Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

As you can tell from the past few posts, I've been a bit low lately.  This morning's news that another friend is having cancer problems, this time melanoma, made me hate cancer all the more.

Yet there is something inside of me that is seeking out the happiness in my life.  I'm starting to see it everywhere and the happiness is infectious.  I rather like it.  I'm finding it in the littlest of things.  Like reminding the girls that if they are good listeners today they will get to help me make the pumpkin pie tonight and their responses.  Angelfish, "once we make it we can eat it all up!"  Ladybug, "I like pumpkin but I don't like pumpkin seeds, but I really like pumpkin pie."  Or discovering that a new friendly acquaintance randomly knows of my friend J, K, and my friendly acquaintance L and that K is her vet too and now she's making sure she comes to the little holiday party we're having.  Or asking Coach if she wants to come over for Thanksgiving dinner and realizing I have no plan as to a time we're going to plan to eat.  Or the fact that you can convince a 3 year old that peach colored underpants are "thanksgiving color" and that makes them all the rage, to the point you have to find the only other pair of peach colored underpants for her twin sister.  Or the fact that Mr. Darcy is now convinced that he needs to work out at least 30 minutes everyday because he doesn't want to get shingles again and that perhaps if his doctor, his Dad and I all think this is a good idea that maybe it really is something he should do.  Or that Coach too has a tough time getting that shower in between working out and work sometimes too.  Or laughing because even though you aren't going to get to see any family members (other than Mr. Darcy and the little ladies of course) you realize that your friend J's family Thanksgiving on Saturday is something you really like going to (we went last year too) and is almost like a new little family made of friends.  Or that happiness that only your children can give you when they hug and kiss you and want to keep kissing you instead of going to school and you have to convince them that they can give you more kisses after school so Daddy won't be late for work.  Or that one 3 year old tells the other 3 year old who has just passed gas that she needs to "spray your stinky!" in reference to air freshener; and the 1st 3 year old responds, "but I said excuse me!"

Happiness is all around us, even in the stinkiest of times, we just have to open our eyes to it.  And somewhere I have been walking around with my eyes only partially open.  I am opening them wide and letting all that happiness show itself from now on.

So here is a list of things that I am thankful for this Thanksgiving.  I am truly blessed!
1. For Mr. Darcy, how much we love each other, and how he can make me laugh and even frustrate the heck out of me.  I wouldn't have it any other way.
2. For Angelfish who dazzles with her smile and her silliness and then amazes with her brillant intelligence, and whose laid back personality make life fun.
3. For Ladybug who despite being ornery and stubborn has a subtle sense of humor, a smile that lights up the room, and a creative yet orderly way of thinking and who is super smart too.
4. For Heather and Lauren, my 2 girls from college who I know are there for me no matter the miles between us - through thick and thin and everything in between.
5. For "Belle" and "Craftgirl" my ATL triplets who make me smile and who are my buds through and through. And who I can't wait to see in a few days!
6. For Jen, my lawschool friend who has made me feel like family from the moment we met and even more so now that we are both in Orlando together.  I seriously doubt I would have been able to adjust to Orlando nearly as well without her.  Not to mention she's the one that told me she heard an ad for Team in Training on the radio...
7. For Coach and Training Buddy who have become my friends, and not just because of Team in Training and our love for all things triathlon, but because they're real and not only do they talk but they also listen.
8. For my parents, without them I wouldn't be who I am.  I love them with all my heart and wish I could make their lives easier than it is right now.
9. For my in-laws, who have been good to me and wonderful grandparents to the little ladies.
10. For my house, even though sometimes I feel stuck here when I don't get out enough, there really isn't anywhere else I'd want to feel "stuck."  It is one of the most comfortable places I've ever been and I believe that something spoke to us when we saw this house and we just knew we wanted to live here.  Besides, there are so many who are homeless that having shelter is a true blessing.
11. For my job, it lets me pay the bills and provide a good life for my family.
12. For Team in Training, it gave me a love for triathlon while helping me feel like I was doing something about cancer.
13. For Angela's Dad, her friend (and now my friend) Liz, Angela's husband, and Angela's sister.  I always knew you all indirectly through Angela, but now I love having you as a more direct part of my life.  It's almost as though Angela gave me the gift of you all.  This time of year will always be hard for us, especially December, but I know that Angela is pain free and happy in heaven... and hopefully putting in a good word or two with the Big Guy Upstairs so we'll get to hang out with her again when its our time.
14. For Angela who keeps me company on a regular basis.  Not in the same way she did while living, but in little things that make me think of her the way she was before Cancer.  The fact that I read a book, see a news report, hear a song, etc. and I think of her.  Not to mention the times when I hear her telling me stuff in my head. No, I'm not crazy.  I just know what she'd say and sometimes that advice, joke, etc. is what I need to hear.
15. For all the gifts God has given me - physically, mentally, emotionally, and the fact that I am alive and kicking.
16. For sorrow, it's normal to feel it and it shows that I am compassionate and love others.
17. For faith in God, without it I would have never made it through so many things that I have gone through in this life.  Because I believe that God would not bring me to it if He could not bring me through it.  I can do all things with God's help.
18. For all the material blessings I have - I have clothing, food, cars, a home, and extras that make my life easy compared to so many.  I just hope I have the good sense to help others with it, not just helping myself.
19. For my brain.  I'm smart and that's one of my sources of pride because I can figure out what to do in almost every situation, even if I might get a little weepy or pissy from time to time.
20. For the ability to swim, bike and run... especially while raising money for cancer research and to help those with cancer, and to do it for those who can't.  Not to mention all the thanks I owe for all the wonderful people I have met and the places and things I have done while living the Tri lifestyle.
21. For Missy and Geni, who both made me feel welcome, supported and inspired to do and be more from the moment I met them.
22. For all the things that I cannot think of and that I take for granted.  I am blessed that they are so obvious that I take them for granted.
23. For this blog, which perhaps has been the best form of mental health therapy for me over the past year or so and which has introduced me to others who blog about life and tri stuff and who have seemed to become part of my life through the written word, encouragement, and commentary.  Even if that silly counter still says no one reads it when I know otherwise. : )
24. For the opportunities this world has to offer, even those that I'm not aware of or that I haven't taken.  Who knows what door might open next?
25. For hope, because without it I wouldn't have realized how amazingly good life is and how amazingly wonderful people are.  People are angels in our lives when we least expect it.

May you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving!  Count your blessings, my list isn't exhaustive - it's just the start.  Life is good... be sure to share it with those you love!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

A New Day

Today seems like a new day for some reason, like a new start on something.  What the something is, I'm not really sure.  It's almost like I woke up some something more than sleep this morning, although it sort of came on little by little as my early morning progressed.

Mr. Darcy definitely has the shingles and is taking his 1 g of Valtrex three times a day like a good boy.  I feel badly for him because it hurts (and it's none to pretty either, but there were worse pictures on the net).  As he said yesterday while laying on the couch, "This will be a fun Thanksgiving for me." The poor guy.  He decided to go in to work today though.  At the very least to work the day in the office and bring work home that he can do from home tomorrow while resting.  Although, I have a feeling he'll end up back in the office tomorrow. 

Mr. Darcy's Dad sent a nice email yesterday telling Mr. Darcy that he needs to not internalize his stress so that he ends up with shingles on a regular basis and that he needs to workout more than just tennis twice a week.  He also said that I needed to help Mr. Darcy make sure he relaxes and isn't always on the go so much.  The problem is that I honestly cannot take on more of the child rearing or household stuff than I do already without seriously imploding.  If I take on more then I cannot workout or have a social life (not that I have an overly active social life as it is) at all because I'm doing everything I can while working full time and doing what my body needs physically.  As it is, I don't usually have time to shower after working out and starting work each morning.  I don't do any personal shopping, and squeeze my personal hygeine hurriedly either during a lunch break or right before I go get my children from daycare.  I feel terrible that I cannot take more of the burden off of Mr. Darcy, but I just can't do it.

In fact, this morning, I realized that not only does Mr. Darcy need to take care of himself but I need to take care of myself both emotionally and physically.  I can't skip or stop or cut short my workouts like I've been doing as of late because it really is the only regular thing that I do for myself.  When I skip, I find myself to be not as happy and a wee bit grumpy.  We both need to find a way to be more wholistic in our approach to life.  You know it's not quite right when your idea of a great day is that you got your kids and husband out the door to work and school on time, got your full workout in and had time to not only shower but also put on makeup and accessories to go with your outfit, and that you put time and thought into what you wear that day... not just it's clean and quick.

But there's something about that realization that somewhere is giving me a lot of optimism that we can figure it out.  Maybe it's because I got my workout in this morning that all seems right in the world again.  Maybe it's because despite having his bone marrow biopsy yesterday where a nerve got hit and they had to remove and start again that my friend Doug sent a funny and yet serious email update about things.  Maybe it's reading a blog from someone who discovered that her faith in God and just living her life believing in God and finding out that she's helping others when she didn't even realize it.  Maybe it's the spirit of Thanksgiving and just being thankful for what I have.  Maybe it's all of it all at once.  But whatever it is, I like it.

I went for a 20 minute run this morning.  With the words of Coach in my head, "you need to heal completely and then we can work on speed work" as she teased last week after my fast mile, I set out with the thought that I needed to ease up and just do the run.  Coach has also wanted me to throw a minute of walking in (I can't think of the method's name at the moment...), so I decided as I set out that I would do 9/1's today.  Well, even with "taking it easy" I did my first mile in a hair less than 9 minutes, and the 2nd mile (only because of the 1 minute of walking I wager) in about 10 minutes.  So that set a nice stage for my 1/2 hour of yoga.  I did a session that is for legs, back and shoulders since that's been a needed area of focus as of late.  It was wonderful and as the words of the Namaste Yoga practitioner ended the session, I did feel "open to the universe."

Monday, November 23, 2009

Insomnia, My Old Friend

My insomnia is back.  So I sit here unable to sleep and not wanting to toss and turn and take the chance of waking Mr. Darcy who not only has Angelfish's head cold from earlier this week but who also is exhibiting symptoms of shingles (although his rash is not disgusting at this point).  He's pretty miserable, and tomorrow morning he'll be calling the doctor for the earliest appointment he can get.

