Wednesday, July 1, 2015

kitten chaser

before i start:


IT'S LEGAL TODAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!

congratulations to all the users who are no longer criminals.

okay.

dude, you guys, seriously.

i have been so all over the place and have been way too lazy with the blog. no running updates in, like, a month, wow.

i'm not even going to bother catching up at this point.  i was sick over the weekend and have been trying to figure things out with my schedule, etc. i'm still running most days and doing my usual 4 days of pilates, so it's all good. you're probably over the terribly lit pictures of the treadmill screen anyway.

also, i probably figured out i have high cortisol levels, which is crazy. the google machine helped me flesh out my diagnosis in less than an hour. i got some herbal supplements to fix it and started taking them last week. seriously, i'm so much better already. it's nice to have the google machine validate my strange assumptions about my body weird. i shoulda probably had a doctor test my blood or something, but that takes an unknowable amount of days to complete. amazon sent me the herbs in two days, done.

seriously, seriously, seriously, i think i might have just halved my hyperhidrosis suffering too. it's super weird that all the things that made me cranky about my body misbehaving were all connected to one thing. i guess it's not that weird, but still! it can't be this easy! a $30 bottle of questionable powder makes all eight things disappear, and most of my hyperhidrosis thrown in on top. UNREAL!

we'll see how i'm doing after a month.  if i'm right, i will need to alter my running schedule. running too often or too long is bad for your cortisol. i'm under the limit for time per outing, but frequency is an issue.

then! the other day, i took this amazing picture of zoot i had to share. your kitten chaser:


okay, this one too! too presh!


Wednesday, June 17, 2015

birthday weekend in austin, tx

it's the middle of june, so let's talk about what i did for memorial day! as previously mentioned, i spent my birthday/memorial day weekend in austin, texas visiting my hlp. she moved to austin last fall to attend the university and i hadn't gotten to visit her yet.

in no particular order:




we visited the jackrabbit, because duh. the rules of taking a photo on the jackrabbit: you must have a drink in your hand... so we got the biggest drink in the house and climbed on up there.


this is a house where people live, like, their lives, in this house. this is not a prop building from a disney ride line, this is a house with cars in the driveway.


i was there during the second coming of the noah flood. there were tornadoes, buckets of water falling from the sky at odd intervals, thunder, lightning, and amazing clouds. it was the most spectacular weather i have ever had the pleasure of experiencing. i love crazy weather and was super excited about it, but it was definitely very nice to come home to my mild tempered pacific northwest drizzle.


we ventured across the street for supplies during a light evening sprinkle. by the time we were ready to head back, the sky had turned into a waterfall. her apartment is less than one hundred yards from the convenience store we were in and we ran the whole way. we were completely soaked from head to toe, not an inch of us dry, even our underwear (what underwear?) was drenched. supermuchfun.


also, this is what all that moist did to my hair. not bad, actually. that pole behind me is one of three poles used to create a rig for my hlp's aerial acrobatic training apparatus, which is pretty damn sweet.


austin also has a fancy schmancy ice creamery that people are willing to wait in long lines for. theirs has vegan options, so we gave it a shot. we ended up standing in the sweltering back corner by the bathroom for all of five minutes before we called it and got a pint to go. i'm sure their cones were't that good anyway.


one hundred percent beaver coat, reppin' the beaver state. this photo was taken inside an air conditioned building, otherwise, that shit isn't happening.


my celebratory birthday cupcake, complete with pink penis candle.


obligatory first-birthday-esque destruction of cupcake. i only choked a little, and yes, i totally swallowed.


and now i'm twenty-eight years old, woooot. i've set some goals to reach "before i turn thirty" that are reasonable and would be nice, but not super important if i don't get around to them. i feel like things are coming together and it's just about time for people to finally take me seriously, myself included. getting older is kind of nice sometimes. 

being able to get on a plane and visit my very most bestest friend for my birthday confirms that i'm getting it mostly right, for me. i'm not meeting her in paris yet, but that's what thirty-eight is for.

