Sweet Potato, Celery, Ginger and Orange Juice 3of3

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It’s day two of a juice fast that I foolishly suggested to my husband a few weeks ago. We’d meant to do and be done with it before our holiday before the May Long weekend, but time, space and another plague kept us from it. So I find myself juicing and hungry today.

For me, it’s day three of limited intake. The “rules” of the fast stipulate that a person should slowly eliminate foods from the diet and gradually decrease intake for about a week-ish prior to juicing. I held back on Monday and journeyed into yesterday with a half-empty tummy.

As I packed Rob off to work yesterday, I did my best imitation of a cheerleader,

“Aren’t you excited?” I said. “At the end of the week, you’ll feel light and revitalized. All those toxins flushed away.”

He regarded me quietly. His tummy rumbling in protest against a breakfast of orange juice and herbal tea.

“I don’t feel excited,” he said. “I feel hungry.”

By lunch, when we spoke again, it was, “I don’t care about being light or ridding myself of toxins anymore.”

And by the time he strolled in for dinner, “I am betting whatever smells really good isn’t the juice we are having for dinner.”

It wasn’t. I’d made veggie chilli for Dee.

“Why does she get to eat?” he asked.

“Dad! I’m too little to juice fast,” she chimed in quickly because the child’s self-interest is never far from the surface.

“Sweetie,” I needlessly pointed out, “she’s barely 50 lbs soaking wet. She can barely sleep through the night without chewing her own foot off.”

“A likely excuse,” he grumbled as she souped and he slurped back another glass of green goo.

Later at Dee’s soccer game, he asked,

“So, how long are we juicing?”

“Until Friday.”

“What?! Who decided this? I’ll be the husk of man by Friday.”

“You decided,” I reminded him.

“I think not.”

“Yes,” and I dug back in my memory for the tape of the conversation that basically had me pointing out that we should fast a couple of days and him over-ruling me in favor of the end of the week.

“I don’t recall it that way,” he said.

“Can you say that with certitude?” I asked.

When I spoke to him today right around lunch, he sounded like Frodo as he was slipping into the land of the Ring Wraiths.

“We can quit tomorrow night,” I offered. “Jade says that the body knows when we should eat food again and it should be listened to.”

“No,” he replied listlessly, ” I am committed.”

And I am involuntarily so.

A 2010 Girardin MB-II school bus belonging to ...

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I am not getting enough sleep. And if the light-headed space cadet feeling wasn’t clue enough, shoulder blades melting into lock-down is a red alert.

It’s partly my own fault. Spending time with Rob is priority, and with renovation, his lengthening work day, and kid things keeping us both busy, we tend to make up the us time by stealing from the Sandman, but we pay a heavy toll.

However, even when we do manage to get to bed at an admittedly relative decent hour, there is still the matter of the 6 A.M. wake-up call.

This morning it was the neighbor’s diesel truck roaring to life, but it could have just as easily been the yellow school bus that also revs up at an ungodly early hour. It’s not a new issue, but as the end of the school year still eludes us by well over two months, I am past exhausted with this slumber interrupter.

And there is little that can be done. Because I like the neighbors. Dee plays with their children and they are pleasant and not in any way objectionable as people, which is so refreshing for me I am loath to disturb the wake of that boat even just a little.

Most of my adult life has been spent in active avoidance of my neighbors. They have been National Inquirer noisy, demanding, obnoxious, creepy, drug-addled, dangerous, criminal and lecherous. There was the guy who lived below me who came in every night at 3 with his buddies and cranked up the television, which ended with a screaming match between us that woke the entire building but put an end to his party apartment ways.

I lived across the hall from a drug dealer, whose customers thudded up and down the stairs all night long, and I lived underneath a girl who liked to do her aerobics at midnight.

At university, my first apartment was shared with the hands down winner of bat-shit craziest roommate ever and our next door neighbors appeared to dine regularly on something that smelled like wet matted dog fur, a situation I only improved slightly when I moved into the next apartment – right next door to a frat house.

My first house was sandwiched between two middle-aged married lechers, who made it nearly impossible for me to do my yard-work in peace.

