Tuesday, February 26, 2013
Seriously. Snow. Stop it.
Another winter storm blew through Columbia last night. I haven’t been outside, but they’re reporting we got 7” more snow! Ugh, the nerve! I need to get outside and shovel before it freezes, but I’m all warm and cuddled inside my house. I just need to graduate so that I can get my boyfriend to shovel all the snow for me ;-)
SO a recap. Last week 13” of snow. It sucked. I shoveled part of it, and my neighbor with a snow blower got the rest! I made him and another neighbor cookies for their trouble, and then had a few. Actually I was so tired after shoveling and making cookies while they used the snow blower, that I ate 3 cookies and my nighttime meds and went to bed early!
My stupid arm is still stupid. Its healing though. I can finally really see progress as the scar borders start to fill in. The incision wound is also much, much shallower so its really filling in from underneath as well. The problem is that my stupid arm is becoming super painful. The nerve blocker I’m on is just not enough. I have finally increased it to twice a day if I’m working to cut down on the pain, I’m becoming less zombified on it, so there’s a plus.
I think the weather is what’s bugging it lately. My left arm scars were hurting a little bit last week, so it makes sense that the incision would hurt + nerve damage = spasms of pain. Plus I was using my arm more – but not stretching the skin – but the increased activity did its toll.
Upping my heart rate and cardio seems to be out. Even low impact stuff, if I really get going, causes a little too much of an increase in my blood pressure to be pleasant. I have so many weights in my garage right now that I want to lift. I need muscles to feel good… so this whole break is really doing a number on me mentally. I’m super positive about what I WILL do, its just a matter of being annoyed and aggravated that I CAN’T do it YET. But I will…
This weekend my dad and TJ came down to help me get ready for the carpet install on Saturday. Well I should say the carpet install that was scheduled for Saturday. When I got the confirmation call on Friday I double and triple checked that they WERE coming. I had 2 people driving in to help me, so I wanted to make sure the carpet was coming before I had them drive in the snow.
So they showed up, we finished ripping up carpet and pad and cleaning and moving everything but the beds out of the house on Friday. Woke up super early on Saturday and cooked breakfast and cleaned and moved the beds in the bathrooms and threw all of my clothes on top of them. And waited. And waited. They were supposed to show up from 8-10AM. So at 10:15 I was on the phone. 15 minutes and 3 phone calls later I was on the phone with the right person who called the installer… over… and over… and then she said she would call me back. Turns out the installer was ignoring his phone calls from his company. His van was “not working in the snow” or something, but instead of telling them this at 8AM he waited three hours to finally take a phone call from them at 11AM. By the time they got this sorted out, and I gave them my whole “it needs to happen today, I’m injured, people drove… (all very polite)” message – it was literally too late for anyone to pick up the carpet from the warehouse which had closed.
So they put me down for Monday and said their installers would move my furniture. And they WOULD be there from 9-11AM and they would compensate me, and they were sorry, yadda, yadda, yadda…
So by this time it was almost noon! We dragged the beds back out of the bathrooms. I hung all of my clothes up again… and showered. I was angry. My house was all shoved into my garage, diningroom, and kitchen. And no carpet. It was a wreck.
We ended up painting two ceilings and I painted some baseboards and were able to do small projects on Saturday and Sunday (and spent 2 hours at the gun range Sunday morning—my dad and TJ bonded over shooting guns—it was werid!). TJ left because he had to go to work, but I had my dad stay. I didn’t want strangers in my house with me alone.
Monday morning came. I went to get an oil change… no installers… By the time I got back at 10:30, I wasn’t waiting for them to be late. I was assured at 10:45 that the installers were coming, they were just going to be late. They finally showed up at 11:20 and didn’t leave until after 5PM. Yes. You read that right. 2 guys took over five hours to install carpet in three small bedrooms, one hallway, and a livingroom. That’s RIDICULOUS! Max 3 hours. I’ve talked to several people about how long their installers took. My mom had hers done with a larger area and it was only 1.5 hours!
It was frustrating. And apparently no one told them they were going to move the furniture back or haul away our carpet… so they were kind of grumpy by the end. One of the guys spoke no English, but he was very nice. The other guy spoke English but he had a very thick accent and spoke way too fast. I took Spanish, but its been awhile, and I was honestly trying to listen to what he said to me, but I couldn’t understand half of what he said. They also got dirty fingerprints on ALL of my doors. Not like small smudges but full handprints on both sides of my doors. They nicked the baseboard in one room. Rehung a door improperly and left it installed badly. And by the end of the day I was just going nuts.
The dogs were freaked out. I was annoyed it took so long. My dad needed to get home before the storm hit. I needed to GO TO WORK during the storm since they took so long. It was stressful. My anxiety was through the roof. I have so much work to do to graduate and my committee meeting is two weeks away. But today I’ve just been catching up. I slept in (ha, until 7:15). Then relaxed a bit to calm my nerves. I need to put my office back together and go in there to seriously work for a bit, but now I think I need to head out to shovel before I do.
The power keeps flickering, so I was kind of waiting to see if it was going to go out. I think it should stay on *knock on wood*, so I’ll go out and shovel and pop in for a quick hot shower to warm back up.
