2022-01-07 Kind of a White Rabbit Start to 2022 🐇🐇🐇

There’s something about the end of one year and the start of another that puts me in a tizzy if I don’t have time to reflect on the past and also spend time musing about resolutions and planning my goals for the coming year. In case you haven’t noticed, I’m very goal oriented. Checking things off a list is my jam. 

That, of course, requires time, and a fair measure of solitude to really get into. Neither of which I have had for about 7 straight days. Who am I kidding it’s been since Christmas Eve. That’s about two weeks now. With no end in sight. 

A few days ago I happened to get a new like on the post I wrote a year ago about my 2021 resolutions. What a hoot to go back and read what I thought I was going to do with my year. 

In short, my plan was to work on not over-committing myself, reduce the pressure I put on myself to get so much done all the time, and meditate more. All of this was going to help solve, once and for all, the larger problem I have with daily exhaustion. Truly laughable. 

Not that I didn’t try, but most of the concrete things I had decided upon ended up not turning out. 

I did reduce my daily step count goal from 12k to 10k. It’s an easy thing to change in the app, but in practice my actual step count went from about 10k in 2020 to 12k in 2021. Oh the irony! 

My sleep stats went down instead of up,  I failed to meditate more than a handful of times, and I ended up pushing myself just as much as I always do despite dropping the daily “checklist” of goals off my planner. Yes, I still use a paper planner. It’s a more pleasing experience for me I guess. 

The irony of having a resolution to do less and ending up doing arguably more is not lost on me. The minute I try to make life easier for myself, I’m feeling crappy because I get the creeping feeling I need to be doing more. Good gravy, a girl just can’t win. 

Regardless, I’m trying to find more time to reflect on 2021 and plan for 2022. I’ve had scattered thought all through these first days of the year, but they’ve been easily supplanted by all that actually needs to get done right now. Plus the Bachelor started again this week so that’s high on my priority list now too! 🤣

I’m half tempted to dive into it right now but I know I’ve got my GYN appointment in an hour and the few minutes I have left to write would be a sad appetizer for that healthy main course of a post. I’m already running late. Just like the White Rabbit in Alice in Wonderland. 

“I’m late, I’m late! For a very important date! No time to say ‘hello, goodbye,’ I’m late, I’m late, I’m late!”

Yeah, that about sums up my year so far. 

On that note, I’ve gotta git to all the gitting. 

Hello, Goodbye, 🐇 

~Miss SugarCookie

2021-12-26 The Christmas Unwrap 🎄🌟🎁

Hello Friends. It’s been a strange holiday indeed. Where to begin? Where to begin? How about everything that feels normal?

Both of my kids have been home since last Monday, almost a week and that, in and of itself, is comforting. Even if they are independent and don’t really need me anymore, it is nice that we are all under the same roof and I was able to have them in tow when I went to my Mom’s house on Christmas Eve. There’s just something about going to sleep and waking up knowing they are home and safe. It has also been nice that my daughter has been driving the two of them back and forth from their dad’s house and to go shopping and to get food. Not playing mom taxi is great! I think the normal ends there. 

The first thing that is not normal is the weather. Fog, warmer than usual temps, and no snow makes it feel more like October than December. That kinda sets the mood, you know. The whole not-feeling-like-Christmas-at-all mood. 

Yes, I did the last minute shopping and wrapping and tried to get into the spirit by listening to Christmas music but it all sounded like garbage and I found myself skipping a lot of songs that were in the amazon music streaming queue. I’m more of a Christmas classic sort of gal, but even Bing didn’t seem to hit the spot. Who came up with that name, Bing?! I guess his real name is Harry and if my name was Harry, I’d probably adopt a nickname too. 

Feels like the week flew by and when that happens, and then you hit the actual holiday, it is time to slow down. I don’t think I’ve had a busier Christmas Eve in all my years. And that day started at about 3:30 AM. Not a typo. 

When I woke, I was immediately wide awake and thinking about the organization I have been doing with regard to my laptop, google drive, and external hard drive. It is the end of the year and some reorg and backup were high on my priority list. And I wanted to get it done before the holiday so I could relax and rest easy knowing that it was already done. I think I pretty much wrapped that all up by 7 AM so at least waking up so damn early meant I was productive. 

At 7 AM I finished that task and celebrated by going back to bed with Jim for an hour. 

At 8 AM I got some cardio in while watching the season finale of the Bachelorette and that was very satisfying. 

