Wednesday, December 24, 2008
The surgery went perfectly. No complications--even the breathing tube went right in with no trouble!--and no need for a follow-up surgery. It was a straight, four-hour success. Not many of my surgeries can claim that, especially such an unusual procedure as this.
Recovery's been good, but definitely among my most painful. For the first few days, if I didn't get certain medicine at a certain time and a certain strength, I ended up getting some very crippling spinal headaches. Eventually, we got all that regulated, and in the past 36 hours I've gone from flat on my back to walking laps in the hall. The therapists are at a loss as to what they can help me with. Ha! If my back didn't burn, I'd just leave 'em in the dust.
I am having some trouble getting the nerve use back in one area of the body which is affecting when I can go home. If I can't find a way to work around the temporary numbness, I'll probably be sent home on Friday or over the weekend with special instructions. I think I can deal.
I have no problem hanging here at the hospital over Christmas (in spite of everyone's apparent horror at the concept) as my family will be here anyway and I'll have immediate care if I need it. Win-Win.
Anyway, that's the worldview from 822 West in Cox South. :) I've had at least one visitor every day, so it's been definitely tolerable.
I hope you're having a great break!
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Okay, not yet, but I did get a little panicky, but I'm expecting to need to be given some kind of medicine to help me relax on Thursday. It's official--the surgery is concrete now. The day after tomorrow. Yipe.
It doesn't help that I slept badly last night, either. I dozed off around 8:15, meaning to sleep until 3 a.m., since I was too tired to work. Unfortunately, I woke instead at midnight (thank you, crushed bladder) and couldn't get back to sleep. I lay there for three hours. Nothing. Just panic. Finally, I got up, did some work until I couldn't hold my eyes open, and I finally fell asleep...
...at 5:30 a.m. I had to get up at 6:30 to be out the door by 7:15.
My name is Niki, and I'm one tired chica.
Five more conferences to go, and I can go home and get some sleep. I have to try to do what I did last night, though, since I still have to grade eleven more portfolios and study for tomorrow's Old English final exam. Here's hoping my bladder and brain cooperate.
Monday, December 15, 2008
I've learned a lesson for next semester, too. When I decide to have conferences off campus, especially when it's an easy ride on the campus shuttle, I shouldn't offer the "if it's alright with you" statement. It's no harder to get here than it is to get to the student union, and it's much more pleasant. I can't believe how many of my students lack even a miniscule sense of adventure. My second class's reason for not wanting to come here? They don't want to have to find someplace new. Seriously... the shuttle drops them off next door.
I'm tired. And grouchy.
One more conference left today... then, homework! Whoo-hoo!
Peace to you.
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Where, oh, where to start?
Well, keeping to my word, I’m sending out this update to everyone on my email list, whether you’re familiar with the situation or you barely even remember I exist. (:)) Disclaimer: if you have a weak stomach for medical stuff, I tend to hold nothing back, so brace yourself.
The Back Story
Toward the end of October, it suddenly dawned on me that I had not had a period in nearly three months. Not that I missed the PMS or anything, but let’s face it, three months is a clear bell that signals that *ding-ding-ding!* something’s not right. So, I scheduled a check-up through the MSU health center. During the examination, the doctor noticed some swelling, and a further ultrasound didn’t even show my left ovary. Yeah, a little creepy, I know. So, here I was, anticipating a possible partial or complete hysterectomy—something that didn’t overly horrify me, as having kids has never been an option anyway, and relief from cramps sounded nice. To be safe, my doctor referred me to a neurologist to make sure that the 11.6 centimeter mass he’d identified was really an ovarian cyst and not the internal meningocele (a rarity, as normally these show up externally and are found at birth) I’d had my whole life. Neither me nor my parents recalled the sac of spinal fluid having been that big before, so our expectations didn’t change.
Lo and behold, an MRI and CT scan revealed that the mass was, indeed, the meningocele—doubled in diameter in just two years (to say nothing of the volume, which had multiplied by something like four or five times). Suddenly, all my symptoms made sense, from my daily migraines to my screwy periods. This thing had more or less flattened everything in my pelvis. No wonder my hormones and digestive system knew no regularity anymore, and suddenly, I understood why I couldn’t sleep through the night anymore without getting up to pee something like four or five times. There’s no room for anything.
As such, on November 12, I had a myelogram run (similar to a spinal tap but without the fluid sample) to identify where everything was and check to identify risks involved in this surgery. After a week and a half of nausea, dizziness, and spinal headaches (distinctly different from my migraines), I tried to make myself grade papers and write essays without keeping a hand on the phone all day to answer at the first sign of a ring. Not that I’m scared of surgery or anything—after that last one, I’m quite immune to that terror. I just hate not knowing. Kind of punches a hole in my reputation for spontaneity, doesn’t it? :)
This morning, I had my follow-up appointment. I saw images. Holy crap, that thing is huge! It takes up more space than everything else that’s supposed to be in there combined! Suddenly, I understand why, no matter how healthy I eat and how much I try to keep in shape, my tummy keeps growing. It’s going to be a relief to be rid of that thing!
