Saturday, February 26, 2011

Brazilian Blowout, Part 2

Finally, I'm going to redeem my Groupon Brazilian Blowout coupon.

Here's hoping the third time's the charm.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

sick, sick, sickie...

It's been a long time since I've been sick like this: sick in bed with a heating pad, ankle socks, and multiple prescription meds sick.

It started Friday night; actually, I've been having this sort of twingy, weird, intermittent backache for awhile, but Friday night I bought a box of Cheddar Cheesebits and scarfed a fair number down in lieu of a real dinner only to have my stomach react immediately with WTF???? or the stomach's equivalent thereof...meaning I hied myself to the bathroom, pronto, and spent some time sitting there, thinking, hmmmm, this is not a reaction I have any reason to believe is reasonable in response to eating some cheese crackers...

Saturday I awoke very bloated, and felt like last week's meatloaf, so I pretty much laid around all day. In the evening though, I'd had enough of that, so I got myself up, bathed, combed, brushed, perfumed, and went to hear Gyongy Erodi perform the Bach Suites for Unaccompanied Cello, Part II. The music was incredibly beautiful, and I'm glad I went, but I came home feeling wiped. This didn't keep me from staying up and streaming The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet's Nest from Netflix, which I watched while reclining on the game room couch.

Sunday the cramps began. Bad cramps (not that there're any good cramps). These were like the cramps I used to get prior to getting my period...low in the belly, gut wrenching, from ovary to ovary, then back again, and again and again. These were serious, got-your-attention-now-bitch? cramps that could double you over with their intensity. Like labor, they seemed to come in waves, and like labor, between them I could rest...sort of. In the evening, I walked with Mike, with the result that I seemed to bloat even more: my belly was hard and distended, like a drum, when we got home. And the cramps kept me from sleeping, and then, exhausted, when I finally did manage to doze, they wakened me with their intensity...

Monday morning at 5:30 I found a thermometer and took my temp. If the thermometer was to be believed, I was running a low grade fever, which would account for the achiness I felt. In addition to a backache, I had this twingy, sciatica-like pain running down the front of my left thigh...go a headache, my neck felt stiff, and of course the frigging cramps...

At 9AM I was on the phone to the doctor's office, begging to be seen.

Would I see a PA?
I was asked.

I replied.

At 10 I found out I did indeed have a fever. I was asked to give a urine specimen; when I had deposited the sample in the bottle and placed it in the little window as instructed, I was not pleased to see another sample already there and waiting...I worry about lab mix ups, always, and when I was told my urine appeared to be fine, I was not reassured. They took blood; an anti-spasmodic was prescribed by the PA, who seems to think I have diverticulitis. I'm not convinced; I've had none of the symptoms I've had with diverticulitis in the past.

Today my WBC came back elevated, so in addition to the anti-spasmodic, two powerful antibiotics have been prescribed, and I was told that I need to stay on a liquid diet for 10 days! WTF? The PA said that's easier than it sounds, and she'd be happy to fax me some guidelines. I said great and provided my fax number; then I went to Zorba's for lunch, where I complied by having a cup of Avgolemono soup (she didn't say clear liquid diet)...but that was hours ago and so far, nothing's been faxed to me, so a few minutes ago, famished, I finished off a small piece of leftover dark chocolate cake which I washed down with half a glass of milk...delicious! am I immature, or what?

But I admit I still feel like crap, and all of my stomach muscles feel tight, like they're in a knot. I haven't started the powerful antibiotics yet; I'll do that tonight, with my liquid dinner.

So what am I wearing? Grey, 100% cotton sweats by Gap (top) and Target (pants), and a pair of Gap ankle socks to keep my feet warm.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

"We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are." ~Anaïs Nin

Last night, as a result of having seen an Ann Taylor camel coat on a sale rack this past weekend, and then Googling "Ann Taylor camel coat", I discovered what is, for me, a new phenomenon: an endless supply of fashion blogs written, for the most part, by 20-something petites. These young women blog to document what they're wearing, given their difficulties finding clothes that fit (many of us would love to have such difficulties, but that's another topic). After browsing a couple dozen of these blogs, I had mixed emotions. I love pretty things, including clothes, so on the one hand, I enjoyed seeing what a bunch of 20-somethings were wearing...but I was also a little horrified by the implicit narcissism in the concept of daily postings of what one is wearing, especially by a bunch of 20-something waifs, most of whom would look gorgeous wearing potato sacks.

