Oh my knee, my knee!

The first knee replacement was the 5th of November. The second just a week ago on the 19th. I have not come to that place yet where I state “I don’t know why I waited so long”. There was no getting around having it done. My L knee was hurting to some extent all the time. I know that having my rotator cuff repair was hard and for a long time I stated that I could not go through that again. The memories of the exact pain however do fade. I am only 9 days out from the second (L knee) surgery and the pain is getting a bit more manageable. I think I took one Lortab in the last 24 hour period and am managing the rest of the day with Ibuprofen and Tylenol. If I am up too much, the swelling and pain take off. We went to Chantelle’s on Thanksgiving and that pretty much canceled out yesterday with the need to rest and recover. Today is Saturday and my house is really starting to annoy me, just dusty and not up to my standards. I would like to clean some and get a Christmas tree up but I can’t handle the pain if I push too hard. Prior to surgery I did a lot of self talk and told myself I would just have to calm down and remember that a lot of this stuff does not matter. My house is cleaner than a lot anyway but there are also all the unfinished construction projects. The stair railings need to get redone, all the trim redone. Rik has really torn a lot of things up and then he moves on but doesn’t finish or fix what he did. I don’t know if he lacks confidence in his finish work. I think he probably has ADD. There is no room in our house that has been left unscathed by his beginning or destruction but then he moves on. I don’t get it! I am a type A – perfectionist and I need to feel the peace of the finished project. None of this jives with a body that is trying to heal, it is the holiday season but I wear out so quick, I feel unattractive but can’t really work on weight loss when I am just struggling to eat what doesn’t make my stomach hurt and cause heartburn. The first knee surgery I made mistakes with how I took or didn’t take the pain meds, not eating properly or doing my therapy. This time I am doing better but still need to do my exercises more, ice more regularly and cut myself some slack because I now have two healing knees.

All of the election mess is still ongoing. Though Joe Biden is calling himself President elect, the GOP states there is no such title. None of the electoral votes have really been awarded yet and President Trump’s teams are doing all they can submitting lawsuits of fraud. It seems they are rejecting them quicker than the teams can get then in. I am a bright person and you can tell the election was stolen but finding that visible tangible evidence has been daunting, at least quickly. There is no doubt in my mind that eventually they will prove all the corruption that has taken place but I am afraid that it will be after they have shoved Joe Biden into the Whitehouse. They talk about a 2024 run for President Trump if that happens. I honestly do not know what super human strength he has to have put up with what the democratic party has done to him and I don’t know that I would ever want any more of this sewage in my life (if I were him) but all of this shows that he loves our country, he is a right fighter and he also despises what they represent. I do too Mr. President.

The year 2020 brought us (Utah) an earthquake, an essential hurricane, COVID (and all it’s destuction) and what I hope is the ugliest political battle (election steal) ever. While we may not see the first three again, our political swamp will never be cleared. We will continue to deteriorate until God takes back this land for our savior.

Thank Goodness for Faith

On November 3rd, election for the 46th President of the United States was held. I had gone back and forth on my feelings of whether Trump could win, not because he shouldn’t, but because it has become evident how much corruption there is. The opponent Biden (many think he has Alzheimer’s) sat in his basement for weeks, not campaigning. The times he would go out, there was gaffe after gaffe from his mouth but you could see him truly struggling. There were a couple times I watched his wife sitting next to him so uncomfortable, just clinching her teeth and praying he would utter the words he was suppose to say. How could the democratic party be so cruel that they would push a man to this? They would be willing to destroy him. His name will for the rest of time never be held up to represent good or ensue wonderful memories, but will make people recall the tool that he was made to be. Holding the hand of Kamala Harris, who is thrilled to be the first female VP (of color). They proclaim this and I just cannot believe we have not come further than this as a people and nation that they have to play that as the most important part of the deal.

When the evening came and States started to close their polls, Trump was clipping along but then as it got to the last half dozen or so States ie., Pennsylvania, Georgia that would lead to 270 electoral votes. Things began dragging and just freezing with various explanations offered of problems with starting late, machine malfunctions. I heard someone speak of the world trade centers being hit and that with the first one, you felt shocked, and confused but then as the second one was hit, this feeling of dread, horror and heartbreak started to enter your soul. It was hard to believe that such evil was around us and settling over us. That was exactly how I felt as I watched the elections unfold. They were not going to let Trump win. No matter how many people showed up at his rallies proclaiming their faith in the job he has done, in spite of the coronavirus being all around us, the frigid temperatures and waiting hours to possibly get in to thank this man and proclaim support, they kept going. When Biden would go out, they would be lucky to get a crowd of 15 people outside his staff to come. In spite of this, I could not feel any confidence that Trump would be reelected because the evil and corruption and hate is looming over our country even larger than this virus and plague that has crippled our nation.

