The new (old) me!

Well, the day is here.  The official end of the fabulous weight-loss competition between Jeff and me.  I am excited to say I achieved my goal- it was the sweetest birthday present to myself.

Here’s the new old me.


I totally get that the picture is blurry, I like this one because I randomly caught some muscles, I like looking strong!  And that’s way more important to me than probably anything else.  So, you get muscles.

Over these past few months, a bunch of friends have reached out privately to share words of encouragement, ask questions, or give me such wonderful inspiring words of support and humbling words of admiration, so I’d like to share with you a few things I learned if in case you’re currently going through this or considering it.

I was driving in the car one day for a very long trip and I hadn’t planned food for the road, so I stopped in a gas station and grabbed a few pseudo-healthy snacks.  And as I reached into the bag for a pretzel I grabbed three or four, and I realized I was making an assumption that the one pretzel I was about to eat would not satisfy me, so the additional ones were already in hand.  But I’ve learned that one bite can really satisfy you if you let it.  If you linger.  If you think about why you’re eating it.  So ok, I’m not saying one pretzel is a meal, but making an assumption that you’re definitely eating many more before you even experienced the first is a mistake.  So, eat your pretzels.  Or your cookies, or your whatever.  But truly be present in the bite you’re eating and give yourself credit that maybe, just maybe, it will satisfy you.  By the way, that small snack bag of pretzels lasted me three days.

I learned that accountability is king, and having a friend committed with you can be one more tool in your arsenal of attack.  Jeff couldn’t make me stop eating, but he could bring me back to the reason for this goal.  And maybe some days it works, some days it doesn’t, but even if it’s one time out of ten that reaching out to a friend helps, well, that’s one day out of ten that you succeed, which is surely more than zero days out of ten.  In that vein, having a ridiculously supportive boyfriend and son who helped motivate and support me was amazing.  In my time of weakness, I could call ahead and Eric literally ALWAYS helped me with a healthy snack.  He’d go to the store absolutely any time I wanted to get me the staples which were:

Raw red pepper.  We ate probably a thousand red peppers since December.  Eric would eat them with ranch dressing or hummus, I’d eat them most of the time just raw.  And almost always they worked to get me out of my crunchy desires

Sliced apples.  I don’t care what kind of apple it is, you increase its appeal a million times over by slicing it thinly.  And if you slice it yourself and walk into a room with it, every single person in that room will want a piece.  (And when you’re dieting and this is YOUR snack and everyone else wants it, you will get grouchy.  I mean, I’m guessing…)


Roasted cauliflower.  There were days I ate an entire head of cauliflower myself.  It’s a perfect, warming delicious and healthy food.  There is always cauliflower in my frig and always will be.

Low-salt everything.  These past few months I really learned the importance of limiting salt.  And when you’re limiting other things that are delicious, it’s easy to turn to salting everything.  Don’t do it, just adapt.  Or weigh yourself every day after tracking all your food- when you fail to lose weight, check your salt, it’s way too high.

Normal, high fat ordinary foods.  I don’t do fake-sugar anything.  If I want a treat, I’m having the treat, but I eat just a bite or two, and I try to slow down and really figure out if the treat is satisfying me.  For example, I spent an entire week craving eggplant parm from my favorite restaurant.  It was torturing me.  And then I went for a treat and it just tasted…different.  It left an aftertaste and seemed to have a metallic taste.  The bloom was definitely off the rose, and now I’m not pining away for it.  Or, one night I went to treat myself to a cannoli.  I opted for the small one, and after the first bite I realized it was just too sweet, too…just not good.  So it’s important to continue to visit your favorite foods, you may just find they’re not what they used to be and you’ve then taken the power away from those cravings.

Greek yogurt/honey/granola/fresh fruit.  Amazing, and a small amount fills you up.

Iceberg lettuce.  I love all kinds of more delicate lettuce, but iceberg keeps so much longer and is so full of water.  We used it in place of taco shells one night and it was perfect.  And many nights my emergency fill-me-up food was a huge iceberg lettuce salad with shredded carrots and cucumbers.  It’s a few calories to use for dressing, and everything else is free.  Here’s a tip, keep your dressing separate and dip your fork in it before you grab the lettuce, you can eat a surprisingly little amount of dressing that way.

