Itty Bitty’s Moving


Hello my friends, I am in the process of transfering my wordpress.com blog to my new website www.ittybittyboomer.com – please check out the new website, and register there to continue following me while I’m in this strange time of transition!

With any luck within a week everything here will be there …

Thank you!

The Itty Bitty Boomer

Highlights and Tattoos – The Lighter Side of Life


So I’ve been playing with my little blog for 5 years now.  The last few years have been fairly dark ones – and I want to move on from the darkness and chaos. It’s still there, I deal with it on a daily basis.  Mama bear will always deal with the chaos.

And where do I want to go with this little blog from here?  Well, I’m thinking more on:

The joys and stresses of aging from my prospective, staying young at heart while becoming old of bone, friendships, relationships, effective make up for aging skin (cos I’m always searching), fun hairstyles in spite of being older, and a little bit of this and that with respect to family (because that’s number one in my book said this mama bear)  …. yep, that’s it!

That being said, lately I’ve been working on being contented with me and letting that “me” out.  

The “medically supervised fast” is on hold because I started having major issues with digestive issues from no fat, high protein and iron supplements if you get my drift.  I’m in process with finding something else low calorie/high protein to replace it without the side effects.

A few weeks ago I took a second step in changing the color of my hair from mousy brown to a darker chocolate brown – and eventually silver highlights.  Brittney Johnson at  Salon Bravissimo in Fair Oaks, I still love you a year later!

hair

Then last weekend I got my very first (and I’m sure only)  tattoo.  I saw it a few months ago and knew I had to have it.  Thank you Nick at Fat Cat Tattoo in Carmichael, CA for the awesome artwork and being gentle with the ol’ lady!!!

 

And last but not least, I got a new ‘puter – lending my old smaller one to my son so he has his own laptop to use.

I also have to share a little gratitude here for the new circle of women friends I’ve made over the last year through my work networking systems.  I see some of them becoming life-long alliances.  Part of my availability to foster these friendships is my single state – I have time to actually spend with friends occasionally – and they are the kind of friendships in which we actually do “wellness checks” with each other when one is struggling.   Women and friends ….. critical!

So Namaste, my friends – I honor you and your willingness to grow and change!

Itty Bitty

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beginning the Journey – “ReLoss”


It’s been a busy month since my return to sane medical care – had 2 blood tests, a mammogram, am scheduling a routine colonoscopy and a not routine stress echocardiogram.  … Started intake a few weeks ago at the medically supervised weight loss clinic my PCP referred me to – The Hernried Center here in Sacramento.  A full hour appointment.  Minimal physical, EKG (in which there was some small abnormality) and orders set forth for more blood lab work.   A 600-800 calorie a day (low carb/high protein) regime – definitely needing supervision.

The next day I gave 9 vials of blood which resulted in close to 50 lab results.  Normal actually. Got the lab results about a week ago – and found that some things I thought would be issues were fine, and some things need attention –

Chloride 110 High
Parathyroid (PTH) 94 High
Calcium 8 Low
Ferritin 7 Low
Vitamin D3 25-Hydroxy 8 Low

Started taking chewable calcium citrate and vitamin D3, along with my sublingual B12 (which was ok) again.  Add a multivitimin, ferrous sulfate iron, and slo-mag (magnesium) and fiber supplement daily and there’s breakfast (ha!).  This is not in any way sponsored, but my personal favorite source of bariatric friendly supplements is Bariatric Advantage. Reasonable, free shipping and they taste good.

The first week – the end of week one, I lost 2.6 pounds.  That was after a weekend of 2 days of travel, a trade show, networking mixer and visiting clients.  I was happy!

By the end of week 2, I lost 3 more pounds – probably would have liked to lose more – but as long as I’m losing every week, I’ll take it.  And gave them 2 more vials of blood. Labs – every 6 weeks to check vital levels.

Tomorrow is the end of my 3rd week – it’s been a struggle only from the point of missing my wine.  That’s my battle – nothing to do with the program! Let’s hope for 2 pounds.

