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December 18, 2013 / Ang

I love being awake for 18 hours.

Not. I hate this. Which is weird because I used to do this (and longer, more active days) without issue.

I was ready to fall asleep in my car 12 hours ago how I’m just now MAYBE going to fall asleep I’ll never understand.

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December 13, 2013 / Ang

No one ever told me the damage would be permanent.

We like to pretend that as people we’re able to heal. We get hurt, yes, but we’re able to mend (unlike objects).

Maybe I’m becoming a cynic, but I’m starting to believe that while we heal we’re never the same. It’s as though there’s an imperceptible crack left. I face evidence, actually: once you’ve cracked your ribs they’re more likely to crack again. When you’ve sprained a joint enough times you’re deformed where the soft tissue remains swollen because of all the damage it’s sustained.

And even if you love again there’s always going to be that crack from when someone else broke your heart. You might not talk to the people in your past who have left you damaged, but memories cone around and although you’re happy there’s still pain.

December 1, 2013 / Ang

Phone only?

My laptop appears to have died. For now, please don’t expect to read any extensive blog posts. I’ll try to get things worked out soon.

November 24, 2013 / Ang

Please excuse me while I crochet.

Seriously. My friend is coming home this week. I need to finish his scarf!

I’ve had so many random great things pop into my head to share over the past few days (and still need to address things I said I would before) but I haven’t had the time to talk about them. Sorry folks! Small children, studying for the GRE, and scarf making take precedence.

November 21, 2013 / Ang

Sleep Dilemmas

I’m tired a LOT of the time. Sometimes I make it through the day without a nap despite how tired I am, and I tend to do a little happy dance on those days – even if it comes at the cost of cognitive clarity sometimes. I’ll admit that I get spacy and don’t really focus on things sometimes on those days. Because I’m nearly always fatigued we did a sleep study.

Here’s the thing: No narcolepsy. No apnea. This is good, right? YES.

Except I kind of wanted an answer. I’m really curious about the fact that I’ve been told that I never had REM sleep while there, though. I’m apparently supposed to do a follow up with the sleep doctor to go over the results, so I’ll talk to her about that and see if the lack of REM sleep could contribute to not feeling well rested.

If I had the energy I would probably find a paper that a friend posted regarding sleep studies done on POTS patients. I think it said something about the alpha waves maybe? I may need to read this and see if there’s a link between my lack of REM and the dysautonomia or if I’m just a weird person. All I know at the moment is: Sleep is good. I like sleep. REM sleep is supposed to be even better. I’d like to try that out.

November 20, 2013 / Ang

Breathe, just breathe….

Before I even explain anything I really feel the urge to let you guys in on a pet peeve of mine: when people post something in which they obviously mean to use the word “breathe” but instead spell “breath.” It KILLS me. My snarky side always wants to correct the person but I refrain like a good little girl.

Okay, now that I’ve admitted to being a terrible person, let’s talk about why I need to breathe.

Since realizing that I want to go into Sociology of Education I have been extremely proactive. I redownloaded Power Prep II (a prep tool for the GRE), and I went through the test preview section multiple times. When I first looked at the essay questions I was feeling very overwhelmed, it’s almost as though I don’t know how to respond to a proper prompt anymore. Every time that I started to write something I realized that it sounded as though I was rambling. I was incoherent. It wasn’t going to work. That FREAKED ME OUT. I’ve always been great at standardized tests, including the essay sections. Seriously. I can’t remember the last time I tested and didn’t land in the top 10% of the population. Actually, I nearly always tested in an even smaller population – I was usually in the 99th percentile. I got a 2050 on my SATs when I took them on very little sleep with a migraine and crashing sugar. Seriously. I retested and got a 2120 and decided I would just have to be satisfied that I wasn’t wasting more Saturday mornings on that test.

After I went through the pretest last night I decided that I was going to take on the practice sections. There are PDFs that can be downloaded that explain content you may have forgotten and they have little quizzes at the end of each section. Last night I took on the arithmetic section of the math review – and I pretty much owned it. I was proud of myself. It reminded me that sometimes I’m more capable than I think I am.

Tonight a former student of mine from summer program messaged me on facebook because he needed to vent about problems with college. He had to use a scantron for a test and he missed a question and wound up with a 20% on his quiz as a result of the oversight. He was freaking out. I tried to tell him that it’s okay to make mistakes and that this sucks but it’s a learning experience. Then I told him that he needs to cut himself some slack, remember that he needs downtime sometimes, and to remember that he can’t always be perfect to which he rebutted, “Perfection should always be the goal.” I don’t blame him for shooting for perfection, but the thing is if he doesn’t reach it he needs to breathe, remember that he did the best he could, and move on. He can even use the shortcomings as motivation to push harder in the future if that’s what it takes. I don’t think he’ll ever agree though. He’s too much like me in that respect.

