Sunday, June 28, 2009

2 fat-phobic moments this weekend

We went to my son's this weekend - I missed my grandson's 13th birthday, so we went down there to take him shopping for it, a couple of weeks late.
Most of the time, when we go down there and stay at the motel, I go swimming in the motel pool and use the hot tub. Until this past weekend, I've never had anyone make any nasty comments about my size. This time, though, some guy was in there with his wife and their young son (I think the kid was probably about 5 years old). The kid was cute, wearing goggles, throwing a weighted toy on the bottom of the pool and jumping in to pick it up. His parents were sitting in lounge chairs, mom was reading a book, and dad was drinking beer (out of glass bottles) and eating Cheetos. I had been alternating pool and hot tub for about 3 hours, and finally got out of the pool to sit in one of the chairs for a while and talk to my daughter-in-law and DH for a while, and the two grandsons (Mykel and Austin) played in the pool. When I got up to go sit in the hot tub for a bit, the little kid's dad said to his wife "If you ever get that fat, I'll kill you." I didn't hear him say it, he was behind me and the kids were noisy, but Tina heard him and it pissed her off, big time. My son had just called her and asked her to meet him at our room so he could change into his swim trunks, so when Tina went out to meet him, she stopped at the desk to ask if beverages in glass containers were allowed in the pool area. When they said no, she told them there was a man in there drinking beer in glass bottles. So the desk clerk went in and told him to finish the beer in the bottle, throw it away and he couldn't drink anything out of a glass container in there. Keep in mind that DH and my grandsons were still in the pool area, and Tina and Jon came back after the desk clerk had told the guy no glass bottles in the pool area. So when we all finally get ready to leave, who gets dirty looks from the SOB? DH, and he doesn't know what he's done to deserve it (neither do I, because I don't find out about any of this until we get back to our room). So then Tina tells us what he said about me, what she did, and that that was why DH got the dirty look, SOB thought DH had ratted him out (which makes no sense to me, DH had never left the pool area at all, Tina had been in and out several times, going to have a cigarette). I told her she should have told me what he said, that I would have had several choice responses for him. She wanted to know what I would have said and I told her I'd have told him: "If you'd kill your wife just because she got fat, then I feel sorry for her having to be married to a shallow asshat like you. She certainly deserves better than that." I also would have told him that my body was not public property and he had no right to comment on it at all, that he didn't know me from Adam and his opinion wasn't worth the breath it took to speak it.
When DH and I were getting ready to check out this morning, we were walking down the hall with all of our stuff (I was carrying my purse, my soft-sided cooler with a couple of sodas in it, the camera bag, and the bag that had all of our swimming gear in it, DH was carrying the other cooler that had his soda in it and our bag with our clothes in it), we passed that SOB in the hallway and got dirty looks from him again. WTF is it with people who have said nasty things about others, and done shit they knew they shouldn't have done (it's posted by the door into the pool area "NO GLASS CONTAINERS ALLOWED") that they have to blame someone else when they get caught? Fucker is lucky that I don't give a rat's ass what anyone thinks about me, whether I'm fully dressed, or just in a swimsuit. It wasn't worth my time and effort to tell him he's an idiot, he's probably been told that more times than he can remember. And I hate to tell him, he can be nasty all he wants, I'm still going to use the pool and the hot tub and I'm still going to wear my swimsuit, and I don't care what anyone thinks. I'm not there to impress them, I'm there to have a good time with DH and the rest of my family.
That was incident number two. Incident number one was when we went out to dinner on Friday night. Jon wanted to eat at the China Buffet, so that was where we went. We were picking out what we wanted to eat, and another family was trying to decide what they wanted to eat. One of the kids was a cute little girl, about 5 or 6, and her mom told her "Tell me what you want, and I'll put it on the plate for you." The little girl said she wanted some of the sweet & sour chicken and her mom told her no, that would make her fat, she needed to eat the meat/veggies/mushrooms instead. I didn't say anything, but I was thinking "If you don't want her eating certain things, then fix her plate for her and don't tell her she can pick out what she wants to eat. Telling her she can pick out what she wants to eat, then telling her she can't have it because it's going to make her fat sure as shit isn't doing her any favors. Good way to give her a disordered relationship with food."
I normally don't run into this kind of shit very often, maybe once a year or so, but twice in one weekend, that was just too much.
But we did have a good visit, went rummage-saling with Tina and the boys on Saturday morning while Jon was at his motorcycle license classes. Mykel found an almost-complete set of golf clubs with bag for $1, and Tina found some books for Jon and some clothes for the "reds" (her 3 red-headed nieces). Austin didn't find anything he wanted, but he'll read the books when Jon is done with them. DH found a couple of kissing angels to add to his small collection, and I didn't find anything I wanted (I usually look for Noritake painted china plates, but those are kinda rare at rummage sales).
It was hilarious watching Mykel hit the golf ball (and the tennis balls) with his new clubs. Max (the pit bull) was out of his kennel, and he was chasing the balls. Mykel and Austin would hit the balls, then run and try to get them before Max could (they weren't successful). Max would get the ball, run off with it, they would chase him, he would get tired of running from them, flop down in the shade, they would try to sneak up on him, he would wait until they were close enough to touch him, and off he would go again. I'm not sure who had more fun - the dog, the boys, or us adults watching them. And Max is not easily fooled. Austin grabbed Max's soccer ball from the kennel and threw it, hollering "go get it, Max", thinking Max would drop the golf ball or the tennis ball. Nope, Max knew they weren't hitting the soccer ball with the golf clubs...........he wasn't having any part of that at all.
All in all, it was a good weekend, in spite of the fat-phobia.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

