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11.13.2011

Mourning JoePa

This is kind of off point for the topic of this blog which I have been sadly neglecting anyhow, but it's something I needed to get off my chest after this past week, so here goes...

Happy Valley is a very sad place this week. Though I am not there to see it, I know it is true. I know it, because for four years State College was my home and though I no longer live there, Happy Valley is a part of me. Penn State is a part of me, and I am profoundly sad.

I am saddened that such a sick and disturbed person could abuse innocent young boys—that he could create an entire foundation to help them, just so he could seek out and groom victims. I am saddened by all the tears Jerry Sandusky's victims had to shed and all the happy moments that were stolen from them, not just as children, but for the rest of their lives. I am hurt and extremely disappointed that so many individuals within a community that I have always prided being a part of could have so tragically let these victims down by not doing everything in their power to stop the indecent acts they had reports of: individuals ranging from janitors all the way to the university president, and yes, even Joe Paterno.

And, so many people cannot fathom the unending support JoePa has seen from Penn Staters past and present. “How can you put football above the welfare of children?” they ask. To them, I reply, unequivocally, that we do not. We do not absolve JoePa his sin of omission. We are deeply disappointed in his inaction and for the unimaginable atrocities that continued to occur through the silence. But the truth is, JoePa has been the heart and soul of an institution that has shaped and molded us into the women and men we have become. He was more than just a football coach, he was a legend, and we loved him.

I remember the first time I realized this. I grew up a New York girl who knew little about Penn State or football, so for the first eighteen years of my life the name “JoePa” meant little. Then, the first week of my freshman year, I was walking down College Avenue late at night on my way to Players (sadly, I was young and na├»ve and still thought Players 18 and over night was cool). The Student Bookstore had long since closed its doors for the evening, so I was obviously shocked as I walked by and noticed someone standing in the window. It took me a few seconds to realize that person was Joe Paterno—or at least a life sized cardboard cutout of him. Since that night I have not only seen him in cardboard, or on the sidelines at dozen of games. I have not just seen him speak at dozens of press conferences; I have also spent countless hours studying in Paterno Library. I have eaten countless bowl of “Peachy Paterno” ice cream (and only “Peachy Paterno” because mixing flavors is a sin that only President Bill Clinton could get away with—and maybe JoePa if he didn’t know better than never to ask). I have even gathered at the Paterno statue to meet friends.

And so, Joe Paterno was a huge part of my life, and though I never even had a one on one with the man, I loved him. I looked up to him. He was a man of integrity, who put academics and morals above football—until he didn’t. And that knowledge is a huge loss to me. I will admit that for all the great things he has done for my alma mater over the last 61 years, he has still left an indelible mark on my heart, but sadly, the one thing he did not do will forever mar that mark. And so, as an alumnus of Dear Old State, I am first and foremost saddened for the victims of these horrible crimes, but selfishly, I am also saddened for my own loss. I grieve the loss of “JoePa.”

And so, I remind you, when you wonder what is going through the misguided minds of college kids who riot through the streets of State College, or alumni who are outraged that he has been fired and villainized, that there are five stages of grief. The first is denial, the second is anger. Many of us are still stuck in these stages. Please, do not judge too harshly. We are, after all, in mourning.

7.30.2010

The Skinny on Fear

Geez, it’s been a long time since I’ve written in this blog. A lot has happened, and also not so much. In a lot of ways I feel stuck. My weight loss has definitely stalled. In fact, I had regained about 10 pound although I’ve re-lost about 5 of them in the past couple of weeks and am hoping this is the beginning of me getting back on track.

Anyway, that’s not really the point of this post. The truth is, my psychologist gave me a homework assignment—to write about fear; to help me with my fear of developing relationships and letting people in. As I was researching (yes, research-- I’m a dork) and thinking about what I would write it reminded me of a blog post from many moons ago. In it I was talking about how I got upset over people asking me if I “felt” better. Because the truth was that I didn’t. And that scared me. I was actually pretty healthy before this (or as healthy as anyone with a BMI of 47 could be). The changes I was looking to make (other than to my waist line) were more mental and emotional. On an intellectual level I always knew that losing weight wasn’t really going to change my life, but on a visceral level I think I believed it would. I imagined all the ways my life would be different when I was skinny. Now I know I’m still a long way from “skinny”, but I’m far enough along in this journey to have to admit to myself what I really knew all along—that my unhappiness was the cause, not result, of my weight.

