vega sport = vrooom!

Okay, so why the wacky title? Because Vega Sport Energizer gives you the pep you need to GET.MOVING.

vega sport energizerDo I sound like an infomercial?  Or how about Billy May’s replacement? (have you ever seen the auditions for his job? very interesting).

As mentioned in previous posts, my epilepsy meds tend to make me quite sleepy and low on energy.  That coupled with a debilitating bout with depression last year, I’ve gotten in the habit of lots and lots of couch sitting.  I’ve tried numerous products to get myself moving, including some that probably weren’t the healthiest.  You know, the kind that are LOADED with ingredients that nature hasn’t ever heard of – yeah, those.  So, it appealed to me that this was a natural product and plant-based.  I also showed my office mate the package and he is completely natural.  He is/was very intrigued and is taking it with him on his epic bike trip in the next few days.

I first tried Vega Sport Energizer on a regular training run.  I run in the evenings and I didn’t exactly follow the directions on the amount of water to add to the powder.  This was a mistake as it certainly affected the taste.  I will completely admit, I was worried about the flavor.  It’s definitely an earthy flavor and I wasn’t sure this was for me.  For instance, while I like my supplements more natural, I drink my coffee very sweet so these counteracted each other a bit.

check out the ingredients!
check out the ingredients!

I drank it 20 mins prior to working out as instructed.  The boost was very real.  In fact, I could feel it’s effects long into my run, which I wasn’t expecting.  I really needed the energy and Vega Sport came through for me.  On a more recent training run, I decided to half the packet and it seemed to work out for an evening run.  If I could manage to get my booty out of bed in the morning, I think a full packet would be perfect. As it was, I had lots of energy!

I really did feel this way on my run

Next, I decided to try it out for the 25k.  A few years ago when I did the race, I took a gel at the beginning and then two more later in the race.  Gel-sickness set in and it wasn’t pretty.  This time around, I took Vega Sport and also followed the water mixing instructions.  Again, I was very impressed with the results.  Even though I learned my lesson, I still WANT to take a gel at the start of the race.  I’m just not a morning person and while I drink coffee before the race, this only partially helps (I only drink a half cup).  This time around, I had the energy I’ve craved at the start and could evenly space my gels at mile 5 and mile 10.

it's a flower... cause it's plant based!
it’s a flower… cause it’s plant based!

Vega Sport also has Sustain products that I would love to give a go.  I would like to feel more evenly fueled as opposed to certain bursts and then kind of falling with regular gels.  I also think this would really help my pacing.  There is recovery products/drink also that is on my radar but we all know, I am lousy at recovering properly so of course this is lower on my priority list <— please note some of the sarcasm here!

Again, I was really pleased with Vega Sport. I am looking forward to hearing what office mate has to say and unfortunately, I’m posting this before he returns.  So #FuelYourBetter and check it out – I think you will be impressed as well.  I know many people are looking for a different version of fueling and I like this option a lot.  I dig the whole proper prepping of my muscles for what I am about to inflict and ask of them.  Another BIG plus of this product is it doesn’t interfere with my epilepsy.  I’ve tried other things that have made me so wired that a) I could see sounds and b) it was too much for my brain.  With epilepsy, my brain is “easily agitated” so I need to be conscientious about fueling properly and safely. Vega Sport is a win in this category without the side effect of what I call “shaky energy”.

trust me, this is hard to find

Seriously, this is good stuff.  I was able to try out this product for freesies  but I asked to review it since I appreciated what the product contained and promised.  That’s my disclaimer folks…

uncommon running injury part duex

pre and post hand appointment

I liked the symmetry of writing a pre and post doctor appointment about my hand. Especially because it gives me a chance to whine and garner sympathy.  (You can read part one here)

okay, not really

Today I woke up and my hand felt a bit better.  Of course… it’s the day of my appointment.  I’m guessing keeping it somewhat immobile for the last two weeks has been helpful. I did utilize the feeling better aspect to my advantage doing my normal morning routine and this was a mistake since my hand   reverted to its painful state.  I am continued to be overwhelmed by my brilliance.

