I’ve been feeling very sluggish lately and I’m realizing more and more that my emotional state is the culprit. I really don’t want to come off as a complainer, or negative person; but what I do want to do is explore what the heck is going on in my head. Isn’t this blogging stuff supposed to be about that? Our deep thoughts? Anyway, don’t really think anyone who knows me actually reads my blog, so I’m safe.
Well, when our son was born I had to quit my job after trying to get them to let me either work from home or as a part-time employee. Yes, I feel that I have to interject that part–the effort I made to keep my employment in some form or another. That makes me feel better and that my intentions were not to become a deadbeat. What a conflict of emotions. It was ingrained in me while growing up that I was going to be a wife and SAHM (stay at home mom). It was the 1970’s and that’s what most women did. If they were working, when they had their babies, they quit work and stayed home to raise the kids. My time was a time that was this was still socially the norm, yet little by little women were making headway in the workplace. While attaining “careers” but still a rare breed. High school career day did not feature any careers for women aside from secretary. Ah, I’m blubbering and you get the idea. The other side of this is that I needed a job to make me feel valuable and useful, financially. Socially, if you do not have a job, you’re a worthless, lazy deadbeat.
So, I’ll start off by saying that I “know” that the work of the mom is THE most important work that anyone can do. It’s your job and responsibility to raise and teach your children to grow into GOOD people. Caring people, compassionate, smart, loving, giving, resourceful, and SUCCESSFUL, self-sufficient, independent people. In our case, “independent” and “self-sufficient” are particularly important. So. I know this…..
I’d really like to focus on my current day-to-day living. We are barely getting by and where it shows the most is with the food we buy. I love to cook and I love to cook with fresh everything, meat, veggies, cheese, and fresh spices preferably grown in my own backyard. Well, I can’t do any of those things now and it hurts me in every way. I love fresh ground coffee. I loved going to farmer’s markets in the summertime. I loved that occasional purchase of something totally different to what we’re used to buying. I know that hubby loves doing this, too, but we’ve long since stopped the extras and stuck with the bare necessities. What used to make me very happy was just going food shopping. Now, my hubby does that shopping and while I know that he’s trying to save money, the stuff he buys is not very healthy. I keep quiet because I know that he’s trying to do the best he can with the money (or credit) he has. Without getting into specifics, we are buying cheap. We practically purchase our food on a day-to-day basis, which means I cannot cook the way I want to cook. Heating up freezer food is not my idea of cooking and, indeed, it is NOT cooking at all. No leftovers to create another meal. No divided servings in the freezer from cooking a lot at once. No real ingredients on hand to put together something delicious at the last minute. Oh, but I can say that I did just that only yesterday. I made an awesome white bean dip with beans, mayonnaise, sun-dried tomatoes left over from March, a bit of left over sour cream and spices that have been in my cupboard, and a bit of honey. I made a meal out of that for myself and dipped pretzels in there. Believe it or not, it made me forget. It gave me control over the food.
Last year I took a canning class and I was so set on canning blueberries or whatever presented itself when I had the extra money to buy the ingredients. Well, it didn’t happen for the blueberries and not sure when, or with what I’ll be able to do this magic of canning. It’s a bit depressing since I did make sure to get all implements of canning last year, especially for the jellies, jams and preserves. What I did manage to can was about five jars of honey mustard. It came out thick, pastier than expected but then again I did “tweak” the recipe and so I had to deal with the result. Still, it tasted great and I was very happy with that batch~!
