My Two Favorite Dorks

My Two Favorite Dorks

Thursday, January 20, 2011

"There is beauty in an organized closet."

TNC's Green Swamp Preserve in Brunswick County - visited during our trip to Holden Beach last weekend

To tell you the truth, I've been a little lost lately for what to blog about. Or maybe I was just saving all my thoughts up for one big moment.

Things with me are going really, really well. I am back to doing some kind of yoga or exercise almost every day, I am cooking more than ever (and trying new things, too), I have gotten a lot of long-overdue straightening and organizing done around the house, and I am working a ton.

At work I have been in the midst of a large project for a while now, migrating The Nature Conservancy's state chapter website to a new platform. It has been an incredible amount of work, and especially this month as I am trying to wrap things up. It's been really good - the work is very rewarding. The website is my baby! I have had a bit of help, but largely it has been just me choosing pictures, editing text, adding links, and updating content. And I want it to look the best it can for when it goes live mid-February.

Today I am taking a day off. It is the first work day I have not worked in many weeks. It is much needed and feels nice. Hockey game tonight!

But anyway... When I last wrote I believe that I had a lingering sinus infection even after I had stopped antibiotics. I went to the ENT and was set to start on some antibiotic nasal rinses after my culture results came back when - miraculously - the infection cleared up. Just goes to show that time (and patience) is the best medicine sometimes.

About that time, in late December, with much of my sick leave used up, I decided to apply for FMLA (Family Medical Leave Act - protects your job when you are out sick for an extended period) for the coming year at my boss' suggestion. Not that anyone at my office would fire me, but I work for a large organization, and we don't want to raise any flags with the higher-ups. So I did it (special props to my doctor who finished the paperwork the night before his two week trip to Ireland for the holidays!) And I was denied. Turns out there is a federal mandate that you have to work 1,250 in the previous 12 months to qualify, which means working ~25 hours/week. (This is absolutely crazy to me...if anyone needs FMLA it is me; I am only working 20 hours/week right now and working much more than that would be difficult.)

I decided, with my boss' approval, to up my hours to 25/week. This is good for a number of reasons: I have too much to do in 20 hours at my job (especially right now with the website stuff); if I need to go on disability, it is better that I be working as close to full-time as possible; it will allow me (eventually) to take on more at work, further securing my value as an employee; and the extra money is nice, too. Because I am not willing to give up my day off (need that day to rest and for appointments, phone calls, etc.), that may mean a couple of hours working at home each week. But that is okay with me.

But this extra work time means sacrifice elsewhere. After all, I only have so much energy each day. It means that social time is even more limited during the week, and I'm trying harder than ever to get to bed earlier. One thing that has been good is that I have been experimenting with doing exercise instead of (rather than in addition to, like before) my mid-day treatment. It saves about an hour of time. I can't say the two are always equivalent, but if I exercise and make an effort to get some good coughing in, I feel no worse for the wear come my evening treatment.

The only complaint with my lungs right now is a persistent wheeze that worsens when I exercise (I'm also having pain when I exercise vigorously.) The wheeze was really mystifying me. I'm still on an elevated dose of Prednisone (I haven't been able to get lower than 10 mg/day) from my last exacerbation, which should stop me from wheezing. But I think I finally figured out what is causing it. I ran out of my Singulair a month ago or so. Now that I have started back on it (just today), we will see if I improve. I hope so, and that I can again continue to ween off the Prednisone.