Adventures of a MathBrat

Random Things I Find Energy To Blog About

Death of a Treadmill And Also How to Earn Bath Bombs

Yesterday after procrastinating several hours, I finally made myself get onto my treadmill. Two minutes into my warm up, it died. Like full on treadmill death. No power. I checked all the things. I tried plugging it into a different outlet. I hit the reset button a thousand times. I made sure the magnet thingy was clean. I tried multiple combinations of these things as if I was troubleshooting internet connection problems. Nothing.

I spent $300 on that treadmill at a Walmart in Wappingers Falls, NY about ten years ago. It has moved with me to six different homes! I definitely got more than my money’s worth out of that thing. This was still very disappointing, though. I had just that morning been able to make $300 space on my Amex. August was a very painful month in the financial sense, and I was really proud of myself for all the extra baking I did to help try to fix that. And then, poof! No more treadmill!

A little more backstory as to why it mattered so much that my treadmill would die on this specific day… Ever since a foot injury got me off track last Labor Day, I have struggled with momentum. I got it back again over the summer at my daughter’s house, but when I got home, I got hit by an enormous mental something-or-other that got me back off track. I have been fighting to get it back but also rebelling against it for weeks. I lost all of the momentum and progress I worked so hard for in the desert (my daughter’s house), and I know how much my mental health improves when I stick to it, but it has still been a battle!

Friday, when I got home from driving home from Niagara Falls (after an amazing 3-day last hoorah of summer I will never forget!), I wanted to soak in a hot bath with my special, all-natural, Karin-friendly bath bombs. But I only have the ones for chest congestion and head colds. I am out of all of my wonderful, relaxing bombs. I reached for my phone to order them, and an idea struck. While I feel like I “need” them, I really don’t. And August money problems have helped me to think a bit more before I buy, so a plan was hatched. I decided I would “earn” my bath bombs.

At the advice of a really awesome friend, I use an app called todoist. I created a project in the app called, “earn bath bombs on 8/23.” I set up Saturday through Friday with at least one chore (another area I’ve been slacking in) and one exercise. If I complete them all, I get to order the bath bombs after I complete the last task on Friday. While setting this up, I remembered it takes about six weeks to form a habit (maybe why three weeks in the desert were not enough), so I am going to set up new projects every Friday for things I “need” but do not truly need (two new work outfits, comfortable shoes for work that are more comfortable than the ones I have now that work perfectly fine, stuff like that).

So…. Yesterday…. Sunday…. just the second day into my week of earning bath bombs, the treadmill breaking while it was 90-degrees outside kind of mattered!! A LOT!

Once I confirmed the treadmill was in fact dead, I convinced a very angry man to help me get it down a full flight of stairs and onto the sidewalk where someone came and got it and gave it a new home in less than an hour. I had to convince this same angry human to take me to the store I hate more than anywhere else on earth (walmart, because he has a walmart credit card we keep a zero balance on for emergencies) to buy a new treadmill “right now.” Then, I had to endure walmart! By this time, I at least convinced him to please stop being mean to me and to help me through this with less stress. Although, I think the only reason he really stopped being a complete jerk to me was I hit my head pretty hard after getting the treadmill outside, and it scared both of us, because of my brain injury. But, whatever, at least I didn’t have to deal with his attitude at the same time I was trying to not freak out about being at walmart.

Everyone I know says their walmart is the worst on the planet. I have lived in several states and far more cities than most anyone I know. I have been to MANY walmarts all over the country. The one here is THE WORST!!!! It isn’t the store itself that is the problem. It is the people who shop there. They are so disrespectful and awful and tear the place apart like savages. It is insane.

I couldn’t find an employee anywhere near the treadmills, so I called the store on my cell and told the person who answered where I was in the store and that I was there to buy a treadmill. A few minutes later, I got two people from the management team and a rolling thing meant to cart out big, heavy objects. They were able to help me on the register right there with no line. Unfortunately, this is the moment we discovered the walmart card was closed by the bank due to inactivity. We haven’t had a true emergency requiring us to use it in over a year, so they closed it. I am sure they probably sent us mail about that, but due to my brain injury, mail is a big challenge, and I completely missed this.

So here we are at walmart with the treadmill loaded on the cart thingy, ready to go, and no way to pay for it. So I let out an enormous sigh at the universe and used my amex card. SIGH!!! Just that morning I was so proud of myself for making $300 space, and I made a promise I would keep it that way. I never make promises, but I felt like I should and could that morning, and not ten hours later, I was breaking that promise. SIGH!!!

