Thursday, December 11, 2008

& something mellow

here's a short musical interlude. something mellow & relaxing. E sent me the link. i sure love that boy.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

& where the eff have you been lil missy?

i have no clue where november went. really, it flew by. not halloween weekend, but the weekend before E & i went on a mini vaca to duluth. then the next weekend my good friend april got married in hinckley & i was given the honor of being in the wedding so i spent the weekend out of town. since getting back to plymouth on november 2nd time has just flown by. my life has just been crazy & seems to be one crisis after another.

things at work have been crazy busy. there's also been a ton of BS at work that has been super stressing me out. may i just take a moment to say: i thought i left all the gossip, rumors, & childish cliques back in high school. oh, wait, no, it is STILL going on. pity that grown ups have to act so juvenile. the work shit doesn't deserve any more of my time or any more of my blog than this one paragraph, but it has really made me think of the trajectory of my life & what i really want to be able to say i did with my life when my last breath is drawn. & i have no room for pettyness & other people's egos in my life. it's completely undeserving of my attention.

there's been some family stuff going on, & since it's not really my issue i don't feel the right to air it in public, but it is amazing how much worrying about someone else can suck up your time, energy & strength. next week, wednesday, is going to be the culmination of all of this. so i do ask, please think good thoughts for me, if you pray, please say a prayer that everything goes well for my loved one.

& the weight loss? well, i struggle with it. i am still not working out. but i did order some stuff from amazon, some new exercises videos that i'm really psyched about. once i try them out i'll put up their info, some links, & do some reviews. i'm sure the fuzzies won't be happy having to stay in their cage while i work out, but i need to do it for me & they'll be ok. they really are spoiled little ones, i will admit. i've been going to my weekly therapy visits religiously. in a way it's been really difficult because i'm discovering just how deep a problem i have with food. & i think that this really may wind up being a life long struggle. i don't want to struggle, i don't want to obsess about food, but i find myself doing so.

last time i stepped on my scale i weighed 160. which is great, it's fabulous. it means since my highest weight ever i've lost 163 lbs, i mean, incredible, right? i've lost more weight than i currently weigh. & i'm still so unhappy about where i'm at. & i look in the mirror & all i see is fat. & i hate myself for saying that because i know i've come a long way & it does make me feel like an ungrateful brat. & it's not like i think thin equals happy because i know that's not true. but i'm still so unhappy with my body & the way i feel that i look to other people.

at target sunday evening i bought myself some new jammies. a two piece flannel bottoms & 3/4 length tshirt set & then a pair of footie jammies like when i was a kid. i picked out a large in the two piece set, but then the footies my choices were small, medium, and double extra large. i knew i didn't wear a 2XL. i picked up the medium, looked at them, i was doubtful, but decided i'd try them. i also decided to go for broke & swapped out the large in the two piece for a medium. i got them home & tried them on expecting them to not fit at all & i was gobsmacked that they both fit. they were roomy even. i kind of wonder if maybe a small would've fit. & at the same time i'm kicking myself that i'm not in a small right now. i keep thinking if i would've been working out all these last months i'd be so much better off.

i know it sounds unhealthy. & it is. i'm not even going to try to pretend it's normal. but i'm trying. & the emily program has been wonderful for me. my therapist is great. my nutritionist is really great. all the staff there are super nice & so are all of the other patients that i've encountered. what i will say is that if there is anyone out there reading this that has an eating disorder or struggles in anyway with food issues/body image: please talk to someone, please get help. there is help out there. the emily program has really saved my life. i'm not recovered yet, but i know that with the help that i've gotten, & i'll continue to get, that i can really & honestly beat my eating disorder.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

how to fit in at any church

this is super cute. it was left as a comment on my myspace page by josey (she was podo & doodle's mom before i adopted them). wait for the ferret part. for heathens such as myself this contains great tips. i'll leave my python & sandwich board at home next time i roll into church.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

too damn cute

these aren't my fuzzies, a friend sent me this as a hyperlink, but this is too damn cute not to post it.

cat
more animals

Sunday, October 05, 2008

slumber party

friday night E came over complete with a small animal carrier containing all four of his ferrets. since i'll be taking care of his kids for him over christmas it seemed like a good idea to get all the kids used to spending time, including cage time, together. for anyone who has been at my apartment it's not very big, it's actually pretty small. i mean, my bedroom is HUGE, but it's definitely a small space. so it was complete chaos when we let his four kids & my five run loose. there were ferrets all over, wrestling, getting into stuff, you name it & they were doing it!

we actually had plans for dinner with april, dave, & alli. so he got to my place, we piled his kids into the cage with mine & took off. i was kind of nervous about leaving the nine of them in the cage together unsupervised while we were out, but E wasn't nervous so i trusted him & decided not to worry about it. all of our kids had met before, & mine were asleep & his were ready for another nap, so there was a good chance that they'd all just curl up & pass out, as ferrets are prone to do.

dinner went well & we arrived back at my place to a cage full of kids ready to run & tumble across my carpet. (!2 `1b90fggg7y=ooiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii) the typing in parenthesis is from nyddah in response to hanging out with E's kids; she didn't put the parenthesis in, i did, but i'm sure pretty soon she'll be doing that on her own too; but, she did manage an exlamation point which is a two key manuver. i think she's trying to learn to read, i keep catching her with my books & she stole my stapler the other day. i left my lappy for one moment to check on podo & i turned around & nyddah was on my lappy putting in her furry two cents! one of these days i'll learn not to leave my lappy open when i have fuzzbutts on the loose.

but, back to the tale of 9 carpet sharks & two humans. overall things went well. cass kept getting in over his head with E's girls. i had to "rescue" him from moxie a few times & lily. he's used to wrestling with my kids who are no where near as rough & tumble as E's kids. i think the next time they all hang out i'm going to watch him with E's kids, but not "rescue" him as much. he really does need to learn that if he's going to pick a fight with another fuzzy that he needs to be able to hold his own.

E & i had just cuddled up under the covers to go to sleep for the night & there was a high pitched scream from my living room. i was out of bed & next to the cage in a flash. his girl lily was on top of cass biting the hell out of his ear....even though cass had been asleep before that. i checked the situation out, she seemed to be calming down, so i went & got back in bed telling E what happened. a second later a louder longer scream. lily was chomping on cass again. unfortunately E's kids wound up spending the night in cass & sun's old cage (the starter cage they were living in when i first got them). that cage is impossibly tiny, but it was only for one night. when his kids come to stay with me i'll set up my other ferret cage, the one i used to have for my ratties. it has three platforms & is about two & a half times the size of the starter cage. i'm hoping by then that all the kids will be able to get along & sleep in the cage together, but for the first few days E's kids may be sleeping in there while i'm at work just for my own piece of mind.

my kids are also very neat & meticulous compared to his. my kids use their litter box while in the cage 100% of the time. cass used to have problems with that until i got podo & doodle. somehow having those other two fuzzies around taught him how to use the litter. i'll admit my kids sometimes don't use the litter box when out of their cage....they have a nasty habit of getting right next to the box, looking at me, lifting their little tails & pooping right next to the box. his kids don't always go in the pan when in the cage, i had to clean up some poopies on the bottom of the cage (which is obnoxious beyond belief). hopefully living with doodle would help them with that! i'm pretty sure he's the one that kicked cass' butt!

everyone survived the first slumber party without any real incident's. all the fuzzies seemed to have fun playing with each other. hopefully we'll be able to do this another couple times before christmas. although, E can't make it to april & dave's wedding so he may be ferret sitting for me. i was going to ask my brother to stay here, but maybe it would be a good idea for him to take my kids for two days to get all the carpet sharks more used to hanging out. during that time my kids would have their "smaller" cage to stay in. it'll be super small, but only temporary, & they all need to learn how to play & interact before they're roommates for two weeks.

