One Month From Today, I Could Drown or Be Eaten By A Shark

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I have been documenting the swim to my 50’s since March of this year.  So far so good.  A couple of leg cramps here and there and some swallowed salty water along the way but generally speaking, my strokes have been smooth.  I have stayed afloat (sort of) and continue to breathe rhythmically.  Phew!

 Exactly one month from today, the big day will come.  HOLY #%*@!!!  It’s almost here!  The big 5-0.  The day I could…drown or get eaten by a shark.  It’s true. 

The day that the swimming comes to a halt.  On that day, I will either drown and get swallowed up by the immense dark terrifying ocean of the 50’s, or get swallowed up by an immense terrifying Great White of the 50’s.  

There will be no escaping my fate.  If it is to be a shark, it will begin to circle around me a few days before planning its attack.  It might nudge me once or twice.  It will get bolder and take a chunk of my foot.  Then it will circle some more.  It will come back for my leg.  All of it.  Soon it will alert his friends and they will finish me up tugging and jerking me around like a rag doll.  Swallowed up.  The whole half century of my life, Gone.  Now, officially 50.

Or, I could just drown.  Let the ocean swallow me up alive drifting my body and soul towards the next half century of my life.  

But you know what?  I am thinking that I may ask for a life boat.  Even a small raft.  I may tread water, doggy paddle like crazy and stay above water.  Maybe I will take a break from my swim for a bit and party my ass off.  Yea.  That sounds better.  Maybe I will cheer and celebrate like crazy.  This brickhousechick is no quitter, damn it!  She never gives up and she will continue the long distance swim through her 50’s, 60’s, 70’s, 80′ and beyond.

I will reflect on the past 50 years.  I will remember the tidal waves, tsunamis and shark infested waters I have lived through.  Also the calm beautiful clear waters I encountered, that made my journey a joy.

I think I will play my <a href=”http:/

“>favorite song throughout the whole month and dance like nobody is watching (cervical stenosis or not).

Won’t you join me?

 

“Paging Dr. Page”

ever-con.com

ever-con.com

With my long list of challenging health issues, I have met my share of doctors over the years.  As we all know, doctors come in all shapes and sizes, with varying personalities, traits and…names.

Fortunately, I have had good luck with my doctors and have developed good relationships with most of them (particularly with my Dr. L – she’s amazing, wink, wink – hi Sue!!)  There have been a few that I would have preferred never to have met or that I wish I had poked in the eye with a cervical dilating tool when I had the chance, but most have been professional and pleasant.

What really peaks my curiosity when meeting doctors is, their names.  My question is, did they go into a specific specialty because of their last name or did they happen upon a specialty that also suits their name?

Take our very own local Oral Surgeon, Dr. Garlick.  Really?  As a little boy cursed with such a last name, did he dream of one day working with people’s mouths?  Did he set out to become the best oral surgeon around because of his name?

Dr. Blei-man, please could you explain to us when and why you decided to become an Eye Physician?  We just want to see, how this all came to be.

When visiting a Urologist, what are we looking for in this type of doctor?  Someone with a top-notch reputation and experience?  Someone who can treat conditions such as urinary tract infections,  incontinence, kidney stones, sexual dysfunction (male and female)…external genitalia issues?  Someone, whose name is…. Dr. Kick?  For real??  Mind you, he is a very nice man (and I did not have any genitalia issues...) but, seriously?

I don’t have a pet, well except for our Beta fish, Ron.  We used to have guinea pigs when the kids were little but they have long passed (the guinea pigs, not the kids).  But if I did have a pet, where would I take it to when sick? To our very own, Dr. Katz – of course!  He had to have decided to become a Vet at the age of 2 when he could say his name.  This one is a no brainer!

How about asking to see an Allergist for a rash on your head only to learn that the doctor who you have been referred to is named, Dr. Malpica (bad itch, in Spanish).  I am scratching my head as we speak (I mean, write),  just wondering, how and why?

webbernaturals.com

webbernaturals.com

Most of us as we approach our 50’s, have a certain procedure we should have done that we all prefer to a-void.  Lucky for me, I have already been probed twice in my 40’s and therefore, do not to have to add that to my to do list this coming September (although, I am due for a cleansing…hmmmm, maybe I will go to my local drug store and buy the liquid stuff anyway for ha, has).

Well, among the Gastroenterologists in the practice I go to, is one particular doctor named, Dr. Cooley.  Culo, in Spanish and Italian is the word for buttocks.  Did he not take a language as a youngster?  Couldn’t he have gone into any other specialty?

 

 

What other peculiar doctor’s names have you come across?

 

     

The Swim to My 50s – Heard it from a friend who, heard it from a friend who, heard it from another you’ve been “messing around”.

