A year!

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I’ve had my little blog up for over a year and… well, I’ve lived up to its name, haven’t I?  

Slacking on emails, barely calling family/friends, not even posting here or in the other more (or less) ‘secret’ places – I’ve dropped off the face of that portion of the internet.  Save for the occasional status update on Facebook which, lets face it, those are never 100% honest and if they are 99% honest, it’s only to tell when something good has happened. 

But this year hasn’t been all bad, of course.  It certainly beats the hell out of 2010-2011 (which was a very, very, dark and twisty time).  I guess a little summation would work:

Still at my job… I still like what I do, I’m still glad I went into the industry I did… I question sometimes the actual location – I think most people have a love/hate relationship with their workplace or a particular coworker.  I try to keep myself focused on the thing I like: designing.  Everything else is small potatoes. 

Still have my shrink and my talk-doc.  Thought I came upon a bit of an epiphany a few months ago… even went so far as to send in said epiphany to a certain postcard site (unsigned, of course).  It felt good to put the apology to the world out there, even if only one dude in Maryland ends up being the only person to see it.  

I still wonder sometimes when my life will begin – and I know I really need to open my eyes very very soon and realize I’m living it, even if every step hasn’t gone exactly how the little girl inside of me thought it would. 

Going slightly mad

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So, THAT happened.  What is “that”, you ask?  THAT is me exercising twice this week.

It’s been a very introspective month since coming back from Massachusetts.  I think this is the time of year where I always tend to get a little…  dark and twisty, if you will.  A combo of the end of summer, the loom of the holidays, the fact that another year is going by and I am still stagnant in a great many aspects of my life.  This became a topic with the talk-doc the last time I saw her and I literally gave her a time line of major events in my life, most of them involving a huge life change (a.k.a. move way the eff away) and eventually finding myself back where I started, but with different outdoor scenery.  Now I wonder if my Mass-move idea is because I want to live there, or because I want a change.  For the time being, it’s still a thought, still something I would seriously consider for all the family reasons, but I need to figure out my “me” reasons too.

What ANY of this has to do with running… that I am not entirely sure, but, I got a wild hair on Monday and realized that once upon a time I actually signed myself up for a marathon, went so far as to purchase an ipod nano inscribed with “Maui 2007, 26.2 Miles – You CAN do this!”, and maybe ran a total of 5 days (according to the Nike chip I also purchased for said nano).  Weighing in these days at at least 30-40lbs more than I did when I actually thought I could run 26.2, I decided to set my sights a little less drastic and instead, I signed up for a 5K.

I didn’t, and still don’t, really want to broadcast this to the entire world (though, here I am putting it on the internet.. heh), but I did confide in a coworker of mine whom I know enjoys running.  I asked her for some tips and tricks and she said, “Do you want to know what I did when I started running?”  “Yes please!” was my reply.  She didn’t follow a particular program, she didn’t set her sights on running a specific length, she just got outside, walked, and ran when she thought she could.   She’d aim for one block, and if she made it, great…  if not, she’d try the same block the next day.  And kept building her endurance that way.

It’s not exactly rocket science.

And I remember when I had my other blog (when I was planning to marathon), someone commented to me that the biggest tip for exercising he ever got was to just “get out there” – put your shoes on, go to the gym, and decide what you want to do when you get there.  If you only work out for 5 minutes, hey… work out for 5 minutes.  But the hardest hurdle, for me anyhow, has always been that first part… getting out there.  The second largest hurdle has been to not feel like a total and utter failure when all I get done is 5 minutes of any workout.

So the idea of working out with no real goal in mind is pretty fantastic for me.  While I totally appreciate the rigidity of C25K, I always felt like a mega loser when it came down to the time for that second sprint of a run and I was still trying to catch up from the first 60 minute run.  For my “plan”?  Step one is getting out there.  Step two is just walking…  and when I feel the burst to run, I run!  When I feel like I can’t run anymore, I go back to walking.  I work up a sweat, I drink water like a mofo, and before I know it, I’m feeling like “OK… that’s enough” and I realize, “huh…  I just did about 20 minutes of cardio that I didn’t do yesterday!”

I am only 2 days in…  knowing me (I mean, hello… look at the NAME of this blog!) there might be a chance that I won’t make it to the Hot Chocolate 5K… BUT, I am going to strive like hell to break my own stereotype.

Arachnoid Cysts / Arachnophobia

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First things first: My Dad made it through surgery just fine.  While in recovery, immediately after, he was cracking jokes all over the place.  He complained about still feeling funny in his ears and head, but for the most part – he was just himself.  He’s still in the hospital, potentially going home tomorrow.  He has his good days, and his bad days, but – he feels ready to take on his home.

