Thursday, February 18

February 17, 2010 - Seeking to be Understood


First, let me tell you that I have lost one pound. Good for me! I may have slowed down considerably, but I am at least moving in the right direction.

I am sure that many of us seek to be understood. When I am not understood I feel alienated and frustrated. This topic is bothering me. Not just for myself, but also for some of my friends.

Yesterday, I had a routine visit with Dr. Pita, but I also had an appointment later in the day with the doctor he referred me to for my moodiness. We will call him…Dr. Mood. I do like Dr. Mood, I just do not like the practice and philosophy of his area of expertise. Basically, my appointment went like this:

Dr. Mood; “How are you today?”
Me; “Fine. Thank You.”
Dr. Mood; “So, have you had any side effects from the medication?”
Me; “No. I am doing well on it.”
Dr. Mood; “How has your mood been?”
Me; “Well, I experienced about a week of hypersomnia and then a week of insomnia. I also had some days where I cannot stop my thoughts from racing which causes me to be extremely tired and causes obsessive list making. All of this is enough to negatively impact my life.”
Dr. Mood; “Well your mood sounds fine for now. Let’s up your medicine and renew your other prescription. See you in two months.”

I was in his office a grand total of six minutes. Did he really understand?

What bothers me most about these types of appointments is if I had mentioned; “Hey, I am having incredible insomnia. I have not slept in days.” I am sure the next thing that would happen is that I would get a prescription for a sleep aid.

Many people go to the doctor and get exactly what they want. They think they are fat… they get a pill. They think that have headaches…they get a pill. Pills, pills, pills. This is what the consumer wants. Not what they need. This is what they expect. I do not expect my doctor to be a pill dispenser.

I want someone to understand. Tell me that my symptoms are normal or not. If it is normal, tell me to’ “suck it up.” If needed, tell me what I need to accomplish to get better. If I do not listen or act on the advice, remind me if my way worked I would not be seeking their advice. Tell me I need to fight. Tell me how to make the most of the rest of my life. Do not tell me my diagnosis and patronize me by stating it is chronic…this is the way you are going to be the rest of your life. How do you know, really?

I have a friend going through a tough period in her life. She is fighting a diagnosis much more severe than mine. I admire her strength. She continues to fight it every day, but underneath that tough exterior is someone just like me. Slightly worried this is it. That this is the way it will always be. However, she refuses to accept it. She wrote me some of the details of her life now. I cannot understand everything, but I can understand the struggle and that is all that matters for our friendship. I am sure she hopes to find someone someday who can relate to all of it. She is probably looking for someone who has beaten it. She needs someone to add ingredients to the faith that it will all get better.

I have a friend that has experienced great loss in her life. For her, I could do nothing. I could not relate. All I could do is call her and tell her I was there. I was sad, empathetic, and very worried, but I could do nothing. In truth, I could not understand. How could I? It never happened to me. She needed a support group. She needed to meet others that experienced the same loss and disappointment. She got better. She moved on from the experience.

I could continue with the many examples. I have friends with divorces, trouble marriages, troubled kids, medical issues, parental issues, etc. I do not understand their woes. Again, I do not have the same experiences. All I can do is listen.

Sometimes we cannot even understand our friends and families triumphs. I finished a Half Marathon. Yea, for me, but if you have never done your really know what it is like to finish? Do you know what it is like to see a dog that you trained for four years FINALLY complete a flyball heat without attacking another dog? Probably not.

Recently, I decided that I would embark on a mission for a few of my friends to understand me. I was tired of trying to explain absences from events, tired of explaining why I was so tired, and tired of giving up and just lying about it. So I wrote a letter explaining the past 20 years of my life.

Today I read that letter for probably the twentieth time. Finally, I realized that I am not seeking for others to understand me.

I am seeking for ME to
…fix it or develop plans to deal with it
…move on
….live life.

Have a great week,


Published to

Wednesday, February 10

February 10, 2010 - Rehabilitation


As some of you might remember, I have been attending Physical Therapy for the past few months due to a second mishap with my dog, Calvin. If you do not remember, you may read about it in Calvin 2 vs Me 0.

Of course, my patellas do like to visit the side of my leg occasionally, but this time it was worse. Baby Doc (Primary Physician) and I decided the only thing to do was go to Physical Therapy or see the Surgeon. What I thought would be a couple weeks of physical therapy turned into over three months of it!

Since *I* had to attend therapy, Calvin did too!

Calvin was to work on several things for his rehab. He was to learn to hurl his body to the floor as soon as I say; "down!" He, for the most part, was to give me at least 3 inches of space when walking next to me. He also was to try to stop jumping on me when stressed or excited. He also was to learn a 2 minute stay. However, sometimes he throws a fit, as seen in the picture accompanying this post.

