Field Report . . .

It's been awhile since I've done a Field Report.  It's time, I think.  There seems to be a lot to share at the moment.   My last major Field Report was in July 2020 in the middle of the pandemic.  Before we jump in, spring is here in Chicagoland!!!

In my front yard.


And at the retention pond where I walk.

It was close to 80 degrees today!

And now, the Field Report!

Life in the Time of COVID . . .

I am still trying to build good routines for myself.  You'd think this would be easy, but it's not.  I know that for some people, their lives didn't really change once the pandemic started, but mine did.  Drastically.  On the positive side, since I am now considered fully vaccinated, I was able to go back to the health club and start working out again with my trainer.  This adds some structure to my Friday mornings.  I also feel safe enough to have my cleaning lady return, and O.M.G. it is so great to have a house that's clean.  It's not that I don't know how to clean, it's that I'm one person in a rather large house.  Anyway, she also comes on Friday mornings, so I get up and out of here to get out of her way. So, one day out of seven - it's better than no days  :-)

Quarterly Review

I have been working on learning to keep promises and commitments made to myself.  I starting with a six-month commitment to Balance365 Life's coaching program as a way to take better care of myself.  This is going OK.  I'm learning a lot and enjoying the coaching calls.  

I did start the Instagram account where I'm taking a selfie a day.  I don't take a selfie every day.  :-D   But I do take them and I do post them.  I think only my friends see them  :-D  I don't care.  If you want to follow, you can find this project on Instagram at @selfieaday_ar  

Still hanging in with my Word of 2021:  Focus

And still listening to my 2021 Fight Song!

Health . . .

In the grand scheme of things I am just fine.  My kidney is fine.  The asthma controller med I started on last year rocks hard (It's called Dulera).  I had a great checkup with the eye doc who did my cataract surgery - an appointment that was supposed to happen in December 2019 that got pushed to later in March 2020 and was then summarily cancelled by the pandemic.  My eyes rock!!!  Yay!!! My gum has healed well from the oral surgery I had in February, and I'm scheduled on May 17th for the second surgery where they place the implant post in my jaw.  I anticipate that going smoothly.  Once it's healed then my own dentist will create the crown that will attach to the post and replace the tooth I lost to that crazy infection.

I had a physical in September of last year and my cholesterol/lipid numbers were not great again.  I'm sure gaining weight during the pandemic did not help in this area.  I have not made any real progress in getting rid of the pounds I picked up.  Ugh.  I happened to speak to my doctor yesterday, and one of the things he suggested was that I look back to when I was successful at at having a better handle on my size.  I know that the most recent thing I did was too draconian for me to keep it up for the rest of my life, so I went further back and realized that I was the most successful on an older Weight Watcher's program that was called Points Plus/360.  So, today I went out onto eBay and ponied up some money to buy old program materials.  Weight Watchers isn't interested in supporting their older programs.  They seem to me to be all about whatever will make them more money.  Most public companies are all about making more money for their shareholders, and with WW, I think they jump to the next thing and participants are forced to open their wallets to keep up.  But for some of us, the newer Smart Points just aren't a good fit.  Smart Points was completely unworkable for me, and, when I looked back, I realized that Points Plus had always been a much better plan for me.  So, I'm embracing it and figuring out how to do it again on my own.  There are a few Facebook groups dedicated to the old Points Plus program so I joined them and hope it will be helpful to have that as ancillary support.  

Since Balance365 is all about losing the diet mentality, I am looking at taking this step not as a diet, but as another way to take good care of myself.  I'll report back.  Cross your fingers.

The reason I was talking to my doctor yesterday was that on Tuesday I had my annual mammogram.  I was surprised to get my results back so quickly.  I thought it would be next week.  But it was Friday, and the letter had information you never want to get.  The routine scan showed that I have a mass in my right boob that wasn't there last year.  Before anyone panics, this is most likely a wonky artifact in the scan or a fold in my skin rather than something more serious.  Based on the language used in the report to describe it my doctor doesn't think it's anything serious.  But a finding like this means that I have to go back for additional diagnostic views and a possible ultrasound.  The good thing about where I will have these tests done, is that I won't leave without a diagnosis and, if necessary, a treatment plan.  I will be there for 2-3 hours for the tests and they read all the scans and talk with you immediately.  

So, I'm guessing you're saying "way to bury the lede, A," but again, I don't think this is anything serious, because, after all, my mom always told me that we don't get cancer in our family (until we are at least 81, which is when she was diagnosed with lung cancer).  I am reasonably sure that I'm fine but I seemed to need to put it all out here.  I confess, however, that there is that little part of me waving my hands in the background like when I had to have that CT on my lungs last summer, saying things like "what if you're not fine?"  I'll cross that bridge if I ever come to it.

Creativity . . .

I've been working through The Artist's Way again with my friend, T.  It is opening up a lot of doors for me - not only creatively.  I learn things every time we do this, and I find myself definitely experiencing the course differently now that I'm retired, as well as being in the Time of COVID.  

Embracing Hope . . . 

Wow - as I look back at the last Field Report, so many things that I hoped for came to pass!  

It was true that my sweetheart and I would not see each other any time soon back then, but he should be here in mid-May.  Cross your fingers.  We are both really excited to see each other again after more than a year apart. 

We have not one, not two, but THREE vaccine choices against this brutal virus.

And Joe and Kamala won the election. Thank God.  

My hopes now are for my own health, for the health of those around me, for people to understand that the vaccine is critically important, and for us to all keep moving forward.

Onward . . .


Somehow someone needs to hear this tonight.



Kim said…
Love your Field Reports! Keep us posted on your CT scan. I experienced the same with my last mammogram. The CT provides a clearer picture and you have the results that day which is better than waiting. This reminds me that I need to schedule my mammogram very soon.

A :-) said…
Kim, thank you! I'm thankful that Northwestern's process gives you results right away. :-) And yes, too many annual visits got put off during the pandemic. We need to take the best care of ourselves that we can. So make your appointment! :-)
Retired Knitter said…
Fingers crossed on the CT scan. I had that happen once. They just did a repeat mamo in my case.
A :-) said…
Elaine, thank you - I don't know if it will actually be a CT scan - I know it's a scan of some sort, though, for diagnostic images and there's a possibility of an ultrasound, too. I'll know more tomorrow :-)
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