Saturday, December 31, 2011

Good Riddance

2011 - not my favorite year. 2006, 2008 and 2010 were much better...maybe it's the even years that are better. Here's hoping...

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Running normalcy

Just did a great 30 minute treadmill run at school. No walking, went further than 3.1 (not much, but still), so I'm happy. Hoping that 3 miles is the new 2 (and the old 5, but...) and I can keep that up a few times a week. Still no long runs in the mix...maybe in the spring. Long as in 5-6, say. Nothing crazy. Did a TRX Saturday with a new instructor, as my old boot camp class is no longer, and my abs are still sore. So that's good.

Andra turned 3 yesterday...we had 3 days of celebrating, with a Thursday night trip to the bounce house place, Saturday cake with family, and Monday cupcakes at school. Andra is so much like me at that age...she doesn't talk to adults at school (though she plays and talks to the kids). I did the same thing...they made my mom watch me through a two-way mirror as I stood there with my hands in my pockets (still a habit) not talking to the teacher. So I keep telling the sisters she comes by it honestly...and she'll talk to them when she's ready.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Next time...

Talked to the doctor today. His take was that this cycle could have gone either way, he wouldn't have been surprised if I had gotten pregnant, but given the odds of any cycle working he wasn't surprised it didn't work. He wants to change two things for next time: the protocol, and adding co-culture.

The protocol will go from 450 follisitim and 150 menopur way down to 150 follistim and 75 menopur, keeping the estrogen priming and adding clomid.

The co-culture is basically a study they're doing that seems to show that with fragile eggs, growing the embryos alongside uterine lining cells really helps protect the egg and speed up the cell division (since I had one 4-cell, that could be important).

Talked at length to my friend Jessica tonight who had 2 failed cycles before going to Cornell for this same diagnosis, and who now has 3 kid under 3 thanks to or doctor. She was able to answer some questions and basically provide a lot of moral support and encouragement, so I'm ready to get back on the wagon in January, or whenever I can. The lab shuts down for the holidays until mid-January, so I might or might not be able to start right away in January with the uterine biopsy and EP. Worst case is I do that in early-mid February, and stims late Feb-early March. If I'm really lucky some of this could fall over my February break from school.

Monday, December 05, 2011

Officially a no.

Thanks for the comments...from those who have been through it, it helps.

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Waiting for the no...

I had blood drawn Saturday morning at 8:45 for the pregnancy test. Despite being marked "stat," the results still haven't made it to Cornell. I am beyond pissed. Especially since I did break down and take a pee test Saturday night and it was negative. So, as I've known for a while, I am not pregnant, but not being told that definitively is so upsetting. Not sure what upsets me the most, not that it matters:
- Going through all that for nothing
- Having to go through all that again, and maybe again, for nothing
- Just not being pregnant
-Somewhat unrelated, but just that I am not who I was in 2006-9. I miss that person.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011


Just like what I used to get a few days before my period. The nurse told me to bump up my progesterone to 1ml, from 0.5ml, and everything I read online says it means nothing, but...well, I'm preparing myself to be out. Guess I wait til Saturday to be sure, but...

Sunday, November 27, 2011


But I'm pretty sure every symptom I'm having could just as easily be attributed to the progesterone shots as to pregnancy. Just have to wait til Saturday...

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

They're cooking

They put both embryos back today. One was 7 cells and above average quality. The other was only 4 cells, but was still growing, so there's hope. Got the pictures of them. Weird that that turns into a baby. Maybe.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

I was right

4 eggs, 3 mature, 2 fertilized. Transfer Tuesday.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Four eggs retrieved

The trigger shot in my ass wasn't too bad, and the retrieval was today. They got four eggs. I'm assuming only 3 will be mature and that two will fertilize. Why? I don't know, it's just what I think will happen. So they call tomorrow to tell me that, then Tuesday I go in to have put back whatever there is.

I felt a bit like a fraud in there today...I was talking to two other women as we were waiting to go into surgery, and both of them have had multiple attempts. Not that that might not be me eventually...but I don't seem as emotionally invested as most others. I am, I guess, but I also am fascinated with the process. I like doctors and hospitals. And Cornell is a well-oiled machine so I have a lot of respect for the center. The other two women have had other attempts elsewhere, and their stories and implications that the other places were just interested in their money were disheartening. I can see that. But not here. I like the fact that they're a research institution, well-run, with smart doctors. So even though I only have four eggs, I have to remember that, a Jessica says, this is a magic Dr. Davis cycle, not just any four-egg cycle.

And the fact that the other place I was considering cycling probably would have cancelled my cycle, or at least come really close to doing so, makes me even more glad I am where I am.

But I'm not getting any hopes up yet.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Still waiting...

Still four follicles. The doctor today called them "pretty" and assured me that 4 is ok. I felt better. I also finally have the trigger shot almost in my possession. It didn't come with all the other drugs in the mail order, something about hcg being a controlled substance in NY and the doctor had to send a hard coy of the rx instead of a fax, but either no one told me or the doctor that or else they told me and I had no clue what they meant and just didn't realize it wasn't there. But I looked on Sunday night in my big box of drugs and no, not there. Mild panic. The did overnight the hard copy, but the mail order pharmacy still hasn't processed it, and I might need it tonight (though I'm thinking it will be tomorrow...because I'm such an expert in this...) so we had to go to plan B which was call it into a local pharmacy, local being a relative term in that the only one that stocked it is a 45 minute drive from here. My husband is picking it up there this afternoon.

Stress is getting to me. The logistics of the whole process. I don't think it would be bad it this were summer or I weren't a teacher but this is stressful. And of course the kids in my morning classes are asking where I've been, and I'm just saying that I have to have a minor surgery on Friday (which might be Saturday) and I have some doctor's appointments I need to go to in the mornings. Then of course they ask what for, and I just imply that it's none of their business, and then they look guilty, and we move on.

Still waiting.

Sunday, November 13, 2011


Is it normal to lose follicles? I had 4 this morning. Bigger (I didn't pay too much attention) but fewer. I asked when I might expect to trigger, and both the doctor and, later, the nurse, guessed Tuesday. Maybe Wednesday. I have to go back in tomorrow...and Tuesday...and Weds...and Thurs. If I do the retrieval Thursday, I could actually have an entire day at work on Friday. I am trying not to feel guilty, but it's impossible. One class is affected a lot, another some, and the other two not at all until retrieval day, but...ugh. I was supposed to be observed Thursday (we have a new assistant principal...I haven't been observed in YEARS) but I cancelled that via email tonight. On top of all this, my husband is going out of town tomorrow morning through Wednesday night. Unless I trigger early, in which case he'll come home. But now I also have to juggle getting a kid to a school that doesn't open until 7:30, while simultaneously getting myself to school for a 7:30 bell, except of course I won't be there for the bell, I need to drive 45 minutes away to get bloodwork and ultrasounds done. We've recruited our neighbor to help, and Andra is on board with Mark (honestly one of Andra's favorite people around here) and Rosie (the dog) walking her to school tomorrow so I can at least get to the clinic right when it opens and hopefully only miss one class. The other days, since I'll be missing two classes (that's just how our schedule is) I figure I'll just drop her myself and get to the clinic a little later. Except of course if I trigger Tuesday then I have to be in Manhattan at 6:30 am for pre-op paperwork. So, Andra will come with me for that, because I am not asking a neighbor to watch her at 5:30 in the morning.

Oh, the fun of it all.

