Sunday, July 18, 2010

Hello...It's Been A While

It's been a long, long while I guess since I've written anything here. I was laid off from my job in early May, triathlon training started literally 5 days after that, and I set the wheels in motion to start pursuing my dream of returning to school. The first month to 6 weeks after being laid off was a huge flurry of activity. Studying, getting paperwork together, figuring out finances, training. I'm honestly not sure how I'd have done all of the training that we started off with if I hadn't been laid off.

After getting all the school stuff mostly set (I still have to get started on my Hep B immunizations, the first of three is tomorrow, and I still have one class to take to get my professional rescuer basic life support training in before I can start my clinicals with September classes). Oh, I guess I didn't mention that I'm getting out of technology and going into health care. Many moons ago, I was a nursing student...but I never finished. All of the nursing programs were filled for the fall, so I evaluated my other options. And after much consideration, I decided to pursue respiratory therapy. As such, come September 8th, I will be a full-time respiratory care student. It will take two years to complete. How will I financially get through those two years, or at least the second year, has yet to be seen. My mantra these days is "whatever happens, I'll deal with it." And I trust that I will...though I don't always know how, I know that come hell or high water, somehow I get through. Always have, always will. I'm competent that of the few ways in which I feel competent most of the time.

I'm struggling with flare-ups of my depression. We're working on medication changes to help, but so far they either make me hyper or fatigued and lacking in motivation, with no real appreciable effect on my weepiness which comes in waves. My dreams are still a chronic issue, and I'm quite frankly tired of remembering them.

Training for a triathlon (the Witch City Tri, August 8th, 2010 is the one I'm doing) is this weird kind of experience it seems. It starts with great enthusiasm, followed by great self-doubt, and eventually, a desire to just be done already...and if you're lucky? Another surge in motivation just before. I'm personally hoping for that last surge as I'm floundering with three weeks to go. I questioned this past week if I'd be able to even keep going because I was slacking so much. I nixed the medication I had been taking for 10 days as a result. It was clearly not helping...and so, on Tuesday when I see the doctor again, we'll be back to the drawing board.

In addition to what I guess are "normal" ebbs and flows with training, a few other incidents have caused me to have increased fears. Open water swims were the first challenge for me. I felt disoriented, nauseas, fatigued, and panicked. After some thought/introspection, I realized that the panic I felt was identical to that which I felt when I was 9 years old and almost drowned in Lake Michigan. Ok, awareness helped tremendously and so the next swims were much improved. I'm still learning what does and doesn't help me in the water, and I now feel confident that I can get through it. There was also a gentleman who drowned in the swim portion of a triathlon that same day. It added to the fear. Then, at the Nahant Mini Tri, Michelle (our swim coach) had a collision with an SUV that left me fairly traumatized. I didn't ride my bike for a little over two weeks (until yesterday). The fear of something happening to me, who will take care of my child, well, it just started getting the better of me.

I'm so incredibly grateful for the tremendously supportive network of friends and coaches I have. One of our coaches for the triathlon training is Brandi Dion...who I met through the Cardiac Risk Reduction Program that I was mandated to attend at NSMC before my surgery. In the course of our training, I've seen Heidi Rubin (who was my nurse for that program as well), heard about Melinda Vaturro's fitness goals, and basically realized that all the people I've worked with, live what they teach. Their day-to-day lives embrace the very things they teach to their patients. That was incredibly validating as a life experience to me.

I'm struggling with food, weight regain, etc. I'm still fit. But, I'm also about 30 lbs. up (at least weight check, I'm afraid to get on the scale right now) from my lowest weight. And it's disheartening. I have to repeatedly remind myself of where I am compared to where I was...but it still just isn't good enough. I want to be where I was...and something is making my evening eating patterns really hard to manage. But, so far, despite all the signs at various times that I might just quit, I haven't yet. I still food journal. I still struggle. Guess I always will.

So, more to of tri day, I'm sure. :)

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