To make bad matters worse, the entire reason I even set foot in walmart was because of having a walmart card. If I was going to use my amex, we could have gone to Dick’s or anywhere else other than walmart. But the treadmill was on the cart, and it was a very similar one to what just lasted me ten years, so I swallowed my frustration and went with it.

Thanks to my ability to think outside the box, we were able to get the treadmill loaded into the SUV (see my video on twitter) and get it home and up an entire flight of stairs (full flight, not the half flight most houses have). I assembled it and was on it and finished with my run all within 2.5 hours of my first treadmill breaking! (I was determined!)

Other things of note:

The new treadmill has shorter handles, so that means I can push it back into the closet further and still be able to get onto it. My previous one I couldn’t push all the way back in, because the handles would be in the way for me to climb on. This new one provides me an extra foot of space in my bedroom! 🙂

img_6117 Also, it is iFit compatible, which is fun for when I want to relive running the long bridge in Sandpoint, ID. Although, I quit using iFit a long time ago, so we will see.

On to the money part and some exciting news!!! I called my health insurance company, because a coworker told me I could use $150/year on things like treadmills or sneakers or anything for fitness. I called and found out my coworker was incorrect, but….

I can get $150/year for my yoga studio membership! I do not pay for my membership with money. I barter with her. She eats at my restaurant for free, and I attend her yoga classes for free. It works out perfectly for both of us. So, these insurance forms…they only require I show that I have been a member for four months at the time I request reimbursement. So, in December, I can request $150 for 2019, and then in May I can request $150 for 2020, and my treadmill has been paid for!!! And as a result of this phone call (I super hate making phone calls), I now know I can file again every May after that. So May Day = Pay Day is going to be in my head to remember to file each year.

After looking at bills last night, I was able to send amex $100. I am expecting $246 for doughnuts tomorrow, so I can send at least $100 again on Wednesday as long as nothing else unexpected happens! I am going to have to make it my mission to keep freeing up as much space as I can, because that $600 emergency walmart card no longer exists!

But yeah. I have a new treadmill. Hopefully this one will last as long as my last one did.

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I am Basically a Criminal Now

I’ve been looking for a black hoodie I might actually like for about a year now. For whatever reason, the lightweight style I want seems to be elusive in being both black and fitting my frame at the same time. I can find black. I can find lightweight hoodies that fit my frame. I cannot find black, lightweight hoodies that fit my frame.

Today, I was wearing this fleece cardigan yoga sweater/jacket/shrug thing that I LOVE. It’s a cream color and is sooooooo soft! I wear it often. It comes down to my knees in back. I don’t know how to describe the awesomeness of this cardigan.

It dawned on me today I might be able to find this cardi in black and end my search for a black hoodie, cuz this could meet my black hoodie needs. So I went to google, typed in the brand and style number I pulled from the tags of my cardigan and searched.

My search was instantly fruitful! I was able to find several of them for $98 each, and I would totally pay that price, cuz they are 100% worth it! However, I found one store had it on sale in their outlet shop online for $39!!! Imagine my excitement!! Until I realized the store that had it for that price is the store I (and my household) are banned from shopping at. Sigh!

I thought I’d check out as a guest, have it shipped to my work and misspell my name enough to avoid detection but not so much people here wouldn’t know to whom it was being delivered. I did all of this and then got to the payment portion of the checkout process and realized no matter how I tried to pay for this thing, the correct spelling of my name would appear, and I’d likely ping something and get into big trouble. But we are talking about almost $50 in savings! So I texted my son-in-law to see if they would order it for me (I’ll be at their house in a few weeks), but he likely won’t see my text for at least five or six hours, and this outlet store sells out of things very quickly (they are completely sold out of the cream color I own).

Seconds after I sent the text, a coworker entered my room to chat. He asked what was up, so I told him and asked if he’d place the order for me, and I’d run home and grab the cash (I knew I had $55 in my wallet at home, and this purchase after shipping and tax was $51). He agreed and did.

So yeah. I am basically a criminal now. I am paying people to shop for me at a store I am banned from.

In my defense, I was banned for excessive returns. Since I already own this in another color, I know how much I love it and that it will never need to be returned. But yeah. I am still the person standing on the street corner outside the store asking people to go in and shop for me.

