Tuesday, April 29th 2008

Dr. Meg has arrived!
posted @ 10:16 pm in [ ]

So I did the Ironfeather show yesterday as Dr. Meg again, and get this, I’m so excited: someone emailed in to complain! The person was careful to set up a dummy return path so we couldn’t write back and tell him or her that it’s not really advice; it’s satire. No matter! An apparent Boulderite trustafarian wrote in to say that the advice lady was snotty and should squeeze pillows to get the aggression out, or something like that. Whoo-hoo, complaints!

Wednesday, April 23rd 2008

I am hell on small purple earrings
posted @ 10:22 am in [ ]

I wear a lot of purple, partly because it’s one of my favorite colors, and partly because I think it’s a great color on redheads. Naturally, because one of the only girly things I ever do is accessorize, I tend to have earrings to match things I might be wearing. Here’s the thing, though: I cannot seem to hang onto a pair of purple earrings to save my life. The other colors are fine, but the purple ones just fall right out of my head and roll into alternate dimensions, one at a time. Yes, even the ones with backs. It is as if small purple earrings in my possession have entirely different gravitational rules.

So periodically, I pick up a few pairs of small, cheap purple earrings (cheap because I don’t want to have to morn them too much when they take off for the alternate dimension where they probably hang out with missing socks and possibly Andy Gibb). But perhaps because I’m just girly enough to accessorize, and not enough to know anything about fashion theory, I can’t anticipate when small purple earrings will be in season, so I can’t always find them. If I can’t find my way into the alternate universe to retrieve my small fallen comerades soon, I may have to resort to making my own replacements. Mmm, specialty tooools…

Friday, April 18th 2008

Body project and sucky metabolism update
posted @ 5:42 pm in [ - ]

You may remember last summer’s rants about my sucky metabolism, and about ditching my nutritionist in favor of a nice, low-GI Mediterranean hedonist diet. Since then, I’ve tried a few other things, including another diet plan. A few weeks ago, though, when it wasn’t working and didn’t show any signs of working anytime soon, I decided I would, you know, stop doing that. A few days later, I finished the resolution: I am not going to diet anymore. It doesn’t work and it sucks, so the hell with it — forever.

However, I do still want to drop about one more size, and here’s the goofy part. I haven’t (habitually) eaten more than 1200 - 1400 calories a day in a few years. I exercise for an hour or two a day, six days a week. That last size should have come off, oh, like a year and a half ago, but nooooooo. “Gee,” the nice lady at the gym said to me when I told her about it, “Do you think you might have an undiagnosed thyroid problem?”

I doubted it, but I decided to do some research. It turns out that it’s a fairly common problem. An estimated 10 - 15% of American women have an undiagonsed thyroid problem (sometimes the number is higher, depending on the source). I quickly dismissed it, though, because people with thyroid conditions are really suffering, and I wasn’t. Symptoms included severe fatigue, dry skin and hair, and a number of others. Nah, I was fine. I just had a sucky metabolism. Or something.

Then in Feburary, I got sick, like most of the frickin’ country. For most of that month, I wasn’t able to get much exercise in while I recovered, and then got caught up on a ton of work and life stuff. The symptoms came flying out: Fatigue to the point of depressive symptoms, drier hair, and the skin around my cuticles was sort of like a powder that somehow remained attached to my hands. Huh, I thought, perhaps I’ve been aggressively treating thyroid symptoms with exercise. I also found out hypothyroid is a spectrum disorder: it gets worse over time. So the folks who are really suffering probably weren’t suffering much either at an earlier point in their treatments (or lack thereof). So maybe it’s not so much that I have a metabolism that just sucks. Maybe I have an honest-to-jeebus treatable medical disorder. I mean, who the hell eats 1200 calories a day and exercises and hour or two and nothing?! It’s freakish, really.

