Welp, a lot has happened since my last non-book update, hasn’t it? For one thing, the world has changed irrevocably and, as they say, turned completely upside down, but I’ll get to that. Here’s a brief update on what’s happened since that last post:
As part of the IBS Audio 100 program that I’m doing, the author asks that you rate your symptoms before starting, at the 27-day mark, and then again at the 100-day mark. After I completed the first 27 days, I decided that I should probably actually track my symptoms every day since I was mostly going by how I felt that week (which was fine), but I didn’t really have an overall sense of what I was feeling. There are a couple of apps specifically for IBS, but the one I chose is Cara because it’s pretty comprehensive.
Right, so, I have been tracking my symptoms and food for 38 days now, and here’s what I have discovered:
- I am always stressed out
- I always have a headache
- My stomach always hurts/is bloated
The last one wasn’t that big of a surprise since that’s why I’m using the app in the first place. No, the big surprises for me were the first two. First of all, how am I stressed out EVERY DAY even right now when I’m on vacation? Second, I thought my headaches were under better control than that.
Wow, so much happened in the past week that I don’t know where to begin.
1. The big thing is that the semester ended! I gave final exams, I graded graded graded and then graded some more.
My friend sent me the end of semester bingo card from social media, and I asked her if every square could be “Grading until you cry” and “more grading.” Because that was my main mood.
Oh, and also this:
`I was going to try to write a separate IMWAYR (It’s Monday! What are you reading?) and Slice of Life Tuesday post, but then I realized I haven’t worked on my NaNoWriMo project in a week and also the thought of opening the editor to post again wore me out, so I’m just back to my once a week post instead. It’s probably better for everyone this way.
At any rate, for the past few days, I kept considering canceling my Thanksgiving Day plans so that I could sit on the couch and feel sorry for myself, so I should have known I was about to have/in the middle of a flare up. It has been pretty bad in that it’s not more terrible than usual but in that I had some symptoms I hadn’t had before, which left me feeling pretty awful last night–bad enough that I went to the doctor today. Turns out it’s probably gastritis. So I am treating that (or will be once my prescription is filled), and, if it doesn’t clear up within a week, I get to make an appointment with the gastroenterologist.
While I was dealing with all of that today, I also got tickets to a taping of The Price Is Right in December, so, you know, that’s one way to turn your day around.
So, the delightful Jenny from Reading the End has started Something on a Sunday to celebrate wins (no matter how big or small) in an effort to help temper or at least relieve some of the intense anxiety, anger, and/or pain a lot of us have been feeling lately.
Rules, man. Here they are:
The only guidelines are that you write about something that kept you on your feet that week, whether that’s a person that inspired you, an action you took that you’re proud of, a book or movie or TV show that nourished your heart, a self-care strategy that worked for you, a goofy event or moment that brought you joy. Whatever it is, every Sunday, I want you to tell me something that matters to you. If you don’t have enough energy for a post, tweet it at me (you can use the hashtag #SomethingonSunday).
My something for this Sunday is this here acupressure mat.
That, and sobriety from ibuprofen. I wish I were joking about the latter thing, but I’m not.
So I was looking at my sandals that are beat all to hell, and I realized that they are in such terrible shape because they are so well-worn and well-loved.
When I started grad school, I lived in a cold climate, and I kept having issues with my right ankle. The ankle issues weren’t exactly new–I’ve had problems with my legs for years. When I was younger, it was attributed to growing pains. But I knew, for instance, at a very young age to elevate my leg if it were giving me trouble. I can vividly remember spending the night at my friend’s house (when I was 9? 10?) and being in tears because my ankle hurt and having to elevate it to go to sleep.
Right. So not new to ankle pain.
Anyway, I thought it had been acting up because of the cold, but it was bad enough that the doctor prescribed me orthotics. The orthotics were all well and good until I moved to the balmy clime of Florida, land of the flip flop and sandal. Oh, and I could no longer blame the cold for my ankle issues.
More doctor visits, and this time I was instructed to get some sandals/shoes with good support. More specifically, it was recommended that I get some Birkenstocks.
Doing so changed my life. I can teach in my Birkenstocks and not be in pain at the end of the day. This is HUGE. I can also walk around theme parks without wanting to throw in the towel before the day is over.
It’s pretty great.
It also showed me that I had to invest in good footwear. My personal budget for footwear was around $50-60, and that was for sneakers. I never wanted to spend more than $20 for sandals. And that was a lot! And it also meant no more flip flops. Or whatever other super flat sandal is in style and adorable and that I want. But to kick it back to yesterday’s letter A post, I had to accept that those types of shoes would not serve me. Even if they would look amazing.
So, yes, I am grateful for Birkenstocks, the sandals that helped save my ankle.
For the Blogging from A to Z Challenge this year, my theme is gratitude. Every day, I am going to post about something I am grateful for. Tune in tomorrow to see what I pick for C.
This weekend, I had the opportunity to sit with two groups of people, and we spent 20-30 minutes talking about different foods and the gastric distress they now cause us. You know, foods we once loved that no longer love us back.
I was struck by two things during these conversations:
1. Everything starts going downhill at 35 (or 33, I guess, depending).
2. I am officially an old person.