Nevertheless, this whole week my hand has been really bothering me, coming to a crescendo of pain Wednesday.  I couldn’t even use it to move the mouse around on my computer.  It’s moved toward another part of my hand and my poor pointer finger needs a vacation.  Essentially, my hand is falling apart.  I’m quite happy I caved and scheduled an appointment last week when I thought I was overacting otherwise it would be another long week.  And I’m already getting grumpy about how much it is hurting and the inconvenience of it all.  I’m a great patient. Despite the (wonderful) respite from the pain this morning, I’m keeping this stinkin’ appointment!  Not to mention, after a long work day, it always feels worse.  I can’t really take a sabbatical at this point in time in my career so I’m thinking I need to stick with this plan.

Can you tell I’m waffling and trying to convince myself I still need to go?!

As a kid (and probably still) I was a bit of a hypochondriac.  I was reminded of this by the fam on a regular basis.  This is especially true because whenever I was/am nervous I throw up, which given my anxiety was/is a lot.  So I was sick a lot but not necessarily ill.  After my epilepsy diagnosis among other medical issues, I’ve kind of gotten used to not always feeling very well.  These don’t warrant doctor visits most of the time – or I convince myself of this.  Heck, right before my first big seizure in high school I had been having multiple smaller seizures for a month and a half and I didn’t say anything.  Today, I’m worried the doctor will say one of the following:

1. Hey, you are a big baby. There is nothing wrong with your hand.

2. Well, I can’t find anything soooo, just keep doing what you are doing.

3. Wow – you completely f-ed up your hand. This has been going on a for a month? What is your damage? We need to do surgery pronto.

 

I will use any excuse to include a supernatural gif…

Clearly I operate in worse case scenario mode.

While I hope he will be kind and take my pain into consideration even if x-rays don’t point to a definitive diagnosis, I REALLY am not overstating my discomfort.  I plan on being forthright about this and will NOT downplay what I’ve been going through which is my typical MO when going to the doc.  Example: at my neurologist appointment last year, “oh yes, well I have smaller seizures a here and there”.  Read a few a month, which isn’t normal but I didn’t want to be a pain in the neck. Again, I need to work on my patient skills.

After the appointment and the next day…

Needless to say, I was nervous all day about this.  I woke up at 5 am and wasn’t able to fall back to sleep until 6:30 am.  I seriously considered going for a run but the call of my couch and Investigative Discovery was just too loud.  I’m finding when my thoughts and body are too anxious, tv is the only thing that can calm the nerves.  It’s a good enough solution for now.

Anyway, the outcome:  I’ve partially dislocated my thumb and stretched the ligaments.  Again.  It’s nice to know I have some quality diagnosis abilities!  I got a better brace and have been referred to a hand specialist since this is the second time around.  The doc said “they may want to take care of this now” which apparently means surgery.  Nope.  I firmly believe I can hold off surgery for a few more years and I’m willing to do what it takes.  The brace?  A cast?  No problem!

I feel validated, which is dumb but what can I say?  At least now I know the problem and even though it hurts, I feel I have a game plan.  I do better when I have a game plan!

Happy weekend eve!  I have a race to run tomorrow – good luck on any of your endeavors.

some wkend oopsies

This weekend I made a few mistakes.  I shall detail them for you in hopes I can help you all avoid them in the future.  Also, I’ve included a couple of things I actually got right so I don’t sound so grumpy.

1.  Running – the oopsie:

A) Way overdressed-I was wearing long sleeves & capris.  It was about 65*.  Not a smart plan.

I bet they were as toasty as I was

B) I didn’t bring any water.  I didn’t exactly hydrate all that well during the day so this kicked me in the bum.  Speaking of lack of water, I also did a crummy job with fueling.  For some reason, I didn’t eat much prior to leaving & I was extremely hungry during the run.  By the way, I repeated the hydration mistake on Sunday too and I didn’t have to use the restroom for 10 hours.  Yeah, ridiculous, I deserve to have a crappy run.

