An eventful weekend

I had a pretty eventful weekend.  I painted my own personal masterpiece.  And I finally promoted to high white belt in tae kwon do.  And even though I was beyond exhausted, I thoroughly enjoyed it all.

First, the cause of my exhaustion.  On Thursday, I had my very first solo on call night at the hospital.  No buddy nurse.  I was expected to be able to handle myself on my own.  That being said, there is always someone to call if help is needed.  I had a very busy night.  I (obviously) can’t share all the details, but between my 10 hour day on Thursday and my 10 hour day on Friday, I put in an 8 hour night.  I managed to get about 2 hours of sleep before getting called into the hospital.  It was an amazing learning experience.  And I was very grateful to the other call team who stayed to help me out.  All that to say: I was tired by the time I got home Friday night.

But, I was excited to head out with some friends for a canvas painting class.  I started with the blank canvas.  And a little wine.

Over the next three hours, our instructor walked us step-by-step through the process of creating our painting.  I am such a perfectionist that I had a hard time with it at first.  But after a little while, my sheer exhaustion (and the wine) softened my perfectionism and I just had a great time with the process.


When everyone was finished we posed with our paintings.  I think everyone had a wonderful time.  I would certainly do this again.  Maybe on a full night’s sleep.

Here is my masterpiece.  Not bad for someone with absolutely no. artistic. talent.

Tim really liked it.  And he is much more artistic than I am.  I think this would be a great date night for us. 

On Saturday morning I (tried to) sleep in.  Jaden and I had a tae kwon do class at 10:00 and then in the afternoon I had my first promotion.  I felt like I had been a white belt forever just because there hadn’t been a promotion date for quite a while.  Jaden came along to watch (and to see how I feel sitting through a few hours of promotions to watch him for 15 minutes).  He also served as the camera man…so excuse the blurry pictures.

First I had to demonstrate some punches and kicks.  Kicking is my favorite.  Then I had to demonstrate my form.  There were some pretty incredible athletes in the higher belts.  There was a gentleman testing for his high red belt and he was able to break four boards with an ax kick.  He was really fun to watch.  And, it gives me something to work towards.

After the promotion, we gathered for a group photo.  This is the group of students from my studio who promoted.  There was a slightly larger group from the Medford studio who also promoted that day.

The next promotion date is set for the end of April.  I am really hoping that I can get enough classes in and learn all my skills so that I can test for my yellow belt at that promotion.  I love tae kwon do!

And Sunday…I took a nap.

Injection #?

I went back to Bone and Joint yesterday for yet another caudal epidural.  When I went in last month for a follow up with the doctor, she told me that she could basically keep doing the injections, up to 6 times a year…maybe 7 times, since I don’t have diabetes.  Steroids can really mess with your blood sugar.

I don’t think that getting multiple injections a year is necessarily the best answer to the pain problem, but it is what I have available to me right now. 

Yesterday’s procedure when really well.  The entire process was the same as before.  But, the pre-op nurse did remind me that I should let the scheduler know that since I don’t take the valium, I can come in 30 minutes later for my arrival time.

I will say that this was the most effective use of lidocaine.  She did such a great job of numbing my tailbone that I didn’t feel anything for the rest of the procedure.  Once that local anesthesia wore off, I was a bit sore for the rest of the day. 

The other thing that I talked about with the doctor at my last appointment was the plan of getting a surgical consult with a spinal surgeon.  There is a pretty good spinal surgeon at Bone and Joint.  One who works at the hospital where I work.  Everyone has good things to say.  However, since Bone and Joint is not in my insurance network, I decided to go see a doctor at the Marshfield Clinic. 

I called last week to see if I could get an appointment, but they want the referral to come through my doctor at Bone and Joint.  So, I had to call back to the nurse who works with my case and ask her to get the ball rolling for me.  I swear, insurance is so annoying.  I am hoping to hear something back from someone in a week or two so I can schedule the appointment.

The weird thing about this whole process is that I don’t want surgery.  And my doctor doesn’t think I am a good surgical candidate.  But, she wants to make sure that we are pursuing all possible avenues.  So I guess I’ll be talking to a surgeon trying to convince him that he can’t operate on me.  In all seriousness, if there is a surgical procedure that will get rid of the pain, while still allowing me to do all the things I want to do, I would really consider it.

Today, I got on the treadmill for 6.5 miles.  That is the furthest I have run in over a year.  It felt pretty good.  I kept the pace slow.  While I am slowly building up my mileage, I haven’t gotten anywhere close to the pace I used to run.  I wish I could run faster, but beggars can’t be choosers, right? 

I am still tossing around the idea of running the Cellcom half marathon in May.  That race has always been one I have wanted to run.  Since I am definitely going to be running fewer events going forward, I am going to be a bit more selective when deciding on races. 

I am also planning on volunteering at the Oshkosh half and full marathon in April.  If I can make things work out with the rest of my schedule, I will be in the medical tent at the finish line.  Again, I would rather be running, but this is a great way to help out and still be involved.

Let me know if you are going to be at either of those races.  I would love to see you.

February month in review

February was a pretty decent month for running…at least the first half was.  Sometime around the middle of the month, the back pain started returning.  I saw my doctor and I’m getting another epidural Monday morning.

I managed 65 miles of running for the month.  I’m pretty happy with that, considering it is a short month, and I am only averaging three runs a week (not counting my daily mile at lunch on the days I’m working).  I worked my ‘long run’ up to 6 miles.  I’m only increasing it by 1/4 mile each week.  I’m tossing around the idea of a spring/summer half marathon, so I might need to increase a bit faster.

Unfortunately, I still haven’t been in the pool.  My work schedule doesn’t allow me to get there during the times the pool is open.  However, my almost-6-month orientation is complete and my schedule opens up a bit now, so I’m hoping to be able to find the time to hit the pool again.

Speaking of work, I had a second weekend of ‘buddy call’ toward the end of February.  I was really hoping that it would be a huge confidence booster and I would feel ready to tackle anything that comes my way when I am on call by myself.  Well, I certainly wouldn’t call it a confidence booster.  I still feel like I have so much to learn.  During the days, I know that there are people around and I generally don’t worry too much.  If I have questions, or I can’t find something, I can just ask someone.  But when there is a procedure in the middle of the night, my options are much slimmer.  To say I am nervous about my first night of call (next week) would be an understatement.

I am still really enjoying tae kwon do.  I will finally promote to a high white belt next weekend.  I feel completely ready and I can’t wait to start learning even more skills.  My favorite part of tae kwon do is kicking.  I love feeling strong and powerful with a great roundhouse kick.  I can’t wait to add the spinning and jumping to my kicks!  Jaden enjoys giving me his ‘advice’ on how I should be doing things in class.  Smile  I think he is really enjoying being ahead of his mom.