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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Okay... so I'm doing this again. I shouldn't expect to be perfect and be in my calorie range right away day 2. I'm close. I tracked -- so that's better than before.

I'm staying with friends in town from now on, seeing as I'm homeless. Trying not to freak out about life in general. I still have to edit my thesis. I'll turn in my D4 form to the grad school tomorrow, right before I meet with financial aid. Ten years of college, and private undergrad to boot = more than I bargained for. If I go the standard route, my payments are $1100+ a month, so needless to say, I'm gonna try to figure out my options and talk to an advisor for his opinion.

I need a job. That's the realization that's scaring me right now. I need to use this fancy degree I earned and find a job that will pay me well. That's not easy as many people on here know. I won't get into it, and unless you all know of a biochemistry/science-related job in St. Louis -- I'm not really looking for help. I just wanted to vent a little.

I sent myself into a panic attack today thinking about it. Made myself sick. And instead of getting Chinese at Hy-vee I bought a salad and some mixed fruit, and some more mixed fruit for breakfast. Apparently my breakfast today was well over 700 calories. Thought "its not that bad," tracked it, and saw it was. So I'm slowly Sparking again. I need it. I need to feel like I'm accomplishing something good, and working out and feeling better is good.

I mean I already felt better this morning after working out last night. I didn't do a lot, but considering I had no equipment but myself, I didn't do too bad. I'll do it again later after all the fruit and veggies settle out of my stomach.

Today I learned, being a grown-up sucks...

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LOLATURTLE 5/1/2013 2:43PM

    Being a grown up can totally suck. Don't panic though! It's just like Sparking - one manageable step at a time.

You're awesome. You'll get there. :)

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TINKSMOM1 5/1/2013 9:34AM

    One day at a time....take care of what you can control, like working out and eating right, edit your thesis....the things that you cant control will work out...deep breaths your gonna be fine! Being a grown up does suck sometimes!

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ICANTODAY 5/1/2013 12:26AM

    Being a grownup definitely has its days that make you wonder why the kid you used to be was in such a hurry to get here...


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STLADEE 4/30/2013 9:34PM

    Breathe and then Breathe again! Things will work out, one step at a time. Even though it all seems so very overwhelming right now!

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FYFE82 4/30/2013 8:41PM

    Sometimes being a grown up does suck.....

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Hello again!

Monday, April 29, 2013

So I've been busy. REALLY busy. Avoiding Spark busy. Looking back at a blog:

Upcoming stuff:
Conference 6th-10th -- DONE
Fly home 10th – get in a car and drive to Milwaukee -- DONE
11th – drive to Sheboygan, WI to meet some of TJ’s family -- DONE
12th – drive to Green Bay for rehearsal dinner for the wedding TJ is in -- DONE
13th – wedding of TJs friends -- DONE
14th – drive back to StL -- DONE
15th—drive back to Columbia -- DONE
16th-19th – furiously try to finish thesis-- DONE
19th – hand copies of thesis to committee members -- DONE
19th-26th—work on paperwork and thesis presentation -- DONE
26th—defend my thesis -- DONE
27-28th—move out of my house -- DONE
29th – close on my house -- DONE

3rd – drive to Milwaukee for another wedding
10th—turn in paperwork to grad school and my 28th birthday
17th – hopefully, graduation!
25th – wedding of my friend Mette

So now its almost May. Holy crap. Where did April go?

The last few weeks have been eventful to say the least. Healthy... not as much. I've added some belly pooch. I need to weigh myself, which I will on May 1st or 2nd and update my tracker. I've just avoided it. It was a stress I didn't need. So reality check time. Thesis = done = excuses = GONE!

I crappily threw my thesis together in the last two weeks. I mean I've been working on it, but really getting it together took a lot of work. And as you can see above, I really didn't have the time to spend focusing on it and everything else.