Monday, June 15, 2015

herpderp de zerp

this photo brought so many questions to mind. i wasn't there when it was taken, so i have no answers to the questions. the most pressing question was not "why are they making those faces?" but instead "what's going on that got them both on the perch and they're not fighting each other?"







"zoot, strange things are afoot at the circle k."

Monday, June 8, 2015

pics or it didn't happen

last week (and probably most of this week) was spent in reproductive misery that doesn't seem to want to end. the number one thing to help that is, of course, exercise and proper nutrition. and of course those are the very last things one could ever want to deal with when it is most necessary. therefore, i give you:
monday, 6/1: pilates, mat

tuesday, 6/2: teach pilates, mat and

wednesday, 6/3: pilates, reformer

 thursday, 6/4:

saturday, 6/6: i walked a total of 1.4 miles to/from pilates, mat.

sunday, 6/7:

i have been going to pilates, three time per week for a while now, and teaching a mat class on tuesdays, might as well document that with the running.

i hope everyone had a great weekend. it was too damn hot here, but we still managed to enjoy ourselves and get things done.

Monday, June 1, 2015

pics or it didn't happen

i've been all over the place these past two weeks, here's my running update at least:


5/17: i climbed a mountain


5/19: back to running


5/20: SUB 27!


5/21: 
went to the chiropractor and he asked me to try running every other day 
for a week and see how my left leg felt after... just try.


5/23: i ran and got on a plane to austin, texas to visit my hlp for my birthday weekend


5/25: i ran outside in the murky air in austin, texas, 
risking getting washed away in the flood,
next to this really nice river/lake thing in the middle of the city. 
it was a really nice run. my actual time was 37:32, 
but i couldn't figure out how to get my hlp's watch to stop counting.


5/28


6/1:
then i went on a bit of a hiatus. my flight was super late getting in and i didn't end up going to bed until 2:30 a.m. and for some reason (see: too old for this shit) it took a lot out of me. i rested up real good this weekend and am back to my normal. 

average pace: 47:00
average time: 62:42
total miles: 29.13

the mountain climb is throwing off my totals, but i'm leaving it!

Saturday, May 16, 2015

pics or it didn't happen



this video has changed my life. such a simple thing that NO ONE KNOWS ABOUT!!!! the fancy pants at the running store didn't tell me to do this! and i was about to return their fancy pants shoes too. until i tried this and immediately all my issues were gone. my toes stopped hitting the front of my shoe. my left i.t. band and sciatic nerve are now getting better. A MIRACLE! and so simple. 

note: i didn't tie mine down quite as tight as he has it in the video, cuz ouch, but pretty damn tight.


sunday, distance 3.12


monday


tuesday


thursday


friday


just now... i'm off to pilates

average pace: 12:22
average time: 38:15
total miles: 18.72

still doing one rest day until my left leg is back to normal or until i change my mind. happy caturday!

Friday, May 15, 2015

my breast reduction

i had a breast reduction last fall. this post is looooooooong, so i've added headings to the sections so you can navigate through to find what you need and get out if you wish. yes, there are pictures toward the end; don't make it weird.

i am posting my experience because when i was trying to decide if this was right for me, i relied heavily upon information available online and found it helpful. i hope that someone finds this post helpful for them someday. questions may be directed to llpauseblog@gmail.com or left in the comments.
------

the reason

for several years now, i've been experiencing pain in my left forearm, wrist, and pinky and ring fingers. the last few years it had been getting steadily worse. i see a massage therapist who does magical things and really helps a ton, sleep with a special pillow, never wear jewelry on that wrist or those fingers, carry my purse on my right shoulder, etc. (the list is actually pretty long), but i still felt (pre-surgery) like i was just barely ahead of the pain and would still have many "bad days" in a week. i forget who it was to suggest that my breasts were likely to blame for ulnar nerve impingement, but once that information entered my brain, it was the most obvious thing in the world to me. the weight of my large breasts was causing me to hunch my shoulders forward and only an inhumane amount of pilates posture correction exercise was going to be able to help that.