I can go on and on and maybe subsequent posts can include more info, but these are just a few basics.


I guess I’d be remiss to not discuss my working out.  Most of the time I’ve been running and riding my bike trainer.  Most of the time, 5 days a week.  And when I work out, I almost always work out hard- this picture above is me fogging up the car in cold after I finish a run.  I like to switch it up and choose the more active options when I can- we go to the grocery store together, I opt to walk home.  Keep run gear in the car (or wear it under my clothes) so I have no excuse to take an opportunity to run.  I have learned to stop thinking about it and procrastinating and just do it.  Earlier is better than later.  Oh, and I like to track my progress every which way I can- I take pictures and look at it, I upload to a few websites and compare my stats.

My next phase is to continue working out, but to switch it up a little more.  I’m going to be weight training a lot more, and praying for spring so I can comfortably ride outside, Eric and I have gotten back to rock climbing too, what a great way to switch it up.

Thanks for reading!IMG_3957

Halfway there!

It’s been a bunch of weeks now on the approach to 40 better-than-ever lifestyle update.  I am feeling awesome and am safely halfway there to my weight loss goal with just over 3 weeks to my birthday


By halfway there I want to assure you that it doesn’t mean I’m planning to get much further into this whole weight loss thing- my weight loss goal wasn’t that big to begin with, so being halfway there means only a few more pounds.  I’ve been spending my time really learning how to eat, I think it’s the first time in my life that I actually get it. I get that I can eat things I enjoy, I just eat less of them.  I get that I need to be aware to choose things I really enjoy,

FullSizeRenderIn other news, part of what’s helping me stay motivated about working out is my new Garmin 920xt triathlon watch.  Holy crap I love this thing.  It gives me every conceivable metric I could imagine to track how much I will suck at any triathlons I attempt this year, which I know will be at least one.

I could struggle my way through a review, or you could just read the best review here.  I’m still learning all the amazing things this Garmin does, but so far my favorite features are the daily step-tracking and the ability to track “indoor run” and “indoor bike” for when I’m too cold to go outside.  I never even realized I could care about the whole “steps” movement until I started seeing my days get up to the 15,000 range, there’s definitely a great sense of satisfaction in seeing those.  Not so much sometimes for when the watch reminds me to “Move!” if I’ve been sitting too long after doing 15,000 steps, but still, it’s fun to watch.

It’s significantly smaller too than my beloved Garmin 310, which has gone on to some lucky buyer on eBay, its brick-like parameters surely throwing off the gait of some other runner now.

Ok, so there’s my quick update.  I’m not entirely sure I will make my weight loss goal by my birthday.  I feel like I’m fighting for every ounce.  But I know that I’m happy enough and on my way to the change I wanted to see, so that’s good with me.  I’ve added the additional goal of a mile run time that will be a much more meaningful goal than weight loss to achieve, so I’m going to keep on with my eating and working out and hopefully things come together.

First trainer session- Intervals

Last night I finally got my act together and set up my bike trainer, also known as Ye Old Dust Gatherer. I’ve got the Lemonde Revolution trainer it’s my favorite trainer I’ve ever used. Mostly because it’s the only trainer I’ve ever used allowed to gather dust in various parts of my home. But I researched it well before buying it, so there’s at least something.

What I like about the trainer is it really does mimic the feeling of riding outside, minus of course the scenery, wind, beautiful fresh air and freedom. Actually, it mimics more precisely the feeling of shifting while riding outside and that’s about it. But it does take away the element of cold, sketchy drivers, and the hassle of scheduling a long ride away from home when I need to be home for my son, all fine with me.
I am going to occasionally do some trainer/running/workout videos here if by chance they might inspire someone else to get moving. I get ridiculously inspired watching other people workout, maybe others are the same way?
Screenshot 2014-12-30 23.23.25 Screenshot 2014-12-30 23.24.20

So, ok trainer session. The 15th interval looked kind of like this, attempt to kill yourself, rest. Repeat.

Ok, maybe the only thing worse than actually doing an interval bike video is watching someone do an interval bike video, apologies.

