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Posts Tagged ‘progress’

Every journey begins with one step. Big steps; little steps; they’re all steps. They all count.

I didn’t write about the bit of positive news that show the first steps in a long journey to finally recover from the storm of health setbacks. At my last appointment with the endocrinologist three weeks ago, I got a glimmer of hope. As you may remember, the insulin I have been taking was causing me to gain ten to twelve pounds per month. I pleaded with the doctors to put me on different medicines. My primary care physician seemed to think I was eating too much. I wasn’t. I’m not. I had been advised by the dietitian to have three to four servings of carbs (one serving is fifteen grams) per meal at minimum. I have only been having one such serving per meal. There was still no change in the weight gain. I even told the doctor which medicine had worked previously and what I wanted her to try. No luck. Finally I got her to go through with a referral to the endocrinologist last January. That doctor listened to me and thought I was right about the medication I wanted to try.

After three months, instead of gaining ten to twelve pounds each month, I had only gained three and a half. Yay! Still a weight gain but so much less. And the biggest news at that check up was that my HA1C, which is a test that shows how high blood sugar has been in the previous three months went from 8.2 to 5.5. That is in the non-diabetic range! So that’s much better.

And the kicker is that because I’m doing so much better, the doctor has reduced the amount of insulin I am taking by half. That means that I should be losing more weight soon. I’m still only having very few carbs and under one thousand calories per day. When I went to the orthopedic doctor eleven days after the endocrinologist appointment, I had lost four pounds! Yay!

Although these are very little steps, I’m pretty sure they are leading me toward a good outcome. It is the encouragement I needed. I am hoping that I will lose enough pounds to make getting around less difficult so I can start getting back to the things I like to do, like taking the kids for hikes or even for a short walk up and down the block.

So let’s hear it for little steps!

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This weekend I began watching the old detective show, Cagney & Lacey, on Hulu.  The show premiered in October of 1981.  While watching earlier tonight, I had to laugh at some of the things that were shown then as opposed to now.

First, Detective Mary Beth Lacey (played by Tyne Daly) is a chain smoker.  She smokes at home in the presence of her two young sons.  She smokes in the squad car.  She smokes in the office.  She smokes at crime scenes.  While visiting a fellow detective at home, she smokes in the nursery and in the presence of two pregnant women.  She smokes at the table in a restaurant.  No one says anything to her.  It was an acceptable thing then, I guess.  I don’t remember it being acceptable to that point but then again, I’ve never been a smoker and other than an occasional cigarette smoked by my father, I grew up in a home where smoking wasn’t acceptable.  They couldn’t get away with that now.  Smoking is so unacceptable that you can’t do it in public places or at work and people really frown on smoking in the presence of children and pregnant women. 

Then there is the use of phones.  Yes, we use phones now and they used them then but in those days there weren’t cell phones.  Everyone used regular wired landlines.  Not even a cordless phone in those days!  It made it difficult, in terms of this police procedural, for police to be in constant and timely contact with the station when they were out in the field.  There is one scene in which there is a detective at a crime scene.  He is calling into the station, using the victim’s home phone and a handkerchief to keep from leaving fingerprints.  You don’t see that now.  Now everyone not only has but is expected to have a cell phone to keep in constant contact and I don’t think any detective would use the phone at a crime scene ever!

And while on the subject of phones, there were phone booths all over then.  Police used them.  Victims used them.  Criminals used them.  They were almost on every corner.  Do you see phone booths now?  I don’t think I have seen a phone booth any place in the United States in over fifteen years.  We just don’t have them anymore.  Why?  Because everyone has cell phones now!  Actually, I do remember some time ago, maybe about eighteen years ago, on a drive home from visiting my mother.  We were having car problems so we got off of the freeway to find a phone booth to call AAA.  We couldn’t find a phone booth.  We drove for miles and couldn’t find one.  We stopped at a McDonalds to ask if there was a phone booth nearby and were told they had all been taken out because they kept getting vandalized and because criminals used them for illegal activity. 

Of course there are a lot of other differences between then and now.  These are just a few that called out to me while watching this show.   What differences do you see between then and now?

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Just a couple of days ago, I read a blog post titled “Twelve Reasons Why I Don’t Use An E-Reader” and it reminded me of how I felt before I got my e-reader.

