Monthly Archives: October 2015

Moving – Carefully

We are between houses, in transition, encumbered by our possessions and overwhelmed by the buying, selling and moving process.  And… we are oldish and we are injured..  Dan has a splint on his injured thumb, and I have a boot on my sprained ankle.  Between the two of us, we are next to worthless.

Tuesday night I went flying down the stairs between our office and living room; a trip I successfully navigate dozens of times on most days.  On this particular trip, my brain miscalculated the number of steps and/or the gravity was particularly strong;  I missed a step entirely, landing with my full weight on the side of my left foot, causing a tumble, which was followed by a volley of extremely bad language and a trip to the ER.

As a tennis player, I have rolled my ankle (come to think of it – it is always the same ankle) a few other times; and am familiar with the routine:  Ice, elevation, wrapping and rest.  This felt different, the pain was intense and I could not conceive of putting any weight on the foot.  It was the most pain I’d experienced since my emergency appendectomy a few years ago.  After describing my symptoms to the on-duty triage nurse, she advised me to go in and get it X-Rayed.

This all transpired at the inconvenient time of 7:45 pm.  Our local Urgent care clinic closes at 8 pm; so the only option for immediate medical attention was the Emergency Room.   Dan took a little convincing that my injury merited that level of attention — including a chaufered trip to the hospital 20 miles away.   Once convinced, the logistics of getting me off the couch (where I had camped with a bag of ice and my ipad);  up a flight of stairs and into the car was a challenge.   Dan was helpfully lifting on my arm, which helped keep weight off my foot, but did absolutely nothing to help propel me forward or upward. We do own a pair of crutches, but they were one of the many assorted items in storage–awaiting our move.   Eventually we managed to lurch to the car for the trip the ER.

Once there, Dan had several suggestions for the hospital facility staff concerning the drop-off and parking accommodations; which were not very accommodating on this very rainy evening. Dan is prone to offering helpful advice of this nature–a characteristic that does not always endear him to his audience.

The Physician’s assistant that attended to me was someone I sat next to during four years of High School Homeroom.  While this was not a particularly encouraging memory–it is truly unfair to judge anyone based solely on their High School experience.  We had a fairly awkward exchange during which I learned that he had not attended our recent HS reunion because he had not been invited; and he does not own a cell phone or use Facebook.

After X-rays the diagnosis was a fractured metatarsal bone in my foot (although I kept thinking ‘marsupial’ instead of metatarsal–and no, the only pain medication I had taken was Ibuprofen).  I was given a fracture ‘one size fits many’ Boot –roughly the dimensions and weight of an ottoman;  and was sized for crutches.  After a couple attempts to fit me with the youth sized crutches, I was issued an adult pair on their lowest height setting.

During my follow-up visit with the bone doc; I learned that I do not have a fracture, but merely a sprain.  I graduated from the ginormous boot and crutches to a lace up support brace; and my foot is already doing much better.

Suffice it to say that I am taking my time navigating any stairs.  Look twice and step once.

NEDA Conference – Year 2

It was my second year of attendance at the NEDA annual conference.  This year I took Guzzy with me to San Diego as well as my husband, Dan–we extended our trip to combine the conference with a couple days of sight-seeing.

San Diego is jaw-dropping gorgeous.  The hotel for the conference was on the bay and the weather was perfect for 4 of our 5 days there.  On the 5th day, San Diego received approximately 1/5 of its annual rainfall. Goodbye whale watching tour, hello museums at Balboa park!

The conference got off to a great start with breakfast the first morning.  Sitting right behind us was Jenni Schaefer — a well-known author and acclaimed speaker in the Eating Disorder world. In recovery herself, Jenni has written what is *IMO) the best book available from the perspective of someone who has been there:  Life Without ED.   Jenni had donated a signed copy of the book to our walk and she speaks at some of the bigger NEDA Walk venues around the country.  She is famous in the ED world – -and she was sitting 5 feet away!

So–I got up and introduced myself to her.  I had no sooner gotten out the words ‘coordinator of the Madison Walk’ when she announced — “Oh, I would Love to speak at the Madison Walk!”   Obviously I was thrilled–we chatted a bit more; and after that I was too nervous to talk to her during the rest of the conference for fear she would change her mind!    Assuming we can coordinate the schedule; we will have an AMAZING speaker for next year’s walk.

