Life Lately {6.11.17}

Hey!

I have to admit something. 2017 is just not my year. Between two family deaths and some health issues, plus the anxiety leading up to turning 30, I’m just ready to turn the page to 2018! (Or maybe turn back the clock since I’m not in love with the whole aging thing as of this moment.)

I keep making excuses to myself on why I can’t bring myself to blog. The deaths have really blown me off my course and it has taken some time to get myself in the right “spirit” to want to take the time to sit down and compose my thoughts. Beginning on May 1, my bad knee (due to a bike accident in July 2014) started its worst flare up I’ve had (which happens periodically). Normally these flare ups go away after a week or two, but this one has gotten better. In fact, I went for a ride the weekend before Memorial Day and that ride left me unable to bear weight and in excruciating pain for a full week after. That incident led me to re-opening the “can of worms” I had originally been planning on opening during my annual physical in three weeks from now, so the anxiety of going through trying to get a diagnosis has been stressful.

I’ve been working out once a week which is really tough for me. That and the fact that I spend my free time researching medical info really leaves me little desire to do anything else other than lay on the couch and feel sorry for myself. I’m petrified of being told there’s nothing really wrong with me and having zero resolution other than to live with this constant pain. At this point I truly have to anticipate the worst (=no diagnosis) and I have in mind what my next steps will be… basically I’m going to need to find a new hobby because I’m going to have to give up everything I love.

Sorry to be so heavy there, but this has been a tough few months and I just need to get it off my chest. There is some updates on the knee front, though. I got my MRI results back yesterday and the only diagnosis they provided was that I have mild degeneration of my medial meniscus. The last MRI I had, the radiologist apparently “over read” according to two docs, but that one had said I had a minor tear of the medial meniscus and some sprained ligaments (I wish I knew exactly which ones – I know one was the MCL).

This time those ligaments apparently look fine (I thought maybe my MCL was having issues). But, again, I don’t really trust the radiologist after last time so we’ll see what the doc says. At the very least I know that they saw things in my meniscus both times that are minor, so hopefully the pain will force them to go in and clean things up anyway (and hopefully that will make things better, not worse). I can only hope! My next appointment in sadly in two weeks.

Well after that big life update, here are some other things I’ve been doing/loving lately!


Summer Weather — Finally Here!

Holy cow, the weather has been terrible here in Massachusetts this spring! It’s rained like alllll the time and it’s been cold! We had like one KIND OF nice weekend, but that’s it. But this past weekend was g-o-r-geoussss!! Okay, heat waves aren’t ideal, but the sun is SO ideal. Since I’m rather limited in my options to go outside at the moment, I decided to spend the hot weekend up on the lake at my parent’s in Ossipee, New Hampshire. Time in the sun on the beach, layin’ in my hammock, cruises on the boat… hello summer! Just what the doctor ordered. I may now being sporting a most beautiful sunburn all over because I was atrocious about applying sunscreen, but ah – feels so good to be tan!

Let me share a proud moment: I put in one window air conditioner a few weeks ago when we had a couple of hot days in a row (at that time I was looking around my neighborhood wondering if I was being too aggressive putting it in at the first sign of heat). Tonight, seconds after lugging in my bags from my car, I immediately pulled out my heaviest air conditioner from my porch and installed that baby in my window like a pro. Now my house is (slowly) cooling off from a balmy 78 degrees and is currently sitting at 76 almost an hour later.

Wait, okay, that sounds pretty awful still… but in theory here my house should be cooling off and hopefully I won’t wake up in a pool of sweat. Due to said sunburn, I’ll probably end up taking Benadryl to sleep tonight anyway. I’m holding off on installing the bedroom air conditioner since I don’t really use it too much ever anyway, so TBD on installing that one!

Reading: It’s Not Okay by Andi Dorfman

My friend let me borrow this book – ohhhh last fall or so – and I’m finally reading it. It’s pretty great. Okay, fine, I can’t super relate to some of the breakup advice since I’m notoriously single (and love it). However, I’m getting some inspiration that, now that I’m turning 30, I really should be focused on buying some more timeless, classic, and designer pieces (at a steal, of course)… rather than a wardrobe filled with all the trend-of-the-moment LOFT clothes I own.

Sure, I loveee LOFT, but I feel like I never have anything to wear even though I do? I travel a lot on weekends, so I really need some higher quality pieces that will travel well in my suitcase with me. I also feel like I never have any clothes in general, and I have a billion, so yeah it’s just time to upgrade to a 30-year-old style. (UGH!)

In general, just really loving the behind-the-scenes Bachelor info and looking to read more. I’ll share more insights once I get further into it!


Happy Wedding, Nicole & Brian!

Last Sunday, my very good friend Nicole from college (Quinnipiac!) and my pal Brian got married down in Connecticut. It was a beautiful wedding and it was such a great night. It may have rained, but they made the best of it! I took Monday off of work so I could enjoy a super (super) late night dancing and laughing with my friends. Wishing them all the best in their marriage!

Not the best picture I’ve ever taken. 😉

Fun Day at Fenway

Last Wednesday I attended a private event at Fenway Park. We got to enjoy one of the private event spaces and had access to the top of the Green Monster. We also were able to explore some of the field and were able to go into one of the dugouts and got to go right up to the scoreboard (and also get a peek into the area behind it!). It was such a fun event. Thanks, Fenway!