Also, when I ran home to grab the cash, I found someone still sleeping in bed when the restaurant was due to open in ten minutes. I asked why, and he said he didn’t feel like working today. I am livid! This has been a hot button for some time. It is also one of the reasons I recently provided him when I told him I want a divorce.

I had several really great highs this morning, including finding this black cardigan for $50 and successfully purchasing it outside of the confines of my ban and getting to drive home in the sunshine with the convertible top down, and it all crashed the second I found his vehicle in the garage.

And since I am basically a criminal now, he should be more afraid of pissing me off. But whatever!

If you are curious, here is the cardigan you really want to own. The pic doesn’t do it justice. https://www.threads4thought.com/products/sienna-cardi

Your Little Tushy is Just Perfect!

Tonight I had to go back to my workplace for an event where next year’s freshmen and their families come learn more about our high school program. When the event was over, I needed to speak with a coworker about something, and I had her follow me to the room where the “something” I needed to speak to her about was located. Once there, she said to me, “I just want to tell you, your body is rocking! Everything is in the right place and looking tight. Your little tushy is perfect!” (She said this while curving her hand in the air as if to indicate the shape of my butt.) “I didn’t want to say this to you in front of everyone, but it is very noticeable.”

I told her I have not lost any weight but that I am just trying to keep my exercise up. What I didn’t tell her is how much my routine has dropped and suffered since my foot injury in early September (just after the school year started). I’ve very recently been trying to get my old routine back and have been failing miserably. So her encouragement was very well-timed.

If you follow me on twitter, you know I am on Day 18 of a 30-day ab challenge. I’m not yet noticing a physical appearance difference, but I am noticing a lot more strength, and I suspect now that two different people have just this week commented on my physique (and both these people saw me back in September when my physique was much tighter), my posture has likely improved, because I do not really see much change in how my abs look yet, and the waistband on my pants fits the same as it did three weeks ago. This convinces me that I am just carrying myself better, and that is what is showing.

Anyway, we got talking about all kinds of things. We are within one year of each other in age, and she has been dealing with some peri-menopause issues, and she knows I deal with life naturally and was wondering about herbal or natural ideas. I told her I love the hot flashes, so I am not much help there. I learned that if I sleep in a tee, I won’t soak the sheets with my in-between the boobs sweat, and she laughed, because that particular sweat wakes her up too (her boobs actually touch each other, so I don’t know if that works for her or against her, but it’s funny we can be such different sizes in that area and be producing the same amount of sweat from the same spot every night). I shared with her a bunch of the tips my sleep doctor gave me for the insomnia, and I demonstrated for her what dynamic planks are, because a really awesome friend taught me those to help with my psoas issues and ended up helping me with being able to keep myself awake until the prescribed bed time so that I am not starting my day at 2-3am every day any more. I still have that happen just before my period comes, but it’s one to two nights, tops and no longer every night as it was before.

This conversation, of course, shifted into talking about brain fog and emotions. And here is where it is hard for me to participate, because the brain injury almost two years ago created an entire new set of brain fog and emotional issues far outside the realm of hormonal issues. This got us talking about my comeback.

I don’t think people realize just how hard I had to work to get back into my job of teaching high school math. I couldn’t subtract 7 from 13 when this happened. I couldn’t even figure out how to work shoelaces! I worked with a cognitive therapist three hours per week and a physical therapist three hours per week (some pt was for upper back and neck, but a lot of it was for the brain injury as well, particularly the vestibulo ocular response). I had to do things like try to put together jigsaw puzzles while listening to a youtube video teach me how to do something while the cognitive therapist made a phone call and then tell her what I learned from the video after finishing the puzzle. I spent hours training my brain back to be able to do my job. I honestly think someone could make some feel-good success-story kind of gushy movie about that part of my journey.

But none of this is new. I’ve told y’all all of this before. The new thing happened when I talked to her about how I ended up losing almost all of my friends. She mentioned how sad that was, and I agree, but people are quick to say my friends should have stuck it out. I disagree. I became a completely different person. And I was incredibly negative and down all the time. My emotions were all over the place, and I could not be present for a conversation. I was staring off into space not absorbing a thing. But what dawned on me this evening while talking to this coworker is that ALL of my effort and hard work went into getting back to work. If I had put that much effort into salvaging my relationships with others, I might still have them. If I had worked as hard on some of the things I lost as I did on getting back to work, I might not have lost them. Now, I know I did not have the energy for more than what I did. It took my all. And by the time I became somewhat functioning again, the damage was done, but I can see I made a choice. I got to choose what area of my life was the most important to get back, and there wasn’t a second of doubt for me that the area I needed back the most was to be back to working my job.

