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Seriously, how hard is it to bag groceries?

Sunday, October 11, 2009

I figure we buy groceries about twice a week. I like having fresh produce, and frequent trips to the grocery store are a fact of life.
I guess there is probably NO training for grocery store employees when it comes to bagging, but I'm telling you, there should be!
Apparently, efficient bagging is a lost art. I don't remember this problem happening 10 or 15 years ago.
Come on, does it really take a lot of thought to know that you shouldn't slide a whole pie, on-end sideways, down into the bag? WTH.
And I bring my own bags. We have about 10 reusable grocery sacks, so we never come up short. The bags are sturdy, well constructed and waterproof. Tell me, what is the point of putting my dozen eggs into a small plastic grocery bag prior to putting them into MY plastic lined grocery bag? Is that supposed to cushion them? It definitely won't help if the eggs break; they'd still ooze out into my bag (which is why I use plastic-lined bags in the first place). What WOULD help is not sliding them on-end sideways into my bag, like you did the blueberry pie.
Who can't figure out that bread goes on TOP? I'll tell you who- the person bagging my groceries. And some of them ARE, in fact, old enough to know better. Help me out, folks. Try putting all the frozen foods in the same bag, at least.
Wouldn't it make more sense to lay my two milk cartons down flat at the bottom of the bag, rather than trying to stand them upright? When they're upright, they fall over as soon as I pick the bag up by the handles, creating a chain reaction inside the bag, in which all of the bags contents suddenly collapse inward and vie for the lowest point in the bag. Standing two tall cartons full of liquid upright, on opposite sides of the bag, is stupid. I have to assume the person bagging groceries in such a manner has never gotten home with such a bag and experienced the grocery chaos and carnage within such a bag: the cracked eggs, the bruised pears and plums, and the weeping milk cartons.
Going through the checkout line is always a cognitive workout, as I attempt to monitor the cashier (did he/she apply my coupon? did that item ring at the sale price?) the credit card machine, and the baggers simultaneously. If I'm LUCKY, all the baggers are busy, and I can quickly bag the stuff myself. Most of the time, I am literally racing to bag my groceries before one of the employees can "help" me.
I'm actually mindful enough to place the largest, heaviest items on the conveyor belt FIRST, so they can go into the bag first, and they'll be at the bottom where they belong. If I'm not able to bag my own groceries, there will be a delay for SURE as I know I will have to UNBAG and REBAG everything correctly, lest I suffer the consequences. The last thing I want is to have to return to the store with all the damaged/broken items... a hugely annoying inconvenience I've had to endure WAY TOO MANY times. Of course, this puts ME and everyone in line behind me in a foul mood. I'm sure it doesn't have a particularly positive effect on the store employees either.

I think I'm done now... thanks for listening.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

APEIRSON1 12/14/2014 8:38AM

  I work at a grocery store as a bagger, and I agree with everything you said.However, I take care with customer's groceries.I ask if its okay to load them heavy, or if they prefer light, I ask if they will use their own bags, or if paper or plastic is good.I place heavy items down first(its kind of hard to do when all the heavy items are at the end of the conveyor belt, but what I do is bag the light items, and set them aside until I can get the heavy items in) I shop at the store I work at, and I come home many times with my cupcakes completely upside down.The other day my manager asked me to rebag one of my co-workers bagging.

Comment edited on: 12/14/2014 8:42:43 AM

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MERLINSLAW 3/19/2010 10:01AM

    In Australia we dont have "baggers" the checkout chicks bags as she scans, we also dont have coupons :( and we resently had free cheap plastic shopping bag outlawed we dont have paper bags as a choice either, so we have bring our own or buy the 15c or 25c bag from them. But most if the checkout chicks bag pretty well, i find it easier if you group items as you pull them out of the trolley and put them on the convayer belt, frozen first then fridge then canned and heavy goods, then fruit and veg then breads and eggs and soft stuff, always requesting the laundry goods, posions, bath goods etc be bagged seperatley from the food.
Or you could politely tell the bagger that will pack yourself. a simple "thanks, but i'll bag myself today" should get him walking away.

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HAPPYPATTY1 10/14/2009 2:15PM

    Right???!!! You had me giggling!

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SHORTY20 10/12/2009 12:23PM

    I have to concur that baggers are trained. When I was in high school, I worked as a cashier, and we watched a video on how to bag correctly.

