Week 35

week 35 collage

I am absolutely freaking out that I can’t seem to lose weight anymore, and instead of maintaining my weight, I am actually gaining.  I have no excuses so I’m not going to say that it’s because of my back pain, which turns out to be scoliosis, because I got my bike back and haven’t been riding it.  I have no excuse for not riding it.

So why haven’t I been riding my bicycle and why have I been gaining weight you ask?  Well, I’m not going to blame anyone because I am in control of what I eat and what I do, or don’t do.  I would like to say that because I haven’t been able to afford the Smart Ones meals every week that that is why I haven’t been able to lose weight, but that’s no excuse.  Although I have been eating, or trying to eat healthy fruits and vegetables, I have also been eating the Banquet dinners which are a lot cheaper than the Michelina’s.  One of the Banquet meals was green in the Noom app, but all the rest have been either yellow or red.  But you can’t say I haven’t tried eating healthy because I have been eating 1 1/2 to 2 cups of broccoli or mixed veggies with broccoli, cauliflower and carrots before eating the Banquet or Michelina’s frozen dinners.  I have also been eating Malt-O-Meal for breakfast, which shows up as green in the Noom app.

I have been doing everything right, well, except for every time my partner buys cookies, I end up eating half of the package.  I have also been extra hungry and been snacking on more wheat thins than I’m supposed to be snacking on.  I’ve also been snacking on other things because the mad hunger seems to be back like it was before I went on my weight loss journey.  It’s hard to calm down my food cravings when I have deprived myself for so long.  Even though I know something is bad for me, I’ll want it that much more.  I could be eating much worse, trust me, but I’m doing my best to stay away from much worse.

So yeah, I am very disappointed in myself, but I got my check and printed out some coupons for the Weight Watchers Smart Ones frozen dinners and we’re going to go to Food Maxx today to buy some and more Malt-O-Meal.  I love those.  I am also going to ask my partner if he will please stop buying cookies and any other snacks, and if he does, be sure to hide them from me so I don’t see them and eat them.  I am also going to ask that he not ask me if I want to go to the Mexican restaurant or McDonald’s anymore because those are too tempting for me.  I don’t mind Subway, but even that is bad because of the bread, despite the fact that I always get the 9-grain wheat.

I have been doing exercises at Physical Therapy 3 days a week for approximately 30 minutes each day, which averages out to 177 calories burned each time, but I need to step it up with riding my bicycle.  I haven’t been riding it, and again this is no excuse, because my back and front tires keep going flat on me and I don’t know why.  I don’t understand why this keeps happening to me.  It’s frustrating to me.  I can’t pump the tires with my hand pump because it irritates my carpal tunnel syndrome, and I can’t keep wasting the Co2 cartridges to keep air in them daily.  1 tire uses more than 1 cartridge of air.  That’s why I haven’t been riding, because I hate having to pull over every time my tires go flat, and I can’t find what is causing them to go flat.  It’s frustrating as hell.

I wanted to save the money from the Etsy shop to buy a new bicycle, but nobody is buying anything and the Etsy shop is costing me more money every month than I am making in profits.  If people don’t start buying keychains and earrings, I’m going to have to close my Etsy store because I just can’t afford to keep paying the fees.  Of course, I will keep what items I have listed because I had to pay to list them, so I will keep them until they expire, but if nobody buys them before then, then I won’t relist them.  Whatever doesn’t sell will end up being Christmas presents because I don’t know what else to do with them.  Boy that sure showed me how unpopular my ideas are.

Wow I have totally gone off topic, haven’t I?  Anyway, I will try to do better with my diet.  If I can’t lose weight, then at least I’d like to maintain a healthy weight.  I’d love to maintain 190 if I can, which means I need to lose 6lbs again.  I’m hoping the Smart Ones will bring me back down.  I need to start saying no more too.  Those are my 2 goals for the next month.  Hopefully I can get back down to 190.  Hopefully…

Advertisements

Today I found out that I have Sialolithiasis

Sialolithiasis

I have been dealing with a problem in my right saliva gland, called the parotid gland, for at least the last 10 years.  It comes and goes at the least 2 times and at the most 5 times per year.  The doctors have always given me antibiotics, or by the time I get to the doctor it has gone down so I don’t mention it.  This time around I had the issue and I made a special appointment for it because it was too painful to ignore.

inches and centimetersThe doctor put me on antibiotics which lasted 1 week.  I saw him a week later and was still in pain and it was still swollen and he gave me more antibiotics.  Because it wasn’t going away, he sent me to get an ultrasound and when he found out that it was 1cm, he suggested surgery, but asked me if that was what I wanted.  Not everyone wants to have surgery which would scar you, so he wanted to know what I wanted to have done.  For scale, see image (left).