And all the while, life goes on – my daughter was taken off her seizure meds because her neurologist feels that they have been causing her lack of sleeping (1-2 hours a night at best), and now she has started having small seizures again.  In June she goes inpatient for 5 – 6 days to be hooked up to about a hundred electrodes on her head to see if it can be determined if her seizures are localized in one part of her brain or not.  If so, she may be a candidate for surgery to help alleviate the seizures.  It’s a bittersweet opportunity.  She’s been on disability now since December – and there’s no end in sight.

My son now earns too much (marginally) for MediCal so has lost his free medical and can’t afford medical insurance.  I will likely end up subsidizing him for this because he cannot be without his bipolar meds and access to psychiatric med management. The last 2 weeks for him have been a manic week and a half (thank goodness it resulted only in him getting some business done in spite of not sleeping), then a 36-hour crash of sleeping non-stop, and general depression.  That’s bipolar life, even medicated.

One day at a time, my friends, that’s all you an do.  That’s the best we can take it most of the time.

Namaste – I honor you – with your crazy busy days ….  one day at a time.

Itty Bitty

 

 

 

 

 

 

Welcome Ms Paige Lynn


 

One probable downside to my divorce is that I was so looking forward to having this little girlie as my only grand daughter even if it was to be “step” … one good reason to stay friends with the soon-to-be-ex is watching this new little family as they grow.

It was a privilege to be included with their family on Tuesday morning when she came into this world, surrounded by mommy and daddy, 3 sets of grandparents and an uncle … such love.

You’ll do just fine, little girlie, you’ll do just fine!

Namaste – I honor you, little one – thank you for letting me hug you and give you kisses.

Itty Bitty (aka Gramaree)

 

One Day At A Time …


It’s a landmark day for me anyway, and hopefully for my son …

I’m preparing to take him to drop him off at work – and when I pick him up at 1:30-ish, will be taking him to enter a cocaine detox program for 5 days.  Some may think, well, duh …  but it’s taken me two years to get this far with him.

At first, he used to quell his anxiety attacks when his bi-polar meds weren’t calming him enough.  And, of course, the seductress drew him in.   He’s tried on his own and relapsed.  It hasn’t helped that his “girlfriend” I believe (no proof) uses with him.

Ranting and raving and mom temper tantrums haven’t accomplished anything – and I’m sure added to his anxiety levels- one of which is dealing with confrontation.  He doesn’t – he withdraws.  He doesn’t “fight back”, he shuts down (a defense he developed when dealing with his verbally and psychologically abusive father when my son was a teen).  Fighting back, sticking up for your self resulted in a tirade.

In early November I told him I was done with his drug use, he needed to get himself into a rehab program – inpatient or outpatient.  He found an outpatient program that Medi-Cal (California’s medical insurance for indigent and low-income people) recommended.  They don’t cover the cost of mental health/drug addiction treatment programs though IF YOU CAN FIND ONE THAT TAKES MEDI-CAL you might find a sliding scale.

The outpatient/day program requires intakes test clean before accepting them in to the $1100, 12-week program.  He couldn’t stay clean.  The next step is to do the $840, 4 night/5 day detox program, then go on to the $1100 12-week day program.

I’m getting a cashiers check for $840. this morning.  Some how, some way I’ll come up with the $1100.  I am 100% behind him and will do anything in my power to help him be successful.  I have my fears as I’m sure any parent or spouse in my shoes does.  But I am hopeful. I have to be.

I also have conversations with myself about what if it fails?  If it was a simple matter of drug dependence, as hard as it is, it would be easier to lock the door and tough love him.  The added complication of his Bipolar disorder II, rapid cycling and anxiety disorder makes it much more difficult to do that.  His anxieties I fear would overcome him.

It’s hard being a parent in the best of situations, it’s harder when your children, small or adult, have extenuating special needs.

And there always has to be hope.  And we start this day and move forward, one day at a time.  One step at a time.  With hope. And encouragement.  And love.

Namaste – I honor you and send you hope whether struggling with hopelessness, or loving someone and holding onto your hope that they find their way.

Itty Bitty.