I was following a cycling video called Revolver from Sufferfest.
I was just playing and learning how to use YouTube editing (hence the cheesy music). Videos will get much better soon, unless making the videos detracts from the workout in which case then they won’t. Did you get your workout in?

The before pic



New Year’s again, time for resolutions again. But this year is different. This year, I’m heading towards a milestone. The big 4-0 at the end of February. And I want to reach that milestone as the best version of myself I’ve ever been, mentally and physically. Couple that with a wager a friend foolishly agreed to (I will allow said friend to self-identify should s/he so choose), and we’ve got a right proper weight loss attempt/competition on our hands.

And so as so many do, I decided to take a “before” picture. This year I wanted my before picture to look kind of great, so I headed to Macy’s and took my before picture in this lovely (size 8 if it matters) dress.  I’m not going to look at myself and loathe anything, I’m not going to focus on the negative. Replace negative self talk with positive self talk always in all ways. And so, to anyone who takes a before picture in a way they find themselves to be unflattering I say give that crap up. Take a picture that says you’re doing alright already, and in a few months take another great picture, marvel at the changes if there are some, and if there aren’t marvel at the greatness that is still there!

I know I’ve got a goal in front of me and a competition is afoot.

I’m not sure if the actual goal is important to announce, and I don’t exactly care about anyone’s opinion of my goal which surely you’d feel compelled to post. And I recognize some might see my picture and offer the opinion that I don’t need to lose any weight (kind of the intention of posting a non-shaming picture!) Rest assured, my goal isn’t especially severe, there’s no body dimorphic disorder going on here.

Suffice it to say, I will announce more details as we go along, including the wager, which is going to be fantastically awesome.

What comes first, the shoes or the occasion?

As many of you know by now, my friend Naomi has passed away.  She fought a warrior’s fight until the end, battling pancreatic cancer.  Her memorial service will take place this Saturday from 1-3 at Scarr funeral home in Suffern, NY.  Naomi was not a very religious person, the memorial service will be a time for saying goodbye, speaking some words about the woman we loved, and being together.


I am planning to be there to embrace her family and to celebrate her light.  And when I think of the very light that was Naomi, I often think of her shoes.  Though later in her illness she came to wonder why so many people talked to her about shoes or earrings (maybe that part of her memory was damaged, I don’t know), Naomi had a flair for the fabulous in both respects.  The picture above is one of the last times we went water skiing.  She was so strong and of course, if you look closely, she was water skiing with a huge pair of sparkly earrings she refused to take off.


This is our Nome at an appointment in the city for a not-insignificant procedure. She always surprised me when I’d pick her up for something and she’d come out like this- no matter how unpleasant the place we were going, she looked fabulous.  Here, a pair of sexy high heeled clogs (or something like that) and a mini skirt.  I sat here that day and just watched her sign these forms like any other day, you know, in her high heeled clogs and mini skirt.  The usual.

One day I went to visit her in school, she was wearing this very sleek dress, gorgeous shoes, and a very skinny red belt.  I walked in and in one second said, “Which doctor must you be going to see today, how hot is he and is he single?”  She broke out into laughter because she knew I knew.  And sure enough, she was going to see one of her many impossibly good looking doctors.  I loved it!  Seriously, each doctor was better looking than the last, it made the appointments a fun distraction at times having something else to talk about other than bitter reality.

I remember walking into school one winter day, Naomi continued to work until it was literally impossible to do so.  She often have to get up at 4 or 5 AM to make sure she was physically ready to work.  I was walking into the building, and here was Naomi, standing at her morning duty, directing the car traffic in a sleek 3/4 length winter jacket, capri pants, about 2 inches of exposed ankle, and easily 4″ spiky pumps.  She held that fashion sense as easily as I hold sweatpants and slippers.

So one day we went shoe shopping together.  I picked up a pair of shoes I didn’t need, but they were gorgeous- a white leather strappy high heel.  And I asked her, “What comes first, the shoe or the event?”  Meaning, do I buy these when I know I have no particular outfit or event I’m going to wear them to, or do I wait until I have an event and then go buy an incredible pair of shoes.