Okay, I’m going to leave this here for now and I promise to check back in again soon. I owe you my thoughts on turning 30!

xo Nadine

Kick-Off to Summer {Life Lately}

1. Once the days start getting longer and the temperatures start to rise, I just find it so much harder to be connected to technology once I get home from work. While I have SO MUCH I could share on this space, it’s difficult to find the motivation to spend the hour-ish to sit down and plug away the all the words going on in my head. I don’t like to just put words on paper screen; I proofread, add/edit photos, and add any links as appropriate. Some days (like right now!), that time doesn’t come until after 9:00 at night… and then by that point it’s a question of – what else should I be doing? Going to bed early to get more than 6 hours of sleep (if I’m getting up early for the gym)? Prepping for tomorrow? Cleaning? Just relaxing and enjoying myself for a few minutes? So tough!

2. 2017 just isn’t my year. I had a second tragic family death in my family just two weeks ago. Please keep my family in your prayers!

3. Guys, I’ve been struggling (warning, this is about to get deep).

So in July of 2014 I had a very stupid accident on my bike (involving a parked car…) and have suffered with knee pain ever since. Long story short, I wasn’t in pain immediately after the accident but my knee froze up the next day. After two weeks of excruciating pain (at night), I made an appointment with my doctor where he put me through 4 months of physical therapy. My knee kept flaring (due to overuse via PT) so my PT sent me back to the doctor to get a MRI. The report from the MRI was that I had a torn meniscus and sprained ligaments, but two orthopedic surgeons told me that there was nothing wrong with my knee (the second called it a patellofemoral contusion and that it’d be a few years before I was normal again). However, I’ve had pain EVERY SINGLE DAY since then and, while I have been able to increase my workouts, I can’t push myself too much or I easily start flaring. I also have not been able to add much strength, despite having pretty strong legs otherwise from cycling + strength workouts (I do have to be super careful and can only do so much, so I end up modifying most lower body exercises).

Right now I’m going through a pretty awful flare, maybe the worst I’ve had, for the last 2.5 weeks. I started researching the anatomy of the knee and I’ve figured out the general daily aching I’ve had for at least the past year (maybe two) has been over what I think is my MCL. The pain I have during a flare does tend to spread over the rest of the knee joint, but it is definitely based around the inside of my knee. Yesterday I risked it and pushed myself on a 20ish mile bike ride and now I am MAJORLY flaring. I’m having trouble putting weight on my leg, it’s not bending too well, and I’m having a lot of pain. I almost stopped and called my parents for a ride (I was staying with them)… but then I got mad that two docs told me there wasn’t anything wrong with my knee, so I pushed through.

I don’t regret it, I’m pretty angry. I’m sick of being in pain all of the time and it has really changed my life. I feel like my identity has become my hurt knee. So many things I used to like to do I really can’t do anymore… like hiking. I used to LOVE hiking and now it’s not even an option. I couldn’t even imagine hiking with my knee, it’s pretty much impossible. Just going up hills in the yard or up/down stairs exhausts my knee. I wouldn’t make it 10 minutes on a hike. It’s really sad.

So, anyway, I’m seeing how my knee does this week. If it doesn’t improve in the next couple of days then I’m going to make an appointment with the doctor. Otherwise my annual physical is at the end of June. I even have a new doc because my old one apparently quit earlier this month?! Who knew that was a thing. At this point I’m hoping for surgery even though I’m petrified (I’ve never had surgery), but I’m desperate to move on with my life! I think I deserve it at this point.

4. Switching gears, I currently have the Billboard Music Awards on in the background and how AMAZING have some of these performances been?! Specifically CELINE (goddess!!!) and Miley Cyrus — such a beautiful song and she was crying at the end! LOVE

5. I’ve been exercising my green thumb and I LOVE it! Right now I have two big planters of flowers — first time mixing them into an “arrangement” of sorts and so far so good, a plantar of flowers + grape tomatoes — first time growing tomatoes and I’m really excited to see how they come out, plus I’m trying to revive my herbs (basil from last year + cilantro). All but the herbs are going great. I might need to transplant the herbs into bigger pots. TBD.


6. With my knee pain I’ve been doing a bit of emotional eating. Tonight I meal prepped like crazy when I got home from my weekend away. On this week’s menu: egg cups (egg + deli ham + tomato + spinach) and salads (hemp seed + nuts + hard-boiled egg + chicken breast). I’m also defrosting a soup from Stew Leonard’s (my last Wonton – my absolute fav – which is broth/meatballs covered in a thin pasta/shrimp/bok choy/corn), which contains wheat so I’m trying to rid my freezer of gluten products. I’m saving my last Stew’s minestrone for another week.

7. Um, so Stop & Shop had cherries on sale for $1.98 this week with $25 purchase. YESSSSSS. Cherries give me massive indigestion (polyols category on FODMAP — my third intolerance category), but so worth it for a very short time each year. I’ll try to control my serving sizes!

8. Speaking of FODMAP/indigestion, I made a very very sad discovery this week. I need to add CHOCOLATE to my list of no go foods. I always thought it was the dairy in things like milk chocolate/white chocolate, but this week I had major issues from some dark chocolate that had ZERO dairy in it. WTF! I’m trying to figure out what might be in it that’s causing me issues. What is a life without chocolate?!?

9. On the FODMAP win side, tonight I started my very first batch of homemade pickles! Store pickles all have garlic in them which is an absolute no go, so I made my own! I have some big gallon jars from making my own kombucha (which I’ve put into hibernation for now), so I used one and added over 3 pounds of pickling cucumbers halved/quartered, McCormick Pickling Spice & Dill Seed, plus a mixture of boiled water/apple cider vinegar/salt. Fingers crossed it comes out great!

10. I like to round things off at 10, so I’ll include this with a pic of the new Polar summer edition seltzers. So far I’m in love! <3

xo Nadine