He referred me to an Ear Nose Throat doctor who sent me for a cat scan with contrast and when I saw him on Wednesday, he told me that I needed to go to yet another doctor.  Are all these doctors getting a kick back for these referrals?  I mean honestly, why do I need to have so many referrals?  Anyway, he was trying to send me to Los Angeles and I told him that I’d rather go to a doctor here in Bakersfield because I don’t want to have to drive (well, I don’t drive, I’d have to be driven) all the way to Los Angeles just for a consultation to be told that I have to come back for the surgery and then after surgery.

So I went to a doctor at Kern Medical Center today for the consultation and he told me that I have 4 options

  1. Live with it.
  2. Ultrasound which they don’t do there and my insurance doesn’t cover.
  3. Surgery where they use a scope to go in there with a camera and grab the stone and pull it out, which is also not available there, I would have to go to LA and most likely make several trips, which we can’t afford and my insurance might not pay for it.
  4. Have him do surgery to remove the entire gland and give me a huge scar.

I decided on option 4, but when I told my partner out in the lobby he said “Oh no tell him you want to go to LA.”  Without thinking I went back to the counter and said I need to tell the doctor that I want to go to LA.  Then we got to talking, my insurance company probably won’t want to pay for that because I bet you that will cost more than having it removed.  Plus, we’d still have to go all the way to LA and probably make several trips.  I can’t afford that dammit!  If I could have afforded that, then I would have just done that in the beginning.  Sheesh!

Well, the doctor at KMC told me that before he can do the surgery (when I had told him I was up for option 4) he needs my doctor to sign off on it.  So I made an appointment for Tuesday of next week so I could talk to him and tell him that I need him to call that doctor’s office and give them his okay.

This is what I have.  It’s called Sialolithiasis.

parotid gland “Sialolithiasis (also termed salivary calculi,[1] or salivary stones),[1] is a condition where a calcified mass forms within a salivary gland, usually in the duct of the submandibular gland (2) (also termed “Wharton’s duct“). Less commonly the parotid gland (1) or rarely the sublingual gland (3) or a minor salivary gland may develop salivary stones.”

This is what he said will happen.  They will have to start cutting right at the edge of my sideburn just at or near the top of my ear which is where my glasses are, go all the way down below my earlobe and turn towards my neck and go down my neck.  It’s a big gland as you can see in the image above, so naturally they have to cut a lot.  He said there will be a pretty big scar, but I’m okay with that.  Neosporin has a cream for scars to help them disappear.

I have no issue with scars.  In fact, I feel scars give you character.  Perhaps the doctor will let me keep the stone so I can have something to show when I tell the story of how I got that scar on my face.

As always, I will keep updating this blog on the progress.

Legitimate Facebook Friend Request

facebook friend request

As of today, I will no longer be accepting friend requests from people on Facebook.  It seems that every time someone sends me a friend request, they either never talk to me, or they won’t leave me alone because the only reason they sent the request was because they want to have sex with me.  Facebook is not Grindr.  If you want to have sex with people, get a cell phone and install Grindr.  Here is a link to Grindr.  Use that, don’t use Facebook to look for sex.

Last night someone sent me a friend request and I gladly accepted because it said we had 1 friend in common, but then he sent me a DM asking for sex.  When I told him I was in a relationship, he asked me to help him find someone who is single.  No!  I’m not going to help you hook up with my friends.  That is not what Facebook is for!

Awhile ago, someone sent me a friend request and I gladly accepted because it also said we had 1 friend in common.  He sent me a DM and we chatted, and then suddenly he told me he was in love with me and that he wanted to be my boyfriend.  You can’t possibly be in love with me after 10 minutes.  I knew I should have ended the friendship right then and there, but he seemed suicidal and I didn’t want to be the reason that someone ended their life.  I think I have finally made it crystal clear that I am not the person for him, but I shouldn’t have to go through that.  I should be able to live my life guilt free without worrying that someone is going to kill themselves.

Speaking of which, I am always saying that if you need a person to talk to because you are suicidal, send me a DM and I will be a shoulder you can cry on.  So these people who send me a friend request then DM for sex are ruining it for those who legitimately want to talk to me because they need someone to talk to.  That’s a real shame that those people have made me not want to accept friendship requests.  Although, if someone did legitimately need someone to talk to, they can send me a DM first and then I will accept their friend request.

My reasons for being on Facebook is to talk with my friends and family.  To see their pictures and read their funny and or corny jokes and see pictures of their barbecue with their families and friends.  To me, Facebook is a website for friends, and that’s it.

I am not a prude, I like sex, but as I said before, I am in a relationship that has lasted for 19 years and I would like to get to 20 years.  I am not your boyfriend and I am not your friend with benefits.  I am just Mike and that’s it.  I save my friendship for people who actually want it.

