so she could "catch" me when I went outside.

Alright, so it wasn't the last.

I promised I'd post it and Caroline ever so kindly reminded me. Again.

Skillet BBQ Chicken

From WW five ingredient, 15 minute cookbook. Spring 2008

6 pts
4 svgs

4 (6oz) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
2 tea olive oil
cooking spay
1/4 tea black pepper
1/4 cup bottled BBQ sauce (such as KC Masterpiece)
1/2 c 50% red fat shredded cheddar cheese w/ jalapeno pepper (such as Cabot) I couldn't find this so I used RF Pepperjack cheese
2 tablespoons real bacon pieces (such as Hormel)
3 tablespoons chopped green onions

Place ea chicken breast half between sheets of heavy duty plastic; pound to 1/2 in thickness
Heat oil in lg nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over med-hi heat. Sprinkle chicken evenly with pepper. Add chicken to pan, cook 4-5 min ea side or until chicken is lightly browned and done.
Brush 1 tablespoon BBQ sauce over ea chicken breast half. Top ea with 2 tablespoons cheese and 1 1/2 tea bacon pieces.
Cover. Reduce heat to med-low and cook 2 minutes or until cheese melts
Sprinkle each with 2 tea green onions.

This is totally the last post for today.

I had a bad Smart One's experience a long time ago and refused to buy them since. Ironically, I don't remember the experience but I know it was bad. While at a WW meeting I received a coupon for a Smart One's breakfast quesadilla. Holy Hell, Batman. It was awesome. I feel bad for letting it live in my freezer so long. Its the closest thing I could get to a Chick-fil-a sausage burrito (bacon in place of the sausage, and no grease rolling down forearms) and it was only 4 points!! I can't wait for breakfast tomorrow.

It appears that Smart One's have a few choices out there and I don't want waste my time on the yucky ones. Can anyone suggest others to me to buy along with my Lean Cuisine's I get occasionally? I know I'm not a fan of WW mac and cheese. I like LC's much better. Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated.

Two months or less

I am maybe 75-80% back to normal. Normal enough that I'm hungry and now that I can taste again I can't overdo it. Remember (I'm talking to myself here) you're work physical is in November or December and your evaluation is in December. Gotta get to at least 166. Yeah, so I think I was 177 last I checked. I don't have any idea where that number came from. Pizza, cookies, chicken fingers would not turn their back on me and slab themselves on my ass and hips. I love them so much. They have to love me just the same.

Now that I can eat and taste, I am back to counting points. I'm doing it differently, again. I really abuse the 35 extras each week and when I really need them I don't have any. So, I'm going back to the way I used to do it years ago---when we had a range. I'm doing 23-28 points a day. If I use them all, okay. If I don't, yippee! I have to review what is good for me to dine on when out. I think I may be making some bad choices. Or maybe I should only be eating half. I probably should ask for the doggie bag up front.

On top of that, I know its inevitable that I have to exercise. Strangely enough, I'm not opposed to it. Granted, I'm in no shape to do a Body Pump class or anything unless I plan on dying that way or having some serious nose drainage issues. Plus I'm not supposed to be carrying anything heavy or stoop/squat, etc. On the other hand, I do feel well enough to do a WATP DVD. Its low impact, its just walking and I can't get hurt. (I'm going to regret writing that later when I trip over a cat or something.) I think just a little exercise should help. I keep trying to tell myself I'm eating just the same as a year ago and I did not exercise then, but that's a lie. The food may be the same, but the exercise was different. I definitely did more walking and DVDs. Hell, how many times did I bitch about how I couldn't get off and on the toilet after doing a FIRM DVD?

This is crunch time!! Only a little time remains! And I'm NOT getting anything below a satisfactory on my work evaluation. No working hard and doing poor on it because of my weight. I'm serious this time. Really! I swear. And Brian's helping (I think). He through away a perfectly good, gooey, delicious Cinnabon this morning so I wouldn't eat it. :(

RIP. And a big wake up call for the rest of us.

This weekend, anyone in the area that does any sort of public safety (fire, police, EMS) work got a big wakeup call. Maryland State Police medevac helicopter, Trooper 2, crashed early Sunday morning, killing 4, leaving only one survivor.