sometimes, it's all about knowing what questions to ask.

the referral

i asked my primary care physician at kaiser about a breast reduction for the pain in my arm and she asked me a couple questions about my current pain management procedures (see above), made a few suggestions, and gave me the referral to the plastic surgeon. she recommended i see an occupational therapist just in case there was anything they could do to help (not mandatory), so i went and was not impressed. the physical therapist said i am flexible, fit, and strong and there's no reason for me to be having this pain. she was nice about it though and gave me stretches to do, for her c.y.a.

the consultation

the wednesday after my half marathon in september 2014, i went in for my consultation with kaiser plastic surgeon, doctor patricia sandholm, with giant gashes on the sides of my breasts from my sport bra, perfect. she took one look at my h-cup breasts and was very sympathetic. we immediately started discussing the benefits and risks of the surgery and when i'd like to have mine. she answered all of my questions and was lovely. funny story, she had actually tried and didn't make it in time to sign up for beat the blerch... and obviously is amazing.

the gashes had been happening on every run over ten miles, but i didn't have time before the race to start aaaaaallll over trying to find a bra that could handle over ten miles so i put up with it, using tons upon tons of glide and goo and slip and slide to keep it to a minimum.

the red tape

the brief discussion with my p.c.p. and dr. sandholm's nod of approval was all the red tape i had to deal with for kaiser. they get a bad rep, but i am absolutely in love with them. everything is so damn easy and everyone is so wonderful.

the restrictions

from there, it was only a matter of scheduling with work and my caregiver, j. they told me i would need to be babysat for 24 hours after the surgery, then i'd need to stay as incapacitated as possible and sleep sitting upright for one week (the pain meds helped). then three weeks of being suuuuuuper careful (no lifting anything if it can be helped, keeping my elbows at my sides, not really bending over too much or too far, light walking only, etc.). then three weeks of not doing anything crazy (can do most things, but no lifting anything over ten pounds, no lifting anything over my head, no excessive stretching with arms over my head, etc.). after that, it would be over and i would be free to do as i pleased.

sleeping sitting up for a week sounds pretty shitty, and it was, even on the meds. it was mostly shitty for my back. i didn't have trouble actually sleeping because of the pain meds, but my back was sore after and required some t.l.c. and pilates. i also couldn't get my massages for three months until everything was one-hundred-percent all cleared because you can't really lie face down for a while either, and getting smooshed into a table lying face down isn't really worth it. the face down stuff is at your own comfort level and i feel like i was okay quickly enough to do the things i wanted to do other than the smooshing into the table for a massage. i had my therapist do side-lying pregnancy massage instead and it worked pretty well.

pre-op and risks

everyone i met with for pre-op appointments was really great and supportive.  all of them mentioned how breast reduction surgery is the number one in patient satisfaction in all of plastic surgery and that everyone they see come and have one is super happy they did. most lament not having done it sooner, and i'd have to agree. they also told me that my doctor is known as "the breast whisperer" around kaiser and is the best in town. ftw.

there was a one hour video tutorial that i was required to watch to make sure i was sure about my decision. the video included all the gory things that can go wrong with the surgery and the scars. the worst of the risks being loss of blood flow to the nipple causing it to "die" and it having to be removed completely. i was never really concerned about that because they did mention that for those who smoke, have diabetes, are overweight, or just have poor circulation issues in general seem to experience these kinds of complications, and i've never had problems with that, don't smoke, and am diabetes free. i was told that stopping birth control one month prior to surgery and not resuming until one month after is best to avoid these issues as well, something to think about. not that you're really supposed to be having sex after, but one month before might be a deal breaker for someone. knowledge is power.

