What are you doing New Year’s Eve?

Ella is simply perfection.
Therefore I’m going to let her serenade in my 2021. Relaxing at home with my better half and my pups, that’s what I’m doing this New Years Eve.

Fearsome and I wish all of you happiness, health, joy, prosperity, love and magic in the year 2021.

Ella Fitzgerald – What Are You Doing New Years Eve – 1960

Peace.

 

 

Surgery day

At 7:15 this morning I check in at my assigned outpatient surgery center. The Acromioplasty will begin about 8:45. I actually look forward to getting through this and into recovery. Shoulder pain isn’t fun.

Fearsome will be tied up into a tight pony tail as he has a tendency to get into everything. We don’t want the surgeon saying he needs a trim before they can start.

Best Poop Ever

Hemorrhoids, I’ve struggled with them all of my life. Yes even as a child I frequently experienced hemorrhoid swelling, pain and bleeding.

As an adult I have seen doctors, used creames and suppositories, consulted surgeons, soaked in epson salt baths, had them removed, had new ones develop and learned new bowel movement habits. I’ve seen improvement. I’ve experienced exacerbation. I’ve lived with hemorrhoids as just being part of life.

After hearing about this Squatty Potty thingy I thought it a useless joke. I didn’t take it seriously but I kept noticing it whenever it showed up in commercials and such. None of my doctors ever suggested it, not even three different surgeons I’ve consulted with. I recently decided that I might pick one up to try.

Then last week Costco put them on sale. In the cart it went as we had our Costco Saturday morning weekly shopping excursion.

Best poop ever. Easiest Poop ever. Fastest Poop ever.

After one week of use I am happy to report I have no pain and no swelling. I am on the pot an off of it faster than I can pee. I sit, pull the Squatty Potty out from its storage place right under edge of toilet, place my feet on it and plop all done.

We highly reccomend the Squatty Potty. It gets Fearsome’s seal of approval.

Avoiding defeatism

OK …I haven’t been posting much other than beards and fluff. I feel as if my thoughts haven’t been fitting blog fodder of recent. I’ve had a bit of defeated mindset syndrome and I decided that if I write about it then I’ll contemplate it. Maybe if I contemplate it I’ll see a way around it and out of it.

Let me take us back a couple weeks.

Shortly before leaving on the adventure into Ft. Lauderdale, which gifted me with an unexpected one night stay at the luxurious Dulles International Marriott, I fell. You see I was showing one of my listings and they have a large very strong dog. The dog is usually gone for showings but due to unforeseen circumstance she was there and it was my job to control her. She is a sweetie and I’m a dog person but she got spooked. In my efforts, to keep her separate from the 2 million dollar buyers, she pulled one way while I went another and face forward I went. The only arm available to catch me before I face planted was my left post surgical arm on the edge of the pool table. It went into a position that my physical therapist has yet to be able to safely obtain. Ouchfuck!

Defeat. I hurt bad. I felt defeated. I saw my surgeon. All physical therapy has been postponed for two weeks until after my follow up with him this week. I can’t lift, drive, excercise or even wash the left side of my head with it. I can only do two movement excercises that were the first two I could do after surgery. Square one, I found myself standing on square one yet again. This was fall number 3 on it since surgery and by far the worst.

Is it ok? We don’t know. I can only hope so. We see the Doc Thursday and he will decide then if I go for another MRI.

I had been making progress. I had been able to reach slightly above shoulder level without pain. Just the week before I was able to pull a parking ticket from the dispenser at the garage entrance to my physical therapy facility. Woo Hoo! I started to have visions of hopefully returning to yoga class in another couple months. At this moment hopes of a return to yoga class are but a long term goal.

Deafeated mindset syndrome. Yes I made that up. It’s a place I do not want to be. It is something that I must be aware of, acknowledge and move on from. Defeat is an emotional feeling that is so easy for the ego to grab onto and make part of its identity. I mustn’t allow my ego to grasp defeatism. I am better than that. I have found that the ego will grasp anything, either good or bad, and run with it as long as it is able to use such to inflate itself.

Humility. By denying my ego an inflated sense of self through undesirable identities, I can choose better things such as recovery, healing, strength and movement. This is not permanent. This is simply life. Life has challenges. Challenges strengthen us. I am able. I must work smarter and work harder.