"Excess" body weight predicts low self-esteem in kids (no shit, Sherlock).

This should be a no-brainer, people. And it's not the body weight itself that causes the low self-esteem, it's the bullying and all the media bullshit that tells anyone who is fat that they are less than human, just because they don't look like the "ideal" (which "ideal" is impossible to attain for anyone).
Chief analyst Julie Bernier says a lot of attention has been paid to being overweight and obese as precursors to developing physical health problems such as Type 2 diabetes or cardiovascular problems.
But this report takes a rare look at body weight vis-a-vis self-esteem in childhood. Previous studies have found that low self-esteem as a youngster can predict poor mental health in adulthood.

Yeah, we all know how being fat leads to developing physical health problems....FUCKING NOT ALWAYS, ASSHATS. Generalizations do not fit everyone in the whole wide world, and very seldom even fit a small percentage of the world's population.
As for low self-esteem as a youngster leading to mental health problems as an adult? All I have to say on that is - "YA THINK?"
"Up to now in the literature, there has been a lot of emphasis on the fact that body weight problems could lead to a lot of chronic disease ... and now, it's a complement to see that it even puts you more at risk for low self-esteem, which in turn would put you at risk for mental health problems."

Body weight problems could lead to a lot of chronic disease. Could being the operative word here, researchers/doctors. What part of correlation is not causation do you not understand?
Kids at the ages of 10 and 11 completed a four-item scale that assessed their overall self-esteem, rating statements such as "In general, I like the way I am" and "Overall I have a lot to be proud of."
They were surveyed twice more, two years and four years later. Assessments about whether someone was overweight or obese were derived from height and weight measurements reported by the person most knowledgeable about the child, such as a parent or guardian.
Researchers who studied the data found that children who were obese in the beginning had almost twice the odds of reporting low self-esteem four years later, compared with normal weight children.
Bernier explained that it's been known for some time that there's a relationship between body weight and self-esteem.

This doesn't surprise me one little bit. What with all the media hype about being fat and how bad it is for everyone, and all the bullying of fat kids by other kids, their parents, their teachers, their doctors, etc, is it any wonder that fat kids have less self-esteem than kids who aren't fat? Even if fat kids have loving parents who don't expect them to be thin, the rest of society sure as hell isn't going to leave them alone, and parents can't always over-ride everything kids hear outside of their homes.
And in all of this research, not one mention is made about bullying fat kids having any bearing on their self-esteem, nor is there any mention of how the media's portrayal of fat has any bearing on it. Lots of talk about how much time they spend in front of the TV/computer, their parents' education, kids' school performance, kids' amount/quality of physical activity, etc influences a kid's self-esteem, but bullying, not a mention of that at all (evidently, bullying is a very small part of what influences one's self-esteem, and not an important one at that).
According to this study, gender also has a bearing on a child's self-esteem (boys are less likely to have issues than girls - gee, I wonder why that is?). And physical activity - well, if they participate in physical activity 5 to 7 times a week, kids have better self-esteem than if they don't participate (but nothing is said about why kids may not want to participate in physical activity more often - could it go right back to the bullying factor?).
And all they can recommend is a "healthy" diet and exercise to either keep kids from getting fat, or make fat kids thin. Yeah, that just works so well - how many failures of that shit have we seen in the last 5 to 10 years? More than I want to count, and more than should have been implemented (since they haven't worked for adults for more years than I've been alive, why the fuck do they think this shit will work for kids?).
Why the hell can't kids be kids and enjoy their childhood, no matter what size body they have?

