Saturday, June 28, 2008
Sunday, June 22, 2008
Well, as a couple of you know, I recently received a bit of bad news. After a few doctor visits and lots of tests, I have been told that I am borderline diabetic with high blood pressure. Understand that this wasn’t a surprise. My grandmother was diabetic, and my mother has hypertension. So the writing was on the wall. My weight has always been an issue for me, even when it probably shouldn’t have been. I look back on photos of myself 10 years ago and think, wow, I wish I was that thin now. But I can assure you that even when I was “that thin” I saw myself much differently.
I come from a large family, and that’s not a headcount. Most of my family is overweight to some degree, like most people. I don’t think I was the typical “fat kid” growing up, but I always felt I was. When I was in junior high school, I had a year where I was really what I would call “skinny” – but I never knew that until years later when I looked back on old photos. Still not sure who that kid was. But, as I grew older and entered high school, my weight began to climb.
The same day that I got this diagnosis from my doctor, also happened to be the same day I had scheduled an appointment at my new gym for a total body analysis. For someone like me, this is always an emotionally delicate experience. It’s the ultimate feedback where you have to face the realities that you fear the most but know are true. I managed to hold it together and got through the assessment. Thankfully, Victor, my new wellness coach, was nothing but professional and never once did I see that secret wince that I feared.
There were a lot of emotions that day (and there still are), and mostly I was scared. Not for the reasons you might think. Not because I was told I am on the verge of a serious condition, the stress of which nearly knocked me out anyway, but because of what I didn’t feel. As I said, this wasn’t a surprise. I figured that someday, a doctor was going to give me the “lose weight or else” speech. But I always assumed that would be the incentive to make me do something about it. I would finally be forced into action. I would be ordered into life changing habits. Someone else would take control (and ultimately responsibility?). What scared me the most was that I didn’t feel this inspiration or compulsion to make the changes I need - which led to frustration, anger, and despair. My last motivational hope crumbled beneath me.
I managed to lock away the emotions for the rest of the day at work, through my appointment at the gym, and all the way home. I knew when I got home I was going to have to tell Bill, and I was not going to do this well. I love Bill more than I can tell you. I knew he would be supportive, but I knew better than to expect sympathy. And I’ll admit that maybe I needed a little pity party – just a small one. I shared this news with only a few of you, but only a little bit of info and at a safe distance. I couldn’t talk to any of you face to face. I’m feeling a little better – but not much. We talked and it was as I expected. But this works because I know he can look at it all objectively. He is being very supportive and we’re looking at the foods we both eat. And I’m trying really hard not to take my anger or frustration out on him when he makes a comment or asks a question about the food I am eating (or wanting to eat). I know he’s just trying to help. And it’s not his fault that I’m where I am now. It still doesn’t make it easy.
I still have a lot of raw emotion around this. I’m not even sure why I’m feeling compelled to write it down and share it with you in this manner. Maybe it’s easier to share it in a way that I can remain detached. Maybe this is how I need to cope. But don’t be surprised if you read this and notice that I’ve taken it down soon afterwards.
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
Additionally, I continue to be amazed at Phil and Albert's place. They have cultivated the most incredible garden at their home - something I never would have predicted. It's definitely the most beautiful in the neighborhood, and one of the nicest ones I have ever seen. Good job guys! (I was going to post this great picture they sent to me of the front yard, but I just discovered that I've apparently lost a TON of pictures on my computer. SHIT!)
Sorry about the post-post. I've been a little behind lately...
Monday, June 16, 2008
I've been thinking of my grandfather a lot lately. He passed away years ago. He wasn't the "climb into his lap and fall asleep" grandpa most people visualize. He was quiet, but loving. Aloof, but there. He was always a bit of a mystery to me as a kid. Not very gregarious - I don't think he liked kids much, and barely tolerated most people. That's always been my version of him. He liked to spend a lot of time gardening. They had a double lot, and the back half was all vegetables and berry gardens. He also did a lot of ornamental gardening - roses, tiger lilies, peonies... just about anything. He was an avid camper, hiker, and fisherman. He loved being in the mountains. I remember that sometimes he would come home from a long camping or fishing trip just long enough to pack up and go again. I was lucky enough to go with him once when I was in high school. It sounds strange, but it is one of those special memories I shared with just him and me. He was also an incredible photographer. He played the guitar in church and at family functions. Even "taught" me as a kid. He had boxes and boxes of pictures and slides. Many of his pictures were of scenery from his camping trips or of different flowers in bloom. He had his own printing press, and printed all kinds of graphics on business cards, brochures, announcements, I think he even printed napkins for someone's wedding once. All of this is starting to sound personally familiar to me. I like spending time in my garden, I miss hiking and camping in the northwest, and I have tons of photos of things in bloom, and I've been attempting to learn how to play my guitar, and have been working in print and online media for years.
A few years ago, my mom came to visit. We were walking around the back yard and I had my camera in hand. I stopped to take a picture of a bromeliad that had just started to display this spectacular bloom. I smiled and chuckled and said, "I'm starting to feel like grandpa." My mom's smile faded a little. We both got quiet as those words slowly sank in. We both missed him.
Sunday, June 15, 2008
It still amazes me that after being in FL for 10 years I still get "homesick" when I visit Portland.
Miss you all already.