Her answer:  the shoes come first.  Always.

And so I invite you to her memorial.  And I invite you to wear your incredible shoes.  Wear that pair that makes no sense, wear that pair that you bought just because you liked them but have no idea why.  Wear the pair that doesn’t necessarily match your outfit.  Just wear them.  I think it would be a fitting tribute to her.


The sadness of goodbye

This post has been a long time coming. A very very long time coming. 11% in the nation time coming- Naomi has survived longer than 89% of pancreatic cancer patients.

Some of the post may make sense, some of it may not, and it may be one of several posts.  I want to write because I need to write, not because I’m necessarily striving to make this particularly readable.  Or entertaining.  So, if you like, hang out and read.  Or don’t.  I’m not working hard on editing, flow, or maybe even coherence.  I’m working on healing.  And I’m certainly NOT working on being recognized for anything at all I did for her, anything I share that may be about me isn’t about me, it’s about letting go of the pain and hurt I hold.  I think any of us who have taken care of someone has done so at our own pain.  And a great friend once told me shared pain is lessened pain, so here goes nothing.

Naomi is dying. She is in the final stages of her magnificent, unsteady, successful and unfortunate life. All stages are finishing now and I am sad.
I knew the road she’d have. She was diagnosed with breast cancer after me, though our stories weren’t the same, I’d been through enough and learned enough to know the road she might have. We shared a similar road in finding wellness and then we diverged. She had scarcely finished radiation (horrible, awful radiation in her case) and was looking forward to summer. School was finishing for the year, she’d have a glorious restful summer to heal. To ride her motorcycle. To forget. I rejoiced in her teacherdom, to have that summer off.
Then. Pancreatic cancer. And the unfair world became monumentally, epically unfair. It became laughably corrupt in rightness and outcome.
I remembered where I was when I got the call about Naomi’s breast cancer. I sat down, in public, and I sobbed.
I don’t remember where I was when I got the pancreatic cancer call. I remember I sat down and choked. It was entirely too recently my then mother-in-law died from pancreatic cancer. Diagnosis to death was six days. Six. Days. From she’s not feeling well to the palliative word. To the “affairs” word. Such is the nature of this brutal assault on beauty. And vitality. And sweetness. Goodness. Love.
Naomi was still teaching full-time. I was working as a substitute teacher in her school, I had finished about a year and a half full-time at that school by then, working side by side with Nome. She would never know that I purposely kept working in that school, through my own fear that it was the school that had given me breast cancer, for her. When I got the call asking me to take her position so she could leave and heal, I originally said no. I was afraid of that place. And then I convinced myself to believe that taking care of “her” kids, her space, her work worries would be the purist gift I could give her. And I resolved that my intention of goodness would protect me. And so it did. I worked for her. I did more for her than was my job. I completely unburdened her work life and allowed her to rest. And it was good. And after treatment when she came back, I continued to sub in that building only. She would never know it but I did it so I could help her. If I had a free period, I’d go offer to teach her class. I’d let her go home early and take her last period. I’d grade her papers during my lunch. I’d clean her room. When she couldn’t eat, I’d fill her cabinet with every different form of nutrient-packed bar or snack I thought she might eat. I’d hope I could find one thing she tolerated. And each time I checked, the food remained. Her weight plummeted. I persisted. I’d check on her after not seeing her for a few weeks, I’d go in her classroom and desperately try to hide my shock at her weight loss. She was quickly going from an overweight woman to the shadow of a cancer patient. The blade of a cancer patient. The sinew of a cancer patient.
She’d walk out of the room and I’d trade squeezed don’t-you-start-crying-because-I’ll-start-crying faces with the other teachers who loved her so much too. We’d have to just take deep breaths and turn away from one another, trying urgently to hide our emotions so we could continue to fortify Naomi in her resolve to live. To win. To beat this. And though the death of Steve Jobs rattled her, she held that resolve. And she had reason to. Her surgeon had found the pancreatic cancer although unmitigated persistent diligence, locating the smallest tumors they had ever found, unmasking the ordinarily invisible culprit before the post script was written on her story.
And there was hope. There was hope she had beaten it. She was testing well. Struggling to find balance in her new post-Whipple body, with its troubles and needs.
And so we prepared for the annual breast cancer fashion show we were to do together. I’d been asked to walk in this show a few years earlier and then I couldn’t one year, I introduced Naomi to beautiful Gina, the organizer, and off she went. Well, this next year we would walk together. Naomi wouldn’t know it but I gave up a very lucrative day of work to be with her. I wanted to be with her. We chose our dresses together, we sat side by side getting our hair and make up done. We anxiously waited for the beginning of the show when in a moment alone Naomi confided in me that they had found a “‘mass” in her pancreas. It was back. Or maybe it never left. And through her flawless make up and mine, we struggled to keep it together. Someone came by offering champagne. And though I hadn’t taken a drink in 5 years, I drank champagne that day and toasted my friend with her. We needed it. And as we sat, we watched a pre-fashion show video. All the ladies moved into a room to watch this video. I knew it was coming. The tribute to a lady who walked the year prior but who had lost her battle. And I watched Naomi. I watched her face fall for the friend she had made and lost. I watched her fight the realization of what she just learned and how short a year can be. And I ran out with her to a private room as she clung to me and lost her shit, an insane rarity in the uber-strong world of this Herculean fighter. I told her that woman’s story was not her story. It was not her story. And we fought together to regain composure.
And we sat together waiting for our turn to walk the runway. Naomi was doubled over in pain as she sat. Her heart and her head heavy. Her body betraying her. And when she was called to walk, she stuffed her anguish aside and turned on the megawatt smile. She strutted and gleamed and she posed and bowed, showing a magnificent pair of gorgeous legs and chrome-heeled pumps. And when her time was over, she sat again. Doubled in pain.

