Monday, September 26, 2011

Couch to 5k - Week 2

Couch to 5k - Week 2

Week two was super easy, no problems.  Here are the stats:

Weight: 125.8
Waist: 27
Hips: 36.75
Thigh: 21
Calf: 12.5
Upper Arm: 10.5

Total Miles: 5.2
Calories Burned: 335
Average Speed: 3.9 mph
Average Heart Rate: 142 bpm

Go me!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Sketch 39

Oh, hey, by the way. I have a tumblr now. Actually, I've had it for a while but have only just started using it. It's mostly for art and things I reblog from the people I follow. So I'll still do a weekly sketch dump here, but my other drawings and stuff will be on the tumblr.

Saturday, September 24, 2011


September has been too stressful.  First was the Kylie thing, then my dad was in London, and next week my mum has surgery.  There's also work stress and home stresses that are too varied and ridiculous to get into.  I can't wait for this dumb month to be over.  Perhaps I will throw a "Good Riddance, September" party on Friday night.  I will burn a September calendar page to symbolically rid myself of this month.

It's the worst.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

So, I went to see the Lion King 3D with Kylie on Sunday.  I would be lying if I said I did not cry throughout almost the entire movie.  It was an emotional event for a number of reasons.  A) Things that remind me of my childhood always make me a little weepy. I can't help it, I am a sucker for nostalgia.  B) The plot of the movie itself is not without a good deal of sadness.  I mean, the entire story basically revolves around a young boy (lion) coming to terms with the death of his father and his place in life.  That's pretty brutal.  C) I didn't even know this movie was being re-released until I saw the commercial on TV in the hospital.  I told my then-unconscious sister that I would take her to see it when she got better, but there for a while I wasn't entirely sure that was ever going to happen.  So it was kind of a big deal to have her there awake and walking and talking right in front of me on an outing I hoped and prayed would take place.

While we were out, she said that it was nice to be doing a normal activity without chaperons, since her life after the hospital has thus far been pretty restricted.  She said that the whole month of September was pretty much "a waste" because she was mostly constrained to the house.  I told her that she was wrong, it is not a waste at all.  The very fact that she is alive makes it the best September that has ever been.  I don't think she fully understands the seriousness of what happens and how much her continued existence means to all of us.  To me, it doesn't matter if she ever leaves the house again, as long as she is alive.  I think that, even though this thing happened directly to her, all of this has effect us, her family, more than it has effected her.  Sure, she has a missing week of her life and a few restrictions and some medications.  I will not deny that these things all suck.  But we had to stand by and see her in a coma for a week, wondering every day if we would ever hear her voice again.  We had to watch, holding our breath, as the numbers on her monitors dropped and rose and set off alarms.  We had to see the doctors rushing around her and be told that she was critical.  We will spend the rest of our lives worrying about her every moment that she is out of our sight.

I'm sure it will get easier with time - I really hope it gets easier with time.  But for now, just watching her exist is the greatest gift I have ever been given.  So please forgive me if you are sick of hearing about Kylie; I need some way to get all of these feelings out before they consume me.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Couch to 5k - Week 1

Week one of my Couch to 5k running plan is over and I'm feeling pretty great.  I was a little sore, but it seems I have not slipped nearly as much as I fear by taking two weeks off.  This is good news.  Here are my stats as of today:

Weight: 125.8
Waist: 27.5
Hips: 37
Thigh: 21.25
Calf: 12.5
Upper Arm: 10.25

Okay, so that hasn't changed much.  I guess that's to be expected.  Here is some other info about this week's running:

Total Miles: 4.7
Calories Burned: 309
Average Speed: 4.1 mph
Average Heart Rate: 145 bpm

Not too shabby!  Especially for me, who generally cannot be bothered to get off the sofa.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Working on my fitness

A while back, at the beginning of August, I started the Couch to 5K running plan.  I had been tread-milling it up at the gym three times a week and was doing pretty well with it.  Unfortunately, Kylie ended up in the hospital for two weeks and, during that time, I abandoned the gym (and pretty much everything else in my life as well).  But now that she is safe and sound at home, I am making my triumphant return!  As of today, I am resuming the Couch to 5k Challenge!

Since I am out of practice from two weeks of sitting around, I am starting over at week one.  Each week I will post my progress in the form of weight, measurements, distances, calories burned, and average heart rates.  I'll try to make this a weekly Monday event.  So if you don't care about my fitness adventure, probably just skip those days.  Here are my current stats as of today:

Weight: 125.4
Waist: 28
Hips: 37
Thigh: 21.5
Calf: 12.5
Upper Arm: 10.5

Eventually I also plan to start some the Nerd Fitness Beginner Body Weight Workout, but I don't want to get ahead of myself.  I'll see how this goes first before I start adding extra days of obligations.  The ability to stick with things has never been one of my strong points, but I am hoping that being accountable on my blog will help.  This way everyone (or at least everyone who reads my blog) will know if I fail and I certainly don't want that to happen!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

There are no words.

If you don't know me in person and/or follow me on Facebook, my last post might require a little explanation.  My sister was in the hospital from 08/27 until 09/09.  I had started several posts on my feelings about this whole experience, but I obviously didn't end up publishing any of them.  They were way too personal; I couldn't bear the thought of my raw feelings spilled onto the internet.  So I will be keeping those private where no-one can see them (except maybe Kylie, since they are about her - but only maybe).  Now that the worst part is over (I hope), I feel like I can talk about it in the vaguest of terms.  That is, I'll give you a list of what has happened and very little more.

