Sunday, March 27, 2011

Week 1, blog 37

So it's now been a week of daily gratitude.  Some days have been easier to find things to be grateful for than others, but even on the challenging days where I'm forced to find things to appreciate, I've enjoyed the exercise.
Today on my run, I encountered the pole waving gentleman again.  He smiled and waved at me, which was nice.  I prefer to encounter him on foot, rather than on bike. 
So I suppose my first item is,
1) that the ski pole did not enter my personal space today.
2) that I had a delicious brunch/lunch with a friend today, who brought me daffodils from her garden.
3) that I noticed these trees starting to bloom, as I looked up and out of my sunroof this afternoon.
4) that this week we have been invited to dinner with friends *twice*.  I am thankful to be building and maintaining meaningful friendships
5) that today, I didn't have a flare up of my nerve condition.  That's something I should appreciate (and acknowledge) every day that I don't have a flare up. 

I have really enjoyed reading other people's lists.  I too, am thankful for cheese, and my brain, and for the father I was dealt, and for other human beings who love me.  

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Day 6 of gratitude

After today, I have committed myself to only one more daily blog of thankfulness.  I will do it occasionally after tomorrow.  I hope I get in the practice of at least thinking the list to myself at the end of each day, if not writing them down with my awesome alien pen in my gratitude journal.
I've taken half my usual dose now for the last four nights.  Until this afternoon, I hadn't noticed too big a difference in my numbness.  It got more noticeable this afternoon.  I felt all frumpy and mad about it, but briefly.  I took a quarter dose (I've done this before) to calm things back down, and I feel better (although I'm having a hard time typing). 
So today's list:

1) That cookie last night was, to quote my friend and the giver of said cookie, "a spiritual experience".  So thank you, Ghirardelli, for making such damn good cookies.

2) Free birthday lunch coupon with a really long expiration date.  Thank you, Spicy Pickle, for the free birthday lunch nearly two months later.
3) P-traps under the sink.  I got it in my head to finally change out the little captive bead ring in my belly back to the barbell.  We like the barbell better.  But, standing only sort of near the sink, somehow the ball flew up and out, landing in the sink, dodging my grabs not twice but three times before finally clinking down the drain.  So thanks, P-trap, for catching the ball and letting me put the barbell back in.  Looks good (and a little red and irritated).
4) And because I'm posting early and running short on gratitude today, I'm stealing some from other bloggers' comments.  Thank you, brain, for still being relatively sharp and making my life easier in general, than it would be (I'm assuming) if I were not bright.
5) And finally, I'm thankful that I can get what I need at the grocery.  If I can't find it at one store, surely another will have it somewhere.  It's nice to have so many options offered to me.

Friday, March 25, 2011

34th and Thankful

Today's list came easily, so it's posted early.  I have some things that may happen tonight that may make tomorrow's list, but I wanted to get this up for the day.  Today I have gratitude:

1) That I could make it out for a run this morning.  I hadn't gone all week.
2) That despite cutting back on my seizure meds the past few days, I haven't felt noticeably worse.  About the same.  Trying to stay positive.
3) That I received a *really* neat new pen in the mail.  :-)

4) That it's finally the weekend!!!
5) That I have nothing to do all day tomorrow, except enjoy it.  And clean the house.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

XXXIII - Thanks

This morning, I was thankful to enjoy my coffee on the couch, cat in lap, watching the news again.
I was thankful to notice the buds on the trees, just starting to come out.
I am thankful that my neighbor and friend who is in San Francisco today will be bringing me a cookie from Ghirardelli Square tomorrow.

I'm thankful for my small rice cooker/steamer from Cuisinart that allowed me to steam salmon and cook rice with edamame at the same time for dinner.
And thank you, oxygenating facial spa from Bliss, for a lovely citrus-scented treat tonight.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The third thankful list (# 32)

Today I am thankful for:
1) my coffee still being hot nearly 2 hours after pouring it into my thermos.  I had to get a fasting blood draw this morning, which meant no coffee with sugary creamer until afterwards.  I enjoyed every still warm sip.
2) that my cat spent some of the night curled up next to me in bed.  This is a first in many many months.

