Monday, August 20, 2012

It's Been A While...

Since my last post, I've graduated with an Associates in Science, Respiratory Care, passed boards to become an RRT, and started working full-time at Franciscan Hospital for Children (per diem job at Spaulding Hospital of the North Shore). There is so much to tell, so much I should tell, and so much I don't want to tell... I am once again overweight and out of shape...and I know just how much it stinks to lose that much ground. While it's on my list to get back on track, life is getting in the way. I've found it becomes a lot harder to be slim and fit when you can't devote a majority of time to the effort...

Monday, January 16, 2012


Amazing things can happen when you believe in your dreams. I may post 364 days of negativity for the next year after this...I don't plan to, but anything can happen. But today? My gosh, everything today was gold.

To begin, it was Zachary's 11th birthday...i.e., the 11th anniversary of me becoming a mom (as his step-mom reminded me this morning). This little boy is the smartest, sweetest, kindest human being I have ever met in my life...and I'm so incredibly blown away by the fact that he's mine. His gift to this world is/will be profound, I know it. His very existence has made my life worthwhile. I told him this morning, as I cuddled him in bed at 7 a.m., that he taught me about love in ways I never knew, and I told him just how amazing he has made my life.

Zachary's wish for his birthday was not for gifts, but for hope. He asked that his friends make a donation to The Animal Rescue League of Boston and Heifer International on his behalf. His delight when they did just that was uncontainable. How do you make a momma happy? Make her child happy.

I had an interview today at a hospital that went extremely well and was a great boost to my self-esteem. In addition, I was notified today that the student member story about my career choice, which I submitted to the AARC Times (the American Association for Respiratory Care Times, the national publication for Respiratory Therapists) after one of my instructors encouraged me to write about, was being published in an upcoming issue.

We visited with friends today, and Zachary heard from friends and family alike. Nope, really, it doesn't get better than this. Dare to dream...because dreaming can make it real. Thank you God, for giving me this blessed day.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Fresh Start

I went for a really nice brisk walk/jog today. Just about 3.5 miles, in about 58 minutes. No, not speedy, but considered brisk to very brisk. It kept my heart rate between 130 and that's decent. And I got on the scale today (after breakfast, after drinking water and my walk, so I expect to check it again tomorrow morning and have it be a little lower than it was now). 175 lbs. *sigh* And I am journaling my food again. If I got back to 135? I'd be happy at this point. Delighted at 125 to 130 (my lowest post-op was 117, and I don't need or want to go there again), but 135 would feel good. And the alcohol? Well, that just needs to stop, period. When it comes to exercise, I'm really good at making the unsustainable sustainable until I'm injured, and then I can't do anything. Given my knee, ankle and hip issues, I need to find something that will keep me healthy and fit without making me unable to do anything. So for now, my goal is a good healthy walk 4 times a week...maybe even 5. Here goes nothing.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

The Finishing Stretch

It's been a while...just over a year, actually. I completed my third semester of Respiratory Care and will graduate May 24, 2012. It's hard to believe it's close to two years since I was laid off and changed career directions. School has been an awesome challenge and has led to so much growth personally, intellectually, and to be honest, waist-line wise. Regain has become a very difficult issue for me to contend with.

After the triathlon in August 2010, when I fractured my ankle, exercise became more of a challenge than ever. Coupled with school demands, mothering demands, and financial demands, it basically came to a complete halt. I'm fat again...and it hurts in so many ways. My self-confidence has taken the biggest hit, and I find myself wanting to hide from people again...except in the professional sense because I can't. My peers (classmates) and educators, as well as patients, require my physical presence. But for all those who haven't seen me in a while? Well, I'm content to not make dates to get together.

I feel ashamed and embarrassed. I have not had my regularly scheduled annual post-op visits. I have not maintained appointments with Heart and Wellness, though I've run into Melinda a few times at Union Hospital where I do my clinical. I try to tell myself that it will be different once school is over and there is an income again, and it's not so much nose-to-the-grindstone with school work. But, I don't know if I'm just kidding myself. In my loneliness, I've resorted to both food and alcohol for comfort and companionship...and I haven't quite figured how to get myself out.

Friday, December 31, 2010

2010 Comes to a Close

What a many changes, so much progress, so many setbacks, and so much growth. I'm still awaiting the posting of final grades for this semester...I know I have 4 As so far...I think I have 5, but I'm not sure. I guess I'll know on Monday.

It's been a year full of love, loss, growth, challenge, and courage. My life is good...I don't know exactly where I will be in a year or two, but I know that as of right now? I'm heading in the right direction. And I am incredibly blessed with the love and generosity and support of friends and family.

I will always grapple with some things...past, present, and future...nature of the beast I suppose. I couldn't really ask for more than what I already have, though. So if 2011 brings more of the same, we'll get through and grow and thrive...because that's what we do, and who we are.

Happy new year all!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

The Sweet and Innocent Heartache of a Boy

Friday night, as Zachary and I were hanging out together and watching a movie, he says to me “Mom, do you WANT a husband?” I looked at him and asked him “what makes you wonder about that?” His response was “well, I just wish I had a dad who acted like a dad. I want a dad who trusts me.”

