Archive for May, 2010

4 years ago I was hallucinating. I thought I was in St. Mary’s Hospital in Knoxville,Tennessee. I kept looking at the door, waitign for my aunt to duck waddle into the room. I was going to verbally throw her out on her can. After all that she had done, she had a set of brass ones to walk in right then.

While I was busy waiting for bad blood to rise, Tom did the unthinkable. He walked up, gently touched my hand and informed me he was going to the bathroom. All I could do was nod. I watched as he walked across the room, entered the bathroom and closed the door behind him.

Panic set in. tears started to flow. How could he leave me sitting here scared, alone and in pain. I understood that he had to use the potty when he told me but as soon as that door closed , I was convinved that he left me in the hospital. I was sure he was driving home. In my mind, I was abandoned.

Between working 3rd shift, being sent to the hospital most of the day before for tests and then being up all night with a UTI, I was a mess. I called my DR no less than 20 times that morning only to be redirected to the nurses station at the local hospital. The nurse on duty kept telling me that I was fine and my pain was normal. Something told me she was wrong, so I kept calling.

Finally, she asked me why I didn’t just call my DR. She was pretty annoyed at that point but so was I. She didn’t even offer to page him when I told her that was how got to talk to her all night long. All I got was ” He should be in now, keep trying”. Even after I told her I was bleeding.

I *love* small country hospitals.
I finally got in contact with DR. MIA and was seen immediately. He sent me off to the oh so *wonderful* hospital and the *helpful* nurse for a transfer. They couldn’t help me there. At least they knew that much. 
As soon as I was hooked up to the machines, Nurse*Helpful* came in to tell me that what was happing now had nothing to do with the tests I had yesterday. Maybe not, but I told you my pain had moved and became more intense right before you discharged me. You blew me off. Just like my manager blew me off when I said I needed to pee. He left me waiting for an hour and a half each time.
I really should have let them fire me when I got in trouble for using the bathroom too much.
I didn’t care what she said. I just nodded and asked when I was being transfered and when was Tom showing up. I had lost my confidence in her and the hospital. I wanted OUT.
I knew my situation was bad, but just how bad I was unsure of. I did get a small clue when they gave me some drugs for the pain and brought the ambulance stretcher in at the same time. Only 15 minutes had passed since my arrival. I had sat in the same room for 6 hours the day before over a UTI. I was a little sad that I didn’t get to ride in a helicopter but happy to be going to a better hospital. The problem would be taken care of and I would be in my own bed that night.
Tom must have been flying because he walked in as they were wheeling me out. There was an hour between our locations and he covered it in under 20 minutes.
Despite the painkillers, the ride was agony. Paved or not, that was some of the roughest road I had ever been on. All the dips and turns and sinkholes. I was starting to wonder if the nurse had given me a placebo. Don’t ask me why. That was probably the first delusion of many that night.
They did use the siren for me at lights. Yay me!
I get to Big Hospital still relatively calm. There’s that whole delusional thing working again. I’m greeted by a flock of nurses. Competent, well informed, very nice nurses. 
I hope I apologized in advance. I don’t handle pain well. I’m down right nasty. Like “Exorcist” nasty.
They hook me up and get me comfortable. As much as I can be anyway.   Tom, my mom and his mom show up shortly after me. 
I get to see DR. Specialist who runs some tests to see if I need surgery.
We hang out, I try to relieve the pain while waiting for the okay for drugs. I don’t do so well. I can’t have anything until the tests come back. If I need surgery, they’ll have to give me anesthesia and they don’t want any bad reactions to it.
I’m growling and grumpy. I won’t let poor Tom touch me. It hurt too much. They had me lay on my back for a catheter insertion. Have you ever had one of those with out drugs AND with a UTI. It wasn’t on my list of things to do before I die. It shouldn’t be on your either. I almost puked the pain was so bad. I hadn’t eaten in more than 12 hours so it wouldn’t have produced much anyway.
DR. Specialist comes back and tells me that I don’t need surgery. Yay! Unfortunately the situation had progress too far for me to go home. He also tells me that I can have what ever drugs I want as soon as the anesthesiologist is done with a c-section. Yay! In an hour. Damn!
Time passes, the moms go home with promises to come back first thing, Tom passes out in a chair.
More time passes. I have long since convinced myself that I was in TN and Tom left me.The pain is so intense I can’t sit still and I am using some colorful language. I really hope I apologized at some point. My body keeps trying to fall asleep or pass out, I can’t tell. All I knew was that I was staring at the clock and suddenly two minutes had passed.
Almost 3 hours after the Dr’s okay, my hero walks in. The rockstar of the medical world. 
The Anesthesiologist!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Sweet relief!!!! I don’t care how much he gets paid, it’s not enough.
I actually let Tom touch me again, then I am out like a light before  the staff can leave the room. I don’t care how tired you are, there is no way to sleep soundly when people keep poking at you and asking what your pain level is. I didn’t care. I felt no pain and that was my only goal.
Well, it was until something had changed. I woke Tom up and sent him for a nurse because I was too groggy to find the call button. There was a flurry of activity. Every one moved so quick, It was like watching a movie in time lapse. I felt weird being the only one not doing something. I really didn’t have a choice at that point.
After 12 minutes I got this….. 
Due to a UTI, Amanda was born 6 weeks premature on 5/26/2006.
Even through all of that, when I think of her birth, the first thing I think of is turning to Tom, who was all up in my shit to watch,  and saying 
“Holy Shit! I just gave birth!”. 
Happy 4th Birthday Amanda! 