And now, for why I REALLY need to remember to breathe. Today was rough. I got to my doctor’s office and found out that they couldn’t do my blood work because I hadn’t fasted (when no one told me to fast) and also because they don’t have the appropriate tubes there. Now I have to figure out how to fast for my tests and still eat with plenty of time before cardiac rehab without feeling like a waste of space. I’m really not sure how I’m going to kill the minimum hour between when I should be eating and when I should be at cardiac rehab. I was PEEVED. And honestly, can you blame me? Especially when the women doing my labs couldn’t even pronounce the names of the tests but asked me who told me that I needed to be laying down for half an hour and then standing for ten minutes because that’s not what their computers said. I’m perfectly willing to admit that that’s not what their computers say – because this isn’t a common test. But it’s a test I need because I might be hyperadrenergic (which isn’t something they see very often – I’m willing to bet on that).

I basically didn’t have a brain today. I found out that I left my wallet at my doctor’s office, missing the call and figuring this out as I got to my car after cardiac rehab. I got into my car and started to drive out of the parking lot before realizing that I didn’t even have my parking token. I had to walk back up to cardiac rehab to get one. It was nuts. I got home after all of this madness and realizing that I basically lost my mind and went through all of my accessible patience and sanity for the day, sat down, and opened my laptop. I was hoping to just veg for a while.

The first thing I saw was a post by a friend of mine on facebook. I’ve known this boy for close to ten years by now I want to say. And I’ve always cared about him. I used to have the biggest crush on him. For that matter, if we got to relive those moments, I probably still would. I just never get to spend time with him. The post was: 

Finished first day of physical therapy. Already noticed today I could move my right foot more. Thanks everyone for your continued thoughts and prayers 🙂

I immediately went to his page to try to figure out what was going on that he was going through physical therapy and had posted this status. It turns out that my friend was on his bike and got hit by a car and had a traumatic brain injury. There was severe bleeding in and around his brain and he has to go through speech therapy, occupational therapy, and physical therapy. He has always been brilliant, both smart and a great musician. He’s also on the equestrian team at school, although I guess now it’s “on” because I feel as though they’ll keep him there in spirit. I really hope that he’s able to get back to his music and horseback riding, though. I can’t imagine how he would feel if he couldn’t. Somehow he didn’t break any bones. He was lifeflighted to a hospital three hours away from his campus after the incident. He’s staying halfway across the state going through therapy until further notice. I’m not sure I can handle this right now. I wish he were in Pittsburgh, only an hour away, so that I could show up and let him know how much I love him and how glad I am that he’s okay. I didn’t even know he was hit by a car on Saturday until today. I’m just so glad that I didn’t hear that I needed to be at his funeral rather than seeing a post about therapy and finding out he had been hit. I’ve lost too many friends in the month of November before, there’s no way I could handle adding him to that list. I don’t usually allow myself to cry (nor do I really cry often even if I would allow myself) but I’m struggling with tears at the moment. I’m just so grateful that he’s alive and all I want is to see him okay and whole again. I don’t know when he’s coming home but I swear to you that the instant I get to see this boy if he’s better enough to handle my flying at him with a hug it’s happening. I keep telling myself that it’s okay, that he’s okay, but it was just such a close call to losing someone I don’t see nearly often enough. I never would have imagined that he’d make it through living in the woods and nearly being attacked by a bear, living in Spain for a while, and learning how to ride competitively, and come so close to being gone because he was hit by a car on his college campus. It’s just so hard to grasp.

If you’re out there: Keep him in your thoughts please. I just want him to be okay. I’m so worried.

November 18, 2013 / Ang

Another Day, Another Seemingly Useless Appointment…

I don’t understand how my doctors aren’t more concerned with figuring out how to get this under control. To me, it’s top priority.

I don’t want to keep having heart rates as high as 160 just from hanging out in a vertical position. Seriously. 160 is FINE for exercising but just standing? Not at all awesome. I want to be able to do things with my life and in order to do that I need to get things under control.

Nothing is changing with my treatment, though. “Just keep up with salty fluids and your cardiac rehab.”

“Okay, but what about my beta blocker? Why doesn’t it seem to be working yet?”

“If it’s causing nightmares you could consider taking it during the day instead but otherwise I don’t think it matters..”

WHY can I not just get my body to work itself out and why does this not bother my doctors that I’m basically not living a full life as much as it bothers me? It’s at the point where I’m almost annoyed hearing about other people’s symptoms that I ordinarily just blow off in myself and finding out their heart rates AFTER EXERCISE (non-recumbent at that!) are lower than mine just standing. That makes me a terrible person, I don’t like it – but it’s true. I’m annoyed. I cope. You can too. *grumble grumble*