alee_grrl: Image of Miranda from Devil Wears Prada holding her glasses and looking pensive. (dwp think)
So as I stated in my last update, surgery went really well. I had my first post-op check-up and the doc was super pleased with how I'm doing. The long and short of it is that I feel loads better than I did pre-surgery. I'm actually rather amazed by how much better I feel to be honest. It has been another one of those times where I have only realized how sick I truly was after the offending organ(s) have been removed (the other being post gallbladder removal). There is some pretty impressive bruising, but everything is healing up nicely and function is returning to various gut systems.

The other thing I've discovered is that I can (for now at least) tolerate certain amounts of sugars and carbs. I've been on a low yeast diet (low carbs; no sweeteners) for about five years as part of my lyme treatment. This is the first time in a long time that I've tried adding back in a substantial amount of carbs. While it has largely been a surprisingly good experience, it has brought up the many issues I have surrounding food.

The rest of this post is mostly going to be me ruminating on those issues and putting them in writing so I can use them as a reminder to myself later. Like other posts I'm sharing it publicly because others may find it helpful to feel not so alone if they have similar issues. CW: dietary and nutrition issues; body image and weight issues; OCD traits and issues; disordered eating issues; mentions of childhood abuse/trauma resulting from a parent with an undiagnosed, and therefor untreated, mental illness. Also long post is long. )

tldr; post surgery diet triggered some brain weasels, which resulted in many thinky thoughts and ponderings (as seen above in the long post under the cut). But despite the weasels and all the thinking I am doing surprisingly well emotionally and healing from surgery quite nicely. I'm also resting like I am supposed to be doing. So go me! Hope everyone else is doing alright. <3
alee_grrl: Groot, a very tall humanoid tree, leaning down and peering curiously at the camera. (groot)
My niece (brother's daughter) is a lot like me, which I suppose isn't too surprising because my brother and I are far more alike than we ever realized. She's not really all that miniature considering she is 12 and nearly as tall as me. She loves reading, most academics, singing, and theater. She adores bizarre, funky jewelry. She also eats her food in the same manner I always did (sorting and organizing, eating certain things but not others, eating things in a particular order). It's very bemusing.

It's been really good to get to know my brother again, despite how hard the rest of the past month has been (Dad gets worse every week). Despite large efforts on my part I had internalized so much of the narratives my mother provided and haven't rooted them all out yet. So it's been wonderful to kick old narratives out of my head and realize that my brother and I are so very similar, and our skill sets and comfort zones balance each other out perfectly (I can handle admin stuff and phone calls, he can do the cleaning and medical stuff, which I can do but am far less comfortable doing). Without my mom to cause friction we are back to the close friendship and team that we once had many years ago.

It's also been really nice to meet my sister-in-law and niece and get to know them. Last time I saw my niece she was still a baby. So it has been nice to spend time with them and get to know them. It's laid a certain set of brain weasels to rest. I'm sure the little bastards will come up with new ways to be a pest, but at least this set is calm for now.

I'm doing my best to take care of myself as well as being here for my dad and brother. I've gotten out of the house a couple of times to visit old friends, and have also been pampering myself since I can't stress eat like I used to. So I have gotten a haircut, a manicure/pedicure, and a lesson in skin care and makeup application along with some new makeup. I really didn't like my current stuff (bare minerals) as the powder is messy and gets everywhere. It was really nice to finally find a skin care product for ultra sensitive skin that does not smell awful or feel awful and actually helps sooth irritation and calm the skin. The line is Dermitilogica for those who need something similar (they have body care stuff too, I went back and got some). It is pricey but well worth it. And if you are in the Spokane, WA area I cannot recommend Beautiful Grounds, which is located in the mezzanine level of Auntie's bookstore, enough. It's a beauty bar and coffee shop run by a brother and sister and their best friend. They were absolutely wonderful, super sweet, and very helpful.
alee_grrl: Coulson on hold with Natasha, text is the first line of chorus from "Girl From Ipanema" (coulson 1)
To sit for the bar exam you have to submit both an application to take the exam, and an application to the character and fitness board (because they want to know if you're ethical enough to join a profession notorious for unethical people--which may be why they started the character and fitness program now that I think about it). Either way the application is seriously invasive and complex and is pretty much a test of: 1) your determination to take the exam, 2) your attention to detail, and 3) your ability to follow instructions. I had most of the attachments ready to go prior to last week, but needed to sit down and fill out the forms. The Virginia Board of Bar Examiners does off a handy forms wizard, but even with the forms wizard it took me close to 9 hours start to finish (answer the questions, print the materials, proof the materials several times, print the materials, affix passport photos to the proper page, fill out the handwriting sample, note the pages that had to be notarized). Then it was another 3 or so hours the next day going to the bank to get the money order for the fees and getting the forms notarized while I was there. Then to the UPS store to make copies for my own records, organize everything via paper clips and binder clips, triple check everything, and mail it via approved mailing service (next-day mail by a third party carrier). The whole process took more spoons that I had ever imagined.

But I am blessed with a wonderful sister, who happens to own a wonderful bathtub (jacuzzi tub). I came home, took a long hot soak, then vegged out for a while. We had chicken soup for dinner (kelp noodles are surprisingly tasty, and approved for the low-yeast diet). Then Sunday my niece and I went to see Catching Fire while her mom finished up some homework assignments. I enjoyed the movie quite a bit, but I enjoyed the time with my niece even more. She's twelve and super compassionate, so I wasn't sure if she would be comfortable with some of the themes of the movie. But we talked about it before hand, and she said she had seen the first one. When it started getting tense though, she leaned towards me and I scooted over and wrapped an arm around her shoulder. We finished the movie snuggled up. Let me tell you there is something amazing about knowing a child trusts you that much. She also asked me some questions about things after the movie, which was cool. I really love being an auntie.

Two weeks left of my internship, and a lot to do, but it's all coming along nicely. Hope everyone else is doing okay. I know I haven't been on much lately but am thinking about you all and missing you. I do love my dwircle. :D

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alee_grrl: A kitty peeking out from between a stack of books and a cup of coffee. (Default)
Manda

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