We had a good weekend until we talked to Mr. Darcy's parents and realized that he might have shingles.  His grandmother had it when I was pregnant with the Little Ladies, so when I was describing how Mr. Darcy felt and how he had a rash over where he had muscle pain and that the rash would show up the day after the pain started, Mr. Darcy Senior said "sounds like shingles."  I went online (of course) and found webmd's lovely pictures of the rash and Mr. Darcy's looks like a minor case of the early stages of shingles.  The other sad news is that Mr. Darcy Senior's knee surgery has left him with more pain and a lot of swelling, he can't manuever well on crutches and thus is spending his time getting around in a wheel chair, and with all his physical therapy appointments and the machine that moves his knee for 6 hours everyday, they won't be able to make it for Thanksgiving.  We weren't sure how they were going to do it either, but they had been hopeful when we talked to them last Tuesday.  So we weren't surprised but we were saddened. 

We had a ton of fun with our friends from the ATL at Sea World.  The girls got along well and were all in good moods, at least after Ladybug had a terrible fit and time out in the ladies room at Sea World first.  I had to hold the door shut from the outside of the stall while leaning all my body weight back.  The child is strong.  Good side affect was that my back felt better afterwards.  Bad side effect - I'm pretty sure that a ton of women think I'm evil because I let my child scream "let me out" and wail and all sorts of things.  I got a lot of nasty looks.  At one point, I wasn't a saint - Ladybug crawled out from the stall under the door and kicked my leg.  I picked her up put her on the toilet seat and told her she was in time out because she was being a brat.  Not one of my finer moments.  But then I went on the other side of the door again, and held it shut and didn't say a word for the rest of the 3 minutes that seemed to be an eternity.  Our friend was in the bathroom toward the end of the time out and she said that she thought I was doing really well... and I really needed to hear it at that point. : )  But after that, it was smooth sailing! 

Their little man at all of 8 months old was the cutest thing!  Even Mr. Darcy wanted to hold him and Mr. Darcy avoids holding babies.  Not because he doesn't like them, but because he likes them and doesn't want to be tempted into having more of them.  But he couldn't resist holding little C.  I couldn't resist it either.  A little guy who chews on your fingers and smiles at you with those teething gums showing is too much to resist.  So I held him while he napped at one point.  I resist holding babies alot because it makes me want them too.  The irony was that the night before I had a dream that we had a baby boy and named him Benjamin.  And sitting there holding the little C. man, I wanted another baby.  Mr. Darcy even joked at dinner that we could have another one, and I told him he better not say things he doesn't mean.  Later I told him I would like to have another one, and he said he'd need to think about it and let the idea sink in some.  I'm guessing it's going to come back down to his not wanting another child because life is just sort of settling down with the girls.  But I could be wrong, you never know...  Either way, we had a great time with our friends.

I also had fun with the ladies I went to see "New Moon" with.  The movie was good - at least if you've read the book.  The acting wasn't terrible this time, so I actually enjoyed it.  Fluff is a good thing at times, and this was definitely one of them.  Afterwards we had coffee and chatted and it was a lot of fun.  Then it was home to discover a naked Ladybug crying while Angelfish "helped" her Daddy try to fix their dressser drawer.  Ladybug had an accident and was having trouble with the drawers when Mr. Darcy decided to fix it for her.  Ladybug doesn't really like change (she's a lot like Mr. Darcy that way - has to let it sink in and decide whether or not she likes the idea of the change before embracing the change) so she was a bit worked up about the whole thing.  Meanwhile, Angelfish was handing Mr. Darcy the screwdriver and screws and the tracks.  She was loving it.  It reminded me of when I was really little and built a birdhouse with my Poppop.  Ladybug admitted she was upset about the drawers (especially since Mr. Darcy was rearranging the order of where clothing was so that she could reach it easier) and that if she was going to have a new drawer then she thought she needed all new underwear too.  I told her that we couldn't have new underwear because money doesn't grow on trees and that we have to use what we have.  She said okay and then I said "You just don't like change do you?"  and she said, "No. Why do things have to change?"  It was the sweetest thing.  She got over it a little bit later when I took her to the grocery store alone with me.  I had to laugh when we were in the car, pulling out of the driveway, and she said "why do you want me to go to the grocery store with you?"  I told her that it was so we could spend some time one on one, so that she didn't have to share me with her sister or her  Daddy.  She seemed to like that, and we had a good time.  So good that she forgave me without a 2nd thought when I completely forgot to get her cookie from the bakery for good behavior.  She remembered right when I did and we were 1/2 way home.

I had a blast with the girls, with Mr. Darcy, with our friends this weekend! 

I also had a chat with my Dad about my Mom and her biopsy situation.  She hadn't told my Dad that she talked to me 3 times this week and she didn't tell him all the things she told me, and she didn't tell me all that she told him.  He and I are both on the same page about the information we have that she's told us from the doctor.  We both think there's a good chance that she has breast cancer, but we also are hopeful and think it could turn out to be nothing too.  But we also realize that she's not just being a positive thinker at the moment... she's more like the Queen of Denial that this could be something "bad."  Even if it is cancer, it's early enough that she'll be fine.  We're a little worried that if the news is that it is cancer, she's not going to take it well despite her bravado of "and if it does turn out to be cancer, I've told them to just do a mastectomy."  I know it's eating her up to have to wait until December 2nd for the biopsy and December 3rd for the results. But whatever the news, we will pull through. That is what we do.

It was kind of funny though.  I said something on the phone to my Dad and it made a lot of sense with all that is going on.  I told him that sometimes I get frustrated with them, but that doesn't mean that I don't love them.  And that's sort of how I feel about my life right now.  I get frustrated with life and it's bad news for my friend and the scare for my parents, but that doesn't mean I don't love life.  In fact, I think it's because I do love it.  I love the people in my life and I don't want bad things to happen to them.

But I also realized while writing this post in my insomniatic state that it also has to do with fear.  I've always had 2 fears in my life.  One was that my best would never be good enough.  Good enough for what, I'm not always sure, but probably for people to keep loving me or for life to stay good or something.  And the other is that I would end up alone.  Cancer especially is a double threat for my fears.  Reality is, even if I was a doctor or a researcher, I may not be able to find a cure for cancer.  Just like as a lawyer, I may not be able to help find a cure with fundraising.  My best efforts might not be good enough to save the life of someone I care about.  Goodness knows that I couldn't save Angela, although she'd probably laugh at the idea of me wanting to be able to ride in on the white horse to save the day and remind me that even though it sucks I don't get to control everything.  That job's already taken by the Big Guy Upstairs. 

And second, cancer threatens my fear of being alone.  I've never been the type to be with people who weren't good for me just to be with people, but I've always wanted to be with people who I liked and admired.  I'm a "people person" - I like people despite the fact that there are some people who suck.  There are just so many more that don't.  And those in my life are the ones I want to be around.  They definitely do not suck and are good to their cores.  They're sometimes hard to find in this world, but when I find them I want to be around them.  But cancer likes to take people away and to feed into that fear that I will end up alone in this world not being able to share life and its insanity and its beauty with someone.  Maybe that's why I'm so selfish with my family time too.  I'm an only child and when my parents are gone, I feel as though in some ways I'll be all alone in one aspect of my world.  So I value all the time I can get with them.

Well, it goes to show that insomnia sometimes is a helpful counselor.  It's when those fears bubble up that you can't sleep (even after 3 advil which normally put me to sleep) that sometimes you figure it all out.

The good news is that it is all positive.  I will do what I can do to raise money and help others raise money for cancer research in whatever way I can.  I will love the people I have in my life for the length of time that they are given to me to love.  I will live in the moments of my life the best I can.  I will accept (although I'm sure I'll continue to struggle with the idea) that there are things in this life that are outside of my control and that I have to trust in God's plan even when I don't understand it (and especially when I in my narrow view of the universe would think I'd make things be different).  And if I end up alone, I will know that I did my best and that is really all that any of us can do and that no matter what the outcome it will just have to be good enough.

So now, after being awake in the middle of the night for more than 2 hours, I'm going to try to make myself sleep.  I'll be taking the Little Ladies to school in a few hours, attempting to at least get 5-10 minutes of cardio and some weight training in before the work day starts (more cardio would be better of course, but I only have so many hours in the day), remember to water the plant on the front porch, work a full day, have a fun lunch with my friend J (if she's not scared off by my email disclaimer about Mr. Darcy's possible shingles), probably take care of Mr. Darcy a bit, feed and have fun with Angelfish and Ladybug this evening, and try to make up for my lost sleep by going to bed early.

I hope you all have a great Monday and that my tome here wasn't too overly depressing... there is joy for me in getting it out and realizing that I can do what I can do and that is empowerment in and of itself.  So thanks for putting up with it!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Where to Start...

I really don't even know where to start with my thoughts today. So bear with me as this probably will be some sort of stream of consciousness stuff floating around in my head.

Yesterday I found out terrible news.  A friend, Doug, from my TNT tri team who had CML in remission with Gleevec and has been working toward a goal of completing each type of endurance event while raising money with TNT, found out yesterday that he is now Gleevec intolerant.  This means that he is no longer in remission and blood tests show that 77% of his white blood cells are cancerous.  Doug is one of the kindest, friendliest, funniest people you will meet in your life.  And now he has to go through the pain of sitting his children down again and telling them his cancer is back.  Then on Monday have a blood marrow biopsy and hope that they find a treatment that will work and get him back in remission.  Because if they can't he will have to have a blood marrow transplant... that his insurance won't cover.  I have been praying a lot since yesterday afternoon and I will pray more.  We're waiting to find out more after Monday's results, but we may be doing more than praying too.

