How I Take A Pill, By Jimmie

Step One: Notice prescription lying on bathroom counter.

Step Two: Notice lack of water glass with which to swallow pill.

Step Three: Walk into kitchen to retrieve water glass.

Step Four: Notice granola box sitting on kitchen counter.

Step Five: Remember that lunch needs to be packed for the next day.

Step Six: Realize that lunch bag was left in vehicle in the garage.

Step Seven: Retrieve lunch bag.

Step Eight: While filling tiny container with granola for next day’s snack, have discussion with roommate about painting class we want to take.

Step Nine: Realize that dishwasher needs emptying in order to have enough containers to transport next day’s lunch.

Step Ten: Unload dishwasher while continuing to chat with roommate.

Step Eleven: Sigh a frustrated sigh when realize that all glasses were put into the cabinets in cleaning frenzy, not leaving a single one out with which to take a pill.

Step Twelve: Retrieve glass.

Step Thirteen: Trip over Murphy (Murphy!).

Step Fourteen: Give kitty-varmints treats because Seamus looks so cute as he fake winds himself around my legs and because Murphy won’t shut it.

Step Fifteen: While putting treats away, realize that that the dining room table is disgraceful in its messiness.

Step Sixteen: Busily remove things from dining room table, leaving a pile of stuff for roommate to take upstairs when she goes.

Step Seventeen: Decide to run the stuff upstairs myself so I can retrieve painting from the last painting class I took and show it to roommate.

Step Eighteen: Roommate and I look over painting class offerings for the next few weeks.

Step Nineteen: Wind down conversation with roommate and make noises about hitting the sack for the night.

Step Twenty: Roommate and I retire to our respective bedrooms.

Step Twenty-One: Select book for the evening.

Step Twenty-Two: Fluff pillows and smooth sheets.

Step Twenty-Three: Crawl into bed and lie on fluffed pillows, comforter pulled up to the neck.

Step Twenty-Four: Adjust position in bed so that Murphy can hog an entire pillow.

Step Twenty-Five: Move to other side of bed when Murphy decides he wants entire left set of pillows to hog.

Step Twenty-Six: Read two chapters of selected reading.

Step Twenty-Seven: Read two chapters of the Gospel of John.

Step Twenty-Eight: Turn off light when eyelids get heavy.

Step Twenty-Nine: Snore.

Step Thirty: Wake up from a dead sleep, fling covers back disrupting Murphy from his sweet, sweet slumber as he hogs all six of my pillows, holler “You’ve GOT to be kidding me!”, stomp into the kitchen, retrieve glass from counter, stomp into the bathroom, retrieve water, retrieve pill, swallow pill with water, stomp back to bed in a huff, fling covers over self and curl up in angry ball because realize self is a moron who can do nothing in a linear fashion. Ever.

Thirty short steps to good physical health. Easy Peasy.

The end.

Checking That Off The List

As a single adult who is spoiled and often gets her own way, I’ve always maintained that the best way to spend a Saturday is by going to Rock Island or to the State Fair with friends. Lounging on the beach or in my marshmallow bed with a book and a movie while a storm rages outside also rank high on my list of amusing things to do. Never once have I ever claimed that spending a Saturday morning getting your hoots smashed between two glass plates sounded like fun. That never sounds like fun for any day, actually. However, two years ago I made an appointment for the breast smash and last Saturday I finally showed up for that appointment.

I had made a few plans for Saturday and had the faint notion in the back of my head that if those plans stayed intact, I’d just reschedule that mammogram. (See above: spoiled, gets her own way.) I’ve done that for two years, what is one more week, right? Well. My calendar had other thoughts and all the fun plans I’d made disappeared, leaving me with the lone option of finally, finally visiting an imaging center to fulfill my “I-turned-40” medical obligations. Sigh.

Armed with my paperwork and some vague directions, I arrived early for my appointment. Accompanying my sweaty, nervous self was my other personality, the raging snatch I carry with me for every cookie doctor appointment and for any scheduled time which involves me removing my clothing and donning a paper gown, open in the back, please. She was sitting on “go”, just waiting to make her appearance the precise moment my wait in the lobby clicked over from five minutes to six.