Monday, June 15, 2009

Yummy tuna bake tonight

I was subscribed to a recipe club for a while, and then got tired of sorting all the cards every month, so I dropped it. But, DH decided that since we have the cards, we should try some of the recipes. So tonight I made the Tuna Bake, and it was yummy! AND it only has 67 grams of carbs for the whole pan, so it was good for DH's blood sugar too.

1 - 12 oz can tuna (I used 2 - 12 oz cans)
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
3 eggs
2 cups cottage cheese
2 slices bread, cut in 1/2" cubes (I used Wonder Light Wheat).
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 - 16 oz bag frozen broccoli cuts, thawed and well drained

Place broccoli in bottom of 8" X 12" baking dish (I use a glass one), top with tuna and bread cubes. In medium bowl, mix eggs, cottage cheese, shredded cheese, and pepper. Spread cheese/egg mixture over tuna mixture. Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes or until golden brown and puffed.

This made dinner for the two of us tonight, DH's lunch for work tomorrow, and lunch for me tomorrow.

I'm thinking I might try this with boiled, shredded chicken instead of the tuna, and maybe use the frozen broccoli/cauliflower blend instead of just broccoli the next time I make it. DH really liked it, and said the chicken version sounded just as good to him (and the carb count should be just about the same). I have some frozen stir-fry veggies in the freezer that might be good too. This looks like a recipe with which you can get as creative as you want (toast the bread before cubing it, maybe, or use garlic bread).

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Weekend fluff and PT update #2

Thursday I had PT again. Same thing, ultrasound heat, and laying on my back with the box under my knees, with a massage of those back muscles after the heat. Brian did give me one exercise to do at home, but I have to find a box to put under my knees when I'm laying on my back in order to do it (have to move my feet so that my toes touch, toeing in, then move them so that my heels touch, toeing out). He also said that the heating pad is out for now because it's surface heat, not deep heat, and surface heat isn't going to help the muscles and might even make it worse. So it's ice packs for my back for now. He did say that the hot tub and the pool-walking is a very good idea, and that 3 days a week of that should help a lot.
So, when I got home, I called the AmericInn here in town, and they do have open swimming sessions, there are ladies that come in very early in the morning for water aerobics. It's $4 per swimming session, but they have a punch card with 25 sessions for less than $45. That's the way I'm going to go, that way, if DH wants to go with me on his days off, he can (otherwise, the punch card will last me a couple of months if I go 3 times a week). I figure if I do PT on Tuesdays and Thursdays, I can do the pool-walking on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday (and if DH and I go somewhere for the weekend, I can do the pool thing at whatever motel we happen to be staying at).
Today, DH and I went rummage-saling. I'm looking for a glass-doored curio cabinet for my DiL for her birthday/Christmas gift. She needs something that she can put all of her dolphin figurines in that the dog can't knock over. We also need another DVD rack for movies, and I can't find one like the one we currently have. I may have to look online to see what I can find there. And yes, DH and I are starting our Christmas shopping already (get it a little at a time and we don't have to come up with a lot of money all at once, which is good, when you're buying for 3 kids and their spouses, and 11 grandkids).
We also went to Long Prairie today to see the Veteran's Memorial there. While it's not as impressive as the one in Rochester, it's still a very moving tribute to the servicemen and women who have given their lives for our freedom. These are some of the pictures we took today:

I didn't get a good picture of the top of the painted wall above, but on the very top of it is a copper cut-out of the soldiers raising the flag at Iwo Jima, with an actual American flag flying. I'll have to go back and see if I can get a better picture of it.
The memorial was dedicated in 2002. DH wants me to do a search and see if I can find a comprehensive listing of veterans' memorials in Minnesota so that we can go see them all this summer (I have a feeling that there might be so many that it will take us a couple of summers to see them all).

