Art Of Listening Is Dead

Believe it or not, this is actually related to this blog and soon you will understand.  But for the moment indulge me and just believe me when I state that the art of listening is dead.  It truly is dead at least I’ve experienced it way too many times, both in my job, when speaking with customer service representatives and also in the professional field.

So I started to wonder as to why I consider the art of listening to be dead, I mean I like listening to music but music isn’t dead.  I like talking with my friends and they are not dead, so what could be the problem.  Oh yeah, maybe a part of it has to do with how we say things.  Too often I find that I am speaking with people other than family or friends, the people I’m speaking with tend to meander around and I way too often wonder if they have a point or what their question will be so way too often I stop them and ask them what is it that I can help them with or if they understood my question/answer.  Now I should know better than to do this because it interrupts their chain of thought and usually they have to start over from the beginning which usually means that I have to sit there and listen to them ramble on once again.

I’ve learned that if you acknowledge what a person is saying then it helps them get past the point they were trying to explain but that doesn’t always work.  So now that you’ve heard me ramble on allow me to give you my example and why I truly believe what I stated above.

Now I don’t know if any of you have been following my blog and know about my problems so let me sum it up quickly.  I used to be slender and fit but now I’m not.  I’m severely overweight and I have high blood pressure.  My mowing my lawn in the hot temperature and high humidity is what led me back to trying to get in to see a doctor since I haven’t been on my blood pressure meds since August of last year.

Okay, history lesson over.  So I go into the doctor’s office and see the Nurse Practitioner and explain about my heart beating harder than usual while mowing and how long I’ve been off my meds.  I stated I a few (3) pills which I took weeks ago but now I’m out and since I want to start exercising I would rather not strain my heart too much.  So basically for 3 days I took meds that were left over from September of last year and have not been on the medication for 24 days.

So I step into the office and right away I cringe as I step on the scale and see that my weight has gone up to a whopping 221.2 pounds which is not good but I can at least say that is with my clothes on and lately I can button my pants without sucking in my gut.  Then as usual they put me in a room where they take my blood pressure, only the machine is having a very hard time trying to get a blood pressure reading and finally it comes up with 190/110 now I don’t know if you’re familiar with this reading, I’m getting pretty close to stroking out.  Or at least that is what it should mean but I’m not red in the face, I’m not having difficulty breathing and my heart rate was 97 which unfortunately is normal for me since I’ve had high blood pressure.  However, instead of the medical assistant taking a second reading because that reading was way too high, she let it stand and walked out of the room.

In walks the NP and I explain things and all she can hear is that my BP is way to high, she accepted the BP that the medical assistant took and the NP states that my current BP medication is not working so she is going to change it to another drug which I said I did not want to take because somewhere in the back of my mind I remember it not working, so I said no the usual prescription should be okay but she says no and is insisting on upping my medication and possibly making me double my dosage to twice a day.

I tried to explain to her that I have not regularly been on the medication because 3 days does not establish a pattern especially when I don’t have any more pills.  I even told her that I found those pills I took I found hidden in the back of my cabinet and that was all left over from September of last year and I hadn’t had any meds since last September but all she apparently heard was….    blah, blah, blah blaaaa-hh, blah blah blah took meds earlier this month.

So she wrote me a prescription for a medication that is too strong and if I take this then I know that I will black out, it is what happens when it drops my blood pressure too low which is what the higher medication does.  But I sit in the office realizing that she is not listening to a single word that I’m saying and so I try to be patient but she took my trying to clarify her misunderstanding as my defying her and so she sends back in the medical assistant who just hands me a paper which talks about the side effects of the medication and a log of sorts to document my blood pressure.  So hoping that the NP took into account my information, I go and make an appoint to see her in 2 weeks.