Ladies and gentlemen, I have no tailbone. Seriously. That’s why the sac developed. I never do anything halfway, do I?
So here’s the lowdown: at 6 a.m. on December 18 (Thursday), I’ll be checking in at Cox South Hospital in Springfield, Missouri for my surgery. I’ll be in the hospital at least a week (longer if there are complications) and will have at least a month recovery period. I’m less than thrilled about that part, but I’ll just be glad to have it over with. If you’re in town or can come to the hospital, I know my parents would appreciate someone waiting with them. Mom still can’t think about it without her eyes tearing up. I imagine I won’t be feeling too social right away, but by the weekend, I’ll be ready to see some smiling faces that aren’t on bodies carrying needles and meds.
The surgery itself, as far as the doctor can tell at this point, will involve clamping off the area and draining the fluid over the following week. Yes, it will be gross, I know, but it will be a relief as well. It may also involve a follow-up surgery to remove certain parts and to seal up that area. Because what I have is so rare in this form, a lot of things will play out in surgery as needs arise. I have a good doctor, and he’s getting feedback from everyone in the office (Springfield Neurological Institute) as well as getting a second opinion from a well-reputed doctor in Kansas City. I have complete faith in his skill and God’s providence.
Getting everything finished early, though, is going to be quite an ordeal. Forgive me, those of you who see me frequently, if I’m antisocial over the next three weeks. I’ve got a lot on my plate and very little time to finish it up.
Anyway, that’s the low-down at this point, and you now officially know what I know.
Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers thus far, and thank you in advance for keeping my family and I in prayer over the next few weeks. If anything new develops, I’ll let you know as soon as I know the details.
It’s definitely lunch time, which means it’s time to stop typing, send this off, and get some munchies. :)
Much love to you and yours, and a happy Thanksgiving!
Sunday, November 23, 2008
The problem is that it simply does not reflect reality--at least not mine.
Can we just have a few Christmas movies for those of us with no mistletoe bunny this year--or any other year for this matter? Must every girl pair up with a boy in a movie, and vice versa? Huh? I know films are meant to be an escape... it just gets hard to get out of that mindset.
Friday, November 21, 2008
But I did get enough information to know that surgery IS happening. That alone is a comfort, since I was afraid that it would be too risky (darned if I do, darned if I don't sort of thing).
I'll find out the date and details on Wednesday.
If you think you're out of the loop, if you've read my blog entries and this message, you pretty much know what I know.
If you want to get the mass email with the date and details when I get back from the doctor's office on Wednesday, and you've never received a mass email from me at your current email address, send me your email addy and I'll make sure you're on the list.
One step closer,
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Today, I have confirmation.
Hungry, I put a frozen cordon bleu on one of my plates and put it in the microwave for the standard three minutes while I started my daily pitcher of frappuccino. Just as I was filling the blender of milk with ice, the "I'm done!" beep went off, and I told the microwave to hold on just a moment, knowing that in about fifteen seconds I would hear an impatient, "Hey! Idiot! I'm done, remember? Get your arse over here and open me up!" reminder beep--always annoying. Just as I was closing the freezer door...
With trepidation, I opened the microwave door. Supporting my still-whole cordon bleu, half my pretty red plate was shattered.
Behold, the aftermath:
Monday, November 17, 2008
*I'm so far behind I don't know how I'll ever catch up--and the more stressed I get, the harder it is to sit down and tackle the mountain.
*I didn't hear from the doctor today, so I still don't know if/when I'm having surgery--and I need it. This damned meningocele has doubled in diameter in the past two years, and it's causing a lot of problems
*The problems having to do with the meningocele... cramps, indigestion, bladder issues...
*I'm still not bouncing back from my myelogram. My head goes on spnning and my back goes on spasming.
*I still haven't heard from the doctor and I JUST WANT AN ANSWER!
*I worry about my parents worrying.
*I feel horribly guilty for the expenses me, my life, and my health are incurring on my parents. It's hard enough making ends meet without my issues.
I'm so depressed right now. I feel hemmed in on every side. People tell me that they admire my spirit and courage--what spirit? what courage? I hate this. I hate this. I hate this. If it were just one thing, I could deal, but it's everything at once.
I want my Sassy.
I miss my mom.
I feel like crap.
I feel trapped.
Why am I at MSU? Why am I having another surgery? Why can't I get an answer and a surgery date?
I want to quit... but what can I quit? I can't quit school--I'm a GA, so my decision would affect my students. I have no teaching certificate, so I can't get a teaching job without my master's degree. I'm not qualified for anything else, and I'm not physically capable of working another type of job, between my back and my migraines.
