Monday, August 31, 2009

Rainy Monday

I've been doing pretty well is terms of "keeping busy" during the day but also taking it easy, listening to my body and not overdoing it. Today it was rainy. It was Monday. I sat around and watched West Wing in my pajamas. At the end of the day I felt slovenly. Adam remarked that my description of my day made me seem a little bit more like a real person.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Tinkerbells

It's the third annual North Carolina Carleton Club summer send off and we actually have incoming students attending to send off. A good time was had by all (though I had to take a nap in the middle of it). One of my favorite pics in below. The reflective material on Bengt's shoes make it look like he's Tinkerbell or something. Sadly, he didn't fly.

And look, there goes Todd!

I'm also happy for the opportunity to talk to Kris who is a neurosurgeon. She assures me the angiogram will not be as bad the second time around.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

A little gathering

Diane and I had a few people over for wine and cheese to celebrate the redecoration of the apartment and the end of the hospital drama.

The morning is gone. It's dreamed away. But that's alright. It's Saturday.


I'm generally a morning person so a 10:45am wake up caught me by surprise. When I wake up early, somehow I feel like I'm getting a head start o the day. It was the Dar Williams lyrics (see the title of this post) that made me feel ok about it.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Big. Bigger.

Looks like a regular rice krispy treat, no?

Look again.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Happy Birthday to my mom

I actually did laugh out loud

I got a nice card from the Clients. This was my favorite note:
"I can't believe you're making me deal with Rod for a little brain malfunction". You know the expression "laugh out loud"? I actually did laugh out loud at the mailboxes.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Dream Phlebotomist

I had a follow up doctor visit today. When I made the appointment they told me I should fast prior to the appointment. I responded "Oh, we can skip that part I've had several blood test in the past week I'll make sure you get those records."

No such luck.

However, I've met my dream phlebotomist. Her name is Yolanda. I didn't even feel it. Where was she when I was at Rex?

This office is associated with Rex so they're going to set up the next cerebral angiogram. Not looking forward to that. The bruise on my right side was healing up nicely. But for the second procedure they'll go in on the left side. Perfect. Evens things out.

I am woozy after all that blood has been drawn. Diane picks me up and I'm craving McDonald's french fries so that's what we have for lunch. Yes, I have temporarily gotten off the SuperFoods bandwagon. Right now I don't feel good and I'm underweight so I'm basically eating whatever I want. It's awesome.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Not This Cat

video
P.S. I scrubbed the bathroom top to bottom, tub included after this video.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

As suspected, the book was much better.

The Girl Who

Just finished reading this book.

It was the second book in a series of three.

There were some parts of the book that gave me pause.

Her mother had spent 10 years at Appelviken and it was where she finally died at only 46 after on last annihilating cerebral haemorhage.

The last fourteen years of Agneta Sofia Salander's life had been punctuated by small cerebral haemorhages which left her unable to take care of her self. Sometimes she had not even been able to recognize her daughter.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Sunday August 16th, at the hospital and then home

I’m woken up to the sound of the IV machine beeping. It’s on empty and won’t keep quiet until refilled. I feel heavy tingling in my hand and it’s spreading. I feel crappy and on top of that the “Mom” lady is full throttle across the hall.

I press the “Nurse” button. This doesn’t immediately send a nurse to your room but rather prompts the question “What is it?” Part of me thinks “This isn’t a drive through. If I’ve pressed the nurse button, I need a nurse.” but I state my business and patiently wait. I also note the time.

I know I’m not the only patient in this hospital and don’t have a dire problem but I get a little frustrated when 45 minutes go by and nobody has come to my room. Being the Account Person I am I write down the time when I pressed the button and will note the time when someone actually arrives.

Finally a nurse comes in but she’s there to check my vitals. At this point, the tingling has subsided. But, the woman across the call has started up again. This morning it’s “Dad, Dad, Dad.”

I feel desperate for information. I was given a one pager the other day but the information was thin. I’m a little afraid to try Google because there are a range of degrees when it comes to cerebral hemorrhages and I don’t want to needlessly scare the crap out of myself. I want more terminology. I want to know what to expect in terms of symptoms – what’s normal, what’s indicative of a problem - especially because I’m going home today.

I reach out to Carleton folks via the Health message board, I e-mail a friend of mine whose Dad is a Psychiatrist. I even send an e-mail to an ex-boyfriend who is a neuroscience post doc.

Fortunately, there’s a wonderful nurse working the day shift and she answers several of my questions. I am much more at ease. I’ve packed up my room and am ready to go.

Three hours later they remove the IV and I’m discharged.

Ah, home.

I have Chubby Taco’s for dinner.
It stays down.
The worst must be over.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Saturday, August 15th, patient tower

I wake up hungry. When the nurse comes in to check on me I ask her for ice cream. It’s 4 am. I love this.

I’m certain I’ll be discharged today but an early morning visit from the doctor indicates otherwise. Arg. They must be proceeding with caution because of the premature discharge.

I feel (and apparently look) much better and it’s easier for Teri to say goodbye to me today. While I wish none of this had happened, I’m glad she was here for it. I miss her the minute she walks out the door. My Princess.

I’m cleared to take a shower today! Hooray. My products, however, are at home. The nurse brings me a bottle of something that is soap, shampoo and conditioner all in one. I really don’t trust anything that claims to do all that much but patients can’t be choosers.

Adam’s got to work today to catch up for the days out earlier this week so Diane and Bengt take over “Jamie Duty.”

The Physical Therapist comes by and I’m ready to do cartwheels for her in order to get the OK for discharge. She takes me out to the hallway for the various “tasks” she needs me to perform.

There’s one task I’ve been asked to do several times. Hold your hands out in front of you, arms a bit far apart, point a finger and touch your nose. With your eyes closed. It’s the strangest thing when you miss and I’ve missed this one repeatedly, today being no exception.

Despite not being able to touch my nose, the PT says I’m “cleared” and I should be out of here soon.

I had better be out of here soon! If they don’t let me out tomorrow I’m going to pull the flat screen TV and throw it out the window a la “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.”

Diane, Bengt and I start a Scrabble game. I get tired in a hurry (or maybe I just picked bad tiles!) and they decide to head to the mall to run some errand so I can rest. They’re also going to pick up lunch.

I experience a twinge of envy at them being able to just do your basic Saturday things. Funny that going to the mall triggered that. I must be getting better and back to my old self.

I wake up from my nap hungry. This is a fabulous feeling. Diane and Bengt are still not back with my sandwich and I send Bengt a text telling them to hurry up before the feeling passes.

They arrive and I eat the sandwich with no issue. Fantastic!

I’m learn allowed to put on my own clothes and my friends can take me “outside” (hospital courtyard) provided they do so in a wheelchair. Today is full of privileges, indeed.