I actually was kind of concerned as I left the office because I haven’t had BP measurements that high ever, so I drive home because I see that it is getting late and I have to start getting ready for work which in case you can’t guess, can be quite stressful at times.  Okay so as I’m driving home, I’m dealing with some really bad drivers on the road and barely avoid 2 accidents.  I decided that something is wrong because when I look at myself in the mirror, I’m not red in the face, I’m feeling okay and my heart isn’t straining, my breathing is fine so I decide to get out my own BP machine and take my own BP.  First time it comes up at 158/102 with a pulse of 106 which is high but not OH MY GOD HELP ME, I’M GOING TO HAVE A STROKE !!!!!   No not at that level so I decided to go ahead and make my lunch and start getting ready for work but I manage to sit down and decided to take my BP and only about 35 minutes have passed so I take my BP again.  Guess what????    I didn’t have a stroke and as a matter of fact my pressure had dropped to 150/96 with a pulse of 97.  Now granted this was 35 minutes later than when I last took my BP and I’ve been moving around fixing lunch and getting my uniform ready for work but I managed to sit down on the sofa and took the reading and got a much better reading.

So at work I call the pharmacy and find out she gave me a prescription too strong and not the type I requested, silly me for knowing what works well with my body, never mind that I’ve been taking this particular type of medication since 2001 and have increased the strength when I went up to higher elevation and decreased it when I moved to lower elevation.  But I don’t know a thing about my body and how it reacts.  Oh and in case you were wondering about the other med she was going to prescribe to me, I had some friends on those meds, even my mother took it and they all lost a lot of their hair.  I don’t have much going for me but I really love the thickness of my hair and the texture of it, provided I’m not sick.

Tomorrow I’m going to call and tell her about my readings and ask why she didn’t insist on the medical assistant retaking my BP, especially when she did an EKG on me and things looked okay but displayed a more rapid pulse rate than most people my age.  It will be interesting to see if she will take her medical training and my information into consideration or if she is going to stick to her guns because if she does than my visit today was the first and last visit.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m going to see another doctor, it just may be a while before I can get in to see one.  In the mean time I guess I’m going to take it easy on exercising especially in the high temperatures when there is a high humidity and since we’re about to go into our drought time, being in the heat will be easier than being in the heat with humidity.

Alright now, we’re back on track.  So how does this matter considering this is about my stumbling attempts to lose weight?  I’ll explain.  I’m going to go back to eating Primal and it is my hope that by the time I head out to DragonCon I will at least be 200 pounds but I would like to be less.  This means that I’m going to have to start eating better and I’m taking OTC supplements to help unclog my arteries and slowly build up my miles on my recumbent trike (pedal power rocks except when you roll over rocks).

I kind of went the long way around but I guess I wanted you to see the amount of frustration that I experienced, which was way too much but that was after the NP chose to ignore all of my input.

What is the moral of the story, be concise when speaking or asking questions.  Think about what you really want to know and then try to express yourself, whether be to ask a question or to answer a question in a precise way so it doesn’t get lost or misconstrued by the receiver.

But if you’re a total nut case….like me…..then you can blog about it all you want and hope that people who read the blog will just laugh at my antics.  Hey, I’m laughing so why not cut loose and let yourself laugh.  You can do it either now or at a later time…the choice is yours.

So as of today I’m going to focus on eating primal, good thing I cooked a lot of meat in advance because I like meat!!  Okay I like some veggies and at least I’m trying to expand my taste buds with a few different type of veggies.  Hey it is what has worked in the past but my only problem was that I never stuck with it.  So maybe if I stick with it enough to lose the 20 pounds by Labor Day maybe I can last even longer.

What is the one thing you can take away from this…..LISTEN.   I know that I need to practice this but I must admit to being frustrated when it takes more than 5 minutes to explain what the problem may be or to ask a question.  I hope you have more patience than me and hope your day/night is good.

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Big Step Backwards

Wow, did I ever take a big step backwards, my weight sky rocketed.  Yeah I’ll get the bad news over with right away.  My weight had sky rocketed to 220 pounds, at least that was what it said this morning as it screamed out for mercy and told me only one person at a time was allowed on the scale.

I think a part of my problem is that I was kind of bored with what I was eating that was allowed on the diet plan so I decided to just eat and enjoy things.  Well I went back up to my beginning weight and then I lost a pound or two, basically my weight was fluctuating so I didn’t really think too much about it as I headed for my first geek con of the year.  Boy was that a mistake….oh, not the con but my ignoring what I eat.

Now for any of you who have ever attended any convention, no matter if it is geek or work related, the food selection is not always the best.  Well as a matter of fact it really sucked this year, really sucked!!