At 9 AM I hung out with Jim and his boys for their gift exchange. They open gifts on Christmas eve in the morning like it was Christmas day. Then his boys go back to their mom’s house.

At 10 AM I had an appointment at the bank to open a business checking account for the Good Life Review. I should write a whole post on the process of establishing a nonprofit organization in the state of Nebraska. Such a long ordeal with the very last step is getting acknowledgment from the IRS that they have approved the 501(c)(3)/tax-exempt status. The meeting at the bank took almost two hours!! 

This left very little time for me to come home, cook food for the family gathering at my mom’s house, AND get ready to go. By 3 PM I was exhausted and fried and in no mood to be festive for the next 4 hours. 

Originally, I had wanted to play games with my sister(s) and the kids and anyone else in our small-ish crew that was interested, but the dinner seemed to take forever. Then gift opening. Then desert. Ugh! By the time we got to 7:30, I was done for and really kinda losing my ability to focus and even carry on a conversation. Plus, I had developed a headache. All I could think about was getting home. 

By the time I arrived home, I had a full-blown migraine. I took a hit of my sumatriptan nasal spray and some anti-nausea med and persevered through 8:30 picking up, unpacking the car, and putting myself to bed. Such a sad ending to a day and event I’ve been looking forward to. 

***

December 25.

My sleep was really quite rotten, and I woke up every few hours. My headache persisted and I had developed a pretty nasty stomach pain too. Still not sure what that is from. When 3:30 AM hit, I was ready to be done with the night and so for the second night in a row, I was up and at it before 4 AM. Ugh!

On the bright side, I still had to play “santa ” filling stockings and putting the remainder of the gifts out. But when I was done with that, I tried to sleep on the couch and that was a no-go. Between the cats fighting at 5 AM and the owl hooting endlessly in the backyard, I just laid there feeling done with the day before it began. Not a great way to start Christmas day.

I never did go back to sleep. Instead, I waited until 9AM and then woke my kids up to truly begin our typical Christmas morning festivities. That includes opening gifts and having our traditional cinnamon rolls and bacon breakfast. 

They had to leave by noon to head to their dads house at which time I cleaned up all the mess and proceeded to do almost nothing the rest of the day. I did have to drive to check in on my friends Kitten, Stormy, but really never changed out of my lounge clothes all day. 

Jim and I ate leftovers and frozen pizza for Christmas dinner and then drove around the neighborhood looking at Christmas lights. 

When we came back home I managed to stay awake while we watched a movie “The Waterman” and after that I fell into bed and was asleep before the lights were turned out. 

***

December 26.

The early mornings continued the next day with another 4 AM wake up. Three strikes and I’m out. Something has to change there. 

Anyway. Today was pretty good despite the continued exhaustion. My sister who lives in Denver came over and we chatted and played board games with the kids. We played Trash Panda, Settlers of Catan, and Azul. I was glad to have the chance to play with them while they are all here because come Monday, people are scattering back to their regular routines.

I also cooked a traditional Christmas dinner because none of the meals I had over the thanksgiving and Christmas holidays satisfied that itch. 

Thankfully I was able to find a 12 pound turkey which was just right for our crew. However I also discovered that just about everyone favors dark meat so the leftovers are mostly white meat. Perfect for turkey sandwiches! 

The rest of the bones and scraps will go outside to our neighborhood cats, Noir, Bootsie, Garfield, Slinky, and whatever else roams in the night. It’s satisfying to know that not much of it will go to waste. And I’ll be heading into the new year with a renewed sense of eating healthier and working on those 10 pounds I gained this year. 

I think that wraps it up for another year. And about time..:Christmas is exhausting! 

Happy, Merry, Joy, Joy, 

~Miss SugarCookie

2021-11-28 Parenting Through Tough Situations + The MOST Disturbing Dream

Yesterday my primary concern was the argument my children found themselves in after a rotten turn during a board game we were playing. Yes, I said a board game. It was painful and unnecessary but just like a married couple that is stuck together for life, one argument often stirs up years of angst and incidents long past. 

So it wasn’t just about the board game, it was about a few of their less than stellar character traits, of which we all have some. It’s human nature and nobody is perfect.

My son brings up my daughter’s need to control every detail of a situation, her attitude when she doesn’t get that, and her entitlement as first born to get her way. 

My daughter brings up my sons casual attitude and the way he doesn’t care when he says something that hurts someone’s feelings. She’s upset he doesn’t want to spend time with her when she’s home even though the reasons for that are what I just listed above. And she refuses to recognize her own flaws. 