i wanted to get some pics of the whole gang at my place, but i never managed to get my camera out. so the next time they hang out here i'll get some photos. despite the poop issues, cass' social interaction problems, & the fact that i was constantly counting under my breath 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9 i had a really good time spending the night with E & having his kids over. so hopefully we can do it a lot more.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

thought of the week: september 14-20

he's just a boy and i'm just a girl, can i make it anymore obvious? we are in love, haven't you heard how we rock each others world!
~avril lavigne sk8r boi


i haven't mentioned E much on here except in passing; but he's simply fabulous. it's been almost five months that we've been together & it seems like so much longer in one way, & in another i can't believe it's been that long. our first date was on may 1st, which is actually really nice because it makes it easy to remember & figure out. within the first seven days of our first meeting in person we'd been on five dates & we were pretty much inseparable; but not in that creepy ew-that-couple-is-wearing-matching-sweatpants-set way.

things have been kind of tough at times. he's been really busy with work. because he does freelance work summer is his busy season, so we usually only get to see each other once a week. back in the middle of the summer there was a time where we went ten days, two weeks, something like that between seeing each other. & then he's had to spend quite a few weekends working: going to conventions & things like that. even though E has been really busy he makes time for me. we chat almost everyday online, or we'll talk on the phone.

just like tonight. he had to finish a project for a freelance project, & get ready to head up to duluth for the weekend for a different project, but he & i went to dinner & then hung out at his place watching total drama island & south park so we could spend just a bit of time together. sometimes on the weekends that i work at the group home we'll hang out & watch tv for a bit after i get done with work.

it's all those little things he does that show me that he loves me. there's so many little things that i can't even list them all out. he's been really wonderful over the time we've been seeing each other. & there have been some tough times. his ferret sophie got sick & had to be put down. there was my second surgery. & now my eating disorder. but none of it has been a source of stress for us, we've been getting through all of it together.

so yeah, we are in love & we totally rock each others' worlds.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

hard questions & harder answers

i saw my grandma today for the first time since, um, sometime in july. the last time i saw her was at a family potluck at my aunt's house, so it's been a good month & a half to two months. she couldn't believe how much weight i've lost. in the beginning after my surgery that was a really good thing, a thrill, when people would tell me how much weight i've lost. now it's a mixed bag. i looked at my mom when my grandma commented on how skinny i'm getting. her face reflected what i was feeling. it was meant as a compliment, & my grandma doesn't know about what i've been struggling with lately, so i can't fault her for it, but even though the comment on my weight was meant as a compliment, it makes me uncomfortable now when people mention it. but i still smile & take it as a good comment.

my grandma asked me when i'd stop losing weight. i honestly don't know so i told her my weight would probably level out very soon. she also asked me what would happen if i didn't stop losing weight. & i really don't know. i know that there are some people, not many at all, but a few, that after bariatric surgery can't stop losing weight & have to be medically managed so they don't get sick. i think it's still too early to determine if that's going to be the case with me. what i do know is that there are certain areas of my body that are getting much too small.

the other day E & i were curled up talking at my apartment and he asked me how much i weighed, so i told him about 165, which was my weight that morning. he also asked me if i've been exercising & i admitted i haven't been (this is something i really miss & i want to get back to). & then he told me he's worried about me, that i'm getting too thin & he can feel my bones when he holds me. he said he thinks i'm losing muscle & he's worried about me. i know it was really tough for him to tell me that, & i'm glad he did, but it's still hard. i look in the mirror & my collarbones stick out, my shoulder blades stick out. no one else sees it, but my ribs are pretty visible under my skin & i can't sit on a hard surface for too long or it's really painful for me.

i was talking to this guys at work, nelson, who is a certified personal trainer & was working with me & some of the other QAs. his wife had bariatric surgery & he asks me how i'm doing every time i see him. i told him about the eating problems & some of the other stuff & he said it sounds like i'm losing muscle, the same thing that E said. the only way for me to recover that is to start working out again, but i'm also almost scared to do that because if i don't get enough calories in, & especially enough protein in, i'm just going to burn more muscle.

as much as i try to get enough food, the right kinds of food, i know that i'm malnourished. i take my vitamins, i'm pretty good about that most of the time, i try to make "good" choices. but it is so fucking hard. i still can't always digest everything well, or i'll eat something & it'll make me sick, or i'll eat something & i have to stop after two or three bites because if i put one more morsel in my mouth i'll spit everything up. i really do kinda wish i could just have milk & not deal with food.

my mom & i were talking about the emily program & i told her that even though i didn't want to admit i needed help i'm glad i did it now instead of waiting until december. i also told her that i felt like if i had waited until after i saw christine in december that i may have been sick enough to have to go to an inpatient program. & then my mom said what i had been thinking, but didn't want to say aloud because i didn't want to be overly melodramatic. she said she didn't think i would've been able to make it to december.

i was at ragstock with steph thursday night getting some new clothes. while in the dressing room i had a really scary moment. i looked in the mirror & i didn't recognize myself. my face & neck & shoulders all looked too thin. & then in the same moment i told myself that i needed to lose weight that i was really too big, that my thighs, tummy, calves, & upper arms were just unacceptable. it scared me. no one would argue that i do have those flabby parts, but i do think there are several people who would argue that i really don't need to lose anymore weight.

my grandma asked me if i would be ok not losing anymore weight. my honest reaction to that is no. i want to be under 150. i need to get as far away from 200lbs as possible. i don't want to be overweight, even by a little. in order for my bmi to be in the "normal" range i need to be 145 or less, so i still have twenty pounds to lose. when i say things like that my mom gets really mad & talks about the "damn unreasonable insurance charts." & maybe she's right. maybe losing that much more is unreasonable, but maybe not.

i've been talking about this with my close friends, my mom, & E, but it's still hard at times. it kind of seems like every day is a bit more of a struggle. i was at my parents' house tonight & i got so sick that i passed out for a couple of hours. they tried waking me up & i just couldn't wake up. i would come to just long enough to mutter a couple of words & then i was out again. maybe it was exhaustion, maybe it was worry, maybe it was more than that, i don't know. but it scared me, & it really scared my parents. they really didn't want me to even leave their house, but i had to get home to play with the fuzzies. i couldn't let my kids get cage crazy, they need their run time & their playtime with me...they're very social.

april was telling me that dave, her fiance, can't understand how i can deal with having five ferrets in addition to my two rats when i have so much else going on in my life. & i admit it seems like there is something insane about taking on that many fuzzies, especially when they need so much love, care, & attention. but they really are saving me in a way. i love my furry little ankle biters (very true in the case of podo & slightly true with cass & doodle). they keep me balanced. they keep me from overworking. my little guys love me completely & unconditionally & depend on me 100%....& that makes me work even harder to try to be healthy. my family & E support me & it's not like i discount all their love for me. & i care so much about them that i am working towards getting better for me & for them. but there's something else about having my kids that helps me out. maybe it's that while they look at me with concern in their little faces, mostly they just look at me with adoration & all they want is to play. there's something very relaxing about that.

Friday, September 05, 2008

just like the partridge family

last night the kids & i went on a field trip for a playdate with E's ferrets. first off, i have SO much more respect now for everyone i know that has kids. i am cognisant of the fact that my ferrets, while they are my kids, are not actual babies (i haven't gone THAT far around the bend). however, it took a lot of work to get them out of the house. while i was packing their stuff i woke them up, but left them in their cage, hoping they'd use the bathroom before we got going....just like my mom! she STILL asks me if i've gone to the bathroom before we leave for shopping. old habits, right? i had to get their travel cage ready. instead of a cat carrier or medium dog carrier i actually have a CAGE cage for the five to travel in. it's the starter ferret cage that i got with cass & sun. i have two hammocks hanging in it for them, there's room for one of their small litter pans, & of course there's a food dish. i do need to get a small water bottle for the cage too. in addition to trying to get five ferrets to use the litter pan i also had to pack a bag with some of their toys & their treats.

i put the kids into the travel cage one at a time...they were not at all happy. it was our first field trip. for cass & sun they'd been in the small carrier to come home & then go to the vet. same with nyddah. podo & doodle had just been in a carrier to come to my place. so they haven't had a lot of fun times when being put in a small space & then into a car. after all that it was then time to get me, my purse, my laptop backpack, the kids' "diaper bag", & the kids into the car.
yes, it took two trips from the house to the car. luckily for me when i got to E's house he carried in the cage for me so i just had all the other stuff & our dinner to contend with.