The conference was attended by a myriad of scientists, treatment providers, activists, NEDA Staff, moms, dads and those in recovery.  It was awesome to see these communities come together for a common cause.  It is the dedication and passion of the PEOPLE that make all the difference.  We met a young woman who gushed over the healing powers of flotation – which was key in her recovery;  I met parents from Alaska who had spent thousands of dollars traveling and seeking intensive treatments in other states for their critically-ill daughter, after having been told initially to wait a few months for a mental-health provider to swing through their remote town–even as their daughter was critically ill.   The lack of treatment in non-urban areas is a tremendous challenge.

The conference continues to inspire and I could see it through a slightly different lens with Guzzy by my side.  The first keynote was  Jennifer Siebel Newsom, Director of the documentary Miss Representation;  she gave a wonderful and passionate speech about the gender assigned roles attributed to our children from very young ages and the impacts that has on us personally and collectively.   Guzzy has often chided me for my feminist viewpoint, so I was particularly happy to have her hear a feminist perspective from someone else: someone younger, attractive, intelligent and most importantly– not-her-mom.   (editorial comment/rant:  I realize that many people get the heebie-jeebies from the word ‘feminist’ and will fail to identify as such, even if their perspective is one based on equity and fairness.)

I was able to meet with a couple other walk coordinators;  attended several break out sessions:  some were great, some were blah and at least one, dealing with study results about brain chemistry, was over our heads.   Guzzy chose to nap during the session pertaining to College for ED sufferers.  But, I have all the notes for when/if she is ready to think about that.  Might be  next month, might be next year, might be never.

While San Diego is beautiful, it does not hold a candle to Wisconsin in the Fall.  Although I will most definitely yearn for warmer climes in the months to come.


Falling Into Place

Two months ago, I was discombobulated and unsettled due primarily to an increasing level of dissatisfaction with my job.  Fortunately, I had a few options to consider-my decision boiling down to what I really WANTED to do–which isn’t always an easy question to answer.

At the same time, Dan and I were hemming and hawing about where to live–now that Guzzy was/is out of High School and there is nothing (really) keeping us in our cozy (aka small) house in our cozy suburb.  Dan wasn’t really cut out for the ‘burbs–he prefers a more remote home setting.

Today:  I am happily employed at my new ‘old’ place of work; having taken a position at a former employer–eschewing the ‘shiny’ possibilities of a brand  new new gig for a known commodity, working with people I respect and doing interesting work.

Tomorrow:  we buy our new house.  During our hemming and hawing stage two-ish months ago,  we attended some open houses… and we both fell in love with a log cabin home on a few acres about 10 minutes from our current home–it was really unusual for Dan and I to go gaga over the same house.  Although we will officially own the home tomorrow, we won’t take occupancy for a few more weeks – by prearrangement with the sellers.  We will have a week to move in before the scheduled closing date on our current house– which we listed ourselves, receiving a good offer within 8 days.

Sometimes… just sometimes…. things fall into place.  I can’t say I would necessarily recommend starting a new job, buying a house and selling a house (without a realtor) all within a two month period:  but for us, it seems as if things are falling into place after what felt like holding our breath for just a bit too long.

Of course, a move requires a long-hard look at one’s belongings.  We’ve made numerous trips to Goodwill and are selling off larger items via Craigslist.  These items fall into three general categories:  Items we haven’t used much (treadmill); items we don’t want to move (piano); or items that won’t fit the new space  (Guzzy’s queen size bed).  We also put a boatload of crap on a ‘pod’ that is now in storage (aka a ‘podload’ of crap), to reduce clutter while we were showing the house.  While the intent was to pod only those items we wouldn’t need until after the move; inevitably, there are some things that it is inconvenient to be without:

  • My bowling ball:   I bowled today for the first time in a few years, and (horrors) I had to use a community ball; which threatened to slip backwards off my hand several times due to an ill-fitting thumb hole.
  • Our ping pong table:  I have entered my first-ever ping-pong Tournament (at work). Despite the lack of practice, I’m still alive in the third round.
  • Wrapping paper:  All of our wrapping paper is on the pod, requiring some improvisation for a recent birthday party.  Thank god for the Sunday paper.

So, if you’ll excuse me, I have some packing to do!