2018 Health Check 

The healthiest I have ever felt was when I was pregnant with Colt. Mike and I were eating well, my pregnancy was going well and overall I had only gained a bit more than 10 pounds.

I quickly lost the weight I had gained, plus some, by breastfeeding/pumping over the first year after Colt was born. Again, Mike and I maintained a pretty good diet. And as Colt began to eat solid food, I would spend my weekends steaming and blending all sorts of foods for him to eat.

Once Colt became a toddler, things got a little more tricky. Always a good eater at school, by the time it was time to eat dinner he was no longer hungry and therefore quite picky. We got used to convenience foods. Still not a lot of processed foods, I would still agree he gets pretty good meals, but still not awesome.

I found myself not eating great over especially the last year. But since all my clothes still fit, I assumed it was balancing out. Somehow. I did start noticing that occasionally my stomach would just feel like crap after dinner. I assumed it was due to drinking too much pop again. For a good while, I gave up soda, and I was trying to eat better. And I did feel better.

Go figure, I let that slip during the holidays. Eating too much Halloween candy, snacking on too much Thanksgiving pie, and indulging too much at Christmas. I didn’t think much of it. Again, my clothes still fit.

Last Thursday, I was at work on back-to-back conference calls when I heard the boys talking about going to Buffalo Wild Wings. Having just missed a lunch date there earlier, I was interested in going but couldn’t get off the phone. Brad offered to bring some back for me.

About 2pm a pain started behind my shoulder blades. By the time I was driving to get Colt at 4:30, it was worse. And by the time we got home, it was almost unbearable. The pain had moved around and was now in my right abdomen just under my rib cage. I kept trying to lay down but I just couldn’t get comfortable. Unlike labor, the pain was constant, and I knew I wasn’t coming home with a baby. I had to laugh about it.

I laughed and joked pretty much all night. From the trip into the ER, with the nurses and other medical staff, even with the pharmacist after getting released. It is such a common ailment, and a routine procedure, I really couldn’t feel scared.

I had my follow up appointment with the surgeon the next day. He reviewed my ultrasound, and agreed, there were stones so he wanted to go ahead and remove it. Sooner rather than later. We went ahead and scheduled it for the following Friday.

I spent the week watching what I eat, or more like fearing every food that could possibly cause another gallstone attack. Which basically meant that I ate saltines for 3 days and then started to be a little more brave. I have felt pretty good up until today, Thursday, but I think I am just being overly cautious.

Tomorrow morning I am due to have the surgery. I will take Colt to school and then my mom will bring me to the hospital. Mike will be available to pick Colt back up. And then over the weekend I think Colt will spend some time at my mom’s.

I am hoping that this will be a needed change in my diet going forward, and that it can be a reminder to encourage Colt to eat healthy. Go figure this is how I get to spend the start of 2018.

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Birth Control

A little while ago, I started thinking about getting on some form of birth control again. I haven’t been on anything in years, but now that I know it’s possible to get pregnant, and we’re not thinking about more kids at this time, I decided I needed to do something.

I’ve done the pills. The patches. The shots. I don’t know if it was the cause of my weight gain. Or my more moody behavior in my early 20’s. But I wasn’t necessarily looking for a non-hormonal method. 

I was looking for ease of use. And my doctor, at one point, had mentioned an IUD. I asked around with my friends and got a bunch of different opinions. Most of what I heard wasn’t bad.

I made an appointment with my doc for a consultation. She recommended the Mirena. I did some research and came to the same conclusion.

Monday, I had it implanted. During my lunch break of all times. I don’t really recommend that. The implanting didn’t hurt, but it was a little uncomfortable. It was quick at least.

I definitely felt cramping after. Nothing obscene, more like period cramps, and they did worsen on my drive home.  I took some ibuprofen and that helped. I had some bleeding that night, but after child birth it wasn’t anything.

As the week progressed, the cramping got less intense and less frequent. By today, Friday, it’s pretty much gone. Though I tend to feel a little cramping after I pee. Like I’m relieving pressure on my uterus.

I have also felt bloated all week. I’m not sure if that’s related. But I’ve seemed gassy and my stomach has been rumbling a lot. 

The thing that surprised me, was cramping in my left thigh.  It seemed to be a common side effect. 

I’m hoping that next month when I get my period again, if I do, that it won’t be bad.  And I won’t have cramps. But we’ll see. 

I’ll keep posting about my experience, if you’re interested. 

Moms Don’t Take Sick Days

Have you seen this commercial? It’s true. You can get help, but you definitely don’t get time off.

