Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Puffy-ness, Prednisone and Victoria's Secret

Jaden does not like "extra" puff in clothing, if it's not necesssary.
He can't run and catch a football at recess if his coat is
 "Too Puffy"
To help with this ever so precious agility, I have to take out the inner lining for him.
*Envision the poor little brother from A Christmas Story that is all bundled up in his red snow suit, galoshes over his boots, mittens, hat and then a scarf swirled around his head. Hard to walk, let alone catch a pass in those conditions.
So when Jaden has made some comments lately- they have hit home. An observation of his about a certain piece of underclothing made me laugh.
So I was lazy and left that article of clothing on the bed rather than put it in my top drawer.
"Mom!" Jaden said horrified when he walked into my room. Pointing at the article of clothing he said:
 "That looks like a coat!"
It's a bra, dear child.

I picked it up and put it in my drawer and thought to myself:
 'And a VS one at that!!'

 But, probably not one of the ones that make it on the Angels Runway each year. It't their utilitarian version, I guess you could say. And !:
Why do you think it's like a coat, J?????? I asked, perplexed at his "fear" of the thing laying on my bed. As if it were a dead animal on the side of the road or something.
"It's seriously 'puffy'- like a coat." he replied in all seriousness.
Well I don't have to catch any passes at recess, Mr.!!
"Do you throw those [bras] away?" he sincerely asked.
No!!  You wash them like other clothing items- they aren't meant to be disposable, like a jock strap should be!

He was sheepish when I said this and pointed out all the times I took that job and wanted to hurl MANY items from football into the trash after a practice or game.

However, we were pretty much in tears laughing at this revelation about the particulars of women's underclothing. And I had to admit it did have a coat-like appearance in texture- cotton... but was it
THAT thick???? C.mon!
The next priceless puffy comment has come as a result of the prednisone.
After returning home from his Thanksgiving trip abroad to Dad's, he kissed my cheek as we unloaded his suitcase.
"Your cheeks are puffy-er, Mom."
Yup, I reminded him that would be what is affectionately called The Moon Face; displaced fat cells throughout the body accumulating in undesirable places as a side effect of the dreaded Pred.
This got him laughing- the name of it. I told him and showed him the part on my back called: The Buffalo Hump. And the little circle of puffy around the neck are called 'Supra Clavical Fat Pads' or something. Those pile up and look like my hiking sleeping bag.
We both laughed and laughed. Yes, sometimes it's funny to turn into a pimple long overdue to be popped. (oh, you get those too for real in mass abundance.) But really, when it boils down to it, it's frustrating.

Trying to wash the walls yesterday in the stairway was tiring with the extra padding on the gutt.
When this kind of weight gain/puffiness comes on it is hard to adjust. It isn't that I am above being puffy. In fact, sometimes it is a physical manisfestation of my illness that catches attention more so than when I am wasting away. That's when you get compliments- in our culture the wain look and size 2 is desirable. But not at the cost of Crohns Disease, I promise you.
A good description of how it feels to go from waste to puff comes from Louie- the Veteran  from Unbroken. His body wasted away in POW camps to stick figure proportions. Upon being saved they ate the rations that floated down in boxes from little parachutes. Chocolate, spam, ciggarettes to help bide the time until they could really be rescued and put in a hospital helped these walking corpses.
In the hospitals IV Drips and all the ice cream, mashed potatoes and gravy they could eat was given to them. He tried his best to go slow when eating the food-- it actually made him pretty sick at first.
Can you imagine the feeling? The whole digestive system would be shocked to suddenly have all this food at its disposal.
Louie said that they quickly put weight back on. But a lot of it was water weight, didnt' replace muscle in the least and felt gushy. Those aren't his words. But his description of the experience is how I feel every time I go from a true extreme in disease and then a good long dose of prednisone.
The puffy even makes the eyes feel uncomfortably squezzed and I start to feel my glasses touch the side of my head and it's annyoying. It even swells the retina so your eye sight isn't as sharp.

 Poor little You,
Which is what I did until last night when I got back on to Anna O'Connor's site,, and read through some of her father's journal entries.
Not one complaint.
Here was this beautiful woman who at the end of her life got puffy. 
Anna is genuinely all smiles in all pictures, holding her family and friends close to her.
 Dodging cameras at family get-togethers and pleading with folks to just ban facebook for awhile.
Gosh, dang I wish I was one of those people that was grateful, graceful and not so blambed prideful!
Those are the folks ya like to be around- I know individuals who are so engrossed in others you want to be around them all the time because they could care less what they look like.
They are true. They know who they are no matter what the circumstances.
And they aren't fretting the small stuff.
So how do you get un-Grinch-ish selfish when you have to go through the same stuff
over and over?
(Serve others.)
I hope this post doesn't make others feel that I am not striving to be one of those people, or that my physical problems haven't eluded me at times and I truly can say
that it doesn't bother me what I look like,
that I can feel my worth at all times. 
That I truly am interested in others and that is what makes having an illness like this bearable.
Or the enduring of certain side effects doable because you have the phenomenal lift  from others kindnesses that make it possible just as the lift that puts airplanes in the sky.
It really is miraculous. 
Getting to know others and having good friends has always been important to me and being house bound at various times in life, not out to the games, or able to help friends- is difficult.
I have plenty of people around me, in my church, neighborhood and friends in other places that have set forth good examples.
In fact, I'm super jealous of this lady I know who can push her husband over an hour in his wheel chair, set up Christmas decorations, send out heartwarming invitations and letters to others and all this after going through cancer.
Oh, and being in her late 70's.
Just as a warning to others- there are some tough birds in this neighborhood that are in their later years and you don't want to mess with them. Jaden can't even convince them to allow him to mow their lawns.
They've got it covered.
Maybe when they hit their 90's a new market will open up for him.
This blog is a very important way for me to "reach" some of those friends who I would normally have sought out in person on one of J and I's walks or rides, and conversed, laughed, or uplifted.
Hope you don't mind the venting.
On the positive side:
We can all rest assured knowing that I will be immune to the harsh Idaho temps approaching being all bundled up in my VS coat bra, and "other" padding.

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