I will say that I still have no side effects. My husband has blamed something on "Oh, I guess you are getting side effects" because he said some dumb-ass thing that I actually responded to way less bitchily than normal and was able to let it go, but he couldn't.

Friday, November 11, 2011


I had bloodwork and an ultrasound today. My FSH level from day 2 was 6.2. That's way down from 15.7, but it doesn't really mean anything. I also only had 6 follicles, 2 were bigger (12mm) than the others (10mm). Not exactly sure what normal is at this stage, but I know I'm way below normal.

So I wait to hear what the doctor says about medication doses this afternoon. My only thread right now is that, in my friend Jessica's words (same diagnosis, same doctor, 3 kids under 3 after 2 failed cycles elsewhere), I know this doctor isn't going to fuck anything up.

Thursday, November 10, 2011


Ran 2 treadmill miles yesterday, comfortable 9:30 pace. Unbelievably sore today...hamstrings, hip flexors, even calves. Wow. I think it's been 2 weeks since I ran.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

For anyone with RA who injects a biologic (like Enbrel), I'm finding the IVF drugs to be less painful to inject. Seriously...this is no big deal. (Waiting for lightning to strike...)

Haven't been working out since my week of tonsillitis. I did a 3 mile stroller walk Sunday, but other than that, nadda. Although you're not supposed to really exercise while on these meds, the thing the doctors worry about (gigantic grapefruit ovaries turning and twisting) I have a 0% chance of having happen since my ovaries are on their last legs. I'll be lucky to get a normal size ovary out of my mega doses of meds. So I don't feel like I have to not run or lift or anything, unless an ultrasound turns up something. But between illness, work, tutoring and 5pm darkness, it isn't happening right now. I'm not stopping or anything, just riding this out. I'll do what I can when I can but I can't do it all.

Head down, just get through the next 2 weeks.

Monday, November 07, 2011

No big deal...yet?

Not sure when people typically start to feel side effects from the meds? But I have none so far. I'm really hoping this is like pregnancy, where the 9 months of body distortion I feared was really more like 3 months. Maybe I won't really notice them at that possible? At any rate, the 2 shots a day are no big deal. For my own records:

Final estrogen patch still on, til it falls off or they tell me to take it off.
450 (mg?) Follisitm
150 (mg?) Menopur

Go in for bloodwork Wednesday morning. Time to tell school I'll be out a lot over the next two weeks.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Start day

Went into the city this morning for my CD2 bloodwork and ultrasound. Today is the NYC marathon...although I was there earlier than the start and didn't really see anything besides a lot of blocked streets and traffic cops (Cornell's building is one street over from the course) I still felt sad, like will I ever really run for real again? But anyway...I have no control over that RIGHT NOW so I can't dwell.

The nurse just called and confirmed that I will start my injections tonight. I didn't let myself ask anything about my #s (FSH, antral follicle count) and she didn't offer. It doesn't matter and I don't want to make myself nuts, whether it is improved or not. Bottom line is, this is all a crap shoot.

Guess I need to tell someone at school that I'll be out a lot of mornings over the next two weeks...

Saturday, November 05, 2011


Tonsillitis was probably viral so it didn't respond to the antibiotics. I started with symptoms on Thursday and felt better yesterday...8 days. Plus pink eye. I look like the devil.
The up side in all this was that the freak snow storm on Saturday cancelled school Monday and Tuesday (and gave us delayed openings the whole rest of the week!) due to all the power outages. Two towns over they cancelled school all week.

I started the estrogen patches last Saturday. Don't even notice them, no side effects. Just waiting for my period. Then the fun begins. I keep looking at the calendar my nurse mapped out for me, just a guide of course, and trying to figure out when everything will happen. Right now...the week of Thanksgiving. I still haven't told anyone official at school that I'll be missing some morning classes. Guess at this point I'll just wait til I start.

Friday, October 28, 2011


Second Z-pack of the season. Seriously? Twice in 3 weeks? Not fair. I went in to work today anyway since I'm going to be using a bunch of sick days soon for monitoring (or half-days at least). No working out. Went to sleep at 8:30 last night.

I start estrogen patches tomorrow, changing every other day until I get my period (probably in less than a week). Then the fun begins.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

$15k of drugs on the way...

For the bargain price of $26 in copays. That part worked out. Cornell taking my insurance worked out. Now we just hope the baby part works out. I start the estrogen priming part of the protocol soon...within the next week or two. Then when my period starts the fun begins.

Lifted today. I've been lifting once a week or so, not long, just 30-40 minutes. But I've been lifting heavier, and focusing more on legs than I have in a while. I like it.

Tutoring picked up, expectedly, this past week (midquarter grades went out last week). I have 5 hours a week steady right now, which ends up being an extra paycheck a month. Less time to workout, I do feel more stressed timewise, but we need this. Even if we didn't need it, I would think we did...and we would, as savings and retirement savings are nowhere near where they used to be. But at least this keeps up afloat. And at least I don't have to shell out any money for IVF. Which, I know, is incredibly lucky.

I've also, the last 2 weeks, cut down on my daily prednisone dose. I'm down from 5mg to 2.5 a day. It was the sleeping on my stomach a few nights in a row that made me realize the RA has, at least for now, moved out of my neck. So I figured it was worth a try. The stuff is great when I need it, but of course I'd rather not be on it. So far so good with the lower dose...

Friday, October 14, 2011

Ok, thing may work out

After many many phone calls, the drugs are supposed to be covered through another branch of the medical insurance. The pharmacy associated with the insurance company won't cover them, but another one will. Really? Could the make this more confusing? How do old or poor or uneducated people ever get anything covered? Oh, right, they don't. So unfair. What a fucked up health care system we have.

But at any rate, the drugs have been called into this other branch and now I wait to see for sure if or what we pay. We may have a copay, they may be 100% covered, that much I do not know yet. But if the drugs work then we are pretty much ready to begin. I would start the estrogen patches in about 2 weeks and shots about 2 weeks later.

Thursday, October 13, 2011


IVF drugs likely not going to be covered. Still trying to figure it out. Will we spend $5k + on this? I know people spend a lot more. But we don't have a lot more. And I don't know that it's worth it given the uncertain outcome. If we were guaranteed a kid I'm sure we'd do it. But...honestly. I question whether another kid would just be that much more stress. I might be too selfish to want another. Maybe this is just me protecting myself. I won't let myself cry about this yet. It's not over. It's just frustrating because my benefits say the drugs are 100% covered but the fine print that no one told me about apparently says only covered if given by the doctor. Um, I can't go to the doctor every day for 6 weeks to get stim shots and progesterone. My IVF nurse hadn't heard of this. Maybe there's a way around at least some of it...

Monday, October 10, 2011

Still sick

I have strep throat. Again. I have had this more in the last 3 years than ever before. I went 2 week with a cold and a week with laryngitis (great thing for a teacher...luckily my students are mostly really nice and polite) before today, and felt like I had a fever. Driving home from the city after my IVF class I called my doctor, made an appointment and went. Another Z-pack. I dropped one pill in my car and can't find it anywhere. So instead of 5 days, I only get to take 4. Hopefully it'll be enough. But I do feel better that I am really sick. A usual, I just assume I'm being a wimp and need to get over it. And feel guilty for not working out when all I want to do is sleep. Sometimes sleep is more important. But always only in hindsight.

