Sunday, October 30, 2022

Control and Self-Sabotage

     The architecture convention was nice, my first. Good to be the spouse of a convention rather than an attendee. I holed myself up in the hotel room and read three books and got a massage and walked around a bit - the locale was a concrete jungle but the weather was beautiful. Cecelia and her friends Mia and Blakely came up Thursday night and we treated them at Local Lime. The girls were happy and the food was wonderful and the tres leche cake servings were enormous. 

    Daisy Darker I'd recommend - I gave it to Cecelia to share with Mia and her roommates. The plot twist surprised me and the characters were interesting. I also read Verity, by Colleen Hoover maybe? It was terrible I left it in the hotel room. So much boring sex scenes I felt like I was reading Fifty Shades of Grey, which I never read, but I did pick it up from a friend on a beach trip and read maybe three pages? How does this stuff get NYT bestseller status? Are there that many sex starved people in the country that this is titillating? I was telling Mia and Blakely about it and they had heard of her and the reputation. Bad soft porn, I said. I starting skipping the scenes to try to get to the plot, which had a lot of holes. But it made for a quick read.

    Love on the Brain was surprisingly wonderful brain candy. I had read her first book, and didn't love it, so I was hesitant to get into it but the characters were lovable and even though it was so predictable it still managed to have some surprises at the end. And cats. Lots of cat love. Intelligent brain candy, and full of humor. A good escape.

    I need escape. It's been a tough Fall. Cecelia is entertaining a transfer and I continue to support her on that. She is crawling out of a dangerous path of overachieving without self nourishment. She's doing great, but there are still bumps in the road. I tell her that the more she is trying to control, and be her old rocket ship self, she is self sabotaging. This morning I gave her an example.

    I've had a couple of rough anniversaries. Friday was one of them. About three years ago, I had another. We used to follow the traditional anniversary gifts, it was fun, but we abandoned it this year. That bad year was cotton. I bought a trivial t-shirt and a bundle of cotton - I was overworked and overstressed and didn't put the time in that it deserved. S did have time, it was about five months before he started his current job, and he put Heaven and Earth into it. Researched bedding and went all out.

    I was not pleased. A person's bed is their haven. When I divorced, I researched it a lot. Got a brand new bed, sheets with a crazy good thread count - isn't that a thing? I can't remember, maybe the higher the better, and I bought the best. Found an amazing Eileen Fisher silk bedspread that I use to this day and had some custom designed silk pillows to accent the ones that had the duvet covers. I felt, with the change, that my safety had been stripped from me. Was I able to articulate this? No. Did I try to cover it up to preserve the day? Yes. It did not work. We had a terrible tense day of hiking and lunch at Tropical Smoothie and my attempts to cover up and salvage my disappointment with effort and false cheer were not successful. I was not able to explain this accurately until the ride home yesterday. It was freeing.

    I try to teach this to my kids, especially C these days. You have to let go, it's hard, even for me, at almost 50. So you didn't have the picture perfect Halloween weekend. So you aren't achieving your goals as soon as you make them. So what? Lay on the couch, let go of FOMO, and stop freaking beating yourself up. Make plans with friends. Old trope but, fake it until you make it.

    I took a walk today, and the smell of the outside and the dirt post rain and the transition to Fall and the Halloween decor at other's homes was a balm. I've got another couple of full work weeks then a short one. Planning to have a girl's weekend with Lys at her lake cabin after her Nov. 17 birthday. C is volunteering again at Camp Aldersgate this weekend and will be here Thursday night to shadow at Hendrix the next day. Happy Sunday, much love, Elizabeth

Thursday, October 20, 2022

Happy Friday Eve!

     I'm not sure I remember what I wrote last weekend, it was kind of stream of consciousness. Last week was one of the hardest weeks of my life. The Monday, not this week, but the one before, was tough. Tuesday I was a shell of myself, even Melody noticed. I was on cytology, and I had a testicular tumor that wasn't grossed right. After I called and asked some more senior levels to assist fixing the mistake, I realized I shouldn't even have gotten a testicular tumor in the first place and when Jessica asked me if she could give it to someone else, she apologized for the error, I burst into tears on the phone. 

    The guilt of handing it off eclipsed my state of hollowness. But she convinced me to give it to Shaver and I felt so bad when he asked me yesterday, rather guiltily, to cover for him for a couple of hours (three bronchs, one in the SICU, and I was covering call morning frozens) I was like why do you think this is a big ask? You do so much for me. Let me help you. He was grateful. As am I. We may be a little dysfunctional but we are a democratic work family and that supersedes an autocracy.

