Carry on Tuesday: Once Upon A Time

Out of fog Bay Bridge and Golden Gate Bridge a...

Out of fog Bay Bridge and Golden Gate Bridge and San Francisco in fog and crepuscular rays. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There was a time once, not so long ago, when I was chubby, fat, or just pleasantly plump. In Italy I would have been a goddess. Men would have followed me down the cobble stoned streets, whistling and begging to touch my beautiful breasts and my bountiful behind. Unfortunately, I wasn’t living in Italy, I was here in the United States, where all I really wanted was to be slender. I thought if I was thin, all my problems would dissipate like the mysterious fog in San Francisco. I imagined the fog lifting while I watched, wearing a heavy knit red sweater and sitting peacefully on a huge rock.

A couple of months ago I was very sick, (on top of my chronic illnesses” Fibromyalgia, Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, IBS) I couldn’t eat, I couldn’t leave my house or the bathroom for an entire four weeks. I was pale, gaunt and looked ill. People on the street would ask me guardedly “If I was okay?” Part of me, if I had a sense of humor back then wanted to say “Of course, I’m in the middle-aged super model competition” but I had no sense of humor at the time. The other part of me was scared to speak so I just said “I’m fine” which people accept with relief and don’t follow-up with questions.

All my life there was always something about me that I wanted to change and after I changed it, I thought I would be happy: my weight, my hair, my glasses, wearing make-up, dressing better, nice shoes, tinting my hair to cover the tiny amount of gray that swirled in front of my face. The gray hair that I had been so proud to have, to acknowledge my real place in the world, as someone who had already experienced a great deal of life and had earned them with pride.

Having been married for 24 years with two young adults doing well in college was proof enough and even though I did go through a time feeling sorry for myself that the kids ” didn’t need me anymore” I realized my husband and I had done a very good job of parenting. I admit, I needed to remind myself that loving and needing were two very different things, they would love me as their mom but their lives and our lives would be constantly changing. Yes, sometimes it changes so quickly it was hard to keep up, that’s when I found myself alone, crying into an old, soft, handkerchief and feeling sorry for myself. I learned to accept that too. You have no choice.

Six weeks ago I went from eating and being lively to not eating and not feeling well, I lost over 30 pounds and before you coo and ooh and ahhh and wish it was you I can tell you, you better take that back. I did not enjoy clothes falling from my body, or food flowing through me, and not being able to go outside of my house for four weeks. The doctor scheduled me for every “cancer” test known to humanity and that was not fun. The doctor, not known for his bedside matter, actually told me WHAT he was testing for when we first met him in his office. Thanks, Doc, nice touch.

I will be getting the results later this week, I’m hoping that everything will be fine, I’m ( fairly) certain that they will be. The symptoms stopped a few days after my office visit and while I haven’t gained a lot of weight back, I do get hungry and I feel better. My newest ( little ) problem is this: I went to shop for new jeans and found that there are no jeans for women of my age. They have skinny jeans, under the waist jeans and jeans for teenagers with lithe bodies. Basically, the clothes that I have are four sizes too big for me and the style out there now are for teenagers only. I have nothing to wear, I miss my “Mom jeans.” It is impossible to find them, anywhere. Suggestions?

All that I have accomplished in this quest are the lack of clothes to wear and the acquisition of numerous wrinkles. I sat outside in the sun for a few moments, noticing all the wrinkles on my knees and thighs that were not there before. As I sat, warming my face, was I thinking about the good things in my life in a delighted way? No. I was thinking about the barium test (drinking chalk) that I have to drink tomorrow morning at eight am and where to aim my projectile vomiting. That, at least, is amusing me.

Be happy with what you have and who you are. As my dad used to say “Health is the most important thing.”  It’s the only thing, be grateful.

16 thoughts on “Carry on Tuesday: Once Upon A Time

  1. Oh, Laurie!!! I am so sorry! And sorry I didn’t see this until yesterday! But also so relieved that the symptoms have stopped!

