Category Archives: health

The day the movement ceased.

My post-whiffle body aches have progressed from nagging, lingering discomfort to total-body pain, stiffness and an inability to walk when I first rise to my feet. This is because yesterday was Monday, which meant a fresh desire to make good on my fitness goal and start the week on the right foot. Always thinkin’, eh? Now I can’t move.

Also, I think the pretzels I ate with my sandwich at lunch have given me heartburn. This is totally unacceptable, since pretzels are the least exciting of all possible snack foods and sandwich accompaniments. To get heartburn from them is like a slap in the face after choosing something at least relatively healthy. Stupid sodium. *grumble*

I will be learning to play racquetball soon, which excites me. First, I have to wait for Amazon and NRC Sports to ship my beginner’s kit, which includes a relatively cheap Ektelon racquet, a few balls, a racquet case, protective glasses and an instructional booklet. (I’m hoping Bryan will teach me everything I need to know so I don’t have to rely on said booklet.) There’s a free court at my apartment complex, so I’m pumped to get in there and start hitting things. And that very attitude is why I am apologizing to Bryan in advance for what he’ll have to deal with in teaching me to play. :D Should be fun.

Today I added an “Opening Day” subfolder to my “2009” folder in Outlook. For those who remember last fall, the start of Opening Day basically means the end of my life as I know it. I’m sure it will be a little different this year, because we’re changing up a few things and we’ve done it all once before, but the main difference is bound to come in the fact that I’m already busy ALL THE TIME as it is. I’m not just learning the ropes this time. I have my own tasks, duties and daily crap. Which means it’ll be darn near impossible to drop all that and focus only on OD this year. Ugh.

Small plug for Pandora Radio: I recently became a Pandora One subscriber, which means I pay $32 (or similar) per year for unlimited access, a desktop player, no “Are you still listening?” pauses, etc. It also means Pandora has a little more money for licenses to good songs. I highly recommend free Pandora for anyone who has a desk job anyway, but if you’re willing to shell out the 30 bucks, consider subscribing.

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I whiffled. Now I can’t move.

Yesterday afternoon marked the first real physical activity I’ve had in a while. Not the routinized jaunt on the elliptical trainer, mind you, but straining of muscles, unfamiliar motions. I’m so incredibly stiff and sore today, I can barely move, especially after sitting at my desk in a single position for just a bit too long, which has happened more than once already today. And how did I hurt myself to this degree, you ask? Playing whiffle ball.

I went with Bryan to a cookout at his parents’ house yesterday afternoon. I’d met his dad the previous weekend (and played a few rounds of billiards with them both) but this event resulted in meeting the mom, the brother, the brother’s girlfriend, the “uncle” and his wife. It also meant that the men in the family broke out the whiffle bat and balls for a rousing game of hit-the-roof-or-you-lose in the backyard.

I wandered outside to watch them from afar for a few minutes. It was humid out after one of many short rainstorms that had punctuated the day after a full-blown thunderstorm in the early-morning hours. With the heat, the thickness of the air, the skirt I was wearing and the predominate testosterone of the players, I thought about staying in the shade, out of the game. But as soon as my bare feet sunk into the warm wet of the backyard grass, my girlish tendencies sort of switched off. I was transported back to those days in my own backyard, when my brother-in-law taught me how to hold the bat, swing harder but smarter, watch the ball until it hit the bat. I couldn’t stop myself from elbowing my way into the game. And while it may not have appeared that way to the others involved, that is precisely what I did. Because, as I said to Bryan, I’d much rather play than watch. As the other ladies looked on from the shade of the patio umbrella, I wandered around in the muck fetching balls.

Now, you see, I am not one of those annoying girls who loves to talk about sports and leaves the TV on ESPN so the next man who turns it on marvels at what must be her sexy habit of watching sports all day. Hah. No, my best friends can tell you that I am not like that at all. But I DID play softball. And I DID like it, when my parents weren’t forcing it on me and I wasn’t pissing my pants with anxiety while on deck on a hot July afternoon, sweating through my light-gray #44 T-shirt. And I DO like other active things, like kayaking, gym exercise, taking walks, hiking, occasionally climbing a rock or two. It was that piece of my personality that came alive when I watched them swing the little yellow whiffle bat. So I elbowed. And they relented, patiently.