His home… I’m about two steps away from contacting Hoarders to get them out to his house.  To say that the last time it was thoroughly cleaned was when my mom lived there (34 years ago) is not an exaggeration.  I could have (should have) spent more time at his place than I did, but… the 5 hours I did spend there, I don’t think it looks like I did anything other than make the bed.  But, in reality, I probably displaced a good portion of the spider population north of the Mason-Dixon line, not to mention the inches of dust I cleared away.  

I am not an overly clean person – ask anyone who has ever seen my apartment on the 364 “off” days I have.  HOWEVER, I cannot fathom living in an environment that it literally toxic to both myself, and those around me, for well over 30 years.  It’s just awful.  And I feel awful for feeling disappointed in my Dad, when there are bigger things to worry about right now.

Not how I imagined my “summer vacation”

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I’m looking up flights for a trip back east.  I had been thinking about going there this summer to visit family and pay a visit to the Vital Records office in Massachusetts (I’m on a major, major Genealogy kick!).  Instead, I will be spending some time before, during, and after my dad’s noggin surgery.

There are a great deal more things I want to say, and express just how all this feels but..  I can’t put it all into actual words yet.

Braaaaaains.

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I’ve broken my own rule that I have been so adamant about with my parents – if they are sick, or end up at the doctors or hospital for ANY reason, I want to know about it immediately – even if things are unknown.  All too often I’ve found out after the fact that, “Oh, I went to the ER on Friday and they kept me in for a few days.  I’m home now, it was nothing serious.”  Being far away from both parents makes this very very unsettling.

So my dad has been very forth-coming with telling me about the current issues he is having with his noggin.  Since he has the trump card on brain issues, I failed to tell him that I have been having headaches for well over a month and, after seeing my family doctor, I was referred to a neurologist.

Today was said neurologist appointment and after some questions, a brief exam that involved me walking a line similar to what I’ve seen cops do to DUI people on TV, neuro doc said he didn’t even think my headaches were migraines.  He explained that it could have started off as tension headaches, and by self-medicating like I normally would with a headache, I could have given myself an adverse effect and tossed ‘rebound’ headaches on top of tension.  Just to be safe – for my own peace of mind, because I’m young, and because of dad’s noggin (which he said wouldn’t be hereditary), he said he would order an MRI.

I walked down the hall to the imaging office and they had an opening for the test today.  I texted my boss to change my half day to a full day, grabbed some lunch, went back to the imaging office and knit for an hour or so in the waiting room.  While waiting, I struck up a conversation with a woman whose husband was getting a bone scan.  When I told her I was having an MRI she shuddered a little and said, “oof.  Have fun with that.”  To which I replied, “Well, I’ve had a CT scan before… can’t be much different, can it?”  She started to talk and I said, “You know what?  Tell me about it afterwards.”  Of course, she was long gone by the time I came out of the MRI, but I sort of get what she might have “oof”-ed about.

Your head?  It’s strapped to the table.   The machine?  It’s loud as all get out.  My dad had told me when he had his MRI they played music in the background.  I was not asked about music, nor would I have been able to hear a darn bit of it.  At one point, I started counting the clicks and beeps – I might have dozed off even, but then a very loud beep made me jump a little.  Worried if I pressed the button to get me out of there, or even that my jump would have screwed things up, I tried to just keep breathing and reminded myself it would all be over soon.

And I silently laughed that for someone who was having chronic headaches, the Rx of putting said person in a large, loud machine was just oh-so-rich.

Anyhow, I made it through the scan.  I asked the tech if I could take a look at my noggin.  He said sure, but that he couldn’t comment on what he saw, other than to point out that I did, in fact, have a brain in my head.  I told him that my mother would be pleased to know that it really exists!

A few hours later I got a call from the neurologist and he said everything on the MRI was fine – my brain is clean.  There is nothing physically wrong up there.  Which means that the headaches I’ve been sporting for well over a month are probably being caused by one teeny, tiny little thing.

Stress.

What a motherfucker.

 

PS – I sort of wish I had seen this video BEFORE the MRI experience…  but, it does totally explain how it all goes down in a non-threatening fashion.

A very quick post…

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Monday evening I met with my therapist.  My day had been otherwise pretty good, up until the last half hour of it all.  I fumed the entire 20 minute drive over to her office, replaying what went wrong just prior.

I took the elevator up to her floor, flipped the switch and sat down in the waiting room.  I continued to fume in my brain, with one word being repeated over and over in my noggin.  The door opened and my therapist walked me back to her office.  I kicked off my shoes, sat down on her sofa, let out the biggest sigh ever and said, “Am I allowed to use the word ‘motherfucker’ in here?”

She laughed.  I laughed.  And I instantly felt better.

(For what it’s worth?  She totally said I could use the word ‘motherfucker’ whenever I wanted to.  Good to know!)