Stranded by Hurricane Irene!

by Christine on September 1st, 2011

filed under Christine's Life Updates, General Information

I’m back home, finally, after being stranded out of town because of Hurricane Irene. I had left last week to do a long-weekend away, in order to attend a friend’s wedding. Plus, I got to visit my parents for a few days. Then Irene hit and devastated my hometown here in New York, and it was impossible to find a flight out until Wednesday (we were schedule to be home on Sunday)!  It was terribly inconvenient for me because of my work schedule, but at least we were in a safe spot. When we got home, we discovered that our cat was okay, the house was okay, the yard is mostly okay (just a few tree branches down). So we got off pretty easily, but not so much for the rest of our neighbors in Schoharie County and in Vermont….

I work for an engineering firm that, among other things, designs roads and bridges, and some of the counties affected by the storm are some of our best clients. I imagine we are going to be very busy helping our local communities rebuild after the storm. Today I am going to look into the possibility of me being able to get out there and to help distribute some clothes, food, etc., as a way for our company to “give back” to the communities.

Further bad news about my trip: my parents were sick, and I caught their cold, unfortunately. Boo!

I also gained 2 pounds while away, and that was entirely my fault. My parents apparently don’t eat on regular schedules anymore, nor do they really keep healthy food in the house. My meals consisted of either fast food, fried fish, ribs, and Chicago-style Italian beef. I ordered salads when I could, but overall the eating was less than stellar. I swam one day and went for a walk another day and danced at the wedding, but otherwise I didn’t get any exercise in, either. (And I packed gym clothes!)

The good news is that I got to spend time with my parents, meet a wonderful online friend for the first time, and attend a wedding filled with friends! It was a really fun time, and I danced my butt off! So here are some snippets from the week…

Here I am meeting my friend Sandy from Alabama in front of the “Married With Children Fountain” (aka: Buckingham Fountain in Chicago).

Me and the hubby at the wedding! I never in a bajillion years would have worn a dress like this when I was heavier.

The happy couple!

Getting my silly on at the wedding!

I got to meet one of my mom’s long-time friends (they were friends in middle school) Terry and her husband Eliot. What great people!We spent the day in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin and had lunch up there (greek salad, delicious) and walked around the main street shopping. Did you know that Lake Geneva is the home of Dungeons and Dragons (D&D)?  Of course, hubby was in search of D&D stuff, and we finally found a game store where he could buy a D&D book.

Now if you’re ever in the southern Wisconsin/Northern Illinois area, you really need to check out the House on the Rock. It’s one of my favorite eclectic museums I’ve ever been to!  I’ve been to the House on the Rock probably 10 times in my life. But I found a new eclectic museum even closer to my parents’ home. It’s call the Historic Auto Attractions in Roscoe, Illinois, and let me tell you, it’s freaking awesome!!  It’s just some rich guy that started collecting weird stuff, and he has it all displayed in a metal-framed building and calls it a “museum.” They have the weirdest assortment of automobiles, autographs, Hollywood stuff, historic stuff, etc.  But the items this guy has collected are really historic! For instance, the museum has:

  • A collection of old west stuff, including John Wayne memorabilia, Custer’s Last Stand stuff, old stage coaches, etc.
  • The actual clothes (hats) that the real Bonnie & Clyde wore when they got shot.  He also has the actual car used to film the Bonnie & Clyde movie back in the 60s or whatever.
  • John Dillinger’s 1932 Studebaker Commander
  • Al Capone’s delivery vehicle “Beer Truck” (1929 Model AA Truck)
  • Howard Hughes’s car
  • Colonel Sander’s car
  • Marilyne Monroe stuff, including the letter from the movie studio firing her for not showing up for filming, the dress in “Some Like it Hot” (I think) autograpsh, locks of hair, etc.
  • Laurel & Hardy’s car
  • Joseph Stalin’s 1937 Packard Super 12
  • Evita and Juan Peron’s Presidential Limo, 1950 Rolls Royce Silver Wraith
  • The Secret Service’s parade car that followed JFK when he got shot.
  • A bunch of Jackie O’s clothing
  • A part of the Grassy Knoll fence, a window from next to where Oswald shot JFK
  • The actual flag that draped Kennedy’s casket during his funeral. He also has Jackie O’s veil from the service, as well as a LOT of letters, documents, autographs, and other JFK assassination paraphernalia.
  • The fireplace mantel from the White House, where Truman signed the order to drop the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima
  • A ton of race car stuff
  • Movie car stuff, like the Delorian from Back to the Future, the Ghost Busters car, a couple of Batmobiles, the National Lampoons’ station wagon
  • A bunch of Gone with the Wind stuff, such as a mirror used in the movie, Clark Gable’s contract, Vivien Leigh’s clothes, original tickets and programs, etc.
  • A ton of Abraham Lincoln stuff, such as the chair he sat in, parts of the cabin where he grew up, the coins placed on his eyes when he died, part of the bloodstained bandages, locks of hair, clothing, his famous top hat, etc.
  • A couple of space things, like the Freedom 7 capsule that came back to Earth

Like…a lot of really awesome stuff for a museum stuck in the middle of nowhere. Well worth the money and the visit if you’re ever in that part of the country!

 

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Panic! at the Doctor: A Girl’s Saga

by Christine on May 10th, 2011

filed under Christine's Life Updates, General Information

Yesterday was a terribly traumatizing day for me.  But it involves a little bit of backstory, I guess, in order to understand why I was such a headcase. This information is not easy for me to share–I really would prefer to keep it private–but if I can help even one person who is going through a similar situation, then I will consider it worth while sharing my experience.

…deep breath…

While we were on our vacation a week or so ago, I experienced an irregular period. It came 2 weeks early (so I didn’t have anything on hand) and there was a lot of bleeding and clotting. A LOT of clotting. Enormous amounts of it.

My lovely girlfriends here online, on my forum, (who do such a great job of looking out for me, thank you so much for all you do!) suggested strongly that I go to see my doctor to discuss this strangeness.

Now, I have the most awesome General Physician (GP) on the planet. Truly, the woman is amazing and dispels all the myths of modern-day, uncaring doctors.  I do not, on the other hand, have a OBGYN doctor. I have never been to an OBGYN. I’ve never had a pap smear or any other girlie-exam.

…deep breath…

I’m terrified to, to be honest. When I was younger…much, much younger…I was abused. Emotionally, physically and yes, even sexually. This abuse absolutely and positively has to do with my disordered relationship with food. My abused past has a direct impact on my past weight gain.  Because of my bad memories and PTSD, I have avoided going to see a gyno. Oh, certainly a great deal of my anxiety is natural–I’m worried about being embarrassed, about it hurting, and about what they might find while they’re down there investigating. God forbid something actually be wrong down there! I know, my past is even more reason to see a gyno, but whenever I have picked up the phone to make an appointment, I’ve had a total breakdown and panic attack.  I can’t do it.

I’ve talked to my GP about my fear before, and while she has voiced her concern about my adamant refusal to see an OGBYN, she has also been incredibly understanding and supportive. A few years ago she offered to do the exam herself because I thoroughly trust her, and she also offered to sedate with me to make me a little more comfortable. I thanked her for the offer and told her “no,” that I wasn’t ready for that.

Well, with my funky period–not to mention being hugely overdue for a routine exam–I think it is time to face my fears.

Yesterday I made an appointment with Doctor Awesomeness, my GP, to tell her what happened and to ask her what I should do now.  I feared that she would want to do an exam right there, right then, but I was mentally prepared to let the exam happen. I am ready to face my fears. All day at work, I had one anxiety attack after another. I was shaking, hyperventilating at times. I broke down with uncontrolled tears a few times; I got diarrhea from my nerves.  I kept telling myself to calm down, that it is “no big deal” and reminded myself that I didn’t even know what Doctor Awesomeness was going to tell me.  I tried to eat some chicken noodle soup for lunch, but had zero appetite. I dry heaved in the bathroom.

