Monday, September 02, 2013
August did not treat me well. Luckily, that month is over; a new one has begun. I was doing alright, but then this past Saturdayís weigh-in happened. My boyfriend and I both gained almost three pounds in a week. Iím not even sure how this is possible as I have been keeping track of what I have been eating, and I was NOT like 10000 calories over for the week. It may have a little bit to do with the TOM, but I canít fully blame that. I went for a 40 minute walk, that was all. I have had killer cramps and a three day migraine, as excuse. Hopefully tomorrow I will final not have an exploding head.
August also brought along my broken tooth, my bfís second surgery, a hairy situation with my graduate program, and me backing into the garage door.
I have a temporary crown on my tooth. It should be fixed by now, but said garage door destroying occurred on my way to the dentist. This resulted in having to reschedule my appointment for 3 weeks later (ugh). Another 3 weeks of worrying my temporary tooth is going to randomly fall off! Nothing has been done about the garage door, yet. I kind of handed it off to the bf, and he hasnít done anything either. Not looking forward to that bill (btw I am currently not being paid).
My grad program informed me that despite what they originally told me, I canít do what we planned which was finishing my dissertation soon and then defending. They donít want to pay me until I am actually defending or if I am physically in DC attending journal club/data meeting (Iím ok with the not getting paid part). UGH! This is the only program I know of that requires you to attend friggin journal club THE ENTIRE time you are there. Generally it is at most 2 years. And, I was also informed that I canít take 1 month of leave, it has to be a semester. Therefore, my options are either IMMEDIATELY move back to DC to attend stupid seminars while I finish writing and defend this fall, or take a personal leave of absence (if it is approved) and spend the entire rest of the year unpaid. I am also not supposed to work on my dissertation at all officially during this time. No health insurance either. UGH! And then I wouldnít even be allowed to defend until January. These, or GU is kicking me out of the program. Sometimes having a structured program is nice, but times like this it is so frustrating! The other biomedical PhD programs at GU are not so full of bureaucratic nonsense. If you want to write from afar, there isnít a pile of forms and line of hoops. So, I am opting to do the second option, assuming my excuse is accepted. Thatís the other thing! They have a very stringent guideline for acceptable reasons for personal leave and writing from afar is not one of them (thus the no progress on dissertation during leave rule). So, Iíve had to come up with a personal reason to do it with the help of my mentor. The coordinator that has been working with me on all this wouldnít comment on what I should do other than discuss a reason with my mentor and only call her about the issue so there is no paper trail. Luckily (hah), sh*t has hit the fan lately, so we came up with an idea. I have pretty bad anxiety (and also manic-depressive) that I was diagnosed over a decade ago. Generally, everything stays in check. Lately, though, mainly triggered by my bfís accident and the stress of finishing my PhD, I have been having regular anxiety attacks. I went an entire month not checking my email because it gave me an anxiety attack just thinking about looking at it. I finally had a good chat with my mentor, and things are back on track. She is so understanding and wonderful that most of the time I feel like I do not deserve her as a mentor. It helps that she has a son with the same issues that I have. Anyway, we are going to use the deterioration of my mental health as a reason. I hope it works.
I am also working with a lab at CSU that the bf is friendly with about an opening postdoc position in January. So far, they liked my background (I did clinical work before I started my PhD and the position includes clinical trials) and skill set. Iím in the process of setting up an interview and sending in letters of recommendation. There is the issue now of me needing to defend in the same month that I would be starting. Sigh. Also, this isnít really what I want to do, I want to teach. It is probably the best way to get my foot into that door, though.
My plan is to get approved for leave, finish the bulk of writing, then get some sort of job during the fall until I find a more permanent one for when I graduate. Maybe starbucks will hire me?
My boyfriend has the A-OKAY to start working out again. This is great news, and we have decided to make a more structured plan this time. Before we just said swim 2-3 times, ST 2 times, walk/yoga. The problem with this is that we would put things off and be like ďoh, weíll swim on Friday instead,Ē in which things would keep getting pushed and we would only work out once or twice in a week. This time, we made a schedule for the entire month that rotates 3 swim/2 ST with 2 swim/3 ST (hour swims) and already picked the days. I know this doesnít leave room for life like sickness or whatever, but I think the structure will help kick start us back into it. Some people just need to do it this way, and maybe we are those people. I wrote on a calendar our daily plans, and when we do it, I am putting a start sticker on that day. This also gives my OCD great satisfaction.
Yesterday, being September 1, we did ST. It was hard; I stayed at the weight I stopped at before (10lbs per arm) despite not really lifting regularly or 2 months. I really didnít want to change the weights! I only could do 10/15 of the second set, but thatís ok. If I could easily do the whole thing, I should be going up in weight anyway. I use the sparkpeople workout generator (GREAT resource, btw) and my workout consists of floor flys, bicep curls, tricep extensions, and row lunges. I have a core workout, too, but Iíll do that on the next ST day. I donít tend to do lower body ST, as I have naturally strong legs as it is, and need to focus more on upper body and core. I tracked everything that I ate. I was in the middle of my calorie range after dinner. We stayed up really late, and I became sooooo hungry. We ended up eating some veggies (cucumber, carrot, red pepper) with a little dip. I was still hungry later, though so I had 2 slices of lunch meat and a no sugar rice pudding cup and unsweetened mint tea (and water). I ended up over my maximum. Ugh..
