a bit sketchy

So. I went to see my eye doctor last week. I had got to do all of the visual field tests twice, and then get my eyes dilated (yay) so I could have a glaring white light refracted through a small piece of glass into, and possibly through, both my eyeballs.

I was then advised that I have a “sketchy” optic nerve that I should get checked out and some weird “eye-scarring” that’s unusual. Oh, and I need to “upgrade” to bifocals because my peripheral vis..blahblahblahblah. And also, have I read any Patrick Rothfuss? and the Technician up front will bill my insurance and process my co-pay. I stared at him and said I was going to need some kind of positive news before I’d have the heart to follow-through with payment. He just smiled at me and said, “Well, you do get to wear these for the next 2 hours!”, and proceeded to hand me those shades that resemble a roll of film that you put behind your glasses to protect dilated eyes. They looked something like this:

Shades

I totally stole this pic from the interwebs. You can link to the original site by clicking on the pic.

So I got a referral to an eye specialist to make sure things aren’t detaching, degenerating, or otherwise defying my instructions to just BEHAVE. And then I went out to pick out new glasses, with my eyes fully dilated. Now, most of you who know me also know I’m blind as a bat without my glasses on. So in situations when I don’t have them on (think middle of the night potty-runs, or putting on makeup), I can just use a mirror or get my face really close to anything I need to read or examine. But – turns out when your eyes are dilated, it’s actually impossible to see things up close.

Good Grief

I should have thought of this in advance, but alas, I was forced to be creative. So I began the painful process of trying on frames, taking a selfie, putting my regular glasses back on, holding my phone at a distance so I can see the picture I just took, assess whether the frames are viable, and then text the picture to hubby for his opinion. I think the poor Optical Tech who was helping me wanted to bang his head against the wall. Repeatedly.

Here’s a fun peek at one of my selfies. These aren’t the frames I picked, but I love the totally stoned look in my eyes..

2014-09-09 17.45.06

Look Into My Eyessssss….

Anyways, the new spectacles should be arriving sometime this week, so I’ll try to have a new pic for you at some point. Tomorrow I have a trip to the dentist, the day after that, my shrink, and sometime in the next couple of weeks, my gynecologist.

I tend to be an open book and blog about whatever is happening in my life, so be afraid… be vewy vewy afwaid…

Didja Miss Me? Huh? Didja?

Jack Nicholson - I'm Back

So, I’m re-starting my blog after a year and a half break. My life became so busy and writing became more of an overwhelming chore than the fun outlet I was hoping it would be.

But baby, things have been a-changing! In the past 18 months I have:

  1. Graduated from college (a 20 year endeavor!).
  2. Started a new job.
  3. Received a life-changing medical diagnoses (it’s surprisingly positive).
  4. Adopted a third dog (thus demonstrating my total inclination toward crazy-town).
  5. Had some serious personal revelations, which will likely be fodder for future posts. Consider yourselves warned.

I have no specific designs on what this blog will look like going forward. My guess is it will be about 50% therapeutic writing, 50% random observations and 100% Kayla’s style of crazy.

More to come!

Bad Fader

I’ve written periodically here about my husband’s music.  Over the course of this past year he’s made great strides in his studio, both in terms of getting the right combination of gear, and more importantly, perfecting his craft.

He recently completed enough songs to put together a formal album, and last weekend, we established a website to help spread the word about his music. His style is reminds me a bit of Jim Brickman, but more memorable (after awhile all of Brickman’s music sounds the same to me.)  It’s all instrumental, no lyrics or vocals. He composes, performs, mixes, and produces all the music himself.

I know that I am biased in my opinion that what he creates is truly amazing.  Still, I invite you to check it out for yourself, and if you know of anyone who would enjoy this type of music, please pass the link along.

BAD FADER PRODUCTIONS

Listen & download on Amazon

You can also click here to listen to one of Tim’s most recent works – one inspired by our wedding day – February 14, 2004. Gets me misty eyed up every time!

My sexy hubby and one of our schnauzers, Dug.

HANGRY

I’ve been on Weight Watchers for a full month now, and have had measurable success.  I’ve lost almost ten pounds and have a better idea of the nutritional and caloric impact of the foods I eat. There have been many days when I’ve marveled at what I can eat while “dieting”. In fact, what I like about Weight Watcher’s program is that there are no forbidden foods.  However, every food does carry a certain “point” value, calculated based on its fat, carbohydrate, fiber and protein content. So if you choose to indulge in something decadent, you must compensate by choosing lower-calorie foods for the rest of the day, so as not to exceed to daily/weekly allotment of points.

