Tough Mudder

I survived Tough Mudder!!  within this hour exactly one week ago, I started a 5-mile (8.05k) job that included 13 different military grade obstacles — and I obviously survived.  It was legit testing, y’all.  sure, a few years back on a Zombie Run, there was a time I needed to stop and catch my breath, and I decided to just let them take my flags if they wanted; didn’t matter, I needed to breathe.  but this was different.  this was legit mentally and emotionally challenging.  I was concerned I wasn’t going to be able to do certain obstacles, or that I would greatly injure myself in a n attempt.  I questioned my very decision of being there, or having signed up for this.  and then I went all existential and questioned so many other decisions in my life, including the move and the job acquisition.  but I just paused, recollected myself, and moved on to the next challenge.

and I completed it.  it seems like I should be more proud than I am.  I don’t hang out with or talk to fitness people anymore, so no one really understand the magnitude of difficulty that is the Tough Mudder.  normal adventure runs are a joke compared to this (I don’t mean to down those 5ks; I still love ’em!!).  but I don’t feel proud.  I’m disappointed in myself, that it was as difficult as it was for me.  that I didn’t prepare better.  that I didn’t perform better.  I’m disappointed at how it wasn’t as amazing as it should have been (as is related to things within my power, not the organization).

I suppose that’s the pessimist in me, the cynic.  the hyper-self-critical perfectionist.  but I don’t know how to change that about myself.  I suppose this is something I should bring up in therapy.

Advertisements

it’s been a crazy few weeks

so it’s been a while since I last updated y’all on everything.

my family came in on Monday 6/12 and left Sat 6/17. in the party was my mother, my father, my little bro (he’s 27), and my brother’s friend. overall, we had lots of fun! Monday was just them recovering from the two-day drive. Tuesday, Brian joined the whole lot of us in walking around the Mall of America for 10 hours. that’s right, I typed 10. hours. but in those hours, we flung balls around during putt-putt, went cut up at the aquarium, got lost in a mirror maze, and cut up with strangers the whole time. Wednesday, Brian and I both worked. each Thursday and Friday, I worked only in the morning; Brian still worked all day. Thursday, I took the family and bro’s friend through the skyway. I had never walked it, so it was new to me too. then Friday, I took them out to St Paul to see the cathedral. (St Paul is one of the patron saints of my family’s catholic church back home.) then they departed around noon on Saturday when I had to leave for a volunteer work function.

OH! but while I was at work one day, guess what happened…… THE BEAST WAS EVICTED FROM THE OFFICE!! I mean, it took all four of my guests to capture the creature. but they did so, and Contact came to pick it up. it’s gone!! oh, what glorious days are these!!

last week, much time was spent repairing the apartment from all our guests. see, the four visitors slept in the living room. so we had no office and no living room for a week. it was exhausting. as was the clean-up.

then last Tuesday, my car overheats and never sufficiently cools enough for me to drive it. had to replace the entire radiator. not fun at all. so I was back to bussing to work for about a week. got it back Friday, right before the weekend. for which I was thankful, as I had a busy weekend planned.

Saturday was a workout day (more on that in another post); then I had a therapy appointment. I’m wondering why I’m going anymore. I want to ask her at the next session wtf exactly are we doing, what are we working on? she said at one point that she wanted to work on my negative talk. sure, that’s great. but when are we to start it??

anyway, after that, I went to the store to get hair dye and bleach. OMG, the colour did not turn out as it was supposed to. everyone during the weekend commented positively on it. but still. I’m having to re-dye it so I can keep my job. it’s way too bright. I’ll see about trying to upload a photo later. in the meantime, just imagine hot pink with a hint of pastel pink in it. eek!

Saturday night, Brian and I went to see the play “Booty and the Beast”. it was comedy skits influenced by social media, online dating, and Disney flicks. XD it was hilarious.

Sunday was the famous Minneapolis Pride Parade & Festival. and it was AWESOME. so much love and acceptance. and some of my kink friends were there, so I go to meet them IRL finally. and my hair was a hit there, of course. 😀

so yeah. it’s been an eventful few weeks. sorry for my absence. but I’m back, and I’m looking forward to catching up on what YOU’ve been doing. ❤

an update on The Cat

it’s over a week later, and I still can’t drive my stick-shift car or do my kickboxing because of Motherfucking Bastard.

Brian and I are aiming to return to Urgent Care tomorrow evening for a follow-up.  my thumb is still generally useless.

