Sunday, March 25, 2018

It's the Only Place I Have to Live In

I have created my own physical activity trifecta.

My very own hat trick:

The Bike

The Swim

The Orange Theory

I KNOW! It's so very trendy right now. It's the cult of the Orange Theory and I have to say they got me. They got me by my expanding biceps.

Seriously, I now have biceps. I came home the other day and flexed my arm in front of Hubs. And he said "Well look at that. I see a muscle."

My body is far from perfect. I have a knee that hates me, my very own neuro-muscular condition that has me on meds and other issues that any 47 year old fights.

But it is mine. And it works. And when I think of the many things I am grateful for in this world, this flawed, functioning body of mine is one.

Yesterday at Orange Theory, I climbed up on the bike (because I can't run on the treadmill....silly knee) and I stared back at myself as I started to pedal. We are gearing up for our silent auction and my Mito Peeps are on my mind.

I thought of Sammers, my brother, our kiddos, our adults.....our people whose bodies can't work like they should.

This body is all I have. It's all any of us have. Be so grateful it gets you out of bed, walks you to the bathroom, gets you to work......climbs you on a bike at Orange Theory.

I am now twenty minutes into my workout, super slimy with sweat, my heart rate has gone beyond the orange zone to the red and I think I might just be a tad pukey.

And I love it.

I love this beating heart. I love that I smell like a high school gym locker. I love that this body works.

This old lady, wonky knee, can't-sneeze-without peeing myself  body.

In less than two weeks we will break bread and pour a glass of grape in honor and in memory of our Loves whose bodies are starved for energy- whose bodies want to be more; Our Mitochondrial Community.

Join us on the 7th. If for the only reason that your body is good place to live.

I'll even flex a muscle :)

http://www.miraclesformito.org/fundraiser2018



Tuesday, March 6, 2018

I Got No Roots

I came up with the idea for this post when on nitrous oxide.
 
So please forgive me if its random....ha! Like my posts aren't. For the record, nitrous oxide is kind of awesome as a controlled substance.

No Whippets.
 
I do not like going to the dentist. At all.
 
I think it started with several wisdom teeth extractions during my teenage years by a man named Dr. Maul.

20 shots of Novocain, I was numb enough to pull those suckers out.....with resistance. Do you know how long those wisdom teeth roots are? They connect to your thigh bone and never let go.
 
Never go to a doctor with the last name Maul.
 Image result for little shop of horrors dentist

Promise me.
 
The Samantha years brought tooth neglect...years of it. I didn't have the time, I had Dr. Maul nightmares and here is the thing about going to the dentist......you walk in and your teeth feel okay. You walk out and your teeth hurt. I had no time for self induced hurt. 
 
After Samantha, I asked one person for a dentist referral. Note to self.....when looking for a referral, ask more than one person. I ended up with Huey Lewis and the News. I kid you not. He knew every 1980's song, He had every teeth whitening kit ever made. His purple rayon blazers were super rad but after my third re-do on a root canal we had to break up.

It was 2011.
 
WHY WAS THIS SO HARD!!!!???? I wondered as my teeth slowly rotted out of my head.
 
Vulnerable.
 
Nothing makes me feel more vulnerable than a dentist.
 
Image result for little shop of horrors dentist
 
 
I'm not sure why....
 
Related image
 
This afternoon I finished my third root canal.....I got no roots. But now I do have a really good dentist who sat next to me before the procedure, held my hand and said, 'what would give me an 'A' today?'
 
And I said 'No pain.'
 
So he strapped on the nitrous oxide (for me, not him), he gave me some headphones and I listened to my new obsession, Hamilton.
 
The below was not the situation, but I find it funny :)  
 Related image

What is my point???

I have none. Did I mention I was on nitrous oxide when I thought this would be a great blog post?

Okay....maybe here it is. Take care of your teeth. That little molar in the back was a part of me for 47 years and in five minutes he was ground down to a stub, never to be heard from again. Adios little tooth. Thanks for hangin' in there. I'm sorry I couldn't do you better.

Second? It's okay to say when you feel super vulnerable and need some help.

Third? Never go to a Dr. Maul.

Monday, February 26, 2018

My Brain Loves Me

It's true. My brain loves me.
 
And at its very core, the responsibility of my brain is to keep me alive.
 
I try to distract it by remembering the words to every single Neil Diamond song. But my brain has more important things to do. It keeps my heart beating, my pancreas processing glucose, my eyes seeing the word, my temp at a 98.5.
 
My brain loves me.
 
It also loves routine and muscle memory. My brain tells my foot to step on the brake when it sees a red light. In my sleepy state, my brain tells my index finger where the snooze button is. It tells my voice to say hello when answering a phone.
 
47 years of this life, my brain and I are pretty connected.
 
I like to think of how my brain would react when tested. How it would process the perfect snarky comment, the best response in a meeting, the perfect reaction when being flipped off on I-25. But so many times this brain I love and that loves me lets me down. Maybe it's caught off guard; it didn't anticipate a middle finger in the exit lane or that really tough question in a meeting. My brain likes routine.
 
There is nothing routine about a traumatic situation. Our brain hates it. The amygdala hijacks all rational thought. We search for something routine, something we can relate to; in a traumatic situation, there is nothing. Our brain, whose purpose is to love us and keep that heart beating, makes decisions we would not usually make, we rage, we puke, we freeze, we faint.
 
Our brave, our first responders, our doctors, nurses, our military, spend their lives training to respond in these very worst situations. And sometimes even their brain has no place for a trauma. With Samantha, our interactions with medical teams involved input from us. Their brain needed a place to process and trauma offers no chance to process.
 
My point....and I do have one.....is that if your brain is lucky enough to not have a history of processing trauma, assuming heroic actions from your brain that loves you and just wants to protect you is silly. And disrespectful to your brain....your brain that loves you so.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

It sucks to lose a child

I have so much to do tonight.....so many productive, society enhancing projects and instead I found myself in a gun debate.

F$CK!

I gotta tell you, these shootings make me crazy; sad, mad, frustrated. And I keep thinking.....just walk away. Walk away.

But I can't.

I fought so hard for a life. And so many others fought for her life too.

This taking of lives is so far beyond me.

The crater that person leaves, the lives that have been blown up. I cannot put my head around why anyone would want to create such destruction and why it keeps happening more and more often.

As a society, it is hard to comprehend the impact these loses have over time.

It sucks to lose a child.

I cannot tell you how much it sucks.

The first week you wonder how your eyes can generate so many tears. You think you are all dried up but they come again- in flooding waters. You think your eyes might wash out of your head.

And you get through weird things. Things that are so awful there is no dialogue in your brain to process it. How do you process your child's funeral?

"What music do you want played?"

"What the holy hell? How the f*ck am I supposed to answer that god awful question?"

But you come up with an answer. And it is brilliant. Because everyone is looking at your flood-water eyes for an answer.
 
And you think "okay. I might be okay."

But you are not. You are so not.

You get a freezer full of lasagna.

You hate that lasagna. It will stay in your freezer for years. Stupid, grief lasagna. Dropped off at your door with the very best intentions.

You congratulate yourself for putting on pants.

You forget to brush you teeth.

You think you are in hell. You wish you were in hell.

Someone tells you that you need to brush your teeth.

Two weeks later real grief sets in. A grief so powerful you feel like you are in the movie Alien and that stupid monster will push through your chest. Maybe it will and that will be it.

But no, it just pushes It is sickening. Heartbreaking. Physically painful.

You walk into her room. It smells like her. You take a dress a breathe that smell until your lungs cant hold any more. It is the very best smell in the entire world

My God. Can this be bottled?

A year goes by and you congratulate yourself on a year. But then the truth sets in. This is your life. You will forever live this life without this person. And sometimes that reality is too much.

The alien subsides but is still there....pushing at times. And sometimes you are hopelessly sad.

People wonder if you will move on.

You will never move on. You lose friends. You embrace those who allow you to ugly cry and howl like a lone wolf.

More time goes by and you still drive to work and cry for no reason. That all becomes okay because this is your new normal.

Your life is now on the outskirts. You are that person who lost a child. You choose to engage when you can but find at times that the triteness of life is sometimes too much and you need to retreat.

You will always miss.

Always.

And there is nothing anyone can do about it- nothing anyone can change.

But we need to change.

We need to change.

It sucks to lose a child.



Monday, February 12, 2018

The House that hubs Built

We moved.

You might have guessed from my last post which took me over thirty days to recover from.

But we did relocate.

In May of 2016 (yeah, like 20 months ago) Hubs texted asking where I was.


"Hey! Where are you?"

"Um. Fort Lauderdale?"

"Florida?"

"Yeah."

"Home soon?"

"5ish"

"Come look at a house."

And so I landed......from Florida and went to look at a house.....during a thunderstorm.  A house on 20 acres during a thunderstorm with lightening shinning off of its three stories. Three stories of unloved home that looked like it was occupied by the frickin' Adams family.

I drove up, parked and thought 'oh hell no.'

I walked into the house and thought 'oh double hell no.'

But then Hubs walked around the corner with tape measure and a gleam in his eye.

"You like it?" He said.

"Do you?"

The tape measure clicked shut.

CLICK!

"Yeah."

And with that he was gone. Scampered off.....tape measuring something else.

The next day we had a contract on a house I called Hogwarts.

20 months later, Hogwarts is not compete but habitable. It was taken down and rebuilt.
Rebuilt with the eye of an engineer.

Rebuilt with determination, tenacity, f-bombs, errors less than an 1/8th of an inch and a sense of ownership and love.

I am in awe of the house that Hubs built.

And is still building....just a little bit.

But here is a preview.

Stairs before:

 
 
Stairs after: 
 
 
 
 

 

Kitchen Before


Kitchen After:


Bath before

 
 
Bath After:

 



Master closet before:



After:

 
 
Alas, the new house. A new chapter. A house that needed a little love. And us. 

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

In This House

Tonight is the last night in this house.

I am a bit of a mess.

It's caught me by surprise.

But in this house.....

In this house my husband made me dinner when we were dating. I drove up and thought "where the hell is Loveland?"

In this house I said yes.

In this house I sat in the living room and wrote wedding invitations.

In this house, in this house, in this house.

I packed for Paris.

I pee'd on a stick. I drove to Hubs office when I saw the positive sign. We bought a car. I built a nursery. I fretted over installing a car seat correctly.

We fretted over a pregnancy.

We lost a son.

Hubs drove me home to an anxious and sad family. I sat outside; ate a turkey sandwich and drank a gin and tonic and talked about a future I still believed in.

I pee'd on a stick.

We greeted a daughter.

We greeted an ambulance.

We greeted an ambulance.

We greeted an ambulance.

I grieved a motherhood that would not be mine.

And then we grieved a daughter.

Friends brought lovely champagne and we sat on our stoop.  In this house! In this house! IN THIS HOUSE!

Our new house will never have formula stains on the ceiling or poop on the carpet. If an ambulance shows up at 2:00 in the morning, one of us will have the knowledge to direct people where to go because now we have a history.

We learned it in this house.

I walked into Hubs office as he was packing Jack, Samantha's and his Dad's ashes.

And we embraced. Just us two

In this house, In this house, In this house.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

I Love You the Way I Learned how to Ride a Bike......Scared but Reckless- Rudy Francisco Part one

The summer after we lost Samantha I rode my bike.

I rode it thousands of miles.

Thousands.

I felt my heart beat furiously, pounding to beat out of my chest. I took in every wispy breath; my lungs cursing my legs for more oxygen.

I took in my grief and breathed out a hope for solace and peace.

I stood at the top of mountains and realized I was still alive. Every part of my body beat alive; demanded oxygen and water and food and it slowly convinced my sad, tired soul that it was alive too.

I fell in love with my bike.