My son recognizes his flaws, but, as I said, doesn’t seem to care. 

I tried not to pick sides. I tried to just deescalate the situation and help them both see the others’ side. But, they are both stubborn which makes sense because I am too and so is their dad. The situation did not get resolved and that left me feeling aingsty. 

Yesterday came and went and I had a lot to do that did not involve them, but I did have brief moments where I could just “check-in” to gauge how they were feeling. They’re both fine. Probably because this sort of thing is a scene that’s repeated many times in the past and they’re used to sweeping it back under the rug. 

My fear is that it will taint any future attempts by me to engineer a family game day. They will remember the end of this one (and not how much fun we had for 6 hours but just the fight at the end) and not want to go through it again. Time will tell.

Today is a new day and another opportunity to talk to both of them. I’ll speak to her before she heads back to UNL and him before he heads back to his dad’s house. As a parent, I have to keep working to make sure they are the best versions of themselves and sometimes that means helping them recognize where they are flawed or wrong.

Easy to say but not always easy to do but unlike married people they are stuck together for life as siblings and they need to be there for each other. At least that’s how I feel about it. I want them to have a good relationship throughout their lifetime. I love them so much and just want good things for them both and their lives.

Of course I have to balance parenting with all the other things I’m committed to today. This includes being a good wife and the promise to go to brunch with Jim. It includes being a good daughter helping my mom a second day in a row setting up her new phone. 🙄 It includes being a good editor and meeting my co-founder to discuss all things Good Life Lit Mag. It means being good to myself and getting exercise today. 

It’s tough to have a well balanced life. 

***

I felt pretty good when I woke up today. Physically, I mean. I felt well rested and ready to get up and go but relaxed enough to just lay in bed and think. 

At that moment, however, my primary thought was WTF! That’s because I was having a dream right when I woke up and it was unpleasant. I had been sitting across a larger wooden dining table from a few other people, two women and a man engaged in conversation. 

The woman was going to lose some financial benefit or advantage because she lost her status in a certain position. Details escape me. But the uncomfortable part for me was recognizing that it was my fault AND .. wait for it… it was because I married Donald Trump. I was mortified. There aren’t enough 😱😱😱😱😱😱 horrified emojis in the Universe to express the feeling. 

They talked and in my head I was trying to puzzle out how it could have happened and at the same time justify that he swept me off my feet and I didn’t know who he was. Good gravy!!! 

After that I had a solo consultation with the man in the room who was some sort of environmental plant shaman and we looked at several of my potted plants that were in serious trouble. He explained my poor care of them and neglect had caused their suffering, again, I felt terrible, begging him to tell me how to save them. 

So yes, I woke up disturbed but also relieved it was only a dream. And then I laid there asking myself where the hell all that came from. I didn’t ponder long before I got up and got dressed for my walk but it’s apparently still on my mind. 

Stupid brain. 

The house is still asleep now and I reckon it’s be got about 30 more minutes before that changes so I’m gonna get some serious cardio. 

I had both the Covid moderna booster last evening and a flu shot so I want to use this energy I have now before my body could decide to turn this into a day I don’t want to do anything. Having all those plans I mentioned earlier will not go away so I hope I don’t take a dive. That would be rough. 

That’s it for now. 

Stay frosty, 

~Miss SugarCookie 

(NOT Trump!!! 😱🤬😜)

2021-11-11 Doing Something is Better than Doing Nothing

My husband Jim had said several days ago that I should “wait a week” and see how I feel. Ok. 

Two nights ago I talked with him again and he’s come around to my line of thinking. He said that he will support me in my decision to see a counselor/therapist. Honestly, I don’t even know the difference between a counselor and a therapist but it might not matter. Does it matter? I guess the bigger question now is who. 

I mentioned previously that I have friends that see people and have had good experiences with them so that is the most logical place to start. One of those folks lives far away and so her person is probably out as I believe I am in need of some real, face-to-face conversation. Another friend who is local told me about her person and that is definitely a viable option. I found her practice on the internet last night and sent an inquiry via email. We’ll see where that goes. 

This morning I told Jim at breakfast that I was also discontinuing use of the thyroid medication. Yes, it was prescribed by a physician based on lab tests (a slightly low Free Triodothyronine), but my lab level was soooo borderline that he (Jim) had originally discouraged me from taking it. He had said to try just the testosterone for now and see if that has any positive effect first, before adding a second variable into the mix. But I was so desperate to get some relief from my chronic symptoms, I didn’t care. The thyroid med seemed (on paper) to be the perfect pairing and would zero in on some of the lethargy I constantly feel. Plus boost my metabolism which also sounded super enticing because I have also been dealing with weight gain lately. 