for anyone contemplating getting ferrets i want to say, the more you get in one room the craftier they get. i swear nyddah & podo both became much more naughty & mischievous when i got them out of the cage & playing with E's four ferrets. but, the fun part is all their individual personalities start to show too. yesterday podo showed us that she is actually part monkey & that she'd a damn stubborn little fert. she managed to climb E's "ferret proof" gate & get out of the play area twice successfully. & then for a while i just stood next to the gate while she climbed up to the top, i picked her up, put her back, & we'd repeat the whole process again. i'm proud of myself that my will was stronger than the ferret's. nyddah is just crazy smart, a little bit more of a monkey than i knew, & i think part sugar glider because she was jumping from furniture to furniture.

the line up last night was: nyddah, podo, cassidy, sundance, doodle, sue, moxie, jack, & lily. E's little girls sue & lily look a bit similar to my girls. sue is darker all over so there's no real way she could be confused with my girls. lily is a bit lighter like mine, but on her front paws the tips of her toes are very light, almost like she has a little fuzzy french manicure. i knew cass was a big boy, but seeing him next to E's ferrets was really eye opening. E's roomie di said he was the biggest ferret she had ever seen in her life. & then there's always the photographic proof: that is E's "big boy" jack on top of cassidy. they were wrestling & jack climbed on top of cass to try to get the upper hand. cass is a whole head longer than jack & weighs quite a bit more than him. although, even doodle & sun are bigger than jack....i guess i just have big ferrets. although, sun & doodle are pretty well proportioned. poor cassidy. he had a blast running & playing & wrestling with the other ferrets, but he wasn't able to play in all the same places they were. he's just my chunky monkey & can't wriggle into all the small places the other kids can.

i've only been able to get a few "family" pictures of all five of my ferrets. one was when they were playing in the shower & the rest were when they were in their cage. i tried really hard to get a picture of all nine, but the best i could do was five. but, it does show the size difference between my guys & E's. cass is at the top horizontally, the really big guy, & sun is across the bottom horizontally. then from left to right it's jack, moxie, & either podo or nyddah (i honestly can't tell). lily & sue are the real tiny babies of the gang, but they're not in the pic. they are a smidgeon smaller than my girls. doodle is also conspicuously missing, but he's bigger than sun & smaller than cass.

all in all everyone had a good time. it was chaos, but slightly controlled chaos. E & i also came to the conclusion that no matter what a group of ferrets is technically called, it's really a riot. everywhere we looked there was a ferret climbing, chasing, or getting into something. but the kids had a good time. when it was time to put them back in their cages the only one that really fought it was doodle (i swear, that ferret has more energy than any two of the other ones.... he's like a ferret on speed). but even he settled down once he was back in the cage.

right away. when i was putting my kids away i saw we did have a few panic moments because we wrangled up jack, lily, moxie, doodle, & podonyddah was curled up in the cage in the hammock. that left cass, sun, & sue on the run. we found sun curled up in the bottom of the living room chair. i finally rechecked my cage & cass had crawled into the cage & had gone to sleep in the bottom corner in the crinkle tube which is why i didn't see him at first. so just sue was on the lamb. E, di, myself, & another roomie of their lp all looked. we looked under furniture, in cabinets, in bags, window sills....everywhere she could possibly be. E was getting pretty upset & she just was no where to be found. finally di asked if we were really sure she wasn't in the cage. i had put lily, jack, & moxie in the cage, but that didn't mean she wasn't there. i had originally missed cass & he's twice her size. E checked & she was curled up in the bottom pocket of a hammock totally hidden from view.

all in all it was a very successful outing. no one got lost, everyone had a great time, & it was an adventure for all parties involved. it did actually make me think of the partridge family & the lyrics to their theme song "we had a dream we'd go trav'lin' together we'd spread a little lovin' then we'd keep movin' on somethin' always happens whenever we're together." the whole trip was kind of an adventure. i was just missing the obnoxious music & the bus that looks like it was painted during a bad lsd trip. i also want to know, do five ferrets & a human count as a carpool? cause i really wanted to justify using the carpool lane last night. it's me & my kids. the highway patrol would have to agree if i was stopped, right? but, i think E & i will get the kids together again sometime. maybe next time he'll bring his four to my place. we'll see what happens. & hopefully i'll be able to be quicker on the draw with the camera.

Monday, September 01, 2008

a ferret blog?

E was over the other day & doing some stuff on my comp. he checked my blog & said "baby, your blog is all about ferrets!" i wanted to argue that it wasn't true, but i kind of thought about it & realized that he was right. i do blog about my "kids" quite a bit. but they're a big part of my life right now. they keep me busy & they are just so damn cute, how can i not take pics of them & blog about them?

a few weeks ago i was talking to my friend sinead & i said something about blogging/talking about my ferrets so much (this was before i got podo & doodle, & possibly even before i got nyddah). & she said it only makes sense that i would talk about them so much because they're an important part of my life. she was also saying that her blogging topics/habits changed when she had her son, fionn, because her life had changed.

my life is composed of seven main things: family, E, friends, work, my "kids" (the ratties & the ferrets), my food issues, & writing. while my family is very important to me i don't always mention them on my blog & rarely put their pictures up because i don't want to invade their privacy by putting them on here. because of his work E remains only E on here, although there may be more stories to come, we'll see. i also try to respect my friends' privacy. the friends that have blogs i will link on here, & of course i mention other ones like steph & jenn, both of whom are aware of their blog-famy. work is, well, work, who wants to read about it? i get money from it, occasionally some funny stories, but mainly it just takes up 40 hours of my life every week, 56 on the weeks i work at the group home. while i've been working on my thesis & my writing, i don't necessarily put it on here because i'm not at the point where i'm ready to just put all my writing on my blog, so i don't want to talk about it too much without putting anything up...that's just not fair to my readers.

this leaves the kids & my food issues. now that i've come out of the pantry about my food issues (yes, you all can laugh, that was funny & macabre at the same time).... so now that i'm out of the pantry i'll be writing about that more often. & i put up lots of stuff about my kids. i actually have quite a few pics of the kids that i want to get up here. today was bath day for the five of them.....which deserves a blog of its own to cover the pics & the full story. there is also the totally random stuff in my life that will also make its way onto my blog (like the state fair adventure i had with steph yesterday, that blog will be written & posted fairly soon too....also with pictures. although, not all the pictures that could have been...more on that too).

i will say that i handle the ferret stories with the same humor & irreverent attitude that i show to the rest of life in general (even if that is slightly egotistical of me...but anyone who knows me or has read even a smidgen of this blog knows i'm semi egotistical in a completely charming & endearing way), so hopefully it's amusing, even to those who aren't as into the little carpet sharks as myself. but, hopefully i'm getting some new ferret fans out there. they are just too damn cute & so full of personality.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

the patty duke show & my three sons

it's interesting how many tv shows, current & past, seem to sum up my life with the five carpet sharks. i'd include the ratties in this, but they don't really seem to relate as well to sitcom comparison. while showering this morning i realized my life is kind of like if the patty duke show was combined with my three sons....& then put on ecstasy. for those of you unfamiliar with these shows they're both pretty old, as in they were in reruns when i was a kid. my three sons started out in black & white and then later moved to color. the patty duke show was also in black & white; & i believe that one was in black & white for the entire series run.

the patty duke show is based on the premise of two cousins, who are identical, living together. the one, patty, has lived in NY all her life, her globe trotting cousin, cathy, winds up being sent to live with cathy & her family. all in all it's pretty hokey, but kind of funny at the same time. the best part was the theme song: ".....they're cousins, identical cousins all the way; one pair of matching bookends, different as night and day....." & even though my little girls are not at all blood related, they really are almost identical in looks. their similar looks can make things difficult, but i have a few tips & tricks to tell them apart & i'm gathering more as time goes on. besides the ear tattoos podo is slightly lighter in color. that trick only works when they're standing next to each other. podo's nose has a very slight brown ring around it, like eye liner on her nose. the most telling characteristic i've discovered though is when the girls are running around podo's tail is bent to her left at almost a 90 degree angle. it looks sort of like maybe she broke it when she was a kit & it never healed right. also, if a girl is biting me or climbing on something she shouldn't be on, it's most likely podo. she is a first class little monkey. we're working on the biting issue still. that'll take some time, but i'm confident i can get her to stop. luckily her former parents gave me a copy of ferrets for dummies, i had borrowed E's copy & read it, but it's a great book to keep around to reference.