I could have focused my energies on rest and healing and on maintaining relationships and then taken a less mentally taxing job. I chose to work my ass off to get my job back. And while we all agree last year was incredibly rocky, and I definitely went back too soon (not my fault…the school board said November or not until next August, so we had to go November instead of the Jan/Feb the doctor wanted), we all also agree that I am killing it this year. The woman I was speaking to tonight said there is a huge, clear difference between this year’s me over last year’s me. Last year my major goal for my students was for me to be better than a long-term sub would be for them. I definitely accomplished that for them. But this year, they have an awesome math teacher, and I am so grateful!

ps: I went to work twice today. I am exhausted. I am not going to go back and proofread. Please message me if you see anything egregious needing to be fixed, and I’ll fix it tomorrow 😉

I Get Giddy Over the Smallest Things

Okay. So. I haven’t been blogging. I’m not sure why. I’ve mostly been tweeting. And I’m not going to write paragraphs of updates on me here. Pretty much everything is the same regarding lawsuit, foot injury, brain injury, marriage injury, etc. But I am going to write about something I’ve found amusing this week.

Twice this week (and today is only Tuesday), my textbooks have caused me to become giddy. The first one I already tweeted, but I’ll mention it here as well.

I was writing lesson plans for Geometry, and the Pythagorean Theorem is one of the lessons that will be taught this week. The theorem ended up on page 345!! The numbers 3, 4, and 5 form a Pythagorean triple (3-squared plus 4-squared = 5-squared) and is the easiest PT to remember. I was ridiculously excited this happened. It’d be like page 314 introducing students to the number pi.

Today, something super fascinating happened! I will have to use a fake name for this story to work and for me not to be giving away a student’s name. So, please pretend I have a student named Alice (I don’t, which is why I chose this name, but I need a name for this story…)

Alice came into my classroom during her study hall time and asked if she could use the teacher book for her math class, because she and some friends working together in study hall were divided on the correct answer. Three people were saying one thing and three another, and they were all convinced they were correct and were not going to budge. Alice wanted my book to solve the dispute. I allowed her to take it.

A short while later, Alice came back into my room and said, “Miss D., do you want to hear something super eery?” Of course I would! So I looked at her with an inviting smile on my face to indicate I was eager for her story. She brought the book to me, and I kid you not about the following:

The problem in the student’s book asked, “What mistake did the student make while trying to solve this problem?” and it showed a student’s incorrect work on a problem similar to the problems they are learning to solve right now. Notice how it refers to the student as “the student.” No name. My teacher’s book in the answer key gave the following answer: “Alice forgot to multiply by a negative.” I freaking kid you not!! (Well, it didn’t say Alice, it said the real name of my real student, but you get the idea.) She looked at me and said, “Miss D, that is exactly what happened! I forgot to multiply by a negative!!”

So yeah. That happened.

And since things happen in threes, I can’t wait to see what my textbooks still have in store for me this week. Stay tuned!

I Was An Avatar Today!!

Today was my running analysis. It was so much fun!

It started with me warning him I would likely need to pee every half hour because of being nervous. I just like to get that out there to start with. I also asked him how his hike was yesterday, and he seemed a bit thrown by that. It was after the look on his face I thought to mention I met his wife the day before when I was at PT, and she told us about how he puts their 6-month old daughter in a backpack for hikes. (There are men like this who exist!!)

He tried to give me a set of directions from the bathroom to the locker to using the locker to meeting him in the room for the test, and I explained to him that my new brain allows me to hold three directions, so he’d had to meet me after the third. He did as he was told and waited by the locker to show me how to use it. (This injury has made me very good at “asking” for help.)

Once I was in the room, I got to meet the biomechanist. She was awesome! She explained to me what she was doing while she was doing it (all above my head) as she glued silver balls to my body, shoes, etc. While she was doing that, he was explaining to me what to expect to be doing during the test.

Long story short, I got to run on this super amazing “treadmill” that felt and sounded like I was at an arcade (a place where people play video games to anyone too young to know what this is). I had to run 5mph while he took video, and she did readings of my 3-D avatar. Then they showed me both.

In one of the videos, I learned that I might need to wear longer running shorts. Oops!