C) You know, it would have helped if I had done some decent running during the week.  I have some excuses (of course) but really, I could’ve pushed through on some of those days and I didn’t.  Lame.

2.  Watching lots of teen angst tv – the oopsie

A)  I found a CW series on Netflix & it seriously had some drama.  But I couldn’t pull myself away.  AND there is only one season so I am going to end up disappointed!  Did that stop me?  Nope.  I haven’t quite finished the first season and I’m committed; however it fed into my feeling all emo.  Excellent – this is what I refer to as not the best life choice.

3.  Spending a holiday weekend alone – the oopsie

A)  Ok, so this isn’t an abnormal thing for me but it did make me feel kind of blue.  Needless to say, number 2 didn’t really help with this.

4.  Going to the store when feeling said blueness – the oopsie

A)  I spent $30 on incidentals.  It started with some coconut oil mousse & it blossomed from there.  Then there was this candle warmer thing that I convinced myself I should purchase since it was Easter & I needed a giftie.

What did I do well?  LAUNDRY!  Yay!  Good gravy, my laundry situation was ridiculous!  It really is such an amazing feeling of accomplishment to get it done.  I seem to forget this…  Please feel free to remind me!

Going to the grocery store!  Yes, this does contradict my previous statement but I had two prescriptions to pick up & I really wanted to put off going-like I had for the last two days.  I’m terrible about just getting it done despite it meaning I’m out of meds.  So again, an “I’m proud” moment.

Running. While Saturday’s run was fairly miserable, I did get up & do it.  There was about a mile in there that was enjoyable & so at least there is that.  Then I ran yesterday as well.  Eh…  I started out wearing my old shoes since my Hokas are giving me blisters (more in another post).  Within the first few steps I knew this was a giant mistake and went back to change.  Different shoes helped despite my blisters getting worse.  I am attempting to give myself props despite the runs being lackluster.  Oh!  I did follow some Runner”s World advice!  I read an article about hills and pace. They advised not trying to keep the same pace rather keep the same effort.  It’s difficult for sure but I could feel the difference.

I guess that’s it.  I allowed the feeling sorry for myself-sometimes I think it’s important to just feel the emotions rather than pushing them away.  I also indulged in an alcoholic beverage which may or may not have helped but whatever.  AND I picked out my outfit for this morning.  Not sure why this is noteworthy but I going with it.

With that, I will spare you any further time commitment to my angst.  I hope you had a lovely holiday wkend (if this is your thing) & the beautiful weather that seemed to descend over everyone. I’m CONVINCED we have seen the last if the snow-enjoy!

I’m not one of those people

Breaking news:  this morning I was one of those people who forgot to eat.  Trust me, this NEVER happens.  But I got into work and started working on a project.  And was drinking coffee.  At 11 am, I was suddenly very hungry and realized I forgot to eat my almond/coconut Kind bar.  First of all, this in itself is astonishing considering I love me my Kind bars.  Second, I don’t forget to eat.  This concept is quite odd to me.  Third, it’s probably been 7 years since I last forgot to eat breakfast.  I suddenly feel lost.  WHO AM I?

Why didn’t I eat it straight-away after this realization?  I was meeting my friend for lunch at 11:45 at Panera so there wasn’t really a point.  Although I was nervous that later on I wouldn’t be able to feel full.  This used to happen to me all the time when I didn’t eat in the morning.  I wouldn’t eat until 1 pm or 2 pm and then proceeded to eat the rest of the day/evening.  Whenever anyone asks me how I lost weight in the first place, my answer is always, “I started eating breakfast”.  Really, this changed my eating habits on a permanent basis.

Anyway, back to how I originally started this post.  Not quite sure why I’ve gone all radio silent this past week.  I could blame it on feeling completely exhausted every night after getting home from work.  I could also blame it on some writer’s block.  Then there is the fact I was feeling lazy and falling into a napping habit.  Or because I’ve been taking my meds in the middle of the day in an attempt to make my dosage 12 hours apart.

Hmm… these are all fairly accurate reasons.  So there you go.

