30 September 2011

I think I want one of these...

Only I want it in Tardis blue, so I can get a bumper sticker that says "It's bigger on the inside."


26 September 2011

During my mushroom misery this weekend (which wasn’t half as bad as I feared, but still knocked me on my ass a few times) I spent a lot of time surfing online, mostly looking for LOLz, but after a very-late-night text conversation, I started looking for information on aspartame and pituitary tumors. Most of what I found was the typical !!!ASPARTAME IS EVIL SO SEND ME A DOLLAR TO KEEP MY WEBSITE GOING!!! crap, but hidden amongst the noise there’s some very level-headed information out there now.

In that, the common thread seems to be “we can’t say 100% for sure, BUT…” And the Buts are fairly compelling arguments against consumption of artificial sweeteners of any sort.

I’m a soft drink addict. I can live without caffeine (and after this weekend’s Diet Mt Dew inspired insomnia, I’d like to live without it) but I’m completely hooked on diet soda. I think it’s the fizz, but for all I know it’s the aspartame. I often let the idea slip into my head that I just want to cut the soda out of my life, but then I start feeling all twitchy and sad and never get around to even trying.

But this weekend I stumbled across a little nugget that made me sit up and think a bit. And I wish I’d bookmarked the site, but it was late at night and I wasn’t thinking beyond “Hey, this kind of sucks.” And what kind of sucked was seeing in black and white that since the introduction of aspartame into the market, there has been an increase in pituitary tumors, especially the more rare of the almost-always-benign pituitary tumors.

That would be me, she of the very rare lymphocytic hypophysitis, a tumor normally seen in women who have just had their first baby. I was 40, and my baby was all grown up. Yet after diagnosis and trying to not freak out and having the sucker yanked out of my head, that’s what I had. A very rare mass of goo stuck to the underside of my brain.

Did the aspartame cause it?

I’ll never know. But it’s interesting to ponder, in a Well Hell I Might Have Done This To Myself kind of way. And that just leads to all other kinds of speculation.

Like aspartame and weight gain. I only take in about 1500 calories a day, and I walk my ass off, but I’m hefty.

Aspartame and chronic pain. Can we say “Fibromyalgia and Chronic Myofascial Pain Syndrome?” I knew we could…

Aspartame and IBS. I found several mentions from people who cut it out of their diet and their issues with IBS cleared up.

I’ve always blown off the naysayers of artificial sweeteners, mostly because they come bearing information wrapped in alarmist paper. If it’s presented with a dozen exclamation points, if it’s presented in an overly loud manner, I’m not paying attention. I’m just not.

Except now I’m wondering…



24 September 2011

You think I would have learned by now. If it's a food I have never had before and i did not make it from scratch, I need to read the freaking label.

This stuff is pretty tasty. So tasty that we bought a case of it at Costco.

Now, I didn't try the sample, the Spouse Thingy did. He really liked it. And I figured, why the hell not? I like chow mein. It was cheap. We'd eat them all before they expired.

So last night I prepared one for myself after the Spouse Thingy left for work, and halfway through I saw this thing wedged between a few noodles, and thought that was some ugly looking beef.

I picked the ugly looking beef up, and turned it over, and there were these little lines. Lines like one might find on the underside of a mushroom.

I bolted for the box of chow mein packages and looked. And in tiny print: Shitake Mushrooms.

By this point Max was very interested in whatever I was excited about and he followed me as I went back to the table and got the chow mein, followed as I threw it in the trash, and chased after me as I ran down the hall to the bathroom.

I didn't need to stick a finger down my throat; just the idea that I had eaten mushrooms and knowing what that was going to mean over the next few days had my dinner pushing its way back up and out. I had gagging noises coming from deep down, reverberating through my chest, practically waking after me as I ran down the hall.

This fascinated Max.

While I sat on the edge of the bathtub and hurled forth the noodles, he stood on his back paws, put his front paws on the edge of the toilet, and enjoyed the show. He looked at me, then what I'd thrown up. Back at me, then as I barfed a little more.

He loved it.

But when I'd gotten up all I was going to, he stepped back and gave me a disappointed look.

That would have looked so much better on the carpet in the library, especially since you drank Hawaiian Punch with it.

Sorry for my lack of foresight, furball.

The good news is that because what went down came back up in just a few minutes, I was spared the worst of it. I felt awful most of the night, but woke up with both cats piled on top of me. Max was near my head, purring, trying hard to make me feel better. Buddah was draped across my legs, but really only because I was where he had intended on napping, and he doesn't let something like someone already being there get in his way.