This week started on Sunday when I was thrown up on. Monday, I took the day off work to make sure Colt was feeling better. By Tuesday night, little Colt was showing signs of being sick with a cold. I spent the night soothing the stuffy-nosed little boy. Wednesday, Mike was able to take him to the pediatrician where they confirmed he had his first cold. That night was better after we propped up Colt’s Rock n’ Sleep so his nose drained, and used the Boogie Mist. Thursday, Mike was able to stay home with him all day and he was showing improvement. However, by that night, Mike and I were starting to feel a cold coming on. At 2am it was in full force. 

I ended up calling in sick.  I’ve been back to work less than two weeks, and I’ve called in twice. Welcome to parenthood, huh? Stuffy nose and sore throat. Fun times indeed.

Well, let me tell you, when you’re sick and have a two month old, you’re hardly able to rest.

Not saying I didn’t have some help.  My mom did bring me soup and entertained Colt for a bit.  Mike was at work all day, and busy this evening.  I could’ve called in extra resources, I’m sure my mother-in-law or sister could have come over if I had asked. But it actually wasn’t that bad of a day. Besides having to blow my nose a thousand times, Colt was a good kid and he kept me smiling. 

He also kept me busy. Since this morning, I’ve fed him 10 bottles, changed just as many diapers, prepped 15 bottles (I’m experimenting with bottle counts tomorrow), pumped 6 times, and sang at least 3 rounds of ‘Old McDonald Had A Farm’. I’ve also done a sink of dishes and half a load of laundry (it still needs to get in the dryer).

Sleep is going to be amazing tonight. Even if I only get 4 hours at a time. 

First Visit to the Pediatrician

Last night was not fun.

Trying to establish a routine with Mike that wasn’t going to wear us both out didn’t really work out. 

Colt was sleeping pretty heavy all day.  It was starting to get harder and harder to feed him. Knowing he’s a little jaundice, it was a catch 22. Not eating could be making his jaundice worse, and in return making him sleep more. 

Last night most of his poopy diapers were more gas than anything.  And boy oh boy were they making him upset. 

Today we saw the pediatrician.  His weight was lower than they wanted, so we’re supplementing his feedings with formula a few times a day. We also had a bilirubin check done again.  Not great, but not alarming either. We go back to the pediatrician on Saturday morning. 

Hopefully, we’ll see the little guy start to perk up again with the added calories, and we’ll get back to regular feedings.

When he does nurse he’s pretty great at it.  Oh, and my milk came in today.  Hello engorgement! I had to pump a bit today just to breathe.

Silver Lining

Early into my pregnancy, I’d started thinking about labor and delivery and what I wanted and didn’t want.

Mike and I had changed our diets and lifestyle for a healthier approach, knowing that we both wanted to live long active lives.

So I really wanted to start out on the right path for the baby too. 

As soon as I was pregnant I started reading about epidurals and other medical interventions during labor. And about breastfeeding and it’s benefits.

Eager me walked into one of my early doctor’s appointments and excitedly claimed that I’d like a drug free labor.  My doctor at the time, barely looked up from my chart and said, “Yea, we’ll see about that.”

Now, I’m not an idiot, I know that I’m not really going to know what I can and cannot handle until I’m in the moment.  Though, I can be stubborn, and if I say I am going to do something, I generally will.  What upset me the most about his comment, was his lack of encouragement or at least some kind of medically sounding advice to be open to the many options. 

And it wasn’t long after this visit that my doctor announced that he’d be retiring before my baby was due. 

I took this as a golden sign that now, rather than just going with the OB/GYN I’d been seeing for so many years,  now I could look for someone that had my same philosophies in mind. 

Today, I had my first appointment with Contemporary Obstetrics after many glowing recommendations.  I have only met with one of the nurses on staff, but I was able to ask about the policies of the practice and I got a lot more encouragement for my choices.

I meet my new doctor next week, and hopefully the rest of the practice over the next few weeks, so that I can be confident that my birth plan will be taken into consideration and not just tossed aside. 

I want my little guy to have a wonderful experience coming into the world. And however he gets here will be a blessing. I’m just hoping to make it a little less groggy for him. 

Patience

Patience is something that I have had very little of as of late.

And I am not sure why that is.

In fact, this lack of patience is coming to me at exactly the wrong time.

Being the Co-Head NSO of a large crew of officials is hard. Everyday I am challenged with new things. Roster changes. This person not getting along with that person. How to motivate my crew just enough. How do I make practice fun, yet educational. Making sure that we meet the needs of the league.

And on top of it all, I am also trying to balance my own ego.