So what was the cause of my unhappiness? Well perhaps it’s this fear that Dr. F wants me to write about. I suppose everyone is afraid to some extent—not just of cockroaches (eek!) or heights, but of the important stuff. Of letting others in, of getting hurt, of being too dependant on someone else, of being so independent that we die all alone with the exception of the 40 some-odd cats we’ve kept for company. But it seems like most people are able to overcome this fear whereas I’ve let mine debilitate me. Instead of confronting that fear, I hid behind 100 pounds of excess fat. I got so big, I became invisible so that I wouldn’t have to let people see me.

Now I’m going to risk becoming one of those people I hate who bring their pets to me after having “diagnosed” them on Wikipedia. In my attempts to complete this assignment, I did some searching on “social fears” and found a lot of reading on “social anxiety disorder.” (But not on Wikipedia :P) A lot of it resonated with me, though to be fair many aspects didn’t seem like me at all. Then again it seemed like a pretty broad disorder. Forgetting about labels (it’s only my job to put a name to dog and cat diseases—not my own) the truth is, I have a major tendency to sequester myself. I used to think (believe?) it was my self-consciousness over my weight that lead me to avoid social situations and getting to know people, but as my weight goes away I find myself facing the fact that perhaps being fat was just the excuse I gave myself for avoiding these situations. I still find myself feeling extremely anxious when it comes to putting myself out there. When social situations arise I want to take part, but as the time approaches I find myself making excuses not to. And even when I know a person the thought of picking up the phone and calling them to see if they want to hang out makes my chest literally tighten with anxiety.

For a long time I felt like my weight defined me but if my weight is really a manifestation of my fear, does my fear define me? Do I let it? I don’t want to. I want that life that I envisioned I would have once I was skinny. I still think I can have it, it just turns out that getting skinny isn’t the way to get it.

10.15.2009

The Skinny on My New "Normal"

What? Me? Really? Yes! It’s true—I’m back with a blog update. I’d love to give you some grand reason for my disappearing act, but the truth is just that life has just gone on. Being banded was a huge life altering experience and for many months it affected everything. In a way, it defined me, just as being fat has defined me for the past 20 or so years of my life. Being banded affected my daily routine—what I ate, how I moved, work, the gym, doctors appointments. And then slowly, it affected me less. Life went back to normal. I stopped feeling sore, I went back to the gym, I started being able to wrestle those big dogs I work with again, and I stopped agonizing over every morsel I put in my mouth. My band became a part of who I am and stopped being everything I am about. And as life went on without me having to stop and contemplate my band every other minute, I stopped having new and exciting things to say about it. That’s not to say that everything has gone back to the way it used to be, although my life is not yet as completely altered as many of my pre-band fantasies projected it to be. A lot has happened in my life both related and unrelated to my weight-loss journey.

I believe last I left you guys, I was plagued with a big pain from a little kidney stone. Who knew something smaller than a pencil eraser could cause so much trouble? Well, in case you were wondering, the kidney stone did not pass on its own. After my trip to the hospital and the very happy drugs they pumped me with, my pain was gone. I followed up with an urologist anyhow and it was a good thing since he informed me that being pain free did not mean being urolith (big, fancy, medical word for a kidney stone) free. And low and behold, the night after my appointment, I had another bout of excruciating pain. The pain came and went for the rest of the week until my follow-up appointment at which point my doctor and I decided to schedule lithotripsy—a non-invasive surgical procedure used to break up kidney stones using shockwaves that pass through the body wall. Unfortunately the first available appointment for the procedure was not for another 2 1/2 weeks. The pain was sporadic in the mean time, and while I had some hefty pain meds, I was unable to use them at times—ie when at work. So, I used Ibuprofen instead—after all the PA at my docs office said it was okay given my situation as long as I took certain precautions. Well, I don’t think I took enough precautions, or I just took too much Ibuprofen because after a few days my stomach got all funky and I was sick for a good 2-3 days. I stopped the Motrin of course, and got better.