The con was in Dallas and in the Dallas Convention Center and the venue was great as were the guests; the crowds weren’t too bad except when it came to lining up for autographs and pictures.  Why were they not good, well everyone was trying to do the same thing at the same time, but still it was a good con…EXCEPT for the food.

It was important to know about the location because as many of you probably heard over the news, Dallas/Ft. Worth and many other places in Texas were receiving large amounts of rain and so flooding was happening.  This kind of limited how far out you wanted to venture from the hotel and from the convention center.  Oh there were lots of food vendors but there was one thing that was prevalent in almost all of the food and that was Chipotle

I used to eat hot stuff long ago but thanks to a real mess I went through to get a divorce, I kind of developed some digestion problems and from then on any type of overly spicy or spicy hot, hell I sometimes have problems with Mild Pace Picante Sauce.  Now that makes me some kind of wimp because I used to love the hot and the medium, now I struggle with mild.  So do you see the theme here?  I can’t take hot or spicy and so my convention in Dallas became kind of a pain.

First night in we go down to the restaurant in the Omni in downtown Dallas and I ordered a steak.  I got green beans which were okay but had an odd taste to them.  Because of wet conditions we had lunch the next day back at the hotel and decided to have fish and chips and asked for tartar sauce with it.  It was a chipotle tartar sauce, so we sent it back (the people I was eating with also can not handle hot spicy foods) and they came back with the same stuff only it had more mayo in it so we send it back a second time and told our waiter again we want plain tartar sauce or we’ll just use mayo.  Finally the third time was the charm.

Well that is how things went the rest of the trip, everywhere at the hotel they had chipotle this and chipotle that, for food.  At the convention center it wasn’t much better.  I tried to get a salad but all they had was chipotle dressing, the wraps had chipotle mayo, even the sandwiches had chipotle mayo.  The only things that didn’t have chipotle on it were the sugar coated pecans/almonds, popcorn, the drinks, fudge and pizza.  So we had a very limited selection and since it was raining venturing out in the rain was not exactly what I wanted to do.

So imagine my shock when I ordered a salad and it cost $13 and that is without any meat in the salad.  Yes I understand that the name of the place was Texas Spice but I got news for them, chipotle is not a Texas a spice.  Ordering food and stressing that we did not want any spices on our food became rather interesting.  So about the only vegetable I got was as a side dish and even then they were coated with spices, no a good situation.  I would have gone for the buffet but even the meat dishes there had spices, but then again I could have had just a salad as well as macaroni and cheese.  But after ordering it on the last night, it was horrible.  They didn’t bother to mix the cheese thorough with the pasta, so let’s just say that I won’t be ordering that next year.

So I come back and although I should have been re-reading my information about being primal but decided that I was going to try to keep my carb count below 50, so basically putting my body into ketosis to give it a jump start.  At least that is the plan but I don’t know if I will be able to do it.  I’ve been reading all sorts of articles so I can learn what to expect and how to keep myself in good condition when I start really cutting back on my carb intake.

About this time you’re probably wondering why the big push.  Well at the end of May it was day 56 and I had hoped to be 10 pounds lighter but instead I’m heavier than when I started.  I really do want my espresso machine but I have to get to 185 by the time DragonCon comes along.

Maybe this is a good sign.  The rain has finally let up a bit here in Texas, yes that is where I live, so there is a chance that I can get out and ride my trike.  I’m not planning on riding any huge distances because I have a long way to drive before I get to the spot where I need to ride.  Yes I could ride my usual routes in the city but I hate riding in the city because the drivers are horrible.  I like being out on the open road, yes I know that it is dangerous and that the drivers are going faster on those roads than in the city streets but they seem more observant.  Maybe because of all of my flashing lights and streamers or maybe it is because they can’t figure out what I am so they are careful when they pass by me.  In the city they are very reckless with their driving because they are preoccupied with everything else except driving and focusing on the roadway.

Okay so I’ve stepped off my soap box and I’ve put in my 2 cents worth of opinion.

I’ve got a few more preparations to make before I get very serious about my diet and I’m quickly bringing things back in line to correct eating because my stomach can’t handle things any more and besides that my work pants are getting too tight….ouch!!

Besides if I lose that weight then I might treat myself and don a costume for DragonCon….now that would be fun.