The whole thing makes me angry.  Angry that the human body can be so wonderous and so self-destructive all at once.  Angry that a wonderful person like Doug has to endure cancer coming out of remission.  Angry that his insurance won't cover blood marrow transplants or drugs that are part of studies.  Angry that they can quantify money versus the attempt to save someone's life.  As Belle told me on the phone last night, cancer doesn't happen to mean people.  I'm angry about that too.  Everyone I've ever known to have cancer was/is wonderful.  Angela, my Granny, my Mom, my Mom's cousins, my Poppop, my Dad's stockbroker, Doug, my friend's little girl, Training Buddy, Coach, and Belle herself - just to name a few.

But it also makes me hopeful (in an angry sort of way).  Gleevec lets people go into remission and they're studying what causes the body to become intolerant of it.  So there's hope that one day others won't suffer.  There are also other drugs they can try to see if they will work.  Maybe one of them will.  Most of all is the outpouring of love that has come from those in TNT for Doug.  We're a bunch of doers.  We take our anger and our grief and we want to fix it.  We know we, in and of ourselves, cannot find the cure or make Doug's cancer go into remission.  But we all pray or send strengthening thoughts, we are already cooking up ideas for fundraisers for Doug and his family, we are already pissed off at cancer for trying to take our friend, and we are all letting Doug know how much we love and support him.

It makes me think even more about the fact that I am doing TNT again this coming year.  That I hopefully will get to be a mentor for my team, and that I will be raising money toward a cure.  But like I said, I'm a doer.  And I'm in that spot again that makes me feel like I am just not doing enough.  I read online about cancer and cancer treatments, I partake in legislative letter writing about cancer issues to try and get laws passed to help cancer research and cancer patients, but I hate not being able to fix it myself.  To stare into a microscope at the cells and come up with ideas about what to zap them with, bathe them in, etc. to kill the cancer or to turn off whatever that little mechanism is that makes the cell replicate without stopping like it should.  Or to be the one to give treatments to a patient and praying for wellness that could come from my actions.  And that makes me angry too.

I'm not sure what to do with all this anger.  My back is out and I'm in a ton of pain too.  Could be caused by stress.  I read that stress can make your back troubles worse. The resulting pain can definitely make you grumpy.  I'll probably end up at the chiropractor this afternoon.  I was trying to avoid it.  Trying to save the $25 co-pay since money is tight, but with this much stabbing sharp pain that takes my breath away I can't avoid it.  Not to mention I am feeling fat and ugly lately.  I feel like I get fatter every day now that I'm not training like I was for the 70.3.  So I'm cutting out all sugar, all sweets (other than fruit), and as much processed foods as I can starting today.  Not that I eat all that much of that stuff, but as of late we've had more ice cream and baked goods in our diet than we've had while I was training for the 70.3. So it's gone.  Plus I feel like I have no style, but refuse to spend money on clothes.  I watch What Not  to Wear and often think that I'd be a great candidate for their show.  I miss Angela.  And there's nothing I can do about it.

So I did the only thing I knew to do with my anger this morning.  I went to the pool.  Coach had a 2200 m continuous swim on my schedule as it was.  I have to say it was just about the most perfect thing that could have been on my schedule for today.  I ripped up the pool.  I even did flip turns for awhile because I was just wanting to shred the pool and work out all my anger.  Of course, after a bit my leg started to hurt so I stopped flip turning and returned to wall touching.  Amazingly my back didn't kill me while I swam.  I may have been too intent on swimming and working out the anger and the thoughts going through my head to notice though.  I didn't even notice that there was a 3rd person in the pool until I saw them when they were getting out of the pool and I was taking a breath to that side.  2200m in 45 minutes flat. Not too shabby.  I could have been faster, but I know I slowed down a little when my leg started to hurt and then sped up again when it stopped hurting again. 

If only I could get these other things not to hurt so much.  I have to accept I can do only what I can do and that God takes care of the rest.  As I said to someone yesterday, I have to accept that God has a plan and that all of this is somehow part of his plan.  I cannot understand why Doug (or any other cancer patient) suffering this way has to be part of the plan, but somehow it is.  And since God knows more than I do, I just have to find a way to accept it and do the part that God wants me to do.  But at the moment it is a bit hard to do.

I passed a church on the way to the pool whose sign said "Be thankful for the dirty dishes.  It means you have food."  I know what they mean... count your blessings and find them where you might not normally look.  So here goes with the best I can muster today.  1) I'm thankful for my back pain and my leg pain because it means I normally am pain free. 2) I'm thankful for cancer because it brought me to TNT and the friends I have made and for knowing there are others who want to do something to help find a cure and not just talk about it. 3) I'm thankful for feeling fat because it means I have the ability eat in overabundance. 4) I'm thankful for feeling like I have no style and don't buy new clothes because this means I am using my money for my family and not for selfish means.  5) I'm thankful for my Mom's situation with her cancer scare because it helps me realize how much I love her and don't want anything to happen to her. 6) I'm thankful for my anger because it's a good motivator and shows me that I'm alive and that I care.  I have to tell you though, I'm not really thankful for cancer.  I HATE cancer.  Cancer sucks and I'm sick of it messing with people in my life.

I do have a ton of things I am thankful for.  Mr. Darcy and the girls, especially.  The fact that I had Angela in my life as such a wonderful close friend since I was 12 so that I would know the pain of missing her.  The wonderful friends that I have.  And just so much more.

Sorry for the downer.  Hopefully the weekend will do its trick - wonderful friends, time with my wonderful husband and sweet girls, and time to let everything sink in and settle down.

I hope you have a great weekend!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Importance of Mammograms and a Morning Workout

The Importance of Mammograms
After talking to my Mom on the phone last night, I want to reinforce the importance of mammograms.  Even if that academy just said that women don't need them every year after 40, just after 50.  (Wonder if it's a ploy dealing with this new healthcare bill?)  A few weeks back, my Mom went for her annual mammogram (which ironically was read by my childhood friend who became a radiologist and again lives in our hometown).  Something didn't look quite right and they wanted her to have additional shots and a sonogram done and quickly.  When I talked to her about a week ago, they had told her it could be either calcification (which is normal and happens when women age) or pre/early stage cancer.  We didn't get overly worked up about it.

Yesterday they did the additional mammography and sonogram and determined that the mass is 2 inches by 2.1 inches and that they couldn't conclusively tell from the additional shots and the sonogram whether it was cancerous. Plus since it seems to be a circular mass, that's troubling because that's how breast cancer grows.  So now they have scheduled her for a needle biopsy of the mass on December 2nd.  She'll have the results sometime on December 3rd.  It still could turn out to be nothing, or it could be something.  Even if it is something, it should be early on. But without that annual mammogram, who knows where she would have been.  Of course all this is when I'll be in Atlanta, but at least I'll be with my girls so we can either celebrate that it is nothing or I can have support for bad news.  I'm hoping for the celebration, of course.

Morning Workout
This morning the little ladies were up and ready to go.  We had a little skirmish over choosing a straw, but overall the morning was good... other than the fact that Mr. Darcy and I had severely overslept. But I was determined to get my workout in this morning, especially because I didn't go yesterday because I was home with Angelfish.  Angelfish had no fever this morning, was a little stuffy but asked to go to school so she could play with her friends.  So, off she went along with Ladybug who was determined to earn her red token for the morning. 

The moment they pulled out of the driveway, I started my run.  Today was to be a 20 minute cardio session, running or biking, followed by weights.  So I ran the 1.5 or so miles to the Y.  I haven't run in awhile so when I hit the mile mark and my chest was tight and I seemed tired, at first I thought to myself... how is it that I got this out of shape with running in just the past few weeks.  And then I looked at my watch. I stared at it for a few seconds...

Turns out that I was tired because I had just done the 1st mile in 8:27!  Me.  The person who 11 minute miles are normal.  No wonder my lungs were feeling it.  So, I ended up at the Y in about 13 minutes.  I was sweating like mad.  But I got my two sets of the circuit and then squats and ab work in, and ran part of the way home when my leg started to hurt.  Not wanting to push my leg too much so I didn't set myself back in the healing leg process so I walked awhile.  But I ran about 2.25 miles out of the 3 miles.  So all in all I am quite thrilled.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Sniffles

Last night we had a wonderful time at Missy's early Thanksgiving Dinner.  The food was great and the company even better - even the little ladies had a great time!  But we should have known that when Angelfish was telling us we needed to go home because it was her bedtime that she wasn't feeling well.  Of course, this is our child who goes to bed when she's tired.

3 am rolled around and she was calling for me because she needed to blow her nose.  She didn't want to get out of bed because we are doing a thing so that if they stay in their beds at night (and put on their pjs, brush their teeth, and go to bed nicely) that they get a red token.  8 red tokens a week (there's something for getting ready and going to school nicely too, which Ladybug decidedly did not even come close to getting this morning), and they get a choice of a toy or getting ice cream.  Anyway, she coughed for awhile after that and felt a little hot to me.  I gave her some water and she chugged it like a college kid at a kegger.

This morning she had a 101 temperature and obviously was not acting herself.  This is our little lady that springs out of bed in a happy sprite like mood each morning.  Laying on the floor like moving was a chore is NOT her usual.  So, unless she feels like going for a walk/run and doing yoga at lunchtime, it looks like no workout today.  Mr. Darcy is coming home just after lunch so he can watch Angelfish while I teach a webinar for work.

And I have to say that this economy stinks.  Chase Bank found my work number somehow and there is some woman out there somewhere with my same first and last name who owes them money for a piece of property in Arizona.  I don't owe them money and I don't own propery in Arizona, and they keep calling me.  I do not like to be nasty but I keep telling them that I do not own property in Arizona and that while my name is the same first and last name, there are probably millions of people with that name and they have the wrong person, not to mention that they are calling my work number which is illegal, and that they need to stop calling me because I am not who they are looking for.  It's really annoying too because we get calls on the house phone for random people that don't live here but owe people money.  It's a big pain in the rump.

Anywho.  Here's hoping that Angelfish is better soon and that she didn't infect everyone at the party!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Racing For a Cure

I am training with Team in Training again to raise money for cancer research for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS)! I am racing in memory of my dear friend Angela King Kinder who passed away in 2008 after battling sarcoma, and for all who battle cancer. While LLS funds help stop leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin lymphoma and myeloma from taking more lives, they also help other cancer types too. Many of the drugs developed by LLS have been beneficial in other cancer patients as well.

