If Running is Romeo, that Makes Me Juliet

Dear Running,

I miss you.

The universe is conspiring to keep us apart.

No fewer than 5 medical professionals have told me that you are a no-no this summer.

I said, “What the heck, what do they know?”

Sure, maybe the fact that they had to stop the exercise stress test due to me reaching my maximum heart rate in approximately 5 minutes of light walking was an indication that speeding things up may not go how I imagine.

I said, “No worries! I just won’t run as fast or for so long.”

Then Mother Nature figured she should get in on this, trying to stop me with the powers of 110 degree weather and South Carolina-esque humidity right here in good ole DC.

But I persisted. “I will get up before the sun so that I can go running!”

Turns out you don’t need sun for it to be so hot and humid that your mouth feels like it’s full of cotton balls and you can’t breathe when you step outside the door.

“I will drink more water and wear my sweat-wicking clothing, thank you, Science!” I said as I stepped out anyway.

My brain loves you, Running. We feel incomplete without you. Nothing could come between us.

Oh, except bodily breakdown.

Yep. That’ll work.

This time last year, I broke my heel bone in pursuit of you. I thought that hurt.

No, Running. That was not pain.

Pain is developing a cyst on your tendon, a cyst whose size and therefore level of pressing down on said tendon (Read: SMOOSHING WITH THE FORCE OF A THOUSAND ELEPHANTS) is directly related to whether or not I stand up.

Sitting or lying down with leg elevated: Eh, ouchy.

Standing or walking around: SWEET JEHOSEPHAT IS MY LOWER LEG EXPLODING?

So you know, I have been foiled at last.

For now, Running, we must consciously uncouple. We must take a break, and explore other options, like Pilates and Yoga and other gentle stuff that makes my mind feel like jello, but that will apparently be just a-okay for my tempermental tendon.

I just wish I knew how to quit you.

Ugh.

See you in October?

Love, Nic

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Icebergs, right ahead!

Let’s think cold thoughts shall we?

If you live anywhere near the East Coast of the US of A, then you know that we are having a heat wave. A tropical heat wave. The temperature’s rising, it isn’t surprising…

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Sorry. I digress. #IrvingBerlin #TheresNoBusinessLikeShowBusiness #LikeNoBusiness #IKnowww

When you are melting, it can feel like you will never be cool again. You start to forget that just a tender few months ago, you were buried under 4 feet of snow in the Snowpocolypse and were praying for this very moment that we are in right now.

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Where can you go? What can you do? The weather people are insisting we all stay inside, huddled around the cool of our air conditioning units. But that gets boring.

Luckily, the National Building Museum in Washington, DC is here to help us out.

Every year, the Building Museum has a big summer exposition. I managed to miss last year’s, an instillation called The Beach, which was essentially just a gigantic ball pit in the main hall, an oversight I may never get over. #BooHoo

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This year, the project is called Icebergs! (emphasis theirs!), and it is a pretty nifty display. Plus it happens to be just a little bit chilly in there- more so than 99.9% of the rest of the National Mall et. al. Of course, I had to see it.

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The blue bits of netting represent the ocean. Then the ice-looking bits, are well, ice bits. The point is to show that while you can see the tip of an iceberg above the surface, so much more is hanging out down below.

Invisible chronic illness reference, anyone?

From the top view, you can see icey little triangles. Sure, there’s something there, but it all seems well and good.

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But go below the surface, and you can see just how deep a problem-ahem, iceberg- runs, and just how much life-ahem, again, excuse me, surface area- said artifice really takes up.

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Or you know, you can leave the analogies here and just go climb up rickety-sounding/feeling scaffolding (Fear of heights mantra: This is totally safe! It was built by BUILDING MUSEUM people! They know what they’re doing! Repeat as necessary), which is enough to liven up anyone’s Sunday afternoon.

Whatever floats your boat.

RIO!