Also, he likes to send one tip home with people before they go, but the rest takes him a long time of viewing and writing, and it will take a couple of days for him to finish his report. So we watched the videos together, and it took him a really long time to come up with his “one thing.” This makes me think I must do pretty well, because something obvious would not have taken long. Nor would something that is common. Eventually, he told me my posture is too perfect. I was completely upright, straight-spined the entire time. He told me this sends all of the work to my knees and feet. He recommended I lean forward just 10-degrees and showed me what that’d look like on the video and said that will help distribute some of the work and lead to less pain.

He also told me when looking at the avatar he was really happy with how my hips don’t follow perfect circles when I run. That leads to repetitive stress in runners. I am more of a fun runner rather than methodical, which is good, because no one part is going to take the brunt of doing the same thing over and over again.

The tests my PT did with me before this test revealed a lot of core weakness. I am annoyed by this, because I was starting to get my washboard back just before I was injured in September, and I know weak core is not what led to my injury. Weak core is a result of the laziness I have embarked on since my injury. Whatever.

So, yeah. I had a lot of fun with this test. Here are some pics he texted me (at my request) after.

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Happenstance

My mood was scary low today. I was dangerously close to staying home and wallowing. I forced myself to do the things on my to-do list that must be done, but that was all finished by 11am. After eating something beyond the coffee and doughnuts I foolishly had for breakfast, I decided to enjoy an infrared wrap while I decided what to do with this beautiful (but super cold) day.

During my meal I had checked weather and other information as I considered driving an hour to the ocean. While sweating in my wrap, I nixed the ocean idea, because as much as I miss the sound of the waves, it’s cold and windy, and there’d be no trees to absorb any of the cold wind.

Even after the wrap I was thinking of staying home, but after my shower I started putting on layers. I’d rather force myself out the door than spend the end of the day regretting allowing blue skies to slip away from me. I bundled up and walked to my car, still not quite sure where I wanted to go.

At the first intersection I was going to turn left to go to the waterfall behind my church, but at the last second I turned right to go to a different waterfall. I thought I’d remember which roads to turn on when I saw them.

I don’t think I made any wrong turns, but it seemed like I may have missed one, so I pulled over to check my map. In doing so, I pulled into a parking area for a section of Rails to Trails I had not yet explored. I contemplated the exchange of waterfall for something I haven’t seen yet, and since I was essentially already parked, I decided to investigate.

I’m so glad I did. There was nothing super noteworthy about this walk, and it was definitely not the type of place I’d choose for a hike, but the terrain is EXACTLY what the physical therapist recommended I find instead of my favorite running spot that causes me to have to hike through a bit rougher terrain. So….. tomorrow on my first walk/jog sequence since September, I now have the perfect place to go.

That’s the good news. The bad news is I froze my butt off!! I wore leggings under warm up pants, a tee under a long-sleeved Lycra shirt that has thumb holes and covers to my knuckles under a thick hoodie under an expensive winter coat with a liner and all of the tri-climate heat-seeking technology to it, thinsulate gloves with mitten covers, thinsulate headband/earwarmer, and a thick scarf. Every part of me except my feet was still freezing, and that was while I was walking at a pretty good pace!

What kept my feet warm? These amazing socks!! (I get zero perks for telling you about this, and I don’t care. My feet were toasty warm.) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07BD3BP6B/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_A7KoCbN5PZ8YK I also had on a pair of New Balance walking shoes. Nothing particularly intended for winter. So A+ for the socks. The rest of me? Way too freaking cold!!

But I still enjoyed being outside. The fresh air and blue sky was much needed. Also, I didn’t think I’d get to see any water, but I did…

Here are my pics (I only took a few, because I wanted to keep my gloves on!):

Now I’m grabbing some spicy Thai food and am either going to read or reconstruct my blanket fort and then read inside of it. I will also have some clean laundry to put away, which is my favorite chore this time of year.

Show Up For Your Kids Regardless of How Old They Get!

The school I teach at has four divisions that enable us to provide education from children of age 3 all the way through 12th grade (our seniors often making it into top schools on academic scholarships). Every year, we have a Christmas concert and also Christmas chapel. I don’t go to the concert, because of all of the perfume that shows up to these events, but chapel happens during my work day, so I have to go to that. One thing I truly love about Christmas chapel is getting to watch the 3- and 4-year olds dressed in their costumes, performing their skits, and singing their songs. It is beyond cuteness!