I feel really out of shape, but I am going to get back moving. I need to get my core strength back and lifting back and get me some muscles! Grr... Its going to happen. All of my energy was going into the thesis, and the defense, and those are both over. Its such a relief. Technically I passed. I just have to make some revisions. My defense was on Friday and since then I haven't even opened the copies with edits from my committee members. Two had no edits. One has a lot of edits. And one has some constructive edits. So all in all, not so bad. Its definitely a weight off my shoulders. So soon you all will just have to refer to me as The Doctor. Well... okay, A doctor.

I have my fancy, schmancy velvet hood for graduation on the 18th. That's crazy. I mean, I have to go right? Walk, get a hood, become a Doctor. That's just weird to think that 10 years of college are finally over. I won't be a student again. I've been in school 24 out of 28 years of my life, and now I have to go be this thing called an adult?! Whaaaa?

So now that that's mostly behind me, I want to focus on my fitness again. I was maintaining the mid-180s pretty well. I wasn't calorie restricting because of the arm injury. Oh and btw -- four months later from incision-ripping-open-grossness... its still not closed. Its close. There's only about a 2-3mm by 1mm opening, so I can wear a normal large bandage to cover it, so its almost there. Definitely by the end of May it should be closed. So that whole mess of an irritating disaster should be over. I don't have any exercise restrictions other than my lazy butt resisting movement, so I should be good to go to get working.

Other crazy big news = I sold my house. So as of this morning I am officially homeless. And since i don't have a job yet... I'm slightly screwed. I have really good friends though who are letting me crash at their places. This week is short, so I'm only spending two nights with one friend. Next week I might stay with another friend. And the week after, spend it with the first one again. Depending on how long it takes me to find a job... and how long my boss will pay for me... yea. I'm really trying to not freak out. I thought I had a solid job interview lined up for April, but they literally NEVER called to set it up. I talked to them again through LinkedIN but haven't heard back. So homeless and jobless but happy. Well not jobless. My PI is "letting" me stay in his lab as a post-doc, without a pay raise, for like 3 months. So he's getting an incredibly cheap post-doc, and I'm still getting a paycheck.

So where is all of my stuff? In my parents house. My mom is less than thrilled, but the plan was to move back and save money, so it kind of had to go there anyway. They have a big enough house that it fits, but its tight, and the garage is packed until we move stuff around. Thank god for my boyfriend TJ. He can pack a U Haul! My parents refused to help me move, so my sister and TJ helped me clear everything out. The dang treadmill would not fit out the door. We took the door off, and then had to put it in pieces to get it inside. Its currently still in pieces in my parents garage. I have no idea how the heck we can move it inside. Its just too damn heavy. It rolls, but not on grass... So hopefully A) the move didn't f*ck it up and B) the summer heat in the garage won't f*ck it up. *Fingers crossed*

My nearly official new motivation to get in shape is to a) feel better, but b) look good in a wedding dress next year. I have all sorts of plans for something semi-backless and sleeveless... so I need to get moving.

Basically I'm super happy right now, but I need to turn all of this positive energy back into my Spark. I am going to try to dig through blogs and see what everyone has been up to while I've been MIA, but you should be seeing me more around here again.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KLONG8 4/30/2013 8:38PM

    What an accomplishment! Congrats on the Ph.D! It's been so long since I've been in school to think of the effort this took...well, pretty impressive. And it's certainly undestandable that you let your workouts etc slide a bit. That's the human thing to do.

Good luck as you begin a totally new phase of your life!

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HFAYE81 4/30/2013 4:52PM

    Woohoo! A doctor?? You've got to be feeling good! emoticon

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LOLATURTLE 4/30/2013 2:41PM

    Congratulations! on the PhD especially, but the house and move as well! You had one hell of an impressive month, that's for sure!

I have no doubt you will get back on track and be kicking butt in the fitness and job-hunting departments in no time.