I didn’t hit the roof, but Bryan did give me the opportunity to come close on two occasions. It was enough to make me want to try again someday, if I’m still in the picture come their next backyard pick-up game. And maybe then I won’t swing at terrible pitches. And maybe I’ll have learned to trash talk well enough to fit in.

The remainder of the evening included some delicious hamburgers and hotdogs, photos from Bryan’s mom’s trip to Yellowstone (beautiful!), some billiards playing and a couple corner brownies with ice cream and raspberry sauce. Even being the oddest man out, I reveled in the familial vibe in that house, in the constant, comfortable conversation that reverberated through every room. It made me miss Michigan even more strongly than I had already.

We vacated when Bryan’s weekend head cold refused to back down and he was overdue for another dose of meds. We returned to his house, I went out to get him some groceries for his recovery at home today and then it was another early bedtime, which made me happy. I had whiffled myself into a state of exhaustion. Now to keep that up as the summer progresses. I had forgotten how awesome it hurts when you do something active. It’s one of my favorite feelings in the world.

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because y’all know I can’t stick to ONE goal

I’m going with four goals instead of one. Surprised? I’m not. ;)

  1. Get the résumé online ASAP
  2. Read more, like I used to. I’ve borrowed two great books now, and have several more at my disposal, so it’s time to whip my brain back into shape.
  3. In the same vein, get back to visiting the gym at least 3x per week. I can read there AND I will feel better on a daily basis if I do.
  4. Also in that vein (healthy veins are good after all) continue getting at least 7 hours of sleep per night. I’d been at 6 for the past several months, then ended up with much more than that for a few nights. It felt good. I need to stick with that pattern as much as possible.

Now, 2-4 are goals I’ve had before, but they’re also easy ones to fulfill, so I’m going at ’em again. Wish me luck!!

[P.S. I have several other goals that are playing at the periphery of my brain, but I won’t list them here, lest I ruin my chances of fulfilling any of them because I’m trying to juggle too many balls at once. Since I am unable to juggle, this seems like a bad idea on the whole.]

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creative outlet

poetry
I realized the other night how much I miss writing poetry. Also how much I miss writing and drawing on my arms and legs. At some point I either tried to turn into an adult or got really worried about ink poisoning, because I stopped my former habits of temporary body art. But the other night I couldn’t sleep, so I lay in bed writing notes about myself on legal pads and writing poetry on my leg.

My poetry isn’t good. Neither are my blog entries, half-hearted attempts at short stories or anything else that falls even close to the realm of actual writing. Even my to-do lists make almost no sense and fail to follow a logical progression! But writing is necessary for me. It is what keeps me sane and makes me feel somewhat whole. I spend so much time in my head, writing is the only way to let those thoughts leak out somewhere along the way. I’m not dropping them off for keeps, but I am giving my mind a break from them. A much-needed one at that.

This has been a busy week, hence the late-night poetry slam. I met a new friend on Tuesday night and it turned into a 6-hour marathon of smoothies, Web development tutorials, semi-sweaty walking, mosquito bites and a too-late BFD at IHOP. I didn’t get home until almost 1 a.m. and didn’t fall asleep for at least another hour after that—insanity on a school night! Wednesday night was a fancy dinner at Frank Grisanti’s Italian restaurant for work. I ate WAY too much and ended up feeling mighty sick afterward. There were sausage-stuffed mushroom caps, prosciutto-wrapped shrimp, cocktails, chicken, pasta, garlic bread, tiramisu, cheesecake with berries, apple ravioli… That list in and of itself makes me a little queasy, actually. =P

levitt shell, memphisThursday night wrapped up my busy week with a concert at Levitt Shell, Memphis’ outdoor amphitheater next door to Overton Park. They have a free concert series every June with themed shows each day; this year it’s Americana, R&B/Gospel/Soul, Kids, Musica Latina and World Rhythms. Thursday night’s show featured local favorite Todd Snider and, on drums, my coworker and good friend Joe! =D Joe hadn’t played with Todd and the rest of the group for about 15 years, but after a single night of rehearsing, there he was on stage in front of hundreds of Memphians and other assorted guests. He did awesome, of course, and it was a great time. I brought refreshments for my group (Clay, Robby, Steven & Bryan – the new friend) and a blanket for a little added comfort on the grassy knoll.

