Friday, March 25, 2011
Samir has a voice :)
Due to the trache he's had in his throat, helping him with his breathing and such, he hasn't had a voice because it blocks his vocal chords. I'm not sure why he needs it anymore, because he's breathing on his own, but...whatever. At this point he's got a sort of valve, or so they call it, that allows air through the vocal chords.
So, I get a couple of picture messages from his dad, showing that he's eating solid food, which is apparently a new thing as of today. And then I get a call from his dad. I say, "Hey Jim, how's it going?"
He says "Hey, hold on just a sec."
Soft, and not in his normal voice, but with his intonation, I hear "Hello?"
Totally made my day. Will probably have made my week. Makes me want to be down there even more than before, but makes me happy nonetheless.
Mostly he wanted to know how things were going up here. All I had to report was that I was working long days and was tired and that I wanted to be down there. Apparently they're doing a lot of "stretching" as he put it. Not much else they can do at this point he says, I guess unless he actually gets sensation down into his arm? He's only been at the rehab center for three days now. I'm anxious. I really hope that things improve.
And apparently he's been assuming that he's going to move back in with me. He broached this by asking me if it was okay if he bought a different bed for the back room, since that water bed is not going to do. He'd mentioned moving in to my house before, to his GF Victoria. That was back in the early days, when he was a lot more fragile. At that time Victoria said, "Well, I think the plan for now is to move you back into your dad's, which is closer to the hospital." Which has been the plan. He seemed to accept it at that time, but now he broaches it again.
I love him, but...I don't know about that. My life will be drastically altered if I let him stay with me. Obviously I still wouldn't be responsible for his primary care, because he's going to need care 24/7. But I WOULD have to change my life around. As things stand I'm hardly home. I go to work, often for long hours, I come back and spend some time with grams, or go exercise, or go see Todd, or maybe go and do Roller Derby, or go to Church on Sundays, or whatever. If he lives with me, I think I would often feel the need to be at home, to give him the company of a constant friend, which is seriously going to impact the rest of my life. If I have Todd over, probably means I abandon Samir to his own devices, and does that leave me feeling guilty? And what would Todd, or any other guy I get involved with, think of the situation? Would definitely limit our time together. There's also likely physical care that I'd have to give him. This last doesn't really bother me, so long as it's not solely on my own responsibility, and it's something I was prepared to do anyway, but it's a change.
And what about children someday? Can I take care of children, and Samir? What if I never marry? I'm perfectly content to adopt, but I can't be a single mom and take care of Samir. I don't know if he realizes what he asks. But I don't want him to think that he's not important to me, because, obviously, he is very much so. This is a subject that has to be approached very carefully. If Victoria had her own place, he'd likely have asked her, but she's honestly still immature. A sweetheart, and I like her, but she's 19, unemployed, without a car, without a high school diploma, though she's almost there, and she smokes weed 4 or 5 times a day, seriously limiting her ambition.
I'm going to have to pray that I make the right decision on this. My logical inclination is to say no, that's not going to work. That's the logical side of me thinking things through like I know I should. On a fundamental level, in my heart and first instinct of my mind, I have no issue with him moving back in. Which is totally illogical. *sigh*
In any case, I need to go to bed. I did not exercise today, and it's now past 10:30. Perhaps if I go to bed now, I can do a workout in the morning. Psh. Like that's going to happen. But in any case, going to try and get some sleep.
Thursday, March 24, 2011
It is again past 11. I'm doing better tonight, because I am done with dinner, exercise, and my shower, which means I finish this blog, let my hair dry a bit more, and I'm to bed. Have to get up a half hour early tomorrow, but that's not too bad. I'm still really tired, was jittery with it this evening, and this won't catch me up, but at least I shouldn't fall too much farther behind.
Did P90X plyometrics tonight, which should be good calorie burn. Needed it. Went out to prime rib dinner with my family. Made good choices on the sides, but in the end got a brownie. And when I got to my grams I ate a banana pudding. Probably topped out at 1850 Cal today, which is the top of my range. But like I said, the plyometrics should've burned a good bit and I definitely have a deficit today.
But again I'm unimpressed with my effort. I had to stop SEVERAL times. Not so much for my breath or to rest my legs, but because again I kept getting stomach cramps. I allowed two hours after dinner before I started, but it was a dense dinner, so maybe that wasn't enough and I was still digesting. I dunno. I got through the whole thing by teasing myself through. You know, when you say, I'll just go this long and be done. But when you get there, you tell yourself, I'll just finish this round (of whatever.) Then, Let's go a little bit longer to make it a nice round number. And then you're down to the last little bit, and you can't stop then, that would be being a sissy, so you finish out what you thought you couldn't do?
That was the only way to get through tonight. But, I did. Proud that I even started because I SOOO didn't want to. But I feel gross and flabby, so I knew I had to. Mostly I think I'm just retaining water for whatever reason, and it will go away, but it's enough to make me push through when I don't want to.
