Marathon Explosion

We were in Newton, at the first aid tent with Eric's aunt, (not) passing out bananas and water at Mile 18. They closed the stations down and dispersed the personnel.  They wouldn't let anyone into the city, so Eric's aunt took us to my folks' house and I notified my boss et. al. that I wouldn't be at work tomorrow.

All we have right now are the (now rather smelly) clothes on our backs.

I just want to go to work, then home.

Or maybe just home.  I want my apartment back. Also my city. 

Full Circle

I used to have PMS.  I went on birth control pills and the symptoms were pretty much mitigated for a while.

Then I went on anti depressants. They took away the dysphoric lows that sexist casual observers would often misinterpret as PMS. (Until those dysphoric periods got ragingly out of control, then the casual observers just worried about me.)

But the hormone fluctuations during the week I take the sugar pills interfere with the way my anti depressants work.

The result: something for all intents and purposes that manifests itself as PMS.

Isn't neuroscience ironic? ;-) 

New Year's Resolution Watch: The Dentistning

I went to Harvard Dental School today for my appointment, and it was mostly a good experience.  The exception to the general positivity of the experience being the receptionist was a little abrupt when I went to the front desk but didn't know who my doctor was or which window to go to right away.  (I explained it was my first time there and no one mentioned what doctor I was seeing, and she mellowed.)  Also, I had x-rays, which seldom go all that well.  In the old days, they used to waste film on me because I'd gag or bite wrong or throw up.  (I have an unusually small mouth, so getting dental work is hard for reasons other than the fact that I'm a nut.)  This time, they had these diodes covered in plastic and hooked up to a computer, which bit into my tongue so much my mouth is still kind of sore, but they felt more solid so I didn't feel like I was about to swallow them, and they didn't stick into my throat.  They also gave me some second and third chances to get really good pics of my teeth, unlike the old days when the exasperated technician would just give up and send me back to the dentist after a semi-usable set was produced.*

Then I walked back to the teaching office, where I got to hear the words I always hear at the dentist.  ("So Nixmarie tells me you're a gagger.")  And it turns out my teeth are basically healthy, but I need to get them bleached because it's hard to tell the surface pre-cavities from the stain of three years without dental care. (Ah, the delights of no insurance.)  If it turns out I just have some trouble spots, I'll just need some take home fluoride treatment.  Also, two of my fillings look like they're leaking, which doesn't hurt but sounds like something I want to get fixed.  So I'm back in three weeks for the bleaching, and then they'll figure out what to do with my teeth from there.  Hopefully, I won't need too much work, because although the dental school is a good deal financially -- right now my treatment's less than $200 for the xrays and cleaning, most private practices start at $300 and work their way up -- I do actually have a job.  

Ah, the ka-ching of money rushing into their till.  (Although I do believe them when they say I need some work done, they actually went through my x-rays with me in a group of students, which was kind of cool.)

The doctor appointment has been postponed until March, because my employer just changed insurance to something much better, and I want to use the good insurance when it goes into effect in March.

Isn't this exciting?  

I kind of find it interesting, actually.   

*It surprises me sometimes the way I get treated now that people know I have anxiety issues / am an adult / am pretty well versed in health care stuff, versus the way I got treated as a child.  As an adult, people really try to make me feel better and work with me, as a kid I was always made to feel like I was giving the doctor a hard time on purpose because I shrank when people tried to touch me, or I was asking too many questions to be a smart ass (I notice girls have to deal with that misinterpretation more than boys).  I wonder if the world has changed or people just suck when dealing with kids.  Especially smart girls.  Probably a bit of both.  I'm probably more willing to meet people half way too, truth be told.  

New Year's Resolution Watch: The Vegetarianing

10.  (Nicely) get the caff to adequately mark vegetarian and non-vegetarian food, because they've just started offering "vegetarian" options with fish, chicken broth, and other non vegetarian ingredients.  Ugh.  

I ended up recruiting another vegetarian who worked in the STD unit with me to help orchestrate a phone calling and email writing campaign to try to get the caff to see why marking fish dishes and things with chicken broth in them as vegetarian was not okay. his Friday was the first day the published menus actually reflected seriously vegetarian friendly choices.  Is New Year's Resolution 10 over?  God, I hope so. 

