glitch25: (Default)
As the holidays come around, I become keenly aware of things in my life. Things for which I'm grateful. The status of things.

One of the things that always comes around is the disposition of decisions I've made about my family.

You see, the holidays are often a time for gathering with family. Blood, chosen, and otherwise. A time to share, a time to love, and a time to enjoy or otherwise accept the ties of the relationships to those with whom we are related.

Over the years, and for various reasons, my ties to my blood family have come undone. As a part of my decisions to live a better life and to be true to myself, I've felt it necessary to back away from these relationships. Not just a case of not being accepted, but also very deliberate and abusive actions that prompted me to finally say no more and to push these things away from my life.

So during the holidays, I don't spend time with blood family (or any other time of the year), but because it is a time to do so, I often having feelings about the fact that I don't.

I think part of it is that I remember a more innocent time in my life when I was a child and less knowledgeable about the things going on around me, and I remember enjoying a lot of the holidays with family. I realize of course that not much was really different then.. I just wasn't capable of seeing the bad things at that time. But it does make me feel a sense of loss when I later began to see things differently and couldn't understand why it seemed so starkly different.

Over the course of my childhood, things became more overt and there was less pretense about the abusiveness and about the things that went on. I realized as I got older that I was given a gift of ignorance in my childhood. One that my younger sister didn't get. It is possible she had her moments of not knowing better, but by the time she came along, my parents made less effort to hide the problems, so I'm fairly confident that her childhood in that was different than mine.

Among my friends and chosen family, the ratio of good to not good family experiences still leans heavily to the not good, but it is also nice to see families that still make an effort and seem to want to appreciate their bonds.

Beyond my relationships, I don't foresee having kids of my own, and I'm happy to not have to pass on the legacy of luggage just on my own side, much less that of others.

As for my own blood that remains, in spite of the hope that we could somehow manage occasionally to respect and enjoy one another, I choose instead to call it a done deal and to let it die where it sits. It is a rough choice for me, and likely for them (though they do their own level of pushing away as well. This is hardly one-sided).

Instead I try to be thankful for my chosen family and for the relationships I've forged outside my blood family. I've had to learn to overcome the influences and experiences I've had, but in doing so (and continuing to do so), I've been able to give my chosen family the respect and honor that they deserve. I've found a place where we all can enjoy one another and boost each other up and do the things that families do.

It isn't all perfect all the time. We each work on it daily. But I appreciate being a part of something where we all care. We all want to be better and we all try and we mostly succeed.

For those of you with family issues, I hope that you can find or have found peace with it. It can be a rough thing to do, and it is something that I continue to struggle with. For those of you with the "seems to be better than average" families, I hope that what you have is healthy and meaningful, and I hope it helps boost you and give you reasons to live a good life and to continue to treat each other well.
glitch25: (Default)
More zoom!

Say what you will, but in my life, Valentine's Day aint got nothing on the start of Fall for all those loving feelings.

Two anniversaries celebrated and two lovely weekend outings. Things are good!

Another lovely thing with the Fall is the cooler weather, which means that the bread baking books come back out. I've put it off for a lone time, and I miss it. I will be baking out of this book - http://www.amazon.com/Bread-Bakers-Apprentice-Mastering-Extraordinary-ebook/dp/B004IK8PV4/

breadbakerapp

The temp change also means I can start working on the re-seasoning of the poor cast iron that has been suffering. I have oil on order, and am looking forward to that process too.

It also means that it is time for stews and other lovely winter dishes. I'm excited for it all, and looking forward to the upcoming holidays.

Now in the new space, we'll need to get a new tree! I'm excited for that too. :-) We've already started collecting new ornaments, and I'm looking forward to other related decorations and things.

All the little things continue to come together, and things are improving.

Health seems ok. I seem to be battling allergies or a cold that just won't let up. It doesn't typically bother me much during the day, but I notice I'm stuffy and sneezy in the mornings. I've also noticed that I seem a lot more... for lack of a better word.. broken lately. Not so much with specific things wrong, but I experience fatigue and also battle with muscle aches and pulls that I haven't ever had before. I think it is time to up my game a little exercise and movement wise, so we'll see if that makes a difference.

It also continues to be time to push myself with regards to my Fitbit. I have a $100 piece of hardware I wear around my neck almost every day, and typically other than the habit to wear it, it doesn't serve any greater purpose. That needs to change.

Does anybody want to help follow that might have a Fitbit?

This coming week looks to be fairly mellow, which is preferred. I think I will work on some bread this week, and hopefully some more shuffling of all the stuffs.
glitch25: (you can do it)
Goodness. An interesting few weeks and holiday.

For those of you that don't keep up on Google+, which is my primary social media tool these days, I'm recovering from having had my gall bladder removed this last week. And moreover, recovering from the pancreatitis that led us to understand my gall bladder was the problem.