Thankfully, these reasons haven’t kept me from running.  I’ve been sticking with my plan pretty well with only a missed run here and there.  Remember – this is good for me!  I did decide to skip the 1/2 this past Sunday.  It snowed the night before (4′) and was a combo of frozen roadways and a freezing morning.  Not to mention, I woke up late and with a headache.  All of these made for running 2 and 1/2 hours seem incredibly less appealing.  I don’t regret my choice although I do feel a bit wimpy.  My treadmill and I are super good buddies at this point.

I also created some art!  I had a bit of help but here is the finished product:

daisy artIt’s hanging in my living room and definitely helps with some necessary color.  Naturally, now all I want to do is CREATE!  I purchased three more canvases in hopes of painting this:

or at least something fairly close
or at least something fairly close

Thank you pinterest, for ever fueling my project endeavors.

Last oddball thing:  for some reason I’ve started saying “oil” in a Southern accent.  I looked for gif or video to help explain this but to no avail.  I think the best way to describe it is, I say “uhl” – I’m not sure where the “o” or the “i” went.  I’m from WA state.

It’s very strange I tell ya.  I have no idea where this came from!

dopey 1/2…this was the real challenge

Saturday morning I woke up yet again at 2-something am.  I was tired, grumpy and nervous.  Since I was feeling blue, my mental game was off as well.  Knowing this, I had some concern about the upcoming Donald Duck 1/2 marathon.

c'mon donald - I need your rebel spirit for this run!
c’mon donald – I need your rebel spirit for this run!

The start line was a different experience than the last two races.  There was still a ton of energy but there was a higher level of seriousness than the other two.  I was back in corral “L” and they went to “P”.  I should have left about a 1/2 hour earlier as I had to stand in line for the buses and then book it to the start line.  Part of this was just a perceived sense of urgency since once I got there this is what I found:

dopey sitting 1/2
everyone was sitting around and I joined in – it was a good idea

All of the races had staggered starts and it was going to be about a half hour before we started (not to mention there was still about a half hour before the start on top of this) so I rested up a bit as well.  As we got closer to the race start, I realized I was starving.  Then it started to rain a bit and it was definitely warmer than the other two days.  See what I mean about being grumpy?

the 1/2 is the first time running through the magic kingdom!
the 1/2 is the first time running through the magic kingdom!

With a bigger set of fireworks (than the other races) we were off!  In some of the literature, it suggested walking almost the whole 1/2 in order to be ready for the full the next day.  I respect this suggestion but I didn’t want to be out there for that long.  I hadn’t been running long before the humidity became more and more pronounced.  I stopped for a pic of the pirate ship

dopet pirate ship
blurry pic but I love my pirate stuff

and of course THE CASTLE!  The 1/2 and the full are the only races where you run through Cinderella’s castle and it is fantastic.  Cheesy?  Maybe but both days I got goose bumps as I ran through main street with the castle in the distance and then actually running through it.  It IS magical!  As are the crowds who line main street and cheer and high-five you as you run through.  I soaked all of this up and it totally dissolved my crabbiness.

I kind of felt like a celebrity!
I kind of felt like a celebrity!

Disney is more than prepared for the heat though and the water stops were aplenty.  In both the 1/2 and the full there was a water stop at almost every mile and a bunch of medical tents.  In preparation for this challenge, I figured the full would be my soul-sapping race.  I didn’t give enough credit/respect to the previous two races and by mile 6, I wanted to be finished.  I was surprised by how my legs were fatigued more than I would have imagined.  My plan was to walk once every mile and I stuck with this plan but man, I was getting tired!

I’m sure a major part of this fatigue was the humidity and heat.  Wow!  Thankfully, it wasn’t overly sunny and there was a breeze that would hit every once in a while – yay!  But I was dripping sweat.  I mean, sweat was dripping from my elbows!  Part of my Dopey costume consisted of arm sleeves.  I pushed these down and tried to use them to wipe my face but the sparkle wasn’t very absorbent!

isn't funny how a shiny medal makes you forget the pain?
isn’t funny how a shiny medal makes you forget the pain?

