Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Where Has The Polar Bear Gone?

(Image courtesy of Exploratorium.edu)

Winter has totally arrived here in New Mexico - as I sit here (shivering) this morning it is a mind-numbing 27 degrees outside, with the wind chill further reducing conditions to 20. The poor ancient wall heaters in our home keep rumbling into life and trying to keep up, but the fact of the matter is: it is freakin' freezing in here. No amount of socks, sweatshirts, and jackets seem to take the edge off.

I have never in my life been this cold. Which is odd, because I have certainly been in temperatures that were colder. All my adult life, friends and family members have referred to me as a "polar bear" - I have been able to function in, if not exactly enjoy, really cold weather. So, what happened?

The problem, as it turns out, can be traced back to weight loss surgery. 

Part of this is a no-brainer: fat is a natural insulator. Since I have currently lost 29% (and counting) of my weight, I should expect to be 29% colder, right? But I don't feel like the temperature has dropped by a few percentage points. I feel like I am suffering through the heat death of the universe. So, what gives?

As it turns out, there is a second problem with the results of massive weight loss from surgery: the metabolism slows way down. Why? Because it is no longer having to work as hard in keeping blood flowing, oxygen moving, and digestive processes happening. The energy bill for a 3,000 square foot house is going to be much higher than the bill for a 2,000 square foot home. Since the metabolic process generates energy, it also produces heat as a by-product. (Think of how hot a saw blade gets when making a really long cut.) Less metabolic expenditure = less energy used = less heat generated. That's science at work.

The end result is that we now huddle around our heaters, cursing when they turn off. We shuffle around the house in multiple layers of winter clothing, topped off with ski jackets. And at night we huddle closer to one another (which is nice) and fight over who gets to use poor Vixen as a space heater (which is less nice, especially for Vixen.) At this point, I am not even sure that the end is in sight: some say this problem lasts for the first few months after surgery, but other sources claim we will be this way for the rest of our lives. Only time will tell.

In the meantime, we will just have to shiver, bundle up, and take really hot showers on an hourly basis.

On An Ice Floe Waiting For Spring To Come,

- Hawkwind

Monday, November 28, 2016

We Enter The Eye of the Holiday Storm

The ovens are empty, the dishes are (mostly) clean, and the family members have all returned safely home. As we enter the calm before the second chaotic storm that is the Christmas holiday, everything returns mostly to normal.

I had every intention of attempting to put up a post or two during the holiday. Honest, I did. I took my tiny laptop/tablet along with me and everything. But the driving to and fro, the assistance with cooking, the random tech support, and (most importantly) spending time with my nieces and nephews all conspired to keep my hands off the keyboard.

Now, on to the part you are all curious about - how bad was the damage?

Marginal, really. A little too carb heavy, but it was either eat carbs or eat nothing but turkey and ham. No meal weighed in at more than 6 ounces. Where I fell off the wagon was as expected - desserts. Berry, pumpkin, and pecan pies were all available, and I admit I indulged in small amounts of each over the weekend. To offset this we made sure to put in 2 miles every single day, even in the sub-40 degree Northern New Mexico wind.

The final result? I nudged upward 2 tenths of a pound, from 212.2 to 212.4. Nothing "statistically significant", as my father would say. Especially considering the fact that, over the weekend, I was given and fit cleanly into two pairs of 38-inch jeans. Essentially, I came out of Thanksgiving weekend with a smaller waistline than I went into it with. I will count that as a win.

Lor did even better: she actually lost a couple of pounds during the holiday. I ascribe this entirely to her participation in Black Friday - I am sure the crowds, the stress, and the rushing around madly did wonders for her metabolism. I was too cowardly to brave the crowds, and stayed home with my father in law and watched football.

We both are feeling pretty weighed down by the carb load, however, and will be starting a couple days worth of reduced carb eating, just to kind of reset things. Hooray. I fully intend to restabilise and then go into the Christmas holiday well under 210, and hopefully up to 3 miles a day. I have just under 30 days to make this stick. Then I can deal with the second round of Forbidden Foods.

P3s And Protein Shakes Await,

- Hawkwind

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

The Long, Dark Tunnel

Yesterday's article on "Fatbrain" led to some interesting discussions about how major changes in our health can lead to corresponding changes in the character of our lives. Whether the negative effects of a major illness, or the positive effects of recovery from a condition like chronic obesity, the wellness of our bodies has a direct relationship to who we are as people.