Finally I went for my scheduled procedure and they took an x-ray to locate the stone, then hooked me up to an IV and knocked me out. I woke up shortly after and everything went smoothly. Of course the lithotripsy only broke the stone up to smaller pieces and didn’t get rid of it, so for another week and a half I waited for the stone to pass—with even more pain than before, as well as several bouts of nausea. At last, my stone was gone, and with it, the pain. In addition, I felt energetic and just plain good for the first time since it happened. I turned the stone in for analysis and did some extra urine tests and next week I return to my doc for the results as well as a discussion on nutrition to help prevent further stones. I’m a little worried about how that will go and how his nutrition advice will work with my band. Obviously drinking plenty of water is paramount for both my situations, but I have a feeling he’s going to tell me to cut back on my protein which will not bode will with band eating. He says he’s seen many bandsters getting kidney stones 3-4 months after surgery and on the one hand, that probably means he knows our nutrition restrictions, but on the other hand, it probably means the diet change helped in the formation of the stone. I guess I’ll just have to wait and see.

Despite the passing of my kidney stone, I am—sadly—not yet a paragon of health. I’ve been having some trouble with my shoulder. At first I just suspected a pulled muscle or something, but given my kidney stone-ibuprofen snafu, could not treat it properly with anti-inflammatory meds like Mortrin. I finally sucked it up and got myself to the orthopod who examined me and took an x-ray. He said the x-ray looked pretty good, but he did see a small bone spur which probably caused some bursitis. Normally he would have just had me treat it with NSAIDS (if it was that easy, I wouldn’t have needed him) but instead he gave me a cortisone shot. Sadly, it didn’t work. He also gave me a prescription for physical therapy if it didn’t work. I think I’ll probably have to use it, but I’m going to try my sister’s acupuncturist first (I saw him once before and he actually predicted my kidney stone by feeling my pulse—well not a kidney stone exactly, but he told me the “kidney” part of my pulse was weak—how crazy is that?) Of course, I think I’m starting to sound like an 80 year old, going on and on about my health problems. I’ve been sicker since getting my band than I was before—how did that happen?

In other—non-medical—news, in the end of August, I finally moved into my new place. Having my own refrigerator to stock with all my own food has been helpful. I pretty much live off rotisserie chicken. I’ll have a quarter of a store bought chicken, no skin and I’ll pair it with some fruit, or carrot sticks, or tonight, a small baked potato. Yum, yum. My lunches vary, sometimes I’ll have a lean cuisine, or I’ll have a salad from the salad bar down the street. My usual breakfast is either a protein bar, or if I get up early enough, a 100 calorie whole grain English muffin with 1 egg, 1 egg white, and piece of low fat cheese. I do still have snacks. I believe in eating when I’m hungry. I’ll usually go for either a yogurt, or a high protein snack bar—Slim fast makes a yummy caramel nougat one, and South Beach has a chocolate raspberry one I love. Like a bad girl, I have taken to drinking diet soda again, but only 2-3 times a week instead of 5-6 times a day like I used to and of course, plenty of water is still a must.

I stalled with my weight-loss for a while, not because I didn’t have restriction, but because I was making bad choices and eating a lot of junk food again. So, I started going to Weight Watchers. The band helps me monitor how much I eat, and WW gives me the tools to help me make better choices. Having to figure out how many points everything is makes you stop and think before eating it. I only have so much room in my new little tummy pouch, and I need to make each bite count. That’s not to say I’ve given up all the good stuff—I still eat the foods I love…pizza, bagels, ice-cream, etc, but not on a regular basis. I really feel like I eat like a “normal” person now. I can eat a slice of pizza, without eating 3. I can have a turkey burger and leave half for the next meal. Anytime I order out, my food lasts a good 3 meals instead of finishing the whole thing and wanting more. It’s amazing how normal that is for me now. My loss is picking up again and I still have hopes of making my goal of losing 75# by my sisters wedding which is October 25. I’ve got to lose another 5 lbs and I’ve got 10 days to do it.

Holly, this entry is getting long. I have more to say about how I’m feeling about the changes the last 6 months have made to my mind, body and soul, but I’m working on page three of this thing now, so I’m going to cut it here, and save the rest for another entry. Here’s to not letting another 3 months go by before that happens ;) Tootles.

7.31.2009

The Skinny on Holly Mother of Pain, Batman

Last night around 4:30 in the morning, I woke up to go to the bathroom and noticed my lower back hurt a little. I have a history of having back spasms there so at first I thought nothing of it. Then I lay back down and tried to get into my usual comforting positions when by back hurts but it kept getting worse and worse. I also noticed that even though it was the same spot as my back spasms, it didn't feel the same at all...I could stand up straight move around, etc, etc. which I can’t do when I have musculo-skeletal pain there.