It is now 6 days later and Trump is trying to assemble a team of lawyers and staff that will fight to the bitter end to show that this election was stolen. In my mind, there is no doubt that if all the corruption could be cleaned up and wiped away, this would have been victorious to President Trump in the largest election landslide ever in our country. I want to believe they can be victorious. I am terrified the insult and crippling that will be done to us with the leadership of Biden/Harris. I doubt that Biden will be able to make it through half of a term without becoming incompetent and Kamala being placed as the President. She is as far left, liberal as any get. The election has been stolen and I am trying to have faith. Faith, that this is really God’s land and in spite of what evil can and will accomplish, God will bring the ultimate plan to fruition. We are told we, that are living now are the strongest, most valiant. That we will be able to stand up to the evils of this world. It feels that between the coronavirus and this election, my spirit cannot take much more. My heart feels broken.

Thieves!

This is not a mess. It is so obvious everyone got the memo except the loyal GOP. It started to go to Trump and it all started freezing awaiting further instruction how to steal it. I kept thinking how would they really do this? I can’t believe what I sat and watched, starting with listening to the Fox morons trying to sell us garbage that Arizona had to be called to Biden and then just excuse after excuse. I saw the numbers and it was clear that a path for Biden to win was dissolving away. They are stealing it. Saying it is the people’s decision and then stealing it for all the world to see.

What in the World?

Some say everything being experienced as of late are signs of the times. That makes me feel very anxious. I need a lot more time to get my act together before any sort of apocalypse happens. This past week after Labor Day weekend, we got a storm Monday night which was basically a Utah hurricane. There were up to 112 mph gusts in some parts of the state. There were about 180,000 customers that lost power, which we were part of. Ours was out from Tuesday through Saturday. The only damage we had was one limb from our smoke bush and a couple half gallons of Icecream. Rik and I broke down and bought a generator which I don’t think we will ever regret. The hospital lost over 100 trees and basically there are trees and fences down all over the place. We have never had to go that long without power. That was the hardest.

There are a record number of fires burning all down the west coast. It’s especially scary because it is early on in the fire season. Up in Spokane where Sharilyn and Erik are, the air quality is really awful. With all of this craziness from covid already, anything else just feels to Be too much.

I feel really down and missed the last two days of work. Feeling very under the weather and just exhausted. I could not afford to do this and use the PTO but I just couldn’t get myself feeling up to it.

Tomorrow I will try to start Medifast again. Still 196.

Far from Perfect

The weight loss has not been going very well. It’s the same old weak spots that get me. I had hit 193 and was starting to feel and see it. I start to cheat a little and a little more and before I know it, I just can’t keep my head in it. This is something. I have got to work on if (when) I ever achieve long term success because it just isn’t reasonable that you aren’t going to take indulgences from time to time. Today I was still at 196 so I haven’t gone hog wild, but still trending back up.

This coronavirus stress is really wearing on me. Not just in struggles with weight but I am anxious and irritable. Pretty much weekly we have shifts that we are relocated or just called off at work. I try and feel I have to find work to keep my hours. I went ahead and scheduled a knee replacement on the 5th of November and the other the 19th. Since we have met our out of pocket with insurance, I want to get them done and I am trying to get in with a urogynecologist and get my bladder lifted in October so I will just take 12 weeks of FMLA and be done with the big stuff. Rik is also going to have his second knee done before the years up. Honestly, I hope that through this time covid slows or goes away, our new provider at work starts Practicing and things pick back up so after the first of the year, we can just work. My Director at work kind of seems like he is just always going to be sending us home unless we have patients. I think he doesn’t see the time needed for all the other duties.

Between the stress and us just being short staffed at work. I find it difficult to get my Medifast meals prepared and in as well as drinking adequate water. To be successful at this program you have to work it and get your mind into it too. One of the things I need to do that I know would help is going through my prepared packets each night and knowing what condiments, etc I need like syrup for the pancakes. I have also read that people cook things ahead in the dash.