Outside. I’m thrilled for some fresh air. Until we get outside. It’s August in North Carolina and the air feels heavy and hot, not fresh. I delight in it anyway.

Adam and Colin join us and everyone takes turns pushing me around the small courtyard. Adam does the equivalent of popping a wheelie with me in the chair. I am not amused.

I have a very happy moment outside. I’m clean, I’m wearing my own clothes, I’m outside, and most importantly I’m in the presence of friends. We’re just chatting about whatever and it feels normal. So normal that I really want to get up and walk around but I know I’m better off following doctor’s orders so I stay put.

Later that night when everyone has left the pendulum swings and the tears finally come. I think it was the moment when it all sunk in. The woman moaning “Mom” in the background doesn’t help. None of this has seemed real up until now and even though I’m well enough to be discharged it’s at this moment I feel the most scared.

Eventually I find comfort and sleep.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Friday, August 14th, the rest of the day, sixth floor east patient tower

Eventually I’m transferred from the ER to the regular hospital.

When I’m transferred to the sixth floor of the patient tower I’m delighted to see that I’m in a private room. With a big window. I ask for the shades to be opened so I can get some real light.

And, I have a real bathroom. With a shower! Luxury at its finest. I am, however, tethered to the IV machine. Luxury, but without freedom, I guess.

It’s a private room. But, I appear to have a roommate. There’s an older woman across the hall who is wailing for her mom. “Mom, Mom, Mom.” It’s likely some form of dementia. She becomes the soundtrack to my time on the sixth floor.

During the day, you were slowly working your way up the food chain. You started with clear, non-judgemental things like ginger ale, jello, and some sort of sorbet-esque thing.

My friends are the ones administering most of the food. Apparently Diane doesn’t trust me completely with food at this point. Jello is added to the repertoire and I’m not keen to eat it, even though it’s orange (my favorite color).

We have a calm and quiet afternoon that involved a group nap (Diane claimed to be comfortable on the floor), listening to music for the “Sicky” play list, reading, watching West Wing and browsing the internet on the iloverex wireless network.

And then it’s time for me to go to the bathroom. A nurse comes in to help me walk the five feet from the bed to the bathroom. She makes me put on those damn blue socks. That’s when I realize they have treads and their popularity makes just a little sense to me.

The nurse notices that my gown isn’t on properly.

The nurse also pretty much takes the gown off of you and reorients it on you without much of a heyhowyadoin.

I really have no modesty left but pals in the room avert their eyes.

Teri discovers a fridge full of ice cream, apple juice and Shasta and she brings ice cream for everyone.

I partake in the impromptu ice cream party and it stays put. Because of this I am allowed full reign of the “room service” menu for dinner. I joke about ordering hot and spicy food items but decide on cornflakes and toast. I eat the cornflakes but skip the toast, probably something to do with the fate of the toast I had that morning.

My grumpy boss Rod also stops by and for some strange reason he cheers me up. He even brings me flowers. We learn that we have visits to Rex and angiograms in common.

Rod is followed by Andrea. She brings a box that had been at my desk. I am positive that it is the cute running outfits I bought from Athleta but turns out to be a pair of shoes I ordered from Piperlime, mainly to get free shipping. Might have been for the best because I wouldn’t have been able to try on the clothes and their arrival would have punctuated that I won’t be running any time soon.

I’ve enjoyed the company of my coworkers and friends but I feel myself getting tired so I send everyone away. I feel like a bad host every time I do this even though I know my guests understand why I need them to leave.

Before I nap, I get a voice mail from my friend Candace. It’s unlikely that she know what’s going on and I delight in her message asking me if I’m going to do the Splash and Dash swim/run event this weekend. It’s just a nice reminder of normalcy even though participation in the event is out of the question.

After a long day at work, Adam comes by. He missed work on Wednesday and Thursday to be with me and now he’s catching up. I was told a physical therapist was going to stop by on Saturday so Adam takes me on a walk through the halls. I consider this training.

I’m wobbly, dizzy and tire easily but it’s still nice to move around and get a look out the windows. Adam helps me figure out where I am situated relative to Lake Boone trail – should the hospital decide to slide down it again.

Friday August 14th, early morning in the ER

I’m separating this saga into days but it’s a little artificial since we’ve been up way past midnight a few nights now.

When I wake (if I even slept) I notice Diane asleep on the hospital floor. This girl is going to get her wings. Her past week has been all about me, me, me. First it was my birthday, the Taboo game, Triathlon, dismantling the apartment, my sister in town and now this. I’m extremely appreciative of her support but I really hope things calm down so she can get back to her own life.

This is what I’m thinking as I overhear her cancel all of her appointments for the day.

Somewhere through all this, I’ve started to call Diane “Boss.” She truly has become a source of calm and knowledge as well as a liaison between me and the hospital staff. I trust her judgment unconditionally. I hope she doesn’t feel too burdened by the responsibility of being “the boss” (sorry, Rod!).

Teri arrives. The room is dark but for the light of Diane’s computer. Teri was going to stop by the hospital to say goodbye before she flew back to Seattle. After a quick chat with Diane she decides to stay. I love Teri and I’m glad she’s here and I understand why she can’t leave just yet but I also want her to return to her life soon. She’s been gone more than a week, she’s got some good momentum with wedding planning, she’s in a wedding next weekend and then she’s off to Canada with the family. Nate and Pilot need her.

At some point, Diane put together a “Sicky McSickerson” playlist with calm good for breathing songs. Right now, Dar Williams is up. Her concert is tonight. I worked on the street team and I was going to meet her. Not gonna happen, I know.

There’s talk of me getting discharged today but “The Boss” is adamant that I eat and retain something before that happens (Remember, the boss is also my roommate and maybe she thinks that plumbing just can’t handle any more JamiePuke).

A nurse comes in with breakfast. We had a number of cute male nurses overnight but no such luck for this meal. Breakfast is toast and it arrives in a covered dish. Excellent presentation for something as simple as toast. You can guess what happened a few moments later and after that it’s obvious I’m not going anywhere today.

Teri returns from grabbing food and proudly tells us that she wanted to get something delicious like a cheeseburger but opted for healthy. I would have been extra delighted had it been a Super Food, though it wasn’t.

Speaking of healthy, it’s also around this time that Diane brings me The Supersized Rice Krispie Treat.

At this point I’ve been four full days without a shower. All they can give me is industrial strength handi-wipes. I guess all I’m getting is a bed bath. There’s no cute male nurse around so Teri gets the job of helping me out.

I feel slightly more human as they wheel me from the ER to the patient tower.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Thursday August 13th, late evening back in the ER

We arrive at the ER. In order to mitigate the spinning I keep my eyes closed. I give one word answers and let Diane, Teri or Adam answer as many questions as they can on my behalf.