I started running a bit faster – I ran negatives splits even.  I knew this wasn’t a wise idea, I knew I had 26.2 miles to run the next day and none of this could make me run smarter.  I will say, I drank a water bottle full of nuun and I took water at every station and powerade when I ran out of nuun.  I brought my Honey Stinger gummies with me and ate those as well.  I hit a GU stop and because I was feeling hungry and tired I took a mocha GU.  This did NOT settle well!  At this point, I thought I might throw up, was crazy hot and just ran faster to get to the finish line.

The cool part?  I got to give Minnie a high-five at the finish line!  Oh yes, I was beyond geeked about this and might even buy this picture.  I pushed my epilepsy a bit too much at the end and had to rest after the race.  The funny thing?  I was so bloated when I got back that my stomach was pushing against my tshirt for a little while!  I drank more and more water and thankfully the bloat went away.

dopey 1/2 finish
I was so happy to be done! I didn’t care that I would hurt the next day, I wanted to give it a really solid effort!

While passing mile markers, I used the clock to estimate my pace.  I was doing 13 something per mile.  My goal became a three hour finish time.  Due to my desire to be done and the possibility of regurgitating a GU, I finished in 2:50.  I knew I would probably regret this on Sunday but I had an iced mocha to drink, a nap to take and some food to eat!

this coffee was tough to find but made me feel right as rain!
this coffee was tough to find but made me feel right as rain!

always an adventure

Snow day #2.  I checked the temps at 10 am and it was -10.  Hey, it went up 2 degrees!

I had to take off my gloves and that's when I felt the cold
I had to take off my gloves and that’s when I felt the cold

My mathematically inclined daddio did some math this morning and lo and behold it will feel 100 degrees hotter in FL than it does here in MI.  The actual temp will indeed be 92-95* higher.  Isn’t that weird?!  I can hardly wrap my mind around it.  He is actually concerned about me running these four races.  Epilepsy is temperamental and two of my triggers are dehydration and stress.  I do think the main one I need to be wary of is the dehydration so I’ve been guzzling water and will continue to do so this whole weekend.

fairly accurate description of what my transition will be like

I have one more treadmill run today and then I need to pack.  The Disney hotel I’m staying in has a w/d so I’m not overly concerned if I forget something.  The expo will have everything including the kitchen sink so I have options there too.  I need to make sure I put some spending limits on myself in regards to expo swag.  I can feel the urge to spend already and I’m not even down there yet!

I won’t be doing a ton of extra things while in FL.  Downtown Disney is *free* and there seems to be a lot to see/do down there.  I saw a running store online that offers free gate analysis so I’m going to check that out for sure.  Since I’m a runner who always jumps on the latest bandwagon concerning gear and shoes, I want to try on a pair of Hokas.  Yep, a year and half ago I ran my first marathon in some minimalist shoes – like I said, bandwagon jumping.  Actually, I’ve noticed for a while how my feet hurt after running long distances (they killed during that aforementioned marathon).  I’m guessing this is normal and happens to everyone.  Since I went to a more cushioned shoe, it has improved but not as much as I hoped.  I don’t plan on doing any ultramarathons so maybe these aren’t necessary?  I will ask all of these questions.

this is how I feel about new gear!

I might hit Epcot Thursday afternoon as I heard you can get cheaper tickets after a certain time.  My goal is to make smart decisions financially and physically.  Walking extra mileage in the parks is NOT going to help me any!  Not to mention, no one is going to want to hear me complain at the “happiest place on earth”.

Essentially, I am getting to the frenzied excited stage.  I still have to pack as I mentioned above.  And as I’ve screamed from the rooftops, I hate packing.  Somewhere in my brain, I made a smart decision and went out to start my car this eve before my 5 am departure time.  My car was dead.  Blast you polar vortex!  With the help of a friend we got it started and there was only a mild electrocution (my friend has very good reflexes – thankfully since there was a scary crackling noise!) and I am certain this piece of my car was only for looks anyway.

it doesn't look THAT important
it doesn’t look THAT important

Alright.  Time to stop procrastinating…

release the kracken

I need/want to release the anxiety.  I feel like it’s this beast that lives inside me, growing and I just want to unleash it so it runs away.  My anxiety is my personal kracken!

yep

Months ago, my neurologist told me some of my anxiety was probably habitual.  In the appointment I nodded my head and acted like I believed her.  In my mind I scoffed and felt she was feeding me a line.

