Monday, July 27, 2015

#Microblog Mondays 48

  • I keep reading about how terrible the job market is for people in my field, and yet for three weeks running, I have had one or more emails a week from recruiters wanting me to apply for positions. (Today's recruiter, who is someone with whom I have history vs. just a "cold call," actually pressed on after my initial reply of "thanks, not interested" and asked if I'd change my mind if he could get me a "considerable bump" in salary. Whaaa?) I didn't realize I was so much in demand. Of course, ironically, these emails are coming at a time when I am not job searching. . . .
  • I continue to be plagued by GI problems on the tail end of whatever virus my sons had more than a week ago. It's been about ten days, actually. Ugh
  • My sons have been getting up to shenanigans at bedtime that have been keeping them up 1-1.5 hours later than usual, and it's no good. Trying out a new approach to bedtime starting tonight. Wish us luck!

Monday, July 20, 2015

#MicroblogMondays 47

I think I have figured out what at least (part of) my problem is: I am suffering from serious burnout at work. (I stumbled across this article in the Was.hin.gton Post a few days ago, and it describes me to a T.)

I am majorly stressed out a lot of the time, and it is definitely affecting my health and happiness. However, I am also extremely busy at work at the moment, with a couple of major events coming up, so there is no end in sight and no realistic way for me to put the suggested solutions on "how to feel better" provided in the article to action in my life.

I am still plugging along with the clean(er) eating, and I will say that that has helped my energy level. Or it would have, had I not had my sleep interrupted six out of the last eight nights due to a gastrointestinal virus that has been waking up both my sons in turn. It's always something it seems.

I'm still hoping to add in the exercise piece at some point, and I'm sure that would help my mood, too. When I'm not so sleep-deprived. . . .

Monday, July 6, 2015

#Microblogs Monday 45

  • Starting today, I'm working on cleaning up my eating again and exercising, for what feels like the bajillionth time (is that even a word?).  I've tried just about everything else under the sun to increase my energy EXCEPT eating completely "clean" and getting regular exercise, and nothing has worked, so I think I'm just going to have to find the time in my schedule for these things.
    • I know, intellectually and from prior experience, that I will feel better for doing these things. . . but it's just so much more WORK and TIME than simply grabbing food on the fly!  Hmph.
  • Biggest difference between being 24 years old (or 34) and 44: I really am not that concerned with whether I lose weight.  I just want to feel better!  
    • Actually, I am kind-of annoyed at the prospect of losing weight and having to buy new clothes, since I hate shopping and finally have my wardrobe pretty much in a good place at the moment.
  • We had a good holiday weekend.  Having an extra day off just made me want about 10 extra days off, though.
  • My boss emailed me out of the blue last week that he is giving me a $7K/year raise effective this month.  The extra $$ is nice, and it's even nicer to feel appreciated.
    • Relatedly, the raise makes me feel guilty about b1tching about work.  LOL

Monday, June 29, 2015

#Microblog Mondays 44

  • Although it has no direct effect on me whatsoever, I was happy to hear about the Supreme Court's ruling on the issue of same-sex last Friday.  (I summed up my feelings on same-sex marriage in this post from October 2008 on my old, pre-infertility blog.)
  • Despite having plenty to do at work, I am feeling decidedly unmotivated today.  I thought a Star$$ caffe mocha would help: nope.
  • Highlights of my weekend: got a massage Friday night and had brunch with my BFF on Sunday.
  • Low points of the weekend: boys were being contrary most of Saturday.  Ugh.
  • It's a four-day week this week!  Yea!  But that means I'd better get to work.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Microblog Mondays #41

Am I the only one who still has moments where she doesn't feel like a real grown-up?

Or maybe it isn't so much that I don't feel like an adult as it is that I don't want to be an adult sometimes?  I don't know.

I have been feeling mildly discontented at work for the past month or so.  There are things I like about my career field, and my specific job is pretty good insofar as my boss appreciates me and treats me like an intelligent human being with unique skills and attributes (this is rarer than one might think in my area of practice).

But on the other hand, there are things about my current sphere of practice that are very wearing; my stress levels are constantly at a level that I feel cannot be healthy; despite my best efforts not to, I spend too many hours working and thinking about work every week; and I just don't see myself doing this for the next 20+ years until retirement.

What does it say about me that I am on my second full-fledged professional career and dissatisfied?  I'd like to think that, like the line from the Baz Luhrmann song Everybody Is Free to Wear Sunscreen from the late 1990s, it means I'm an interesting person (remember the lyric "Don't feel guilty if you don't know what you want to do with your life. The most interesting people I know didn't know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives. Some of the most interesting 40-year-olds I know still don't"?).

But I fear that it actually means something else. . . like I am destined to be perpetually discontent professionally no matter what I do.

I have no idea what the solution to this dilemma is, and I'm too busy today to ponder it further.