I’m stuck in triage. Apparently there’s someone outside who will get quite upset if I’m admitted before her husband despite the fact that my “case” is worse than hers.

Two nights ago, I would have let everyone cut me in line. Tonight is a different situation.

They're going to wheel me out the back to avoid more drama.

We arrive in a pediatric room. Teri and Diane note of the train tracks on the ceiling and the poorly painted mural. And a large crib.

I could give a shit about d├ęcor.

They need to take off the dress to put on a hospital gown.

“CUT IT OFF” I say, in one of my, admittedly, more dramatic moments.

The ER doctor advises us that my meningitis like symptoms are typical of the hemorrhage. But, he notes that he’s not familiar with “my case” and my attending physician won’t be in until the morning.

Hmmm. These are things it would have been good to mention before they wheeled me to the exit earlier today. I’m silently drafting a letter of protest to my insurance company should I get charged for Round II admission to the ER.

All this is happening, mind you, between bouts of nausea.

It’s late and Adam has to return to work tomorrow so he heads home. I know all is forgiven but I still apologize for being bitchy about the flowers and then inadvertently tripping him on the way to the hospital.

I know I’m not an easy one to comfort and that I can be incredibly belligerent and irritable when I’m not feeling well. Thanks to the people who love me anyway.

They give me another CAT Scan. The contrast in my demeanor tonight between tonight and two nights ago is remarkable. Tonight, I could care less about getting a CD. Tonight, they had to transport me from the gurney to the CAT Scan table using a sheet.

Tonight, I feel like a patient.

Fortunately the CAT Scan shows no change in the bleeding.

When I return, Diane indicates concern that I’m running on empty. She’s been present for 90% of my vomiting so she would know.

Shortly thereafter they’re setting me up or an IV and this time they’re going to use it. Teri compliments me on my calmness about the needle. It’s not calmness. Pain is relative.

They set the IV to “fast delivery” and immediately I feel the life coming back into me. Diane and Teri notice the color return to my face.

I feel well enough to eat a cracker. No such luck. The cracker wants out.

Sigh.

Thursday August 13th, late afternoon and early evening at home

Home. Home. Home. I feel a bit wobbly, but otherwise all is well. Both Rod and Barb attempted to stop by the hospital and both were delighted to learn I’m gone. Barb comes to the apartment and it’s great to see her.

Teri reschedules her flight for tomorrow morning and it feels like things are getting back the normal.

Of course I am still hungry and I think about Bella Mmmmmmonica. The other half. Waiting in the fridge. Adam heats it up and I dive in. Ah, delicious.

I go to the bathroom. Alone! Ah, the finer things.

I got my hospital bracelet off ages ago but I notice that there’s still a sticky with a button on me. I pull it off and toss the souvenir into a conveniently located garbage can.

All that sitting on the couch, Bella Monica and walking to the bathroom (and back!) must have tired me out so I head to my room to lie down. Ah, my room. My bed. My sheets. I’m not tethered to anything. And Diane has put the Taboo buzzer on my night table in case I need anything.

I shut my eyes. I open them. And then, no, no, no. Our apartment is sliding down Lake Boone Trail! The dizzies are back.

I don’t get drunk that much and after this I can’t imagine deliberately altering your mental state or perception. It’s crazy that my eyes are open but the world doesn’t look as I know it to be (level).

And, no, no, no. Here comes the Bella Monica.

The nausea doesn’t want to quit. I think I noticed a sandwich I had two weeks ago. And maybe Bella Monica I had two months ago.

Needless to say, I might have to find a new favorite restaurant. Or new dish, at least.

My dream team of Teri, Adam and Diane get pots from the kitchen.

I’m in a child’s pose on the bed, grabbing onto the fitted sheet.

The five orange flowers my friends brought me the other night are at my beside. I decide to focus on them. If that sort of thing works for a pregnant lady, it could work for me. But there are five. The last thing I need to worry about is double, or triple, or quadruple vision.

I bark at Adam, “Take away all the flowers but one.” Adam comes over and removes four of the flowers. Then he puts back one flower and asks me “How many flowers?”

“It’s not the time for a fucking test!” I bark again. Man, I am one mean bitch when I’m not feeling well.

Again, I’m dealing with unpleasant symptoms but likely am just as anxious because I don’t know what they mean. Nobody mentioned an encore of symptoms in the ICU. We look at the discharge papers and they are surprisingly slim on information.

Someone calls the hospital.

I need to calm down. Diane urges me to take deep breathes. My rendition of a deep breath is like a dog panting in 100 degree weather.

Once again, Diane takes charge and puts her hand on my chest and my hand on her chest.

She breathes in.

She breathes out.

I do the same.

I think I’ve just taken the first deep breath of my life.

Wow.

It calms me. And the nausea subsides. I don’t want Diane to ever leave my side.

Diane gets my computer and asks me for a song I find calming. Suddenly, the contents of my entire library evade me and I ask for “Oh, Holy Night.”

It turns out to be an excellent breathing song. As soon as I can see straight I’m going to start meditating.

My breathing gets me calm to the point where I think I can sleep and I lie calmly in bed hoping I can just sleep this off. I’ve got a Dar Williams concert to attend on Friday!

I enjoy about 45 minutes of calmness and then wake up vomiting. The team agrees that I’ve got to go back to the hospital.

I have no problem going to the hospital. I just don’t know how I’m going to get there.

I’ve sweat through the t-shirt dress I’m wearing. I ask Teri for a tank top. She brings over several I reject. (On what grounds? Don’t ask me).

I ask for a pajama dress that’s hanging in my closet. Apparently it’s tangled from when I took it off. Diane is trying to figure it out. This time Teri takes charge “I’ve worn that dress!” she exclaims and in a few swift moves she’s got it untangled.

Of course at this point I decide the dress I’m wearing is just fine.

But I’m not ready. I need to use the bathroom. I crawl to the bathroom and shut the door. The toilet is close to the bathroom sink and I rest my head on the vanity.

I know that I need to keep moving and get myself out of this apartment but I can’t seem to gather up whatever it will take to make that happen. At this point I know that my friends are going to have to figure this out.

I’ve infantilized myself.
I’m lying on the floor.
Half of me in the bathroom.
The other half in the hallway.

“I’m going to crawl to the hospital,” I tell the Dream Team. And with that, they take charge.

Adam comes over to pick me up and carry me out.

“I can walk!” I proclaim and I just get myself up and we fly out of the apartment.

It’s a second floor apartment by the way. And, holy crap those stairs never looked so daunting.

Adam’s got one arm wrapped around my shoulders and the other at my waist.