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Dum dum de dum dum dum de dum dum dum de dum dum de de dum dum dummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm!!!!! ( I know, I know, that was a perfectly accurate rendition of the theme music on NBC. #NailedIt)

Don’t you just love the Olympics?

Spoiler alert: I do!

I mean really, when you sit down and think about it, there is absolutely nothing like the whole world sending representatives to participate in a giant sporting match that lasts for 2+ weeks. It’s really cool, and a great reminder that if nothing else, the world has sport and competition in common.

Full disclosure: I have been a major slacker when it comes to exercise this summer. It’s been too hot with too poor air quality to be running, and though I make an effort to do my rowing machine or lift weights instead, it’s been pretty sporadic.

Nothing exercise-related is quite as motivating as watching the Olympics.

Sure, these athletes have been working since they were born to be at the level of Olympian now. Most are also not allergic to Wheaties, which I hear is the Breakfast of Champions, so you know, they have that going for them as well.

But am I really the only one who sits on their couch and feels like “I could totally do that!” while watching an event?

(I’m not, right? You do it too? Yep, thought so.)

I don’t know why, but watching the Olympics gives me an inflated sense of what I personally am capable of. All it takes is 10 minutes, and I want to go out, find a beach volleyball court, and show the world that anyone can be Kerri Walsh Jennings if they just get out there!

Oh wait. Maybe anyone who is not allergic to the sun…

…and who doesn’t hate sand with the extreme passion with which I do.

Ok, so maybe let’s go inside.

Gymnastics!
I’m slightly hyper-mobile. Simone Biles might have springs inside her feet (#NoOtherExplanation), but I bet it’s not that hard to do…well whatever it is that she is doing out there.

Oh wait. Nope. No, no, no, really cannot do that.

(Nic Note: DO NOT TRY TO BE SIMONE BILES AT HOME IF YOU ARE NOT ACTUALLY SIMONE BILES)

Let’s head over to the pool.

Time for my inner Pisces to be unleashed!

Michael Phelps isn’t that fast. I could totally do that.

Well, you know, he is an entire foot taller than me. When he dives in, it’s like half the pool length right there. I’m calling unfair advantage.

Hmmm, equestrian?

Whoa, there, pony. Maybe I really am just a dog person.

I know-cylcing!

Who put those cobblestones there? Um, ouch.

Let’s be realistic, I probably won’t be qualifying for a room at the Olympic Village in Toyko 2020. But it can still be motivating. The Olympics show us what is possible. We all have so much potential inside us. We just have to let it out!

Humidity + Compression Stockings = Not Happening

The weather people in the metropolitan DC area are liars.

This is a tremendous accusation, I know. What on Earth would compel me to level such a claim?

Humidity.

Pure and simple.

You see, for my entire life, I have believed the weather people when they have told me that it is 100% humidity outside. There was no reason not to believe them. Step outside, and it is clear that it is oppressive out there. Of course it is, because it is 100% humidity.

What then is greater than 100% humidity?

South Carolina, apparently.

Y’all, as a Maryland/DC/Northern Virginia line hugger, I am an honorary Southerner. We are technically below the Mason Dixon line.

However, I have not been one to ever really travel in a Southernly direction, unless it included a 2-hour climate controlled plane flight to Disney World for Thanksgiving. Which is in November.

You know what’s not in November?

July.

Apparently people live in South Carolina (Hello, South Carolina people!) and apparently, their weather people tell them that it is 100% humidity there too.

Their weather people are right.

My weather people?

Not so much.

There was a place when it shifted; like an actual line drawn across the shimmering heat weaves rising off the pavement. I wish I could remember the name of the place, but it was somewhere right after Virginia ended and right before South Carolina began.

Oh right, it was called North Carolina. (Hello North Carolina people!)

I’m sorry, it’s probably the Damn Yankee in me, but places that contain the word “North” in their name should be cold, or at least cold-er than whatever is either South or not directionally differentiated. There is nothing cold in North Carolina. The “cold” cases for beverages in the gas station we stopped at were even functioning at a mild lukewarm. Someone told me it snows there in the winter. I’m pretty sure they were trying to pull a fast one on an actual Northerner.

