Posts Tagged ‘knees’

Feeling Better

October 15, 2017

And almost through the weekend of classes.

The air quality improved substantially today.

So much better.

I have still had a low-grade cough, raw throat and tight and sore sinuses, but the air is better and tonight when I rode my scooter home I could take deep breaths and it felt so, so good.

There are still fires burning, but today felt like hope, that maybe there was an end in sight and that as the day passed things felt better and better.

I don’t know, I can’t predict a thing, but it was something to breathe better today.

The small things that I can take for granted, fresh air, good water, my home, it was with great gratitude that I drew those clean breaths of air, such goodness, just a big simple drawing in of air.

Ah.

I can feel my head ache easing and I know that the air quality has substantially improved.

This morning when I got up it was registering at unhealthy and there was ash again all over my scooter and a distinct smell of wood burning in the air, it was hazy and smudgy and smokey and my first class of the day was boxed up in a hot airless room.

But by the afternoon it started to shift and I left campus to grab lunch with a friend at The Market, the chi chi high-end grocery store in the Twitter building, they have a poke bar that I like to eat at if I’m going to blow a wad of money on lunch rather than eat the food that I brought with me.

I was happy to get out of the school building, the air felt fresher and it just continued to improve throughout the day.

So grateful.

So, so, so grateful.

And I’m also grateful that I only have one more class to get through tomorrow and that will put my squarely at the half way point of the semester.

I will have two more weekends of classes and then the winter break.

I’m doing pretty good, I’ve participated,  caught up on all my reading for this weekend, and I turned in the paper that was due for my Jungian Dream Work class.

I have a mid-term paper due on the 24th of the month for my Transpersonal class that I figure I will write the paper next weekend.

Then two more weekends of classes and I will enter the final semester of my Masters in Counseling Psychology.

Fuck.

I am doing this, I’m doing this, it’s really happening.

It’s been so much work and sacrifice.

I don’t always talk about that, the things that I have had to let go of to participate in the program while still working full-time.

I have given up going to birthday parties, out dancing, movies, fellowship, dates, dinner with friends, people and places and stuff that I used to do on a much regular basis.

It’s been hard.

I have felt sad when I have not been able to connect.

And yet.

I have spent so much time figuring out how to connect with people, with grace, with God, with service, with learning what I need to learn to better serve my community.

And.

Yes.

To have a fucking career where in I can make some money.

Oh.

I know, I’m not going to make a grand amount, but I am going to make so much more than what I make as a nanny, unless I get some super cush job, but the fact is, I’m ready to not be a nanny anymore.

I’ve a few more years and I’m fine with that, I still have miles and miles to go, but sure and steady, slow, one day at a time I am doing the work to get to the place.

And when I get there, well, there will be other places to go.

But.

For right now I am just really happy to be in my last year of the Masters program and to let myself be proud of what I have accomplished.

Showing up every weekend.

Turning in every assignment on time.

Straight A’s.

It’s awful nice to have a 4.0 average in grad school, just let me acknowledge that, I have a 4.0.

That’s something.

I have learned a tremendous amount about myself.

I have made dear friends.

I have a cohort, a group of peers, a community where I wasn’t expecting to have one, I have people who see me and regard me as an equal and who I get great feedback and validation from.

And I’m doing something that I don’t think anyone in my family has done.

I’m getting a Master’s Degree.

I could be wrong about that, I may have a cousin somewhere with one, but I can’t think of any off-hand, I don’t believe most of the people in my family have a college degree, let a lone a Master’s degree.

I feel pretty lucky that I have achieved what I have achieved and that I have put in the work.

Sometimes the sacrifices have seemed really hard, I have been lonely, I have missed experiences, but I also know that I am making myself into a woman with great potential to help and heal and that I will be of service for so many years.

I think I’ll have much more longevity as a therapist than a nanny, I’ll be able to practice as a therapist many, many, many years past the time when I would want to be a nanny anymore.

Hell, I’m pretty done with it as it stands.

Oh, not that I hate my job, I love the family  work for and I am so happy to get to do the work with them.

No, what I meant, is that my body is about done with it, my back is sore from carrying the baby in a carrier, my knees hurt, I have spent so many years being on my feet, from all the years, decades really, working in the service industry–started at 12 ended at 32, so that’s twenty years, and now the past eleven years or so as a nanny.

I could use a sit down job, thank you very much.

I once was having some real problems with my knees and I was young, in my mid twenties, and the doctor told me at that time that I needed to get out of the service industry, that I needed a sit down job, “your knees are that bad,” he told me showing me x-rays and explaining what the problems were.

I didn’t really heed that advice.

And I have managed to get by, sometimes a bit painfully slow, and I have seen things that have slipped past me that I wish I could still do.

No more running.

Not that I was a great runner, but I thought once or twice that I would at least do one marathon in my life

And dancing.

Oh.

Man.

I can tell how bad my knees are when I go out dancing, they are just not what they used to be, not that they used to be great anyway, but fuck.

Anyway.

I will go on standing for a little while yet.

I’m not there yet.

