Food and Weight: An Ongoing Journey

Archive for the ‘House Stuff’ Category

I’m not going to complain. And I’m not going to go into too many details, but the past year has been rough. My roommate had a bunch of medical issues she was ignoring come crashing down on her such that she spent from mid-September to early November in either hospitals or rehab, and had to have a cardioversion and a TAVR procedure to replace her aortic valve. She’s also a full-on diabetic, including needing insulin shots four times a day. While in the hospital, she was sufficiently discombobulated as to give me incorrect instructions re our diabetic cat, with the result that we nearly lost the cat to a massive insulin overdose.

However, this all seems to have scared her enough that changes have started being made here. One of my friends, Lisa Braun, is spectacular at organizing and Getting Things Done. She and I got the roomie’s room dug out while she was in the hospital and the rehab. Then Lisa helped me start organizing the kitchen and the living room. Then she ran across some folks that were moving who had ten Ikea Billy bookcases (including a corner unit, three regular bookcases, two glass-fronted bookcases, two narrow open fronted bookcases, and two tall cupboards). She arranged for us to buy the bookcases and to get them moved here, so we now have enough bookcases for all except the cookbooks and food books, which are still being organized. During the process of reorganizing the living room, I found a dealer who specializes in old prog rock, so I was able to sell a lot of my records (I have most of the stuff on my computer in iTunes, anyway). This netted me a fair sum, which went into getting some stuff to organize my room more. We are now working in my room. We started with the goals of unearthing my desk and desk chair; organizing my art supplies, moving my Peloton bike to the living room, getting rid of the old desk and file cabinet that were here when I moved in and moving the small barrister bookcase to the roomie’s room so she can put her TV on it.eventually, we may need a handyman to take down the blinds the clown the roomie’s mom hired put up wrong when she moved in here and properly put up sets of blinds on the windows in our bedrooms, the kitchen, and the front room. If he can also mount a rod for a proper shower curtain, that would be a Very Good Thing.

I continue to have a yoga teacher come to the house twice a week, but I am getting to where I am starting to consider going to Integral Yoga and using the year of free yoga classes I won at the last dinner they held. And I am planning to get back on program and lose the weight I gained while I was so sick for the last few years.

SO keep an eye on this space, and we will see what twists and turns my life takes. Oh, and there probably will be lots of pictures of the house reorganization over the next while.



Got home on Wednesday the 26th, to much less than an ideal situation. For one thing, the roomie hadn’t changed the cat litter, and the place reeked. I sat down at the kitchen table, and the roomie went to get cat litter – and left me alone in a chair I discovered was too low to give me the leverage needed to get out of it. She also slammed out of the house, leaving my phone in my purse in a different room, so I couldn’t call for help.

When she got back, I managed to get the chair over to the kitchen sink, but when I tried to pull myself up the chair started sliding back. Thr roomie reacted wrong, and far too slowly, so I ended up flat on my behind on the floor. We had to call 911 to get me up, which their EMTs did easily once they got there, using one of the old dining room chairs (a bit higher than the new ones).

The rest of the day was pretty uneventful, thank the gods. Thursday was also uneventful, other than a visit from the visiting nurse so my case could be officially opened. He also decided that the dressing where the PICC line had been could finally be removed – a great relief since the Tegraderm patches were irritating my skin. The bad news was that I ended up having to postpone my follow-up appointment with my PCP because I could not confirm that I would have an aide present to help me get there and back. Unfortunately, my PCP is on vacation until August 8th, so that means a really long time until my follow-up appointment. Since the nursing home/rehab took it on themselves to change my medications a bit, this means I cannot check what they did with my PCP until then.

I have ordered some equipment through vendors on Amazon: a walker similar to the one I had at the rehab; a blood pressure monitor; a toilet seat riser (for better leverage when getting off the toilet); and a bedpan for emergencies.