I was to work on much harder things! Have you seen the tortures they put you through in physical therapy?!? I only briefly wrote about the Physical Terrorist once. You may read about it here.

Well, I am happy to say that I graduated! Now the truth can be told (or my warped version of it), about the tortures that go on in Physical Therapy.

1) The Treadmill - Fortunately, I avoided this torture at all costs. Most of the time I was able to use the bike to warm up my muscles, but occasionally I had to use my nemesis. This one also gave me electric shock REPEATEDLY because I did not have any shoes on and kept touching the heart rate monitor. Apparently, the current was running straight through me!

2) Sleep Deprivation - Okay, even the most casual reader of my blog realizes that sleep is practically a hobby for me in the winter. Well, the best time for me to see the Physical Terrorist was at 7:00 or 7:45 in the morning. Ugh! One day, I fell asleep on the leg press machine for a couple of minutes when she went to do something on the computer.

3) Psychological Torture - Pittsburgh Steeler and Ohio State fans. Enough said.

4) The Deadbeats - PEOPLE, PEOPLE, PEOPLE -- Physical Therapists need to eat, too. Pay your co-pay at time of visit. NO EXCEPTIONS. Also, do not blame the person calling to collect because YOU have not paid your bill. Sheesh.... On behalf of the staff, *I* wanted to slap some people.

5) Sensory Deprivation - After awhile, doing some of the exercises to strengthen the muscles means that you lose all feeling in other muscles while you are doing the repetitions! One day, I was doing an exercise called "The Bridge" and realized that my arm had gone numb. Well, it had gone numb because I was putting too much weight on my arms.

6) Contortionistic Standing - SUPPOSEDLY, this exercise is to help my IT Band. I still think I am on candid camera when I am trying to do it. Here are the instructions: put your right foot behind and to the opposite side of your left, taking your right hand bend at the waist and stretch your arm across your body. Feel the stretch. WHAT?!?!? Took me 2-3 weeks to get that one right.

7) No Name Torture - This one is so awful I do not know what to even call it! Well, apparently to heal muscles you must massage them and break down scar tissue? I guess that is what she was doing. Okay, so "ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch" was all I would think. I would then see her later in the week and she would wonder why I had bruises. Phhht! Sometimes she would get a little to close to my knee cap which would make me EXTREMELY nervous. COME ON! My knee likes to take a visit to the outside. One day, I saw an PT actually moving a patients knee cap. WHAT?!?!?! Shouldn't you have 4 years of specific certification for that!?!?!?

Ahhh, I make fun, but I did learn A LOT in physical therapy. I believe that when I finish the Half Marathon in a couple of weeks the Physical Terrorist deserves some of the credit. All of the staff are extremely knowledgeable, conscientious, and enjoyable to be around. I could not have gotten up to go to physical therapy if I did not think I was getting a lot out of it. Hopefully, I will never have to return, but in case I do...I know who I am going to call - whether they like it or not.

I cannot end this post without an update on Calvin's rehab

Well, last night he calmly tiptoed to me, providing the proper amount of personal space, and stole my sandwich. Using the new found strength in the muscles around my knee, I lunged at him and got my sandwich back in the blink of an eye.

Me - 1 vs Calvin - 2

Til Next Week,
P.S. I am working on a different way to update you all on my goals. It just doesn't flow right in the middle of telling a story.

Originally published to

Wednesday, February 3

February 3, 2010 - New Parents

Hi Everyone,

Two weeks ago, when I went to see Dr. Pita, he mentioned that I do better when held accountable to someone. Of course, he chose HIMSELF for my inability to get out of bed when in a funk and I solicited someone to receive my food journals. the past two weeks here are the results of the experiment. Note: I am paraphrasing the e-mails for the entertainment value and also to protect the guilty.

Date: January 30
To: Dr. Pita
From: Kristi

don't want to get out of bed...really need more sleep, i have only had 10 hours of sleep....begrudgingly i will get out of bed..don't like u right now
Date: January 30
To: Kristi
From: Dr. Pita

Get your $%^$%^$%^$ out of bed!!!!

Date: February 1
To: Food Nazi
From: Kristi

Here is my food journal for the day.
(attachment enclosed)
Date: February 2
To: Kristi
From: Food Nazi

You need to eat more vegetables!


Results of Experiment? I got out of bed every day and ate better.

Apparently, I am an 8 year old child that needs to be told to get out of bed and eat her vegetables. (insert heavy sigh)

Til Next Week,
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