Next:  I have a dentist appointment on the 22nd at 8, which I decided to keep, even though I was invited to a meeting at 10:30 the same morning at the eleventh hour this past Friday.  Hopefully, I'll be out of the dentist's office at 8 and in my office before 10:30.  I thought about canceling but I really need to get some dental things taken care of (I haven't been in over three years) and I told them weeks before the meeting that I would have to have the time off.  Cross fingers that I didn't do something stupid

Therapy Notes

I'm taking two intensive Spanish classes this semester instead of one, so most of my therapy until May or so is going to focus on stress management and my Superwoman delusions. Not that taking two classes was a bad idea, in fact even my therapist (fluent in Spanish herself) endorses it as the next logical step.  I know this is the only way to really make progress with a language I want/need to have quite a bit of fluency in.  But I'm torn between the excitement of my inner brain box Hermione personality and the depression of a person who is really going to miss watching I Love Lucy while crocheting a blanket for my cousin's wedding.  

I'm acclimating to the pills, but they still make me groggy at times, and the week before my period they don't work that well.  I hope this is just a thing that they do,  I don't want liver problems or more pills.  But I'm also not thrilled with a life of agoraphobia and sobbing fits.  So I'm trying to hammer out a compromise. 

Another development in therapy is that my therapist finally hooked up my lifelong hypochondria with the fact that one of my aunts died really young.  I've spent years having this conversation:

Any therapist:  Do you think there's a reason for your hypochondria?
Me:  Well, my aunt died pretty young, and I'm named after her.  So I've always been aware that we're all not going to live forever...
Any therapist: *not listening*  Of course, hypochondria does just happen some times....

Maybe they were wrong about the pills too.  (And that snap you hear is the breaking of my "don't whine about the crazy pills" New Years' Resolution.)

New Year's Resolution Watch: Three Days In

5.  Go to dentist (appointment already made for Jan 4th), doctor, and eye doctor to keep on track with health.

I got a call on the morning of the 2nd saying the dentist had cancelled and I called back to ask why.  Apparently, the dentist hasn't gotten back from vacation yet.  I rescheduled for the 22nd.  Gah.

Also on the doctor front:  I'm on call two of a three call scheduling process.  (I had to change my insurance on Patient Gateway, as well as my doctor, because the provider I liked left last year.)  I need to schedule a pap smear and a liver function test on top of a basic physical, the side effects aging and of crazy pills, which inexplicably makes the whole thing harder than it has to be.  The eye doctor has to wait until I get the liver test out of the way for the psycho pharm, because I only have enough ephemerol refills to last till March.  

7.  Stay on top of car maintenance.

The battery died on Sunday, and we found it was a year older than the ideal age to replace the battery.  But we did manage to change the windshield wipers... a month after we noticed the rubber was peeling away from the backs.  Well, we still have the rest of the year....

10.  (Nicely) get the caff to adequately mark vegetarian and non-vegetarian food, because they've just started offering "vegetarian" options with fish, chicken broth, and other non vegetarian ingredients.  Ugh.
I called them up to talk to them about this, and sent them the definition of Vegetarian from the British Society of Vegetarians website.  I also got the other vegetarian in the department involved in my little campaign.  They responded by not labeling anything at all on the menus for the rest of the month.  Well, I did what I could.  

The New Years Resolutions of Mary Beth (2013)

1.  Focus on what direction I want my career to go in.

2.  Do more things like Knitting for Boston because more traditional volunteering isn't really working out with my schedule.  This is not to say abandon attempts to volunteer, because I really enjoyed the few times I did this year, but it's not quite as much as I would like to give back.

3.  Get 10K speed up to run 10k in 1 hour 10 mins.  Also, run something longer than a 10k. 

4.  Climb next rung of career ladder you've decided on.

5.  Go to dentist (appointment already made for Jan 4th), doctor, and eye doctor to keep on track with health.

6. Take meds without whining.  

7.  Stay on top of car maintainence.

8.  Be more proactive when it comes to scheduling fun things, because for some reason fun makes me nervous and that's nuts.