This past Monday Rik and I went down to Orem for my Aunt’s funeral. This was my last Aunt on my Father’s side. Now my Uncle is the last remaining sibling of my Dad’s. I felt so sad for him. My Aunt suffered from dementia and I don’t know how long it has been since he was really emotionally and mentally with her. The covid has forced people in care centers to only visit their loved ones through glass since they are so much more vulnerable to illness. One elderly acquaintance commented to Rik regarding the separation from loved ones “to have lived your whole life and now at the end be stuck in hell”. Though we have faith that she is now reunited with all of our loved ones that have gone before, we still ache and miss them when they go. I can’t even imagine what it will be like to lose Rik one day. I tell him I get to die first.

We had a very nice barbecue at Chantelle’s on Sunday. We have tried to get together for Sunday dinners every 3rd or 4th Sunday rotating with Chantelle, Nicole and I. I think I have bombed out on my last two turns. I know it’s the depression and I just have to fight harder to find my way out of it. I have been slowly weening off an antidepressant for over a year now and I definitely feel the loss of some of it, but the full return of my emotions is so worth it. I got so tired of feeling dead. We had such good food and I really enjoy my daughter’s and their families. The girl’s have turned into amazing cooks. Nicole made my Mother’s macaroni salad and it was spot on. Everyone of them have mastered this. I really thought of my Mom and I miss her. With my Aunts passing away, I think I was feeling even more sensitive of her loss.

Fire!

There are fires burning everywhere again. You cannot see our beautiful mountains due to the haze and smoke. I always keep my bathroom window open a little and I just realized tonight, I think that is what is making my R eye papillae so bad. It was not until earlier this week when my eye was killing and I could hardly stand it being open that I went over to the eye Dr. and finally had someone explain what is going on with this eye. So, now I know I have Papillae that are very angry right now. I knew I have allergies and earlier when the smoke was getting in the house and Rik said to shut the window, I realized that might be what is bothering my eye. The Dr. gave me antibiotic drops but was 50/50 whether that was at all going to help. I go back on the 4th of September and if it is going to be aggravated like this until then, I will lose my mind.

Since we came back from Texas I have been suffering with a UTI, Bladder prolapse, knee inflammation and this eye ailment. I am exhausted. I have not had more than 3 hours of sleep at a time forever. on top of that my stomach has been off and on. I think that might have been the Macrodantin and eye drops.

The Medifast cheating started again a little at a time until I was back off plan the last few days. Work was busier last week and I was really feeling horrid each day. With wearing the mask it makes it very difficult to get the water in or eat, plus I didn’t want to have the pee pressure. I think I am still down 4 pounds so tomorrow I an grabbing hold again. I know with seeing the knee Dr., it is going to be hard to stay on plan as I have surgery and sit around trying to recover but getting this weight off is so critical to it all being worth it. I just have to keep going at this. I heard three weeks make a new habit so I am shooting for a very clean, on plan 3 weeks.

Neck -14″

I took new measurements the other day but I don’t think there was much improvement.

August 16, 2020

Neck -14″

Chest -45″

R arm -12.5″

L arm -14″

Waist -42″

Hips -47″

Thigh tops -39″

R thigh -21″

L thigh -22.5″

R calf -14″

L calf -14.5″

R ankle -7.5′

L ankle -7.75″

Day 1

There have been far more day one’s than I wish to admit. I didn’t drink enough water today. It is just really hard at work to guzzle water. I maybe drank 48 ounces and probably the same of watered down diet coke.

They are going to eliminate about 6 positions from my office (all of cardiology) by the end of the week in an effort to cut costs as tightly as they can due to Covid losses. I don’t see how 6 more positions need to be eliminated, really rebalanced. I don’t think I will be one of them but the anxiety is there. I have considered that I don’t room for Dr. A. I am argumentative at times and have told my boss how I feel more than once, my dang attitude. I am not a kiss up. I am not the fastest at everything I do. The other thoughts I have are just me beating up on myself. I worry that I told my boss that I am going to have knee replacements. I really wanted to keep building on my retirement there but honestly, the morale has really sunk. I wonder if my mental health can handle 7 more years of it. I love the patients and my coworkers but upper management just beats us down. I am just going to pray that God will watch out for me and I will try to trust the process.

Chandler’s cousin that is about to be a Senior in High School was badly hurt in an accident along with three other teens. While the other teens have basically been ruled okay, Sarah was pinned in the car with a lack of blood flow to her legs for an hour before someone with cell service in the canyon they crashed in was able to get help to them. Sarah’s back was broken leaving her a paraplegic. Her legs have been amputated to the top of her thighs. It has been 11 days since the crash and she has had eleven surgeries. Yesterday they announced she has sepsis so they are fighting that. My heart has been with that family. I wish with all my heart that Sarah can overcome all this and stay with her family.