Brian worked 12 hours overtime Saturday night into Sunday, in addition to his normal 24 hour shift Sunday. I called him a little after midnight to tell him good night and to be careful, as usual. He had a different tone in his voice as compared to normal. I asked what was wrong. He said, "they're looking for Trooper 2." What does that mean? Are they at a hospital, in the hanger, flying around? I asked him what he meant and he told me two ambulances were supposed to meet Trooper 2 at Andrews Air Force Base to pick up its patients and finish the transport to the trauma center. The helicopter wasn't going to be able to make it because of bad weather. The Trooper never arrived at Andrews. Police and fire units started looking for the helicopter because no radio contact could be made after it went off both Andrews AFB and SYSCOM's (dispatch for Trooper) radars. Knowing their last location was approximately 2 miles away, maps were pulled out and the attempt to find out where the helicopter might be began. I told Brian to be careful and let me know what ended up happening. He was hopeful that it was just a radio glitch or an electrical problem on board.

My cell died in the middle of the night. Around 6am, I plugged it in to charge and saw I had two text messages from Brian. One read, "Trooper and pilot dead, I treated pt." The next read, "also 2nd pt and Charles Co. provider." I sat in bed and tried to absorb it all in. I'm not going to lie and say I didn't see it coming. When a helicopter is en route to a specialty center only a few things will make them land and transfer care to another another means of transport. The weather was bad, they lost all contact, a crash sounded inevitable, but like Brian said, maybe it would just be a glitch.

Finally, later that morning I was able to speak with Brian. He sounded upset. He said after he got off the the phone with me, he spent time with the police trying to figure out areas where to look. Police were searching everywhere. Brian and another EMS officer started to look in areas they were familiar with where no one would have heard if something happened (construction areas, etc.) Brian said he heard an officer transmit over the radio he smelled jet fuel and shortly later it was confirmed the Trooper did indeed crash. The wreckage was found nearly 2 hours after radio/radar contact was lost. Brian headed towards the site and was the first fire department official on the scene. He was told to go down the path to help. He, along with another MSP medic, treated and stabilize to the best of their ability, the only survivor until they could get her in an ambulance and transported to a trauma center. The medic told Brian everyone else was dead. After he told me that, he said he had to go. I could already hear the exhaustion in his voice.

Later in the afternoon, Brian was placed in charge of removing the deceased from the helicopter. He said it was one of the most respectful and professional things he's ever seen. He said it was like watching the footage of the deceased from 9/11 being removed---covered with flags, etc.

He was on the scene for 16+ hours. That in itself is exhausting, let alone dealing with all the events surrounding the incident. We all get "that" call. The one that sticks with you for a while or makes you think a little bit. Like,"why do we do this job?" Everyday we leave for work we know it may be our last. As for us, we dealt with Trooper 2 on a regular basis. We got to know the pilots and medics. I know myself I've flown numerous times over the years in that exact helicopter. Brian flew a few weeks ago. Usually its just for a helping hand and we can stay strapped in our seat. But I will never forget the day I had to unstrap myself to treat an extremely critical patient. You think walking down an airplane aisle or trying to use the restroom while in air is a little weird? Imagine being crouched over treating someone who's spewing all kinds of yuck at you in a bouncy helicopter. Once I was unstrapped, all I could think was, "God, please don't let this crash." We worry about flying, yet they have a better record than ambulances. My chances of getting hurt or killed in an ambulance is much higher.

I knew the pilot. Not well, by any means, but enough to say hi to him while at the hospital. He was a retired State Trooper Cpl, who came back to work as a civilian pilot MSP. He was 59 and I believe left behind a wife and grown children. The medic, also an state trooper, was in his 30s, worked for the department for four years, and just got back from baby leave. He left behind his wife and four month old daughter. The volunteer EMT on board, assisting the medic, was 39 and left behind her husband and two sons. The patient just graduated from high school. She, along with the survivor were involved in an accident and were being flown to the trauma center. Driving them from the accident scene would have meant an extended transport time. Normally, if a specialty center is more than 30 minutes away, helicopter transport is utilized. The survivor, from what I've read, was best friends with the deceased patient and also graduated last June. She eventually was transferred to Shock Trauma in Baltimore where she had extensive surgery and is expected to survive and eventually walk again.