I'm at wits end right now. Intellectually, I know that God is in control. I really do. But my emotions aren't getting the message.
Why didn't the doctor call?
Am I a bad teacher?
I'm tired... and I don't have time to be.
Yeah, that smile? The result of being trapped. What am I going to do? Throw a fit? What good will it do? It'll just make people worry without cause. So I smile. I do what I must. But I'm tired. And I can't stop crying.
I want my puppy, dammit. I miss my baby.
Meh, I'll probably wake up in good spirits and everything working out fine tomorrow morning. But right now, I just want to knock myself out somehow.
I think I'll go puke now.
Monday, November 10, 2008
We're hoping that the surgical procedure can be done without risk of contracting meningitis. Needless to say, I'll be on my back the rest of the day, and I can only return to normal activities after 24 hours IF I don't have any complications--and I'm not known for having complication-free procedures.
I was fine until Mom (Mary) freaked out. Apparently, the fact that this affects my spine and that my mother (Michelle) died from the effects of spinal cord cancer only one year older than I am now terrifies her. Please pray that she will understand that God is in control; there is nothing to fear.
Drama, drama, drama...
Friday, November 07, 2008
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
I adore autumn. I really do. Of all the seasons of the year, this is my favorite--except for one nasty little detail: sinus infections. Between allergies and the change in air pressure, I spend close to 80% of my time from now until April or May fighting mucus and sinus headaches. So if you see me sniffling and honking in the next few months, you'll understand why.
I had insomnia last night... I think I finally fell into a good, deep sleep around 4:30 a.m... I had to get up at 8:30, and I really wanted to get up at six to work on an essay that was really due last week but for which I got an extension. As it is, I'm planning to go home after teaching today, instead of attending my own classes, to sneak in another two hours of sleep and *knock on wood* finish that stupid paper. It's not a difficult paper, really, but for the life of me, I just can't make any headway. It's the pits.
In other ponderings, I wonder when most students start to tap into their ability to think critically. I find myself wondering that a lot this semester. For example, what should one do when something is due every Friday but one cannot remember to do it on Friday? How about do it earlier in the week instead of protesting that "we need to change the due dates!" What should one do when one cannot remember what day of the week something is due? How about look in the syllabus that the teacher both passed out in class and emailed everyone in early August? Just a thought. Sigh. Looks like I have another patronizing lecture awaiting my performance today.
In other news, I'm going to be a dryad for Halloween this year: brown sheet-toga, autumn-leaf garlands, and green ribbons pair with fairy-eyes and brown-tinted skin shading. It's gonna rock. Pictures pending!
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Why do I want to get a PhD, again? It wouldn't kill me to teach basic composition at community college... Sigh. Que sera, sera. Basically, my decision will come in January when I hear back from Mizzou and OSU. If both reject my applications, then I take it as a sign that I'm to go ahead and jump into a community college teaching position, for a few years anyway. If one or both accept me, then I'll tighten my belt and journey on, erstwhile hoping I don't turn gray before graduating. Ha. I am tired, though.
So wherever God wants me, I'm wide open. You may remember how hard I fought to go back to Truman for my master's degree, but that door slammed in my face (thank you crappy economy), and amidst all my resistance and nervous twitching, I eventually saw that Springfield really was where I was supposed to be. Yes, that's right, I actually got something to get through my thick, stubborn skull. So I'm open to what the future holds. All the same, I dread starting over again. I found my niche (faster than I did during my bachelor's degree and something I never did in high school), and I'm getting ready to leave it already. Hey, I love the notion of traveling, but I want a home. I want to be settled somewhere.
Oh, and I want a puppy. I miss Sassy like mad, and nothing suits that part of me like puppy love. Darned apartment dwelling.
Now: nap first, study second... or study first, nap second? I'm going to try the latter, but we'll see if that works out at all. Good night, kids.
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Anyway. I'm going to be running ragged from now until May. My graduation list is about a mile long: writing a thesis that has not one word yet written, coming up with questions for and taking comprehensive exams, taking the GRE subject test... not to mention teaching and taking classes like during a normal year. Not that I want to rush through my life or anything, but I'll be so glad to be finished with acquiring degrees and just teach and live my life. Wait... what life? Ha.
I threw myself a 25th birthday party, inviting girlfriends from school and church. Overall, about nine people came, and it was a good energy. We played Cranium, ate too much, and laughed ourselves silly. All-in-all, a good time had by all and confirmation that I love my friends!
So ends another random blog entry about nothingness because I felt the need to update but lacked the time and energy to be original.
Thursday, October 09, 2008
Monday, October 06, 2008
Thursday, October 02, 2008
Yeah, you can see where this is going.
