29 June 2011

Deep Breathing

Today is the day. My surgery is at 2 pm today. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't epiclly nervous. There is a lot riding on this being the answer to my digestive issues. Or at least allowing me to expand my diet.

I would really appreciate an prayers, good thoughts or positive juju you can muster today. Both for a successful surgery and for this being a positive step to being able to eat again. And for the anesthesia not to make me too queasy.

22 June 2011

Bucket Life

In my 2 days being pretty much bed and couch bound (gallbladder disease is fun!) I managed to catch up a bit on the paper. We subscribe to the Washington Post which is generally horribly written and misses the point 99% of the time so generally I only read the Style section and sometimes the Metro section and catch the rest of the news through the NY Times online (thanks Lincoln for my free 1 year subscription). 

Anyhoodle, a letter in Carolyn Hax a couple of days ago spurred something in me. The author  discussed having a bucket life rather than a bucket list. He said "You know, alcoholics and addicts spend an inordinate amount of time sitting on barstools talking about what they are “going to do someday." He challenged readers to "Do something new every year and every year will be a gift of extraordinary value." 

This led me to think of what I would like to do in the next few years to increase the value of my life. 

1. Learn to fiddle. I played the violin pretty well between 8-14 but I hated playing classical music. I'd love to dust the violin off and learn to fiddle. 
2. Learn some sort of martial art. I'm not a violent person by nature but I like the idea of a sport you can practice barefoot and the disipline. I might do something like Krav Maga or Capoeira rather than Karate or Tae Kwon Do. 
3. Learn to cross stitch. I didn't really have much patience for knitting because it took so long to create anything of value. But I love the idea of learning to cross stitch. I may find this is also a problem. 
4. Learn to sew. I mean in theory I know how to sew I took home ec but I would like to learn to sew well enough that if I have kids I can make halloween costumes or fix a hem or sew on a button. 
5. Learn to can. (safely). I have made a number of cake in a jars for my deployed loves but I don't know if that is safe/legal canning. I would love to learn how to create things and can them to be eaten later. Tomato sauce, jams, jellys etc. 

What do you have on your bucket life?

21 June 2011

Under the Knife

Yesterday wasn't a great day in my books. 

Ted and our Friend Sarah in DC in 2005
(they were dating at the time)
In order to deal with yesterday's suck we have to back track to Friday. Friday was the memorial service for a friend of mine (and the son of my college advisor and favorite professor). Ted was killed in Hilo, HI by a drunk driver. He was 22. You can read more about Ted's beautiful life here. The memorial service was called Tedfest and really captured everything about him. It included balloons, juggling, clowns, a TON of cheesecake (I made a dairy free one so that I could eat some), a pig roast, and lots of memories. 

Anyway, the memorial was up in Pennsylvania where I went to college and on the drive up I got a phone call from my Gastroenterologist. I had a scan for my gallbladder done 2 weeks ago and I had called for the results a week before but nobody would give them to me since I had an appointment in a few weeks. They said if it was urgent they I would have gotten a call. So I was a little confused when I saw them pop on my ID and thought maybe I had written down the appointment wrong and it was a reminder for Monday rather than the following monday. Well it turns out it was the nurse calling with the results of my scan. 

The test I had was the HIDA scan. Its a pretty noninvasive test where they put in an IV give you some radioactive tracer and see how long it takes for your gallbladder to absorb the tracer. The worst part of this is that you have to lay on a VERY hard table completely still for about an hour. I tried to doze and not twitch too much. Once you've uptaken all of the tracer the inject you with something called CCK to see how well your gallbladder functions when you eat. Your body produces CCK naturally when you eat food, especially fatty foods, this part of the test has the potential to suck. I took a zofran before the test so other than feeling a little panicy thinking I might feel awful I didn't notice anything. Other people have talked about intense pain and nausea. 

Anyways, Normal gallbladder function during this part of the test is between 30-35% depending on the lab and the brand of CCK. My functioning was at 13%. Technically this is called Billary Dyskensia. Ouf. That would explain the pain in my right side that alternates between stabbing and a dull ache. Dyskensias are ineffective movement of the bodys. Basically my bile ducts are not performing correctly and when I eat the gallbladder fills up with Bile like its supposed to but then it can't get out. Thus pain. And potentially, nausea, heartburn and all of my other symptoms. 

What does this all mean? My gallbladder has to come out. I meet with a surgeon on Thursday to see when and how that's going to happen. I have been in pretty intense pain and nausea since Friday. So I am hoping that its sooner rather than later because my heating pad and all the anti-nausea meds I have are not working. Last night I resorted to taking way more medication then I probably should have plus some tylenol PM just so I could pass out. So I have a bit of a medication hangover this morning in addition to the pain. 

So that's the latest health update!