while i can tell the two girls apart in person i'm still struggling in pictures. although, podo still spends a lot of her sleeping time cuddled up with doodle. she likes the other boys, but my guess is she still feels more comfortable with doodle since they've been together for a while now. & nyddah still considers sundance to be her BFF (best friend forever). so nine times out of ten if i see sun in the cuddle cup or a hammock with another ferret it's nyddah. in the picture below podo is in the front & nyddah is in the back. the only reason i know is right after i took the picture the girls woke up & i checked which was which....yeah, cheating, i know.

as for the my three sons reference, all the boys love playing & chasing each other....& they're my furkids, so i have three sons. often doodle & cass will start tumbling & chasing each other & then sun will join in the fray....or any combination of that. they play with the girls too, but i think the boys like to be a bit more aggressive in their play so when they really want to get energetic they chase down another boy instead of one of their sisters.
i really enjoy having all of my kids & i'm so glad that podo & doodle's former mom emailed me. they haven't even been mine a full week & i can't imagine my life without them. they've really rounded out my little family. yeah, they can be mischievous at times & kind of naughty, but in an adorable way. & with the stress of my health & the stress at work & with thesis (& then there's some stuff going on with my parents) the kids really make me smile & make my life so much fuller. it is also IMPOSSIBLE to be unhappy or sulky when watching ferrets run around. a dooking ferret is one of the cutest things on earth & definitely giggle inducing. btw, dook does not mean poop or anything feces related. dooking is when ferrets make the little chirping/clucking/ferrety giggle noise they make when playing. i have a video of cassidy & doodle wrestling complete with lots of dooking, i'll get it up here pretty soon. oddly enough, even though he's deaf, doodle is my loudest dooker.

while the ratties are not being features as heavily in my blog lately, i did want to mention that while they seemed very wary of sundance & cassidy, & indifferent to nyddah, the boys seem to have taken a shine to doodle. it makes me happy. i was kind of worried because the first night doodle was here i caught him climbing the side of the rat cage. i did try to get a picture of it, but i wasn't fast enough on the draw. whenever he's out he always goes over to say hi to the ratties. when the other ferts get close to the rat cage anthony & leif act nervous, they run around & chew/claw at the bars a little. i'm honestly not sure what that's about. but when doodle goes up to the cage they meet him at the bars & check him out. the three boys kind of sniff at each other. maybe the other ferrets have hunting more on their mind & doodle is more into possibly just playing with the boys & they can sense that. doodle also kind of looks like a big rat himself. looking at him, if you're familiar with ferrets he is obviously a fuzzbutt & not another kind of animal, but his body also really makes him look like a HUGE rat, so maybe the boys think he's just a really BIG brother? he does look a bit like an ROUS (rodent of unusual size) compared to leif....& isn't it cute how they're sniffing each other out? like saying "hey buddy, what's up on your side of the bars?"

sundance's you tube debut

monday night when i brought home podo & doodle i put the dishes in the cage that their former parents gave me. the kids were used to drinking water out of a dish instead of a bottle & since i didn't have any dishes to attach to the sides of the cage they let me take the dishes. i didn't want my new fuzzbutts to get dehydrated so i attached the dishes to the cage & filled them with water. what i didn't consider was how my other fuzzbutts would react. cassidy & nyddah took them in, kind of checked them out a bit, & then had a drink. sundance on the other hand, well, let's just say in 2012 he may be giving michael phelps a run for his money.

Friday, August 29, 2008

getting ready to meet emily

yesterday morning i wasn't feeling well when i woke up, so i emailed my team at work & told them i'd be a bit late & then let the kids run while i tried to get control of my nausea & start feeling well enough to actually get on the road & get to work. i hate getting to work late. i really like getting in by 7am so that i can get my evaluations done early when the call center is still quiet. i'm not typically someone that needs silence to work. all through high school & college i needed some music on, or the tv in the background, to work. i couldn't have dead silence. & even when i'm working on my novel i'll put movies in my dvd player & let them run, but when working on call evaluations i need less distractions. i will put my ipod in my player & have it going on low, but there's something about the buzz of the call center that just drives me crazy when i'm trying to do evals, which isn't fair to the reps.

anyway. so i was sitting on my couch chatting on ichat with my friend jonathan & contemplating dry heaving when my phone rang. it was the emily program. so while i hate going in late because then i stay late & i feel like i'm letting someone down (even though my work is really understanding about my health issues & required dr appointments) it was sorta divine providence that i was at home. as soon as i saw the number show on my phone i knew it was the emily program. i'm not sure how i knew that, but i did. if i was at work i would've probably ignored the call. that is NOT a call i wanted to take at work, even if i would've been able to pop into an enclave (we have all these small rooms that can be used for impromptu small meetings or if you need to make a personal call).

because i was sick i was able to talk to a very nice lady from the emily program, i *think* her name was jesse, or lesley, or something like that. i didn't write it down & i forgot to ask. but she did kind of an informal intake over the phone to find out which location i wanted to go to & what some of my specific needs may be so they could match me with the right person. luckily there's a location in st. louis park which isn't too far from my work or my apartment, & they do have someone there that specializes in bariatric patients. they also are contracted with my mental health vendor, which is nice.

my appointment is in a week & a half. in the mean time i'm going to do my best every day to handle things. i was texting steph tonight & telling her that i'm working on taking better care of myself. jenn busted me out earlier this week on the fact that now that i'm able to drink bubbles all she ever sees me with is a bottle of coke zero, which is true. she also asked me how often i'm eating out. & i knew i was eating out a lot, but it's one thing to know it & it's another to have someone else point it out to you. jenn has known quite a few people who have had bariatric surgery & she's also holding me accountable to the fact that i swore, & i mean by god SWORE i would not allow myself to gain the weight back....which does involve behavior changes. & i've been slipping on those. & as an aside, no wonder i've been so fucking nauseous, i haven't been getting enough water. hello mcfly? is anybody in there. think mcfly. THINK.

it all seems a bit like a dream kind of. it's unreal in a way. to think that i'm now, after having gastric bypass & losing this much weight, seeking treatment for an issue with food. although, to be completely honest with myself this is something i should've done ten years ago, or fifteen or more years ago. my problems with food started when i was very young. i was seven & i started secret eating. i would take the things that no one would miss. the things without wrappers. i'd make myself peanut butter & jelly sandwiches just coating the bread with much more of each than i needed.

seven is so young. i have a friend who has a daughter that is that age & i look at her & i can't believe that when i was that young i was starting down a very bad path. i know the question comes up, how can a seven year old steal food & eat it behind her parents' back? how is that possible? i can't speak to every child with a binge disorder, or every adult who previously suffered from one, but for me it was very easy. too fucking easy. my dad has always worked evenings mondays through wednesdays ever since i can remember & then during the day on the weekends. & my mom was in college & since my brother & sister & i were well behaved we were often left alone to play. my mom was always home, so we weren't neglected, but she would study upstairs & it was easy to get into the kitchen & take what i wanted without being observed.

things got even easier once we moved to our new house. i was in middle school & got home earlier than everyone, so i was left alone in the house. then when i was 15 or 16 i moved to the basement which was basically like giving a drug addict the keys to the narcotics cupboard. my parents have a shelf in the basement that holds the "extra" food. things like jam, jelly, crackers, frosting, soup, basically all of those non perishables. & because i lived down there i was often in charge of bringing the extras upstairs. i routinely kept food squirrelled away in the basement that no one knew about. my drug of choice for a while was jars of frosting & graham crackers. i don't think my parents ever realized how much of that food i personally consumed. & i lied to everyone.

when i was a teenager my doctor made me go to a program at the como health partners (group health at the time). it was a "comprehensive" program to help teens lose weight. i had to see a physical therapist, dietitian, & a psychologist. at the time i was very depressed, almost to the point of wanting to kill myself. i'd actually tried once before that & was considering a second attempt. but when they came on strong & tried to scare me into losing weight, i lied. i told the physical therapist i was doing more activity than i was. i told the dietitian what she wanted to hear. & the psychologist gave me some kind of assessment that was so easy to read through that i lied completely & no one ever challenged me on it.

