Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Internship

Thursday:

I got my results back from my cataloguing exam - 99%! One little mistake. But still pretty good! I know one other person got 99%, I don't think anyone got 100%.

While we were having a short break in the middle of the lesson, one of the head teachers came in and called me and the other girl who got 99% (Lauren) out into the corridor for a chat. The State Library had asked for some recommendations for an Internship there (unpaid, about 5 weeks long part-time) doing specifically what we were just tested on, so after consultation with the teacher of the class she chose the two of us. But there is only one position and two of us - and I don't know if they are also looking elsewhere or just at our TAFE - so I don't know if I'll get it.

It is my dream job so of course I want to go for it, it would be wonderful to get real-world experience in the work I actually want to do (not just returning books to shelves). And who knows where it could lead? There are a couple of potential issues though.

Firstly it is in the city, so with nearly three hours travel time a day plus the hours I'd be working there, when would I get my TAFE work done? We're about to hit the last five weeks of semester so I have a stack of assignments to do and exams to study for as well as weekly tasks. The quality of my work might suffer. Not to mention time for exercise, grocery shopping, talking to the kids and husband, sleeping, gardening etc. But I know lots of people deal with that, and it's short term so I'm prepared to give it a try.

The second issue is more of a worry. I have RSI - repetitive strain injury - from computer use. I manage it by moderating my time at desk-work but it still flares up if I'm not careful. I can just about cope with my TAFE work. Or, say, cataloguing part-time for the state library. But both at once? I'm quite scared I will end up in a lot of pain by the end of the semester. And the pain doesn't go away as soon as I stop. I would have to be super-careful, cutting out blogging and forums and anything non-essential, and doing lots of stretching.

But I'm going to go for it.

If you are one of those who think everything happens for a reason, then maybe I didn't get that other job because this one was around the corner.


Insomnia

Wednesday:

Since a week off Duromine and then restarting, I've experienced gradually increasing insomnia. Last night I spent a lot of time lying awake. So today I skipped my pill and I'll see how I go tonight. Today of course I was very tired, I got the results of insomnia without the pick-me-up! I definitely ate more, and chose worse foods, as I always do when exhausted. I don't keep 'junk' in the house any more but there is always nuts, cheese, and dark chocolate!

I went shopping for shorts today, my denim ones wore through at the inner thigh where they rub. My requirement for shorts is that they go all the way to the knee, to cover the wobbly bits just above the knee. I ended up buying the exact same pair as had just worn out - in the same size. One size down zipped up easily but gave me a horrible muffin top. But now these ones, after only half a day's wear, have stretched a lot at the waist so maybe I should have bought a size down after all! I can't exchange them, I unpicked the stitching that held the hem in a rolled-up position (too short). Oh well, they are not that loose, I can certainly wear them.

Aiden's been away at school camp the past three days having a great time - except for the food - doing canoeing and archery and all that stuff. I only remember one school camp when I was a kid, and that was very educational, none of this adventuring stuff. I do remember me and my room-mates staying up very late and falling asleep watching a video the next morning.

I have no idea what he wore yesterday, but today Aiden came home from camp wearing shorts, a pyjama top, and shoes without socks.

More gardening - so much to do in spring! - and more study and assignments.

I went over and talked to our neighbour Craig who hadn't got back to me after I left a message with his wife last Friday - he didn't seem inclined to withdraw his complaint about the pool heater in writing (he said as far as he's concerned it's all resolved, and pointed out a couple of other things the certifiers had got wrong, and some problems he had with another neighbour...) but at least he said he was happy for the certifiers to ring him so I've passed on his number. I am bobbing gently above the waves of stress, not letting it bother me, it will all be resolved eventually. He has confirmed he has no problem with us, I've just got to get that communicated to the authorities.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Cutting the grass

Tuesday:

Yesterday my weight was down to 76.6 kg, another 1 kg loss. Actually it might be a bit more as I don't think my scale was on the usual place (I moved it and today I was 76.3) but whatever, I am happy with a kilogram.

I've been keeping busy. Today for example I watered the garden, had breakfast, walked up to Aiden's school to buy a new summer uniform (total walk 30 mins), faffed around on Internet (checking emails and blogs etc), 25 mins Dance Central exercise, shower, snack, TAFE schoolwork, visit hardware store to buy a push lawn mower for new turf (the new turf by the pool is up a couple of sets of stairs and we decided to get a little push mower to keep up there instead of trying to carry the heavy petrol mower up and down regularly) and some more plants, lunch, more TAFE schoolwork, cup of tea and chat with kids as they get home from school, put mower together, mow turf, another shower, start dinner, collect Jasmine from acrogym class (she walked there earlier), more TAFE schoolwork, dinner, TV.

