Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Staying Afloat

Somehow, some way, I am staying afloat...despite the ups and downs with my husband's illness (My Soulmate, June 17)...I am staying afloat. It's not easy by any is truly the hardest thing I have had to do in my 49 years...and it doesn't get any easier each actually gets harder.

Yesterday was the worst day...not only does my husband have a wound vac in his leg (just like Tony Soprano had after his uncle shot him in the stomach...the surgeons were sure to tell me all about this wound vac when they operated...and Tony got better...hopefully that means that my husband will too)...but my husband also has a yeast infection and now a blood infection...he is fighting for his life...and I am fighting to stay afloat.

I went swimming the other day...I am not a very good swimmer...but it was a warm, sunny day...and I needed to feel the sunshine...especially after leaving the cold, sterile hospital room where my husband lies in his puffy bed (they've given him a blow up bed that almost looks like a waterbed...they say it is good for his circulation)...wish he could have gone swimming with me...but he doesn't like wearing bathing suits and he is not a very good swimmer either...I took swimming lessons when I was younger...when I went to day camp when I was six or seven years old...I was always afraid of the water...especially the deep water...even at 49...the deep water still scares me...and while I enjoy is not one of my favorite sports (I'm not very good at any sport...I'm more of an armchair sportswoman)... unlike my older sister who took swimming lessons later in life and now swims 50 laps several times a week...I just try to stay afloat...and relax while I doggy paddle.

I arrived at the pool later in the day...I sat by the edge near the deep end...I always sit by the lefthand the last lap lane where there is a stepladder so I am assured a way out of the pool (there is no way my 49 year old arms can lift my 49 year old lower half of my body out of the side of the pool without a stepladder)... I was wearing one of my many Speedo bathing suits which I always wear (at least I look like a good swimmer even if I can barely stay afloat)...I dipped my feet in the chilly water...then my thighs went in...and then I plunged in...I was proud of myself...I needed to feel that rush of coldness...that chilly water all over my body...I needed to forget about that sterile hospital room...about my husband's illness...about the past week and a half that has turned my life and my family's life upside down.

I swam a few laps...back and forth...up and felt so good...chilly...but good...I was able to stay afloat for about 10 laps...then my arms started to tire...I went to look for one of my favorite swimming favorite water noodle...the long foamy noodle that keeps me afloat when I tire out...but there were no noodles to be found...I looked in the three foot section where the kids were noodles...I looked in the six foot section where the older teens were hanging noodles...I noticed one purple noodle in the corner of the pool...close enough that I could reach it...but when I swam over to the noodle...I noticed it had a name on was Victoria's purple noodle...and Victoria would not share her noodle with a 49 year old woman...I was more swimming for me...I just couldn't stay afloat any more noodles for everyone at the pool this year...that's the new rule...wonder why Victoria knew about this new "bring your own noodle" rule and no one told me.

I went to Target today...I bought two Original Funnoodles (America's Favorite #1 Selling Pool Toy for those ages 5+...guess that includes me too...I'm definitely more than five)...and I'm putting my name on these noodles...just like Victoria did (who I think was about 5 years old)...and I'm taking them to the pool the next time I go...I'm going to stay afloat for more than 10 laps next time I go to the pool...and I'm going to stay afloat as my husband lies in his puffy bed...I know there will be more sunny days for me...and hopefully, my hubby will share one of my Funnoodles with me sometime in the future...maybe for my 50th birthday we will go to the Bahamas and swim in the pool...I'll pack my Funnoodles in my suitcase...when he is all better...and doesn't need his puffy bed anymore...I bought two yellow Funnoodles so we'll match...he'll likely be skinny enough to wear a Speedo bathing suit...we'll definitely be a pair...staying afloat together.


