Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Memo and Leo being friends

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Busted Elbow

I was walking into work this morning. There was less than half an inch of snow on the ground, and I'd had very few issues driving in. Well, the dumbasses at Iowa State hadn't bothered to salt the parking lot ahead of the snow, because there was a sheet of solid ice covering part of the lot. And I stepped onto it and went flying...and I landed directly on my right elbow.
Wow, it really hurt. My first thought as I was laying on the ground looking at the sky was that I had broken something. The pain was awful and shooting up and down my arm. I managed to get up and get inside with the help of two very nice people who had heard me groaning in pain. Thanks, two people whose names I didn't get. Anyway, I made it into lab and my arm was in agony. Of course we have no painkillers there. I clearly need to bring some in my bag next time. I sat for about an hour just trying to calm myself down--my body immediately reacted to being hurt by freaking out and I was feeling lightheaded and nauseated, just like when I get a blood draw. Eventually that feeling went away and I managed to get some lab work done, although I had to do all my pipetting left-handed. Trying to use my right hand made pain shoot up my arm.
By noon, the pain hadn't subsided and I was getting worried, so I called and made an appointment at the doctor. I got in, spent a long time waiting because it was really busy, and eventually got an exam and x-rays. The good news is that I didn't break my elbow. The bad news is that it's bruised to hell and back and retaining fluid. Unfortunately all I can do about it is take NSAIDs, ice, and gently wrap it and try to be nice to it. It could be a couple of weeks before it's completely back to normal.
The only good thing that came out of this is that I went home after the doctor's appointment and it's lucky that I did. The snow was so bad that I wouldn't have been able to get into my parking lot if I had stayed at work until 5 like usual. I had to get out and shovel just so that I could pull all the way into my parking spot.
That's the story of my busted elbow. Apparently my bones are freakishly strong, since I have escaped breaking a bone yet again.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Third Week of February

I had another frustrating week at work, and the snow storm that was supposed to be huge and give me a snow day was a total bust. I pretty much don't have more to say than that about work this week. Hopefully this week will be better.
However, I got a few plants this week and that made me happy! I got a Pink Splash, a Strawberry and Cream Rubber Tree, a Pink Blush Aloe, and a Tillandsia. Have a picture of the Pink Splash:

I'll put more pictures of the other ones up once I take them. The cats have been interested in them but they've been behaving so far with them. They're just stir crazy and run around and wrestle with each other a lot. I agree with them and wish it would warm up soon. I am so done with winter.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Medical Stuff

I had a doctor's appointment on Monday. The good news is that I'd lost a couple of pounds since I'd been there last month. Yay! That made me happy because I've been trying really hard to get into the weight loss groove and really eat better. It's been up and down but overall I've been doing a little bit better with eating less. I had a bunch of blood work done too, which is not fun. I always get faint. Thankfully, the ladies in the lab are really good and it didn't hurt too much. Plus they gave me an apple juice after I was done so that I felt better. They called today to give me the lab results. They're mailing the results too, so I didn't get any specific numbers. The good news is that my blood sugar and thyroid are totally normal. That's a relief because Type II diabetes runs in my family like crazy so I worry about that the most. The bad news is that my triglycerides are high. They didn't say how high, and I wasn't given a prescription, so probably not mega-high. They also mentioned a liver enzyme that was high, but I don't know which one or if that's related to the triglycerides or not. The way to deal with it is the same stuff I've been working on to lose weight-more exercise, less sugary foods, less trans fats. The other thing is more omega-3 fatty acids. I don't eat a lot of fish because it's so expensive, and fish oil capsules are huge and taste like butts. Today I was able to find krill oil capsules, which are smaller and don't taste awful. Hopefully those will also help.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Second Week of February