“I’m gonna crouch!” I proclaim again and I stoop my way down the stairs making it increasingly difficult for Adam to support me.

We’re on the first floor and there’s an area where the cement is uneven and there’s always a little puddle there. We’re headed straight for it and I'm in bare feet. Despite the fact that I’m drenched in my own sweat I decide to step around the puddle. Adam has no idea I’m about to do a side step and we both tumble to the ground.

Adam is frustrated, he scoops up and somehow I’m stuffed into the car.

If I ever get kidnapped, I imagine this is how it will feel.

Thursday August 13th, morning

I wake up during the shift change. Good riddance Greta. I can hear her briefing the new nurse on me. “Last night she didn’t feel so good, blah, blah, blah.”

Ahem. It wasn’t “blah, blah, blah.” It was “puke, puke, dizzy, puke.”

Whatever. I have a friend who was a nurse and it’s a tough job.

I hear Greta on the phone and determine that she’s talking to my mom. “She’s asleep right now” she tells my mom. Five seconds later, my cell phone rings.

I’m asleep right now! And she’s calling? I answer the phone knowing exactly who it is and before and hi how are you? I say “I’M the one in the hospital.” This gives my mother pause for five seconds before she asks me questions I don’t really have the energy to answer. I’ve abdicated all communication to Teri and Adam but I know that my mom just needs to hear my voice and she’ll calm down a bit so we talk. Briefly.

I’m awoken a few hours later by Dr. L, the neurosurgeon. I’m concerned I’m going to get dinged on coherency because he’s got a thick accent and I’m half asleep. He tells me what I already know: the cerebral angiogram ruled out the worst possibilities.

Then there’s new information “We’re going to do another cerebral angiogram.” For a moment, I really think he must be kidding. He finishes the sentence “In two to three weeks.” He isn’t kidding. F!

And then I ask him questions where I’m afraid I already know the answer.

“Can I run?”
“Absolutely not.”
“Jog?”
“No”
“Bike Ride?”
“No”
“Crunches?”
“No”
“Swim?”
“Yes, you can swim but carefully.”

A yes! Goodie. Let me try another one.

“Fly?”
“No.”

And there goes my family vacation in Canada. Damn.

“We’re going to discharge you later today.”

Hours later it actually happens.

I’m even up for a photo opp on the way out.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Wednesday August 12th, late evening

And then there’s the shift change. Enter a nurse named Greta. She looks exactly like my good friend Kristi (Carleton) which is comforting.

She’s no Kristi.

As soon as we interact I immediately sense something a little bitchy about her. Good thing she’s on the night shift.

I start to feel dizzy and nauseous. The hospital is all slanty again. I have no idea if these feelings are normal or if something has gone awry. Nobody mentioned this type of reaction to the angiogram.

I send a one word text to Adam:

Scared

It would have been funnier if I texted “scary” but I think I left my sense of humor in the angiogram room.

A few weeks after the fact when I’m watching West Wing I note this is the same word Donna scribbled to Josh when she was in the hospital.

Adam calls. Of course he does. What kind of Ja-erk wouldn’t respond to a text like that?

I want information about what’s going on more than I want comforting. I was little incoherent but I remember repeating the word “Diane” several times. She can provide information, reassurance and comfort.

At this point, I go from thinking the nurse is kind of bitchy to actively disliking her and wondering if I can still be friends with Kristi.

I feel really fucking weird over here and I’m getting nothing from her.

Most disconcerting of all is tingling in one side of my body. Isn't that the classic predecessor to a stroke? Gwen is nonplussed. And in a way, I kind of already had a stroke.

Diane and Adam arrive bearing a Steig Larrson novel, orange flowers, a card, and InStyle magazine courtesy of my trivia team. Team Bob Saget gathered at my apartment with the intention of visiting me but my current condition precludes it – but I still get the gifts!

The nurse tells me “Try not to vomit.” And with that, quite a bit of vomiting begins and goes and goes and goes. It’s all chicken parm from Bella Monica. Most people would swear it off after having it on the way up like that. But not me, I’m devoted. I will want chicken parm again tomorrow.

Diane looks at my leg where the incision was made for the angiogram. I haven’t brought myself to look at it yet.

A few weeks after this happens Diane tells me that the sheets were bloody, the dressed is soaked and my bruise is swollen to the size of a soup can. Diane pointed it out to Greta who casually agreed the dressing should be changed. Greta started to change it without warning me and when she pressed down on the bruise apparently I yelped. I remarked to Diane “Man, I was such a wimpezoid.” In this case, Diane agreed my yelping was warranted. Knowing this, I’m glad I decided not to look!


Diane and Adam are superstars. Diane does a great job just letting me know that the way I feel isn’t indicative or any sort of problem or mishap. Greta was making me feel like I was being a wimpezoid, which is true, but a little reassurance would have gone a long way.

Diane takes charge of the situation and I can feel Greta’s eyes hating on her a little bit.

Diane gets wet towels on my forehead, a fan on me, and makes sure I have a fresh receptacle every time something comes up.

Our friendship just got taken to the next level, for the first of many times.

Wednesday August 12th, evening

I’m back in ICU. I immediately ask for food. I’ve had enough of this not eating thing.

I’m allowed to have food but I’m not allowed to sit up for four hours.

Well, that doesn’t help.

So I’m on my back for four hours and wish the TV screen was on the ceiling. The time finally passes and I try to sit up.

Holy shit! The hospital must be sliding down Lake Boone Trail. I grab the side of the hospital bed to make sure I don’t roll off.

Everything is on a slant.

I know my eyes are lying but perception is reality.

I quickly bring the bed back down to a lower incline and shut my eyes.

Adam arrives with Bella Monica. My hero. Foooooooood. Finally. The hospital staff jokes that they need to sample all food before given to patients. I delight in the global love for that restaurant!

Eating means sitting up and I’m not too thrilled about the possibility of the hospital sliding any further down Lake Boone Trail. But, it’s Bella Monica so I take the risk.

Adam feeds me. I’m sure there is sauce all over my face but I couldn’t care less. I’m already in a place where I can’t pee alone so getting help eating is no big deal.

Fooooooooood. So good.

Teri arrives and informs me that my mother has been informed. I look at my phone. Six missed calls. Yep, she’s got the news.

The "unofficial" results from the angiogram are in.

The worst of possibilities have been ruled out.

This is the “Everything is going to be OK” moment.

Color finally return to Teri’s face. Calls are made and I’m glad to give some sense of relief to the folks who are going through this with me.

I should feel relieved too. I don't.

Perhaps this good news longer term prognosis doesn’t resonate with me in light of how I feel at the moment (so, so woozy). I don’t know. I think I’ve been doing a good job of not letting the possibilities scare me until I’ve got more information. I’m either been very optimistic or in denial.