I have never been so flipping hot in my whole life.

Sure it started in North Carolina, but it built and built until we reached South Carolina. I can’t even describe the feeling- like the elephant I have always wanted as a pet decided to take up residence sitting on my lungs; like a freshly fallen dew was permanently creeping up my arms; like my skin was literally expanding.

Speaking of skin expanding, at the Cracker Barrel, there was a sign that said, “Heat causes things to expand. I’m not fat, I’m just hot!”

Evidence to back this claim?

I could not get my flipping compression stockings on.

My skin expanded to some degree, I’m sure of it. My compression stockings also took this time to shrink to some degree, wilting into themselves.

It is hard to put on compression stockings.

Period. That is a statement.

It is really hard to put on compression stockings in 100% Maryland/DC/Virginia line hugger humidity.

It is simply a ridiculous endeavor to even attempt to put on compression stockings in true, honest-to-Deep-South 100% humidity.

Bonus?

We happened to go during a record-setting, hottest weekend/week ever (in the history of the world!).

Chronic friends. My predicament was this: In order to survive, I must wear the compression stockings. Yet, actually getting those suckers on was a true test of my Chronic superpowers.

I had to take breaks.

No really.

Are you laughing?

Please, feel free too. Part of the reason I had to take so many breaks was because I was laughing so hard in the setting of the previously mentioned elephant on my chest. One needs air if one is to continue the battle.

And battle I did.

Let me tell you, I seriously limited the number of times I went to the bathroom, because the only thing worse than trying to wiggle into those sausage casings in the open wide expanse of my hotel room was trying to do it in a teeny tiny stall in the boardwalk/reststop/otherwise beach-side bathroom. I was checked on, for fear of fainting, only to be found huffing and puffing trying to get my self situated.

Mmmhhhmm…

So I have a bone to pick with you, Weather People. Tell the truth. I know you are trying to make us all feel a little better about the stories we will one day tell our children (“We still had to go to work in the summer of 2016 when it was 100% humidity and 100 degrees…can you believe that? So stop your complaining and go to camp…”), but come on. One family vaca to Myrtle Beach and they will know the truth.

We know nothing of humidity here.

Also, if that Cracker Barrel sign speaks the truth, we may have a real shot at battling the obesity epidemic by paying just a smidge more attention to global warming. That is my Nobel Prize winning idea, though, okay? Don’t steal it. 😛

Me versus Magneto

Want to impress a medical technician?

Show up to your MRI wearing totally normal-looking clothes that contain absolutely no trace of metal. Anywhere.

Yes, thanks a bundle, sweetie, but I will not be needing that drab hospital gown that does not actually tie shut in the back.

Let me explain…

Magneto is my favorite X-Man (favorite X-Woman: Shadowcat, Rogue, Phoenix, Storm- don’t make me decide!). Sure, my love of this metal-wielding bad guy was initially stoked by the fact that Ian McKellan and Michael Fassbender play him in the movies (#Talented). But really, he is one cool dude. And seriously, in our day and age, what isn’t metal? He really would have a quick path to total world domination. That’s a true supervillian right there.

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I recently faced a real-world version of Magneto. Lay people call it an MRI machine (techies: magnetic resonance imaging). Magneto would LOVE this thing. It is a gigantic magnet, so essentially, it’s him. It can rip earrings from your ears, a pacemaker from your chest, a pin from your joint replacement. That hunk of metal is not screwing around.

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Not my real MRI. Understandably they don’t let you take photos of it with your metal iPhone when it is on…

MRIs are fascinating though. They can see your insides for goodness sakes. Okay, sure, lots of tests can see your insides, but MRIs are super fun because they can see your soft tissues, which are much more interesting than your skeleton. Not to knock x-rays, but anyone who’s sat in a science lab classroom has seen a skeleton. The thrill is gone.

