Month: March 2013

Where to Live? Nashville, Clarksville, Hendersonville or somewhere in between?

Last year, when I came out to Tennessee to visit and knew that it was probably that I was going to be moving here, I visited a bunch of apartments and eventually decided to live in Goodlettsville. I enjoy the surburban feel of Goodlettsville and its proximity to Nashville. It was less than an hour away from Clarksville, and that seemed okay at the time.

There were a couple of reasons why I wanted to live closer to Nashville vs. living in Clarksville:

  • I originally thought I was going to need to be in Maryland on average once a month, and I wanted to be closer to the airport. 
  • I wanted to be closer to Nashville and be able to be involved in networking activities, especially with other nonprofits
  • My sister and I have never lived super close to each other during our adult lives (I left home for college when she was 13), and I didn’t want to feel like I was crowding her

Since I moved her, some things have changed:

  • Work has decided that they only need to see me once a quarter at the most. At least a couple of those trips will be driven, so airport proximity is not important. 
  • The trip from Clarksville to Nashville is not that much longer (maybe 15-20 minutes) compared to the trip from Goodlettsville to Nashville.
  • My sister and I have been getting along pretty well and the most fun I’ve had since I’ve moved has been time that I’ve spent up in Clarksville with her and the boys. Doing Halloween crafts with my nephews was awesome, and I really like going to as many of the boys’ sporting events as I can.

My broken ankle has proven that my apartment is not really functional long-term, so I’m probably going to be moving sooner vs. later. I have to make a decision next month how long to re-up my lease. I’m not planning on moving in May — I have too much going on in my life the next couple of months to make that happen, but I’m seriously thinking about moving sometime late summer or this fall.

Now I just have to decide where to focus my search.

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I’m Turning 40

In a little over a month and a half, I’m going to be turning 40. I’m having very stereotypical feelings about it and the current state of my life. I’m finding these feelings a bit odd and I find myself comparing turning 40 to how I felt when I turned 30.

IMG_20130329_210756My 20s was a huge time of personal growth. I had spent a good deal of time in therapy, especially dealing with the PTSD of my childhood and its abuse. I had also finally received a diagnosis for the health problems that had been a huge part of my life and was coming to terms with what that meant for my future. I felt that I had a lot to look forward to in my 30s.

Now, I’m about to turn 40 and I feel like I’m struggling with where I’m at in my life. Rationally, I know I’m a pretty spectacular person. I’ve been thrown a lot of challenges in my life, and I know I’ve dealt with them well. Many people dealing with the Ehlers-Danlos are on disability and not able to take care of themselves, and I’ve been mostly on my own since I was 18. I pay my own bills, I live in a good apartment, I have a great job, I’m respected by people in my industry, I managed a move cross-country by myself — I have a pretty decent life. But, there are some pretty big holes in my day-to-day.

Friendships: I have a hard time making friends. Moving to Tennessee has a been a lonely time for me.

Dating & Relationships: Dating has always been difficult for me. My lack of dating history is now a detriment to relationships of its own. I’ve been out on a lot of first dates — not any since I’ve been in Tennessee — but quite a bit over the past 10 years. I know I’m quirky and unique. When you throw in the Ehlers-Danlos and my other health issues, most guys immediately rule me out as undateable.

My Weight: I’ve gone back and forth and back and forth and then back and forth again about whether or not to do weight loss surgery. I’ve made appointments and cancelled them. When it comes to nutrition, I know what I should do, but I struggle to do them. I feel like I’ve done a good job lately of portion control and feel that’s helping. My biggest challenge is getting momentum when it comes to working out. For the first time in months (since moving to Nashville), I finally felt like I was making momentum and then I broke my ankle. The good news is that I’ve been very diligent about my eating the past month and have actually lost a few pounds. This is my big goal to get this on track once my ankle is healed up.

Liz & Brad blanket

My sister Liz got married before I started making blankets for people getting married. I’ve always meant to do a blanket for her, but it kept getting put off.

Liz Brad blanketThis blanket was originally intended as a Christmas present, but didn’t make it in time.

I made this using Simply Soft Yarn. It started out as a never-ending granny square and then I added additional rows in double and half-double crochet.

Liz brad blanket close up

The Drive-Thru Dilemma

Back in July, 2010 when I moved to the Redwood Shores area of Redwood City and started at Care2, I set a goal to give up drive-thrus for a month. While working at my previous job, I was in the very bad habit of eating via the drive-thru for almost all my meals. On a regular week-day, I was at a drive-thru window at least twice and sometimes more.