It is bittersweet. I love watching them. They make me smile super hard. But they also make me miss the days my children were that age. They make me remember my shortcomings and bring to mind all the things I wish I would have done differently. (I did many things super awesome, but those rarely come to mind without me intentionally bringing them to mind.)

The other bittersweet thing about these events, and what has inspired me to write this blog, are the parents. I witness parents of these young children smiling, taking ridiculous amounts of photos, taking time off of work to be here, showing up for their kids. Teaching at a school as unique as mine, I also get to witness that these parents will not be doing this when their children reach the high school years. Very very few of the high school students have parents showing up for all their stuff, taking ridiculous amounts of photos of them, taking time off of work to witness their events. It makes me a little sad. The students whose parents do still do this when they are in high school are the ones from whom we end up witnessing the most success and the happiest attitudes. I get that parents get tired, and high school students become more independent, and keeping up with all of their sports and things can really eat up a schedule, but the difference it makes in their lives to have their parents cheering them on is priceless. It makes me sad that something happens between age 3 and age 17 that causes parents to be less excited and smiley and present for their kids’ stuff. I see them at graduation and National Honor Society induction, but not at a lot of the other things throughout the year. The other things matter too. All of their games. All of their concerts. It all mattimg_8209ers.

Anyway, I need to get to work. I cannot post pics of any students here, so here is a photo of my grandson, the 6-year old in my life, whom if I lived close enough to would see me at every event of his until he has his own children, and then he’d see me at theirs until I die.

A Smile A Hike And A Moment of Deleting All of My Blog Media!

This blog is supposed to be in lieu of live-tweeting my hike, but a lot of stuff happened leading up to the hike, so I guess it’s going to be about most of my day.

I started the day like any other Saturday: making doughnuts before I was fully awake and then waking up to find lots of lots of doughnuts waiting to go into boxes. I was listening to The Book of Joy by Dalai Lama, Desmond Tutu, and Douglas Carlton Abrams, and omg! Such a good book!! I was standing there smiling, laughing, crying while frying doughnuts.

After delivering doughnuts and cleaning up my mess I decided to make another mess while cooking for myself before heading out on errands and a hike. I live-tweeted that so I won’t repeat it here, but it was yummy.

My first errand was the post office to send some books to my instagram fairy! I had posted to twitter I wished I had an instagram fairy for my doughnuts, and the next thing I knew, the bloggess tribe possessed such a fairy who volunteered her services!! It coincidentally turned out she was the same person who was waiting for me to finish reading Good Me Bad Me so I could sell her my used copy, so I’ve decided I am just going to be her used book fairy as a thank you for her being my instagram fairy. So, I had to go to the post office to mail a couple of books today.

The post office line was really long, and it was also a passport day, so it was a bit of a jumbled mess in there. People were mostly patient. I was smiling on purpose, because the book told me to, and it felt good. It reminded me of the day I intentionally smiled my way through the DMV when I moved to CT from NY and had to wait in NINE different lines and go through crazy amounts of paperwork and hassle to get my plates and license changed over. Best license pic I ever had! All because I intentionally smiled at all the people who I encountered that day.

When I was deep into the line, fully committed to see it through and not wait to come back on a different day, a sweet older woman moved up in the line behind me after the guy behind me left. She smiled back at me, cracked my skull open and started punching my brain. (Not literally, but that’s what it’s like when you stand close to me wearing perfume.) This made smiling and committing to the line more challenging. I contemplated sparing myself the migraine and choosing a different day, because there were still around ten people ahead of me. I tried to find creative ways to get cleaner air, and I stayed the course.

My next errand was to the amazon return center in Storrs. Going here only saved me $8.10 on postage, but when I made the choice I did so planning adventure. I figured my headache and nausea would likely pass by the time I got to the hiking trail, so I continued to move forward. Once GPS was locked and loaded, I turned the book on to listen to on the 30-minute drive. When I arrived at amazon, all the parking spots were full, and there were three different cars with hazard lights on in the street, because those people were far more important than all the people whose cars they were blocking and all of the rest of us trying to get around. I didn’t mind a walk, so I went up a couple of blocks and parked there.