Every one of the extremely petite 20-somethings whose blogs I read had no qualms about posting her statistics on the internet, beginning with
  • HEIGHT: I was reading blogs written by petite fashionistas, so by definition all were 5'3" or under. For what it's worth (not much, I'm sure) I'm 5'3" myself.
  • WEIGHT: I soon discovered there are 2 ways these petite young women describe themselves: tiny or curvy. Most of the weights I saw posted were 110 pounds or less, the curvier young women apparently choosing not to reveal this particular statistic. Ahem, I believe I now belong in the curvier category myself.
  • MEASUREMENTS: I admit I was rather taken aback to see young women posting their measurements, but again, this is something done by women who described themselves as tiny, not by the women who described themselves as curvy. For what it's worth...of the measurements posted, there were very few bosoms beyond 32", and nary a B cup in sight.

After revealing that much about themselves (and sometimes more) , these young women regularly post full length pics of themselves dressed to go...somewhere. It might be to work, or on a date...(do 20-somethings actually date? I don't think so...I think I'm dating myself, using that term)...or out to walk the get the idea. The best posts, IMHO, included detailed descriptions of what the posters were wearing in the pics, e.g., "Target cami, Ann Taylor cardigan, Talbots pants, BP shoes". Most of the minis also add their sizes, if they're to be believed. Reading the clothing descriptions, I've never seen so many "XXS"s in my life. Ah well...

Browsing those blogs got me thinking about Germaine Greer's writing that as women, we become invisible in society as we age; I have it in my head that she said we become invisible at 50. I was 20 when I read The Female Eunuch. I don't remember liking it, in part because 50 seemed ancient, and interminably distant, and I remember wondering, rather peevishly, what on earth Greer was talking about.

At 61, it's no longer a mystery. Fashion magazines are filled with tips on how to dress, and how to do hair and make-up, for women in their 20's, 30's, 40's and...women over 50. Ouch! Try to imagine if it were the other way around...if magazines had tips for women in their 50's, 60's, 70's ...and women under 50. The one supposed exception to this is More...but I can't help but notice that the cover model for the January issue is Molly Sims, a 38-year-old former Sports Illustrated swimsuit model. Puh-leez! I don't feel particularly invisible,but much of the time I do feel like I'm treading water, and that if I don't keep on treading, the great wave of invisibility could overtake me at any moment.

In the Western world, the average age of menopause is 51 years. Most women are probably happy to no longer be menstruating, but no one in her right mind welcomes the accompanying symptoms that so many of us experience, which may include (according to the Mayo Clinic website): hot flashes; vaginal dryness; night sweats; thinning hair; loss of breast fullness but increased abdominal fat (aha!) and…forgetfulness.

Forgetfulness would be a good thing, if it meant you could forget that not all that long ago you had thick, glossy hair, and believed hot flashes were a psychosomatic phenomenon because in fact, more often than not, you were cold, and never went to the movies without a sweater, the better to accentuate your full breasts and flat belly; back when you were a juicy woman…but these aren’t the things we forget. These are the things we remember; the forgetfulness is more likely to manifest itself when you exit the movie theater, having peeled away the layers of clothing in which you are always careful to dress now, sweating like a pig even though your family assures you the temperature in the theater never got above 58 degrees…and you go into a full blown panic attack because the car is gone! It’s been STOLEN! You parked it RIGHT THERE! And your family looks at you like you’re demented, and one of them bravely, patiently explains that you didn’t park at this entrance; you parked outside Chick-Filet, not outside Sears, don’t you REMEMBER? Then comes a mood swing…I’m not convinced mood swings are part of menopause; I think they may be a natural reaction to all the other parts of menopause…

In the interest of maintaining my visibility: here's what this particular 60-something was wearing as I headed out the door Tuesday morning to drive the endless commute to work in corporate America...*attitude adjustment* I headed out the door to embrace the day...

Detail: Kenneth Cole silver bracelet.

Ha! I can see that I'm going to have to hone my rather limited self-portrait skills if I'm serious about this! It was cold in Dallas this morning, but my cube at work is never less than sweltering, which makes dressing for work...interesting. Layering would be essential even if I weren't (still!!!) subject to hot flashes (which I am).

This pic, taken with my iPhone, doesn't show it, but today I wore a comfortable pair of generic (Dillard's), grey flannel pants, an ancient red Ralph Lauren wife beater, a Talbot's cardigan I bought on sale last year when I was a good 40 pounds heavier, and an old pair of rather chic, BR boots that seemed like a good idea in terms of the overall look when I slipped them on in my closet this morning, but left me questioning my sanity in not wearing my comfortable Born loafers before I was halfway across the parking lot, 90 minutes later...