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Physical therapy update

I had physical therapy again today, and I was wrong, they do have more than one physical therapist (at least 3, I think). The one I saw today, well, I hope he's the one I see from now on. He asked if the one I saw on Friday had felt the muscles in my back, or if he had done a couple of other things, and when I said no, we had just done one exercise to stretch my back muscles, he didn't look too impressed.
I told him how much pain I was in when I got home from that day, and that I was in even more pain the next day, and that I didn't do the exercise again until last night and that I was in so much pain this morning that I was crying (and that I took 800 mg of ibuprofen and 500 mg of tylenol).
So, he had me lay on my stomach, and he did one of those ultra-sound things that sends deep heat to the muscles (he said the muscles on the right side of my back were knotted so tight, he was surprised I could walk at all, and the ones on the left weren't much looser). So we did that for 15 minutes (and did that ever feel good). Then I laid on my back, he put a big block under my knees, and then tilted the table so that my head was lower than my hips (15 minutes of that). I could actually lay there, flat on my back, and it didn't hurt. And, wonder of wonders, when I got up, I could actually stand up straight and walk without much pain at all (my knees didn't even hurt as much!). I walked probably 150 feet from the elevator to my van and my back didn't cramp up at all! That is so unusual for me, I was just totally amazed. He said we'd be doing the same thing again on Thursday, and once we get the muscles loosened up the way they should be, then we'll worry about what exercises to do to strengthen the muscles (sounds like the way to go, to me). He also said that when my back really hurts, that cold packs might help (so I'll have to try that and see if it works, we have ice packs in the freezer that I can wrap in a hand towel).
All in all, this was a much better session than the first one, so I'm going to keep going, as long as I have Brian (the guy I saw today) for a physical therapist.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Physical therapy yesterday