    As you know, I have my own issues with way too much weight loss – you might “get” this post I wrote, which also involves jeans shopping:

    I also hear you loud and clear on the wrinkles and sagging skin. My upper arms have become nearly muscle-less, and the skin sags like on someone who is 90. I don’t even want to think about what my butt and my thighs look like.

    But worse than that is the muscle wasting, or atrophy, has continued, despite it being a year since I wrote that post, and really, maintaining the same weight. I have been as low as 105, as high as 114#, but it seems whenever I manage to put anything back on, it’s just fat, and the hollows between tendons and bones grow deeper…

    …so I understand, and you know how to reach me if you want to talk about it, by fone or fb. I’m here for you, sweetheart! It is VERY hard to accept such a change, and when seeing yourself in the mirror is traumatic, well, I’m here. ❤

    As far as jeans go, have you tried Target? They have 6 "fits" that come in all sorts of size ranges (the higher numbers are lower waisted, I think). They usually have bootcut all the time, as well as skinny – and they're the only place I can really find jeans I like & that fit that don't cost a fortune. They also carry several brands other than their's.

    *giant hugs*
    And lots & lots of Love!



    • PS:

      I think I made that a bit confusing. What was intended was that my weight has stayed between 106 & 114 over the last 14 months… after dropping from a fairly stable weight of 160#, which I had been at for a number of years. I was 150# when I first became *really* sick with ME/CFS, balooned to 200# in about 3 months while eating next to nothing when hypothyroidism developed, finally got it to 160# and there it stayed for about 5 years…

      They also put me thru all the cancer tests – chest xrays, mri’s, full abdominal scans, ultrasounds, etc… and that is a very scary experience, indeed! (All fine) So if you ever need to talk – I am here for you, sweetheart!


  2. Hope that the tests come back okay, and the doctor is able to figure out what’s causing your current health issues.
    Good luck with the tests, and I hope you find that perfect pair of jeans.


  3. Oh Laurie how scary! I wish you told me (I was stuck at home too). Go to JC Pennys, Coldwater Creek, and Chicos for petite mom jeans. 🙂 I really really enjoyed what you wrote up until I discovered your horrible month. I had a similar month and that exact weight loss (and tests) when I first came down w/cfids. Please keep me posted on how you are. Ily


  4. Old Grizz can only hope that it turns out OK and say keep a positive attitude. My wife has surive color cancer and we believe it was because of her attitude. My best friendd has Melanoma and was given 3 months to live 15 months ago and he was a great attitude. good luck


  5. Oh my goodness!!!!!! I had no idea you were going through all this as I’ve been off the internet in self imposed exile. Wonderful article, as always, how you weave the humor in with the fear and pain.
    Keep in touch and let me know what the results are – hopefully it’s part of the Fibro-syndrome and nothing more.
    with love always,


  6. My goodness, you have been going through it. Sadly women’s jeans do not fall within one of my areas of expertise, so I can give you no advice there!

    Your problems with COT continue to baffle me. In the comment section I just tried using ‘Name/URL’ to post a test message, supposedly from you, using your URL which I copied from my task-bar, and it worked perfectly (I’ve now deleted it). I then tried using your URL on Mister Linky and that worked a treat too – and again I deleted it as you would have been there twice! If you need to contact me directly rather than through blog comments I’m at


  7. I really hope everything turns out okay! I am sending you positive vibes. I have issues with my thyroid as well, its genetic and on both sides of my family. It resulted in a 33 lbs weight loss once that was not necessary (some was but that was just too much) I can’t find jeans either I can’t wear skinny jeans because I have muscular legs (calves especially) but a slim waist so if they fit the legs they just fall down in the waist. I used to buy bootcut when they still had styles other than skinny. Having had a baby I don’t want low cut either and have strait hips so they wouldn’t even stay on I don’t think. Jeans are so frustrating.


    • I’m so glad you understand, I don’t want below the waist, skinny jeans are too tight, I like the look and feel of boot cut. You know, they could have warned us that the real women jeans would be disappearing, we could have stocked up. This trend is horrifying! Perhaps next season?


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