funny story mentioned in the video: one lady who was on the chubby side, had the surgery and loved her new breasts, but was very unhappy with the look of her abdomen now that she could see it. preach.

on many women's minds is the risk that breastfeeding a baby won't be in their future. i have no desire to have children, so that was a non-issue for me. it is a risk though and all of the same factors listed above for loss of the nipple come into play. the healthier and more active you are, the better your chances of retaining all function and feeling. i did retain all of my feeling, but i obviously can't say about the function. for my purposes, function is just fine *winkyface*

timing

i opted to have the surgery over the christmas holiday week not only to maximize time away from work with holiday pay, but to maximize j's time since (a) he'd be off of work with a.j. visiting and (b) he'd have a.j. to keep him company while i drooled on myself for a whole week. it worked beautifully and i even got to do a few fun things between percocet dreams.

i only missed four days of work, but was "out" over a span of ten days, including weekends. because we get christmas eve and christmas day as well as new year's eve and new year's day where i work, my first day back was the friday after new year's day. it was really great to ease back into things, but i was definitely able to handle a full week and wouldn't have minded if that had been the case.

tangent about my experience with percocet

percocet is elebenty million times better than vicodin for my body. i asked them if i could try percocet instead this time because vicodin isn't nice to me. i have had to use vicodin three times in my life and all three times i got off of it as soon as humanly possible. at one point i was in the hospital and asked if i could "just get some motrin or something instead". they had to check with the doctor to get it changed and he said no. wtf. anywho, percocet was still icky, but a MUCH better experience than vicodin. the dreams were much fluffier and the drifting off was much smoother. with vicodin i feel super fucking horrible for every moment i'm awake and it's in my system trying to take me under, then when i'm under, the dreams are the most stressful dreams i've ever experienced in my life. i wake up from it feeling anxious and nauseated every time. but that's just me.

the big day

day of surgery went smoothly as well. the only hiccup was the nurse checking me out ignoring the SHE IS SO SUPER PRONE TO MOTION SICKNESS, YOU GUYS! warning on my chart as well as j's reiteration of that warning and didn't give me the patch that helps with coming out of anesthesia for motion sickness sufferers. i couldn't keep anything down until the next morning, including my pain pill and water, but i was still so out of it from the anesthesia, it was fine.

post-op and pain

the pain was completely tolerable and almost easy the entire time i was recovering with three exceptions: (1) we went to a very super extremely crowded house party for new year's eve. we didn't know it would be that crowded, but navigating such a tightly packed and dancing group was very painful; (2) being winter time, there were frequent chills and goose flesh that would send lightning and sparks to my nipples. it wasn't quite the "shockers" that come as the nerves to your breasts and nipples start healing and waking up. those are a different thing and i never really had them. this was that tingle you get with the goose flesh and the hard nipples, but to a painful level. it was kinda awful, but not the worst thing i've ever experienced; and (3) the kitties! ohmyfuck. they did NOT understand that their mama, who normally allows them to climb all over her in attempts to lay on her neck at all hours of the night, was not having it for some reason out of nowhere. yeah. awful. love them to pieces, but fuck, ouch.

the feeling was more strange and uncomfortable than painful overall because you're just so swollen, it's ridiculous. it feels uncomfortable and you're all wrapped in gauze and a giant ace bandage that you leave on for three or four days. then they want you to take it off to take a shower... lolwut? i absolutely dreaded the shower, but i persevered holding in my mind dr. sandholm saying "that first shower is going to feel so amazing". and she was right. that was the most wonderful shower i've ever had in my life. trust.  after the shower is when you start wearing sport bras. they need to be supportive, but very little compression. bouncing is not fun, but neither is squishing or having the band be too tight around any anchor scars you may have. (there are two scar shapes, lollipop and anchor. lollipop is a circle around the nipple and a line down the bottom of the breast. anchor is a lollipop, but with an anchor across the entire bottom of the breast into the abdomen. the original breast size dictates the amount of incisions needed and therefore the type of scar you'll have. i have an anchor scar.) the swelling starts to go down after about two weeks, but isn't fully over with until three months... which is when you get to go bra shopping, woooot!