I probably have a better understanding of this phenomenon than most. 12 years ago, I developed adult-onset epilepsy. This led to some immediate physical changes, of course: seizures, diminished mental function, and the steep decline into my struggles with obesity, to name a few. But it also led to some very significant changes in who I was as a person. Where previously I was outgoing, I became quiet and reserved. I used to be a performer - a musician, in fact. Post epilepsy I lost all my creative impulse. I used to be fairly confident (some might even say arrogant) about my intellect. Spending years not being able to complete a coherent sentence cured me of that as well. The person that I was before my illness developed was entirely different - my entire personality shifted.

I have recently been able to experience the opposite side of that coin, as the results of my bariatric surgery continue to take hold. This time last year I spent probably 10 or more hours a day in front of my PC. Today that number is closer to 2 or 3 hours a day on average. I had no creative outlet for a very long time - today I am writing on a daily basis. Where I used to never leave the house, I now have a calendar filled with at least one social gathering every single week. Then, I did not exercise: now, I do not drive to any destination within two miles. Another sea change is taking place, once again changing not only my health, by but character - my identity, if you will.

I described the phenomenon to Lor as feeling like I am riding a train: 12 years ago, I entered a railway tunnel as a certain person. I was a musician, an IT guru, divorced, healthy, and financially well-off. Then the lights went out.

Twelve years later, I am no longer any of the things that I was when I entered. The person I will see when the metaphorical lights come back on will be a stranger to me, an entirely new person that I will have to get to know like I would any other new acquaintance. Sure, there is a little fear about this developing relationship. But I think I am more excited about its potential.

In short, the thing I am choosing to focus upon is not that I have been in the tunnel for so long. It is the fact that I can finally see a light at the end of it. And from what I can see as the lights get brighter, I think I already like this person better than the one I left behind all those years and miles of darkness ago.

Not All Change Is Bad,

- Hawkwind

Monday, November 21, 2016


Welcome to Thanksgiving Week - the official opening of weight gain season for the majority of us here in the U.S. Great food, lousy weather, and depressed energy levels are a killer combination when trying to stay true to your weight loss goals. It takes determination, willpower, and great mental fortitude to succeed. And many of us that have gone through bariatric surgery find mental fortitude to be in short supply.

This problem is widely referred to within our circles as "fatbrain" - the phenomenon that leads us to still perceive ourselves as obese even when we have lost tremendous amounts of weight post surgery.  We don't look in the mirror and see steady improvement in our health and appearance. Somehow, what we see reflected is the same person that we were before we started the weight loss journey. We take the evidence provided by our measurements, our scales, and the feedback of friends and loved ones, and discard it. We still feel overweight, therefore we must still be overweight, despite any evidence to the contrary.

This phase of fatbrain is insidious, and very difficult to overcome. Logging is one of our greatest weapons here - if we know that last year we were able to down a super-sized extra-value meal, and that today we can only manage a couple of ounces of cheese and deli meat, eventually the light begins to come on mentally. We need to pick a metric - a measurement unit that we really understand, and base our progress on that. In my case, I picked a size of clothing that was impossible to fit into in  (38-inch waistline jeans) and kept checking. Amazingly, this last weekend I was able to get into them. I admittedly had to hold my breath to do it, but, hey, 9 months ago I couldn't even get them up past my thighs. Tough to ignore that kind of evidence.

However, I personally have now graduated to a new version of fatbrain - call it Fatbrain 2.0. I now look in the mirror and see the ghost of my previously massive self looking over my shoulder. I am somehow convinced that one bad day will rocket me 90 pounds back up the scale overnight. This sense of dread and paranoia never leaves me. When I don't exercise, I am convinced that I have failed. When I do work out, I am positive I have not done enough. If my weight loss stalls, I am sure that I am done losing weight. If I do lose weight, it must be a coincidence. The wheels inside my head never stop spinning, orbiting forever around the obese identity locked between my ears.

(Sigh.) Ah, well. A little paranoia probably won't do me any harm over the holidays. Whatever it takes to keep me close to the veggie platter and away from the pumpkin pies and whipped cream, right?

Watching Myself Like A

- Hawkwind

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Clothing: The Struggle Is Real

The ever-shrinking wardrobe problem continues: on a daily basis, Lor and I keep getting rid of clothing and not replacing the donated items. Finally, in desperation, we went shopping for clothes yesterday.