there is a part of me that wishes my parents would have been more observant when i was young. i mean. for christ's sake, i was seven & i was binge eating. what the fuck?! all of this has been on my mind lately after looking at the emily program website. there's a link about identifying eating disorders; the list of things to look for if you suspect a loved one has a problem. & basically every single thing listed under binge disorder fit me to a T until i was in my early to mid 20's. after that i stopped binging. i never officially dealt with my issues, i just stopped binging.

where does that leave me? not a clue. i recognize i had a binging problem for many many years. & now, it's nearly the opposite. i'm not starving myself. but i really honestly would prefer to not deal with food. someone compared this to breaking up with someone i've been dating for 31 years. food used to be my friend, my comfort,the thing that gave me solace. & now it doesn't. i have difficulty eating. some things make me sick, or uncomfortable. things don't taste the same. it's like the betrayal of a long time lover.

but this time, when i'm asked. i will tell the truth. maybe part of growing up is allowing yourself to be vulnerable? i also have something now that i didn't have when i was 15 & going through all this. i have confidence in myself, i love myself now, i know that i have people that love me (i HAD people that loved me when i was 15, but i didn't believe it). i have a very strong support system right now, which is going to be invaluable to me as i deal with this.

i've also decided that i refuse to be ashamed or secretive about this (pretty sure i said this last time i blogged about this). so here it is, on my blog. i'm going to tell my mom this weekend. & my dad too....well, i think i am. it's hard to tell my parents my problems. i won't be using my blog to unload emotional baggage, but i'm going to be as upfront & honest about this as i have about every other thing in my life when putting it on my blog.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

step 1

today was my six month surgical follow up out at HCMC. the surgical follow ups aren't really anything too intensive. i go in, the nurse takes my blood pressure & asks me a bunch of questions: any changes to your medication? do you drink, smoke, or do drugs? do you feel safe at home? are you being threatened? (the last two they ask as one question, which i, being a cheeky girl pointed out, because if you answer yes, is that yes to the first, the last, or both? so i said "yes the the first & no to the last one") can you dress, feed, & care for yourself?.....i shit you not on the last one gang, i've really been asked that, several times in fact. then after all that i talk to the residents/interns/students....whatever they are. they ask me how i'm doing, any pain, yada yada yada.....then they tell dr. lederer what i said. he comes in, sees me for a minute or two, then bam, i'm out & on my way.

& that's how it went yesterday. i was in & out pretty quickly once i was taken back to the exam room. dr. lederer said i was doing really well, my weight is lower than they would have anticipated at this juncture. i'm down to 171.4 according to their scale (which tends to be 5-ish lbs off my home scale). so according to HCMC i've lost over 100 lbs since they first saw me in october 2006. my BMI is something like 29.3. which means i'm now officially overweight & not obese. go me! that is a nice feeling to have the doctor's office show that i'm just overweight & not obese. it's one thing to see it on my home scale, but another to see it there.

i've got my february follow up scheduled with dr. hartley already, so i probably won't be seeing dr. lederer again unless he happens to be in clinic when i'm there. i'm just about to the point where my visits to HCMC will be every year. except i will be seeing christine again in december. on the one hand i felt pretty good leaving HCMC, knowing that my weight loss itself is going really well, my abdominal pain is gone, & the surgeons are really pleased with my progress. but. when walking out of the building i admitted to myself that i do have a really big problem with food. & i need to deal with it now before it gets bad because i can tell it's getting more serious the more time that passes.

tonight i tried calling my mental health vendor. for my insurance the mental health is handled by a separate department. well, i tried calling at 5:30pm & they were closed. the hours are 8am-5pm m-f. yup, shut out. so then i tried calling the emily program just to see what i would have to do on that end to see someone. & no one answered. they were supposed to be open until 7pm. they had an answering machine/voicemail option, but i didn't know what i would say so i hung up. i called them again, still no answer. i waited & then around twenty til 7pm i called again & actually left a message this time. that voicemail was one of the single hardest things i've had to do. it's one thing for me to vocalize this to my friends, but admit it to someone else, i kind of felt physically ill afterwards.

this is all still pretty scary for me. i really don't want to be at this place. but, i also know that denying i have a problem with food would be completely idiotic of me. my friends have been a good support over the past week & a half. & the one thing i've really learned is that even though
this is something i kind of suspected about myself, i thought i'd been doing a good job of hiding it, but i was doing a crap job of that. guess i'm not as good a liar as i thought i was.

there hasn't been a single person that i've told that has been surprised. Z actually told me that if i would've denied it she would've slapped me. she's in the cube next to me at work & she said i do talk about food too much, i obsess about it...& i'm bad for her diet (i love the fact that my friends have dark humor, & i really mean that. laughter & the macabre is a good combo). jenn has been super fantastic too about listening to me. she's a very insightful & deep person. steph has also been great about letting me know that i can lean on her if i need to. she's been the one that i've been leaning on the most lately. i just hope one day i'll be able to return the favor to all of my friends that have been here for me through this entire thing. i feel i have a lot of debts to repay.

right now i'm really petrified. & while i'm not ashamed of all this, i'm not necessarily ready to shout it from the roof tops, even though i'm blogging about it. i've told my close friends (well, most of them, it's a hard thing to tell someone over email, though i did tell jenn & steph via text message), & i've told E, but i haven't told my parents yet. i haven't told my sisters or brother. & i have no clue how many of my friends from other parts of the country are going to find out via my blog. i do realize it's semi absurd to be reticent about telling my parents & siblings, yet put it out on a blog for any one with a computer & internet access to find. but it's kind of safer admitting it to strangers.

i really don't like this at all. i'm supposed to be the strong one. i'm the person that others can lean on when they need help. i don't want to be broken or weak or damaged. & that's how i feel right now: broken, damaged, weak. i want the emily program to call me back. but, then again, i almost want them to lose my voicemail. damn gemini mind. i want help, but i don't. i want to be able to do this on my own. & i don't want to have a problem at all. maybe it's normal. i don't know.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

growing pains

like with any new family there are bound to be growing pains; 24 hours into my new family dynamic & so far they're relatively small. all the kids are getting along pretty well. no one seems to be jealous, or overly put out, by the new additions. yesterday steph said ferrets seem almost like pack animals, the more the merrier. i'm not sure how true that is. ok, well, it may be true for the ferrets, but for their human companions. i'd need a heck of a lot more time at home to be able to take care of more than my little brood....or another set of hands. do they have ferret nannies?

between their run last night & their run this morning there were just a few little hiccups. podo & doodle each missed the litter box when they were out running last night. they went next to the litter boxes, but not in them. then again, cass & sun aren't always as good about using the litter box as i'd like...so far nyddah is the fuzzbutt that rocks the most in that department.

last night when they were in their cage & bedding down for the night podo decided to play "queer eye for the ferret guy" & redecorate the cage. by redecorate i mean she decided that all the food inside the dishes should be out of the dishes & on the floor. i'd been warned that doodle was a digger & liked to spill all of the food out of the dish & dig & play. yeah, not so much. he gave his sister a dirty look as she flung all of their food out of the dish & onto the floor.

there have also been some nipping/biting issues with podo. this morning she decided that i would taste good for breakfast & dug the claws of all four paws into my leg & chomped on me, but i just scruffed her & told her i was not breakfast. i then redirected her to ferret appropriate play with the toy basket & she bounced off on her merry way. this evening E & i were playing with the fuzzies while we were waiting for dinner to finish baking & podo once again decided that i'd be a good snack. while i was prepping the homemade pizza she attacked my bare feet; it didn't hurt much at all. the little peanut got scruffed again & then scampered off to play with a ferret. but, while the pizza was baking E & i were watching revenge of the sith & she was up on the couch with us, i was petting her & all of a sudden she was locked onto my right wrist & shaking her head & making like my wrist was a fellow ferret primed for wrestling. OW. double OW. i had a couple nice little divots from her fangs. E just kinda laughed at me & wished me luck on breaking her of the nipping (his boy that he adopted from the woodbury humane society was a biter).

but, nipping & potty issues aside, things are going really well. E thinks my kids are totally adorable. they do have a naughty streak when they're all together. i should've taken a picture of this because it was so adorable, but i was also trying to do some damage control. along with podo & doodle's other accessories i got a small bag of carefresh. it's a kind of litter/bedding that can be used for different small animals. it's actually what i use for the ratties as their litter when i clean out their cage. well it's fluffy & must feel fun on ferret paws because sundance had crawled up into the bag & was having a ball digging in the bag & tossing the litter out for the rest of the fuzzies to play with. he looked SO funny in the bag of litter because he was really stuffed into the bag.

it's really hard to get five active ferrets all in one picture. the closest i've been able to do is one of all five in the cage. i've got two. in the first one both girls are curled up in the hammock, one of them is half out of it on the right hand side, but i'll be damned if i can figure out from the picture which one....i think i'm going to start calling them the twins (i'd say mary kate & ashley if i didn't have such a strong aversion to the olson twins that it induced dry heaving). in the second one everyone is on the top level chilling out except for doodle who decided he needed a bio break. i really love my kids. they're sweethearts & keep me on my toes!

