2015 is here

I love New Year!  It is a time when we really do reflect, and make some plans and at least for 4-6 weeks charge boldly into new activities with fervor.

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I tend to do better with my resolutions that the average person, but I’m a person who has always loved lists and goals and things to check off.

This year I am going to really have to adjust my expectations and hopefully it will be an epic year in unexpected and delightful ways. I kind of have some doubts.

My first goal is to purchase and move into a home.  I have sort of a revulsion to home ownership, as I purchased my first home during the big home ownership BOOM prior to the BUST.  I then had a big life circumstance change and ended up selling the home right before the bubble truly burst. It was sagging and I essentially broke even.  The mortgage was actually more expensive than rent and my neighbors were difficult to say the least.  So my feelings on home ownership…are definitely negative.

That said, it is now several years later.  Rent in my community is Sky High.  My rental neighbors are for the most part good, but have been getting louder and louder. I have saved some money and now own my car etc, so have little debt.  I discovered if I can qualify to be one of the 20% of people under 55 for a “55+ active community”  I can get a modest home in what should be a fairly quiet community.  If I qualify I should be able to move in June.  I have an appointment to look at one they are newly building this week.  I am really feeling nervous about the whole thing, so I enlisted a friend to come along and smooth the way.  I am continuously reminding myself that the home purchase before coincided with a variety of life challenges that no longer exist, and secondly I was not really able to easily afford the mortgage.  If the mortgage ends up being what it is estimated to be with my current downpayment, this would actually save me some cash which would end up going to HOA and property taxes.  So financially it makes sense. Financially it should not be a hardship (except for the years and years of mortgage…) Emotionally…it is making me nervous.  It is so permanent.  If I fall in love with someone out at the coast, I will still have a home in the central part of the state.

Second goal is to really feel established in my job. I am doing much better there since my leg pain went away.  I just don’t feel fully settled. I think after the 90 day mark passes I will feel lots better.  That will be on February 12 or so.  Nothing to do there, except keep on keeping on.

Third.  I have toyed with this one in the past…State Park Visitation.  I love our state parks, and want to see all 161 of them.  I think I’ve bene to about 4.  So this year I am going to try to do some Manatee Viewing, some Spring swimming, and some hiking.   I’m going to go to one today, after I fully wake up.  Many parks allow dogs and so I will be attempting to bring Teucu-The-wonder-dog with me. I probably will see less wildlife, but it will be fun for him, and frankly some of the parks are a bit secluded and not well visited, I will be safer with the pup.

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Fourth.  Fitness. I typically have a pile of running goals with some fun swim things mixed in.  I am really up in the air about this one.  My main goal is going to get healthy enough that I can participate in fitness as I would like. I have some definite swim goals, and some running goals, but if I have the surgery all will change.  So my goal is to maintain some fitness activities and gain strength.

Beyond that.  There are books to be read.  Friends to spend time with. Experiences to be had that hopefully will be unexpected and pleasant.

What are your plans for 2015?  Anything large on the horizon?

 

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Rest Week Wrap up

It’s been an unusual week.

This was my first cutback or rest week in quite a while.

In the end, I am not entirely sure I feel 100% rested, which is odd, because wow, the workouts were surely light.

In total for the week I had 35 miles.  Most of it cycle.  This is a stark contract to the 80 miles total I had last week.

During the week, of course I had lots of time to think, catch up on domestic stuff, and mull over life.  Of course, as is likely for someone like me during a cut back week, I tended towards feeling a little bit blue as well.  I’ve experienced this before, so I tried to simply block any negative thoughts and focus on the positive things.  I also gave my sweet doggie several longer than normal walks, which I am not 100% sure he appreciated, it’s pretty hot now, and he’s pretty hairy.

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Because it was a rest week, i did focus on my diet. I did a pretty good job and was rewarded to see the scale go down 1.6 pounds.  Now..the goal is to maintain and possibly lose 0.4 more this week.

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Diet is my achilles heel, but for this week, it went pretty well.  So I am encouraged.

