Thursday, 30 July 2015

Where Have You Been?

  I was embarrassed when I saw the date on the last blog post. I can't believe it has been so long, but then I recall all that has transpired from then 'til now and I don't feel quite as bad. They say that time flies when you are having fun. I would also argue that time flies when you are experiencing unexpected life events, making major life decisions, and trying to keep it all together.
  My last post was pre first boxing match debut. I was able to fight. I had an amazing time. I lost. The girl was an amazing fighter. Will I do it again? If time and circumstance allow? Absolutely!
  Post fight I continued to feel really sluggish and continued with the weight gain. I blamed it on my schedule and lack of exercise after the fight. Here's where things got crazy... I went in for a very routine medical procedure, which went very well. BUT, in the recovery room I decided to cause some trouble :) I went into respiratory arrest caused by a laryngospasm for about 3 minutes. This resulted in me having some fluid in my lungs and low oxygen levels for a bit.
    I thought that was the end of the story, but it is never that simple. The took an x-ray in recovery because my oxygen levels kept dipping - totally normal procedure. I received a phone call about two weeks later from the CT department letting me know that date of my scan?! What scan? Ummm. So, apparently when they did the x-ray there where some "suspicious" shadows/nodules in my chest and I needed to come in for a CT to rule out any thing big and bad (tumors). Well, wasn't this just helping me feel all relaxed and happy. Meanwhile, I was still so tired I could hardly get out of bed in the morning, so that made me feel even more like something must be wrong. While I waited for the CT my family doctor (because I finally stopped being stubborn and went to see her) ordered some routine blood work.
   I had my CT. It was normal. I can breathe again. I got the results of my blood work and low and behold my TSH (thyroid) level was abnormal again. So, an increase in my synthroid had me feeling slightly less sluggish over the next few weeks. I decided that I was going to try to start exercising again to boost my energy as well. I also decided I don't ever want to have another chest x-ray!
   In the midst of all of this, I received a letter from UNB saying I had been accepted into the Master of Nursing, Nurse Practitioner Program. Crap! This is a big decision to make. I know that this is what I want to do, but can we afford it? Am I smart enough? Do I have enough time? I did the logical thing and put the letter away for awhile. If I said yes, I would have to resign from my position at DMNB early. I would have to figure out the finances. So. Many. Decisions.
    I said yes. I have spent the last two months trying to organizing my life. Simon and I have tried to figure out where we can cut corners financially. I can't tell you how many forms I have filled out. I have secured placement for one of my practicums (next fall), but I don't know who I will do a practicum with this fall. I will be said to say good bye to DMNB and I hope that it isn't good bye forever. In a very short while I will be a grad student and that both excites and terrifies me! One the best parts is, I get to shop for school supplies :)
   I hope that over the next months my family and I adapt to this change. It will be a steep learning curve for all of us, but I think we can do it! Until next time...

Friday, 6 March 2015

Sometimes I Just Get Mad

    I am a firm believer that you don't get to complain about the things that you do to yourself. Therefore I try my hardest to never complain about my schedule or the fact that some days I would just like to call a time out on life. But there are some things that aren't in my power to control, and sometimes despite my best intentions, I get mad and frustrated and wish that it could be different.
  My entire life I have been athletic and perhaps a bit of an over-achiever. I love pushing myself and feeling my body respond the way I want it to. I've been blessed to be a "natural" athlete. In fact, while I was in the hospital, I spent a great deal of time (thanks to my buddy Emily) punching the pads and burning off frustration. Boxing was a form a therapy.
  It seems as if mental illness is trying to steal this from me too. I am on quite a little cocktail of medications, and I am pleased that we seem to have found a combination that works. But I am not pleased with the fact that I have put on weight because of them, which in combination with everything else seems to have slowed me down. It is hard to feel confident in the ring when you feel like you are a cow, plodding along. Because I have lost confidence in myself, I haven't been improving. Some days it is just easier to stand there and take the punches then believe that I can do better.
  But now I am mad. I don't want to lay down and give this up. I'm not going down with out a fight (pun fully intended). I may be chunky, and I may do a great imitation of daisy the cow sometimes, but dang it I am a boxer. I am tired of listening to the voice that says I'm too old, or too slow, or on too may medications. I am not delusional. I know I will never be the next million dollar baby. I don't want to be. I just want the chance to prove to myself that I was good enough, that I didn't let any excuse hold me back.