When I remain humble and accept what is, I must have faith and believe in my ability. I will then improve, overcome and grow.

Obstacles I have. That’s all this is, an obstacle.

Get Naked with Yourself!

Sure it’s fun to get naked all by yourself. Go ahead do it. Even better do it in front of a mirror. Get naked and explore the beauty of your own body, your own skin. Touch yourself. Pull, lift, tug and look. Take it all in. Explore every niche, cranny, opening and surface. Get to know yourself. Take in every wrinkle, spot, color and texture. Self intimacy. Let it feel good.

Self intimacy is good for you. It’s pleasurable and life saving. Yes life saving. Especially if you don’t only do it with yourself, but do it with yourself and then share it with another. Share it with someone knowledgable and caring. Someone who may even give you tips on your body and even how you may better explore it.

In 2004 during an intimate moment with my own body, an intimate moment with a mirror in fact, I discovered a mole. An unusual mole. I called my doctor. He took one look at me and said oh that’s fine, but over here….what is this? How long have you had it? When replied I hadn’t noticed it before he took a closer look and called a colleague right there from the exam room in front of me. The colleague? A dermatologist. He wanted me to see her ASAP. She couldn’t right then but could take me the next day.

The next day in her office she asked where the mole was that had landed me in her office. I pointed to my side. She called her nurse for assistance then told me it was coming off as soon as she gave me a good search over in case there was anything else of concern. No nothing else, just the one. Numb, clean, clip….it was in a specimen container and off to the lab.

The call came five days later. Malignant Melanoma. Could I come in the next day? They needed to clear the margins and check my lymph nodes.

Margins being a huge hack of 3cm of flesh in each direction outward from the site cut out of my side and inwards toward my center….all clear. Lymph nodes….all clear. The mole was only 0.9mm deep. Just 0.1mm shy of a full mm deep that would have possibly moved me to stage 2. Close call. All clear of a stage 1 malignant melanoma.

She streesed that I talk with my siblings. Two brothers I have. She said that the highest risk factor is not from parent, but having a sibling. They need to be checked. I called both. I was very blunt and told them what she had said.

I am a messenger, not my brothers keeper. I can’t force them. Neither told their doctor. Neither got checked.

Fast forward 12 years. My eldest brother was hospitalized for a different matter and a chest X-ray revealed a spot on his lung. A biopsy & pet scan later the spot is a malignant melanoma tumor in his lung. There is melanoma in his lymph nodes and all probably coming from the quarter size melanoma on his neck. He is stage four now and no longer a candidate for surgical removal.

Mom just lost her husband of 62 years last September. The chances of my brother living more than another year are slim. I’m going out for a previously planned trip this week. The timing is good. I can check in with Mom as I know she isn’t taking this well. Losing a spouse at her age is expected. Losing a child isn’t what any parent wants to experience even if the child is sixty.

My other brother you ask? He made an appointment to see his doctor. Someone he can get naked with and learn how to get intimate with the characteristics of his naked skin.

Me? I’ve been cancer free for almost 12 years now. I see my dermatologist once a year at this point. I stay quite intimate with my naked self in the mirror.

You? Have you made a date with your mirror …and better yet your doctor… yet? You may not be my sibling but you are human. Humans of all skin colors get melanoma. You yourself are at risk as well. Do yourself a favor, have a little fun and get naked. Take a look at your beautiful self. Indulge in some caressing, tugging, lifting and looking. Touch, feel…go ahead get to know it all, all of your body. You might just save your life.

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Shedding the weight…

Mind, Body &  Spirit

I know in my life I can catch myself carrying around more than just a big ‘ole Fearsome Beard. I catch myself carrying some baggage from time to time. Unnecessary baggage. There are also times that I carry it without even realizing it. Carrying burdens for work, past & current relationships, family issues, guilt, unmet expectations, ….fill in blank here.

The body, like the mind, can carry some baggage too. Recently I noticed my scale took an uptick. I’m not overweight yet but I had been 170lbs for twenty years and suddenly I’m 180? WTF? Now I’m still thin but ….I used to try to gain 10lbs just to bulk up, I mean eat like crazy.  Suddenly 10 new ones outta no where without trying…I need to stay alert. Don’t get me wrong 180 is fine and I’m happy with it, but no more please. The mind and the body can also affect each other here.