After all this, and random inconsistencies in being able to fall asleep once I got home at night after these activities, my brain and body are both spent. I actually feel much more run down right now than I have in a very long time, so I hope I’m able to sleep tonight and wake up at least semi-refreshed in the morning. I have an insane amount of laundry to do to start off the weekend, as well as grand plans to clean, get some work done, possibly take myself to see “Up” in 3-D before it leaves theaters and attempt to accomplish at least one thing that’s been on my I-Want-To-Do list for the past several months.

Also, it’s hot. And it’s only June. Which means this summer might kill me. Last summer was mild for Memphis, so it’s like I’m experiencing a Memphis summer for the first time now. And me? I’m not all that excited about it. =P Goodnight.

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next step: godliness

ocd shower
This pretty much exemplifies my OCD: paired, color-coded bath products. I’m a little bothered by the asymmetry of the white products (it’s hard to even see the little sample bottle of conditioner next to the bath puff) but I can handle it.

For the past two nights, I have read one of my many books, done some serious cardio, watched season-one episodes of “Gilmore girls,” ate fruit and yogurt, took part in some version of a skin care regimen, took my meds and flossed. I’ve also taken two showers a day. All that sums up to some major inner and outer cleanliness, which feels GREAT. I am sore as heck, but that’s the best part—progress back toward my ideal level of fitness! I’m giving my arm as much of a break as possible, of course, so my lower body is getting most of the punishment.

But now I am tired and unable to think of anything else to say…

azulExcept this!! Carla had her baby girl this afternoon! So exciting and STRANGE to think she has a child. I can’t wait to meet her when I go home again, but it probably won’t be until Christmas… Wow. So long in the scheme of babyhood. She’ll be six months old by then! Crazy. Anyway, she came out 6 lbs 13 oz, named Azul Christiana. Love it. Here’s a photo! Goodnight.

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illness redux?

pills
My fiery arm and I went to the doctor at noon on Saturday. The wait was minimal and the wonderfully nice nurse from my Catholic bible study who first got me an appointment there was working the front desk, so I got to catch up with her briefly. I felt infinite guilt for dropping the study when I was recovering from pneumonia. The breakup with Dennis and moving kept me away for the remainder. I just couldn’t be there anymore. But she didn’t prod for answers—she even offered to let me come live with her if I wanted. =) People are mysteriously nice sometimes.

Anyway, the doc sent me in for an x-ray right off the bat, which I knew would show absolutely nothing (ding!). When he came into the exam room, I shoved my list of ailments in his hand. I figured I’d keep track of all my aches, pains and weirdnesses in case a pattern revealed itself in my various problems. He stapled my list into my chart (surprising) and ordered some major bloodwork. The nurse came in to take four vials and give me an anti-inflammatory shot in my hip. She also handed off a prescription for two anti-inflammatory meds and one nerve med to try to deal with whatever was happening with my arm. Apparently my litany of symptoms prompted the doc to call for a CT scan of my head, which the nurse sprang on me as I collected my belongings and prepared to leave. Fun! I was just glad not to have to drink any contrast or wait two hours. I was in and out of the office in about an hour and a half.

Prescriptions filled, my arm is feeling a bit better, but the pain lingers. I’m not kept immobile by it now, though, which makes me think at least one of the three meds is working. The fact that I still have some pain when taking deep breaths, yawning and sneezing makes me think that the pleurisy inflammation never fully faded, so methinks it’s hanging around other places too.

I spent the weekend doing a lot of sleeping. I took a long nap on Saturday that lasted most of the afternoon and evening. Woke up early Sunday for breakfast with RP at Blue Plate Café before church. Went to the early service at Highpoint Church and then their Green Light class for those just starting out with the church. Watched “The Visitor” (wonderful film; made me rethink my stance on illegal immigrants… at least a little) and rounded out the afternoon with another nap.

The weekend ended with a bang when team Bigger, Badder, Bushier went into the Memphis Trivia Finals swinging on Sunday night! Dan McGuinness was packed and closed to all but trivia participants for the evening. A total of 67 teams were competing from across the city, so after just squeaking by to qualify for the finals (we were 12th place of 12 teams accepted from our semifinals location) I didn’t have high expectations for this leg of the race. But. BUT. I was astonished and grinning like a fool when I heard we were in SECOND PLACE at halftime. Second FREAKING place, people! Of 67 teams!