    Tonight at Three Fold at dinner with Jack and S we talked about Effie and Mike coming for Thanksgiving - Mike cleared it with his family that I was ok to come - Bill had a hard time but he's gone. And even though he couldn't be in the same room with me since I divorced Mike I'm still sad. Sometimes you work with people on their cylinders. Not everyone can work on all cylinders. And it's ok. It's their path in life, not mine, so I honored it. Especially bc it caused conflict with the family. I don't want to be a source of conflict, even though it's not my battle.

    I'm off Tuesday through the weekend next week. S's architecture convention is in Bentonville. We are staying at the Embassy Suites, and I'm excited to be close enough to Cecelia to be able to support her and spend time with her. Need to book a massage too. It's been too long. God this has been a hard Fall. Literally and figuratively. But Lisa taught me, and Paula reinforces, that we will not be handed anything we cannot handle. So my Pollyanna state is a little bit intact.

    Kewen texted me and Amanda today - she is off next week too and wants to have dinner. I stalled the re-opening of the book club bc C has been so fragile I feel like I am on call for her more than for any frozen section. We plan Ocean's next Monday night. K said she would pick me up - my night vision and driving is giving me near panic attacks. More guilt, but I supported her through her cancer and she is now supporting me through my troubles with my kiddo so tit for tat. It all works out. 

    Feeling a little more emotionally stable so that's good, especially since work is fucking crazy. I bumped into Whit Goodwin, rad and avid Trump supporter, in the dr lounge this week. We commiserated over our governing bodies and their lack of care for our well being. Giving us ridiculous things to do with our time to make money for them. I told him it's the same everywhere. Academics, oil companies, etc. We need to brace ourselves bc no party is serving the people the way they should. Mid terms, schmid terms. We can only do the best we can. Despite the fact that we are working twice as hard as we did ten years ago for the same compensation (we shared charts and documents to support it) we are still there for patient care.

    I've got BHEC committee in the morning at 7am. Skipped CARTI tumor board this morning bc they didn't give me anything to present and what's the point? Might change my mind in a few months but for now, grace and ease. That's what Paula preaches and I agree. Still. Mindfulness. Hoping C gets that memo, I've certainly preached it to her many times over the last two months. I'm so proud of her, she's rock climbing and mountain biking and transitioning into a better person. Transition is not always easy. Happy almost Friday on one of the second longest weeks of my life (last week was terrible). Much love, Elizabeth.



Saturday, October 15, 2022

What a Week

     You know how you think you have hit a low then you hit a new low? Not fun. But it is what it is. When I'm stressed, I get manic. Retrospectoscope. This week I dived down two internet black holes. The first was a post in Bad Mom Docs - someone asked for good fall finds to wear on Amazon. 364 comments later I had an arsenal of fall wear to order. And it was prime week, so the finds were mostly under 20 bucks. 

    Fast forward to last night I was trying on many outfits and 85% looked ok. It's hard to shop with my size. Medium is 8-10 Large is 12-14 so I'm 10-12 it puts me into an arbitrary category. Normally best to size up. Especially for fall clothes. I have been guilty of toxically putting my large self into the 6-8 category my whole life. Abandoning that this year. Gave away all those sizes. And also my shoe size? Not a nine. They hurt. Gave them all to C. I'm a 10. It's freeing.

    Also been going down an advent calendar hole. There are so many good ones. Above and beyond the gift store Baptist chocolate ones. So far I've ordered a chili one for J, bath and body ones for me, Sara, and my mom, and planning sex toy ones for Christy and a wine one for S. A makeup one for C. You can spend thousands on advent calendars. But I'm not. Only a little around a hundred. 

    We all hate our bodies right? When there is nothing really to hate. S and I joke that we become like our cats. Well I've got a Katybell waddle. Which is ok for me to say, but if anyone else does? Including S? Instant decapitation. He's right about one thing. Me and Katy can sneeze with the best. Champion level sneezing. That's worth a few calories. More than I've been logging in lately. I'm a marshmallow, but I'm proud. 

    When I listen to Pearl Jam radio it becomes abundantly clear that one of my fave songs yellow ledbetter I know none of the lyrics. I listen to the sound, on the recorded album, and sing the sounds. Not the words. Let's face it, Eddie can mumble the shit out of a song. But that's another thing I'm letting go. Screw the words. Happy Saturday. Planning maybe fair tomorrow if I can get outta bed. R&R weekend. Hope you are resting too. Much love, Elizabeth

Thursday, October 6, 2022

Cloud Nine

     Cecelia just called while I was getting a pedicure and I braced myself to ground her but she was the happiest I had heard her in two months. She had just been to a Spanish fair and saw her teacher and was given a high compliment. She was brainstorming about future jobs and all the possibilities in life. You are interested in global health? I'll bet there's a dr mom group for that on FB I can try to find possibility. And I think Paige Raborn is studying something like that at Georgetown do you feel comfortable calling her? Phoebe and Laura are still on my shit list from over a year ago but that's a rant I probably shouldn't take online. Yeah mom we've actually talked since all that happened that's a good idea.