Work was full of nasty little surprises daily this week, making it very hard to feel great about what I’m doing, and by the end of the week, I started to have the feeling of, “Complacency”  As in…I’ve done all that I can do, but things are still screwed up, so what now?” I continue to “nose to the grindstone”  but we all agree in the Quality arena of the health care world, things are becoming very difficult.  Of course, being a one person department, I find myself really feeling like an Island…Now, I’m not an island, people have been great and supportive, and well, I still FEEL like an island.  I miss working in the Emergency Department, where even when you hated everyone on a shift, you knew you were still on the team with the haters.

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SO moving on to start a second set of build.  It will hurt, I have no doubt, and it’s going to be hard, but at least…I’ll be so in the thick of it that I won’t be able to focus on some of the not so pleasant aspects.

 

 

 

And So This is (Was) Christmas.

Wow.

Like many people, Christmas just was not quite as wonderful as I imagined it. The weather was colder than I would have liked and there was no added bonus of Snowy beauty.

Firstly, this is the week when I would have been running my crowning achievement, the Jacksonville Bank Marathon.  I got injured, and have been struggling to just get back running.  So, underneath it all perhaps there was a current of disappointment on my end.  But honestly, I had forgotten it was that weekend until a friend posted she was getting on an airplane to come to Florida for the race.  So unless this was buried in my subconsciousness….

It was atypical Family Drama filled Christmas, mostly orchestrated by my sister.  What’s funny (in both a ha ha and an “oh that’s curious”  way)  is that this has played out multiple times over the years. This time both my Mother and I became aggravated, and both of us wanted to leave and return to our respective homes.

Funny thing is…I like my BIL and his family- so I have never minded going up there.  I do not mind spending time with my nephews, though I do mind endless games of Monopoly and Life in which there are a few cheater cheater pumpkin eaters.  We all played a game Blokus  which turned out to be more fun than I would have imagined.  I built a model with my other Nephew and was actually intensely disappointed at how poorly it functioned…It was a Smithsonian Model for heavens sake.  I definitely learned something about kids models.

So….by about 6 pm Christmas night, I had had it!  You know the saying…

“If one man calls you an ass, pay him no mind. If two men call you an ass, go buy a saddle.”
-Yiddish proverb

Well.  So many people have pointed out to her that she is being donkey-ish…but she refuses to see it.  I think one moment that really amazed me..

MG: I hope your husbands gift from me arrives.  It’s a cookbook that was recommended by a friend of mine who really knows the business.

MG’s Sister:  “I’m sure you have lots of friends MG (said in a patronizing fashion).  Continues to talk about self”

Side Note:  My BIL was thrilled with the particular book I had chosen (H/T to my friend.)  He was surprised, as I care not for cooking, but that book, was so delightfully perfect- all due to me describing BIL to my friend who knows cooking and books.  This is after all, what makes a great gift…I aught him thumbing through it and sort of pointing to a few different recipes…this made me feel great.

So what’s my key lesson…. While I might have felt the draw of family…I really do not need to do this ever again.  It’s a little sad indeed, as my BIL has taken up running and is doing quite well at it…he will soon surpass me in speed.  I sure would have liked to spend more time with him doing that activity that we enjoy.

But I am comforted to know actually that this theme has occurred over and over again at multiple households in many countries over the holidays.

Next year, if we do the holidays at my parents home, I may arrive a few days early, overlap one day with them, and just go home. If it is at her home, I think I’ll have to find an excuse… The expense of such a trip is noted by my dwindling bank account.

Despite what was a very kind of not so pleasant holiday, I am just quite excited at the promise of a New 2014.  It’s a big year for me in training and work.  My Main project today (After I pick up the dog at the Boarding Place) will be to get the house clean and ready for 2014 and organized so that I am set up to succeed.  I’m going to get all sorts of clothing pressed, and ironed and set up a Study Zone for my exam preparation.

The only concern I have is that I seem to have a lingering semi-healed right hamstring/piriformis issue….It’s way better now that I’m not in the cold, but…It just sits in the back of my mind…giving me a low level of anxiety.

So How was everyone’s Holidays?  Anyone travel far?  How was family?  Anyone get a wonderful and awesome gift?