Then working… I need to be working… ! Oh and its me, so I need a new manicure, but it will be simple.
My dad will be back next weekend to finish light fixture projects, my mom and sister might come out later this week to help deep clean… and I need to talk to a company in StL about a job on Thursday.
My nerves are starting to fray like crazy… the endtimes of a grad student have broken many a person~! Luckily I have a good group of people around me which helps out. I just need to pick up the slack on my end and buckle down hard!
Friday, February 22, 2013
Yesterday it snowed... and snowed... and snowed... a total of 13"! Plus snow drifts over 2" in my front yard. Ugh.
So I shoveled. I had to. And now my back hurts like a fiend! The plows have yet to reach my street. Apparently the jerks made it all the way to the street over from me and gave up... and haven't been back since! What the heck! I am the last street out here -- so they literally had 2 streets left to plow in my neighborhood and they LEFT!
So I'm stuck. According to the volunteer firefighter across the street -- cars all over my neighborhood are stuck. One neighbor had to ditch his car a mile away and walk to his house... so until the plows decide to come to my street, I officially will be unable to leave my house.
And I have a big experiment to do in lab... and cells that need to be fed. So this whole 4-6" of snow prediction is crap. 13" is not 4"~! The plows in town have gotten most everything cleared, but who knows when the county will come back out to plow my street.... Grr....
One good thing from yesterday -- I submitted a job application and contacted a HR rep on LinkedIN. AND he got back to me! I have a phone interview with him next Thursday to talk about the company and my career goals... which I need to figure out, lol!
I'm going to go get ready for the day -- get my hair done, new bandage on, and try to go shovel some snow and clear my car off again. I got the snow drift off it and turned it on yesterday to melt the ice, but now there's new ice and another 3" of snow on it... and I AM going to lab today. I only have 63 days until my defense, so I don't have time to waste.
And the carpet install... it was supposed to be Saturday. My dad was going to drive to my house today, and TJ was going to drive in after work. So far I've told my dad to wait until I confirm the install and TJ hasn't responded to my texts, so I assume he's stuck in StL traffic on his way to work. I called Home Depot, but there aren't enough people at the store to answer my question. I was told to call back in a few hours.... no joke... so I have no idea if its happening... if I should tell people to come in to town to help... and if I'll get to work.
Oh... can you tell I HATE SNOW!? Ugh... I'm a grumpy cat today. And apparently an adult (or just a crazy grad student) since I can't wait to get to lab!
Thursday, February 21, 2013
One of my problems lately is thinking about cheat food. Cookies, ice cream, burgers... I can have a cheat day right? Oh I can go get Coldstone right? Nope. Stop it. I've been so bad about allowing a treat... which turns into another treat... and another treat.
After I weighed in at 188 last week, I gave myself a mental smack upside the head and audibly went "no duh" about the weight gain. Luckily it was mostly TOM weight gain and water retention from salt. I was back at 184 yesterday after getting all of that crap out of my system.
I'm trying to eat less carbs. Not low-carb yet, 'cause holy crap there are carbs everywhere! So far I've been doing good... I just need to avoid trigger foods while there are men at my house this weekend.
Today is a snow day, heck its a THUNDER SNOW day! So far I've gotten 2" in less than 2 hours and its supposed to snow for another six hours... so... that's gonna suck! My car's outside too since most of my big furniture is in the garage. I just hope this doesn't ruin the carpet install for Saturday. As I said above the "men" coming are my dad and my boyfriend. They still need to rip out the bad carpet and move all the furniture. I haven't been able to help as much as I want to.
For obvious reasons I'm not ripping out carpet, but even being on all fours is practically out of the question. Something about that angle pulls on my underarm skin in a way that just does not feel good. So with everyone in my family yelling at me to not doing anything so I don't hurt my arm, I feel a bit like a bum.
I also realized I own way too much stuff. I'm going to be downsizing from a 3-bedroom house into a bedroom in my parents house. Yikes! I own tooooooooo many pieces of furniture and stuff for this move. I almost can't imagine moving back in with my parents at 28, which I will be in May, but sometimes you just gotta do it to save money. Plus if TJ doesn't want to get an apartment with me ('cause his mommy doesn't approve), I don't want to have all of those bills on my own!
My dad is also retiring in May, but not taking social security until after his birthday in October -- so if I move in with them, I can help them out with the bills. Now this all hinges on me actually getting a job. I really should get off Spark and work on my two job applications. Right now I'm tailoring my CV (curriculum vitae) into a science resume targeted at both of the jobs. I really need to get on the job hunt more... Its starting to freak me out!
My plans for this snow day are to A) submit one job application, B) do a ton of laundry, C) clean the bathrooms, D clean the kitchen, and E) work on the bare bones of the two papers I want to have drafted for my committee meeting in 19 days!
I can do it!
Tuesday, February 19, 2013
Why I’m doing it:
I just found a new Tumblr: whyimdoingit.tumblr.com
Basically tumblr is just a website for blogs that are mostly pictures. There’s a lot of Doctor Who fans on there, which is how I got sucked in. There’s also a lot of fitness Tumblrs. Some of them like the one above have fitness motivational pictures, so I like to go check out my Tumblr and Pinterest when I get bored or unmotivated.
