Saturday, June 30, 2012

One Year Ago

One year ago today I had my last drink. I remember it clearly - a Skinnygirl Margarita with my good friend Lisa in my living room. While sipping that last drink we were talking about how hard I was going to try to just have 1 or 2 - how I knew I could do it, no problem. How I would never let myself get out of control with the booze. How I knew it would not be a problem at all and I could just drink a little bit socially.

The next day I went to my therapist and told him my plan - just 1 or 2 drinks and I'll be fine. I had been worried about my drinking, and so had some family and friends. But this ought to do the trick - I can totally handle this plan.

"Bullshit", he said to me.

"If you think you can't drink responsibly, why don't you stop completely?"

"Well, I don't want to. I don't think I need to."

"Bullshit" he said again. "If you didn't think you needed to, you wouldn't be here right now crying about this."

I was stunned. Stunned because he was right, and I knew it. Stunned because we were talking about it out loud. Stunned because I seemed to be on the very edge of making a huge change in my life, and I didn't think I was strong enough to do it. Stunned because after so many years of pushing the thought away that I may have a drinking problem, here it was, front and center, and I had nowhere to hide.

I had nowhere to hide.

I made the tough choice. The right choice. Right for me. Why it was right this time, I have no idea. But as scared and as uncertain as I was, I did it.

I did it!!!

So June 30, 2011, I had my last drink with one of my closest friends Lisa.

July 1, 2011, was my first dry day.

And I'll remember that last drink with Lisa, but I'll cherish the many laughs we've shared since then even more.

So to Lisa, and to the many wonderful people in my life who have given me the strength to make it through this challenging but oh-so-important first year, I am forever grateful.

Thank you - all of you - so much.

Here's to many more.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Jerry, be kind.

So I named my colon "Jerry".

I somehow came up with the theory that if you name something, it will treat you well.  Like cars.  I have always named my cars.

First was OVLOV, my Volvo wagon.  Sigh.  I still to this day miss my OVLOV, my first car.  She rocked.  She deserves her own blog post, really.

Next Sean and I borrowed a Taurus from his parents, and we named it "Cleo".  Think about it.

Then we got a blue Subaru Outback, and named it "Foster".  As is oilcans.

Next, a black Subaru Legacy, we named Fred.  After the blond guy from Scooby Doo who lost all publicity to a scratchy voiced kid who never shaved, and talked like a surfer.  But he was voiced by Casey Kasem, so really poor Fred never stood a chance.

Then came Ruby Red Suby, our current red Subaru Forrester.  BTW, did I ever mention that Subaru is the unofficial car of the State of Vermont?  It's the all wheel drive.  These cars have gotten us up ice slicked hills in the winter, and we're not messin' around.

Finally, the blue Saab convertible we named Bitsy Blue.  I named.  Sean didn't like the name, but really once a name is stuck to a car, that's it.  Can't undo it.  And I'm still looking for the perfect scarf to wrap around my head while I drive Bitsy around town in the just seems like something I should do, don't you think?

So there you go.  That's why I named my colon.  And we came up with Jerry because I was with some friends who had asked about my illness when two of us thought one friend called my colon "Jerry" during the conversation.  So this one wasn't me at all, but I think the name is perfect.

Here's hoping that naming it will make it treat me better.  C'mon, Jerry, be good to me!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Don't Bring the Evil

At the beginning of this year, I declared, with all the confidence in the world, that this was "The Year of Lauren".

Boy, was I wrong.

Have I had a rough year so far because I said it out loud?  Am I the only one who believes this can happen?  I was talking to a friend yesterday at an end-of-school block party I attended for a half an hour (YAY!  My first outing since being sick!!!) that I think I brought this on because I said it out loud.  She said that sometimes she just thinks things and BOOM - same result.  Like with the puke bug.  You make it to the end of puke bug season and your kids have been spared.  You think "Whew!  Crisis averted!  We made it through without the kids hurling all over the place!"  The next day your house is like a scene from The Exorcist.

There is a name for this phenomenon:  "Bringing the Evil".

My friend Jennie's husband taught that to me.

If I would say something negative he'd say, in his Colombian accent, "Oh, Lauren, don't bring the evil."

Is it true?  Does saying negative things put negative energy out there and make them come true?

I never would have thought so before but let's face facts and look at the year I've had so far.

More importantly, if you have already "brought the evil" by saying something so stupidly like, oh, gee, I don't know, "this is the year of Lauren", can you counteract it later by saying, repeatedly, "this is so NOT the year of Lauren!  This is the year of someone else totally!!!"  Is there some sort of tribal dance involved?  Hopefully it doesn't include wearing clogs because those death shoes are the reasons for my two previous trip-and-wipe-out debacles. 

In any case, learn from my fiasco of a declaration and don't bring the evil.  It's good for the medical industry but REALLY bad for you!  Trust.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Take that, diverticulitis!

Tomorrow marks 1 week since I was diagnosed with diverticulitis. It does not deserve a capital "d". I've spent the majority of this week in pain, in bed, on a liquid diet, and fantasizing about eating food. I've had a lot of time on my hands to think. And I realized that diverticulitis is a lot like life.

Let me explain.

The first few days after diagnosis sucked. I was in a lot of pain. I was worried about my boys worrying about me. I was mad that the weather was so gorgeous and I could barely move. I was frustrated that wonderful Sean had to shoulder the burden of running the house on his own and I couldn't contribute. And I was very preoccupied with the permanent changes that having this condition meant for me and how I would continue to live my life.

I felt really blue. I cried a lot. It sucked.

Then, even though I still hurt, I decided that that was enough.

