Friday, September 25, 2015

Crazy week #1,000,000

Hello all you wonderful people, sorry I've been away!

You know, I thought (quite wrongly, it appears) that things would slow down after the company's fall charity week. Hah. HAHAHAHAHA.

(Pardon my hysteria. Have a picture of some baked goods instead...)

I think the sugar cookies are the only thing that actually sold out. Go me.

Well, calm down it didn't. On Friday as I was tap-tap-tapping away at my keyboard, drafting up an important events email and the documents to go with it, I kept thinking, 'On Monday things will slow down. On Monday things will slow down. On Monday...'

Well. On Monday I got to chide myself for being so silly, because things definitely did not slow down. As it happens, Monday and Tuesday and Wednesday AND Thursday ended up being way more full than normal because of this event I'm helping to plan for the American Cancer Society's Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk.

Lemme back up. First things first, my department is struggling very hard not to flounder under all of our work right now because we're down two people. Perhaps that doesn't seem like much, but we are a five-person department. Someone retired in July and their replacement still has not been hired (for reasons that are neither here nor there, my manager is actually working really hard on it). So that's one spot that's not filled. And then last Monday one of my coworkers didn't come in. At around 9:00 my manager came over and told us that our coworker broke her ankle and would be out for six weeks.

Cue that hysterical laughter. And a roiling bubble of other emotions I'm just not even going to talk about.

Last week I was already nervous because of all that charity stuff, and the nerves increased because it meant my workload was going to go up. And it did. And then with everything for Making Strides, my inbox has been close to exploding every morning when I come in, putting me on the verge of a brain aneurysm...mostly because I get email after email and desk-visitor after desk-visitor asking me the exact same questions over and over, and then I get to go to a meeting and answer those same questions again. There is no such thing as explaining everything once, because not everyone will be listening the first time around. It is becoming clear to me that this a fact of life.

Yesterday alone was probably one of the most stressful days I've had at work since I've been here. I'm in production, so I have work that I have to get done each day, and though I completed everything that was due, I left the office (after one and a half hours of overtime!) feeling like I hadn't accomplished anything.

And I'm not even going to say it might slow down next week...but maybe. Maybe just maybe I'll get lucky and it will...

...maybe. But not holding my breath.

This was also Nana and Papa's last week here (they left at 5am this morning and Nana had me crying when it was entirely too early to do so) so we were trying to spend more time with them. I also met Cam's dad's parents for the first time ever (we've been together 2 years and this was my first time meeting them!). So no pressure at all outside of work.

My mom's also been in Boston this week, so it was up to me and my broseph to keep the doodles alive. Don't worry though, they are. Even though we ran out of dog food...I sacrificed my lunch for them and they got chicken and potatoes for two meals each. Lucky dogs.

But on the not-so-good news front...I had to have Benjen put down. A couple months back I posted about his visit to the vet, and finding out he had a massive tumor. The tumor did not stop growing, but it was growing very slowly...until last week. Last week, what happened to Rico happened to Benjen, and suddenly he had a rapidly growing mass that seemed to be attached to the larger tumor, right under one of the glands on his side. I went back and forth about it, because he seemed to be doing okay, but then I realized he was having trouble going to the bathroom and cleaning the decision made itself. In the end, his tumor was larger than a golf-ball, and probably comprised about 1/2 of his body weight. I know I made the right decision...but I still feel like a jerk.

:'( Just looking at this picture is hard because he was such a well-tempered, gorgeous little guy.
I feel even more jerkish because I already miss being a hamster-parent. With Rico it was a bit easier because I could still come home and dote on Benjen, but now I don't have a little dude to dote on. I will in time, but it's a struggle right now.

And I may as well continue the bad news streak, because why not. (I promise things don't sound this depressing when I talk about them, but inflection can be lost in the written word.)

I mentioned in my last post that I had a reason for not signing up for another half marathon. And that reason is...I'm injured. Something's wrong with my ankle, and has been since laser tag on the 11th. I was going to push through for the half, but after the fiasco that happened there was no reason to run on an obviously injured ankle. I'd actually done a test run before my company's 5k on the 16th, and I'll be honest, it hurt with every step...and I only ran a mile. So I walked the 2 mile walk with my company, (which also hurt) and then all that stuff happened with Women Rock (still working with AmEx on that), so I let go of my goal for now.

