What the WHAT?

I haven’t blogged for a while, and this isn’t really how I wanted to come back. But I got some news today that was so frustrating, I just need to vent about it. And you’re my captive audience. 

Most people who know me are aware that I’ve been fighting with endometriosis since I was about 23. If you don’t know what it is, click here for a nice medical description.  Last November, Jeff and I made the decision to go ahead with my doctor’s recommendation and have a hysterectomy. I’d been through 9 laser laparoscopies to remove the excess tissue, and this was the next step to try and get me pain free. Made sense to me-no uterus, no uterine tissue to grow everywhere, right? 

Wrong. I knew there was a chance that it could come back. The nature of the disease is that uterine tissue grows in non uterine places. And while generally it’s just on the outside of the uterus, it’s not confined to that spot. Talking to the nurses at my doctor’s office and going over past surgeries, my disease did like to engulf my left ovary (or was it my right? I can’t remember) and the outside quadrants of my uterus. It was also quite happy to grow on my ureters and around my pelvic wall. I bet you can tell where I’m going with this…

It’s back. I started having pretty serious pain again last week. I thought, hey, maybe it’s ovulation pain-I have no clue or way to have a clue about when that happens for a lady without a uterus. But it’s been hanging in there for the last week, and I started to wonder. So I called the dr, and they are pretty sure it’s back. They wanted to schedule an ultrasound, and pending those results I’m in for another surgery. 

I cannot covey how frustrated I am. I cannot believe that it’s back already. 8 short months. Jeez, even WITH a uterus I used to be able to make it through 10 pain free months. Having the hysterectomy was mentally harder on me than I thought it would be. It makes conversations as a newlywed awkward. It makes you feel like an outsider around friends and coworkers who talk about their kids and hush when you show up. And now, to find out I had major surgery for basically nothing? Infuriating. Devastating. I want to curl up and cry. I want to go for a run until I can’t breathe anymore. I want a gallon of wine. I feel totally helpless. This is going to take some processing. I feel like I let people down. Like I let my husband down. He shouldn’t have to deal with this. I shouldn’t have to deal with this. But we do. So I’m going to take tonight and throw a mini pity party, then we’ll deal with whatever comes. Because we’re a team, and though this sucks, it’s not the end of the world. 

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Gotta end with a giggle, right?

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Five Things Friday

Yeah, yeah, I whined a while back about blog themes taking the fun out of it. But this theme is easy-I get to share 5 random stuffs going on with no real theme or emotion tying them all together. This is the lazy girl’s blog post. And I’m feeling lazy! 

1) Got to practice something I’ve wanted to try for a while; the “10k a day” theory of running. Actually, I suck at math, so I ran 6 miles every day this week over lunch, with a bonus 4 mile after work run on Monday to bring me to 34. Sure, I’ve had some new shoe blisters, tummy troubles, and general “geez, treadmill AGAIN?” issues, but for the most part this week was easy. And now that Friday’s here, I’ll run my 6 miles over lunch, finish the week with a nice 34 miles, leave the shoes in my desk at work, and spend my weekend having fun. Which brings me to…

2) BRAVE COMBO! OK, so Lincoln has an awesome blues bar called the Zoo bar. And every year, they have Zoo Fest. Closes down some streets downtown, gets you some awesome music in a fun venue. This year we get to watch Jeff’s favorite crazy nuclear polka band, Brave Combo. And, as a lady who’s never seen them, forgive me if I’m more excited that I (Finally) get to wear my “cha-cha di’gregorio” retro dress we bought in Ireland on our honeymoon. We fell into this awesome alley mall right before closing time and got to scope out the Retro shop. I ended up buying this awesome dress that reminded me of Cha-Cha from “Grease”. I’ll post pictures of me in it Monday for those who can’t picture it. But it’s AWESOME and I’ve been waiting for just the occasion. This is it. 

3) Took Duncan to the vet for his shots this week. Gosh, that sucks. He HATES the car, hates the vet, hates being anywhere but home. So on the way there, my blockade keeping him in the backseat lasted all of 6 blocks. We pulled into the vet with a quivering, whimpering mass of Border Collie resting on my lap. BUT I managed to get him to sit still on their scale for the first time in his life-and it only cost me 2 sets of scratch marks down my boobs and a set on my hip for good measure. He let the vet check him out, determine he was in good health, and give him a shot. And the ride home? Well, it sucked, but not quite as badly. I don’t know why Active Laura was blessed with a dog who has the energy of 10 puppies but the neurosis of an agorophobic, but I was. So no walks for this guy, which sucks, because his overweight Australian Shepherd brother loves them and could use them. But we make it work, and I have a hard time imagining life unrestrained by a neurotic dog. 