Probably both.

Wednesday, August 12th, late afternoon

Around 4:00 PM I’m wheeled to the other side of the hospital for the cerebral angiogram. I’m still in good spirits despite the fact that I was not allowed to eat at all prior to this procedure.

One of the doctors is wearing a crazy Hawaiian shirt. Clearly, I’m in the midst of professionals.

So, here’s what they do. They numb me (needle!), slice open my groin and send a catheter through an artery to my brain. They inject dye in the brain take a picture and see where the dye goes.

From a medication innovation perspective this procedure is fascinating.
Experiencing the procedure? Not very fascinating or pleasant.

As I lay there it occurs to me that I’ve only ever been in the hospital to be born. I am very thankful to have my health. I don’t think I’ve ever taken that for granted, especially recently. Of course now I’m not so fortunate but it was a good 32 year run.

I feel tingling across my groin. I report it to the doctors They say “The doctor books say you’re not supposed to feel that but we just passed the catheter through that area.”

When it’s time to take the pictures everyone runs out of the room (radiation) and I’m told “Don’t move, don’t breath.” Not very comforting.

It’s not pleasant when they shoot the dye. My eyes are open and I’m seeing stars, just like in a comic book.

My head feels warm and I feel dizzy. And a bit of nausea. The mausea is especially unpleasant because I'm lying on my back. Gravity is working against me.

This is worse that I expected.

Something goes a little awry with the catheter they’re using so they put another one in that’s a different shape. I can’t help but thinking about the game “Operation.”

When it’s done, I feel woozy. I’m over the whole “I feel fine” thing.

They show me pretty pictures of my brain and I'm alarmingly indifferent.

For someone as self-absorbed as me not to want to gaze at a lovely picture of their brain, well, that's a sign I'm not feeling like myself.

(Not MY brain but an example of what they see)

I don’t really say much of the ride back to ICU. Another definite sign I’m not doing so well. I think about “One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest” and how Jack seemed when he came out of the lobotomy.

Not my kind of photoshoot.

Wednesday August 12th, 2009, morning

I’m woken up a few times in the early morning. I’m totally confused every time. Part of me just doesn’t believe this is real. Am I on a reality show? Candid camera?

There’s a Tori Amos quote that comes to mind
This is not really happening.
You bet your life it is
.

I know that I still feel like myself because I want food. I still haven’t had dinner from last night and now I’m ready for breakfast. I get a tiny bit of applesauce.

At 8:00 I’m wheeled to the MRI. A bunch of years back a friend of mine had an MRI and told me he freaked out in the middle because it felt like a coffin. Based on that, I’m expecting to be put into some sort of dark closed tube. The machine is not half as intimidating as I expected. It’s a lot like the CAT Scan machine, the donut is just a little deeper and the noise louder. But, I can listen to music!

I select “Big Band” and “Holiday Tunes.” What else would you want to listen to at 8:15 in the morning? During the MRI I resist the urge to tap my feet but otherwise I enjoy the challenge of trying to keep still.

I get a look at my brain on the way out but no CD this time. Darn.

I return to the ICU and they hook me back up again. At a loss for what to do, I log onto work e-mail. Remember that despite the presence of the blood I feel perfectly fine. Andrea and Barb both scold me for it. I’m just grasping for some sense of normalcy, really.

I jump on IM with Diane. I tell her what's up and she has a good understanding of what's going on and gives me some information. How did my roommate get so smart about this? Study overnight for me? Her job, actually. This is the first time of many Diane comforts me through this.

Diane is also trying to retrieve her car from McKinney. She cannot understand any of the directions Adam has given her. I jump onto Google maps, take a screen grab, paste it into PowerPoint, mark it with arrows and write a little note about navigating the parking garage. Rod, are you impressed? I navigated PowerPoint from the Intensive Care Unit. I’ve come so far.

I get an e-mail from a friend who informs me he had blueberries for lunch. This matters because Blueberries are a SuperFood and I'm all about SuperFoods (everyone has their own of saying feel better).

I write back

“These bitches won't let me eat anything. Let alone SuperFoods. So eat up on my behalf.”

Teri and Adam come by for a bit. At this stage we agree that it’s time to notify the parents. I give Teri the honors. We start with Dad & Emily. They had sent me flowers and a balloon for my birthday. I tell them they ought to just send a replacement balloon to cover off on “get well’ wishes.

When I talk to my dad he asks “Can you fly?” (family vacation in August). I love my dad. He thinks just like me.



I try to sleep but I just can’t do it with Teri and Adam sitting there watching me.

I always feel like somebody’s watching me.

And the MRI results are in. And they’re inconclusive. Er. So what now? A cerebral angiogram. What the hell is that?

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Tuesday August 11th, evening

Nap, bed, blankets and home - I feel much better.

But, I’m encouraged to go to Urgent Care. It’s almost across the street from the apartment so Adam drives me over.

Wait wait wait in lobby.

I talk to a Doctor who says based on my symptoms I should go to the ER.

The ER? If you go to the ER you have to be bleeding, right?
My theory is I’m just worn out from the excitement of my sister’s visit, my birthday, the triathlon, running and the weather.

The double vision was a little weird though.

But they’ll refund my co-pay which will be easy.
Er, yeah, not that easy a few receipts later.

The Doctor informs Adam, “She doesn’t want to go to the ER, but she should.” And with that, I pretty much know we’re going.

I’m not opposed to seeking help. My thought would just be to go home, get some sleep and see a regular doctor in the morning. I’m not in any acute pain, it’s just unpleasant. And I’ll drink more Gatorade.

We make the long drive over to the ER (it’s across the street). I casually go to front desk and give them my insurance card. Within a few minutes, I’m waiting in Triage. This feels more like I’m waiting in line at Banana Republic for a fitting room than I am entrance to the ER.

They make the usual pokes and probes like temperature and blood pressure. They put stickies all over me for an EKG. I’m wired!

And then I’m delivered to a bed in the ER and we wait and wait and wait.

Teri arrives and we remark on the irony of me being in the ER during her first visit to North Carolina. I visited Teri in Seattle for the first time in November 2005. She wasn’t feeling well when I picked her up and within a few hours of me being there she was coughing up blood. I drove her to the emergency room in a stick shift car I didn’t really know how to drive, in the dark, during rush hour in the rain.
I remark to Teri that at least I had the decency to wait until the end of the trip to go to the ER (Teri is scheduled to leave tomorrow).

A nurse comes in to draw blood. Ewwwww, I hate this part. She calls me a Wimpezoid, but in an endearing kind of way. Noticing how squeamish I am she takes extra blood in case other tests are ordered so I only have to do this once.