My Fat Story

Posted: Monday, May 24, 2010 in Uncategorized

My body is getting revenge on me for having 3 kids in less than 4 years. Seriously.

Okay I’d really like to blame it on the little boogers but in reality it’s kinda my fault. Okay, it’s definitely my fault.

I started gaining weight when I was in middle school and it continued to climb through high school. I ate, watched TV, was generally lazy and felt pretty crappy about myself. I didn’t want to be around people most of the time and I lost some pretty cool friends because of that.

About a year after I graduated high school, I moved in with a “friend”, let’s call her…..Spencer, as in Spencer “Batshit Crazy” Pratt. Spencer was always trying new crash diets and new diet pills. I figured they were useless but I tried them anyway. I felt a strange need to keep the peace with Spencer, but I hadn’t figured out why.Yet.

I fell into the crash dieting by accident. I really felt no urge to eat so I simply didn’t. That combined with Ephedrine cause me to lose a total of 70 pounds. At my lowest adult weight I was 165. I was HOT! I had curves in the right directions, I could shop at a regular store in the mall and buy age appropriate clothes ( read- no Lane Bryant, no grandma clothes), I still had a bodacious rack (34D to be exact), I walked with a sashay that only a body confident woman can. Hell, I practically invented Swagger.

Me on New Years Eve 2002 @165

A lot of bad shit went down with Spencer and I got tired of keeping the peace and moved back in with my mom.

I went into shut down.

I worked two jobs, one of which involved very rich foods, I hung out in my room surf the Internet and watching TV. I hung out with the one friend I knew would accept me flat out and I could trust. We went out on the weekends but that’s one of the few situations I made it point to socialize. and be good at it.

The pounds started to come back but I really wasn’t in the mood to care. Not that I really noticed.

I made some more not so great choices, eventually left both jobs, moved to Tennessee, then moved to The Field. A little more weight slip on and I start to notice every now and again.

There isn’t a whole lot to do in The Field. It was pretty boring so we made our own fun. And we had lots of our own “Fun”. It took me about 4 months to get knocked up. At this point I had gained 30 of my 70 back. if your keeping score that 195 pounds. Definitely in the fat category.

Me a couple weeks before a + pee test @195

I took my pregnancy as carte blanche to eat and revert back to my teen ways. I was tired and scared to death and HUNGRY.

Okay, maybe I wasn’t as hungry as I pretended to be. I was eating and sleeping my emotions away. Eating until you want to burst then sleeping for a few hours is a sure fire way to turn into this:

Me Prego with Perry and quickly approaching 300+++

I was around 320 when I gave birth for the last time and dropped 30 pounds almost immediately. Unfortunately, I don’t think I’ve kept those pounds off. I haven’t weighed myself but I can feel it in my body and everything I do with it.

There are a lot of reasons that being this heavy sucks sour cream covered lemons. Not all of them are obvious to the average person. Sure, there are the numerous health concerns but there are other things. Things like the funny looks you get when you walk into a resturaunt to pick up an order for 5 people ( Tom eats enough for 3, so make that 8), fat sex doesn’t rock nearly as much as thin sex, my 1 year old is faster than me and sharing a full sized bed can get a bit tricky.

I been analyzing this for a few months now. I know how I got here. I know why I am here. I know what I need to do to move on. I know how I am going to do it.

But, I’m scared.

I’m scared of getting frustrated, as I am apt to do and give up. I’m scared to fail.

I am scared of myself.

I have gained and lost independence many times over in my life. Moving out at 19 only to find out my roommate was a psychotic control freak. Moving back home at 23 just to feel that I had to be my mothers watcher in her time of emotional need. Moving to Tennessee to have my car and days off commandeered by toxic relatives. Meeting and moving in with Tom then having children to care for.