the one sorta complication i had was a minor leaky point on my wound. the nurse said it looked like one of the stitches didn't dissolve in time for the scab to be comfy, and the area got irritated and started oozing. it oozed for about two weeks, then went away. i wore a gauze with bacitracin on it to help it heal and didn't really think about it otherwise. it didn't hurt or feel weird or anything.

the price tag

the whole thing, including all the visits pre and post op, everything, every single thing, cost me $15. total. that was it. i didn't even have to pay for the percocet separately. i love kaiser. always and forever. with a nod to my firm's robust plan with kaiser, thanks lane powell.

the fun part, before and after pictures!

the images are black because they are hover overs and only work on the blog website. anyone who would like to see is welcome to (i give zero fucks), but i didn't want to force it on anyone or create a nsfw situation for anyone who gets these posts in their inbox. they don't work in e-mailed copies or in readers like feedly, but they're fully functioning on the blog website if you're interested. 

before, 32H:



after, 34D:



bra talk and stats

the band size, which shouldn't change because that's the measurement of my rib cage, did change because i was using the extra cinching of the smaller 32 to help hold up giant breasts. a 34 would never work, but was always my true size. i was constantly uncomfortable and couldn't breathe, but they weren't flopping all over the place and my bra stayed put, so it worked. plus, i couldn't really breathe without a bra either from the weight. now i can breathe, sit up straight, and run in a normal bra that doesn't cost a bagillion dollars or tear my flesh. plus, now that i'm not stressing the band to the absolute max, my already cheaper bras will last me longer.

they took about half of the mass from each breast, about three pounds total. the left was larger than the right to begin with, so it got cut back a bit more. they checked the removed tissue for abnormalities associated with cancer and found nothing. i've now reduced my risk of breast cancer to half of what it was, which is nice.

reaction and outcome

i am over the moon in love with my new, cute boobies. i have boobies now, not jugs. it's amazing. i'm not "the one with huge tits" anymore. i never resented the title; i never gave it much thought actually, but now that it's gone, it's kind of nice to be more than just big tits and a smile for some. i never truly appreciated the attention my large sweater puppies received. i didn't resent them or do anything to prevent their display, but i probably didn't use them to my advantage as much as i could have or some such nonsense. it's like that scene out of superbad.


my posture is already one thousand percent better. i can do things in pilates that i never thought possible. my shoulder is no longer hunching forward and pinching my ulnar nerve. i still have a bit to go as far as repairing the damage that's been done, but my arm hardly ever bothers me any more. i can still feel the shadow of the pain when i do some things, and i still can't wear my watch on that wrist, but my day to day interaction with it is as good as my right arm now.

the best part is no one really noticed. i feel like the doctor did an amazing job at reducing the "carat weight" while maintaining the "table weight" (yes, i'm using a diamond metaphor to describe my breasts, d.w.i. carat weight is the actual weight, table weight is the ratio of top visible diamond to the portion underneath. so if you have a small carat diamond with heavy table weight, you might be getting a one carat that looks like a two. the opposite of that would be a really tall two carat that looks as small as a one carat from the top.) and they look really proportional to all my other curves so it wasn't really very drastic for those viewing the outside of my clothes, especially from the front. the change is most obvious from the side view.

i would absolutely do it again without a moment's hesitation. i would do it one hundred times if i had to. not only no regrets, complete satisfaction and elation. i feel like i am the person i always should have been.



this has been the tale of my own experience, as always. i am not providing medical advice or trying to sway anyone. i am a young, fit, active, and healthy individual and had a lovely experience. everyone is different and everyone's medical history is different, sooooooo... results may vary, obvi.