 

So I blew up like a huge balloon and decided to get organize so I can start eating right.  A good thing is that the rain is not going to be as heavy as it has been for the last month so I can get out and ride my trike and so I can grill some of my food and it gets me outside for wonderful Vitamin K.

Day 2 Surprise

This morning I received an unexpected surprise and it was such a surprise that I felt I needed to share it.  First off sleep was not my friend last night because it was avoiding me.  I had just fallen asleep when about 30 minutes later something woke me up and despite trying several tricks, I was up until 0545 hrs this morning.  I managed to to sleep until about 0910 hrs this morning which really didn’t leave me ready for the day.

Remember me mentioning that I ate so much for dinner last night, well apparently all of the water that I was drinking helped keep things, if you know what I mean.  Well when I got on the scale this morning imagine my surprise when it showed that I had a 2.8 pound loss.  I know…. 2.8 pounds loss!!!!!!

So this was a great way to start of my day.  I made a latte and read a bit of the paper and then got ready to run a few errands, like getting some more coffee for my Keruig and other items and by the time I got back home it was time to get ready for work.

I managed to grab a sandwich, yes I know bad on having 2 slices of bread but I was in a rush.  So I put my dinner together and managed to make it out the door in time to get to work just on time.  Right now I’m going to take a quick time out and eat my dinner before it gets too late and then maybe I will have enough time to take a walk in the parking lot.  Depends on how busy we are at work.

TIME OUT !!!

I had dinner and it was okay, I waited about 40 minutes and I was able to walk in the parking lot so I walked a mile. I didn’t push myself on the walk I just took it easy and I noticed I was more out of breath because I was singing as I walked. Unfortunately I found out that once I got home I was hungry once again I don’t know what happened maybe because I didn’t overfill my lunch but I was hungry and so I grabbed some cheese to snack on.

I haven’t had as much water to drink as I did yesterday and because I had a late night snack I’m really anticipating maybe a pound or so to gain on the wait hopefully not but only time will tell I may not write in tomorrow since I have a lot of days to go so I may not be writing in every single day. Because there are so many days to this goal I mean that record everything happening everyday but I will at least keep up to date and we’ll see how things are going at least day two got off to a good start.

I will still have to remain focus if I’m to lose 30 pounds and keep it off.

Personal Bet

Okay I know that I’ve been away from blogging and my apologies for those who were wondering if I fell off the face of the Earth or what.  Nope, the laws of gravity are still working and I’m still here.

While I was on my own for two weeks, I was going primal and only had one day of where I kind of just relaxed.  So what did I get for it, a .5 pound weight gain and an upset stomach.  Then things changed and I ended up falling off the primal train.  At least I can tell that there is a change in things from my being on the diet and not just the weight loss which was almost 7 pounds.  No I’m talking about a change in my attitude and how I felt.  I hadn’t noticed it times before probably because I was allowing other things to occupy the small space in my mind and it just grew out of proportion.  So I think I have that locked up into a smaller space and am tackling it a small bit at a time instead of letting it overwhelm me.

So as convention season rapidly approaches, I find that I’m still extremely fluffy, which is what my hair dresser says because she too is fluffy.  I like her saying that and no we are not fooling ourselves into thinking that we are in shape, we are fluffy and recognize we need a better shape.  Realizing what time of year it is, I’m beginning to wonder if I can even lose enough weight to make a difference for anyone to see.

Why is it important for others to see any weight that I lose, well it is because I like to see that I’m not the only one who notices.  So maybe soon I will stop wearing the baggy long hanging tee shirts so people will see my progress.

Oh, didn’t I say this before….oops, sorry.  I’m going to be going primal again, yes once again I’m going to be focusing on what I eat and hopefully this time I will be more successful in sticking to better eating habits.

Everyone says that you need a goal, something to shoot for so I’ve set one for myself which I will reveal in just a few moments.  Ohhh, teaser!

One of the thing that has been bother me has been my finances, oh sure I have money to pay my bills but wouldn’t you know it, just as I find I have some money to spare an unexpected expense comes up.  One of those expenses is my truck which is 22 years old this month which means it has been a work horse.  Everyone keeps on telling me to get a new car but what they fail to see is that I’m not putting out a monthly car payment which is great and has allowed me to get a few things, maybe a few too many things but at least I’m just barely above living from paycheck to paycheck.  But I digress….   As I was saying, I had an unexpected expense concerning my truck and this was just after I spent money to buy new tires and was about to replace my shocks when blam… major problems with my truck.  My brakes suddenly failed and I heard a horrible noise that I couldn’t pinpoint.  A big repair bill later, my truck is okay but I still feel that it is not running correctly, maybe I will finally get my mechanic nephew to look at it for me.