Zachary and his dad have had pretty consistent (but minimal) contact until last March. For years, Zachary protested going to his dad’s, and I encouraged him and reminded him that time with his father and siblings is important. The conflict between Z’s dad and me usually stemmed from me wanting him to be more involved in Z’s life, take a more active role, and at least spend some quality time interacting with him when he is there. For the longest time, it was basically one 8-hour period twice a month that they saw each other. And there are many other children in the mix during that time, so individual attention doesn’t really happen. Communicating with Z’s dad about Z’s feelings, experiences, etc., more often than not, was met with defensiveness. And for this past year or so, resulted in emails to me calling me crazy, a nut case, telling me sarcastically what a stellar job I was doing parenting Zachary. The anger that his dad has towards me seemed to overshadow any real concern/regard for what is best for Zachary and how to accomplish that (not fight with me).

So, when there was a significant issue this past March that resulted in an email attack on me, I said enough is enough. I let Z’s dad know that if Zachary wanted to see him, talk to him, I would wholly support that. But if Zachary chose not to go for parenting time, I would no longer force him to go. For a few more weeks, the drama continued when his dad would email me and ask if Z wanted to come that weekend. The first time I was asked to ask Z, I did. And Z was adamant that he didn’t want to go and would not be changing his mind. The second time the email request came to me, I told his dad that he really needed to call his son and talk to him directly about it. That, of course, resulted in another mud-slinging fest. He did call Zachary twice after that, and they had a short conversation.

That was back in April. Zachary has heard nothing from his dad since then. I’ve asked him if he wants to call his dad, talk to him, see him, that he can do that at any time. He’s really, really adamant that he doesn’t want that. He does say he misses his sister, and I told him that he could see her, talk to her at dad's…of course I’ve also told him he can have contact her regardless of that. He said it wasn’t worth going to his dad’s just to see her because he didn’t want to see anyone else. Ouch.

So, back to Friday night and Zachary asking if I want a husband makes all of this come back to me. I feel like a failure at relationships, and while that’s hard enough on me, it’s even harder on this little boy that I love dearly. He deserves to have a dad who acts like a dad. Who doesn't call him a liar. I know if it were my child who basically said he didn’t want to see me? I’d be telling myself “wow, I need to do something to make this better…I want to have a relationship with my son…how do I fix this?” And I’d make an effort. That isn’t happening and there isn’t really a damn thing I can do about it that I haven’t tried doing for the past 10 years already.

Do I find someone to be with, who is good to me, good to Zachary, just so that he has what he needs? Even if it means that I don’t have passion for the person? That I love him but am not in love with him? I don’t know…I really just don’t know…I know that my heart tells me never to settle…but is that selfish of me?

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Brain Overload

Clearly, I need to write more. If my FB status updates can't accommodate my thought process? I guess I should be writing here...if for no one else but myself, right?

Life is crazy, awesome, exhausting, great. I love school...I'm nuts with studying, helping my son with homework, trying to balance time with my studies with time with life, well, I don't really have one, unless you count last weekend when I saw my brother, sister-in-law and friend for the first time since the summer, and hung out with a few other friends I haven't spent any time with in months. This weekend will be Halloween, and though we'd hoped to attend a party on Saturday, I have too much studying/work to do to attend both the party and take a few hours out on Sunday to take Z trick or treating. Did I mention that he pretty much hates me these days because all I ever do (in his mind) is study? Last night he told me that he liked it better before I was going to college because we had more time together. I reminded him that the truth is, I have more time with him now, I'm home with him more now, but the time that I'm home is often side by side, quietly spent while I study and he does something else. It's time together, but it's not at his beck and call. He's struggling with this.

There are many ploys for attention...the homework that can't be finished...the meltdowns...the brief running away he did (for 5 minutes) that he thought would "break me" and get me to allow him to watch TV/play on the computer when he hadn't yet finished a homework assignment. If nothing else, he's learning what studying hard means. And can I just say? I'm pretty happy with how I'm doing. I'm averaging A's in all of my's a full load of 5 classes, 14 credits (it really feels like it should be more than that, lol). Anyway, I love's amazing, it's fascinating, thought-provoking and humbling.

Every Thursday is our Clinical day, and so I sometimes see Melinda (my dietitian) in the cafeteria as I did today. And it was today, as we were doing our assessments and billing for our patients that I actually discussed with Len and two of the other RTs (as well as my other other clinical cohorts, who already know) about my gastric bypass surgery. And there were a lot of questions...Len couldn't believe I used to be heavy. I guess I'll have to show him a picture at some point. I kind of smiled as they asked how long ago was my surgery and I told them 3.5 years. I also told them that I am at least 30 lbs. up from my lowest...and all anyone could say was "yeah, but how much better are you off now??? and those BMI charts aren't realistic." I don't hide my surgery...but I don't flaunt it either. You know, Union Hospital is closely affiliated with NSMC, where I had my bypass surgery. I don't think they really have any idea yet just how much their hospital group made a difference in my life. I guess they'll find out, won't they?

Did I mention that I'm averaging all A's in my classes? I'm planning to apply to the Honors Program after this semester. And maybe, if I'm lucky? That will mean I can apply for some scholarships for next year and owe a little less money. Good plan, right? I think so.