At amazon I asked about the nearest restroom which ended up being in this really cool place meant for people waiting for buses. I walked back to my car, and since my headache had not yet passed, I used my starbucks app to see if there was one around. There was one that my maps app said was an 8-minute walk, which would have been fine, but looking at the map, I could tell I need just cut through the parking lot I was parked behind. It ended up being a one-minute walk! So, thank-you, important people who made it so I had to park where I did. That worked out great! 🙂

Around this time, I started feeling intense, emotional pain. There was no circumstance to bring it on. My thoughts were all very positive. It felt hormonal. I did not allow it to change my plans or to direct my thinking into the negative. I continued forward, not really ignoring the pain but also not giving it anything more than acknowledgement it was there.

Next up: hiking! I have a good friend who is great at finding things at the click of a button I can’t seem to find in hours of clicking. So I asked this friend to find me an easy hike somewhere near Storrs. My friend suggested Mansfield Hollow State Park. What an amazing suggestion that turned out to be! I will post photos and video below. I enjoyed it quite a lot. I got a little off track a few times, and the sun set really early today, but it was gorgeous and fun and not too tough for my angry heel. I went three miles, but I took an hour to do it, so I think my heel should mostly be okay.

Once I got home, I ate again and then spent 40 minutes in an infrared wrap and sweat like mad. It was amazing!

Okay, here’s your media from my hike: Enjoy!

ps: While I was waiting for one of my videos to load, I noticed I was at 95% capacity for media storage on this site. So I started command/shift deleting almost all of my media before I finally noticed the warning telling me I wasn’t just removing it out of the holding spot, I was removing it from my posts and that it cannot be undone! omg!! Atlanta Botanical Gardens. Recipe instructions. Before and after hair cuts. Before and after Car accidents. All gone.  Well..nothing I can do about it. sigh. Lesson learned. I’m not going to let it ruin what was an otherwise pretty great day. I almost have to laugh. Can I add that to my list of losses from the brain injury? lol!

 

Crap-itis in My Knee And Needles in My Foot

Before I dive into things, I first want to brag: My PT always starts with the “massage torture device.” It’s quite unpleasant but not unbearable. When it gets close to being too much, I use deep breathing, but I am careful to keep my body still. One of the female PT’s who is a ballerina said she could not handle that device and that she’d be jumping off the table trying to get away from it, and the other PT said the same thing. They were amazed I could sit there so calmly and not even complain. Of course, this made me feel quite proud of myself, especially since as a professional ballerina, the one gal is seriously abusing her feet on a constant basis. I told them I learned to not complain about what Kevin does to me or tells me to do to myself, because when I do what he says, it makes things stop hurting. He will ask me once in awhile during the “massage/torture” how I am doing, and I tell him to do what he’s “gotta” do, and I’ll be fine.

I asked him if it’d break any rules for me to ask him about my knee. He told me to go ahead. I had him feel my good knee as I (seated on the table where my legs were swinging below me) lifted my foot to make my leg parallel to the ground and then lowered it a few times while I said, “good knee….” and then I had him feel my other knee, and he couldn’t even keep his hand there beyond me raising it half way (it’s like Rice Krispies) or even wait for me to say, “bad knee…”, and he said, “crap-itis!” And I was like, yeah, that’s definitely crap-itis! Wait. What? Is crap-itis a thing? He corrected me and said, “crepitus.” I asked him what causes crap-itis (making it clear to him I will always call it that just like how NJ will forever be known to Josie and myself as NFJ), and he said mine sounds like arthritis. I might have yelled at him just a little and told him he said a bad word and to try again. The other PT’s were cracking up as I negotiated for my crap-itis to be caused by something else.

I told him I’m not going to turn 50 until April. After he thought it about it awhile (aka me bugging him that it can’t be arthritis), he asked some more questions like how long it’s been going on, when it’s worse, etc. He finally agreed there could be other causes, and it would be unusual for me to have daily pain from arthritis at my age (especially since I went through all those inflammatory autoimmune tests that also checked for rheumatoid). He thinks when I get more active again it will improve, but I am not so sure. I think running aggravated it. But he said whether it’s arthritis or not, once I am running again it’s not going to make it any worse. So that was one bit of good news.