February is already halfway over, which seems strange. It feels like the time is going by very quickly. On the one hand, I'm glad for that because I'm looking forward to spring, but on the other hand I don't like the feeling of time flying by.
I've had a small success with one experiment at work, which makes me happy. On the other hand, the major experiment is still not working. My PI sent an email to two of the postdocs this week asking them to help me. I appreciate help, but I'd already talked to both of them about this experiment and him sending the email just kind of felt like he was going over my head. I'm trying not to be offended because I want to finish this stupid experiment and move on. Whatever. I think I could really use a week off just to stay at home and rest a little, get some chores done and feel relaxed. We might get another major snowstorm this week so maybe I'll get another snow day.
I ordered more houseplants! I'm still waiting on my first two, but the gardener contacted me and is waiting until he can safely ship them in the cold weather. He's in Massachusetts so it makes sense that he needed to wait since they had a load of snow. Anyway, I ordered some more plants via Amazon, they have some companies that sell through them. I ordered a Blush Pink Aloe, which has pink leaves in the summer. Then I got a pink Rubber Plant, and a Tillandsia. Tillandsia is an epiphyte which usually grows on tree branches, so it doesn't need soil. They're commonly called Air Plants. I'm looking forward to receiving them and expanding my houseplant collection. Once it's warm enough outside I'll start my patio garden. I really like plants and gardening so I'm getting going on this hobby. Maybe once I'm done with my graduate studies and have a home with a garden, I'll get my Master Gardener certification. I think it would be a cool thing to do and I do like learning.
Dan and I had a night in for Valentine's day so we didn't have to fight the crowds at restaurants. We had pizza and watched Godzilla vs. Megalon because Dan hadn't seen that one before. It was very funny and it was really good to spend the day with him. Our one year anniversary was on the 11th. Since we aren't at the mega-romantic stage yet we didn't do anything super special, but Dan did come over for a while and we enjoyed some time together. Today was his last day at Walmart and his new internship starts next week. I'm very excited for him.
I've played a lot of Harvest Moon this weekend. I think it's a way for me to escape a lot of stress because the premise is living such a simpler life. Sometimes I wish I could just walk away from the stress of graduate school and science and just become a farmer. I'm sure that has its own set of stresses but it seems like something I would enjoy.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

First Week of February

It was a lot warmer this week, above freezing the whole time. The snow and ice are starting to melt! I hope it stays that way. I'm ready for spring. I'm getting a little stir-crazy having to be inside all the time. I want to go out and walk through the parks again, and I really want to start my patio garden. It's like I'm just trying to make it through every day until spring comes.
Since it's still too cold for me to start my patio garden, and I don't have the equipment to start seeds inside yet, I bought two more houseplants today. I ordered them from Pernell Gerver online. It's a store in Massachusetts and they look like they have a pretty big inventory. I ordered a Marble Queen Pothos in a 6" hanging basket and an Old Man Cactus. Pothos are supposed to be pretty easy to care for and the hanging hook in one of my rooms should be a great place for it. I got the Old Man Cactus because I haven't had a cactus in a while, and they're really cool-looking. They grow these big silver hairs and look like an old man's beard, hence the name. I'm looking forward to them arriving! I also moved my Hoya carnosa upstairs to my room. It suffered some damage last summer when I moved, but this week I noticed that it grew its first new leaf! So I moved it upstairs where there's more light every day and hopefully it'll start growing again like crazy. Hoya are pretty resilient so I'm optimistic.
Memo and Leo are going stir-crazy too. They've spent a lot of time at the doorwall watching birds and rabbits. They've been playing all kinds of weird kitty games and running through the house like crazy. It's pretty funny to watch.
I still haven't made a whole lot of progress on my problem at work. It's very frustrating. I've talked to my lab mates and they're pretty much as confused as I am. So I guess I just have to keep banging away at it and hopefully it works eventually. I'm waiting on some other stuff to come back from the DNA sequencing so hopefully that stuff is good and at least I could make progress on something. This is so frustrating because I have the deadline of wanting to graduate next year hanging over me and I get really worried about that.
As of next Monday, Dan and I will have been dating for a year! That seemed to go by really quickly. I'm glad he's in my life, he's really made it better. I don't know how we'll celebrate yet since Valentine's Day is the same week and of course it's his last week of working at Walmart so he's stuck with one more week of shift work. But I'm happy that we're together and I'm looking forward to the next year.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Last Week of January/First two days of February

It was cold as hell this week. On Friday the high was -2 degrees without the windchill. It was just awful and made it really hard to want to do anything except sit around under a bunch of blankets. On Wednesday we had about five inches of snow and as usual, my parking lot wasn't plowed until about 3pm, so I had a snow day. It was kind of nice to have a day off but it's so annoying that Ames seems to be incapable of plowing the streets properly. We got about an inch of snow last night and I haven't seen or heard a single plow. I know it's not a lot, but they still should get that snow off the road, especially since there's still snow on the roads from the previous snowstorm. It's obnoxious. At least later this week it's supposed to be warmer and above freezing, so I'm hoping a lot of this will melt.
Wow, I've never written so much about the weather! Unfortunately, that was the most exciting point of the week. My sinuses are bothering me a lot and so I've spent a lot of time this weekend just sitting around, playing games and watching old horror movies. That's not a bad way to spend time, but it's not much to write about.