(Fun fact: When German physics professor Wilhelm Roentgen discovered x-rays, he was super excited and showed his God-fearing wife, demonstrating his find using her hand. Instead of being like, “Thanks for sharing, hubby! That’s such a nifty discovery!” the poor woman flipped out, insisting that he had shown her a vision of her own death. Isn’t science fun?)

Often, MRIs are of brains, and fMRI (the f stands for functional) can be used in all sorts of serious research projects like, “When you think of cookies, what part of your brain lights up?”

My MRI was for my abdomen, because that plague of awfulness I was blogging about in December of last year just didn’t want to quit, until it did, but then it came back again. #Cruel

As per usual, I suited up in my Captain America apparel. Sure, I’m mixing books, and going all Avengers vs. X-Men (which was a great cross-over special that you should definitely read!), but when you are facing a bad guy, like Magneto in health testing machine form, you suit up.

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When you are a chronic, you pick up on things in medical settings. For instance, you do not actually have to live in the gross hospital gown when you are at the hospital just because one is given to you. Sure, wear it for procedures, whatever, but if you are getting a simple saline-fillup or are there for more than 2 days, wear your own clothes, people. Sigourney Weaver may hate sweat clothing, but we cannot all be Sigourney Weaver all the time, now can we? (#Goals #SigourneyAllTheTime)

Also, you get to know the most frequent medical tests and what they entail. We pass on the red and orange colored jello (#1 no-no for gastro testing), we avoid the cherry flavored anything (Cherry flavor does not make anything taste better, promise), and we know to wear a pull-on sports bra and yoga pants to our MRIs. No buttons, no fasteners, no getting superglued to the side of a Magneto machine. Mmmkay?

So, yes, this will impress your technician. They might also not believe you, and run through the list of all things metallic that might be hanging out on your person. (Um, no, I don’t have a tongue ring or other body piercing that cannot be seen, but thanks for the double check? #SureYouWerentBeingCreepy)

It’s also just plain more comfortable. I mean really, if you are going to be trapped in – I mean situated inside of – a very small vessel of magnet magnitude for a very long time (most MRIs are upwards of 30 minutes), you should be wrapped in a hug of Steve Rogers memorabilia that covers your tush. At least that’s my feeling on the matter.

In case you were wondering, my MRI was normal in terms of my digestive system, although no matter which way I look at the images of my spleen, I’m just not convinced it is supposed to look so much like a blob. Are spleens supposed to be blob-y? Am I even looking at my spleen? The world may never know…

 

People I see when running

Amazing news, Chronic Readers! It took me nearly 3 years, but I have made it to my goal mileage of running 3.1 miles, which equals a 5k! I am right on time, too, as Springtime/Summertime is perfect for signing up for legitimate 5k races in which t-shirt and/or logo-ed water bottle participation prizes are given- perhaps the real reason I am a runner. Oh sure, cardiovascular fitness, better blood circulation, and a drastic improvement in my Chronic-ness are all well and good, but let’s be honest, I’m in it for the t-shirt.

ANYWAY.

I only just reached this mileage goal last week, but as I mentioned, I have been chug, chug, chugging along for quite some time now. I prefer to run solo, as then I can take as many, “OMG, my heart is exploding, I’m going to die right here on the pavement, oh wait, false alarm!” breaks as I need without interfering with someone else’s tempo. However, I’m never actually alone while I run, as I now live in a rather peppy neighborhood chock full of other people who are mobile at the crack of dawn, just like me.

Without further ado, ladies and gentlemen, may I present the first edition of “People I See When Running…”

Mr. Solidarity

I have several different loops around my neighborhood that I have planned out and run depending on what I feel like- one when it’s early (more cars than people out), one when it’s late (more people than cars out), etc. Yet most of these routes return to a rather busy-ish street, which has one car lane and one bike lane in each direction. It also contains an unavoidable incline (I’d call it a hill, but if you know it you’d laugh. It’s only a hill to me!). This is where most of the above “My heart is exploding. Right. This. Minute.” moments happen. The other day, as I was huff-and-puffing up this bit, stuck in my own head in order to convince myself that ‘Sure, we all have to die eventually, but today is not that day for me!’ I heard something.