Team in Training has been an amazing experience for me.  It has has shown me there can be no rest until we find a cure for cancer. Here's one example: while training for the Ironman Augusta 70.3 with others from my TNT team, a woman left a napkin on my friend's car because it had a Team in Training sticker on it. The napkin said, "Thank you for racing with Team in Training. My son died from leukemia at the age of 6 in 1981." Had there been a cure, her son would have been my age today.

After that experience, I couldn't turn down another chance to raise money for a cure. Please help find a cure for cancer as I swim, bike and run for those who cannot. Together we can help cancer patients reach another birthday. Donate today!

You can donate online at: or you can email me and we can exchange contact information.  No donation is too small!

O Happy Day!

Today, so far, has been a very happy day. 

For whatever reason last night, I couldn't even keep my eyes open past 7:30 no matter what I tried .... which would have been a problem since I was watching the girls solo while Mr. Darcy had tennis practice.  The Gods of the House must have known something was remiss because no one showed for tennis practice, and Mr. Darcy was sitting in my living room with the girls when I opened my eyes for a moment.  I felt like a terrible mother.  Never before had I done such a thing.  All I know is I must have needed that sleep.  Maybe my body was catching up to me after the several nights of insomnia I had last week.  But Mr. Darcy was wonderful.  He didn't try to wake me, and I even remember the girls' coming over to tell me something and waking me up and him telling them not to wake me.  I was out.  I woke up only to go to bed.  And drifted between waking and sleeping as Mr. Darcy watched "Dancing with the Stars."

Yesterday afternoon my boss gave me the green light to go to a CLE in Atlanta in early December.  I'm going to stay with my close friend "Belle" (I've talked about her before in this blog.).  I am super excited about it!!  We're going with our other close friend Craftygirl (she's awesome and always telling us not to buy things because she can make them for next to nothing... thus her nickname) to dinner and to see another Atlanta friend's new baby - these are the girls that I was referred to as "the triplets" when I lived in Atlanta.  Then I told Mr. Darcy about it and he suggested I stay until Saturday sometime so I could see some of my other friends too.  Can you say early Christmas present? WAHOO! 

So now not only do I get to knock out the Georgia CLE hours I need for this year and most of next year, I get to spend time with Belle and Craftygirl, meet a friend's new baby, AND get to have drinks and dinner (and maybe a movie) with Belle (hopefully Craftygirl) and my other good friends N., K, Jen and C!  I may even get to have breakfast with N and D before I leave town that Saturday too.  Just crazy happy.  I get to see my peeps!  It puts a spring in my step, joy in my heart and a smile on my face.

But that's not all!  This weekend our friends Jen and Steve will be in town with their little ones, and we're spending the day with them at Sea World.  Sunday, Mr. Darcy has agreed that I can go see "New Moon" (let's hope the acting is better than the last one, these books were my guilty pleasure reads) with my other friend Jen (I have a lot of friends named Jen... it's the era) and my friend K.  Happiness abounds!

But wait!  We also were invited to Missy's house for Turkey Dinner tonight, and Mr. Darcy doesn't have anything on his calendar, so we're going to meet up at Missy's!  YAY!  Great fun, good food, and I don't have to cook dinner.  We'll have that salmon dish tomorrow night.

I love a good social calendar!  But there's more!

I had an awesome swim this morning too... I had the pool all to myself until the last 5 minutes and I was rocking it!  I did a ladder swim going from 50 to 400 and back, and I did it like it was supposed to be all out for every step of the ladder. (Yes, Coach I rested from between 30 seconds and 1 minute between each.  I was a good girl. In fact for some, I needed that full minute to catch my breath!)  No buoy needed.  My leg was cooperating and didn't mind pushing off of the wall even (except once).  Add to that - Mr. Darcy said that both Ladybug and Angelfish did great going to daycare this morning (they were good up until they pulled out of the driveway, so I was already hopefuly), so that put him in a good mood too!

Now if only we could win the lottery today... nah, that's just being greedy.  I'll take what I have because I'm loving it right now!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Monday Morning in the Gym

This morning, I went to the Gym.  Coach and I talked about how I wanted to add weights and yoga into my routine in the off season, and thought that Mondays and Thursdays would be good ones for that since they are also Mr. Darcy's tennis days.  Whatever I don't get done in the mornings, I can bring the liliputians to the Y for the childcare while he plays tennis and I finish up whatever needs to be done.

Today I decided to do the weights first, which even I knew was a little silly because my muscles would be tired when I got on the bike.  But I was running a little bit behind so I decided to do the weights so if I didn't get to the cardio, I'd do the cardio either at lunch or when Mr. Darcy is at tennis.  Well, I was a dynamo!  Of course, I only did one set of the circuit and was doing less weight with higher reps (15 reps each), but it was day 1 of weight work and the worst thing is getting sore afterwards and not wanting to do it again.  So I was easing in.  I was really surprised at how strong I am though.  With my back I was doing 80-90 pounds, arms were 40-50 pounds, legs were 90 pounds except for my hamstrings which are naturally tighter than all my other muscles so I did those at 70.  Even my hip adductors were at 90.  I felt super strong!  After the circuit, I did a plank, squats with 10 pounds (I could have gone higher but wasn't sure if the squats would affect my calf muscle.), twisting situps with the 8 pound medicine ball, leg raises and another lower ab exercise, and then some more squats and arm raises with a body bar (I went for the medium weight because the light bar was too light, I love it!).  Then I did 30 minutes on the stationary bike in a relatively easy level.  I only got 12.3 miles done, but I didn't want to push the calf too hard it's first day back in the saddle.  I made it through without pain, but stretching my calf out was a little bit painful and now it hurts a little bit too.  But only like a 3 on the pain scale. 

I'll do some more stretching in a little bit, but I was happy with the workout! 

Friday, November 13, 2009

Inspiration from the Elementary School

I went to lunch with Coach today and had a great time!  On the way back, I passed the elementary school in my neighborhood and instead of the usual announcements for parents, it had this quote that I thought was just too good not to share:

"We cannot control the wind, but we can adjust our sails." 

I thought that was very appropriate for life and in light of Coach telling me that the Princess 1/2 Marathon probably won't be as fast as I had hoped and that I should not keep the notion of running the whole thing without one little bit of walking in there because of my leg issues.  Being realistic is a good thing, but she and I agreed I'd try to be as fast as I can be.... just adjusting my sails.

Happy Friday!

Still No Bike, But I Moved At Least

Yet another morning that I dreamt of, but did not get on, my bike.  We overslept this morning.  Looks like the alarm clock was set for PM instead of AM.  Probably some wishful thinking on Mr. Darcy's part.

He played tennis last night and won his match.  So that was a happy spot for him!  But he's always so exhausted afterwards.  I was asleep by the time he got home.  Wierd part is I don't even remember putting down my book and turning off the light on my nightstand.  I'm reading Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, and I love it.  I am a huge Jane Austen fan and picked it up to see how terrible it was, and it's really not.  I actually laugh out loud at a lot of it, and am pretty amazed at how seemlessly the zombie portion of the story fits.  So far my personal favorite was the fight scene when Elizabeth turns Darcy's marriage proposal down, and the bit about why Charlotte really marries Mr. Collins.  If you like Jane Austen or if you absolutely hate her books, I think you'd like this one.

Anywho. Where was I? Oh yes, oversleeping. We overslept to the point that I heard a door slam in the girls' room.  They were both up. Angelfish was "reading" a Clifford the Big Red Dog book and Ladybug was getting herself dressed (turned out she threw her pullup in the closet so our dog, Annie, wouldn't get it - thus the banging door).  Ladybug was insisting on privacy while she changed her clothes and Angelfish was insisting that I read her the book.  So we read the book with our backs turned so Ladybug's sense of modesty (which is rather new) was not offended.

Once Mr. Darcy and the girls (Ladybug had yet another raving fit, but this morning it wasn't until she was in the car.  Delightful child up to that point.  And her fit was because she wanted to take her jacket off while in the carseat.  Problem is, it was actually too cold for her to be without the jacket.) were in the car, I headed off on a walk because when I pressed down like I was cycling (or like I would if I was clipping in) my leg would hurt.  The irony is that the pain now is in the back of my quad near my knee, which is where the doctor said the calf muscles really begin.  My actual calf has a twinge here and there, but only at a super minor level.  But, if I get on the bike, I know I'm not going to want to stop even if it does hurt so I decided to be nice to myself and use my 30 minutes for good instead of "evil."

I walked for 2 miles before my leg hurt to a point that I figured I shouldn't go on.  I was happy.  I did the 2 miles at right around 30 minutes.  (I didn't wear a watch to keep myself from pressuring myself about it.)  I was booking it (walking wise), and it felt good.  I got the urge to run several times, but the little bit of pain I had in my leg was enough to get me to talk myself down from the ledge.  Of course, I had to do it by telling myself "run today, miss the 1/2 marathon."  I walked enough to break a sweat in weather in the 50's, so I was pleased.

This weekend is going to be a busy one (as usual).  We have the grocery shopping and such as usual, but Saturday I volunteer for a few hours at Junior League's Bargain Box, which is a second hand store that is completely run and supported (including with donations of clothes, housewares, and toys) by the League.  Then Sunday, I volunteer from 9:30 am to 1:30 pm at The Festival of Trees.  After this weekend, I'll try to slow it down some.  I usually spread volunteering out a little, but with the schedule we had this year, I kind of lumped it together.

I plan to get back into a more regular training schedule next week too. I definitely want to keep that up as much as possible during the holidays... because I love to bake with the Little Ladies this time of year! And this year, they're really into it!

Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Sleepy Head, Get Out of Bed!

