Tuesday, February 21, 2023


I've been excitedly awaiting my gastric sleeve surgery and this weekend was a three day weekend. I was planning to get so much done. Boy was I wrong.

Saturday I noticed that my left eyebrow wasn't moving as much as it should be but I thought it was leftover from my ear surgery. I've had numbness in my tongue and some weird pains since the mastoidectomy. I wasn't too concerned about it, but then, at lunch on Sunday I noticed that my mouth was not working on the left side. I was trying to suck something off of my finger and the left side of my mouth wouldn't close all the way.

It was at this point that I became concerned. So, mom drive me to the ER and they concluded that I have Bell's Palsy. It should eventually go away, but at the moment it is difficult to eat and drink, and I look pretty funny when I try to smile. But, I don't mind as long as I don't have to delay surgery.

Sunday, February 5, 2023

Surgemication: Ear Edition

I have had chronic, and I mean chronic ear infections my entire life. I had them so frequently as a child that they had to start looking up new antibiotics to give me. In 2003 I got another set of ear tubes, and for the most part that has kept me down to one or two ear infections a year.

Until last year.

I had six, count them, SIX ear infections in the ear that still has a tube in it, in only 5 months. After talking ear stuff with a coworker, she recommended I see an Otoneurologist whom she had seen. So I scheduled an appointment and after a CT scan, we discovered that some of the air cells in my mastoid bone were full of gunk.

The doctor said that would probably account for the increase in infections and told me we could do nothing, or we could do a mastoidectomy. I decided to go ahead with the mastoidectomy because why not if it could help.

Last Thursday I went in and had it done. They made an incision behind my ear and drilled into my mastoid bone to remove the yucky stuff. (For more on the procedure click here.)

The worse part about the surgery was getting the damn IV in. It took them longer to get it in than it did for the surgery. Only took 12 tries.

There was not much pain afterwards, just kind of like an earache. But the top of my ear is numb, yet itches. So annoying. And also, I can't blow my nose for three weeks. You never know how awful that is until you can't do it.

I came out of the surgery looking like Van Gogh, or maybe a pirate. There has been a lot of drainage but everything looks happy and healthy.

Sunday, January 29, 2023

Post Traumatic Church Syndrome

I just finished listening to a book called Post Traumatic Church Syndrome by Reba Riley. It was one of those books where you think, hmm, that sounds like me. I didn't really know what to expect, except for stories of how being raised in a church going household had caused trauma, or resulted in a lack of faith. It was something that I could relate to.

Reba had grown up in a family that were strong believers and she was the kind of kid who wore Christian t-shirts, prayed every night, a materialized in her mind. She was going to experience 30 religions before her 30th birthday.

Many thought she was crazy, her mom didn't understand, and she didn't always know what she was doing either. But it was a beautiful story of how she found herself and came to terms with the hurt she had suffered because of religion, giving her the ability to move forward.

I found Reba very easy to relate to. She has a chronic illness, church was life growing up, and she had to step away and find her own answers. I felt that if we sat down and chatted, we would have a lot of common ground. I enjoyed listening to her adventures and mishaps as she visited Mormon churches, synagogues, temples, met with monks, rabbis, atheists, mystics, Native Americans, and so on. Reba has kind of a twisted sense of humor that I could really relate to.

She took a deep dive into her beliefs, exploring how her past experiences had influenced her and how she had been consumed by anger. I was amazed and a bit jealous how things seemed to fall in place to bring her to a place of healing.

I have been curios about other religions for a long time, but have not had the energy to really learn about them, so my curiosity was piqued. I found myself also wanting to experience different religions and get to the heart of them, feeling certain that followers of all (well, ok at least the majority) are after the same thing.

But something else happened. And it scared me.

I found myself wanting to seek out God and seek out the way that I can connect to him. But as soon as I realized this, I quickly clamped the stone around my heart back down. Yes, at the moment I want to be angry at God. Though I'm no longer convinced that I am angry at God. I think I am angry at Christianity.

My mother found Jesus when I was young and we started to go to church with her. Our first church was a Methodist. There were some really lovely people, but there were quite a few old, set in their ways, judgmental people who were confined to a microscopic world view. As a teen we went to another church, the Wesleyan Church, and things were going well. I was part of a close knit youth group and kind of felt like I belonged somewhere.

But then, on youth Sunday as we were waiting for the service to start, we got word that our pastor had been arrested for prostitution and we were all shattered. We sat there in disbelief and sobbed. Soon after we got a new pastor, but we just couldn't really recover from that and the small church didn't last.