You're awesome. emoticon

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SDLEE514 4/30/2013 12:17PM

    ha it's a weird feeling indeed to not be a student anymore and be in the "real" world. Congrats on your Doctorate! Looking forward to seeing how everything goes for your and more Sparking :)

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BEECHNUT13 4/30/2013 8:47AM

    Congratulations, Doctor! I totally gained weight while on the job market and working on my dissertation. Didn't magically fall off afterwards, either. At least those fancy robes hide a multitude of 'sins'. ;)

Mine are Slytherin colors (there's a pic of me on my SP page in them)! I might get a patch to pin on sometime. Hahahha...

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SPARK_JO 4/30/2013 1:50AM

    That was a lot on your plate.

Edits are annoying when you wished you'd be over, but it's was give you a manuscript you won't be ashamed of re-reading or handing over to other people (including future employers).

Welcome back to a more "normal" life and I wish you that it'll get all sorted out soon.

You can always join the new 10lbs/10weeks challenge, we're in first week ;)

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CHODGES83 4/29/2013 5:30PM

    Holy crow, lady! Look at all you have accomplished! May is gonna be a breeze!

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Day 1 in DC = Success

Saturday, April 06, 2013

I arrived in DC today to go to the American Association for Cancer Research annual meeting. There wasn't really anything going on today so I got up early, flew out here, and then made it to our hotel by 12:45ish. Since they let us check in early, we threw our stuff upstairs and my co-worker and I headed out.

The cherry blossoms were supposed to peak today through the 8th -- but they really weren't open yet very much. Anyway, we walked from 13th/L near Lincoln Circle-ish (I think?) down to the White House... then down past the Washington Monument... down past the WWII memorial... the reflecting pool... the Lincoln Memorial... and aaaaaaaaaaaalllllll the way down to the Jefferson Memorial past the MLK memorial. We took the scenic cherry blossom route apparently. Then down past the wharf area. Up 7th to Chinatown to eat! Finally back to the Convention Center. Registered. Walked back to the hotel.

Sat around and rested our feet... then I wanted to go to Whole Foods. I needed some fruit. I was craving fruit after my day severely lacking in freggies and water. I packed an empty water bottle with me for the conference, but I didn't plan on walking over 19,000 steps by the end of the day! That's somewhere between 8-9 miles I think. CrAaAaZy! No wonder my calves are sore. And I just have even more walking for the next few days.

Now the AACR conference 2011 was kind of a turning point for me. I was fat. My conference clothes didn't fit. I had lost weight in 2010 and gotten new pants, but for 2011 I had to put on my old fat pants again. I was out of the teens and back into my size 20 Lane Bryant pants. That sucked. That number hurt. So I weighed myself and went to the conference.

Food is super expensive at these things + walking A LOT = I lost weight. Just a few days of eating less and eating healthy options + exercise = losing weight. From then on it clicked.

The last few weeks I've been hella stressed, putting it mildly. I've had to resort to some anti-anxiety meds lately just to be able to be around my boss honestly. I also had an EndNote fiasco of epic proportions, that I caught soon enough to fix but when your 350+ references turn into 169 and magically half of them say 161 "INVALID CITATION!!!" your heart dies a little bit. I was able to fix it, but that was a full on panic attack/crying fit/freak out. I spent the next four hours-five hours fixing it. *thank god for Macs and Time Machine! Then I spent another half hour fixing my poster which my boss kept tweaking. Then I spent 2 hours-ish packing and cleaning. So I went to bed at 1am, got up at 6am the next day to finish packing the car and cleaning the fridge out -- I can't leave a messy kitchen/fridge if I know I'm leaving.

Now here's a true hint of how stressed I was; I got a Brazillian right before I left town and it was RELAXING. Seriously. My head was meeeeeessed up. In other news -- they're not that bad people, or I'm just super weird. I'm probably just super weird ;-)

Friday I drove home to have some puppy therapy with my furbabies. They let me brush them for like an hour. They needed attention bad from their momma. I'm thinking about taking them back with me next week for puppy cuddles; but I probably shouldn't :-/ I ended up seeing my Gma at her home. She's out of it, almost gone, so its hard. We fed her dinner to make sure she ate, and dropped of her laundry (she has really nice stuff so my dad and uncle still make sure she has her laundry dry cleaned or washed by my mom so it isn't stolen -- her stuff got stolen the FIRST day she moved in there, grrr). Then went to bed at like 9pm.