Contact emailed me yesterday to inquire as to how The Cat was doing, to let me know we may have an adopter, and to inform me the upcoming meeting has been rescheduled.  in my response, I was honest [names changes, of course]:

The Cat is still really skittish and hiding.  I’m concerned that our fostering her didn’t help much, as we are so rarely home.  Also, as we discussed on the phone that one night, she went from letting me pet her the first few days to hissing even when I would put food in the cage.  😦  We’re still trying to socialize her and the like, but again we are not home as often as she apparently now needs.
My parents and brother are coming into town from Louisiana sometime on Monday, June 12 (exact time currently unknown).  I can’t promise I can make the meeting, but I will try my best to.  Would we be able to return The Cat before then?  In further thought, I’m concerned the loudness of my family may frighten her.  (My dad and brother are very loud people, lol — even their “indoor voices”.)
Let me know what works for you and what you think would be best for The Cat.  I’m fairly flexible.
I never mentioned my hand.  I don’t think I will.  I don’t want her making a big deal out of it.  I just want this over and done with.
we still haven’t really seen The Cat.  Brian spotted her once before she slinked away into hiding again.  but that’s it.  to catch her, I’m afraid we’ll need a live trap.  that’s not a sign of a cat having been socialized.
I’m concerned this will affect my involvement with and acceptance in the organization that runs the adopt fairs and earns money for clinics (henceforth “The Org”).  I enjoyed volunteering for The Org, and I really support and appreciate what they do.  but Contact may use this experience as negative weight against my involvement with The Org.  and that would make me legit sad and disappointed.
granted, I have five million other organizations with which I volunteer, plus random things here and there (like a 5k event this weekend that I’m working instead of participating in).  but that’s not the point.  I don’t get turned down; I don’t denied: people don’t tell me “no”.
…but I guess that’s a topic for another, more psychological post.
for now, we’ll continue to hold on to The Cat.  I’ll let y’all know how this all unfolds.

three days serviced by Urgent Care

I was in Urgent Care on each Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday of this week, with threats that I might have to go to the hospital to have surgery on my hand.

I volunteer with numerous different organizations here in the Twin Cities, many of them relating to animals.  one such organization, that I shan’t name in this context, needed some help fostering two feral kittens a while back.  with Brian’s approval, I volunteered.  shortly after, my contact (henceforth “Contact”) for the fostering said it wouldn’t be necessary, as she found someone else.

a few weeks pass, and Contact requested again that I foster the kittens.  I agree.  when next she contacts me, she informs me she needs me to foster an adult feral from Mexico (henceforth “The Cat” or “Motherfucking Bastard”).  I hesitate.  I’ve assisted in and/or have fostered all ages of cats before.  but my guy was telling me this was a bad idea for both The Cat and me.  however, I didn’t want to back out of a volunteering offer I made, so I reluctantly agreed.

I’m back at work, but I’ve a brace on my right hand.  the pain is so great that I can’t even drive my stick-shift car or hold a glass of water.  I could not wear pants due to my inability to zip or button them.

Contact arrived with her “kitty condo” — something similar to this –, explaining that she was hoping we’d keep The Cat in it and inside the room in which we spent the most time.  that would be the Office.  again, I had reluctance.  my tactic was always keep the feline in the bathroom — she had space to hide, but would still be exposed to use frequently.  but it was her cat I was fostering, so I followed her rules.

at this point, The Cat was responding well enough to me.  she let me pet her and almost never hissed at me.  by the third day, however, she was hissing more than she let me pet her.  she also had begun yowling at night and pacing in her cage.  it was obvious she was growing miserable in that small, enclosed space wherein she had no control over her visibility.

the trick is to give them somewhere they can hide slightly if they like, and let them come out at their own time.  this tactic has never failed me.

by the end of the week, I would get near the cage and she would hiss.  her yowling was incessant.  and even Zero was getting upset with the situation.

I called Contact and explained that this wasn’t working.  after brief discussion, Contact and I decided I would still keep her in the office (per her request), but that she’d be out of the cage (my request).

and that’s when all hell broke loose.

the pain in my hand is so great I am occasionally taking Vicodin.  me, with my high-ass pain tolerance.

Brian and I walk the Office trying to remove as many too-small hidey holes as we could.  I thought we had done a sufficient job….

Saturday afternoon, while transitioning The Cat from the cage into the room, she spazzed and escaped into the living room.  it was my fault for not ensuring the Office door was closed; that fact, I will own.  in an attempt to collect and relocate her, she scratch Brian on the nose and bit deeply into my right hand.  nevertheless, I got her into the office with no actual physical pain on her part (as far as I could tell).

and then she was MIA for two whole days.  she did not come out to eat, drink, or use the litter.  I was terrified she got herself into a hidey hole we couldn’t find, and was going to starve herself to death.  I was terrified that I had now scarred her forever, and she’s in a worse sociable condition now than when we first got her.  I was terrified of so many things.

at one point, an IV drip of antibiotics was rushed into my body, as mere oral dosages were too inadequate for the severity of the infection.

meanwhile, my hand was swelling up and turning red.  Brian urged me to the doctor; I denied — both repeatedly.  then one of the bite marks started to puss, and I had lost most mobility in my thumb.  I reluctantly agreed to go Sunday evening.

the doctors expressed great concern that, even thought The Cat was fully vaccinated, I may have an infection that was starting to go after a tendon or the bone.  while I was sitting on an IV drip of antibiotics, I was also prescribed oral antibiotics and Vicodin for pain.  I mistakenly expressed no need for the pain medication; let’s just say I have since been very glad multiples times that we got it filled anyway.  I was instructed to come back ASAP the next day.