9.  Accept the things I cannot change, change what I can, figure out the difference.

10.  (Nicely) get the caff to adequately mark vegetarian and non-vegetarian food, because they've just started offering "vegetarian" options with fish, chicken broth, and other non vegetarian ingredients.  Ugh.  

Resolutions Kept?

1.  Save enough money to go to the dentist.  Go to the dentist. (I don't have dental insurance and I do have a lot of other bills, so this is tricky.  However, I've just climbed out of a pit of insurance crap, so I'm feeling optimistic.) 

Bwahhahahhahahaha!  No.  I think the closest I got was to make a list for a number of prospective dentists in August.  

2.  Keep on top of insurance stuff, and the medical appointments I need, without living in fear of those envelopes coming in the mail. (Ambition!) 

Actually, I did do a pretty good job of this, after a rough start to the year when Harvard Pilgrim decided to not cover therapy and in August when they decided not to cover the crazy pills, I managed my reimbursements and payment tracking well. 

3.  Figure out a consistent spiritual practice.  (This one is something I find myself doing at least a little bit every year, but it seems like something I should really work harder on.) 

I did a lot of meditating, praying, and reading relatively consistently this year.  I'll never be Charlie (Charlene?) Church, but I have made the effort to be less concerned with the ephemeral material short term, etc.  

4.  Progress in my Spanish studies.  

Done! I am now on par with a college sophomore majoring in Spanish. 

5.  Get to the point in therapy where I feel happy and comfortable switching to a "maintenance" schedule of every other week, because I think it's time.  

Well, I did this though having the worst panic attack I've had in years, wherein I freaked everyone in my immediate orbit out and was put on some heavy drugs, but that needed to happen and I am less dependent on my therapist now.  So, done!

6.  Increase the amount of money I save every month. 

Done! From $100 to $200.  

7.  Finally pay my parents back the money I borrowed for my health insurance premiums when the museum cut the hours I was able to work two years ago.  (Debt-wise, I have only just sort of recovered from that hours cut.  Bastards.)

Eh, sort of.  It was hard getting them to accept some money but I did.  Not all of it though. 

8.  Continue taking halfway decent care of the car.  (I have a love/hate relationship with cars that sometimes spreads to me not cleaning them when I should.) 

Well, it's not a junk heap, but it needs to be cleaned on the outside and I have no plans to do it.  

9.  Work more on being assertive at work, especially now that I've heard they were looking to give me more leadership-type duties.  

Yup, I've gotten people to help out with the paperwork, even though they don't stick around.  I've also had a few talks about my career. 

10.  Be more aware of appearance, because a woman of thirty shouldn't be surprised by noticing what she's wearing halfway through the day.  (Not that I look dowdy, because I actually get complements on my clothes a lot of the time, but I just should be more aware.) 

Yup, no bathing suits falling apart or pants ripping this year too.  (Last year I had a few wardrobe malfunctions because I was trying to make things last till the end of the season when they clearly weren't going to.)
11.  Less 5ks, more 10ks

Ran 4 10ks this year and am registered to run the First Run 10K in Lowell this year. 


For the past few weeks my meds haven't been holding up as well, and they cut out pretty much entirely when I came down with the Drippy Cold From Hell last week, so I've gotten an adjustment to a maintenance dose of 20mgs of Lexapro, which should fix it.  I knew I was in trouble last night when I was reading a book on Robert Oppehenheimer, and it said that when he was depressed he'd roll around on the floor, and I caught myself wondering if that would bring me any relief.  I actually thought to try it during a particularly bad moment at work today.  (Everyone.  Has.  Chlamydia.) 

The past few weeks haven't been all bad, though.  I seem to be hanging out at the coffee maker in the morning, warming up and actually talking to my coworkers, which I used to be too tired to do in the mornings.  I've also taken to crocheting scarves for Eric's cousin, and I'm doing some practice swatches for a hat for my nephew-not-in-law.  

The colors of Fall have really popped this year, and unlike last year the cold has settled in to stay.  I love seasons, I hope we don't have a repeat of last winter for a good long time.  

Oh, also, I made fairly decent time on the Tufts 10K for Women last week, for not being able to breathe through my nose: 1:27:41.