Month: September 2010

The joys of subluxations

My wrist is “out” again. Or, it could be my elbow. Or, it could be that my ulna is slightly subluxed at both the wrist and the elbow. Either way, it’s annoyingly painful. It’s not painful in the “worst pain I’ve ever had” category. And, it’s not likely to turn in to a full dislocation. It’s annoyingly painful.

I haven’t found any good way of getting it back in place on my own. It will annoy me for a day or several days and then it will resolve itself on its own (usually while I’m asleep).

I’ve been trying to write a blog post for most of the afternoon, but my brain seems to want to focus on the annoying pain in my arm instead.

Rise in teenage pregnancies

 A recent post on Ooph talks about the rise in teenage pregnancy and whether or not TV is adding too much glamour to teenage pregnancy.

Apparently getting pregnant as a teenager in the U.S. gets you a reality show and covers on People and US Magazine. And really? What teenage girl doesn’t long to be a movie star? And? All she has to do is be pregnant for nine months. That’s like, totally less than a year. Cool.

While I was not a teenage mom, my sister was. This was back in the late-80s. MTV still played music and the only real coverage of teenage pregnancy on TV was the occasional after school special.

I do think that media these days makes teenage pregnancy look too easy. The Secret Life of An America Teenager has focused more on the drama than on the reality. And, while I think Teen Mom set out to do something good to shed light on the issue, getting pregnant is now another way a reality-obsessed teen can sell her story.

Here are some of the facts (according to the March of Dimes):

  • Teen mothers are more likely to give birth prematurely
  • 1 in 4 have a second baby by the time the first baby is 2
  • Teens are more likely to smoke during pregnancy compared to pregnant adults
  • Teenagers are also the least likely to get appropriate prenatal care
  • "64% of children born to an unmarried teenage high-school dropout live in poverty"

Unless your mother is Sarah Palin, your sister is Britney Spears, or you win the MTV reality show lottery, getting pregnant as a teen is not as glamorous as TV makes it out to be.

Holding Myself Accountable

This to do list is to hold myself accountable for things I need to get done between now and when I leave for Blogworld in Vegas: 

  1. Find someone to clean my apartment 
  2. Talk to the two Massage Envy locations in Redwood City / San Mateo and find a new massage therapist 
  3. Send medical forms to Dr. Kwong so that I can get my reimbursements from my flex spending at my old job
Things that need to get done but can wait until after Blogworld if needed: 
  1. Car registration 

Why I want to go to #bloggybootcamp St. George

I've almost been to St. George a handful of times, when I was a sophomore in college I almost transferred to Southern Utah University in Cedar City. I never visited the campus and that ultimately didn't work out. Earlier this year, I applied for a job with Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Kanab, Utah. I didn't get an interview, and so I never went to Kanab. Both cities are very near St. George, Utah. 

Later this year, Bloggy Boot Camp is going to be held in St. George, and I would like to go. 

I attended the Bloggy Boot Camp in San Francisco and had a wonderful time, and I would love to attend another event. 

You can learn more about Bloggy Boot Camp St. George and the giveaway that Steph is having here

Pain and Networking

I knew I was in trouble as soon as I walked in the door of the bar for the networking event. I felt a twinge in my back, which I knew very shortly was going to turn into a spasm. 

When I had left work about 90 minutes earlier, my back was tired but didn't really hurt. Sitting in stop and go traffic for the next 75 minutes took my back from tired to that exhausted weak state that always leads to pain. 

I debated about leaving, but I had paid for the ticket earlier in the day, was already parked and going to owe money for that and was already there. I figured I would try to stay and see if I could salvage anything out of it. 

I was lucky, in a crowded bar, to find a bench seat against the wall. By the time I sat down, my back was already starting to spasm. 

One of the problems with attending networking events in San Francisco is that while I've done a pretty good job making connections in the Silicon Valley, I know very few people in San Francisco doing social media — and especially very few in the social entrepreneur space. There was not a face I knew in the very large crowd. 

I sat against that wall for almost an hour and the only person that came over to say hi was the event photographer who gave me a hard time about using my phone. 