But.

Damn.

I am one more step closer.

I’ll take it.

Yes.

Yes, I will.

One little baby step at a time.

I will get there.

You may be assured.

Hello Legs

May 5, 2016

Nice to meet you again.

Oof.

My goodness, it’s been a few months since I have commuted to work on my one speed and I am feeling it.

And.

I am feeling that I was very right in the getting the scooter.

My knees.

Oh.

My poor fucking knees.

They weren’t so bad on the way in, in fact, I was so jazzed up to be on my whip, I rolled into work at 15 minutes before I was due to be working.

Since I have been riding my scooter I gave myself a little extra cushion of time to make work.

I got there with beaucoup minutes to spare.

In fact.

I want to say that the ride took only a half hour, but I have never done the ride previously in a half hour, even though that’s what the watch was saying I decided to call it 33 minutes, which was my best time previous.

I had woken up this morning early to work on my Multi-Cultural paper and got through a good edit, I still am holding off on printing it, I want one more night of letting the ideas sit and percolate, I’ll do a final edit tomorrow and the reference page and then be ready to get it on for my last weekend of classes.

Which does not mean that school is out for summer.

It just means that the last weekend of classes will be done.

“You can help me celebrate,” I texted him.

Indeed.

There is so much to celebrate.

Life is good and big and full.

Even if my body is achey and rebelling at the exercise I gave it today.

Like I mentioned, I got to work really fast and was happy to spend some time stretching and working out the kinks.

And then.

The day progressed and I did a lot of standing, I mean, I usually do, but today I was entirely on my feet all day, tons of cooking.

Raw vegetable prep for the mom–carrots peeled, beans snipped, cauliflower roasted.

Then dinner for the family–salt and pepper crusted roast chicken with thyme butter, brown rice, steamed broccoli, and garlic butter pan sauteed asparagus.

God.

I love to cook.

I am always so grateful that I get to be of service at my job by cooking, it is such a pleasure to make food for another person, such an extension of love.

I remember the dinner parties I used to throw.

Before I got abstinent in my diet, ie, no sugar and no flour.

No potatoes.

No artificial sweeteners.

Um.

Yeah.

But I can still cook really well and most folks don’t really notice, except when I turn down pizza or something.

But man, when I used to bake and use all the goodies in the cupboard, it was something else, Christmas cookies anyone?

Cheese cake?

Oh the cheese cakes, gah, I used to bake them for the brewery I ran too, although that didn’t last long, it was super fun when I did, blueberry cheesecake with crushed graham cracker crust with roasted hazelnuts; chocolate chip stout cheesecake with chocolate graham cracker crust and black walnuts; the peanut butter chocolate chip cheesecake; or the espresso cheesecake with chocolate covered espresso beans.

Dude.

The Thanksgiving I made a pumpkin cheese cake with maple syrup glaze.

Get out of here.

I still love to bake and it’s fun, although rare, when I get to do so for the family I work for.

Mom is super health conscious and loves, loves, loves that I eat the way I do and so models a lot of the family dinners on things that I can actually eat.

Anyway.

I made it about half way through the late afternoon when the body started to talk to me.

“Bitch, couldn’t take your scooter, wanted to ride your bike, got to prove something.”

Fuck.

I remembered why I was not riding my bike for work.

Bad knees people.

Stiff, sore, they swelled up a little.

I took some ibuprofen.

Then.

That one spot.

Right shoulder, where I have an old shoulder injury.

All tweeky from carrying my messenger bag.

And I didn’t even fill it up, I mean, it was half full at best.

By the time I was back in the saddle I was regretting the decision, however, I am grateful for it.

The sunset.

So spectacular.

In the park, rolling along, the smell of the trees, the wind nickering at my face, the coolness against my neck, the soft prickle of sweat and the air moving over my body, so delicious.

So good.

It was like getting kissed all through the park.

I am pretty sure I won’t be doing a lot more bicycle commuting on my one speed.

Should I decide that I want to do some longer rides I’ll have to invest in a road bike again.

Which is not really out of the question.

I would love to do the AidsLifeCycle ride again.

But not on my one speed.

I think my one speed is now officially delegated to trips to Noriega Market and spots in the hood.

Unless I move somewhere very flat.

The knees can’t take it no more.

I’m glad for the exercise though.

I have a weekend of long days sitting in class.

I’ll be happy to have gotten my body moving before being sedentary.

And.

Yoga tomorrow.

Sneak one more class in before the weekend arrives.

It’s almost here.

One more weekend of classes.

And of course.

Fuck.

It’s supposed to rain Friday and Saturday.

So I won’t scooter in.

Nor will I bicycle.

It’s MUNI or calling for a car.

The great thing is I have options and whatever way I get to school, I’ll get there.

It will be nice to reconvene with my cohort and see some friends and catch up and it will be really nice to have the summer off after that.

Well.

I’ll still have papers to write.

I feel like summer won’t officially happen until that point.

But it’s closer.

So close.

I can taste it.