Little bits of freedom given and taken at the same time. As my children grow and learn, I slowly regain more lateral movement. The loss of an item needed to leave the house. A small symbol of our forward motion.

But what about the other end of the line. When the children are grown and have lives of their own. Beyond any one really needing you to help and care for them. Not your children or grand children or your great grandchildren. You have complete and total freedom to do as you please.

You can walk around naked, cook the foods only you like, go on long trips to nowhere in particular. Some times I can’t wait for those days. It’s just like I imagined my 20’s to be like, only with out the cooking.

My Grandma has that life. Maybe not the naked part but she is still very independent at the age of 82. She goes to the casino, hangs out with her friends and takes little trip to visit family. My uncle lives a few miles from her and visits her almost nightly.

Lately though, there has been some cause for concern. Grandma is becoming absent minded. Her driving skill are becoming more and more questionable. It’s just a matter of time before she gets into an accident. A couple weeks ago she lost her ATM card and this past week she lost her wallet in the casino. Her wallet was returned by the casino but it was missing the $150 she got for mothers day.

She doesn’t eat well either. I know this is the pot calling the kettle black here. I try to eat halfway decent. Grandma on the other hand may not be. During a phone call my mom told me it was pretty bad. Is it too much to hope that Mom is just being an alarmist.

For a couple years now my mom, Tom and myself have been trying to convince Grandma and Uncle to move down here. Uncle leaning towards it after he retires in a few years and Grandma will go where he goes. I would like her here now though. Grandma is very reluctant to move again. She spent many years in the silent ranks as an Air Force wife and has had her fair share of moving. I don’t blame her for not wanting to do it again.

I also can’t blame her for not wanting to lose any of her hard earned independence. She was married to the same man for more than 50 years. Raised 4 kids in the military and one grandchild on and off. She worked in a sweatshop when I was a kid and was the best baker this side of the Wallkill River.

It’s not like she needs a 24 hour babysitter. She just needs someone to watch her back more than bachlor Uncle can. Some one to go shopping with and to have over for coffee. Some one to make sure she eats because she won’t cook just for herself. Who knows, maybe she’ll finally pass on her killer taco recipe to me.

Grandma’s on the left

Well, I was really expecting to have an all out snarkfest for you today. I headed out to what was sure to be the Redneck event of the season and I was going to have the pictures to prove it.

I must say I was pleasantly surprised. There was still a great deal of rednecking going on at Tom’s aunt and uncles 25th anniversary party. But it was different than their daughter in-laws version of a wedding reception. The paper towel place cards were noticeably absent. Tom was also much more relaxed than he was at the “wedding” last year.

Since the kids don’t get out much both Kieran and Perry were less than friendly. Kieran wouldn’t even go inside for the first hour. Amanda was overly friendly and I removed her during the ceremony when she  started doing laps around the buffet tables. I was wholly embarrassed.

Did I mention that I get out about as much as the kids? I don’t. I do love it when we go some place with my mother in law Vicki though. She is always more than happy to deal with the kids so I can enjoy myself. I think I need to tell her how awesome she is.

Something must have bit me in the tush because I felt like dancing. The only person I could get to dance with me was Perry. Not that she had much of a choice. Actually we were the only people dancing the majority of the time.

The other two were having a great time with the open juice cooler (Kieran) and all you can eat chocolate covered strawberries (Amanda). Kieran even tried to work the keg while bring cheered on by some inebriated party goers. Tom was never so proud.

Then it happened. Something I swore I never did and would never do.

I sang. In public. WITH A MICROPHONE!

Amanda spotted the microphone and tried to take off the table to bring to me. Then she ran up to me and said “Mama sing?”.
My heart melted and I said yes. How could I say no? She was so sweet and innocent. How was she to know that I was tone deaf? I told the DJ that I would sing along to the music and she was cool with that.

I picked out Gunpowder and Lead. Something I sing at home and know all the words to and I can get into it. At least when there’s not 40+ people staring at me.

I was shaking so bad I thought I was going to pee myself. But I sang with everything I had to my little girl. She actually pushed a chair over and stood on it about an inch from me. It was probably the most beautiful moment I’ve ever had as Amanda’s mom.

The bonus was that no one boo’d or laughed or ran screaming from the room.
The even bigger bonus was the look on Tom’s face when it was over. He was positively beaming.
The biggest bonus of all was making my baby happy and showing her what a confident woman looks like.

