Thursday, January 29, 2009

My Grandbaby Bump

I stole this photo from my daughter's blog, Jerry and Amanda; it is of my grandbaby bump!! And, of course, my own precious child... one of them. =) About two years ago I was at an estate sale and came across a collection of beautiful hand-sewn baby dresses. They were wrought of fine batiste with delicate embroidery. I experienced a rush of emotion. I bought three. Brought them home. Called my daughter's cell phone and left a message that I had bought baby dresses and by doing so had started my "Hope Chest." Now, I did not hear back from her for almost forty-eight hours. By then, I was starting to worry that I had overstepped my bounds only to find out that she was traveling, had left her phone charger in Houston, and had been unable to check her messages. Thank Goodness! She was only mildly amused. I hinted pretty strongly over the next year until she took me aside and let me know I was becoming a nag. Hating that, I stopped mentioning a grandbaby at every opportunity. Now, another year down the road, we have a new member of the family on the way. Needless to say, I am MOST excited about this baby. He is due to arrive in July!

The first baby gifts: a.k.a. The Hope Chest

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Pistol Packin' Nanas

Yes... we are pistol-packin' Nanas. My friend, Milha, and I went to the range today. I still hate the noise, even with ear plugs and headphones! It would help if my dear friend didn't feel the need to blast away with a .357 magnum! LOL My little M&P 9mm is much quieter. Yes, I am going to be a grandmother this year! I am so excited. My daughter has been after me to decide what I want to be called (as if that will matter... whatever that precious child calls me will be wonderful!). Milha, who is Nana, suggested Granna, a play on Tanna. Amanda has suggested Lolly, since Evan is already a Pop-Pop. I don't know... Taking suggestions... =)


Okay, I have to admit that the more I read blogs, the more intimidated I get about making posts. Now the reality is that very few people will even see my blog, so I just need to get over it! LOL. There are some really talented people out there in blogville. It is amazing how far you can wander by just following links from one to the next.

The cold has settled in here again. Really, it is both frustrating and amusing how we, in the South, react to just the threat of a winter storm. Now mind you, it was 75 degrees last weekend. The news stations issued a winter storm warning last night for today. And, indeed, it was 27 degrees when I went for my walk, but clear. I rushed back to make my Cocoon-like Aquatics class at 8 AM. Reached the front door of the YMCA only to be greeted by a sign stating, "Pool closed until 9 as a precaution to the weather." People, the ground is so warm there could be no freezing unless on a bridge or overpass (most always an alternate route available in Tyler). No Aquatics for me.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

On Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement Therapy

I just got back from a visit with RenĂ© McCarty, PA-C. This is my second month on bio-identical hormone replacement therapy. I am a believer. Nineteen months ago, the hot flashes started. No problem. I figured I would take the hot flashes in stride and make this passage as I have the others in my life: just forging ahead, not letting “mother nature” keep me from enjoying and living as I chose. Let me just say that I did not appreciate how very much I valued a good night’s sleep. Cranky and cross, I decided to try over-the-counter products to deter the hot flashes. No luck.

After a few months, I saw my family practitioner. I asked about bio-identical hormone replacement therapy. His opinion is that, if you are going to take HRT, it should be one of the traditional pharmaceuticals, but he suggested and prescribed Effexor. By that time, I was feeling depressed and so, thought, “why not?” I will give him this: my hot flashes stopped and I slept again, but, I was in a fog. I would be in situations where I knew that typically I would laugh and be enjoying myself, but I had to force myself to have the response I would have naturally had before. I felt disconnected. I took myself off the Effexor. The hot flashes returned.

Within a month, I had a follow-up visit scheduled with my doctor and saw his nurse practitioner. I told her that I had taken myself off the Effexor and why. She prescribed birth control pills. That helped with the hot flashes, regulated my erratic cycles, and got me a night’s sleep. What it did not get me was feeling better. I grew apathetic. My waist thickened. I sprouted back fat! I stopped working out (btw, I know that contributes to the problem… I just didn’t care). When I looked in the mirror, it seemed I had aged ten years in less than one. I knew I was in trouble when I saw my daughter’s name on my caller ID and just didn’t have it in me to answer the phone. I had to try again to get past this!