I think this physical therapy is going to turn into a giant pain in my back, which is not going to help me one damned bit since that's what I'm trying to get rid of. I went yesterday afternoon, spent 30 minutes talking with the physical therapist about what's wrong with my back and what I need to do to make it better.
First thing he says is that sitting and bending over aggravate it (even though when my back is hurting, that's what relieves the pain), and that I should never bend over to do anything. Ok, that means I can't get the pots and pans out of the bottom cupboard - put them on higher shelves. I can't clean the catbox - put the cat box on a platform at waist height so I don't have to bend over and scoop it from the floor (yeah, Fat Cat is not going to jump up there to use it, this is that cat that is so lazy, he lays down to eat and drink). I can't do laundry - get a front-loading washer and put the washer and dryer on pedestals so I don't have to bend over to put the clothes in/take them out. Don't bend over the sink to do dishes - open up the cabinet door and put one foot on the rail inside, stand up straight with my belly right up to the sink (duh, I already do that). Don't sit in my recliner, use a wooden kitchen chair for the computer and watching tv, sit like a queen in that hard wooden chair (yeah, so my hips can hurt instead of my back). Go to the swimming pool 3 to 4 times a week and walk in the water (that I can do, once I find out what the motel charges and what days I can go).
All of these changes would be really nice to be able to make, but I want to know where the fuck am I supposed to find the room to store everything (at waist level) in my kitchen and on the back porch that I need for cooking and eating? Even if Fat Cat would jump up on a platform to use the litter box, where the fuck am I supposed to put that platform so that it doesn't get in the way of the shelf it currently sits in front of because we don't have any other place for it (the shelf or the cat box)? We just bought a new washer (top-loading), we can't afford to go out and buy another one (front-loading), plus pedestals for both the washer and the dryer just so I don't have to bend over to do laundry.
Another recommendation he made is to not sit for more than 1/2 an hour at a time, get up and move, even it's just walking from the computer (or my recliner) to the kitchen and back (I already do that, if I sit for too long in any chair, hard or soft, my hips hurt and I walk like I'm 100 years old).
Oh yeah, and my weight isn't the cause of my back problems, but it's not helping them any (duh, no shit sherlock). And if I could just lose 100 lbs or so, that might help. And if I would just quit eating so much, and move a bit more, I should be able to do that (and this in spite of telling him diets haven't worked in the past for me, not permanently, and that having my stomach stapled didn't work either). Then, on top of all of that, he has the nerve to suggest that maybe WLS would help, if I had it redone, or had a different type (yeah, I'm so not going there again, EVER!!!!). I told him that had been suggested and that I told those doctors they had their one chance to kill me and I would be a fool to give them another. So it's back to calories in/calories out (yeah, I eat the same foods DH does to control his blood sugar, I eat less than DH does, and I'm not losing weight, so I just need to eat even less, that's really going to work). Then, we were talking about something else, and he says something about doing the same thing over and over and getting the same result every time, and I said the definition of irrationality was doing the same thing countless times, and expecting different results. He totally agreed with that, but still thinks calories in/out makes sense.
The one exercise he gave me to do is supposed to stretch my back muscles. It's laying on my back, with my knees bent and my feet as close to my ass as I can get them (yeah, arthritic knees that hurt all the time bend real well for that). Then I put one ankle on the other knee, and try to line up the knee of that leg with the center of my chest and hold it for 5 minutes (worked real well, I'm supposed to be able to feel the muscle in the back of my thigh pulling, kind of hard to do when laying on my back makes my thighs go numb). I couldn't do it by myself, so he held my leg in place for the 5 minutes, then we switched legs and another 5 minutes of the same thing. So there I am, laying on this padded table, on my back, and it hurts and my thighs are numb, and I'm trying to feel the stretch in those muscles. I can't feel anything, and when we're done (did this once with each leg, I have to do this 2 or 3 times a day at home) I get up and my back is screaming at me and my knees are yelling, and I'm going "Yeah, this is going to work, the pain I've been having is because my back is telling me there's something wrong, so what does this pain mean?"
I got home, and took 800 mg of ibuprofen and 500 mg of tylenol (which didn't do much for the pain), sat at the computer for a few minutes, then went to start cooking dinner. By the time I had dinner in the oven (an hour later), I was in so much pain, I could hardly move (knees and back). Now my pain, on a normal day, is usually at around 7 or 8 on my scale of 1 to 10 (which is probably a 15 for anyone else). Yesterday, after physical therapy, it was a 10 and I was crying from it (and I don't cry from pain very damned often). I have to go back next Tuesday and Thursday, and I'm hoping things go better, that doing this exercise at home is going to help (but if I keep ending up in that kind of pain, I don't know.....). He wants to start working on my abdominal muscles too, and I don't know how well that's going to work, what with having had an incisional hernia repaired with mylar mesh (and I think the hernia is back).
I think I'm going to do some online research on exercises for strengthening back muscles, and see if it's the same stuff he wants me to do. I do know that I'm not going to be able to eliminate all the bending over I have to do, we can't afford it and we just don't have the storage room in this small house to put everything at waist level or higher.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

The miracle weight loss that isn't (DUH!!!!!)

This isn't something you'll be seeing shouted from every media source, and I'm shocked to see that it was on MSNBC (and I wouldn't have known it was there if it hadn't been posted in its entirety on Yahoo group OSSG-gone_wrong).
Eileen Wells was smiling as she was wheeled into surgery. She was too excited to feel nervous. At 38, she was about to get “a new lease on life,” she says, echoing jargon in weight loss surgery ads. She had seen the before and after pictures in celebrity tabloids, watched the TV infomercials, listened to the patient testimonials and researched online. She was ready to begin her own transformation. At 5 foot 3 and 290 pounds, she was sick of being fat. Her joints ached. Her feet hurt. A stroll through the mall near her home in Greenwood Lake, New York, was enough to leave her sweat-slick and gasping for air. She was anxious to say good-bye to sleep apnea and dieting, ready to take control. And so in March 2005, Wells underwent a laparoscopic gastric bypass. She was grinning right up until the anesthesia knocked her out.