9:50 rolls around, and I'm just getting out of the shower. I throw on a hoodie, jeans, some quick eye make-up, and run a brush through my crazy hair. I realize that I'd been too lazy the night before to rinse out my blender, so leaving the spigot open, I run detergent and water through to bleach it clean. Then, genius that I am, I forget to close the spigot. As my coffee is percolating, I grab the last of my milk and start pouring it in the blender. Much to my horror, I see milk spreading all across my counter, down my dishwasher, and onto the floor.
At this point, it's 10:05.
I promptly use half a roll of paper towels to clean up my mess and stop it from spreading underneath the dishwasher. The seconds tick by. It's 10:10... no breakfast, no lunch, no dinner, and worst of all... no caffeine. Pissed off, I put a lid on the tuna I'd just dumped in a bowl, put it in the fridge, pour out the last ounce of milk, grab my bag, and, ignoring my pounding headache, run out the door.
Then, after I park and catch the shuttle, I nearly get off at the wrong stop. I'm halfway down the aisle, before I realize that if I get off here, I'll have a ten-minute walk. I sit down, nonchalantly, and realize that today is not going to be my most intelligent of days.
As it is, I'm sitting here with three pages left to write for my night class and realizing that, in order to get them finished, I'm going to have to skip my Old English lit class. I'm in a writing mode now, and I don't want to lose it before I finish. Besides, as much I love my OE class, it's at that time of day when my blood sugar plummets and I can barely stay awake--and with today's screwy diet and pounding migraine, there would be no hope for me anyway.
Oh, well... at least I've got this freakin' awesome new computer to do my writing on. That almost makes it all worthwhile!
It can only get better from here. :)
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
It's library day. My class is supposed to meet me at 12:30 in the library lobby for their assignment (a library scavenger hunt). The first class arrived right on time, but this class is another story. I have mentioned it in class and on the syllabus. At 12:15, one student arrives early, signs the attendance sheet, accepts her mission and embarks. Five minutes later, another cheery early bird does the same. The seconds tick by. 12:30 arrives and passes. 12:31... 12:32... 12:33, I see two students walk in the door without seeing me and set off to find the library lobby. I nod knowingly, waiting for the truth to dawn. 12:34... 12:35... 6... 7... 12:38, five more students walk in as the other two realize where the lobby is. 12:39... 40... 1... 2... 3... 4... 5... 6... 7... 8: the rest of the class walks in, having sat in the classroom for 15 minutes, wondering why the other group suddenly got up and left.
Yeah... it's that kind of semester.
Thursday, September 11, 2008
On a more positive note, the weather, by my standards, has been ideal. Nary a day above 82 degrees! The door has been open pretty much non-stop all week. Lovely, lovely, lovely.
Finances are kicking my rear, though. Come the end of this month when I pay rent, I'll be down to the last $50 in my account, and I hate cutting it that close. I've just always been the sort to want to have a buffer in my account--I know all too well how often the unexpected occurs at the least opportune moment. Thank heavens for understanding parents! Still, I keep feeling guilty about it, even though I know there's nothing else to be done.
Eight more months... eight more months.
Thursday, August 28, 2008
Seriously, though, if every Tuesday and Thursday the rest of the semester is like this, I may end up with high blood pressure after all! This has been nuts. Every break between classes has involved chasing down professors, making changes on my proposal, chasing down more professors, answering for changes made in my syllabus, and spending 40 minutes trying to find a damned parking spot! Yeah, it's been a nutty day... and I still have a 3:30-4:45 and a 6:30-9:20 class left today. I may stay in bed tomorrow until right before Megan comes over for our walk. Gah.
Strangely, though, I'm not nearly as wiped out as I would have been last semester. I guess going to the chiropractor and exercising is making a difference--not one I noticed from day to day, but more when I'm under stress. My head feels a little tense, but not on the verge of a migraine, and I'm actually still a little hyper. What's up with that?
Oh, and I get no lunch today. I broke the tab off of my Chef Boyardee container, and now I can't open the can without a can-opener. I think I walked under a ladder in my sleep last night, or else I broke an unseen mirror.
2 more hours... I can handle 2 more hours without food... I think.
Maybe music with soothe the savage breast today. Oh, Mp3 player....!
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
My thesis proposal is finally approved. Whoo!
So far, I'm pretty organized. We'll see how long that lasts.
I overslept this morning. Dumb-head here forgot to turn the alarm on after setting the time. Smooth.
In 25 minutes, I can go home. Sleep sounds lovely.
[/End of staccato sentences]
Thursday, August 21, 2008
If you don't hear from me much over the next nine months, don't be surprised. I'm going to be running amok with 9 hours of classes, 6 hours I'm teaching, my thesis, and mentoring. Oh, and I'm actually going to be exercising regularly from now on--I've got an accountability partner in Megan. At some point, I have to eat, sleep, recoup, go to church and Bible study, and not completely neglect my family and friends.
