Support Chapter

NEXT STEPS

I had the plan, now I had to get the support from the important people around me. If the people who mean the most to you, don’t support you, then you will have more of an uphill climb.

NUMBER ONE

I looked at Number One and told him we needed to talk and that I would tell him where I had been. His face went a little white as if I was going to give him some very bad news. The relief on his face when I said that I went to the diet store was almost comical. It was weird, he beamed with happiness. At first I thought it was because he knew I wasn’t sneaking off to a have a Sunday morning rendezvous, but then it dawned on me that he was happy that I was taking care of myself and doing something about my weight. As I have said several times, he is smart and he is smart enough not to say anything about my weight because I would fall into a deep depression and eat more.
I know he wants me healthy, besides, who wants to walk next to a fat, old, lady? He did say that he noticed I was waddling on the hike, though. It was a good thing I had already made up my mind to lose weight for my own reasons, not because he said I waddled.

NEXT MY DAUGHTER

My youngest was home for winter break and enjoying the warm “Cali” weather and sending lots of Insta-grams to her friends on the East Coast who were suffering in the cold. My daughter was another person who needed to support me. She is thin naturally–it isn’t from my genes. She loves to go out to lunch and dinner. I gently told her that for the first few months, I was not going to go out to eat unless I didn’t have a choice. She was ok with that. “I want a healthy mom,” she said.

I have come to the conclusion that healthy is a euphemism for thin. No one ever tells an overweight person that they look healthy. So, obviously, she wants me to lose weight too, without telling me that I am fat.

When I go into her room when she is getting ready to go out, we have long conversations in front of her mirror. (Luckily, I can have a long conversation because she takes a long time to put on her makeup.)
My reflection in her mirror is that of a frumpy, overweight, old lady.
When I see myself next to my daughter, it just intensifies my feelings of failure and low self-esteem. The first words out of my mouth are usually, “Oh my God! I look awful!” (Which to be honest I do.)

SURPRISE RESPONSE

My daughters response surprised me. She was so upset that I always have such negative self talk about myself. My daughter thinks I am beautiful. Isn’t it wonderful to have daughters who think you are beautiful. (Which reminds me, I have to get her eyes checked.)

POSITIVE SELF TALK

Positive self talk is one thing I need to work on. I have a hard time saying good things about myself. I am a Pollyanna. I can find good things to say about anything or anyone. You don’t hear me trash talking about anyone, except myself.

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To Your Health Chapter

To My Health

We rarely think about our health, except when we are not healthy. Whenever I feel this bad, my healthy imagination takes me to the worst of places. The word plague has been popping up in so many places lately–news, the books I choose to read, European city tours, and in my healthy imagination. I learned on one of my tours that the filthy water caused and perpetuated the plague. To solve that problem, they brewed wine and beer to drink instead. That is why when you toast with an alcoholic drink, you say, “To Your Health.”

Truckload of Alcohol

Today I feel as if I need a truckload of plague resisting alcohol.
However, as most of you know, if I drink 5 sips of wine I am three sheets to the wind. So…alcohol is not going to help me. Therefore, I have to rely on myself.

Mongo Bug

The bug that hit me is huge and ugly. I feel like a grey haired, whiny, little grandma with a short cane and a long sad face ineffectively poking at the gargantuan virus that is going to swallow me whole.

Visualization

I am told that visualization is the key to getting what you want. If you see it, you get it. Okay. I am visualization a healthy (I paused because I hate to think about my age) 50’s generation grandma–No. That doesn’t work because all I see is a wrinkled old lady in a ponytail, poodle skirt, bobby socks and saddle shoes. She couldn’t defeat this awful bug, besides her bubble gum bubble would get her infected more when the bug breathed on it.

I got it! I am visualizing myself as Batgirl from the 60’s Batman television series. Yes, I have the same hourglass shape that Yvonne Craig had, (look, if you are going to visualize–make sure you look the way you want–not the way you are),and those long legs that slid into 5 inch spike heeled boots. I see myself as tall as she was and I am kicking and punching that scrawny bug to oblivion.

POW! CRACK! ZAMM! ZLOP! ZLUNK!

Holy Headache! I might be working.

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The Journey Begins Chapter

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This is a journey. This is a journey. I have to keep telling myself that because the day you start your die-it, you feel you are going to die of deprivation and at the same time you hope for a miracle that at least 40 pounds are going to disappear in the first 5 days of your diet.