For the most part it has been relatively easy, and I’ve actually been proud of my ability to make better food choices. Turns out I do have some measure of self-discipline buried deep inside.  Apparently, it’s just been kept in a sugar and fat induced coma for the past 30 years.

Today, however, I fell off the proverbial bandwagon.  I don’t know what it was, but I woke up around 8am, a bit cranky and out of sorts.  I didn’t sleep well and all my joints were achy.  I had an online exam for my critical thinking class scheduled for 10am (which should have been scheduled much later in the day if I’d been thinking critically about it).  I wasn’t waking up very quickly, so I made myself a cup of vanilla cappuccino from a sugar-free mix I’d just bought, and added some sugar free caramel syrup.  3 points.  It didn’t suck… but I did have a funny aftertaste every time I burped, which it caused me to do for about 20 minutes after finishing it.

I put myself together and did a bit of pre-test studying, but I was cranky with the dogs – they were rolling through the house like two tumbleweed, growling, wrestling and playing with each other – making what I perceived to be a god-awful racket. And of course they wanted me to join in, but instead I was just cross and sniped at them.  Eventually, hubby put them outside and firmly closed my office door, but not before shooting me a look, eyebrows raised, that said what is your problem??

Thankfully I passed the test with flying colors, and immediately apologized to hubby and the puppies and resolved to be in a better mood.  I hadn’t yet eaten, so I went to find something and ended up heating leftovers from the night before (shredded Mexican chicken w/corn and beans). I placed the mixture in a low carb tortilla, and added low-fat cheese and fat free sour cream.  It tasted terrible. Not sure if it was the leftovers or the tortilla, but I took two bites then put the rest down the garbage disposal.  Next, I tried reheating some taco meat and trying for a taco salad.  Awful. I think the meat may have been a few days past its prime.  Down the disposal it went.

Hubby and I had some errands to run, so we agreed to lunch at Chili’s. I was still cranky, irritated by everything he did or said and we sniped back and forth until we arrived at the restaurant.  I referenced my handy Weight Watchers app on my phone to see what the points value would be for various menu items.  Of course it was out of date, and the only things that really sounded good were no longer on the menu.  Sigh.  Still, I persisted, and opted for a grilled chicken sandwich with steamed broccoli.  It didn’t suck. In fact, it tasted surprisingly good for being the  low-fat, low-cal option.  But it wasn’t what I wanted. What I wanted was a damn cheeseburger.  With fries.  And maybe a milkshake. I wanted to eat until I was uncomfortably full, because for some reason I find that sensation to be.. well, comforting.

We stopped at the grocery store on the way home and I still had my cranky on. There was a table set up with wine demos and hubby encouraged me to try a sample. To his credit, he didn’t even blink when I put a bottle in the cart. After picking up some ground turkey, lean ground beef, apples and stir-fry veggies, we headed toward the checkout when the demon possessed me and I took a turn down the candy aisle.  I was having a sudden, uncontrollable craving for chocolate.  Dark chocolate.  With almonds. I hemmed and hawed and agonized over the options, wrestling with my conscience and ultimately throwing a bar of Dove dark chocolate with almonds into the cart.

I had the candy unwrapped before we left the parking lot.

I ate a third of the bar before we got home.

Once home, I poured myself a glass of wine, grabbed the chocolate and my Kindle, and sequestered myself in my office.


As I write this post, I’m still nursing that same glass of wine, but the chocolate is long gone.  I may also have eaten a few Lean Cuisine Thai Spring Rolls (amazing). I was harboring guilty feelings, but I let those go.  Tomorrow I will return to dutifully logging my points and choosing leaner, more nutritious meal and snack options 90 percent of the time.  But every once in awhile I have to indulge.  Otherwise I do become hangry, and that’s just not a pretty thing.

Also, I think it’s important for me to remember that my goal is not to be thin.  In fact, I’ve never been thin (well, not since I was 6), and I can’t even imagine it – the idea is foreign for me.  Like many people, I’d like to look and feel like I did in high school (which for me, equated to a number that was still higher than the damn chart in the Doctor’s office advised).

Still, my goals are not tied to numbers and I don’t want to fall into the trap of feeling like I have to find and maintain some magic spot on the scale to feel good about myself.  That’s really hard though, because like most women, I look in the mirror and I’m not at all pleased with what I see.  However, I am determined to make a meaningful change. It’s just that my goals are more lifestyle related.