I totally agree that the baggers really just don't care. I normally try to bag my own when I can. I absolutely hate when they put like 2 items in a bag, and I end up having 50 bags, when I could've had 3. Now, if the customer is elderly, and can't lift much weight, then I can see having many smaller bags, but I can handle it! I normally tell them that they can load them up pretty good.

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MBSHAZZER 10/12/2009 10:14AM

    Oh yeah, that's my rant, too. Drives me crazy. I no longer grocery shop (BF handles it) but I used to do the same thing.. put the stuff on the belt in the order that I thought it shoud go in the bags.

BF brings reusable bags and he says it always causes massive confusion on the part of the baggers... not quite sure why, as the grocery chain even sells their own reusable bags, so it's not like some strange, novel thing!

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JLPNURSE 10/12/2009 6:54AM

    Totally agree. Just as a side note, when I worked at the grocery store in high school, they were unionized, paid more, and seemed to take more pride in their work. Now, it seems they hire almost anybody.

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MSSUNBUG 10/11/2009 3:57PM

    This is why I politely decline help and just bag my own. You should consider doing the same.

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CLAYSGAL 10/11/2009 11:23AM

    Baggers are "Trained". They dont bother to follow tru, because they dont care! Heavy items are suppose to be on bottom of bag. "Delicates" eggs, chips bakery items ect are suppose to be bagged seperately. Eggs go in a seperate plastic bag because alot of people put them on the seat by them selves. If you are unhappy with the way the groceries are bagged (an from what you described I would be!)stop right then an tell the cashier to call the manager. Do not tell her why (so things cant be changed around) I know this will stop the line but people wont be as aggrvated as you might think. When the manager sees for themselves whats going on they will A) retrain the bagger an monitor them for a while. B)Apologize for this happening an probably offer you a discount or some compensation. Also the next time you come in they will remember you an you can bet your service will be excellant! If nobody complains it will just go on. emoticon

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PHEBESS 10/11/2009 11:11AM

    And of course, there are the brilliant baggers who put the heavy potatoes or apples on top of the bananas, peaches, or tomatoes...............

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ILOVETOCRUISE 10/11/2009 10:53AM

    In Minnesota we bag our own except at Walmart.

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IWILLBEFIT4LIFE 10/11/2009 10:46AM

    I know what you mean, I actually used to work in a grocery store and they actually DO train ALL employees how to bag efficiently, problem is most don't care and are just worried about getting it done fast instead of properly. I can not STAND when I go to the store and find my bread is UNDER the eggs or with bananas and apples or my chips are with cans, I mean seriously why not bag the way YOU YOURSELF would want your groceries bagged?? Ugh oh well what can you do but bag them yourself right?

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DTRMNEDME 10/11/2009 10:36AM

    I agree with you 100 percent and that goes for places like Walmart too where I buy clothes. They just wad them up and throw them in the sack and I have gotten to the point where I say no, let me put them in and I stand there and fold them neatly and place them in a bag and you know why they do that...just to hurry us through, but I don't like it and you have given me an idea here.. I think I will start doing the same thing to grocery stores.. Perhaps they might get the message....Thanks for the thought! emoticon

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SRAMB23 10/11/2009 10:29AM

    I think the stores teach the baggers how to bag the groceries so the bags will break and the customer will have to buy something again. ie the eggs. It takes a real brilliant person to realize that frozen food and potato chips get stored together at home thus should be packed in the same bag, right? Also a cake should be packed at the bottom of the heavy milk and juices to see if the cake box will collapse and ruin the cake.

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Letterman: What's so scandalous?

Friday, October 09, 2009

The following appeared on the blog of Dr. Sari Locker, a psychologist specializing in relationships and sexuality:

"I thought it was unusual that Letterman’s own network’s news show wanted to explore this story as if it were a “sex scandal.” Letterman was not the president cheating on the first lady with an intern. He wasn’t caught with a prostitute like married politician Spitzer. Nor did he criminally have sex with a thirteen year old like filmmaker Polanski. This wasn’t even a scandal on the level of Jon cheating on Kate plus his eight children. All Letterman did was admit that he had sex with women at work. Not a crime. He was not married at the time (although he may have been cheating on his girlfriend who is now his wife). He only admitted to it because of an extortion case. None of the women involved complained, nor accused him of sexual harassment, nor have others from his company complained. This is not a sex scandal, and it is unfortunate that most media wants to treat it as if it is one."