I tried being vegetarian, giving up artificial sweeteners, going organic, psychotherapy, chiropractics and massage therapy. I resolved to not start a big project (I save historic multi-family properties). I had my lead levels checked (lots of sanding and scraping old paint). I started back running. I took myself off the birth control pills (the hot flashes had returned).

At this point, my joints ached. My tendons and muscles were foreign to me; I just had no reference for feeling so badly. It was not like anything I had ever experienced. I am not a stranger to muscle aches and pains. I have run four marathons, all in my forties, among other things. But, this was different; I felt like a crone. Not in a wise way.

In a last ditch effort, I started myself on a slew of OTC supplements from the health food store, Sam-E, True Calm, Multi-Vitamin with minerals, Calcium with D, Vitamin C, HTP-5, Osteochondrotin and made myself an appointment to see a Physician’s Assistant who my husband, my counselor and my massage therapist all recommended. I took the saliva test to determine my hormone levels. She prescribed a bio-identical hormone replacement topical cream based on my lab results. This concoction was compounded in the pharmacy next door. I was cynical by now and referred to it as my Snake Oil.

It has been almost two months since I have been using the bio-identical hormone prescription and I feel entirely different. I am still having hot flashes and she increased the level of estrogen in this prescription. But, I cannot begin to tell you how much better I feel physically. I can cope with the hot flashes now that I am not decrepit! But, she tells me we can tweak the levels until the hot flashes are under control and I will be grateful for that also. But, most of all, I am happy to be feeling better generally!

One disclaimer: I do believe there are other factors in my improved well-being that include acceptance of this place in my life and others that I will discuss at another time. But, I do believe this is a primary factor.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

The Clean Slate

Now that I have determined that I am working with a clean slate, what, I ask myself, am I going to put on the slate? The pre-change me had a set of behaviors, activities, ideas, roles, and conditions that defined my life as I knew it: a self concept. Is there anything left of that? Yes, I still enjoy:

Being wife to my husband (actually, that may fall under the new. =) ).
Spending time with my children.
Laughing (or crying) with my friends.
Drinking a cold beer.
Sitting on my porch.
Playing golf.
Being outdoors.
Seeing new places.
Anything inspiring!
Good food.
The smell of a cigar, morning air, nightfall, steak on the grill, fall, scented geraniums…
A sense of adventure.
People who overcome, who succeed, who push themselves to new heights, who thrive!
Old homes, brick street neighborhoods, beautiful yards.
Feeling fit (I miss this and I want it back).

New things to try:

Digital Camera Class
Walking (maybe back to running one day).
Obviously, this is the list I am going to have to work on! =)

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

A Season of Joy and Acceptance...

There is a time for everything,
And a season for every activity under heaven.
A time to be born and a time to die,
A time to plant and a time to uproot,
A time to kill and a time to heal,
A time to tear down and a time to build,
A time to weep and a time to laugh,
A time to mourn and a time to dance,
A time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
A time to embrace and a time to refrain,
A time to search and a time to give up,
A time to keep and a time to throw away,
A time to tear and a time to mend,
A time to be silent and a time to speak,
A time to love and a time to hate,
A time for war and time for peace.

Ecclesiates 3:1-8, The Bible NIV

I’m fifty-two. Letting go of my youth has been hard. I have come to realize that I have been in a grieving process… I think I am finally to acceptance. Throughout our lives, we define and validate ourselves by our families, our jobs, our appearance, our roles, our natures, our innate gifts, our strengths and our weaknesses. I took most all of that for granted. Now, it has all fallen away or changed. Some of the falling away or change I welcomed. Some of it I resisted with all my might. In the end, all of it changed… and, I have finally let go.

The slate is clean.

I am free to be.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Making the turn

I have made the turn. On to the back nine. I am taking off on a new adventure with blogging... this is my second to start in the past week. I started one called The Brick Street Bungalow because I love my old home and the wonderful neighborhood that I live in. In posting to that blog, something just didn't feel quite right... I needed a place that was a personal journal and a place that I can share my passion for old homes... So, now I have both! Life is full of options. =)