The receptionist who did not ensure that the building was marked well enough so that I could see from the street that it was the location I needed would be the first to encounter that heifer. The billing specialist who’d give me the total and the arm band for the procedure would be next because he was leisurely drinking his coffee and filing his nails. And the imaging specialist? Oh, she was in for a treat. I’d been gunning for her since the day I made the appointment, two years ago. She was to receive every tear, every curse, every single insult I could hurl at her without getting arrested, simply because she was the reason for my humiliation, for the fact that I have breasts at all, and because the screening process was surely designed by a man who had never had his testicles smashed between two plates in an attempt to screen him for cancer.

I was prepared.

So was the receptionist.

Turns out, the building was marked just fine and the receptionist was pleasantly chirpy in the face of my snarkiness when she indicated that I was in the right spot. Huh.

Also, the billing specialist said to me as I sat down, “I’m so sorry you had to wait. I was to be here at 7:30 this morning and I got here at 7:35 so that wait you had is on me. Let’s get you squared away so that we can get you back there and out on time, okay?” What the . . . I hadn’t even gotten my lecture about his insouciance fully prepared in my head and here he was preempting me. I was stunned into silence. This was not the normal state of things.

I still had my shot at the imaging specialist but I was feeling a little off about that. I hadn’t had a chance to work myself up into a proper lather what with the receptionist and the billing guy being fantastic, so when that poor, sweet woman called me to the back, I could only muster up the tears from my arsenal. My other ammunition had disappeared and I was adrift.

Still, tears. I blubbered, “Look, I’m not the best patient when it comes to this stuff. I’m the nicest person in the world when I get to keep my clothes on in front of strangers, but here, today, I’m awful. I’m sorry in advance. It’s just that you are going to give me a gown that is too small and is made of paper and I’m going to desperately try to cover both sides of my chest with it but that won’t work, and then you’ll have me traipse up and down the halls in a paper towel and then you’ll make me wait and I’m not good at that. This is humiliating and you get to keep all your clothes and I don’t and I hate this!” And then I said, “See?! I’m trying really hard to be nice and I just can’t!”

And bless her heart, she handed me a real gown, a fabric one, and said, “It’s not too small. I promise.” And it wasn’t. In fact, it swallowed me whole, like a muu muu, and it was the best thing I ever wore in my whole life. Plus, it was purple.

We were halfway through the procedure (and let me say here as an aside that I’ve never been manhandled in such a fashion before – I believe she is more familiar with my funbags than I am) before I stopped crying. I’m surprised it took me that long because while I’m a dreadful patient when naked, I’m also quite curious.

“Can I see what you are looking at over there,” I asked as she took another picture.

“Sure,” she said, “come on back.”

I wrapped my purple muu muu around me after every shot and trotted over to her screen to have a gander at myself. I knew she couldn’t/wouldn’t tell me anything so I didn’t ask but I was just a regular chatty Cathy over there. “Would you lookit that! I had no idea it would show up all white. Lookit how round they are! Is that normal? Is it easier to take pictures of big boobs or small boobs? Do you think if we could smash testicles in those plates we’d get a new screening method? I bet we would. I bet it would only take two weeks.”

Y’all, the procedure was totally painless. I mean, it wasn’t pleasant but it also wasn’t awful. There was a tinkly waterfall in the background, the lighting was set on “mood” and also “dim” and the muu muu smelled faintly of laundry detergent. I exited the building exactly one minute after my scheduled departure time and was never more shocked in all my life, both that I was done and that we all had survived the apocalypse that is “Jimmie, Naked at the Doctor’s Office.”

I drove to my next event which was my four mile Greenway walk with Daisy. I had partly planned that walk to calm myself down from the state of hysteria I was certain to be in, yet my non-hysteria flummoxed both of us a bit. Daisy wasn’t sure what to do with her offer of all the ice cream and all the chocolate she was sure I would need to ease my bruised feelings, and I wasn’t sure what to do with all the Kleenex I had stuffed in my car. I’m not going to say it was my favorite day, it’s not Rock Island after all, but I lived. And until next year when we do this all over again, I’ll maintain this: “Mammograms – Not That Bad.”