So, it’s not only about the food. It’s about the skyrocketing costs in gas and tolls, and the ability, or non-ability to bank. I do not have a bank account or even a credit card of my own. Don’t cry for me on that one because I am glad that I don’t have a credit card, but miserable that I don’t have a bank account. TOLLS. $28.00 in bridge tolls alone to visit my brother out on Long Island, NY, from Elizabeth, NJ. Same goes for Brooklyn, NY, my hometown. The Port Authority should be ASHAMED of themselves! So, what do I tell my family and friends when I say we can’t visit? It’s a bummer. I grew up in Brooklyn, NY, a mere few miles away, and I can’t even visit there. I drive myself crazy trying to combine activities on trips, but that’s really not fair especially the last minute plans. It’s also about worrying about conserving gas and I end up not going out at all to meet up with friends. Our, or I should say MY lifestyle has changed so much and it’s not even like I’m used to luxury. Never had that, but I always managed to do something stupid to make myself feel like I’m doing something special. My old tricks are not effective any longer and so, I’m feeling a bit depressed. When I think of “luxury,” I think of going out for dinner at a nice restaurant, maybe take in a movie. Oh, and that diamond ring, earrings and necklace! (Ha, a leftover sentiment from my last post, Dream Home, Dream On. DH and I have given up on date night, let alone spring for a vacation. We probably don’t need a vacay since we’re not working, right?
DH is doing the best that he can. He finally got his degree and even substituted five days the last week of school. However, he is now finding out what I’ve known all along… that there are no jobs out there. I have sacrificed the skills and experience that I have, professionally, and applying for supermarket jobs, preferably for overnight, or late night. I realize that this is needed as DH really needs to work daytime and I can comfortably work nighttime. DH has applied several places and has not received back a whisper of interest. This is definitely depressing, especially since we really need health insurance. Nobody is offering health insurance these days. Yeah, and on that topic, I really want to know if the president and congress will give up their gold card health insurance plans and put themselves on Obamacare with the rest of this country. Congress! That’s a whole other disgrace~!
I might paint a pretty awful picture, and I tried not to get “complaintive” with it. When I think about it, I’ve got to be grateful for what I do have. What we do have, at least for this month, is a roof over our heads and an air conditioner that works. Maybe we should start really worrying when we can’t get provide the basics for our eight year old boy. Also, if I were working, I’d never have adequate time to advocate and prepare for his educational needs. I’d never have the time to research and go for training on Autism. So what the HECK. Something’s got to give. Unfortunately, I can’t get paid to advocate for my child. I’d love to feel free enough to devote my time for what I think is truly important–my son’s education. If I were working, I’d never have found out, as soon as I did, about the school district re-drawing the school borders, effectively kicking my son out of his present school and into another one. So, this week I had the time to research into that, make and keep an appointment with our principal, then write and hand deliver a letter requesting they make an exception for my son and keep him in his current school. HO LY Crap! Counting my blessings on THAT one.
I have a great husband, beautiful son, and I am so very proud of both of them. I wish that I could get rid of this feeling of dread in the pit of my stomach, but I can’t. It’s with me day and night. I postpone waking up in the morning for as long as I can. My doctor says that stress is not good for me right now and I look at him and wonder why I came to see him in the first place. No way this stress is leaving any time soon, but you can be sure that when my son wants a cuddle, I will give him the best cuddle I can give.
- Confessions of a Housewife (carpentersquill.wordpress.com)
- Diabetes (shitmyfildoes.wordpress.com)
- Inside Story – Jyoti Madras Sambhar Recipe (jyotinaturalfoods.wordpress.com)
- Culinary school helps special students (wxyz.com)
- Nutrition and the Community (marileepsu.wordpress.com)
- Budget Thursday… (halfdozendaily.typepad.com)
- A Life of No Regrets (everydaypatriotism.com)
- Your Easy Weeknight Dinner Plan: Creamy Mustard Chicken (thedailymuse.com)
- How to get started with water bath canning (examiner.com)
- How canned foods help you cook like the pros (lifestylewebtv.com)
So, yesterday I donated platelets at Robert Wood Johnson Hospital, formerly known as Rahway Hospital in Rahway, NJ. Personally, I will never accept it as RWJ. I really don’t like it when they rename streets, buildings, schools, and yes, hospitals. So much of the history is lost when they do that and it upsets my stomach. I had stopped going to the hospital in Rahway because I didn’t like the treatment I got there past few times, and yes, maybe I was moody those days; but compounded by the dreary atmosphere, antiquated equipment and the overall dirty, dim look and feel of the room, I had decided to change my donation place to another location. Humph. A lot of good that name-changing thing did for the Blood Donor Room.