Monday, August 25, 2008

like the celebrities; only way cooler

so my little ferret family was two for the longest time until about a week & a half ago when little nyddah joined the clan & the two became three. tonight, the three became five. they're all fixed & there weren't any baby ferrets born into the group. i got an email earlier today from a woman on craig's list who saw my update post about my kids asking me if i would be interested in adopting her two fuzzies, or if i knew someone who would be interested.

[quick aside: on craig's list someone was asking if people would post positive stories in the pets section, updates of sorts, of adoptions that went well. there are so many sad stories out there about abused animals or animals in shelters, they were hoping for some good news in the minneapolis pets section. i posted an ad about adopting my two boys & my little girl]

i wasn't planning on adopting anymore ferrets, i figured three was a great number. always someone to play with, but not too many so that i would be stressed taking care of the kids. it kept the boys on their toes having nyddah around, & she could play with both of them, or outrun/out-climb them both & laugh from above them. which, she actually did in her own way.

so when i got the request to adopt podo & doodle i really didn't think i would do it. i mean, they were adorable in their craig's list posting, but, then again, i have a total soft spot in my heart for fuzzbutts & i think they're all adorable. & a girl only has so many resources & so much time. interestingly enough i had saw their listing over the weekend & thought they were adorable & i did think to myself that if i hadn't've adopted my baby girl that i would've adopted podo & doodle. there was something about them that just resonated with me & i got the feeling the should've been my furkids.

basically i spent all day at work going back & forth if i should or shouldn't adopt these two (i really did do SOME work...helped train the new hires, answered some helpline calls, ya know, work stuff). just from the emails that i got from their human mom i knew she wouldn't let just anyone adopt them. she really wanted them to go to a home that would love & cherish them, which is why she reached out to me about her babies. i even called E to see what he thought of the idea. since he has four fuzzies of his own i figured he would have a good perspective. & even though he really loves ferrets he said he thought that a total of five ferrets would be too much for me & i should probably say no.

i was planning on saying no. i was really going to say my menagerie was pretty full as is. however, i kept looking at their pics, & the two looked like they belonged with my gang. so i agreed to meet the kids to see what they thought of me & to see what i thought of them. yeah, a sucker born every minute. i was sold before i even pulled into the driveway. steph & yadi both knew it (friends i work with). yadi actually told me that i'm the angelina jolie of the ferret world.....steph was pretty fucking amused by that; i'm not sure how to take it, if it's supposed to be a compliment or a slam, or a bit from column a & a bit from column b?

tonight i brought podo & doodle home to my cozy little place in plymouth. i set their carrier on the ground, i opened it up to let them explore. i opened my huge cage for cass, sun, & nyddah to come out on their own & investigate. all of the kids got along well with each other, not bickering or fights or anything. i was a bit reticent about how they would all get along because doodle is deaf. steph came over to meet the kids & she was telling me that it's just like with white cats. evidently a lot of white cats are deaf also. it does make me wonder a bit about cass & sun, sometimes they don't seem to hear me get up or come in the apartment when nyddah definitely does, then again, it could be just ferret selective hearing.

doodle doesn't look anything like my boys & his weight is somewhere between cass & sun, so a pretty good addition to the house. podo is pretty much identical to nyddah. & i mean, really really close. her fur is just the slightest bit lighter than nyddah's. but that may or may not help me a lot when looking at them from a distance. depending on the time of year & other factors a ferret's coat can change hues. the only thing i've really determined to be different is that nyddah's ear tattoos are closer to the outside of her ear & podo's are more towards her head. so that's kind of how i have to tell me apart until i get to know them really well & figure out the more subtle differences between the girls. i have a picture on my iphone of the two girls curled up together in the hammock & they really look like twins. i'll post it on here later.

in the mean time, i don't have a picture of all five kids together, but i do have a picture of podo, doodle, & nyddah. nyddah is the one in the bottom hammock, podo & doodle are in the top one. i'm sure i'll get some better pictures in the upcoming days. my camera died today, so the battery is recharging right now. i also have a hilarious video i posted to youtube that i'll put up here later this week.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

update on lil nyddah

i stayed up until almost midnight & then woke up twice during the night to check on her. i'm sure there are people out there, my mom would be one of them, that are thinking "it's just an animal." but she's not just an animal. she's a part of my family. it's a small little family here: me, two rats, & three ferrets, but it's cozy. & i love my babies to bits.

the first time i woke up, around 2:30, she was curled up asleep on the top level of the cage in an old pair of my biker shorts. i could tell she really still wasn't feeling well because she was all alone. by now i know that when she sleeps she likes to curl up with one of the boys. cass isn't a super huge cuddler, so it's usually her & sun in a ferret ball in one of the hammocks or the cuddle cup. i could tell the boys were worried about their sis because this is what i found when i looked for them:
i've seen them share the same hammock sometimes, but that's usually only when i find them passed out under their cage & put them in the hammock together. & yes, despite my worry i couldn't resist taking pictures of the kids.

i went back to sleep. but it was not in any way restful or refreshing. i actually wound up having a really terrifying nightmare that woke me up about 3:30-4am-ish & had me freaked out enough that i had to turn on the lights & double check that my apartment was locked & that i really was alone. i won't get into the details, but i will say that something that is possible is a whole lot fucking scarier than any monster that could ever walk through my dreams.

at 4:30am it was time for another nyddah check. this time she was curled up with BOTH boys in the cuddle cup, so i think she's feeling much better. well, that, along with the fact that right now she is running around the apartment. not with as much gusto as usual, but with more energy than she had last night. i'm really hopeful that by the the time i get home this afternoon my little girl will be back to her normal rambunctious remote stealing self.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

being a momma's a tough gig

nyddah's not feeling well. i took her in today for her vet check up. when you adopt an animal from the humane society you get a free exam from a vet & then if there are any meds needed you can pick them up from the humane society at no charge. luckily for me my vet is one of the ones that will do the free vet check up, so i took nyddah over to the greenbrier animal hospital today (they are really nice & have really great bedside manner for pet parents. i'd recommend them to anyone in need of a vet & they do take "exotic" animals!)

she was a lot more squirrelly than the boys when they went into the vet's office. she was also pretty agitated by the time we got there; she does not like being in the pet carrier. i think she was also worried she wouldn't be coming home. so in the future i'll be taking all three kids in the boys' ferret starter cage when i go to the vet. i don't want to cause my kids any more stress than necessary, & the boys were also freaked that nyddah disappeared for a while.

things didn't go as well at the vet appointment as i'd hoped. & poor nyddah was really poked & prodded. she had her ears swabbed because they were really dirty to check for ear mites (thank the gods she doesn't have those or i'd be treating three ferrets for ear mites!) she also received her rabies vaccine & her distemper booster (that was my cost of course, but well worth it to protect my girl). in addition to all of that she had a bump/cyst or something on her lower tummy kind of dark, almost black, in color. the vet asked me if i'd noticed it when i got nyddah on saturday & i honestly don't know if it was there or not. she's been such a ball of energy i haven't given her a super thorough body check.