And left the store without a single item of clothing.

Here's how it went down: we had a small clothing budget, so we decided to diligently look through sale and clearance price items only. Lor was immediately faced with a supply problem: it seemed the only sizes available were Small and below, or XXL and above. After finally finding a couple of items that might work, she tried them on. Both were rejected and placed back on the racks.

My problem was a little different. I found a few items that would probably have worked, but they were either too expensive ($20+), or too hideous. Camo-pattern jeggings? Not in my closet.

I finally decided to just grab some sweats and call it a day. I found some lightweight sweatpants I could use for exercise going for only $6. And immediately met resistance from Lor, of all places.

Lor: "Those sweats are too small."
Me: "Too small? They are size Large! I am wearing baggy XLs right this second!"
Lor: "The ones you are wearing right now are old, and stretched, and have been worn more than once. The Large ones are too small."

I would've argued the case, but the Regrettable Haircut Incident was still fresh in my mind. Lor tends to be right, I tend to be wrong. It's a thing. So, I put the sweats back on the shelf, and we left the store.

Why didn't I just get a set of XLs, you ask?

Because buying an XL felt like a failure. It made me feel like I must still be "fat". (Word used on purpose, with all negative connotations accepted.) Even thinking about it now makes me feel like I am moving backward.

It is an astonishingly silly way to feel, I know. But I am still looking at my body and focusing on flaws. My previously beach-ball sized tummy has shrunk to about the size of a volleyball, but it is still there. Previously solid muscle still wobbles. And my hair loss...well, you all know what happened there.

After all I have been through, I am still focused on failure, and paying scant attention to progress.

I am not sure how to beat this, in all honesty. I have a very real fear at this point that I will get all the way down to my goal weight, look in the mirror, and think that it was a wasted effort. I simply can't shake my mental identity of obesity yet.

And meanwhile, thanks to the ongoing clothing drama, there is a very real threat that I will show up to Thanksgiving dinner next week naked. 

Now THAT ought to put a damper on everyone's appetite.

Combating Obesity Through Nudity,

- Hawkwind

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

I Drank The Kool-Aid

Yes, that is my new(-ish) Fitbit Flex on my wrist.

If you have spent any time at all here on Misdirected, you know that I have been pretty resistant to the idea of spending money on an item that performs functions that my cell phone handles adequately. In short: I am cheap. However, the arrival of Lor's new Fitbit Surge, courtesy of her sister, left us with an unallocated Fitbit Flex that we had received from my Mom a few weeks back. So, on Saturday, I linked it to my phone and strapped it on.

For those that don't know, Fitbit not only tracks your physical activity and sleep, but it also plugs you into the community of other Fitbit users around you. (In my case, Lor and my parents.) And it starts making comparisons between everyone's physical activity, to act as a motivational tool. For me, it was concrete evidence that I am not moving nearly as much as Lor is. Or my Mother. Or my Father. I am losing the physical activity war not only to my lovely wife, but to my retired parents as well. Not good.

How well am I doing? With two days worth of data, I can determine that I am apparently managing about 7,000 steps a day: roughly 3 miles a day. I was admittedly surprised to see how much of my physical activity is tied up in things like cleaning house and washing dishes - more than I would have expected. But, still, about 3,000 steps a day short of the 10,000+ steps that Fitbit wants me to be achieving on a daily basis. 

My initial reaction is resignation - I am a disabled gamer, for goodness sake. Who the heck expects me to manage 5 miles a day? But, I then compare my numbers to my father, who is also sedentary, also suffers from physical issues, and has got 20 years on me to boot. He is managing this level of activity, why the hell can't I? Humbling is a good word. Never mind comparing with my Mom who is apparently never ceasing to move. I can't manage 10,000 steps in a day, while my Mom can regularly manage over 20,000? Unacceptable.

Today is gym day, so I am very curious to see how the Fitbit Flex converts weight lifting into "steps". (Lor's shiny new one includes things like a heart rate monitor and multiple exercise modes, so she should be all set.) I am hoping that the combination of walking to the gym, then a workout, then walking home gets me in the ballpark of the golden 10,000 step goal that this demanding device is asking of me. But, if not, I think I have a plan. The Fitbit tracks "steps" actually by monitoring arm movement, not leg movement.