3) the discount provided to me yet again today at the car dealer, by the same man who extended me the loaner car without a valid drivers license.  Thank you, really nice service man for now saving me literally hundreds of dollars.
4) that the wind died down enough for me to enjoy a walk after work with Husband.
5) my boss.  He gets shit done.  And in the nicest way possible.  To make a longish story shorter - I'm working on updating the Pulmonary Hypertension website at the University Hospital.  There are apparently two PH websites - one through respiratory conditions and one through heart/circulation conditions.  I caught this today, made the webmaster aware, and he hesitated to make any changes without "Director level MD instruction".  I innocently email back, "How about an email authorization rom Dr. B"?  Moments later, an actual representative from UCH marketing shows up at my cube asking what he can do for me.  Bam.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Today I am thankful for...

Today's List of Things I am Grateful for:
1) A rare chance to sleep in this morning.  Nowhere to be until 9:30.
2) Basket's cat nap on my lap while I drank coffee and watched the morning news.
3) Cupcakes.  Specifically, Gigi's new Spring flavor, Coconut Cream Pie.
4) That I remembered the dream I had before my alarm went off.  Like, all of it.  In detail.  There was a coconut cream pie cupcake in my dream.  Somehow, while gesturing with it in my hand to a large group of beautiful bridesmaids standing in the snow, I got frosting in my eye.  I was wearing a strapless white dress and delicate heels, being careful not to slip in the ice.
5) That daffodils are $2 for a bunch at Safeway.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Blog-grrrrrr (no. 30)

Although I knew going into this appointment (and have known for months, because that’s how long it took me to get the stupid visit) that it wouldn’t be at all special or different or life changing, I’m still feeling…deflated.  Disappointed.  Discouraged.  For like, the hundredth time.
After again passing the standard neurological tests (does this feel cold, does this feel sharp, touch your nose with this finger) and explaining my symptoms, this new University neurologist “can’t say for sure what’s causing my symptoms”.  We know what it isn’t, but we don’t know what it is.  I’m really trying to cling to what should be the important items: “It’s not progressive, it’s not MS, it’s not my central nervous system, there is no evidence of permanent damage” but what’s ringing most loudly in my ears is “it may never completely resolve, there is no way of knowing how long it may take, the only medication we can offer you will only help you deal with the symptoms”.  And annoyingly, “there seems to be some component of anxiety involvement”.  To which I hear “this isn’t real” and want to reply “oh, so I’ve been anxious enough to hyperventilate and cause numbness and tingling for the last 15 months straight?  Every day?  All day?  That’s the best you can offer?  I’m anxious?  Of fucking course I’m anxious.  But not all the damn time.  Come up with something better than that.”
So my options are apparently to continue with the seizure meds that make me clumsy and affect my short-term memory in ways that are only occasionally amusing, or start an anti-depressant that causes nausea in 25% of people, insomnia in 10%, and diarrhea in 24%.  That sounds awesome.  Why don’t you take away my libido too (5%)?  Just find all the things in life that are fun and enjoyable (eating, sleeping, solid bowel movements, and orgasms) and fuck those up with a pill that may or may not have any effect on my nerve condition.  I am choosing…none of the above.  I’m done with this BS. 
True, I feel like a pouting, whining, angry, spoiled patient.  And tomorrow I may feel differently and eventually end up taking one or more of these ridiculous pills.  But right now, I’m over it.  I’ve just been told that I may get to live with this crap the rest of my life, but we’ll “never really know for sure”.  Fuck you, Medicine.
Gratitude should follow the arrows.
In an attempt to end this on a positive note…I really *am* ….grateful?  Not initially.  That’s not the first word that comes to mind when I am in my little black storm cloud (like right now), but it’s there somewhere.  I sometimes have to force it when Deepak Chopra tells me to “experience gratitude in your heart.”  But I can feel it, and I can experience it.  My life isn’t over, that’s ridiculous.  It’s just changed and inconvenienced.  I have plenty to be grateful for.  Not having permanent nerve damage, for one.  I suppose.  *forcing gratitude into heart*  
So for the next week (arbitrary) I will find, reflect upon, and recognize five things in my life each day for which I am grateful.  And I’m just saying right now they’re not all going to be deep and profound.  Some will be superficial material things.  Just so we’re clear.
Today’s: (in no particular order) Basket, my Husband, my bank account, Golden Oreos, Pandora.