Got up at 5:30 -- to fly to DC today, and haven't stopped moving. Or worked on my thesis. It was SO GORGEOUS outside here today that I just got in some super good exercise minutes (hello 200! Just TODAY!), and some vitamin D!

Tomorrow I'm taking my laptop with me to the conference. If I carry it, I will work on my thesis right? And I will eat the apple and orange and almonds I brought with me to have healthy snacks? Right? I'm planning to anyway. I wouldn't mind using this as a healthy kick-start again. I've been on a carb/sugar/caffeine/pleasegodletmegraduate
/omnomnom bender for the last few weeks. I honestly am NOT looking at a scale until after graduation. I think that's a good thing for me to avoid.

Anyway, its 9PM I'm exhausted, and I'm getting up at 6AM to do it all again tomorrow!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HFAYE81 4/30/2013 12:21PM

    When I went to DC a few years ago, we racked up 6-9 miles a day for 3 days. The first and second day we were dead tired, the last day we were used to it. When I got home? I REALLY missed being in such a pedestrian friendly city!!!

You will make it, just keep pushing!! I hope you can find some stress outlets!

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SDLEE514 4/30/2013 12:13PM

    Holy walking batman! I mean one can expect to do a lot of walking in DC, but that amount is just absurd! Yeah, this year was late for the blossoms. They ended up peaking probably around the 9-10th...we went around that area the weekend of the 13 and while they were still pretty they were mostly past. Sorry I didn't advise where to eat in Chinatown, hope you found some good things!

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CHODGES83 4/22/2013 1:48PM

    I was in DC the 9-13 and the blossoms were amazing! I didn't have a pedometer or hrm with me so I have no accurate idea of many steps/miles we trekked, but I'm sure it was ridiculous!

Hope you had a lovely time!

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JUJUFISH 4/6/2013 9:58PM

    I had the same spa treatment a few days before I defended and had the same reaction! I'm going to say it's another one of those 'signs you're writing your thesis.' I hope your conference gives you a chance to clear your head and reset. Enjoy!

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BLUEROSE73 4/6/2013 9:08PM

    sounds like a beautiful place to visit. I'll have to check it out sometime.

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MKRETIRED 4/6/2013 9:04PM

  One of my favorite places.

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Good food in Washington, D.C. near convention center?

Monday, April 01, 2013

Lordy lordy lordy I am still super busy.

Less than 18 days until I have to give my thesis to my committee. Last week I met my goal of finishing the first draft of my paper manuscript and I e-mailed it to everyone on Friday… no one has given me edits yet… so… that sucks.

TJ came down for the weekend again. We went on Friday night to watch basketball with friends… and fought a bit. Homeskillet is worried that I’m going to turn psycho so he isn’t ready to commit to anything – so I told him that engagement rings and wedding talk needs to be off the table COMPLETELY. It basically took a lot of talking for me to get it through his head that joking about marriage is like me constantly giving him pregnancy scares. And then he drank and made a marriage joke… which led to more pissiness out of me and then MORE talking. Seriously, I need to go punch his ex-girlfriends. They really messed with his head.