So why stop? Well, I didn’t exactly tell Jim “you were right” and he didn’t exactly say back to me “I told you so” but in a roundabout way, that’s it. I have been feeling different and in some ways it is good but in others it is worse and damnit if it is tough to know if it is the testosterone or the thyroid. One clue is likely the changes in my body temperature. That’s something I don’t remember feeling the last time I tried the testosterone so I’m fairly confident the heat I’m feeling is from the thyroid med. 

I’m a little bit in denial that that temperature issue could be a pre-menopause, hot flash thing. I still don’t think I am there yet. In my heart I believe that because I was such a late bloomer as far as puberty is concerned that my body clock is just slow and that all that “change” nonsense will not happen for me for a while. In fact, my lab tests do show that to be the case as my girlie hormones are still right where they would be for a woman who is still technically able to bear children. 

The last lab test I had indicated that now that same lab is high. So maybe I should not discontinue taking it but reduce the dose?? That is something I’m going to continue to think about but one thing I do know for certain is that I’m not going back to that doctor. I really did not like him and the only reason I went there was because there are very few places in town that do testosterone therapy on women. My fall back is to go to my OBGYN who also does it. It has been a while since I’ve gone there anyhow so I’m probably overdue for my annual visit.

Anyway, that’s where things stand for my physical and mental health and no matter what, I think doing “something” and not “nothing” actually also makes me feel better. Like I’m trying to take control of things, even if a lot of it feels very outside of my control.

When Jim originally told me to “wait a week” all I could think about was that a week from then, I was going to be getting on a plane to go to Austin and of course.. OF COURSE.. that would make me feel better. I’m not going to do house chores for 5 days AND I get to hang out with my bestie and walk her property which is peaceful and calming and have a total spa day that she has planned for us at some fancy retreat sort of a place. It will be like taking a girls trip but we are actually just staying at her place. It’s been my home away from home for years and I’ve missed going because of the pandemic and also because of all the other changes in my life the last couple of years. 

Today, after I’m satisfied with this “me” time I’m going to turn my attention to the lit mag. We are getting ready to release our 5th issue and our arts and crafts person has been busy putting together the full issue. I do the pages in wordpress and she has final say on the artwork and then puts all the content together in a stunning PDF. If at all possible, I would like to get it wrapped up and released into the wild world before I leave for Texas next Tuesday. I think it is totally possible as long as we are able to collaborate on the finishing touches and she’s satisfied with the final product. Fingers crossed. 

On that note.. It is time to wrap this up and get to work. 

With sugar and spice and everything nice,

~Miss SugarCookie

2021-11-09 Do I Need Help? 🤔

About a month ago, before I went on my vacation to Oregon I finally told my husband Jim I was serious about finding a counselor or therapist. I elaborated on my reasoning and the thought processes that led me to the conclusion that therapy could help me.

I clearly have issues I’m struggling with that I think another person could help me with. Yes, I’ve not had success with the counseling process in the past (long ago during my divorce) but that might have been because I didn’t have the right person sitting across from me.

I have several friends I’ve talked to about it and not only do they say something it is something that helps them, but one friend relies on her person for all kinds of advice and has been guided through a number of really difficult situations successfully. These friends are people I trust whose opinions I value. I told Jim this. 

He disagrees with the idea of me getting a counselor, and his rationale comes from his own poor experiences with counseling. He said that I can talk to him about anything. Which I feel is mostly true. He said we would go deep with it on vacation and that set my mind at ease. I let it go. 

Vacation came and went. We didn’t “go deep.” In fact, we barely touched on things bothering me at all, mostly because of my need to enjoy the moments we had together and not spoil it all by bringing us both down. I wasn’t surprised as this has been my MO in the past, sweeping my problems under a rug for the sake of not making waves. It has not served me well. 

Since returning from vacation I’ve had my ups and downs, but it’s mostly been down. Yesterday was another bad one. 

I’m just getting over my period so it’s not PMS like I know it is sometimes. Usually after that day 1 release, I feel both physically and mentally better. But that was not the case this time. 

If you were my therapist (which by the way you are) I would have to make sure you have all the info to make good assessments and give me advice. 

My chronic fatigue, brain fog, and sleep issues are not a secret. I’ve written about these so many times I’m sick of myself. Mix in low libido, flare-ups of anger and bitchiness and we get closer to a full picture.