Today I did not work out.  I thought about it while sleeping.  I remember thinking a walk would be nice and even promised myself I wouldn't let myself give in to the temptation of actually running.  The next thing I knew Angelfish was climbing into my bed while eating a stick of cheese telling me to wake up.  She told me, "You're still in your pajamas, Mommy!  That is SOOO Silly!"   I opened my eyes, gave her a hug and a kiss and reminded her that she was still in her pajamas.  Her response, "Yes, but I'm eating cheese." 

Then I ended up looking for Ladybug.  I was certain I had heard her asleep in our room when I got up to use the potty at 4 am.  Mr. Darcy told me she was in there, but now she was up.  I found her getting dressed.  She even had pulled the rocking chair next to the dresser so she could reach her clothes.  Amazingly grown up at times, and amazingly stubborn too.  The child threw a tantrum because I put her oatmeal squares into a bag for her instead of letting her do it all by herself.  I ended up having to carry her out to the car.  Mr. Darcy wasn't pleased about it, but really there was not much I could do about it other than give in on the discipline we're trying to stick to with these kids.  And what's the point in discipline if we're not going to follow through?

When they left, all I could do was think of sleep.  I think it had to do with the fact that I ate something bad yesterday, which left me with ummm "gastric disturbances" for a large portion of the evening and a little into the night. So  I went back to bed for an hour and woke up with just enough time to shower, get dressed and wander into my office to work.

It's super cloudy, and for once feels like fall.  I'm just glad it wasn't a blue sky, fall crisp weather day.  I wouldn't have had a chance in hades of getting any work done.  I've been dreaming of days like that lately.  It's the 2nd week in November, for goodness sakes.  The 80's should not be part of our forcast.

Plus, it's my post-Atlanta blues time of the year.  I miss my Atlanta friends alot during the year, but especially at the holidays.  We've been here a year and don't really know anyone still.  That's probably typical, but it reminds me desparately of my friends in the ATL and how so very much I love and miss them.  This time of year, 2 of my friends and I would volunteer at the Festival of Trees and then afterwards have lunch.  This year I've signed up to volunteer at the Festival of Trees through Junior League but don't know anyone else who is volunteering save one person who I know who she is (and she doesn't really like kids).  We'd also have a little Merry Christmas dinner and exchange small gifts on another weekend.  There would be Mr. Darcy's office party which was a formal event and our gang of friends would pretty much all be there.  Then the wine party where everyone would bring a bottle of wine and the goal was to have more empty bottles than the year before.  There would be my office's low key holiday party.  Lunch with Cher and Kelly just for the holidays because we needed to see one another.  There'd be either brunch or a little get together with Nazrina and Deborah, sometimes with and sometimes without the rest of the gang.  Gift buying for the daycare ladies (which reminds me I need to add that to my To Do List).  The sorority alumnae association party where some years we'd drag the husbands and some years we would take mercy on them.  Finding a Saturday (or a least part of one) to spend with The Kenneys.  The calendar would be full before the end of Thanksgiving weekend.

We just don't have that here in nearly the same way, and it makes me sad.  A bit slower in my step, and when it's hot it doesn't even feel like the holiday season is upon us. Although the Kenneys will be here next weekend, and I'm super excited about that!  Getting to meet little C. and seeing Miss A. again will be awesome - not to mention our adult Kenneys who we love spending time with!

I'm trying to make it better. My friend Jen and I have planned to have lunch every other week.  She's also hosting a "Holiday Cheer" party with another friend, Kim.  Sort of like that wine party I mentioned, but more sedate.  A gathering of ladies to share champagne or bubbling wine (I've already got the prosecco chilling...) and hors d'ouvres. Even if I'm secretly fearing no one will come.  But really, I know I'll have a good time even if it turns out to be just Jen, Kim and I.  (Did I mention Prosecco is my favorite?)  So far it doesn't look like Mr. Darcy's going to have a holiday party for his work, so I'm planning to have a cookie baking day with Mr. Darcy, Angelfish and Ladybug where we blast Christmas music, bake cookies, and then take some to the neighbors and the daycare ladies.  Another weekend we'll trim the tree too. My office will have a party, but it's in Atlanta so I won't get to attend.  Eventually we'll create a fun web of friends.  It just takes time.  We've only been here a year.  We lived in Atlanta for 10 years... and  it took us 3 to make friends.  So time is all we need.  It's just funny how things can be so different from one year to the next.

I'm having lunch with Coach tomorrow, provided all goes well in both of our days.  I like spending time with her, so that will be good.  I've missed not seeing her as much as I did when I was training for the 70.3.  But we're going to chat and also talk about my funny little off-season that I've been having and what I want to do from here.

Things always look up.  Who knows, maybe I'll even get to ride my bike tomorrow!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Somethings Just Make You Laugh...

Here are a few things that made me laugh yesterday and/or today:

1. I blogged yesterday about the counter telling me that no one reads my blog, and got 3 comments, a new follower, and saw that another of my followers has my blog listed as a good read on her blog (Thanks everyone, and welcome!)

2. The doctor told me I could ride a bike, and so it rained all night and all this morning.

3. The doctor also told me to stretch alot, so I did yoga for 1 hour and 15 minutes this morning.  Now my pain has significantly subsided.  I'm sure my calf is still strained, but it doesn't hurt nearly as badly.  It's the first day in weeks that I haven't ingested at least 800 mg of advil.

4. I used to be super flexible before I started doing triathlons. I was the yoga girl for years. Today when I did yoga, it was like I never had done yoga before. I'm thinking yoga will be added to my off-season workouts... at least once a week.

5. I found exactly what Santa would like to bring the little ones for Christmas.  Now, I just have to get Mr. Darcy on board.  And no, it does not involve ride-on motorcyles like they requested.

6. Being on conference calls with other attorneys sometimes is like hearing a group of people who just like to hear themselves talk.  Jokes about potential legislation changes and lobbyists aren't really all that funny, but listening to the teller laugh at his/her own jokes can be.

7. Ladybug picked out her clothes and got dressed in less than 10 minutes.  It took her 25 minutes to brush her hair and she still wasn't satisfied with it when we carried her out to the car.  But she announced that she liked pears (she had a picture of a pear on her shirt).  Angelfish said "I don't like pears so very much."  To which Ladybug responded, "well, you do... a little." (they crack me up.)

8. Angelfish told me I was an elevator because I picked her up... she said I gave her a ride.

9. After taking all the medicine and vitamins the cardiologist has me taking, my total cholesterol is now around 150... but my bouncy LDL's are still low and my CRP is still high. So, his advice is to "make sure you keep doing those marathon or triathlon things you do" and keep eating healthy and taking the medicine and vitamins.

10. My cardiologist pointed out my blood pressure was slightly elevated today, looked at my chart and said, "oh yeah.  You're our resident white coat syndrome lady."

11. I told my cardiologist I thought of him last week because my Aunt had a heart attack and was dead for a minute or so and they had to use paddles on her and it burst the clot that caused the heart attack all over her chest cavity.  He told me how blood clots interact with plaque on the walls of your blood vessels to cause heart attacks - very scientifically - and then said "aren't you glad you eat healthy, take medicine, and exercise now?"  I didn't have the heart to tell him that she's also an overweight smoker with COPD and emphysema who thinks she knows more than doctors do.  But it made me smile.

12. Now that I have 2 conference calls back to back, it's not raining anymore.  But there's also no chance of me getting on my bike today now.  Sigh.  It makes you wonder if someone somewhere is trying to tell you not to do 30 miles just yet.

Little things that put a smile on my face today.  Irony... it's all around us!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Drumroll for the Diagnosis....

It's a calf strain.  They took x-rays of my leg bones "just in case" and the doctor says my bones and joints look nice and strong.  The pain in all those places and the ability to do the movements but have pain is all indicative, the good doctor says of a "nasty calf strain."  Takes 2-3 months to heal. 

But the good news is that I can swim without the buoy unless my leg hurts and then I have to use the buoy.  AND I can ride my bike (even clipped in) as long as it doesn't hurt.  (Now let's just hope it doesn't hurt...)Whoo hoo!

I have to lay off of running for the next 3 weeks, and if I can't run without pain 6-8 weeks from now, then I go back in to talk about physical therapy.  Other than that, I have to do lots of stretching of my calf muscles.

No MRI, which makes my wallet happy!  I think that I'm going to ride my bike tomorrow... and if it's raining, I'll ride the stationary bike.  I think 30 miles sounds good....

It's Tuesday!

It's Tuesday and I have random thoughts rambling around in my brain... let's see what's in there...

So there's this thing that you can use that tells you how many people visit your site.  I have it set to give me a weekly report and I laugh everytime I open it.  It always tells me that NO ONE reads my blog.  Even if I had a comment, which would evidence otherwise.  But either way, I'm okay with it.  Oh sure, who wouldn't like to be featured as the Blog of Note?  But then again, that might make me censor myself if I realize I have thousands of people reading my blog... at least for a little bit.  And who wants that?  I have yet to see a sports related Blog of Note, but we can always hold out hope.  I'm thinking it will be Steve in a Speedo? Gross!  (See my blog roll if you're not already a reader) if it ever is one.  That guy seems to be everywhere.  I put in a search for IMFL cutoff times the other day and his blog came up as the first search result.  But the truth is, I don't write my blog for fame or fortune.  I do it for fun and to get random things out of my brain.  I love getting comments, though.  It makes me feel like I'm not alone and I love getting to read blogs of others lives and doings... whether Tri related or not.

Today is the "big day."  I finally have my appointment with the orthopedist.  And, perhaps just for him, my leg is in full tizzy.  In fact, I was up for 2 hours this morning in pain until I remembered I could take advil since the last time I took it was before bed.  When it kicked in, it was like heaven and I could sleep again... unfortunately, the alarm clock was going off just a few minutes after it kicked in.  I ignored it though and slept for half an hour more.  Realistically, I figure the doctor will talk to me about pain, do some range of movement tests, and then tell me to go get an MRI.  I have plenty of fun things to tell him about my leg pain and movement (not to mention those circles I made yesterday, which have faded a bit due to showering... I may be nuts but it's just so much easier than describing).  Of course I still dream of him saying "nothing's wrong. have at it!"  Although at the same time, if he says that I'm going for a 2nd opinion because this has been one heck of a lot of pain over a rather long period of time.

