Sunday, September 27, 2009

Why Sundays Suck

Another whirlwind weekend ended too soon. Not even enough time to come up with a decent picture for this post! Friday night I arrived home excited to see Marc-- unfortunately he was absolutely exhausted after a week of long days and early mornings at work and fell asleep very early. I stayed up late catching up on Greys Anatomy and feeling sorry for myself.

Saturday morning I had my first ever facial-- it was amazing and way better than any massage I've ever had. I got a shoulder massage (where 90% of my tension goes) plus glorious hot towels put on my face and lots of lovely moisturizing creams rubbed into my skin, all of which left me soft and glowing. I'm definitely going to be doing that again!

I picked up Marc from playing football with some of his grad-school friends, and we dashed home to change and head back to Seattle for my friend Erik's wedding. I've known Erik since 8th grade, and in fact he was my very first boyfriend when we were both 14. It was wonderful to see him so happy, and great to see old friends. I would have liked to stay longer, but with never enough time in the weekend, Marc and I left the reception not long after the cake was cut and went home to watch movies and have quiet time together.

Too soon Sunday had rolled around again. I am coming to hate Sundays. We spent the morning doing errands, going to the grocery store, buying grass seed to try and keep our hateful lawn from dying completely, the post office and the library. I spent the rest of the afternoon making pea soup and chicken breasts, chopping vegetables and preparing for the week with breaks to to laundry and pick tomatoes from my garden. I planned on leaving at about seven to head back to Dupont, but actually left around eight.

Every Sunday Marc semi-jokingly tries to get me to stay Sunday night and drive down Monday morning. To allow for traffic and to come to the house before I have to be at the hospital in order to drop off my food and other stuff I would have to get up at 4am and I'm simply unwilling to do this. But it still makes me feel guilty for not grabbing hold of every spare second we have together. Every Sunday night that moment when I see his sad eyes as I drive away is the worst part of the week. This was the first time I didn't cry at least. I suppose it's ridiculous given that we get to see each other every weekend and I know people who are forced apart for much longer periods, but I still hate it. (But not so much that I want to drive three hours every day!) I am grateful I am able to stay so close to the hospital and all week long I'm glad I am here-- but Sunday nights are not my favorite part of the week. Sundays in general are stressful and busy and I never get everything done.

Every week I get here and find I've forgotten something. Last week I forgot a number of food items. This week I forgot my headphones which means either a trip to the Best Buy in Lacey or a week of no music at the gym or while I study. And now I need to get to bed, before another week of learning inpatient nutrition and trying to get myself back in shape-- I've only been making it to the gym two or three days a week and this week I'm determined to make that four.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Caffeine Junky?

I think I'm becoming a caffeine person three weeks into my internship. It was a hard adjustment in the second week when we started having to be there at 8 instead of 10 after a summer of being lazy, and I started drinking green tea every morning. Then I started bringing tea into the hospital with me because I didn't have time to finish it in the morning and gradually that increased to a second giant mug of tea in the day. Then J. (a fellow intern) and I started going to get coffee in the afternoons because we can get it free after lunch but you don't want to venture into the cafeteria alone because the men who work in the kitchen like to tease and it can be overwhelming without backup. At first I got mostly decaf with a splash of caffeinated, but then one day there wasn't any decaf. Fast forward to yesterday when I had no caffeine and had a headache all day. Now two mugs of green tea and half a cup of coffee is hardly breaking any caffeine records, but if you haven't noticed by now, I'm super sensitive to everything. I have also discovered that Marc drinks 32 oz of coffee every day at work, but some how does not suffer headaches on the weekend when he has none. Mysterious.

I have been doing a good job with self care, caffeine not withstanding. Since there are no grocery stores close to where I am staying I make all my food ahead and eat the same thing every day: smoothie for breakfast, chicken salad with some kind of starch (rice, quinoa, potatoes) for lunch and some kind of legume soup for dinner (two weeks ago it was lentil, last week it was split pea, this week I'm making chili). I eat fruit and larabars between, and I admit I have been eating chocolate covered almonds from the bulk bin, but it occurred to me if I don't buy them I'll be forced into sugar-free week days since I don't really have access to anything without a longish drive so this week I'm doing without those. I also got a one week trial to a gym that is very close and went after I got off three days this week-- next week I hope to increase that to four days after I sign up. I'm definitely getting 7 hours of sleep, and often I get 8. With the increase in activity I feel like I need more and I need to try and make myself go to bed sooner.

It's a weird alternate reality I live in five days a week, and then I come crashing back into my life for 48 hours, with barely enough time to catch my breath before I'm off again. Strangely I miss Marc most when I first get home and it all hits me, as if I have been suppressing or ignoring it all week long, only to have it rise up and out when I come home again.

I had a lazy, rainy day yesterday. Marc and I stuck close to each other and did errands and watched movies. I haven't gotten any homework done yet, which means today like most Sundays will be frantic as I try to get work done, make soup and chicken and quinoa to last me the week, do more errands and try to drive back to Dupont before it gets too late.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Yay chickens

To get this picture I had to eat larabars for breakfast this morning because I was short one green egg and when I went out there Kitty was busy sitting on her egg and I didn't want to bother her. So we had eggs for lunch instead.

This morning we went to the Seattle Tilth Harvest festival where we saw a one year old Speckled Sussex chicken-- the same kind Roxie is, and were a little stunned by how big she is going to get. We are hoping the other chickens don't all get that big or else their house is going to be too small!