Weekly World News Jul 13, 1993, pg 37

Somehow we ended up at an Evangelical Free church where we stayed until I was out of college. Church was my whole world. I was part of the worship team, I was involved on the missions committee, I was part of youth group, even helping after I was out of school. I did mission trips, I prayed, I read the Bible, I stayed out of trouble, but I was empty.

I hate several experiences what were hurtful. I was not allowed to go on the second mission trip to Ukraine because I was overweight and the lady who was in charge didn't like it. I was called in to talk to the elders about the trip having no clue what was about to happen. I was ganged up and told that, basically, I was deficient and I couldn't go unless I lost weight and met the trip leader's standards.

These were men that I had known for years, who I admired and looked up to and they joined the rest of the world in berating me and telling me I wasn't good enough. I was crushed. There were many other things that happened, and by my early twenties I was in a terrible place. I was severely depressed and had lost my family. I couldn't trust anyone. And God, God let it all happen. I begged and pleaded and tried to believe more than I did, but I was just empty.
I am the kind of person who needs to feel things, and no matter what I did, I couldn't feel God. He was like the sun, a far off entity with whom I could not interact. I started to question things, to question authority. I wondered why I should just take for fact the words of a man who had hurt me, and who I saw use subtext and hidden messages in his sermon when he was unhappy with someone? Or any other person in the clergy for that matter.

I decided that I needed to learn things for myself and decided what felt right to me.

We started going to church less partly because of work, and these people who had been my family barely interacted with me any longer. We showed up at church one day to find that our mailbox had been removed and no one had even reached out to us. Our own cousin said it was difficult to know if we were just working or had quit coming.

I stopped going to church. I was sick of judgmental and false people. People who acted like they were better than me, people who instead of just throwing a Christmas card from a family member with whom they didn't get along away, returned it and ruined any chance of others trying to be a witness to them. I wanted nothing more to do with organized religion. I knew what I believed--Jesus said love one another--and I was not seeing the love.

I have not been to church for years. A few years ago I went with a group of former coworkers to see the daughter of one friend sing, and as soon as I walked in, I had a panic attack.

I had a great conversation with a friend yesterday and we talked about the book and some of our histories and she told me about her current practices. She gave me a set of oracle cards and I was amazed today when I drew three cards. 

Past: Octavia Butler (imagining, planning, worrying about the future)
Present: Charlotte Perkins Gilman (oppression, what frees you, the systems at work)
Future: Peacock (splendor, the divine, craving)

I know some people will become alarmed when I talk about oracle cards. Oracle cards and tarot cards do not summon demons and they are not witchcraft. I look at it as a way to connect to the "Godiverse" as Reba Riley calls it. And also, may I have spirit guides? But today, looking at these cards, it fit. I spent my past imaging what my like could be "if", if I was thinner, if I was prettier, etc. I was constantly making plans to get there, but I could never make it happen and I ended up crying and worrying about the future and "knowing" that I would be alone and miserable.

Right now, I feel oppressed by work, by my environment, by some relationships and by my own body. I have been looking inwards to figure out what will free me and am focusing on improving my health, both mental and physical. I am breaking free from the old systems that have held me captive.

In the future, I can feel that I will have my own journey of discovery and find my truth, my way back to God. I see the splendor of a life fully lived, a soul and body that are flourishing.

Call it mumbo jumbo if you will. I don't ask you to take my truth as yours. You must find your own way to connect to God, Mother Earth, Allah, or whatever name you choose. We each walk a unique path, and no one religion is correct, rather they are different ways of connecting to one God.

Sunday, January 1, 2023

I'm sleeving you!!!!

If you have read many of my blog posts you know that I have struggles with my weight for my whole life. I have tried everything, but I can't lose weight and keep it off. My body seems determined to gain weight. This is demonstrated perfectly by my experience with keto a couple years ago. I lost 100 pounds kept it off for a year and then unexplainably started gaining weight, even though I had changed nothing.

Since that, my health has stated to decline and I recently had to start taking insulin, even though I was eating a low carb diet, and I still can't get my blood sugar numbers down.

After a lot of soul searching and research (I'm a librarian, it's what I do...) I have decided to get a vertical gastric sleeve. I know a lot of people think that surgery is the easy way out, but I don't know what part of having 80% of a major organ ripped out and not being able to eat or drink more than a few ounces at a time is easy? 😐 If I had to have most of my liver removed people wouldn't say "that's the easy way out!"

