Sunday, April 30, 2006

Books galore

After my short & sudden trip to be with my dad, I am gradually getting back to normal. Slept in today, then SL & I went out for a yummy breakfast at Mimi's Cafe. After breakfast, I spent some time on the computer, reading blogs, answering emails, playing Bookworm, and shopping on ebay. I took a nap in the afternoon. After my nap, SL & I went to Barnes & Noble, where I put a significant dent in the $75 worth of gift cards I got for my birthday last month. SL is now watching his Sunday line-up of Fox cartoons while I get in more quality computer time. tee hee

Back to our Barnes & Noble trip: I would love to win a $1000 shopping spree to that store. I just love buying books! I bought Marley & Me (which I had bought my dad for his birthday), a new novel by Jacquelyn Mitchard, Dead Sleep by Greg Iles (my June book club selection), and 2 "improve your relationship" books (with SL's input & approval). I could've bought a whole bunch more, but I restrained myself. Such fun.

Sebastian had a very relaxing Sunday, as you can see from his photo above. I plan to get up early tomorrow morning and walk him; I know he has really missed his daily exercise with me gone Thursday through Saturday. (I, of course, need the exercise, too.)

I took M out yesterday afternoon as planned. We went to the Children's Museum, and then I took her out for ice cream. She had a good time. She seems to be doing very well in her current foster placement. She acted perfectly during our outing and even thanked me for taking her out and for the ice cream. She continues to surprise me with her knowledge of song lyrics and her progressing reading abilities.

I have an uneventful week ahead. Can't believe tomorrow is already May 1st! We are expected to get into the 90s this week. I really need to go shopping for some spring work clothes; maybe next week. I know it is very unwomanly to say this, but I hate to shop! I only do it when necessary. Unfortunately, with my weight gain and the weather heating up, it looks like it *is* necessary. (sigh)

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Empires Fall

I never could figure out how to post a link to this in the sidebar. . . but here's another blogger's site you might enjoy:

Empires Fall

Expect the unexpected

My week took an unexpected turn on Tuesday afternoon when my stepmom called to tell me that my father was in the hospital in a neighboring state with "congestive heart failure." I talked to him briefly, and he sounded very weak and tired. SL suggested that I fly out there ASAP to be with him. . . but my dad has been hospitalized many, many times, and I had several irons in the fire at work that I didn't want to leave unattended if I didn't have to.

A little history: my dad had a heart attack in late 2000, several stent placements, and a triple coronary artery bypass graft in May 2001. After collapsing in a grocery store in January 2005, we learned that his three bypasses had become partially occluded. He has required monitoring by a cardiologist for the past 15 months. He also has a long history of high blood pressure (he's on 4 different meds for it), he has lupus, he is a diet-controlled diabetic since 1993, and has numerous other less serious health problems, including sleep apnea.

My dad himself called me early Wednesday afternoon to tell me that the doctors thought he had a leaking heart valve, that he was having a cardiac catheterization the next morning, and that he might need open heart surgery to repair the leaking valve. I talked to SL, and we agreed that I should fly out. Not only because I was concerned about my dad, but because my stepmom freaks out when he is in the hospital, and my mom told me that my sister (who is 10 weeks pregnant with her first child) was all freaked out about the situation, too.

So I spent the remainder of Wednesday afternoon arranging things at work so that I could be gone at least through Tuesday. . . not knowing if I would even be able to return to work then, but being optimistic. I booked a flight and called a friend I hadn't talked to in months who lives in the city where my dad was hospitalized. (Side note: she was super-supportive; not only did she agree to let me stay with her, she picked me up at the airport and drove me around during my time there.)

I arrived at the hospital on Thursday morning just about 10 minutes after my dad had been taken into the cath lab. I met up with my stepmom, and we waited together for word from the doctor.

To summarize: the doctor angioplastied a coronary artery that was "99% occluded" (one leading up to one of the bypassed arteries). Dad came through fine. After spending over 8 hours on flat bedrest, he was able to eat and sit up. They were able to wean him off of his IV medications by midnight, and by Friday midday, he was doing so much better that his doctors agreed that he could be discharged.

As it turned out, he does not need surgery on his leaking heart valve (at least not imminently), and all the other medical issues he has are treatable. He will continue to require close monitoring, but is feeling fairly well. After chatting him with him on the phone, I would say he is back to his usual state of health today. Not great, but livable.

So I was able to fly home this morning, 2 1/2 days sooner than I'd expected. I'm relieved everything worked out OK with dad, and I enjoyed seeing my friend L, even though it was such a short, unplanned visit.

Now to catch up on the things I missed here. SL actually did a great job of keeping things up at home; our place is cleaner now than the day I left and Sebastian is untraumatized by my absence. I am also taking M out this afternoon. . . don't know what we are going to do yet. It's a gorgeous day here (sunny & mid 70s).

