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Thursday, October 31, 2013

Costume party!

This year, David and I went as a silent film.

His card: "It was quite easy. A little arsenic in her coffee."
My card: "I had to murder him. You see, he never bought me any jewels."

We stole this idea from a couple on the Google. It was super easy - perfect for a work-night party. We covered our skin in a white and gray grease paint blend, and I did my eyebrows and lips with black lipstick (both my eyebrows and my lips are big, so I covered them in white, then penciled brows in and did cupid's bow lips). David's mustache is black lipstick, too.

We both have dark hair already; David slicked his down and I pinned mine under like a bob and threw on a lace headband. We already owned the clothes: David wore his tux; I wore a black drop-waist dress with gray tights and black mary jane heels. The necklace is Mardi Gras beads.

We printed up dialog cards and we were done! It took less than half an hour to get ready!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Should you give your boss a birthday present?

So my husband asked on Facebook, crowd-sourcing what should have been an easy question.
"Nope," I said. "That's weird."
But there's more to the story.
David's fairly new to his job, and last week a coworker came in and whispered, "Next week it's Nora's birthday, and everybody kind of brings her a gift."
David thanked him for the heads-up, and after conferring with his skeptical wife, bought a box of snazzy candy, which he dutifully left on Nora's (the Big Boss) desk the next day.

Where it sat.

All alone.

Nora did not come in to work.

No one else left a gift on her desk.

Now, as his unease grew, David began reflecting on the nature of the coworker who offered advice. This is the coworker that he used to refer to as "Asperger's guy" when he couldn't remember his name. Suddenly, David recalled other "jokes" from this fellow - which weren't funny at all.

He sneaked into the office and stole the gift back, and stuffed it in his drawer.
But then? Then the next day, Nora's desk was piled with cactuses, bottles of wine, gift cards, and cheap jewelry.
IT REALLY WAS A THING. So David added his chocolate to the pile, and got a lengthy and charmed thank you note in return.So in answer to my question, no, you should not give your boss a birthday present. Unless everyone else is doing it.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

I'm totally sedentary

Something not-wonderful happened last week. I was discharged from physical therapy. Not because I completed the strengthening - because the PT thought it was too risky.
(History: still have unhealed stress fracture? Reaction? Lump? On my left femur from 11 months ago)
I have yet to notice any improvement in my pain, unfortunately, and my PT is worried about damaging the bone further, so home I went.
This means I'm now totally sedentary. Yep! No exercise at all!
Last year, I was doing 40 or 45 mpw running and obviously not enough strength training (if any). Then, bit by bit, I've been reduced to....
- pool running
- elliptical
- spin bike
- regular bike
- pilates
- yoga
- physical therapy

But every level hurt. So I have kept backing up. Now, my only exercise is standing and walking at work.

So what's that mean for me? Well, I gained weight (right away!), then I lost my appetite (hopefully this will help balance the weight gain, although it will be hard to keep weight in check with almost no activity at all). It also means I'm oddly tired, bored, and fidgety. I need some kind of activity!
Back to the doctor on Wednesday to see what creative thing we can try next to heal this bone. Until then, total rest for me.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Jazz half marathon: another race I didn't run

I have deeper appreciation for my husband's patient spectating now that I've been on the sidelines for three races he's done on his own. Poor guy had to get up early with me so many times!
I was registered for this race, but my bones hate me, so again I had to pass. The nice directors gave me a deferral, though. But I've learned my lesson about early registration. Never again!

As it turns out, this was a good race to miss. It was an unseasonably hot morning, and no one had a PR besides Ian Carr, the crazy kid who wins all the races no matter what the dew point.
My running group even races together!  A pack of seven of them under the oaks on St.Charles Ave

Carr winning in 1:13 in hot weather

I camped out on St. Charles Avenue and got pictures of the leaders, David, people in my running group, and some cute costumes. I saw Meggan Franks, whose blog you might read, with a strong second-place finish!

Thanks to the warm morning, the race was a little slow. David was dragging, and got beaten by his new boss by one second! Better than beating your boss by one second, right?!
This is not David's boss. This is some dude who's looking at David like, "I can't believe this guy in a shirt is beating me!"

I "knew" the first three women in this race, and wanted to introduce myself to Meggan, but we didn't really get to socialize because David was too busy trying not to puke in the bushes. Once we got his over-heated, under-trained nausea under control, we were ready to go home.

Cheers to the directors of this half for kindly deferring a "no deferrals" entry, so next year IF I ever heal and IF I ever run distances again, I have an entry with no money lost!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Baby overload

You guys are all about to suffer a cute attack, because here are more pictures of my niece, goddaughter, and namesake!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

What-I-Have Wednesdays

A new series, also known as self-diagnosis Wednesdays!
Today's installment features paranoid schizophrenia osteoid osteoma.