A sort of huff-puff alongside me.

Quick side note: When I run, I only have one earbud in. I like to be able to hear what’s going on around me somewhat so I can stay alert. I also run with my keys in my hand, because 1) I don’t want to lose them and 2) Bad guys. I am prepared to key your face like Carrie Underwood keyed her ex-boyfriend’s car in the “Before He Cheats” video if you are anywhere near my personal space while I am running.

Back to the Story: So, I am huff-puffing. I hear huff-puffing near me and I am all set to jab my house key into someone’s eye, when I turn my head and realize it is a rather portly guy on a bicycle in the bike lane next to the sidewalk. There are a lot of people in my neighborhood who bike to work regularly; super fit dudes in bright colored spandex whose leather briefcases and business suits are tucked neatly into carrying cases that balance just so on the back of their bicycles as they race minivans into the business-y areas. This guy was not one of those guys. However, he does look like he decided he wanted to be one of those guys, um, yesterday, and went to the local bike pro shop, and bought everything they had. He is wearing spandex when perhaps he should not be. He has one of those fancy mirrors you attach to your helmet so you can see behind you. He is wearing fingerless gloves. He’s got the carrying case on the back of his bike for his briefcase and suit, but it doesn’t look like it’s attached right and so his balance is off, and he is pedaling in squiggly lines like a drunk bicycle messenger. He can barely make it up the incline.

As it happens, neither can I.

I am doing that thing where you pretend you are still running, but really, if you stopped and walked, it would be faster. I am making a big show of how I am going to make it up this incline.

So is Mr. Solidarity on his shiny new bicycle next to me.

For about 2 minutes maybe, we slog along. I am not going to drop my running form and walk, even though I want to. He is not going to dump his bike and hop on the bus just ahead, even though he looks (and sounds!) like he wants to. Finally, the street where I turn comes along, and I put my hand up in the Runner’s Wave, which also looks like I’m about to say “Stop! In the name of Love!” He nods his head. Or at least I think he did. He may not have had the energy to make it an obvious motion. Blessedly, for the both of us, it’s all downhill from here.

The Boxer Gang

There are a lot of dogs in my neighborhood. No really, like a ton. It’s as if everyone read an article in the newspaper that said, “All successful people live in a house with a garden in front, have 2.5 kids, and a goldendoodle.” Let me tell you something, goldendoodles, with their no-shed promise and goofy good looks can be nasty little buggers. They are the ones getting in aggressive barking matches in my neck of the woods. They will draw you in with their golden curls and then bite your flippin hand off.

I try to avoid dogs at all costs when I am running, which is super hard. There are some I see everyday, so I’ve begun to note their patterns. My favorite is the Boxer Gang.

When I say gang, I mean it. There are 4 of them, of various ages and sizes, pure muscle as if they really could go 12 rounds, who walk with their owner down the middle of the sidewalk on leashes of various lengths. There is one though, that you know is the leader. He is the biggest, and maybe the oldest, and of course, has the most “Don’t mess with us,” personality of them all. There are some people with dogs in the neighborhood who will cross the street when they see me jogging up, which I appreciate.

When the Boxer Gang is rolling, I am the one who crosses the street.

The first time I saw them, they were with the husband-owner, who likes to walk them early Saturday mornings off-leash. I actually hid behind a tree on the other side of the street while they passed. Mostly though, I see them with the wife-owner, who always has them leashed.

The other day, I got as close to them as I ever had. Engaged in a game of chicken, mainly because it was wet and I didn’t want to run through the muddy grass to cross the street, we came towards each other. I look for signs of doggy-danger; you know perked ears, aggressive grumblings, whatever. I just have to get to the bit of driveway ahead and then I can cross the street.