Saturday I got some work done, sold some more of my furniture – I literally only have beds and a desk chair to sit on, oh and exercise balls! My house is getting emptier by the day. Its so weird! Closing is officially April 29th, so I’m going to defend my thesis and move out that same weekend. So weird! Still no job interview lined up, but that’s outta my mind for the next month. If anything, I’ll just stay in my lab for a few more months until I find something. And stay with friends… yea… hmm…

But anyway Saturday was a lazy day. It was rainy and gross. I really wanted to go out moving and walk or something, but it was just gross. Which led me to find out my lug of a man can lay in bed all day doing nothing. I was going insane with the inactivity. I need to move. Sunday I tried to get him to go on a walk with me since it was GORGEOUS outside. Nope. He doesn’t do that. I’m seriously going to have to get this guy more active. If he’s going to hang with me, he needs to get off his butt and work out with me. He’s a little torn about it though; he worked out a lot when he was going through a really rough time in his life, so he associates gyms with that bad time. I associate only good things with working out—so its kind of hard to understand. He has said for over five months that he wants to start working out. As someone who has been dying to work out, and is slowly getting back into it, I just want to drag him along with me. Now we all know that will not work at all… you have to want to do it for yourself, so hopefully he’ll come around.

I finished my poster and getting ready for a conference on Sunday. So that’s off my to-do list. Well, almost. I have to edit the poster a bit to get everyone’s changes on it before tomorrow. Also – I’m going to a conference in DC starting next Saturday. I need to find healthy food near the convention center – any DC people have recommendations? Otherwise, my butt’s just going to be in Chinatown every day.

Thesis wise I’m doing well. I think I have about half of my literature review done. Its pretty extensive on some things, a little lighter on others… My paper from last week is being split into two separate chapters, one in vivo one in vitro – so I’m splitting it up and adding a bunch of figures no one but me and GraphPad care about to thicken up the thesis a bit. My goal is to have the in vivo chapter done tomorrow and work my butt to get the in vitro chapter done by Thursday afternoon. Well at least a rough draft of it. My boss is notorious for not reading anything, so I’m going to print him off a copy of the paper – with people’s suggestions if they ever send me them… and a rough draft of my thesis (hopefully a nice THICK stack of paper by then) – and hand it to him as he is getting ready to get on the airplane to DC. He’s going to have his wife and kids with him though, so he’ll probably use that as an excuse to not do anything next week. He was gone all last week, and won’t be back until tomorrow… so I don’t know when he is ever going to read it. Not that I expected him to, but still, he’ll probably try to blame me and say I didn’t give him a draft. *sigh*

SO that’s what I’ve been up to. Still trying to squeeze some fitness in. I just barely got 1000 fitness minutes last month; if it weren’t for that extra day I wouldn’t have!

Next month I should get up near there too. With all of the walking I’m going to be doing at this conference, I should rack up a ton of steps each day.

Upcoming stuff:
Conference 6th-10th
Fly home 10th – get in a car and drive to Milwaukee
11th – drive to Sheboygan, WI to meet some of TJ’s family
12th – drive to Green Bay for rehearsal dinner for the wedding TJ is in
13th – wedding of TJs friends
14th – drive back to StL
15th—drive back to Columbia
16th-19th – furiously try to finish thesis
19th – hand copies of thesis to committee members
19th-26th—work on paperwork and thesis presentation
26th—defend my thesis
27-28th—move out of my house
29th – close on my house
3rd – turn in thesis to grad school and drive to Milwaukee for another wedding
10th—turn in paperwork to grad school and my 28th birthday
17th – hopefully, graduation!
25th – wedding of my friend Mette

So yea… if I’m working out – you should be too!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CHODGES83 4/2/2013 1:44PM

    Good Grief! You're superwoman!

Fingers crossed everything goes swimmingly!

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ATTACKFATCAT 4/2/2013 12:05PM

    You are one busy gal! Keep up that motivation to get your thesis done! I am a terrible procrastinator and end up working best under pressure, so I am not exactly a role model for getting stuff done on time, lol. I admire you and your schedule.

I do get where TJ is coming from based on past exes. After having both my ex-husband and the first boyfriend after my divorce cheat on me, I definitely had some trust issues going into my relationship with B. And it took a long time (probably about 8 months) and patience on B's part to work through those issues. I worked on it a lot myself, but we also ended up talking a LOT, even if I felt I was being irrational or silly. And I am grateful he was willing to help me through it. I think you are awesome for being so patient with the issues he's having.

