Sunday, March 27, 2011

Catching Up

Let me start by saying: I MISSED YOU ALL!!! I took an unexpected leave of absence from my blog for the longest time since I've started blogging and Damnit! I missed you! 

Let me fill you in on what's going on in my life and the reasons why I haven't been blogging. 

I have been feeling unusually tired and unmotivated. I've also been feeling a bit sad and depressed. I usually feel like superwoman and love doing hundreds of things at once. I pride myself in my high energy levels and my ability to multi-task. I have never needed a lot of sleep. I love living life to the fullest. 

But suddenly, I just didn't feel right. I didn't feel like going to the gym. I didn't feel like blogging. I needed to sleep more than I usual but I was more tired than usual during the day. 

Initially, I blamed it on all the changes I was going through - I mean the move home has been SO HARD. And then I blamed it on seasonal depression - it's been a long cold winter. But I couldn't completely justify that considering that Boston has on average 2 more hours of light per day in the winter than London and 4 more hours of light per day than Stockholm! 

Just as I was starting to realize that something might be wrong, I got a call from my Doctor. Around Christmas, I had a bunch of tests done as part of a routine physical. I had gotten all of them back as negative except my test for vitamin B12. I have had problems with B12 deficiency in the past but it hadn't been an issue in the past few years. I usually get it checked each year though just to be sure. I assumed since I heard nothing back from the Doctor, that nothing was wrong. 

That was a mistake! Never assume. Always make sure you get the results back of all tests. Lesson learned. They called me 2 and half months later to say that my B12 levels were dangerously low (Average range for B12 is 250 - 1250, I was at 181). Of course this was scary since if my B12 were dangerously low 2 and half months ago, they must be even worse now.

I checked out the symptoms of B12 deficiency and they are: fatigue, depression, sadness, sores in your mouth, hair loss, numbness in my hands (a very scary feeling) lack of motivation, memory loss, dizziness etc. I had every single one of them! At least I figured out what my problem was! Now to find a Doctor. 

Easier said than done! My primary care doctor is out in W. Mass where I grew up. As this is going to most likely be an ongoing need for treatment since first they need to re-test me, possibly give me injections, and then most importantly find the under-laying cause, I needed to find a Doctor in Boston. This proved to be difficult. I spent hours on the phone trying to find a doctor who would accept new patients. The earliest I could get an appointment was 2 weeks away. I waited the two weeks and went to the Doctor in Boston. She basically just told me to keep taking supplements and come back in 3 months! 

I have been taking supplements every day for years. I take 1,000 mcg of B12 every day since I was diagnosed years ago (the problem is that it has not been confirmed whether or not my stomach will absorb it from oral supplements - they are starting to think I can't, otherwise I wouldn't be this low). I knew that her answer was not acceptable to me. I worried that if I waited 3 months, I could be in big trouble. So, I called my Doctor at home in W. Mass and she was immediately concerned. 

I decided to take this Friday afternoon off of work (not good timing at all - more on that in a bit) and drive out to W. Mass and have her do a bunch of blood work and give me an injection. I still need to find a doctor here in Boston as I need to have an injection every day for the next week, every week for the next month and most likely every month for the rest of my life. And then we will see about the rest of the results... I'm anxious to know that nothing is wrong. 

So... in addition to all this, things have gone CRAZY at work! I suddenly am so busy I can barely breath. And I cannot take time off for the doctor or to spend lots of time on the phone searching for a doctor. I'm double-booked all day in meetings and in the office until 10 pm catching up on all the other stuff. So, the health thing has been bad timing. 

After months of being totally bored at work, I was seriously contemplating leaving. I flagged this to my superiors and they decided it was time to make some changes (not just to alleviate my boredom but because there were other problems that needed to be addressed as well). We spent a couple weeks trying to figure it out, then a couple others in a holding pattern. And then they made some serious changes which included a big restructure that put me in charge of an important team. Over all, the changes are good. It's what I wanted. It's just bad timing. If the whole health crisis had happened a couple weeks ago, I would have welcomed the excuse to miss doing nothing at work and spend time focusing on my health. But now I'm SO BUSY. Don't get me wrong. I want to be busy. I want to feel fulfilled at my job. It's all just a bit overwhelming right now. 

And then in the middle of all this, I had a trip to Austin to SXSW - which was AWESOME! I sadly had to cut it short by some days as with all the changes at work I couldn't be out of the office for as long as I planned. I hope to do a blog post on my crazy time in Austin soon! 