I make it, veer off, and totally expect a chorus of barking to follow me.

But it doesn’t happen. I look over, and they are not even looking at me. No, one of them is, but just as quickly, he runs back to the pack and nudges his gang leader brother right before said leader runs into a bush.

It’s then that I realize, the leader of the Boxer Gang is blind. And his gang is really just a tiny gang of Seeing-Eye brother Boxers who keep him safe whilst intimidating the bejesus out of everyone else, perhaps so Boxer Kingpin can save face?

As I run on, I can’t help but laugh. The scariest dogs on the block are the least scary! Then I stifle my laughter and discreetly cross back to the other side of the street, because darn it if there isn’t a goldendoodle blocking the path ahead.

If your name isn’t ANTMAN, I don’t want you in my kitchen…

…and even then, please feel free to move along.

Tiny, multi-legged creatures have invaded my home.

None of them were being directed by a tiny, Supersuit-wearing, reformed criminal. I checked.

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It’s springtime, and here in the Washington, DC area, it has been raining.

And raining.

And raining.

Therefore, I am not surprised that all sorts of creatures, great and small would like to be in my house right now, where it is warm and dry, instead of in the puddle of mud they once called home in my backyard.

However, while I am sympathetic to their plight, I have to draw a line somewhere, and that somewhere happens to be my kitchen.

Listen, I know that sugar cookies with homemade strawberry icing are irresistible.

I ate 4 of them in one sitting.

I know.

But that single solitary cookie crumb I dropped on the kitchen floor was not an invitation to the strawberry-iced, sugar cookie party.

And I promise, I really did not mean for it to be a Trojan horse, whereby you think you are getting a present of sugary goodness and then I turn around and massacre your tiny, multi-legged family with a paper towel and some disinfectant. #SorryNotSorry

I’m pretty sure that at this point, Karma will have me reincarnated as an insect 4.9 million times, because that is the number of ant lives I have taken this week. I’ve got red in my book in a big way. Sure, I could go full Buddhist and walk around with a broom sweeping the path before me so as not to accidently take an innocent bug-life, but really, Mr. Ant and company, I don’t want you in my house, and relocating all of you with a benevolent sweep or helpful instructions to find the door is just unrealistic at this point.

There are just to many of you.

Even if you were to have Hank Pym and/or Scott Lang with you, I would kick y’all out because, not going to lie, those guys are slightly overrated.

Ant-Man is my least favorite Marvel movie. Sure the special effects were kind of nifty when Paul Rudd and that guy who played a drugged out congressman in the first season of House of Cards were fighting and going from being normal-sized to ant-sized. Plus, they made Michael Douglas’s wrinkles magically disappear for the first 15 minutes of the movie. But really, Marvel made a multi-million dollar movie centered on the idea of a superhero that shrinks to miniature and rides a flying ant like a mythical Pegasus, and they still don’t believe that Black Widow should have her own movie? Do the execs really just have a bad case of closet arachnophobia? Because, in case they didn’t know, unlike Ant-Man, Black Widow has absolutely nothing to do with bugs. Sure, her alter-ego has a bug-related name, but only to get across her lethal reputation. A Black Widow movie would not be 2-1/2 hours of close-ups of an anthropomorphized spider (who, if she did exist, one could only hope would have a better name than “Antony” the ant). Instead, it would be a blissful 2-1/2 hours of Natasha Romanova kicking ass and taking names. #FeministComicBookLover #WhyMarvelWhy #30SecondRant

The rain does not appear to be letting up anytime soon (#Day18) and I have exhausted my options of ant spray and ant traps. And I am finding them everywhere now. How did they find my laundry basket? Why are they crawling across my TV screen? They are even harassing my dog and my fish. Which, let me just say, crosses a line.

I may be bigger and stronger and so much better looking, but alas, I am just one, and they are hundreds. I am not one to give up or surrender ever, but I’m thinking this one calls for a detente.