On a much more fun and interesting front, the girls are cracking me up as of late.  They are learning different songs and things about the upcoming holidays.  They're excited about Thanksgiving, but then I found out why.  They thought it was sort of like Halloween, but we'd all dress up like Pilgrims and Native Americans and we'd get candy.  They're still excited now that they know how it really works, but not nearly as much.  I think they're just looking forward to sweet potatoes and pie at this point. 

They're also learning about different holidays like Christmas (but in a secular way) and Hannukah.  We figured that out when Ladybug started belting out "Santa Claus is Coming to Town" in the car this weekend which was directly followed by the Dreidel Song.  She knows ALL the words to both songs and gets really into dancing to the Dreidel Song.  Angelfish is into spelling her name and making up her own songs.  Last night she made up a song that said "I love Mommy.  I love Daddy.  I love Annie (our dog).  I love Ladybug. I love me. I love when Mommy cooks dinner and feeds me."  She then told me it was the Valentines' Day soon and that I should learn the song because Valentine's Day would be here soon!

They've both gotten really into dressing themselves and picking out their own clothes and even accessorizing.  Some of the outfits are hysterical, but we let them wear them anyway.  They wore cute dresses to church on Sunday paired with a beaded necklace and their princess dress up shoes (that are plastic, high heels and about 4 sizes to big).  This morning, Ladybug chose brown and pink plaid shorts, a black long sleeve t-shirt that has a pink cat and some flowers that were pink and brown (I think it's the only black thing they own), a purple beaded necklace, a purple beaded bracelet, and a maroon and cream headband.  She actually looks pretty adorable in it.  Angelfish opted for striped pants (pink, orange, green, and purple stripes - cuter than they sound) and a pink short-sleeve t-shirt with a cat and hearts that are pink, orange and green, and a pink beaded necklace.  I think they may accessorize better than I do! My favorite outfit so far though was the day Ladybug chose turquoise and purple plaid shorts, a hot pink shirt that had little hearts in all different colors on it, and orange and pink flip flops.  She needed I sign that said "I dressed myself today!" to wear on her back...

Mr. Darcy and I are trying to be more social.  I'm still getting involved with Junior League and it has been taking a more positive turn lately.  I've been actually getting a chance to talk to some of the other women, so it's been nice to get to know some people at least at meetings.  One of these days I might actually make some new friends too!  It's hard to make friends with people as an adult... you all have such busy lives that you seem to be able to make friendly acquaintences that at some point may become friends.  And I'm a friendly sort of gal... but it's a start and it's been nice.  Mr. Darcy has tennis 2 nights a week and his fraternity alumni association.  We're also having a colleague of Mr. Darcy's over for dinner with his wife this weekend.  They're a older than we are (their daughter is our age), but we really like them. I'm also trying to work on doing a Holiday Party type thing with the Ladies' Dinner Club I started.  We don't get the best of turnouts to Ladies' Dinner Club, but maybe a party will do the trick.  If not, I at least know I tried.  We're also hoping to get  involved in the church we've started attending.  We finally found a place we like, even if it is 1/2 an hour from the house.

So that is it for this lovely, albeit cloudy, Tuesday morning.  I'll "see" all of my non-existent readers tomorrow!

Monday, November 9, 2009

The Cure for Emotional Pain is Physical Pain

I learned a couple of truths this morning: 1) I can be really stupid sometimes and 2) the cure for emotional pain, sometimes, is physical pain.  And now I share it with blogland... as I often do.

First, the background...

This weekend I told my Mom we wanted to come see her and my Dad the Friday and Saturday after Thanksgiving.  Our friends K&I will be in Venice (about an hour south of where my parents live) for the Thanksgiving holiday, and since they live in London, we don't get to see them often.  So we thought to ourselves, let's see my parents, see my Grammie, and see K&I for Thanksgiving.  Well, we had a bit of a disagreement/discussion with my parents about the whole thing because they would prefer we don't come that weekend.  Quite frankly, it completely blows my mind.  No matter what is going on in our lives, Mr. Darcy & I work extra, even when we're exhausted beyond compare, to do whatever needs to get done so that we can make time if our family wants to come visit.  We always want to see our family, always.  One thing we've learned from losing all of our grandparents except one and losing friends and colleagues, is you never know what is going to happen when so make the most of every opportunity you get to see someone you love.  I know that this isn't about me, and I know they love me.  But it sure doesn't make me feel great.

So this morning, I told Mr. Darcy I had to go for a walk.  The pool was not going to cut it.  I needed major stress relief. I needed resistance to fight against and to win. I told him I really wanted to run.  He told me to go for the walk but not to run. Some of his last words before he backed down the drive way were, "Don't jog.  Don't push yourself." 

This is where I learned I can be really stupid sometimes.

I should have known that it would be like the pool - buoy swim is just not enough, I have to cheat and kick for a little bit.  I know myself pretty well, and I should have known.  Maybe I did, but maybe my subconscious didn't care.  Whatever it was, it was me being stupid. 

After walking for 5 minutes, I started running.  I didn't think about what I was doing, my body just did it.  For the 1st 2 minutes, it felt awesome.  Then my leg started to hurt, but it was just a little bit and it wasn't in my calf so I told myself it was probably just my back being silly because I hadn't run in awhile.  By the end of the 5 minutes I had pain in my calf too.  I walked a minute and decided I'd do 5/1's even though I could feel the muscles in my leg getting tighter. (Yes, I am stupid.)  2 minutes into my 2nd run, I walked because even in my state of denial admitted that this was bad.  I had pain in 3 different place in my calf, the back right side of my quad near my knee, a burning pain in my arch, and for the first time, actual pain on my knee.  I walked the rest of the way home, except (Yes, I am stupid) for the last little stretch to the house... after just telling myself I should NOT finish the 2 mile loop but turn toward the house because I have little kids that I have to take care of and if I mess myself up bad enough I won't be able to do it.  So, I ran the last bit home.  Seriously deficient in the usage of brain cells this morning.

The Cure for Emotional Pain is Physical Pain.

The good news is that all that physical pain made me get over the situation with my parents.  Yes, it still hurts but not nearly as much.  I realize that they have their issues and that they've always been this way.  And I'm not saying that they don't have alot going on.  They do.  But I realized that seeing grandparents, friends and colleagues die or disappear into Alzheimer's has made me into a person who does everything she can to make the time for family and those she cares about, no matter what it takes.  And all that physical pain was worth every ounce of cure for that emotional pain.

Besides, it let me circle in red on my legs all the places that have been hurting (other than the knee thing that was new, but I circled those too) over the past few weeks.  I'm still hoping the orthopedic doctor going to say it's nothing tomorrow... even if realistically, I know that this much pain over this length of time cannot be "nothing."  But I'm a dreamer.

And I'm off to take some advil...

Friday, November 6, 2009

The Day I Thought Would Never Come...

arrived today.  That was the day that I laid in bed when I first woke up and said "I don't want to swim."  I LOVE swimming.  But  I didn't go, I had grape nuts and yogurt, a v-8 and a cup of coffee in a quiet and peaceful house after the lilliputians went off to school with Mr. Darcy instead. Why?  I know exactly why.  Because I don't feel like what I  am allowed to do in the pool right now is swimming.  I can't kick.  Pulling with the buoy, even if I try to "jazz it up" with some drills, is not swimming.  Sure, I can get great body rotation going and really work on my form and all that.  But what I can't do is the fun part.  The part that gets me in the pool.  I can't sprint.  Well, I can, but you don't realize how much sprinting involves your legs.  I can get winded if I try hard enough but I'm still not feeling my body cut through the water in exactly the same way as when I can use my legs.  It makes me thankful that I am fully able bodied and that once my leg is healed, I will be able to do all the activities I did before.  But it also makes me a pouty swimmer... or should that be a pouty buoyer?

Plus I'm missing the bike and the run.  I even asked Mr. Darcy this morning if it would be a really dumb thing to do if I went for just a 1 mile walk in the neighborhood at a casual pace.  He told me, unequivocally, "YES."  I know he's right, but it's still rather tempting.  But to keep my demons at bay, I put on jeans and a shirt - something I wouldn't exercise in.  One of the demons that keeps bothering me is that I may be losing my fitness through this whole thing.  Which is why I should have swallowed my bile about using the buoy and just gone to the pool, but with my leg hurting to the point that I started my 1st moments out of bed with 800 mg of advil and poutiness I didn't.  Guess I can't complain about it since I'm not doing anything about it.

My mom, a retired RN, didn't make me feel better about things yesterday when I told her about the tippy toe problem.  First she said it could be a problem with my back instead of my leg.  She asked where the pain was radiating from.  I wasn't sure so I had to recreate the situation and before I even got close she was telling me to go back to flat footedness on the floor because she could hear in my voice how much pain I was having.  I told her it was radiating from my calf muscle about 1" to 1 1/4" below my knee down into the rest of my calf.  To which she replied, "You're sure you didn't hear a pop when this happened?"  Me: "No." Her:  "Well, be very sure to tell your doctor about this tip toe thing when you see him on Tuesday because if I had to guess, I'd say you either tore something or you pulled it very badly."  Me: "I'm going to chose to ignore your comment."  She just laughed at me.

The whole thing is kind of funny in a way.  A little over a year ago, it was all I could do to drag myself out of bed to go for a run or to even ride my (at the time) hybrid bike.  I would convince myself that I would look silly if I couldn't finish my first triathlon, or that if I couldnt' do this how could I do Team in Training for Angela?  Then it was, I'm raising money for cancer research I can't stop with people making donations.  I'd let Angela down and all of those people too.  And then somewhere along the way, probably by the end of February, I did it because I loved it.  Okay I only thought running didn't suck in February.  My love for the run came much later, but the point is that it came.  Now, it's all I can do to keep myself from jumping on the bike for a 30 mile ride or running a few miles for fun... and it's because I'm injured.  I almost think it would be worth the instant gratification to go do it, but I know I'd be sorry later.  March is my A race.  It's November.  It should be okay.  But then the little voice in the back of my head says, "You're not that great of a runner.  What if you can't start really training until February? How the heck are you going to do a Half Marathon."  I tend to answer, "speed training, hard work and prayer."  But then there are days like this morning when I just say, "let's hope it doesn't get to that.