More another day…


This week I was fortunate to present at the New Jersey Educator Association. This is the largest education convention in the United States and is always an honor to be able to have something of value to offer my fellow educators.

Bicycling education and Safe Routes to Schools don’t necessarily draw the biggest crowd, it’s a bit of a niche market. I was encouraged however at their very prominent capacity limit posting.



So uhm yeah. I reassured the room minder that she could likely move the decimal point over one spot. If it was like the last conference, she could move it over two spots. Sigh. Well fortunately my first guess was right. We had three attendees, one who stood up immediately and said she was in the wrong room.

I wrestled her to the ground and duct taped her to a chair and she seemed to enjoy the rest of our content. Duct tape is an essential presentation material.

I wish more people understood the way NJ works and that the amazing people with the Transportation Management Associations will do programming at their schools FOR FREE

Getting to work with a fabulous friend, Nora
Chatting with lots of like-minded teachers
Not getting the 3 PM Friday afternoon death slot
Getting to visit this ancient relic. Pictured: my projector on top of their projector


The story that must be told

Many of you were so good to reach out to me and share distractions, humor, support, love, and all things wonderful and good.  Thank you so much for that.  A few of you reached out and shared the feeling that I may be having trouble coping, and I just want to let you know that I am ok.  I write sometimes from my place of fear, not because I’m stuck there, but because the writing is what helps me get out of there.  So please never fear that I am terminally frightened, I’m not.  I am being vulnerable and open and real with what I am at that time, and I’m blessed to say I have an eternally good disposition that bounces back pretty quickly.  So, I’m ok in that respect.  I just really believe in feeling what you’re feeling.  (And I guess sharing that with the world…)

So, the terrifying news continued yesterday.

The last I spoke to the nurse, she told me she would only call if something was of concern, otherwise, I’d see the doctor at my appointment.  Yesterday, I drove to Atlantic City for work and was just leaving the venue when my mother called.  She said my doctor just called her house, but didn’t say anything other than I needed to call them.  Here it was, the phone call I didn’t want.  Not only that, my mother’s number is my emergency contact.  My face fell.

I called the doctor’s office back.  They said I had to come in to get a prescription.  Nothing else.  And in my 2 hour drive from AC, all I could do was surmise what that was.  Prescriptions are phone calls, not in-person.  I started to wonder what the prescription was for, what could it be that they didn’t offer to call it in.  Maybe it was for an MRI, I knew by now the doctor surely had my tumor marker/other results, and I just finished the prescription he gave me last week.

