Friday, February 22, 2008


Today was my follow-up appointment with my Orthopedist for my knee. Dr. Sisto and I go way back... back to when I was seen by Dr. Blazina and Dr. Sisto was a Fellow studying underneath him. Then they shared an office - They, I suppose, eventually became partners - and when Dr. Blazina passed, Dr. Sisto was the heir apparent.

Going to his office is an exercise in patience. Where most of my doctors are very prompt as a rule, I expect to wait to see Dr. Sisto for an hour or more once passing through his entry door. With my passion for crafts, though, and on disability and therefore no traditional job to be worried about, I'm perfectly capable of keeping myself entertained.

I thought about what to bring along with me today. Knitting? Beads? No. I thought of Doll and decided to bring my Mongolian Cashmere and my Greensleeves Spindle. That spindle is not only beautiful, but is spins like butter.

The pouch that I am carrying the cashmere in is handspun Wenesleydale which I then wove with a cotton warp into corduroy.

Surprisingly, I only had to wait for 20 minutes before being ushered into Exam Room 1. I haven't been #1 in a long long time and savored the view out the window. Van Nuys Blvd.

Famous as being the street on which American Graffiti was based. And in fact, in the 60s, it WAS the happening place although the police cracked down on that activity decades ago and I have no idea where the teens hang out these days.

As with the foot, if you would like a picture of the knee, just let me know independantly and I'll e-mail you a copy. But let it suffice to say that it was no where near as impressive as the foot and you'll be disappointed. Very little bruising, very little swelling. Dr. Sisto promptly took the stitches out and sent me on my way. But not before giving me a generalized talk about my overall condition.

I have to tell you that I still experience a sharp intake of breath (insecurity, not pleasure) when anyone brings the subject up, and today was no exception. Dr. Sisto, with his orientation to the skeletal system, is not really all that interested in my other disease process except as it relates to my bones. But his comments shocked me.

He told me that every time, as of late, that he comes into the exam room, he hardly believes that I am the same patient that he has known all these years. How my X-rays look so much older than my person. How I have transformed my life and my appearance.

Even now, it's hard to respond to such comments although especially Claudia but all the Fab 4 would be proud of me. I responded with a "Thank you." And instead of disqualifying him with a follow-up rebuttal, I just told him that I worked very hard every day of my life not to go back to my old persona. I can honestly say that although some aspects of my weight loss have become easier to deal with, the work involved in not regaining some or all of the weight is daunting.

But thanks to some major influences in my life - you know who you are - I continue on. To work out. To watch what I eat. To get on the scale each and every day so that I don't pretend that my clothes are shrinking rather then me gaining weight when that issue comes up.

(By the way as a sidebar, I confessed to Dr. Sisto today that I had continued to exercise after my left knee was diagnosed. And that I planned to go back to exercise class effective tomorrow. He wasn't really upset about it. Just warned me to be careful but qualified his warning with a short lecture on the importance of keeping fit.)

And as I left Dr. Sisto's office, several prescriptions in hand which I will talk about in my blog at another time, I looked at the sign in his waiting room. "Sorry. We do not validate!"

Sorry Dr. Sisto, but today's visit gave me more validation than money for the meter ever could. It reminded me that sometimes the work that I've put in and continue to do pays off.

It's out everywhere. Easter Candy. After my doctor's appointment, I decided to stop off at Gelson's to buy some fruit. I normally would go to a lesser market for it, but still being on crutches, shopping is challenging and I didn't want to have to deal with also sorting through produce. So Gelson's it was and the candy was on display by each of the doors.
The thing is, in days past this kind of display would have bothered me. I would have ended up buying candy to "put aside for the holiday" when everyone knows that when we buy it early, it's to eat now and we'll buy more later.

Truth be told, though, I don't really crave high-sugar foods anymore. I've become sensitive enough to my body to know that they make me feel awful. And except for the monthly urge to eat chocolate (which can be satisfied by one Lindor Truffle rather than a huge bag of candy), I don't have a hard a time resisting.

Carbs, however, haunt me. Specifically bread. And rice. And to a lesser degree, Pasta. As I shopped around the market, I was tempted to buy first a loaf of Artisan Bread. And then, sushi which is made by a Sushi Chef on the premises.

I actually turned the cart to walk in that direction several times. But tried hard to think about what Lucy told us in our weight maintenance class a few weeks ago. That the real issue that she wished reasearchers would work on in relation to the obese is not as much the physical triggers to eat than impulse control.

She explained to us that we tended, as a group, to be much more impulsive than our thin counterparts. It showed in our eating habits. And to a lesser degree but common all the same, it often turned up in our monetary expenditures too. I know that used to be true for me.

Wanting that sushi was completely impulsive. I used all sorts of reasoning to justify the purchase. It was good for me, which it was. It was not fattening, which it wasn't. It was fresh and good which, from Gelsons, it is. And from the same, it is not an expensive lunch alternative.

But then I thought "Impulse Control." I need to try and curb myself. I had planned on a fruit salad for lunch with a Yogurt & Honey dressing that was already made and waiting for me. There was no real and compelling reason, other than my impulsivity, to deviate from the plan. And so in the end, I didn't.

It really bothered me - a lot - as I checked out of the market and got into my car to come home. I'd be lying if I said that I didn't consider turning around and going back for it as I pulled out of my space. But the feeling of having resisted is better than the short-term gratification that I would have received by buying it and most certainly eating it all before I even arrived home.

I feel a little bit in control of myself.


hot tamale said...

Thank you Laura for your honesty and for sharing your thoughts. They have made me think too. Impulse control....hummm hit the nail on the head for me today, thanks. I will work on my "impulses" today and thanks for saying the hard work you do, pays off. Yes, even tho I may not see it on the scale, I am still doing wonders for my body by taking care of it. Thanks again for helping me think and see things in a better light.
Your friend

Anonymous said...

as usual another great post. makes me think and rethink

Claudia said...

It does my heart good to hear you say that you were able to accept a compliment with a nice "thank you". I'm proud of you. :)

hmmm....impulse control, huh? It hadn't occurred to me. I was too busy being impulsive. LOL Thanks for all that food....for thought.


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