Cat fishing

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She Said, Control!

Done with another stressful week of what appears to be a series of stressful weeks. And here we were, thinking that 2017 would be better. Control is a funny thing and, to quote AA, Al-Anon, and all the other anonymous sufferers; it’s important to know what you can control, what you can’t control, and to know the difference. This has always been a helpful saying to help me ground myself in trying times. And if you’re wondering what is within your control, here’s a list of 50 things that you can do right now.

I went down a deep rabbit of watching a ton of anti-fascist punk band videos. This whole Trump thing is like watching a ship sinking, wondering why nobody is doing anything. Trump is dangerous, this is all not a joke. And, frighteningly enough, the most dangerous thing is probably him failing.

This week I had eggs with avocado for the first time and it’s a surprisingly good combination.

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(Also, yeah, if you’ve paid attention, I’m back on here after a boredom-driven tinyletter experiment. It’s what it is, this is all set up, all my stuff is here…there isn’t really a reason to move anywhere else. And I’ll also make an effort to post more again. Indianerehrenwort! )

A last post to wrap up a shitty shitty year.

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This is a day late and a dollar short, but what gives?

To look back at the last January’s post for New Year’s resolutions, here’s what’s what:

  • -Find a new job.- That finally happened. I’ve moved out of the non-profit sector, which is really nice, and I’m finally earning an ‘adult’ salary. It was time and it’s taken a lot of stress out of our lives.
  • Spend more time with friends. Meh, kinda sorta. I’ve made an effort but life is really running by…
  • Travel more. Didn’t happen for a couple of reasons, not the least because of major surgery.

So, I’d say I managed to make, say 60% of what I wanted to do this last year, which is not so bad. And a new job is a biggie but really also the only good thing that happened this year. The other big event was my spinal surgery. It’s also the reason I didn’t really post much this year. The recovery went well. Actually, it went really well, very little pain and no need for medication. But it also took a lot longer than I expected, not because it took longer, but because I wasn’t really totally aware how big a deal this was. I was horizontal for 6-8 weeks and initially walked with a cane. And had to wear that terrible collar for the whole time. All of this is done now, and the bones are growing together nicely. The result of this is too though that my BJJ journey has ended this year. It’s a bitter pill to swallow, but the risk doesn’t equal the rewards at this point and it’s time to say goodbye. And one word of advice — if your arm tingles, get that shit checked out. That is a neurological symptom and should be taken seriously, regardless what the online forums suggest. 😉

After that was taken care of a standard blood test showed some odd results and to make a long story short, turns out that I have Hemochromatosis. Not a huge deal, especially if it gets diagnosed this early, but it means one more chore — regular bloodletting. Yep, that’s the only way to control it.

I also got diagnosed with a wheat intolerance, because guess what, it’s not normal to have non-normal poo all the time. That means my diet has probably gotten better, but also that I can’t really drink beer anymore and, because of the hemochromatosis, I should not really consume any alcohol anyway.

This really rounds out 2016 and so far it seems also from what I heard from friends that this year sucked pretty much for everyone all around, on a personal level and I don’t have to mention the other shit that’s been going down in this country.

Anyway, onwards. Here’s to hoping that 2017 will be better. I’m recovered enough that I can get back into weightlifting, which I’m planning to start this year.

I’m also thinking about getting a new tattoo, but that really depends on whether the guy who has already done both of my arms happens to visit the PNW and is in driving distance of the Emerald City. So here are my ‘resolutions’

  • Start weightlifting and reach whatever goal my coach and I set for myself. Right now I’m really more interested in doing something but nothing. I worry about PRs later.
  • Travel at least one fucking bit! That must be possible, I’m an adult! And travel for work doesn’t count.
  • Spend more time with friends. That’s always a good resolution to have and it takes work and needs reminding.

Any good books I read this year? While recovering I devoured the Marla Mason series and am not also caught up on the Expanse series — both highly recommended. I’ve never watched the TV adaptation for the Expanse and, quite frankly, it looked like crap so I just skipped it entirely. I’ve been terrible with tracking my books on Goodreads this year, so I’m trying remember…bear with me as I enter my memory palace…I did read quite a bit of the Witcher books parallel to playing the Witcher 3, both of which was very fun. Oh, and I read The Cartel, Don Winslow’s follow-up to The Power of the Dog, both of which are terrible and amazing and terrifying and highly recommended.

A friend of mine talked me into getting Destiny and I dug it but have also now reached a very grindy endgame that I don’t really enjoy. I do jump into The Division from time to time, not because it’s a great game (it has a lot of flaws, actually) but I’m a sucker for the apocalypse and it’s oh so pretty.

So that’s that, fuck off 2016 and here’s to a hopefully better 2017. And I’m @beakperson on Twitter, so follow me there, you nerds.

Hardware

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Huh, looks like I’ve never really posted this. This was about a month after surgery, I think, and that’s what I’m walking around with. Recovery is going extremely well, by the way, and I think the nerves on my left side are recovering, so the atrophy might be reversible. It’s been six months since the surgery and while I’m not cleared to do any heavy lifting like deadlifts and squats I have started working with kettlebells again. Nothing crazy, just something to get the heart pumping and rebuild some muscle. I’m throwing different workouts together out of Dan John’s excellent article on workouts using just one kettlebell, which I highly recommend for recovery.

There is lots of stuff going on and I’ll save it for a longer post, but hey, this is a sign of life, amirite?

First week after surgery

Still alive. Not even barely. In pain, yes, kinda sorta. Immobile, for the most part but getting better every day. Freaked out from time to time about my neck healing right, oh yes. But alive and reasonably well.

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I spent one night in the hospital and was able to go home the next day in the afternoon, after having pretty much every person at the hospital tell me that the pain meds and the anaesthesia cause constipation and I got plenty of meds, poop-related and pain-related, sent home with me. The pain is actually manageable for the most part. The pain and problems relating to the disc issues were completely gone after the surgery — no more tingling, no numbness, no pain in the shoulder blade area. There are other pains, because, you know, major surgery has happened which involved pulling stuff out of my spine through an incision in the front of my neck, but the initial pain is gone. Just a lot of soreness and some difficulty swallowing. And I get weirdly out of breath when I sit for too long without moving.

The collar is terrible. I understand why I need it and to be honest I’ve gotten crazy anxious about the position and movement of my neck, but it sucks. Washing is difficult, everything is difficult.