Right now I want nothing more that to pick up handweights and do some dang crunches. Since my arm is refusing to heal fast enough, I’m on a complete exercise and diet hiatus. I don’t want to be in pain and stretch my skin (since its not closed) hence the not working out (other than walking, and I’ve been trying to walk more) – and I’m not dieting, because I want my body to put all of the extra energy and nutrition (read fats/protein/vitamins/minerals – not all complete junk) into healing this stupid armpit.
So I’m kinda gross… well okay, I’m a scientist, so gross stuff fascinates me. I’ve been taking photos of my wound at least once a day since this whole thing started. I’ve been planning a Reddit WTF post, but now it’s a really WTF post… (don’t ask, Reddit is a weird, weird website) Anyway, today I noticed an odd circle of new skin growth on the edge of my wound – I looked at yesterday’s photos and it was like two fingers reaching up from the edge – so its really nice to be able to SEE progress, literally as my skin starts closing. That being said, its like a mm in a day… I’ve got about 800 mm to go… so if that could speed up, that’d be great.
The plastic surgeon put me on high dose antibiotics two weeks ago. I’ve finished the course, but I feel like my healing is slowing down. I really don’t want to do another round of antibiotics, so hopefully I’m just imagining stuff.
I had to go on Tumblr today to get some inspiration. The scale was up the last time I stepped on it, but it was TOM + I had eaten a LOT of salt… like five days worth of salt, dang tortilla chips (I have a salt tooth) – and not drank enough water, so hopefully that was a fluke.
I’m making smarter choices in the last few days, but the whole “not dieting” thing is making me feel like I’m about to fall off a cliff. 190 is my official “oh-no-you-didn’t!” point to cut calories like a fiend. I’m close to that. I’ve been bouncing around the mid-180s for the entire year. Up 5, down 5, up 3, down 2, up 4, down 0… up 2…. Eek~! It’s a slippery slope. I’m trying to be around maintence, which is 2100-2400 calories/day based on my age/weight/activity level and my armband. This was at first AMAZING. What, I’m hungry, I can have a *gasp* bagel? And I had dairy. I had ice cream. I even slipped and had a few cheeseburgers. And I felt bad. Literally felt bad in my guts.
So I’ve cut dairy out again. And I’ve been looking into doing Paleo or Keto once I’m outta danger and can diet/exercise again. Keto kind of scares me. As a biochemist I just can’t justify tricking my body like that. If I did it, it would be “keto-lite” as in I would cheat with more carbs from fruits and veggies… which would basically make it Paleo. Gah… diets… For me I think cutting bread out and pasta, which I really don’t eat often, might be a good thing. The no dairy aspect of Paleo is a necessity for me, but dang it, I need a farmer’s market open before this will get cheap and easy.
I don’t know though… I may try keto for a bit just to get below 180. Heck just to get back to 180. I’m hoping this diet/exercise hiatus will kick my body back into weight loss mode. I somehow got my body to lose 90#... but this last 10# has been a battle. And if I want to lose the 20# I’m aiming to lose…. It might just be a battle!
Part of my problem now is that I’ve lost my muscles. Those perdy little rocks under my layer of fat that made me feel good are gone. I can feel my right arm muscles have almost atrophied. I’m trying not to use that arm much. Add in the fluid buildup in that arm and the nerve damage, and I just hope it gets better once the wound closes. When I’m doing experiments in the tissue culture hood, I can barely keep my arm up for more than 10 minutes pipetting before it starts to hurt my shoulder (and yes, I suck at left handed pipetting).
Dear Abs, I miss you…. that is all.
Its hard to explain to someone how badly you want to work out. Now I imagine the Sparkers on here who have gone through an injury know EXACTLY what I mean to feel grumpy about not getting to work out.
I get a little bitter when I watch the Biggest Loser and I can’t work out. I usually workout WHILE watching, I should say. I do consistent things the whole time I watch DVR TV, and no matter what, if I am watching BL, I used to ALWAYS work out. To add insult to my injury, the girls on the show have started to reach the point where they weigh less than me. Now I know this is all TV… I know those girls are probably WAY shorter than me… but it still gets annoying to want to be those girls with a certain number on the scale… and that is NOT how I need to be thinking.
So from now on I’m in planning mode. My arm is healing! This is a good thing!
I’m focusing on what I’m eating. I’m trying to be conscious of what is going into my body.
I’m going to phase out carbs slowly. No white flour or bread if I can help it… and I will cheat… I will slip, I will just choose to limit this.
More fruit! More veggies! (and if you buy them, actually eat them, instead of let them go bad, and then throw them away, and then buy them again!)
So that’s it. I’m going to go home and cook myself some chicken and veggie cheese (never tried it before—I’ll see if I like it) and broccoli for dinner.
I will get back to working out soon. I will strength train the crap out of my body. I will become strong again… and I WILL get to my goal weight in 2013.
[Oh yea, and write my dissertation, two research articles, sell my house, graduate with my PhD, get a job, and move…. In 87 days~!!!!!!!]
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