While I am glad the Holiday Season is over…for so many reasons, I am glad that I was able to get out and give some of myself this year.  I am also grateful that I have somewhere to go over the holidays where I am welcomed, and that I do not, like this person, have to contemplate Renting parents… I am really delighted though, to just be looking forward to several months of complex and difficult planning at work, and also some months of building fitness at the gym.

2013 wasn’t exactly how I imagined it, and I guess 2014 will hold it’s own highs and lows, and odd little quirks, but I’m ready to start.  WHo knows what can occur in 2014?

 

New Experience….and not a happy one

Along the lines of my last post…

My very good friend from the Emergency Department  took very ill very suddenly last week.

She has developed  Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome.  She was a fairly healthy woman.  Some chronic health problems, but nothing that kept her from holding down a full time job as an Emergency Department Nurse.

She was one of my first friends in the Emergency Department.  We couldn’t be more opposite.  I run and try to exercise all the time.  She enjoys hanging out, and playing computer games, going out with friends and in general, having a good time!  But for some reason we got along well.  We would make our schedules together so we would be on the same days at work…go out and hang at Panera.  She had a wonderful way about her.  Any time someone hurt me (like when a friend accidentally stole a love interest) she would loyally “hate” them with me…and she and her daughter who is also fantastic, took care of me after my surgery.  She allowed Teulu to live with her for 3 months.  I’m pretty sure she was sick of him after about 6 days.  But she never complained to me about it.  

He can be a bit much.  In December, when I ran my first race since surgery, She came out and cheered me on, which was a sight to see, since she was clearly really out of place, and kind of bored.  This is the stuff we do for people we care about.

Yesterday I was hanging out with her, so her daughter, who was at work, would feel peace of mind, and she had the audacity to have a seizure.

I had to step out of the room.  I was not there to respond.  I took her long term boyfriend out and spoke at length with him.  He is not medical and is just torn up by this.  I then called her daughter and updated.  After a few hours, her symptoms seemed worse, so our physician intubated her, and sent her by Helicopter to our Parent hospital, which has much greater capabilities than we do.

I’ve sent a lot of patient out by helicopter. I’ve gotten patients in by helicopter.  I never sent anyone out that I knew.

I drove down to the hospital today to visit and was almost not allowed in….once I was allowed in, I was able to talk to the Nurse, Nurse to Nurse, and suddenly all was OK.

My friend is sedated and intubated and pretty much comatose, so really there is nothing I can do for her except pray.

I have to say, it feels really strange to sit in a waiting room, waiting for permission to enter a patient care unit.  I felt strange having everyone kind of look at me sympathetically.

What is happening to her is horrific.  It is such a reminder to me that life is fleeting and short.  We need to care for our bodies as temples, as they are what sustain us and allow us to sustain others in times of need.  (ie in support not as in cannibilizism!)

So hug your loved ones tonight.  I’m in the uncomfortable position of being the last person to have spoken to her…I surely wish it had been her daughter.  But it could be worse.  She could have been alone at the time…

 

Updates…

I’ve been ignoring this little blog for another….mostly been posting in my training blog, which is a bit Boring as it is often just a recitation of running, and how my body feels.

There is so much I want to put an opinion to and so little time.

So….I probably won’t.

Work has done a big flip-flop 

I had felt things easing off, but…I was not sure if that was my imagination, or just tiredness.  The intensivist Physician who made my life extremely difficult when I first started came by the office yesterday ( at my request). I showed him the “quality board”  we have  that has the measures we are measuring on it and he was thrilled with how nice it looked.  We then sat for a bit and talked about the upcoming critical care meeting, and discussed one particularly “buggy” patient that has us concerned.  After looking at one of the sensitivities we jointly decided that we needed further isolation for that patient…so beyond gowns on to booties gowns and gloves.  At the end of our conversation he suddenly looked at me and said,” you know, you really are doing great.  I’m glad you are here.”  I could have fainted.  After all the belittling and rudeness, he comes out with this?  Like any good kid, or dog, of course I felt immensly pleased.