Regardless of what was causing the pain, it was excrutiating, so much so that I started getting nauseous. I was hoping at this point it was just severe gas pain. I went to the bathroom a couple of times, tried curling up in the fetal position which I find is usually the most comfortable position with gas pain, even took a Vicodin and…nothing. Then I went for a walk around the block (0.7 miles) because moving around is good for getting rid of gas pain. While walking I noticed that that sensation of someone stabbing me repeatedly in the kidney was a tad bit better but my nausea kept getting worse. And then, as soon as I can back, the stabbing feeling returned just as bad—if not worse than—before. Finally I gave in about 2 hours after it started and realized that it probably wasn't gas pain and given the location I was highly suspicious of a kidney stone so it was off to the ER for me.

Turns out I was right. Kidney stone was the Dr.’s first suspicion as well when I got there. They hooked me up to fluids, got some blood and urine, and sent me for a CT. They had me drink some contrast (which tasted exactly like Crystal Light) so that in addition to checking for a stone, they could use the contrast to evaluate my stomach and make sure there was no leak or anything else band related that could be the cause.

Well, no surprise here, the CT showed a big, honking (5mm) kidney stone. They said under 7mm you can usually pass it on your own, but 5 mm is still very large; and let me tell you—very painful. Although thank the lord (and the Dr.) for the morphine and Toradol because it took my pain from a 9-10 on the pain scale down to almost non-existent. Best meds ever! I really hope they don’t wear off too soon.

Finally I was on my way with a couple of prescriptions—Percocet, Motrin and Phenergen. The Phenergen in an anti-emetic (stops vomiting) since I vomited 3 times in the hospital because the pain had gotten so bad. The Percocet and Motrin are for pain. I asked about the Mortin and the Doc said that the bariatric surgeon at their hospital said it was okay, but I decided to call up my Doc’s office to confirm. The PA got on the phone with me and advised me that for a legitimate need like this, it is okay to take Motrin despite the fact that it is an NSAID and NSAIDs increase your chances of developing ulcers, especially in a banded patient when the medicine will be trapped in that small pouch for an extended period of time. She advised that I should follow the medicine with 2 glasses of water to push the pill out of the pouch and into my big stomach. She also said I shouldn’t eat when I take the meds because that would keep the pill trapped longer. Lastly she recommended taking some Mylanta to coat the stomach for protection. I think for today I’ll be sticking with the Percocet, but tomorrow I have to work and sadly I can’t do my job under the influence of narcotics, so the Motrin will have to do.

I was also instructed that I should pee into a jug and run it through a strainer every time I pee (fun :eyeroll:) so that I can catch the stone when it finally passes and bring it to the urologist to have it analyzed since there are many different kinds of stones which develop under different kinds of conditions in the body. My urologist appointment in next Tuesday and hopefully this will be over and done with by then and he will tell me that I am healthy and this was just a fluke.

And I would just like to mention the bad part about going to the ER (yes besides the long waits, ugly non-closing gowns, bad smell, uncomfortable beds, etc.). The bad part is the 2 liters of fluids they bloused into my veins which made me gain 6.5 pounds between this morning at 6:30 AM and noon when I got home from the hospital. As if I wasn’t already retaining another 2 ½ pounds of water thanks to my monthly visitor. Oh well, I’m sure that weight will be gone in a few days and on the bright side it will be nice to see the scale moving quickly again.

Another interesting note about this whole mess…My sister knows an acupuncturist who does some work on helping people quit smoking, etc, and he said he’d be willing to try some stuff with me to help me with weight management issues. Anyhow, I went to my second appointment with him Tuesday and he explained that evaluation of the tongue and the pulse are the main methods of eastern diagnosis. Well, apparently the kidney portion of my pulse (I didn't know pulses had portions but apparently they do) was weak. He wasn’t able to tell me specifically what was wrong with it but he could tell that it was not right. How strange is that? He totally knew something was up with my kidney just from checking my pulse and now, here I am 3 days later with a kidney stone. If that doesn't make me a believer in this stuff, nothing will. Hopefully he’ll be just as good at helping me on my weight-loss journey.

And now it’s time for me to give in to the Vicodin, morphine, Clonapin (similar to Valium) and Percocet in my body and go take a nap. Till next time, toodles.