I messaged and emailed the attorneys at work a brief tale of my misadventure, requesting to remotely do payroll from home so that I can then promptly go back to Urgent Care to get my hand reviewed.  my supervisors are very wonderful, understanding persons.  they approved my request with no hesitation, informing me to let them know if they could help in any way.

back at Urgent Care Monday afternoon, my hand showed signs of neither worsening nor improving.  after some discussion and inspection, the doctor braces up my arm.  I’m instructed to once again return to Urgent Care the following day.  this time, if no improvement was evident, hospitalization would be required — surgery to either mend the wound or amputate part of the hand.

when got home that day, Monday night, we see evidence that Motherfucking Bastard emerged and ate her food.  we still have no idea where she is hiding.  but at the moment, it’s not our top concern.  the potential necessary removal of my right hand was.

I work a full day on Tuesday, very slowly and almost ineffectively.  after work, Brian takes me once again to Urgent Care.  three times in three days.  this time, however, there was evident visual improvement of both the infectious redness and of the swelling.  I was released on the condition of continuing taking my antibiotics (and probiotics) as instructed and that if it at any point gets worse, I was to just give up and go to ER.

once again, The Cat had emerged ate, and even new feces was in the litter box.

so where are we at now?  it’s Thursday morning.  how is The Cat doing?  how is James’s hand?  how is Brian’s face?  what all does Contact know of situation?  for how long are those fools going to keep The Cat?

Brian’s hand and face were fine.  he’s on the same antibiotic plan as me, minus the initial drip.  by day two, everything was cool for him.

my hand is healing, albeit slowly.  I still can’t really use it for anything.  I can type on a full-sized keyboard for the most part, though my usual usage of countless keyboard shortcuts are limited and typos are abound.  however, I cannot use my right hand, thumb, or index finger for: texting on my phone, anything that requires fine motor skills, anything that requires more than minor grip or holding, anything that requires muscle usage in the aforementioned areas.  as I’ve already stated, I couldn’t even wear pants to work for several days because I could not operate the zipper or buttons.  I’m wearing clip pants today, and I’m learning that was a bad idea.

Motherfucking Bastard is somewhere still in the room.  I don’t know where.  the current plan is keeping her for the next two weeks.  at that point, I will return her to Contact, explaining that Zero is not pleased and my family are coming with their dog the following week.  however, if she continues to not emerge at all while we are in the room, eating and shitting only while we are at work or asleep, I may send her back sooner.  it’s doing no one any good if she is that terrified.

and currently, Contact knows nothing after the phone call wherein we came to a compromise of letting The Cat loose in the Office.  I wanted to wait to see how things panned out first.

I tried to keep identity of the involved people, animals, and organizations.  but I may never foster via that group again; I will, however, still help and volunteer because of what their primary goals are.  there’s a difference between fostering feral cats, and housing a yowling monster.

that’s not to say Contact isn’t kind.  she purchased us a new super-large litter box with Zero, provided a ton of dry and food wet and of cat litter for The Cat, and even gave me a Starbucks giftcard as thanks.  but I think their system of fostering just doesn’t sync with me.

time to run

I signed up for a simple 5k walk/run.  it’s in June.  that gives me time to get back to a semblance of healthy, at least.  I was telling a co-workers — who I really hope I can legit befriend — about some of the fun 5ks I’ve done over the years: zombies, foam, colours, fun jump/bouncy castles, etc.  she then took it upon herself to find one she could walk for, and signed herself up.  she also signed up her partner, who said he would go to whatever she chose.  well, it wasn’t until after she’d paid the fees and whatnot that her man told her he would be running it, leaving her behind.  so I volunteered to go with her.  we could go at whatever pace she needed.  she seemed to both appreciate the sentiment and see the value in my offer, because she accepted it happily.

so in the middle of June, I’m doing another 5k.

this one is just two laps around a pond in St. Paul.  nothing spectacular.  but it was only $30, and it’s a charity run/walk.  so that works for me.  just something to get me moving again.