And as if health and crazy work haven't been enough,  I've suffered a huge betrayal from someone I thought was a friend and this had really depressed me. I had given her a link to this blog. I don't think she reads it, but I don't know. But it has turned me off from writing a bit because I really want nothing to do with this person on a personal level and I don't want her to read anything about my personal life. I'm not going to go into the details but this situation is something that has caused me a lot of stress and anger and hurt over the past couple months. Unfortunately, I still have to work with this person. 

And finally, I'm having a REALLY tough time transitioning back to life here in the US. My next blog post will most likely be more about this... I'm questioning everything right now and am really confused about what I want to do in life and where I want to live. And I'm feeling really sad and overwhelmed - obviously the B12 is not helping here... 

So, there you have it. That's what I've been dealing with over the past couple weeks. I apologize for not blogging much and not keeping up with my blog reading. And I will warn you that I might be a bit spotty over the next couple weeks, but I hope to get back to regular blogging (and regular life) soon. I do have some dates and other things to catch you up on. Nothing to exciting. But stay tuned!

P.S. It feels good to write again. 

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

International Woman of Mystery - Unveiled in a game of tag

Jewels over at Turning 30 has tagged me! Thanks Jewels! Now that I've been tagged. I have to answer 19 random questions about myself. So, here we go...

Oh before I start, I apologize for my recent absence. The equation goes something like this: 

Bad cold + Extreme tiredness + Winter Blues + Boring stuff going on + Extreme Addiction to Mad Men = No motivation/time to blog. Sorry. Will try to be better. I've just got a bad case of the winter blues. But I'm glad Jewels tagged me because this is nice and easy - no thinking involved (ummmm... I wrote this before I tried to answer the questions - I take it back! This was hard)!

1. If you have pets, do you see them as merely animals or are the members of your family?
Ir's funny because we always had a lot of pets growing up. I pretty much considered them to be a nuisance. Part of the family, I guess... but an annoying part. To be honest, I didn't care about them much. But suddenly that changed and I really like animals. I don't have any animals of my own (I mean, I can't even keep a plant alive) but my parents have a dog and 2 cats and I love their animals (although one of the cats isn't really that special to me). In fact, I went home to see the animals see my parents this weekend and got lots of pet therapy. It was great! 

2. If you can have a dream come true, what would it be? 
To be really and truly happy and feel comfortable with where I am both physically and mentally in my life. Oh, and I want to run a marathon. I have suffered various injuries over the years and this dream has slipped away. But my fellow boot campers are inspiring me to pursue treatment and make the marathon dream happen. 

3. What is the one thing most hated by you?
I hate hypocrites I can't stand being judged by someone who is guilty of the same flaw they are judging me for. I also hate people who are just plain mean for no reason. And condescending people. And know-it-all's. And people who maliciously gossip. And back-stabbers. And people who betray you. (Can you tell I'm struggling with some people around me right now)? So, I guess to summarize, I would say that I hate people who don't make an effort to be good people. No one is perfect (I'm certainly far from it) but it's trying to be a good person that counts the most... 

4. What would you do with a billion dollars?
Quit my job and travel, travel, travel and hopefully do some good in the world as well. 

5. What helps to pull you out of a bad mood?
A long run. A hard gym session. A chat with a good friend. A random act of kindness. A drink. A nice email. A  beautiful compliment. A wonderful song. A sunny day.  Making plans for the future. Patting the cat or dog (see number 1). Watching an episode of Glee. 

6. Which is more blessed, loving someone or being loved by someone?
Oh who knows! Aren't they equally amazing? Although maybe I don't really know. Outside of family and friends, I have never "loved" or "been loved" by anyone. Sad. I know at 32 years old... but it's true. Secretly, I might have loved the Scottish Boy. But I really hope there is a greater love out there so I refuse to call that love because if that's what love is, I don't want it. 

7. What is your bedtime routine?
Put on pajamas, get in bed, set alarm for ridiculously early hour, take out contacts, read until tired. Pray that I will fall asleep rather than laying awake all night as I do so often now. 

8. If you are currently in a relationship, how did you meet your partner?
Well that one's easy. I'm permanently single so I don't meet "partners." Umm...  this is kinda my problem.  

9. If you coould watch a creative person in the act of the creative process, who would it be? 
I'm sorry. I'm totally at a loss right now. Skip to the next one. 

10. What kinds of books do you read? 
I'll pretty much read anything. I just re-read Pride and Prejudice! So good! And now I'm reading The Weird Sisters and Freedom. I enjoy popular literature as well as the classics. I shamelessly love both the Twilight series and Harry Potter. And good crime novels are often a guilty pleasure of mine. 