Saturday, June 23, 2007

When You're Smilin'

My husband smiled at me made my day...and he opened his eyes...that made my day even better...and he squeezed my hand...even if he didn't know what he was doing...I was okay with felt so good to know that even in the smallest way...he knew I was there...there by his side hoping and praying for his speedy recovery. (My Soulmate-June 17)

Good thing he didn't see my smile...I have to improve my smile...maybe for my 50th birthday I'll turn those buttercups into pearly when I was younger... never did have very good front tooth has been capped for the past 30's ready for a new one...and my other front tooth is discolored as well...I drink too much coffee and tea (but I can't stop my coffee and tea...especially not my favorite Starbucks decaf skim latte grande)...and my upper tooth on the right has a silver filling that is starting to show through.

"What should I do," I said to my dentist at my six month check-up this past week..."should I live with my aging teeth...or should I finally make my smile brighter at 50?"

"Is it our teeth that give away our age?" I thought to myself. I better start thinking more seriously about all this whitening stuff...only six months to go to the 5-0. Should I try the Crest 5 minute whitening treatment(that's about all the time I have right now...but if I can get the process started...maybe it will least temporarily ...except for the capped tooth which does not respond to whitening ingredients...and that is my front I may end up with a two-tone smile...nope...that is not a very good idea).

My dentist recommends I get the Zoom Chairside Whitening System first...then follow with two new veneers for my front teeth...and some bonding for the tooth with the silver filling. I didn't ask what this Zoom and Veneer job will cost (will worry about that later)...I have to think about this first...but I'm getting up the courage to move to the next step...and ask to see the $$$$ signs.

My dentist is so is my dental hygenist...I know they want me to look my best for my 50th birthday...and I was so pleased to hear that my receding gum line is just that...a receding gum periodontal disease...thank you Dr. R...thank you...thank you...that is one thing I didn't want to have to worry about right now...I have enough to worry about.

Then it was time to make my next dental appointment. "Do you want to make your checkup for January 2008...that's about six months from now," said my dental hygenist. "January," I said, "I can't make my six month appointment for January you know what January 2008 is my 50th birthday...and I don't know where I will be...I could be someplace some resort or spa in a European city where I've never been before...being at the dentist is definitely not on my list for January 2008...unless it is to get my new teeth and my new smile." "Okay," she said, "I about December 20, 2007" sounded so much better...yes..."December 20th it is," I told her, "and I'll let you know beforehand what I decide about my new teeth and my new smile."

Smiling has definitely been on my mind this week...from the the hospital room where my husband will hopefully be smiling again...sometime really soon.

Yes, a smile makes all the Louis Armstrong sang...

When you're smilin'....keep on smilin'
The whole world smiles with you
And when you're laughin'....keep on laughin'
The sun comes shinin' through

But when you're cryin'.... you bring on the rain
So stop your frownin' happy again
Cause when you're smilin'....keep on smilin'
The whole world smiles with you


Wednesday, June 20, 2007

While You Were Sleeping

Lately I feel like Sandra Bullock in the movie "While You Were Sleeping"...remember how she visited Peter Gallaghar who was in a coma...and the family thought she was the fiance...but instead she got close with the family and ended up marrying the younger brother Bill Pullman. It was one of my favorite Sandra Bullock movies.

Wish I was in the movies instead of living in reality...I'm not getting close with any other cute younger brother to fall in love with...and the man under sedation in the real ICU bed is really my husband (My Soulmate-June 17) ...I'm the wife who is praying every day that my husband will get stronger so I can tell him that "while you were sleeping"...

- I put out the garbage and the recycling and arranged the newspapers on Tuesday...just like you like the bins and the newspapers arranged (except, I didn't need to put out the bottle there was no pile up of water bottles...the water bottles you drink every day were not there...because while you were sleeping you couldn't drink any water with a ventilator

- I made dinner every night...or attempted to make dinner for my son and me...not as good as your are a good cook...did I ever tell you that...I did this week while you were sleeping

- I had a lot of time to think about a whole bunch of things while I sat in the hospital room while you were sleeping...especially all the places I want to go...after I turn 50...or maybe if you're all better during the later half of my 49th year...yes...I want to do some of those go back to our favorite spot in Santa Monica or Marina del Rey...and make plans for our new kitchen counters and cabinets too...I know we'll fight over the cabinets...just like we did during the bathroom renovation last year...that's why...while you were sleeping...I decided on all the kitchen you won't have to worry when you wake up