By the time my back had calmed down, the presentation had started. I made it through that (where I was sitting, it would have been nearly impossible to get out the door) and then introduced myself to one of the founders of the company. Just standing for a few minutes to meet her had my back feeling aggravated again, so I said hello to a couple of new people and then made my way to the door. 

This is just one of the challenges of dealing with working and doing things related to work while also dealing with pain. Tonight, the pain won more than the networking. But, I showed up and gave my card to the one main person who needed to get it. 

Pain assessment

Most nights while laying in bed trying to fall asleep, I often find myself doing a bit of a pain assessment. Sometimes its more of a conscious thing as there might be some nagging pain preventing me from falling asleep.

For the most part, during the day, I try to ignore my pain unless its something that’s really screaming out for attention. During the day, I can distract myself with my computer, crafts, work, tv, driving, cooking, eating, etc. But, especially with my new apartment and the choices I’ve made to keep my bedroom TV and computer free, that’s harder to do.

I often take an inventory — how do my legs feel (especially my knees), how swollen and tight are my calves? How does my low back feel? Does it hurt to lay on my back? Either side hurting more than the other? How are my shoulders feeling? Especially on a day where I’ve done a bunch of crochet, my shoulder blades could be mildly irritated all the way up to crazy bad pain. How about my neck? And, do I have a headache? If so, what kind and how bad is it?

It’s at night when I feel the most vulnerable to the aches and pains. It’s the time of day where I feel like the pain is more in control over my body and my life than I am.

Under The Dome by Stephen King — a review

Late last night I finished Under the Dome (affiliate) by Stephen King. The basic plot is that a small town in Maine is cut off from the rest of the world when a dome suddenly appears. While there is some limited communication with the outside world, no one can leave and no one can enter. (The origins of the dome are revealed about half way through, and I won’t spoil it.) 

Stephen King does his best work when he’s examining the best and worst in people, and Under the Dome is all about what happens when people are under extreme amounts of stress. Sure, there’s a little bit of creepy supernatural things happening with the origins of The Dome, but the real story is about the people — small town politics, how an “outsider” is treated, people’s biases coming out, etc. 
If you liked The Stand, you’ll like Under the Dome. I also thought a lot about Misery when reading it. 
My only real complaint about Under the Dome was its size, and not that I felt that anything needed to be cut but the book was large that it was hard to read at times. If I owned a Kindle or an iPad, this would have been a perfect book to read on an eReader.

Surviving August with no Drive Throughs

Ever since my last knee surgery in spring of 2008, my eating habits have been atrocious. I'm not a super picky eater, but I'm a creature of habit. And, my worst habit the past 2.5 years has been eating fast food and picking up that fast food largely via drive through restaurants. It was not uncommon for me to eat breakfast, lunch and dinner out of fast food bags. 

One of my big goals when moving was to drastically reduce fast food consumption and, more specifically, eliminate the drive throughs from my life for awhile. 

I made it through the entire month of August without going through a drive through. It's been made easier because with my current job and my new apartment, I don't actually pass by any drive throughs on my way too and from work. The few mornings it was really tough was when I had to go to San Francisco in the morning. It would have made my day much easier to pick up breakfast on my way. The only real "fast food" I had during the month were a few trips to Togos, the Nob Hill deli and Una Mas. 

I haven't decided yet what my goal for September is going to be. I'd like for it to be to increase my workouts, but I'm not sure my back will cooperate with that plan. 

I’m not doing the pee-pee dance, my back hurts

My back is in a full flare again. It got better when I was on my leave of absence. But, then I moved and changed jobs and still don't have an office chair that is the right height, width, seat depth, etc.

When I'm sitting, my pain is manageable. When I'm walking, my pain is okay. However, if I'm standing still, the pain shooting from my low back and down my leg is crazy, crazy bad.

Unfortunately, I work in an office where almost everything gets accomplished by brief meetings over cubicle walls and I'm still very much in the "getting to know you" phase of things.

I realized when talking with someone last week that my movements were very similar to a kid doing the "pee-pee dance". Really, that's not the case. My bladder is (mostly) fine. I'm just trying not to fall over and scream from the pain in my back.