11. How would you see yourself in ten years time?
.I see myself as a highly powerful woman with an awesome career. I'm probably living abroad somewhere with my family. I will be married to a very handsome and incredibly smart man. He is probably a foreigner. He is most likely Swedish. We are totally in love and can't believe our amazing luck at finding each other. I can't decide if he will have an important career or if he will stay at home with the kids. I will have 2 beautiful children. A boy and a girl. They are wonderful and smart although unfortunately if my husband also has an important career, they are probably being raised by the nanny - although when I am around, I'm an amazing mother.  I'm as glamorous as ever. I host lots of dinner parties for friends I have actually learned to cook and I'm actually not that bad at it when I find the time and feel motivated, but I also have a personal chef who helps out from time to time because I just can't be bothered. My husband is a big wine connoseur and loves showing off our wine cellar. And of course, I'm gorgeous and look at least 10 years younger than I really am (I don't actually plan to age). 

12. What's your fear?
Someone close to me dying. 

13. Would you give up all junk food for the rest of your life for the opportunity to visit outer space?
No way! I mean I would considering giving up junk food for the right reason. But going into outer space has never ever interested me. In fact it totally freaks me out! 

14. Would you rather be single and rich or married, but poor?
Oh jeez. I am single and while not exactly rich (nowhere near rich really), I have the means to live well. But I feel like I'm lacking something. So, maybe I would be better off married and poor. I mean money doesn't buy happiness. There has been studies on this kind of thing. In fact, I read a book this summer (called The Pursuit of Happiness - it's awesome - read it) that says as long as you make enough to stay above the poverty line, then income has very little impact on happiness. In fact, if you come into a lot of money suddenly, you are temporarily happy but then you drop back to your original happiness level that you were at before you got the money. I would therefore probably rather be married in a good relationship and poor (although preferably not poverty poor obviously).

15. What's the first thing you do when you wake up?
Press the snooze buttons as many times as possible. And when I finally realize I have to get up, I usually complain out loud (oh, the benefits of living alone) and hate the world for a little while. Most mornings after complaining, I put in my contacts, throw on my outdoor exercise clothes (laid out the night before), stretch for 5 mins, fill a bottle of water (with hot water in the winter or it freezes), add gloves and a hat and outside layers. Throw on my sneakers and get out the door at 5:50 for Boot Camp class! 

16. If you could change one thing about your spouse/partner what would it be?
I'm feeling some discrimination against single people here! Why do questionnaire like this always have to do with your spouse or your partner. It's like those damn security questions that you have to answer on bank websites and stuff. I swear that my bank has never heard of single people. The last time they made me answer security questions they gave me 6 questions and I had to answer 3 of them. Only 2 were appropriate for me such as what's the name of your childhood pet? Or what's the name of the street that you lived on as a kid? The others were all like what is the birthday of your significant other? What is your partner's mother's name? What is the birth date of your youngest kid? I think I actually made up a name for my imaginary partner's mother. I really hope they don't make me recall that in order to get my bank information. Seriously people. What is wrong with being single? Please be less discriminatory in your questions!

17. If you could pick a new name for yourself, what would it be?
Ha ha.... International Woman of Mystery is pretty awesome. I can't really do better than that. Actually, my real name (which surprisingly is not IWM) is actually kind of awesome. I have a super boring and ordinary first name - it was the name of the year, the year I was born - but my last name makes up for it especially when the two are put together. I don't even think I will change my name when I'm married. I like my last name too much. 

18. Would you forgive and forget no matter how horrible a thing that special someone has done?
I'm all for giving people second (and sometimes third and fourth chances) but I'm unlikely to forget. That would be stupid. Wrong me once shame on you, wrong me twice shame on me and all that... I guess it depends on the level of seriousness. I do hold grudges, but usually only for very short times. What is most important is that someone apologizes or at least makes an effort to patch things up. 

19. If you could only eat one thing for the next 6 months, what would it be?
Ugh. I have no idea. That's a tough one. I mean am I supposed to tell you my absolute favorite food and tell you I will eat that all the time? Or am I supposed to be serious and think about nutritional value and weight gain? Well, my gut instinct is to tell you NACHOS - the loaded nachos with lots of cheese and veggies (tomatoes, olives, jalapeƱos, mushrooms, peppers, onions, corn) and salsa and guacamole and sour creme! Throw some chili on there (although I'm not sure I want to eat this for 6 months) and you kind of cover the important food groups. But seriously, I LOVE NACHOS!!! They are my number one favorite food. I probably could eat them for 6 months straight/ 

So, there you go: 19 things about me you probably never wanted to know! 

I tag the following people but of course you are ALL welcome to play along: 

Life Begins at Thirty

Texpatriot Musings

Mademoiselle L