Mowing the lawn (new turf in the backyard only) was interesting. I haven't used a lawn mower for 18 years, when I started going out with Tim and he started mowing my lawn for me. Using a push mower was fine, except it couldn't cope with even the smallest stick or piece of bark getting in the blades so I had to keep stopping to pull them out. And I didn't tighten the screws enough when I was putting it together (just attaching several pieces of handle to the base, nothing technical) so they all worked loose and fell off and I had to find them in the grass. And I still can't find one bolt.

We were worried about the timing of Jasmine's acrobatic gymnastics final. It's the same weekend as her Dance Concert (she learns tap, hip hop, and contemporary) which I have to buy tickets for long before we get the final timetable for the gymnastics competition. But we were told today that it wouldn't be Sunday afternoon, which is when her Dance is, so that is all we care about. Looks like she can do both, which is a relief after a year of rehearsal. We had a couple of stressed days. A picture from last weekend's competition of her and Elise, her partner, is on the official Gymnastics NSW website! (Scroll down in the facebook box) How special to be chosen.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Blue ribbon

Sunday:

We spent Saturday morning at a family birthday party, Lucy was the first of our new babies last year and she just turned one! The party was very nice but it is really pissing me off that no-one has noticed my eight kilogram weight loss yet! I'll go out somewhere feeling like I'm quite a bit thinner, but come home feeling like I must look just the same. Well I can see the difference.

We all spent Sunday morning working in the front yard: pruning hedges and pulling some of the weeds from the lawn and trimming edges and raking. Tim and I did about two and a half hours and the kids helped for most of that. It was a good workout.

I went over to our neighbor's on Friday to ask about getting something in writing that they are ok with the noise from the heat pump, Craig was away but his wife whose name unfortunately I can't remember said she would talk to him. I'm hoping that will be resolved soon. Today she saw us working in our front yard and brought out some warm apple muffins she'd just made and had a chat. So she is willingly to be friendly and repair any awkwardness or bad feelings.

Sunday afternoon was the highlight of the weekend. Jasmine had her trial for the State acrobatic gymnastics competition, she and her partner got a blue ribbon (the highest rank) and are through to the State final! It was a much bigger event than the little one a couple of weeks ago, with a lot more competitors, and held at an enormous Olympic-fitted gymnasium. Everyone from Jasmine's acrogym school did well. I know Jasmine certainly worked very hard. We are so proud!






Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Great day

Thursday:

Today was a great day. I had my cataloguing exam and I'm sure I aced it. And I enjoyed doing it! I had studied hard and was well prepared. I find the work something like solving a Sudoku or crossword puzzle, mentally challenging but in a good way with a sense of achievement when it's done. I am hoping for 100%, but I know it's likely I'll get something wrong that will have me saying 'doh' when I see it!

In my afternoon class I got my official result back from the face-to-face exam a few weeks ago. The teacher did give me great feedback at the time, but it was nice to see 'excellent' on the page!

And the third thing, chronologically first, was a big drop in weight overnight. When I weighed myself this morning I wasn't sure I believed it and had to weigh myself again to check. After three weeks of almost no loss, my weight had been going down each day this week but today a whole 0.7 kg drop. That gets me down to 76.2 kg! I have been eating more carefully but also exercising hard. I started up 'Dance Central' on the Xbox again, an hour each day of dripping sweat.

I'm sleeping much better and I'm feeling good.

The only thorn in my side is the ongoing pool heater drama. We need to get a final inspection certificate to say the pool is fully completed, safely fenced etc etc. We had fixed any interim issues, like the height of the fence, long ago. But then our neighbour complained about the potential noise from the heat pump, before it had even been turned on. And although once he heard it he said it was fine, that official complaint is out there being a nail in the wheel of progress. It's been going back and forth between us, the pool company who installed the heat pump, and the certifiers (who are very very slow to respond to anything). This has been going on forever! They came out to do their final inspection on 29 August, more than six weeks ago. I'm going to ask our neighbour to put it in writing that he is ok with it, and I also need to check that it is far enough from the boundary fence. Endless phone calls and emails back and forth.