Now top it with the cherry and whip cream of weight gain (which is a BIG deal for me), and waning sense of purpose in life and THAT my friends is a recipe for full blown depression. But I’m not here to diagnose myself. No. That is what a therapist is for. 

But wait… there’s more. 

This part of the story I’m telling is new. In the past I’ve tried a lot of things to fix my sleep issues and chronic fatigue and have failed. Sleep aids, meditation, yoga, CBD oil at night before going to bed, and the list goes on. Much of this failed because my core motivation (and willpower) are not what they used to be. Some of it was just plain bad news, like the Benzodiazepines. 

Enter stage left, the newest experiment. Not a new, new experiment as I have tried it before but did not find positive results enough to stick with it. What I’m referring to is testosterone therapy. 

Yes, I’ve historically been against hormone therapy but I’m desperate and have read and heard so much about how it can help. So I’m giving it another go, with a different doctor this time. And I think it’s doing something to me. Not all good and not all bad. 

In running a preliminary panel of lab tests, this new doctor found a slight issue with my thyroid for which I’m now taking a supplement for also. So it is tough to say if the changes I’m experiencing are from the testosterone or from the thyroid med. Again, not going to try and figure that one out myself. At the moment, I want to focus on the question of whether or not to get a therapist. 

I brought it up with Jim again. His stance on it has not changed. He believes that my mood lately is being caused by several factors–continuing to adjust to not having a regular day job, my daughter leaving for college, the thyroid and or testosterone, etc. He did not directly site our relationship but did allude to the fact that there are additional stressors there which we can work on together. He also pointed a finger at my monthly cycle and urged me to wait a week before setting up any initial appointments with a professional. 

I agreed again, just as I had before we went on vacation. I’ll give it a week. In the meantime, I need to do something to feel better about myself. I’m trying to stay productive and give myself lots of me-time too to see if that helps. It certainly didn’t yesterday. 

I went to bed super early last night (like 8PM) and read a book and then drifted off to sleep. Of course I woke up around 2 and did not fall back asleep. Instead, I worked on finishing edits of my full manuscript and also composed a cover letter I felt was sufficient enough of an introduction to my and my book that I could send to prospective publishers. The deadline for several of the places I’ve researched is Nov 30th but I want to be done and over it by the time I leave for Austin to visit my Texas Bestie. That is in exactly one week. 

Today we have painters here at the house and they are working on the gym so I’m avoiding that area. That means no treadmill or elliptical time for me today unless I change up my routine and do that stuff this evening. But since I have been awake since 2, I’ll be dead by 6PM and it probably will not work out. 

So as my current therapist, what do you think? Should I get an actual therapist? Am I normal or am I nutz? Should I just keep waiting for this “funk” to pass or do I need real help? 🤔🤔🤔

Ta-ta-for-now,

~Miss SugarCookie

2021-11-04 Signs of Change

Lately it is so strange that each day feels nothing like the day before. One would think that at my age, shit would start being more predictable. Predictable like.. boring and comfortable. But ohhhhh those mood swings and ahhhhh that unpredictability. One night I get a great night’s sleep and the next night sucks ass. One day I feel hot and bothered and my bod is revved and ready and the next day I’m bundled in sweatshirts and thick socks saying “don’t you dare touch me.”

I think it might be perimenopause. I can’t think of a worse confession at this Universally unpleasant hour of the night. 

I can’t possibly be going through THAT because I’m only 34 and have a long road of ovulation cycles ahead of me. In my head my mom is only 40 or maybe 42 and just gave birth to my little sister who happens to have turned 31 this past year. See how the math just doesn’t add up?!

A few months back my husband and I had some new friends over to the house and I might have been talking about not being able to stay asleep in the middle of the night. It’s been a chronic problem for a while. I talked about the bad habit of getting up and out of bed and working on my laptop when sleep was elusive. I also mentioned Jim’s heavy breathing. 

The therapist in the group inched forward and gave me some suggestions and also alluded to the fact that hormones play an important role and that I might be experiencing some of what comes during this transition. She might have used the word perimenopause. I cringe at both those words actually.

I wholeheartedly agree that hormones are like the body’s balance beam. When things are off, it makes it terribly difficult to not fall. I’ve believed that for as long as I can remember or at least as long as my daughter is old. Having her was the result of my figuring that balancing act out. When I was finally successful at conceiving, it wasn’t with the help of hormones supplements. It was a matter of getting my blood sugar in check. Who knew a medicine for diabetics could cure infertility. Infertility isn’t the right word. I was just my body being off-kilter. 