I will say, I’ve thought about this (<— huge shocker considering my over-analyzing ability) and while it gained merit in my mind, I had no idea what to do with this.  How do you stop yourself from feeling anxious?  It sounded like an old wives tale; you know where some of it is based in fact but for the most part it has been embellished.

I’m not sure I know what this ^ means either

Last week my friend (thanks Larissa!) sent me a link to this article, “Mentally Strong People:  The 13 Things They Avoid”.  The author talked about the habits of what make people mentally strong as per clinical social worker/writer, Amy Morin.  I was immediately intrigued and read through it.  There was some good info there and I began to think of how I could put it into practice.

One of the suggestions was to stop negative thoughts.  My MO is to rehash an issue or interaction until I’m blue in the face.  Typically I do this out loud and it definitely gets me all worked up and out of sorts.  So, this past week when I started doing this and caught myself I say “Stop”.  It works.  I know!  I’ve found when I realize I am doing it, put an end to it I can stop turning it over and over in my brain.  I recognize it quicker than I thought I would, which also helps.  They say it takes 21 days to form a habit (or rid yourself of one) so I have 7 days under my belt.

Another one was releasing whatever it is that is vexing you when you no longer have control over it.  For instance, on Friday I had a project due.  I’ve been working on and coordinating this project that involved a couple of different offices aside from mine for about two months.  It had to go well.  A half hour before it was supposed to start I was going through my mind to make sure I had everything in place, that I had done everything I could and what I would say when clearly it was going to bomb.  Again, I said “Stop” and then said out loud “there is nothing else you can do at this point.  It will go over and if there is a mistake you can fix it.”  Ahhh… I was still nervous but recognizing my control had limitations and letting it go helped.  I also minimized the project’s ability to make or break me – yep, I took away some of its power.  By the way, my supervisor for the project got pulled out at the start of the meeting so I did it on my own and it went well!

I realized my neurologist was right (haha, this sentence is funny because you know, she’s smart!).  Some of this is definitely a habit and anxiety I create from my own actions.  I understand better how behavior modification can work.  There is still the anxiety that I  can’t control.  I don’t even realize it’s alive and well until I have a dizzy spell or a panic attack or I have shakey hands.  I have a doctor’s appointment to discuss this but I do like this all-encompassing plan of action.  It feels good taking control of aspects of it rather than depending on some chemicals to do all of the work for me.

actions plans feel like this

I recommend the article.  Even if anxiety isn’t part of your daily life, it has solid points and suggestions.  I like that it gives real ideas rather than “just meditate”.  Meditation is important but for me to get to that zen-y state means I need to clear my head a bit.  I feel the above actions are a path to this.

P.S. I pretty much love the Falcor-unicorn-rainbow action above

body don’t fail me now!

I’m out of internet detention!  Internet silence was the lovely product of being booted off the network until my computer could pass a virus scan.  It wouldn’t pass and it wouldn’t download the lovely newest definitions.  THEN – it finally worked!  Yay!

Truth be told, last week was a rough week.  I’m certain there was a variety of anxiety going on in my brain and in my body which led to all of the mishaps but since some of it is subconscious I don’t always realize it.

1.  Mad panic attack on Tuesday morning as I wrote about.

2.  Wednesday general day of feeling unwell.

I guess I wasn’t fully aware of it?

I attempted a run on Wednesday and failed with flair – again, as I wrote about last.  Thursday rolled around and I had high hopes my dead-leg run from the day before would be vindicated with something akin to the feeling of Christmas morning as a kid.