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photo by colourbox.com

How is a Catholic girl to blog about s—, you ask?  I know you did not really ask, but I will tell you anyway.  She researches the many euphemisms out there to describe the nasty, without having to actually use the forbidden word.  Oh, believe me, there are endless lists of them, enough to please a whole church filled with sinners who can continue to avoid saying what they actually mean.

As I approach my 50’s, I think about my, dippity doo-da history and what awaits me in the next 50 years of my life.  Truth be told, I was a late bloomer.  Having grown up Catholic and under the direction of a very, very, very (did I say very?) strict Puerto Rican father, bouncing the pogo stick, before marriage, was out of the question.

Interestingly enough (Grrr), this waiting to, dip the wick rule before marriage, did not apply to my two brothers.  Something that did not sit well with my sister and I and the reason for continued therapy.

It is very difficult to re-train your brain and body from believing that, buttering the muffin, is bad, bad, bad, to suddenly feeling that it is ok to enjoy,  feeding the kitty, every night.  The button does not just switch that easily from one day to the next. Often, the button actually stays stuck in one place for a while, until you have to force it to switch with a pair of pliers.

Lucky for me, my switch was not faulty and I have had a very enriched life of, dipping the donut, with my husband throughout our marriage.  I look forward to, hiding the salami, for many years to come.

Doctors and therapists encourage married couples of all ages to continue to, stuff the taco, at least three times a week.  Really?  What happens when your body stops cooperating and you can’t, bury the bone, as often as you would like?

I heard it from a friend who, heard it from a friend, who, heard it from another that there are certain, aids out there to help the aging population, go fishing, more often. But, the same friend who, heard it from a friend who, heard it from another, said that you can only get 4 of these aids per month. Seriously?

Who do the doctors and insurance companies think we are?  Monks?

 

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! 🙂

The Swim to My 50s – My name is brickhousechick, and I am a blog-oholic

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Courtesy of clipartguide.com

How can this be?  Why me?

I cannot deny, that the warning signs indicating that I had somewhat of an addictive personality, were there.  I sort of suspected that it was not normal for me to order a case of Olde Cape Cod Poppyseed Dressing, after having night sweats and a panic attack at the thought of not having my next supply. 

Or, the fact that I hide chap stick (shh…) everywhere in my house and car so that when the uncontrollable shakes come over me, I have immediate access to my fix.

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I continued to ignore my loved ones’ warnings thinking that, contrary to what they believed, I did not have an addictive bone in me.

Consequently, against the advice of other blog-oholics, on that raw March evening (last month), I  took a bite of the -oh, so tempting – blogging apple.  I, brickhousechick,  waited until my family was out, locked myself in my room, closed the shades,  googled blogging sites, came across the WordPress world and, Wham-O!  I was hooked after my first post.

Nothing will ever top that first time.  The rush I felt writing my first post. Trying desperately to figure out what on earth a Widget was and how to add a picture to my Gravatar.  I get chills just thinking about it.

I soon discovered, sadly,  that one post was not enough.  I needed to experience a higher state of excitement.  I needed more.  I had to write more.  

I began sneaking around with my laptop any chance I could, reading other blogger’s posts, commenting on them and even pressing their Like buttons.  The thrill of almost getting caught, only increased my desire to do more.

I found myself staying home all day and night.  My husband was suspicious and expressed his concerns.  Why did I need to speak or socialize with real people when my virtual enabling blog-oholic friends, were always there for me?  They understood how I felt.  They got who I really was and they, did not judge me.

Well, the consequences of my new-found addiction began to show their ugly faces.  I had bags under my eyes from staying up all night coming up with ideas for my next post.  My neck was permanently curved in a severe osteoporosis – kind of way.  My fingers became stronger than an eagle’s talons, as I grasped my laptop for dear life unable to let go. It was time I got help.

Today, I am happy to announce, I was one hour and 35 seconds sober (blog-free) until I began writing this post, two hours ago. Please do not judge me.  Writing  is part of my recovery.  I am not perfect and just because it is 1:00 in the morning, does not mean I have fallen off the wagon.  It is  just a small set back.  I blame it on my husband actually, who had to travel this weekend and left me completely unsupervised in my bed, with my laptop.  

“Serenity Now”.  Tomorrow, is another day and everyday after that, is a gift.  A new beginning.  I pray for you, my fellow blog-oholics, that you may find peace and comfort in knowing that I am always here for you (especially in the middle of the night, when my husband is asleep).

I will sacrifice my recovery so that I may be available to help those who find themselves diving off the wagon and running for their laptops.  That, my friends, is the kind of blog-oholic I am.

 

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.