Thursday, September 29, 2011

Calling in Sick. Part Uno.

Do you ever wake up in the morning wishing you could call in sick to life that day?

Like, "Hey, umm, God,  I'm not feeling like facing a few things today, can I just check out for a bit and come back when I'm feeling better?" 'Cause I have.

January 3rd ish, 2011:

Amy (ER nurse manager): "Hello, this is Amy."

Shelly: "Umm, hi, Amy. It's Shelly. How are you?"

Amy: "I'm doing well, how are you?"

Shelly: "Well, listen. I don't really know how to say this, but I think I'm going to need some time off. I feel kind of silly asking, and I don't want you to think I'm telling a sob story or anything, but I could probably use just the rest of the week off."

Amy: "Okay...."

Shelly: "Yeah. It's just, in a nutshell, my fiance, or ex fiance now is kind of in jail. Long story, he's addicted to oxycontin and stole my credit card and a bunch of stuff. So I really appreciate it. And I'm glad I can tell you. Thank you."

Amy: "Oh, I'm know, things like this happen. Go ahead and take your time. Just remember not to take too much time away from work, make sure you get back into a routine of things..."

Shelly: "Oh I will. Thanks so much. I should be back next week."


Pretty sure I tried to have the same conversation with God, but it didn't go quite that way. My body tried so hard to "check out". I was spacey. Headaches. Wanted to faint every time I stood up. But there's no checking out of life.

I remember asking my Mom if I could just be in a coma for a couple of days, then wake up and I would be fine. It's called the shock stage. My body and mind were trying to make some sort of sense in what happened that whirlwind of an afternoon on December 28th. And all of December. November. October. Back to the end of September....

By that time Ben (name has been changed so I don't get sued or whatever) and I had been together 6 months, and we were in love. So much that we started talking about getting married and starting a family. At that time, Ben was talking to the LDS missionaries. I stayed out of the whole process, so I didn't feel like I was pressuring him. I had told him I'd marry him no matter what he chose.

He got baptized in October, and moved up to Utah that weekend from Las Vegas. (Note to self, never date someone from there again.) We got engaged October 30th before a Halloween party. Was I ready? Good question. Is anyone ever truly ready for that?

November ensued, and cue in the sound of a bomb slowly descending from the sky. You can ignore it while it's falling until it hits the ground, right? And things started to change.

Don't you always hear that line when someone says what went wrong in a relationship? Is it me? Is it him? Something's not right, here. We argued. We'd never argued before. Was it stress of him being baptized? Getting engaged? Moving? Yeah, that's it. It's all stress from life changes.

Fast forward a bit. I made some cupcakes at Christmas time and invited a few friends over. Ben was sitting on the couch, nodding off while everyone else was laughing. I made some comment about him needing to get his blood sugar checked. He agreed, said it's crazy how tired he gets when his blood sugar is low, even though he just had a couple cupcakes....yeah. Low blood sugar.

So all this brings you up to speed for the juicy part.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Pay Attention! don't have to. Not at all. In fact, I don't even know why you're reading this post.

I know why I'm writing this, though.

Because after all the underwear is said and done, at the end of the day I have a story. And someday, it will help someone.

There are a lot of self-help books out there about addiction. Books for the addict on how to stop. Books on how to love the addict, but help yourself. Books on how to re-build a relationship with an addict. How to love the addict and hate the addiction.

But I didn't do that. I made a choice ten months ago, and now I live with it. I chose to look at the facts of the situation, listen to my rational side, and decided that I would be happier single for the rest of my life than with said addict.

This isn't a story to convince anyone of my sainthood. This is a story about self-preservation. About natural instinct. About listening to your gut, coping, and moving on. About finding some humor in a crazy situation to maintain a shred of sanity. And if I have to wear underwear on my head while talking to you in order to make you laugh, so be it.

Hopefully, at the end of this, I'll have made some valid point that no one else has had the courage to say. Maybe, just maybe, someone can find direction  and humor in a situation they're faced with from all of this.

Like I said. Everyone has their story, and I'm going to say mine. I don't care if you read it or not, but I think it's pretty interesting. Maybe I'm just a little biased.

Act I to come soon. The topic might be a bit heavier than underwear for the next few posts. Just a fair warning.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


Scurred = different way to be scared according to

I'll admit it. I went to a therapist once upon a time. Yep, and no I'm not scared to admit that one. If you ever want to know why, that's another story. But in therapy, you quickly learn to acknowledge feelings. For me, I'd try to ignore them and then they'd come out in another way: anxiety. But now,  I just say I'm scared. Imagine the worst. Realize it's not that bad. And get over it. I'm not saying it's for everyone, it just works for me.

So now, I just admitted that I am scared about this little medical problem I have. Without divulging too much, I gain weight quickly and easily, and have a lot of symptoms that come with having too much androgen-type hormones. (The hormones that come from those little adrenal glands that sit on top of my kidneys - cortisol, aldosterone, female/male sex hormones). It's all fancy-shmancy endocrinologist type stuff. 

