My Two Favorite Dorks

My Two Favorite Dorks

Saturday, February 9, 2013

February Update

In general, life is really really good right now. Work is going better than ever, my lung health has been excellent, I have finally gotten back to yoga! and we have been making a lot of trips up to the mountains.

On the flip side, my back/leg problem has once again become a daily pain maintenance issue for me. We have also been learning to live more frugally and I am trying to tackle what I consider to be some ongoing personal demons with a new therapist. That's it in a nutshell!

Work has been incredibly fulfilling, and very busy. I just had my mid-year review (and my 5-year anniversary, coincidentally!) and I feel more than ever now how my personal goals align with those of the departments I work for and the organization as a whole. I continue to do a lot of writing and web work (my passions) and I have a couple of projects in the works. Most importantly, I am creative, ingenuitive and able to use my web/writing talents at work and I am very appreciated by all of those around me. Oh, and we moved into a new office space which is an incredibly cool, hip environment to be working in on the American Tobacco Campus in Durham.

Pictures of the American Tobacco Campus - a renovated area of 1950s tobacco warehouses that were abandoned in the 1980s. The original buildings have all been renovated and a central courtyard area has a man-made river and a grassy area where concerts are put on during the summer. The Tobacco district is right across the street from the minor league baseball team the Durham Bulls. ATC's most famous resident (to me) is none other than Burts Bees!

The current story of my lungs has a couple of facets. I have been lucky enough to not catch any viruses lately. Because I was feeling good, I decided to start tapering my elevated dose of Prednisone a few months ago (I had been at 20 mg/day since August and my baseline is 10 mg/day.) Also, about 4-5 weeks ago I started keeping track of calories again to lose a few pounds and that has made me increase my exercising a lot (so that I can eat more than I otherwise could.) Because of my increased exercise and (an initial surprise to me) my lowering Prednisone dose, my back/leg again started giving me trouble. I guess I didn't realize how much the Prednisone had been helping my herniated disc issue.

I once thought my disc issue would get better, but I now know it is going to be something I have to live with forever.
In response to this, I am trying to do my PT exercises (or core work) every 2-3 days; icing; and I am back on a (relatively) lot of pain medicine (Alleve, Tramadol and the muscle relaxer Soma are all a part of my daily routine.) I am currently at 12.5 mg/day of Prednisone and, honestly, I don't see how I'm going to be able to get any lower than that. I might even have to go up - I will talk to my lung doctor next week when I see him about this trade-off I am experiencing.

After several months of "restorative," "yin" and "relaxing" yoga classes, I decided to try a normal yoga class in January. I was very careful and made a lot of modifications. Fortunately I have been doing yoga long enough that I can participate in a class without feeling the need to be competitive. (Yoga teachers always say "it isn't a competition - do what is best for your body!" but I don't care what anybody says, that is a hard lesson to learn.) Anyway, the regular yoga class was GREAT and I had absolutely NO adverse effects from it! I was thrilled, and since then I have been going to 1-2 classes per week. I am also starting to do a pilates class because that will give me core work (like my PT exercises) without having to do my same old exercises at home. Boring!!

Pilates, like yoga, is done on a mat. But the focus is on your core muscles, or the muscles that hold your spine in place.

On another topic, we cancelled our Europe trip that we were going to be going on with a group of friends in March. We have spent a LOT of money on dental work over the last year...we need a new fence...there are always unexpected things that come up...we need to get in a better place financially. I am happy to report that I have been very disciplined in only spending money on things that I need for the past several weeks. My tendency otherwise is not to run out and buy things just for fun, it is getting into this state of mind where I am always thinking, "what do we need right now?" or "what does the house need right now?" while I am out running errands. And then I end up thinking of things we don't necessarily need (now) or putting myself in situations where I find irresistible bargains...  So I am working on that.

I have also started seeing a new shrink. My old shrink just didn't challenge me! Also, he is close to my old office but not close at all to my new one. The new woman is in Raleigh, and sees patients on my day off, so I hope that she will work out.

Mountain house: I would be lying if I didn't say that in all the difficulty of being in and dealing with the mountain house (where Todd's dad lived, he passed away in August...) it also has been a lot of fun to clean, straighten and organize the house into a place of our own. We have been going up there about once a month. We both really like it. It is so enjoyable to be there.

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