My journey started January 5, 2015. First, there are no miracles in weight loss. My guardian angel has provided some spectacular miracles, but this problem is way out of my angel’s league. Secondly, I did not die of deprivation. You could even say, I didn’t feel deprived at all. Maybe that was the miracle that my angel gave me. She gave me chocolate.

The first thing I learned was that my idea of reasonable portion size was about 15 times off the mark. I was eating healthy food. I ate quinoa, grilled meats and lots of vegetables. But my portion sizes were gargantuan compared to Jenny’s portion size. The scary part was that I really didn’t think I was deluding myself. I truly thought I was eating a reasonable amount of food. This was a real wake up call to me. When experts tell us to eat a portion of meat that is the size of a playing card, I guess I was thinking my playing cards were the size of kids huge flash cards.

Luckily, I was still on vacation during my first week of the plan. So, I didn’t have to deal with workplace donuts and goodies that are always in the office the first day of my diet. Also it was a stay-cation so I wouldn’t be embarrassed when everyone was eating out and I was eating microwave food.

I also knew I had to have the support of a few people to make this happen. Number One was so curious about where I went that Sunday morning. I usually am very effusive about where I go and what I’ve done during the day. He usually half listens, but he was worried that I didn’t have anything to tell him. I wanted to tell him, but I was afraid he would think this would be another failed attempt and not really support me.

We went out with friends that day and walked the gorgeous, scenic bluffs and trails of Torrey Pines State Park. I wanted to talk about my new decision with my dearest friend, but yet I didn’t want to. My pain and humiliation from my bike ride was way too raw to bring up in a fast, casual conversation. Oh, I’m on a diet again. No. That wasn’t right. Would she also think–well, here we go again. Would my friend think that I have done this before and failed, so why bother?

How do I tell the most important people around me that I need their support? How do I convince them that I am really serious and I have to do this?

The Beginning and The End Chapter

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As I sat at my desk on my last day as a working professional, I knew it was my beginning day and my end day. Luckily, it was not a very strenuous day. But it had been very emotional knowing I would not be working with my wonderful staff anymore. On that unusual day, a young couple who had met at the school in fourth grade, arrived to take pre-wedding pictures. The school was, yet is wasn’t the same for them. For this young couple it was both the beginning and the end.

The clock ticked loudly announcing the passage of time. My desk was empty, except for my keys. I dreaded putting them in the safe. Once I put them inside, it would be final. It is a little gut wrenching to think that placing the keys in the safe is your final act of your working life. I was sent off with a bang. The staff put on a heartfelt and emotional retirement party that was more spectacular than I could have imagined. But the party was not the end. I still had two weeks to work and finish up and prepare for the new year. (I wanted the new principal to not struggle with minutia when he/she arrived.)

I worked in education for 25 years. For some, that may not seem like much, but I was almost 40 when I started. I had three other careers prior to education. However, this has been the most rewarding career that I could ever have imagined.

As I sat at the desk I could hear the loud hum of the air conditioner, but there were no other sounds coming from the office. There were no sounds of kids screaming with laughter and joy, no sounds from the teachers enjoying their camaraderie and their concern for their students, no sounds from the parents planning their PTA activities and voicing their questions and issues.

I skimmed my hand across the top of my very large desk. A principal’s desk is both power and protection. The heavy wooden chairs that surely had been there since the school opened in 1959, no longer held the little culprits whose infractions were usually easily remedied. As I stare at them, I notice for the first time that they have vertical slats on the back. Many of the students entered my office and looked at me through those slats. Now I realize that from their perspective, entering my office was rather prison-like. Behind the chairs, the apples and the dolphin mascot trinkets still adorned the shelves. It seemed sacrilegious to remove them from the school and take them home.

All I kept thinking was, how do I say good-bye to this school and to the position I held for 15 years. In a few short weeks, another capable individual would be sitting in this chair and dealing with all the issues, trials and tribulations and joy of running a school. How would I go from being frantically busy every second of the day to not having a real job or responsibility.

This is the beginning and the end.

A few minutes later I started taking things out to my car. At this point, it was very real that I was leaving. Once I finished packing up my car, I realized that I’d unlocked the door to the school for the last time. My computer shut down and it went to black.

What if I had left something essential to my life? Would I get it back? I was not talking about a thing–I am leaving whatever POWER I thought I might have earned behind and I knew I would never get it back.

WISH ME LUCK. HERE I GO.

The door clanked shut, the lever was dropped and the tumblers clicked into the place. I hadn’t realized that closing that safe would be so sad. I had just locked up my career. Tears streamed down my cheeks. The custodian who was cleaning the office asked if I was ok.