I told my new friend thank you for the advice and said I would try her suggestions. I admit that I have pretty much failed at that so far. Like right now, sitting in a recliner with my laptop open instead of a book at 1:45am. That’s my lesser confession tonight.

About 4 months ago I had a “once in a blue moon” meetup of dinner and drinks with a few of my high school girlfriends. It was a lovely evening except for the conversation that kept creeping in about getting old and experiencing signs of “the change.” The change??!! What are we 60? I don’t know anything about the change and I’m good at rolling with most changes but at that moment I pledged to resist the idea for as long as I’m able. After all, I’m only 34 and that shit is miles away from where I’m standing. 

I really know nothing about menopause or what age it typically happens because frankly I don’t spend time researching things I’m not ready to deal with. So far, I’m OK rolling with the idea that in this case, ignorance is bliss.

Anyway, one of the ladies at dinner said that her man used to get upset because their temperatures were so opposite and they couldn’t share the same room or bed without one of them being uncomfortable. He was always hot and she was always freezing. She elaborated on how he said nowadays sleeping with her is like sleeping next to an oven. For them, the change has been good.

I’ve historically been in the “freezing” category too and have been notorious for controlling the temperature of any room to the point where other people feel uncomfortable. It has been an issue with past relationships for me too so I totally get where she was coming from. 

In fact, when I worked at the hospital I had a thermostat and wall unit in my office and people joked that I kept it 90 degrees just so nobody would visit me. That’s half true actually, but that is the way I liked it. People would come in and sit down to chat about something or nothing and before long they began to squirm and then just get up and leave. It was good because then I could turn my attention back to getting work done. 

Lately I’ve been noticing that my temp is going up. I’m opting for less clothing and turning the thermostats down in the house. If I hadn’t already had that premenopausal seed planted, I would have dismissed it as nothing. It’s not nothing. But realizing it, admitting it, and accepting it are three entirely different stages of grief. Grief over what exactly though? Would it be so bad not having a monthly cycle anymore?

Anyhow, the day before yesterday was really great and there didn’t seem to be anything magical about it but then yesterday something shifted and I was back in a funk. Nothing happened to cause that shift as far as I can tell, so it has to be all in my body and my mind. Maybe if I am able to go back to sleep now, and wake up, it will have shifted back. A girl can dream right? 

Peace and Love,

~Miss SugarCookie

2021-09-10 What’s New for Little Miss S?

What a doozie?! What’s up? What’s down? What repeats and goes round and round?… 

“Little Miss S in a mini-dress”

What can I say? I’m a hot mess this week. Physically, mentally, emotionally. Monday was a holiday and I was already so done with “taking care” of the household I just wanted to be left alone. So when Tuesday arrived and everyone else had to go back to work and school I felt relief but was already a day behind on my work week and that caused me to be super grumpy. 

Litter boxes, laundry, dishes, cats, cleaning, cooking, groceries, trash. And a few “honey could you please” requests from my darling husband on his way out the door. 

All needing to be done by 2pm so I could make it to yet another doctors appointment. Another new doctor, for yet another professional assessment of what the hell is wrong with me. 

The symptoms? Afternoon fatigue (bordering on sheer exhaustion), brain fog, lack of motivation, low libido, waves of sadness, unexpected spikes of anger. What’s new? None of that but in the past few weeks a new physical symptom has been added to the list. 

My right hand and fingers go numb and tingly for no apparent reason. Or at least it seems like no reason. It happens and then I move about a little bit and shake it out until it goes away. Quite literally thinking of T-Swift’s song “Shake it off” right now. 

I deal with this new development lightly on my own for about a week and then consult the doc. My doc. His quick assessment is that I’ve got compressed discs C6 and C7 is what I think he said. He shows me a diagram about how the nerves in your hand are connected to the spine and when those discs are “pinched” it’s just like cutting off the circulation. 

This makes a lot of sense to me. Sometimes it goes all the way to my pinky finger and I think that’s C8, but mostly it’s my thumb and palm and first two fingers. And also predominantly my right hand.

He’s quick to this assessment because he also has compressed discs which he’s told me for years will eventually require surgery. Surgery of the spine? No thanks!! 

Right now he treats his own issues with traction. It’s an apparatus hanging in the bathroom on the closet door and it’s self administered. He urges me to try it and shows me how.

It operates with a weight and pulley system. The weight is a bag of water you can adjust easily and that’s connected by a wire to some straps you fit around your noggin to pull you head up when you let go of the safety bar. The idea is pulling apart the spine gently thereby releasing the pressure caused by compression. 

