Posts Tagged ‘physical therapy’

Burnt Out On Writing

November 6, 2017

But not really.

This is my fourth bit of writing today.

I just finished and sent off a paper for my Jungian Dream Work class.

I did a bit of reading for that class yesterday and I did more reading for my Psychopharmacology and Human Sexuality class as well tonight–it was my “break” in between writing the two papers I did today.

The first was not really a paper in the sense of the word, in how I write for classes or how I write my blog.

It was my lecture piece for “People Who Usually Don’t Lecture.”

They asked me to write a sort of narrative of the story I told them when I interviewed last Monday.  I am to go in again tomorrow and see them.  They wanted a written piece to look over before I met with them again.

The first piece was 8 pages long and clocked in around 2,500 words.

Too long.

So I edited and parsed it down.

A lot.

Cut it down by 800 words and got it timed to 9 minutes rather than the 13 minutes I timed myself reading it.

But it still feels a bit too long and though focused, to unfocused, too much and not enough, I felt like I didn’t really get into the juice of it.

Maybe I have just heard my own story too often and I’m a bit jaded it about it, it was hard to write without making it pretty and full of images, I don’t have a problem producing a grand amount of words, I always argue that it is harder to write a short paper rather than a long one.

I feel a little frustrated with it, I worked a long time on it, much longer than I wanted to spend on it, I don’t know if that just means I have a lot at stake in the project and I want to be a fucking perfectionist, which is not what the narrative is supposed to about.

I can easily, however, speak extemporaneously and I think that is what will happen, I will get up on the stage, I will take some general directions as to what I am supposed to talk about and I will talk.

I am sure the producers will have suggestions and desires, I got a message just a moment ago from the main contact that they have received it and are looking forward to seeing me tomorrow and they will have edits and suggestions then.

I’m not sure if this means they read it and already have things to change or what.

I am a bit done with sitting in front of my computer, although, that’s exactly what I am doing now, a bit tired of sitting at my little table.

Although the view is nice, I have a beautiful bouquet of flowers and I’m listening to some great music, some slow dancing music, and feeling a little tender and soft and sweet looking at roses and lilies and thinking about dancing with someone.

Dreamy.

I did do other things than write today, thank God, I had a fantastic morning, really did, and I was awful grateful for the falling back of the hours for Day Light Savings, despite not really liking that it got dark at 5:30p.m. tonight, as I went to sleep late last night.

I got lots of house hold stuff done, laundry and fresh bed sheets, compost and recycling and trash out.

I got in a great stretching session on my foam roller and did some PT for my shoulder that I have been neglecting to do, and then went to a fantastic, albeit difficult as fuck, yoga class, and sweated my ass off.

Serious sweat.

Sweat all over my mat.

Euphoric sweat.

I came home and felt amazing.

I took a smoking hot shower and then had a great late breakfast and a lovely unsweetened vanilla almond milk latte and wrote four pages free hand.

Then met with a lady and helped her do some inventory.

A successful hour of that and then some food prep for the week–roasted a turkey breast and went and did a little shopping at the co-op up the street from me.

I did a phone check in with my person and confirmed that we are meeting tomorrow morning at the Martha Brothers Coffee shop on Church Street.

I have solo supervision at 9a.m. in Hayes Valley and then the follow-up with the People Who Usually Don’t Lecture producers at noon.

My boss is letting me come in tomorrow at 1 p.m.

In between supervision and meeting with the producers I have some time, so I will be meeting my person at Martha’s and getting a good face to face check in.

I am super glad to get to squeeze that in.

It’s going to be a full day, a full week, school’s in session next weekend, which is why the push to do the schoolwork on top of the writing that I did today.

I feel like I’m doing ok, doing the best I can, getting to what needs to be done.  I’m 1/2 way through the Jungian Dream Work reading and I turned in the paper tonight that’s due for the weekend.  I finished all my Drug and Alcohol reading, and I got into the reading for Psychopharmacology and Human Sexuality.  I had to take a break though and be ok with it all at a certain point, there was just not much more attention I could give it.