A Scorpio by birth, I am energetic, and powerful. Unfortunately, I am also jealous, depressive and self-destructive. I have always had the tendency to dive in head first. And I mean into everything. As soon as I get involved into something that intrigues me, I am in it to win it. I will read everything, educate myself in whatever way possible, and fully incorporate myself into what ever it is.

I like zombies, I’m going to read everything I can, and watch all the movies. (Ok, admittedly on this one, I kinda suck at watching movies so there are a lot of essential zombie movies I haven’t seen).

I like Weird Al. I have his entire discography, have seen every video, subscribe to his newsletter and YouTube channel, and I have seen him in concert 4 times now. He’s an idol and I hope to meet him some day.

Roller Derby. I have read books, watched movies, attended more bouts than I can count, and have jumped right into officiating. From occasional fan, to season ticket holder, to NSO, to Head NSO working playoffs in under 3 years.

I don’t do things lightly.

And that’s how I tend to get myself into trouble.

My biggest challenge lately is trying to motivate the NSO crew to continue to seek out ways to improve their officiating. I am coming to understand that not everyone wants follow in my footsteps. And that has been a hard lesson.

I am also working towards becoming a mother. I am trying to eat right, eliminate caffeine, get sleep, drink less alcohol. This is also when I am working on being a good wife as well. I know some of you might think it’s silly, but I still want to provide Mikey with a clean house, and home cooked meals when I can. I am grateful that he helps with these things too.

In the last 6-8 months I have been on pins and needles waiting for the next big thing that is going to change my life. Am I going to get certified as an NSO with the WFTDA? Am I going to work the WFTDA Playoffs? Am I going to get elected as Co-Head? All things that I couldn’t control the outcome of.

Now I am waiting on myself to take the next big steps.

“Patience is a bitter plant but it has sweet fruit.” –

German proverb

Surviving a Tournament

Surviving a roller derby tournament can be easy, but most times it is way more overwhelming than you’d expect.

I have worked a number of tournaments in my 2+ years of NSOing.  I have done brief 2 day tournaments at home, and I have traveled and worked 3 day tournaments.

And trust me, I am getting smarter about what I bring, how I dress, what I eat/drink, and how I spend my time.

I have changed what type of socks I bring, choosing to go for more breath-ability, and moisture-whisking, rather than supportive sport socks or cute pairs.

For Division 2 Playoffs in Kalamazoo, I wore fishnets and a skirt for the first two days, albeit cute. It just wasn’t comfortable to wear for 12 plus hours a day. By Sunday I was in my black shorts. Not to mention, fishnets are a pain to deal with when you are nervous and hydrating. Yes, I peed a lot that first day.

There’s another thing. Bring your water bottle. You don’t realize just how much you will need to stay hydrated. Your voice needs it, your body needs it. Do yourself a favor and drink plenty of water. Even in the week leading up to the tournament.  An addition to my bag this weekend are a few coconut waters.

Granola bars have also been added this week. Yes, there are usually snacks in the Officials Room, but you can’t always rely on there being enough for everyone. And if you are working multiple bouts in a row, you never know when you’ll get a chance to eat. You may need to have one in your bag and ready to go. And eat good food if you can. It will be hard. But the last thing you need while you’re officiating is tummy trouble. You need energy rich foods.

Sleep. Never underestimate how much sleep you will need/get. The first night you get there, you’re excited, you’re seeing friends you haven’t seen in a while, there could be meetings. Oh and add to that, if you are anything like me, that first night in a hotel room you can’t sleep in an unknown place. And most tournaments have pretty early call times. Don’t be out too late.

And don’t be afraid to nap, find a quite spot, pull a hat over your face, and get the rest you need. Yes, it’s derby, it’s exciting, but your rest is important.

Check out the local scenes, bars, restaurants. Eat the local fare. Be tourists. Buy all the merchandise. Support the sponsors and the local host team.

And my last bit of advice, take a moment to sit back and remember why you’re here in the first place. You are good at what you do. People know this. Derby is great. This is why you do this.

Did I mention evals? Bring lots of paper copies. I was recently shared a bit of wisdom from one of my favorite official friends, Kill C. Grammar:

“…If you want evals from the teams, bring paper copies for that. One for each team, per game. Please keep a couple of things in mind, however. If your position isn’t something a skater or coach can clearly see and likely won’t know what you’re doing, do you want an eval from them? … Will Toaster City want to eval you six times for the same position in a weekend? I’m not saying don’t do it. The shotgun method can be effective sometimes. Maybe you go five games with them not noticing you, then that sixth game you Outside Whiteboard so hard that you save the game and change derby forever. You’d wish they had an eval for you for that bout.”

Awesome Shaped!