when nyddah was at the shelter she had an abscess on her lower abdomen drained & she was put on antibiotics at the shelter, which she finished before i adopted her. my vet stuck a needle in the "cyst" & pulled some fluid from it, that looked almost like urine, but the tests that they ran showed it was not urine, but most likely an infection still. my vet faxed the info to the human society & i'll be picking up nyddah's meds tomorrow. she'll be on antibiotics for two weeks & then i'll have to bring her back to greenbrier for a follow up visit on september 8th.

nyddah seemed relieved to be home after all of this, but she was not herself by any means this evening. she was kind of lethargic & really mellow. i was holding her & giving her some cuddles, the boys were already tuckered out & back in their cage. she wanted to get down so i put her back in the cage too, she then promptly had yellow mucusy diarrhea on the cage floor. after that she crawled into the cuddle cup & fell asleep.

i am now officially freaked out. i called the emergency vet clinic & they said to watch her & if she has diarrhea again i should bring her in. ferrets are so tiny they can get dehydrated & super sick really really quickly. theoretically she should be fine if i fall asleep, but i'm worried about her. i don't have any history on her at all except that her previous owner gave her up because they "couldn't afford to care for her." there's something about her that tells me she's been through a lot & just needs a lot of love & someone to really care for her. & i've only had her less than a week but she is my kid & i totally love her.

my plan is to sleep on my couch tonight so i can be near her. i'm also going to try to wake up 4-5 times during the night to check on her, see how she's doing & make sure she hasn't had diarrhea again. the boys know their sis isn't feeling well. they didn't try to rough house with her tonight & they're both asleep on the top level of the cage with her now. they're near her, but not close enough that they could accidentally hurt her. they adore her too. i took a picture of her not long before she went back in her cage tonight. just looking at her little face it's easy to tell my girl isn't feeling her best.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

ferret update

my baby girl is now named nyddah (pronounced knee-duh). it's close to her original name of nikka, so if she really did answer to nikka she should answer to nyddah. according to my baby name book (which i have NOT because i'm preggers, but because as a writer it's a must have....for me anyway), but, according to the baby book it is greek in origin & means elf like. it was the definition that solidified it for me. she really is very elf like: mischievous & quick & charming.

i also googled the word "nika" & what i found at urban dictionary made me decide she was not going to keep that name. i tried finding something that would fit with cassidy & sundance, but nothing seemed right. i looked up female outlaws. i even did research about women that were acquainted with the gang, but didn't like any of those names: etta, ethal, hazel, josie, maude, & laura were the ones i was able to dig up on wikipedia. but i think nyddah fits. in the baby book it was spelled "nida" but i changed the spelling because, well, i'm a bit of a fruitloop, & i have a thing for the letter "Y" & the letter "H." hence beckah instead of becca, too bad i can't get a "Y" in there.

which makes me think, why am i spelling it beckah instead of bekah? no clue. totally random, yes, i know. it's 3 am. i can't sleep. & i'm drinking coffee. randomness is abound. & it's the witching hour.

nyddah meet the world. world, meet nyddah. isn't she an adorable lil peanut?

Saturday, August 16, 2008

intimate details part five: the writer six months out of bariatric surgery

well boys & girls i'm officially six months out from my gastric bypass. well, to be technical six months and 5 days, but close enough. i haven't done a down & dirty update on that in a while, so it's about time for me to do that.

believe it or not the inappropriate/rude/way too personal questions still have not stopped. but, i almost decked someone for the first time in regards to this issue. when i decided to get surgery i knew i'd be in for a lot of questions & curiosity. i resigned myself to that & accepted it before i had the OK that my insurance would pay for it. the questions have pretty much died off. people still ask me how much weight i've lost, or how many sizes i've gone down. & that's ok with me. it's natural for people to want to know that. i also often get asked about my eating habits, what i can & can't have (look below for more on that). that's cool with me too.

what i'm not cool with is what happened to me on fourth of july, which also happens to be my best friend tina's birthday. i was over at her parents' house for her party, just like i've been doing since, oh, i don't know, i was like fifteen. i was wearing some capris & a tshirt. i was dressed for the weather. now, here's the thing. with such a rapid weight loss you get loose skin. it's a reality. & i was prepared for it. am i happy about it? fuck no! but, dealing with that for a while until i can get cosmetic surgery is most definitely worth the added years to my life & the increased quality of the years. i'm not stupid. i know my upper arms look like hell because they're really saggy & droopy from the loose skin. i'm not a moron. that being said: at tina's birthday party her aunt marie says to me: "so what are you doing about your arms?"

i almost punched her. really. it's a good thing that #1 i was about four feet away #2 i love tina too much to be banned from her party's for eternity (although, i think secretly most of her family would be cheering me on that i had done what everyone's wanted to do for years) & #3 a higher power basically stopped all motor functions in my body long enough for me to realize punching marie would solve nothing. who the fuck says that? i mean seriously. the woman is on the top of my shit list. & i'm really glad i won't have to see her until next july. maybe by then i'll have cooled off. {she also said some really nasty/inappropriate things to my sister at my nephew lucas' 1st birthday party which i had to skip because i was sick...my sister is a bloody SAINT for not knocking marie's block off at that party. but, mark my words, next july the gloves are off. so she better watch her mouth around me. cause if i don't hit her i'll at least cuss her out using language that'd make davy jones himself blush.}

enough about marie. she's socially inappropriate.

yesterday i had my six month follow up with my internal medicine doctor & my dietitian at HCMC. then on the 27th of august i'll be back in to see my bariatric surgeon. at the hospital they officially recorded my weight as 177.7; that means that i have a BMI of 30.0, a total weight loss since i started the program of 98.3 lbs, & an overall loss of 69% of my excess weight. not too shabby. i did make it a point of telling christine, my dietitian, that i think their scale is off because i was five pounds less when i weighed in at home that morning, and four pounds less two days before when i was at park nic to see my regular doctor. she said she's heard it a lot, but they calibrate the scale regularly & it's dead on. i chalk it up to a change in the gravitational pull on 8th street in downtown minneapolis.

my appointment with dr hartley (internal med) went well. my blood pressure is great. since the exploratory surgery i haven't had any of the sharp pains. so he took a six month picture of me, said to come back in february for my one year visit & sent me on my merry way. thankfully without any blood draws! i am getting better at having my blood drawn, but i'll never be a big donor, or, donor at all, to the red cross. & fuck if i'll ever sell plasma. much too queasy.

overall the appointment with christine went well. she wants me to take a B complex vitamin. she thinks it'll help with my energy levels. she also wants me to stop taking tums for my calcium & start taking a calcium citrate. i also need to be better about drinking my protein drinks & making sure that i get enough fluids, i'm still struggling with dehydration. it's really hard because even though i'm six months out of gastric bypass, i'm only nine weeks out of my second surgery. & the exploratory put me back to about square three. after that i had the nausea again, trouble eating, weakness...the whole kit 'n kaboodle.

i've been struggling since yesterday whether or not to blog about this next part. i've told a couple of my friends & sworn them each to secrecy on it. but i think i should blog about it. i'm really upfront in my blog about the most intimate details of my life, so why not this? when i was talking to christine i told her that i hate food. i hate dealing with it, thinking about it. basically everything. i also told her that by the time i had the gastric bypass surgery i had been fed up with dealing with food. she said it may be because i've been having such a rough go of it since the surgery, & then having to had a second surgery, my poor body has been through quite a bit in the last six months. some problems are expected.

but it also concerned her. it concerned her to the point that she asked me "am i going to have to refer you to an eating disorder program?" her tone was light when she said it, almost half joking, but there was a seriousness behind her eyes & the statement. i did protest that i didn't have an eating disorder. she then went on to tell me that it is fairly common for people post bariatric surgery to develop an eating disorder & it's nothing to be ashamed of. but, gang, the truth is, i've sorta wondered it myself. i've even kinda joked about it with my friends. but it's nothing to joke about at all.

if it was possible i would not deal with food at all. if i could just take some vitamins & drink some milk or a supplement with the right amount of calories i'd do that & stop thinking about food all together. i spend much too much time obsessing about food. & that's really the only way to describe it is obsess. part of it is a lot of things do make me sick. i don't handle chicken very well unless it is very moist. sometimes mashed potatoes don't digest well. & some days something i was able to eat the day before with no problem will make me sick as a dog. i can't have juice or anything with too much sugar. but i agonize about food. sometimes i'll get paralyzed just having to decide what i'm going to eat. i do enjoy cooking for E & going out to eat with him (& my family & friends). but i think that's about the socialization & not the eating.