I’ve missed my 5ks.  I’ve missed being fit.  I’ve missed the smaller numbers on my scale, my clothes fitting, not having to suck in my gut because it expands past my breasts.  I’m tired of holding onto clothes because “maybe I’ll fit them again in a few months”, of constantly eating when I know I shouldn’t, of huffing and puffing while going up or down a set of stairs.  I’m just done with it.

so I need to come up with my plan.  it’s finally starting to warm.  so I might can start running outside soon.  I’m moderately looking forward to that (I usually hate running, because of my knees).  I’ll probably go back to the very first workout routine that worked for me.  I had the most success with it (some reasons for this were unrelated to the workout itself, granted), so why not try it again.  if it works again, then I know it’s a keeper.  if not, then I need to see what is the element or variable that’s fucking with my shit and preventing me from exercising.

I also need to look into my food plan.  I’m thinking 1,600 kcals/day, minus Tuesdays and Fridays (usually date nights, wherein I eat whatever Brian is eating more food than I should).

so that’s what I’ll work on tonight.  my fitness plan.  I may post up the deets when I’m finished.  undecided.

obligatory pre-holiday post

holidays are hard for many people, even the not Crazy ones.  but we Nutters, it’s usually worse.  many of us survive because of patterns and systems we’ve created and adapted that ensure we take our medications, see our doctors, refrain from stabbing people, etc.  holidays defenestrate* all sense of stability.  also, you’re around your family a lot.  and Crazy is very genetic.  so you’re then combining Crazies, Nutters, Batshitters, and all other types of insanity.

here’s the plans for my personal holiday experiences:  Brian, Zero, and I fly out of Minnesota Friday afternoon.  (yes, Zero is flying with us.  we’re doping him up, first.)  Friday night, his dad’s side of the family will be picking us up from the airport.  at some point, my father will collect Zero, the latter staying at my parents’ the whole time.  Friday and Saturday nights, Brian and I will sleep at his dad’s in the spare bedroom; Sunday and Monday nights, we’ll be at my parents’ on their fold-out couch in the living room.  Saturday is Christmas with his dad’s side of the family; Sunday, it’s with his mother’s.  Monday morning is Christmas with my family; Monday night, a select few friends are invited to a shindig.  then we dope up Zero again in the wee hours of Tuesday morning while my parents take us back to the airport.  Wednesday, I took off work as well, to recoup.

so.  it’s going to be a busy few days for us.  so how do I plan on minimizing the stabbing of loved ones and “other” ones?  as follows:

  1. continue taking my medications as per their schedule: morning, as soon as I wake; afternoon, when I have lunch; night, a few hours before bed.
  2. if I feel my Crazies setting in or my Anxiety about to go off, Brian and I will go take a walk outside.
  3. I have permission to leave a situation that makes me uncomfortable or unhappy, even if it involves my family.
  4. I don’t have to pretend to be somebody I’m not — Brian’s family is Safe; my family knows me; my friends who are invited Mon night are Safe.
  5. I will try to journal at least a little each day.  this will force me to take some time away from everyone to breathe and, in some cases, even reflect.  said entries may not be posted to the public; but I will at least write.

I think if I can keep to the above, things should go well enough.  ::crosses fingers::  I’m hoping so, at least.

 

*defenestration is my favourite word.  it is the act of throwing something or someone out a window — de-, of out; and fenestra, Latin for window.  I love it!  😀  arguments exist about defenestrate itself being a word; as a descriptive linguist, I support that it is.

driving in snow

“Brian,” I called from the living room, gazing out the window, “what happened to the Outside?”  I simply received a grumble in return.  “no, I mean, is there anything still under all the white?”

this weekend, the Twin Cities and numerous of its surrounding areas were under Snow Storm Warning.  so it wasn’t just that this southern girl was giddy with the snowfall of a winter in the north.  even the locals were commenting and lamenting about the amount of frozen water that was coming from the sky and settling atop of everything.

and of course, I had an appointment that morning.  thank the heavens it wasn’t a terribly far drive.  but for as short as it was, it was greatly adventurous.

see, I had never driven in snow before.  EVER.  not even like, “oh, it was kinda snowing this one time.”  I mean never.

and I was terrified.

it had been over two years since I was last driving at all, prior to just a few months ago.  and now I’m going to have to drive in snow.  dude, I still don’t even know how to properly dress for snow, much less drive in it.

but I did.  and I survived.  and others on the road and all of our cars survived.  hell, even the curbs were unscathed.

for those of you who have never driven on snow before, imagine what you *think* driving on ice might be like.  then throw in some mud, except that the mud sticks to your tires and that’s what give sit the icy, slick sensation.

I was more scared of driving it before I got in the car than once I was on the road sliding around.  at that point, sure, I was still a little fearful; but it was also exciting and really interesting at the same time.

and again, no collision or curb checks, so all ended well.

 

now I just get to do that at least twice more every day for next four or five months.  o_O