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Road trip

SL & I took a road trip this weekend to a funky little small town about 100 miles away. I took this picture while we were there. SL had told me before about a homeless man who wanders around with a mouse riding on a cat riding on a dog. (He saw a story about it on a news program.) I believed him, but it was quite interesting to see it for myself.

I ended up walking 5 of 7 days this past week. Not too shabby. SL went along twice. I plan to go again tomorrow morning, too. Sebastian has gotten into less mischief this week with the extra exercise. I have felt generally less tired, though I'm still not at my normal energy level. Any improvement is good, though.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Day Three

Today is the third consecutive day I've gotten up earlier and gone for a walk before work. (Sebastian is loving it.) SL went with me yesterday, but not today or Monday.

I actually had my best workout yet this morning. I made the entire 2-mile path that we walk in just over 35 minutes; I also jogged for about 5 minutes of that. I wore my iPod and had a great time; it is a beautiful morning. Low 50s, clear & sunny. As I think I noted before, I go faster without SL there, too.

I still felt a little sleepy part of the day yesterday, but my energy level was definitely better than it has been on the days I have not exercised. So I think this is helping.

My eating is still not that great, but I brought my lunch to work both Monday & Tuesday. Still not laying off the chocolate, but I am trying to eat less.

I am kicking around the idea of trying to walk every day for 30 days. I also just started reading the "Dog Whisperer's" book; he talks about how important it is to a dog to take long walks with its master. So it would definitely be to Sebastian's benefit, as well as my own, to walk daily. I originally thought I'd shoot for 4-5 days a week, but 7 would be better, right?

Monday, April 17, 2006

Day One

I got up around 6:30 this morning and went for a brisk 30-minute walk. I have noticed a difference in my energy level all day today; I haven't been nearly as sleepy.

My intention is to exercise every morning--either a walk or on the elliptical trainer. (Sebastian votes for the walk so he can go along.) So let's see how many days I accomplish this. . . .

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Another low energy day

You know, it's strange. Lately, despite the fact that I am sleeping well at night and have a relatively low stress level, I feel tired a lot. My mood is fine--thank you, Zoloft--I just have very little energy & am literally sleepy (& sometimes yawning) much of the day.

I'm not sure what the problem is. As I've said, I get plenty of sleep: go to bed around 10:00 p.m. and get up around 7:00 a.m. I've tried to make myself get up a little earlier--thinking I might be sleeping TOO much--but that made me even more tired. And I've always been one to need a solid eight hours a night, so I don't think I am, in fact, sleeping too much.

I mentioned this to my doctor late last month when I went in for a depression follow-up. She didn't seem to think that Zoloft was causing my lack of energy. I don't know if it's the cause or not. I do know that webmd lists "low energy" as a common side effect of Zoloft.

I guess one other possible cause might be the fact that I am not eating very healthfully. I am not eating many fruits & veggies and am eating lots of processed stuff & sweets. I'm also not exercising as often or as vigorously as I should be, so that may be another issue. (SL & I have recently started going walking in the evenings. However, we only go 2-3 nights a week. And when we do go, the pace he keeps is not sufficient to really raise my heart rate significantly.)

It's a difficult cycle, though. I think I might have more energy if I got more regular, vigorous exercise, but I don't have the energy to actually follow through with that thought. And I think one of the reasons I eat junky foods, at least at work, is an attempt to give myself some energy with sugar.

What I really need to do is just "suck it up" for a week or so and force myself to get up at 6:00 a.m. and work out. Our complex has an elliptical trainer; if I got on that for 30 minutes every morning (Monday through Friday) in addition to my evening walks with SL, it would probably help. And if not, at least I could eliminate "not getting enough exercise" as one possible cause of my low energy.

I may have to consider getting off the Zoloft. I have noticed a positive effect on my mood while taking it, but this lack of energy almost sucks worse than feeling depressed. I'm definitely not getting as much accomplished, either at work or at home.

On a happier note. . . . I am looking forward to a fun weekend. SL's cousin and his wife are visiting from Alaska, and the four of us are going out to dinner at PF Chang's tomorrow night. (Yum!) Then SL & I are going to Phoenix to watch the Diamondbacks play the Astros. It's nice to get away for the weekend instead of just spending the whole time lying around like a slug.

I was looking forward to being in trial the next two consecutive weeks, but it looks like that is not going to happen. In my trial scheduled for April 18th, the defense attorney has filed a last minute motion to continue that I think the judge will be inclined to grant. In my case set for April 25th, the defendant changed his mind and decided to accept a plea offer, so that trial will be vacated. (Normally, I wouldn't have been on board with that idea, this close to trial--there is even an office policy against--but my victim & his wife would have been severely inconvenienced by having to come and testify, as they live hundreds of miles away. So because the victims wanted the plea, my boss gave me special permission.)