 

I admit, this really does not negate the fact that he was very unpleasant to begin with.  But, it is much easier to work with him, if he is accepting and supportive of me.  He is very popular in the hospital, and so his support for anything is crucial.  I was actually also able to tell him that he made things very difficult at the beginning.  He of course, being a MAN and a DOCTOR did not apologise but he did the next best thing…the half apology!  I think in the future…he may change tactics a bit.  He is still young and growing and learning as we all are.

The only thing at work that is a little unusual and probably should not bother me, but does is this.  Our office has a vacant Directors position.  Under the director would be Me, and the Risk Manager and the PI coordinator and the secretary.  There are a few staff people who do data abstracting under the PI coordinator.  Because of the vacancy, the Risk Manager who has been there for 20 years has been promoted to being my manager, which is fine with me.  THe other people in the office however, seem to think that I am on the same level as them, which is also fine, but it makes it a little hard to explain.  They don’t understand why I have the freedom to come ad go as I please (within reason)  and they do not really understand the level of responsibility I have.  So it is kind of a funny position to be in.

Teulu the wonder dog, is recovering from his shaving incident well.  I hate to admit it but as ugly as he looks, I think he is more comfortable.  He has, however scratched a very big sore spot on his face which has required copious cleaning with Peroxide, and of course the cone of shame…

I think he has about 3 days left in the cone.  I hope it is less, but..I really want this to heal.

There are so many cool things going on in the world right now, as well as some very disturbing and sad ones. I just feel overwhelmed with the  Successful landing of Curiosity on Mars… some excellent Olympic performances and some less than excellent ones…the unfairness of it all…that someone’s career as an athlete really rests solely on one or two days!  Some shows of GREAT sportsmanship and some shows of very childish behavior and poor sportsmanship.  I really want to write about it.  But I have very little time.  Maybe tonight. I have been very inspired by these Olympics…not to be more fit, but to just be a better person overall.  I think that is what I should share.

It took 4 months, not the traditional 90 days, but I seem to have survived the “Hazing” period, and come out fairly close to the top. I have adjusted better to the 9-5 type schedule..and learned all sorts of new tricks and tips for saving time.  (Apparently I can get “bedside” delivery of my Singulair, while at work, just like a patient can from Walgreens!!!)  I am learning to do my training with the 9-5 schedule.

Usually when things start to go along fairly well, some sort of crises erupts.  So…I hope it happens soon, so I can deal with it and get on with things.

 

Updates!

Well.

I had a very stressful work week this past week.  In the end things turned out well for me, I think.

I seriously want a bit more flexibility in the schedule.  I mean, I just do not understand how people ever have time to go see the Doctor, or go to the bank, or the Post Office.  I went quickly into the grocery for some things today and the place was alike a madhouse- everyone trying to get the weeks shopping done!

All in all, things seem to now be falling into place.  There are some sticky little problems to handle coming up, but I did not create these problems, so I am delighted to deal with them without having created them!  My main things right now are trying to figure out a hand washing activity for staff that does not involve glo-germ, and is inexpensive, and engaging.  Hmmm.  Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia had a great activity where kids and families and staff got to decorate hand shaped cookies with “Germs”

Wonderful hand cookies made for Passover by another wordpresser!

These cookies clearly were not made at CHOP.  THey are so cute, and if you click here, you can see the original post regarding cookies….  Thing is, making cookies, or having them made takes money and time.  Neither of which I have.  SO I am back to imagining things up. most of which require a lot of planning, which I can do for the future but not for August.  So It looks as if I will be stuck with a basket of candy and a bunch of questions about hand washing again.  People do like Candy.  There is also all the inspecting of construction on the hospital, statistics, dealing with the physician who I dislike, and dealing with reporting requirements…so I’m still busy as a bee.

