Friday, July 30, 2010

My heart is decorated with freckles.

(This video is for KT, who turns 9 on 8/1. She is one of the coolest people I have ever met, and she has constellations on her face, esp in the FL summer. I adore her, and if you had 5 minutes with her, you would adore her too. She is like that.)

16 days. 16 nights. Tomorrow will be 17 days and nights -- 17 long days and nights since I have seen or heard or smelled the small people. The first week is tolerable. The second week is a downward spiral into what amounts to severe homesickness. But to start a third week, and then have that third week linger on. It is almost more than I can stand. Guerrilla-divorce is hard on the person who isn't particularly combative. But, it is beyond hard on the non-enemy non-combatants. My small people suffer, and I cannot fix it. As hard as it is for me to go almost 3 weeks without contact, it is worse for them. I can't think about it too much, because if I do, I will get sucked into an angry and vengeful place, and then I won't be much good to the small people when they do come home. And trust me, they will need A LOT of good.

Sunday is KT's 9th birthday. She wants a skateboard. She has already suffered a broken wrist and a broken arm because she is a kid who can do anything and isn't afraid to test her limits. Monkey bars at 4? Kersplat. Broken wrist. (Didn't stop her from doing them with a cast.) Rock wall at the Y? Kersplat--that one was ugly. 6 weeks in a cast. Not long after, she wants me to watch her as she is screaming down the street on her bike, one leg over the handlebar, one arm thrown about her head, face to the sky. She survived. I took a xanax.

So, this year for her birthday, she wants a skateboard. Almost everyone who I tell this to says "Oh God! Don't do it!" But I will. I will take her out and get her a skateboard (and its friends, the helmet, et al). And I will put her out on the street and let her ride. She might end up just riding up and down the street. She might end up needing to go to a skateboard park. She is a kid who can do things, and she is a girl who is fearless. I choose to enable that part of her. I choose to let her be hardcore before she knows what hardcore is. I choose to let her explore the boundaries, and to push those limits. I choose to not snuff out whatever fire she has.

KT is one of those special people that you don't run into often. She is smart and intuitive. She is, as more than one of her teachers has said, the sweetest of the sweet. She is gentle and kind and loves all living creatures. Like so many pre-teens, she wants to be a veterinarian. She takes care of her little sister in ways that I can't. She will also shove you into the wall so that she is first down the stairs. She pouts when she doesn't win, but she tries to win (any and everything) at all costs. But, she is one of the best people that I know. And I am glad that God gave her to me, because she is just so cool.

Monday, July 26, 2010

This thing called "cycling".

So, I bought a road bike, and all of her friends, which set me back close to 2K. I bought a bike because my feet are just about ruined. I have chronic PF. I have chronic ITB issues. And, after this last training cycle and marathon, I have a chronic tendonitis on the TOP of my right foot. And in my right ankle. Walking hurts, almost all of the time. Advil helps, but not that much. I just don't know how to fix this.

(Digression: I don't mind getting older. I don't mind that I LOOK older. I have earned this face. I have come through the worst of storms and I have survived. If my face shows strength and resilience, I am okay with that. If my face shows a hard life, but also great love and levity, I am okay with that, too. What once was north is now heading south. I am getting ready to kiss 50. I can run marathons. I work hard and I save lives. I don't need to be 30 anymore. I am old enough that I no longer have to answer to anyone, nor do I have to put up with anyone's abuse, which include patients. What I really DO mind and what really ticks me off is that my body no longer responds or recovers like it used to. I have as much desire and drive to run hard and long and as fast as possible, but my body just can't answer the challenge. It makes me angry. I used to run a 20 miler, take a day off, and would be ready to run again. But, it isn't working like that now. I hurt. I limp. And sometimes, after a long run, or even after a sorta-long run, I dread walking down the hall to check on a patient. It gives me a new understanding into the complaints of my grumpy old people. And I HATE it.)

So. I ran 4 miles today in the mid-day heat. I ran late because I worked late...vicious cycle. Anyway, I ran. Pink Shuffle is having issues...I don't know whether it is worth it getting in line at Apple to fix her, or if just buying a new shuffle is better. Still, I love her, so getting her fixed is probably the best option. After my run, I did a few things in the house but then got a wild hair and went cycling.

I cycled the Van Fleet Trail for the second time. I didn't start until 5:30p, but it was a great time to start. I saw more gopher turtles than I could count. Apparently, 6-7 is gopher turtle dinner time. I saw doe and fawns, on the way out and on the way back...must be a deer crossing! I chose not to ride over a bunch of snakes. No gators, but I didn't stop to look. All in all, 30 miles riding the flats at about 17 mph. I don't know if that is fast or far. I do know that I was ready to quit at 28 miles, which meant that I had to ride the last ones really hard.

This cycling thing is fun. It isn't running, but if it helps save my poor, aging chassis, I am all for it. I am not sure, though, if it counts as real exercise. Still, it is sexy in its own fast way.

My bike is a SHE. And she needs a name. I will have to think about it.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Empty In Here.

The AC just kicked in. I can say this for certainty, because I heard it. The reason that I heard it is because I am home alone. Small People are with their father. College Boy is "visitin" a college-buddy. Soldier-son still isn't talking to me. And so I hear the AC kick in, because there isn't anyone else's noise to cover it up. I don't do very well alone. My whole life is an immersion in service to others. I am a mother, and a nurse. My "modus operandi" (please check the syntax and spelling) is to take care of people. Tonight and lately I am a caretaker without anyone to care for.

I ran today. 5 miles. Ran inside because I slept in until almost noon. The reason that I slept in was because I worked well past my shift and got to bed really late. But, I managed to run. And then I managed to ride. 16 miles, which would have and should have been longer and harder but I started too late because I worked too late and slept too long. I am getting the hang of riding. Well, not really. I am getting the hang of wiping my brow when there is much sweat, or glancing behind me for traffic. I am a rider who carries fear as her wingman. I am trying. Really trying. My feet feel better, and so I can run a bit more.