I have to agree.

Letterman met his wife at work. She was a production manager on his show. Before than, he dated a writer for his show for many years.
Conan O’Brien also married someone he met on his show. Before that, he had a relationship with another woman who worked on his show.
Carson Daly’s girlfriend, the mother of his child, works on his show.
Geraldo Rivera is married to a producer on his show; and his previous wife was his executive assistant on the show he had at that time. His wife before that was (you guessed it) a producer working with him at ABC.
Montel Williams’ met his ex-wife when she was a guest on his show.
Maury Povich met his wife Connie Chung at WTTG-TV a local station in Washington, D.C., where she was an office assistant and he was the anchorman. They have been married for over 25 years.

While sex in the workplace may not always be a great idea, it is very, very common. Lettermans situation hardly qualifies as a scandal in my book.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CROBINGO 10/12/2009 3:23PM

    Well expressed and so true!

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SHORTY20 10/12/2009 12:18PM

    Having met my hubby at work, I totally agree!

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DTRMNEDME 10/11/2009 10:39AM

    While I don't condone what he did or any of the others as a matter of fact,I do agree with you that it is not something that needs to be scattered all over the news.. He made a mistake, but not something that should ruin him or as a matter of fact, it's not even fair to his wife and family to smear it all over the news.. Good Grief can't they find enough news to report or what?

Good post! emoticon

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ZEEBAZEEBA 10/9/2009 9:05PM

  I totally agree that his actions weren't scandalous. I don't understand what all the hubbub is about. Furthermore, he chose to admit on his show that these actions happened. If anything, I respect him more for that.

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PHEBESS 10/9/2009 6:16PM

    I think it's been a slow news week - either than or we've become way more voyeuristic than I'd like to believe. It's sad, what counts as "news" these days.

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MBSHAZZER 10/9/2009 11:18AM

    I totally agree. In fact, what I think is the scandalous part is the extortion. For the record, I think that what Spitzer and Clinton did was none of our business either.

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CATLADY52 10/9/2009 11:02AM

    May I say "Thank you" for your sane view of the situation. It really is between David and the people involved. I'm sure that only because of the extortion angle is it newsworthy.

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CONNEALS 10/9/2009 10:56AM

    I agree. Letterman's actions are not scandalous...just maybe not the smartest thing to do.

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Beat yourself up a little! (On self-acceptance and body love)

Thursday, October 01, 2009

I always find it slightly counterintuitive when people on Spark tell eachother things like "don't beat yourself up", "love your body", and "don't get yourself down about things you can't control".
If I accepted myself and loved my body as it is (was), WHY would I be trying so hard to change it?
If you are obese, you should NOT accept your body, you should beat yourself up enough to put in some hard effort and regain your health!
If I hadn't been so self-accepting and delusional about how fit and sexy I was, I NEVER would have become as obese as I became. It wasn't until I became thoroughly DISGUSTED with myself that I made the radical changes necessary to fix the problem.
IMO, telling someone with life-threatening obesity to love themselves as they are does them no favors. Instead, we should tell them to love themselves enough to take control.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

YOOVIE 10/26/2009 10:17AM

    Love yourself enough to make the outside reflect the inside.

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KATISONIT 10/26/2009 9:54AM

    It is a weird dynamic sometimes on Spark -- a lot of people talk about forgiving their slipups (myself included), and then I see a lot of these people go on to create challenges/set goals for themselves like 'lose 20 lbs in 2/3 weeks' (usually focused around a holiday).

We are all human and there will be missteps/sidetracks during the process or afterwards, so in order to continue working for it a lot of us need the self-acceptance to accept our mistakes, work on them, and keep on going. But setting extreme and unhealthy goals to "make up for lost time" is, in my experience, setting yourself up for failure.

I just wish there was a subtle way that I could steer them towards this blog...

Thanks for the post! It's refreshing to see some "straight talk" on Spark, especially from someone that proves that it works!

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FINDINGHELP 10/4/2009 5:59PM

    Harsh words, but totally truthful. For too many years, I've been accepting of my weight gain. Then--boom!--I reached full-blown obesity. I wish I had been less accepting of my weight gain over the years.