Otherwise….I finally went to see a new Doctor this week. (I had some extra hours to make up!)  I think I am in Doctor Love.   This guy actually sat there and listened to me.  He then actually examined me.  I had mentioned in passing that I did have some problems with allergies- and that my insurance has been refusing to cover Singulair.  He said, well, whats been done about that?  I didn’t really know.  So we started the process of getting a script in to the pharmacy all over again.  I asked if he wanted me to try the albuterol or any other of the cheaper medications.  He said, “WHY?  they aren’t working for you and the singulair is.”  Then he looked in my throat and said, “Oh you REALLY have problems with allergies”… He also recommended some actual books on diet and nutrition. One that I remember was The China Study.  he did not say that everyone should eat this way, but that if I gave some of these books a read, I might find some ways to alter my diet for better health.  This is a regular general physician.  He does advanced lipid management and analysis, so I hope he can help me straighten out my cholesterol as well.  I was so impressed by him I think I told 6 different people how great he was.  They say that people usually talk more about bad experiences at businesses, but I think because it is so rare to go to a Doctor and feel like they listen to you, I had to talk him up!

We ran a free 5K this week.  It was on Thursday night and was in celebration of a new urban fitness trail.  Hmmmm.  85% of the race was on those horrible brick paved streets I despise.  I guess the other 10% was on the new Urban trail!  Three of us went together and it turned out to be the most fun we have all had in a while.

As you can tell from the photo, I have gained some weight.  As soon as I saw the picture of me running I knew it was eat healthier time….big time!  The race was neat though, in the fact that it was FREE and I got a nice new T shirt to wear around town.  I also enjoyed running in an area that was essentially flat.  There were a few little inclines, but nothing much.  Since it was free and spur of the moment, no one had any time goals and we all just really enjoyed trotting around Orlando in the heat of the day!

Teulu the wonder dog is doing well.  He has developed this intense fear of thunder and storms in general.  This is a terrible thing for a Florida Dog!

Not to mention it is a bit hard on the Florida Dog’s owner as well. He does not hide in the closet or anything that convenient. Instead he barks and paces and attempts to climb in my lap.  I was considering a Thunder shirt for him, but then my friend stated that he had used ace bandages in the past with good results.  In frustration, I pulled out an ace wrap today…and voila.  I have a fairly calm dog laying at my feet now.  Sooo,  I am pretty sure the Thunder Shirt works, and I am sure its easy to put on..but I’ll stick with the ace wraps…they are a ltitle more difficult to put on, but given that he is always trying to get as close as possible to me, its not that hard…I’m just glad I found something that works.

The Olympics are starting soon!!!!  I am uber excited.  All sorts of cool people that I have met in person are going to be competing.  I love the Summer Games!!!!!  What is your favorite event?

I’m a little more focused on running these days so I want to make a separate post regarding that…..

Lifes Little Updates…

Well,  WORK, has been a real adventure.  Like I noted in my last post…some things have been very difficult.  Last week was one of those weeks.  I had made several “errors” in handling things.  So, I was feeling incredibly down and mopey on the last 2 days of work that I had to work.  I am learning that it is really difficult to work on anything long term when one feels like they are in trouble.  It is paralyzing.   So I was not enjoying my week.  I did finally managed to get some things done, and kind of just deal with things.

On Friday, I came back from lunch to a big green folder on my desk.  Immediately I looked in it.  It was 2 purchase requests that had been signed by our CFO.  I was to sign my approval on the purchases.  One of the purchases was a project I had been working on since I got this job.  I had thrown up my hands, trying to push it through.  I had given my written proposal to a Manager and found out how it was supposed to be submitted.  He did it.  Apparently the CFO decided to approve it, despite the very big expense involved.  I saw the CFO, and I asked him, “Does your signature mean you approved this and we will get these?”  and he said , “well, yes, thats what my signature means.”

So I then asked him if I could tell anyone else, and he said yes, SOOO, I took that juicy piece of news over to the Intensivist who dislikes me.  He could have been blown over by the lightest wind when I shared that.  High fives all over.  The nicest part was that the CFO happened to be walking by and the Intensivist pulled him over and said,  “You know this woman she just saved you a pile of money”  (The proposal was for about 30K of equipment, meant to save us about 80K in treatment of hospital illness.).