Anyway, I'm not going to let that get me down. It will work out in the end. And I'm happy today!

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Restart

Monday:

House all to myself again! Easier to get work done, but lonelier without the kids around.

This morning I weighed 77.6 kg. So a 0.2 kg loss without Duromine, its surprising because I ate a lot of junk this week! Of course I'm happy to maintain/lose instead of gaining as I expected. Not so happy about giving in to junk food cravings.

Night sweats again - three nights in a row, and I think four out of the last six nights. Making up for all the weeks with no night sweats. It's really messing with my sleep. Last night's dream was about realising I'd missed a whole subject at TAFE, and had to catch up on ten weeks' work with an assignment due tomorrow and the teacher saying there were no grounds for an extension (fair enough, I had no excuse except I forgot to go to class). And there was something about a broken chair. And being naked. I can deal with the annoying dreams but I wake drenched in sweat and clammy and can't get back to sleep for ages.

So ironically, considering that Duromine (phentermine) often causes insomnia, I started taking it again today. So I can sleep better (partly). Only a week off instead of the 10-14 days the doctor recommended. But the break was only to help make sure that it would work when I restarted. And it's definitely working. Interest in food decreased, energy increased. I feel good. Happy. Enthusiastic about life. Don't know about the night sweats yet, of course, will see tonight.

Duromine is usually prescribed for three months, so I am halfway through that now. I know I will have to go back to dealing with food without help after that. I don't think I have any physical addiction, or withdrawal without it (I just felt like my old self, which wasn't as pleasant as my new self) but I can certainly understand how people can get a psychological addiction. And I'm sure I have readers who think I shouldn't be taking it at all. I understand that. My answer to that is that I am under doctor supervision and it is for a very limited time and I have tried just about everything else except surgery. I don't stop eating altogether, I don't feel hyper, I feel like I think a "normal" person feels - I mean someone who has a healthy relationship with food and eats when they are hungry to fuel their body (but still enjoys what they eat) not for comfort/entertainment/cravings, and has enough energy to enjoy life. This is the "normal" I would like to be all the time. I'm sure people taking medication for anxiety or depression or other problems could have the same reaction, just relief to be... "normal".

I did some study for my upcoming exam and was pretty happy with results of my practice exercises, only one little mistake. Maybe by Thursday there will be no mistakes!

Then when the kids got home we had a lovely swim. The weather has been quite cool for the past couple of weeks and will be cool again from tomorrow, but for some reason today peaked at about 32C which is hot! I had the pool heater on yesterday and today in preparation and it got up to 27.5 which was very nice. I'm looking forward to a resort-style summer!

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Frangipani

Sunday:

Yesterday I was crushingly exhausted for no apparent reason, although sickness has been going around the family (Lucy's first birthday party was postponed from this weekend because of it and the only person able to come to dinner here tonight is my father-in-law, everyone else is sick). I sat in front of the TV all day and fell asleep there both morning and afternoon. Even when I was awake I felt foggy and exhausted.

Today I am much better. Tim and I moved the frangipani up to the backyard. We were going to buy an advanced one for that corner until we found they are about $1500 for a decent size tree, but luckily the previous owners had left one in a pot, which it had overgrown and its roots were delving though the pot holes into the ground. It had also slumped over at some point so was growing sideways. I thought the back corner had been dug over but it hadn't, still full of rocks and roots! So that was a fair bit of work preparing the soil then getting a reasonably mature tree out of its little pot and safely into the ground. It looks great, very architectural.
It looks very bare (and interesting) in winter, it is just about to burst into leaf and then flower. In summer it will look something like this random picture from the internet:
It has beautifully scented tropical flowers like this.

I'll plant some things around the bottom to fill out that corner a bit. 

I also started to tackle the little shady area behind the house that is lined with tree ferns. They look great and help shade the back of the house, but they had a lot of dead fronds. I worked my along about half, until I got too filthy and itchy! 

I did some study in the afternoon for my upcoming exam. It's my favourite but also most difficult subject. It was great to get back into a topic I enjoy after that last assignment!

My night sweats came back almost as soon as I stopped taking Duromine. Three times in the past five nights I've woken after a frustrating dream, drenched in sweat. Yuck. And my craving for unhealthy foods is fully back too. Weird to compare how I felt about junk food most of the time on Duromine when I could take it or leave it! Now I definitely take it. Yet I've actually lost weight this week. 

Kids are back at school tomorrow.