I Remain Unchanged

Yesterday was my yearly Doctor Appointment. You know, The Doctor. The Cookie One. The One I Hate. If you are new to me, think about it for a minute. You will figure it out.

I think everyone is always a little hopeful that time will grow me up, that I will no longer act like a two-year-old throwing a hissy fit in the toy aisle at Target when I go to The Doctor. No one is more hopeful than me, though. Every year I gird my loins, so to speak, giving myself pep talks and practicing some deep breathing and also praying. This year I was so hopeful that I did my makeup before stepping foot into that office. Used to I’d cry it all off and have to redo it so I learned that perhaps it was best if I just waited until after my appointment before glamming up my eyelashes. Not this year! This year I caked all that mess on and then drove on over for my appointment.

Want to have a recap of that visit with me? Let’s do this.

Did I unsuccessfully attempt to pee into a cup? Check.

Did I get huffy at the scale when forced to weigh in? Check.

Did I snap “Why in the world does that matter?” when the nurse asked if I was single, married or divorced? Check.

Did they give me a paper towel to wear? Check.

Did I lick the edges of the paper towel and stick it to myself in order to get maximum coverage? Check.

Did they measure my blood pressure? Check.

Did they have to re-measure my blood pressure after the exam to see if it came down to a non-near-death level? Check.

Did I use half a box of Kleenex for my snotty nose and watery eyes? Check.

Did I curse at The Doctor? Check.

Did I call someone a liar? Check.

Did I call another someone a liar? Check.

Did I mouth off to the scheduler and also call her a liar because upon making my appointment she told me that all doctors come in no earlier than nine, that it was the earliest appointment available, yet I could clearly see on the sign in sheet that my physician had been taking appointments since eight that morning? Check.

Did I go to work looking like bees stung my eyeballs? Check.

Katniss, my work friend, sent me a message today after witnessing my swole up eyeballs and beet red complexion and also my crappy attitude that read: I am so glad I am your friend and not your doctor. She has a point. I never cuss my friends like that.

So what did we learn here? That I am rock steady, never changing? You can count on me to be consistent? Check.

The Pity Party Stops Here

I’m back at status quo now.  Thank you to all of you who DID NOT check on me but let me know that you cared in some way.  You all are a crafty bunch and I give you major points for following my wishes while still sneakily making sure I was okay.  Also, I’d like to point out that a good chunk of you who checked on me without checking on me are people I grew up with, people from my hometown.  I’d like to point that out specifically because later on in this post, I’m going to throw a stranger from my hometown under the bus and I’d like to say something nice before I do that. 

I really wanted to write a counter post to the last one, but the minute I mentioned it to a friend, she immediately said no, to not negate my feelings.  She’s right.  Those feelings, while not pretty, were real and I really felt them.  But for now, I will say “The End” to the pity party.

Want to know how I’m celebrating my returned good mood?  By going to abs class.  The instructor has returned from his class reunion and while he didn’t show off any trophies he received for “Stomach Most Resembling a Plank”, he did bring some stories and residual guilt about all the cake he ate.  The class members could acutely feel his guilt by minute six of his first class back because we were panting and snorting and grunting and sweating like warthogs.  I finally asked in a high-pitched alarm “How much cake did you actually eat?!”  He told us it was only two pieces but I call him a liar.  No one inflects that much torture for two measly pieces of cake.

In other gym-related news, I’d like to tell you that Snooty Snothole Bianca with the Swishy Butt talked to me!  Two days in a row, even.  And of her own volition.  When she began speaking I didn’t even notice. I thought the music piped into the locker room was interrupted for an announcement of some sort so I ignored it. But after a minute or so, I realized that her mouth and words were directed at me, and honestly, I didn’t know what to do with that.  I stood there bundled up in my towel and matching undercrackers with my hair wadded around a curling iron and just looked at her. When my hair started to smoke I came back to my senses and responded; I’m not even sure what I said, I was so surprised.  Turns out she’s thinking of joining another gym and she wanted me to know that it isn’t good for your hair to wash it every day.  I could have lived my whole life without ever having those conversations, but whatever moved her was enough to break off that padlock she keeps over her lips, so I listened.   It was the least I could do.

