Validating Tiny and Related Perception Issues

I have struggled with my weight since I was a teenager.  Okay, looking back, I wasn’t remotely fat.susan reima captree  However, I had morbidly obese aunts on my paternal aide and a maternal great-grandmother I never knew with obesity issues.  This caused my parents to be scared at the least hint of weight on my part.  I always assured them that I would not be obese due to my love of clothes.  That being said at one low point in my life, I weighed about 50 pounds more than I do now! I am about 30 down from when I joined SP.  I weigh the least I have in my adult life.  I find it funny that I obsess now if I go up 2 pounds and I literally feel and see it.

This year, for the first time, I have been referred to as tiny.  I find this difficult to wrap my mind around.

This week I did a tea party with people I’ve never met.  I wore my little Boho thrift shop find dress.  It says it is a size 4 but that’s a manufacturer vanity lie. IMG_0828 (1) Anyway, I walked (relative term) into the house and the host and her sister exclaimed that I was “adorable” and “so tiny”.  I guess it must be true.  I do not, do not perceive myself as tiny but am thinking I may need to rework that assumption.

Adorable was problematic for me as well.  Egads, I have entered little old ladydom!

What else did I learn/ reflect?

Well, the  reason that I finally achieved tinydom was because of my condition.  It’s not a diet.  I have changed the way I eat for health reasons.  Wait!  Isn’t that why people diet?  For me, it was the realization that what I eat impacts how I walk and possibly the progression of my condition.  If I am doing it correctly and completely, I do not have, gluten, eggs, yeast, dairy, red meat and sugar and very low fat.  The reality?  Even if I limp for the rest of my life, I am gonna have that chocolate.  I do need to get back on a stricter track as I feel and see my deterioration.  I am a fighter.

The host’s sister was diagnosed in the last year with another version of my diagnosis.  Mine is supposed to be a continual path of deterioration; hers can come and go.  It was great to physically speak with someone who gets it.  But also what I realized is that I may be made of sterner stuff.  My parents NEVER  accepted anything a doctor said as gospel.  I went to Johns Hopkins and was exposed to pre-meds so know that clay feet are a step up for some of these people.  I persevere.  I saw this woman as giving in.  Yes, I get fatigued.  Yes, I get discouraged and upset.  We pulled up to this woman’s house and I freaked.  There was a small flight of steps going in.  Once in the house, which was beautiful and charming and originally built in the 1920’s, there was a step but no railing into the main part of the house.  It was about 2 inches but I needed help.  In the main area, there was a minute saddle dividing the area.  Luckily, I saw someone else trip so I didn’t need to fall on my face.  I definitely felt I was getting the little old lady treatment by the guests.  I know, I know I should be grateful  but there’s that issue of perception again.  I still think of me as that young, vibrant woman instead of a vibrant, older lady with mobility issues.

I also realized that attitude means a lot.  I have down days and yesterday, I pretty much couldn’t move due to the expending of physical and psychic energy the day before.  But I continually fight. I believe in the possibility of miracles.  It makes a difference.

Saved by the Web(Spider) and Other Stories from the ‘Hood

Last week, when Tom was in the  hospital, J and L drove me home.  I have two steps up into my home, covered by a metal canopy awning.  When we bought the house, Tom said the awnings would be the first things to go.  We actually love them and want to replace the ones the previous owner removed. However, last week the awning provided the base for the movie spider from Hell and its web.  I looked up and said simply, “F*ck!”  L said, ” I have never heard you use that word.”  Quite an accomplishment, considering I have known her for almost five years.  J, who loves all creatures had to dispatch it.  “Ya know, it’s trapped about 30 insects in the web so it’s doing well.”  Okay, I really don’t mind spiders.  I don’t like being bitten by them.  I dated someone during the Son-of-Sam summer who was terrified of them.  That fear, coupled with Son-of-Sam, led to minimal groping.  And yes, when I was at camp, I used to bring daddy longlegs into the tent for their mosquito killing abilities.  Natural insect repellant.

When I was married to my first husband, I was growing my hair out because I couldn’t afford to cut it.  I was reading the latest Patricia Cornwall in the tub.  A brown thing dangled by my eye.  Oh, my hair has fallen down. NO!!  Big, hairy movie spider.  Cornwall in tub.  Me screaming.  First husband, deaf and detached.  Reasons to leave, Part 1.