Here’s the deal Ants: You leave me and my food surfaces/clothing/pets alone, and I won’t squish the life out of you when you’re somewhere innocuous, like say, the doorframe or window ledge.

We can agree to disagree on the whole Antman topic, though, because I’m sure it’s a favorite of the swarm, and I don’t need another reason to get them riled up!

 

AHDI RHDS

I have been living under a rock.

This particular rock was the AHDI RHDS exam (translation: Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity Registered Healthcare Documentation Specialist examination).

I’ve been working as a medical transcriptionist/healthcare documentation specialist for the past 6 months, and while my job did not require me to take this nationally qualifying test, I felt like it was important for me to do so, if only for the bragging rights and shiny lapel pin (plus you know, earnest stuff, like dedication to streamlined/national standards of workplace excellence).

If one does not pass the RHDS exam, one has to wait 6 months before one can take it again, and I did not want that to be my fate.

So, in true over-achiever fashion, I not only took a study course, but I also developed a study plan of my own. This consisted of me spending every bit of my free time in the last 3 months pouring over textbooks and medical journals, while amassing an incredibly awkward Google search history that included choice phrases like, “Is there a “y” in chlamidia?” Which there is, in case you were wondering. It’s spelled chlamydia.

The wonderful news: I passed! WOOHOO!

The side note: I absolutely over-studied and I am pretty sure that I could take the MCAT right now, plus all the final exams for every year of medical school and be pronounced a doctor tomorrow, although I have no desire to do so (Blood in a book: Um, ew. Blood in real life: OMG AHHH!).

Since there are no superheroes in medical transcribing (unless you count me! #CornyJokeAlert), and I’m pretty sure most of you hear enough about your bodily functions from your own doctor, I didn’t feel like blogging much while I was under said RHDS exam rock. Now that I’ve passed and am free to forget the fact that your humerus is connected to your ulna and radius which are connected to your carpals which are connected to your metacarpals which are connected to your phalanges and all of that together makes you arm, hand and fingers, I have just enough headspace to think my own thoughts again, so here I am!

What have you been up to this springtime, Chronic readers?

 

Addendum to Undateable

It has recently come to my attention that I am dateable.

Quick turn-around, I know.

So, this is me:

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And this is you:

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On our best days, of course. (Don’t fear the She-Hulk-ness. Jennifer Walters is a super smart and logical lawyer and actually retains her personality when she Hulks out, unlike her cousin Bruce.)

I’ll leave my Chronic insecurities at home as long as you promise to bring along your Chronic sensitivity. We’ll meet somewhere in the middle-ish.

Now all that’s left is to Assemble Prospects…I mean, Avengers…

Undateable

It has recently come to my attention that I am undateable.

I’m not really sure when this happened, and I’m also not really sure when I started to care.

Ok, so the first part isn’t exactly true.

And really, neither is the second.

I know the when, the why, the how, the where.

It’s that whole “what to do about it…” part I haven’t quite gotten to yet.

Here’s the thing, Chronic friends.

I am not lonely, promise.

Except I might get just a little teensy bit of a lonely-like feeling every other Friday night, most holidays, and the first Wednesday of the month when it is buy one, get one burger night <somewhere>

But really, not lonely, mmkay?

I used to like dating.

I also used to like sitting in the sun, doing upside down yoga positions, and eating bacon.

Sometimes the things you like just don’t like you, you know?

For the past, I don’t know, 10 (!!!!) years, dating has just not been on my radar.

I was kind of busy trying to um, stay upright/conscious/alive.

I know, excuses, excuses.

But my life is super different-ish now; I’m rapidly approaching being faint/hemiplegia-free for 2 years, I’m employed, my mom isn’t my roommate any more, etc. I’ve got a bunch of things to look forward to that aren’t washing my hair once a week or walking the dog to the mailbox every day. (Totally legit things that I still continue to celebrate and do more frequently-at least in the case of washing my hair!) I’ve been busy-busy more than I’ve been Chronic busy.