I have diverticulitis. The chronic condition is called diverticulosis. And I have it now no matter what.

And so, just like anything else in life that I can't change, I started thinking about fitting this into my every day life.

Here's an example: one of my favorite summer desserts is a three berry cobbler recipe that my mother gave to me. I'm sentimental about it, for some reason, and I can no longer eat the berries. So after I felt bummed for a bit, I decided it has now become a cherry cobbler. Poof! Accommodation complete! And it's a great excuse to get myself a cherry pitter, a kitchen knick knack I've wanted for a while.

I know it sounds silly, but I thought if I can make lots of small simple changes, this new condition of mine will be a piece of cake.

And it reminded me of life in general - you get handed all sorts of stuff along the way. It's how you choose to deal with it that matters.

So I'll stick with staying positive. Yes, every now and then it's going to be a pain in the patookie, but c'est la vie.

By the way, I don't think I spelled "patookie" the way I pronounce "patookie". I should have just written "ass".

Friday, June 8, 2012

The Cleanest Colon in All the Land

I hope hope hope that bad things happen in 3s - that would mean that this is IT. I mean, seriously! First the trip and fall concussion in November - that was awesome. Then the trip and fall ankle sprain - stellar. Now, after a long night in the ER, I'm in bed in pain from Diverticulitis.

You heard me.

It started a few days ago with a rumbling in my belly. I figured it was gas. Real women admit their gas - side note. So yesterday morning it was a little worse, but that didn't keep me away from breakfast with the ladies. Bacon on a Thursday is a good thing. So after breakfast my lower left abdomen was painful to the touch. Hours later as it got worse, I paged Sean at work to come home and take me to the ER following my doctor's advice.

We made it a family affair. How crowded would the ER be at 4 on a Thursday, anyway?

Famous last words.

On the plus side, watching TJ play with the little kid toys in the waiting room was great. He was having a blast. Other people were looking at him with strange faces but he didn't let that bother him - he played away and was as cute as can be. I smiled the whole time watching him. Peter, the rock star, and I drew pictures for each other and had to guess what the other person drew. My boys are simply the best.

Anyway, 3 hours later after Sean had taken the boys out for burgers I finally got called. I got hooked up to an IV and given morphine after the pain made me cry. That's when the boys came in to see me. Poor guys started crying, saying "don't die, Mom!" and "let's bust her out of here!". Sean and I thought it best that he take them home.

So after ultrasound, waiting, CT scan, waiting, Jay Leno, Jimmy Fallon and a 1:30 am episode of Friends, they told me I have Diverticulitis. A mild to moderate case. Look it up. I'm just thrilled I didn't need surgery.

So finally, at 2:30 am, Sean and the boys came to pick me up and bring me home. Hallelujah.

I'm resting and taking antibiotics and pain meds, and am out of commission for a few days. Yuk yuk yukky. Not happy. But it could have been worse.

As for my squeaky clean colon, you didn't think I was going into detail about THAT, did you?!?!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

I'm So Boring

I haven't written anything for a while.  That's because there is no way to put a humorous, positive spin on laundry.  Can't happen.  It's a proven fact.

I played truth or dare last weekend.  Actually it was just "dare", as the hostess said we were not allowed to select truth.  I won't say what anyone else had to do, but as for me, I ended up with a side pony tail, shampoo in my dry hair, nibbling a carrot, and my leg was drawn on to resemble a candy cane.  I think there were a couple of other things but I must have blocked them out of my memory.

Innocent enough, right?  Not so bad.  It could have been much worse.

School is almost out.  Peter will be busy with soccer and basketball camp.  TJ's summer project is to help me train our dog to be his autism service dog.  Cool stuff, but a lot of work.  Hopefully not too much work for a 12 year old to be successful at - I'll keep you posted.

Oh, and, TJ has a Mohawk.

Well, that's about it for me.  So how are you?

Friday, June 1, 2012

Are You Ready for the Summer?

Happy 11 months to me!  11 months no booze, no hangovers, no blech.

Well, occasional blech, but not related to drinking.

Summer is almost here which gets me to thinking about camp.  Here in Vermont, when you talk about "camp" anytime but the summer, it means a little cabin in the woods or on a lake that families use as a vacation retreat.  It started with deer hunting camps.  I had no idea when I moved here - my friend said we were going ot her "camp" and I thought she owned a large place with cabins and a mess hall.  Imagine my surprise when I saw her family's cabin.

During the summer, "camp" for families means what it means to the rest of the world.  Summer camp.  Now when I was a kid I went to lots of different camps, including a church camp that my sister got kicked out of for questioning the existence of God.  True story.  I don't know what we were doing there in the first place, as we are the most non-religious people ever.  But maybe my parents were trying to jump start us, or something?  In any case it didn't work.

I also have a memory of going to a day camp where we had to dress up as Native Americans (although in the 70s we said "Indians") at the end of each session.  I'm not sure why.  I don't remember activities related to the culture, just tea-stained muslin outfits made by mom with beads and feathers.  Like it was some sort of contest to see who had the best outfit.  I'm pretty sure I didn't win or my memory of the entire thing would be vastly different.

Later came not camps, but "summer programs".  No cabins.  No nature.  Nothing traditional.  I loved them, but as far as camps go, I'm not so sure they fit the definition.

Maybe it's because I saw the movie "Meatballs" as a kid and it scared me away from camp life forever?  Is there some sort of medical term for that condition?  Like Bill-Murray-itis?  I love Bill Murray so I'm sure it can't be that.

Anyway, it's camp time again.  I am SO not sending my kids to Meatballs camp.