So, J wouldn’t kill it.  I agree.  It’s hard to kill things with bodies.  He captured it and moved it to the end of the yard in the petunias.

Yesterday morning around 1:40  a.m.  I got up to go to the bathroom, not my usual hour.  Tom gets up too as he is nervous about my walking to and from the loo. With this condition, I have been known to stagger, stumble and fall.  He looked  out the front door panels.  “There are cop cars all over.”  Indeed, there were.  There are only three occupied houses on this little block.  Police seemed to be swarming  all over a car parked on the street across from us.  The fellow across the street came out onto his porch.  This is odd.  He and Tom are always being arrested. Their normal reaction to police are flee and/or hide.   His house was surrounded by SWAT teams  a few years back.  We never really got to the bottom of that story.  Then a K9 arrived.  I was in the bedroom trying to stay in a good place to sleep but falling into the urge and peeking at the security cameras through the phone.  The next thing was I saw and heard the police by my bedroom window on the side of the house.  There was a pounding on the door. The huge spider had returned  with a huge web!  We clearly had not been in or out of the house.  Saved by the web.  And kind of amusing to know that Timmy wasn’t the only tough guy scared of spiders.   The police wanted to know if we knew anything about the car parked across the street as 4 men had been reported going into the car lot.  And what about our car in the driveway.  Uh, it’s ours?  One of the reasons we are camera’d up is the amount of flats I was getting in the driveway any time we complained about the car lot (with massage parlor). I was livid at this latest police involvement.  I have called before in the early morning hours when Tom has been out of control, trying to get into the house when I have had a refrain from order.  There were no dogs or multiple cars. I have called and he has jumped the fence into the woods.  No dogs.  Finally, we heard barking.  Four young men were lined up by our mail box.  They  were let go with what appeared to be a ticket.

Now, this played havoc with chief inspector Kitty Bardot.  She  has bad associations with police cars at the  house at night.  Last time they were  here, she ran out and was lost for months.  She survived Hurricane Sandy and the blizzard following it.   The vet said she   would only have survived another night or so, if we hadn’t caught her.  Kitty Bardot was scared.  Upshot? She threw up on my black silk Chinese robe.  Yuck.

It’s getting cooler now in the morning and I needed that robe.  I remembered I had a short, white silk embroidered Chinese robe from Hong Kong in the closet.  My boss at my first fashion job had brought it back for me years ago. She said she thought of me when she saw it, that I was a sexy, little thing.  Ha!  Back to that “little” thing again.  Never thought of myself as little, sexy perhaps, but never little.  And true to family tradition, I have almost never worn it.  Of course, it still fit.  The silk was so much softer and more luxe than I remembered.  Where did that girl ever get to?

And now I can barely walk.  Being sexy is the last thing that matters to me.  And how would I have coped with police around the house? Or spiders? And I worry.  There are always people coming and going from the car lot, at all hours and all days.  I know the owner discounts me because I am a woman and can’t walk living with a drunk.  And I am being  exposed to people who see my weaknesses.  I HATE  being thought of as weak.

I’m gonna depend on those spiders, for now.

Perceptions, Expectations and Mammos

It’s  odd the way the brain works .

I get my mammogram religiously every year.  I had my very first one when I wasn’t working and went to a mobile van parked at Pathmark.  This year I have been running late on everything.  I saw the gynecologist in June.  I usually have mammo midMarch.  Due to my unemployment, I can no longer go to the lab I have been going to for about 20 years. I have been delaying, thinking I’ll get a job and different insurance  .  I had a kick in the butt because I have to go off this medical plan and go to another for two months.  Okay, I am going to name names.  When I was in high school, my grandmother had to go to Zwanger for radiation.  At that time, it was Dr. Zwanger and not the megalith it evolved into.  My grandmother hated him which was an unusual state for her.  As a result, I have carried a bias against Zwanger.   I have had MRIs and xrays there because there was no other option.  It’s been alright. Now, as I said, I have been going to Nassau Radiologic for about 20 years.   At one time, they were just about the only game in town.  You literally had to schedule 4- 6 months in advance.

