Back in August when we were doing all that basement work? And how I said in this post that it took me all day to recover from our DIY all-nighter? Well it actually took me almost two weeks to recover because I gave myself a hiatal hernia.
Or I'm 99% sure that's what it was. It was a weird pain right where my ribs meet in the middle, a dull ache, and it wouldn't go away. So at first, because this is how my brain works now, I assumed that my breast cancer had recurred and spread metastatically to my liver. 'Cause I have a vague idea of where my liver is and I think it is around there somewhere, and any pain or discomfort that I feel, I dread is cancer.
I didn't mention this to anyone, I just grew depressed for a couple of days. Somehow, though, that sad scenario didn't seem quite right. Then, through my web diagnostic skills, I landed on hiatal hernia, a condition in which part of the stomach protrudes through the esophageal opening in the diaphragm. This condition mimics many other problems--chest pain, shortness of breath--but in most people it isn't serious and it usually resolves on its own. I decided on an empirical course of therapy: treat it like esophageal reflux and see if it felt better.
Are you so bored right now? Medical Problems of People on The Internet!
So I took an antacid tablet every morning, chewed Tums at bedtime, and ate small non-fatty meals. Eating small meals was easy because the achy feeling took my appetite right away. And my course of treatment worked. I don't think the antacid really did all that much, maybe it did, but just not eating very much seemed to do the trick. And when I would go ahead and eat a bigger meal or have more than one alcoholic beverage, the pain came back. One night I went to a party down at the Fernbank Museum with Matt and Lincoln, and there was an open bar. Also, dinosaur skeletons at night! Cool! But the open bar. Socializing with so many video game developers necessitated that I drink three cosmos, and then my stomach hurt all the next day. Lesson learned.
I'm getting to the point soon.
So when you're not eating a lot, you get used to it. I decided to continue limiting my intake, and that it was a good time to lose the extra pounds I wanted gone. I've been exercising all year with Pretty Neighbor, but I find that it doesn't make the scale budge. So I fired up my little calorie-counting app and actually tracked everything that went into my mouth, and the weight has come off, slowly. It has felt great. I had a goal weight in mind when I started, just an arbitrary number. But then I went on that Dukan Diet website and let its calculator tell me another goal that was eight pounds below the one I'd had in mind. It seemed reasonable, so that's where I'm headed now. I've got about four or five pounds to go.
But I'm getting tired of it, the 1200 calories a day. It's not that it's so little, because it can be plenty of food, but it requires planning. To eat nutritiously on that, I have to think about it all day. The parts of my brain that aren't scheming about tennis are wondering if I can eat that piece of mozzarella and still have a 4 oz. glass of wine later. I told Matt, I'm just ready for it to take up less mental space.
Tonight was a low point. I was standing talking to Matt and I absentmindedly picked up a pizza crust and took a bite of it. I realized what I was doing and then fed the other half of the crust to the dog, who was sitting watching me chew. Then I took the partially-chewed crust out of my mouth and fed THAT to the dog.
I think the dog thought it was a low point too.
Then I said to Matt, "This is where I am." He nodded, sympathetic.
Reader, this is where I am.
How are you?