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JLPNURSE 10/2/2009 6:59AM

    For me loving my body is about doing things that are healthy for it, and not beating it up on "looks". This is an excellent topic for discussion

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CINDYT63 10/1/2009 1:04PM

    For me, my self love/ and self esteem had been non-existent for over 40 years because of my body weight, which had fluctuated some, but mostly stayed about 175. For a few years I hit 225-230 which was HUGE for me. Self love has been recent, and eating disorders prevailed for 28 years. With the eating disorders was huge body/self hatred that was way disproportionate. Every frustration, slightly bad feeling was projected directly onto my body. I so appreciate your blogs, and your spirit, and wish I was more like you. I write this only to make the distinction between healthy and unhealthy body obsession. People with eating disorders think everything would be fine if they could just get thin enough. They think it's appropriate to subject their bodies to intense scrutiny and hatred. I guess I write this for anyone with an eating disorder reading the blog-it's not the same thing. I LOVE your blogs and spirit. You are an inspiration to me. I'm glad you are back on it!

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DAPHNERUNNING 10/1/2009 9:38AM

    I know EXACTLY what you mean. I remember all the Fat-Acceptance speeches and books I thought were so empowering, about loving your body at any shape, about quotes like "The advantage of exercising is that you die healthier," about being annoyed when stars like Queen Latifa or Cameron Manheim lost weight.

I think you're completely right about what you say here.

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PHEBESS 10/1/2009 9:32AM

    You always crack me up with your no-nonsense attitude - I love the notion of "beat yourself up a little" - I agree, sometimes we need that slap-in-the-face reality, I know I sure do.

There's a fine line between "OMG I ate a cookie, I need to eat nothing for the next week" and "I ate a whole cake, but it's okay, I love myself anyway" - you know what I mean? We can love ourselves and be okay with an occasional slip up, but we also need to be realistic enough to not eat the whole cake and know when to stop (and when enough is enough, both food- and exercise-wise). It's important - essential - to not become complacent. On the other hand, always telling yourself how awful you are is kind of self-defeating.

I think your last sentence says it all - "love themselves enough to take control."

Comment edited on: 10/1/2009 9:34:06 AM

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If you've fallen off the wagon or just strayed from the path....

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

you're in good company. Most of us do that at some point(s).
If you're like me, you kept asking yourself what the hell happened to that fire in your belly, that incredible drive that kept you on track and losing. It kind of dwindled. Old habits gradually creep in. Plateaus become gains.
September was when I recaptured that feeling that got me this far in the first place... I finally got my fire back this month. After talking with my doctor, and visiting my pharmacist (and my bathroom scale), I got back on track.

I exercised for 60 minutes on my elliptical every single day this month, except for ONE day, when I was on the road and at a conference. That is double the workout time I did previously. It was almost three weeks into the month before I got my eating under control, but I did it. This makes day 12.
Once again, I'm excited about weigh-ins; but there is more trepidation as well. More caution. I don't want to report losses on my ticker until I'm SURE they're not just water. I'm thinking double digits.
I still have a few pounds to go before I get back to where I *USED* to be. It is hardly fathomable that this time last year, I managed to get my weight down to 188 for a few brief days. Now, I dream about that number.... and once again, strive toward onederland.

So, the struggle continues. My focus for the remainder of 2009 is on two things only: regaining control of my health, and school. I'm am not advertising or seeking new clients this season, I'm only seeing established clients. This year was good to my business, but I learned a lesson: if I can't focus on what's important, I risk losing it. Nothing is more important than my health.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JLPNURSE 10/1/2009 6:53AM

    Thanks for sharing. I know I experience the same things. I tend to stay on track with exercise but the eating is a struggle. You can do it!

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BODYNSOIL1 10/1/2009 5:48AM

    Losing the fire in the belly is something that I have been dealing with as well. Glad for your return to your health and seeing the scale go down. I am here now and hope that I soon see that ticker continue to slide down. Best wishes.

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DAVENPLK 9/30/2009 9:24PM

  You are so right!!! I have lost my focus, and I have once again made a pledge to myself to get with the program. It is so easy to fall into those bad habits. You are doing awesome!!! Keep up the good work. You are a great role model for all of us. Thanks for sharing!!! Linda

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PHEBESS 9/30/2009 9:08PM

    I know that you will do this - you are amazing, you've accomplished so much - and you'll get back to where you want to be (and beyond)!

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    Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come.We have only today. Let us begin.
- Mother Teresa


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SUPERKARA 9/30/2009 8:31PM

    Keep at it!

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The ongoing battle with my own body....

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

I'm frustrated as hell.