I can get in and out of my bed, although it takes a bit more energy than I am happy about. Still, the major issue seems to be that my hamstrings are taking their sweet time in restretching to a usable position. Since PT and yoga should take care of that, though, I am not *too* worried about it.

Still, it’s good to be home. I have my stuff, and the cats, and my bed is a heck of a lot more comfy than the one in the home/rehab. Visitors and calls are welcome since I’m not really mobile yet. I expect to get back to doing the Friday dinners as soon as I can be sure of being able to get out of restaurant chairs.

I finally got to weigh myself for this week on Saturday. I was pleasantly surprised to find my weight was 230.2 lbs. Given that I knew already that the previous weight (at the home, with a not-properly-charged lift scale) was wrong, this was not exactly a surprise but was pleasant nonetheless.

So, here is a toast to being home, and to future progress!

I finally bought a multi-purpose cooker.


I’ve wanted to get rid of a couple of my slow cookers, so when I read on The about the Instant Pot, I thought I would get one and give it a try.

Found it through quickly enough and, when it came, I offered my two largest slow cookers to two different friends, each of whom gave one a good home.

My first attempt was one of the recipes that came in the booklet that accompanied the pot – turkey wings braised in stock with cranberries and walnuts. There is a learning curve with this thing. The dashboard isn’t quite as complicated as the space shuttle, but there are things I need to remember to do each time I set it up. However, in my opinion, it’s going to be worth learning. The turkey came out moist and tasty (although I would have spiced it differently). My next project will be either stew or soup – not sure which yet. Not in much of a rush either, being summer.

In other health news, I’ve been dropped by Medicaid. They claim my income is too high because of the disability award. I think they counted the retroactive payment, but try to prove that…. In any event, the Medicare kicks in on 1 August, so I am learning the ropes of yet another bureaucracy. I have chosen a supplement plan that almost fits my budget (it covers a number of medical possibilities that I need to – as a cardiac patient – keep in mind). The problem is the prescription plan. The one AARP is offering requires that I use a by-mail service to fill prescriptions, although I can – in an emergency – use any of a list of specific chain pharmacies. I have had bad experiences with by-mail prescription services in the past, and I have no reason to believe they have improved over the years. I also don’t want to use a chain pharmacy. I have a perfectly good local pharmacist, within walking distance of my house and my doctor’s office. I have been using this drugstore for a decade, and I want to continue using them. So unless I can find a Part D plan that will allow me to use my regular pharmacy, I am looking at having to pay for my meds out of pocket. Fortunately, my most expensive med is $38/month, the next most expensive is $24/month, and the others are $15/month. I have discussed these things with the roommate, and she agrees that the cost of the meds is not excessive. However, I am told that I have until the end of October to choose a prescription plan, so I will keep looking.

I got some serious – for me, anyway – walking done at the Northeast Floating Filk Convention in June. Almost five days of close to or over 1000 steps. I need to keep it up, so I don’t lose the ability, but it’s hard to get myself moving.

I’ve also done a bit of decluttering lately. Spent much of Thursday shredding old papers I no longer need. On Wednesday, the housekeeper helped me tackle the last big pile of stuff in my bedroom. Laundry has been taken in, and when it comes back, I will do some more culling. I am trying to follow Marie Kondo’s dictum that if it doesn’t spark joy it goes out. I also got my sock drawer organized so I can find socks and open the drawer without problems. The next big purchase I make will be either a chest or dresser. The one I inherited from Marc’s mom is slowly falling apart. The bottom drawer is totally unusable. If I can fit it into my room, I’d love an eight- or nine-drawer dresser, with a mirror. If not, I would be okay with a five- or six-drawer chest that fits into the space my old chest uses.

So, that’s what’s been going on in my life lately — in between dealing with various friends being in hospitals. Hopefully, this month will provide a bit of breathing room.

NOTE: Image courtesy of Instant Pot

Freelancers Union

%d bloggers like this: