Oh, Hello.

oh hello

I have a confession to make: I’m addicted to Kroll Show. I want another season already. Not joking. When I make tuna melts, I now think to myself, “That’s too much tuna!” even if it’s a totally reasonable amount of fish.

But anyway.

I know it’s been a long while since my last update. I just have this internal rule about not blogging unless I feel like I have something to say. Sure, I’ll update FB till the cows come home, since it feels largely ephemeral, but I try to keep the blog to stuff I want to keep around. Maybe that’s silly. Actually, I know that’s silly, but it is what it is.

Over the last several days, I’ve gotten an unusual amount of spam, masquerading as real comments, trying to get me to add content to this site using “free content” services. That made me think that it’s probably time to add some actual content of my own.

The Great House Hunt of 2014: Update

A lot of my time over the last couple of months has been taken up by the search for a house.

On Monday of this past week, we put in a bid for a place that we think is “the one.”  Of course, there had to be other people who also want the house, because it’s awesome… so we’re in a bidding war. We’re now waiting with bated breath (and an unreasonable amount of HGTV renovation shows) for the bank to let us know whether or not we’ve won.

It’s a foreclosed 4 bed, 3 bath property on a double corner lot in a good neighborhood in one of Chicago’s southern suburbs. It’s in quick walking distance of 2 grocery stores, a Walgreens, a branch of our bank, and a ton of restaurants – plus, there’s a bus stop very close-by that goes to the Metra in one direction and the Orland Park mall in the other. Needless to say, we are both extremely stressed, excited, and hopeful.

There are a ton of things I like about the place, but I will admit that it needs some work. For example, one of the bathrooms is decked out with mustard-colored fixtures. Nothin’ against that color, but I can’t imagine wanting to take a bath surrounded by it. It would make the bathwater look like pee, and that’s not my jam.

There’s something terribly evil about the waiting process. I find myself trying to remember everything wrong with the place, steeling myself to hear the news that we aren’t getting it. The idea, of course, is that if I can convince myself there are too many problems, I won’t be let down if we don’t get it.  Unfortunately, this also kind of poisons a bit of the happiness that comes with really wanting it — because now, all I can think about is “all of the projects.” (All of them! ヽ(^◇^*)/) Ok. So maybe it just makes me more excited in a way because it means we get to really put our stamp on the place.

We’re so happy. Let’s ruin it with kids!

Speaking of projects… it finally happened, folks. I got my blood pressure under control, and I dropped ~20 pounds. I’m no longer on any MS meds, any birth control, any antidepressants, or anything that would put a pregnancy in danger. Not even smoking weed to help with muscle spasms or seizures. A moment of silence, please, for the lack of bud… (◡﹏◡✿)

That means, it’s go-time for mommyhood. It’s only been, what? 2 full years getting my body ready for this? Maybe longer even. I’ve lost track.

Adam doesn’t want to put our family planning in the public spotlight, and I dig that. It’s not like we need pressure in this arena. Therefore, this is the last I’m gonna talk about it until I’ve become pregnant and it’s stuck for 12 weeks. I just figure that y’all have been with me on the long and frustrating journey to getting here, so I’d let you know that we’re now able to start trying. And that’s pretty damn cool if you ask me. We’re not in a rush or anything – not doing the scheduled sex “thing” where you do piss tests to see if you’re ovulating or anything – we’re just leaving it up to fate and passion at this point. If we need to change our tactics later, it’s always an option.

Another tiny addition to my life.

fitbitone
Recently, I became a part of a scientific study through Patientslikeme.com. They wanted to see how using a FitBit One would affect MS symptoms and weight. Wearing this thing 24/7 has made me crazy. Actually, it’s the judgmental food and activity journalling process that’s driving me insane and unnecessarily increasing my stress levels.

I’ve never been a fan of calorie counting. Calories don’t tell you about your nutrient levels. Calories don’t tell you if you’re eating well. Counting calories does, however, make you question everything you put into your mouth. It makes you calculate whether something is “worth” eating and whether or not you’re willing to listen to your body.

The Fitbit One is a 100% ableist calorie-Nazi. It counts all the steps you take in a day and estimates how many calories you’ve burned – and then compares it with what you’re eating to tell you how much you should be eating total. There’s nothing in the program that allows you to tell the device that you were physically unable to move for part of the day. It doesn’t care. It’s a machine. I, however, am not.

Almost every day, I get the experience of looking at the dashboard and seeing, in great big red letters, the word “OVER” — even on days when I’ve only had ~1200 calories. It’s made me feel like I have an eating disorder. On days when I am not feeling well enough to go to the gym, thanks to MS, it actually suggests that I eat a maximum of ~900 calories.

Sorry, FitBit, but this girl refuses to eat fewer than 1200 calories a day. I’m not slowing down my metabolism to fit your algorithm’s fat-shaming ways. I’m not going to berate myself for not meeting your 10,000 step-a-day goal when I’m having seizures that stop me from being able to do simple household chores — and I’m sure not going to feel bad about myself on good days when I have put in 45 minutes of cardio and done weights, only to make it to ~8000 steps.

I mean, yesterday is probably the best example of how asinine following this thing’s advice can be. For breakfast, I had a 230 calorie smoothie made with strawberries, bananas, peaches, mango, and almond milk. For lunch, I had a salad with grilled chicken, romaine lettuce, sliced almonds, pecans, blue cheese crumbles, and dried cranberries. It estimated the salad at ~750 calories. Before I even ate dinner, FitBit was telling me that I had over-eaten for the entire day… suggesting that I exercise to earn the privilege of eating dinner. For a moment there, I felt genuinely bad about myself. I felt guilty for eating “too much,” and I’d only had a smoothie and a salad.

Needless to say, if you’re gonna use one of these things, you’ve got to take its advice with a grain of salt. It’s supposed to be a tool to help you improve your activity level and how you eat. If you’re letting it make you feel bad about yourself, you’re doin’ it wrong. That being said, it’s made me painfully aware of how inactive I am on days when I’m in MS’s vice-grip, has motivated me to take the stairs much more often, and has helped me lose 3 pounds in 3 weeks. To say I have a love-hate relationship with my FitBit is putting it mildly. I both appreciate it and want to smash it with a hammer.

As for other things…

Other than that, things are relatively calm. I’ve been having loads more seizures than when I was on birth control pills, but it’s still nothing compared to how things were when I was first diagnosed. I’m not terribly surprised, considering that my body’s getting used to regulating its own hormones and the fact that I’ve been stressed with everything that’s been going on. Most of them are simple partial seizures which are annoying but not such a big deal, since I don’t wake up confused. Still, more seizures and hot summer weather means less opportunity to go out and see friends and explore, which is kind of a bummer.

On the bright side, more time on the couch has given me the chance to look up fun, free things to do in Chicago so that I can take advantage of my time in the city on days when I am feeling well. There are a ton of free things to do. I’ve actually been really surprised at how much quality entertainment there is in this town.

At least, if I’m not feeling well enough to go out, I can cure my boredom by watching HGTV in my air conditioned apartment and fantasizing about the future. 🙂

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