After you checked in at the main window, you waited to be called in.  Then someone came took you back and you went into a pretty bare changing room.  It had louvred doors that were not full, a wood bench and mirror, a collection of plastic bags and two trash receptacles, one for the used gowns.  Let’s use the word gown lightly. It was a cape/poncho.  I am personally comfortable with my body and have annoyed my acupuncturist and the odd gynecologist by not really using the gown.  Naked is naked, right?  Well, in this poncho/cape thing which you always had to take off anyway, I felt the “girls” were always hanging out anyway.  It used to be like a scene from a demented refugee movie.  There were all these half-dressed, frightened women (and don’t say you are not) sitting around with plastic bags waiting to be called in.  The actual technicians were always, always great.  Until three years ago, you also had to put the thing back on, carry your plastic bag out and wait to be told if you needed additional shots.  I have dense “girls”.  I picture them flopping around and going “D’uhh?!”  Usually, I had to have additional but still…

They changed three years or so back.  Instead of going to the main window, there was a little desk next to the elevator and this woman would bark at you.  Look, if you’ve been doing the same thing annually at minimum ( many of us have had more frequent visits)  your feet just do the walking.  “Stop!  Didn’t I tell you to come here!”  What also changed was waiting after the first  pictures.  You could leave the refugee area and wait at home for the all clear or have to go back in and repeat.

Yesterday at Zwanger, a real changing room and a real full length robe with a tie, one of those new reusable shopping bags and a real hamper!  The whole experience was nicer if you can describe a mammo as nice.  No waiting and I received a notification today that the “dense” girls are OK but still dense.

So here we go.  This place is less than 3 miles from my  house.  Nassau is nearly 30! I could have been going here for a decade.  I let old perceptions and expectations limit me.  My perceptions and expectations have also changed.   I need to think and see what else can and should.

And get that mammo!

 

Perception and Judgement

Background: We live on a tiny street.  It’s a dead end.  There are currently three occupied houses.  There is a house that has been foreclosed and abandoned at the end for around 8 years.  There used to be a house next to ours but it was razed and a used car lot expanded.  Said car lot included a massage parlor.  Right! We are off the service road of a major highway.  On the other corner there is a building that used to be a Sons of Italy hall.  One day when I was at work I saw a headline on the news.  Either the Gallos or Gambinos were stopped in a bomb plot because the hall wasn’t cutting them in on the illegal gambling.  The Feds closed it down.  It then became a computer place.  Well, not really.  It and the car lot massage parlor were closed for prostitution.  We thought we still had the illegal gambling.

Now, as I have blogged, I have had problems with my husband who when he is sober is seriously the best people.  However, when he’s not….  I have had the police here roughly about 20 times.  Once the cops said, “Weren’t we here already today?”  No, that was across the street. So, across the street, they have come but not as often.  However, a few years ago, they had a SWAT Team.  The one neighbor, Vinny, who may be the only normal family on the block would do nothing about the car lot.  No, don’t mess with the Mafia.  The same response when our garbage isn’t picked up or our street plowed.  We approached him about the massage parlor.  Same answer.  Man, you have a 12 year old daughter, at the time.  “We have a dog.”  The SWAT team house had homeless friends and asked Vinny if they could stay in the abandoned house next to him.  No problem.  Uh? Squatters?  My husband went ballistic and had that shut down.

Now, SWAT team house has a renter.  He is white but has dreads and piercings.  If you have read me, he is the owner of the chicken that crossed the road.

We have woods behind us.  Vinny and our family feed feral cats.  We both have taken in some of them.  There’s been a new sleek one that we have been feeding. He thinks he lives at our house and literally knocks on the door to be fed.  We recently found out that it is Dread’s aka Greg’s cat, aptly named Mr. Cat.

Vinny’s daughter doesn’t go to school in our neighborhood.  The schools are not bad but mixed.  She recently changed to a bus.  Vinny stopped and asked my husband about Greg.  He saw him walking around and was concerned.  He was looking for Mr. Cat!  He has a decent job and works every day!  Vinny asked my husband to watch for his daughter off the bus.

So, he’s not concerned about prostitution, illegal gambling,  squatters, police visits but a white guy with dreads?

Reality, perception and judgement.