Was stressed today, because my boss is stressed. I don't handle other people's moods well. When Chris, my boss, is stressed, I stress. When Samir would stomp around, I'd stomp around back at him. Now Todd was irritable (not with me but in general) and so now I'm irritable. Can't be a very good support if I mimic everything everyone around me is going through. Tired of grant writing season. Tired of a bad director (not Chris but above him) who doesn' t know how to manage or motivate and helps with nothing important. He'll make trouble on OUR behalf (theoretically) over the little things, the the things we can handle on our own or let go, but when it comes to the big stuff...he's not there. Now, don't get me wrong, he's a busy guy, but he either needs to step up or step out and let us do what we need to do.
*sigh* Chris is all "I'm not sure it's even worth it. I can't get done what I need to get done and maybe I should just throw in the towel." Okay Chris, good idea. Work on a project for three years, then drop it because you have an bad boss who probably won't last too long just because he's inept in so many OTHER ways. I already know that the Tribal Council is pushing at him to produce or get out, which historically he's not been very good at. I already know that they didn't have confidence in him, or he would've been Executive Director. It's just a waiting game.
I do admit that it's hard to put up with him, with inane, pointless tasks added to our overloaded burden, or deadlines that don't make sense and increase stress, but Chris just needs to learn to ignore him sometimes. We only see him about once a month, he never follows up with anything, we're doing a good job on our own and are hardly slacking, so he needs to just not take him so seriously. He also needs to learn to delegate to me. And I need to learn to not be so reticent and take more work on. Not that I'm not working full time, but maybe I can be more efficient. Maybe I can work more overtime in crunch time.
I don't know. But I don't want to think about it anymore. I don't want to be tired anymore. I want to be down in L.A. with Samir. I just want this next week to be done, with tasks finished. I want a clean house too. But no energy to do anything about it.
Ugh. Going to bed as I have just spun myself down into deeper irritation and it does no good to be awake.
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Totally exhausted today. First off, went to bed late two days ago, due to foolishness. And again yesterday, due to a late start at work, necessitating a late end to work, followed by a good run, followed by a shower, followed by actually feeding myself real food, and thus not getting to bed until almost midnight and having to get up at 5:15 to get to work on time.
I am not one who does well on less than 7 hours of sleep. At all.
But, made it. Rehearsed for a presentation I had to give while my tech drove the hour to the meeting site with our boss. Spent 4 hours helping run a raptor's management class at the local university, a favor to my boss's old master's advisor. Woke up during and after my presentation because of stage fright adrenaline, haha. Worked 'til 5. Came home, sat down to talk with my grams for a few minutes. My cousin came by and started talking, relieving the burden from me to have conversation. So I fell asleep sitting up there. Didn't wake up until 7:30. Missed my chance to go running in the brief moment of sunshine we were given. Bummer. It's raining again.
So...got to MY home at about 8:30. Tired still, but less so after my impromptu nap. Knew I had to do something. Felt fat today. Looked at my inspirational Todd-picture, and that of a random hot woman on the Internet that I'd like to look like. Finally got off my butt and did P90X at about 9:30. Was not impressed with my effort, hence the sissy part of the title. Finished up at almost 11. Cooked dinner.
Now I still need to shower before I go to bed. And finish this dang Cream of Wheat for my iron.
I was going to go to bed early today. Foolishness.
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
Totally had to deliberately tick myself off to go running today, haha.
The day was icky. Cold and damp. But I knew that I had to do SOMETHING. I was texting with Todd about it, since he said he was gearing up to go to the gym, despite being tired. I was tired too, didn't sleep well, and the thought of dragging myself out to exercise exhausted, in the cold, in the wet, was insupportable.
Basically I ended up drill sergeanting myself out to the track. Thought about how wussy it would be to not go, frowned deliberately at the thought. Thought about Todd pushing himself, berated myself for not being willing to do so as well. Got irritable with the rain that hit me as I drove home, telling myself DANGIT! STINKING RAIN THINKS IT'S GOING TO STOP ME!?!
I drove straight home, no stops, stormed up the steps, threw on running clothes without letting myself think about it, and was back out the door in about two minutes. Drove to the track, got out, stretched well if perfunctorily, and started my warm up walk.
Of course once I started running my mind wanted to quit (though not as bad as I might've feared.) It got REALLY cold after the first quarter mile as the rain picked up, including little bits of stinging ice. But the complaints I was hearing in my head weren't about the weather, but rather that it was too difficult, I was out of shape, my breathing was getting really heavy which must mean I was pushing myself too hard.
No frigging way. That wasn't going to stop me. I made myself think about how I was actually feeling. My breathing, if hard, was manageable. My chest didn't hurt, I wasn't short on oxygen, my breathing was regular, if deep. My legs hurt, yes, but only in the way of being used, not in injury. It's usually my legs feeling tired that make me quit, but when I really thought about it, I realized that the ache I was feeling was totally manageable and not any sort of excuse to slow down.
