Donor Fatigue

One of the things I dislike the most about going to the grocery store – and there are many – is the inevitable table immediately outside the entrance/exits to the building, populated by the Good Cause of the Day.  Looking for money.

I totally get that these are worthwhile organizations representing disabled veterans, volunteer fire departments, school teams, girl scouts, boy scouts, church groups, etc.  I like supporting them with a little here and there.  But I hate having them look at me with their big puppy dog eyes, trying to sell me food or simply make a donation to support their cause. It’s not that they are bad causes, it’s just that they are everywhere, all the time.

I have donor fatigue.

Public radio has upped their quarterly fund drives to what seems like a week every month, each time pleading with me to help them meet their goal.  I’ve been a supporter for years and always make a donation, but have to decide whether to give it all at once or spread it out through the year so I don’t feel guilty for not “pick[ing] up the phone and call now to speak with one of our volunteers.”

I give money to the Salvation Army and the food bank, and contribute regularly to Weather-Generated Crisis of the Month, such as floods, hurricanes, earthquakes, and tsunamis.  I buy school supplies to donate even though I’ve never even had a child much less been involved with public school since I graduated.

But my money only goes so far.  I have a careful budget that always significant charitable contributions – but I don’t always contribute to the same causes every year.  I wish they would just leave me alone to make my decisions.  The more I hear from the American Cancer Society looking for my annual donation, the less I want to give them money – even though I know there is need.

The devastation in Pakistan caused by horrendous flooding, with impending disastrous medical complications, breaks my heart.  But I have no more money left in the budget to contribute.  Please understand.  I feel horribly guilty that I can’t give to everyone who needs it, but there are always causes, people, emergencies that need support.

No one “makes me feel guilty” – I do that to myself.  I make responsible choices but there are limits to what I can do.  I just want to do more, but even that would never be enough for the need, especially in these difficult economic times.

I am only one person.  Please help and give what you can where you can, within reason and with consideration.  Include $40 or so to give in donations at the grocery store tables.  They are underfunded, too.  Being annoyed with them doesn’t make it any better, for them or for you.  Or me.

Staying Busy

My back, shoulders and arms are sore this morning, a sure sign that yesterday’s pool workout was effective.  I’m very happy that my back is not in spasms; I did something to my SI joint about a month ago just getting out of my car.  Major pain from one spot up to most of the left side of the back, which then ebbs back and becomes just tender, and then is fine.  Then I do it again by walking down stairs, or standing up, or something else normal.  The doctor is referring me to physical therapy and my trainer knows what’s going on and is very careful in the movements she allows me to make so I don’t aggravate the back.

I really love my trainer and her style.  She has wonderful energy and so much enthusiasm for helping us be stronger and healthier.  One of her other clients with a session next to mine has become a good friend and the gym generally feels like a more approachable place than it did back even in May.

Yesterday was busy.  Tessie and I slept in until 7:30 after a great sleeping night (low temp and humidity with windows wide open) which felt fabulous.  Training session, followed by a banana split meal replacement shake (250 calories, 30 gms protein) while I went on errands.  Hit Staples (small Rolodex for work), TJ Maxx (coffee only, clothes were meh), bank, Walmart (school supplies to donate plus groceries for me), and the local farm (fresh fruit and veggies).

Today is for house cleaning, weeding out things to take to the Salvation Army, laundry, neighborhood walking, and doing online claiming of missing serials issues.  Yes, that’s a work thing but I can do it here while watching TV, and it needs to be done.  This is the least painful way to do it.

I haven’t been very introspective lately, and am not focused on Big Issues.  Maybe I should be, but I’m just not at the moment.  Just living one day at a time.

How Do I Know What Fits Me?

I shop for clothes by myself and I have no idea what I really look like in what I wear.  It’s not a good combination.  I’ve read that it takes a year for the brain to catch up with every 25 lbs lost, and that certainly resonates.  Oh, I understand that I’ve changed and that I’m different, but the eyes  don’t recognize what properly fitting clothes look like on ME.