Like the tangerine dream of a sunset tonight spread against the sky swirled with lilac sorbet and strawberry syrup, cleansing my palate, my heart of the weary and long road home.

There is great light at the end of the tunnel.

I’m.

Almost.

There.

 

It’s Not Cancer

March 28, 2015

It’s eczema.

Bahahaha.

Oh.

That’s so awesome, I cannot even tell you.

And the fasting, well, broke that as soon as I could, but it went a lot better than I thought it would.

Although by the time I was due to leave work I was plenty wonky and light-headed.

My doctor and I did a full work up since I had not been in to see her in about a year.

Three full vials of blood drawn.

I’m not exactly squeamish, have you seen how many tattoos I have?

However, I am not a fan of watching blood being drawn.

Especially three vials.

Then I got to do the infamous pee in a cup thing.

Which was nearly clear, since I had drunk water all day.

I had coffee with unsweetened vanilla almond milk this morning around 7 a.m. and that was it until 4p.m today.

My first “meal” of the day was the snack I had packed in my bag–an Aztec Fuji apple from BiRite and one piece of low-fat string cheese–and an apple juice box that the lab technicians gave me as soon as the blood draw was done.

I had thought to foil the fast by getting to the appointment early, however, I had to have the test re-ordered, it, the one I had been avoiding since I had no desire when it was previously requested to fast, had been over a year.

So the doctor had to re-request the lab test.

And since I was there, she also had them check STD’s, HIV, and the general round-up of those goodies.  I had unprotected sex with my ex boyfriend (he was clean and had a vasectomy), but since she offered and I want to be able to walk into my next relationship with absolutely no doubts about my status, I said go ahead and run the panel.

It didn’t cost anything, aside from some light-headedness all day and the inability to focus on tasks.

Although a couple of times, things were so bright and clear I felt a little high.

I remember staring at a flowering purple bush, while walking to the park this morning with my charge, the vine was blooming out and how green the leaves were and the stamens and pistils were flagrant with color and the blooms iridescent with sunshine.

I felt like I was on a light acid trip.

“Carmen! Carmen! Carmen!”

My little guy chimed up, “why we stopping?”

Um.

Because I’m entranced with this plant.

Oops.

My doctor also ordered an anemia panel and admonished me to keep taking my iron supplement, which I had stopped doing for a while, then noticed that I was getting light-headed at work about a month ago and re-upped my iron.

Plus, two back to back days, well, not today, but Wednesday and Thursday, of spinach and kale salads.

A trend I will continue through the weekend.

“I’m jealous of your blood pressure, it’s amazingly low,” my doctor also said.

And my weight is the lowest it’s been since I had my crazy food relapse a year and a half ago.

I’m within ten pounds of my nutritionists recommended weight.

With the slight tweaking of my snack, that should balance it’s self out with out too much stress in the next four to five months.

I also realized that the weight was probably a by-product of two things–first, the ankle injury I sustained last June, though I was abstinent the entire time, I was off my ankle and not exercising for a month, unless you count hobbling around on crutches a work out.

Plus, I didn’t really get back into the swing of riding my bicycle until I started my current job.

The other?

The ex boyfriend.

He was an eat out kind of guy, which was nice, but I cook very simple foods and despite being very careful when I eat out, there are often hidden calories in things that you don’t think about.

For instance, I don’t cook with butter, but butter is a mainstay in a lot of restaurants.

Anyway, it was actually nice to get on the scale.

And I won’t be doing it again for a while.

I can get obsessive with weighing myself.

I know what I weigh and I am fine with it.

I like my dress size and I don’t expect it will change either.

I am a happy, perfect size 10.

So much nicer than the 22/24 I used to run.

Ugh.

So grateful that is no longer the case for me.

My doctor took one look at the red patch on my cheek and said, “oh definitely not skin cancer, it looks like eczema.  Have you ever had eczema before?”

“No,” I said, surprised, happily.

“Hydrocotisone will clear it right up, over the counter any pharmacy you pop into.”  She continued, “now let’s check the knees.

And there are some issues there.

However, perhaps not as bad as I had feared, certainly not as bad as I had feared.

“You seem to have the most problems with your knee caps, the left one is a little lose and wobbly, describe the pain again,” she said and rotated my knees around.

“It’s not the cartilage, although I can hear it crunching and popping, which is actually not something to be worried about,” she continued the exam.

I told her when it hurt and expressed my concern with riding my bicycle.

“Nope, it’s not your bicycle, in fact, it’s great that you ride so much as riding a bicycle is a rehabilitative exercise often prescribed for knee strengthening.”

“However, you may need to do some stretching in your quads and hamstrings, you may be pulling your knees off balance, so I am going to refer you to the Physical Therapy Department.”

Because I have such developed legs from bicycling, I may have to do strengthening on the back of the muscles, and so, I’ll be seeing a physical therapist.

Cool.

All in all some really nice news.

And I will take eczema hands down over skin cancer everyday.

I’ll be reloading on sunblock anyway when I go pick up the hydrocortisone.

Better safe then sorry.

And no more fasting.

EVER.

 


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