4) Had a good week at work. One of my teammates has been out this week, as his wife had their second child late last week. I always simultaneously feel like they need to come back RIGHT NOW and marvel at how much I know that I didn’t know I knew while they were gone. For the most part, I’ve been able to take care of business while he’s been gone. As someone who doubts themselves quite a bit, that’s been a revelation. But at the same time, he’s my work hubby and I miss having the person in the cube next door to parrot all my inane comments to. Welcome back, buddy! 

5) Get to have dinner with my favorite new parents this Saturday night, and I’m super excited. My partner in crime has needed a bit more help lately as she deals with being a first time parent. As a lady who will never have kids of her own, I’ve been anxious to help, while simultaneously missing my friend. I can’t wait to spend time with them Saturday and get the best of both worlds. And, we may be roughly 4 months late, but we get to celebrate my birthday this weekend. Yay, me! 

Anti-Matter Matters

I’m noticing a pattern in my actions lately, so I was hoping by blogging that I can maybe get to the heart of what’s going on. It seems harder and harder to pry me out of our home lately for social functions. When I do get out, I’m always trying to cut out and go home early. I used to be quite the social butterfly, but lately I’ve become a bit of an antisocial recluse. Last night, we went out to celebrate my aunt’s birthday, but within a few hours I was taking us back home instead of moving on to the next location with the group. I love that woman and always complain that I don’t get to see her and my uncle as often as I used to, so the fact that I was itching to get back home tells me that something’s off.

I’m trying to trace back when this all started. I think it goes back to my surgery in November. The anti social behavior wasn’t as evident in winter when everyone just wants to hibernate, but as it’s getting warmer I feel uncomfortable in my own skin out in social situations. I don’t know what the correlation would be, but I need to get over this ASAP. I don’t want to push away the people in my life, and I don’t want to be inhibiting my husband’s good times either. So get over yourself Laura, and get back to being you!

But on the fun side, did find a quote the other day that sums me up in a nutshell…

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A Day in the Life

It’s been a while since I did one of these posts, and my day has changed a bunch, so I thought today would be a good one for a play-by-play. 

6:33-alarm goes off. I’ve woken up about 5 times over the course of the night, and I’m never quite prepared for the alarm to go off. Duncan, on the other hand, was quite prepared, and leaps off the bed with a grunt and waits in the kitchen for his breakfast. Foster follows me to the kitchen, perks up a bit when he hears the food hit his bowl, and they both chow down. I busy myself in the kitchen until they finish-roughly 30 seconds-and then shoo them outside. I head to our extra bedroom to get dressed in the clothes I laid out last night, do assorted sprucing up things, let the dogs back in. Pack my backpack full of 2 sets of gym clothes, assorted food for the day. 

6:55-daily commute. 

7:07-clock in and check email. A few things to attend to, but nothing major. Head to the break room to make my morning oatmeal, which I inhale while I fix a few issues for schools. 

8:20-a member of our K12 team comes over to let me know she scheduled a few things for herself that day that she then found out I’m working on taking over, so they’ve become my responsibility. I’ve done said “thing” twice so far, but the next one is at 10:00. I brush up on the software install, take care of a few odds and ends, do the install, breathe a sigh of relief when it goes as planned. Briefly chat with Jeff and see where his day is headed. 

12:30-head to the gym. Run 4 miles on the treadmill while watching an episode of Hoarders. Why, my house seems positively sparkling in comparison! I used to absolutely hate the treadmill, but this year I’m running far more miles than ever before. And while I could eke out 3 miles in the heat and feel OK, I can’t do that over lunch with what has become 4-12 miles per day. So the treadmill has become more of a part of my routine than I ever thought it would be. 

1:30-get back to work, eat my favorite snack of the day-salt and pepper pistachios from Trader Joe’s and a big Gala apple. Work on one of 30 system upgrades for a large client. 

3:00-second install. Didn’t go as easily as the first, but I did what was in my own scope of knowledge and handed off what I haven’t been trained on to the client’s actual representative in our company. I’ve been taking over a lot of duties lately that used to belong in the K12 side of our company, and I’ve got the impression that it will continue. It’s a bit tough being thrown in the water with very little training, but I do like the feeling of being needed, and talking to the clients today, I really felt like “myself” again, which is something I’ve missed. 

4:15-head back to the gym. Hop on my spin bike and teach back to back classes, spin followed by Power Pump. My spin class includes all the regulars plus one girl who takes my power pump class and has mentioned wanting to come try spin. I have a few minutes between classes to text Jeff. I tell him I’m freaking starving and forgot my between classes snack. His response? Oh, I’m eating pistachios right now. Poophead. Power Pump was a group of 3 girls I know very well from previous classes, which let me relax and really have fun with it. 