With moving and being put on birth control then taken off because they need to measure my hormones and yadda yadda, I'm finally artificial hormone-free x3 months and just got my results back. Nice thing is, it's not PCOS. Downer is I have to get an abdominal ultrasound. No, I'm not preggers.  Although it would be a darling baby if it had the Lucas family genes.

The ultrasound is a nice, friendly way of saying "let's make sure you don't have cancer" before they check other blood tests. Reality is, I probably don't. My DHEAS is 513, normal is around 300, and it's usually 600 or greater with a tumor. Yeah? Yeah.

Regardless, I think I have the human right to be a little scared. It's definitely a reminder of why I do what I do, and why I try to be understanding with difficult parents of my little patients. Medical things are scary. It's different from what our bodies should be doing.

It makes me a little bit more grateful to be a nurse. That I get to support the patient and family in a stressful situation for them.

Oh....and there's no underwear in this post. Sorry. Besides the fact that my adrenal glands are in relative position to the top of my undies. Happy fall!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

And so it begins...

In the A.M.! I'm starting it. I don't think I've ever put this much single planning or thought into something...I mean even my nursing degree. Kidding.

Workout + six small meals planned for tomorrow. Actually, planned for the week. My fridge is stocked. My before photos are taken. I made sure to eat an extra fatty celebratory meal (Panda Express) to begin, right before I got in a bikini for the "before" pictures.  I even made some protein pancakes (see recipe below!) so I can grab them in a hurry. This. Is. Legit.

The menu tomorrow if you're curious?

1. Scrambled egg whites and a whole wheat muffin.
2. Protein shake with banana.
3. Mini chicken pizza on a whole wheat muffin made with low-fat mozzerella cheese. Topped with spinach. Cucumber slices.
4. Luna bar.
5. Repeat the pizza + cucumber. I'll be at work and need something I can heat up and eat in a hurry.
6. Protein pudding (sugar free pudding made with protein powder).

The workout? It's a 45 minute upper body outlined in intervals of intensity. I get to use my knowledge from when I attempted personal training with Gold's Gym. I guess I found out the most valuable thing about myself when I did: I am my best challenger.

When I ran the Wasatch Back this year, miss Kati made an observation - that I do best when I'm left alone. I'll just keep going and going if I don't have a distraction. This is true. Not that I don't need encouragement...I just have a mild form of "Ooh something shiny" if I don't have a distraction, I just keep going...and going...

The pancakes I made were interesting. Not too shabby. They definitely have a different texture. I discovered they cook very quickly, and the sooner you get them off the pan right when they are done, the better. It's because egg is a "binder". That, combined with the protein powder, can make it a little dry. But add on a dab of sugar free syrup and voila....

Protein Pancakes

1 c whole wheat pancake mix
3 scoops EAS vanilla protein
1 egg white + 1 whole egg
3 T cottage cheese
1 1/2 c water

Blend. Cook like you do a normal pancake. But like I said, they cook quickly. The underside will be totally done and it will still be runny on the top. Go ahead and flip it. Just do it.

I dabbed them with a teeny bit of smart balance spread and sugar free syrup. So if you're not a Splenda fan, add a bit of sugar free fruit spread. I'll let you know if these hold up from freezing well or not. Or if they just taste like cardboard.

Wish me luck!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

oh, dating. (don't murder me all you married peoples).

Dating....oh man.

That's all I have to say. Really. It's weird/difficult/self-esteem wrecking/fun/exciting/motivating sometimes.

Getting back into the jungle of singledom last January, I kind of hit the ground running. Mostly for distraction. And since I either A. work with mostly ladies, and B. scare the majority of men at church away with actually having a pair of hips and telling them I blog about underwear, my options are limited. So where did I turn? Online.

I have considered blogging simply about the best one-liner emails I get. I don't respond to probably about 90% of my e-mails that I get from mail users. Why? Well. If I get a line such as:

"What's up, baby boo?"

First off, I'm not your "boo". Nor are you a thug, you are white boy with a goatee who listens to Eminem. Not a thug. Or:

"Having any luck on this site?"

Clearly, if I were, I would not still be on this thing at three in the morning reading silly e-mails like this. And last but not least, my favorite:

"I'm kinda interested."

I'm so flattered! I'm kinda interested in you too, now I'm just going to delete this e-mail....

And just for the record, those are all real, actual e-mails I have received. I wish I could say they were made-up. 

So wish me luck. Maybe I'm just looking for love in all the wrong places. Maybe I can try speed dating, simply to get some more blogging material. Arranged marriage just sounds more appealing all the time.