Lol, the horrible stitch I got in my side during the last quarter of the first mile WAS enough to make me slow down, but only after I'd finished out that mile. 9:33. Little bit faster than 6 mph. Not anything to gloat about, but good because I haven't lost anything in the two months since the last time I ran. Walked a quarter mile. Ran at the same pace (roughly) for another half mile. Walked a quarter mile. Ran another half mile. Then closed out with a quarter mile cool down. By the time I got to about halfway through the second mile, the weather was fine. It had stopped raining and I was warmed up enough that the natural chill wasn't bothering me.
It's a bit of an improvement over my run from last Saturday. I ran the mile at the same pace, but the subsequent half mile stints were better than the quarter mile stints I did on Saturday. I don't feel my fitness increased in that brief period, but I was willing to push myself a little harder.
I still think I could've pushed myself harder yet though. Next time.
Did well on my food. Got most of the nutrients I aim for in decent, if not quite sufficient, amounts. Calorie range and calorie burn left me with a deficit for today, though yesterday was still high in cals to counteract it. Satisfied in any case. Running, and exercise in general, leaves me not feeling hungry, but I made myself eat anyway. Only real complaint about today is I was way short on water. Going to bolt another glass before I go to bed.
On another note, Todd had a good day at the gym today. Reports that he can deadlift 185 lbs 35 times. And squat 155 lbs comfortably (his word) 49 times. And can do bent knee deadlifts at 205 lbs.
On another nother note, Samir flew out today. Nurse said he seemed in a good mental state about it all, willing and ready to go. Continued prayers for his journey, if you have a moment. Ignorant of what he's going to go through, and what the next steps really are, so waiting to hear from his dad, who will fly down tomorrow afternoon.
But, I have to be out of the house by 5:45 tomorrow, so I suppose I should wrap up and go to bed.
Monday, March 21, 2011
RESTART! Yeah, I went running yesterday to get myself started back en route. Just got home after a long day out and about visiting (it's about 9:30 pm) so debating what I can do to keep the one day "streak" going. Definitely overate today so I need to do something. Todd took me out to a french creperie, which, while delicious, was hardly low cal, haha. A huge part of weight loss is diet, so I need to take that next step again.
No increased movement for Samir as of yet, though other improvements. He's been on the verge of breathing entirely on his own for a while now, taking small, but consistantly progressive steps that way for a couple weeks. Now he's off the ventilator entirely, breathing regular air on his own, at least during the day. They give him a bit of help at night when he's less able to regulate himself, but more in the quality of oxygen he's given, than in actual breathing for him. It's still all him.
He keeps pushing the envelope, which is awesome. Wants to breathe on his own for as long as possible, doing his exercises on his own, reminding us to help him out with his physical therapy. He's managing to swallow liquids well and without problems these days, which is something he had to retrain himself to do. Hadn't handled anything more solid by the time I left, but more cuz he wasn't in the mood for it than because he couldn't I think. Said he wasn't in the mood for the chocolate pudding they offered him. Crazy huh?
As of yet no increased movement. I never got around to asking him about increased sensation, despite three days with him this last round. His GF and I were more focused on talking to him and making him laugh, which he's been doing a lot of, which I love. Haha, he had what I would term a giggle fit the second day. You know, one of those times where you start laughing, and just can't stop? Set his GF Victoria and I off too. I'm also encouraged by the fact that he's started cursing a bit, which may seem odd, but is just so him. Not that he had a foul mouth, but hiccups in particular always ticked him off, and the fact that he got PO'd when he got a fit in the hospital indicates to me that he's got fire. Haha, he had us give him orange juice on a sponge in quick fire doses, so he was perpetually swallowing, which is a way to fix hiccups. When they stopped he looked at us SO smugly and mouthed "I cured them." I love his confidence and the way he talks about WHEN he's better, and what we'll do then. He's realistic, saying, if he can only get his hands back he's got all kinds of plans. But he's not letting himself doubt, at least out loud to us, that he WILL improve.
We're both Yurok. I know there's been a Shaker church service for him, that his aunt Barbara said was very powerful. Shaker, if you're unfamiliar with it, at least here, is a combination of native tradition and song, and Christianity. Very beautiful. Also, his family recently lost Samir's grandfather and so the whole family got together this last week for his wake. One of our local medicine women apparently led a group prayer at that time. She said that Samir was going to be fine, but that it would take time, and enjoined everyone to continually be praying for him, as a necessary part of his healing. Easy enough to do for me.
I'm just so excited about this next step, going to rehab. I'm so hopeful. I don't want to overhope that he'll walk again, but I just can't help but be optimistic. I and his GF have both felt positively about how far he'll progress this whole time, even in our despair. We're trying to balance hope with realism, and I think we're doing a good job, but we just feel good about it all. Hearing this last from the medicine woman has rejuvenated this hope.
But again, I need to restart thinking about myself. In that vein, I think I'm going to go get some exercise before I go to bed. Way overcalorie today.
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