So from now on, unless you have sent me a message saying who you are and what your intentions are, I will deny all friend requests.  I wish I didn’t have to get to this point that I have to write a blog post explaining why I will be denying friendship requests.

Rings on Etsy

gold ring

I bought a ring mandrel specifically so I could make hemp rings.  I wondered if I could make them with the plastic lace, aka gimp, and I was successful as you can see in the image above, but the success didn’t last too long because I discovered today after wearing my gold ring for 3 days that it wasn’t as strong as I thought.  Well, to be fair I couldn’t stop playing with it.  I was constantly taking it off my finger and squeezing it.  I guess I squeezed it to the point that it broke at the seam.

Someone asked me to make some rings and hoop earrings and I thought how awesome would it be to make and sell rings on Etsy?  Since I had a bad experience, I decided against it.

I bought some steel tigertail beading wire specifically so that I could make candy cane earrings.  My idea was to use the wire to bend the boondoggle into a crook to look like a candy cane, but this wire wasn’t the right wire; it’s too thin and doesn’t hold it’s shape if bent.  I knew that even if it didn’t work, I could still use it for some other project.  Perhaps I could have used it to make a beaded ring, or perhaps make a beaded earring… the possibilities are endless.

As I was deciding against making the rings, I looked at the steel tigertail beading wire and I had an epiphany.  I could weave the wire into the gimp rings so they can’t come apart.  It just might work, or will it?

glow in the dark

One of the rings I was asked to make was with the glow in the dark gimp, so I took that opportunity to use the wire knowing it could be seen through the gimp.  Here it is.  You can clearly see the wire inside the ring.  The wire holds its shape which is a good thing to know because the hoop earrings I made didn’t exactly keep their round shape.  I mean, they are still round, they just aren’t perfectly round like this ring is.

It will probably be awhile before I make the rings and hoop earrings for sale if I do decide to make and sell them.  I want to test them out on myself first.  I am my only beta tester lol.  If I play with it, I am sure someone else will and I would much rather find out if it is going to be worth the price if someone buys it or not.  I would hate to know that someone had paid money for one of these only to have to toss it in the bin.  I like to know I am selling a quality product.

I will make another gold ring for myself because I really liked that color.  It will look exactly like the image at the top, but the only difference is it will have some wire inside which you won’t see because the gold gimp is not translucent.  I am really hoping this works because I got myself excited to wear a new ring, but I also got other people excited.  I also think it would make a cool pride ring necklace to have 6 rainbow colored rings like my own pride ring necklace.  Our gay pride is coming in October so that will be perfect to wear then.

Well I better get started with my new experiment.

Health Update

Health_Update_rainbow

In my previous health update on my back I mentioned that my recent x-rays showed that my spine was curving like a parenthesis (.  Today I had my appointment with the physical therapist who told me that it was like that on the top, but the other way on the bottom, so basically it’s in an S shape.  ( on the top and ) on the bottom.  I like to think that I am such a huge Superman fan that my back is turning into the Superman S, which means hope on his planet, of course.

The physical therapist office wants me to come in 3 days a week for my therapy.  They gave me some homework exercises to do in the morning or at night, but at least do them daily.  She also suggested that if I could go swimming, I should.  I told her I didn’t have a pool and because I have a weak immune system already, that it’s probably not a good idea to use a public pool.  I get bronchitis if someone coughs 30 feet away, I can’t imagine how sick I will be if I’m in a pool with children lol.  She suggested that my bicycle is a better alternative since it doesn’t cause pain.

Today I also went to have a cat scan with contrast, which by the way… ick!  All I taste and smell is Iodine lol.  They will hopefully find out what the problem is with my swollen parotid gland so they can fix the problem.  My regular doctor suggested surgery, but the ear, nose and throat doctor doesn’t know my doctor’s diagnosis and isn’t exactly sure why he should care.  At least that’s how it seemed to me by the way he spoke to me.  He didn’t seem to have any of my doctor’s notes or even know why I was there.  I basically have to start from scratch with him as if I have never come to any doctor with my problem.  It would be nice if when a doctor refers you somewhere that they tell that doctor why they are being referred.

I will see my regular doctor this Friday and the ENT doctor on Monday.  The place I went to today for the cat scan said it would be released to both doctor’s offices in 2 business days.

I woke up in the middle of the night with THE worst headache and pain from my saliva gland.  I was also sick to my stomach so I had a PB&J.  Right now I have nausea and all I smell is Iodine still.  I hope that goes away soon lol.

More updates as they happen. 🙂

Ring Sizer

ring sizer

I have been having fun making keychains and earrings with plastic lacing aka gimp, but I also have fun making bracelets, chokers and rings using hemp.  Before making too many rings, I needed to buy a ring sizer so I knew exactly what size the rings were after I made them.