It's gonna be grand, let me tell ya.
I need a nap.
Thursday, August 14, 2008
Katie and Jenna are in and out, stopping for a few minutes to breathe in the air before heading to small groups or leadership meetings. The leaves on the tree in front of the porch screen are beginning to turn gold on the edges, and that guy with the flopping combover just jogged past me, making me smile.
In my mind, I see Craig, Keith, and Evan out walking, perhaps to visit Matt, Matthew, Joe, and Chase at the Porch house down the street. Kate just hugged me from behind, planting an affectionate kiss on my head before heading upstairs to write a psychology paper. I see Liz in the living room studying from her nursing books, and Ally just sat down next to me to hug me and ask what she can pray about for me. Andrea and Sunshine are coming over later to watch chickflicks, eat killer brownies, and have a gigglefest.
Suddenly, I have a double-whammy, paradoxical craving for quiche and chai tea lattes at JavaCo and a classic La Pachanga taco salad and frozen margarita. I have the urge to walk down to the square and peruse through one of the used book stores or see what's playing at the Downtown Cinema 8. I could walk to campus and see who I randomly run into that I haven't seen since freshman year. I'd love to sit in the sunken garden with a good book and smell the distinctly sweet, rotting perfume of leaves and undergrowth. I wonder if Brantley and Jason are going to form a game of Capture the Flag down on the grassy knoll between Pershing and Barnett Hall.
I'll never forget.
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
The tumor's still here, but it's really just a fatty tissue mass that people frequently get. Though it's still causing some discomfort when I walk a long way (like last night... boy oh boy did I walk!), removing it would actually cause more problems, since we could never achieve symmetry, and my body would always be trying to compensate.
My count remains at sixteen for the time being. My already-affected brain says thank you.
Oh, and I only have to have one more gingivitis treatment instead of two! My gums are responding well.
I may live to be older than dirt yet!
Now, to get my thesis proposal approved. If I could just track down my three thesis readers today...
Wednesday, August 06, 2008
New pending ordeal on the horizon: surgery number seventeen. Yes, that's right... I have an appointment with a surgeon on Monday. It turns out that I've got a tumor (almost certainly benign, so no worries, worriers) in my lower back. It's the reason I've been having trouble walking or standing for extended periods of time, possibly for the past few years. It measures about 3x6 cm., and it's got to come out before my insurance runs out in December.
I'm not worried about it, and neither should you, but prayers are appreciated, as I would like to keep it something not to worry about. ;)
I'm at home for the week. I'm getting very fat. I swear, my mom has no notion of normal-sized portions. For breakfast yesterday, for example, she piled four waffles and two sausage links on a plate and set it in front of me. My normal breakfast? A small pastry or a pancake-and-sausage-on-a-stick (looks like a corn dog) and a cup of caffeinated glory. That's it. It's plenty. And if I don't eat all on my plate, Mom asks something like, "You mean you didn't like it?" Sigh.
I'm heading back on Friday... and back on a healthy diet. I like the food she cooks--very much--but not that large of portions every day, especially when I'm inactive like I am in this weather.
So, last night, I tried to record Now, Voyager, with Bette Davis and Paul Henreid (brilliant movie, by the way). Weather had interfered back in May, and I'd been waiting all this time for another chance. A half hour into the film... the satellite lost its signal. Insert fury. Yeah, I was not happy. I'm starting to think there's a curse on my attempts to get this movie into my collection.
End second major gripe.
Okay, so, if you're reading this at my actual website (rather than on Facebook), could you do me a favor and drop me a comment? I just want to get an idea who's reading this (if anyone). I think I'm going to try to set it up so you have to check on my actual website (http://nikistarsnhreyes.blogspot.com/) to read the entry... maybe just posting a note on facebook notifying everyone that there is a new post available for viewing. Hey, call it vanity if you must, but I put a lot of effort into making this site look the way I wanted it.
I know, I'm weird. A little nuts, too. But that's why you love me, isn't it? ;)
Oh, I nearly forgot to mention... I walloped my hair off again. The length is still almost the same, but it's got a lot more layers, and it's a pretty modern hairstyle. I like it, but I'm still getting used to it. I have pictures posted on facebook, though I think I'm going to have to put some up with the hair straightened. I think I like the way it lays better that way.
You should have seen the hair I lost, though. I have uber-thick hair, if you didn't know, and I got a look at that pile of hair on the floor, swept in the corner, and it looked like two or three pomeranians had fallen asleep together. It. Was. A. Ton. Of. Hair.
Monday, July 07, 2008
I have a job interview at Wet Seal tomorrow at four for a part-time summer position. Exciting! It would take a little financial pressure off my parents and I. I love that they're willing to help me out, but right now, they have to help me with everything but my rent and main utilities. That's just too much.