Five minutes, once a day and it should help. Unless you are me and you don’t hear the part about five minutes and you start with too much water in the bag. I didn’t feel it right away, but it totally fucked my neck up in one shot. 

That was Monday or Tuesday and so by Wednesday I was in serious pain and could hardly move my head around at all. Especially side to side. Then Wednesday night it got so bad it messed with my sleep and I hardly slept at all. This resulted in Thursday (yesterday) being an absolute shit show.

After scrambling at the beginning of the week trying to get caught up on chores, I had naturally pushed some meet-ups and to-do items down the line and all this culminated in the perfect storm of misery. I literally could not make it to 9am before I started panicking and cancelling and self administered pep-talks about how it was going to be ok. 

The first casualty was my dad who I have been trying to visit on Thursdays on a regular basis. I pushed that to the weekend. Then it was J who I promised to play pickleball with but have been putting off for several weeks now, and then finally… when I realized I needed sleep and would not be able to make it through the evening without a nap, I dipped on my friend M, who I was going to take tomatoes and salsa. 

Now I’m on a steroid for my pain and my hand and, like I said, waiting for my next follow up doctor’s appointment to get the results of the labs taken on Tuesday. Hopefully there’s a clue there. But I honestly doubt it. I’ve had all these labs, thyroid, hormones, cmp, etc done before (about a year ago) and it was all normal. 

I might try to log into the patient portal of that last office to get those labs so I can see how these compare. Modern medicine… good grief! 

I’ve got other stories to tell. Lots more on my mind suddenly but the day is waiting and all the nonsense this week has caused me to be dreadfully far behind. 

Stay Frosty My Friends! 

~Little Miss SugarCookie in a Mini-Dress

PS. I’m not at all like the little Miss S in that New Bohemian’s song. The lyric just works cuz I love mini-dresses. 🤷‍♀️

2021-05-06 When You Find What Works, Don’t Fight It 🌳

Thirsty Thursday again and date night tonight. A 1-2 combo that aims to satisfy. 

As it often is, I think I’ve figured some things out this week and feel pretty good about my newest declarations. 

  1. No more volunteering to do interviews or lead workshops or make any public appearances where I have to speak. I’m officially releasing myself from all that noise. 
  2. I’m gonna put more focus on exercising, at home, and also let go of the classes I’ve been attending which don’t seem to mesh with my schedule. 
  3. I’m committing to an hour or two of GLR each day and am going to try to make that a regular part of my workday. This means not procrastinating until there’s a mountain of stuff to do. 
  4. I’m going to work on my diet… and try fasting and eating more Whole Foods again. Less processed stuff. (Within reason 😉). 

That’s enough right?! As this week has gone on, I’ve felt better and better and I think it has something to do with distancing myself from obligations that involve doing things that make my anxiety flair. It also has to do with regulating my sleep and productivity. I’ve gotten a lot done this week and have had decent sleep. 

Today I’m going to CB again and will see both of my parents. My husband works in CB on Thursdays so I may try to pop by his office for a visit…. You know, really make the trip across the Missouri River worth it. 

Otherwise it’s the typical line-up. Exercise, chores, GLR, errands, and then as I said it’s date night so I’ll need to finish everything on my to-do list by like 5ish. Our dinner reservations are at 6. We’re going to a new place we’ve never been before and you know what that means??.. It’s cheeseburger time! 

It’s a win-win-win as I also need to up my iron intake in order to donate blood next week. 

So that’s the plan for today.. let’s see how good I am at sticking to it (and my new declarations). 

But first… Cardio, 

~Miss SugarCookie

2021-05-02 Forget that Noise

I agreed several months ago to lead a poetry workshop and only the Universe knows why a person with moderate social and even worse performance anxiety would say yes to that. In my head I think I reasoned it would be a good promo opportunity for the lit mag, and for me personally. Then as it got closer, I doubled down and told myself it was a good learning and growing opportunity. 

In the end, none of these reasons really came to fruition and frankly, I didn’t even feel the effort I went through to read and prepare and practice was worth it. And now it’s a day later and I haven’t heard “boo” from the folks at Nebraska Poetry Society about it and am wondering if I totally bombed. 

As these things go, I have a big build-up in my head and one track mind. I tell myself that when it’s over, I’ll be able to relax but even after it was over, the entire rest of my day yesterday went like shit so I never got that release I was needing. Sometimes I blame myself, but yesterday it was not my fault and I was a victim of circumstance. I found myself watching the clock, counting the minutes till I could just go to bed and close the book on May 1st. A total waste of a Saturday. 

