So My Doctor Called Me Stupid


Not having a working microwave is really a pain.  I didn’t really think I used it much, but it turns out I do.  I’m struggling with eating my leftovers – because it’s now a pain to reheat anything.  And I use it to warm my water for my neti pot (which I need – ever use a neti pot with room temp or cold water?  Ugh).  So if it can’t be done stove top or in a toaster oven….I’m not doing it.

As such…my breakfast the past two days has been toasted tofu egg-less salad sandwiches.  That was also my dinner this evening.  So inventive, I know.  Lunch yesterday was some of the Anatolian red lentil stew I made a week or so ago.  Lunch today was a bean burrito.

The highlight in my eating, though, came last night with dinner.  I made the rice cooker black eyed peas that was so brilliantly created by JL Goes Vegan (her blog link is on the right – very cool reading, I highly recommend).  The only thing I don’t do well is measure sometimes.  I measured the beans and water – but really just squeezed the heck out of the siracha bottle and dumped a bunch of garlic cloves in it.  5 or 6 I think.  I set the timer to be done in 10 hrs, and then went to work.  Absolute and utter genius.  

Since my microwave doesn’t work and I wasn’t sure exactly what I was going to make for dinner, I turned it on and stuck regular and sweet potatoes in to roast for an hour.  I chopped up some onion and avocado, and made a taco!  As a side note – the beans were uber spicy and set my lips on fire (winter is chapped lip madness time).  Maybe I over did it on the siracha – but that’s okay with me.

A flour tortilla with the beans, sweet potato, avocado, onion, and lettuce shreds


Alas, not much to report.  I’m under strict doctors orders (as of today) to stay home and not workout.  I’m bummed because today was the running workout for the Triathlon club, and that’s the one thing I actually know how to do when it comes to this.  I’m also insanely paranoid about missing it.  Allow me to explain…

…but in order to do that, I need to explain exactly WHY I run.  I’m not a runner by nature.  I’m short and tend to be on the plumper side of life.  I used to joke around that I would only run if I were being chased by someone with a stick.  When I joined the Navy and found out there would be running required, my Dad would take me to the park, drive behind in the station wagon with a stopwatch screaming while I attempted to run down the road.  While in boot camp, I ran because the company commanders were screaming at me.  I wasn’t the worst runner there, but I was certainly far from the best.  Middle ground, and under the radar – which is where you really want to be in a boot camp situation (but don’t worry – my mouth put me on the radar in the wrong way).  When I got out of boot and got to my various duty stations – I swam the PT test whenever possible, and otherwise only ran the 2 required times per year.  I found running stupid and boring, and my short and stubby little legs just couldn’t do it.  When I left the Navy, I didn’t ever run on purpose.  No one with sticks around…

Then in the fall of 2005 my husband got sick.  He woke up one morning unable to swallow.  Of course I was away at a conference when this happened, so he and I would spend hours on the phone surfing the internet and freaking out at what we were reading.  Other than the swallowing thing, he felt fine, and if he drank enough water, the food went down, so he wasn’t in danger of starving.  He made a doctors appt and waited for me to get home.

We spent several years bouncing around to different specialists in our area of VA and up in Baltimore.  He had several potential diagnoses – such as tumors pressing in around his esophagus closing it off, to very rare cancers that gave him 9 months to live.  Since all the tests and scopes and x-rays were normal, everyone was stumped.  He was an otherwise very healthy man in his early-30’s and no one could explain what the heck was going on.  Finally one day, his surgeon (and 4th or 10th specialist – we lost track) told us the only way to find out was to cut him open and check.  By doing a left thoracotomy (think cracking a chest open for heart surgery – but lying on your left side and having all your ribs broken so they could get to the esophagus), they would be able to find out what it was, and take it out if necessary, hooking his stomach directly to his throat – giving him a long recovery and a lifetime of issues.  Not a very inspiring prospect. 

Thankfully, we found a wonderful doctor in Baltimore who managed to get the surgery stopped just 8 hrs before he was scheduled to be admitted to the hospital (and AFTER one of my very best friends and his wife were airborne to be here for us from Seattle).  I’m happy to say that since then, and MANY more tests, they finally came to a diagnosis in April of 2008 of Crohn’s disease.  It will be with him for the rest of his life – but it is not a life shortening disease if managed well, and he does pretty darned well most of the time.