Finally, at 4 pm, I had my doctor’s appointment. Doctor Awesomeness held my shaking hands as I told her what was going on. We had a long conversation about my fears, but I told her I was okay with letting her do the exam. She was so accommodating–she wrote me a prescription for a sedative, offered to come into the office even outside of regular hours so long as it accommodated my schedule, told me exactly what I could expect and what would happen. She is very straight-forward and honest, but also incredibly empathetic and understanding. She never once belittled or diminished how I felt. She never told me that I was being irrational about nothing. No; she just held my hand and gave me options, promised to take care of me, and offered to do anything she could to make me comfortable.

She told me that the funky period sounds like a miscarriage, but it could also be fibroids or something else happening on my girlie-organs. She wants me to go in for an ultrasound as well, just to see if there are any growths or abnormalities going on down there.  She will also do a blood test because she said the thyroid could possibly cause irregular menstrual cycles, and I do have a history of having a wacky, under-productive thyroid.

In the end, all of my worrying yesterday was for nothing, but now I have two more appointments to panic over. I will be very glad when these doctors visits are over with.

I surprised myself with one enormous change in mindset yesterday. When I was younger (in my teens and 20s) and adamant about never seeing a OBGYN, my mindset was this: “If I go to the OBGYN and nothing is wrong, I had to go through enormous amounts of emotional trauma for absolutely nothing, which is ridiculous. If I go to the doctor and something IS wrong, it means I’ll have to experience more and more trauma, more and more doctor’s appointments. I would honestly rather die than go through that emotional nightmare!”

But that was then. This is now. My mindset yesterday was, “I love my life, I love my husband, I love my new self, and I want to do everything I can to make sure I’m here to enjoy tomorrow, even if it means going through a little emotional distress.”

That’s a pretty significant transformation, and I really think my weight loss has a lot to do with it. I feel like I value myself more in this new body. I’m happier, too. It’s really amazing to see the ways in which weight loss affects you, and not just physically.

By the way, today is my 3rd wedding Anniversary! Happy Anniversary, Husband! I love you very, very much.

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Wedding #3: Good old fashioned hodown!

by Christine on September 5th, 2010

filed under Christine's Life Updates

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Wedding #2 Pictures

by Christine on August 21st, 2010

filed under Christine's Life Updates

I don’t ever want to be THIS person ever again. I look at these pictures and see someone so sad. (Pictures from 2008, just prior to surgery, which was February 2009)

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Saturday Excitement!

by Christine on August 21st, 2010

filed under Christine's Life Updates

Happy Saturday Morning Revolutionists!!

I am thrilled that the scale this morning is holding steady at 137.4.  It’s been awfully good to me considering I had a few slipups this week. Thank you body. I’m grateful to you (for once!)!

Last night we went over to my hubby’s game-playing friend’s house where they were having a “reunion” or sorts. All the friends were there, along with their girlfriends and fiancees. It was a really nice gathering. Do you guys watch the TV show “The Big Bang Theory.” Well, first of all, I’m married to Sheldon. (Well, Sheldon, except with a very sweet outgoing personality. But the always-right, type A personality is dead on!) Imagine going to a party with the whole Big Bang Theory cast! That’s what it was like! I stepped into the bathroom at one point and had a two-minute giggle fit over it at one point.

It was going to be a late night, I could tell. (Hubby didn’t get home until 2 a.m.)  I said, “Self, you can either stay here all night long and play board games with them. **OR** you can go home now — 11 p.m. — and get a decent night’s sleep AND get up early in the morning to go to the gym.”  I decided that the gym was far more important to me. So I bid everyone adieu and went home and went to bed. (Hubby caught a ride home with a friend.)

What a great decision! I woke up at 7:30 this morning and got a great workout in, not a rushed workout or anything like that.  400 calories burned, 200 situps, good good.

Today we have a wedding and reception to attend. Then the last symphony performance. Then a late night of bar-hopping. It’s going to be a challenge to eat well and not overdo the drinking, but I’m feeling strong and confident. I’ve got this, today!

Have a great Saturday everyone! Be strong and make good choices!

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