So the week ended on a high note.  Only thing…the Intensivist is not in charge of me, so his opinion really does not matter.  I do hope though if I remain in this job that I will be able to work better with him now.  I was pleased to be praised (this kind of ties into later in this post), and I also like how I was able to work with a variety of people and now we can all share in our success.  I admit I was concerned, egotistically, that everyone else would be recognised except me.  While I don’t really crave celebration of myself, I do want people to know that I am working hard and that I am worth the paycheck!   It’s a hard balance, I want to be humble, but at the same time, I want people to see that I do the job I was hired for…. Hopefully the product will really work.

I do miss my old job.  The schedule was more conducive to running and training, but what can one do?  God really does have a plan or each and every one of us.   I think though- whenever we say “God has a plan”  We expect some sort of grandiose thing…you know- God wants you to “Save all starving Children” or “Minister to the sick in Tanania” or “Adopt all unwanted children!”

In our lives, I really think that God’s plans are not always grandiose, and one can serve in any capacity.  As Martin Luther King Jr said.

You don’t have to watch the Oprah stuff….  and if you dislike Oprah, or you like this  MLK statement very much you may listen to his entire sermon…

I also really recommend you listen, its worth 19 minutes of your life.  It may change your life, if you really listen and think.

As far as running.  I’m finally recovered from whatever I did to my left leg recently.  But I am way behind on training for my Half in July, so I decided just to bag it and run the 4 miler instead.  No point in being miserable.

I pushed back all of my Marathon plans to February, and oddly when doing that, I have been able to run a lot of races I have wanted to do for some time now!   And a few I actually already know I dont like much.. but when your plan says, run 15K…and you have an actual local 15K race, you kind of have to do it, its kismet…. I want to raise some money with my Marathon.  I’m in debate, I want to either raise for Multiple Sclerosis Research, or possibly the Food Bank.  My cousin has MS, and it has really stolen much of her life…I so admire her for her positive attitude.

I’m very interested to see how training goes. I picked a fairly aggressive schedule.  My only question right now is that the training involves a key workout of hills every 3 weeks.  I’m not really sold on running hill repeats just yet.  Will have to consult my old Physical Therapist.   My Hip is fairly healed, but I tend to get little strains in the area, due to continued weakness.  I have learned not to freak out when things feel tender, mostly because I now have enough experience with the whole hip labrum repair to understand that this is not permanent, it is just a tiny strain.  I am going to start training using a Half Mary training schedule in later July, and then switch a week to the end into a fairly aggressive Marathon training schedule.  It’s not totally aggressive, but there are midweek runs up to 10 miles, which to me is pretty long for a midweek.  I’ll see how things go… I still have the services of the best Massage Therapist in the country for the moment, though she is currently being courted by of course, Olympians, and also some Major League Baseball teams.  She really helps me stay in perspective as well.  Nothing like being nude, and strapped to a table screaming in pain to put things into perspective.

This week is also the first time I want to start Talking about Operation Christmas Child.  Back to school stuff is now for sale (already!)  and it is a great time to pick up crayons, colored pencils, erasers, small notebooks and paper for your holiday boxes.  I do want to say I know that some of the politics of Operation Christmas Child’s parent organization are actually not very Christian.  However…I remember being a kid also.  I was never all that aware of the politics behind all that.  I think this is reprehensible.  I also think that for a child in an impoverished situation, getting a box full of toys at Christmas…thats all that they will be focused on…not any sort of message. I do not ever donate any extra cash to the organiation, for fear that it would be used to spread that rather hateful and stupid message.   If you would choose not to support that, there are always of course toy drives in your local community.  Since the boxes of crayons were on sale for 0.25 cents a box, I bought quite a few boxes.  Most kids get new crayons in September, so by December, a new box would probably be welcome! I avoided the markers, just because I feared they would dry up by the Holiday.  If you are interested in making a box for Operation Christmas Child…click the link, it will explain everything.

This is really why I do this.  Samaritans Purse has the infrastructure to reach into so many places that no one else can…so yes, its worth it..

Soooo, I am going to listen to MLK, and try to see my way.  I’m not here to do anything but serve, Just listening to the speech while I was typing this, I find myself in a much more settled state mind.  Indeed, I want to be successful, but I wonder exactly what does success look like?