That being said, you definitely had good reason to draw that line on the "marriage jokes." That is really not fair to you for him to freak out but then continue to say things like that. Keep drawing that to his attention...even if he doesn't realize he's saying it, if you continue to draw that line, he will eventually start to notice. In doing that, you can say it in a way that tries to deflate it and doesn't cause a fight. Like instead of accusing him, just ask him to not say it and explain how it makes you feel again. And stick with that line even if he tries to turn it into an argument. You don't have to defend your feelings or validate them. As long as you are making him aware of how it makes you feel...that's all you have to do.

I don't know how long you two have been together. But my therapist said something like it takes a maximum of 6 months for a person's true colors to show through (if they are hiding issues or the fact they are crazy). I understand if he has trust issues to work through, but if he is still waiting for you to turn "psycho" after even a year, then I would be a little concerned that he may never move past that concern. I think at that point, you need to make sure that the future you envision for yourself includes him, all the good parts and the bad. Can you be OK with someone who hates exercise? Can you accept that you may never get married?

I'm NOT saying break up with him. I think there is so much change going on in your life right now that it's a great idea to take marriage talk off the table until you figure out where you are going and what you are doing. Focus on you and getting your life where you want it. Then take stock of whether the relationships in your life are going to compliment you and where you want your life to be.

But take my unsolicited opinion with a grain of salt. My experiences don't equal everyone elses, lol.

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AHTRAP 4/1/2013 11:10PM

    Good job keeping on pace with the thesis writing, especially with all the distractions. Can't imagine doing a thousand mile road trip the week before something like that is due, more power to you getting that accomplished!

Almost making me feel guilty for being a lazy bum...

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BEECHNUT13 4/1/2013 10:58PM

    I have no room at all to talk (my over-three-years unemployed husband and all...), but it seems like you are super awesome responsible successful active woman, and your BF is kind of not. Now, this is judging from one blog post, so I may very well be completely off base. But - consider where you will be in five years, and where he will be, before considering putting talking about marriage on the table again. If you can't imagine marrying him, or he can't imagine marrying you (and thinks it's funny?) you might want to check out now rather than later. You are not getting any younger, or any less successful, so you may want to consider moving things along, lest you get stuck with a trophy husband.

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EMMYLOU010409 4/1/2013 10:45PM

    Get it! Holy cow! :)

I'd say you're handling the relationship well. Communication is important! Keep the dialogue open. And maybe, ah, associate some happier memories with working out for him, eh? :)

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People... Seriously I am busy!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Sabotage comes in many forms. Friends and family... strangers... and from yourself. Lately I feel like I've been giving in trying to please everyone and not taking a stand for myself.

I did this with food before... and I got fat.

I'm doing this now with my dissertation... so am I f***ing up my graduation?

Basically, the house is off my worries list. It ate up a chunk of time getting it cleaned and staged. AND dealing with my family coming down to help. That was stress. We heard back on Thursday that it appraised for what we needed it to appraise for (higher than I thought possible) -- so now we're just waiting for the contract and figuring out a closing date. I wouldn't mind getting rid of it sooner (hello less bills!) but I also kind of need it to work on my thesis and focus in a place of calm. So... yea. I have no idea what the plan is there. I should find out soon though.

Last weekend (two ago) I went home to go to a hockey game with TJ for his birthday. It was fun, but I didn't get a lot done and my parents were super crabby with me. (I really don't want to move home, ugh) I also spent time with my dad, TJ, and his stepdad because I knew it would be something they would all enjoy = instead of working on my thesis.

This past Thursday I went home after work to watch the 5 dogs at my parents house (my 2 and their 3) while they went to a wedding in Chicago... I got some stuff done, but not nearly enough. I ended up driving back Saturday though to beat the snow *good thing I did. I managed to get some work stuff done on Sunday, but again = I feel like I'm slacking. Where is my motivation? I'm thinking about making a board to motivate myself. Job, money, new house, wedding = all things that require me to graduate and get off to StL. Pretty good motivation to spend time with TJ on a regular basis... but do to that I have to finish my thesis!