This morning we found out Marc's dad could be in the hospital in LA for quite a while longer, so we may be planning a weekend trip to LA soon. It frustrates me because I hear third-hand generalizations about his diagnosis in lay terms, when if I knew the medical diagnosis I could understand what that means a lot better than my family does. I wish he were here where we could go visit him and advocate for him-- I got a little emotional the other day when I watched a patient consultation at Madigan with a man who had had a heart attack and was in the hospital. Even though his situation was different than my father in law's, it reminded me of him and made me sad. I keep demanding Marc ask him about his diet and if they are giving him supplemental nutrition (like Ensure which is absolute crap but he needs protein to heal and that's what hospitals have). He said he's eating but the portions are tiny and he's still hungry. My guess is they are giving him the cardiac diet which is probably designed for people who need to lose weight-- he needs to gain it and he needs enough calories to heal from his wounds. I wish I could read his chart and see what they are doing for him.

This is my first weekend home where I only get two days. It's already near 2pm and I have to get started on my mountain of homework. If I want to have any hope of exercising and getting enough sleep during the week I need to get my homework done now.

Bastyr friends-- I am missing you....

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Labor Day Labors

I had a long, but not terribly relaxing holiday weekend. Things at my weekday house are very simplified—I am here to do my internship and things related to it. There are few distractions. When I got home felt very anxious about all the things I should be doing. I had a TON of homework, but when I was doing it I felt like I should be spending time with Marc. Every break from homework I took there was laundry to do, grocery shopping and preparing for the week, organization I should have done before my internship started etc—more things to do then there was time to do them, which put me on edge. I did manage to get the majority of my homework (which is due Friday) done—I would have had it all done except we had a project comparing the ADA’s Evidence Based Library with the Cochrane database and I couldn’t figure out how to find what I needed in Cochrane without a password—emails from my fellow interns told me I wasn’t the only one having problems. I also have this compulsion to get ahead on my homework because we have so many big things due later on in the quarter that I don’t want things to start piling up—so anxiety reigned all weekend.

As I was getting ready to leave I was very sad to leave Marc and the chix—but as soon as I got here I felt calm and focused again.

Marc did a nice job this weekend building gates so that our yard, which was previously 80% fenced is now completely fenced. Our next door neighbor told us our chickens had been going on adventures through not only his yard, but the next yard over and while he found it amusing, we were worried about a dog getting them. Now they are (hopefully) contained to their own yard.

I did more food preparation this week. On Sunday I made a whole chicken, which I still have meat leftover from. I also made bone broth from the bones and then made a lentil soup out of that today—it made a ton of soup—I brought half with me and the other half went in the freezer at home. I pre-cut raw veggies for Marc and I, as well as melon and strawberries. I also harvested kale and collards from my garden so I can have more greens than just salad this week. I probably brought too much food this time, since once again I am only here four days, but eventually I’ll figure out the system. I felt like I was bringing a ton of luggage again this time, but really half of it was groceries and another quarter was toiletries like shampoo, makeup and a hairdryer that I use both places.

I did manage to get to the gym twice this weekend. I haven’t been doing very high intensity workouts, mostly because I have been out of the habit of going for about a month now and I can’t afford to burn myself out—once I get used to the habit again I’ll increase the intensity. I am looking into a gym down here, but will only sign up if it isn’t expensive and I can do a three month membership since I have no idea where I’ll be next semester.

Friday, September 4, 2009

I'm happy to be home again for a long weekend after my first week of rotation. In honor of my homecoming one of the aracauna chickens (either Muffin or Kitty) laid her first egg! I can tell because it is green. So we are up to three of the five older chickens laying-- I expect they will all be laying by end of October, and the little kids are due to lay in November, though by then it will be dark and so we might not get much from them.

I was a little worried my chickens with their little pea brains would forget me in four days, but when I came around into the yard last night they all came running. I nearly cried.

Yesterday I left the hospital at 4:45 and arrived home at 6:15. I actually didn't hit much traffic-- fortunately it seemed most of the Seahawks traffic was going South because Southbound traffic was barely moving. If Northbound had been that bad it would have taken me three hours. I am so grateful I don't have to make that drive every day!

I woke up today to find I lost a couple pounds-- while I'm not unhappy to see the scale move in that direction, I know I haven't been eating enough, mainly because the whole week before I left for my internship I was so stressed I couldn't eat much and so I didn't plan my food very well for the week and pretty much ate beans, rice and lettuce for lunch and dinner for several days. (I was snacking on a few chocolate covered almonds, but apparently that didn't matter). I also am not getting enough exercise-- I'm going to look into the local gym when I get back down there on Tuesday, though since I'm expecting to have 10 hour days this week I'm not entirely sure when I'll have time. I need to plan my menus a little more thoughtfully now that my appetite is better.

We still have family medical drama-- Marc's dad is still in the hospital, though they moved him to a different LA hospital so he could get more specialty care. He had a heart attack, flesh eating bacterial infection, and a big absess between his heart and lungs they were afraid was a tumor but fortunately turned out not to be. In order to do a biopsy of the absess they had to collapse one of his lungs. It's scary and hard for all of us, but I am so thankful that he is getting good medical care and that things weren't even worse. Hopefully some time next week Marc will be able to fly down to LA and bring him home.