I do my big grocery shopping once a month, preferably without kids. I shop for an entire months worth of shelf-stable and freezer items. I prep for at least three days. 1 for coupons, 1 for cleaning fridge and vacuuming the cabinets and 1 for defrosting the freezer. I could spread that out over a couple of weeks but I’m a lazy procrastinator. That and it would all just get dirty and frosty again so why bother.

This month was no different in the basics. What was different however was that I took two cart with me through the store. I figured that I could have one for heavy stuff like cans and juice and one for the more fragile items. I got quite a few strange looks but I didn’t really give it much thought.

I was almost done and in the frozen food department grabbing some veggies when a woman who was giving me a strange look in produce a couple hours earlier asked if all that was for me. She was very nice, especially after I explained to her that I do most of my shopping once a month because taking 3 kids under 4 to the store every week is just insane. Moments later another woman asked basically the same question and got the same answer.

They both nodded and agreed that taking little kids to the store was tough. They both had kids, now teenagers though. They knew that you did what you had to do.

I was in a great mood even after I got my total. The $75 I saved in coupons and shopper club discounts really helped with that. Hell, I was practically giddy because of that.

I dropped my receipt in the lobby and when I bent down to pick it up I heard a voice.

“I bet that’s taxpayer money.”

I stood up and looked straight into the eyes of an 70-80 year old man walking past me. He was talk to me! I was in total shock. He kept staring as he walked by and muttered something under his breathe as he went.


So many thing ran through my mind in those few seconds, I couldn’t even respond to him. I almost called out to him or ran after him but he was lost in the crowd by then. I went and load up my truck instead. 

I was insulted and angry. I waited for him to come out so I could rip him up. or run him over. I sat there for a little bit before I decided to move on before I lost a ton of food to the heat. I cranked “Bleed It Out”  and sped across the parking lot. 

Then I saw him. I was pointed right at the piss ant when I stopped at the stop sign. Once again I just stared but for a different reason. This time I knew just what to do. I wanted to feel the thump of his body hitting my bumper at a high velocity and see his shocked face as his carcass gets thrown. If my foot had touched the gas pedal, I wouldn’t be here to write this. I’d be in court pleading insanity.

I’m not normally an angry person and Linkin Park only comes out when I need a release for my frustrations. So why did this old douchebag get to me so bad?

Because it’s true.

 Yes, my family receives public assistance in the form of foodstamps and medicaid for the kids. It’s not some thing I’m proud of and I would certainly choose to work outside the house if it would actually help. I’ve done the math, it would make us worse off than we are now. If I worked we would need this to survive-
375 a week for daycare
100 gas
150 health coverage
150 groceries and formula
775 just to cover what we would lose and the cost of going to work. 400 if I work a schedule opposite Tom and ask family to babysit for free.

I only have a couple of semesters of college and live in a rural community with a lot of other people out of work. Jobs that pay that well are not only scarce, they’re unheard of. Tom is a CNC machinist and doesn’t even get paid half of that. Sad, considering that the average pay for that job is 37,000. Tom makes $10,000 than the federal poverty guideline for a family of 5. And yes, 400 a week is very rare around here.

It seemed for a long time that every time we would start to do okay, the birth control would fail and Tom would get laid off. The companies he worked for would run out of work and in one case they ended up closing for good. So we applied and qualified for assistance. 
We did this for the kids. It’s not their fault that we live in an economically depressed area . It’s not their fault the housing market took a crap and people stop building new homes. 

We’ve looked at it from every angle. Alternating schedules, asking family to help, moving, me working from home. There is always a fatal flaw in the plan that makes it not workable.

I have to sit and bide my time until it is financially feasible for me to work. Feeling like a schmuck because I am physically capable just so deep into The Brokeness that we would be homeless if I did work. 

I was all ready to drag myself to bed. I was even so bold as to think about getting a shower. I had it all planned out in my head, right down to check the front door 3-4 times.

I was foiled again.

Amanda has once again woken up to see Tom’s car gone. I’m not sure what runs through her head but it seems a lot like a mix of heartbreak and panic to me. At least 4 times a week I amforced to go through the same schpeil about how “Daddy goes to work after you go to bed and he will be home in the morning to eat breakfast with. Now try to sleep, the sooner you sleep the sooner Daddy will be home.” Then I have to go through the whole “scarey monsters”,” there’s only good and funny monsters and list every monster on Sesame Street I can think of” set of hoops.

I have to do this a couple times each night it happens

Tonight I got smart(ish). I got Amanda a picture of her and Tom and a toy cell phone and told her to look at the picture and call Daddy on her phone to say I love you.

So far only a couple of whimpers and no more outright wailing. I’m still not feeling real hopeful.

Sometimes a girl just needs her Daddy.