Ugh. So next weekend my parents wanted me to come back again. They're going to Kentucky to get their new boat from the showroom and look at the cabin they are getting built. They're retiring there, so they made some crazy decisions to buy land in Kentucky near the Lake and get a pontoon boat... So they want to go look at their new toys now that they can put it in the water -- but there are 5 dogs at their house. My sister is watching them from Tuesday on, but she wanted me to come home. My friends want me to come home and hang out. TJ wants me to drive in and spend time together.

Finally I was just like NO. No to my parents -- I can't spend 3 weekends in a row in StL. No to my sister = you're going to be there 3 days, what's 4.5? No to TJ = if you want to spend time, drive to my house. No to the bad voices in my head telling me I'm not going to graduate. Hell I want to graduate just to prove my boss wrong.

So with that I'm stopping the sabotage. Food choices lately haven't been horrible. I say that, but they also haven't been great. I'm still not calorie restricting (still waiting on the dumb arm to heal) so I don't feel guilty about my diet. I tried to eat doritos because I was craving them.... gross. Doritos breath and stomach pains = grains are evil!

So I'm on the high-protein train. Its been fun. I'm slowly easing myself into low carb, high protein dieting via a modified Paelo diet. I'm not going keto, that's for sure, at least for now, since I'm healing up -- but I'm thinking about doing it short term to drop some fat off my frame.

Workouts have felt amazing lately. I figure I'm eating at a caloric excess, by a little, so its the perfect time to weight lift and do strength training.

Anyway, that's it. I feel like I've been super busy but not super productive... so I am annoyed with myself. Here's to making it a good week and finishing March out strong!

(Also, not for the faint of heart = here's what my arm wound progress looks like = )

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MEGYSU 3/27/2013 4:50PM

    I looked at your picture link. You poor thing! I can't even imagine how awful this was for you. I was curious when you would mention this in your other blogs, but had no idea it was that bad. I can't believe the surgeon didn't do something sooner! If there was ever a time to sue, this is it! Take care of yourself. ... and good for you for saying no. It always amazes me what people will ask of you when they know you are swamped. Hang in there.

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LOLATURTLE 3/26/2013 2:53PM

    Beechnut nailed it!

When I was writing my master's thesis (SO PAINFUL. not a PhD I know, but the same awful awful process...) I made myself write SOMETHING in the sections, even if it was just describing what would eventually be there. Somehow not having a blank page was a huge help to get me started. I'd start by writing BS:

"And in this paragraph I'll describe where we got our hydrography data, trying to carefully gloss over the fact that we never got to measure any of our water samples because the only techs who know how to use the apparatus aren't here anymore..." and eventually real writing would start to come out. Then once I was in the groove I'd go back and edit out the BS. Hahaha. It worked for me!

Stay strong with the family and friends boundaries! the people who truly love you will forgive you when it's all done and they have Happy New Job Sara to spend tons of time with. emoticon Turn off your phone if you have to!

And lastly, wow. I'm glad you took photos, because it's cringeworthy, yes, but so great to see the progress. I'm so glad it's healing, but I don't think I realllllly appreciated that without seeing how bad it got! Also, I can't help but notice the edges around the still healing part? That used to be part of the wound? Looks like pretty normal skin. It doesn't look like weird funny looking wrinkly scar, so when it's all healed it should look pretty good! Yay!

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BEECHNUT13 3/25/2013 10:16PM

    When I was in that phase of graduate school, and trying to eat well, and taking care of my house, etc... I made a to-do list every day. I had to do these things:

__ Work on dissertation (I HAD to do SOMETHING daily, no matter how big or how small - it typically was a little while every day)

__ __ __ __ __ Freggies

___ Within calorie limit

___ 10 minutes exercise (I was not picky about what)

and then when I started running it became...