Thursday, 12 February 2015

2015 Plans & Goals

  I  realize I have been slacking in my posts. I think that is in part due to my new schedule and the fact that I feel like I don't have much in the way of spare time anymore. I am not complaining, because I have chosen this for myself, but some days I think I must be nuts!
  I am still working full time at the medical school. I am working a shift in the ER at least every second weekend. I have started working on my master's degree. And I am back to training for a boxing match, which I hope will take place in March.
  I also have this crazy idea that I want to train for a triathlon, so I've started swimming a couple of mornings a week. I often wish that there were more hours in the day, or that I didn't need to sleep because that would make life so much simpler.
  I would like to have more time for my kids. I'd like to have more time to volunteer at my church. I'd like to have more time to just "be". I don't want all of my business to lead to burnout.
  So my goals for 2015 are to: Complete 3 master's courses, compete in at least 1 boxing match, complete at least one triathlon, and to stay healthy and not have any hospital admissions!

Monday, 12 January 2015

Back to School

So somewhere along the line I got the crazy notion that I should go back to school. In theory it sounded like a good idea. In reality with the first week under my belt I am thinking I must be a little crazy, or at least a sucker for punishment...

I have pulled my APA manual out and loaded up the printer with paper. I'd like to say that my first course in my master's program is thrilling and keeping me on the edge of my seat, but that would be a lie. Even the name sounds foreboding "Philosophical Foundations of Healthcare".

I am trying to find the work/home/school balance, which is proving to be a challenge. I do like being a student again (even if the course material is on the dry side). I have this incredible need to do well which I may need to let go of. I need to remember that a perfect mark isn't as important as understanding and implementing the materials I am learning.

I have bid farewell to having any kind of social life, not that I really had one to begin with! If you need to find me just look under my desk where I will be rocking and holding my blankie :)

Sunday, 28 December 2014

Out With the Old, In With the New

So, 2014 is nearly over. I would be lying if I said that it was a great year. It was a year of learning, of change, and of growth. I have seen dark days and I have met kindness and caring from strangers. 2014 was a year that I have no desire to repeat. I am looking forward to a new year and all that 2015 will have to offer.

Some highlights of 2014: Seeing Asher develop into a spunky 2 year old with an ever-growing vocabulary, Akira competing in her first gymnastics meet, Isaac gaining independence and getting to ride his bike to and from friends houses, and Simon and I getting to have a mini vacation alone thanks to a very, very generous and kind neighbour. I got a girl's weekend in Bangor to do some shopping. And though it came a little late, we all had a great Christmas.

2014 had it's dark moments as well. I don't want to dwell on the darkness, but simply acknowledge that there was many a dark hour over the year. There still are dark days, but I have a support network that is there to hold me up when I can't stand on my own.

2015 is going to be a good year! Tomorrow morning I will be starting a new lifestyle. I will be doing the whole30. I admit that I am a skeptic when it comes to people's claims that this or that has changed their lives. I have been following a woman on Instagram for over a year and the change has been impressive and lasting. I figure I can do anything for 30 days, right?

I have filled my fridge full of fresh fruits and veggies and we have lots of yummy meat in the fridge and freezer. I was most worried about having to give up my cream in my coffee, so I figured I'd try it black this morning to see if I was going to survive. *shock* After the first swallow, I found that I actually don't mind black coffee. I made my first batch of ghee tonight (it's butter that has been boiled to remove the milk proteins). I am actually looking forward to this new adventure.

I am also planning to get back on the wagon when it comes to exercise. I've been really slack over the last month, which does nothing good for my mental health. I have joined the aquatics centre and will begin swimming. My good friend Andrea has put the bug in my ear about trying to do a sprint distance triathlon. I think it will be fun.... now if someone would just buy me a bike!