It really seems like a silly thing to get down in the dumps about, but it's the one thing that is 100% mine.  I do it for me.  I know it is good for my girls to see me do these things and all that, but when I am perfectly, unabashedly honest, I do it for me.  Part of that is for the memory of Angela.  I feel her with me in my races, especially when I get to a hard point.  She was so amazingly peaceful and accepting of the fact that the Good Lord was calling her home.  She didn't worry about herself, but she worried about all of us who loved her that she was leaving behind.  I can't help but think to myself, Angela didn't want to go through chemo and being sick.  What you're doing in NOTHING compared to that.  So hush up and enjoy the race.  And it works.  And to be quite honest, I know Angela's with me right then when I think that because while she'd never use herself as the example, she had no time for complaining.  Life was hard and that was how it was, move on and look for the stuff that was good in it.  Part of my training is about helping me deal with the fact that she is not here anymore.  I refuse to delete her email out of my address book or take her blog off my list.  There are times I go to forward stuff to her via email - jokes, sweet things, news articles, etc.  - just like before.  Then there are times I'm sending something to someone else and her email pops up as an option for someone to send to.  It stinks. 

Part of training is about my dealing with life in general.  My Grammy (who I am/was closest to of my grandparents) has alzhemers and doesn't remember me.  Unfortunately, now she's starting not to remember my Dad or my Mom, who are the ones that see her at least 3 times a week, take her to her doctor's appointments, etc. My Dad told me this week how she looked at him like she knew him for a moment and then he could see her eyes change like they do when she looks at someone she doesn't know, and it broke his heart.  Normally, I'd take that out on my bike or on my run or in the pool.

Part of training is about dealing with my career.  I made a choice that has been good for many reasons, but that doesn't really make me happy.  Most days I am just okay with my work, some days that I down right am bored or hate it, and days that I am happy with it are so rare and far and few between (and usually have something to do with a non-work related item that happened at work).  Yes, I can mentally do it and mentally it can be a challenge.  But I do not love being a lawyer.  I absolutely loathed working in a law firm.  In house is better, but I feel deep down that it's not really who I am.  I've often thought that I should have been a nurse, a nurse practitioner, or a doctor of some sort.  Something where I work with people and feel like I am helping them, plus my love of science and the human body and how it works and what it does (and sometimes doesn't do) is in there too.  The miracle of it all.  Just think about blogging.  I think or feel something and my hands and brain were able to learn how to use a tool to type and give me a way to express myself.  Thinking about how all that works is just simply amazing.  Training lets me run away (sometimes literally) from the "mistake" I made that as I said is good because I have a solid job that pays decently (although I still don't make as much as I did when I left my old law firm) and now gives me good hours that work well with my family and training, but that doesn't get me up in the mornings excited about the day.

Training lets me feel good about myself - what I can accomplish, what I can do.  I've never been one to say "I can't do that." when it comes to most things.  I can talk myself out of something for a lot of logical reasons, but not because I'm not capable of doing it.  But it always amazes me when I go that much further or that much faster.  It also makes me feel better about how I look.  I have so much excess skin from having the twins that I can grab it and pull it up to my rib cage/chest area.  As I've lost fat, it has just become looser.  Which is okay because I can tuck it into pants, move it around,etc. to make it look a little better.  Sure, I still sometimes get a random stranger who asks me if I'm pregnant because my arms and legs are thin in comparison, but when I train I know I am doing all I can to make my body into a great machine.  It lets me accept all my health issues and that my body is a certain way, but that with training I'm making the best it can be with the issues that it has.

So, that's what I'm missing right now.... more than just getting out of the house, I'm missing all of that.

In light of yesterday and this morning's news about the shootings at Fort Hood, it seems a little silly.  I'm aware of that.  I am not a fan of war, which I often see as politics when nothing else seems to work.  I am also not a fan of groups that think it's okay to use God (under any name, whether it be Jesus, Allah, Jehovah, or so on) as a reason to justify killing and maiming others.  I also know that we are in danger, not just in the US but around the world, from those who are recruited and brain washed to agree with these folks.  I am proud of all of our military personnel.  They offer themselves, their lives, to protect others and to protect something they believe in. 

Most of all I feel pain and sadness for every one at Fort Hood, all their family members and loved ones, and for the community they once shared that is now lost a little bit.  I don't understand what could drive anyone to massacre a group of people, even if you disagreed or hated them, but I feel sorry for the man who did this because somewhere somehow he was able to lose his humanity to do such a terrible thing.  I feel badly for his family who now will have to live with the stigma of his actions and even worse the hostility of those who will attribute any terroristic or militant islamic beliefs to them where none exist.  I feel for the rest of us too, who have to try to understand why and how people can do this to one another and have fear that it could happen to them too. 

Somehow, even this is something that I work out in my head and my heart when I train.  I'm not solving the
world's ills, just figuring out my corner of it seems easier one mile of training at a time.  Selfish as it may be.

Saturday morning I'm volunteering at Junior League's 5K Harvest Run.  We're raising money for Junior Leagues Health, Hunger and Poverty initiatives in the Orlando area with the entry fees.  We're also asking that all of the runners bring canned goods with them to the race that we are donating to the Second Harvest Food Bank here in Orlando.  We've had canned food drives a bunch of different places, and if my math is correct, we've donated around 900 pounds of canned goods so far.  If you'd like to run (or act as a ghost runner), visit:  Since it's the day before the race, the entry fee is $35. (Not sure why I didn't think to post this earlier....).  It's (of course) torturing me not to get to run in the race, but what can you do?

Immediately afterwards I'm headed to the girls' last soccer game of the season.  I have to say I'm thrilled this season is over.  The Little Ladies had no interest in playing other than saying they wanted to play.  We're thinking about dance or gymnastics or swimming instead.  Although they seem to be showing some interest in tennis now that Mr. Darcy is playing in a league, so we may opt in that direction also.  Ladybug even said to me this morning that she wanted to play with Mr. Darcy last night but all the courts were taken.  Mr. Darcy told her we could hit some tennis balls this weekend (he bought them their very own tennis raquets a few months back).  Last weekend they were into riding bikes, so I still have some hope for their triathlon prospects too. : )

I also need to give a shout out to my friends who are racing Ironman Florida this weekend: Missey and Coach Beth!  I will be following them via internet, but I wish I could be there to see them cross the finish line and to hear them announce "YOU ARE AN IRONMAN" for each of them.  I'll be there in spirit, though, ladies!!

It should be a good yet busy weekend!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

This Morning I Swam...

Other than some swelling yesterday evening and minor pain, pain last night and this morning, overall the leg is good.  I found that dancing with the ladybugs was okay, as long as I don't pretend to be a ballerina and go on tippy toe.  The leg does not like it. In fact, I have to make an extremely concerted and painful effort just to get completely up onto full "tippy toe." So I have stopped doing that and my leg is appearing to take a little bit of mercy on me.

This morning I ignored the imploring calls from my beautiful TT bike, begging me to "ride... just 10 miles... at an easy pace on the closed road... in sneakers... not even clipped in... it won't hurt your leg that badly...please..." That bike really knows how to tug at my heart strings. It was soooo tempting it almost brought tears to my eyes.

But, remaining strong with my doctor's words in mind (the ones where she told me she didn't want me to get to March and still be hurt), I got into the car with my buoy and headed to the pool for a swim.  You know you miss cycling when you go to re-stock the pantry with V-8 cans and you have to stop a moment and linger with your bike, gently stroking its front tire as you pass. 

Aerodite and I spent a lot of time together in the past months and now she sits there, sad and waiting.  I rather feel the same way.  I miss my rides in the early morning, glimpses of deer and other wildlife as the sun rises; wind in my helmet (I'd say hair but it's really too short to do more than flap and make me look like I have dog ears in the wind); just me and the closed road loop.

These days I'm not just missing the bike and the mileage, I'm missing my run too.  And it seems like every time I turn around running is taunting me.  My off season was supposed to be about the run - getting faster, stronger, better.  Now my Brooks glare at me when I walk by because I'm not putting them on.  I haven't had a moisture wicking sock (or any other sock for that matter) on in weeks.  My email sends me missives "Improve Your Running By Improving Your Technique."  I am getting a free trial of Runner's World out of the blue.  Yes, Tri-gods, I know.  I need to run.  My spirit is willing, but you'll have to take it up with my calf/leg/knee/arch... or even better, the doctor's office since my appointment isn't until Tuesday.  (I tell myself that other people need those appointments more than I do.  I am also fully prepared to hear that there's nothing wrong with me, I pulled something and it's on the mend, and I can go back to full scale working out.  At this point it will have been 3 1/2 weeks since this pain began. It's entirely possible. RIGHT? Just nod and smile.)

SO, me and my buoy headed up the avenue for a swim at the LA Fitness (or as Mr. Darcy likes to call it "La Fitness").  I did my best to just stick to the buoy, but I cheated.  Not badly mind you, but just a little. Only 400m worth of kicking while swimming.  I thought about Coach and another friend who are racing IMFL this weekend and should both already be in Panama City.  I'd love to be with them to cheer them on and most of all to see them cross that finish line, break that tape, and hear them announced as Ironmen.  I wondered what that must feel like, and after drinking the Cool-aid and liking it terribly with my first 70.3, know that I want to experience it.  Now I just have to figure out how old the girls need to be before they can handle Mom being gone on 100 mile bike rides and crazy long runs (let alone getting Mr. Darcy on board for that one).  At this point, I'm thinking 10 years from now... so around 44 (me, 13 for them)? Ugh.  That seems like an eternity from now.  We'll just have to see how it goes.