From the menu of weight loss (bariatric) operations, Wells had chosen the Roux-en-Y bypass, the most popular option in the United States. The surgery sectioned off her stomach to a thumb-sized sac — sharply limiting the amount of food Wells could eat — then connected it to a deeper portion of her small intestine, to limit absorption of the calories she did consume. (An increasingly popular alternative, gastric banding, cinches in the stomach to restrict its capacity.) The rearrangement required Wells to radically overhaul her eating habits. She learned to eat tiny, frequent meals, cutting her food into pencil eraser–sized bites. On her doctor’s orders, to replace nutrients no longer absorbed by her digestive tract, she faithfully swallowed a multivitamin, calcium and B12 supplements and two protein shakes daily. Soon she resembled the women in those weight loss infomercials: Fifteen months post-op, Wells had lost an amazing 160 pounds — more than half her body weight — bringing her down to a trim 130.

But although Wells looked like a satisfied customer, she didn’t feel like one. Seven months after surgery she had developed an agonizing ulcer on the new inner seam between her stomach and intestine, which required a second operation. Not long afterward, Wells recalls eating a bite of tuna steak her husband, Ron, had prepared and doubling over in pain; an ambulance rushed her into surgery yet again, this time for an intestinal hernia — her bowel had snagged on a slit in her abdominal wall. A fourth procedure followed to ease the pain of the abdominal scarring from her previous surgeries. Meanwhile, Wells’s gastrointestinal pain had become so severe that she could barely eat. One day while shoe shopping, she realized she couldn’t flex her right foot. Within weeks her limbs began to tingle, her energy evaporated and her weight plummeted. She stopped menstruating. By late 2006, Wells had shrunk to 105 pounds.
“I feel like I’m dying,” she told Ron. Months of doctors’ visits revealed that Wells had beriberi, a disorder caused by extreme thiamine deficiency. Rarely seen outside 19th-century Asia, it’s present enough among those in the weight loss–surgery world that doctors call it bariatric beriberi.

This is just one story of many, and don't you believe the hype that Wells is just one of a very small percentage that have this happen to them. If the membership rolls at OSSG are any indication, it would be fair to say that your odds of developing similar (or more, or worse) complications are probably 50/50 no matter how closely you follow your surgeon's/doctor's directions, and that's just within the first year (and the longer out from your surgery you are, the more complications you're going to have and the more severe those complications are going to be, mainly because doctors refuse to accept that they don't know all there is to know about this surgery, and if you have problems, they're "all in your head"). Once you've had this surgery, your surgeon doesn't want to see you anymore because your complications are bad for his business of pushing this surgery on as many people as he can because anything is better than being fat (and yes, even though it's not recommended for anyone with a BMI under 40, surgeons are still doing this surgery on people with BMIs lower than that). Doesn't matter if you don't have any of the co-morbidities that are supposedly a requirement for having this surgery, along with a BMI over 40. If you don't have one of those (high blood pressure, CVD, high cholesterol, diabetes, etc), the surgeon will come up with one for you. And that psychological exam you have to pass? They'll fudge that for you too (if you aren't smart enough to be able to tell them what they want to hear, even as depressed as I was, on 40 mg of Prozac twice a day, I managed that).
So go read the whole article, it's very enlightening and should scare the hell out of anyone who thinks WLS is the magic miracle cure for TEHDEATHFATZ.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Migraine MRI update