Anyway, Marty at the Blood Center of New Jersey called last week and asked if I could do it and though I hesitated, I agreed to donate there yesterday. I hadn’t donated since September and I was due. In October I suffered some nerve damage from getting the flu shot and stopped my donations because they come from the same arm I get pain in. It’s not just laying there during donations. You need to keep track of the “draws” and “returns”, and during the draws, you need to squeeze a stress ball to keep the pressure up. Otherwise what will happen is that the alarm will go off and there will be a problem. An important problem. Squeezing the ball keeps the blood flowing and prevents it from slowing down too much or stop altogether… NOT good.
Platelet Fact: Cancer, transplant, trauma, and open-heart surgery patients require platelet transfusions to control their bleeding.
I don’t like to say no to Marty. He’s always been a nice guy to talk to and one time sent me a little platelet guy.
Though I’ve always been committed to donating platelets, I’ve not always had a pleasant experience. It took me a few times in the beginning to get used to it; and one very specific time that I got sick from it. Not sick, sick; but I felt horrible. THE most important thing you can do for yourself is to drink plenty of water before and after your donation. Keep hydrated–very important. The next, if not more important thing to do to prevent getting sick is to eat very well before your donation. What I mean by that is that you need to build up your iron and what I do is eat generously, but not over eat, a nice steak, go easy on fats and dairy. I usually do a london broil a couple of days before donation, night before, etc. On the day of donation, you simply MUST eat well. By that I mean you must eat like a human, and not a rabbit. Eat healthy, but EAT. Yesterday for breakfast I actually ate a beef filling I had made out of chopped beef, onions, vegetables and tomatos and water. It was left over from a sort of beef pot pie…. individuals ones encased in pie dough. Then two hours later I ate salad, a beef empanada, rice and water. THEN, about a half hour before my donation, I ate a ham and cheese sandwich on a bagel with water. My stomach did not get upset at all. This last meal was eaten in the hospital cafeteria, which is probably the only redeeming value of donating at this hospital. A place to relax in. Oh, another good point. I always go to my donations early. Early enough so that I can relax sufficiently so that my temperature has a chance to settle down. Commuting to my donations always elevates my temp. and I’ve been rejected just because of that in the past. Oh, and don’t drink hot beverages right before donating as that will elevate your temp, as well. Something I never thought about. Something I never thought about, but is important is to take the time to sit and eat those cookies and sweets they offer you after donation.
Notice for Diabetics:
This is the one time you may indulge in sugary things. Just here at your donation place. You sugar levels will be lower and simply put, you need this. This does not mean that you can eat cookies for the rest of the day, just now, here after your donation. Just one, maybe two servings… but that’s it. I am diabetic and I do not drink the juices, but I do have one oatmeal cookie and cream sandwich and I take a pack of pretzels and water with me for the ride home. Of course, everyone is different. These are the things that I’ve noticed at work for ME.
Okay, so in review:
- Eat meat, preferably a good steak a day or so before platelet donation.
- Eat generously day of your platelet donation.
- Keep well hydrated all the time, but most important in the days before donation and after.
- Try to eat something right before your donation.
- RELAX. Get relaxed and stay relaxed.
- Avoid hot beverages right before your donation.
- Take advantage of the cookies! Take a minute or two for guilt-free treats.
This morning I slept like a rock and rolled out of bed on the late side, 8:00am. Usually, I wake up with the normal ruckus of the morning. Not so today, but that’s a-okay.
I can’t seem to make the right food decisions, any decision concerning my weight. It feels like a brick wall that I just can’t seem to get around. I know all the reasons why I should get on the path to wellness, and they are BIG reasons… yet there seems to be something physically stopping me. My legs just won’t move, but my hands can still reach for the wrong food choices. I keep telling myself to just get out there already and walk just around the block… I see just how weak my legs have become though they’ve never failed me before. I’m getting older, approaching 50, and know that my body is not what it used to be…. which was very healthy, no matter what weight I was. The doctors were all dumbfounded. I guess I took some pride in that I was healthier than most normal weight people and was stronger and more physically flexible than most of my friends. That is not the case now, and I’ve got to make myself get humble and fix things…..