Somehow this made me remember a twittersation I had with someone recently who told me about how getting a botox injection in the plantar fascia led to running again in two weeks, so I asked him about that. He wasn’t familiar with it, but it opened a door for him to talk to me about dry needling. He doesn’t usually suggest it to people simply because people are weird about needles. I was all, “Let’s do it!” So he did. I was fine. He put the first needle in the arch of my foot, and I felt pressure, but it was not a big deal. I didn’t react, so he said, “it’s in.” I told him I knew it was in, and then awkward thoughts danced in my mind for a second but then he said he was going to put one in my heel next. The heel one felt much sharper. He asked me to describe both, so when I told him dull pressure on the arch and sharper poking on the heel, he said, “what if I move the needle up and down” and started doing so with the arch needle until I told him it felt sharp. Then he removed both, and I started itching and was like, “oh yeah. I am allergic to most metal.” lol! oops! He looked a little worried and said he was supposed to ask me if I am allergic to nickel and forgot. I told him not to worry about it. 

I quit wearing earrings decades ago, because no matter what kind I tried (sterling silver, hypoallergenic, 24k gold, etc), my ears would always hurt and itch around the earrings. And I have long hair, so it was silly to go through that all the time. But yeah, so I figure my foot might itch a bit, but I doubt we need to worry I’ll get all anaphylactic over it or anything.

I am not allowed to ice it or heat it this one time, because he wants to know how much relief I get from just the dry needling. Once he has a measure on that, then I’ll have to go back to icing again (that’s the real torture, and I whine about that one the entire 20 minutes) but can also heat again too (my fave!!). 

Once the itching stopped, my foot and heel felt so much better!! There is still some pain, but the difference is quite significant. He showed me a list of possible side effects I could feel from the needling, and I told him he shouldn’t tell me or I’ll have them all, but I have none, so it’s all good.

He looked up crepitus causes while I was there, and as he was reading, he was all, “yeah. You’re not going to want to read this.” So I told him to pick out a good one that isn’t arthritis and tell me next appointment what it is.

I am currently still in my new yoga socks hanging out with Moo getting ready to read after I hit publish on this post, because I am at a really great part in the book I am reading, and I need to know more of it before I go to bed. I really should write an entire other blog entry about the really wacky day I had today. It was one thing after the other after the other, starting at 3:30am, but I am too tired for that, so you just get the crap-itis portion of the day.

Update on My Global Entry Endeavor

When I woke this morning, I decided to continue to try to trudge forward on this whole GE thing. Today’s schedule was conducive for me to go to town hall (where I got my passport card in the first place) and give them my sob story in hopes they would allow me to expedite my application regardless of inability to prove imminent travel. At very least, I hoped they would at least go over my application to help me know I filled it out correctly.

I left chapel to arrive at town hall (without an appointment at 9am), knowing my first class today would show up to my room at 10:15am. I also know they schedule appointments and I could be sent away with zero help at all. I got there right at 9, and when the woman asked me if she could help me, I said, “I really really hope so!” I told her a nutshell version of my GE experience so far and what my current need is. She pulled out the appropriate form and helped me fill it out.

I had to call my mom for her and my dad’s years of birth, and it was 6am at her house, but she’s an early riser, so it was mostly okay. I also img_3161had to have my photo taken, and since today is a theme day at school, I was wearing my school’s theme shirt (obnoxiously neon green). I also had to sacrifice my passport card for the process, but I won’t need it between now and whenever my finances will allow me to travel to another country by car or boat, so I am safe in that regard.

Everything said and done, I spent an additional $215 on this! (Praying I sell lots of doughnuts next week – not this week, because I have a cold and want some rest this weekend.) She said they can mail it out tomorrow, because today there is no mail service because of George HW Bush dying. So now I pray for the miracle of my new passport reaching me before 12/21 so I can take it to CA with me and find a GE interview place that accepts walk-ins there so I can get this all finished up on my Christmas vacation and before my 30 days expire. Alternatively, I need it to reach my home before the new year, and I will have to drive to Boston after work on the day I get back from CA! At least now I know more where I am going and what to expect. And there is still a chance they will deny me, because I allegedly stole a coffee pot from K-Mart when I was 18 years old (long story).

For now, I breathe. I have done all I can do. If you are reading this, please pray or cross your fingers or do a dance or whatever it is when you want to will something to happen that I get my passport by 12/21, can find an interview in CA, and that I will be approved for my GE without having much more hassle or expense. Thank you!

I’ll keep you updated and will hopefully have a happy ending to this crazy saga.

Oh, and the book I’m reading? Some things I expected were really the case are the case, and I am super disturbed by how things are unfolding. I have about an hour left, so I am right at the climax and really want to just pass out worksheets and put headphones on and listen to it during class! Maybe I can finish listening to it during my physical therapy tonight.