Keep your fingers crossed!
I'm glad I decided to work on my syllabus last night and pretty much finish it off. That makes the end-of-summer to-do list a bit more manageable. The remaining items:
- Summer School
- 15-20 page term paper due July 31
- Thesis proposal
- Film recording inventory list for my students (for their first project)
- The loss of at least five pounds
And now, the recipe for homemade frappuccino:
- 20 oz. Braum's skim milk
- 2 cups of coffee, made with 3 large tablespoons of coffee grounds
- about 8-10 ice cubes
- 3-4 shots of sugar-free coffee syrup
- Optional shots of Hershey's syrup for measure
- Combine ingredients in a blender, blending on the highest setting. Watch out for foam overflow. This recipe provides about 3-4 glasses of frappuccino. A note: I advise adding one ice cube to the first glass of frapp; refrigerate the rest.
I go through this abut once a day, and the recipe lasts until five in the evening, when I'm trying to cut out caffeine anyway. It's a nice little set-up.
Let me know if you try it!
Oh, and if you're reading this on Facebook, you might want to have a look at the actual page at http://nikistarsnhreyes.blogspot.com. It's prettier (in my humble opinion), and you can subscribe to the RSS or Atom feeds, especially if you're using IE7 or Firefox. Facebook is great and all, but I've had this blog since I was 17, and I like getting my comments here. :)
Okay, gotta get ready for another oh-so-fabulous day of class for which I'm completely unprepared. Go me!
Sunday, July 06, 2008
Saturday, July 05, 2008
That's always been my biggest insecurity... even more so than my appearance. Kids in elementary school teased me for a number of issues, but my speech was the biggest one.
Of course, when I was focusing on pronunciation, my voice came through fine, but let's face it, it's impractical to go through my entire life focusing on keeping my palate closed with every syllable I speak. I would've thought that by now some of it would become ingrained. Apparently not.
I hate feeling like this. It feels ridiculously vain, and I'm sure it is... but my speech is something that figures into every corner of my life... the other insecurities I have only affect me at certain times or in certain environments. I can't get away from the issues that come up with my speech.
Friday, June 27, 2008
Monday, June 09, 2008
I'm not crying anymore, but neither am I my usual chipper self. I have a new melancholy cast to my spirits these days. I'm not giggly like I usually am--at least, not very often.
Mom told me that when I have place of my own, with a fenced-in yard, she and Dad will get me a corgi puppy. While no dog could ever replace the incomparable Sassy, a dog would still fill that hole better than anything else.
In other news, it appears that I'm very allergic to broccoli all of a sudden. I'm broke out in a rash and hives from head to toe... literally. I didn't go to church this morning, though I was wide awake, because I knew I'd be scratching non-stop. Tomorrow, I'm going to the health center and see about getting a cortisone-steroid shot, because it's not clearing up on its own. Seriously, it's maddening. Thank goodness for Benadryl and its creme, or I would never get a moment's sleep.
I have an interview at The Buckle Tuesday morning at 11, so prayers would be appreciated. I filled out at least 20 applications within the past couple weeks, and I really don't want to look at another one for quite awhile.
Well, kids, summer classes start back up tomorrow, so I'm off to get a little sleep. Good night!
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
Monday, May 12, 2008
I've finished my research study paper 17 hours early.
I've finished the information sheet for said paper to present during my paper presentation.
Other than attending my final exam periods and one memoir rewrite, I'm finished for the semester! That means I'm free to watch my Katharine Hepburn movies that are on TCM tomorrow. I just have to make one quick trip to campus before 5 to make copies.
I feel so danged productive. And believe me, that's a very raaaaaaaaare sensation for me! Hehe.
Full nights' sleep are just around the corner!
Saturday, May 10, 2008
Maybe I'll see if there are any movies on that I can record with my brand new DVD recorder! Yeah, buddy!
As of Thursday, 10:45, I'm finished with my first year of grad school. Wowsers.
A recent musical discovery on my part:
Saturday, May 03, 2008
Dear [Interviewer's Name]:
Thank you for your letter of [date of rejection letter].
After careful consideration, I regret to inform you that I am unable to accept your refusal to offer me employment with your firm. This year I have had been particularly fortunate in receiving an unusually large number of rejection letters. With such a varied and promising field of candidates, it is impossible for me to accept all refusals.
Despite [Firm's Name]'s outstanding qualifications and previous experience in rejecting applicants, I find that your rejection does not meet with my needs at this time. Therefore, I will initiate employment with your firm immediately following graduation. I look forward to seeing you then.
Best of luck in rejecting future candidates.
