Week-End Wrap-Up: Week 36

well, I had a second UTI in three weeks.  and this one is so bad it moved up into my kidneys.  the nurse practitioner seemed impressed of sorts when she reviewed my stats:

Component Your Value Standard Range
UA PH OP 5.0   5.0, 5.5, 6.0, 6.5, 7.0, 7.5, 8.0
UA SPECIFIC GRAVITY OP 1.020   1.015, 1.020, 1.025
UA PROTEIN OP >=300 mg/dL Negative mg/dL
UA GLUCOSE OP 100 mg/dL Negative mg/dL
UA KETONES OP Trace mg/dL Negative mg/dL
UA BILIRUBIN OP Small   Negative
UA BLOOD OP Moderate   Negative, Trace
UA UROBILINOGEN OP 2.0 EU/dL 0.2, 1.0 EU/dL
UA LEUKOCYTE ESTERASE OP Large   Negative, Trace
UA NITRITE OP Positive   Negative

the whole >=300 protein bit really made her nervous, lol.  all that the above says is “OMG YES, THIS IS A BAD UTI”.  XD  so there’s that going on.

oh!  she did give me a recommendation to a urologist to finally get this mess checked out and see what’s wrong with me.  that’s good news.

 

Brian’s trying to get a table-top group going again.  he’s got his eyes on a wrestling RPG.  Tiger can’t commit right now; Daminelle is not interested in the wrestling one.  so we may be having to bring on new people, or think of something else.  Brian, Dam, and I are to talk tonight about what all our options are.  I’m willing to DM a story-heavy campaign, not so much a hack’n’slash one.  so we’ll see.

 

really, that UTI has been the bulk of my week.  maybe next time I’ll have more interesting things to share….

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happy birthday to me

it’s here. happy birthday to me, I suppose. I survived another year of living with myself, of beating myself up and despising who I am and what I haven’t accomplished.

a friend has to postpone birthday hangouts last night. instead, a different friend came over last night and gave me a few gifts. I skipped the gym this morning. I have had a few wishes her at work; I’ve received a few texts from my Louisiana folk too. then there’s an unrelated work hangout this afternoon. in the evening, I’m going to Noodles and Company with a third friend; he will probably pay, knowing him. then tonight I’ll cry myself to sleep. Saturday, Brian will take me to dinner and to see Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat. at some point, I know I’ll get a gift from another friend who always sends something.

 

I wanted to cry when I woke up this morning. I really hoped that my gift from The-Powers-That-Be would be my not waking up finally. alas.

my sleeping issues have returned. I’m not sure what’s up with that. I mentioned to Brian about going back to a sleep specialist, and he agreed that it was a good idea.

my depression is worse, too; but that typically happens around my birthday.

I haven’t been to therapy in several months. she had a health issue that kept her out of work. she wants to meet Sep 2. I liked what work we were doing when we were actually doing it. but her constantly cancelling and rescheduling appointments was a real pain, and I had decided that I wouldn’t go back. but now, with the state I’m in, maybe I should. for now, at least. …man, I dunno.

I got a UTI last week. haven’t been back to my kickboxing since then. I know that’s not helping my mood any. I also ran out of my fibro and my axiety meds two weeks ago. so that’s taking a toll.

 

overall things should be great for me. but I’m crazy, and things are not good in my Mind.

so yeah. happy birthday to me.

back to business

after Tough Mudder, Brian and I got sick (he’s still struggling with his ear infection); shortly after that, I hurt my shoulder somehow.  and then for at least a month before all that, my car was constantly in and out of the shop for one reason or another.

well, things are finally starting to settle down.  I’m going back to 9Round (my cardio kickboxing classes) as of yesterday.  I’m eating more healthily and am tracking it again (with the exception of chewing gum).  I’m starting back on my Duolingo to re-learn Spanish for work.  I’m getting up and going to bed at somewhat regular times.  et cetera, et cetera.

which is good.  because my weight and fitness are horrid at this point.  I’m only twenty pounds lighter than my boyfriend who is over six inches taller than me and has a stockier build.  twenty pounds — that’s all.  that’s not enough.  I’ve really let myself go.