A little background: I've lost a lot of weight- over a hundred pounds. Like so many other morbidly obese people, it came off fast at first, then slowed down. Then, it kind of... stopped. For about a year. Then, my medical odyssey began.

My perimenopausal symptoms actually began before my massive weight loss, but the corresponding estrogen loss resulted in symptoms so severe, so completely debilitating, that I was unable to function. I lost anything close to normal sleep. After a few months, I was a zombie; so exhausted I couldn't make decisions or follow instructions, let alone think rationally. Many times, I was unable to leave the house.
I finally saw a doctor, during one of the on-again, off-again periods where I had insurance coverage. I began HRT. At this point, my weight was fluctuating wildly, but generally holding the line at around 200.
By this spring, my symptoms had much improved. I was able to sleep and able to work again- and work I did. Like a mule. The spring work season goes down as the most physically gruelling labor I have ever done. Finally, June rolled around, and work began to ebb. I resumed traveling, while I relaxed and nursed my badly damaged hands and wrists. School started again, and I enrolled as usual, even increasing my classload. I hardly noticed that I'd gained weight.
But I did- gradually, beginning in June. It was enough to get me to double my cardio. I seemed to have the problem stabilized in July, and my clothes started fitting better. Then, in August, something strange and loathsome happened: my appetite suddenly made a very sharp increase, and I gained a significant amount of weight in a very short time.
Back to the doctor.
"How are the hot flashes?" she asked. "Better, but lately they're starting to come back" I replied.
"We will have to run some tests. You know hormone therapy causes some women to gain weight?" Something about the way she looked at me told me that I was one of those women.
We talked some more, and it dawned on me that my hot flashes began increasing right at the same time my appetite did, and (sadly) my usually robust libido fell off a cliff.
Great. So what the hell do I do NOW?
I CAN'T quit my HRT. I absolutely cannot go back to that hellish place I was in before I started it. Likewise, I cannot go back to being 300 lbs. Right there in the doctors office, tears began to warm my eyes.

We'll see how the new prescriptions work out. Please pray that I have continual health insurance coverage.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NOTBLUSHING 12/22/2009 11:40PM

    If only I could go back to being 30....

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SUNFLOWERGRRL 9/24/2009 9:10AM

    I agree with Phebess--it will stabilize, and supplements do help. The peri hot flashes and sleep loss are TORTURE, I feel your pain. Been dealing with both for several months. It's slowly getting better as dr. adjusts HRT dose. I think your instinct to increase cardio is a good one, that really seems to help me. RE: your dr. saying HRT makes some gain--are you kidding me? Something ELSE to deal with? My dr. is telling me that stabilizing hormone levels will help me LOSE weight. no effect that i can see yet.

Also: have you had your thyroid function tested? Makes a big difference. Will say a prayer for your continued health insurance coverage...and here's hoping that we as a nation can get that figured out.

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MBSHAZZER 9/23/2009 1:04PM

    Oh my, I had no idea you were having so many medical problems. It sounds extremely frustrating, especially since you've been so successful at your incredible weight loss. I can only imagine how horrendous it must feel to not be able to sleep and to be a prisoner to your hot flashes. I wish you continuing medical coverage and I hope that you have a good doctor who will work with you through this really tough time.

Sending you emoticon

And emoticon for your libido, LOL!

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SOKKERNUT 9/23/2009 12:48PM

    My prayers and thoughts are with you doll, I know how frustrating this is for you. We are here for you! emoticon Please do keep us posted.

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SHORTY20 9/23/2009 7:27AM

    I just wanted to send you emoticon

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JLPNURSE 9/23/2009 6:57AM

    I am sorry for your frustrations. You are an amazing person.

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SECRETFUN 9/22/2009 9:42PM

  I am thinking good thoughts. I know you will do your best.

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PHEBESS 9/22/2009 9:26PM

    Oh sweetie, I totally understand your frustration and pain (and fear as well) - it's one of those damned if you do and damned if you don't situations. All I can say is hang in there, your body will adjust - and vitamins can help (especially B6 for the emotional ups and downs that come with the whole thing).

It's so hard to explain to anyone who hasn't been there, the physical and emotional and even intellectual changes we go through with these hormonal changes - and it makes you feel a bit crazy sometimes - but you aren't. Really. It's just what our hormones do to us, all those ebbs and surges. And sometimes, all you can do is ride it out.

Lots of hugs to you. And I hope the new meds work better.

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