I have concluded that I have an osteoid osteoma. Why?
1. My xray looks like the one above, except my thighs are marginally less chubby.
2. There has to be a reason I've had this stupid bone injury for so long.
3. This type of benign bone tumor is most often found on tibia and femur.
4. Bone doesn't just not heal. It heals itself. If this was a stress fracture I should be better by now!
5. The symptoms (pain at night, walk with a limp, relieved by NSAIDS) fit mine.

Reasons why I should stop Googling and keep doing PT:
1. The condition generally affects children and adolescents.
2. It is also more common in males, meaning I'm not really the type.
3. I ran a lot, and then I had femur pain. Sounds stress fracture-y to me.
4. I'm not a doctor or a radiologist.

Whatcha think, guys?

Thursday, October 10, 2013

I ran a little tiny bit

While we were in Louisville visiting the best infant on the planet, David and I headed to a park near our hotel so he could go running. The park had a 1.5-mile loop, and it was perfect running weather. I'd planned to do my physical therapy and some core work and squats, but it was too cold to be lying on the ground crunching. I needed to get my blood flowing! So I took a short, slow jog around the park.
David in the park

How did it go? No more pain than usual, during or after, but I am not at all pain-free yet. I'm still in pain most nights, and some days (the two days of driving really bothered it, I guess because the car seats don't extend all the way from hip to knee, so part of my leg is unsupported, putting stress on the bone). I'm not going to be back running until I have NO pain, not just "the same amount of pain"!

I fell off the PT bandwagon a little while traveling because I didn't bring my resistance bands, so I only did the exercises that didn't use the bands (but I doubled them). I'm back at it, now. Hopefully there will be more running in the near future!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Love at first sight

This weekend, I met my little niece for the first time. She is just shy of 2 weeks old, and whips her dark-haired head around in excitement when she hears her dad's voice. She's a calm and happy baby with lots of smiles (especially when asleep!) and an intense stare. It was love at first sight. And I mean it. I didn't think that "love at first sight" was a real thing. I certainly haven't experienced it before (after my first date with David, I wrote in my journal that I had a date with a nice guy, but he wasn't very good-looking!).

But seriously, the minute I looked into her big dark eyes I loved her. And the sad thing is that two days later, we had to leave. My brother lives in Louisville, eleven hours away, and I held back tears the whole drive back. I didn't expect that! I miss her already!
The night David and I got back we sat and watched video we took of her hiccuping. How pathetic are we?!
I'm thankful that we were able to visit, but leaving was bittersweet. Babies can really pull at your heartstrings!

Friday, October 4, 2013

The Chrysler Building

I finally finished the last throw pillow cover for my living room. I went with the Chrysler building. I certainly decreased the amount of detail at this point, because I was sick of the project!

Sometimes I start a craft or art project and I feel like I'm on an adrenaline deadline: I only have so much energy and interest for a project, and once that window passes I'm much less likely to finish a quality project.

Now that the cushions are done I just have to persuade David to use them. He's afraid he'll mess up the embroidery (as if my embroidery can't stand being lumbar support!!). So we went from shabby cushions to useless cushions. Some trade, huh?

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Hip strength: 1 out of 10

That's what I read on my chart at the PT's. I went back to the PT I saw last year, and it was embarrassing to see  the difference a year of injury makes. Last year, all my muscles were strong, 10/10.This year? Some are 1/10!
Things I learned:
1. Muscles are very deconditioned. I'll need to make a slow comeback to allow them to regain strength.
2. Hips and hamstrings are weak, but calves, quads, and adductors are strong. They pull the leg inward as I strike, rotating the femur.
3. Fractures are at the area of torsion.
4. Allowing complete healing of the bone this time plus strengthening weak hips and hamstrings should prevent recurrence. But I have to go slowly!
The good news - the BEST news for me, I think - is that my PT immediately recognized my problem from a collegiate runner he'd treated last year. The runner had the exact symptoms I've had, including two femoral fractures, and his weaknesses were identical to mine. His gait analysis video looked exactly like mine! He hasn't been back in over a year (incidentally, his aggressive rehab included running on the Alter-G for an hour daily throughout the fracture healing time once the PT's felt his hip strength was adequate to control the twist of the bone). So, I feel like this group of PTs is experienced in treating my particular combination of gait, footstrike, muscular imbalance, and running history.

Also in the good news category, I've been on calcitonin nasal spray for a weak now, and my pain has subsided considerably. No more waking up at night in pain, or sudden deep aching. Actually, it's just the occasional reminder now.
Bad news? The spray irritates my nose. I'm already prone to nosebleeds, and for the past week I've had one or two everyday (I had one on the road, in the rain, on a bike today. NOT FUN AT ALL.)

I feel a lot more positive now after seeing the physical therapist. It's the first time anyone has pointed to a cause of the problem: before I just heard,"Rest it". Now I'm hearing, "Rehab it, and here's how."