I’m also given a pair of Blue Hospital socks. As they are bestowed on me and I am told that they are very special and I should hang onto them. I don’t say anything but the truth is I don’t like socks. One of my favorite things about North Carolina is not having to wear them for a third of the year. And, I certainly can’t sleep in socks. But, I don’t want to appear ungrateful so I put them on.

Teri, Adam and I goof around a bit. I’m not sure if it’s some form of anxiety because we still don’t know why we’re here or if it’s the absurdity of being here. Probably a bit of both.

Teri takes pictures with her camera phone and I post silly stuff on Facebook like “Jamie is a Wimpezoid." Free wireless in the ER!

You can't see the red glow on my finger in this pic but Adam and I were re-enacting E.T.

This whole thing feels silly, it’s late, I’m tired and I haven’t had dinner so I’m also grumpy.

We hear some drama on the other side of the curtain. There is a very drunk belligerent woman who is refusing care and is threatening to sue the hospital. Her yowling subdues the boisterous mood in our corner of the ER. We’re reminded where we are.

Finally we are visited by a doctor. I take him through the sequence of events. He’s also leaning towards dehydration. Here comes the prescription for Gatorade I anticipated hours ago.

But, he can’t reconcile the double vision. So, for good measure, he orders a CAT Scan. He wants more blood and I thank the nurse who took extra from me earlier just in case, even though she called me Wimpezoid.

My first thought is “Can I get a copy of the scan?” and the doctor lets me know how to make that happen. Cool. I need to go to the bathroom before the scan. Someone is going to walk me to the bathroom? OK, so long as they wait outside I’ll take an escort. Whatever.

They wheel me away even though I can walk just fine. En route to the CAT Scan I pass the belligerent woman who is now sedated and restrained. It’s sad and disturbing.

I have the CAT Scan and we wait and wait and wait.

The ER doctor comes in. The Cat Scan showed a cerebral hemorrhage.

There is blood on my brain.
There is blood on my brain!
There is blood on my brain?

Holy fuck.

My sister turns white and puts her face in her hands.

I’m trying to take it in.

We’ve been goofing off but now this isn’t funny. I know it’s not funny but I’m at a loss for a reaction.

It’s a very small spot. But, it’s on my cerebellum. Kinda vital for basic functions like, say, breathing. Not good.

Here's the scan. Nice brain, eh?


At a loss for what to do, I send an e-mail to my bosses telling them I won’t be at work tomorrow.

I have a moment or two when I think something might happen to me and things like last words and regrets pass through my thoughts but it’s fleeting. Right now there are too many unknowns to get all worked up about this.

I sent myself the following email. I think it reflects I was still in an OK place but there is a hint of concern as well.

I tell Adam and Teri to pull the plug if I become a vegetable. I say it in joking manner but "Living Will" is entered into my mental To Do List. A video of me on Teri’s camera phone won’t cut it.

Someone comes by and has me do all sorts of physical things. Push on hands. Walk in a straight line. Close your eyes, touch your nose with your finger. It’s like a sobriety test (not that I would know, really). I think I’ve done a spectacular job with all of these little tasks and something about this person’s reaction to my performance on little tests is oddly reassuring.

Maybe more reassuring than it should be because I still feel really calm.

And then, just like that I’m given a hospital bracelet and am told they’re going to wheel me to ICU. I’m booked for an MRI at 8:30 in the morning - they’re trying to determine how the blood got there.

The ICU? But I did so well on those tasks! How bad is this thing? I feel perfectly fine. In fact, I’m not feeling any of the symptoms that brought me in here in the first place. But off I go.

We get to ICU. The nurse is wearing purple and her name is Diane. I like her already.

They get me set up for an IV, should they need to administer one. They put stickies on me with buttons and hook me up to some machine that’s monitoring my vitals. My body looks like the back of a television set and I feel like I’m going to strangle myself should I roll over.

The nurse assures me the cords will not strangle me.
She also mentions that the cords will reach the commode.

Commode? I’m fine if someone wants to walk me down the hall and wait outside but I’m not so fine with this new arrangement.

I take off the blue socks and since I’m tethered to a switchboard I toss them in the direction of my bag. I miss. The nurse notices them and exclaims “Oh, your socks are on the floor, let me put them in your bag, you don’t want to lose these!” What is it with these damn socks? I wonder what they would go for on eBay?

I need sleep. I send Teri and Adam home. Before I go to bed I pull everything off Facebook because this just isn’t funny. Nor should it be public. I don’t want to drag all my friends into the uncertainty and anxiety I feel right now.

There’s a window into my room and the nurse looks in at me. This feels really awkward.

I’m insured but I’m kind of wondering how much this will cost me with co-pays and deductibles. I remind myself that this sort of thing is why I have insurance.

It’s 4:15 am at this point. I still haven’t had a thing to eat. Or drink. Not even a Gatorade.

I wonder if Bella Monica delivers.

Tuesday August 11th, at work

Teri drives (my car!) to Richmond today to visit a friend so it’s back to work for me. Client visit on Thursday so I’m busy, busy firming up details and getting back into the swing of things.

Around Tuesday late afternoon I feel really tired and a little out of it. Only three days out of the office and I’m having so much trouble getting back into the rhythm. They really need to bring back mid afternoon snack. It’s Tuesday and I could go for some cheese and crackers right now. Maybe it’s just summertime. Maybe it’s just being 32.

Right now, I sit in an area of the office that is somewhat deserted – the seats are being held for new hires. I do get the occasional visitor (in part because there’s a great view of the Durham Bulls stadium where I sit) and today Brad (the CEO) stops by. We both have connections to New Hampshire and we chat about it.

After that I’m stare at my computer but I have no idea what I’m in the middle of doing.

And then, don’t ask me how I got there, I’m underneath my desk. And there's Andrea. She's talking to me but I’m not really sure what she’s saying. She brings me some tea. Apparently she and I were on IM and my responses got weird and then just stopped.

What the hell was I doing under my desk? I’m a little amused by the fact that this all happened unobserved because for the time being I sit all by myself in this corner of the building. But, I really don’t need to add any more quirky to my work persona and this is just weird.

I need to lie down. I make my way to the meditation room, lie down, there’s some nausea (that’s a nice way of saying I vomited) and I realize that I need to go home. And I won’t be able to drive myself. I used my roommate’s car to get to work today so I’m going to have to strand it at McKinney. I think she would prefer stranded car at McKinney versus me driving her car while not feeling quite right. Right, Diane?

Andrea offers to bring me home and I wait in the McKinney lobby for her to pick me up. Barb walks by and we talk but I have no idea about the topic of our brief conversation.

Then Brad (McKinney CEO) walks by and jokes about me waiting in our reception area “Do you have an appointment with a McKinney employee?” I don’t remember how or if I responded. Brad is a very accessible CEO but it’s a little uncanny that I talk to him twice in a day both times in my not so great state.