I made a bee line to the office, but as anyone who has known me for more than 3 minutes knows a Jenni bee line is more like the path of a butterfly, such is my gift to get lost.

I entered the doctor’s address into my GPS, and started the arduous 100+ mile drive through rush-hour Friday night traffic.  I almost got hit or in a crash easily 5 times with overly aggressive drivers in traffic by the Lincoln Tunnel.  I navigated behind bus after stop-and-go bus to the doctor’s office which is an urban environment (read: difficult parking).  As I was around the corner on an impossibly steep street I decided to park and just walk the rest of the way, hoping my wonky parking brake would hold (the JenniJeep™ is stick-shift, and yes, I left it in gear).  In the darkness and not necessarily safe feeling environment, I walked, and not wanting to leave my computer and purse in the car on this dark street, I schlepped all my stuff with me through the freezing windy streets to the doctor’s office, right around the corner.

And as I started walking, I realized it was not right around the corner.  It was right around the corner and almost a mile away.  Of course GPS (I use 2 actually, that’s how atrophied my sense of direction is) screwed me.  But by now I had used so much time in traffic I was concerned I wouldn’t make it to the doctor’s office in time, so I decided to walk, rather than double back and risk not finding any parking near the office.

I walked fast, fearing for my safety as it seemed only nefarious single men walked the streets with me.  Or that trio of shady looking teenage boys who seemed to slow unacceptably as I approached.  There was that one happy, smiling girl bouncing along showing no fear for her own safety, but I dismissed her comfort through the filter of my fear that she must surely know something I don’t.  Or be a friendly-looking ninja.  Fear filters can be creative like that.

I tucked my hair inside, put my hood up, and practiced my mental self defense.  I called the office to ask if I was too late, I wasn’t.  Just keep coming.

I arrive to the office, walk up to the desk, and they said, “Oh hi Jennifer” and handed me a prescription.  That’s it.  No serious talk.  No explanation, no information, nothing.

I said, “I literally just drove here from Atlantic City, I walked a mile in the dark, you called my EMERGENCY phone number, and scared the hell out of me.  TO PICK UP A PRESCRIPTION FOR A MEDICINE YOU’RE NOT EXPLAINING TO ME OR WHY I NEED IT?!”  I went on to point out that I was told I’d only be told to come in if something was wrong, and that I needed to see the doctor.  Their eyes opened wide.  I said “You know, I was told I needed a biopsy, but not what it was on (I’m omitting some personal information here, you don’t need to know).  I was told you’re testing for tumor markers, but not WHAT tumor markers, and now I’m told to come in here to pick up a prescription but not for what.”

So, I sat and waited an hour or so in a wonderful environment of very pleasant chatty ladies who assured me though this office has long wait times, no one would go anywhere else.  This doctor was amazing, and all their families go to him.  That made me feel better.

I finally got called to go see the doctor.  We chat for a minute, he reads me my results, “Negative for this, negative for that, that and that.”  Then he says, “You are one healthy girl”.  Oh, and “All tumor markers were negative.”

I walked the mile back to my car through all smiling ninjas.

The series of scary words

Many of you know I have a very close friend who is dying of cancer.  For more than a year we have sat together through her chemo appointments, through one round of bad news after another, through anxiety, sadness, pain, dignity-robbing developments, and all around awfulness.

One day, early on in her re-diagnosis, we were discussing some of her upcoming tests.  To the ordinary listener, she was ok.  She had recovered from breast cancer, she was still dealing with pancreatic cancer surgery issues, but she was ok.  And we had this conversation that many don’t understand.  That once you’ve gotten bad news, the time in between tests isn’t the same.  It’s not just time.  It’s anxiety.  Or it’s stress.  Or it’s denial.  Or distraction, but it’s not just time.  In fact, time is different forever in between tests.  It’s segmented and small, but also distortedly long.  It’s precarious, and it’s restless.  We spoke about that time she was in- waiting to hear if the next text would confirm new or returning cancer, or essentially if that test confirmed just a little extra waiting time until another test.