I want to be able to climb the stairs at work without looking or sounding like I’m about to stroke out. I want to move more.  I have zero love for working out, and don’t see myself ever embracing a life at the gym, but I could walk my dogs more often, go for more walks on my own, spend more time on vacation hiking in the woods or strolling on the beach, instead of holed up reading books.

I truly just want to be a healthier version of myself at the end of this journey.  And I do want there to be an end to this – I don’t want to be on a diet forever.  Perish the thought. Instead, I’d like to get to the point where my subconscious and my body are in tune with each other and I can easily choose foods and portions which are appropriate.

Thankfully, my husband has never been attracted to skinny women, much less skinny, cranky women, which is what I’d be if I pushed for such a radical change.  Instead, I’m shooting for more of a gently curved appearance that can be maintained with periodic indulgences that help keep me a good-humored woman. That feels attainable.

In parting, I’d like to offer this up to anyone who has been present during previous hangry moments..

Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes!

So hubby and I tried something new in bed last week… You’re feeling scandalized, aren’t you?!  Don’t worry, this is totally mostly PG rated.

See, over the past couple of years we’ve run into a recurring problem.  Hubby is a night-owl, and is often up until the wee hours of the morning working on homework, and/or kicking virtual enemy ass on Call of Duty.  I, on the other hand, am an early riser. (I’d like to point out this is not my natural inclination, as anyone who has known me for any length of time can attest to. I greet the dawn with much moaning and gnashing of teeth) I try to get up between 5 and 5:30, to give myself plenty of time to get ready for the day.

As you may have surmised, this has caused problems. You see, the orientation of the room is such that anyone on the left side of the bed is subject to more disruptions as that is where the bath, closet and entry door are at. No matter how quiet I try to be, I frequently wake hubby up, so in an effort to correct this problem, we have swapped sides of the bed.

Oh.

Em.

Gee.

It is SO HARD to sleep on the other side of the bed. It feels wrong!  It took me all week just to figure out how to climb in.  This probably sounds ridiculous, but we have a super tall bed with a little footstool for me and the dogs to use.  I’m so used to climbing in from the right that coming in from the opposite site has completely flummoxed me.  I have less than no coordination – so like, negative coordination, and I bet if someone videotaped me trying to get into bed the first couple of nights after we made the switch – we probably could win America’s Funniest Home Videos.

It’s thrown the dogs off course too.  They keep forgetting to use the step stool on the right side of the bed and go around and try to jump up from the ground on the left.  Of course, they are short and often miss, so I just see a brief glimpse of a furry body trying to jump up and then a soft thump when they hit the floor in failure.

Thankfully, the switch seems to have worked for hubby – he claims he’s sleeping better and I didn’t wake him up once last week. Hopefully my coordination improves soon!!!

I’ll Tell You What My Problem Is…

Aren’t you glad the title of this posting isn’t, I’ll Tell You What YOUR Problem Is?  Be prepared, I’ll pick that topic up another time – today we’ll focus on me.  My dear friends, I’ve finally figured out what my problem is:

I am too damn busy.  This is now a documented fact.

The first 3-4 months of each year is what I affectionately refer to as “crazy season” at work.  My job centers around recruiting/staffing for my employer, and this is the season for dozens upon dozens of jobs and thousands upon thousands of applicants to weed through.  Thankfully I love, love, love what I do – but even so, the pace is pretty intense and I find my brain to be pure putty by the end of the day.  Which is problematic, because I’m also still enrolled at Western Governors University and am in the midst of tackling the required 8 credits of science.

To further complicate things, I decided to try and be all healthy or whatever, and enrolled in Weight Watcher’s online program over the weekend.  So now I get to track points on top of everything else. I have to be honest- it’s kind of a pain in the tookus. But on the upside, when entering my starting weight on Monday, I way over-estimated the number – consequently, when I weighed myself today I was able to report a 15 pound weight loss.  My online tracker was recommending immediate medical care until I corrected my starting number.  IF ONLY! I think the only weight loss plan that can provide those kind of results is the stomach flu with a complimentary side of diarrhea – but even that option requires a solid 5-7 day commitment.

So we’ll see what the next few months bring.  And I’ll try to pop in more frequently to update the 2.5 readers that still check in periodically to see if I’m alive.  In the meantime, I need to do some grocery shopping…