The past couple of days have been laden with examples of crappy choices. The key to remember when dealing with them is that you’re stuck with them for one of two reasons -
1. You did something that put you in this situation (Most of the time)
2. Everything else, AKA Kismet.
Since the first option covers most of one’s crappy choices, and it’s the only one we can really control at all, were not going to worry about the second one, or whether it should be subdivided. If you want to further understand the reason, I direct you to the Serenity Prayer, which some of you may recognize from Slaughterhouse Five, or AA/NA/etc..; it’s rather popular:
- God, give us Grace to accept with serenity
- the things that cannot be changed,
- Courage to change the things
- which should be changed,
- and the Wisdom to distinguish
- the one from the other.
- Living one day at a time,
- Enjoying one moment at a time,
- Accepting hardship as a pathway to peace,
- Taking, as Jesus did,
- This sinful world as it is,
- Not as I would have it,
- Trusting that You will make all things right,
- If I surrender to Your will,
- So that I may be reasonably happy in this life,
- And supremely happy with You forever in the next.
That’s the Serenity Prayer as it is thought to have originally been conceived (and translated into English) by Reinhold Niebuhr. This isn’t a religious blog, so, for those of you that would prefer, here is a simplified version of the serenity prayer, by me:
- True happiness involves living one’s life a day at a time AND
- Grace to accept things that cannot be changed,
- Courage to change things which should be changed,
- Wisdom to distinguish the one from the other.
Grace, courage, wisdom. So, when all we have in front of us are bad choices, there are two things we should do. First, choose the best of the bad choices. Make the best of the situation you can, and do it quickly, because allowing a bad situation to linger will often make it fester (get worse). Once you’ve done that, you can concern yourself with how this happened, and if it’s your fault, figure out what you can do to make sure it doesn’t happen again (this is called being responsible). And, again, if you couldn’t have done anything within reason to prevent the choices you are faced with, then it’s time to simply move on! (I will say this, though, there are very few times when we couldn’t have done SOMETHING to avoid the bad choices we face).
The other night, I took my sister’s friend up to North Jersey. Within the next week, she’ll be moving down here. Someone else was going to take her last weekend but she got sick. And she needed to be back up there by Tuesday night, because she had an appointment yesterday (Wednesday). So, I ended up being the one to take her. I didn’t know this until about two days beforehand. So, we didn’t have a lot of time to prepare for the trip, and though it would have been good to bring some food along, we didn’t.
So, an hour after our departure, I’m starving, because I’ve only eaten one thing all day, a fish sandwich. Now, I know, if I don’t find a place to eat relatively soon, I’m going to end up gorging myself on something very unhealthy when I finally do find a place. At this point, we were going through Eatontown, NJ, and we were thinking: “There’s got to be some good food in Eatontown!” Well, I want to sue Eatontown. There wasn’t squat! We drove for another 20-30 minutes before we finally found a place that wasn’t a pizza place (which looked like they should have been condemned).
What we found was the Apollo Diner. And it’s Valentine’s Day. I’m expecting that the only game in town will be packed on V-Day. I was wrong. We were the ONLY customers that I saw, when we walked in. Even though there were cars out front – the staff’s? Well, food’s food, right?
I saw a couple of things that interested me, but very little of it seemed like a good choice. I noticed they had tomatoes stuffed with chicken salad, but the look on the waitresses face when I asked about it alerted me that it might not be the best choice. Marcie ended up ordering a cheeseburger, which is exactly what I should have ordered. That came out fine, just the way she wanted it. I decided to try a gyro and some stuffed grape leaves, thinking this a good choice. I was asked if I wanted a chicken gyro or a beef gyro. I asked for the beef, and, though I knew there would be lamb in it, asked to make sure, anyway. Nope. No lamb. What? How do you make a gyro without lamb??? They do, apparently. I had also asked about their broiled half-chicken. I decided at this point that I just didn’t trust a place that made a “beef gyro” with no lamb so I asked for the chicken.
Well, I meant the half-a-chicken. What I got was a chicken gyro. But they were kind enough to take it back, and a few minutes later (wait, a few minutes???), I was presented with a half a chicken that didn’t look broiled at all. It looked deep-fried. I’m not sure if it was ever broiled.
My friend Krystal once taught me how to eat healthy at a KFC. You order the original chicken (breast, specifically) and you take off the skin. Taking off the skin is hard for me. Ignoring the stuffing underneath the chicken? Fine. But to not eat that yummy skin? I should have told them to take it off for me. Yup, I ended up eating the skin. Not the best choice I could have made, but even if I wasn’t hungry, I love chicken skin.
So, I wasn’t really thrilled with the Apollo Diner, or its offerings, but we had a really nice waitress and I do feel a little bad about putting her through the paces.
We didn’t get to where we were going until late and I found myself a little too tired to be driving, by the time I got to Trenton, so I made my way to the Petro Truck Stop and stopped for the night. Upon waking, I exited my truck and went inside the truck stop for my stretch and warmup. I didn’t notice that they now have an exercise room (a damn small exercise room, but that’s what it is, nonetheless) until after I had finished working out.