The house I owned before moving here had me contending with hostile Stepford wives because my lawn was tidy to the impossible suburban standards and exposed me yet again to an alcoholic pervert in the adjacent lot, who ironically was someone who teased me mercilessly about my weight when we went to the same junior high.

Making nice with neighbors was not a high priority when I moved here. Rob is not exactly gregarious and keeps interactions to the minimum he can get away with and those he knew also knew Shelley, so they were polite and distant, but after four years, and with Dee out and about, I have gotten to know a lot of people around here. Teaching yoga at the community hall has made me a known quantity even beyond the block.

And I like it.

Sure, I wish the renter across the alley was a better pet owner because that dog of hers barks all the time, and the guy at the end of the next street who lets his dogs live in the house while he occupies the garage give me pause, but most people are pleasant and good-hearted.

So I don’t really want to make an issue of the school bud or diesel truck. I don’t want to be “that” neighbor. The picky princess one.

But, gawd, I am tired and can’t wait for summer to come and the big yellow bus to be mothballed.

The change in ribs

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They say that chest pains should never be ignored. Rob refused to give his credence and look what happened. He could easily have died last summer.

So when I woke with chest pains in the wee hours Wednesday morning, I debated about 5 minutes before waking Rob.

I’d been seeing a physical therapist for rib pain that I thought stemmed from a neck/shoulder injury and just really bad desk ergonomics, but the pain I felt at 4 A.M. was across the top of the chest mainly and in the breastbone, so off we went to the E.R.

The E.R. in the Fort is a dicey proposition. The doctors are hit/miss in terms of interest and bedside manner and the nursing staff even mores so. But we lucked out, and there were just three other patients already in rooms when there could just as easily have been sick folk packing the lobby and stacked in the hallway like cord wood.

The doctor was foreign. They are all foreign. I don’t think white people pursue medical careers in Canada. And he was very young. My own doctor is Indian and not even as old as Edie. As a result, I am not quite sure if I am simply being imprecise with my description of what ails me or they are working from different English grammar book than the one I used to teach 7th graders with. Regardless, I always end up feeling frustrated and cut off, but eventually, the Dr. Ali Baba seemed to understand what I was trying to say.

Part of the problem was that I couldn’t fix on what the pain felt like other than it hurt and the doctor and nurses kept trying to spin what I was saying to match up with their checklists.

But Dr. Ali Baba did at least exam me. Canadian doctors so rarely look up from their laptops, let alone put them down and lay hands on you that I am beginning to wonder if they have divine powers.

Diagnosis? Costochondritis. An inflammation of the cartilage that connects the ribs to the breastbone. It can result from injury or from overuse or as a result of a chest infection. I am three for three on all counts this last six weeks.


“Rest your torso,” Dr. Ali Baba said.

As the torso makes up, well, pretty much everything that isn’t appendage, I am struggling with that and the contradiction …

“And also exercise and stretch.”

The nurse came in with a trainee who then was allowed to practice on me. The doctor ordered an injection of an anti-inflammatory which hurt probably more than the inflammation, and after it kicked in – we were cut loose.

Dee, naturally, had to be awakened from a sound sleep for our trip in. To her credit she was a trooper and betrayed not even the slightest bit of worry. She gets that from Rob.

Rob dubbed me an “official crisis weenie” though because I was a bit more than a little freaked out.

Well, duh. It was chest pains and he nearly died last summer.

But, I am a marathon girl not a sprinter, I need time to adjust and slip back into sanguine. Perhaps I should look for that meditation teacher and build up my calm muscles?

Yesterday then, and today still, I feel worse than I have for a week. I am propping myself in front of the infrared heat lamp and getting ready to sauna again before lying down to read on the heating pad. I have to teach yoga tonight, and I need to build up a bit of ease in the trunk, but in all likelihood, my students might spend the entire class prone.

This couldn’t have come at a worse time. Drywalling looms and Rob was counting on me at least to be his helper for the duration because the older girls and Sliver have limited time off to help.

In yoga, they say that injury is a sign to slow down. When one is moving too fast and doesn’t recognize the subtle signs that leisure and contemplation are necessary, it whacks you. And I won’t deny that I have been thinking and pondering changes and that be more mindful and leisurely would help facilitate the process. So, universe, duly noted.

But the ribs? Seriously. A little carpal tunnel wouldn’t have been done just as well?