And I have a perfectly good guitar sitting in the corner, just waiting to help me game the system.

Maybe I Will Learn Some Thrash Metal,

- Hawkwind

Monday, November 14, 2016

A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Barbershop...

On Saturday, I took one look in the mirror and decided I could take it no more. The thinning crown, the receding hairline - it had to stop. So, I walked into the office and made my announcement.

Me: "Today is the day."
Lor: "What day is that?"
Me: "The day I shave my head."
Lor: "If you think that's what you want..."

Lor has been dead set against me shaving my head for quite a while now. However, her own recent haircut and the positive effect it has had on her appearance and her personal outlook had softened her opinion on me making my own drastic change. However, one detail remained...

Lor: "Where are you going to get it done?"
Me: "We are BROKE. I am doing it myself!"
Lor: "I don't think that is such a great idea..."

Undeterred by spousal concerns, I headed into the bathroom to begin work, armed with a normal facial razor and this:

For those of you reading on a smaller screen: Yes, that is a battery powered beard trimmer.

What was it that led me to believe this would be a great tool for prepping a head full of (admittedly thinning) hair? I would like to say "hope" but, in truth, it was "impatience". I could not stand the idea of looking at the growing divots in my hairline any longer.  I began my work about 11 AM. At Noon, I emerged, looking for a new set of batteries for the beard trimmer.

Lor: "Why are you wearing a beanie?"
Me: "I don't want to scare you."

By 12:30 my head was maybe 25% trimmed. The problem? It was trimmed unevenly, with random growths sticking out in all directions thanks to the unruly cowlicks that populate my head. And this was just the front of my head. The top and back were thinned, but still largely covered in hair. In desperation, I hopped into the shower with my razor and a set of scissors.

30 minutes later, the drain was clogging due to randomly removed hair and I had dulled both my scissors and my razor. 

I emerged, water dripping from the ceiling over the shower due to the length of my hair-removal adventure. Looking in the mirror, I noted that I now looked like I had been exposed to radiation or chemical warfare, with random patches of hair growing from various locations on my scalp. I dressed, put my beanie back on, and went to the bank to withdraw $20 from our Emergency Fund to get the mess repaired professionally.

The area around my stylist's chair was full of laughter and levity as I described my hours-long ordeal. 2 stylists and three people waiting for haircuts all had to crowd around to see the grand unveiling when I pulled the beanie off.

There was a moment of silence, broken by my stylist: "Thank you for keeping the beanie on until now."

10 minutes later, I was shorn professionally, and left with a long list of scalp-care instructions and promises that the story of my "do-it-yourself" attempt would be a featured entertainment at Thanksgiving gatherings all over the city. I smiled and bore the teasing as best I could, knowing that I still had to face the "I told you so." moment at home. It wasn't bad, as these things go, but I may never be allowed unsupervised in a bathroom again.

Ah, well. If we truly learn from failure, then I have earned the equivalent of a college degree in how to make a mess of yourself.

Oh, the final result? Here you go:

Boy, Does That Scalp Need Some Color,

- Hawkwind

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Holiday Prep

Now that that is over with, we can get back to our regularly scheduled programming.

We seem to have our holiday planning put together - juggling two sides of the family who live 90 miles apart is always challenging at holiday time. I must admit to a certain amount of apprehension. This will be, after all, the first time several family members have seen us in almost a year - since well before we even started the surgical process. What are they going to think of our surgically improved selves? I don't really care about the opinions of many, but I will be seeing the majority of the people on that list in the next couple months.

For years now, this is traditionally the time when my winter "weight creep" starts. I am not alone in this - a large percentage of the country suffers from the same cycle. An already low activity level grows lower, we start making the rounds of food-filled family gatherings, and we begin to over-eat because everything is so darn good. By the time March rolls around, we have gained some weight (usually 10 or 15 pounds for me), some remnant of which stays with us throughout the next year.

So, it is exciting to think that this should be the first winter on record where I lose weight between November and March. My weight loss has been slowing down, as I have commented on here, but it has not ever stopped - even on weeks when I have only lost a fraction of a pound, I am still losing. And don't even get me started on the physical changes I am undergoing. I have empty dresser drawers and a half-empty closet currently, due to my stubborn insistence on not spending money on clothing I will only be able to wear once and then give away. I suppose I will have to do a little shopping before Thanksgiving and Christmas - I can't imagine Lor will allow me to attend family functions in tank tops and baggy sweats. Which brings me to my weight-loss goal for the end of the year...