In non-gym-related news, we welcomed a new CFO to the company for which I work.  I had no idea when he would make his initial visit but seeing as how I’m the face our visitors see first, I treat everyone nicely.  Besides being the first impression of our corporate office, I also perform other functions that require me to be away from my desk.  I have this handy little portable phone that I carry around and when my hands are full, it fits nicely in my cleavage, anchored in by my cute dresses with the elastic band around my chest.  Easy access to the phone, close to my ear so I can hear it, and hands-free!  You can probably see where this is going.  The other day when the CFO came to the office for his initial introduction, I had been running around the office delivering mail, and I warmly greeted him, not having a clue it was our new CFO nor remembering that I had a phone stuck between my boobs.  Welcome to new your office, Bossman! 

I’d like to share (nearly) one last story before concluding.  Martie works in a salon (glamorous!) in our hometown and as such, she hears and sees loads of things that make us blush or roll our eyes so far into the backs of our heads that we hurt ourselves.  A couple of years ago, a man came into her shop and was complaining about a dish he had ordered at the single decent sit-down restaurant in the town.  This is what he said:

“We went to Legend’s last night and they had salmon (pronounced SAL-mon) on the menu so I ordered it.  They brought me this plate with what looked like a big ole piece of fish on it! <said in horror and confusion>.  That didn’t look like no salmon (pronounced SAL-mon) I ever ate.  I sent it back.  Nasty.”

This, ladies and gentlemen, is where I grew up.

Also where I grew up is Poppa.  He had some surgery recently in which all of his toes were broken and straightened and some bone was shaved off the bunion part of his foot.  (Sorry about making your digestive tracts squeeze up in sympathy pain).  He’s got these cool blue metal pins sticking out of his toes which make him look like Freddie Krueger and a super cool camouflage cast.  But he’s had some complications from that surgery, he’s not doing well, and they are bringing him up to Vanderbilt as I type this.  I’m worried about him, a lot, so I’m asking if you would think of him, pray for him, and send him some good thoughts.  We love that man and we need for him to be okay. 

Food, I Loves It

This morning at the gym I amended my no-eating-raw-cloves-of-garlic requirement for the men I date to encompass not just potential suitors but everyone around me.  If you feel the need to ingest an entire head of garlic and also bathe in another entire head of garlic for any reason at all and not just in the name of “good health”, go away from me.  Please do not stand next to me at the gym.  Please do not use equipment next to me at the gym.  And for the love of all that is holy, please do not excessively sweat next to me at the gym.  If I can taste how you smell by simply working out next to you, we are not gonna be besties and I will most likely barf on your shoes.  The end. 

Okay, that isn’t the end.  I don’t know how I thought I could get away with being so stingy with my words.  I have lots of words.  I want to use them.  Today I want to use them to talk about weight loss and more specifically, the food part of weight loss. 

I am passionate about food.  I love it.  Most of us do.  There is a rare exception and his name is Pee-tah.  Do you need a refresher on him?  From a previous post: 

Pee-tah:  Pee-tah belongs in my heart.  I can’t imagine life without him.  I’ve almost seen him naked and we are still friends!  That is true friendship, right there. 

Pee-tah is tall and thin and has been known to forget to eat.  I don’t understand that.  I also don’t understand when he says things like, “I wish we didn’t have to eat.  It’s such a waste of time.  If I didn’t have to eat, I could get so much more done.”    I just stand there frowning at him with a blank look on my face.  It’s like I understand the possibility that people like this exist, yet I cannot fathom that one of them is in front of me.  I do not recall a time in my life when I forgot to eat.  Not once.  Ever.  I had to probe deeper, naturally, because I am a curious creature who is fascinated by cultures other than my own.  Even though he was born in North Dakota, clearly Pee-tah is not of this world and more specifically not indigenous to America, the nation of excess. 

Jimmie:  Don’t you crave foods?  Anything?

Pee-tah:  Not really.  Maybe my spaghetti . . . 

Jimmie:  Do you have comfort foods?

Pee-tah:  <pause> I like ice cream, I suppose. 