So I still need some work done on my truck and I need to put my 21-year-old car into the shop just to get it to start.  It has been sitting for 3 years and so I have to have all of the fluids replaced, especially the manual transmission fluid.  They had replaced the slave valve on my manual transmission only didnt bleed it right and the air bubble in the line froze up my gears.  When that happened I didn’t have enough money to put it back in the shop, so it sat and just as I was going to put it into the shop for them to fix it so it can run, blam more problems with my truck.

This is what threw me off earlier while I was being primal and although it was stressful while I was by myself, still stressed because of time, I stayed true to being primal.  Now everything caught up with me and I hopped off being primal but have decided on a new start date and a new goal.

Another thing I was stressing about was that I wanted to buy a new espresso maker because I have a very cheap espresso maker, but at the time I wasn’t sure if this was something that I wanted to do.  So then I watched a lot of videos and did my best with what I had to work with, Mr. Coffee burr grinder and DeLonghi EC15 espresso maker.  Well I knew that my grinder wasn’t very good, especially since it only cost $25, so I moved up to a more expensive grinder, a Rocky grinder.  So I bought this and just after I bought the grinder was when my truck broke down. I watched more videos to try and see how I could improve on my espresso skills and it seems that I just can’t seem to get it right, no matter how I make adjustments.

Seeing that convention season is almost upon me, I need to start saving up my money for the conventions that I’m planning on attending.  So once again I will be putting off getting my Silvia espresso machine but there is a reason.  You know how everyone says that you should reward yourself when you reach your weight goals and it should not be a food reward…well I’m skimming the surface here.  If I reach my weight goal then I will reward myself after my usual convention season by buying my Silvia espresso machine with PID.  Oh and if you don’t know what that is, it a not cheap espresso machine so I can make my lattes and the PID is a device attached to the machine so that it will give me more consistency as I pull my shots of espresso.  I figure I could use all of the help I could get thus why the PID.

So what is my goal?  My goal will be to lose 30 pounds by Monday, August 31st.  Why then, well that is when I leave for my favorite mad time adventure…..DRAGONCON!!!!!

I did a count of the days and since I will be starting on Monday April 6th since the 5th is my mother’s birthday and Easter with candy, I know I will not make it and my will power will down the drain.  So I will begin being primal on Monday, which means that I will have 148 days to lose 30 pounds.

Wow, that’s a lot of days and you might think why don’t I try to lose more?  Well the truth of the matter is that I’ve never lost more than 15 pounds and that was during a 21 days of being primal a couple of years ago.  The hard part will be maintaining the weight loss but my big hope will be to lose even more.  So why only 30 pounds, well that will put me under 200 pounds.  No I’m not up to 230 but I want to be a bit below 200 pounds and I want to be able to see the loss on my body.  Would I like to lose more, heck yeah and I’m hoping that I can continue to lose even more weight.  I know what weight I would like to be but the odds are not so great for me being back to my weight when I first started working in my line of work, which was 125 pounds.

Although based on most weight charts that would make me still overweight and close to being considered obese…but there was very little fat on my body.  That was when I was jo-walking 5 miles a day and really there was virtually no fat, you could not even pinch an inch on my waistline it was that .  No six-pack abs but they were taut.

So my personal bet is if I lose 30 pounds by August 31st, then I will reward myself by buying my Rancilio Silvia w/PID after I get back from DragonCon.

Like I said, it is a lot of days to lose only 30 pounds but the trick will be keeping it off.  One of these days I’m going to don a costume for DragonCon and may even wear a couple.  But I’ve got a lot of work to do until that time and if I get close to the weight then I will have to make a costume.  That is an exciting thing to look forward to and in a way it is another goal I can have.

Will this be the year that makes a difference?  I certainly hope so because I’m tired of taking my BP meds and I’m tired of feeling uncomfortable in my clothes and with myself.  Time to make the body fit my hair.