So, farewell 2014. I will not miss you. Hello 2015, let's make the best of what we have.

Saturday, 6 December 2014

Happy Birthday Asher

Yesterday we celebrated the 2nd birthday of Asher. My amazing, crazy, fun loving little man. He, like all my kids arrived in his own time and not when he was "due". He was actually the earliest of my late babies at only five days overdue. I must admit that after carrying three babies past term, I will never say to another mama "You mean you still haven't had that baby yet?".
  Asher may have been late, but when he did decide to arrive he came in a hurry. I was only on labour and delivery for about 30 minutes before he made his entrance. We didn't know his gender before he was born, so it was so exciting to find out that he was a he! We also hadn't settled on a name, but had a list of favourites. Once we saw his little face, we knew he was Asher.
  I loved him when he was growing inside of me, but the depth of love that comes in that moment that they place that warm, wet infant on your chest is beyond measure. Asher gave us a glimpse into his impish personality while snuggled on my chest... he decided that my belly was an ideal place to have his first poop. At least I was able to get up to the shower and let Simon have some bonding time.
  Every parent worries that a new addition to the family will not be well received by the other siblings. Isaac and Akira accepted Asher with open arms and never looked back. They both love playing with him and teaching him new words (potty humour being at the top of their list to teach him). The bond between Akira and Asher is incredibly strong. He loves snuggling up in sissy's bed while she reads to him. I'm sure the day will come that she is too grown up to want to play with her little brother, but I'm going to soak up the memories until that day arrives.
  Asher's arrival made for many changes in our lives. We went back to sleepless nights and the need to care for a tiny human who is completely dependent. It was a time of discovery. I found AppleCheeks cloth diapers and met a whole community of amazing moms. I have watched their children grow, shared their joy, felt their sorrow, and realized we are all a little crazy over fluffy bums.
  I am so excited to see what this year will bring for my little man. In the past year he has developed a huge vocabulary, gone from an unsteady, wobbly walk to a full on run, he has developed a love of swimming and is fearless in the pool, he has gone from diapers to big boy underwear, and he has discovered how to use the word NO with great enthusiasm.
  Asher is likely my last baby and I am so thankful for him. He is full of life and laughter. I want to cherish every precious moment of being his mom. I don't have many years of feeling the warm weight of him sleeping on my chest and I'm going to soak them up! Happy birthday Asher!!

                                                New Born Pictures with Carla
                                                          First birthday pictures with Carla
                                                 Happy second birthday buddy!
                                                      Welcome to the world Asher Paul
                                                      First cuddles with Sissy

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

My Little Gymnast

  So I am not a mama who is inclined to live vicariously through my kids. I have let them try out various sports to see what they like. We always made them finish the season or session even if they didn't like what they were doing, because it is important that kids learn to finish what they start. So, when Akira wanted to start gymnastics, I didn't hold hope that it would last any longer than her other activities.
  BUT, we are now in year three and she is gearing up for her first meet in a few weeks. She has had days when she is tired and doesn't want to go, but at the end of class she always tells me it was "awesome" or the "best day ever".
   It has been fun watching her progress from barley being able to do a back bend, to being able to walk the length of the gym floor while in a back bend. She has worked so hard and she almost has a perfect split on her "good" leg. She says her favourite apparatus is bars. Soft, girlie hands she has not. This girls hands are tough and full of calluses.
  If you have known me since I was wee you know that I did a bit of gymnastics as a kiddo. I don't think Akira really thought too much about it until last week when a package arrived from Grammy. when she opened it up she found my old competition leotard and track suit. She was thrilled and tried everything on right away.
  When I went to pick her up today, there she was all decked out in '80s blue looking like a little rockstar. She was so proud to be wearing my old gear. It was pretty cute. So, while I'm not going to live out some crazy Olympic dream through my little girl, I am so proud to see her working so hard and sticking to something even when it isn't easy. I love you little girl!

She still has to hit the books even after 3 hours of training! She's a trooper.