I’m a Big Girl Now – Not

crabbygolightly.com

crabbygolightly.com

Last week,  I had a public tantrum (I. Don’t.Wanna) about not wanting to make an appointment with any of my doctors and enjoying my 4 month hiatus from the medical world.  Click here if you missed it: 

https://swimmingtomy50s.wordpress.com/2013/06/22/prednisone-gin-naproxen-wine-chemo-cannabis/

I discussed all the substances I need, to ease my chronic pain and threatened anyone who considered taking away my wine and gin.

I decided to act like a big girl and make the phone call to see one of my doctors.  I had my appointment yesterday.

I walked into the office sporting my fancy red-hot neck brace which was supporting my neck, which was supporting my head, with felt like a ton of bricks sitting on my neck (it did however, match my lipstick.)  Have you ever felt that your head was too heavy for your neck to support?  And not because your brain was too big?

I have stenosis of the cervical spine in discs 4-5 and 5-6 and have been avoiding having to have a spinal fusion.  Who wants to do that?  Only if and when I have tingling and numbness in my arms and legs, will I consider it.  Fortunately, the debilitating, excruciating pain I have, is not worthy of an operation.

As I checked in at the reception desk, I was massaging my left rib cage which was spasming and inflicting more intense pain.  I looked really good.

I am not at liberty to discuss how I injured my ribs because…I just can’t.  Although my husband may have had something to do with it, the injury did not occur as a result of a beating, so you don’t have to call the police.  I’ll just leave it at that…(blushing slightly, right now).

After a full physical, an xray and antibiotics for an infection, this was the outcome:
      
The radiologist has determined that there has been no progression of your degenerative disease in your cervical spine and that al he could see was the same old bad stuff he had seen in previous xrays.
 
Wait.  So…am I supposed to take that as good news?  Hey, brickhousechick, be happy that things are just the sucky same!  Same narrowing of your spine, same disc erosion, same excruciating pain, just more of the same! Phew!
 
Be thankful that there is no change Yay me!
 
Then, I was informed that my ribs may be bruised and that there is nothing to be done about ribs.  You just wait it out.  Just like that.  You leave those suckers alone to heal themselves.  Alternate between cold and heat and it should go away in a month or so.
 
Really?
 
So, although I love my doctor and she is not to blame for my misery, was it worth being a big girl?  Ah…NO!
  
I ended up back home, doing what I was doing before I called.  Laying in bed with an ice pack on my neck and one on my ribs and having another tantrum.
   
Chronic pain is for the…birds.  Actually, I take that back.  Poor birds, why do we always wish the bad stuff on them?
   
The only good that came out of all this, was that I can now add antibiotics and muscle relaxants to my already diverse Cocktail (which currently consists of wine, gin, prednisone, naproxen, chemo & cannabis.)
ideachampions.com

ideachampions.com

   
Cheers!  Drinks are on me!    
 

OH GOD, not the skirted bathing suit!!!

WARNING:  If you are a man, reading this post may elicit certain… excitement.  Read at your own risk.

thetimeisright.com

thetimeisright.com

Guess what?  It’s summer and I’m almost 50.  Translation:  Must I really get into a bathing suit?  This is the dreaded question we all ask as the days get warmer, the nights get longer, the grills are ‘a cooking and the water is glistening.  Damn, is it that time again?

It’s not like we don’t have 9 months to prepare for this inevitable event.  We know it’s coming.  We can mold and sculpt our bodies in preparation for the big reveal.  But, who the hell wants to do that?

After summer has passed, we welcome the fall with open arms.  We can cover up our skin more, eat apple pie, pumpkin pie, pumpkin ice cream (my fave) and all the other seasonal autumn (starchy) foods.  Then, we gorge during the holidays, to then fail at our new resolutions we set on January 1st and gorge some more to keep warm during the winter months (at least that’s my excuse).

At a blink of an eye, May rolls around and….SH@&*!!!  It’s here again.  Darn Summer.

Don’t get me wrong, I love summer.  Everything about it EXCEPT for the bathing suit part (oh and the mosquitos).

Well, I found myself bathing suit shopping this past weekend.  There were racks upon racks of vibrant shiny sexy wear, for all shapes and sizes.

41zPXTmA8DL._SL246_SX190_CR0,0,190,246_ cameron-diaz-bathing-suit < These two were my favorites.  Especially the patriotic monokini, just in time for July 4th!