The IVF class was good I guess. Learned more about the process. Met with my nurse. Think I know what I need to do. In about 2 weeks I will start the estrogen priming protocol, which is just wearing estrogen patches until I get my next period. Then the fun begins. The stim shots don't bother me, I am used to giving myself shots. The progesterone shots scare me, but whatever, I'll get over it. I will have to tell a couple people at school in 2 weeks or so, as I will probably be missing A LOT of my morning classes due to monitoring. The clinic doesn't open til 7:30, which is when school starts. I need to just not care about that, and I'm working toward it.

Had one good run last week, when I struggled to get out the door because I wanted to sleep. I did 20 minutes hard (that is around a 9:30 pace I think, I am still so annoyed by that but not able to do enough to change it yet) and then walked another 10 min. One day of lifting, one boot camp, and pretty much nothing else.

Definitely in a slump. Just feel like I can't keep up.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

IVF consult #2

Today was our appointment with Cornell. It was full of good surprises.

1. There was NO traffic getting into the city. None. Zero. That never happens...but at 9:00 on a Thursday? Unheard of.

2. We walked in 10 minutes before out appointment time (after getting bagels and coffee because instead of being late, we were early. See above.) and see on the reception desk a sign that says, "As of 9/15/11, CRM now participates with CIGNA." CIGNA is my insurance. That we thought CRM did NOT take. And now they do. So the $15,000 we would have to front if we go with them, we now wouldn't.

3. 9 minutes before out appointment time (that is, 1 minute after we arrive) they call us back. Right into the consult room, complete with waiting doctor. Early. Seriously? We hadn't even filled out our paperwork.

4. I really liked Dr. Davis. I had been expecting someone a little different, as my friend Jessica (who also really liked him) sort of indicated that maybe his mannerisms were a bit abrupt or something. And I can see that, but really he was friendly and...SMART. Now that's important. This man knew my chart inside and out, he was rapid-firing questions at me and I was mostly keeping up, and I just felt like he knew exactly what was going on. Not that most doctors wouldn't, but this was different. He was just smart. And frankly, not all doctors are. Maybe, I felt like he was smarter than I am. And I am not used to that. (Good thing almost no one reads my blog anymore because I know how that sounds, but it's true...whatever.)

So, we plan to proceed with Cornell. I am doing an IVF prep class on the 10th (no school on Columbus Day). It looks like the big stuff will happen in November, with the major stuff right around Thanksgiving.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Nothing new

I know I've posted about this before, but every time I have this realization it seems important.

I've had some really good workouts and runs the last few weeks. I have been able to sleep on my stomach again, something I haven't really been able to do because my neck wouldn't turn that much to the side. Except for this past week when I had a cold, I've just felt good. And when that happens, I can look back and give myself a break and not think I was jut being a wimp when things weren't so good. I can be kind of amazed that I was able to do as much as I did when I felt like crap. I can accept that I really did feel like crap, and I wasn't just being lazy.

That said, feeling like crap for a while does take a toll. I am slower, fatter, and out of a good routine. But, I am working toward becoming faster, leaner, and more structured, in working out and in eating.

I was planning to do a 5k this morning, but I bailed when it was already 70 degrees and super humid at 7am (race was at 10). I had wanted cool weather to see if I could be faster...I figured this would be a crappy race, and given that even a good race would result in a crappy time, I didn't see the need to pay $25 to prove that. October 30 is the next possible attempt. Today, I will head to the gym and do a treadmill run...probably 2.5 at a 9:3oish pace. And then do some squats and deadlifts.

Friday, September 23, 2011


Treadmill run today. Half mile warm up, then I talked myself out of a 9:00 mile to do an 8:30 half mile instead. Except I ran a whole mile. So, after a short walk break I did an 8:00 half mile, walk break, 7:30 quarter mile, walk, 7:00 quarter mile. It felt like a real workout. Running fast again felt great. Sure, I felt like a cripple after, but I felt great WHILE I was running! Possible 5k Sunday...if the weather is ok. Not interested in running in the rain.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


My husband is starting Crossfit. I am getting inspired to start lifting heavy again. Not too much, I still want to RUN now that I can again, and I don't have tons of time. But, today I did kettlebell swings, deadlifts and squats using a lot more weight than usual. Plus I ran 2 miles, one at 9:40 and the second (no break) at 9:30. Despite having a cold and feeling really run down. So, I feel like I am making progress back toward where I want to be. Though it's a slow process and I have a long way to go.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

I found easy!

Just did 4.5 miles, an old loop. 45 minutes (just under). It was easy! I think the 70 degrees vs. the 83 when I did 5, plus a less hilly course, really helped. I never once felt like I had to walk. I am SOOO looking forward to fall running now!

Friday, September 09, 2011

5 miles

5 miles still sounds like it should be easy. I did a loop from school today I used to do. Two very steep and long hills I knew I would walk. A very long stretch of downhill I thought would be easy. Truthfully it took the amount of time I'd thought it would, an it wasn't worse than I thought. But maybe it was the heat (83'F), or the steepness of the ups and downs, or whatever...but it was HARD. Still, it's done. Goal is to keep doing it until it becomes easy. Or at least not unpleasant.

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Treadmill 5k

Sleepy after school but needed to work out. Actually, in the car I was thinking that I didn't NEED it like I used to NEED it, but I wanted to need it, so I went. Treadmill, figured I'd do 10 minute miles and just see. I slowed a little after 1 mile to regroup, but felt strong still, and at 2.25 miles and another 1 minute slow down, I ramped it up and did the 3.1 in 30:50. Slower than my disappointing 5k, I know, but this was on a treadmill and actually felt strong, so I am happy.

I know not every run can be a good run. I remember marathon training in 2008 and I wasn't feeling it and told myself I'd stop after 2 miles if I didn't get into it. I didn't, and I called it a day and the next day was back to normal. But, when you only run twice a week, if a run sucks, it's much more noticeable. The solution is to run more than twice a week. I think I am healthy and healed enough to do three now. Hopefully I'll find the time and motivation.

Monday, September 05, 2011

First day of school and the incessant SINGING...

In the last month or two, Andra has become a NONSTOP singer. If I hear one more Twinkle Twinkle or Happy Birthday I may just shoot myself. It's cute, yeah, up to a point. And I am super amazed at how her little brain picked up language SO MUCH in the last four months or so. But I am also really glad she's at preschool now o she can burn off more energy!

She started last Tuesday at Catholic preschool. Her teachers are Sister Daria and Sister Lena. There are 20 kids in her class. She loves it...there have been no tears, and she has resisted leaving when I've come to pick her up (they are usually on the playground around 3:30 or 4:00). My own school starts tomorrow, after being delayed a week due to Hurricane Irene and the subsequent power outages.

Friday, September 02, 2011

Venus Williams

I feel really badly for Venus Williams, who just dropped out of the US Open and was recently diagnosed with Sjogren's syndrome, an autoimmune disease. At the same time, it is validating that I am not a wimp when I can't do things because of the RA. Autoimmune diseases ARE serious. They really take a lot out of you when they act up. Luckily for me, most of the time mine is under control. Hope she gets to that point quickly and gets back in the game.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Race report part 2 and Irene...

Irene first...what a fizzle. For us at least...record power outages, but we kept ours. Despite FEMA making us buy flood insurance because they say 1 square inch of our basement is in the 100 year flood plain, we are bone dry at the top of our hill. Winds really nothing we haven't seen before. I guess it must have been worse elsewhere, but we were right under the eye, so not sure why it felt like nothing. It was a tropical storm when it hit us, not a hurricane...kind of a bummer, being an Earth science teacher and all. But school was cancelled for Tuesday, and combined with the earthquake (I didn't feel) on Thursday, there at least is some relevant stuff the kids might be excited about.

