Monday, July 31, 2006

On a More Upbeat Note...

It's still bloody fucking hot here!

The Routine

Sit on the edge of the tub. Run cold water. Rinse feet. Rub with soap. Rinse. Repeat. Look over your slightly numbed toes and footpads for sores, blisters, warts, blemishes. If found, make a note to show these to your doctor during your monthly visit. Rub at foot callouses with pumice stone. Rinse. Rub feet with lotion.

Take solace in the fact that you've just performed a new daily ritual that will hopefully keep you from getting your feet chopped off at 40.

This Must Be Hell

The air conditioner at work just broke.

Note: Today's real feel temperature for Chicago is 114 degrees.

What I've Been Up To

Trying to wait out the heat, mostly. But stuff is getting done. Slowly.

Went to my gym and cancelled my membership (you have to do it 30 days ahead of time), finally. I start back up at my mixed martial arts school (read: boxing!) in September. While I still have my final 30 days at my gym, I'll also be getting used to working out outside my house again. Today's the first time I'll be back since before I got sick. The heat has finally forced me to exercise out of the house; the gym has air conditioning.

Put some more money in the bank. I'm slowly accruing what I'll need for the trips I'm taking this year and relocation money next year, should I end up getting a job somewhere else.

Doing a lot of reading, and figured out what's wrong with God's War. Now I have to fucking fix it.

Still frustrated about a lot of things, still pretty emotionally drained, but getting better. My sugar's stabalized, finally. Called my doctor this weekend, and for the first time since I got out of the hospital, he didn't tell me to call him next week to update my numbers. He said that unless I'm consistently going over 150 or below 80, I should be good. And 90% of my numbers are in that range. It means I'm consistently feeling - physically - near-normal for the first time in a year and a half. It's been a long road. And it's still not perfect, but it's a lot better than it's been.

There's still some struggling going on with weight and diet. The doctor wants me to lose weight, and I'd rather not be hungry. I'm already working out five days a week. In any case, I'm cutting back even more where I can, and thinking about substituting some of my whole wheat carb counts for fruit carb counts, just to see if that'll help me drop some weight. Right now, I suspect a lot of the weight gain is because I was starving for a year, and it's now leveling off, just like the sugar levels. We'll see what the scale looks like at my next appointment. I really don't want to go on any more drugs.

I know things are going to be all right. The health is better, and that's a good start. When that's doing all right, I can do everything else.

Now I just need to do everything else...

Why do I always feel like I'm running a race that I started too late and have to complete with a bum leg?

The Women of Our Occupation

My story, "The Women of Our Occupation" is up at Strange Horizons.

Surprise! Stressing About Your Weight is Bad For You

I need to show this article to my doctor...

"To me what makes more sense is that there's just a lot more social stigma associated with being overweight amongst females, and that that causes a lot more stress and distress," Muennig said. "There's evidence showing that high levels of stress can increase your risk of morbidity and mortality."

The findings provide evidence, he added, that "the message that women are getting in the mass media about their weight is actually more harmful than we previously thought."

Please Drink Your Water Today, Chiklits

Another busy rush hour on the train headed out to O'Hare. You get a lot of people and a lot of luggage packed on that train on Monday mornings just shy of 8am.

I was holding onto one of the poles by the door, and this little woman was standing on the other side of the pole, holding on just beneath me. She rested her head on the pole; no big deal, it's early, people get tired. Then she brought her head up again, then thumped it back on the pole. Not rested. Thumped. She did that twice. I turned off my ipod and started paying more attention to her. The binder she was carrying started to slip from her grip. She didn't seem to notice.

When the binder fell onto the floor and she made no move to go after it, I grabbed her wrist and asked her if she was OK.

She didn't respond. Me being me, and wearing my own medical ID bracelet, I checked her wrists for an ID, and didn't find any.

The last person who passed out in front of me on the train had an epileptic seizure and started foaming at the mouth.

Jenn is always telling me the horror stories about people who need help in cities. You can cry out in a room full of 100 people, and quite often, nobody does anything. You can get raped right next to the Art Museum downtown in broad daylight, and nobody will do anything (yes, that's happened before). You get pretty anesthesized in cities. You get used to lots of people. And the way you get used to being with so many people is to respect their space, even if something seems a little off.

Because Jenn is always telling me these stories, I tend to act a little more quickly than other people in crowded places when it looks like somebody's in trouble. When the guy who had the seizure fell out of his seat, I was the first one to get up and ask him if he was all right, and the one who yelled at the person in the back of the train to hit the emergency button to alert the train operator.

So, after asking this woman three times if she was all right and not getting a response, I turned around and hit the emergency button again. And then everybody started moving. One guy gave up his seat and him and another person got her to sit down. A very hot guy crossed from the other side of the car, announced that he was an EMT, and squatted down next to her and started trying to get her to talk.

I told the train operator we had somebody passing out in car 3056 (this is important to tell them; I learned this the last time somebody passed out on me) who might be going into a seizure (she had no medical ID, and I was going off past experience).

Having her sit down helped, and the EMT got her some water. I offered her hard candy (cause, of course, I have those for my own episodes), but she was coming out of it.

Turns out she was overheated. If I had to guess, I'd say she likely hadn't had breakfast either, and that likely didn't help.

By the time the train stopped, she was coherent again, and the EMT was hitting on her. It was very cute.

In any case, after an overheated weekend and a week that's setting up to be in the triple digits, it was a good reminder to stay cool, and drink a lot of juice.

Though passing out on a train is apparently a great way to meet hot EMTs...