So much for taking 32 by the reigns.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Monday August 10th, afternoon

Princess and I return home and I fall asleep. I wake up to find Teri painting our foyer. We had chosen some colors the day before and since she was alone in my apartment in the middle of a hot day she just got to work.

I help out for ten minutes but damn, painting is harder work than I thought because I keep on needing to lie down. Teri teases me about being sick just when work gets started.

There’s some late afternoon nausea and I end up feeling much much better so I offer to help.

I am given the job of taping and shortly thereafter I am relieved because, well, I’m not a very good taper.

Bengt arrives to help and he is given the job of doing touch ups. Shortly thereafter he is relieved because, well, he’s not a very good toucher-upper.

Adam arrives with pizza! And, he turns out to be a pretty good taper, damn him.

In addition to painting Teri and I also take on reorganization of the living room. Diane has a lot of games and I suggest building a shelf in the water heater closet and storing them there. Later on I learn this suggestion does not make game loving roommate particularly happy.

We move my leaning bookshelf and I put everything back on it. Teri doesn’t approve. She claims I have too many knick knacks. I have eight knick knacks. My roommate has 200+ wind up toys. One of my knick knacks is something Teri gave me. I offer to give it back to her to cut down on knick knacks, but somehow that one is salvaged.

Teri does some rearranging and some of Diane’s stuff ends up on my bookshelf to which I respond “I don’t want to mix our stuff like we’re married.”

Teri goes back painting and I quickly put the shelf back to the way I like it.

We're working furiously. Diane is coming home soon and we want to surprise her, just like on Trading Spaces or something.

Diane comes home and is surprised. In a good way. But also in a not so good way. The Foehl Sister’s Whirlwind went a little too far dissembling of the apartment and even I'm feeling a bit disoriented by it.

But still, check out this fab foyer.

I fall asleep with the smell of paint fumes in the air.

Prologue

I spent six days in the hospital in early August right after my 32nd birthday. Before I go into any more details I’ll skip right to the epilogue.

I’m totally fine.

I had hemorrhaging on my cerebellum. An intraparenchymal bleed. In short, there was blood on my brain. They’ve ruled out the worst possibilities. The cause is unknown. My brain is absorbing the blood. I’m almost symptom free but have follow up procedures and appointments scheduled to make sure.

In the midst of the ordeal I had no desire to draw more people into uncertainty and cause undue concern so I very deliberately stayed off Facebook and my blog. Being in the hospital is certainly stressful for the patient, but I think it's almost as stressful, if not more so for friends and family.

Having said that, in the aftermath I’ve found it cathartic to write about it - to remind myself how I felt - to process what happened - and to write down some stories that are just plain funny.

There are points in this story that I don’t recall as well as those who were there with me. So, if something is in italics and no longer in the third person, that’s another person’s perspective.

I'm posting an abridged version of the saga. What I'm not posting is either too personal or too disgusting.

There aren’t a lot of pictures and there are mentions of vomiting, blood, and more vomiting. Just imagine what I didn't post. No, actually, don't.

And I use bad words.

Forewarned is fair warned.

Just want to reiterate: I am totally fine. I wouldn’t be posting about this if I wasn’t.

Monday August 10th, morning

I'm off work today to spend time with Princess. It's "long run" day and I'm pumped to do my ten miles. I'm a touch tired from the triathlon but I take the long runs slow and steady so it's a different type of exertion.

It's one exit up to Umstead on I40. As I'm driving, I think I'm seeing double. Huh. Maybe I'm tired. Teri notices a change in my driving. I try to focus but still two of everything. Weird.

As we get off the exit, it seems to subside. But then I see two construction trucks and I'm positive of it. Thankfully, Teri assures me that there actually are two trucks there.

We get to Umstead and I gulp down a bit of Gatorade. I do a few stretches. I run about 30 seconds and just don't feel like it's in me. It must be the heat. For the first time, I abort a run before I've barely started.

Teri drives home.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

It's My Birthday

And I'm doing a triathlon to celebrate.
Pics here
I'm taking my thirties by the reigns, dammit.

It feels like a great way to start off the year.
I'm healthy, I'm happy, I'm fit, I'm eating well, I'm with family, I'm with friends.
The irony...

Saturday, August 08, 2009

JamieBoo

It's my party!

And it was perfect. I have amazing friends.

The party was a pre-triathlon carb load dinner.

So, there was lots of pasta. And sauce. The sauce was from Bella Mmmmmmmonica.

There were triathlon icon decorated cupcakes


There were balloons

UP!

There was Teri.

There were supplies to make cheering signs for the tri.

And there was Taboo. But this just wasn't any game of Taboo. This was Jamie-Boo. Custom made cards based on the theme of me me me. Check out the box.

"Where did you buy this?"

"A game! All about me?"

I'm not inclined to be overtly sentimental but I was really touched by all the thought and preparation that went into this. All of my friends provided the Taboo words. My SUPERfriends (like superfoods) figured out the Taboo words associated with the Jamie words and custom made the cards.

Perfect, perfect, perfect. Friends, Thank you.

P.S. There are actually 14 Superfoods.

Friday, August 07, 2009

Princess vs The Bulls


Thanks to Bengt for snagging us tickets to the SAS box. Only the best for Princess.


Bulls Game was followed by a late night screening of Julie & Julia. We found a movie theater that served beer. I think booze helped Adam get through what was undeniably a chick flick. It just made me hungry.

Bull

Prior to the Bulls game Teri gets a tour of Durham which includes Duke, McKinney, Watts Grocery, Locopops and a photo opp at the big bull in downtown.

First Teri tries to climb the bull (with my help).

Then we just pose

Then we find a pose with the bull that amuses us even more

Made Maid of Honor

Every week of marathon training involves a long run. My goal this birthday weekend was to tackle the 10. I've successfully done 8.5 so I was optimistic about getting the double digits under my belt. Usually the run is done on Saturday or Sunday but with the triathlon on Sunday we decided to tackle it on Friday morning.

That was until Teri asked me to be her Maid of Honor! I can run anytime but the Maid of Honor has duties and within 10 minutes the run was shortened from 10 miles to 3 miles and I was calling dress shops making appointments. I actually decided it made more sense to do the long run on Monday after the triathlon so it all worked out.

Teri and I headed to North Hills to hit our first store. When we got there, we couldn't find the store. So we called the store and learned they're not in North Hills. Oops? But there was another bridal store there so we figured we would just check it out.

And what a fortunate mistake. It has yet to be decided but it's quite possible the first dress Teri tried on might be THE ONE. Or at least it set the right tone for what she wants. I won't say more about it just in case Teri can actually keep the dress a secret.