“I will be,” I whispered. “I will be.”

Hitting Rock Bottom Chapter

Like all junkies–and yes,I am a food junkie, I hit rock bottom when my bottom was too heavy to get up that hill. So, I had to find my own rehab–I couldn’t do this on my own.

My doctor had been screaming in my ear for months about my health, about diabetes, about not living to see my grandkids–well that got me scared–, but that day I finally reached a point when I had to do something about my weight and I had to do it now! I actually did listen to my doctor and tried her suggestion.

REHAB

Rehab opened at 8 a.m. on Sunday morning. After breakfast–my last meal–I told Number One that I had to run an errand. He looked at me funny because I am not a morning person, particularly on a Sunday. I had done my research the night before and by 8:15 I was walking into a Jenny Craig–my rehab center. I knew I was meant to be there because when I walked in, I found a lovely young woman waiting to talk to me. We went straight back to her office. We talked. I joked. Joking is my coping mechanism, particularly in nervous or difficult situations when I cannot eat. Unfortunately, I could not eat in front of the weight loss consultant.

ASSURANCE

Lovely Rachel assured me that I would lose weight. I was hoping for a guarantee or at least a 5 month warranty, but it didn’t happen. I had to settle for assurances. For reasons, I will explain later, I was going to have two consultants and I would be successful. Success is such a lovely word, when you are rolling and plodding on the bottom.

DREADED WEIGH IN

The weigh in is always the scariest and most devastating to your ego. SHAZZBOT!!! (Thanks Robin Williams) I was 12 pounds more than I expected, 22 pounds more than I hoped and 70 pounds overweight according to the official standard of height and weight for women. I never remembered being this heavy.

I’m older than I behave and heavier than I feel. It is ok to act a little younger, but I was deluding myself into thinking my weight wasn’t really as bad as I thought

WHAT DO I EAT?

Ok, now I had to see what I was going to eat. I hate diet foods. I was miserable even before I tasted the food. I am not a picky eater–obviously, based on my size, but I wanted a substantial breakfast because my days are crazy and it is difficult to determine when and if I will have lunch. Yes! She found it for me. Ok, the part of the diet that is the most important to REAL dieters is the desserts. Diet desserts are still desserts and you cannot live without them. When I looked at the desserts and snacks there were so many salty things that I could feel a tear coming down my cheek. I am not into salt, I am into chocolate. There were several sweets, but I don’t want sweets, I WANT CHOCOLATE!!!!

Yes, I do have a guardian angel looking over me. I could switch between chocolate cake and brownies EVERY DAY! I thought I had died and gone to heaven.

Chocolate every day and I am on a diet.

Does anyone else see any pitfalls here?

No Longer Cool Chapter

A car emblazoned with the words SENIOR PRIDE!!!!! on its back window flew by me, I’m sure, on its way to someplace cool, fun and exciting. Remember when high school seniors were the coolest kids in school. During your entire high school career, I’m sure, you dreamed of becoming a SENIOR! Yes, it was always capitalized because seniors had power. Seniors were soon going to be adults and their parents couldn’t tell them what to do, anymore.

A DIFFERENT SENIOR

Why is it that when you become a senior, as in senior citizen we are not painting it all over our car windows? Why are we not the coolest in the community? We do have a little power, maybe a little more financial power than high school seniors. However, most of us would give up a lot to have our parents tell us anything right now.

START A MOVEMENT

I think we need to start a movement! Real seniors need to start marking up their cars with senior pride! I think we have a lot more to show for it than a mere 4 years of high school–actually they think they are seniors with only three years under their belt.

We are seniors with 40 or more years of work and life experience. We survived our own teenage years AND we survived our children’s teenage years. We have gained more knowledge, more patience (most of the time) and wisdom that few want to take advantage of. We know when something won’t work or someone is making a bad decision. If they listened to us, they wouldn’t suffer. Maybe they have to gain the same experience by living it. But isn’t that what history books are for–giving us a chance to learn from our past without suffering through the wars again.

TAKE THE CHALLENGE

Now is your chance to take the challenge and cover your car in paint announcing that you, too, have SENIOR PRIDE!!! I am heading to my car to paint it proudly in purple paint.

The only problem now is that I am having a senior moment and I can’t remember where I put the paint brushes.

