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Monday, April 27, 2009

Home,again, home again....

I've been out of town for the last week-plus. I spent 5 days in Washington DC, then came home for 12 hours and left for Seattle for 4 more days. The trips were great, but I am glad to be home. DC was our Mid Year Assembly for the national organization for nurse anesthetists. There were a couple days of conferences, mainly prep for going to Capitol Hill. Then there were a couple of days of each state's delegation going to visit its legislators and discuss various issues with them. It's about visibility for our profession, especially in light of health care reform that is happening as we speak. It was very enlightening to see how Congress actually works, and see that senators and representitives are actual people and there is no need to fear contacting them and telling them how you, their constituent, feels about issues. They actually do listen. In between all of that, we met lots of CRNAs and student nurse anesthetists, went to lots of fabulous dinners, and saw the sights in DC. It's a lovely city, and I hope to return someday and see more of it.

The Seattle trip was for our state organization. They had their spring conference this past weekend. I wouldn't have gone, except that I am the student representitive from my program for this year, which meant I needed to go to their board meeting. It's an honorary thing; no vote, and no responsibilities, just mentoring really. The conference itself was interesting, lots of good speakers and topics. I also saw some friends in town, which was great.

Now I am back into stress-mode for school. I feel like I've fallen behind in my studies; I've been away for over a week, and we have an exam tomorrow in OB. We are going to 2:1 supervision next week and becoming "seniors" which is a big deal and marks the final 12 month sprint to graduation. For our first year in the OR, we are supervised on a 1:1 basis, meaning that there is a CRNA in the room with us at all times. When we go to 2:1, we are supervised by the docs, and one doc watches a student nurse anesthetist in 2 different OR rooms. It's great experience because we get to develop our skills and our style of delivering an anesthetic, make more decisions ourselves, but the MD is present for induction and emergence, and if we have questions or problems at any point during the case. But it's a big shift, and it's a bit scary.

On my run tonight, I realized just how much negative self-talk I still have. I was telling myself how much work I have to do, how much studying, how I'm not ready for Bloomsday, how I'm not doing well enough in my recovery, I still haven't lost the 10 pounds I want to lose...and then I finally stopped and realized what I was doing. Learning to be kinder to myself doesn't come easily. I've got a lot going on, and I'm keeping my head above water. I'm very tired, and stressed, but really I'm doing okay. I've got to learn that a bit better.

I gained a few pounds while gone. But between all the restaurant eating, and no running all that time, I think I got off easy. Here's hoping it comes off without too much struggle.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


I ran Doomsday Hill tonight. It's actually Pettit Drive, but the organizers of the Bloomsday Race I think were the ones to christen the hill, perhaps for a little more publicity for their very popular race. Anyway, I was concerned about it. The race is in 3 weeks.

It's funny, I started running a little over a year ago. I have never had any desire to race. I still don't. I haven't done a 5K or a 10K and I have no plans for a half or a marathon. I just wanted to do Bloomsday (12K) because it's here in Spokane and it's a huge event: it used to be the largest footrace in the world, until last year when I think Dubai or someplace got 80,000 to run in their race. Bloomsday still attracts around 50,000 runners (and walkers) every year.

I'm going to be starting in the slowest group, with my hubby and some friends from school (I think). I have no plans to run without walking, or beat any particular time. I really just wanted to be part of the event.

Doomsday turns out not to be that terrible. I did walk a little midway through. It isn't much steeper than the hill I normally train on. The only terrible part is that it's almost a mile long and it's a steady grade, so there is no respite until the top. And it's around mile 5, so you're already pretty tired by then. But I was pretty pleased with the run anyway.

I didn't run the entire route; I only ran 4 miles today. I heard a long time ago that it's not great to run the race course while training for the race because it's a letdown on the day of the race--you've already run it--and you'll have adrenaline to carry you through the unexpected rough patches. I don't have any idea if that is true or not, but it does make sense. I KNOW I can walk 7.7 miles, so it's not a question of finishing. And I know I get a boost when I am running with other people around; I do have a tiny bit of competitiveness in me.

I'm looking forward to it!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Good News....

3 pounds decided to leave. Don't know why they suddenly left, but I hope they stay gone. 3 more to go...then I can get back to losing the last few to goal. grr, regain sucks!

But, I've managed to stay within an 8 pound range for almost a year now, and very close to my goal, which could only be possible with the Band. Even though my eating habits are far from perfect, I've been able to do it for longer than I have EVER done it in my entire adult life. I've never stayed at any weight this long, really. So it's still a victory. I'll feel a lot better when I'm back down a little lower, though.

Today I planned on a run after clinicals, but was greeted by a real hail-storm. We've had several hail-storms this year, but usually it's just tiny hailstones. This time they were up to the size of a Gobstopper, like a centimeter or more in diameter, which is VERY unusual around here. Luckily they weren't that hard, and they didn't do any damage that I have seen. But they did dissuade me from running Doomsday Hill today. So I am off to the gym, to the Dreadmill. Hopefully tomorrow I can get in some outdoor mileage.

I'm trying to structure this week effectively. I am doing a 2 week rotation at our local VA hospital, which is an all-CRNA practice, and has a much slower pace than our usual clinical site. As such, I'll have a little bit more time, so I'm making an effort to get caught up on studying OB and finishing my portion of the lit review for our research project before leaving for DC on Friday morning. I have not studied nearly as much as I would like to have done this semester...my head hasn't been in the game, and there isn't as much pressure to do so, which is good and bad. But today I've been pretty good, spending some hours in the library studying (and very little of it on Facebook!). Tomorrow should be even better, fingers crossed...

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Time Flies

I've been working away, and now it's already the middle of April. Where does the time go?

Here it is, Easter tomorrow. I used to celebrate it in high-church style when I was growing up. I grew up an Episcopalian, so High Church meant "smells and bells:" incense, 3 choirs singing, trumpets, lots of acolytes and priests in their finest regalia. When I was a girl, my mother would make me a new Easter dress every year. Usually she would play violin at church, as she did for most holidays and other Sundays, and when I was a teenager I often played with her. Of course, we also did the usual Easter things like baskets full of candy and dyeing eggs, and the occasional Easter egg hunt at church. In the afternoon, we'd go to my grandparents' house for dinner, which was pretty traditional.

These days, I get back to Easter's more pagan roots, celebrating the beginning of spring and the end of winter. And eating a lot of candy, of course. I try to do some of those little things for my husband, who grew up not celebrating holidays and never had those little things growing up. So we have Peeps, which I love but he does not. (Mmm, crunchy sugery outside, marshmallowy inside.)

This seems like an appropriate time to mention that I've regained about 6 pounds. They seemed to show up mysteriously over the last 6 weeks, or more like over 4 weeks, and have hung on the last 2 weeks, despite cleaning up my diet and running more. I don't know if it's the low-level chronic stress I'm now living in, or if I just haven't done as well as I thought. But there it is, staring at me every morning.

Still, I plan on running Bloomsday in about a month, even though I haven't run more than 5 miles in 6 months and it's a 12k. I won't end up running it all (I always walk/run anyway) but I'd like to kick things up over the next month, and hope it improves my weight as well.

That's it, not much exciting going on around here. Oh, wait...I am going to DC next week, that's pretty cool. Anyone know what the weather's going to be like?