In my rawest form, I feel that I am always in that waiting time.  And I’m in it now, trying ever so hard to not be.  I went to a doctor the other day after a series of doctors that gave me increasing cause for worry.  And after waiting 2.5 hours in the waiting room to be seen (talk about stressful waiting time), the short-on-time doctor rushed me through a series of incompletely answered questions about why I was there.  After but a few declarative statements, he said he wanted to do an exam, and off we went.  Rush rush.

In the next 5 minutes, he deftly confirmed the source of my pain, he scared the hell out of me with showing me a far-too-large amount of my own blood (why the HELL did he do that), he said, in rapid succession, why I horribly failed at stopping my tears, “”blah blah…tumor marker…blah blah….biopsy…..blah blah…operating room….blah blah____(over share info)…”

He left quickly, telling the nurse to draw blood, and I started crying.  She was sympathetic, and I told her I was scared.  She began to draw the blood, needle in my arm, and “Whoops, I dropped the …..(I have no idea what she dropped)…DON’T MOVE, I have to get another …..” and she walked away with the needle literally dangling out of my unsupported arm.  Post script, I have a needle phobia.

She finished drawing blood, and asked me some questions- I said I had no idea what the doctor just said, he spoke way too fast and I’m scared.  She said she’d go to his office and tell him I didn’t understand.

When I entered the office, I was doing a terrible job of hiding my tears.  He said, “Are you CRYING?”  I said, “Yes, I’m scared and that hurt”.  He softened for a minute, then became defensive that he didn’t tell me anything bad, and then.  Wait for it.

Asked me if I was depressed and on antidepressants.

I said no, I’ve never been depressed.  I’m just scared.  Really scared.

As he tossed my folder onto a large pile of other “done for today” folders, I left, prescriptions in hand for more tests and meds, I lost my shit.  I don’t mean like I cried.  I hyperventilated cried.  I dizzy-and-can’t-speak cried, and tried to regain my composure as I sat in my car unable to drive.  I just heard almost every rapid-fire scary word I could have possibly heard in that office.  And so now, I wait.  I wait for the broken healthcare system, I wait for eternity.

I have this test on Monday, but won’t officially hear the results until the 25th.  Three weeks.

I spoke to the nurse to ask about the results of my blood tests, she said I’d have to come in for them, but we should make the appointments all together.  Biopsy (if I was even well enough to have it), results and more results on the same day.  In three weeks.  I begged her, if there was something she knew earlier, to please call me.  She reassured me that if something was wrong, they’d call me to come in sooner.

And so I’m waiting.  And transitioning from the mindset that knowledge is power to ignorance is bliss.  And I think my wait time, which includes my glorious work trip to Hawaii, is going to be called “delaying panic”.  Feel free to distract me.

And just like that…

Yesterday I had a bit of a revelation which I hope will not be short-lived.  Such is the genesis of most of my return to writing, I’ve got a bit of a health scare going on that at times I’m adamant against and yet terrified by.  I have zero confirmation, I have no current doctor helping me, and I’ve got WebMD, so you can imagine my ill-preparation to delineate fact from fear and fantasy, but nonetheless, I’m going through it.

Yesterday I googled the same stuff I’ve been googling and solution after solution appeared one common theme, this issues is not helped by being overweight.  More specifically, obese.  I know I’m not obese, but still the idea entered my mind that it would probably be a good idea to contribute in some way by losing a few pounds or just eating healthier.  And I had this real mental epiphany of my body as a temple.  Not that cliche experience of Nike commercials and cross fit training, but as a real and true vessel of something greater deserving of a temple.  And I imagine a real temple- what would I place in that temple.  What wouldn’t I place in that temple.  And I started to see my world a little differently.  I eschewed last night’s dinner of tofu and dumplings- that rich, warm, comforting filling comfort food I adapted from my mom’s chicken and dumplings to our vegetarian life.  But just because it’s vegetarian doesn’t make it healthy amiright?  Instead, I had kale, baked with tahini and olive oil/garlic/ginger/sea salt.  And an apple. And it felt right.

And so maybe my writings will be something about building my temple.  Or maybe they’ll be to share some of my experiences with other things.  But today, temple.

Thanks for stopping by.