Thursday, January 28, 2010

Reports of My Falling Off the Planet Are Greatly Exaggerated

Yes, I'm alive, and since both my mother-in-law and Claire have expressed alarm at my lack of posts, I thought I should say something.

I've just been really really really really really busy, and also haven't had a tremendous amount to talk about.

Two weeks into classes, everything seems to be going fine. The department's been busy hosting on-campus visits for candidates in our three searches, though, which means I've been spending a lot of time at job talks and receptions.

Healthwise, I'm eh. Still sleeping way too much. (I think the temporary reprieve was a function of jet lag after getting back from Philly.) Cardiac tests checked out normal and my bloodwork's splendid, so my primary-care doc is baffled. He wants me to call my pulmonologist to see if it might be something to do with my sleep apnea, and he's going to refer me to an endocrinologist, although he clearly doesn't think this will result in any new information. My current theory is that I have adrenal fatigue, a condition that's been all the rage in alternative-medicine circles forever, but has just within the last year been recognized by the World Health Organization as a real ailment.

Whether it's a real ailment or not, it's a real pain. I routinely sleep through church, despite alarm clocks; I've also been sleeping through hospital shifts, although it turns out the Saturday afternoon shift is open now, so I'm going to take that one instead of the morning. I've managed to get to several 9 a.m. meetings at work, but it's been genuinely difficult; I'm always a little bit late and way too incoherent.

The good news is that adrenal fatigue can be treated with diet and lifestyle (I've started taking fish oil tablets, and am trying to cut down on caffeine). The bad news is that it resolves slowly. Last night I talked to a friend who had it several years ago and said it took a full year for her to feel better.

Yuck. And yeah, if this is really what's going on, it vindicates those of you who've been telling me that I'm just getting over the accumulated stress of caring for, and losing, Dad. You told me so!

On a more minor note, I seem to have tendonitis in my right thumb, almost certainly a result of fiddle playing. So I've stopped practicing this week and have delayed tomorrow's lesson until next week. Yuck. I miss playing, but I'm happy that I can now straighten my thumb without whimpering from pain.

In happier news, I've gotten enough done on the clean-up-the-study project that I can now see the surface of my desk. And my couch is clear! I still have to go through lots of files, but I have workspace again, which is very nice. Part of this project has been making room for an old entertainment unit -- real wood, no less -- that I bought at a garage sale for $30 this summer. I had a friend who's a devoted woodworker put a back on it, put shelves in where the TV would go, and do some refinishing. He and Gary managed to wrestle this very heavy, large, and awkward item up the stairs and into my study last weekend: quite a scary undertaking, as several times I was afraid that someone would be crushed under the unit. But we managed to avoid injuries, and I now have a fabulous new storage area.

I originally bought the piece because it has lovely glassed-in-shelves to the left of the TV area; these were no doubt originally used for tapes or DVDs, but I've turned them into a yarn vault. I have different kinds of yarn on each shelf (sock, wool, specialty, acrylic), with lots of lavendar sachets tossed in among the yarn to discourage moths. I love being able to see the colorful yarn through the glass. The other shelves, where a TV would once have been, hold knitting books and projects, the postal scale I use to weigh yarn (along with mail), and various other odds and ends.

One of the happiest things about the new unit is that the top of it's kitty heaven. I covered the top with a blanket and covered that with my stuffed animals and a skeepskin rug my mother sent us -- expressly for the cats -- several years ago. The cats love this arrangement. All three of them spend time up there every day; Figgy's napping there right now.

As for knitting, I finished some socks for my nephew and am working on a very pretty lace pair for my sister. I just hope they'll fit her! I'm also working on a doubleknit table runner for my friend Jim. It's slow going, but I really like the design. Gary's nagging me about making him a cardigan, a project that terrifies me, but I told him I'd plunge into it after I've finished the project for Jim.

Let's see, what else? Oh! We made our reservations for the Alaska cruise! We're going in late May, before the prices skyrocket too much. It should be great, but right now, I can't think any farther than Honolulu in March. We'll be there six weeks from today, and knowing that is pretty much what's keeping me going right now.

Speaking of travel, one benefit of cleaning up my study was finding my ancient passport, long in need of renewal. UNR's having a Passport Fair next week, so I'll get it done then. The photo's hilarious, and Gary scanned it so I could put it on the blog, but I think I'll save it for a before-and-after comparison when I get the new one.

I've bought some new swimsuits for Hawai'i (tankinis, which are much more practical than one-piece suits on the beach). That little project has underscored how badly I need to spend time at the gym, something that's been difficult in the whirlwind first few weeks of school. But I'm happy to say that this afternoon I swam for fifty minutes, and that it was probably a more vigorous workout than usual because I just bought a pair of swimgloves, which create greater resistance in the water. I love them -- having webbed fingers is pretty great -- and now I'd like to get some swim fins, too (the short ones for training rather than the long ones for speed).

And that, dear readers, is all my thrilling news. See why I haven't been posting much?


  1. Glad to hear from you ... was hoping you weren't having serious problems of some kind.

  2. Anonymous2:25 PM

    Welcome back - I missed your updates!


  3. Anonymous5:51 PM

    Thanks, Susan, it's all good to know. Hang in there.




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