I snack too much, for one thing.  I used to either have dinner or snack, not both.  I need to get back into that system.  or into something.  I just need to do better.

I finally got around to doing chores at the apartment.  it had been at least two weeks since it really got the attention it needed, due to our being so ill and icky.  but this past weekend, we both did a lot of chores.  (thank you, Brian!)

I’m hoping (as ever) to get onto a blogging schedule.  it’s just hard with my life schedule changing so much.

I need to do some creative writing.  I haven’t done that in ages.  because I know I suck at it these days — and I hate doing things at which I’m no good.

work’s okay.  ups and downs.  almost done finding a bunch of bookkeeping and client-balance errors, which has been my big personal project.  when I thanked one of the attorneys (the one is not either partner), he thanked me in return because apparently none of the Office Managers before me ever bothered to sort this stuff out.  so that made me feel competent.  🙂

I suppose that’s it for now.  I have one more big piece of news, but there are pictures that go with it that I don’t have access to at the moment.  so we’ll hold off on that update for a little bit…

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.

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.

I think It’s coming back

I’m doing Nerd Fitness again, as previously mentioned.  and I have caloric goals included.  well, Monday and Tuesday, I went way over my caloric limit.  so yesterday, when Brian mentioned Taco Bell, I just resign to another bad day of eating, deciding to not get as much as I usually do; but I got excited, because I personally love the taste of what I get from Taco Bell.  well, then Brian backtracks, and says we shouldn’t, for monetary and caloric reasons.  so then I’m resigning to not have tasty food, but instead a can of soup.  shortly after I express my disappointment and acceptance, Brian says that maybe we can go and just get less than we normally do.

I was Done.

Brian does this thing where he keeps providing options even after a decision has been made.  I’m all about multiple options and comparing them to find the best one.  but sometimes I’m too tired to keep comparing and re-deciding, and he just exhausts me.  so I just tell him that I’m Done, meaning he now has to make the decision solo because I’m so frustrated and anxious with the whole thing that I don’t even want to do it (eat, go out, watch something, whatever) at all anymore.  and that’s not fair to him, I know; but my brain just shuts down after that Option Paralysis situation.

so that’s what happened here — I was just Done.  so we get home, and I just go strait to sleep.  I didn’t eat anything.  this morning, I had a large bowl of cereal.  I’ve purposely left my lunch at home, so that I may eat it tonight.

when I lived alone, I usually didn’t eat dinner.  that’s one method of how I prevented myself from gaining weight.  but living with him, he has dinner every night; and I have a seafood diet — I see food, I want to eat.  so when he has dinner I get pseudo-hungry (because my stomach and body don’t actually need anymore calories); and then I eat.

so I’m going to try no lunches.  people who do Intermittent Fasting skip meals all the time.  so I’m going to lean on that crutch as I feed back in my eating disorder.

yeah, that’s where this whole entry is going — back to my ED.

I forgot how great it felt to really control something again.  I am going to decide when I eat, what I eat, and even if I eat.  I’m going to get my ropes back.  and I’m stoked.

there’s certain physical attributes and sensations that also excite me.  I always feel lighter when I skip meals.  my insides are more vacant, they’re airy.  I walk lighter; I almost float.  I’m excited for it to be a meal time so that I may say no.  and I love when my stomach tries to plead it’s case about being hungry and empty; I kindly remind it that it’s been trained poorly, and it doesn’t need nearly as much food as it’s become accustomed to receiving.  again, I am in control.

so yeah, I think It’s coming back.  that wonderful sensation of control, of being lightweight, of just generally being better.

I have to be careful, though.  I can’t let It take the control as it once did.  I have to remain in charge.  I have to guide It to a happy medium between us.  and I really think I can; honestly.