Today I've felt kind of meh, but not like I want to die, so I have that going for me.

I have high hopes that I'll feel fine tomorrow. The temps are only supposed to be in the 70s, which will make for nice walking weather, and I have less than a month until the 3 Day in Atlanta.

But yeah.

Gotta read those labels...


19 September 2011

:::opens mouth wide:::

Does that throat look red to you?


:::closes mouth:::

Good. I don't wanna get a cold right now anyway.

'Cause tomorrow I wanna take the Spouse Thingy to San Francisco and show him the wonder of Ocean Beach, and then make him climb that mudderfarking hill by the Cliff House :)



14 September 2011

Joette had a pair of walking poles on the 3 Day.

I coveted them.

They're supposed to help with knee, hip, and back issues while walking, and I have all three.


I bought a pair. occurs to me that they could become a very good weapon.

So...don't tick me off while I'm walking... This is serious business, the walking.



11 September 2011

The San Francisco 3 Day Walk did not go anywhere nearly as well as I expected.

Joette and I at o'dark-thirty
Day one was awesome; I slept well the night before, was excited to get up and get going, and with teammate Joette by my side started off at a decent clip and we kept the pace up for quite a while. My toe started bothering me and after a few miles of hills it hurt like hell, but not enough to stop.

I don’t think there was anything worth complaining about (well, other than “a hill already?” at the start of the walk) until we reached the base of the hill leading up from Ocean Beach to the Cliff House, and that wasn’t even complaining so much as it was Oh God, we have to made it up that thing. It’s a fairly steep incline and just keeps going and going and going. And that’s not really an overstatement—it’s a long assed climb and it’s where my foot started to scream. Just when you think it’s almost over—you’re nearing the Cliff House—you look forward and realize you’re really only about halfway.

It’s nearly a steady climb all the way to the parking lot where lunch was held, and I’m guessing it was about half a mile of steep (well, *I* think it’s steep) uphill. It was cold and breezy at the lunch stop, but the views more than made up for that…plus I got to see the Spouse Thingy there and he helped slap some Moleskin on a few blisters I was getting.

My nemesis...but I made it
From there we headed into Land’s End where I would face what I dreaded most: the stairs. These suckers seem to go on forever. And when you get to what you think is the top (looking from the bottom, you think it’s a lot of steps, but hey, there’s the end!) the stairs just kind of curve around and keep going for a bit. A lot of the walkers just breezed right up; I admit, it was hard. I’m not a stair person; stairs are why we bought a single story house.

But I did get up those damn stairs, and I thought that was the worst of it.

There were a few more WTF inclines, one especially cruel hill near the Presidio golf course. It wasn’t steep, but it went on for-freaking-ever, and after the climb to the Cliff House and lunch, and then Land’s End, it just seemed mean.

Yet, we made it.

I don’t remember anything else being too terribly difficult. I lost Joette at the second to the last pit stop and took off thinking I was following her, but it turned out to be someone else. We met back up at the last pit, where we thought we were done walking.

At Pit 5, we waited for the ferry. And we waited standing in line, after walking almost 19 miles, for over half an hour. Things tend to stiffen up when you stand like that after walking so long. Everyone did some stretching and sitting on the ground (which just makes your back sore) and some more stretching, but by the time the ferry was there we were all done. We’d been told all day that Pit 5 was the end, then we’d get on the ferry and go to camp.

While waiting for the ferry, I started feeling a little nauseated, but assumed that was because of a long day and then having to wait. It made sense. I was freaking tired by that point. I sometimes get queasy when I’m overly tired.

Once on the ferry, while heads were on tables and people tried to snooze, and other people tried to not hurl, someone went around to tell us that once we got off the ferry, we had 1.5 more miles to walk.

Now, that’s not a lot. Anyone of those walkers could do a mile and a half in their sleep. But after 19 and then standing around for half an hour, and then sitting on the ferry for another half hour…we were pissed off.

San Francisco from Treasure Island
The view from Treasure Island about halfway from the ferry to the camp almost made up for that.

Camp itself…cold, windy, and noisy as hell all night long. Treasure Island sounded fun and I was all kinds of excited about camp being there, but the reality was not so fun.

Still…it was a sight to behold, all those pink tents. The shower trucks had about an hour long wait, but it’s still the best shower anyone will ever have. The food was really good, and when I went to find out what the little gift icon was on my credentials, I discovered a few of y’all sent me chocolates. And that totally made my day.