Monday, May 11, 2015

#Microblog Mondays 37

For Mother's Day we were fortunate to have unseasonably cool weather for us, which allowed us to take our sons to one of their favorite places yesterday morning, the train park.  Given the usual May weather here, I would anticipate that this trip to the train park will be our last until the fall.

In the afternoon, we visited my inlaws for Mother's Day.  The boys gave me gifts they made at "school," and MM gave my flowers and a very sweet card also (plus a contribution to my iPhone 6 purchase fund).

All in all, my fourth (!) Mother's Day as a mother was a good one.

I am still feeling more tired than usual following my unexpected illness and associated hospital stay, but apart from that fact, I am pretty much back to normal.  Still trying to dig myself out of the hole I'm in with work, but I'm making (slow) progress.

Onward and forward. . . .

Monday, May 4, 2015

Microblog Mondays 36: Medical Mystery Edition


A week ago today, while I was sitting at my computer at work in the middle of the afternoon, I had a pain on the right side of my neck that radiated up to the base of my skull.  Initially, this pain was little more than a mild annoyance, and I chalked it up to having sat too long in a bad position.

Over the course of the next couple of days, the pain continued, became more severe and began to spread to the top of my head and to the left side of my head as well.  It was unlike anything I had ever experienced, and was so severe on Wednesday that I spent the day on the couch and in bed, taking high doses of and icing various parts of my head.  Nothing helped.

Wednesday night MM mentioned that he thought I felt feverish.  However, I didn't feel sick.  I just had such awful pain that I wanted to die.  I could hardly sleep at nights because just placing my head on a pillow caused an increase in the pain.  I also had no appetite, very unlike me.

Thursday morning I was no better--perhaps worse--and so we agreed that, although I would go to the office, because I had deadlines and a couple of pressing matters I needed to take care of that day (having stayed home the previous day), I would then go to the doctor.  As planned, I went to work for about 45 minutes--enough time to take care of the things I had to--and then drove straight to the emergency room of the Mayo Cl.inic Hosp.ital.

I actually thought I might have a long wait because I was "misusing" the ER to get treatment just for a muscle strain.  I really thought that was what I had.  Even when I noticed that I had developed some sort of odd discoloration on my forehead since waking up that morning that I couldn't really explain.  I thought maybe I'd fallen asleep with an ice pack on my forehead and it marked my skin.  In retrospect, maybe I wasn't thinking very clearly.

When I arrived at the ER, instead it turned out that I had sepsis.  I had a fever of 39.8 degrees Celsius (103.6F).  (My usual temp runs around 97.8; I run low.)  The mark on my forehead had grown more red and swollen and had also spread to the right side of my face.

For over a day, doctors did not know exactly what was wrong with me.  They administered treatment for an infection, since that was the presumptive diagnosis, given my high fever and the results of some lab tests, but they were unsure.  They ran what seemed like every test known to G-d or man.

It is a scary thing to have a doctor in a preeminent hospital tell you "I'm not really sure what is going on with you."  At one point, I jokingly compared myself to an episode of House, M.D., and the resident physician said "We were just saying on rounds that your case is like an episode of House!"  When you are sick and in pain, you want answers.

Notwithstanding their inability to immediately diagnose me, I believe I received excellent care throughout my hospital stay, and I began to respond to treatment.  The results of the many tests performed gradually started to rule out more serious and/or chronic diagnoses.  Finally, on Saturday, the redness and swelling on my face and right ear (which had eventually swollen so much it looked like I'd been in a boxing match) began to subside, as did the pain all over my head.

Ultimately, I was diagnosed with cellulitis of the head and face, with an atypical presentation.  Based on the appearance of the rash on my face, and on my response to certain antibiotics, the infectious disease physician believes that the most likely organism responsible is group A streptococcus.  However, a source of the infection was never identified and probably will not be.

My condition is/was complicated by myositis (inflammation of the muscles of the scalp) and by collection of fluid under the muscles of the scalp.  The myositis and fluid were what were causing the tremendous pain I was in (and continue to be in, but to a much lesser degree).

I came home on Saturday afternoon and have been focusing on resting and trying to get back to normal.  There is so much I want to do to get caught up, but am finding I have very little stamina and can only work at anything physical for 10-15 minutes before having to sit down and rest.  I am also sleeping more than usual.

I am also still processing the experience emotionally.  Apart from the hospitalization associated with my pregnancy complications with my sons (which you can read about in the January 2012 archives, if you weren't a follower of this blog then and are interested), I had never before spent a night in the hospital.  I've never been sick.  I've never even had another surgery besides my c-section.

For the first 24-36 hours, while the redness and swelling on my face continued to spread (although other parts of my condition improved), I did not know what was going on, and it seemed my doctors didn't either.  I was very scared and wasn't sure what would happen to me.

Well, all's well that ends well, they say.  I am home now and definitely on the mend, albeit at a slightly slower pace than I'd like.  I guess I will have to wait and see if any greater insights come to me out of this experience.