We spent the next two days at various dress shops. I enjoy helping Teri but I also enjoy observing the other brides, the folks they've brought along for commentary, the critical looks they give themselves in the "full length and then even more length" mirrors.

The dress shop people always look delighted when they see long legged tall Teri. Like "It's dress up time!"

It's clear as she tries on other dresses that Teri is still in love with the first one but as her bitch of honor I try to get her to try on different things just to see what she might like. I know she doesn't want a traditional wedding dress but just for kicks, I made her try some on. They weren't right but it was kind of a trip to see her in them anyway.




We decided that this dress was just somehow too mature. In my words "More of a second wedding kind of gown." Doh!

Loving Princess and being the Maid of Honor!

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Jamies's Boot Camp for Princess Day One

Teri hasn't trained a moment for a Triathlon. The girl is a natural Olympian and I know that she's going to beat me despite my own preparations. At the heart of these things, this is a race against myself, not Teri, but in the spirit of classic sibling rivalry, we are teasing each other a bit about who will have the faster time.

I decide it's a good idea for Teri to bike and swim at least once before she does those events in the tri. We start with the bike. Teri has never done clip on peddles so we give those a try. We ride around the parking lot and it seems like she's got the hang of it so we boldly head towards the calm low traffic street. There's a car coming so I tell Teri to stop before we turn.

Crash.

(Don't worry. That's not Teri being hit by a car)

Teri was just by my side. I look left. I look right. I look down, oh, there she is.

She fell over and couldn't get out of the peddles. That was the thing that scared her the most. So, now it's out of the way. We bandage her up, leave the clip ons at home and we're off.

I take Teri through one of my favorite routes. Most of it passes through the sculpture gardens of the North Carolina Museum of Art. Teri likes it (I hoped she would).


When Teri gets off the bike I urge her to try running. Running after bike riding in training is called a "brick" and it's important to get your body used to the feeling. Teri jumps off the bike and my guess is she's thinking she'll be able to run just fine (marathoner). After her first stride she giggles and say "Whee, weird, I see what you're talking about."

We have a superfoodalicious lunch and then head to the pool. I still haven't figured out how to pass people when the lane is going both ways. I can't seem to find a definitive answer about etiquette etc. I have heard that you're supposed to tap the persons foot or grab the ankle. So that's like the signal. How does the pass work? What if the person in front doesn't "pull over." Teri spends a lot of time fussing with her goggles.

Sidenote: When I just typed goggle, my brain really wanted to type google. Weird.

At the end of the day Princess is beat. That's just day one of Jamie Bootcamp!

Super Breakfast

Of course I wake up early because I've been waking up early and Princess is snoozing. She's three hours behind me and she did take three separate planes to get here so I start in on making some blueberry pancakes. If you recall, Blueberries are a SuperFood and they were on sale at Harris Teeter last week so I am on the lookout for ways to dispense my blueberries into the stomachs of others (seriously, earlier that week I had Blueberries with Cheerios instead of the other way around).

I don't ever really remember making pancakes so I do a few practice rounds. Not so hard. Really good cookware helps I know (ah, another joy of living with someone who keeps a real kitchen). I'm in no rush, I make one at a time. I am pleased with the result.

Adam arrives and he gets the first try. I have also adorned the blueberry pancake platter with Clementines since those are also a SuperFood that I have in excess. I held off from putting baked beans on the side, tho.

I'm pleased to report both Teri and Adam enjoyed their Super Breakfast.

Wow, give Jamie one day home from work and out comes the Mama-cita.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Here comes the Princess Bride

She arrives tonight. Who? The Princess.
Who now, engaged, is the Princess Bride.
She'll be here for one whole week.
She'll share in my birthday and triathlon celebration.
I've taken a few days off of work.
So excited!
She arrives at 11:59 tonight or something. I count on trivia to keep me awake so that I'm peppy when I go pick her up. We don't win that night, but I'm peppy anyway.
She's here!

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Twenty years ago today.

On this day, twenty years ago young Jamie, likely dressed in her all green uniform was given an index card at Waukeela Camp and asked to write what she hoped her life would be like in 20 years. That's today.


Let's do an audit.

Successful? Maybe.
Married? No.
One adopted girl? No.
And of the possible careers, I guess cartoonist comes closest to advertising. What almost 12 year old wants to be a psychiatrist? How did I even know what that was?

20 years later, however, I still do count the days to my birthday. Months in advance, sometimes.

Maybe I should do another for when I'm about to turn 52.

Nah.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Superfoods.

Pal Barb is totally enamored of Superfoods. She left her SF book at work one weekend so she bought an additional copy that she gave to me. So, now I'm jumping on the bandwagon. The thing I like about it is that it's more about what foods to try to incorporate rather than what foods not to eat. Also, and this is important, there is a list of foods and brand names in the back of the book. I get overwhelmed in the grocery store - I forget what to look for - this list really helps.

There are 14 Superfoods. For me, 13 since one of them is Wild Salmon and I will never do that. Yick. I'm going to focus on one Superfood at a time to make sure I'm really learning about them.

And this week, I'm starting with beans. At Harris Teeter I bought green beans and Eden Organic Rice and Beans (book says canned is OK, just make sure sodium content is low. I will report back on my enjoyment of these two bean products.

What's the fuss about beans? For one thing, they're the most healthy and economical sources of protein.

One cup of lentils provides 17 grams of protein with only .75 gram of fat. You can get the same amount of protein from 2oz extra lean trimmed sirloin steak. But you get six times the fat.

It also has Lysine which is an important amino acid.

And that's all for beans tonight. I'm all about beans this week. Eating them and learning why they're so freakin' super.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Eight Mile (not the Eminem movie)

I haven't totally abandoned the idea of the marathon yet but the "Nike Plus Incident" of last week plus the fact that I miss biking and swimming and I feel like I'm losing my strength and I feel like I'm gravitating more towards triathlons has caused me to re-think my training schedule. I'm considering moving down to a 1/2 marathon training schedule and doing more cross training geared towards Tri's. I dunno.

I did have a fantastic "long run" today. Eight miles - on the marathon course! Started at the intersection of Reedy Creek and Edwards Mill. About two miles on Reedy Creek past horses and stuff and then 2 miles into Umstead. And back. I love running in Umstead - there are hills but they are very gradual and long so you just kind of get in the groove of going uphill and settle into it instead of just gazing towards the top and holding your breath (well, not really) until you get there.

I really was starting to feel it in my abductors (or is it adductors? the ones on the outside) around mile seven which was perfect. I was close enough to the end to be able to push through.

I had a few moments where I really felt in the zone. Sorta settled into the movement. I get that with biking and swimming a lot but this was the first time with running.

I felt very Zen right afterwards. Calmed is good for me.