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Weighty Problems Chapter

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It was a beautiful New Years Day in Carlsbad. The sun was shining and it was a warm 70 degrees–a perfect day for a bike ride. I am a biker–no not that kind of a biker, I am a bicyclist. I am over 21–waaaaaay over 21 and this is one activity that I truly enjoy. The doctors tell me that it is the best thing for my arthritic knees. My Number One man and I had biked this route before and my bike moved along like rain on glass. It was so smooth and easy. Not that I would admit to being competitive, but I left my Number One guy in the dust. He would be huffing and puffing behind me and I was a little smug and happy to be the leader of the pack–vroom, vroom!

We proudly packed the bikes on the bright, red, car and drove the long mile to the beach where we could ride the relatively flat surface of the coast highway. We knew we were not in good enough shape to bike the mountain sized hills from our home to the beach. Of course, I never travel light, even when I am biking. I have my camel-bak backpack filled with 32 ounces of water, my wallet that carries too much loose change, a snack for both Number One and myself, a 16 ounce bottle of water for Number One and various lotions and gums.

It hadn’t been a few months, it had been months and months since we had ridden our bikes and it was for a lot of reasons, but the main one being we didn’t have a rack for the bikes and Number One did not want to scratch his red car. While we were not riding, life, work, stress, and grown children were a part of our lives. I handle stress well. Everyone thinks I am so calm and nothing bothers me. My tried and true method for IMMEDIATE stress relief is that I just keep pushing more and more food into my mouth to push down all my feelings of stress and hurt. It works!

DRAWBACKS

Yes, it does have a few drawbacks. One, I am not truly dealing with my problems and ALL my problems show up on my body. A bulge in the hips. Oh my goodness, two tummy rolls! A derriere that could mimic the trunk of a car, four chins, and a bust that everyone lovingly calls my “shelf.” It was the holidays. I knew I had gained some weight, but I also knew that I could not–or would not–do anything about it until the holidays were over.

BACK TO THE RIDE

So, back to the ride that has always been relaxing and fun. Number One is usually a half mile behind me as soon as I hit the street. Today, he was on my tail. He was so close I thought he was going to kiss my back tire. Then–OMG–he passed me!!! He passed me easily. He passed me and was moving far ahead of me. My legs kept pushing, but the wind was affecting me so much more than it was affecting him. Now, he was a good half mile ahead of me. He rounded the bend and I couldn’t even see him. How could this be happening? He was supposed to be behind me. What was wrong?

SMART MAN

Number One stopped and waited for me because I was moving so slowly. Smart man–he did not say a word. I am sure he was thinking all kinds of things, but he did not voice them. We arrived at our destination–Starbucks. Of course, since we exercised we deserved a treat. So, coffee, chai latte and brownies were the pick of the day. Once we rested we started back.

UPHILL BOTH WAYS

How had the wind changed directions? The wind had been coming from the north and that was the reason I was moving so slowly. But now it was coming from the south. Each time my foot put pressure on the pedal, it seemed like I was on a stationary bike. I pushed and pushed and was huffing and puffing along. The worst part was the Number One passed me again and was far ahead–AGAIN. There is a long, steep hill on the way home. I mean really steep and way too long of a hill that leads up to Pelican Point. This hill was always a challenge, but that day my heart was pounding so hard I thought it was trying to work its way out of my chest, and my face was overheated. I could feel my pulse in my ears. (If a doctor is reading this, I think I had my heart stress test and survived–thank God!)

I geared down and geared down and geared down until I could not gear down anymore, but I still needed to find some lower gears. The climb up the hill was long, painful and demoralizing. There was no way I was going to get off my bike and walk. I HAD to make it to the top. I got there! Frustratingly, Number One was peacefully and calmly sitting at the top waiting for me to reach him.

DECISION TIME

At the top of the hill I made my decision. I was going to do something about it and would do it tomorrow!

FOLLOW “LOSING IT”

Weight Loss is a journey of many chapters. I will continue each chapter of my weight loss struggle on my “Losing It” page.

Little Successes Chapter

We all have days when it seems like our world is falling apart. It could be a minor setback in another’s eyes, but in our mind, it is huge. Today’s chapter revolves around my setback. I have to admit that at first I had a bit of a pity party, then I cleaned the house from top to bottom–because cleaning the house feels like you are wiping up the mess that you are in, AND I washed my car. No, cleaning didn’t work.

Food is usually my go-to comfort, but I can’t go there now. Besides, that is another story for another day. We are told that we should take a long bath or go for a walk to keep our stress at bay. Well, who wants to sit in dirty water and I already walked for an hour at the gym at 5:30 a.m.