I just wanted to write my blog and not worry about it, I just wanted to dump my head and shake out the contents and then go have a snack and a cup of tea and watch a video and not really worry about school or this narrative for the project, I keep telling myself that just because I don’t like the writing as much as I like, say my blog, or writing a poem, that it wasn’t bad and that I have a few weeks to work on the story and do what they want, they want to hear the story I told them last week, just as shorter version.

I can do it.

It will be fun and it’s nice, actually, to have something creative to work on that’s not school or regular work or client centered work.

And that’s it.

That’s all she wrote.

That’s all I got.

Oh.

I could probably squeeze something else out of my brain.

But let’s give it a rest.

Shall we?

It is Sunday after all.

A day for rest.

hahahahaha.

Sigh.

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It’s Just Wind In My Eye

April 24, 2015

I swear.

Those aren’t tears.

It was a close call, however, to know if the prickles of tears streaming down my face was actually caused by the wind, it was a brisk ride home, or by the fullness and sense of joy I had at riding home through the park at twilight.

The striations of color were like Easter eggs gone mad and I found myself almost stopping more than once to capture the sunset on my phone camera a few times as I rolled briskly along.

I did not, however, dinner was calling.

Loudly.

Normally I eat at work, but there were adventures and play dates and bicycle rides and stuff and things and I actually left the family, mom, dad, and both the boys at the slides in Dolores Park to scoot to my next commitment at 6:30p.m.

Dinner was not an option for me at the work site tonight.

I was alright with that, I pushed my lunch as late as I could and had a late coffee, which really isn’t always the best thing for me, but then again, I did have a play date rumpus with three little monkeys, so it felt like I was actually in need of the caffeine not for appetite suppressing, but to just get through the play date.

I made it though, and tomorrow, oh lovely of lovelies, is Friday.

I’m ready.

It has been a full week.

Then again, when aren’t they full?

I’m also excited to squeak in a tea with a good friend that despite being in the neighborhood of where I work, I don’t get to see all that much.

I’ve got a date with her tomorrow after work to catch up and have a spot of tea and I’m super excited.

There’s news.

There’s always news.

But sometimes you just got to tell a girl friend the stuff and I’m excited to get to do so without the boys I take care of in tow.

I love them I do.

“We are never letting her go!” The mom said today from the sandbox to her friend who is looking for help having just had a second baby a month ago.

I smiled.

That’s always something so nice to hear.

Job security.

I like having it.

I like that I have a place to park my bicycle indoor and hang it up on a rack.

I like that I got to work fifteen minutes early today too and did my stretching before starting the day.

I am sore.

I mean.

SORE.

The stretching I do before work is about a third of the exercises and stretches that the physical therapist wants me to be doing, but I’m not getting down on the ground in front of the house to do the clam shell stretch.

It’s a semi private street in the Mission that the house is located on, but it is still the Mission.

God only knows what is on the sidewalks.

Gentrification still smells like homeless guy pee.

It just looks a little tidier in the neighborhood.

Sidebar.

The Elbow Room lost its lease.

It’s closing in November, hopefully the establishment will find another place, but I shall be sad to see it leave.

I don’t drink there any longer–although I certainly did for a period of time and there are more than one set of smashed photos from the instant photo booth in the bar, but it was one of the first establishments that I hung out in, even before I moved to San Francisco.

I will never forget how hard I danced the first visit I made there and also how I found the neighborhood a little on the sketchy side and I was very happy to be with a tall guy friend on the way to the bar for the show.

It was upstairs and it was Vivendo de Pao–this amazing Afro-Brasillian fusion band.

I danced so hard.

That show alone could be why my knees hurt, and that was over twelve years ago.

They were amazing and I thought I was in love and who cares if he has a girl friend.

He’s the one.

He’s  so not the one.