Now, I did have to debate with myself a little about this. Not knowing about the exercise room (which would have caused a hassle anyway, getting access) I picked the place I thought would have the most room and least population for my stretches – the TV room. It was close to noon, so most of the drivers that were there were in the restaurant. With the TV tuned to “House, MD” I got my stretches done, but noticed that I hadn’t taken into account that fact that the room had windows so that I could see out into the rest of the truck stop, and the people there could see into the TV room. I had a small audience of curious faces. They got even more curious when I started doing my warmup, what with the punches, blocks, backfists and kicks that I’m doing now (for the record, that is NOT the ten minute warmup. There’s no time in that warmup for punches, kicks, etc…)
I had less of an audience as I walked around the truck lot. There, I just looked like another driver, walking to his truck. Once I get the problem between my laptop and my phone worked out, I’ll put some pictures up too, so you can see how long the row of trucks was (I did a lap and a half around them!). I finished up with a relaxing 6 minutes in one of their massage chairs. They used to have real massages there in the truck stop… but that got shut down… considering the massage I once got there, I can’t say I’m surprised.
I was presented with a lot of bad choices over the course of a couple of days, but I dealt with them by making, for the most part, the best choices I could. Today, I was faced with another. I won’t go into much detail, if you want to look it up for more information, you go right ahead, but don’t even ask for pictures of my candida rash. It’s a long-standing problem I’ve had for a several years. It can make it very difficult and painful to walk, and it can be extremely painful and difficult to treat. It was so painful last night, I couldn’t even consider sleeping, showering, walking, etc…
One of the things I’ve used to treat the problem (I have to treat it because Doctors have a tendency to just shrug their shoulders and tell you “yeah, good luck”) is no longer available from the Outlet where I normally purchased it. And what I’ve been able to pick up at other locations to replace it hasn’t been as effective, and since I’ve started to lose the weight, it’s really starting to get bad.
Last night’s choice was “what the hell do I do with this?” I could jump in the shower and scrub at it. That cleans it, but it feels like I’m ripping my skin apart and has produced some bleeding on more than one occasion. And I hobble because of the pain, but in time it goes away. Before it gets clean, I hobble because of the pain, but it just gets worse. There’s a lot more about this that I’m not even mentioning. It’s pretty embarrassing, and frankly, I’d prefer not to talk about it at all, but it’s a big enough part of my life and my weight (because lets face it, most of what allows it to continue unabated is my weight), that I don’t feel I can hide it, not while claiming brutal honesty on this blog.
So, I couldn’t get to sleep, and whether I tried to clean it with the brush in the shower, or with some wipes (which is very difficult, because this infection spreads to areas that I have a lot of difficulty reaching) it was going to be highly painful. I finally decided, after some debate, to go to the ER. The pain was driving me nuts and the anticipated pain that would be involved in cleaning was worse. Plus, since I’ve never even had a doctor properly explain to me what it is that I have (the closest I ever got was “it’s a heat rash. What do you expect?) (I’d just like to point out that I have not shown this to my current doctor. I’d already shown it to two Doctors and told a few more about it, and I didn’t want to deal with another Doctor just looking at me and shrugging. I’d like to think he wouldn’t do that, but I would have liked to think the same of the previous Doctors. I did tell him about it, and how I was taking care of it. That seemed to satisfy any curiosity he might have had about it.)
Well, as it turns out, going to the ER may have been the worst decision I’ve made all week. For one thing, was it really an emergency situation? So I was in pain. They didn’t seem to care, and this time I’m not sure that I can blame them. (When could I blame them for sure? The time I went in after tearing my right bicep. The doctor asked me what was wrong, I told him what I thought had happened, he told me thought I was right, prescribed a painkiller and sent me home. No scan, no nothing.)
But, you know, I let them know that I wasn’t worried about how busy they were, I could wait until they had time to take a look at me. They insisted they had room for me right then, so back I went. I was in and out and it couldn’t have taken more than ten minutes. Man, people would kill to get the kind of swift service that I got last night. At least as far as being seen quickly goes.
The nurse came in, looked at it, admitted it looked really bad, then asked why I didn’t go to my Doctor instead of the ER. I’ll have to talk to him about that – I didn’t know he kept office hours until midnight (sarcasm – he doesn’t). So it was suggested I should have just waited, and she said “don’t take it personally” to the person suffering from depression that just asked the triage nurse what they do with you if you tell them you’re thinking about harming yourself, “the Doctor’s going to say the same thing”. I believed her too. When I get those pictures up, I’ll show you why, too. Apparently cleaning a room before ushering in the next patient is no longer standard practice at this hospital. I started to understand, especially as the Doctor came and left, that I was a rush job. Rush him in, rush him out.
Part of this appears to be because they thought I was a selfpay. The last time I was there I didn’t have Medicaid. I had CharityCare, but that won’t pay the Doctor’s bill. What didn’t help is that I saw the nurse and the doctor before I ever saw the registrar! I was on my way out the door when she stopped me to get my information, and she was quite surprised when I handed her my Medicaid card. I told her to tell the condescending Doctor (there were a number of comments about my weight, and how if it really bothered me, I would have lost the weight by now) thanks a lot for the “Medical Don’t Care”.
In the end, I had to grit my teeth and try to clean up with some wipes. It hurt like a son of a bitch, but it was better than scrubbing at it in the shower. The soothing aloe in the spray did at least help to ebb the pain, and today I cleaned up again, with a little less pain this time. I thought I’d open up another bottle of the ointment that I apply to it. This was a brand I hadn’t tried yet, which I had gotten at a drugstore. It’s still not as good as the stuff I used to get, but it doesn’t feel like it’s making things worse, like some of them, either.
Well, I wish you the best of luck in the choices you have to make. If you can say that you only occasionally make poor choices, then you’re doing alright in the world. But when it comes to weight loss, you still want to make as MANY good choices as you can – don’t forget, Grace, Courage, Wisdom!