7.26.2009

The Skinny on My 3 Month Weigh-in

Another month has passed and it’s time for another weigh-in. Things have slowed down a bit scale-wise but as long as they’re not stopping or going in the wrong direction, I’m happy. Besides, I had another fill 1 ½ weeks ago and I think that will help pick things up again. Not to mention that I’m looking damn hot in my new photos ;) The inches are coming off too, although I’m getting kind of depressed by my upper arms—or the “double good-byes” as my trainer calls them (because they keep waving good-bye even after you’ve stopped). I just don’t feel like I’m making any progress there no matter how much my trainer tries to whip them into shape. I am resigned to the fact that I will probably need plastic surgery although I was hoping it would only be my stomach and breasts. Now I’m starting to think my arms will need it as well. I guess empty, saggy skin is better than fat-filled, saggy skin though. I’ve upped my usage of Palmer’s Coco Butter to twice daily in hopes that the elastin, collagen and Vitamin E will help my skin maintain some elasticity. Mostly I think I better save my bucks for Dr. 90210.

I’ve also noted a few other non-size related things lately. One, I think my hair is starting to fall out. It could just be that I know this is the time it usually happen and it’s all in my head (as opposed to all falling off of my head :P) but I think it’s real. Luckily I have a lot of very fine hair so losing some extra strands won’t be that noticeable. Otherwise I guess I’ll just have to wait another 3 months for it to grow back even thicker and more luxurious than before. I’ve also noticed that my teeth seem much whiter, no doubt thanks to my Diet Coke abstinence. I guess I can skip that professional whitening now. I’ll put that extra cash in my “bye-bye double good-bye” fund.

Pictures are here… http://s603.photobucket.com/albums/tt120/skinnywren/3%20Months%20Later/
And here are this months stats…

Before
Weight: 313.4#
Chest: 52.5”
Waist: 51.5”
Hips: 59.5”
Thigh: 29.5”
Calf: 20”
Arm: 21.5”

Last Month
Weight: 269#
Chest: 50"
Waist: 45”
Hips: 58”
Thigh: 28”
Calf: 18.25”
Arm: 19”

Now

Weight: 258#
Chest: 49"
Waist: 43.5”
Hips: 57”
Thigh: 27.5”
Calf: 18.25”
Arm: 19.25”

7.25.2009

The Skinny on Moving Out and Moving On

Three months ago this coming Monday I made what I believe to be the best and most important step in my life so far second only to becoming a veterinarian—I got my lap-band. Life since then has been a series of ups and downs and relearning the habits I’ve developed over the last twenty-seven years. It hasn’t all been easy, but it hasn’t been hard either. My life did not change as drastically as I had hoped for and feared in equal measure. I’m still early in my journey and believe that those good changes are still to come but I am far enough out to feel that my fears have been properly assuaged.

I can still eat the foods I love—this week alone I’ve indulged in pizza, ice cream and chocolate cake (insert horrified gasp here, for I am a naughty bandster). That’s right people, I’ve eaten all of that…and enjoyed every minute of it. I don’t have time to feel guilty over enjoying the foods I love because let’s face it—food is one of life’s greatest pleasures. Would most of us struggling with our weight have gotten there if it weren’t? The difference is that now I can eat just a few bites of the cake and put the rest away or order the smallest sized ice cream and still be unable to finish it. And when I’m done with my teeny, tiny portions, I do not feel deprived or as though I need to keep eating—I feel satisfied. Can you believe it? Being satisfied with only a few spoonfuls of ice cream? I know a few months ago I never would have thought it possible.

And now that I am firmly on the new path that this amazing tool has led me down, it is time for me to make another big change in my life. This past Thursday I bought my first home. Although if you ask my sister, the lawyer, she will disagree—she will tell you that I am not a home owner, but rather a “stock holder in a cooperative corproration with a proprietary lease to a unit in the corporation's asset.” What the heck does that mean? Well, I didn’t buy a house, but rather a co-op. I think these may be a New York phenomenon, so for those of you who don’t know what that is, it’s similar to a condo only instead of buying a specific unit in the condo complex, you buy a share of the entire complex and get to live in one of the units. Either way, to me it’s a home—my first home.

I’ve been living at home with my parents for the last year and a half since I graduated vet school. I appreciate the opportunity to live rent free and enjoy a comfortable roof over my head but I am more than ready to move out and move on. Being at home and having support post operatively has been great but living with my parents has also added some extra hurdles in my way. For example my mother usually seems to be under the impression that kitchens should not be used for cooking food since it’s too messy. I relish the thought of having my own kitchen to stock with my own foods which I can use to experiment with healthy, band-fiendly recipies. In addition, my mother is overly critical of everything I eat. She means well but often makes comments that are hurtful and make me want to eat even more. In one instance I remember talking to her about the plastic surgery I might need after I hit goal to which she replied “all this because you ate too much.” Or a couple of times I’ve snacked on a Weight Watchers’ ice cream bars in the evening and everytime she asked me if I was supposed to be eating that. She constantly asks me if that food I’m eating is “dietetic” no matter how many times I remind her I’m not on a diet. She is not trying to make things harder for me, but despite her best intentions, she often does.