You wouldn’t believe the ingenious marketing that takes place to sell these tiny pieces of lycra.  Slenderizing.  Miraclesuit.  Spanx-Slimming.  Contour.  Control Top.  Look 10 lbs slimmer.  Color contrast to give the illusion of slimness.

The sad thing is that I believed it and fell for it.  I marched right over to the fitting room, cart chock full of miracles, to be tried on.  Thank God for the fitting room’s special mirrors they have for our benefit – although my paleness blinded me as I looked to see how the suits looked.  Shoot, I forgot to shave!  I had to pretend that it wasn’t Chewbacca staring back at me.

Boy do I hate this process.  Time and time again you must look at your….flaws as you wiggle your way into the too small of a size suit – because you refuse to believe that you are truly, two sizes larger.  Fun times!

As I struggled with straps, belts, buckles and cups, I yearned for older days.  The days when this was the style:

missstan.com

missstan.com

C1939-SWIMSUITS

fashionera.com

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I was wishing I could find this suit below, so as to scare away any eyes that would decide to wander over to my less than perfect body.  Stay Away! 

41mNo0rpYuL._SL190_CR0,0,190,246_

It was looking like this style was fitting me the best= Womens-Elderly-Onepiece-Swimwear_1038_570 After all, look at how happy and carefree and flowy the models look.

I frankly think, the bathing suit that has fit me the absolute BEST throughout  my whole bathing suit career, has been this baby below. Not too tight or loose.  The perfect colors for my skin type and quite flattering, wouldn’t you agree?DSCN4481 - Version 2

Well, I am now not so happy to report that I walked out of the store, the proud owner of not one, not two but three skirted suits. Yes, I said skirted20130617_120049 (God Have Mercy on Me).  Three, because I could not stand looking at myself in the small claustrophobic dressing room mirror any longer and could not decide which lucky suit would come home with me.  

I now get to have a fashion show in the privacy of my own messy room to decide which one, is the winner.  Sigh.

The Swim to My 50s – “Perfect is the Enemy of Good,” Voltaire

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Last Saturday, instead of doing the usual mundane errands, I was swallowed up by our oversized soft leather living room chair, in front of our movie theater style television.  I had an icy glass of a Cranberry Spritzer I had made earlier and my feet were resting comfortably on the coffee table. The only time I looked away was to make sure no family member was lingering in the near distance, waiting to interrupt my self made oasis.   

I am not an avid television watcher and only watch the few shows I really enjoy.  Like for example,  Wednesday’s winner line up of The Middle, Modern Family, & Nashville.  I cannot miss Thursday’s tantalizing, Scandal, Monday’s The Bachelorette (I know…) and the sultry, Dancing with the Stars as well as CNN – particularly since the horrific events of the past month. Oh yes, there is also, Duck Dynasty when my son has it on and, Pretty Little Liars when my daughter wishes to bond with me.  I look forward to Meredith Viera’s Who Wants to be a Millionaire every day after dinner (although I do miss Regis), Nightly News with the handsome, Brian Williams, American Pickers with my treasure hunter husband and of course, The Voice and oh, I love Robin from Good Morning America….

Ok,  so my big brown eyes watch a bit more television than I originally admitted to but the point is, that on Saturday I came across the Hallmark Channel.  I knew it existed but always flipped right by it on my way to another channel.  I stumbled upon a tear jerker of a movie about an Amish young woman who finds out that she is adopted and decides she does not have to stay and live the Amish way and ventures out to explore the outside world, against her adoptive parent’s wishes.

The same big brown eyes soon morphed into a pair of swollen, blood shot, dried up balls as I sobbed like a baby who had lost her binky.  Part two of the movie soon followed and by then, I would not have been recognizable to my next of kin, had they attempted to interrupt me.

 Instead of redeeming myself once it ended, I sat mesmerized by our dizzying 55 inch, 1080p widescreen way-high resolution quality picture and was sucked in by an episode of The Waltons, followed by Little House on the Prairie.

But, the fun did not end there.  A talk show titled, Marie, came on.  Marie, as in Osmond.   She has endured her share of woes in her family in addition to delicately fainting while a contestant on Dancing with the Stars and did lose all that weight while on Nutrisystem,  but what caught my zombie-like attention was, her face.  

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Quite unfortunate and disappointing, is the fact that she has joined the increasing number of people (mostly stars) who now represent the face of this century.  It’s that puffy, botox filled, collagen enhanced, stiff, clown-looking face.  What will our grandchildren’s children be saying about the way we looked, back in the 21st century, when they go through old pictures of us?  They will be puzzled by the anatomy of our faces and will try to study the causes of such deformities, for years to come.  I am by no means trying to be mean, I am just simply confused by this.  

Marie-Osmond 

I admit that there are more than a few little parts of my face that could use some nipping, tucking and plumping, and I don’t disagree that a little help can be a good thing,  but why isn’t good, good enough?  Take a look at these stars:

Janice-Dickinson-Plastic-Surgery-Before-After lisa-rinna-plastic-surgery-before-after

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No Mickey…come back!  barry-manilow-plastic-surgery 1307915539-barry-manillow-facelifts-botched-cosmetic-surgery “Looks Like We (You) Made It”…a big mistake that is.

Where, for the love of God, are their agents and family members in all of this?  Aren’t they supposed to look out for them and tell them how they really look?  Could I possibly be missing something?  Could somebody be so kind and educate me?   

jocelyn-wildenstein Celebrity-plastic-surgery-faces-before-after8 images-31

Every time I see a favorite actor/actress  join the circus – per say, I feel so distraught.  Why have they gone to the other side?  Wayyyyyy over?  There is no turning back now.   

Meg Ryan, please don’t….go!!! Darn it, it’s too late… images-35 

Courtney-Cox-Plastic-SurgeryMonica, I mean Courtney, don’t do it, don’t… join the circus! Aww man, also too late.

Between nodding off during Marie’s interview of a woman who had married a man who was really a woman who thought she was a man since birth but then dressed like a woman, and trying not to drop my glass on the floor, my mind delved deep into mankind’s fascination and desperate search for, perfection.

We don’t want it later, we want it now.  Fast.  We don’t just want some, we want it all.  We don’t accept good, we want perfect. When did good, become not good enough?

Please don’t let Perfect, be the enemy of your Good.

 

The Swim to My 50s – This Girl Is On Fire…

After taking a close look at my gouda (a fun word to describe your gluteus maximus) during my April 8th post, Swimming to My 50s – “I like Big B— (Goudas) and I Cannot Lie”, I took a little break from body parts.

It was a nice break but I knew I had an obligation to continue swimming along checking for any necessary alignments and adjustments to this soon to be 50-year-old bod.

Well, right below my gouda, are my lovely thighs.  

I suddenly had a flash back to the Jane Fonda exercise days back in the 80’s.  I had just graduated from high school and at the suggestion of my cousin (whose thighs were a bit… large then), I went rushing to Kmart to buy my very own Jane Fonda’s Workout VHS tape!

Ok, so my thighs were a bit large as well, probably because while in high school, I spent my .35 cent daily lunch allowance on ice cream sandwiches instead of a ‘well balanced’ school lunch.  At times, I chose a Drake’s Coffee Cake instead of the ice cream sandwich in order to vary my diet. 

These are so good!

These are so good

Word had it that this workout did wonders for your legs.  Seeing that the ice cream and coffee cakes had all settled in my thighs, I could not wait to start the workouts.

Boy did Jane look good then!  She still does – damn her.  How old is she now, 80?  

1982 VHS

1982 VHS

In the video, she sported a pink and purple striped leotard, pink tights and purple leg warmers.  She looked so happy.  So did her accomplices who flawlessly followed her every step. Why weren’t they sweating?  And, why were they smiling so much?

The first time, I played the video all the way through without participating.  I wanted to know what I was getting into.  I figured if they could do it, so could I.

It was summer, I was in Puerto Rico with my family and away from my boyfriend (now husband).  I decided that I would transform my thighs before seeing him again the following month.  

I put on an old t-shirt, short shorts (so I could see why I was doing this), pressed the play button and began following along.  Jane was looking right at me through the tv screen.  She seemed to know my every move.  She kept telling me to breathe (could she see me panting?). Then, she would tell me to bounce, bounce and bounce some more.  As I bounced (which I believe is now known to be a bad thing to do when stretching – just saying), she told me to, make it burn.

I knew exactly what she meant by burn because my legs were on fire.  How did she believe it was humanly possible to do as many leg lifts as she made me do? And the pelvic tilts…ouch!

Well, my girl Jane was right!  Soon, I became obsessed with the workouts and did them twice a day every day.  I was determined to have Jane-looking thighs.

Mind you, this was in the early 80’s when I was young, healthy and physically able!  Unaware, that in the years to follow I would be diagnosed with RA and unable to move!

When fall rolled along and it was time to go to college, I was more than ready.  Not only did my thighs look amazing but so did the rest of my body!

Fast forward to 2013.  What can I say?  I’m sure Jane’s thighs still look good. But, I’m not bitter.  My almost 50-year-old thighs are strong and have been the pillars that have kept me grounded, steady and able to support all the heavy burdens that have come my way.  

As Alicia Keys suggests in her song, Girl On Fire,  this brickhousechick, is on fire!  

The Swim to My 50’s – Now, where was I?

I could not do it.  Since the Boston bombings, as I sat to write on my blog, no words would come to me.  Having lived, studied and worked in Boston for many years, I could not stop thinking about the horrible events.  Nothing I wanted to write seemed appropriate enough or worthy of a blog entry.  Everything felt so trivial in comparison to the mayhem in Boston.

How could I write about my silly experiences, stories or events?  It felt disrespectful and selfish discussing my insignificant little life, while so many were suffering.

I have Rheumatoid Arthritis – AND?  At least I have all my limbs and extremities in tact.  Yes, I experience pain on a daily basis – SO?  It is nothing like the excruciating physical and emotional pain felt by the victims of the bombings.

I am going to turn 50 in September.  Really?  That’s my dilemma?

As the days passed and the suspects were still out there, I began to think about the want and longing we all felt  for some sort of normalcy.  We could not wait until the suspects were caught so that we could go back to our routines, as mundane as they may be, and to our little insignificant lives.

Psychologists were advising that parents continue their daily regular schedules with their children, in order to ease their anxiety. None of us could truly get the atrocity of the bombings out of our minds as we grieved for those affected, but we tried to resume our lives because – we had to.

Soon I realized that I had to move forward.  That, as trivial as my life is, it is nevertheless, my life.  Not unlike the lives of many out there.

You see, although major events in our lives can shape us into who we are, it is often the simple routines and experiences that bring us joy and that make us feel blessed.

We all have silly stories to tell and experiences to share.  We do not have to be famous, on a reality show or on the news to be relevant.  Our voices and opinions matter to us and to those who choose to listen.  We enjoy reading about other’s lives and opinions and learn to find the humor in the difficulties we face.

There are atrocities happening every day.  We cannot ignore them or avoid them, but we can show our strength by continuing to live our lives the best we can.

I look forward to sharing more of my silly insignificant stories (like how I got my thunder thighs) with you, on future posts! 🙂

Swimming to My 50s – “I like Big B— (Goudas) and I Cannot Lie”

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Have you checked your tail lights lately?    It was time to inspect mine to make sure they were not out and that I didn’t get a ticket.  I know they are not perfect or new or shiny or firm or bright but they are mine nevertheless, and I am attached to them – literally!

As you may remember, I am ‘traveling’ throughout my body in preparation for the day I turn 50.  Just making sure all is in check and in no need of a tune up.  I have found a few (well ok, a lot) of parts that are in need of replacing, but after comparing prices at different shops, it is way too costly.  I am stuck in my clunker of a body for 50 more years.

So I dove right into checking out my backside to make sure it’s ok.   You know, my tail lights.  But (note, only one t), it occurred to me that I have used the word, butt on several occasions throughout my blog.  Like when I blogged about telling butt jokes while in the middle of surgery or when I described my beautiful butt chin.  

Well, I decided that I don’t like that word and that you have had more than enough of having to see it.  From this day forward, If I find myself having to discuss the word butt, I vow to replace it with another word with the same meaning.

Ay, Dios Mio!

Ay, Dios Mio!

Let’s take a look at my options:

Rear or rear end, ass, booty, trunk, bottom, tookus, derriere, bum-bum, buns, fanny, behind, seat, hind end, tush or tushi or tushy, glutes, hiney, tail lights, buttox, backside, buttocks, rump, arse, caboose, pooper, posterior, buttcheecks, dupa, bumper, biscuit, cheeks, skids, butter beans, suitcase, shelf and my new fav, gouda!

I’m sure I have missed some other names and welcome your suggestions.  In the meantime, gouda is today’s choice!  I love it!  Not my gouda, but just the word.  

My gouda, it turns out, is just fine.  Not too sharp, or mild or….aged.  I am happy to report that it will definitely take me through another 50 years, providing me with continued padding and comfort.  

imagesConsequently, I will sit my big gouda down and have myself a glass of wine.