Tuesday, December 15, 2009
When I first realized that i would have to travel to Europe in winter since Mum needed me, I couldnt believe myself. I was actually in a daze: Me, going to Europe in winter, no way.... Hey remember this is me having RA, and feeling the cold in every joint.
then with online booking and frequent flyer miles all went so fast, that I was booked in within hours of having made the decision to travle and it tolle me days for it to sink in. I kept mumbling, that I cant believe I am doing this.
Also Mum is not the easiest person to be with, guess thats why my brothers and sisters are taking a rain-check.... But when I saw in Mums emails that she could not get things organized and she was scared of the time after hospital, I offered her that I coudl come, I have enough miles and can take leave, but dont have money for the rest payment. She called me immediately. It was like the answer to her prayers. She was so glad, and my stepdad was the same, so he said immediately he will pay for the taxes and fees. So within a few hours I was booked to travel to Switzerland. In the 3 weeks that remained to the holiday I got used to the idea and started looking for my warmer cloth. Living in Africa you do not need them that often....
When I landed in Zurich, my stepdad and his daughters husband (would that be step-brother-inlaw?) were waiting for me. On the way back we stopped in the shoeshop where my step-sister works and we bought winter boots and I foudn some I liked almost immediately and suddenly all didnt look so bad any more. I was actually looking forward to Mum and just knew she was there cooking a nice meal and I started wondering what it would be and really looking forward.
Then seeing her, smelling the homey smell of food and seeing her looking actually better, then she had in July, I suddenly was sure all was going to be alright.
so far it has been fine. I feel warm enough most of the time. Mum is so thankful - for the first time in my life I hear heartfelt "thank-you"s from her all the time - that she is not being difficult and not correcting me all the time. We are actually having a good time chatting and doing the house work together, she is even okay with it when I tell her to leave some of the work to me.
Only trouble now: Staying away from the chocolate and the "guezzle" (christmas cookies)..... Okay I still have 3 weeks in front of me, but I am off to a good start and my joints have behaved so far.
Also have a elliptical trainer in my room and hope to use it most days. So all should be okay.
Monday, August 17, 2009
I went for a jog yesterday morning on the running track at school. After about 2 miles I tripped and fell. I fell so badly that I actually broke my hand! One of the bones in my middle hand is broken. And off course it had to be my right hand.
So with all the other cuts adn bruises I got I am in a bit of pain. They gave me no sick-off and not even a splint. Apparently they dont any more with this kind of fracture.
Now I had to stop my trainng for the halfmarathon in October and next week school is opening. I have no idea how i will cope with all teh hadnwritten notes I have to do as school nurse.
Am really confused right now how things will be.
When you do not have the use of your main hand life is difficult!!!!! Will have to ask one of my girlfriends to even help me wash my hair. And that with power and water rationing going on in Kenya.
I will need something soon to cheer me up!
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Having been a long-distance runner most of my adult life, not being able to do long runs has been a real problem for me.
2004 I was out from runnning for many months when I first developed RA and it took me more then 6 motnhs to even have a painfree day. Then I recovered slowly and was back to doing Halfmarathons. A bit slower, then before but at least running.
2007 I developed knee problems and could not run as I wanted, but somehow managed to continue.
Then last year I was getting fit again and I developed a back injury. It took me all of last year wiht many ups and downs to learn to manage my back and still run. Turned out even the knee problem had been casued by the back problem, which is a postural problem. Now I can maintain my back if I do my back exercise religiously 3 times a week.
Early this year I did a 16km run and was so happy thinking I am back to "real" running, but 10 days later I got another RA flare-up which has been slow to recover and new joints affected. This had also affected me badly psychologically.
But now it looks like I am back to "real" running.
I still skipped the inaugural Sotokoto Halfmarathon here in nairobi, knowing I would be pushing it.
But when we had the annual Ngongathon I took part. This is one of the toughest fun races that exist. It is high altitude and goes right across the Ngong Hills (famous from the movie "Out of Africa"). about 16km either steep uphill or steep down hill.
My official goal was to prooof to myself that i can still do it which ever was, even if crawling. The secret, but seemingly unatainable goal was to do it in 2 hrs. My personal best some years ago had been 1hr 24minutes.
And I did it! I felt like I am just crawling up the hills, didn`t do much running uphill....Lol I had not been training uphill, to minimise the strain on my back.
But I managed to run in the flatter areas and downhill. I finished in 2hrs 3 minutes! Almost didn`t believe it when I was told my time.
The next 3 days I was not as sore as I thought I would be.
And the normal Hashruns I have done sine I have been doing good times. Last Monday I felt like I am not really running, but dragging my feet. And after the run a couple of people came up to me and commented that i am back to running fast! Wow this is sounding like music in my ears!
Now I need to slowly increase distance again. Because my next goals are the Halfmarathon of the Standard Chartered Nairobi Marathon and next years Sotokoto Halfmarathon.
I know I have to take it very slowly and listen to my body, but I am sure now that it is do-able.
I want to try the Galloway method for training, where you run 5 minutes and walk 1.
Wish my success!
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Having worked so hard throughout the last year to finally get the degree I had dreamt of for so long, it is so hard to now have it look like there is nothing coming out of it.
While working 1.25jobs (=55hours a week) I did a distance learning program at the same time to get a degree. 2008 I spend studying every day diligently. And I did finish my BBA in Healthcare Management with straight As. I was so proud of myself.
Then I got a few verbal job offers, but several were already with the caveat, they do not have the funds at the moment. But since my contract with the school was still running for another 7 months I was so sure I would find something concrete by then.
I interviewed with an insurance company, who sounded so interrested, but I never got an answer even though they promised to call me back several times.
I had many meetings and brain storming sessions with a peadiatrician, who wanted to employ me. Big plans, but now that I am running out of time I still do not have a contract offer.
The school also did not come with any offer to renew the contract and rumours went round that there is a young male nurse who is really lobbying for getting my job.
I was getting frustrated. Working in a foreign country I do not only need a contract, but also a valid work permit, which each employer has to apply for (they can not be transfered from one job to the other).
In July I am travleing to Europe to see my family after 5 years. So I have to be sorted out before I leave. I was a nervous wreck. Due to some problems within our school and our community I really wanted to leave there. Also I do not really like being a school nurse (I know I am good at it, but I still do not like it), I now had to prepare myself mentally to maybe have to stay there. First I needed to be sure they still want me. Apart from some vague verbal promises I had nothing to go by. So I went and asked the Administrator. She did not really answer that but on my second question of a payrise due to the new degree, I got a clear "NO". Reason: Degree is not directly related to what I am doing.
So I decided to go to the head of the personell comittee of the school board. There I got a clear "yes we renew your contract" ( a relief), and a more vague "payrise only if the rules allow and funds are available, general payraise (we have an inflation rate of 18%) for all can only be discussed in the next school year" (shock and disbelieve). With the assurance of a job at school I now had to take the hard step of writing to the paediatrician to tell him I am unable to continue negotiating with him for a job at this point since I need job security and am only left with 2 weeks.
That hurt! It was a punch under the belt I did not need at this time in life! I am already struggeling to accept that I had to bury lots of other dreams. Now I really feel like a failure. I know in my head that when I come back from my holiday in August i should start again to try and look for a job and that right now the economy is down etc. But in my heart I am feeling so low and like such a failure.
I had hoped that at least the school would give me a raise, so that I can afford to reduce my hours to a normal rate of 44hrs per week.
Now so many other plans will have to wait AGAIN!
Will it ever look up????
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