But, I don't care what anyone else thinks. I know what I need for my body, and after struggling for 40 years (yes, I was overweight at age 2) I think I deserve to not struggle anymore and to be able to enjoy my life.

My new insurance kicked in today, so this week I should be able to find out the requirements and hopefully schedule surgery! I'm so excited and nervous.

I decided to start a second blog to detail my journey so if you want to follow me, go here.

Here's to a fabulous 2023, the true year of me!

Saturday, December 31, 2022

Another Year Come and Gone

 Well…that year went fast.

I feel the urge to be down on myself for all the things I haven’t done this past year, but let’s face, the world is still a dumpster fire.

I have had a lot of shit going on this year. I went to Germany and met a bunch of my gaming friends, I got arthritis in my knee, I’ve lived in a perpetual brain fog. I have had some great moments of friendship, and I have felt utterly and extremely isolated. But, I’m truly going to make 2023 my year.

I had a shower thought this morning. I have spent my entire life feeling like I must justify myself, justify my existence. But you know what? I don’t have to justify myself to anyone, not even to myself.

Next year I have plans that will improve my health and mental health, and hopefully everything else will follow. So, here’s to you, 2023!!

Also, enjoy some pictures from Germany.

Sunday, January 2, 2022

Twenty Twenty-Two or Twenty Twenty, too?

I've talked to quite a few people who said that they are NOT doing resolutions this year. I mean, what's the point? This year, as its two predecessors, will do what it pleases.

That does not, however, mean that I am not planning to make positive changes.

In fact, today I started back on my keto journey. The past few months have been really rough, like super extra rough, and I need something super easy that requires little thought and planning. So, for at least a month, I am kicking it up a notch and doing ketovore.

What is ketovore you ask? It is a less strict carnivore diet that includes some eggs and dairy, and perhaps low carb veggies or fruit on occasion.

I often wonder what ways people have found to cope with pandemic life. For me, I started playing a game on my phone. At first, I just wanted something to stave off the boredom. But then, I found a community. That community turned into a family and they have gotten me through a lot. I never understood before, when people talked about these friends they had in online games, but I do now. These people are very real friends, even if we've never met in person. (But I have met two of them irl!) I am hoping that someday I can meet many of them.

One great thing to end my year was my bestie coming through and being able to eat breakfast together. We hadn't seen one another in probably 3.5 years, so it was super awesome. Today, I started the year off with a treat to myself and got a facial. It felt very symbolic to slough off the old skin and bring out the fresh, glowing skin. I'm hoping this will be the theme of my year. Shedding the old, revealing the new.

Here's to a better year and not a repeat of 2020.

Monday, November 29, 2021

Still kicking

 Well hell, the world is still effed up.

This time last year I was fresh out of the hospital and recovering from blood clots. I've had some continued health issues since then, but for the most part, I'm hanging in. I have been learning a lot about myself. On the one hand, the pandemic has caused me a lot of anxiety, but on the other, I have started dealing with the anxiety and treating it, and I have realized that it is something that I have been struggling with for a loooooooong time.

A lot of times it seems like it's on step forward and three steps back with my mental health, but hey I eventually get somewhere better.

Life in general continues to be interesting. We once again have a mask mandate as CoVID numbers rise. It has been a curious process going from working at home to working in person. We are at a point right now where everyone except most of the leadership is working directly with the public, but they are telling us to limit in person meetings, including holiday parties... but...but...

In May my dad came to visit, and we drove him back home. While there we saw my grandparents, my aunt and uncle, and a few cousins. It was the first time in 3 years that I had seen dad and the grands. A lot has changed in my hometown and I feel super foreign there. It was definitely a bittwersweet trip. My grands are in their 90s and so it is very possible that it was the last time I see them. Kinda put a damper on the time there.

On the up side of life, one of my local besties had a baby girl who is totes adorbs. This weekend I had two girls nights in a row--one filled with chocolate ganache ice cream and hockey, and another with Mexican food and bitching. Lol. Both were much needed. 

I have been working hard now that I can halfway function to get my space decluttered. I have also started Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University and am trying very hard to pay off debt.

All in all I feel like I am headed in a good direction. I'm learning how to deal with things, and trying to make my life better.

Hope you had a wonderful thanksgiving. Pardon me while I go look at my Xmas tree and drink some cocoa.


I've been excitedly awaiting my gastric sleeve surgery and this weekend was a three day weekend. I was planning to get so much done. Boy...