So you might have heard that it’s Valentine’s Day on Sunday, and that it’s my 27th (shhh! #DontTellTheOtherBloggers #ImOlderThan #Everyone) birthday exactly one week afterwards…

Nothing like a one-two punch to make a girl wonder about her prospects.

There are very specific times when I feel like Rip Van Winkle waking up from a 100 years’ nap only to find that the world is a crazy, weirdo place now and I want to go back to sleep.

Dating makes me feel like this.

First off, as a Chronic Lady who has been in Chronic hibernation/Rip Van Winkle sleep for her early 20s (because as a friend and I recently figured out, I am one-week out from being in my “late” 20s-thinking of you, early 30s friend!), I seem to have missed the window where you go on 29 first dates and have 3 week-long relationships with your college Chem lab partner that dissolve in a fiery mess that means that you can no longer go to the Taco Bell on campus because he might be there. All that junk stuff where you figure it out- I seem to have missed that lovely learning curve.

Nope, late 20s is the part where (according to Society and the Powers That Be), one discovers The One, and fills up everyone else’s Facebook feeds with engagement photos, wedding photos, baby photos, first home photos, first dog photos, romantic get-away trip photos, and even the occasional divorce memo.

I am going to be really selfish and self-centered for 5 seconds and say I cannot BELIEVE that there are people my age who are DIVORCED and I have not even been on a DATE, ohmygosh PANIC ATTACK about my PLACE in the SOCIETY-MEASURED RAT RACE.

Sorry.

I’m ok now.

It’s not that I have not had opportunity.

Truth time: I did have a kind of opportunity, and I kind of blew it.

First off, timing was horrible.

Do not try to figure out your first date in a decade when you are trying to move out for the first time, pass a final exam for a never-ending career training program so that you can get your first job so you can pay your first bills and be a grownup, also for the first time.

You simply have too much going on, and while the Internet will tell you that loads of people have online relationships for months and even years where they never actually see each other in person, it’s not actually true. The person who wants to date you will actually want to go out on a date at some point. #WayToMakeEverythingHarder #WhatsSoGreatAboutADate

Which comes to the Chronic part.

How do Chronic people date?

No really, I’m asking.

That wasn’t a lead-in to my epically enlightened answer. It was a question that I’m really hoping you’ll read as endearing and not kind of sad. Oh, and that you’ll answer.

I get so nosey when I meet Chronic people in relationships. I become the most annoying journalist. “Where did you meet?” “Where is that?” “Did you wear your compression stockings?” “Did he notice them?” “What did you say?” “No, like really, word for word, what did you say?”

I don’t go to movies (unless they are at 10 am at the one theater I like and I wear earplugs and fidget like a 1st grader who has to pee) and I don’t go to restaurants (I do not want to die a slow stomach churning death with an audience, especially one I don’t know well). I can’t really go to museums (who knew they could so drastically change the humidity from one room to the next to keep works of art young and vibrant whilst keeping the young and vibrant dizzy, sweaty and nauseous?) and I mostly avoid the outdoors between sunup and sundown. Then I avoid going out at night because I’m tired and have night blindness #ItsARealThing I don’t drink caffeine or tea or alcohol (they are all diuretics, like I’d need the help…). Mostly, if it’s fun, I’m pretty sure I have a reason I can’t do it.

Undateable, you see?

On the other hand, I am really good at making soda pop pound cakes. I have an outdoor firepit and an indoor tabletop safety flame fire pit for making s’mores. (Yes, I have both. I really like s’mores.) I like the comic book store and the library. I like to Netflix and I like to chill. Separately, you perv.

Perhaps, just maybe, I am not quite as undateable as I think?

 

Are you in a relationship, Chronic friend? Do you go out on dates? Tell me all about it. I mean it. Like, everything. Have you written a manual? Could you?

Happy Valentine’s Day, lovelies! ❤