Shades of Grief -Divorce


Grief

A week ago I alluded to my amicable divorce.   It still is, we are in agreement on all things and will be doing a no response/uncontested action.  Taking care of business.  It’s a relief that my terms are not being questioned – though it’s simply whats yours is yours, what’s mine is mine.  But I am grateful that we are able to be calm, rational adults.

It is, none the less, the death of a dream – of a hope – of a partnership where we were to stand beside each other and face life’s challenges together.

I have, over the last week, found myself grieving the death of the dream. The death of the hope of finally having found someone who was committed to standing beside me as I dealt with the challenges of my world.  He just isn’t capable of understanding and embracing my life’s challenges.   That’s ok – I don’t hold it against him – I just need to move on and deal with them on my own.  It is a lot to ask someone.   I was just hopeful.

And so I grieve – and I know that as I process these feelings, as I have in the past with the death of my kids’s father 23  years ago, and the death of my parents, and the crash and burn and escape from a brainfart marriage to an alcoholic/addict that ended 9 years ago, I will find a place to tuck away the grief. And the love. And the memories. And even the hope.

And I will be stronger for it.

And I am content being alone – for it is much easier than being lonely with someone you had a dream with.

cropped-menjeff.jpg
Maui, 2011 ~  Thanks For The Dream, J.  Take care of you.

Namaste – I honor you who are grieving a loss.  Be kind to yourself, and take your time.

Itty Bitty

Head Battles – WLS Journey – 10 years and 6 months later


 

Yeah, it’s been a while, but as I recently read on one of my favorite blogs, life happens.  And life has been happening.

It’s a never ending – obesity and head battles.

2005 - 225 lbs
2005 – 225 lbs
March 2006 - 135 lbs
March 2006 – 135 lbs

And I am now half way in between the two weights.

I often contemplate how I got my head into that  place of commitment and action – that place that allowed me the strength to make the decision to have weight loss surgery.  I would like to get back there – I know that place is still inside me, somewhere in my brain.

And I remind myself daily that this tool I have was not brain surgery – it was stomach surgery.  Funny how I still know all the right answers.  And I also know all the triggers to the emotional eating that is occurring at this time in my life –

  • 2 adult children with bi-polar/anxiety disorders and other chronic health issues
  • going through a divorce (however currently amicable) due to husband’s inability to cope with the issues my kids have. We have been married just 4 years, so he has no emotional  investment in them and their issues (understandably).  He also has no desire to understand mental illness.  He is an acknowledged alcoholic.

I thank my higher powers that I currently have a good job.   I am self-supporting, which allows me to provide a home environment for the time being for my son.   That being said, it is a bit of an unanticpated burden and I live pay check to pay check  Son and I are hopefully working through this and building some parameters and expectations on both our parts.

The “UN” mindfulness part?

  • Too much comfort food and too much wine.  My self-medicating.  I’ve tried therapy for stress and anxiety – anxiety meds and anti-depressants are not my cup of tea.  I still have unused Zanex from 2 years ago.
  • No exercise
  • Insomnia – and yes I know, lack of exercise and alcohol are major contributors.

The plan? I refuse to call it a “resolution” because I don’t want to set myself up for failure.

  • Returning to food choices that I know are appropriate and supportive of a WLS lifestyle
  • Reducing at least if I don’t eliminate the alcohol
  • Exercising if only walking and stretching to start to get back into the routine
  • Finding and participating in support programs for caregivers for family with mental illness and an al-anon type of group.
  • Allowing myself to grieve the loss of what I thought would be my life partner and cheerleader – not that I ever expected him to fix my problems, but there was a hope of him standing beside me.
  • Reminding myself to set personal boundries for self preservation
  • Engaging in my relationships with my women friends – rather than sharing and relying on them, I tend to do the opposite and isolate – I get tired of hearing about my problems, how can I expect them to?  Yet I know I would be there for any of them in a heartbeat

It’s mostly remembering to take care of myself ahead of everyone else.  I am the first one to tell people to “take care of you so you can take care of those who need you”.

I’m looking in the mirror – saying those words.

Do you need to say those words to you?

Namaste – I honor you and your head battles.

Itty Bitty