He’s married somewhere in the South Bay with a couple of kids.

I haven’t seen him in over 10 years.

I fell in love with the venue though.

And have even gotten, in sobriety, to perform there with Sunshine Jones from Dubtribe, who did a song with me from a poem I wrote when I was in my first year of living in San Francisco, called While You Were Sleeping.

I performed that and another and it was a kind of full circle.

That was the last time I was at the Elbow Room.

It’s a great place to dance, though, and I will make a point of getting to the venue at least a few times before it leaves to be replaced by another condo.

Yeah.

That’s basically what is going in its place.

The owners of the building are not going to renew the lease for The Elbow Room and they just announced to the bar owners today that they would not be signing anew.

Ah, good old gentrification, you just keep happening.

“Don’t tell anyone you like living in the Mission,” my friend told me when I had settled into my first sublet on York and 20th.

“It’s already getting a little too gentrified.”

And that was in 2002.

It’s not over yet.

End aside.

I don’t know that I should end that aside, it got pretty long, and in its own way winds into my blog about San Francisco and beauty and how I am grateful, so very grateful, deeply, truly, madly, wildly grateful, to get to live here still.

I don’t intend on moving anywhere else.

I want all the things and I want them here, in SF.

It’s my home and it can slay me with its beauty without warning.

I wound through the park as the light shifted and the colors in the sunset became more glorious and deep, smote my heart, the velvet and dusk and soft light, filtered through the pines and the tops of the trees, the silhouette of a tall Eucalyptus winnowed with orange and umber and red and then violet and indigo, the crescent moon drifting over it all.

My heart swelled and the scene at Spreckels Lake was astounding, the mirror of the sunset on the flat surface was too glorious for words.

I smiled.

I rode around the corner and past the buffalo in the paddock and the green of the hills and the soft scent of the sea the wood fire burning in a fireplace, I swear, it was just the wind in my eyes.

I do cry for joy sometimes.

I might have tonight.

Happy.

Joyous.

Free.

In my life.

In my body.

In my home.

In my San Francisco.

Perfection Is Not An Option

April 22, 2015

Well damn it.

Now you tell me.

I wanted to throw in the towel a few times today, and it had a lot to do with wanting perfection.

The great thing?

I wasn’t even aware that I was seeking perfection, that is how ingrained in my being seeing said state is.

I never was nor will I ever be perfect.

I can end up waiting for the day to come and before you know it I will be dead.

But at least I will know why my knees hurt so damn much.

I have Patello-femoral Syndrome.

Yippee!

Gah.

Irritation of the knee cap (my poor Patellas–both the suckers have it, although my left is slightly more out of whack then my right) and the surrounding tissue due to increased compression.  There can be pain around or under the kneecap and sometimes in back of the knee.

Check.

Check.

And check.

Painful activities may include:

Running.

Ayup. Hurts like a bitch to run.

Walking when it is flared up.

Yup again, which is why I finally made the appointment to see my primary doctor, despite visions of knee surgery dancing fearfully though my head.  When the walking got too painful I knew the gig was up.  I am a professional nanny, it’s bad enough when my shoulder flares up from pushing the stroller, not walking is out of the question.

Please.

What else hurts?

Going up and down flights of stairs.

Oh yeah.

Horribly so.

I don’t talk about it, but it sucks, and ironically, which the physical therapist that I worked with today told me, it’s actually worse going down stairs.  And yes, the family I work for has a two story house and steps leading up to the front door as well.  I go up and down those steps more often than I can count.

I did a stair test and she showed me where my knees are pulled out of alignment.

Driving hurts, after a while, but yes it does, and the best, since I live in San Francisco, walking  up or down hills.

Bahahahahaha.

Oh good grief.

What contributes to PFS?