- I set my alarm clock each night so I would get up on time for work...and I gave our son his morning pill each morning...and I actually set the alarm correctly and it worked...I wasn't late...not one day

- I was by your side and I stroked your head and held your hand...I yelled a few times to try to wake you up...but you did not did not wake up...but I know while you were sleeping you were having some good were when you wake up you can take me dancing...that's what we will owe me a dance for my 50th birthday...the Rainbow Room atop Rockefeller they still have dancing...I will have to check and see...meantime, you better wake up soon... we have to start practicing the Cha Cha and birthday is only about six months away!


Sunday, June 17, 2007

My Soulmate

This wasn't the Father's Day I was expecting...I had planned to take my husband out to dinner on Saturday night...we had argued earlier in the week about which restaurant we would go to...the steak restaurant he wanted to go to (even though I'm not a big steak eater or the seafood restaurant I wanted to go to)...and then I was going to make him his favorite spinach pie for dinner on Sunday with phyllo dough...just the way he likes it...I was going to cook...just for him.

But, took a twist and a turn...a roller coaster ride you could say...not like the menopausal roller coaster...but a bit rougher ride...he had a complication from his catheritization earlier in the week...I thought his heart was back in was in rhythm for a few days...but then the beat went off-key...his rhythm turned into a clot and he was bleeding internally...and the next thing I knew his blood pressure was all the way down to 60 over 40...and he was in ICU...and I was thinking...I'm 49...I'm not even 50...I'm not ready to lose my soulmate...the person who has been next to me in bed for the past 23 years (24 if you count the year before we were of our happiest I might in my mother and father would say) was not going to lose my soulmate...not on Father's Day weekend...and not before my 50th birthday.

It was a scary roller coaster ride this weekend...lots of twists and turns...but thanks to great doctors, surgeons, nurses...and a whole lot of husband got knocked down but he is going to get up again...he is not going to miss my 50th birthday...I won't let him...and I won't let him miss his birthday tomorrow either...I'm going to sing him a happy birthday song...even if he doesn't remember (I'm not a very good singer anyway)...even if he can't blow out his candles right now...I'm going to sing him a happy birthday tune...and maybe I'll eat a piece of birthday cake for him...or a birthday cupcake...even if he can't enjoy it now...I'll enjoy it for him.

Life is truly testing me during my 49th's hitting me hard...but I'm like the Helen Ready song, "I am Woman, Hear Me Roar!"...yes those twists and turns on the roller coaster of life are doing a number on me...especially this week and this is testing I passing

...I shed a few tears (okay, I shed many tears...and will likely shed many more...I'm allowed a few extras for the menopausal tears and the roller coaster tears)
...I had to make some tough I let me kids see their dad in this condition or not...I said "no"...did I make the right decision...I don't know...but I made a decision...which is something that is not easy for me to do...especially when I'm on a roller coaster
...I cooked my spinach pie anyway...I made a huge spinach pie and my son and I ate a few pieces and I froze the rest for a later date when my husband is well and I can bring him a piece in rehab
...I bought a birthday card for my hubby...even though he is sedated and won't remember the card...I'm going to bring it to him's good that he won't remember it...because I think it is the same exact card that I bought him for his birthday last year (it's a really great card so he will just have to get it two years in a row)
...I went food shopping...haven't done the family food shopping in a long...long...long time...but my sweet dear hubby...who normally does this chore...left a list for me (maybe he knew he was going to be sick)...down to the last aisle of where I had to go to find the peanut butter...the super chunky kind...I did a pretty good job...only forgot one or two items on the list.

I'm passing...but I can't wait to have my soulmate my complain to when I come home from talk to about his (and my) aches and age love...even if he hides the Saran Wrap in a place where I cannot find it when he is not here and I run out of Saran Wrap to wrap up all the extra pieces of spinach pie...I miss my soulmate...hope he gets better soon and comes back home so I can give him a big hug.


Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Commencing on 50

It's June. And that means that there will be graduations...every year since my 21st...this time of year I always think back to my college graduation...never thought I would graduate from least not the college I started out at in 1975...all those letters I wrote home saying..."I hate it here...not going to make it here...too hard here...too cold here...too much work here"...then the next thing I remember it was four years later and I was walking down the path to the big Cornell University stadium with my mom and dad cheering me on...that was 1979...(two more years and it will be my 30th can that be) glad I can still remember those days...especially since I forget so many things lately.

When I see all the young graduates today...I'm in awe...I think I can relate better to the kindergarten grads than the high school grads...some of those high achieving high schoolers have done more in their 18 years than I've done in my 49...and forget about the college grads...many have been all over the world...yes...all over the world...when I was in college I was happy in my own little world...didn't even think about seeing the entire world...not me...although I did go cross country as a chaperone on a teen tour the summer after I graduated...I traveled across the western part of the USA and into Western Canada...spent two months with 50 teenagers...not sure which was more fascinating...seeing all the sites...or seeing how many teenagers could climb over my sleeping bag to try to get out of the tent for the night...(that's I was a camping I remember exactly why I never became a teacher).

Just read all the excerpts from several of this year's commencement speakers...Gloria Steinem spoke at Smith College...Angela Davis spoke at University of California and Grinnell College...and Laura Bush was at Pepperdine University...commencement speeches are always so inspiring...of course they are inspiring to me now that I'm 49... I'm interested to hear what these wise women have to say...I bet all the twentysomethings find them boring...except for the alpha over-achievers...I don't even remember who spoke at my college commencement...nope...can't even remember who it was...obviously didn't make an impact on my life...well..maybe it did and I just can't remember what the impact was.

I was thinking the other day what I would say to all the graduates...that is if I was ever asked to give a commencement speech...I'll have to write my book first...then maybe some school will ask me to speak at their graduation...when I'm a famous author maybe I will go to Pepperdine University and give a commencement speech (just like Laura Bush)...I still have time...I'm only 49...there's many graduation speeches to give...but what would I tell my graduates?

I think I'd tell them about storming, norming and performing...I'd tell them that the years after they graduate they will be storming, norming and performing...and then they will do it all over again...that's my early 20s I stormed...moved around from job to job and guy to guy...later in my 20s and 30s I married...had kids...settled my 40s I was really performing...the best at my career was on the rise...I was a working mom doing it all...or at least I thought I was doing it all.

Now as I approach 50...I'm ready to do it all over again (not the kids...just the storming, norming, performing)...yep...I'm ready to storm again...I'm graduating all over again...this is my commencement year...(it's almost there...I'll turn 50 in a few months...but it is June and that is when commencement I'm going to celebrate my 49th...almost 50th year...and think about all the storming that is coming up.)

This time I'm so much much more experienced...I do know now what I didn't know then...therefore, watch out world...the storm may start out as a drizzle...but I think this time around...I may want to have a thunderstorm...and I'm I don't mind if it's a hard rain storm...let it hail...I have my umbrella...I'm ready to graduate.


P.S. - If I'm graduating I do deserve some graduation presents...maybe I should get the pair of red shoes that I've wanted this year...I found the exact pair of red shoes...the same as my black patent leather Tahari ones...only in red...yes...I think I'll buy myself my red Tahari pumps at fresh shoe shop from Gap...sounds like a good idea to me...then I'll finally have my red pumps to match my red bag...I think this is going to be a good commencement.

Friday, June 8, 2007

My Peri-Part of Life

It's happening to's happening to me...that thing they call peri-menopause...I knew it would catch up with me eventually...and now it's really happening. I haven't had my period in over two months (and I bought several boxes of Tampax and Stayfree maxi-pads because they were on sale...will have to eventually throw them away...maybe this time forever)...this might be a good thing...although then I'll have reached menopause...that shouldn't fully happen until about 52 or 54.