During all this, I started to crack a bit.  We have three kids, and at the time, D was a stay at home Dad, so I was struggling with balancing his health concerns, the travel and doctors appts, work, and raising a family.  Don’t get me wrong – D did most of the heavy lifting when it came to school shuffling, etc – the struggle came with figuring out what to tell them about what was “wrong” with Daddy.  For 3 years, we didn’t know, and we didn’t want to alarm them, so it was sometimes hard to shield them from all the fear.  I finally used my EAP services at work, and made an appt with a counselor.  In our very first session, she told me I should relax in the tub at night with a glass of wine and relieve my stress.  When I told her that didn’t sound appealing to me, she said one thing.  Run.

I left there thinking she was nuts.  Mind you, I was also about 70 lbs overweight, and we already established my feelings about running.  But I couldn’t get it out of my mind.  I DID need a stress outlet.  And goodness knows, I needed to lose weight.  I frankly had no idea how to start.  And by miracle of all miracles – I got an email out of the blue from Final Kick Sports about a beginning Women’s running clinic they were starting.  I found it funny I got anything from this store – it’s a triathlon store – but it had to be karma or divine intervention.  So I joined.  And every Monday and Wednesday for 3 months, I ran with a bunch of other women of all skill levels.  And I was hooked.  I also got to a healthy weight over the course of that year, and I’ve gone on to run several 5K’s, 8K’s, half marathons, and one full marathon (so far).  I’m still slow, but that no longer bothers me (too much anyway).  I saw the counselor one more time to thank her for setting me straight. 

But in the back of my mind, I’m always fearful.  My natural tendency is to be a lazy couch potato – NOT an athlete in any way.  A day off will turn into a week off.  And then a month off.  And then I’ll gain weight and be miserable again.  So if my fridge doesn’t have a posted training schedule and my calendar have a date I’m working towards – I start to panic that I will be that person again.  So when I asked my doctor today if I could go running with my triathlon group – she asked me if I was stupid.  When I told her I went to the spinning class with the group on Monday, she said, yep – I must be stupid.  It was in a loving and caring and wonderful way (she’s an awesome doctor), but for the first time it made me realize how afraid I am to miss a workout.  Part of me is glad I have that fear of backsliding – but I also can’t push myself to the detriment of my own health.  So there’s my story.  That’s why I run.


Since I just wrote a novel above, I’ll keep this part short and sweet. 

I’m sick (if you haven’t figured that out).  I really thought I was on the upswing, but I was just in denial.  Last night I started feeling horrible, and by this morning I was a mess.  I can’t hear very well, I can’t breath, and it feels like someone pulled a cheese grater over my throat.  My left eye is a goopy mess, and there was no way I wasn’t going to the doctor.  Time to face the music that I wasn’t getting better on my own.

I went, and I was right.  Bi lateral ear infections, a sinus infection, and just to top it off for fun – pink eye.  She wrote a prescription and a note (like I’m in high school!) to keep my butt home the rest of the week.  After yelling at me for the workout thing, I told her I just needed to get to two more meetings that day, and then I’d go home and stay put.  She glared a little, but knew that was the best she could get out of me.  I asked if I could work Thursday and Friday if I did it at home.  She said as long as I did so in bed – which I can.  Lovely thing about being in IT – with a laptop and a phone, I can work from anywhere.

Back to work I went, where I had an individual with my boss.  I had a lot to cover with her, so I really didn’t want to cancel it again (I had done that Monday).  After telling me I looked like sh!t, we had our meeting anyway.  I had another at 430pm, and went home after that.  Where I plan to stay – until Friday.

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I am a 45 yo busy career single mom and doctoral student attempting to find her inner athlete, be a gluten-free(ish) vegan, and find a way to balance it all without going crazy! I love to cook, read, run, box, do yoga, dance, travel, and learn as many new things as I can - which often gets me in trouble.... I am passionate about life in general, and if I didn't write about it, I'd probably implode.

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