Arriving at camp
So. I ate a really good dinner, the Spouse Thingy had gotten to camp before I did and had out tent set up and mattresses inflated, and we hung out until we decided we wanted to shower. That’s when things kinda started to go wrong. The steps into the men’s showers were placed on a patch of ground not quite level, and when he stepped off the bottom one, down he went, twisting his ankle.

The medic wound up in the med tent getting his ankle taped up. It was “just” a sprain, but those suckers hurt. He said it was all right with the tape and only a problem when he was walking on it, so he felt like he was good to go for Day Two.

Mike the Medic builds a tent
Day Two we were up at 4:45 and dressed and headed for breakfast before 5. I hate morning, so I wasn’t surprised that my stomach was a little upset, but I approached the dining tent… and that’s when the world started to spin, the proverbial truck hit me, and I started feeling really nauseated. The Spouse Thingy sat down with a plate of food, and I had to get up and head for the port-a-potty, knowing he had to leave before I’d be able to get back.

No problem. I was sure the feeling would pass. It was morning, it always passes.

But then I barfed and it all escalated, so I headed for the med tent. They assumed it was dehydration—it’s what they see with walkers all the time, those who don’t drink enough on day one and wind up feeling like crap—and I was given some Zofram and they had me lie down and covered me up; everyone—including me—assumed on a few minutes the Zofram would work, they could pump some Gatorade in me, and I’d at least make the last ferry to for the walk.

Instead, I got worse, and they put me on a bus headed for the lunch area (camp closes after a certain time, no walkers are allowed to stay) and I hung out in the medical tent there until noonish. The Spouse Thingy was working there, so I at least was hanging out with someone familiar. After a while they got me to lie down and snooze until they had transportation for me back to camp.

So I knew Day Two was not happening, but I assumed with enough water and food and rest I would be good to go. I curled up in the tent and rested. I made myself drink and tried like hell to not hurl it all over the place. I ate half the lunch the Spouse Thingy got me before I left the lunch stop.

And I got worse.

This sea of pink is amazing in person
At about 3:30, after a whole lot of text messages checking up on me, he sent one saying he was going to get someone to bring him back to camp, and at 4:10 he was on his way. When he got there, he found someone to drive us all the way back to our car parked at the hotel in South San Francisco (she totally did not have to do that; she’s been driving people around since about 6 a.m. and I know she was dead tired—she was the one who took me from lunch back to the camp—but she seemed very happy to do it. And I wish I could remember her name, but I was too busy trying to not throw up in her car…)

Essentially, the Spouse Thingy red-carded me out of the walk.

No, I’m not annoyed. I know I wasn’t going to be able to walk on day three as sick as I was getting, and he knew another night sleeping in the wet cold was not a good idea for me, so he lost his last day of the SGK (and now won’t get his spiffy Victory Shirt) in order to get me home.

I feel a little (ok, a lot) pissed off about only doing one day. Logically, I know it’s not my fault, but there’s that little part that is just pissed off. I was so excited about doing it again, and to have to bow out for any reason…it ticks me off. It ticks me off because you guys donated a lot of money for me to walk 60 miles, and I only walked a little over 20. And I know most of you won’t roast me for it, but still…it bothers me.

So now I’m really glad I signed up for Atlanta. It feels like a chance to redo it all, and to do what I said I was going to do.

I am not done with this, not by a long shot. I owe these people a few more miles...

Onward to Atlanta


6 September 2001

♫♪ My bags are packed, I'm ready to go... ♪ ♫

Ok, I think I'm ready.

Three more days... The shirt and cape have names, and while seeing how many is a little overwhelming, I'm thrilled to be carrying them with me.

I will be wearing the pink tights, cape, and pink fedora on the first day for sure...if they're comfy, I'll wear them all 3 days. If not, I dyed a pair of shorts bright pink so I'll look pretty much just as freaky ;)

It's going to be cold at camp, but I have my spiffy 49ers jacket. And I have a warm tentmate to steal body heat from...

I think last year I was a mixture of nerves and excitement, this year I'm just excited.

Not thrilled with the broken toe, but I'll deal with that. I have drugs. ;)

I may post pictures at Facebook (because I can upload easily from my iPhone) but I suspect until Monday, this blog will be quiet. Hopefully I'll get a chance to pop something up on A Wabbit Walking on Thursday, though it'll be with the iPhone...

Um. Yeah.

That's all I got ;)


3 September 2011

WooHoo it already got here...



Right sleeve

Left sleeve
I'm gonna be stylin' while I rock the pink!