I did not want to pay cover price for a new or recent release and not have a physical copy of it.  I wouldn’t be able to lend it out.  I didn’t want to read on anything like a computer screen because computer monitors make my eyes hurt and water which causes me to not be able to read for very long.  I also didn’t want to read on a “cold” piece of electronic hardware.  And I didn’t want to pay the high price of the fragile hardware.

Then, for Christmas two years ago, I was visiting my son and he asked if, while he was at work, I could go to his apartment to wait for a couple of packages that were arriving vía Fed-Ex and would require a signature.  I agreed to do it.  When the packages arrived, one was definitely from Amazon.com and the size of a small-ish hardback book.  I signed for it.  Then I thought about it and wondered if perhaps it might be a Kindle, which my son had mentioned months before that I might want to get one day because of my love for reading.  I felt really bad because I don’t ever tell my kids that what they got for me was not what I wanted.  I don’t even tell them if it doesn’t fit.  I just smile, and thank them and deal with it.  I also knew that a Kindle was, at that time, $260.  That was a lot of money for any of my kids, or even for all three of them together, to spend on me and I was sure it was not something I would use.  I thought I was going to have to smile and accept it and then let it sit without using it.  I almost cried.  I was really upset and the next day was Christmas so I didn’t have a lot of time to adjust to the situation or to figure out a way to solve the problem.

On Christmas morning, the package indeed turned out to be a Kindle from all three of my kids.  My son sat with me and explained how it worked and how simple it would be for me to order a book straight from the device.  He also explained that all Kindle books were priced at no more than $9.99 (this was true at that time but the “Big 6” publishers have changed that even though Amazon.com fought for the consumer) with many being a lot less as the price went down once the book was no longer a new release or a bestseller.  He also showed me how the capacity of the Kindle was about 1500 books (at least of the Kindle 2 which is what that model was) My son set up the device for me with my email address and my Amazon.com account information.  The kids had also gotten me a $30 gift certificate to use on Kindle books.  He showed me how to search the Kindle Store directly from my Kindle device.  He also showed me how the Kindle does not have a back-lit screen which means that it does not cause eyestrain.  We bought my first Kindle book at that time (Edward Kennedy’s True Compass: A Memoir).

I felt a little bit better after he went through it with me and I felt better about the price of the books.  Before getting my Kindle I only bought used new releases and those were always at least $6 for a used physical copy.  I would not have to have more and more bookshelves to fit my new books.  I started to get used to the idea but thought I would only use it for special books, not for every day reading.   That night I started reading my book on my Kindle and lo and behold I read for about three hours straight without eye strain. Reading in bed, holding the Kindle in one hand was so easy and so comfortable.  The e-ink display was wonderful for my weak eyes.  I will still a little iffy about the whole thing but I breathed easier after that first Kindle reading session.

Now, a little more than two years later, I carry my Kindle with me wherever I go.  I have a special cover that I made for it and it travels safely in my purse wherever I go.  I have over 800 titles on it.  I get most of them for free or with gift cards that I earn from taking surveys online or using swagbucks.com.  In the past two years I have spent less than $100 on these  800+ books.  And the bonus is that my mother and my sisters, all avid readers, each have their own Kindle which we registered to my account so we all have access to the same books.  That’s better than lending them the physical copy.  If we want, the four of us can read the same title at the  same time!

There are so many reasons for loving my Kindle.  I can’t name them all here.  However, not a day goes by without using my Kindle!  And because it does not cause eyes strain, I can read it for hours and hours, unlike a physical book which I can read only for a half hour at a time due to the eye strain.  Oh and one of the best things…you can change the size of the font very easily which means that I can read a book with the font size set at the third from the largest size which is comfortable for me and my sister reads it at one size smaller than I do and my mom at the largest size (which is two sizes larger than I need).  Talk about a fit for everyone!

So this is my answer to the post I read the other day.  I’m sure there are lots more reasons why I cannot let go of my Kindle but these are the ones that readily come to mind as I take a few minutes to write this between chapters of Jeffrey Eugenides’ The Marriage Plot, which is the title I am currently reading.  I cannot imagine not having my Kindle!

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