Speaking of freakish, has anyone attempted to utilize the American healthcare system of late? It’s a lot like driving around the Boston Metro area, where, if you follow all the rules, you will never, ever get where you’re going, there are multiple contradictory laws which must all be followed, and you might be killed by your fellow motorists. My experience went like this: I couldn’t get in to see an endocrinologist, even if I was willing to pay out of pocket, because I needed a referral from a primary care physician. But I don’t have one of those. And I don’t have one of those because I don’t have health insurance. And I don’t have health insurance because I can’t get on the hubby’s insurance. And I couldn’t do that because I didn’t know where the hell our marriage certificate was, because we’ve been married for over a dozen years, and when you’ve been married for a while, you have no friggin’ idea where your marriage certificate is. So I had to send away for a copy of our marriage certificate — that lived in the freakin’ house that Jack built! It showed up quickly (thanks, Ashby Town Clerk!), but I still haven’t been able to get on his insurance yet. So basically, I got flipped off by the entire American healthcare system.

Fortunately, Denver’s local NBC affiliate has an annual free and cheap health fair that happens over the course of a couple of weeks in locations all over the metro area, and it’s going on now. They have a multi-factor blood test you can get that includes TSH (thyroid hormone), among many others. So I went down there to get one.

Oddly enough, it was the best blood-drawing experience I have ever had! Okay, tallest skyscraper in Kansas, right? But seriously, it was only a few minutes, the health care professional was pleasant and caring without sacrificing an iota of efficiency (she must have drawn blood from thousands of folks today alone), and it was the first time I’ve ever been stabbed with anything and not felt it at all. Props to Cindy! It hurt more this morning when Petra gently raked me good morning with her claws. It was quite literally quick and painless — the antithesis of my experience with the American health care system up to that point, which was eternal and excruciating.

So now I wait. I’ll know sometime within the next six weeks what the story is with my thyroid. If the TSH number comes back between 5 and 20, I may even be able to get into a study about crappy thyroids and get paid for it instead of getting reamed for it both internally by the gland in question, and externally by American health care.

In the meantime, I met another health professional yesterday who was just terrific: a nutritionist at my local Vitamin Cottage. She was wonderful and helpful, and made some good suggestions for structuring the hedonistic nutrition plan I love. I also have an exceptionally good personal trainer, whom I see once a week. A cheery little slip of a thing with the will of a wolverine, she basically kicks my ass for an hour, during which I have to stop a few times in order to keep from fainting. I’m certain it’s effective.

So that’s the update. I’ll letcha know what happens.

Wednesday, April 9th 2008

What’s wrong with humanity: Dirty Harry and I agree
posted @ 10:24 pm in [ ]

The number one thing that annoys me about humanity is when it makes me responsible for it. Indeed, virtually all the things people do that generally piss me off and make me want to punch them in the collective neck stem from this. People abdicate their responsibility when they drive like dinguses and I must alter my driving patterns to avoid ramming them repeatedly with my car (which might just solve more problems than it causes). They shift their responsibility to me when they invade my personal space and I must therefore take up that responsibility by altering my movements so as not to smash their all-too-close faces repeatedly into the nearest hard surface. It wrecks my bike rides when folks shirk their responsibilities to their offspring and to being genetically obsolete, and allow various bike paths and byways to be strewn with their children.

You know what’s fun? Dirty Harry has precisely the same philosophy. I was watching Magnum Force last weekend, and I couldn’t help but notice that he gets bent out of shape about all the same stuff I do. His boss decides not to be responsible for his own professional ethics anymore, so Harry has to do it. With a bigass gun. In the first movie, Dirty Harry, the bad guy, Scorpio (whom Lisa refers to as “psycho with the good hair” because he played many nutjobs during this time period, always with that groovy wavy hair), totally pisses Harry off because he keeps trying to make the city responsible for his crimes. It makes Harry almost as nuts as being assigned inexperienced partners for whom he will have to be responsible in order to keep them both from being killed. He doesn’t mind hookers or militants or bank robbers one bit — they step up and take responsibility for what they’re doing. It’s the kidnappers and blackmailers and other candyasses who won’t that really wear him down.

So of course, I looked to Harry for the remedy to our shared irritation. He seems to handle it with the use of a bigass gun. Now, I don’t necessarily want to go that route, but it sure does seem to fix the problem.

Saturday, April 5th 2008

Addendum to picky eating guidelines
posted @ 2:23 pm in [ ]

An alert reader emailed me with a question yesterday. “What about mangoes?” he asked, pointing out that I had said that slimy food was “terrible,” and that avocadoes in particular “may as well be slugs.” Okay, mangoes are kinda slick. But they’re juicy and sweet, and they have a lot more texture than avocadoes. Yes, mangoes are good.