But today is a new day and I woke up at 6:30am feeling good and rested. This feeling was corroborated by my FitBit reporting a solid 8 hours of sleep and a sleep score of 93 which I think is the highest I’ve ever received. Fantastic! 

Most everyone in the house is still asleep which is also fabulous. We have a full house this weekend and I really just want to be alone. 

There’s some other stuff on my mind, but its not going to do me any good to simmer about any of it any longer so I’m going to try and forget that house. I’m going to opt to use the alone time I have right now to get some much needed cardio instead. Perhaps do some planning for the week ahead.

Peace,

~Miss SugarCookie

2021-03-23 Radom Rant Tuesday 😒

What’s that saying again?..  If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all. 

Yeah. That. 

In my own head I’m bitchy and constantly venting about all irritations, big and small. It’s everything and everyone and I’m not sure what I have to do to get myself out of this mood. Make no mistake, I get that nobody is going to be able to do it but me. I’m responsible, I know, but I’m just not sure what to do.

The problem is that I’m just on the edge and everything is setting me off. Not just other people, but also me, myself, and I. 

Yesterday morning I stepped on the scale and when I saw the number I pointed down at the display and called the scale an asshole. It’s probably the drinking. And eating too of course. I think I’m self medicating with food and alcohol. 

Every morning I resolve to make today different and better, but as the day rolls along all I can think about is what I want to eat for lunch and dinner and how good that glass of wine or vodka lemonade will be. Whatever.

Unfortunately the very nature of this blog being a stream of consciousness, what often comes out is all that negativity. Like the fact that my mom, who never did much for me in my life can’t even say “good morning” or even just “hi” before she reminds me she needs shoes and asks what time I’m going to be at the hospital. 

Her insistence and persistence and lack of gratitude or tact is really starting to get to me. I think about what it would be like if the situation were reversed and know that I would be extremely grateful for any one helping even to the smallest degree. And she has said “thank you” a few times but the lion’s share of the words coming out of her mouth are just so demanding.

Yesterday she was so put off by the fact that they did not bring her lemon for her iced tea on her lunch tray. And that’s all she could think about or talk about for 45 minutes. 

She’s driving me nuts. There I said it. Now can I just move on? 

No. Probably not. I mean.. it’s only going to get worse when she goes home and then we’re up against 6+ months of chemo and more surgery.

Yesterday I didn’t make it to my treadmill and didn’t get my steps and that makes me grumpy too. I’m taking trazodone to help me sleep and can’t seem to get the dose right. It’s either not enough and I still wake up and can’t sleep or it’s too much and I feel super groggy and don’t want to face the day. 

Today I felt groggy. And it’s super overcast and pouring rain so it’s really dark. When I got home from being mom taxi, I just wanted to go back to bed. But i knew if I did that, I wouldn’t have enough time to do all the tasks I didn’t get done yesterday like grocery shopping and dishes and laundry. 

Today I have the added task of putting together my reading for tonight and practicing at least once to make sure I hit the mark for the time limit. It’s a thing I want to do.. reading in public because I need the practice.. but my heart is just not in it. I have some new-ish poems that need more work before they will be ready to share or submit for publication and I have just had no desire to work on revision lately.

So the reading tonight is mostly (all) of what I’ve read before during my MFA program. And also mostly poems that have either been published or will be in my forthcoming book. Perhaps that seems like a good approach since I have confidence in those already. 

Mom indicated she was interested in tuning into the reading. We’ll see. I’ve got the link now and can share with anyone interested in hearing from 6 people giving readings. I’m last on the list. That makes me the “headliner” right??!! 🤣

In other poetry news.. I received the timeline for my book and that process apparently takes a long time. It won’t be ready for pre-sale/pre-release until November. I guess that will give me plenty of time to get my act together for self-promotion. Hell… I still need to get them a clean copy with all the extra stuff they need for production. Like pictures, bios, blurbs, inside and outside art. I should be all over that stuff but my heart’s not in that either.

See, there must be something wrong with me. Good grief. 

All I’m really looking forward to today is eating. I’m thinking about food all the time. Well.. and watching mindless TV sounds kind of appealing too. I kind of want to veg out on the couch with a pizza and watch the bachelorette. But I can’t. I’ve got work to do. 

And I’ve got to get started on all that right about now. 

I Don’t Want to Do Today, 😒

~Miss SugarCookie