(Twenty minutes later) I've been sitting here, staring at this picture of Basket, wondering if I should perhaps expand upon today's Items of Gratitude/Things for Which I am Grateful.  Thank you, Basket, for being the most orange and adorable pet I've ever had.  Thank you, Husband, for dealing with my storming Pout Cloud.  Thank you, bank account, for not yet running out while I pay through my reconstructed nose for finding out absolutely nothing about this condition (whatever it may be).  Thank you, Golden Oreos, for being a sweet delicious vanilla version of your equally delicious sister cookie, the Oreo, (and for being my afternoon snack).  And thank you, Pandora, for keeping me from going absolutely nuts in my cube all day, and for introducing me to fantastic new music. 
I feel better already.

PS - Maybe you all can do the same, if you'd like.  Post your IoG/TfWyaG as comments, and we can all enjoy them.  Let's make a happy little cloud.  :^D

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Super Moon! (XXIX)

So you may all know by now I kind of have a "thing" for the moon.  Last night, the full moon rose at 7:37pm.  I had already wanted to go outside and watch it rise, but it was sealed when I learned from NASA that it would be a rare "super moon", happening once every 18 years or so.  Apparently, the moon will occasionally be closer than usual to the Earth during it's orbit, but rarely will it be closer when it's full.  This coincidence made the moon appear 14% larger than usual.

Husband and I headed outside about 7:50 last night to see it for ourselves.  We don't see it right away, so I refer to my google sky map app to locate it.  And it's right in front of us.  Immediately we are struck.  We run across the street, and start walking towards in the field.  We suddenly realize that's silly, we were walking towards the moon, as if we'd actually reach it at some point.  We collapse in giggles, and then just stand and stare at it for awhile, me leaning up against him, caught up in the moment.  It was pretty freaking cool.
So I don't know if the weirdness of my ride today had anything to do with the "super moon" or not, but I wanted to blog about both today.

First, I'd like to preface this by stating, every time I head out for a ride I wonder a little bit if I will get a flat tire.  Today I felt it stronger than usual.  So much so, that I pretty much expected to get one.  It could've been the odds.  I've been on enough rides now where that didn't happen that it was inevitable.  Anyway, I make sure I have my phone, my license, and my credit card, just in case.  Husband would not be at home today to come to my rescue.

I headed out.  Yesterday on my run I was thinking to myself, "you know, I haven't seen that guy with the ski pole on the trail in a long time."  So today, he's one of the first people I see.  He doesn't use the ski pole for anything that I can tell other than to hold it out away from him, into the side of the trail where people would be passing him on the left.  It's kind of an annoying hazard.  I don't understand it, and it rubs me the wrong way.  What's he thinking?  He needs to be waving some three foot pointy pole out towards people so that we are sure to give him enough space?  Like if he wasn't holding the pole, I'd fly past him on my bike with less than three feet of space between us?  Whatever, dude.  Wave your stupid pole.

Then I make it to the busier, downtown part of the trail.  I only catch a piece of this woman's complaint, but the bit of irony it had made me smile.  This is what I heard: *wind in my ears....*  ..."these cyclists need to SLOW DOWN ON THIS TRAIL OR...."  *wind in my ears*....This is what was happening: She's pushing a parade-float sized stroller in the MIDDLE of the BIKE PATH, with a jogger attempting to pass her on the left, causing me to slow down behind the jogger, and an oncoming cyclist to stop and wait for both the jogger and myself to pass her absurd SUV stroller at a very slow/safe rate of speed.  The wind in my ears was before and after her obstacle was safely avoided, with no real danger to herself or her child. 

Sigh.  Then, about 3/4 into my ride, I stop to blow my nose.  It's a mess, and some guy is seated at a park bench next to the trashcan I'm standing by.  I'm slightly self-conscious about blowing my nose in front of him.  Then he asks me "do you want to buy a Pepsi?"  I pause, "I'm sorry?"  He repeats the question.  I gesture to my water bottle and say, "Thanks, I'm good".  *quietly cycling away....*

And finally, it happens.  I'm about a mile from home.  I again safely avoid a loose child running all over the trail, and feel it.  My bike tire gets all...wobbly.  I peer down through my legs at it and see it flopping around all over the place.  Damn.