    After a reeling Monday - she called 10 times and my GI was at it's peak Judas - well, not as bad as last Monday when the lab team took me home after dinner to the hotel and one of them got me ammodium to take for the lab inspection. I had to leave four times at dinner to head to the bathroom and to ground C. It's like I have cholera, I told them. When you are vulnerable, people open up to you. On the way back home Wednesday I sat next to Pam, head of cytology and uber ocd amazing inspector. She told me her daughter Liv had some of the same problems in college and she was in NOLA every weekend keeping her from going off the rails. Now at 26 they are much closer and Liv is flying. 

    So we got a VRBO in Fville this weekend. It's really different from last year - when I moved her in she was already changing. Last year she wanted me to plan dinners for her friends and take them shopping and I was never alone with her. Now she just wants to hang out with family and BiteSquad and shop. Even if it's just Target or grocery. I told her if plans pop up we can entertain ourselves but she only has one plan late Saturday night she wants to be with us otherwise. So that's good.

    It's funny S and I have a totally different philosophy of food. He adheres to expiration dates I'm like if it's not molding visually it's ok. Once when my power went out for a few hours when the kids were little on South Lookout I started to throw everything away after it came back on. My nanny, who didn't speak English, conveyed to me that this was a bad idea. It's fine, she said, yogurt and all, through hand gestures. Other cultures have a much better handle on this than we do.

    Since Monday GI stuff is a little better. I had a great session with Paula on Tuesday - I missed last week due to the lab inspection and two weeks was way too long. She gave me lots of tips. I feel like psychology/psychiatry is a construct. A useful one, but one that was developed in a patriarchal system to cure the ills of what it inflicts on women and minorities, and men too. So many people I have talked to said their kids struggled in their teens and early 20's bc of it. 

    Work has slowly been getting better and I need to go pack so I can leave as early as possible to get to Fville for dinner. Gotta check the weather if it's gonna be cold here it's gonna be colder up there. Maybe need to do some laundry too. Things are moving in the right direction. Hard, maybe, but that's what happens when you change. Gotta learn to feel discomfort and get a little comfortable with it. Happy Friday Eve, much love, Elizabeth


Sunday, October 2, 2022

Seismic Shifts

     There are things that happen in your life that shake you to your core. Crack you open, leave you bleeding, help you see the world in a whole new way, but the getting there is so fucking hard. I'm thinking of a few things. Riding a bike, diving into a pool, having your first freaking kid (Did ToysRUs really look like this before?). And then your adult kids are struggling, and you dive underwater again. Come up for breath, hesitantly. Because the world is different now.

    Lab inspection was fun but they are always hard. Chief of path was a tall drink of water, about 15 years older than  me and elegant as hell. They are always on the defense at first, because I've been on the wrong end of a lab inspection I know what hell that can be. But we aren't that. We are collegiate. When I asked her about her kids, about a half hour in, she seemed shocked. I was reading your resume over breakfast, I told her. I have two kids too. Any grands yet?

    Yes, she said, a couple, and we just learned last week we will be having twins. Still recovering from that news. My youngest is in Panama City this week and I worry about them getting back. The hurricane, I said, and told her about my family's experience. Panama City will be fine, I assured her. My parents have been tracking it. It'll go way South of your kids. They will be safe. 

    She was kind of like a buttoned up Melody. Melody is a little easier and friendlier but I was the team leader so she was probably not being her real self. Super organized though - I've never gotten through a checklist quicker in my life. At the summation, I complimented her. But I did have to call her before, because something happened that has never happened to me at a lab inspection (I've done tons).

    Kayla, a young mom from Ward AR who supervises NLR was doing Heme/Coag. Her supervisor wasn't super helpful, kind of antagonistic, but towards the end of the day she snapped. Started yelling at Kayla making no sense. Mary went over to support Kayla while Angel and I were reeling. My adrenaline was pumping and I wondered is she going to get violent? What do we do here? 

    We do nothing. We support our own. I called the doctor to report it and told her that I would not bring it up at summation but someone needed to maybe check in with her. Her home life. I told the team if that was a member of our family I would address it more fully but ultimately that is their mess to deal with. Their own backyard. They were a very well functioning lab and they served their patients well and the CEO and CMO were happy so I've got nothing bad to bring to our governing agency.

    I'm not on call until mid-October so planning trips to Fayetteville to support C. She's good, she always was, she always will be, but she's in transformation. We all are, I told her. I've been struggling with GI issues for three years - can't be the badass hiker and yoga person I've always attached to myself. So the fuck what. Embrace the unknown. Because if you don't, you will get locked into horrible control patterns that won't serve you at all. Happy Sunday, much love, Elizabeth