Race report continued. So, when I hit the first mile marker at 10:33, I was confused. Really? That must be off. It was a flat or uphill mile, but still. This community race has LOTS of kids and non-runners in it, so I was passing a lot of people even at that pace and maybe I just had a warped sense of pace. Second mile: 10:30. Again, I was pissed. At some point I got passed by our 50+ school nurse, who ok, may be in shape, but to my knowledge was NOT a runner (she and I had had conversations about my RA and running, and she knew I WAS a runner, so...). I knew the last 3/4 mile or so was a good downhill, and I must have picked it up to do the last 1.1in 9:30 give or take, but...ugh.

Now, the why. OK, yes, I have only been back to running for a few weeks. I have been completely slacking on the eating front (that has changed since Friday night!) and am doughy. Still, I have been faster that that race in my regular runs, unless I am totally off...except I'm running old routes and comparing times, and I should have been faster. The weather was fine, not too hot or humid or anything. I was pushing to the point of being uncomfortable, though not hurting like I was trying to PR or anything. My ankle and Achilles hurt, but that's hardly new...

Anyway, this was a wake up call and I need to remotivate...not just in terms of running, which may remain a bit limited, but in terms of eating and working out in general. I will do this again at the end of September on what I hear is a flat course. I have a month to try to knock...what, 2 or 3 minutes off my time? Is that unrealistic? I don't think running a 9:00 pace is that unrealistic, but then again I am basing this off of who I used to be, not who I am now. I am just pissed that I couldn't break 30 minutes...when I was out of shape before, I always said I would never run a 5k if I couldn't break 30 minutes. So...

ETA: official results say 30:15, and that our nurse is 56 and I came in one second after her...that makes me feel better, stupidly.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Race Report Part 1

Ugh. Unofficially 30:25. For a freaking 5k. This same course 2 years ago, I ran 25:52 (8:19 pace). Almost 5 minutes slower? I guess my pace was about 9:50. At least it was under 10:00 but...ugh. I worked, it was uncomfortable. I have another 5k in a month so I can see how I improve, I hope.

Trying not to be disappointed. But I know that half of this I did to myself through not paying attention to my eating the last few months.Link

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Of course...why make it easy?

Neck is flaring, really stiff with a lovely headache...ankle has been sore, achy all day. Took extra prednisone, contemplating half a Vicodin. I want to run this 5k tomorrow evening!

Ran Monday, walked Tuesday, ran was off.

On another note, instead of going to the TRX class I like on Thursdays, I went by myself to see the movie "The Help." I read the book last year and it was great...the movie, dare I say it, was just as good? That never happens...but maybe I've forgotten enough of the book to not be so nit-picky. The actors were amazing...don't think I recognized a single one, which helped. Haven't cried so much at a movie in years. Go see it.

ETA: Oops. This one was my fault. When I went to take my medications this morning, I realized I hadn't taken them yesterday. Guess that Voltaren really works! But, so did the Viocdin and prednisone, so I should be ok to run tonight.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

A few pictures...

These are from the cottage in Michigan. Andra has had a blast swimming this summer and is really comfortable in the water. She still has a little anxiety about going under, but every night after I put her to bed she would "debrief" her day with Duck-Duck and tell him she did it. Then a few rounds of "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" and "Happy Birthday" and she slept like a champ every night.

Still running...

Dare I say I've been doing well with running? I am trying to a tempo, speed, and long run every week. This is week 2. It's all relative, and I am really trying not to compare speeds or distances. My speedwork this week consisted of 4x2 min at an 8:00 pace. It was probably about right...I could do it, it was hard, but I wasn't dying. I'm doing this 5k Friday night, and it'll be a good one just to see where I am. I hope I am under 9:40. I ran a pretty pregnant 5k under that time. But I was just in much better shape then. Hate this in between crap...I'm able to run again, but I'm out of shape and it's frustrating. I'm about to go back to school (um, Tuesday) so I'll be getting into a new routine again. I'm going to end up doing IVF, so why put so much effort in only to have it all end when I get bitchy and hormonal (I had a preview of that today...I never get PMS but today, the day before I'll probably get my period, holy shit was I in a foul mood for no other reason). I guess I'm just making excuses. Whatever. Until I want to change and get my discipline back, especially with eating, there's no point in being depressed about it. It's totally in my hands. If I don't want to get rid of the muffin top that has crept up, then...

Plan to do 4.5 "long run" tomorrow.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Two runs in a row

Four treadmill miles on Friday...hard effort, but right now that is about a 9:15 pace, which used to be marathon pace. After my warm up I did 1 mile, walked 1 min, 2x .5 miles, and 4x .25 miles, and a cool down. All told, 4 miles, 42 minutes. It felt good! So good that yesterday I did 5.5 miles outside. I consciously ran without a watch and tried to go slow so I could run the whole thing, but only made it 4 miles before walking, then did run/walk for the last 1.5. My hips were tight later, but I feel great today. Not really sore.

Saturday, August 06, 2011

Not in CT anymore

We're in Michigan. I got a pedicure today. It was nice. The girl doing it also works at the bait shop. We spent some time talking about worms and leeches. I feel so far away from my regular life.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Well this sucks...

Found out Thursday afternoon that I have diminished ovarian reserve, premature ovarian failure, whatever you want to call it...FSH of 15.7, AMH <0.16 (if you don't know what that means, I didn't either, and you should be happy you don't). And my husband's sperm isn't so good either. So from getting pregnant on the second try with Andra, to being told even IVF isn't all that likely to help with #2, my head is spinning. I've had lots of good advice from one friend who's been through the exact same thing (and has 2 kids and one on the way, all IVF) and also from an old blogger friend. We meet with the doctor again August 16, after our vacation to Michigan to visit my family. I'm also setting up an appointment with the clinic at Cornell, where my friend went, even though insurance issues would make that not nearly as easy to manage as the local place. But apparently this is an uncommon diagnosis, and Cornell is the best place on the east coast.

I'm not quite getting my head around it all yet. I love my life with one kid, and in the end would be ok with just Andra. But I also feel like, how can I not try, since we do want the second one? Yet, knowing what people go through to do IVF...physically and emotionally...I am angry. Lots of tears yesterday. Today, not so much.

I have had a good week of workouts. I ran another old route, a few minutes off my old pace. Not bad. I did a short speed workout today, more just to pound away some anger. My Achilles can handle it, it seems, at least with the help of my Voltaren gel. I have two more weeks to do whatever I want, then I assume this ovarian stimulation thing will start and my life will suck for a while. Lucky me, it coincides with the beginning of a new school year.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The nuns loved her

Andra went this morning for her "preview" day at Catholic preschool. It went GREAT. No crying, no accidents, she charmed the nuns (who called her "sweet" and said they wished all the new kids were that good), and was SOOO excited about her new backpack. Last week we were at Lake George, where she went to camp every morning, and she also had a blast there, so...somehow I got incredibly lucky not to have a kid like me. I was the barnacle girl hanging on to my mom's pant leg. At any rate, I am no longer stressed out about her being the youngest, potty training, etc. She's good to go. And I was so excited when I got the info packet from school with all the school supplies, etc. she needs!