Now, this is shameful, I admit.  I have *no* idea how to fix a flat tire.  I have never done it myself.  I have the little patch kit and levers in my bike's fanny pack, but it's a front.  I wouldn't know what to do with them.  Even if I did, it would still be flat.  I have no pump with me.  I have two options.  Dismount, ruin my cleats and walk home, or just ride home on the flat.  I ride home.  It feels gross.  It's all wonky and vaguely nauseating.  But it's only a mile.  And now I have the bike hanging in my garage because I am too embarrassed to go to the bike store and have them fix it, because I want to learn how to fix it myself...just not today.  I might chip a nail, and they're looking really nice right now.

Something neat that I observed this weekend: the seasons are starting to change.  Yesterday morning on my run and this morning on my ride, I could literally *feel* the change.  It was in the air.  There were little pockets where the sun was starting to warm the frost out of the air, so I'd run/ride in and out of these little micro-climates of Winter to Spring.  Pretty awesome.  It was my first run of 2011 in shorts, and my first ride without a hat or jacket.  I could even take off my gloves (as seen in the picture above - they are threaded through my seat).


Wednesday, March 9, 2011

No.28, I love this blog!

I have been the recipient of an “I love this blog award” from random firings across the synapses!  That’s fantastic, thank you, I am flattered.
Here are the rules:
1. Thank and link back to the person who gave you the award.
2. Share seven things about yourself.
3. Award up to 15 blogs that are deserving.
4. Contact those bloggers and let them know about the award.
Since the nomination, I have been trying to think of seven interesting things about myself I have not already shared in my blog.  This is the best list I could come up with, without spending agonizing hours thinking of clever/interesting/witty and entertaining things:

1)  Most of my good friends I have met and become friends with because of a mutual passion for food, specifically desserts.
2)  I was once fired from McDonald’s.  That is the only time I have been fired.
3)  The longest two jobs I have worked so far were at the CSU library for 5 years, and as a health inspector for 4 years.
4)  The two shortest jobs I have had (not including my brief stint at McD’s) are as a hotel maid and the night shift in an injection-molding plastics company.
5)  I have never sang karaoke.
6)  I am in desperate need of a massage – always.
7)  I have recurring nightmares of tornados.  They are never the same.
The blogs I would consider nominating have all already received this award, except for one: Sincere Doublespeak.  This blog, from a new blogger and an old friend, has some interesting things to say.  I look forward to reading the next one.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

XXVII - A blog at the beach

One morning, about six weeks ago, I woke up with a (more than usual) intense desire to go the beach.  I had been told, when hired, that I would be required to attend conferences approximately twice a year, held in various locations.  So later that day when I was told I was going to be attending my first conference, and that it would be in Fort Lauderdale in February, I was intensely...pleased.

More so even, when I discovered not only would I be set up in a 4-star hotel for two nights, this hotel would be located directly *on* the beach.

And even more...that my flight would arrive around 4:30pm the evening before the conference, that the conference would go from 8-3, and that my flight out the day after the conference left at 5:30pm.  This gave me many non-working hours in which to enjoy this beach.

And enjoy it, I did!  I was sure to be on the phone with Husband the moment my feet first hit the sand, and the moment soon after when they were in the Atlantic Ocean.  Which was pleasingly warm.  SOOOO happy (read in sing-song voice).

I attended the conference, asked the hell out of some protocol questions, impressed my doctor boss, enjoyed my hotel room and it's kinky shower, and then a lovely dinner with the doctor boss, after which a mojito was purchased for me and enjoyed on the hotel terrace overlooking...the beach.  I believe my dress was enjoyed by others as well.

The next day was all mine.  Coffee was shockingly *not* available in the rooms, so I had to stumble downstairs to get some.  It was enjoyed on the terrace, and then I ventured out into the hot, humid, sunny, wonderful Florida morning to buy some sunscreen.

I discovered strange, slug-like creatures on the beach.  Jokes were made via text and with a passerby on the beach about alien invasion.  I dove through waves.  Lots of waves.  I picked up seashells.  And pieces of coral.  And managed to get a sunburn in a striped pattern along my arms and back (where I apparently missed with the aerosol can).

The day after I returned home, my inspirational daily email (also containing inspirational affirmations) suggested that "With a small change in my outlook, I am turning my workday into a day at the beach."  Smiling.

When was the last time anyone even *saw* the Good Year blimp??