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I’ve been so busy, had so much going on, that I’ve not kept up with my blog, something I wanted to try to do this year.

There have been some big changes…

In May I had two cataract surgeries. At first I was stunned by the results following each surgery. The surgeon said I got a $5000 correction from the basic implants and would only need reading glasses. It didn’t take long for me to discover that the miraculous correction I first had, was actually just the stark contrast between how bad my eyes had been and the new lenses. As time went by the correction was less and less sharp. I also realized that only my distance vision was corrected in any way, but I’d lost my near and intermediate vision. I was once able to take my glasses off and read, crochet, etc., but now am completely unable to see anything with any clarity near or mid range. I had to go back to the eye doctor and have new lenses made, and was bumped up from bifocals to trifocals, which they didn’t proportion properly. I’m still experiencing the same symptoms I was before the cataract surgery, blurred distance vision, ghosting of images, blurred near vision, difficulty seeing outdoors in bright light, difficulty reading things online.

My son’s aide went on medical leave to have surgery and our new back-up aide started. The transition seemed to go well. We didn’t have any problems, no drama, there were no issues at his volunteer location. It became apparent, as her medical leave become complicated by the need for a second surgery, pushing back recovery/progress. We had to hire another back-up aide, when the new one had to go back to her regular job. That transition seemed to go well. He’s doing well with her, as the return date for his regular aide is unknown at this time.

I was asked to take pictures for a friend of her wedding. I enjoyed the experience, with the exception of the access issues I encountered at the church. I loved the creativity doing the edits allowed me. Since then, she’s asked me to take her daughter’s graduation pictures outdoors this Autumn and asked me to photograph another daughter’s newborn baby pictures, both of which she offered to pay for. I’m flattered that she loved my photography so much and trusts me to immortalize these special moments for her.

My husband celebrated his 50th birthday this August. I and his best man, best friend, planned a party, a cookout for him. I invited his friends and co-workers, some cousins and family members. We had a pretty good turn out. It was fun. He got a lot of gag gifts, was a good sport. His mother even gave him 50 birthday whacks!

This month I had another doctor appointment after four months, as my doctor was on medical leave. I’d started to try to help mow the lawn, thinking that leaning on the mower for support isn’t much different than leaning on my rollator. I was sitting in my manual chair pulling weeds, gardening, etc. Kodi and I were walking the dike 3-5 mornings a week. We were walking 3 times a day when the weather allowed, when it wasn’t raining or too hot and humid. We walked the longer walk in the morning, just around the block at noon time, then a couple of blocks in the neighborhood in the evening. I was forcing myself to stand, walk, do more and more without my wheelchair. I was hurting myself, over extending myself, requiring several days to recover after each exertion.

My neighbors were all telling me I had to have lost another 40 lbs. My clothes that I’d bought new in April were loose fitting. I was so excited to get weighed, as I only had 25-26 lbs to lose, to reach the goal I’d set for myself, wanting to break the 300 lb. mark at this appointment, my 2 year anniversary of working on my weight. When I got on the scale I closed my eyes. The nurse said, “almost.” I looked at the number, I’d lost 21 lbs., weighing 304.4 lbs. I was devastated. I went inside myself, withdrew, didn’t say much of anything, answering the questions the nurse asked as she took vital signs. When the doctor came in the room she immediately started to go on about not giving up, if I had something to say to her I should, etc. That pushed me over an emotional edge and I broke down and cried. I felt I’d been working so hard, paying a painful price for that hard work, and just wanted to see a pay off that was commensurate with the amount of hard work I’d been putting in. She said I wasn’t seeing the big picture, 21 lbs was great, I’ve been on a steady weight loss without a plateau. I’d lost 168 lbs in total, in 2 years. She then told me I’d gotten “greedy” wanting too big a weight loss each time, that setting a weight loss goal for myself, even small short-term ones, was wrong. When I reminded her that she’d told me a weight loss of 6 lbs. a month was a good, safe, long lasting weight loss, she denied saying that, asked if she’d put it in writing, then recanted and admitted she’d probably said that. I explained to her that looking at the physical results, as she was suggesting, rather than the number on the scale, was not working for me, as I am having trouble seeing the weight loss. I see it in my face and neck, but so much of my belly and hip weight loss has caused the skin and flab to melt down onto my hips, distorting their shape and size even more than before I’d started losing the weight. She decided I have body dysmorphic disorder and insisted I see their counselor before my next appointment which she scheduled for only 2 months, rather than 3. She threatened to not let me see the scale number unless I tell her it didn’t matter and I could see the weight loss. After telling me the numbers don’t matter, she reminded me that I only need to lose 32 lbs. more and I’ve lost 200 lbs.

She called another doctor into her office to show him my BMI numbers, as she printed out a graph showing I’ve lost 22 points on my BMI and that I’m halfway to not being classified as obese any longer. He acknowledged how hard it is to lose so much weight without weight loss surgery. She suggested I start researching what’s required to have the loose skin removed. I told her I already had, and what I found said you want to lose all your weight, reach your goal, then maintain it for a couple of months before having the skin removed. She kept telling me I was her biggest success story, that no one else could say they had a patient lose so much weight on their own.

This week we found out my beloved Kodi has cancer. We don’t know what kind or where, but that he does have cancer. He’s been drinking a lot and needing to urinate a lot. We thought it might be diabetes, but it turns out his calcium blood level is out of whack, which is causing his phosphorous level to be off, which apparently is a sign of some sort of cancer, typically lymphoma. We had blood work done to specifically look for the markers that indicate cancer is present and they were found. We’re now waiting to see what other symptoms show themselves, that might point to what type of cancer or where it might be located. Our Vet indicated that it could be a small tumor, might be relatively minor, which would make it very hard to find and fully diagnose. He’s going to be 10 years old in December, so they are cautious about putting him under anesthesia to do scans or additional tests, since older dogs can have trouble coming out of anesthesia. We have decided that his stress and anxiety levels are so high, we’d rather not put him through chemo, radiation, hospitalization, so we’re giving him lots of love (as usual) and taking one day at a time. We could have a year, or even more, depending on how aggressive the cancer is. One friend communicated to us that her dog was diagnosed with lymphoma 5-7 years ago and is still with them. I’m really devastated by the thought of losing my darling Kodi, but I’m trying to be able to appreciate all the time I’m able to have with him and feel certain he will let me know when we need to make the tough decisions.

It’s been a trying, busy Summer. Trying to remain positive and hopeful is difficult right now, but I’m doing the best I can.