I also thought about my Aunt who had a heart attack the day before yesterday, is still in the hospital, and yet is refusing to let her doctor do a dye study and catheterization.  Um, Hi.  Let's not invited heart attack #2 to come over to play.  From what my Dad told me, it sounds like she's afraid to find out she needs bypass surgery.  Not like it's a fun thing to do, but I think I'd be too afraid not to find out I need bypass surgery.  I'd rather take my chances with surgery than letting another heart attack pay a visit. Sigh.

I thought about how truly lucky we are.  Mr. Darcy's paycut wasn't anywhere as bad as we thought it would be, and while we'll need to trim the budget a little it won't be nearly as hard as we thought.  There's a lot to be thankful for this Thanksgiving, and not just on the money front. We're happy, pretty healthy aside from genetic stuff that you have to live with and a silly bum leg, and we're alive and together.  Really, that's what it's all about.

And then, before I knew it, my 1600m was over and it was off to change and head out to work.  Another morning well spent in the pool.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Back to Being More Positive

I am, most days, the girl who always says the glass is half-full and all that jazz.  But as you saw in yesterday's post there are those moments when the "woe is me" half-empty gal visits.  Luckily, she usually disappears quickly back into the strange sort of ether from which she arrived. 

Same facts, just a different way of looking at it.  Yesterday it dawned on me that I always say (and truly believe) that things happen for a reason.  I also strongly believe that if God brings you to it, He'll also bring you through it.  (I guess I like little cliches.)  Along with this realization is the knowledge that my parents raised me in a lower middle class home and while things were tight sometimes, we were happy.  Mr. Darcy and I lived a happy life in grad school living off of our student loans.  We have done with less before and we can do with less again.  Sure, we have 2 more people in the mix.  But when I think about that, I just acknowledge that we have to be more creative. Artwork, dancing to music that we already own, walks in the neighborhood, riding bikes and playing at the neighborhood playground can go a long way with our little ladies. Not to mention being fun... I already have a Thanksgiving art project for them in mind.
We are blessed in many ways, including that Mr. Darcy and I make a good team and we love each other and our Angelfish and Ladybug very much.  Happiness is not bought it is created, so we will be creative!

As for my leg, it hurts and my little experiment of not wearing my knee sleeve didnt' help alleviate pain.  In fact, by the end of the day, my foot swole a little bit and the muscles on the outside of my knee, the ones on the backside of my quad, my arch and my entire calf were hurting. 800mg of ibuprofen really only went so far.  In fact, I woke up with pain this morning.  As irony would have it, my triceps were hurting a little (I can only presume it's from all that pulling without kicking) so I decided to take a rest day.  I plan to go to the pool tomorrow and Friday and not kick at all (no matter how much I want to).  I have my leg propped up on my trash can and a roll of birthday wrap (see, being creative already) and will take 800 more of ibuprofen once the 4 hour period is up since my calf is screaming at me (and I took 800 mg 2 hours ago) and my arch feels tight.  I realized that I am blessed in this of all things too: 1) maybe I need to slow down and this is God's way of saying so; 2) I'm not used to this type of pain which means normally I am healthy; 3) my girls have been giving my legs kisses to try to make it better, which shows me how much they love me and that I'm doing an okay job in raising them to be compassionate for others.

We can always find that silver lining somewhere!  Mr. Darcy finds out this afternoon (I believe at 2:30 pm) how much his paycut will be.  No matter what it is, we will make it through.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Just When You Thought It Was Safe

I had a hard swim this morning.  I needed a hard swim this morning.  Of course, I had to use the buoy and I cheated a little bit and swam about 600m of the 2000m I did this morning (including an all out 25 m sprint at the end of the swim - I sprinted so hard my lungs burned.  It was awesome!).

Yesterday was an "interesting" day.  It was good because I got to send out my "tv debut" and it was really funny to hear from friends and family alike how professional and knowledgeable I sounded (and they all told me I looked great... make up artists and hair dressers following you around can do that).  It dawned on me that other than my friends from the old law firm, my friends and family don't see what I'm like as an attorney.  Some of them see me as that girl they went to school with who was/is silly and fun loving.  Some see me as the little girl they think of because they're my family.  And then some of my friends only know me in the sports arena.  So it made me laugh at people's reactions, including one of my friends from middle school and high school who said she wouldn't have even recognized me if I hadn't told her it was me. 

And I had a good day with the girls who were, all in all, in good moods and a lot of fun.

But work kind of stunk.  I did a research project and sent it to my boss.  I didn't realize that she wanted the summary of the research to be the email not the attachment, and on top of it I wasn't as specific as I should have been in the email I sent her.  The attached research and summary was very clear but the email wasn't.  So she emailed back with a question which made me look at my first email again and realized that what I wrote wasn't clear (other than if you were the mice churning the wheels in my own head because I knew what I was talking about).  I responded with a very clear explanation this time.  She then said that she didn't see that in my first email.  I admitted that was the case.  She asked me to edit my email.  This confused me because I sat there trying to figure out how you edit an email that you've already sent.  So I asked if she wanted me to edit the attached summary (which was clear but I wasn't sure if she had even read it) and pointed out what it said and where or to send her a new email.  She didn't respond promptly so I just sent her the new email with a very clear explanation and the attachments.  After I hit send, she sent an email saying to edit my email and resend it to her.  I emailed saying I just sent a separate email. She said that was what she needed.  I said that email could be confusing.  Then she emailed and told me to call her.  I called.  She made me feel stupid because I didn't know she wanted the summary to be the email portion and the research the attachment.  But it's not like she was overly clear other than saying research X and send me a summary and the rules.  Yes, it was for people in our headquarters but why would that mean the summary was supposed to be the email.  The second she said it I told her that now everything else made sense about what she was asking for, that I was sorry I hadn't been as clear as I needed to the first time around but that I'm glad I had given her what she needed in the end even if it took some back and forth on the email.  And then she brought up a situation from OVER A YEAR AGO that in many ways was very different.  But as I've said to a colleague, I don't make mistakes often but when I do my boss NEVER forgets them.  And I'm sorry but if you premise a statement with "I don't mean to bring up the past..." you know exactly what you're doing and that it's not nice.  And the two things were different... especially in the sense that yesterday's lack of clarity was able to be fixed before it went to the people at headquarters and it was fixed before being sent out.  It ticks me off to no end though to have crud thrown in your face like that.  Plus, it reminds me of one of the main reasons that I seriously dislike being a lawyer.... you are never allowed to make a mistake - minor or major.  And of course, I'm human.  As a human, I make mistakes.  So to be a lawyer that means you can't be human... which is why there are so many alcoholics in the legal profession (luckily I am not one of them).  And it also explains why I had a glass of red wine with dinner that was really the size of 2 regular glasses of red wine... just in one red wine glass.

Well, that and Mr. Darcy's news.  Last week things were looking like we might be out of the woods for the pay cuts because rumors were going around the office that if you weren't in the title structure (which Mr. Darcy is not yet a part of because he was a lateral hire and then they froze giving promotions much later in the year due to the state of the economy and there being fewer projects even available to try for, etc.) you weren't going to be subject to the pay cuts.  Supposedly the idea was that the title structure people had shared in the bonuses (non-title structure people don't get bonuses) when times were good that now that times were not so good they were going to be the ones to get the paycut.  Which is respectable, although as I said to Mr. Darcy, most companies don't work that way so let's not go out and celebrate just yet.  Then the next day more rumors because allegedly everyone who was getting a paycut had an appointment scheduled with the big cheese for sometime last week so that they would know what their paycut would be before November 1st - the day that the paycuts take effect.  Friday came and went and Mr. Darcy didn't get an email or a hint that an email would be coming to notify him of a paycut.  So for the weekend, we were feeling a little more at ease about things (but without spending of course).

Well, I tend to be right a lot.  Monday at 11 am, Mr. Darcy got an appointment emailed to him about seeing the big cheese for this Wednesday.  As did two others in his work group who are not part of the title structure.  They only mentioned to each other that they had an appointment scheduled, and didn't discuss much else.  And of course, we can only expect that this will be the dreaded paycut discussion.  Mr. Darcy's Dad said that perhaps it would be that they were going to tell them that they weren't getting cuts and to reassure them that the company was healthy enough.  At this point I would rather expect the worst and be surprised with the best, and not blow sunshine you know where.  While Mr. Darcy's Dad could be right, companies do that sort of thing, they also usually give you a hint that things are okay when they do them.  No such hint was given.  Thus, the wine.

What was good and bad about the day was my leg.  It didn't seem to hurt much yesterday, but at 6 pm I noticed that my calf was swollen to the point that the bottom of the knee sleeve was digging into it.  So I took some advil and took off the knee sleeve.  Within 10 minutes of taking off the knee sleeve, my calf was hurting badly and even the arch of my foot was hurting.  This morning it hurt a little when I walked around, but not much.  WHen I swam without the buoy, my calf started to ache a little bit when I had gotten to the 300m part of the swim, so I used the buoy from that point until I got sick of it and did my last 300m without it.  But I noticed that when I used the buoy and pushed off the wall, I would get a really strong twinge in the muscle on the back side of my quad.  I couldn't tell if it was related to my hamstring or just the quad though.  Even after swimming my last 300 m (including the awesome 25 m sprint), my leg didn't bother me... until I was sitting in the car driving home from the gym. And then it had some minor aching, which went away.  But now when I walk, I have some pain in my calf and the arch of my foot feels really tight and a little painful. That is the part that has me nervous... I read stuff online (in fact I've had a doctor ban me from doing medical research on the internet even though I only look at Mayo Clinic and some other very trustworthy sites, even though I helped diagnose the problem I was having) and what I've seen that is a little similar is not good.  But I can't find anything that sounds exactly like what's going on with me, which is both good and bad.

I'm not someone that likes to wait around on things, and I know enough about the human body to be dangerous in looking at things.  But that's what I just have to do... ignore the internet, wait for the expert, and drink wine and hit the pool in the meantime of all this waiting around on doctors, bosses, and potential paycuts.  In the end, it will all work out and I will survive and even be happy.  All I can do is my best.  All will out in the end.

I'll hope for a happier, lighter post for the 'morrow.  Thanks for tuning in!