Ok, I don't know if I should worry or not. My doctor's nurse called me yesterday and said they had the results of my MRI. Doctor said there were some small abnormalities (I always knew my brain wasn't "normal") and that she doesn't think that's causing the headaches. But, she wants me to see a neurologist (there's one that comes up from the Twin Cities, once a month, I think). Thing is, I can't get in to see her until July 23rd. So I have almost 2 months to sit here and obsess about what's wrong with me and if it's nothing to worry about, like the nurse said, then why do I have to see a neurologist? I think I must be a mushroom because all she does is keep me in the dark and feed me bullshit.
I'm beginning to think my doctor isn't as good as I first thought she was. This migraine thing isn't the only reason. When I went to get the 3rd set of shots for my knees, the ortho doc asked me how I was doing and when I told him pretty good, other than a migraine, he wanted to know what I was being given for them. When I told him "Nothing, we're waiting on the results of the MRI I had done," he asked if I wanted him to prescribe something for me. Told him no, I would wait and see what the MRI showed and see what my PCP wanted to do from there (which seems like nothing, as fucking usual, send me to another doctor and let that one deal with it, just like she did with my arthritic knees). She won't give me any pain meds for my knees, nothing for my headaches (take Excedrin Migraine, that works, she says), physical therapy for my back (who haven't yet called to set up any appointments). Yeah, she's doing a really good job of taking care of my health (lose weight and everything will be fine, she says, been there done that didn't work I say, try again, she says). She wants to put me on blood pressure meds, in spite of the fact that, at home, my blood pressure is fine, it's only high when her nurse takes it and pumps the cuff up so high I'm in serious pain from it and then I get pissed off because she won't listen to me (but stress doesn't raise your blood pressure, oh no it doesn't, according to her).
At least now that I've seen the ortho doctor for my knees, I don't need any more referrals from my doctor to be able to see him again. If I have any problems, I can just call and make an appointment directly with him. He said these rooster comb shots take about 6 weeks after the last one to see the full effect of them, so hopefully, by the end of this month, first part of July, I should be seeing some improvement (I hope so, I want to go back to riding my recumbent exercise bike).

Monday, June 1, 2009

First Do No Harm is back up and running

Ok, I was asked to help out with FDNH almost a year ago, but hadn't been able to get all the information I needed to get busy with it, and time got away from me. I now have most of what I need to know to get started with publishing the stories readers have sent to First Do No Harm. I'm sorry it's taken me so long to get to this, but I will be reading all the emails, getting back to everyone who sent in their story, and working with you all to get your stories out there. I plan on doing a post every day this month, until I can get caught up with the backlog, so if you've sent something in and you don't see it right away, be assured that it will get posted.
If anyone has new "tales from the medical dark side", send them in and I will post them as soon as I have finished posting all the ones I currently have in line.
Thanks, everyone, for reading, and continuing to let us know what's going on with the medical establishment.

Letter to Woman Within

I used the "Contact Us" form at Woman Within today. I'm so damned fed up with their lack of options as far as pants are concerned. They finally started carrying the pants I like again (polyester/rayon/spandex, straight leg, diagonal slash pockets), and they have them in 5 colors - charcoal gray, brown, dark navy, black, and true olive. While the price is a little more than I really want to pay ($24.99 each, but I'd pay it if they had them in a 32" inseam), I would have ordered 1 pair of each color. What stopped me? The inseam, of course. They only come in a 30" inseam, which hits me right above my ankles (yeah, I'm not interested in wearing high-water pants, thank you very much). And it pisses me off because they carry the same damned pants in wide leg and boot cut in petite, average, and tall, same colors/same fabric, but guess what? No fucking pockets in them.
So this is the letter I wrote in their "contact us" form:
I would like to order some pants from your catalog, item #25-17777-842, but you only carry them with a 30" inseam and I need a 32" inseam. I would order the 25-33835-842 pants, but they don't have pockets, neither do the 25-55058-842 pants, even though the inseams are long enough in both of those. Why can't you carry pants with pockets (slash pockets, not those useless sideseam pockets) in all 3 leg styles and in petite, average, AND tall? I happen to be a fat woman with long legs who wants pockets (the diagonal slash pockets) in my pants, and would love to be able to choose from straight, boot-cut, and wide leg styles, and not be stuck with pants that either have no pockets at all, or have hems that hit above my ankles if they do have pockets.
I buy most of my clothing at Woman Within, but you are really making me reconsider that. I had purchased 4 pairs of the pants like I'm describing (32" inseam, straight leg, diagonal slash pockets, polyester/rayon/spandex) several years ago, and then you quit carrying them. Now you have them back, but they just don't have a long enough inseam.
You seem to have plenty of options in pants styles and lengths if you like the sideseam pockets, but I don't like them, every time I sit down, whatever is in my pocket falls out. Rather makes the pocket useless, don't you think?
I guess I'll have to go back to making all my clothes and you can do without the money I would otherwise be spending with you.

We'll see what kind of response I get from them, but I'm betting it's going to be a form letter saying they're sorry, but they just can't carry everything everyone wants or some such bullshit (can you tell I've written complaining letters to clothing catalog companies before and what kind of response I've gotten?).