On to goals: I had made a goal to catch up to my previous low by when I defended (which I hoped would have been now). Both of those didnít happen. I am about 10 pounds from that goal. Iím not that upset about missing that goal. With our new plan, I will get there easily. I think I can still make my next goal which is lowest weight in 10 years by Christmas.
As for running, I have decided to not do it until I A. lose more weight and B. get health insurance so that I can get my asthma in better condition. My current inhaler doesnít really do anything. The only time I have issues is running and sometimes biking or hiking. I am avoiding those things until I get it worked out. Also, I can only make it 2 miles before biking makes my under regions massively hurt, so I need to lose weight to help alleviate that issue too.
Lastly, I wanted to talk about September. It is a really hard month for me. The first marked what would have been my parentsí 40th wedding anniversary. The 10th is the 10th anniversary of my fatherís death. Itís unbelievable to me that it has been that long. The pain certainly has lessened by ten years. I still donít even really talk about it. Just mentioning it here is a big step for me. My siblings are the same way. Itís only been the last year or so that any of us even really mention things in passing about him to each other. I suppose none of us really grieved in a healthy way. I gained over 100 pounds. I miss him.
Tuesday, August 20, 2013
First, an update. I haven't been around much. Lurking on peoples blogs, not much to say. I stopped caring a bit. I've been in a plateau since July. Frustrating. The last 2 weeks were rough. Not much exercise and not much calorie counting. My boyfriend's dad was visiting. Whenever someone visits, we go out more, and it gets tough to stay on track. We did go hiking with him twice, at least. I missed a weigh-in. I use the wii-fit and didn't want to do it in front of his dad but also didn't want to ask him to leave the room. I weighed myself Saturday, and luckily I didn't gain weight. Didn't loose also. Blah. This week I am slowly climbing back on track. I did some strength training last night and am going to the pool today. It's tough since my bf is been not able to do much. First the elbow surgery, and then he had another surgery last week. No exercise for 2 weeks for him. I miss my partner!
Anyway, I planted a garden when I first moved out to Fort Collins from some seeds my sister gave me. Now, I've never planted anything on my own and have no idea what grows well in Colorado. I stuck a bunch of seeds in the ground. I also forgot to label, so it turned into a mystery garden.
First of all. even though I read the seed directions, I found I made some mistakes. Some of these plants are gimongous!!! The zuchini and squash plants (despite following the guide) grew crazy big. They not only killed the plants nearby, but also grew like 10 feet out into the lawn! The leaves were as large as my boyfriend's head. You can't really tell the largeness, but here's a photo:
I got some strawberries. They were delicious! Also, we seem to have wild strawberries growing along the house too.
We also have zucchini, crazy ukranian squash, cherry tomatoes, and turnips.
All in all, my first try is pretty good. I need to be better about watering daily. I may or may not have killed 90% of my mint plant...
My roses finally came back from near death and bloomed.
I think I will only be getting more zucchini, squash, and tomatoes. Can't wait until next year!
Friday, August 02, 2013
Or so my mother says. LOL. I'm not complaining about my life, of course. Just giving an update! My eye is healed (yay!), so I'm back in the pool. Since finishing the 0 to 1650 program, I have been swimming 2000 yards (25 yards = 1 length, so 80 lengths of the pool) each time i swim which is 2-3 times a week. It takes me about an hour. 2 weeks ago an older lady (maybe 80?, i swim at a senior center!) swimming in my lane with me starting talking to me and complimenting me on my swimming, saying that if i kept this up, I would be young forever. (= Then, the other day, another lady (probably in her 50s) started a conversation with my in the locker room. I have seen her before... she always reeks of perfume, so i had a bad prejudice against her, but after talking to her i don't dislike her as much. She makes the water taste like perfume! I am sensitive to smells, they can trigger migraines and nausea in me. Anyway, she basically complimented me immensely on my swimming. She asked me if i used to swim competitively, and if i don't currently, i should now because i have incredible endurance and good speed (i'm actually pretty slow..). It's nice to have people take notice of me, and to say that i am good at something fitness related! I'm very self-conscious at the pool, being in a swimsuit and all. I guess people take notice of more than just your size. Or maybe they are impressed at my ability at my size, or just in general. I don't know. I can't wait until I can swim butterfly (my old stroke) again!
Anyway, yesterday, I broke my tooth on a piece of chocolate. No, it wasn't old and hard! My friend brought it for me from Portugal last week. This tooth had cracked 2 years ago due to old fillings from the 1980/90s, and I had to have a root canal on it. I guess teeth that had them are weaker, and susceptible to breaking. At least this forced me to find a dentist out here sooner rather than later! For now, i have a hill billy tooth. The good news is that it's my molar, so you can't tell when i smile! My boyfriend forced me to show him, and he called it gross, which made me feel bad. My appointment is next week (no pain so not an emergency i guess). I am terrified it will have to be extracted...i'm too young for that! ugh!!