Apheresis (ay-fur-ee-sis): The process of removing a specific component from blood and returning the remaining components to the donor, in order to collect more of one particular part of the blood than could be separated from a unit of whole blood. Also called hemapheresis or pheresis*.
*Pheresis: Procedure in which the blood is filtered, separated, and a portion retained, with the remainder being returned to the individual.
There are various types of pheresis. In leukapheresis, the leukocytes (white blood cells) are removed. In plateletpheresis, the thrombocytes (blood platelets) are removed. And in plasmapheresis, the liquid part of the blood (the plasma) is removed.
From the Greek “aphairesis” meaning withdrawal.
If you want to learn more about the apheresis procedure and what it does, you can find out more at the Blood Center of NJ site. Please note there are two more links towards the bottom of the page for “learning more about the procedure” and “who needs your donation”. You will be surprised at what you didn’t know.
Did you know that Robert Wood Johnson Hospital, formerly known as “Rahway Hospital”, serves Seattle’s Best coffee? Tastes so good, especially since I broke my coffee pot a few days ago and have been boiling my coffee, you know, like in the good old days. It wasn’t bad, but lots of grinds guaranteed in every cup.
I’ve been thinking about how blessed I am, being able to donate platelets. It comforts me to know that this old, diseased body can still be good for something in it’s brokenness. Well, more than that. I’m saving a life with every donation and that’s good to think about. This appointment also got me out of the house today, and let me tell you, the sun is HOT out there. What a beautiful day!
I thought I’d take some time to talk a little bit about my experiences that deviated from the norm during these past few years. Now, when you undergo the apheresis procedure, you can’t just lay there and fall asleep, though I’ve been seriously tempted. When I slide into that reclining position, my body relaxes to the point of slipping into slumber. Well, I did just that on one such occasion and all hell broke loose. You have an active role during this procedure and you definitely need to pay attention. There are two parts to this:
- Withdrawal of your blood
- Separation of components needed
- Returning the blood to your body
The nurse inserts the same kind of needle like if you were giving whole blood and gives you a spongeball. When the machine starts to withdraw blood,you need to squeeze that ball the whole time it’s on the “withdraw”. You can even watch a window on the machine as your blood is gathered and running through the machine. Next, the machine signals the “return”, when your blood is returned to your body through the same port that the blood came out of. During this time, you can relax your hand because that squeezing creates a pressure, the same kind when nurses take your blood pressure and you need to squeeze your hand. One the withdraw, it makes it easier for the blood to leave your body; but when your blood is returning, the squeezing makes it harder for it to come back and it’s sort of running against the current, so to speak. Well, when I fell asleep, for however briefly, my pressure was too low and that screwed up the works. Alarms went off and the technician had to adjust the machine to accommodate the change in pressure and I had to pump that ball fast and furious to get those alarms to stop. In the end, I was okay, but falling asleep is not really a good thing to do when you’re doing this. I’ve learned my lesson. One thing I’ve got to say is that I was pretty disappointed to learn that I can’t knit or crochet while doing the apheresis thang.
Every time I do this, it’s different. Usually I am able to do a triple donation, but sometimes it’s a double. This just means that according to your body, you may be able to donate either one, two, or three units of donations, s-a-f-e-l-y. That is, at no risk to you or the platelet level needed in your body to stay healthy.
Oh boy, it’s almost time for me to get in there. I’ll report more later or tomorrow.
Just a quick note to say that I’ve been successfully donating double and triple units of platelets. Getting ready for an appointment today, as well; and hope to write about it when I get home while still fresh in my mind.
I also want to thank those who are steady commentators on my platelet posts. Several of them in 2006 and 2007, and I am so grateful for your interest. I do notice that I seriously need to tag my posts and will do at least that when I get home, and hopefully I’ll feel up to it. No reason not to, but sometimes donating platelets takes more out of you than you would think. Nothing that a nap couldn’t help.
Anyway, I’ve got a few errands to run today beforehand, so I’ll be cutting this short.
Have a great day!