It's so strange to think that this was my one BIG personal goal for the year, and I should have accomplished it by now...and I haven't. I should have just run 13.1 instead of that 12 miler the other day :P

Anyways, Cam and I went for a walk on Sunday and it was about three miles. Around 2.5 I was ready to be done, and limping with every step. I went and saw my orthopedist on Monday, and he put me in an ankle brace with a strict no-impact-activity restriction for the next two weeks. (Sidenote: His reaction to the nurse's note that it started bothering me after laser tag was hilarious.)

I really like and trust my doctor, and after doing the functional and ROM tests he told me he wants to rule out tendon and ligament problems before moving on to an MRI to see if there's something else going on (like a stress fracture). Honestly, though it adds a few weeks to things, I appreciate that he didn't jump straight to prescribing an MRI that will cost a couple hundred bucks.

Unfortunately, so far the brace isn't helping. I've lightened up on activities too, simply because I've been so busy and stuff with Cam's family put a kabosh on our gym time this week. Unless cruising around the office like a madwoman counts as impact activity, I've actually been pretty freaking lazy this week.

And I certainly haven't been running. I did, however, dig out my swimsuit last week and have hopped in the pool a few times. I'm going to have to get a different swimsuit (the one I have is at least a size too large) and new goggles wouldn't be a bad idea, but it's been good to get back in the pool. I haven't done much swimming the last few years since leaving my old-old gym (the one I left in 2012), but now that we're at a gym with a decent lap-pool I've decided it'll be good while I'm injured. Actually, I'm really enjoying the thought of a workout/training plan that doesn't involve running for a while. Just a few swims have helped me acknowledge and work on the weakness and tightness that still exists in my shoulder from my surgery 2 years ago, and I want to do what I can to alleviate both. Cam and I have started talking about how to address our workout plan now that Nana and Papa have left, and it's not looking like it will include much lower body stuff for either of us for now.

That said, I'm also hoping Cam and I can squeeze in a few good bike rides before the cold weather sets in, but I suppose that will also depend on what kind of diagnosis I get about my ankle within the next few weeks. But maybe we can get one in this weekend before the doctor tells me no bike riding. Afterall, he only said no impact activities...and biking is not impactful (nor does it bother my ankle).

I also have a full plate with studying for my next CPCU exam, which I have done approximately 12 pages of. Just FYI...there's like 250 pages in the book. I need to get going on that....

And I've been saying it for months, but somewhere in there I'd also like to squeeze in a bit more yoga. Another thing swimming brought to my attention is the tightness in my neck, and I need to address it before it becomes something that really hinders my performance. Yikes...

Finally, in other news (and running related stuff): Though I didn't run my half on Saturday, I was super productive at home. I managed to do a ton of stuff, including hanging up my race bibs and medals from this year. It's makeshift for now because I plan on turning it into something more permanent with Cam and I move in together, but for now this will do:

I even wrote all my race times on the bibs. It'll be fun and interesting to see how they change year-to-year.

Harry Potter medals and my DA Galleon on the HP shelf in my room.
I also made a Blackhawks blanket for Papa, picked the runner beans in my garden (check out that 9-incher!), finished my first coloring page, and started another (with the gel pens my cousin Jennie suggested I get):

When I was picking these I watched (and screamed) while Stewart CAUGHT AND ATE not one, but TWO birds. It was horrifying.

I also think I'll be spectating the Chicago Marathon! I wanna get a feel for it, and I've never spectated a race. Papa Bender's brother, Jim, is running it (for like the 10,000th time) so it'll be cool to go see the marathon and support him. Plus I'm looking forward to hanging out with Mama and Papa Bender!

I've got some other things I'm thinking about, but this is already pretty long so I'll save them for another post. One of them will be about the Making Strides Walk I'm helping to plan, and I'll be including a link in case anyone would like to donate. I know I don't have a ton of readers, but maybe, just maybe you'll consider donating :)

For now...adieu! Have a great weekend if I'm not back before the end of it :)


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