Prescription for Panic

So for the second time in the last couple of months, I missed my exit driving to work. (Ironically, the same exit that I claimed stresses me out so much. Does it stress you out, self? Does it?)

It might be time to start worrying that I’m not paying as much attention as I should be.

Anywho. It has been an interesting week. Last Friday, Joey got his first migraine ever. Those of you who suffer from them regularly know what a life suck they can be, but for us, there was the added panic of, “What if this is more than a migraine?”

It didn’t help that as it was coming on, Joey was texting me things like:

“I’m getting these weird spots in front of my eyes…and I can’t remember anyone’s name.”

“I feel really nauseous.”

“I just got a nose bleed.”

Is it just me, or is an unexplained nose bleed like, the SCARIEST symptom ever? Bleeding out of face orifices just makes my mind automatically jump to “The brain is bleeding.” Egads.

It didn’t help that when I googled his symptoms, Dr. Internets was like, “It’s either a migraine…OR A BRAIN TUMOR!!!!”

Thanks a lot, Dr. Internets.

Eventually he called me from the nurse’s office asking me to pick him up. (He works in a school…yes, it was kind of adorable to pick him up from the nurse’s office.)

When I picked him up, he was in bad shape. He couldn’t focus on anything and couldn’t stand or lay down without feeling nauseous. The nurse had given him a few physical test to make sure he wasn’t having a stroke. (SO reassuring…not.) He was also crazy pale. (Which is saying something considering he’s usually a steady shade of Irish.)

On the way home, I got him some Excedrin Migraine. He took one and went to sleep for a solid three hours. Like, solid. Like, I-had-to-keep-checking-to-make-sure-he-was-breathing-deep sleep.

He was pretty much out of commission for the rest of the weekend, though nothing was as bad as that first day.

Since then, he’s had a CT scan and gotten blood work done. The CT scan came out normal (no tumors or bleeding), and he gets the results of the blood work today. He has to have an MRI next week. (He had a really bad concussion when he was younger, and apparently he was supposed to get one a year after that. Guess what his doctors never told him?)

So the point is, he’s OK. He might be having some issues with scar tissue from the concussion, but we won’t know that until next week. But he’s OK.

All right, now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, can I just tell you how completely terrifying the whole ordeal was? I mean, I know he was freaked out. There’s nothing worse than something being wrong with you and having no idea what it is or what to do to make yourself feel better. And top that with knowing it has something to do with your brain? T-E-R-R-I-F-Y-I-N-G.

As for me, I hadn’t really felt relaxed until he had the CT scan, and I’ll still a bit apprehensive until he gets an official diagnosis. What if something was seriously wrong? What if something happened to my best friend and love of my life?

I think the craziest thing about our life after marriage has been realizing that we really do fall more in love with each other every day. (Sorry, should have warned you this would get mushy.) But in all seriousness, our relationship is a thousand times stronger than it was the day we said “I do.” And I’m sure that in another eight months, it will be a thousand times stronger than it is today.

Throughout this whole ordeal, I had to actively keep myself from thinking about “the worst that could happen.” Because the worst that could happen is literally the worst thing I can imagine happening. I think what I’m trying to say is that having our immortality and the fact that something very well could be seriously wrong made me realize even more how much he means to me. And I cannot begin to tell you how relieved I was when he told me everything actually was fine.

Ugh, sorry, didn’t mean to get all heavy on you. (And on a Friday no less…) I’ve just been carrying this around in my head for a week and needed to get it out. Anyone have any similar experiences (or even just something heavy they want to let go of)? Feel free to leave a comment so we can all have a cathartic moment together.

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A little reckless

In general, I am not a reckless person.

When people talk about the crazystupid things they did as teenagers, I usually cannot relate. I’m a play-it-safer. In general.

I can think of two things I’ve done in my life that were probably stupid, even though both of them worked out. One I’m not allowed to tell you about because it happened during the JAB Florida Trip of 2007 (a) the third best trip I’ve ever been on and b) OMG we’re old that was in 2007), but the other…the other I can tell you about.