I started the program this morning at 198, which is a little up from the 196 I had been at. It is just due to eating poorly in Texas. I expect to go back to that pretty quickly. My heart just hurts with all the stress but I am committed still. Day 1 in the books. I will try to write a little everyday as I travel this Medifast journey.

Oh My Fat ~

We just got back from Texas. Rik and I went down to witness Olivia’s baptism and Nora’s baby blessing on a Sunday evening with the smallest of crowd present, because Covid is still looming. We wore masks. Holli and Dave were there visiting with us at the same time. We got there Saturday evening, had the girls service Sunday and then Monday headed to Rockport to a beach house Jordan and Kayla got. It was really cute. The crappy part was by the time we got there I was feeling that urinary burning and spasms and was pretty miserable. We went to the beach for a while and I am glad for that because the next day that they were planning on spending the entirety of at the beach, I was not feeling good and stayed at the beach house. My body was not happy and I passed a lot of blood, which I have never done before and I am not sure if this was kidney or UTI. I tried to drink more water but it isn’t fun making that pressure build. I wasn’t a whole lot of fun, I’m afraid.

We came back late Wednesday night and I was suppose to work Thursday but called in. I was so tired and wanting to be able to pee as much as necessary. I went to work Friday and pretty much worked all alone. April came at 10 am but that was pointless because most of the patients had early appointments. Even the few that were later, she didn’t try to help rooming. I found out that day that they still plan on eliminating about 6 positions over the whole Cardiology clinic in order to save costs. Covid supposedly has forced Intermountain to lose 430 million dollars. They cut our 401K match through the end of the year which will make up about 17 million. What I don’t understand is why they would do that. During this virus we have been deemed essential workers so we have to stay at risk and work if they don’t call us off because our census has dropped. Employees at jobs that have laid off are getting unemployment and $600 extra a week of crisis help. I realize some of those people will never get their jobs back and I feel fortunate that Rik and I’s jobs and benefits have continued, but it is stressful being out there, masking up, addressing patient concerns. I don’t get that Intermountain Health Care feels that it is our responsibility to make up the losses. They started canceling everything when nothing was even happening yet. I am sure Marc Harrison, our CEO isn’t going to take his bonus (if he get’s one) at the the end of the year and say “Oh here, this is to make up for all those Covid losses.” He is the very one that owns how this has been managed over and above everyone else.

My fellow workers are all hyped up and I believe dramatizing the risks that are present. Especially in the beginning. Utah just was not being effected as states like NY and California, Texas and some others. Hospitals in NY had refrigerated trucks outside their facilities for the overflow of bodies they were losing. This illness attacks people with other frailties and can do a lot of damage to the respiratory system. I have worried due to my past sinus issues, pneumonia and my obesity and age. If I were to get it, I don’t know how strong my body would be. Yet, I have not been afraid. I take reasonable precautions but I am probably not as focused as I should or could be. The main thing is to not touch your face and wash and wash your hands, especially when coming home to Chandler and Hannah.

When in Texas and even before, I saw pictures of myself and it hurts to admit to myself how much weight I have put on. I am at about 197 now and that is not the heaviest, I think that was 206 but I have continued to lose muscle so all of the weight is pretty much fat. It would probably break my heart if I knew the thoughts or words people that don’t see me often or haven’t for a long while think or say. I have gained so much in my chest area and I was never comfortable about my chest anyway.

Last night I made a new weight chart and I am determined to be successful. Starting tomorrow I am at the Medifast again. Some of my food is old tasting but I just can’t waste it. I have to use this. I think I have enough to get me through December and I may be able to get most of this off by then – at least 50 pounds I hope but maybe all of it (72-75). (Had a revelation, every 24pk flat of water weighs about 25 pounds so I am carrying 3 of those around with me all the time). I am worried that since I have been messing around with it for so long, that my body may not yield the fastest results, plus I am 59. When I turn 60 in November I would be a lot less ashamed to say that I weigh 145 than 197. I just have to stay the plan. I am going to try to have a good attitude and realize that the benefits are joyful. I see Dr. Grunander at the end of this month to look at my knees so I am thinking my mid September I will get the first one done and the second the first of October. It will be so much better for my knees to heal and service a non-obese body. I am hoping that will take the pressure off my tailor’s bunion. Possibly though since our copay is met this year at the end of the year if my prolapse and apron is still bad, I could get my female issues and abdominal’s fixed too.