Tight hip or knee muscles; weak hip or knee muscles; flat feet (oh man, have you seen my feet?  Flat as pancakes, thanks dad. Plus my arches fell in my early twenties from all the food service work I was doing waiting tables, catering, bartending, hostessing, cocktail waitressing, expediting food (my best friend and I met at the Essen Haus and amongst many of my “fond” memories of the establishment was her strapping an ice pack to my knee to get me through the night’s shift, with, yes duct tape); and lastly, repetitive or excessive amounts of activity.

Can anyone say bicycling in San Francisco (and Paris and Oakland) for the last 9 years, 5-6 time a week, an average of 12-15 miles per day.

And that’s not including the year I trained and rode the AidsLifeCycle Ride from San Francisco to LA.

I started the training for that November of 2009 and trained every weekend up until the week before the ride in June 2010.

So.

Um.

Yeah.

A LOT of repetitive activity.

And it’s not what you would think, or I would think, it’s not the movement of the knees that the problem.

It’s the sitting in the saddle, the excessive sitting is tightening my hips which have pulled my knees completely out of alignment.

It turns out that not only are my hips extremely tight, they are also excessively weak.

Great.

They’re wide too.

My sister used to joke that our family hips were meant to birth a 10 lb baby without breaking a sweat.

When the physical therapist asked to test my knee strength I was afraid what the pain was going to be like, and was a bit surprised that there wasn’t really pain.

My knees are strong–thank you bicycling.

But my hips, oh, man.

As soon as she started manipulating my hips, my knees started to hurt.

I was shocked.

But I could feel the IT Band (Iliotibial band, which is a tough group of fibers that run along the outside of the thigh, the top part is attached to the glutes and the bottom to  the shin bone just below, yes, you guessed it, the knee) pulling my tight as she moved my hips and tested them for flexibility and strength.

“Your hips are so tight, your knees are going to hurt just from this,” she adjusted me on my back and then showed me a stretch and then had me roll over on my other side.

“Both hips are extraordinarily tight and weak, resist the pressure as I push down,” she said.

It was like a soft pat but I couldn’t hold my leg up as soon as she pushed down on a hip.

I was again shocked.

And also relieved.

There is something that I can do about it, I don’t have to have surgery and I don’t have to stop riding my bicycle.

“You may at some point down the line have to have surgery, but certainly not at this time, there’s a lot of strengthening and stretching to do before that even becomes an issue,” she reassured me as I relayed my mom’s double hip and double knee replacement surgeries.

I also spoke with my mom recently and found out that there is high cholesterol on her side of the family, both she and my grandmother and probably others in the family.

Great.

Well, at least I know it’s not from my diet, which is really quite impeccable, if I do say so myself, though not perfect, since I’m still taking iron supplements like they’re going out-of-town.

I’m wondering what else can fall apart on my body.

Please, hold on a little longer.

I want to have sex again.

I bet that will stretch my hips.

Ha.

The physical therapist gave me sheets of exercises and stretches to be done, not once, not twice, but three times a day, plus icing my knees (where are those frozen peas?) two to three times a day as well.

“When your charges nap, stretch, do the clam shell one especially,” she directed me.

Sure.

Let me just lie down on the floor and do the clam while the mom and dad walk around me on their way to their home office.

I negotiated doing them after work when I got home on my bike, which is not a negotiation, my knees hurt like whiny little bitches by the time the day was done and I knew I had to stretch and strength train.

Good thing no body was around to see me floundering and trying to not cry in frustration doing said clam strengthening exercise–two sets of ten twice a day; the bridge, 2 sets of ten, twice a day; top leg lifts, 2 sets of 10 reps, twice a day; standing squats, two sets of ten twice a day; and then a bunch of hip flexor stretches.

Ugh.

But I did them.

And though I am sore, it’s a good kind of sore and I am grateful to have a solution that is not surgery.

Despite not wanting to do the work, which is always the case, I get to do it anyway.

And if I follow her suggestions,which I am good at doing, following suggestions, I should have no knee pain in a bout a month.

Considering it’s been years now, I’m cool with that.

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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