___ Run 1.5 miles (or whatever I was scheduled to do)

And then I had a list of other things to do (grade homework, blah blah blah).

It helped me feel control. I also set goals for myself. If I told myself "By May, I'm going to have a draft of my intro completed" then I would do it. It was on the Goal list, and it made it happen.

I didn't "go away" to grad school, and although it was nice to have all my friends and family around, sometimes it was tough. They expected me to still hang out with them all the time, or to help them out with this and that. And they didn't seem to understand all the work involved.

What REALLY helped me to finish up was having my baby. I started grad school in August 2004... but then it took forever to do my thesis. I had my baby in July 2009. After that, I defended my MA in August 2009, passed quals in May 2010, proposed my dissertation in January 2011, accepted a job offer in April 2011, defended my dissertation in June 2011, and moved in July 2011. It all happened so fast, partly because my time was completely FOCUSED when I had to work. I didn't have time to screw around anymore. I had no choice but to get it done.

But you'll get there. You have to work on dissertations like you eat elephants. One bite at a time.

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MISTY_MOUNTAINS 3/25/2013 7:24PM

    Ow.... the pictures. I was trying to picture it in my head whenever I read your blogs, but I never thought it would be SO big!! What a horrible spot for that to happen.

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    ow ow ow! Those pictures made me wince. Good thing you are healing up!

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BIZZ27 3/25/2013 12:12PM

    Good for you for not letting them get to you!!!

As for your pictures, I've been through 3 c-sections, I cleaned my boyfriend's hand amputation when he lost 2 fingers and half his thumb; and to be honest, your pictures turned my stomach upside down!! lol I am so glad your sister is a doctor and took care of you because that could have gotten infected SOO easily!! Love the last few pictures with all the nice pink colors though!

Good luck on the thesis, I bet you'll be done before you know it :)

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STLADEE 3/25/2013 12:10PM

    Good for you, for saying NO!

OMGoodness, I looked through your pictures! Now I see the pain you were enduring! My underarm was hurting for you! emoticon

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CHODGES83 3/25/2013 11:31AM

    emoticon the Sabotage!
You've got this! emoticon

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ATTACKFATCAT 3/25/2013 11:11AM

    Way to set some boundaries with your family! I know it's tough, especially when you are so unmotivated to get stuff done as it is, but you can't be everything for everyone all the time. Your family helped you with the house, and it sounds like you've repaid the favor over quite a few weekends, so now is the time to focus on you. This is coming from a reformed people pleaser emoticon

Oh, and I have to say I'm not a squeamish type, but those pics made me CRINGE. It just looks so painful...I admire you even more for going through that! Though I have to say it is not making me want to sign up for skin removal surgery anytime soon. I know not all results are like that, but I don't think a lot of us fully understand the risks of it either.

Comment edited on: 3/25/2013 11:12:34 AM

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KIKKI-G 3/25/2013 11:05AM

    Those pictures are INSANE!
wow girl, going through that healing process on top of everything else, you are one tough cookie. Sounds like you have it under control now, sometimes saying NO is the best thing we can do for ourselves.
Keep up the good work. emoticon

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NEEDBU66 3/25/2013 10:46AM

    Good. For. You.,

At some point you need to stand up and say Enough is Enough.

You did so. Now don't let them guilt you ....

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GLUECIPHER 3/25/2013 10:36AM

    Wow, you are busy! Keep up the good work. emoticon

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WHOVIANGIRL23 3/25/2013 10:36AM

    Haha I looked at those pictures with my daughter sitting next to me. She saw the blood and goes "mmmm look mom it's jelly!". Needless to say, I gagged a little bit when she said that.

Anyway, keep pushing forwards, you can do it!

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CHOCOHIPPO 3/25/2013 10:36AM

    You have a lot on your plate! Good for you for saying no. You can't please everyone and most especially if you don't please yourself. This comes from a reformed people pleaser. I've learned to set realistic expectations with everyone to take the pressure off. Good luck getting everything done you want to do. I know you can do it!

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