After watching Stacy and Clinton for years, I know a lot about what styles and colors work best, but the FIT doesn’t make sense.  My brain knows that tight = too small, and loose = fitted, which doesn’t always translate to looking right.  I’ll try on a top and see nothing clinging to the lumps and bumps, and think it’s a good fit when it’s really baggy.

Since many plus size ladies also shop alone, we give each other feedback and can see “too big” clothes on other people that we don’t recognize on ourselves.  And sometimes, sure, they are wearing “too small” clothes because they are blocked by the sizes/number and not by how things fit.

But yesterday was totally different.  I went looking for some casual pants for fall, mostly just to see what was out there.  Catherine’s is no longer an option for me, since everything in the store is too big, too long, too boxy, or just not my style.  Or maybe all of the above.  So I went next door to Lane Bryant, a store I usually avoid because I don’t like the clothes.  They do have lots of pants, though, so it seemed like a good idea.

Over the course of the next 45 min, three sales women of different ages and 2 customers gave me feedback on how I looked in what I tried on.  I mostly stayed in the dressing room while they brought me pants in different styles, colors, and sizes.  My job was to put them on and come out and model.   Mostly I tried on jeans or pants out of a denim or denim-colored fabric.  I haven’t worn jeans for at least 20 years.

One pair felt as though it was painted on, which caused my watchers’ jaws to drop.  They thought, to a person, that the pants were too loose, which totally shocked me.  It happened over and over.  They made me stand in front of a mirror and said, “Look at yourself. See yourself as you are NOW.  You are not the same size you were before.  These clothes FIT.”  And they were right.  Stacy and Clinton were mentioned frequently 🙂

I ended up coming home with 3 pairs of pants, in 3 different sizes, all on sale with coupons for extra savings.  One is a pair of gray knit pants that will work for the office and for casual wear, size 14/16.  Another is a pair of jeans in size 16, and a third a pair of “jeggings” in size 18.  I’m not completely sure about the jeans, but know that as I lose more weight, I will feel more comfortable wearing them.  Plus I will practice at home before I let anyone see me.

What this reinforced is that I need to go shopping often now – not to buy, but to try on sizes, colors and styles and really see what I look like when I try the same thing on in different sizes.   The sales floor is often quiet mid-week, and taking an afternoon off to shop should let me have extra help and feedback.

I’ll be choosy about what I actually buy; I don’t want/need a lot since I know my size will change, though it’s going slower now than it was earlier (which doesn’t bother me at all).  But as the new season approaches, I know I have next to nothing that fits and I refuse to start the fall in baggy clothes.  The trick is knowing what’s baggy and what’s not.

They Pulled a Tooth Yesterday

My first four teeth were pulled when I was in 4th grade when I got braces, to make room for the wisdom teeth to come.  The wisdom teeth were pulled when I was a freshman in college (nothing says spring break like sitting on the couch eating ice cream and watching soap operas).  That made 8 total, all planned.

Yesterday they pulled another one, but this was totally unexpected.  I’ve been having pain on the right side of my face, alternating between teeth and sinuses, for almost a year.  I went to the dentists 3-4 times last fall, had x-rays taken, and had my teeth poked and prodded but nothing was found.  They said it was a sinus infection because nothing showed up with the teeth.

I’ve had at least 3 courses of antibiotics  which helped but not for long, so my primary care doctor referred me for a CT scan of the sinuses and a visit to an ENT.  She didn’t find a single thing – the scan was clear.  But my cheeks hurt, my head ached, and my teeth started to hurt again when I was eating.  So it was back to the dentist.

They took more x-rays, which looked exactly like the ones in the fall (I saw them, too, and they looked like twins).  But this time the dentist saw something different in my mouth: part of my upper back left molar was wiggling when I bit down.  Just part, the rest of the tooth stayed put.  Not good.  Verdict: fractured tooth.

There was no way to tell how much was fractured but the plan was to pull the broken part and build up what’s left.  Unfortunately, the tooth had fractured right down the middle, hidden on x-rays by the filling, and there was no way to save the tooth at all.  So 20 minutes and lots of novocain later,  it was out in two pieces, and the roots showed signs of chronic infection. The hole will heal and I won’t be replacing the tooth.

The mouth feels better this morning but I’m making it a low-key day with Tessie, which works for both of us 🙂