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Thursday, January 31, 2013

A few random thoughts.

There have been too many "big rocks" to fit in my jar this week. In case you've never heard of that analogy, it goes like this. You have a big jar that represents your life. Then you have a pile of big rocks, a pile of pebbles, a bunch of sand, and some water. If you put the sand in the jar first, you can only fit some of the big rocks & pebbles in before the jar is full. If you put the pebbles in first, same deal. You can't fit everything in. In order to fit all of it in the jar, you have to put your proverbial priorities in order and start with the big rocks, followed by the pebbles, then the sand, and finally the water. Then and only then is your jar really full.

The religion teacher that I saw give this demonstration compared the big rocks to the things that are the most important and urgent in our lives. Back then, I was a single college student and all I had to worry about in life was myself. The big rocks for me then were turning in my homework on time, showing up to class on time, not dying at track practice (didn't die but did get a minor spinal fracture...), and feeding myself since I lived off campus. Those were the things that HAD to be done on time all the time. Including the eating part. College athletes are ALWAYS hungry. Even though I remember exactly how overwhelmed I felt at times with the pressure of doing all of those things AND everything else that I needed to somehow fit into my life, there are days when I would like to take a little vacation back to that point in life just so I could have my world revolve around me again for a little while.
college freshman me doing what college freshman me loved most
The current me could TOTALLY pull off the college freshman me's life (except that I am in no way, shape, or form in the physical condition that I was then and probably WOULD die at track practice). Life is funny like that. We feel at times like we're being crushed under the weight of our responsibilities and can't possibly fit another thing into our lives. Then later on down the road, we look at what's on our plate and laugh at our former selves for being stressed out over what now seems like a walk in the park. I think handling our responsibilities is kind of like exercising. The more we deal with everything we have to do, the greater our capacity becomes. It's kind of a scary thought because I'm not sure that I really want to take on more than I've already got. :) 

I've been thinking about that a lot this week.

It's been a pretty ridiculous week, actually. It's one of those weeks where I didn't intend for so many "big rocks" to happen in the same week, but that's just how it ended up. I've wondered many times if being in school is really the right thing to do right now. Monday was Raya's first GI appointment in 4 months, and we had a huge list of issues to talk about so it took some time & energy to prepare for that appointment. And about 2 hours of my day to actually go to the appointment. I also had to do a couple of very time-consuming assignments for one of my classes on Monday. Raya was supposed to have a follow-up with her surgeon on Tuesday, but I decided Monday morning that we really didn't need to waste our entire afternoon there just to have him pop his head in the door and say that things looked great & he didn't need to see her back. Then at the GI appointment, we ended up scheduling a flexible sigmoidoscopy (aka flex-sig) for Tuesday so that ate up most of the day Tuesday. Wednesday was Raya's sedated MRI that we've had scheduled for a month and couldn't change without having to wait another month or two to get in. Did I mention that I have finals this week? Yeah. I didn't get much time to study on Monday or Tuesday, but I did get a good solid 45 minutes in on Wednesday during the MRI. (Except for when I was distracted by the lady that was blabbing on and on about her baby being a "preemie" but then said that she was born at 37 weeks. Last time I checked, that was considered full term but whatev.) Cole had to have his Pinewood Derby car completely finished in time for the 6:00 weigh-in last night and luckily he and Donny were able to transform it from a block of wood into a cute little red race car very manly specimen of Pinewood Derby awesomeness just in time.

Today has been a relatively quiet day for regrouping & tidying up the kitchen to a livable level again. (deep cleaning will come later) Raya has been feeling really good today, aside from feeling yucky for a little while when she first woke up, being sad every time she asks me for something to eat and I have to tell her no, and telling me "my froat hurts. there's puke in it." We are getting reacquainted with our long lost buddy, Neocate, after 2 leisurely years of ready-to-feed formula. It's much more pale and watery-looking than I remembered it being. Still smells like french fries though. So far she seems to be tolerating it well, knock on wood. Hopefully our old nemeses Neocate puke and bile poop won't come back with it.

Tomorrow we have 2 more appointments and I will be taking my other final. Side note, I was reading through the review materials and one of the essay questions that might show up on the final is "A patient has no peristalsis in the gastrointestinal tract. Explain a possible complication of this condition." I laughed out loud when I read that. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE let me answer that question on the final!! I could write a novel about the potential complications of no peristalsis in the GI tract. After I'm done with the final (and donating blood & going to Cole's Pinewood Derby on Saturday), it will be time to hit the ground running on the projects I'm working on for Feeding Tube Awareness Week. I'm SOOOOO very excited {blessed, grateful} to be a part of the FTA staff. You won't find another team of people more dedicated to educating and empowering people who are facing the difficult challenge of dealing with tube feeding and the many conditions that lead to it. It's a resource that I wish had been in existence when we were first starting out with the NG tube. I'm excited for this year's FTA Week.

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