Am I ready for the night sweats that are going to happen soon...and the hot flashes that are going to invade my body...should I go purchase a new freezer and put it in the bedroom...may have to get a portable air conditioner for my office at work too...or stock up on ice cubes during the day...I'll have to buy more pyjamas for when I have my night sweats and have to change clothes at midnight or 1:00 a.m....or maybe after all these years I should switch to nightgowns...they are easier to get on and off...I've never been a nightgown person...but I can change now that I'm approaching might be time to ditch the pjs and buy some sexy negligees...Victoria Secret here I come.

Better get my 49 year old body ready for this peri-stage of my life...before the full fledge menopause hits.

According to Dr. Barbara Dehn RN MS NP, from the iVillage website, "peri-menopause is the transition stage before a woman’s periods stop completely. There may be wide fluctuations in hormone levels which may lead to irregular periods and intense symptoms such as hot flashes and night sweats. Many women liken this transition to being on a “roller coaster” because symptoms come and go and can vary in their intensity from day to day. The average age that women experience peri-menopause is in the late 40’s to early 50’s."

I never liked roller coasters when I was a kid and still don't...carousels are my favorite ride...I love sitting on the horses and going up and down and round and round...why can't peri-menopause be like a carousel...why does it have to be like a roller coaster...if I do have to prepare myself for this "roller coaster" world maybe I should go to Six Flags...or Universal Studios...or DisneyWorld this summer...maybe that's how I should spend my summer vacation during my 49th summer...go try out some real roller coasters so I'm better prepared for this peri-part of my life.

According to Nurse Dehn, those in peri-menopause can also experience more headaches and more hair on their face, including coarse hair on their chin, and upper lip...and possibly thinning hair on their scalp (I've been experiencing all of these symptoms in increasing amounts...I do peri-plucks quite often on my chin and have increasingly been bleaching my upper lip more frequently...I also try to keep up with my hair coloring and highlights to make the hair on the top of my head look nice and Rograine for me...ooh...even the sound of it makes me shiver).

I'll have to read up more on this forgetfulness (I write everything down now...I have markers and pens in every dresser drawer)... and mood swings (I was yelling at my husband this morning...and my son...very stressed...will have to get one of those REBEL WITH A PAUSE buttons from the website...and wear the button when I'm in one of my peri-moods)...bouts of bloating (yes...some days I do feel like you could pop my stomach like a big balloon)...sudden tears (will keep an extra box of tissues around and be sure to have a travel size pack in my handbag...just in case...wonder if they have a button on that I can put on when I start crying).

Too much to think about...hope I make it through the next few years...through the peri and pause...then supposedly life gets really libido should kick back in...and life should become a big carousel again...guess for now I'll just have to prepare for the roller coaster years...strap myself in nice and tight...and if it's scary...I can always shed a few peri-tears.


Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Mirror Mirror On The Wall

What a morning I had...I awoke early...5:30 am...just like any other weekday morning...only this morning...this morning when I went in the bathroom and looked in the mirror...I had a pimple on my nose....a big, ugly, red pimple near the tip of my nose.

I'm almost 49-1/2..."mirror, mirror, on the wall," said I, "...this morning is definitely not the fairest of them all"...I stared at my face in the center of the mirror...I then moved to the lefthand panel of the mirror and then to the right hand panel of the mirror..."Make it go away I said to the mirror"...only it didn't talk back.(Actually, I thought maybe if I stared long enough the pimple would just disappear.)

How is this possible...I thought I was all grown up at 49-1/2...and for a minute...a second...I felt like I was a teenager...what was I going to do with this pimple right in the middle of my nose...what if it didn't go away...would I be able to go to work (I remembered those awful days when I was 15 and I had a pimple on my face...I dreaded going to school)....what was I going to do now...will it eventually go away or turn into a permanent little lump or mole on my some of the other pimples have in recent months...if it stays I will definitely have to get a nose job for my 50th birthday.