I almost have a a 5k this fall (September 25th) in under 28 minutes. I'm sad that that's the goal, but...what can I do. I've been lifting a lot lately and feel good about that. Not cycling much AT ALL. The fact that I lost (literally, no idea where he went) my riding partner really did a number on my motivation. And now that I can run a little, I'd rather do a 30 minute run than a 90 minute ride. And then sit on the couch reading with the other 60 minutes! Whatever. I ran 2.5 miles yesterday, starting out at what felt like a "normal" (probably 8:45 though that might be a gross overstimation) pace, but couldn't sustain it for more than about a mile. So I had a couple walk breaks. Whatever. The rest of the day, though, I felt OLD. Decrepit. Both feet/ankles just HURT. But, the run itself was good. Just means I'm better off running later in the day than earlier.

Still...that's my goal. It's out there.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Old route

Ran an old route today...5.5 miles. Walked some. Took an hour. Only real pain was from chafing...gotta buy me some new Body Glide. So now I know I can do it...and it is just fantastic. I've been back to feeling normal for about a month, maybe 6 weeks...and no more excuses. It's true that when you feel like crap, you don't even really realize it until you feel better.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Why we run...

Wendy posted this yesterday on why she runs because she has RA...I love it.

I ran today, my toe was not an issue since I wore shoes that I had previously put a dancer's pad in. I did, however, forget to transfer my orthotics, which made my RA ankle a bit funky, but ultimately it was fine once it warmed up a bit. Only 2 miles, a 10:15 pace when all was said and done (there was some faster and some slower). Can't believe how out of shape I am, but then again, when I checked my heartrate at the end (I need to start wearing the HR monitor again) it was like 145. WTF? I think I lost mental guts even more than fitness. Oh well. I lifted after, and feel good.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Big toe

Argh. So I have been feeling pretty good and have even been able to sleep on my stomach lately, something I can't do when my neck is acting up because it doesn't turn that far. I decided to try to taper off the prednisone again, or at least taper it down. And though my neck is fine, my big toe joint (the sesamoid bones I do believe) is now huge. It's happened before and with a dancer's pad I can keep running, but I can't walk barefoot on our hardwood floors.

I did a 2 hour ride Sunday morning, which also might have contributed...I need to look at my cycling shoes because I think there's a lot of pressure right on that joint.

Monday, July 04, 2011

45 minutes

Just got back from a 45 minute run. Don't ask how far, I don't know and don't want to. I didn't plan to go that long...treadmill runs (on an incline) have been hard. Granted I went slowly, but at 20 minutes I said I would go to 22, then 30, then 35, then 40, then 45. By then I was almost home so I walked the last 5 minutes, and boy did my quads feel like jello for those first few steps. Forgot about that, it's been so long.

Nothing hurt more than usual...I will go ice my heel now because I should, not because it hurts. It' not gong away completely, but I can live with this!

Happy fourth...

Monday, June 27, 2011

Volunteering ... and karma?

Yesterday I volunteered for the local triathlon, one I did last year as an aqua-bike. Because I figured I'd be pregnant by now, and because I had a rough winter, I didn't want to race it. Turned out the be a perfect day, and I kind of wish I had, but volunteering was fun too. I was on the bike course directing people and it was super easy, but fun. Made me want to be outside more, so when I got home I took Pickle and we went to a cute town nearby, walked to the beach, played at the playground, got a chocolate milk, and sat and watched boats. She loved it, I loved it. Except for the fact that my fair skin is extra sun-sensitive right now because of the antibiotics for the Lyme, and so not only do I burn more easily but my skin feels like it's on fire when the sun is on it, it's great to be outside. We are having perfect weather.

I had basically my last PT appointment, and am back to running. Just a little, mostly on the treadmill, on an incline, and SUPER slow. But, it feels good to work up a sweat doing what I love, and with luck I'll be able to be back in slow 5k shape by the fall. Today I ran 1 mile, then .5 and .5. The incline does make it harder, but I am way out of shape, no excuses. Still, volunteering = good karma since I'm coming back (again).

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Book Review - RA Related

Over email last week I was contacted by a publicist about a new book by someone with RA, asking if I would like to receive a copy. Sure, why not? I received it today, and...well, read it today. Take Me Home from the Oscars is by Christine Schwab. Apparently she's well known, if you're into TV and fashion. Of course, I'd never heard of her. The book was, obviously, a quick read at just over 200 pages. Not that that's a bad thing. It chronicles her story of RA, from the onset of her symptoms in 1990, through countless failed medications, deformities in her hands, being in the original clinical trials for Enbrel, and finally being basically in remission ever since.

In the beginning, I was a little put off by the fashion/TV/celebrity talk. That was/is her lifestyle and job, but it's pretty foreign to me and just not particularly interesting. She attempted to hide some pretty severe symptoms from everyone, fearing that the image of having RA would cost her contacts and jobs. I think just that whole attitude turned me off a bit to the book, not to the author so much but just that she would even WANT to work with people like that. Still, in the end, it was a good story. Her symptoms were definitely worse than mine, and reading about how she managed to go on (and how she didn't always want to) was a bit vindicating for me and all the times I've worked really hard to not let RA win (moreso in the days before this blog). One line particularly stood out to me, in the "I can relate" way: "Walking distances that I never thought twice about before now seemed painfully long." It's little things like that, things a healthy person would never think about, that make RA such a bitch of a disease.

Some of the typos and grammatical errors (apostrophes where they didn't belong, using "I" where it should have been "me") irked me, I don't understand how people in the BOOK business can't proofread (or know the English language). I could have a second career as an editor, I think...years of reading really crappy 9th grade lab reports...

Overall, I do think people with RA should read the book. There's not much else out there like this, so not much competition, and I respect that Schwab put her story out there. I hope more do.

Thursday, June 16, 2011


OK, I guess some people do still read...thanks for the comments letting me know!

Wednesday I managed to do a short (14 miles) bike ride followed by an even shorter (1 mile!) run. I sort of wanted to go longer on the bike, but I found myself actually trying to go fast, and figured I'd do the brick instead. Besides, what's the point of going long right now, when I'm not training for a damn thing...and I really wanted to run, but of course can't do that for real yet. Still, the one mile (I'm was just under 11 minutes and I'm afraid to map it to see the actual distance), though slow by choice, felt mostly normal. I find myself thinking constantly about my gait, which makes it less fun, but if I can get to the point where I can even do 2 miles and feel good, I will consider that success. I do wonder if I will ever run a marathon again, or even a half. I've been looking at the Achilles Track club, and wondering if joining it will be good for me. But then I realize that it's not the RA that's holding me back, as much as lack of time and motivation. So I just keep thinking about it rather than doing it.

I've been having about 2 doctors appointments a week lately, and this week it was the rheumatologist on Wednesday and my OB today. I honestly love both of them, and more importantly, trust them. The rheumatologist is sending me for tons of xrays of my neck, mostly to rule out atlanto-axial subluxation (I think...truthfully now I can't remember if he thinks it is or isn't that). He said to make sure I'm not pregnant when I go, as they will take a LOT of pictures. Not a problem... Then today I saw the OB. My bloodwork came back looking good in terms of LH and FSH levels. The cyst that was on my ovary last time is gone, and I have one very big follicle which he said looks like I should be ovulating soon, despite the fact that this is day 6 of my cycle. So, with that, and with showing him by BBT charts for the last 2 months which show no ovulation (probably) for one, and late ovulation with a 5 day luteal phase for this past month, he said there's no reason not to just go see a reproductive endocrinologist. Given that the rheumatologist REALLY wants to get me on methotrexate ASAP (which causes horrific birth defects) so I don't go downhill anymore, given that I'm 36 and we've been trying for 7 month (technically they consider 6 months over age 35 as infertile), and given the wacky last two cycles, I totally agree. The OB said they'd do a consult, and likely give me the options of what I wanted to do, anything from nothing to Clomid to IUI to IVF (Connecticut has really good insurance coverage for IVF if you are under 40...not that I have ANY desire to do that).