Jimmie:  When was the last time you had ice cream?

Pee-tah:  I don’t know.  Maybe a few months ago? 

Jimmie:   If all foods had the same nutritional value, would you change the way you eat? 

Pee-tah:  Sure.  I would eat more fast food. 

Jimmie:  Right! Because it tastes good!

Pee-tah:  No.  Because it’s cheap and easy. 

See ?!  I don’t get it! Doesn’t this seem foreign to you? 

Unfortunately I am nothing like Pee-tah.  I love food.  I love going out to eat with my friends.  I love the salads at Panera.  I love talking about new recipes with Martie.  (While we are on the subject, let me say that Martie is an excellent cook and can make up all sorts of yummy recipes. I can follow one excellently and maybe make a modification or two, but Martie can just create stuff out of thin air and a jar of olives.  It’s amazing.)  I love trying new stuff and searching out unusual things to sample.  Eating can be fun, and it’s a nice way to spend time with your friends or to celebrate or to commiserate or to just do on a Friday night. It encompasses just about anything.      

Unfortunately I am nothing like Dammit Todd either.  Remember how I said it was no fun working out with Dammit Todd because he can kick your butt at any workout no matter how long you have been doing it and how little he has?  It’s enough to make you want to hate him.  He does have a redeeming quality and it’s that he likes to eat.  He likes to eat a lot and believe you me, for such a fit guy, he can put away the food.  Give him a bottle of ketchup and watch him work.  He’s methodical and serious about food and if he has a plate of ribs, its best to hold off on any conversation which would include him.  It’s also best to keep your hands on your own plate as he never learned to share.  I like that he’s creative when it comes to food.   Lynnette once witnessed him make a cookie/cake sandwich.  A hunk of cake between two chocolate chip cookies and he was good to go.  He probably ate two of them.  That sounds great, right?  Like you would love to be friends with him because of that, right?  WRONG!  He never gains a pound.  He eats a bunch of crap and he drops a pants size.  I eat one brownie and go run three miles and I gain two pounds.  I do hate him a little. 

Honestly, I relate more to Quan who says eating is his favorite part of the day. 

Because I love food (unlike Pee-tah), and because I cannot eat whatever I like without gaining weight (unlike Dammit Todd), I have found myself with more lumps than I want and I am unhappy with the quantity and magnitude of those lumps.  I need to make more of a change than just running  and going to the gym.  I need to change my lifestyle, permanently.  I am beginning Weight Watchers again.  I’ve used the program with great success as long as you count losing a ton of weight and then gaining half a ton back and then losing ¾ of a ton and then regaining a few more pounds a success.  I’ve been round and round with this weight and I’m sick of it.  I’m ready to do this once and for all. 

I’m telling you this for three reasons.   

1.)  If you see me eating cheesecake you can come take half.  I’m not into deprivation – I think that is dangerous.  But I am into eating less and making better choices and sharing my cheesecake and half my small bag of M&Ms.  If you come take a bite of my cheesecake and I stab you with my fork, you should know that I am not following the plan and you should just go ahead and take that cheesecake away from me altogether.  Sharing is encouraged and I’m planning on being held accountable for this lifestyle change. 

2.)  I need you to not tempt me.  When I’m on this program, I’m on. You cannot get me to cheat, to taste a cookie, to even smell a single chocolate chip if I have not planned for it. But when I’m off, I’m really off.  It only takes one thing trigger it.  One unplanned chocolate covered strawberry.  One sneaky Pop-tart.  One single solitary donut and I’m off the rails like nobody’s business, going to The Cheesecake Factory frequently, purchasing M&Ms in the medium sized bag.  . . . . okay fine, the large sized bag, and eating peanut butter like crazy. 

3.)  I will want to post losses and stuff here so you might see that from time to time.  Encourage me and never tell me that I’ve lost too much. I have a goal in mind and it is a healthy one, a doctor recommended one.  I am in no danger of being too thin, trust me.  And we will all like me with less lumps. 

Feel free to nag me or to join me.  (Why come no one nags me?  I’m great at nagging and I do it often.  I don’t get y’all.  I’d be all over the opportunity to nag you.)

For real now, The End.