Sunday afternoon my mum showed up at my house unannounced.  This, on its own is not too unusual, but we were still experiencing the remnants of hurricane Irene.  So it seemed a little weird to me that she would just happen to stop by.  I knew something was very wrong right away - everything just instantly felt "off" - but my heart just about dropped out when she told me that Kylie was in the hospital.  Apparently she fell down the stairs to her bedroom on Friday.  Even though she was fine when I saw her Friday night, this somehow caused her to be unable to breathe Saturday night.  Her friends got worried and took her to the emergency room where they were unable to figure out a cause for her shortness of breath.  From there she had been admitted to the ICU where she was remained, sedated with a breathing tube.  I wanted see her right away, but my mum said I'd better not, since it would just upset me.  Then she left to go back to the hospital.  I managed to keep it together until she left, but after that I pretty much just collapsed onto the sofa in a fit of tears, where I remained for the rest of the weekend.

I spent Monday worrying, until it was decided that I could finally go and see her after work.  I got very angry during the course of the day.  Why, I wondered, hadn't anyone deemed it necessary to tell me about this until Sunday afternoon when she had gone to the hospital Saturday night?  And why did my parents get to decide when I could and could not see her?  So what if I get upset?  I am 27 years old - I think this is the sort of decision I should get to make on my own.  And why hadn't Kylie called me if she needed to be rushed to the hospital? I am her sister - shouldn't that count for something?  By the time I actually got to the hospital that afternoon, I was so consumed with worry and anger that I am not even sure how I drove my car.

Seeing her in that bed, hooked up to all of those machines, was very nearly my undoing.  My sister, who is so full of life, was still and silent in a hospital bed.  Her heart was fast, her blood oxygen was low, and she was running a 104 degree temperature.  She didn't even look like herself.  She was all greys and purples, with puffy eyes and limp limbs.  No-one was sure why this was happening and all of the tests were coming back negative.  All I wanted were answers, reassurances, and no-one could give them to me.

Nothing had prepared me for this eventuality.  You spend your whole life realizing that someday you might have to see your parents this way, but never had I ever expected that anything could happen to my sister.  Not Kylie.  She's the healthy, vibrant, damage-proof sister - nothing can take her down.  How did this even happen?

I went to the hospital every day and sat there watching her sleep until 9:00 at night.  After that I went home and generally just fell asleep.  It felt like we had been living this way my entire life - I couldn't remember a time before Kylie was in the hospital.  What did I do with all of that time?  The week went on, each day bringing its own set of feelings.  Monday was terrible, Tuesday was worse.  Wednesday was a little better, but Thursday was awful again for some reason I couldn't quite place.  On Friday things started to look up, but I still cried several times a day - at work, at home, at the hospital.  She improved drastically over the weekend, so they decided to start weaning her off of the ventilator on Monday.    She did so well with her weaning that they took her off of the ventilator entirely on Tuesday.  Oh happy day!  I left work, abandoning payroll, to see her soon after she woke up.  She was whispering and a little loopy, but she was Kylie.  Talking and laughing and moving around.  It was the best day I've ever had.  Wednesday they moved her out of intensive care, Thursday she had her first shower in almost two weeks, and Friday they released her.

Now that she is home and, God willing, in the clear, I thought I would feel much happier and stress-free.  But that isn't the case so far.  I feel a certain... emptiness.  Like I am not sure what to do with myself.  I am still worried about her; I am still crying.  I feel like something is missing from my life.  I have an ache in my chest.  My heart has been broken and will slowly need to be stitched back together.  I wasn't even the one in the hospital and I don't think I'll ever fully recover from this. 

I just hope that after all of this, she realizes that I love her and would be forever lost without her.

Monday, September 5, 2011

An open letter to the summer of 2011

Dear Summer 2011,

I'd been planning to write a follow-up entry to my list of summer goals pretty much since I wrote it.  I figured Labor Day would be the perfect time for it since, for me and many others, it is pretty much the end of the season.  I know we've still got a few weeks left if you're going strictly by the calendar, but let's face it - you're over.

That being said, I'm having a pretty difficult time keeping an open mind about you.  Sure, you were pretty wonderful for the most part.  I did a lot of fun things and made a lot of great memories.  But this last week of you has been pretty rough.  Super rough.  Like, the worst week of my entire life rough.  So forgive me if I'm feeling a little harsh and resentful.  I'm going to, in the future, probably remember you as "the summer Kylie was in the hospital".  It's nothing personal, it's not your fault.  It's just the way the calendar fell and I'm sorry about it.

So instead of reminiscing and recalling all the good times we had together, Summer, let's just take a look at my original list and see how many goals I accomplished.

Celtic Fling
Apple Dumpling Festival
Art of the Avenue
Community Days
Celtic Oyster Fest
go to the beach
pick fruit at an orchard
go to a theme park
go swimming
host a picnic
go to yard sales/flea markets/antique shops
go on a photo adventure

Okay, so, it looks like I completed 6/12 of my goals.  50%.  Not too bad, I guess.  And to be fair, there was mention of going to a theme park and picking fruit in September or October, so maybe I'll just start of things to do this autumn.  In that case, we're at 6/10, a 60% completion rate.  I'll take it.

So really, you were a good summer.  I'm sorry to see you go, especially on such bad terms.  But we'll hang out again next year, and we'll aim for 70% completion.  It'll be great.  So have fun doing whatever summers do during their down time, and I'll see you in three seasons.

Yours truly,