Tuesday, July 23, 2013

8 Years

***warning to my friends with deployed husbands - I'm gonna get mushy about mine.

I have been married for 8 years. Today is my 8 year anniversary.

It's crazy. It doesn't feel like it's been that long.

aw, so sweet
So where were we 8 years ago? I was still at my insurance education editor job. J was a substitute teacher, and I don't remember if he was still at the gas station or not. I think I'd made him quit by then. That job made him angry.

Anywho, we lived in a small 2 bedroom apartment. We somehow managed to pick what would be the hottest day of the year to get married on. Family and friends came to Kansas to celebrate with us. It was pretty damn cool.

We were married July 23, then J left for Basic Training on August 19. I adopted Duke on August 24. That was the start of our family.

Then I look at us now. I used to have plans to add some color accents to my simple wedding dress and wear it as a formal for military balls. NOPE! I lost weight and got in shape, and that dress is too big now. On our honey moon, we hiked a trail in Steamboat Springs, CO that goes up one of the ski mountains. I was exhausted. It wiped me out. Now, I've run multiple half marathons and I'm planning to do a full marathon. I really want to go back to Steamboat Springs now and try that trail again. I think I have come so far that I would conquer that hill.

J had started running again when we got married, and now he's done multiple marathons, and his crazy 3 day bike tour. He can swim. That in itself is huge for him. He's active duty Army - see, we've swapped roles. I used to make the money and he did stuff like cook and clean. Now he's making the money and I'm cooking and cleaning.

And of course, we still have our grumpy-old-man-cat Duke, but we also have Remy. This is J's first house dog (as opposed to outside ranch dog), but it's something I always knew I would have. I always said I would have 1 cat and 1 dog, and I do. I feel like our little family is complete. (Sorry moms, no kids in the future at this point, still no urge to be a mom to humans.)

Together, J and I have learned to cook and eat healthier (no more frozen chicken nugget and french fry dinners), we've found ways to enjoy getting and staying in shape. I really believe that our relationship has only gotten stronger over the years. Yes, we have arguments, yes we disagree, yes there are times when I want to just shake him (and vice versa, I'm sure). But overall, I feel that we have grown together over the years, and helped each other learn more about ourselves.

J played a huge part in me gaining self-confidence, which lead to accepting myself as I was and allowed me to commit to making myself better. That's when I started my weight loss journey. I'm glad I did. I'm glad I can now look at that mountain trail in Steamboat as something fun and exciting instead of something challenging and dreadful. Although losing weight and getting in better shape didn't help the migraines like I thought it would, it helped me in so many other ways. I will never be very skinny, but I want to be healthy. I'm enjoying what I have in life, so I want to be healthy enough to make it last a long time.

I'm rambling, as I tend to on this blog. But it's a good day to ramble on about my relationship. I've been married to J for 8 years. We've been together for 12 years this September. I'm happier with myself now, thanks to being happy with J. I'm looking forward to all the adventures still ahead of us. Life is pretty damn good right now, and I expect it to keep getting better.

never imagined this 8 years ago!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Where You Live

Just thought of this.

And. OMG! Two blog posts in 1 day!!

Anywho. Today is the first day this week that I haven't had a headache (if the week starts on Monday). I started having some constant, non-OTC-responding pain Monday evening. I took tramadol (my prescription pain killer) and went to bed. Tuesday and Wednesday both, I woke up with pain or pain soon after. More tramadol.

Yesterday, Thursday, was the first day with just OTC pain killers. Today was the first drug-free day (minus daily meds).

What triggered this? The weather.

I've noticed that humid weather fronts moving into our area are triggering headaches/migraines for me.

I don't remember having this problem in KS, where it was always at least somewhat humid and I didn't have the dry skin and eczema problems.

I think, having lived here for 4 years, the body is used to our dry, drought climate. I am no longer tolerant of humidity, as much as I may miss it. When a humid front moves in, I get arthritis and/or migraine issues. This week, I got the migraine as the humidity really set it, and didn't get rid of it until we had a day of real rain.

I think it's the drastic difference between normal days (dry) and weather fronts (wet) that triggers my migraines and/or arthritis while living here. My arthritis was almost non-existant in KS, and my migraines had more noticeable stress triggers. My stress is greatly reduced here, since I don't work, and the only recent noticeable trigger was the weather.

I'm hoping that our next home, somewhere more humid and with more regular rain, will see a reduction of weather triggered pain problems. Let's find out next year, huh?

What A Day,,,

It started with my lack of motivation to exercise. No excuses, I felt lazy.

Then I get a text from my husband that he was hit by a car on his bike ride. He's OK, but a little beat up. He even finished the ride before coming home. I helped him clean up, bandage up, and get ready for work.

I went to my Friday morning craft group to get something embroidered for a project I'm working on, and the embroidery machine somehow caught the threads it had already sewn. No going back. I might have to try appliqué, as much as I hate that stuff.

I took J lunch. A high point.

Remy got dropped at the groomers.

Then, I sold my old Trek road bike, Rhoda. I didn't tell the new owner about her name, since he's a Master Sergeant in the Army. It didn't seem to fit him. But he's new at road biking, had a friend that's into it helping him pick the bike, and eager to ride. I think Rhoda is in good hands and will get the miles she deserves.

Then I picked up Rem and he did much better at the groomer's than last time. He would not stay standing for them last time he went, but I told them about his "up-up" command and he did good this time. He looks great, and even though he has some shy-bum, it's not as bad as usual. Silly dog.

In other good news, J and I will have a new nephew next week! This is on J's side, and it's the first of the next generation of Welch (in our family), so it's very exciting. I'm looking at when we can afford to go meet him.