I was actually reminded of this bit of recklessness by my friend Michelle’s blog post that she recently wrote about quitting a job she had just accepted because she realized she would hate it (even though she could really use the money right now).

When I first moved to New York over two years ago, I had an internship that paid me a solid $20 a day.

I think you probably read that over kind of quickly, so I’m going to need you to take a second to really think about what I’m saying. I was living in New York City. And my only income was $20 a DAY. You probably spent more than $20 on your last dinner out. You probably spent more than $20 on the last T-shirt you bought.

Plus I was only working four days a week, so I was pulling in $80 a week, about $320 a month.

I don’t really want to get in to what I was spending per month on rent and food, but suffice to say it was more than that. Thank goodness I got hired when I did, because my entire savings account was steadily depleted, including the money I got when my parents finally sold my car. Times they were a-dire, folks.

However, I wasn’t totally insane. I fully intended on finding other employment for that extra week day and the weekend. Enter me applying at a shoe store that was actually right next to my internship.

And wouldn’t you know it, they actually hired me. And I actually went to my training day. And then I never went back ever again.

I know what you’re thinking:

Whoa, whoa, WHOA! Hold up a second. You’re telling me you were suddenly gainfully employed, and then you just flaked?

Well…yes. Allow me to explain.

You know that guy I talk about a lot? The one who asked me to marry him and with whom I live happily every day? Well, I had really started to get to know him a couple of weeks before I was offered the job (though we weren’t officially dating yet). And the only time I could ever see him was on weekends when I made the jaunt out to Long Island.

So when they told me on my training day that they wanted me to work that Sunday, and I had already been invited out to the Island for a party by the fella in question, well, I found myself with a little dilemma.

I knew what I wanted to do. I also knew what I probably should do. Incidentally, it was my dad who made the decision for me.

I had called my parents to explain the conundrum and ask their advice. I expected my father, a former lawyer and analytical to a fault, to launch into a speech about work ethic and rational thought processes and the dire straits of my finances, but instead, he got on the phone and said simply, “I think you should go to Long Island.”

It was my turn to start throwing around a “whoa” or two.

So the decision was made. In all fairness, there were other red flags to accepting the shoe job. For one, they had scheduled me on both of the days/times I told them I absolutelypositivelywasnotavailable. Did I really want to make a pattern of that? Plus, the manager was really creepy. So…yeah.

So I went to Long Island. And about a week later, I had myself a boyfriend. And about a year later, a fiance. (I think you see where this is going.)

Am I aware that I’m saying “I chose a boy over a supportive job”? Yes, yes I am. And I’m not making any excuses for that. It was reckless and motivated by emotion and so downright female that my first instinct is to cringe whenever I tell the story.

But you know what? I would have hated that job. And I love what I ended up with instead. Supportive husband>supportive job.

So I like to think that someday if I have a child and they come to me with a moral dilemma where they either need to choose rationality or happiness (provided it’s not too reckless…I’m still planning to be a responsible parent after all), I’ll have the guts to tell them to take the chance. And maybe I’ll even tell them this story. Without any cringing at all.

Things I like

“My husband and I don’t have a great ‘meeting’ story. We met in a conventional way and had a conventional wedding. And in some sense, we lead a conventional life.

But my husband has seen me at my worst, at my most vile. And he has seen me at my best. He knows the things I don’t tell anyone, and the lies that I tell everyone but him. I have made sacrifices for him and been angry about it. Sometimes his flaws are so egregious, so blatant, they are all I see. And sometimes his kindness is so stunning that I am humbled.

And that’s love. Big, epic, fairy-tale love. The kind of love people write about.”

I really, really enjoyed this story. Thought you all might too.

My new favorite thing.