I layered on my moisturizer being careful not to touch the nose...then I put on my Bobbi Brown foundation hoping it would cover the red wasn't came the concealer and then the cover-up and finally my MAC compact came out of my handbag and I patted it on was almost gone...just a tad of that pimple was peeking out...I decided I would not blow my nose all day...if I did I would have to keep the compact nearby for touch ups.

I went to the office hoping no one but me would notice that ugly red mark on my nose....I kept as close to my computer as possible and did not mention it at, no...I did not say a word...and I never looked in the mirror all day (or even in the reflection of the computer monitor).

Sadly my pimple was still there when I arrived home...I may need to borrow my 17 year old's OXY tonight...or go online to check out acne treatments for the aging.

So I guess approaching 50...and being grownup doesn't mean you don't get pimples's equally embarassing at 49-1/2 as it is at 15.

I have six more months before I'm 50...maybe the pimple will be gone by then.


Sunday, June 3, 2007

A Note to NYC

I thought I would write a note to my hometown of New York City today...I just arrived back after moving my twentysomething daughter into an apartment in NYC where she will be spending the summer...I almost got a little teary-eyed as I left the big city on my trip back through the Holland Tunnel to New brought back such great memories...memories of when I was twentysomething...when my parents moved me into the big city...after I was done with to the big city I went to start my new life...oh, to be twentysomething again...I think my years right after college were some of the here's my notecard to NYC...

Dear NYC,

Please take as good care of my twentysomething daughter as you did of me when I was kind to her how nice the people can be...(I hope she has a nice roommate like I had...and I hope she has nice neighbors neighbor was Mrs. Moneghan...she was in her 80s, but always looked out for me and made sure I was safe.)

Please show her how to eat great food (I always loved Jackson Hole for burgers, and Z for Greek food, and Ess A Bagel on First Avenue on the east side was one of my favorite weekend breakfast hangouts...simply the best bagels...only I first had to run a few miles before I would let myself purchase one...with lots of cream cheese...forget the lowfat kind...who knew from lowfat cream cheese in the early '80s...those were the full-fat days... and days when I did lots of running...not like it's always lowfat cream cheese for my 49 year old body...and no running only walking).

Please take her under your wing and let her enjoy the little nooks and crannies of this great city...the places I enjoyed...and still enjoy.. like Chinatown and Soho, Tribeca and Greenwich Village...the Upper East Side and the Upper West Side...and Central Park...yes...Central Park (where I...her 49 year old mother...once ran a mini-marathon...did I really run a mini-marathon in my lifetime...unbelievable to think I was once able to do that...maybe when I turn 50 I'll train for another mini- marathon...or maybe I'll walk this time...maybe I'll even do the 3-day walk for Breast Cancer Prevention...I'm going to put that on my list of goals for my 50+ years)...take her to Union Square too where I used to buy such wonderful fruits and vegetables and other delicacies at the Farmers Market each Saturday morning.

Encourage her to watch all the people...those that dress up...and those that dress down...the stylish and the not so stylish...make sure she goes window-shopping to Bloomies and Barneys...along Madison and Saks Fifth...and downtown along Broadway where all the trendy new stores are...she must take in all the new fashion finds (tell her also to stop by and check out the Armani shop and pick out a suit for her mother's 50th birthday...see if they have any special deals for women who are turning 50 who never owned an Armani suit)...

Tell her to enjoy the nightlife...(guess there are no discos around like there were in the '80s...but I'm sure there are new twentysomething hot spots in town)...and make sure she sees a Broadway show...maybe Hairspray (I think Hair was still popular when I lived in NYC...there was no one used hairspray in Hair...they just let it all hang out in tribute to the age of Aquarius).

So, good to my you were to me...and most of all...make sure you tell her to invite me to visit for a I can enjoy NYC with her all over again...this time as a 49 year old mom ("hip" and "cool" mom)...I can't wait to go bag is packed...ready to make new memories with my twentysomething daughter.