When making a ring using hemp, you have to measure the gimp on something round, like say your finger or a ring sizer, but I have found that the size you start out with, isn’t always the size you end up with.  Like take the 2 rings in the image above for example.  I started making both of these on the size 12 mark, the thicker hemp ended up being a size 9 and the smaller hemp ended up being a size 9.5.  That’s why I wanted a ring sizer.

These rings are specifically made without anything added, they are plain hemp rings.  I would like to make the rings with beads, but the problem that I am facing is that the seed beads that I bought are too tiny for the hemp to go through.  They are the perfect size on the outside, but their holes are way too small for the hemp.  My purpose for wanting to use beads was so I could make rainbow hemp rings with beads.

I am not sure anyone will want to buy plain hemp rings, but I will list them in every size (after I have made them in every size with both thicknesses of course) and see what happens.  If they sell then they sell, if they don’t then they don’t.  I will keep searching for the right size beads so I can keep trying what I wanted to try in the first place.

The ring sizer mandrel only cost $3 with free shipping from Etsy from DarcusTori.  It was a ridiculously low price with free shipping, but I figure I should take advantage while I still can.  Supplies end up costing me a lot more money than I am getting in profit, so the less expensive everything is, the better it is for me to be able to continue making things that probably won’t sell lol.

Anyway, I want to see about getting some better beads and I will go from there.  I think rings with rainbow colors would look awesome.  I’m thinking that I may still get some use out of the beads that I have by beading them alone.  Of course I will have to find a good pattern for beading now lol.  Ugh so many crafts, so little time.

Lego Maniac

lego_star_wars_2_the_original_trilogylego_star_wars_IIIlego_harry_potter_years_1-4lego_harry_potter_years_5-7lego_batmanlego_indiana_jones_the_original_adventureslego_indiana_jones_2_the_adventure_continueslego_pirates

Lego’s were my babysitter when I was a child.  You could literally put me in a room with a bunch of Lego’s and leave for a couple of hours and come back and I would still be in the same spot building with my plastic bricks.  I have such an emotional connection with Lego’s so it’s no surprise that when they came out with video games, even as an adult I was attracted to them.

I can remember when I first discovered the Lego video games.  We were in a Game Stop at the mall and I was going through their games looking for a new game and I found Lego Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy.  The clerk told me that in June that year, which was 2008, Lego was coming out with a new game called Lego Indiana Jones.  Naturally I had to pre-order it.  When I did get it, it came with a free t-shirt which I wore all the time.  I wore it so much that it is a bit faded and it has many holes in it.  It’s been retired and is hanging in my closet.

The next game was Lego Batman, which I naturally pre-ordered and it was released in September of the same year.  I got a Robin keychain.

lego robin

Lego Indiana Jones 2 came out in 2009, but I didn’t buy it.  Lego Harry Potter Years 1-4 came out in 2010 and I did pre-order it and bought it, but I don’t recall getting something for free.  Lego Star Wars III The Clone Wars came out in 2011, but I didn’t buy it, but in May 2011 Lego Pirates of the Caribbean came out and I did pre-order and buy that one.  Finally Lego Harry Potter Years 5-7 came out in November 2011 but I did not buy it.

My reasons for not buying some of the Lego games weren’t because I didn’t want to play with them, but more because I couldn’t afford to keep buying new games at their high prices.  I figured I would wait for them to go down in price, or until I had a gift card.

I have been doing surveys with e-rewards.com for many years and have gotten a lot of games for my PSP with Game Stop gift cards from e-rewards.  In fact, 90% of the games that I do own are from doing surveys.  Surveys have helped keep me gaming for many years, but for some reason they stopped coming, and when they did come again, I wasn’t interested in doing them anymore out of boredom.

Recently I decided to do some new surveys and realized I had $60 in my e-rewards account which was more than enough to get a new gift card for Game Stop.  Unfortunately they raised the cost of the reward from $50 to $75 for a $25 gift card.  I’ve been doing surveys every day since then so I could have $75 in my account so I could get my gift card and I finally did.

We went to the Game Stop at the Valley Plaza yesterday and unfortunately, they don’t carry PSP games anymore.  The guy said that if I wanted PSP games, I would have to visit their Rosedale store or the East Hills mall.  Bollocks!

I recently got a $35 gift card from Amazon for advertising on my blog so I decided to buy Lego Star Wars III: The Clone Wars.  I decided to go to GameStop.com with my $25 Game Stop gift card and I bought the 2 remaining Lego games that I was missing.  When those come, I will have all 8 Lego games for the PSP.  I got free shipping with my order of $25 or more, and it was more.  With taxes it came to $30.07 so all I had to pay out-of-pocket (or out of debit card lol) was 5.07.

I have been playing Lego Star Wars III and I do love it.  I believe I am 10% in the game now.

I love the Lego games and I can’t wait to play the new ones.