It did not disappoint… until the end.  It was chilly but I have kick ass winter running gear.  In fact, I did the math.  I was wearing approximately $400 worth of gear (including shoes/iPod) which was just plain ridiculous.  I know I sound like a bragger-mcgee and I’m not trying to!  Thankfully, I didn’t pay that much since I shopped end of the season sales in years past.

thank you, thank you – I tried to dull my pride a bit!

Anyway, the run was great and I felt really good.  I didn’t look at time, listened to my updated running mix and really enjoyed running outside and feeling strong.  I was maybe a mile from finishing and I had a really bad dizzy spell.  I practically fell down zig-zagging across the street and I’m sure if someone saw me they laughed because my arms flailed as I tried not to hit the pavement.  These “dizzy spells” are my small seizures.  Adrenaline and endorphins allowed me to finish the run, go to a work event and act like my normal self… for about one hour then I was exhausted.

Friday I spent the day nursing a wicked headache; it was very migraine-esque.  By the end of the work day though, I felt better and was still able to help at another work event and then go out with friends.  These last two probably weren’t the best plans of action but there has been a lack of fun night time activities as of late so I went.  Actually, I would have stayed home the whole day but I promised to celebrate my friend’s birthday.  I wouldn’t feel right resting up during the day and then getting my groove back out on the town the same evening.

I kind of wonder if all of the negative energy just built up and then my brain fritzed out – no, this isn’t a scientific explanation but it’s the best way for me to describe it.  It’s clear to me I need to get a better handle on this aspect of my health since the consequences are quite unpleasant (and possibly dangerous).  I also realized there were warning signs the whole week and while I recognized there was something amiss, frankly I attributed it to my imagination.  Completely silly.

I’m not sure how to avoid this in the future.  How do you stop anxiety from building up if you aren’t even aware it’s happening?  Or the better question, when the anxiety is present how do you know when you’ve reached the boiling point?  Seriously, I gots nothin’ on this one.

Talking with a good friend of mine today, she said it seemed that the anxiety is getting worse.  I agreed.  It was nice to hear that someone else thought so too and I wasn’t imagining it (ha! I guess I don’t trust myself in this arena!).  So, I will be calling the doctor to see what steps I can take from here.  I’ll keep you updated in case someone else is going through this.  Also, if you know of something helpful please share!!

happy? me?! YES!

I wrote this yesterday!

Oh great scott – how is it only Wednesday?!  For the last two days first year students and their families took over campus.  It’s a really exciting time and I would greet it with open arms if it weren’t for the month of training that happens prior.  At this point I greeted them with limp-y arms and a big smile.  That’s what exhaustion looks like:

When I was hanging out with friends on Saturday, one of them remarked how I seem much happier than I have in a long time.  It was so nice to hear.  I am feeling happier!  The stress (rashes, teeth grinding, eating) isn’t pleasant but it doesn’t always denote unhappiness.  For at least the last year however, the stress and unhappiness have gone hand in hand.  Which of course, created more stress, more unhappiness and more anxiety.

and more eating – boo

I’ve been feeling happier for a little over a month now.  Honestly, this feels kind of odd to talk about but it’s true.  I bounce back from grumpy moods faster, don’t descend into “pits of dispair” and no longer consider getting out of bed to be my biggest accomplishment of the day.  Yay!

The interesting thing about being happier is realizing a) how unhappy I was b) that there was something I could do about it and c) that some of my current behavior is habitual.

a) My unhappiness was deep.  It was one of those where even when I was having happy moments it couldn’t out-feel the sadness inside.  A lot of it had to do with my mom and healing/time have played a role in this journey of “recovery”.

b) I didn’t know my epilepsy meds were effecting me so much.  Now that I am 6 months into the med switch, I’ve noticed a HUGE difference!  Being on the old meds, along with my own brain chemicals (depression/anxiety) were a combo that I couldn’t fight.

c) So yay!  Happier!  Now, I need to get back to routines I had before that were uplifting.  As I started drowning the following started happening – afternoon (2 hour naps) everyday, calling in sick for work due to depression and sickness, avoiding friends, increased anxiety, staying up really late, watching endless hours of tv, poor eating habits, no energy to run – there are more but I can’t think of them.  The problem is, some of these have become habitual.  I need to break up with the bad habits and now that I’m feeling better I’m working to make it happen.