So I'll make that appointment tomorrow, hopefully for next week. Meantime, in case I am ovulating sooner than normal, we'll be...preparing for that possibility.

Friday, June 10, 2011

The last six months...

These have been, health wise, the worst six months of my life. Possibly I'm exaggerating, as the six months around the time I was diagnosed with RA were probably worse, but that was (gasp) 11 years ago, so I am probably forgetting some of that.

To recap, for myself (since I don't think anyone is reading this anymore!)...Resumed running in November, to do a 5k in December. Quit running about a week later as really bad GI symptoms took over for 2 months and I couldn't do a thing when they hit, usually around 4-6 pm and lasting a couple hours. Although I felt fine outside of those few hours each day, I was trying not to eat much since what goes in must come energy levels were low and frustration high. I resumed running in March when the symptoms went away. Two months of phlegm and bronchitis, two neck flares that required Vicodin, and then I reinjured my Achilles and had to stop running again. PT for the Achilles means it's feeling somewhat better, and I started running a tiny bit (one mile) this week. Despite the GI symptoms which came back 3 weeks ago (maybe a little less severely).

And then, today, this:

Hard to see, but it's a classic bulls eye rash right where I picked the tick off a week ago...classic Lyme disease sign. Everything I researched online after the bite said not to worry if the tick hadn't been attached for less than 24 to 36 hours. And that sucker was on my side less than 6 hours. Well, turns out you shouldn't believe everything you read online. Even from I can't say that I have any symptoms, and it will be treated early compared to a lot of people who get Lyme, but still...really?

And then add the fact that we've been trying to get pregnant again, with no luck, and my last 2 cycles have been anovulatory and all messed up.

I am REALLY hoping I can catch a break and that once school is out (two week from yesterday), I will be feeling better (adding two new prescriptions to my existing cocktail) and able to feel normal again. And eat normally. I've been patient, I think, for me. I'm not pushing myself to do more than I can do right now. Rather than doing the local triathlon (or aqua bike), I signed up to volunteer. Rather than running the local summer series, I am volunteering. I feel good about it, because I don't want to go out and feel awful and defeated just to say I "raced." I'd rather feel good helping others have a good race and hopefully just get better.

It sucks.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Thirty in the mist

Thirty mile bike ride this morning in the, mist. It was COLD! I wasn't expecting that...before we left I put arm warmers under my windbreaker, and thank goodness I did. There were six of us riding this route, including my friend Amanda from swimming, who finally got herself a road bike after trying to do some tris last year with a hybrid (in her words, "That was such a stupid purchase.). I was expecting to be DONE at the end, but our pace was leisurely (I think we averaged 14.5mph), and the cold weather meant the effort felt a lot less than if it had been hot. So, I felt great afterwards...for about an hour. By 11:30, I was EXHAUSTED. I got Andra down for a nap in the stroller (she actually loves stroller naps and asks for them...great except it meant I had to go walk), and fell asleep on the couch myself. She woke up after about an hour or so, but when I just went to unbuckle her, she said, "No out!" and went back to sleep. My inlaws are supposed to be here soon to babysit and I get to go out...of course, I really just want to go back to sleep too...

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Ring the bells that can still ring...

Wow. Nearly a month has gone by. I admit to not having much to blog about, but at the same time, I want to keep up a little bit, as I often go back and read old posts wanting to remember something. So...Achilles is improving. What seems to be helping the most is the electrical stimulation. It hurts A LOT when those 430 volts go into my heel bone...5 seconds on, 5 off, for 20 minutes. But for the last week I've done more normal walking, less limping. I can do more heel raises, and yesterday he showed me a new exercise to do that actually made my calves sore. Which means they are WORKING. Which is progress. We move onto jumping in another week or two, which he says is precursor to running again. I've been patient...why the hell not, you know? I might as well do what I'm told to heal this. I've been lifting twice a week and doing cardio mostly. Whatever...I'm accepting the seasonality of life, of MY life, and this is just a down time. Trying to control it would be torture. Accepting it feels right. When I can do more, I will do more. A friend of mine who has stage 4 breast cancer posted this quote:

I admit to being jealous of those who seem able to handle, families, stresses...and still manage to train, get faster, etc. That does me no good, but it's how I feel.

Trying to get the guts to sign up for a (flat) century ride out to Montauk in June. I have nothing else to look forward to athletically this year.

I volunteered at the Mother's Day 10k, and had blast. It was definitely more fun than running. Still, I wish I could have run it. I hope I am just building good karma.......

Friday, April 22, 2011

Started physical therapy

I started physical therapy for my heel. I've gone twice, and I like the therapist, Dave. I feel like I'm doing something. For so many months now I've just been slogging through, not feeling well, not knowing what's real and what's just an excuse, losing even more fitness, getting muffin top (weight isn't changing...obviously body composition IS), eating like crap, and, while not being depressed, just being incredibly BLAH. I HATE HATE HATE that I've gotten to the point where I can run on my RA ankle, but my Achilles ankle hurts like a motherfucker. Well, truthfully, the RA hurt a lot more, but I think I am more willing to tolerate that pain, since it's not ever really going away for good. An injury though, is almost insulting. Especially when I've gotten injured doing SO LITTLE.

Nonetheless. I have basically been limping for so long on both legs that I have very weak gastrocnemius muscles, very strong soleus muscles, and weaknesses in my hips and glutes. I've been doing some strengthening exercises along with ice massages (ow...brings back memories of high school stress fracture days). I'm getting ultrasound treatments during therapy, and he might stimulate the bone with electricity if thing don't get better in 3 weeks. It's not exactly the Achilles, it's where it inserts into the outside of my calcaneus bone. This is the best description I can find online. Dave told me to stop jumping (no boot camp, or severely modified boot camp), and since I can't run or walk, that leaves cycling (spontaneous so far this season due to weather, but looking up for next week) and swimming...I've been back in the pool twice this week, some swimming and some water running. But I just can't get serious right now, without running. I NEED IT. I know that if it's really ever out for good, or for a long long time, I need to get over it. And I did that last year, satisfactorily. But then I started again, and I can't let go of it.

I picked up at the library the book Run Like a Mother and started it last night. There's a lot in there that I need right now (and a lot I don't, it's a real hodge podge of random stuff). Just the stories of runners who were good, then life got in the way, they stopped running, and when they started again found it so hard and slow. It is so therapeutic to read that I'm not alone.


Monday, April 11, 2011

Dead robins - must be spring!

Another 70+ degree day, I took my bike out after deciding I had to CANCEL one of my tutoring sessions to ride instead. I only did 15 miles, but it was enough. There were some big hills in there (well, steep...maybe not big so much). I saw 3 dead robins on the road...definitely spring. I dropped my chain, which was a bit of a surprise as I've never done that when I've been riding alone. Luckily no flats...that would've taken a while to change by myself. I'm going to two workshops in the next couple weeks, one on bike maintenance (um, my MO to date has been to not maintain it at all) and one on fixing flats. I KNOW how to fix them, but it's been a while and I am not at all comfortable doing it, so I could use the instruction again.