Two months ago, I bought three new garage door clickers because the old ones were too cumbersome and we were short one for the number of cars we have. These clickers needed to be programmed to be used with our older openers. Since it was such a bad day, I needed to feel successful at something. Now for many of you, this would not be a huge accomplishment, but anything mechanical seems to be a major challenge to me. Yes, I removed the cover of the garage door opener–I had to use a screwdriver to do it. (Are you impressed yet?) Then I pushed the learn button and my daughter pushed the buttons on the clicker. YES!!!! I DID IT! ( I am so proud of myself.) I was waiting for my husband to do it, but it feels so good to do something you never thought you could. That boosted my spirits.

Then, the BIGGER little success of not so great day was that after trying for a week, I was able to get some sort of comments on my blog page. At least I believe I was according to what is written at the bottom of this post page. Again, for the savvy blogger or computer literate person, this is nothing. But for me, it was a huge challenge. I need to bless YouTube and all the people I watched who tried to teach me how to install comments on my blog. I have about four different comment plug-ins (now I am trying to sound savvy) for my blog. Three didn’t work–or at least I couldn’t see them on my page. Finally, I succeeded in installing the Facebook Comments. Yippeee!

Wait a minute. I just realized I have another huge success today. I have a blog. No, not just that I have it, but I created it. It may not be the best, but I DID IT! I guess that is the BIGGEST little success of the day.

My world is still not good, but at least I can say that I had three little successes today! If your day wasn’t so good, what were your little successes?

Redemption Chapter

I flew 5 days after my mortifying experience.  Yes, I was worried I would not keep my footing, but I did.  I also, did not have a carry-on piece of luggage.

That is where the dilemma begins.

I put everything in the luggage that would be transported by Lufthanza,  so I could travel light.  One bag arrived in Dusseldorf, one did not.  Whose was that you ask?  Right, it was mine.  I stayed very calm.  My brain was in a fog from the flight.  I was noon in Germany, but it was three in the morning in Carlsbad–I am not an all night type of person.

I do believe the woman at the lost luggage counter felt sorry for me.  So she mentioned that Lufthanza will reimburse up to 1200 Euros if we need to purchase items.  My husband kept repeating 1200 Euros?  1200 Euros?  I could not understand why he wanted to know.  I just wanted to get to my hotel room and sleep, which was about another three hours from that point.

Once, we got to the hotel, my husband only had one thought in mind. He hurried us out the door so we could go shopping and get reimbursed from Lufthanza.  HE WANTED TO GO SHOPPING?!

Thanks for the clothes.

Thanks for the clothes.

He was a man on a mission.  He pointed to so many items my foggy brain could not keep up with him.  Try this one on.  Try that one on?  I  think you need this.  And that.  To you, this may not sound strange, but my husband avoids shopping at all costs.  Ask my children, before today he would find anything to do other than being in women’s apparel and going through racks of clothes looking for my size.  My arms were filled.  Finally a woman saw me struggling with the pile of clothes and asked if I wanted a bag.  At least that is what I interpreted since she spoke in a very fast German and she handed me a bag.

Trousers for the evening, a jacket for the evening and all that goes with it was what my husband was looking for.  Finally, he realized that I needed underwear.  We got that and European walking shoes because the only shoes I had were flat with no support whatsoever.

In an average store in small town Germany, it is hard to spend 1200 Euros.  We spent a little more than 400, but I am happy I got some clothes.

My bag did arrive the next day.  If this is what I get for a lost bag, I may request that they lose it more often.  Finally, redemption from the mortification of my last airline experience.

 

Mortification Chapter

Babies and old people fall.  Babies fall easy.  Old people fall hard.  Since I am not a baby, I guess that puts me in the old category.

Imagine if you will, a plane completely full with cosmopolitan, savvy, LA bound, passengers.  Most of the passengers carry roller bags onto the plane since very few want to pay the fee for having their luggage thrown around and dumped in the plane and then plopped onto the carousel.

I assure you that I have flown many times and I have seen  smart, seasoned travelers check the overhead bins in the front of the plane for an empty space for their bag, particularly if they are seated towards the back.  Today, I  forgot the seasoning and kept walking towards the back expecting that there would be a place for MY bag.  Oh, I forgot to mention that I was in the last group and there were only eight people behind me, most of them without a bag.