My drive-thru habit was a combination of factors — there were several fast food restaurants close to my office, which made them very convenient; my kitchen in my studio apartment was very hard to cook in; and I was being lazy.

My one exception to my drive-thru rule was Sonic. It was easy to have Sonic as my “cheat” because the closest Sonic was more than 10 miles away. The only time I was going to be near a drive-thru would be on a road trip of one sort or another.

My drive-thru fast worked out great. One month turned into two and then it was a year and then 18 months. I went on several road trips and even stopping at Sonic wasn’t tempting. I even drove cross-country from California to Tennessee and looked forward to getting out of my car and stopping to eat.

Moving to Tennesse screwed up my plans to have Sonic as a cheat. There are four Sonic locations within five miles of my apartment. Even though I have become a regular customer, I still had successfully avoided other drive-thru restaurants until a couple of months ago. My food craving brain decided I needed Taco Bell one night. Since I broke my ankle, I have also used the convenience of other drive-thrus to eat. I will add that almost everything has a drive-thru in Tennessee — Starbucks, Panera, some Sonic locations, other chain restaurants.

I’m now trying to decide whether once my ankle gets healthy if it’s worthy going on another drive-thru fast.

Is lifetime offender registration fair?

I haven’t written much lately about the abuse in my past. I consider it a personal success that my life isn’t defined by what I went through as a child.

However, there are times when national events and debates in the media bring feelings to the surface, and today is one of those times.

One of the topics coming out of the Steubenville rape trial is whether or not the young men convicted of the crime deserve the penalty of lifetime registration as a sex offender. I think that they do.

For this young woman, the trauma of what happened to her on that horrific night will never go away. In one way or another, it will be something that stays with her for the rest of her life. Hopefully, she will receive the counseling and support that she needs to move on and have a productive, happy life. The men that are convicted of the crime should have to deal with the consequences of their actions for just as long.

I was abused by a family member — my step-father. That abuse stretched over 3 years and if defined by individual acts would reach into the 100s — if not over 1000. For all of that abuse, my step-father received a ridiculously light prison sentence thanks to a good lawyer and a clever plea bargain. At times, in my early 20s, when I was in the depths of a depression caused by PTSD the only solace I had was that my step-father’s name is on a list and will be on that list for the rest of his life. The young victim in this case deserves the same.

A broken ankle

ankle bootDue to my genetic disorder, I’ve had relatively few broken bones. Loose ligaments and tendons tend to give (and sometimes tear) before bones break.

At some point, I had a tiny fracture in my wrist but didn’t know about it.

My other two broken bones have been both of my tibias and those were intentional to correct the alignment of my knees.

I now have a broken ankle to add to the list.

My slip and fall last week led to a broken medial mallelous. I was really hoping it wasn’t broken, but I was wrong. I also have a torn ligament in there, too.

I’m now wearing a giant boot and trying to stay off of it as much as possible to let it heal.

Living in Fear — And What Happens When the Fear Comes True

My friend Molly inspired this post. 

I’ve been meaning to write it for the past 36 hours, but her post has given me the courage to go ahead and post it. 

Around noon on Tuesday, I was walking out to my car to get something and I slipped. As I slipped and felt my ankle go in a direction its not supposed to my first thought was “not again”. As I sat there in the mud and the rain, I started to move both of my legs and evaluate the damage. Was my left knee okay? Yes. Was my left ankle okay? Yes.

My right leg was another story. As I moved my leg from being underneath me to straight, my first thought was that there was something wrong with me knee. A few bends, and I realized my knee was okay. My ankle was a whole different story. The shocky pain was increasing, and I could already tell that the ankle didn’t look right.

ImageI then had to think about my left wrist, which yet again had taken the bulk of the leverage during the fall. The wrist felt okay, but the palm of my hand was a bit messed up from the rocks in the sidewalk. 

While all this thinking was going on, I was also starting to realize that I wasn’t sure how I was going to get from where I was at (in the mud and the rain) and get back in to my apartment. Of course, because I was going to my apartment just for a minute I hadn’t brought my phone with me. Thankfully, someone from the manager’s office had seen me sitting in the mud and realized that something might be wrong. They sent over one of the maintenance team, who I was able to tell where one of my walkers was and he helped me make it in to my apartment. 

I go to the orthopedic tomorrow to get the final declaration if its a sprain or break and decide what the next steps are as far as healing. 

I live every day in a constant state of fear that this type of accident might happen. Most days are okay and I’m able to push through and do things, but any time I step down a step I worry. 

Unfortunately, I took that wrong step and the fear came true.