Seriously………

I have mastered disassociating. It is the only way that I am handling these times that we are in. It feels like we are living in Groundhog Day. I really do desire to be a positive person but I have been feeling so negative. I worry. What if this is what the world is going to be like from now on. Maybe not COVID, but just one trial after another. This would be my idea of what Hell is. I have always been blessed with being able to find someone that I can talk to, talk it out with. Rik is the only lucky recipient to hear my fears and points of view.

I still believe that President Trump has to be reelected. I have always felt that I could be on a side but watch from a safe distance and that luxurious time is slipping away. If you are not a conservative republican then you have to admit you are a socialist leaning, liberal democrat. It breaks my heart that some of my kids are veering to that side. I just don’t see how they can think that those ideals are anywhere near everything that this country has stood strong for. All that lives have been lost for in battle. I wish someone could assure me that my heart is in the right place. I know that I have not always been right but my heart and my spirit are telling me that even though I think Trump is less than a good moral man, his ideals for this country are where mine are.

I have been dwelling a lot lately on how much longer I have to work and it feels like it will be forever until I am 67. That is the medium age for Social Security. If one works until they are 70 then they can receive the premium pay but there is no way I can do that. Having grown up poor and spending my summers at 11 years of age picking cherries for school clothes money, I feel I have been working forever. I feel pretty picked on. Is this just normal that we have no choices and feel like a slave to the lives we are in. Part of my desire to stay home is wanting to get away from people. I have not been good at setting an example at my job of who I really should be. I feel like my spirit is cringing when I am out there in the world. I am not perfect, far from it but I cannot find the holy ghost when I am trying to live out and about. I recognize that some of it is depression but it feels like the worst case of battle fatigue.

Kayla and Jordan and the kids had intended to come out in August to have Olivia baptized and Nora (our 12th and final Grandbaby) blessed. Texas is one of the worst states for COVID right now so the military has stay in place orders of no more that 300 miles away so they are not able to come and be with the whole family for those events. Rik and I, Dave and Holli are going to go there the first part of August. I am looking so forward to it but not comfortable letting my work know. I am afraid there would be views or orders given to quarantine for 14 days when I return and I cannot afford to do that. I do not have the PTO to cover my benefits for all this time off so I am being creative as to how to make it work but I do not want to miss Olivia’s baptism. I am looking forward to getting away.

I love Hannah and Chandler but I am so tired of feeling bound down to others. I just want some freedoms of how I spend my days and being able to just feel “me time”. If that is selfish, then I am feeling selfish. I have not been very impressed with Chandler’s Mom Amber and or the rest of his family. They seem pretty selfish and are never going to offer themselves up to being helpful and supportive of Hannah and Chandler’s needs. I feel like Amber has just had an attitude of there you go, I am free. She made the comment once during wedding planning of how exhausted she was and I knew then that her views were pretty self centered. Chandler’s Dad attempted suicide about two month’s after their wedding. It was a miracle that the gun shot wound to his chest only destroyed a lung that night and gave the family the opportunity to spend 6 more weeks praying over him and expressing their love but on Memorial Day they had to realize the reality that his body could not make a strong enough recovery to continue this life, and he was taken off all support and passed on. He seemed as if he may make it, was communicative and even had a positive attitude but he always required some ECMO support. I have felt sad and angry. I think with more years of trying that he and Chandler could have built a better relationship and Chandler may have realized that his Dad was not an awful person. His ex wife (Chandler’s mom) has spent these past years bashing his name to the two children, now adults. Having come from a broken family, had my Mother spoke vial of my Dad day after day I cannot imagine how much more wounded I would have been. As I see it now, I do not know if Chandler will ever heal from the mental abuse and poor reviews in his mind of his father. Amber has not treated my daughter with as much love and kindness as she should have either. It is just too important to her to keep control of her Son. I am disappointed with her lack of preparing him to be a self reliant man and husband. But, what they have going for them is God’s love for them and their marriage. I am so proud of the two of them and the way they are working through things. Chandler also lost his Grandmother (his Mom’s Mother) prior to his Father’s passing but these two young adults have cried together, fought together and kept loving one another through all and I will do everything I can to provide and support a safe loving shelter and arms around them.

I so hope and pray that this COVID will find it’s way out of our lives by the end of the year. I hope that it is true what many think that after the elections are over, it will dissipate. The rioting and breakdown of our country has continued as police departments have not been supported. There is much contention over how to eradicate the virus, people wearing masks and whether businesses and education should be allowed to reopen. We are acting anything but civilized. It makes me visualize the stories from the scriptures of how evil and corrupt a people can be. Last week they for the first time in months held 45 minute church services dividing the population alphabetically in thirds. I did not go but Rik thought there were maybe 45-60 people there. Heartbreaking.