It will be a few more weeks before I am fully moved into my new place but I am thouroughly looking forward to the opportunity to live as an independent adult. It is only one more step, like the lap-band to gaining control over my own life. I can’t wait.

7.16.2009

The Skinny on Fills Gone Bad

I had my second fill today—woohoo for more restriction! Not that I was doing too bad with the restriction I had. I can definitely see the difference between how much I can eat now versus how much I used to be able to eat. It’s a world of change. But it’s still not quite to the sweet spot. I can eat more than the recommended portions and I have had no trouble with any food I’ve tried. I can eat bagels, pizza, pasta, rice—no problems. Although when I eat bagels or rolls or anything, I do scoop out the insides. I doubt it would give me trouble even if I ate the whole thing though. I’m almost three months out and I have yet to get stuck or to PB. I would describe the point I’ve been at to be the perfect point if I was at goal and was trying to maintain. It’s like eating like a normal sized person. But sadly, I’m not a normal sized person yet, so I still need a bit more help.

So, I went in for my fill. Originally I was scheduled to go in for a fill a week and a half ago but my boss had to go sail away on his boat and I had to change my schedule around to cover for him. So I had to reschedule my appointment. Grr. I tried to move it to my new day off last week but they were already booked so I had to wait till today.

I have to tell you, it was an eventful visit. I got to the office and checked in. After about 10 minutes my name was called. The person doing my adjustment today was the new PA. I went in and told her how I was feeling and what I was able to eat and we decided on just a small, 1cc fill. I laid back, she prepped the area over my port and then stuck me with the big needle. It didn’t go in right away so she adjusted the needle around a little trying to get it in the port. She was right there, I could feel it—not a bad feeling, I could just tell that she was hitting the port. But the needle just wouldn’t go in. So she went to find the more experienced PA to help her out. I was left lying on the table with the needle and syringe sticking straight out of me for a few minutes before the two PAs came back. The older PA came over to try and maneuver the needle. She quickly realized the reason the needle wouldn’t go into my port. You see, apparently, my post was angled so that the rubber surface that the needle goes into was angled up towards my head. She said that it was common for the ports to be like that sometimes and that often as you lose weight they will change angles so that they may be more or less tilted. Anyhow, the young PA I guess didn’t realize what a steep angle my port was at and she went straight in. She wound up hitting one of these 4 little divots in the plastic part of the port and the needle was STUCK. They couldn’t get it out. I was told that they may need some forceps to get it out so I was left alone in the exam room once again with a big needle and syringe sticking out of my stomach. I put my hands behind my bed, closed my eyes and decided to take a mini-nap. A few minutes later, the two PAs came back with a surgeon (not one I knew) and he started cracking jokes which I responded to in kind. He came right over to me, gripped the needle and syringe and yanked. Out it came, large, bent needle and all.

So, crisis avoided, they re-prepped me and this time the second PA did the adjustment which went smoothly this time around. I got my 1cc and was on my way.

I have to say, though, that I’m glad it happened to me. Well, I mean, not “I’m glad it happened to me,” but “I’m glad it happened to me.” The older PA said that it happened to her a few years ago and the person that the needle was stuck in was having their first adjustment—they didn’t come back for another one for 6 months. For me, as a vet I have absolutely no needle phobia, don’t mind being stuck, and understand that no matter how much experience we have, sometimes you have to stick a person (or animal as the case may be) more than once. Personally, I kind of found it amusing more than anything—a little excitement in an otherwise boring day.

Plus, I’m sure it was a very nerve wracking experience for the poor PA who was just starting out. At least if it wasn’t going to go smoothly, it was with someone who was able to have a sense of humor about it and not freak out. And hopefully she’ll learn from it so that it doesn’t happen to someone else or if it does, she’ll recognize it and be able to deal with it calmly.

And now all I have to do is eat my liquids and mushies for the next 3-4 days and the wait and see if I’ve reached that elusive sweet spot. I can’t wait to see if this fill took. Toodles for now.

PS—Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince rocked my socks—even if I did keep thinking “that’s not how it happened in the book.”