I am exhausted right now though! Still getting over bronchitis of some sort (coughing up all kinds of stuff the last few weeks, fun) so I haven't been 100% since early December. Eh...annoying. I kind of gave in, what can you do? Trying to get pregnant now, so not much incentive to ramp things up.

Saturday, April 02, 2011

Probably not the smartest idea, but I went to bootcamp this morning. Surprisingly (or not, gievn the vicodin) I felt ok and didn't really have to modify much because of the neck. It might have been too much though, as the flare is back (or rather, it was probably always there, but the medication wore off). A little more prednisone...and probably another vicodin (the headache associated with this neck pain is's the joint that my skull is sitting on after all). I don't want to use vicodin, but at the same time, I want to function. I've just never had pain like this (besides childbirth, and my GI issues a couple months ago). RA can be so to day, year to year, person to person, joint to joint. The's the worst, pain wise. I do think MAYBE I prefer it to the ankle though...I could still run. But, maybe if the neck was permanently bad, I wouldn't be able to cycle. Or swim (no turning my head to breathe). But...whatever, we adapt!

Friday, April 01, 2011

I heart Vicodin

Neck flare again. Out of nowhere. Prednisone, wine, vicodin, and mucinex...I am feeling good right now. (I didn't intentionally mix the alcohol and vicodin...)

I did the TRX class last night. It was great, but I kind of wonder if all the stress of keeping my neck up during the class did me in. This winter I flared a couple times after shoveling heavy snow. Kinda sucks if there is a connection, because lifting is the one thing I can do even when my ankle/achilles hurt. Tuesday I went to the gym to run, and didn't even make 3/4 of a mile. I didn't even have it in me to stretch. It was weird.

I do wonder if there isn't jut something going on...the GI virus still affecting me maybe, the lingering bronchitis and cough I've had for nearly 3 weeks, something...I just feel off. And unfortunately I'm not pregnant, because that would explain a lot AND be a welcome thing. As it is...I think I'm going to look back on this winter and think, Man that SUCKED. In the moment it's hard to accept an "excuse." But in hindsight, it's been a lot to go through.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Redshirting kindergartners...WTF?

I've been giving a lot of thought to where Andra will go to school for kindergarten, and when. Connecticut's cut off date is January 1, so she could go when she's 4 and 9 months, two falls from now. I teach in a rich, white, snobby district with great academics, and as a teacher, I could bring her to that district for free...there are a number of teachers who do. I live in a poorer, minority, failing-school labeled neighborhood. To my great surprise, we decided (though it took a lot of gong back and forth) to stick with our neighborhood school. (A recent party where we met a bunch of neighbors with kids around the same age, plus some who are older and in the school, totally confirmed our feelings on this. We can make up any holes in her education...we can't make up for the utter lack of cultural diversity and general reality that the other town lacks.) Then there's the issue of when...send her when she's eligible, or "red-shirt" her. Red-shirting is incredibly common in the the rich town where I teach. I've also been spending time (too much) reading blog posts and message boards about this. The basic idea is that everyone wants to give their kid an edge. But I just don't see that logic. All the time in the world isn't going to make a dumb kid smart, for one. And regardless, who the hell is your kindergartner competing against?? Sure, they will then say, oh, it's not kindergarten, it's so that when they take the SAT's they're a year older, and when they are in high school they are a year older...well, see my first point about intelligence. Do these people not realize that there are a LOT of stupid adults out there?? Age doesn't make you smarter. Then there's the fact that I teach high school. I don't care what anyone says, those kids aren't competing against each other. If they think they are, or their parents do, so be it, but the bottom line is, everyone is there to do the best they can for themselves, and no grade another student earns can detract from that.

That said, I am totally stressing that Andra won't be potty trained at school be September. That is one thing that time CAN help.

Friday, March 11, 2011


Had time this morning to work out before school, due to the testing schedule this week. I was going to run, to get 10 miles in for the week in 4 runs (hey, that would be a great thing right now), but some of the special needs kids were on the treadmills, so I lifted instead. I need to make up some more organized routines...but I did do some new things I read in magazines, and overall had a good workout. I need to keep up the momentum now...

I had a hard 2 months, with not feeling well. Lost my motivation. How can you work out well when you feel awful, tired, drained? I didn't necessarily see that at the time...I tend to be hard on myself. But in retrospect, there wasn't a lot I could do. Now that I am more normal, I'm getting back on track. Outdoor group rides with the group I swam with last year start in 2 weeks (on my birthday no less). It will still be COLD, but I hope to get out there ASAP.

Thursday, March 10, 2011


Ahhh...three. Yes, there was some walking, because I want to run faster than I can. But...three miles! It's amusing to me, when I am walking now and I can do so without limping, I don't want to stop. SO different from how I felt the past two months. I wonder if the virus I had, with all the GI symptoms, also affected everything else...joints, muscles, general achiness. At any's been a great week. I love running to music and sweating again!

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Two point five

This is state testing week at school, so the schedule is all weird. I didn't have to proctor today, so I didn't have to really be at school until 10. Around 8:30, I decided that I really wanted to get a run in before I got Andra off to daycare, and ran 2.5 on the school treadmill. EXCELLENT. Feet didn't hurt too much, I ran at 6.1 (yesterday was 6.0), and did 25 minutes (so a bit more than 2.5 miles). I woudl have kept going, I think, except I needed to go teach. The downside to it all was that the coaches' locker room apparently doesn't have hot water. So, a super quick cold shower and a blow dry of sweaty hair...but whatever, I feel great! Makes me wish I had a job with more normal hours...if I could work out at 7 every day, I think I could do it. Oh well, maybe this summer.

The question now is, what am I going to do with the fact that I can run now (again, it's always day to day, far so good), and I feel so good about doing it? The ball is in my court.

Monday, March 07, 2011


Ran 2 miles just now at lunch. Lifted a little too. Ankle stiff but ended up ok, I even cranked it all the way up to an 8:00 pace for the last minute (spent most of the run at 10:00). I keep telling myself this...but I just need to get back into a routine. If I could run, or do anything, 6 days a week again, even 20 minute runs, I would feel so much better. More disciplined.

Seeing ankle doctor today, I want to get physical therapy mostly on the Achilles and have them do a gait analysis now that I actually can run. Most days at least. Part of my struggle is it's hard to plan when I don't know from day to day if running will be painful or doable. I know in my last post I said I can't run anymore...I didn't mean there aren't days I can run, but that I can't be a runner. I can't go out and do a 10 miler. I don't see anything more than a 5k, MAYBE a 10k in my future. I can't just pick up and have an easy run. Every run now (aside from it being short due to my not being in good enough shape anymore) is painful to some extent, has mental issues (will this hurt? will I be able to finish the run?), and lacks the spontaneous joy of being able to say, I'm a runner! Because I feel like a wannabe.

But still, even if I don't feel like a runner, I ran.

Thursday, March 03, 2011

On not running

Turns out (after I had a fun colonoscopy and biopsies were sent to the lab) that I probably had infectious colitis. Basically, some nasty virus that stuck around for 2 months making me miserable. There was microinflammation in the samples sent, but luckily they ruled out anything serious. Plus, it seems to have resolved itself after I had a good long puking episode a week ago Friday (which happened during last period of the day, and I just told my kids to leave...then I went to the bathroom and puked). So...I am feeling better in that regard.