About the beginning of November, I had what they describe as an attack. Pain in my central epigastric region. Not often particularly symptomatic of a gall bladder problem, which a visit to the gastroenterologist confirmed. He was not willing, at that time, to say with certainty that based on the various tests I had, that the solution was unequivocally a gall stone issue, so we talked about a few more tests, and I was sent on my merry way. I spoke with a urologist about another issue that was discovered as well. Not quite as critical, but apparently I have a sizeable adrenal cyst over my left kidney that will need addressing soon too.

After the original attack, I returned home, and really didn't have much problem with it. I noticed what I guess would be termed discomfort more than pain on the upper right region, but it wasn't really much of a thing, and I didn't think much of it until it got a bit more severe later.

On December 13th, after having had a bout of vomiting that didn't particularly correspond to anything else the prior day, the pain grew worse, and finally I headed back to the ER to see what was up. Upon the return of my bloodwork, I became a superstar that drew doctors and nurses to come see me. The guy with the lipase over 41K (when normal is between 10-70 and elevated is maybe... 100-200). Apparently my pancreas was rebelling in style, and THAT was the pain I felt, but for the extensiveness of the inflammation, they were still confused that I was saying maybe a 5 on the pain scale at best. Pain meds on board, I started feeling a bit better, and settled in for a couple days of poking and prodding when they admitted me that night. Hospital stays... Oh joy...

Definitive diagnosis of gall stone disease, and treatment was relatively clear. First we had to clear out the common bile duct to allow the pancreas to settle down and heal, and once it had time to do that, the gall bladder was a goner.

So they performed an ERCP to clean out the duct, and apparently found a few things, which accounted for the pancreatitis. And then I got sent home to rest and relax while things inside settled down for a bit. The following Monday I was scheduled for a laproscopic cholecystectomy.

Normally, they should only last about an hour or maybe 90 minutes or so. Mine took 3 hours. They discovered something interesting.

Apparently when your gall bladder is so packed with stones (thousands and thousands), it becomes relatively solid, and thwarts efforts for its removal. They had to empty it of stones before they could get it out. Worst, my surgeon says, he's ever seen. They still don't totally get why I didn't notice before now. And likely, both from the alterations of the skin of the organ along with my impressive collection of stones, things have been this way for very possibly years. This would correspond with an earlier attack I believe I had some 12 years ago. Scary.

The consolation to the results of the gall bladder thing is that it is very highly likely that my gall bladder has not been functioning as intended for a long time, and as a result, I shouldn't experience anything out of the ordinary (or at least nothing that has been unusual for the past year or more) in terms of diet issues. When I read up on expected things that happen once the gall bladder is out and things you might experience, I look back over the last several years and understand a few things now. :-)

A week out from the surgery now, I feel pretty good. The initial couple of days were frustrating just in the impact to my mobility, but I tend to heal quickly, and noticed significant improvements each day. As of now, other than some tenderness over the incisions, and an occasional twinge from the area in question when I stretch or move too much, I'd say things are healing nicely and coming along well.

I was very blessed both during my hospital stays and recovery to have my sweeties keep track of me. I am so incredibly grateful for them each.

So the holidays were spent relatively low key. I got to spend quality time all around, and had a few nice family experiences as well, which I appreciate. I'm happy to know that in spite of living in a very dysfunctional given family, I can still appreciate what much more functional families look like, and be welcomed in them.

So things are looking up. Sometime this spring, I'll be back in to have my cyst looked at, and given its already significant size, excised. Hoping the recovery is the same.

One of the other things that has been significantly manifest lately is that from when I started just trying to keep crap out of my diet, I've been steadily losing weight.. a pound or two here or there. Since this summer, I've dropped about 25, and it really shows these days. A lot of people that have seen me assume it was related to the recent surgery and ensuing issues, but through the course of the month, I had only lost about 4-6 pounds.. and that's not far from my typical fluctuation. I had really started to notice over the last month or two in that my pants are all bunched up, and I'm tightening up my belt another notch for it to be comfortable. Time to go shopping again, methinks.

So how were your holidays?

*drool*

Dec. 1st, 2010 09:14 am
glitch25: (cook)
Spending entirely too much time looking at food today.

I found an interesting recipe I may try this week for Seared Tofu with Shredded Brussel Sprouts that sounds really tasty.. and I'm not usually a fan, but this looks good!

Also working on the holiday baking. I skipped out last year, and really didn't do the prior year justice either, so this year, I'm on the case!

Various things will include fudge (making a plain and a chocolate mint), Biscochitos (an anise flavored shortbread cookie with cinnamon and sugar), Palmitas (a variation on the French Palmier pastry but soft, chewy, and full of buttery cinnamon goodness), Martha Washingtons (similar to a Mounds bar, but better), Butter Balls (a variation of a Mexican wedding cookie), and fresh-ginger molasses cookies (in my bid to go for my own variation on gingerbread). And if I find time (hehee... time.. what is that??), I've been thinking about making like a pecan or walnut brittle. Something different than the traditional peanut.

And ya know, most of this stuff comes together rather quickly. I find it is more about getting off my butt and just doing it. I spend too much time on my duff not doing enough constructive stuff. So this time, I'm doing more. And yes.. Many of you will benefit. :-D

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