Otherwise, I'm feeling good. Still a little gunk from the weather, but my migraine that I've had since Monday night was gone this morning, and J is almost over the crud he got from me. We are healthy and well/mending and just going to get better. J will heal from his scrapes and bruises, I will get over my migraines and allergies, and we will do great on the triathlon and bike rides this fall.

All is well, tonight.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Taking Charge (Or Trying To)

I've been working on a quest to get healthy for a while now. Y'all know that. Today I made another step that has my nerves up, so I'm blogging to give myself confidence.

I made a doctor's appointment to talk to him about my thyroid. Yes, I did this once before, but all he did was run a test. My results were on the lower end of normal, but in the normal range. So I figured I was good.

That was almost a year ago, and since then I've done some random internet research and reading. I've seen multiple site/groups that say the one common test isn't always enough for a real diagnosis. The more I read, the more I think I am a likely candidate for hypothyroidism.

Want to know more? Here's what the Mayo Clinic says.

Now, I've had some issues with my doctor. My last appointment, he didn't even realize I'd been to see him previously. My files were right there on the computer in front of him. He also didn't seem to care that I'd started taking an herb he had never heard of. He just said if it works, go with it. Yeah. Good thing I've done my research and know what drugs it can interact with.

Well, I made the decision today to give him one more chance. I could ask for a new doctor, but even if Tricare says it's OK, I don't know how long it would take to get a new one assigned. So, one last try.

I'm going in armed this time. I found 2 hyperthyroid symptom checklists. I picked the ones I have and made sure there weren't any repeats. Numbered list gives me 40.



Now, many of these can be symptoms of other things, or just random things that make me me. But I want to know. I want someone to tell me why I can't get rid of the vertical ridges in my nails. I want to know why I can sleep 8 hours at night, take a 1 to 2 hour nap during the day, and then sleep another 8 hours. I want to know why I've gotten moodier the past couple years, with anxiety issues I didn't really have before.

I'm hoping he'll listen to me and help me. Or at least refer me to someone who can help me. I am willing to be told that I have a healthy thyroid. That would be welcome news. I just want to know why I'm having these issues.

As usual, this got a little rambley. 

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

The Big 5-0

I meant to write this a few days ago but kept getting distracted. I need an excuse to sit still for a bit, so here's my blog post.

This past Sunday, J wanted to take me for a long bike ride. He was sure I could do it, but I was nervous. The plan was to head over to Johnny Lolita's, ride from there up to The Bean in Old Mesilla, then back. Of course, you don't stop at a coffee shop like The Bean without getting something, so we had coffees and scones. And you don't stop at Johnny Lolita's without something, either, so iced coffees completed the ride.

So what? What's the big deal?

It's 25 miles between coffee shops.



Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I rode 50 miles. This is the longest bike ride I have ever done. And I wasn't completely destroyed at the end! Although my knees were sore later that day and the following day. Just means I gotta do this stuff more often.

Especially if I want to do 60 miles in September.

Mind you, this was all easy going for J. He even snapped some pics on his phone.
riding through pecan groves
It was a great day to ride. Some headwind, but not as bad as it can get here. Lots of humidity, but I've been missing that. Well, lots for here. The fields were all green and lush. We could smell crops of onion and cabbage and saw the corn. I started thinking about making some soup. The pecan groves were being irrigated and you could smell the fresh water. I even saw what I believe was a Snowy Egret. It looked a lot like this guy:
Photo from the NM Ornithological Society
Finally, to celebrate a successful ride, we stopped at Chipotle for some burritos to take home. It was a nice way to end a 4-day weekend.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

The Attack Of The Crud

When I get sick, I really get sick. Especially if it's anything to do with my sinuses. I thought I was getting a cold last week, but by Friday I was having a horrible cough, no voice, and gunk in my eye. I ended up going to the Quick Care Clinic on Saturday morning. That means it was bad. I don't like seeing doctors.

The PA I saw was awesome. She listened to all my symptoms, listened to my breathing (and coughing), and it all was quick and painless. She said there weren't any signs of infection, i.e. sinus infection, but it was probably a viral upper respiratory infection.

So I got a breathing treatment, then picked up an inhaler of the same stuff and some decongestant. And headed home. The inhaler made the cough worse at first, but it started get better rather quickly. The gunk was moving through and not making me lose my voice.

By Sunday I felt good enough to take the dog for a walk. We even tried a very slow run for a block and a half, but that left me winded and worn out. More rest. Each day has been easier, more energy, less coughing. I even got some sewing done and finally finished a couple skirts I've been working on forever.

Today, Wednesday, I went for a group bike ride. It was another Brigade ride, so not too hard. I did well, only a little cough during the ride. It's when we got back to the parking lot and stopped that I started coughing. I rather expected that, though. It's like running in cold air: soon as you stop running, you start coughing. At least that's what happens with J and I.

Of course, all this is just in time for the Individual Aquathlon. It's a week from Friday. What's an Aquathlon? I think they made up the term because what they do isn't a traditional Duathlon. It's usually run-bike-run, but here they do run-swim-run. Yeah. You run a 5K, jump in the pool to swim 400 meters, then jump out and run another 5K. J and I want to do it. I know I can run it and swim it, but now I've had to stay out of the pool for a couple weeks. I'm worried about my lungs in the water.

We plan on checking out the new pool here this weekend, where the event will be. It used to be at the pool a block from my house, but now they have a big fancy aquatics center, so I can't just walk over to the event. Damn. But we'll get in that pool once or twice, and hopefully I'll be back up to full health by then. I better be.

I'm not looking to make any awesome times or anything. It's just fun to try, and good to get us in the right mindset for the sprint tri in September. I think I can already beat last year's bike time, so I'm rather looking forward to the tri. Plus, if I get some good tri shorts, I can cut down my transition time.

Ok. I'm starting to ramble. Time to get ready for a little shopping before my lunch date today.