“Mary and I had been friends from the age of 3, and I had always had feelings for her. One night, as college friends, we went to dinner, and I told her, ‘I think there’s something here,’ to which she responded, ‘I think you need to think about that.’ I said, ‘Ok, I’ve thought about it for almost 20 years, but I can give it another week or two, I guess.’ She ended up staying with me that night, so I just went for it! I kissed her while we were about to fall asleep, and she was like a rock! Nothing! No response, no reaction, no reciprocation. So I thought, well, that was a great friendship that I just screwed up. Fast forward, a few weeks later we were on spring break together…yada yada yada…now we’re married.” — Austin, 29

Read this. Now.

Driving thoughts

So, in case you were wondering, I’m usually home from work at about 5:30 these days.

I. KNOW.

I’m getting used to the commute. The hubs gave me a cord last night that allows me to plug my iPod into Benny, and I finally got around to downloading the music that Susan regularly sends to my inbox, so this morning’s drive was blissfully free of the radio.

Does anyone else hate the radio these days? Seriously, I hate just about every song playing right now. I didn’t used to. But, you know. Radio.

Things I realized this morning thanks to my new tunes:

1. My husband is the best. We keep this lime green magnetic clip on our front door so we can put things there that we can’t forget to take to work with us (we’re both kind of forgetful…I’ve forgotten to bring a check to set up my direct deposit every day for the last seven work days). Last night he gave me the previously mentioned cord for my iPod, and I put it on the coffee table thinking, “Pu-shaw, of course I’ll remember it there! It’s on top of my iPod! How could I forget both things??!”

Joey, however, knew better. As I was halfway out the door (sans iPod AND cord), I noticed that he had clipped the cord in the clip. Causing me to remember the iPod and leave the house with both things. He rules.

2. I love Augustana. My favorite band has officially been Snow Patrol for a while, but now I think it’s a tie. I always love it when one of their songs comes on, but now I’m making it official. Just putting that out there.

3. I am always happier when I can put definitive labels on my life. I like labels. But that’s a post for another time.

4. People in New York are terrible drivers. They just are. I think it’s because NYC used to be a place where there just kind of weren’t traffic laws. And it slowly spread out into the surrounding area. And then even when people were a bit more lawful, it never really stuck. So everyone is just kind of insane. No one signals, people speed and bob and weave into lanes, and you basically have to bully your way in if you want to change lanes yourself. The sad part is I’m pretty sure I will become one of them some day, if only to survive it. (Except for the signaling thing. It’s one of Joey’s pet peeves, and has steadily become one of my pet peeves.)

But anyway. The point is, today’s commute was sponsored by Joey and Susan. Thank you both.

Well-Meaning Massage

You’ll all be happy to know that I am feeling much less sore today. Jess, Heather, and I went and got massages last night. Best. Idea. Ever. And considering I get maybe one massage every two years (at best), it was certainly a treat.

The only interesting thing was that Heather and I had male massage therapists. (Heather, who actually IS a massage therapist, doesn’t like the word “masseuse,” so I’m just going with what she says.)

Mine was nice enough. (He reminded me of Spencer from The King of Queens, so that’s what I named him in my head. I’m sure he told me his actual name, but I am simply terrible at remembering real names when someone looks so much like someone else whose name I DO remember.) He was quiet and professional, which are two of my favorite qualities in a massage therapist.

Incidentally, we had to fill out a form at the beginning that asked us what qualities we look for in a massage therapist. I cannot begin to tell you how tempted I was to just fill in nonsense. “Loves animals, keeps in touch with his or her family, good sense of style but not a slave to trends…” It’s amazing anyone talks to me.

We also had to list our profession on the survey (can I tell you how much of a tool I felt like when I had to write “social media specialist”? Or, “professional facebooker,” as Heather refers to it). Heather, of course, had to write down “massage therapist.” Which, it turns out, meant her massage therapist felt like he had to impress her the whole time.

Which, apparently, involved quizzing her on which muscle he was working at the time. Here’s a little lesson for massage therapists out there: Quiz bowl does not equal relaxing. You’re welcome.