Seven years later, my mind has forgotten what my soul needed and my relationship with my bike turns into something like this.....

"Heather"

"Heather"

"Heather!"

"What? Yes?"

"We have not gone out together in weeks. When you are home, you ignore me. Is it my flat tires? My rusty chain? Is that it?"

"No, no, you're beautiful."

"Well lube my chain and take me out for a ride." I swear this conversation is not as dirty as it sounds.....

And so we go. Seven years later, my ride is still therapeutic but not as desperate. I now know I am alive and my heart can beat without another but the pounding grounds me to this world.

The air is warm, the view is lovely, my heart beats, my lungs demand oxygen. I overlook vistas, gaze at the changing sky as it grows from blue to pink and always, always think of my girl.

And still, seven years later, it is my religion, my solace.

I reach for my pack of orange flavored Goo with an extra shot of caffeine, I farmer blow into the weeds, wipe my hand on my bike shorts and wish that everyone could experience what I see, breathe, smell, feel at the top of this mountain.

That's right....biking makes you super posh and a master of the farmer blow.

And this semester, a group of CU Masters of Engineering Students are making this happen.

Making WHAT happen??? Part two tomorrow J

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Your Charity Gives me Gas

A couple months ago, I picked up a friend from the airport for a girl's weekend.

It was early.

We were meeting other friends for brunch but due to her early arrival, we both needed a Starbucks.

Desperately.

We pulled into the intersection driving my new fancy car and waited for the light to change. Next to us was a homeless man. My friend grabbed her wallet.

"Crap, I don't have any cash," She said,  "Usually I have granola bars in the car to give out. Do you have anything?"

"Really?" I said, "This is all just a ploy. Do you know how much these people make? He owns this block. This is a good block too."

I stopped myself. "I sound like an asshole, don't I?"

"Oh no." she said, "We are just riding in your Mercedes to get $5 coffees before we go to brunch and you are criticizing the homeless man."

I love my friend for this. And so I took this to heart and made a metal note to change.

The next week I pulled into Starbucks and saw a man with a sign that said, Coffee?

I thought of my friend and my attempt to less Assy.

So I ordered my coffee and ordered the man on the corner a coffee too.

"Milk and sugar?" The Barista asked

I thought about being on the streets, being hungry and needing calories. Of course milk and sugar!

"Yes please. And I'll take a bacon gouda sandwich too." Because bacon gouda sandwiches are delicious. And if I did not have a place to go, I would covet a bacon gouda sandwich.

I stopped at the man at the corner.

"Hey! I got you a coffee." I pulled it out. "I wasn't sure but I had them add milk."

He looked at me and wrinkled his nose. "I can't drink this. I'm lactose intolerant. Do you know what this will do to me?"

Oh. My. Stink....literally.

"Well then, I guess you can't have this sandwich."

"Does it have milk products?"

"Gouda."

"Gouda?"

"It's a cheese."

"Oh no, hell no. Do you know what that will do to me?"

I handed him a dollar and wished him luck.

I also called my friend.

She laughed and said that's what I get for being a part of Boulder county. She also told me not to give up.

At work I told my story and tried to pawn off a bacon gouda sandwich. A co-worker went into detail about what happens when a lactose intolerant person consumes milk.

"It's not pretty," she said, "And not having direct access to a bathroom? I can't imagine. He made a good choice."

"Whatever." I said, "Do you want a bacon gouda sandwich?"

"No, I just ate."

Today I pulled out of the grocery store. A man stood at the intersection. He held a sign that said, "Put some cheese on my cracker!"

I assumed he was NOT lactose intolerant because he spoke about cheese so enthusiastically. I thought of my friend and the granola bars in her minivan and I stopped.

"I don't have any cash," because I don't, truly, I never do, "but would you like a yogurt?"

I held out a Noosa Peach Yogurt.....the very best yogurts of yogurts.

"I would love a yogurt," he said, "Thank you. You have a fantastic day."

I drove off reminding myself to buy granola bars. Because giving back does feel good. And because you know.....lactose.