I like feeling happier.  I got used to feeling crappy so I am not even sure what to do with myself.  It’s like when I had gallstones.  I was sick for a year and half and would get gallbladder attacks (seriously, I thought my body would explode) every couple of months.  I assumed the-always-sick feeling was just me.  After the surgery, I felt AMAZING!  I didn’t even know I could feel that good.  It’s like that now.

I do think my personality/person has been changed on a permanent level.  I don’t think it’s a bad thing.  I am more introverted and more accepting of myself.  I can admit I have anxiety and ADD.  And I’m learning to work with all of these.  It’s kind of liberating and I am happy I am making changes in myself because I want to and not because someone else wants me too.  Hmm – that’s good.  I’m going to put that on a pillow!

I used up all my smartness by 9:15 am

Yesterday, I saw a few blog posts for What I Ate Wednesday.  At first I was so confused – why were they posting that on a Tuesday?  It took me about 15 minutes to figure out it was Wednesday.

Tuesday I looked for my keys for 10 minutes before I found them… in my hand.

I completely forgot I had a dentist appointment this week, an appointment with my neurologist and an appointment with my regular doctor.  Thank goodness they do reminder calls!

This whole week I was really struggling with spelling.  Now, I’ve never been a spelling rock star but this week I was misspelling very simple words.

I bought Cheez Whiz at the store today.  Okay, you caught me!  This was totally on purpose!  Mock Philly Cheese Steaks NEED Cheez Whiz.

Needless to say, I’ve been super flakey this week.  But not without reason – 12 hour days at work, no naps (eek!) and earlier mornings than usual has certainly done a number on my brain!  You know what’s interesting?  Two appointments ago, I told my neurologist I thought I might have some brain damage because of seizures.  She asked why I thought this, especially because I haven’t had as many as others.  I explained I forget things, my words get mixed up and I can’t remember what I was saying mid sentence/thought and a few others.  You know what she told me?  Take out the med factor, most of it is because of multitasking.

She said she has had a number of patients come in and ask if something was wrong with them because of similar “symptoms’.  It all comes down to multitasking.  She explained our brains don’t have enough time to commit things to long-term memory so we forget them.  Or our brains are so fractured into different thoughts, duties, worries, good memories – whatever, that we can’t always grab what we are looking for.  Isn’t that crazy?  Here is my PSA – stop multitasking!  At least try to slow it down.  Trust me, this is a difficult habit to break (oh – did anyone else just sing Chicago’s Hard Habit to Break?!), but I’ve been working on it.

3dae623257af6caf5c593c4aca7a94a0Of course there are going to be times when we don’t have a choice.  But looking for opportunities to diminish your multitasking will help figure out when it’s important/necessary and when it’s simply habitual.

This week I haven’t been able to stop multitasking and it shows.  My brain doesn’t feel good and I was in a meeting talking and then essentially stopped mid sentence because I had no idea how to complete my thought.  Luckily, I work with understanding co-workers who have been in similar situations at some point in time; still I felt like a dodo!  Not to mention, I think multitasking exasperates my anxiety – does this happen with anyone else?  I used to think it was the opposite, the more I get done at once the better I felt!  Nope, no bueno Aimers!

I guess this has turned into another “advice” post.  Part of it was triggered by my flaky week.  I also talked with my neurologist yesterday and she wants me to deal with stress better.  She is a total kick in the pants – in fact, our first session together she told me I was a “glutton for punishment”.  I love this.  I completely trust her opinion and try to follow her suggestions as closely as possible.  Maybe some acupuncture?  Maybe figuring out how to worry about important things but not the unimportant?  Aside from exercise – how do you deal with stress?  Ultimately, I want to give my brain a chance!!  Let’s do it together – give our brains a chance!

P.S.  Another PSA:  don’t look up “multitasking gif”… I promise you will regret it.

Another P.S.:  Brain Game!!  Try it – it was tough!