Sunday, November 29, 2009

Relax and Reload

It is SOOOO nice to be home again. Last Friday I packed up my car, washed sheets, cleaned bathrooms and left my temporary home for the last time this year. Over the weekend I worked 16 hours at Ski Fever handing out Larabar samples. It was a pretty boring event-- we were told to expect 30,000 people and there couldn't have been more than 4,000. It turned out to be a great event for me as I got to chatting with the Chiropractor's office that was stationed next to us. As it turns out their office is thinking of bringing on a Nutritionist a couple days a week. Long story short, we hit it off and I went to the office last Wednesday to see the space and to get to know them a little better. Some time next year I may be setting up private practice in Kirkland-- I'll keep you posted!

Almost immediately after my meeting Wednesday I came down with a cold. Amazingly I went about 12 weeks working in medical settings around very sick people and I finally got sick sitting at home by myself (actually, I probably picked it up at Ski Fever). I fortunately did not seem to have the flu, and just spent a few days with a cold. As always when I get sick it started in my lungs-- ever since I had bronchitis a few years ago every illness settles there. We spent Thanksgiving with Marc's family, which was fun, though exhausting for me since I was not feeling well. I had to cancel doing product demos and dinner with an old friend on Saturday. I spent Friday and Saturday laying on the couch in sweatpants watching movies and bad TV (don't the networks know people are at home the day after Thanksgiving?! There was nothing on!) I'm feeling mostly better today and excited for my rotation this week at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance. I get to sleep in my own bed, carpool with Marc and learn about oncology-- a perfect two weeks for sure!

Above are my silly girls-- they are difficult as always to capture because they move faster than my camera. I guess I need a high speed lens...

Friday, November 13, 2009

The return of Fatigue

During grad school, off and on I would be sidled with deep fatigue that felt as if I was exhausted all the way to by bones. It came and went and treatment for both anemia and adrenal fatigue helped to eradicate it. Now it is back. Not all of the time, but some days, especially when I get a minute to hold still it returns. Wednesday I had the day off and had plans to get a great deal of work done on a presentation I have to do next week. I was fairly unproductive and felt like I could barely move much of the day-- yet yesterday I was buzzing around the hospital as if it had never happened. I also had beef for dinner and leftovers for lunch yesterday, making it murky as to whether I'm iron deficient or my adrenals are suffering.

The case for anemia: last year when I was anemic I took iron for two months and when my ferritin got just barely in the normal range (normal is between 15-150 or 200 depending on the lab-- mine started at 7 and went up to 35) my doctor said I should stop taking iron. Taking it made me feel immediately better, which the doctor said couldn't be due to the iron (apparently taking iron doesn't make you feel better right away). I think that when there is a range that is so huge for "normal" that maybe being just barely in the normal range is not going to work for every one. Plus, I have not been eating much iron lately (we have beef maybe once every other week, mainly because it is both expensive and because I don't have time to go to PCC very often and I refuse to eat it if it isn't grass fed), and being a girl, I lose iron.

The case for adrenal fatigue: I am not anywhere near as stressed doing this internship as I was in grad school, except that this fatigue started right after my two weeks in ICU hell, which consisted of very little sleep and a lot of stress. I also have been drinking coffee every day, and now I'm drinking it on the weekends too because avoiding it gives me a terrible headache and I don't have time to detox off it right now. Not so good for the adrenals.

So for now, I'm taking my adrenal support, taking iron and trying not to over do it. The fatigue is annoyingly getting in the way of me being consistent working out-- last week in honor of my birthday I went to the gym 5 days (it helped that my rotation didn't start until 9am so I could go in the morning). This week I've been too tired when I've had time.

The other thing that's weird about this term is I somehow, effortlessly learned portion control. I can not eat more than a small portion at a time, even of sweet things which have always been my achilles heel. The only thing I can think of, is that at the very beginning of the semester and again during ICU I was so stressed I lost my appetite entirely and it shrunk my stomach. At any rate I'm definitely not complaining.

I also have been having flare-ups of my TMJ, which usually rarely bothers me. Last night after a tense drive home I took an aleve and spent the evening holding ice to my face. If I had real health insurance I'd see a doctor, but since I don't I'm going to have to figure something else out. It is definitely tension related though.

I've been home more than away this week, which made for some stressful drives. I had Wednesday off and today class was cancelled, so I drove both ways to the hospital yesterday-- I'm so glad I don't do that every day! Three hours in the car is exhausting! After next week I move home, maybe for good, but at least until January-- I'm still not sure where my rotations will be next semester.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Older and wiser

Tomorrow is my 30th birthday. I've been trying to pin down for a few weeks now how I feel about this, searching the corners of my psyche for an impending breakdown, but finding...nothing. I am at peace with this transition in my life. I know that birthdays that end in zero are often traumatic for people, reminding them perhaps of their own mortality and of time passing. Besides, as my husband pointed out to me, you either get older or you die, so given the choice, getting older is good!

The year I turned 25 my dad turned 50 and we jokingly agreed that we would stay those respective ages. When I turned 27 I did have a mini freak out, because in my mind I was 25 for two years, so when I hit 27 I felt as though I had missed a year. Though I facetiously invited people to my 5th annual 25th birthday party last year, I learned from that experience to own my age and live in the moment, rather than to try and hold on to time gone by, because you miss things in the moment when you are holding on to the past.

In some ways it is a tremendous relief to enter my thirties. I was never a very typical twenty something-- I have been married since 6 weeks after my 21st birthday. I worked multiple jobs through college, rarely went out, am not much of a drinker and would rather hang out with friends at home than in a crowded bar. I always kind of felt like something was wrong with me and I somehow could not quite identify with my peer group on this level. Now I am entering a decade of my life where many of my friends are in the swing of their careers and starting to have children and I feel like my life goals are more in line with those of my peers. In some ways the struggle of my twenties through college and grad school have all lead up to this moment. In six months I will finally be done with higher education and can at last GET ON WITH IT and get a job, start a career and have babies.

****Yes!!!-- I am looking forward to my 30s. *****