OK Mom, I Did It. What Next?

Last couple of days have not been easy for me. (Life has been a bit of a whirlwind… thus no post recently here. Too much going on & no time to write.)

The 5 year anniversary of being attacked hit me harder than I ever would have thought it would. Can’t believe it has already been so long. Hard to think that my hand has been wonky all that time. I still am not used to the scars. Grateful for the help my Mom & sister were in helping me get through healing & dealing with all that entailed. Don’t know what I would do if it happened today.

Started a book that details struggling with a mother who is dying from cancer in the first chapter & that brought back a lot of memories. Tough to get through & I admit I ended up crying myself to sleep that night & spent most of the next day upset. Just missing Mom pretty big right now.

For one thing, she would be so happy.

My last class is DONE.

My last semester is DONE.

Not only done, but with a 4.0 GPA which I am pretty stinking proud of since there were definitely a few times I was struggling.

So am I officially a graduate? Not sure.  Technically I think so, but the community college doesn’t do December graduation ceremonies so I have to wait until May if I wanted to do all the pomp & circumstances formalities.  Having gone all out for my bachelor degree graduation, I have had my moment. Truth be told, I was done with all that after High School but Mom pushed me to do it & I guess I am glad I did.

I promised her before she died that I wouldn’t quit. No matter what I would finish this program. She didn’t want her death to stop my life.

So Mom. I did it. Finished & I know you would be proud.

But now what?

Sort of bitter-sweet. Another step further away from her & the part of life that we shared. Had to happen and I’m glad to be finished, but in a way it connected me to something I was doing for her…. and for me.

Instead of wild parties & living it up celebrating, feel more like just snuggling up with a cozy blanket in a quiet room. (Doesn’t help my cold has turned into a sinus infection.) So that is what I am doing. Relaxing. Savoring the emotions whatever they are.

Don’t get me wrong, there are some great moments that have happened lately.

Got to get away to the mountains with a great guy who I trust and who understands what I have been through. In fact he was supposed to meet up with me that night but ended up celebrating his birthday with friends in another part of town. Comforting having someone who knew you before and knows you now. I know I have changed but then again doesn’t everyone over time?

So now instead of student, I am recently graduated & unemployed for the moment. First of the year I hope to change that. Til then I am going to spend as much time enjoying life with people I love as I can knowing that this moment is all I have. Tomorrow isn’t promised but hopefully we can keep the promises we make and go on to make more. Always something to work toward and look ahead to.

Just need to figure out what.

Be the Bison

The past couple of days have been a real bitch. In a lot of ways I just want to break down and cry and do the dramatic why me shit. But I won’t. Wouldn’t get me anywhere but where I am so why bother?

Sometimes you have to be the bison.

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Huh? a Bison? Yes. The all american bison. Or as some call them buffalo.

See the bison have this quirk that makes them pretty bad ass. I know they already look that way & with their size & natural weaponry they can do some real damage. Add in their herding number that back each other up & you have a real death wise messing with them. Still to watch them, they seem naturally to be calm creatures who just want to relax in the sun enjoying a good meal then stroll along to whatever is next in their life.  They enjoy being together and aren’t afraid to run full speed or stroll barely at a snail’s pace. Awesome enough right there, but then comes the quirk.  When the storms come and most animals hide away to make it through letting the storm pass, bison go into the storm. They face it & walk into it.  They know that the storm passes quicker when you are going in the opposite direction.

Smart beast.

Yes I have a major crush on bison. Just want to hang out with them & maybe snuggle a little.

Bison in snowstorm, Yellowstone NP

For me, the storm seems to keep being my health. Just when I feel like I have this whole blood sugar thing down & actually have learned to drink the unsweet tea (even without stevia most times!), something else comes along to knock me off my feet.