Like I said, it was a big wakeup call. What would happen if that was me being helping out on the helicopter? Would Brian go on without me? Maybe so, but I know if it was reversed I'd have some issues dealing with that. I already have real issues with him going to work when I'm not there. Its really not because I don't want him there, but if something is going to happen I want to know about it immediately. I want to be there with him. I always fear that phonecall that might come in the middle of the night. We are extremely annoying with each other with check-ins throughout the day, especially when we're working the same day. Did you make it to work? Why did you request the police on that call? Why are they searching for you on the radio? Did you get in an accident and are unable to answer or did you take your portable in the bathroom with you and turned it off so you could take a silent pee?

I was in a bad accident years ago in which I probably should have died. I've been on a few calls where I very easily could have been assaulted, stabbed, or shot. I'm not the most religious person in the world. I honestly don't know what I believe in, but I do know that I feel each of us has our day for a specific reason (which we probably will never know why). I wasn't supposed to die in that accidentg. Pure physics would make me dead, but for some reason I didn't. Not that I know of a better way to go, but I pray that God or whatever it is that controls life and death doesn't let it happen to me, Brian, or anyone else I know that works in public safety while we are on duty.

Christy (by the way, if I never mentioned before, she and I used to be partners at the busiest medic unit in the county before she decided to go ahead and get hurt) has a few good posts on her blog about the Trooper accident. Its pretty obvious that she feels similarly to what I've described. Actually, she probably posted more emotional stuff than I did. Instead of posting lots more on this post, check out her's.

RIP Stephen Bunker (pilot), Mickey Lippy (trooper/medic), Tanya Mallard (EMT assisting), and Ashley Youngler (patient).

Speedy recovery wishes to survivor Jordan Wells.

My new nose.

Surgery went well. There were no complications, but the people I talked to weren't lying about the pain involved. Outwardly, except for me looking stoned for the first few days and walking around with a nose sling and guaze, you would never know I had surgery. No bruising, no significant swelling, nothing. Brian and his mom took very good care of me the day of the surgery. His mom made me matzo ball soup and also stopped for some mashed potatoes and chicken fingers for me on the way home. (I don't know what it is, but after every surgery I'm craving chicken fingers.) Thankfully, I didn't have any problems eating---it didn't hurt or anything. But, the downfall was I couldn't taste anything for over a week except anything super sweet. I could have eaten gooey icing from a cinnamon roll all day long.

My dad stopped by for a day before flying out of BWI for a business event. My mom stayed with us from Thursday til Tuesday. It was nice having her around, for conversation more than anything else. By that time I was up and walking around but I was at that point where you feel good enough that you don't think you should be laying in bed anymore but not well enough to fully get dressed, do makeup and hair. Sunday we went out because I was starting to go stir crazy. My ass was kicked after going to three stores (and it was just get what you need stuff, not wandering around aimlessly) and dinner. I remember that happening with one of my knee surgeries. I made it to the rear of a store, but I was so tired afterwards, I couldn't make it back to the front to leave. I thought Marshall was going to have to ask for a wheelchair or stick me in a cart or something just so we could get out of there.

Anyway, Mom was entertained fully by the cats, especially the little one. One day I'm just going to surprise you all with her kitty pictures. Probably when she's three, but the day will come.

Fast foward to Tuesday...
I went for my eval with my ENT. She was to remove one of the splints and have the second removed next week. Yeah, that didn't happen. Instead she decided to remove both splints from each nostril because she felt it may be too irritated to pull it next week. Let's just say I cried. Not like a baby, but enough for tears to fall. She didn't numb or anything before. Just a quick yank. Ugh. Thank God that won't happen again. I was very excited to be able to blow my nose and stop breathing out of my mouth. Of course, I'm not fully healed, so I still have a substantial amount of pain everywhere (ears, eyes, teeth, nose) and some bleeding. Hopefully in six weeks I'll notice the beginning of the full effects of the surgery. And, of course, I'm happy that my nose is a bit straighter. I still have a bump but nothing I can't live with. What I want to know is how people can elect to have plastic surgery to their face after having it once before. I can't believe a nose job or anything having to do with the face can be comfortable. I can assure you, unless I get some sort of major trauma to my face, there will be no cosmetic surgery happening. I don't want to feel this again.

I do not go back to work til next Friday. I didn't think I'd need so much time to recover, but I'm glad I did. I need lots of naps throughout the day. I better remember to break that habit, because when I go back, I've been transferred to a busier medic unit. The days of laying around doing nothing are over. I'm looking forward to the change though. But, I will miss my morning, afternoon and occasional evening naps.