I'm trying to get ready for DWD. I don't want my team to be as slow as it was last year. I can't fix much about that, but I can fix my speed and fitness going into the race. And so I am trying.

I hate the quiet. I miss my little (and not so little) people. This is really hard. I think about College Boy, and his insouciant smile. About how he says "I love you, Mommy". And how he means it. I think about KT, and her freckles and her sweet, sweet self that will do whatever she can to win at all costs. She is like that. And B-Jill. My satellite. My auditory ambien. My personal glue-stick. All of them are gone. They will come back, I know. But for now.......

Monday, July 19, 2010

A Song

Small people are with their dad for 2 weeks. College boy is out of town. It is quiet here. I embrace the quiet, the lack of responsibility. I loathe the quiet, the emptiness. There is no soft snoring, no auditory ambien. I can find things because they are exactly where I left them.

This is the first time in many, many years that I have been completely alone. It is hard, much harder than I thought it was going to be. You don't know how much you miss something until it is gone.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Doc Says...

I work with doctors and patients. Job perk or job hazard, you pick 'em, depending on the day. It is a lottery, a roll of the dice, always a game of chance. I know this. I try to be the stable place in the land of change and crazy. My head has been taken off so many times by so many people that it is now attached by a bungee cord. It is all good. That is how life is for a hospital RN. If radiology is hopelessly backed up, and non-emergent studies are backed up for a day, both the doc and the patient are angry and upset. They almost never express that frustration to each other. To a doc and a patient, they express their frustrations to me, as if I have any impact at all on the flow-through of other departments. It's the same if nuclear medicine, CAT-scan, or vascular access is backed up. Everyone is frustrated and it is up to me to smooth the feathers. I am good at that. I take what I can get.

I met a doc today that I had not met before, a podiatrist. He has been consulted on many, many of my patients prior to today, but he always rounded before or after my shift. He was known to me, but I did not know him. Anyway, he was consulted on my pt, and did his thing with me assisting him. He was funny and pithy. I was funny and pithy and I had an agenda (My PF, which is really bad. Really bad. I have a relay to run in a month....yikes) Told him about my PF issues, and got some good advice. He likes nurses. He likes me. Oh yeah. Gonna work this one for some good anti-inflammatory meds for my poor feet.

Perhaps the one really great benefit of being a hospital RN is that you have daily contact with people who fix people. And sometimes those people will agree to try to fix you.

I want to run. I love to run. I don't love running when every step really, really hurts all. of. the. time.

Totally going to work this new Doc. No narcotics, but hopefuly some good knowledge.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

New Shoes

They finally came, my new Hurricanes. This time around, it took my boy, Donnie, over 2 weeks to get them to me. I broke them in with a 4 mile run on the mill (girls were with me) and VOILA! Little to no PF -- pain was negligible. Better yet, walking wasn't nearly as difficult the next day at work. Well, it started out being pain-free. I wore old running shoes to work, and by the end of the day my feet were on fire. Might have to look into old lady nursing shoes soon. Or those bizarre Shape-up things. Bah.

A second run, outside, 6 miles, in the heat and sun, and while I did have some noticeable pain and stiffness, it wasn't anything that I couldn't run through. Walking was tough for the rest of the day, but not as bad as it had been. So, I think that the new shoes are helping, and another new pair is needed so that I can rotate them.

That being said, I have made the decision to buy a good road bike. Running is my first love, but I think it is time to start spreading it around. I think it is time to become a sport slut. I need to start swimming again, too. But, fitting all of my roundness into a bathing suit and doing laps holds absolutely no thrill for me. Still, I suppose swimming is just around the bend. Anything to hang onto and improve my fitness level while not further damaging myself. Sport slutdom, here I come.

Monday, July 5, 2010

My feet are killing me and I can use a wrench.

I am waiting for a new pair of shoes to arrive, i hope, by tomorrow. I have pretty severe plantar fasciitis in both feet. It is painful to walk, much less run. So the running has been limited to 3 mile hobbles around a local lake. Am working the elliptical, but much more of that and I will be either homicidal or suicidal -- neither is a pretty option.

On the bright side (well, I am not sure that this is a bright side, but what the hell) I think I may be developing my own little testicle. I can now fix toilets, I can fix flat bike tires, I can mow a lawn, and I can take the tires off the kids bikes, force the frames into my little car, and put the wheels back on so that the bikes actually work. Next, I am going to figure out how to change the brake pads on KT's bike. The child truly needs a good set of brakes. I am turning into the queen of the little adjustable wrench. And although I still believe that the PROPER use for pliers is opening bottles of champagne, I am willing to admit that I might need more than a screwdriver and a hammer to get through life.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Admiral, there be whales here!!!!

That is one of my favorite lines from the Star Trek movies. You know, after Scottie beams a blue (?) whale on board of the Enterprise. Today, there were whales here. Well, not whales, but dolphin....lots and lots of dolphin. Big ones and baby ones all curving through the water. And we while weren't on the Enterprise, we WERE on rental kayaks, 3 adult women, 3 small people. It was overcast and drizzly and dreary. No one was on the water, except us. Moms and daughters, getting our kayak on, with no one to keep us company except a pod of dolphin breaking the surface all around us. At one point, an adult and a baby come up within touching distance of KT. Girl squeals everywhere.

You can swim with the dolphins at SeaWorld. You can do the Disney Dolphin Experience. Today, we got to learn how to kayak with a dolphin escort. The kid who wants to be a veterinarian watched as dolphin curled in front of her, almost close enough to touch.

Admiral!! There be whales here!!!