6:45-finally arrive home. Past readers know about my penchant for taking baths, and bringing snacks with me. We went to the home improvement store Sunday, and I found one of those old school bath trays that goes across your tub. I’m in heaven. I helped Jeff get some cages on our tomato plants, and headed into the house for my favorite part of the day. I take my shower-I’m disgusting after 3 workouts-and then plug the drain and sit down in some epsom salts to help my muscles relax. I read a few pages of my book, text back and forth with my Mom, and climb out of the tub. I’m reading a Wally Lamb book right now, We Are Water, and I’ve sensed a pattern for me in his writing. None of his main characters are particularly likeable. As a matter of fact, I outright dislike them. I don’t agree with their choices, I think they’re selfish, whatever. I don’t feel invested in them, yet something keeps me turning the pages. I can’t decide if that’s my stubbornness, or his skill as a writer. Anyway, I’m still working on this book after I tried it and gave up once in the past.

7:39-I’ve dried off, dried my hair, and headed downstairs to write this blog. Jeff’s outside-watering the lawn, handing our neighbor a taste of some whiskey he’s never had, grilling our dinner. I’m guessing the rest of this evening will consist of some steak, potatoes, green beans, Good Wife on Hulu Plus, doing dishes, cleaning up, heading to bed, doing it all again the next day.

And that’s my life! Work has changed-I’m taking on new responsibilities, with very little training. It’s great to be more excited and invested in what I do, but that “oh, know, I don’t know the answer” feeling is not something I like to have. 2 years ago, I went from a position in which I was the expert, where I had big clients who relied heavily on me and enjoyed working with me above all others, and where very little surprised me. The past 2 years have been a learning curve, a humbling experience, and a struggle to find my place and be the subject matter expert on SOMETHING. I think I’ve carved out a good path towards that, but it requires some uncomfortable situations on my part, and that’s just part of the process. 

Work’s not the only thing that has changed. I went from a 35ish mile per week run average, most of which outside, to a roughly 30 mile run average and 25 mile bike average, most of the run miles on a treadmill. I felt the trade off for 5 run miles to 25 miles on the bike would keep my fitness level and weight range acceptable to me. But yesterday I had an epiphany and realized I really missed having 2 solid days per week in which I didn’t HAVE to work out. I was able previously to run 5 days a week, 3 cross train workouts, and still have 2 days in a row off. So even if I have to run twice a day a few days a week, I’m going back to a 35 mile week, 2 day off schedule. My muscles need those 2 days to recover, and mentally it’s better for me. Mondays and Thursdays aren’t going to be easy, but I think Saturday afternoon naps are going to be totally worth it. Have I mentioned how much I love naps? Seriously. Even though by “nap” I usually mean a TV show or two on Netflix, maybe 15-20 minutes of which I actually fall asleep. I guess it’s more aptly afternoon down time, but it’s something I really look forward to. 

So, what’s the story? Can you relate to ANYTHING in my day? What’s your favorite work day snack? Tell me something, people! 

Reconciling your “should do’s” and your “do-do’s”

Yes, I titled this blog so I could say doodoo. But all poop jokes aside (I save those for my husband), I’ve got a fairly serious blog post percolating in my mind tonight. Whether you call me friend, family, or have simply seen me string 10 words into a run-on sentence, you know that I tend to have some pretty lofty expectations for myself. I feel like there’s always something I “should” be doing-cleaning house, weeding the yard, exercising for the third time in a single day. I feel “guilty” sitting on the couch and relaxing. It seems like instead of perusing the same 10-15 websites I always visit, I should be curing cancer, working a second job, or creating world peace. Free time used to render me in almost a panic-I literally could not sit still. I’d eat dinner, sit around for 5 minutes, and then find a way to be productive again until I fell into bed completely exhausted. I’m a little bit “better” these days, but I still have a hard time being in the moment and not thinking of what I “should” be doing. Lets face it-I probably would never be the housewife scrubbing floors with clockwork regularity, the person on the block with the immaculately manicured yard, or the avid weekly participant of a book club. So why can’t I accept that and stop shaming myself for taking a mental break in the evenings? 

How do others reconcile down time? I know I have a hard time accepting that it’s OK to chill out and read a book, watch some TV, or otherwise relax. Hell, my favorite activity at home is taking a bath-and I have a feeling it’s both because that’s multitasking (relaxing AND cleanlliness!) and because I’m literally trapped in hot water and don’t get distracted into cleaning that dust bunny, doing dishes, or whatever but can focus on the book I can’t seem to let myself read on the couch, but am perfectly cool with reading in the tub. And honestly-it’s gotten harder since my surgery in November. It’s like since I don’t and won’t have the distraction of kids, I feel obligated to be productive with my free time and “should be” pursuing some higher learning or something noble. What that really is? I have no idea. I usually just end up feeling mildly self loathing while watching Orange Is the New Black on Netflix-even though I know it’s not “bad”. 

I’d love to hear your thoughts. But for now, I’ll go back to watching an interchangeable episode of House Hunters on HGTV and spotting 10 things I’d love to do to my home but will probably never get the gumption to actually attempt.