I have developed habit of walking that I am loving. This past week I joined a friend to walk just over 6 miles on Monday, then again another 6 miles Wednesday & had plans to walk at least 4 miles Thursday. All day Thursday I just felt off. Made it through my internship hours and even go in a little shopping where I found some new sneakers marked down to $25! Got home changed clothes to go walk & just didn’t feel right. One of the things that had been bothering me all day had been a soreness in my chest. Like I had pulled a muscle just under my breast. Not sure doing what but I just brushed it off as maybe I slept stretch out wrong or lifted something weird. I have learned to love sore muscles because it means they are working & hopefully getting better at what they are doing. This one just was painful. Deep breathing made it worse. I had no energy all day which made sense because I had barely slept and as much as I hate admitting this hardly eaten. Just didn’t feel like eating & had been busy. Had a cup of coffee & a big B vitamin to help keep me moving. So much so that I felt like I could feel my pulse. Couldn’t shake the off feeling, so I thought just take your blood pressure – see that it is completely normal then go work out. You will feel better.

Only it didn’t give me any comfort. I have been regularly taking readings since the physical in September when she said I was pre-hypertensive and needed to get the blood pressure down. Common with type 2 diabetics. I knew my numbers were high, but the past few months of healthy eating, working out & losing weight they had dropped down.  A typical reading for me is around 118/78. When I did the check Thursday, I got 187/110! Which is NOT GOOD & completely explained the feeling the pulse.

With anxiety attacks I get a burst of higher numbers & I know that is pretty normal, but I wasn’t anxious at all. If anything I was excited to be going out (was a beautiful warm day) but not THAT excited.  Seeing numbers higher than I had ever seen made me scared.

Since my heart rate didn’t need to be raised at all, I canceled my plans & the girls went on without me.

Then the stress hit. I emergency called my sister who used to do cardiac rehab to see if this was anything to worry about. She was actually working at her hospital at the time and walked me through several symptoms. Made me feel better than she wasn’t extremely concerned. Basically I had 2 options, run to the hospital now or see if relaxing a bit could get it down. The second option sounded a lot more affordable to me & since I didn’t have pain in my arm or even a sharp throbbing one in my chest or really any other symptom we went with door number 2. Which thankfully worked. I got the numbers dropping and started to calm down.

After about 2 hours, the readings were normal again but I was exhausted.

Luckily I hadn’t planned to work yesterday, so I was able to rest all day other than a quick trip in to see the doc. I needed the rest.

Now I am keeping a more regular log & tracking several times daily.  Fun, fun, fun.

Hopefully that was just a weird, one time fluke, but I am scared.  Especially of working out. Wednesday I had plans of registering for my next couple of 5ks & even to try to increase the pace & miles each week. Now I am just terrified that I am going to do something and make my blood vessel or heart explode! I know our bodies are adaptive and exercise is probably the best prescription for this. I just don’t trust myself. My body is once again my enemy.

As the song goes LET THE STORM RAGE ON…  I am a fighter. I’m scared but I am turning to face the storm. Like the bison I will WALK head first and hope that this works to get me through to better days.

I have come too far to stop & in a lot of ways I feel healthier than ever. Still don’t have much energy, but in time hopefully that too will come. I am going further than I have thought I would & the distance of the 5k which used to seem so huge, is now less than the normal walk. I’m proud of what I have achieved & am not ready to quit.

So into the storm I walk.

Giving my body a couple more rest days & going to pick up a heart rate monitor to better gauge how hard I am pushing myself just to be safe, but I am going to get back into adding up those miles. Maybe not the fastest, but I will be the bison!

Almost there.

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For the first time in my life, I let Halloween pass me by without even wearing a single costume. Weird. BUT I ended up voting & got the “I Voted” sticker that day so I am just going with the idea that I dressed as a voter part of the day. The real excitement came when I decided to meet up with a friend to people watch downtown & had my car battery go out on me. Always something. This adulthood stuff is entirely overrated for sure.

Next year, it is on. There will be a costume on this body. Clearly I am punished when I don’t celebrate. To the tune of bumming a ride, a tow truck & the installation of a new battery!

Who knows where next year will find me.

This year turned out to be nothing like I would have imagined last year. This morning I woke & stepped on the scale to see I am one pound short of being 50 lbs less than I started this year at. Part of me is amazed & thrilled. The other just is embarrassed & confused how I ever got that much extra weight to be able to loose in the first place!

All that matters is the here & now I guess. Can’t change the past.

Grateful for friends who inspire & family who support me.

& healthier versions of temptations I once loved, like crustless low carb pumpkin pie.

Made it yesterday & it is indeed delicious. I may survive Thanksgiving after all!