is all this normal because of how hard my recovery has been? maybe it'll all even out over the next few months. i'm set to go back to see christine again in mid-december. she did give me some information on a program in the twin cities that is supposed to be good. it's called the emily program. she didn't refer me or even say that i need to go. but she gave me the information including the name of one of the doctors there that she's worked with.
she suggested that i think about it & maybe check it out. this is scary. it's fucking petrifying. but, i guess it's also maybe a good sign that i'm open to listen? that i'm brave enough to put it out here on my blog where anyone can find it (& i mean anyone, if my mom or other family members are nosy enough they can google my name & find this blog)?

my plan? i have no idea. well, not exactly no idea. i decided i'm going to start attending the monthly support group meetings at HCMC. when i go into work on monday i'm going to put it on the calendar that i need to leave by 3:30pm on the third wednesday of every month. then i won't have any excuse at all not to go. in addition to that i'm going to start paying more attention. what really is my relationship with food? do i hate it because things have been tough over the past few months, or is it something more than that? i know that i need more time to process all of this & figure out my next step. if i have a problem i want to get help now before it gets totally out of control. i've thought about waiting until december & see what happens. but i may not wait that long. i'm contemplating calling my mental health vendor next week to see what my outpatient benefits are, specifically if i need a referral & if my medical out of pocket applies to that. i mean, i have met my out of pocket for this year, so if i'm going to seek therapy i may as well do it now while i don't have to pay anything out of pocket instead of waiting til next year when it resets. (can you tell i work in health insurance? how many people did i just lose with that yammering?)

i've said it before & i'll continue saying it. gastric bypass has been the most challenging thing in my life. previously it was burning man. this has blown burning man out of the water. the question has been asked before & i know it'll be asked again now: do i regret the surgery? would i change it if i could? hell no. not in a million years. even with the pain, the nausea, the complications, the exploratory surgery....even with the possibility that i may now have an eating disorder, i wouldn't change it. everything happens for a reason. i'm a firm believer in that, even though that is a fucking tough pill to swallow sometimes. but, in my gut i absolutely know there is a greater purpose for why things have been the way they have been for me. i don't know it now, & i may never know it exactly.

maybe it'll help me write a better story.

intimate details part four: furkids & the writer

things have been good with my "fur kids." actually, having my pets has made me a lot more conscientious about leaving work on time & not over working. except for june when i was just crazy busy & then had surgery. but i know that they need me to be around & interact with them, so it gets me home to spend that time.

the ratties still don't know what to think of the ferrets. i think on the one hand they're relieved because i'm not trying to take them out & play with them or trying to get them to use their huge exercise ball. anthony really loves running in his wheel, but i put him in the rat ball & he just won't move. it's like he doesn't make the connection. i know he's a smart little guy, just doesn't seem to want to run in the rat ball. which is kinda sad. johnny (my rat from four years ago) simply loved his rat ball. he'd run & run in that thing as long as i'd let him. leif & anthony are very fond of their cage, sometimes it's a struggle to get them to come out so i can clean it once a week. but i'm fastidious about making sure they have a clean cage, so they do get out.

while the rats appreciate the ferrets distracting me from trying to get them to come out & play, they do get kinda freaked when one of the ferrets gets too close to the cage. to be honest i'd be freaked too if someone that much bigger than me was standing next to my house & staring at me. & for some reason sundance has decided to test his limits & has walked across the top of the rat cage. *shakes my head* i did get the rats moved into a new cage last weekend. i had a big rat cage with 1/2 inch bar spacing at josh's house & finally got that back from him. so i feel a lot better because before the boys were able to get their entire head out of the top of the other cage, which was technically a chinchilla/ferret cage. lucky for me they didn't figure out that they could escape completely from that cage. now that would've been ugly. i'm sure i would've found them, but if they would've escaped my apartment & gotten outside, or into jane's house, well, i have no clue what could've happened then.

my ratties are a BIT pissed at me about the new cage because they can't climb the walls like they could in the other one because the third level of this cage goes all the way across the top except for the ramp area; they can only climb about 2/3 of the way up the wall before they have to stop. but the cage is a lot more secure & i'm able to get more hammocks & other hanging beds in there for them. it's also WAY easier to clean than the other one which i really love. if you look really close at the picture below you can see leif is in the hammock in the middle of the cage & you can kinda see anthony's white little butt sticking out of the wicker-ish hidey ball on the bottom level.

in ferret news: i made a trip to the golden valley humane society today. there was a little girl ferret who'd been there for about two months & she was meant to be mine. yes. i do now have FIVE pets. i'd like to note though, that the five of them, weight wise, only really add up to a small dog & they're all in cages. but i've been doing a lot of research & everything i've read has said with ferrets it's best to have them in groups of three or more. they are very social animals & if you have only two & one has to be put down the other one will get very depressed & most likely die of depression. if there are three (or more) they will still get depressed if one gets sick & passes, but they will still have another friend to keep them company. my boys are super young, only about eight or nine months old, but still, it's something that's been nagging at me.

my little girl's name is nikka, or, it is for the time being. i'm going to see if she actually answers to it, if she does then i'll keep it, otherwise i'm changing it, or at least the spelling, cause i just don't like it; it's the name she came with from the shelter. she was dropped off because her owner decided they didn't want to care for her anymore. which makes me sad because she's an utter sweetheart. the humane society didn't have tons of info on her, but they had some. she was in a home with other ferrets & cats & dogs, so she's used to other animals. she didn't live with children, which, i don't have any so that's not an issue. she's been fixed & is very friendly. unfortunately they don't know how old she is. when i take her into my vet i'm going to ask if there's anyway that they can guesstimate that.

the boys are getting used to their new sister. it's like three's company but instead of two girls & a boy it's two boys & a girl.....my kind of threesome! *winks* ok, well, my FAVORITE threesome would be me & a pint of ben & jerry's, but since i'm off the ice cream, well...(just joking by the way, unrelated note but E is more than enough for me, but, to quote Z "beckah can always be counted on for inappropriate sexual comments") all the kids have been running around & playing. when i put them back in the cage for the night nikka & sundance were even curled up in the lower hammock.

E has been telling me that i have it SO easy with my boys & they need lessons in being a true ferret. well, i think they're getting that now. nikka is such a little rascal! i've only had her about seven hours now & i've already had to pull off the baseboard under my kitchen cupboard to get her out, lift up my couch to retrieve her from a nap, & hunt down my cross pen after she looked me in the eye, picked it up in her mouth, & ran off with the damn thing. she also has SO much energy, she's even making sundance look like a lazy bum, which is making cassidy seem almost comatose.

she is super tiny in comparison to my boys. nikka is a mere 1.7 lbs; sundance is 2.9 & cassidy is 3.5, so she weighs half as much as cassidy but she's like ten times as much of a trouble maker! but she really stole my heart when i went to visit her in the shelter. i pulled her out of the cage & was petting her & she gave me kisses. lots & lots of kisses. & i knew instantly she'd be my third ferret & complete my little zoo. she is really tiny, i kinda think a bit too small. she's a bit bony & her coat is rough. then again, if i'd been living in a shelter i'd look kinda rough also. but i know with lots of TLC she'll start feeling better & looking better. i also have a high cal ferret vitamin supplement i can give her. & so far she likes treats. it's also going to help her to be in a real home where she gets to run & play several hours a day. & she has playmates instead of living all alone in a cage in a shelter.

i wasn't quick enough with my camera to get a picture of her & sundance meeting for the first time. but i did get a picture of her meeting cassidy for the first time. & lots of other pictures of her. i turned on the shower to rinse it out & she went & played in it with the boys, so now i'll have three ferrets invading my morning shower, but i'm ok with that, at least she fits in with the gang! the cutest one is this one with her & sun curled up together in the hammock. cassidy is off to the right in the new little cuddle cup i got last night. he decided it was bath time so he didn't want to pile into the hammock with the other two.