Now, before you kill me or write an encouraging comment back, I hope you know I am quite kidding about all of this. Somewhere deep down inside that joking heart-breaker side of me I know that love comes when you least expect it. You can't rush or force it. All you can do is try to be ready for it when it comes along and be the best person you can be. I just have to be able to laugh a little at the journey, right?

Have a lovely day. :)

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Buried alive.

I feel like if I blog about something, then my decisions are "public". And if I know people know about the little thoughts that go on in my head, I may be more committed to them. At least I can hope so.

But, I'm just going to put out there the horrible truth. Since May, I have gained about 22 lbs. I'm not one to worry about the scale much with all of my exercising and whatnot, but something has got to give. I don't overeat, but my eating is sporadic. Outside of my medical stuffs that I am figuring out (something with adrenal glands and DHEAS hormone and/or PCOS), I've got to face the facts: my body is selfish. It loves to hoard the fat. I should make it go on that show on TLC about the hoarders - Buried Alive.

That is my body. But with food. It doesn't know how to throw it out well. So I'm going to teach it.

I'll never be able to erase that memory of seeing actual fat tissue when someone's cut open in surgery. I got to watch a few in nursing school...that's enough to make a person run away from food. 

Not that I'm running away from food. Food is good. I love it just as much and probably more than the next person.  But I love a good challenge. Add the word "challenge" onto anything and I will probably do it just to prove myself. It's like when I was little, my brothers and sisters would ask me to get something, and tell me they would time me to see how fast I could. A challenge? Yes! I think so. Maybe that's why I stayed skinny when I was little. Forget the challenge....I'll just sprint to get everything I need. Haha.

I guess I'm a firm believer that medicine can only go so far. And for a majority of health care problems, prevention is key. So if I want to have high blood pressure in 5 years, go ahead and eat those chicken nuggets, Shelly. Kidding. But I am starting the Body for Life challenge on Monday for 12 weeks. Totally committed, eating 6 times a day, one free day a week, exercising 6 days a week, committed. I've found some ladies starting on the same day and am so excited to hear about their journeys.

If you've  never heard of Body for Life, it's not some crazy point-counting thing that confuses me just thinking about it. Eat 6 times a day, small meals, pair a protein with a carb and add in veggies twice a day. I love it. I think it should be called the normal, healthy, what-everyone-should-be-doing plan. But I'm a little biased. Enough ranting. But at the end of this, I'm pretty sure those undies are going to be looking a little better on me.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Waaay overdue for a post. So I made cupcakes for you.

Well, kind of. I took pictures of them. I made a hot cocoa cake (sounds fancy, right?) with a blueberry cream cheese filling, with a butter/cream cheese frosting topped with fresh blueberries. I love these, they have a little bit of everything. Not too heavy chocolate, some creamy fruit, and a great vanilla frosting. 

First, I made the blueberry filling. I took 6 oz. fresh berries, covered them with sugar, and let heat do the work:

Then, I added a couple tablespoons of cornstarch with a tablespoon of water, and let it bubble with the mix. You can mash the berries as they are cooking to let the juices out. You do not need to add any other water.

 It turned into a funny blob of blueberries. Then I mixed in 4 oz. of cream cheese to it to make a filling.

Ahh, then these beauties. You can use any chocolate cake mixture. I was out of cocoa, so what did I use? Hot chocolate. And cut down on the sugar. Recipe's at the bottom for these beauties.

Then using whatever cupcake-filler tool you have, put the filling in the cake. I couldn't find mine, so i simply cut a hole out with a knife, filled it, and put the cake top back on after I cut off excess cake.

Top with some yummy homemade cream cheese and butter frosting...

Put them in a cute box, add some blueberries, and voila! Everyone now thinks you bought these fancy-shmancy cupcakes somewere. Nope. Made right here in my 5x5 kitchen. At least it feels that small.

Hot Cocoa Cupcakes:

1/4 c ghirardelli double chocolate hot cocoa mix
3 T hot water
1 c + 2 T unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking sodea
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp princess cake and cookie emulsion (available at most TJ Maxx, Ross, Orson Gygi, or any specialty cooking store) 
2/3 c buttermilk (any fat content)

*Preheat oven to 325*

1. In a small bowl, combine hot cocoa and water. This will bring out the chocolate flavor and it should look like a syrup.

2. Combine dry ingredients, set aside.
3. Beat the butter and sugar about 1 minute or until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and beat in individually. Mix in the vanilla and emulsion (If you have it. it's not critical.)

4.Mix in the cocoa, then add half of the flour mixture. Add the remaining buttermilk and flour, adding each individually.

I baked these at 325* since my oven is circa 1968. It took a bit longer that way, about 20 minutes, but it helped the bottoms not to burn. Just bake 12 minutes and watch carefully. If you touch the top and it lightly springs back, you're good. If it collapses, you'll prrrrrrobably need more time.

P.S. I bake in my underwear sometimes so it's a completely appropriate post.