I got within ten rows of my seat and a squat flight attendant came up to me and told me I had to check my bag because all the overheads were full.  That leads to another dilemma.   I am willing–sort of–to pay $25 for one bag.  However, if your bag is over 50 pounds it will cost another $25.  Therefore, I put the heavy electronics in my roller bag.  My breathing machine must weigh at least 10 pounds.  Then I added a laptop, an iPad, and a Kindle.  I think I had one small jacket in it to pretend I was padding the machines.  What I am trying to say is I did not want to check it and get my electronics broken or stolen.  I tried explaining that to the flight attendant, ok, I begged the flight attendant to let me keep it on the plane.  A begging old lady is a pathetic sight on the plane, so luckily–I guess it was lucky– she found a space in first class.    I hurried up the aisle because all the passengers were already seated and waiting for me.  As I pass into First Class, I see these awesome black patent leather shoes attached to very long legs sticking out into the aisle.

The space was at the very end of First Class.  This compartment is half the size of a regular compartment.  Oh, I think I forgot to mention that I am also wearing a backpack that weighs 15 or so pounds.

I study the hole.  I gauge  the height and the force that is needed to get my bag up there.

My gauge was broken.

I swung the bag up and unbeknownst to me, my backpack also caught on the seat behind me.  I lifted the bag, it was much heavier than I thought.  My  aching right shoulder shuddered in pain.  The bag was already heading upward and there was no space to let it drop, unless I wanted to drop it on the head of the man seated below the compartment. I could feel the eyes of everyone in first class staring at me.  With all my might I pushed upward….

Not enough lift, too much drag from the backpack and I tumbled over, ending up kissing the floor of the plane.   I have no idea what happened to my bag.  I think my bag landed on me.  Now, the men in First Class were helping me.

“Get the backpack off her!”

“Don’t move!”

I was listening, but it was at this point that utter mortification set in. I knew every passenger saw me hit the floor.  I wanted to get up and run out of the plane.  I wished I was invisible.  My arm was at a weird angle in front of me.  My head hurt because I think I hit it on an armrest.   I hurt all over.  The floor reeked of smelly feet.   I tasted something that I wish I hadn’t.

“Don’t move,” someone repeated as I pulled myself up.

“The paramedics are coming,” the flight attendant shouted–because old people are hard of hearing.

Oh my God! Please take me away from this circus.

“I’m ok,” I squeaked.

“Stay down,” someone said.

I pulled myself up and a tall doctor-looking gentleman kept asking if I hurt anywhere.  He wanted me to stay on the floor and wait for the paramedics.  What really hurt was my pride.    It would not have mattered if I had a bone sticking out of me somewhere, I would have said I was fine so I could get back to my seat.

“I’m ok,” I repeated. As I turned to go back to my seat.  Black patent leather shoes had my bag in his hand and asked if I wanted him to put it up for me.  I shook my head yes.

Now, I know what it means to slink back to your seat.  My head was hung VERY low.  The only people I saw were the tiny ladies in the aisle seats who were asking if I was ok.  I barely nodded and moved on as fast as I could.  I held my body tight hoping it would grow smaller and I could disappear.

I finally made it back to my seat.  I looked down believing that if I did not see them, they did not see me.  As I sat there, the pain started showing up in various places.  My wrist, my forearm, my temple and of course, my shoulder.

A short, stout policeman came plodding down the aisle, stopped at my seat and shouted, “The medics are coming!”

I could hear the moan from the 200 passengers.  Now this lady was going to make them late for their destinations.

“I’m fine,” I whispered.  “I’m fine.”

I sat staring at my hands fearing that the men in the bright yellow suits would come clicking and clanking down the aisle and start asking all sorts of more embarrassing questions.

“The door is closing,” the attendant announced.

I breathed a sigh of relief–no more mortifying experiences on this flight–I thought.

I have to thank the pilot because he got on the speaker immediately and said that they still have a few bags to load and once those are done, we would be on our way.  I love that pilot because now everyone won’t give me the stink eye when we deplane.

I hurt.  I usually sleep, but who can sleep when you hurt and are embarrassed beyond belief.

Of course, people love to talk about other people’s misfortunes.  I was standing next to the facilities and black patent leather shoes was talking to the flight attendants in the back.  It is disconcerting when strangers are talking about you.  Ok, it is embarrassing as all get out.

“Those old guys in first class just watched her struggle.  No one got up to help.”  He must have sensed my presence because he turned around and stopped talking.  As I left facilities, he turned to me and asked if I wanted him to take down my bag when we landed.

“Yes, please,” I murmured feeling a deep flush come up my face.  “I appreciate your help.”  True to his word.  The bag was waiting on the floor of First Class.