Sincerely, [Your Name]
However, (yes, there's a however here) propranolol is also a medicine prescribed for hypertension... and I have hypOtension--the opposite problem. It's perfectly normal for me to have a BP of, say, 90-100/60-70. This, of course, has come to explain my years of issues with low energy levels, and I'm frankly relieved that my body leans in this direction rather than in the HBP range. But anyway, when I went to the dentist's office on Wednesday, they took my blood pressure (they check for everything).
85/45. Heart rate? 56. I'm normally at 70-80. And no, I have not been exercising lately, so one could hardly praise a healthier heart for the decrease.
And tonight, after I got out of the bath, I wasn't particularly overheated, yet I nearly puked and passed out when I tried to walk around my kitchen. Right now, I'm shaky and can barely spell what I'm typing. I've hit the backspace button almost once every word I've typed.
So, the prognosis for me is another migraine-doctor appointment on Monday or Tuesday (I hope) where, I hope, we can settle on a different, yet equally effective, medication.
Otherwise, I've got a dilemma. I must choose between having migraines or having dangerously low blood pressure.
Deeeelightful. I just loooooove my body. Meh.
I'm still woozy.
Here's hoping for a perkier entry next time. Sorry, guys!
Monday, April 28, 2008
Writes, sings, paints, and lives grace.
Translation: I live in a world of creative expression and the yearning to convey the beauty of the grace I've been given that I could never earn or be worthy of. Yeah. It blows me away.
Did you read this? Then--haha!--tag, you're it! Leave a comment with the link when you've done it... I want to read. *snicker*
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
If I had any doubts about whose willpower gives me the strength to face each day, they're gone now. Without my allowing God to be my strength, I have no willpower of my own.
II Corinthians 12:7b-10 (TNIV): Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. 8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 9 But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
Pet temptations remain present in my life. My migraines show no sign of fading. The same loneliness that plagued me at 12 years old still plagues me 12 years later. All my prayers have received the same answer:
Child, I know your pain better than you know it yourself. I cry harder than you do when your tears fall. You're my daughter; I take delight in you. You must trust me, though; this pain and trial remains for a reason. I love you too much to take away that which will shape you into the creation I mean you to be. A day will come when you will see My purpose; you will understand that your suffering has brought you nearer to Me. It is only when your strength fades and you allow Me to move in you that you can grow. Until then, if you will acknowledge your helplessness and give Me your will and desire to do everything for yourself, your life will become one that glorifies Me, and I will fight for you. I have not forgotten you; I'm right there with you, shielding you from the Enemy's deadliest darts. I love you, my child, and I want you to know that no one fights harder for you than I do... including you.
It's amazing how many times I can learn this same lesson for the first time, over and over again. I continually strive to regain that control I surrendered, and I continually fall flat on my face in self-loathing and sin; continually, I surrender, and suddenly, though the pain remains, somehow, I'm able to withstand the onslaught.
When will I ever learn?
Monday, April 21, 2008
Monday, April 14, 2008
Those of you who have known me for some time will probably realize the significance of this day. Fifteen years ago today, my parents walked into my third grade classroom, whispering with my teacher, Mrs. Porter. Mom cupped her hand over her mouth and Dad looked unusually teary-eyed. Somehow, I knew the news could not be good. It wasn't. Just after 12:30 that day, my mom and their only daughter breathed her last as they held her hand.
Today is my black day. Today, I cancelled my class (entirely honestly due to a worsening migraine), and I imagine I will stay home tonight and simply email my paper to my professor. I don't want to try to be social today. I've already burst into tears once, and I would be very surprised if it didn't happen again, and when it does, I don't want to cry in front of anyone.
She was only two years older than I am now--she was 26. Her body was worn out.
I can't really articulate the way I feel today without something I say being potentially misconstrued, and I don't want to have to explain myself. Just know that while I rejoice for her peace and presence with the Lord (there's no place better to be), the fact that I missed getting to know her better than a flighty nine-year-old can know her mother will always break my heart. I miss her, and I miss that I didn't get to know her.
Fifteen years ago, I grew up in a split second. Afterward, I tried hard to make up for it by holding on to fantasy as long as I could (I still cling to it to this day), but it couldn't change the fact that my innocence left me that day.
Sunday, March 09, 2008
So, everyone, it's official. Pull out those lightweight jackets, short sleeves, capri pants, sunscreens, umbrellas, and Claritin prescriptions, because Spring has sprung!
In other news, I saw my Sassy this weekend, and I just want to kill that groundhog that bit her. Her little side is punctured with red wounds, and while she's feeling fine enough to run and play a little, she's visibly slowed down due to the pain. I tell you, I'll never celebrate February 2nd again. Grrrr. No one messes with my baby! She's too old to deal with that anymore. More prayers would be appreciated... we're trying to fend off infection at this point.
Ooh, and April 8, I have a ticket to the Skillet/Thousand Foot Krutch/Decypher Down concert. Whoo-hoo! Hope to see you there!