Though it becomes less and less likely I will hit 200 pounds before the end of the year (darn it), it does look like I might be able to hit another one of my weight-loss goals: I may be able to get myself into a set of 38-inch waist pants by Christmas. This is a BIG one for me, folks - it was the final item on my original weight loss bucket list from 10 years ago. For those that don't remember, the other two were to get below 225 pounds (rear-view mirror) and to be able to walk 5K in the yearly Run For The Zoo (next May.) 38 inches means quite a bit for someone who was at a 50-inch waistline in January. I am just now able to get into some 40s, so here's hoping!

Though if I have to choose between tamales and a 38-inch waistline by Christmas, I must confess I will still choose tamales.

Just Sayin',

- Hawkwind

Wednesday, November 9, 2016


So, that just happened.

I am awake at 2:30 AM, unable to sleep any longer, no longer recognizing the country I live in.

I thought I lived in a country where we were moving away from racism, oppression, and religious persecution. Apparently, I was wrong.

I thought my nation was going to continue to work towards getting a handle on climate change. Nope, not of interest to the majority of my fellow constituents.

I thought that the Trump-ian dream of Making America White Again appealed to only a few scattered malcontents. Guess I was mistaken about that too.

Almost half of my fellow Americans have just voted into power a man who stands, by his own admissions, for nationalism, religious persecution, mistreatment of women, oppression of the free press, and for locking up his political opponents.

I am, quite frankly, terrified this morning. I understand our political processes. I agree that an election was held, not a revolt or a coup. Accordingly, I am forced to recognize the fact that a majority of Americans desired these qualities in their next President.

I went to bed last night hoping fervently that this was all a bad dream. I awoke this morning realizing that, to the majority of those who voted, I am the enemy. I am Latino. I am disabled, and therefore a "burden on the taxpayers." I am a person who has benefited from Obamacare. I firmly believe in the rights of gay couples to marry who they want, of members of other religions to practice their beliefs freely, of women to control their own bodies. And, according to last night's polls, I am what is despised and rejected by the majority of voters.

Today, at 46 years old, I no longer recognize my place in the country I grew up in.

Saddened and Frightened,

- Jeremy

Monday, November 7, 2016


So. Monday. I never could get the hang of Mondays. Even the fact that I no longer get up and head into work has not released me from the malaise and disinterest that seem to go along with "Day After Football" day.

This particular Monday, though, has some very special soul-crushing components attached to it. For example:

1. The Time Change: I really, really, really hate this time change. There is nothing worse than waking up at what feels like 5 and discovering it is only 4 AM. Or, worse yet, falling asleep at my desk and discovering it is only 8:30 PM. Whoever decided this time change was a great idea should have all their body hair removed with duct tape.

2. The Elections: Oh, God, please make it stop. I've done my job, Lor and I went and exercised our democratic duty last week, now can this just be over? I have never been impressed with our political system, but this election season has made me feel like I am constantly covered in slime. No amount of bathing will remove this hideous residue.

3. Weight Loss: Or lack thereof. Despite the fact that I know that everything is moving along as planned, I feel as though everything has slowed to a crawl. I have been dropping no more than a pound a week for almost 2 months now. I had originally hoped to be around 200 pounds by the end of the year. Now, it is looking more like that number will arrive around my birthday. Which is next June.

Hopefully heading back up to the gym today will revitalize the system. Right this minute I am ready to go back to bed to try again tomorrow.

Never Thought I Would Look Forward To Election Day,

- Hawkwind

Friday, November 4, 2016

The Day The Band Broke

It has been no secret to anyone here on Misdirected that I have not been enjoying working out. Whether doing home aerobics, walking, or performing "resistance exercise" with those hideous oversized rubber bands, I have just not been "into it", as they say. Oh, I have been doing it, of course. I just haven't been enjoying it at all.

This is strange, because I used to be a weightlifter, 15 years and 1 disability ago. Not a bodybuilder, mind you - a weightlifter. That was my primary form of exercise. I would spend hours at the gym, several days a week. I carried a spiral notebook to log my progression, worried about form, complained about cardio, challenged myself to perform "just one more rep" when working a muscle group to failure. I really dug it.