Saturday was bout day. I was feeling pretty good Saturday morning. I had gone to bed early the night before and I woke up at a pretty reasonable time feeling refreshed. I ran some errands. Life was good.

As I prepared to get ready for that evening’s bout I did what I always do and stepped on the scale before jumping in the shower. I always weigh myself nekked that way I can’t blame anything on what I am wearing. And lo and behold, I was down another few pounds making my total weight loss for that week around 3.5 pounds.

Yes, I know. Weight is just a measure of how hard gravity is pulling us down. It has very little to do with how I look and feel.

But not only was there a little weight loss, I also felt my pants were a little looser. I have felt stronger. I have felt like I have had more energy in the day, and I am sleeping better at night. I was feeling good about myself. Damn good!

I carried that amazing feeling with me the rest of the night. And probably should have dropped it off somewhere before the after party cause … We’ll just leave that at the after party.

Monday I was scheduled to work out with Kraken. Rather than working up a sweat, we talked. We talked about all kinds of things but mainly how I felt about myself, and where I wanted to see myself.

I don’t have a measurable goal like a lot of Kraken’s other clients. I don’t want to pass skills test, or make the A-Team. And part of that is because I don’t want to have to choose between skating and starting a family. I know the commitment that skating entails and right now I am happy with the level of commitment I am giving the league.  I know plenty of moms that make it work, but I want to make that decision when I get there. Who knows? Maybe I will want to take up derby as a skater, to work off those pregnancy pounds and stay fit. Again, a bridge I will cross when I get there. 

For the past year, my goal has been to get baby ready. I want to lose weight so that I can increase my chances of conceiving. I want to decrease my chances of getting gestational diabetes. I want to provide my baby with the healthiest place to grow.

As Kraken and I discussed these things, we agreed that getting healthy was an added bonus to working out. I still could get diabetes later, even if I do lose weight. And so I kept trying to figure out a new goal. Run a marathon? Ride my bike in a race? Dead-lift a hundred pounds? F***, I don’t know!

And then there was this:

Awesome Shaped!This cartoon was shared by a friend on Facebook. The link to the original is here: http://lezgetreal.com/2013/05/an-awesome-positive-message-for-girls-of-all-ages/

I understand enforcing a positive body image in girls. Reminding us daily that we are not all made alike, and that we are not all super models.

But the thing that really gets me about this message, and those Dove commercials (Here’s a few on Youtube.) is this: Yes, I want to love my body. Yes, I know I don’t look like that girl over there. But I want to be healthy.

Looking at that girl in the picture above only made me envious of her cartoon drawn waistline. She doesn’t have the extra belly fat that puts her at a higher risk for diabetes. She probably doesn’t have the high triglycerides that my doctor is always complaining about. That cartoon has never had to worry about those things.

Granted, I don’t know the women in those commercials.They could all be perfectly healthy.

But I know that what I carry around with me everyday is not what I want to see when I look in the mirror. You know what the bonus to being healthy is? Feeling good about how you look.

So there it is.

My goal isn’t to look sexy, or to even just feel sexy. My goal isn’t to bench press a Volkswagen. My goal isn’t to run marathons. Those things will come when I get this body under my control again. Well, maybe not the bench pressing a Volkswagen thing. Once I have my body, under my control, I’ll be able to do whatever I want.

And I am working on it. I am exercising. I am pushing myself more each day (thank you Peaches!). I have gone 2 weeks without a Pepsi. I am eating better. I am reminding myself every time I want to eat that because of this, that food is merely fuel. In the mighty words of Kraken Whips, you can’t hang poop on the wall, so why reward yourself with food.

Thank you Kraken, for talking with me. I know I still don’t have a tangible goal, and I shouldn’t base everything on pounds or inches or whatever. But I promise that I will keep working at it. And I will learn from myself what new things I can do. And I will find joy in things that I never found before. Go dancing? I’d love to! Especially now that I am not always thinking about what my ass looks like!  And with that I will find those goals to set, those milestones to reach for.

And of course I will continue to write about it here.

No ill feelings towards the author of that cartoon. It is a very nice message and I hope it helps young girls feel better about themselves.

On the Go: Stress Eating

Not going to lie, I am frustrated with work today.

I want a Pepsi.

I want to eat something cheap easy, & greasy for lunch.

I want a beer.

I want to go home and do nothing in my pajamas.

I almost want to take up smoking. 

I am going to take a deep breath.

I am going to confess my dirty little diet secrets to you.

I am going to keep drinking the Sobe Power Water.

I don’t know yet what I’ll do for lunch. But I’m going to be good. 

I am going to work out with Kraken & Peaches tonight.

It’s not that bad. I can do good.