Spirit, how would a spirit carry baggage? It could be my connection to spirit is blocked by something I’m carrying, feeling or doing. There are healthy ways to find the spirit and I believe unhealthy ones too. I need to work at this to keep it healthy.

As many of you know I do the Deepak Chopra free meditations a couple times a year when they are offered: 21 days, 20 minutes a day, guided and free in my e mail. I like them. A new one started today. If interested in joining me you can register for it today, or anytime during the next four days, free and not miss a one.

This one is titled: “Shedding the Weight: Mind, Body & Spirit” and if interested simply click HERE

So whatever I’m carrying from unnecessary stress to extra poundage, I hope to learn a healthier way of releasing it and letting go.

 

Learning curve

I was not up to speed. I had never paid real attention. I just went through the motions and hadn’t had the curiosity I should have had. I’m talking about No Shave November and I’m also talking about Movember.

They are two different things with a similar cause. I was peacefully unaware.

Having had a beard for 15 years and then some variation of facial hair for many years prior, I chose not to pay attention. Facial hair, I get it, I have it I love it. I got a lot of critisism in those dark years of the 1990s when it was anything but cool. So when it suddenly started to take a turn to the mainstream I was happy with the change, but wasn’t part of any movement. Therefore I missed out on the significance of what the month of November was for.

Mens Health. Period.

A blogger buddy got me up to speed yesterday when I was catching up on my reading. Movember is growing a mustache to raise awareness and No Shave November is growing a beard. I don’t know all the charities involved but do know that it not only raises monies for men’s health causes but is about men’s health in general.

There are many men who do not see a physician annually for a physical. So guys why not take a day off? Don’t watch a game or sit in an easy chair. Go see your doctor and get that physical then go to the gym, a brisk walk, swim or a run. Take care of your health for yourself as well as those you love.

The Fearsome Oral Adventure part 2

As mentioned a couple of days ago there was some concern about the left side of the mouth and a particular monster filling. Well after a few more days of intermittent pain and lots of hot/cold sensitivity I went back into see my dentist this morning. I’ve been referred to an endodontist because it’s looking more like a root canal may be necessary before any further dentistry.

WooHoo! Just what I wanted to hear. So at 2pm pacific time today the endodontist gets to tangle with Fearsome and asses if number 14 is getting a root canal. I actually hope so, get this over and done with. Wish us luck. I sure hope the endodontist doesn’t have pogonophobia.

Fearsome’s oral adventure

When I was a kid, trips to the dentist, usually in pain, were common. I spent many an hour in that chair, tilted back in pain or numbed up. I always hated the numbing needle when it went in, ouch! So needless to say I’ve got a mouth full of fillings. Big fillings, old fillings.

I'm glad this wasn't still around when I was a kid... Or maybe I wish it had been.

I’m glad this wasn’t still around when I was a kid… Or maybe I wish it had been.

My bad tooth decay adventure ended when I changed dentists in my late teens and started a regimen of quarterly teeth cleanings, flossing and better brushing. This regimen of four cleanings a year lasts to this day. I rarely have a toothache any more except when one of those huge old monster fillings fails.

While traveling in Washington DC one of them failed and the tiny piece of tooth that was left broke off into a nice piece of beef filet I was chewing. Luckily the filling stayed in place and no pain, none. I was careful and chewed on the other side the rest of the trip, got back home and into my dentist chair.

Fearsome vs a dentist. Think about that one. Long beard hairs, sticky rubber gloves, instruments going in and out, mustache trying to behave and stay out of the way, saliva and suction, drills … I think you’re starting to get a mental picture here. He tries his best to behave but he can get in the way. Fortunately my dentist is great, has small hands and a good sense of humor.

Yesterday the new permanent crown was installed. Life on that side of the oral cavity is much better. However … I chewed on the other side for about the last three weeks. Yup there’s one of those monster fillings on the other side that has fracture in it after this adventure. We are giving it a couple days before we make a decision, but it’s started aching. I wonder if I can talk my dentist into a two for one special on crowns? You know kinda like Payless Shoes, BOGO, buy one get one half off? Thank God for dental insurance.

One by one the monster fillings that are now somewhere between 30 & 40 years old are going away. Being replaced by crowns. I once dreamed I would wear a crown, in fact have several to wear for different occasions. I just dreamed they would be on my head and not in my head. Dreams do come true, just not always exactly as we dreamt them.