Friday, July 13, 2018


It's not you, it's me.  Two months since I posted last and lots to report. 

I had to go back and reread the last three blogs to see what I'd even said.  One was a walk notification.  One was about teaching Emma to drive.  And one was about the nurse quitting.  And...that's really it.  I've written other posts this year...but way back in January.  And all pretty general stuff. 


In February, I visited the doctor for a checkup.  His patients are primarily the octogenarian-set, so I think maybe him seeing me once every four months is a bit overkill.  Still, he saw me and my blood pressure was..."high". 

I've always flirted with high blood pressure.  When I gain a few pounds it drifts up.  When I lose a few pounds it drifts back to normal range.  It's often been labeled "borderline high".  My dad takes medication for it (for his blood pressure.  Not mine.  Don't be weird).  It's not super surprising that I would have it too. was "high".  Not "borderline high".  He prescribed me a blood pressure med and told me to come back in 4 weeks.  I found this...jarring.

Nothing like being the sole surviving parent of two kids and confronting the possibility that your elevated blood pressure is increasing your risk of heart attack...

I decided I would make some "lifestyle changes".  I told the doc to give me 4 weeks and if I hadn't brought my blood pressure down I'd start taking the medicine.  The appointment books were full for six weeks, so it gave me an extra two week grace period.

I struggle with between-meal/before-bed snacking.  If there are salty, crispy snacks available, I will eat them.  I resolved to do better.  I googled, "foods that are good for hypertension."  I added these to my grocery list.  I re-downloaded the MyfitnessPal app on my phone to track calories.  I started getting on the treadmill regularly.

I had success.  But...I didn't want to jinx it by making a big deal about it.  I didn't want to publish the great news and then report again 2 months later that it was crap again.  And, if we're being honest, there's probably only one other topic that people care less about than your "personal weight-loss journey" and that's your fantasy football team. 

So I won't bog you down with all the deets, but from the end of February to the middle of April, I had lost 15 pounds.  When he checked my blood pressure then he pronounced me "fit" and not needing the medication. 

That was not the end of it.  Since then I lost another 10 pounds, and 4 inches on my waist and the only clothes that fit are those that I purchased between about the beginning of June and now.  It's a great problem to have.  But it's expensive.  Still...I'm not complaining.  I left my yearly physical this morning with a clean bill of health.  (and a scrip for a fucking colonoscopy and endoscopy...yay aging!)

I'm not done, but I'm in a much healthier place, and I waited until now to bring it up.  It's consumed a lot of my time.  Every night on the treadmill then lifting weights.  Walking at work, walking at the mall on my lunch break (with the other elderlies...what?  it's gets really hot outside!).  I sort of made the decision to sacrifice sleep because something had to give.  I can work out until 10:30 or 11, but then I end up in bed 11:30 or 12 and I have to get up at 5:30...and Lily still is waking up at least once per night. fitbit (oh...yeah...bought one of those again too) goals are all green.  Except my sleep goal.  And yes, I know sleep is super important.  I'll figure it out.

Emma and I continue to slog away at her driving.  She's getting better.  I'm getting better.  We have an end goal in sight.  Her test will be a week after she's eligible by law (in September).  We're still trying to log hours.  She drives back and forth to and from her jobs.  Plural.  Last time we 'spoke' she was applying for another job.  She got it.  She's saving for a car.  Raking in the cash.

Lily got an aide.  The short version is (and I'm not really going to go into the longer version) that I asked the pediatrician to remove the skilled nursing requirement from her letter of medical necessity in order to make the position easier to fill.  It's been a year since we started this process.  In that time, I think I've had 4 months of coverage.  I spoke to the insurance company frequently.  I don't know what the tipping point was...I'm sure there's a procedure or guideline somewhere, but according to the insurance company they..."offered a higher rate" for Lily and...whatya know?  Someone took it.  And I really like her.  Fingers crossed she sticks around for a while.

"Offered a higher rate."  I'm of two minds on this.  1)  Thank you so much for offering the higher rate.  I had no idea what I was going to do this summer.  It was too much for my parents.  It obviously fixed the staffing issue.  2)  Why the fuck didn't you offer a higher rate six months ago??

I'm just letting it go.  I'm going to assume that there's a procedure that says they're not authorized to offer higher rates unless X months of no service or something have gone by.  It's better for my mental health to assume that's the case anyway.

I started seeing someone last year at the end of September.  I'm pretty tight-lipped about that stuff on social media.  At least I have been previously.  I think it was part "don't jinx it" and part "keep your options open".  Committing to someone is really weird and hard when there is still so much to unpack after losing your spouse.  Kids to consider.  The whole shootin' match.  So I'd been dating.  But I was really quiet about it in this space. 

She's really great.  A weird perfect match sort of great.  Like in an almost spooky too-good-to-be-true sort of way.  I'd always thought it was the differences between people that drew them together.  I remember the priest telling Leslie and I that what I loved about Leslie were the things I saw in her that I wished I had myself.  Apart from attraction, her organization, her mental compass, her stability.  Those were all things that I was lacking myself and loved about her.  And she made me better at all of those things to varying degrees.  With Angie (her name is Angie, did I mention?) we are sooooo alike.  So either she's an exceptionally gifted con-woman trying to bilk me out of my wealth (jokes on YOU, Angie, I don't HAVE any wealth!  HAHA!) or we're just eerily similar people who get along so well that we have not had a single fight in the 10 months I've been dating her. 

That's weird, right?  And amazing?  What's the record?  10 months and we haven't even gotten CLOSE to being in a fight. 

We've covered all sorts of relationship milestones...met the parents, met my father-in-law (it wasn't as weird as you might think), went on a road trip to NYC, met my kids, met her sister, met her friends...and many many more. 

Anyway, you should probably know that.  It's "new".  I mean, it's not really NEW new, but it might be new to you, in a, "Hey Jim, what's new?" "Oh, I've been seeing this girl Angie" sort of new way.
Surprise visit to NYC.  Angie, Like Sasquatch, moves too fast to be photographed in focus

OH!  Sidebar...I'm down 25 pounds and hardly ever drink so three drinks and I'm FUCKED UP.  Related:  so many calories in drinks.  Can't someone DO something about that?

I'm redoing my bedroom.  I put up brick paneling and then german schmeared it.  No, that's not sex stuff.  Look it up.  I'm repainting and getting new bedding and had this big historic map of Pittsburgh made (thank you, Angie!) and it's getting framed, and and and.  It's fun. 

starting to schmear
paneling up

Also, I'm having my patio extended in the back and a firepit put in.  Then I'm going to get new patio furniture. 

I've been busy. 

That's it for now.  Things are going really well.  I hope I didn't just jinx them.


  1. Thank goodness for the aide. Finally. Still waiting two years later and counting...By the way, the colonoscopy and endoscopy aint’ so bad. The drugs they give you are FABULOUS

  2. Yay!! For all the good stuff going on for you now. Colonoscopies are not so scary, and you only have to have them every 10 years!

  3. This is all really great stuff. I’m very happy for you. I don’t know why we do this thing where we are afraid to enjoy our good. We are weird. So very weird.

  4. I am SOOOOOO happy for you!!!! OMG dating is so difficult with kids and even just slightly more difficult with kids with autism. You give me hope. Rock on, dude!!

  5. Wow so happy to hear things are going well for you! Wishing you nothing but the best!