My boyfriend's elbow is healing nicely, he's even swimming with me again! He's lost a lot of endurance and is frustrated by that. He has a shoulder injury from a while ago. He had it checked out and had prolotherapy and physical therapy on it, which didn't help. So, since his surgery covered his deductible, he decided to see if he needed surgery on it. The MRI came back yesterday, and he doesn't need surgery...on his shoulder. They are going to do cortisol shots to reduce the inflammation. He does, however, need surgery for an umbilical hernia (my man is falling apart!). It's scheduled for August 15. Luckily, the recovery for this is fast!
The county/4H fair is this weekend; I think we are going to go. Hopefully, I can control myself and not pig out. Pun intended. There is also a balloon festival, which I am super excited to see. The 6th is our 4 year anniversary, I can't believe it has been that long. My bf's dad is visiting starting the 8th. Not sure how that is going to go!
My garden is huge. I need to write a blog about it. Still mystery plants though!
That's about it for now. Still trying to write and not doing a very good job about it.
Thursday, July 18, 2013
So my boyfriend's surgery went well. The days after were pretty tough, but things are getting better. He's already not using his sling even though the surgeon said to keep it in there for 2 weeks. He has a followup appointment next week. He's planning to have another surgery before his insurance resets (august for school insurance plans). He actually has 2 more he needs (both unrelated to his elbow or the accident). Not looking forward to it. Here's his arm after the accident.
and here's the xray, he shattered the radial head in his elbow. it broke off and into a couple pieces
and the screws
Yesterday morning I was awoken so some serious irritation in my left eye. I generally sleep in my contacts, although they say you aren't supposed to. Apparently, if you end up with a scratch or something on your eye, your contacts can adhere to your eye at the site like a bandaid. Due to the irritation in my eye, I took out my contact. I waited around for 5 hours, but it didn't get better. Hurt when I opened my eye, couldn't really keep it open, red, so watery, caused a runny nose and migraine too. Ended up going to an eye doctor (went to the one at walmart, hadn't found one yet since i just moved here). He was good, I really liked him, so I plan to go back for a new prescription once my eye is healed. I have a cornea abbrasion. My contact took the top layers of the cornea when I took it out. He put numbing and dilating (also a dye) in my eye, which really helped. I also got a prescription for an antibiotic eye ointment that also acts as a liquid bandaid. It sucks to use, but really relieves the discomfort. I'm already feeling better today, and these injuries tend to heal 1-4 days. My boyfriend told me that I had an alien eye, but I thought of it more as anime.
And here's me with my glasses and 2 cats in my lap.
Of course, I can't wear contacts OR go in the pool (sigh) until it is fully healed. i'm very happy that the prognosis is so good, though!
Monday, July 08, 2013
Saturday, my boyfriend needed to go into lab to take care of some cells and then go get a haircut. Usually, he takes me car, but decided to bike (he biked all the time before I moved out here as he sold his car). Before he left, I told him to be careful, and he responded with "i'll be fine, i've done this 100s of times."
An hour later, I get a call from him to come pick him up from a gas station as he needs to go to the hospital. Of course, a lot of things are running through my mind as I drive over there. He didn't tell me how bad it was or what happened so a million scenarios from a bump on his had to near death filled my thoughts.
It turned out he wiped out on his bike. An incredibly kind mailman had stopped and helped him up and into the mailcar... and called an ambulance because he was in that bad shape. They arrived and didn't want to move him as there was something seriously wrong with his arm.
Five very nice people at the gas station put his bike onto the bike rack of my car for me (bf always puts them on there so i didn't even know how). I must have looked pretty shaken because one lady even hugged me.
After five hours in the ER and some very painful xrays (he couldn't move to the position they needed), we learned that he pretty much shattered his elbow by bracing himself from his fall. The radial head has been smushed and disassociated from the bone (bits of bone are floating around in his elbow...). They gave us a referral to an orthopedic clinic which we went to today.
He needs surgery, which is happening tomorrow. There is a high risk it won't heal right even with the surgery (tiny screws and tiny bone pieces= risk), so then he might have to have a prosthetic bone put in, which will have to be replaced fairly often, since he is only 32.
It's been hard; I hate seeing him in pain and worrying about the outcome. The stress of taking care of him and the house and yard and 3 cats and myself has been killing me already. I had a breakdown yesterday, and I feel terrible because I am trying to be as supportive as I can. I've lost my exercise partner, and I feel guilty about being sad about it. I am going to swim today, and he wants to sit at the pool with me while i do it.
Last week we did c25k week 1 day 1 and I totally failed at it because of my asthma. I only did 5/8 of the 1 minute runs before I felt like I was going to die. I'm not sure I can continue doing that on my own because I barely made it home without him.
When he moved out to CO ahead of me, I was going through a lot of stuff and completely fell apart, which is why I gained back 20 pounds of what I had lost. We really rely on each other for motivation and strength. I know he is worried he will gain weight and his muscles will go away (which is probably going to happen with this), but I am also afraid of not doing as well without my partner in crime to describe poofy little kittens to me to motivate me to make it home (lol don't ask).
Well, here's to tomorrow going well.
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