15 June 2011

Finding a little Bliss?

So I promised an entry on this potential job.

A little background, when I was beginning this job hunt I pretty much had 4 places I didn't particularly want to live:
 1. Ft Drum, NY-Its fucking freezing. I read The Day After He left for Iraq  a few years ago and she describes snow over her head and that he just sticks and stays around forever. I LOVE snow don't get me wrong. But I want it to go away between storms.
2. Ft. Bliss, TX--Its fucking hot. And next to mexico, the most Dangerous city in Mexico in fact.
3. Ft. Sill, OK--There are tornadoes. I am TERRIFIED of tornadoes.
4. Ft. Polk, LA--the US Army bought the land for this post during Vietnam because it most mimics the climate. Enough Said.

There were a couple of runners up for places I'd least like to live Ft. Riley (ex boyfriend currently stationed there and some poor memories associated with that relationship/town) and Ft. Rucker (I'm just not that into flying contraptions). But in general these were the top 4 places I'd hate to live for 2 plus years.

And of course because Murphy loves to find even not military spouses. The potential Job opportunity is at Ft. Bliss.

Awesome. My number 2 no go location.

Though to give it a fair shake, the ever wonderful Texan, The Army's Doctor's Wife said it best on twitter when she said although she and her Doctor Hubby, C were picking residency locations it was last. That it was a misunderstood city. I have been looking at Ft. Bliss's facebook pages and twitter accounts and posted to the US Military livejournal community asking about it and it sounds like while its nobody's top choice its not as horrible as all the pity looks make it seem.

I also had a nervous breakdown about the fact that its 1900 miles away from my current home.  And I would know absolutely nobody there. But after articulating these fears to the best friend and having a little cry about it it. I woke up the next morning knowing I could handle it. And if not she has graciously agreed to let me come live with her and her army hubby wherever they end up. Ha! It also helped that on my trip up to where I went to college I talked to my adviser and mentors and they told me I would be an idiot to turn down a job opportunity because it is far away. Its a great opportunity to grow and stretch as a person. They actually got me to a point where I think I could be excited about moving there.

That being said...the woman has not interviewed me yet. She has promised to interview me last week and the week before and here we are 3 weeks after her first "when are you available to talk" email with no interview. So I am waiting on that.  (and if we're being honest, its driving me nuts!)

In the mean time, I have one more person to meet with to get a sanity check form signed and then I can apply to sit for the licensing exam. I already bought some electronic flash cards that I need to put together this weekend so I can start laying out at the pool and studying them. Hey a girl's got to work on her tan and her brain at the same time!

I will be sure to keep ya'll updated as best I can! Keep your fingers crossed I get interviewed sooner rather than later.

07 June 2011


If the first rule of fight club is not to talk about fight club then the first rule of blogging is probably don't talk about what a horrible blogger you are when you haven't written in weeks. Or really a month.

So what have I been up to in my absence?

1. I graduated from graduate school. I am officially an MSW. (and unemployed)

2. My best friend  got married to the wonderful love of her life 

3. I saw Matt Nathanson in Concert after seeing a tweet about a secret concert he was holding at a venue right in my town.

4. I traveled to reunion weekend at my favorite place on earth. 

Hows the job hunt been going?

1. Got offered a job right after my last post with a Veterans Service Organization but turned it down due to a number of reasons not the least of all is that despite saying I couldn't start until June 6. They asked me to start May 5th and asked if I could skip my graduation and leave late for my best friend's wedding in order to attend training out of state. They also wanted me to decide by 4:30 pm the day they offered me the job. It just seemed like a poor situation considering it wouldn't even give me the right experience I needed to get my license anyway.

2. Interviewed for a Bachelor's optional Social Service assistant position at the army hospital I did my internship at. The interview went really well but the man who interviewed me said that while he really really liked me and thought I would be a fantastic asset to the team taking the position would be career suicide and that I am supremely employable in my desired field as long as I'm willing to move. He also emailed a plea to other supervisory social workers for Warrior Transition units which led too....

3...a potential job offer, I am waiting to interview, but I am sure the job will be mine for the taking once we talk. It is however, not in my ideal location. I will post about this tomorrow because it deserves its own entry.

4. I also made the highly qualified list for the Substance Abuse internship program the Army is offering but I haven't been interviewed. I am not confident I will be interviewed because I heard about it the Friday before memorial day and the program starts in early July so I imagine they'd already started interviewing. I would love to be interviewed but I am not a veteran or a military spouse so I'm doubting its a go.

So thats about all to catch you up on thats happened over the last month (at least the things of significance)

Whats coming up?
-Trip to where I went to college to see some friends and old professors on Wednesday
-Mumford and Sons in Concert on Thursday
-Possibly a trip to NC (to get a shooting lesson) or an Indigo Girls concert this weekend