**Side note: I managed to use the term “massage therapists” seven times (now eight). If this site was about massage, my SEO rankings would be through the roof.**

Regardless, we all managed to have a pretty good time unwinding and letting someone pummel our sore muscles.

Plus, the hubster got me flowers, a card, and a bottle of wine for our six-month anniversary! I know what you’re thinking: What a thoughtful, handsome man you have married! And I say, yes! Yes, he is. And back off, he’s mine.

image

Other than that, not much to share today. Except that I’m weirdly tired despite going to bed at a responsible time and having a latte this morning (plus the massage!). Y’all know I don’t even pretend to understand my body.

I’m a (half) marathoner.

Hoooo-sha.

That is really the only word I can find to describe how I’m feeling today.

As those of you who love me/follow the details of my life know, yesterday was the infamous half-marathon. It’s kind of crazy that it’s over and done with now. I’ve been training for over two months officially, and even before that I was getting myself into official training shape. So this has been a project over three months in the making. Plus when you figure my dailing training sessions took anywhere from half and hour to almost two hours to complete, not to mention all the time I spent talking about it (or at least thinking about it), the half-marathon has taken a lot of my time for quite some time now.

Anyway, it went pretty well. I was doing really well for the first seven miles. Around mile eight, I started to hit a wall and really slowed down. When I hit mile ten, the wall smacked me in the face. Then I had been running for a while, and I started to think maybe there just wasn’t a marker for mile 11, and maybe the next marker I saw would be for 12, which would be great because I knew I could last one more mile, when suddenly I saw that mile 11 marker around the bend. And let me tell you, when you think you only have one more mile to run, and you find out you have two (after already running more consecutive miles than you had ever run six months ago), you feel some heavy emotions. “Despair” would not be a complete exaggeration.

Fortunately, I really wanted to meet my goal of running then entire time. The only times I really stopped moving was when I hit a water station (I can’t run and drink from a dixie cup at the same time. Kudos to you if you have that magic ability.)

Other than that, I basically kept repeating, “don’t stop moving” to myself. Because I knew once I stopped to rest, that would be it. So I plodded along. And eventually I got through the wall, but I was still really ready to stop. My feet and ankles were hurting, and I was going rull slow. But then I heard someone behind me say, “Only a mile and a half, let’s GO!”

He wasn’t talking to me. He was talking to his daughter, who was running it with him. But it was just as encouraging to me.

Then I saw a sign that said the road was closed for the next half-mile, so I knew I only had that far to go. I started to perk up a bit.

Finally, I saw that big balloon arch. And the hubster was there cheering me on. And I knew I could make it.

Pre-run. Thus why we still look like we have energy.

I crossed the finish line at 2 hours, seven minutes, and one second, which was pretty much what I expected to do. (Sure, I would have loved to come in under two hours, but that’s what goals are for, right?) And I came in 455 out of 1,200, so the top third ain’t bad.

I have never felt so spent in my life. I walked a bit to try to keep my muscles from locking up, but then I basically collapsed in the grass with some water to wait for my friends Jessica and Heather to finish racing. They also had professional massage therapists on hand to stretch you out, which I took full advantage of.

The only weird thing was that I got SUPER nauseous twenty minutes later. I had eaten a bag of chips to try to get some salt in my system (something I read that can help prevent this), and I drank two bottles of water, but still, things were ugly for a bit. Does anyone have experience with that or know why it happens?

Anyway, nausea aside, I was pretty happy with myself. I stuck with my goal and reached it. I’d like to do one every year, and while I still have the goal of doing a full marathon in the next few years, this experience showed me I’m not quite ready for the full 26.2 miles yet. (Plus I am so sore today that the thought of running ever again is being put on hold for at least a week. Oof.)

Also, today is our six-month wedding anniversary! Not that we’re really celebrating it or anything, but it’s still kind of exciting. I can’t believe how fast the first half-year went. Love you, bub!

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go buy stock in ibuprofen to get me through this day.