I can take no credit for this, aside from being the most gung-ho about trivia and getting the team there in the first place. I did answer one question that no one else knew (name of Oscar the Grouch’s orange worm friend) but that was hardly a big help. Our team was almost entirely not our own, too, which was kind of a bummer, but the replacements were extremely smart men from the promotions department at Channel 3. BC, our hub and the team’s namesake, didn’t attend because he was pulled between two teams initially and then got forced out by replacements. =\ But CB, our other regular, was there and the Channel 3 guys were his friends, so I was glad for all of them.

As we went into the final question, we’d dropped slightly to fourth place, but we were keeping hope alive. Though the riskier members of our team wanted to bet the full 30 points on the final question, I’m glad we went with 0, since we were way off. Final questions are tough. We had to participate in a tie breaker question at the end (total area of the State of Missouri?) but found out later it was to figure out who would be 13th and who would be 14th. =P But still top 15! Which meant we won a prize! So now we have a half-food/half-alcohol $50 gift certificate for T.J. Mulligan’s next door to my apartment complex (woo!) and $100 free play at Southland Park Gaming & Racing (woo?) So, we got free booze, bar food and some money for the track. Makes me laugh every time I think about it. =)

So, that was my weekend. My test results are pending from the dr., but they’ll call me in earlier than my six-week followup if anything crazy turns up. I’m excited about their testing my thyroid though—I have a good feeling that’s part of several longtime problems for me. So we’ll see! For now, it’s bedtime. Peace and love, kidlets.

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your arm band is black; mine is searing pain

I have no energy to write tonight (or ever, it seems) but I will give you what I can…

My right arm is killing me. I had this same problem in my left arm in the post-pneumonia weeks, but it wasn’t as severe and went away fairly quickly. The new right-arm situation started just yesterday or the day before, but it’s much worse. I don’t need to swing my arm for it to happen — it happens with the slightest motion. Sort of a burning/tearing sensation just below the skin. Common sense, WebMD and my coworkers say it sounds nerve related, but I have no official diagnoses to back that up, hence a trip to the doctor on Saturday at noon for what will probably amount to a referral. I’m going to make a list of my other ailments between now and then just to make sure I get my full office visit’s worth out of it. Hopefully it won’t cost me $200. If I could wash my hair without excruciating pain, I wouldn’t bother with the doctor at all. Woe is me.

I also attended a tweetup (twitter + meetup) tonight at Muddy’s Bake Shop in E. Memphis. It was hosted by The Commercial Appeal and attended by the local twitter users who dared to meet each other face to face. I met only a few people in all, but it was a lot of fun. AND I finally got to Muddy’s, which I’d been intending to do forever but hadn’t actually accomplished. The cupcakes were delicious (I had Cookies ‘n Cream) and I took home some Oreo Puddin’ (what can I say? I freaking love Oreos, people.) for later snacking. It was A-MAZING. Thanks Kat & Co. for an awesome tweetup locale, the Appeal for my free cupcake and Kerry for getting the group gathered.

I have spent the past three days absolutely drowning in newsletters at work. I was pounding through the second one today until the very last second before it needed to be sent… five hours later than we’d normally like to send it. Per usual, content was late. Per usual, I was a perfectionist. Per unusual (but usual from here on) I had another newsletter to make the day before and I couldn’t spend the first half of the week focused on the main one. Have I said woe is me yet? Oh, I did? OK then.

I feel like I’m caught up in a whirlwind again, which sucks. (I’m tired, so “sucks” is all I’ve got.) I need a personal assistant for about two weeks so I can get my shit together and taken care of. I just barely had time and energy to make that doctor’s appointment for Saturday. I also managed to schedule a blood donation and a movie date for that same day. Too bad I can’t get the rest of my days to work out like that. Either way, I have a ton of that everyday life-maintenance stuff to do: dentist, oil change, new license/registration, find car/renter’s insurance…

Annnd, I just realized I haven’t paid my rent for the month. Shit. I think I’m still good, but holy fucking crap, how did I forget that? I am so screwed up right now. I’m going to bed.

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