Fat Girl Wearing Thin

Life beyond the loss.

   May 20

Preparing for the unknown

My heart is elsewhere this week.  Not that I don’t want to write, but I just don’t have the mental capacity to put together anything substantial.  I’m just so incredibly tired.  I can’t believe this time last year I was preparing for my own surgery and here I am less than a year later find myself preparing for another.  Not mine this time, however.  Craig’s.   He awoke one Sunday morning with a strange pain in his side.  Five weeks and a multitude of tests later, here we are – preparing for exploratory surgery.  Craig has sat around long enough reading, researching and scouring the Internet to feel pretty confident in knowing exactly what it is that he has:  a spigelian hernia.  Never heard of those?  That’s probably because it only affects 1-2% of all hernias found.  Still, he’s convinced  this is what he has.  The surgeon doesn’t think so, but has tried to remain optimistic saying that he’ll do his best to look everywhere he possibly can to find the problem and fix it.  I can’t put into words how much I am hoping that Craig is part of that 1-2%. 

As for me, I’ve been doing whatever I can to make him comfortable for yet another week until his surgery.  I won’t admit this to him but I will here – I am concerned; petrified.  This is a guy whose been for the most part, pretty healthy and I have a hard time wrapping my mind around the fact that he will be cut open with no plan beforehand.  Who knows what they’ll find – if anything?  These thoughts I keep to myself. I push them out of my head, but the only way to do this is to keep myself busy.

Craig can’t ride in a car without getting physically ill; nor can he eat solid foods without becoming ill, so I have been making him protein shakes and soup, while I forget to eat altogether.

I take that back.  I don’t forget to eat; I just force myself not to think about it.  My urge to binge eat has increased over the past couple of weeks but I know this is a result of my anxiety and the fact that I can’t control my immediate surroundings.   Fear of the unknown.  I’ve spent much time thinking about ways to distract myself.  Of course I feel incredibly guilty about this.  Here Craig can’t eat and all I want to do is overeat.  So far though I’ve managed to redirect myself with laundry, tending to the dogs, the yard, planning Craig’s meals, planning ahead for his recovery, and working on my art as the rest of my time allows.  So far though, I am doing well.  I’ve actually managed to lose a couple of pounds, but this is attributed to my increase in activity over the past couple of weeks. I am moving from the moment I get up to the time I go to bed at night.

I have a meeting tomorrow afternoon with our veterinarian to discuss the possibility of supplying her new building with some of my artwork.  She’s giving me a tremendous opportunity and I hope it works out.

Speaking of art, I’ve been doing something completely different lately.  Needing something that is relaxing and easy to do anywhere and these work really well.   I call them my Doodle-birds.  I’ve done a robin (below), bluebird, peacock and hummingbirds.  I’m not having prints made of these nor am I selling them on Etsy right now.  Just paint/draw and frame. 

What doesn’t sell before this weekend will be taken down to the gallery in Indianapolis.  I have to admit, they do make me happy~

I will be in touch either before or right after his surgery and will write as time allows.  Until then, I’ll most likely be taking photos for Instagram (EllenBrennemanStudio) and spending time on my Facebook art page (Facebook.com/EllenBrennemanStudio) which follows my painting progress.  I love seeing readers and friends visit me over on my Facebook business page.  Such an inspirational lot, you all are Smile


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  1. debby says:

    I LOVE your doodlebirds Ellen!

    And I wish the best for you and Craig, that there will be a simple outcome and a sppedy recovery.

    • Ellen says:

      Debby, thank you for the compliment on the painting. As a wonderful artist yourself, that makes me feel extra good :)
      Thank you too, for your thoughts of us. If we can just get through this next week, hopefully we’ll at least know what we’re dealing with.

  2. Sharon says:

    Have been thinking about both of you a lot. Keep us posted as you can on FB.

  3. NewMe says:

    Once again, Ellen, I just want you to know that my thoughts and best wishes are with you and Craig. Not knowing, in my opinion, is worse than actually knowing what’s going on.

    I hope the exploratory surgery reveals the problem and that it will be solved.

    Keep on doing those doodle birds. They are beautiful. If you do put them up for sale, please let us know.

    And, although I am not a dieter, I sincerely hope that you remain strong in the face of binging. It is no more the solution than food restriction.

    Much love to you and Craig.


    • Ellen says:

      You are such a kind soul to me. Thank you for your concern and good advice on the eating….you are certainly right and I am remembering this every day. There is no good that can arise from me abusing myself – especially now.
      hugs to you, and I’ll keep you posted. xo

  4. Yep…you and Craig have been on my mind and will stay there. I agree with NewMe…it’s the not knowing that’s so hard (not to mention the what-ifs).

    LOVE your Doodle-Birds…they are brilliant!

    • Ellen says:

      Thank you Karen. I appreciate the diligent thoughts right now. The what-ifs are whats got me wigged out right now. Emotions are just all over the place and I’m trying to reel them in without him knowing that I’m concerned. We tend to feed on each others moods and he doesn’t need that. Thank goodness for these little paintings of mine. They are really helping to keep me focused.

  5. tree peters says:

    it just occured to me that you might be wanting to binge partly because you’re “not eating”. I bet your blood sugar is all over the place and your body thinks it might be starving. Or whatever body’s think when we don’t feed them. Our cellular, genetic memory says, oh boy it’s another famine, has anyone seen the survival instinct around?…..
    I love you and am holding the vision of you both being healthy at the same time after this.

    • Ellen says:

      I certainly do need to be taking better care of myself. I will admit it, and I also need to start practicing what I advise others to do. I’d never want anyone else to do what I’m doing to myself. Plus, I need to be in top form this time next week, so beginning today I’m eating on a regular basis and getting rest when I can. xoxo

  6. didi says:

    Oh, I love your doodle birds. They are so inspiring that I’d like to create some myself to use in my collage pieces. That robin has so much personality! I don’t care how common robins are around here- I love to hear them in the morning.

    You should do a kiwi bird. If those dumpy little things can’t cheer you up I don’t know what will.

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