I also found out this week that my trial scheduled for May 2nd will probably not go because the defense attorney is filing a motion to continue. I'm more than a little frustrated because I haven't been in trial since the end of February, and being in trial is my favorite part of my job. Without trial work, this job is not that great. :) Ah well. Maybe I can pick up a trial from someone else who is double-booked one of those three weeks.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Odd Wednesday

My day got off to an unexpected start today when I was awakened a little after 5 am by a migraine. I have had migraines off and on since I was 15 years old. I now have a prescription for Imitrex, and it helps tremendously (always at least relieving some of the pain and all of the associated symptoms--nausea, light sensitivity, dizziness). The only downside to Imitrex for me is that it makes me very, very drowsy. After taking two doses, I was in no shape to drive to the office, let alone try to do any work. In addition to my drowsiness, reading and working on the computer are also two of the things that are likely to trigger headaches for me.

So instead of being at work today, as I would be almost every Wednesday, I slept intermittently until about 1 pm, then tried to take it easy to avoid re-starting my headache. I shudder to think of all the things that will be waiting for my attention when I return to my office tomorrow afternoon (I will be out of the office in the morning, helping with an arson mock trial). Ah well. It's just one of those things.

I could certainly be worse off. I don't have allergies, gastrointestinal issues, asthma, seizures, diabetes, or any other of a host of chronic illnesses I could have and that other friends and family members of mine cope with. My migraines have never been that frequent either, thank God: I rarely get more than 2-3 a month. And they vary in their severity.

I feel ill-prepared for my role in tomorrow's mock trial. Normally, I wouldn't really stress about it--it's not a real trial and I have been sick--but the head of my division is my mock trial judge tomorrow. Ugh. He is my boss's boss, and a rather intimidating fellow to boot. Well, this, too, shall pass.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Cloudy day

Poor SL! Reading back over my last post, I really bagged on him. Shall I say he has redeemed himself nicely by bringing home a dozen long-stemmed roses for me yesterday "just because." He also enjoyed seeing Slither Sunday evening, and it was kind-of nice to have a few hours to myself at home, even though I didn't spend them doing much.

I was so happy earlier today because the defendant in two of my more dreaded trials accepted a plea resolving both cases! I had been double and triple-booked for trials the last two weeks of this month (his were on both weeks), but my conflicts are resolved as of today. Yea! Now I can spend more time preparing for the two trials that are actually going forward.

I really like being in trial. The rest of my job is so-so: sometimes OK, sometimes a grind. But trials I love. If I ever switch to another area of the law besides being a prosecutor, I know that being in trial a lot is the thing I will miss the most about this job.

I got a "save the date" card for another wedding recently. My friend K, who I met several years ago when we were both travel nurses in Houston, Texas, is getting married in her hometown of Cincinnati. My mom lives about an hour away from Cincy (out in the boonies), so I am seeing if I can arrange to attend the wedding. It could be tough to take time off, as I am flying to Rhode Island three weeks before that for another friend's wedding. We'll see.

I'm so happy for K! We have talked several times about her concern that she would never fall in love and marry; now it has finally happened for her. As my mom said (somewhat undiplomatically to her single 35-year old daughter), "it gives all you old gals hope." (Thanks, Mom.)

SL & I have started walking the river trail in the evenings. We will have to skip tonight because I am volunteering to help with an arson mock trial, but will resume tomorrow. Our goal is to go 3 nights a week, so missing tonight is not a big deal.

My eating continues as poor as ever. Had a chocolate croissant for a mid-morning snack today, and I know I will be having pepperoni pizza for dinner. I'm still not really motivated to do much about either. Ah well.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Lazy Sunday

Whenever I have to coordinate leisure activities with other people--particularly men--I am reminded of why I have remained unmarried . . .

SL had not seen his cousin E, who lives in Alaska, north of Anchorage, for 4-5 years. E was due to be passing through our city on his way to a nearby town for a short business trip. SL knew that E would only be in town for a couple of hours. The plan was that we would have either lunch or dinner with E during his time in town.

Early last week, I asked SL to find out exactly what time we would be getting together with E so that I could make plans to go to a movie with my friend A. (Side note: I had not gone anywhere with A in over 6 months, and SL was aware of this.) SL told me that E would be arriving "in the afternoon," and that we would be having an "early dinner" with him. I pressed SL for further details: what time? Ultimately, SL said he anticipated getting together at 4 pm. Based on this information, I researched theaters and movie times and set up a movie date with A for noon on Sunday.

Friday evening, SL said he had "finally talked to" E, and that he would be arriving at 11:00 am! Obviously I cannot be at a movie with A at noon if I am having lunch with SL & his cousin at 11:00! So I had to cancel my plans with A. And we cannot reschedule for weeks because she is out of town next weekend and the following weekend is Easter. (sigh)

Why is it that men are incapable of making firm plans? Unlike SL, I do not habitually spend my weekend days lying on the couch watching TV. After almost 14 months of being with me, one would think that SL would be well aware of this. Now, because I had to change my Sunday plans last minute, I have had a most unproductive Sunday.

To top it off, SL was insistent that he HAD TO go and see Slither at the theater today. . . despite the fact that we have 3 unwatched Netflix at home. I had absolutely no interest in seeing Slither, so he went alone.

I don't even know what else to say.