Yesterday, Lor wandered into the office and announced that we would be adding a stop to our daily walk. We would walk a mile up to our local community center, work out there, instead of at home, then walk back. I shrugged, and went along with it. At least it meant no time spent with the rubber bands for that day, right?

The gym at the community center (pictured above) was really pretty impressive - 6 or 7 cardio machines, and a whole bunch of multi-function weight machines. I downloaded an app (of course) to get a suggested workout, and then started hitting the machines, beginning with the bench press.

Now, mind you, I am someone who used to be able to bench 250-ish pounds. So, it was a little depressing to spend some time figuring out that my current 3-rep max was a measly 70 pounds. (3-rep max: 3 repetitions of a weight exercise where you can lift for one second, hold for one second, then lower the weight over 3 seconds with perfect form.) Hooray for the strength benefits of resistance band exercise. Dejected, I set my weight at the next lowest setting (55 pounds) and started cranking through my first set of 12.

Somewhere through my second set, I found I was actually enjoying myself.

I went through an entire full-body session, over the course of about an hour. Sure, the numbers were fractions of what I used to see, back in the day. But the challenge of maintaining form, the sheer visceral feel of moving real weights was amazing. Today, I am sore everywhere, in a really good way. Best of all, I can feel that I have been working out in my drooping chest and arms. I can't wait to go back.

At last, I seem to have found my endorphin-releasing exercise. It isn't walking, it isn't running, it certainly isn't resistance band exercise. Just good old-fashioned straining and grunting as I fight the weights. I am already making plans for breaking up my weight training over multiple days, just so I can spend more time at the gym. Makes me wonder why I didn't do this all along.

Other than because Lor hadn't suggested it yet, of course.

Ready To Throw Away The Giant Rubber Bands,

- Hawkwind

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Big Brother Speaks

Chaos and Mayhem in 2008
We've talked a lot here about what family support means to a person who goes through bariatric surgery. Getting some family members or friends "on board" with you dramatically increases your chances of long-term success - just like a lack of support frequently translates into a lack of focus and eventual regain. But, what does family support mean, really?

Though it may come as a surprise to you, it turns out that the great majority of the readers of Misdirected are not current or potential bariatric surgery patients. But most of my readers have someone in their lives who is severely obese, and who is maybe tiptoeing around the concept of bariatric surgery. For the great majority of you, you want to know how to best support the person you care about that is considering tackling this journey, without feeling like you are pointing fingers and shouting "You are SO unhealthy! Have surgery!"

I have spent very little time talking about my family here (excepting Lor, of course) other than obliquely. As I say frequently, those are not my stories to tell. But major changes take place in the lives of those whose loved ones have gone through this process. My brother has been a rock throughout this process for me. He has been a source of encouragement, a fountain of exercise and nutritional information (he is a personal trainer), and someone to whine at when this all seems to be too hard to continue anymore. And, he has recently asked for the opportunity to address the Misdirected audience. 

His unedited comments follow. 

"An open letter to family and friends.

Jeremy, Lor, and I  met as teenagers,  I am mentioned in the blog as Jeremy's brother. His family adopted me as a teen for reasons that don't matter here, but I use as a reference to set the tone. 30 years later, we are still standing through thick and thin. water flowing bright and clean, and dirty and turbulent at times,.Jeremy and Lor have been a part of me through all of it.

The past year has amazed me though. The decision and life changing choice the two of them made has amazed me, and made me so proud. They stepped outside of fear and judgement and made a life for themselves that is so very different from before. I cannot begin to say how this has changed the both of them. I won't say for the better, because, through all of this I have had the honor to see the rough parts of their hearts. Thank you both for everything, and I pray that your journey keeps going forward. 

The reason this is an open letter though is because of this. I saw new smiles on my brother and sister at the party he talked about. I saw that his blog had brought people together. I saw smiles and gleams in the eye that offer new hope. I wish everyone well and wanted to take a moment to applaud you all and offer my congratulations. This is hard work and a  hard line to tow.

I am lucky to have these two in my life. Because of that, I appreciate the people who have taken this journey with them. 

Thank you to all, Jeremy and Lor I love you both and will never be able to convey how impressed and proud of you both that I am."

In case anyone was wondering: this is what supporting your loved one looks like.

Humbled And Lucky To Have Such A Brother,

- Hawkwind