With the weather turning a bit more spring like, I am dying to go running. However, my last few attempts have been thwarted by...pain, what else? Between my bad ankle and what feels like the bones pinching on nerves on some steps, and my Achilles (it's really the base of my heel on the sides, I guess that's the insertion point for the Achilles?) on the other foot, I basically just can't do it. It's killing me. Even walking again. Saw a woman running as I drove to school yesterday (and today), and honestly I just teared up at how mad I am that I can't do it anymore. Nothing substitutes for running. Nothing is the same.

There's another teacher here whom I see every week or so, and maybe a month ago she was all excited to tell me that she has started P90x. She used to be a runner and very in shape, but about 5 years ago she was diagnosed with some autoimmume eye disease, and was on prednisone for a couple years and gained 15 pounds and had double vision that made her stop running. Yesterday, she was so thrilled that she had run 2 miles on the treadmill. She echoed what I've been feeling, that nothing takes its place and that it's so frustrating to realize you'll probably never get back to where you were in terms of pace, ease, distance. I don't really know what to do with it all. I'm going to try today at the end of the day to do a treadmill run. Maybe it'll go ok, maybe not. I haven't lost my passion for running, but I've lost my ability to do so. That day finally came. Maybe not for good, I hope, but. It sucks.

Thursday, February 24, 2011


Spring break week. I've been cleaning a lot, and not working out a much as I had planned. Lifted once. Need to get back into the pool, as my ankle and Achilles are just not letting me run (so,nix on the treadmill idea). The snow isn't letting me walk with the BOB outside either. And the bike trainer...well, I've used it a few times, but...not much. We've begun the trying for #2 process, and that is another excuse to not put much effort into working out. I am still working out some, I shouldn't make it sound like I do nothing, but it's just different from the heyday of 2007. Man, I loved that year.

Andra was just "accepted" into preschool. I had a spot for her at a daycare for the fall (the home daycare she's in now only goes through age 3, and the other kids her age are starting new places this fall so it seemed the right time, even though she'll only be 2 and 9 months), by all means a nice enough place, a small center, that did preschool like things. But then we heard about a Catholic (we are NOT Catholic, I am not religious at all) school that, ummm, we can see and hear from our backyard. Turns out, it's really a daycare-preschool (to me the distinction has always been that kids of working moms go to daycare, kids of stay at home moms go to preschool a couple mornings or afternoons a week) - meaning, 7:30-5! (Not that she'd go that late with my teacher hours, but the point is, it's designed for working parents.) We went on a tour, LOVED IT, applied, and yesterday she got the "thick envelope." Best part? Compared to the daycare she would have gone to, we'll save over $500 A MONTH (yes, we live in a ridiculously high cost of living area). Not bad, considering my husband got laid off and tomorrow is his last day. But, I am ready for the toddler stage to be over and for the kid stage, complete with school, to begin. I know some people are the opposite and want their kid to be little for as long as possible, but...not me. There's a reason I teach high school, not preschool! I can't wait for Andra to be able to write, read, do math...basically, I am ready for kindergarten now. And this little school (which we can walk around the block to get to, no need to drive!) has 3s, 4s and a kindergarten, in case we love it that much. As for the Catholic part...well, the nuns who run it seem super nice and fun (not mean at all!) and really, in preschool, how much religion can there be? I think they sing religious songs and say prayers at 9:15 every morning or something...whatever. PLUS, they apparently put on a super cute Christmas pageant. And Andra gets to wear a uniform. Basically, she will be a little kid, and I am so ready! I worry a bit that she will be the youngest (she will, with a December birthday), but at the same time, even if maybe some of her skills aren't quite there, she is so social and POLITE and good at sharing and all those other things, that I think she will be very ready for the experience. I am, anyway!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

She finally looks like me

I love this picture. Andra's expression is a cross between me and my mom. Plus, she was having a good hair day, with a new style that hasn't happened since!

Saturday, February 05, 2011

Ah, the trainer...

I brought it up from the depths of the basement where it had been for a while, not getting used. Out of sight, out of mind. I set it all up last week, and am determined to ride at least once a week. And run once a week. And lift once. And do one or 2 classes. The workouts aren't as intense or as long as they used to be, but I need to get that frequency back up a little. I'm expecting to be pregnant in the next few months, so I really don't have any plans to race this year, so that cuts in to the motivation too. But I will start keeping a workout log again, which I used to do and LOVE going back to reread.

Anyway, after school Friday I rode that trainer before getting Andra from daycare. Just 30 minutes. BUT, when you're kind of out of shape, 30 minutes works. I sweat a ton, my legs felt like jelly when I got in the car 45 minutes later, and I felt good, like I wasn't a total slacker.

Monday, January 24, 2011


I am thinking of getting a treadmill. I figure when we eventually have #2, I might need it. Not sure yet...if I got one, wouldn't be til Christmas probably. Gives me a year to think about if I'd use it enough to justify the expense. Hell, gives me time to see if we can even afford the expense. But, the past few weeks have been so busy and I am not working out. Yes, I have a trainer in the basement, but I don't like the trainer like I like running. And running seems to be back, at least enough days in small doses.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The wrong way to lose weight

Not much has been happening in the work out life. A few weeks before Christmas, Fred and Andra came down with a puking bug. While I missed that fun, I did have other GI issues that were equally unpleasant. It was on and off for a few weeks (luckily I was fine on Christmas Eve and day). I thought maybe lactose intolerance, but a few days off of dairy didn't help. My parents came for the weekend of Jan 8-9. Fred and I were to go out on Saturday night while my parents babysat, but I had a horrid RA my neck again. Couldn't move. Great fun. The next night, my stomach went nuts again. And for the past week and a half, every afternoon I have a few hours of intense pain and cramping. Fun, no? Especially with a toddler who doesn't get that I don't want to move. So I basically started eating as little as possible...a protein shake in the morning, maybe a banana, little snacks as opposed to meals. I started thinking it was a gluten thing...both celiac disease and Crohn's disease (though that's not gluten) are autoimmune, and already having two other autoimmune issues, they become more likely. Except, I was on a big dose of prednisone (30mg, then 20, then 10, then back to my usual 2.5) and it was still bad. And prednisone generally helps all that stuff. SO...I finally am going to see my doctor on Friday. Two days off of gluten and I felt good for one, then back to the crap (literally) for the second. Maybe because I had oatmeal, and apparently oats do have gluten? weight was 141lbs this morning (usual before this was 147). Hard not to lose weight when you feel like shit after you eat! That's a good incentive. I haven' t been eating dinner a lot lately...putting Andra to bed, and falling asleep myself. Of course, it also means no energy. I did manage to run 2 miles yesterday and lift a little (snow day, so a bit of extra time), and it felt good to be back there, but today it's only 9am and I feel so weak. Yet, I don't want to eat for fear of the cramping and pain. Sucks, you know???

Friday, January 07, 2011


I did a TRX intro class at the gym last night that my friend taught. I am waiting for the soreness to set was tough! But fun to do something new. She's doing it every Thursday now, so I need to find a way to get there...I actually felt really strong doing it all.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Relative success

Andra gets it. She likes the potty, she goes, she rarely has accidents at home anymore, even when not naked. Phew! Even out, though I put a diaper on her, she often tells me she has to go. yesterday we were in the city for her FINAL appointment with her hemangioma doctor, and she told me twice she had to go! And more importantly, we made it both times. She did pee in it on the walk back to my brother's apartment (she did NOT want to ride in the stroller, despite it being well past nap time...there was no nap yesterday). But, she didn't pee on their floor or anything so I consider her pretty much trained. Daytime trained. At home. Close enough.