Friday, March 07, 2008
Sunday, March 02, 2008
Saturday, March 01, 2008
Friday, February 29, 2008
Well, somebody has to arrange the matches,
Young people can't decide these things themselves.
She might bring someone wonderful----
And well off----
Make me a match,
Find me a find,
catch me a catch
Look through your book,
And make me a perfect match
I'll bring the veil,
You bring the groom,
Slender and pale.
Bring me a ring for I'm longing to be,
The envy of all I see.
Make him a scholar.
Make him rich as a king.
Chava and Hodel:
For me, well,
I wouldn't holler
If he were as handsome as anything.
Make me a match,
Find me a find,
Catch me a catch,
Night after night in the dark I'm alone
So find me match,
Of my own.
Since when are you in a match, Chava? I thought you had your eye on your books.
And you have your eye on the Rabbi's son.
Well, why not?
We have only one Rabbi and he has only one son.
Why shouldn't I want the best?
Because you're a girl from a poor family.
So whatever Yenta brings, you'll take, right?
Of course right!
(throws scarf over her head, imitating Yenta)
Hodel, oh Hodel,
Have I made a match for you!
He's handsome, he's young!
Alright, he's 62.
But he's a nice man, a good catch, true?
I promise you'll be happy,
And even if you're not,
There's more to life than that---
Don't ask me what.
Chava, I found him.
Won't you be a lucky bride!
He's handsome, he's tall,
That is from side to side.
But he's a nice man, a good catch, right?
You heard he has a temper.
He'll beat you every night,
But only when he's sober,
So you'll alright.
Did you think you'd get a prince?
Well I do the best I can.
With no dowry, no money, no family background
Be glad you got a man!
You know that I'm
Still very young.
Please, take your time.
Up to this minute,
That I could get stuck for good.
Chava and Hodel:
See that he's gentle
You were also a bride.
It's not that
Chava and Hodel and Tzeitel:
It's just that I'm terrified!
Plan me no plans
I'm in no rush
Maybe I've learned
Playing with matches
A girl can get burned
Bring me no ring
Groom me no groom
Find me no find
Catch me no catch
Unless he's a matchless match.
Monday, February 25, 2008
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
Tuesday, February 05, 2008
Saturday, February 02, 2008
Thursday, January 31, 2008
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
Sunday, January 27, 2008
Friday, January 25, 2008
Thursday, January 24, 2008
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
Monday, January 14, 2008
Tuesday, January 01, 2008
- Worked night shifts--this only lasted a month, and frankly, I'm okay with that. I like sleeping at night, it seems.
- Hiked up a mountain--this morning, in fact. Dad and I trekked up Diamond Head Crater to Le-ahi Summit, 560 feet above the crater floor--and let me tell you, it felt further. We climbed three sets of stairs, each of at least 74, 99, and 54 steps. And I'm more afraid of heights than I used to be, it seems. Hehe. I hugged the post the whole time I stood on the summit, mostly to keep the wind from blowing me off. Oh, and I hate spiral staircases. Just so you know. But what a view!
- I became a teacher, and I never thought I would. God has a way of leading me down paths I never planned on.
- I applied to, was accepted to, and attended grad school. This, too, was not planned.
- I had two drinks in one night. And no, I don't plan to top that record. That's my absolute limit. This occurred at the luau last Friday night... and yes, I had a significant migraine the next day. But, oh, I do enjoy those pina coladas.
- I lived alone--completely alone. Still do, actually.
- I made a 4.0 for the first time since high school. All this, while taking 10 hours and teaching six. I can't believe it either! But, gah, it was exhausting! Just look at all the posts from this previous semester for proof. So, I think I may survive.
- I wrote a coherent 15-page paper. My standing record before was a 12 page paper, and I can pretty confidently state that it was probably fairly rambly.
- I got sixteen spider bites in one weekend. Yes, that one bit--I mean, sucked--I mean, oh, I give up! I can't really avoid a pun on this one.
- I made a pumpkin pie... and it made me sick. Ha. I think it was the eggs, though... they tend to upset my stomach if they're not completely baked into the food.
- I faced real, sincere loneliness for an extended period of time, I think it was actually November before I really got over it and started to make good friends with people. I've always struggled with loneliness, but that was truly the pits.
- I spent approximately half of the year sick, whether sick to the point of going to the ER (in March) or fighting one sinus infection after another (February to April, and October to, well, now). Yes, I'm in Hawaii, and I'm still going through about a half of a box of Kleenex every day. I can't win. :)
- Someone I know had a baby on my birthday (my cousin Chrystal, who is 2 and a half weeks younger than me, had a baby girl this year).
- I finally found my intended career--the one for which I feel entirely suited. Amazing.
- I stayed up for over 24 hours... more than once within a week. Yeah. Intense.