Medical firsts

From my journal, dated November 9th, 2013

There’s been so many things on my mind recently that I’ve been wanting to talk about here: politics, health, sexuality… but I never get around to doing it. The past few nights my mind has been racing around, and I’m exhausted from lack of sleep. But right now, let’s talk health, since that’s what was the main theme today.

Background info: I haven’t been getting a period. My last one was almost a year ago, last December, and the one before that was the previous June. I went to the doctor about it this summer at home and she tested my hormones twice, and found my estrogen a bit low twice. I had an ultrasound but nothing there. She recommended that I see a gynecologist when I get back to O-town. And my appointment was today.

I felt like I gained some life skills badges today such as talking to a doctor, discussing options with him, booking a follow-up appointment, picking up + paying for a prescription at the pharmacy, reading medication instructions, and taking a pregnancy test.

“WAIT WHAT?” I know you’re saying. Yeah you’re right I’m getting ahead of myself here. First I’ll tell you what the doc said. He thought that my not getting periods was due to a mix of factors including my active lifestyle and my moving away from home, which he thought might be a stressor. So I’m going on the pill which will help me have regular periods apparently. And before that he said that I should take a pregnancy test, not because he doesn’t believe me when I said I’ve never had sex, but just because that’s the right procedural things to do.

I wonder if he actually believed me.

Anyways, there I was at the pharmacy buying the pill and a pregnancy test, even though I’m a virgin. The pharmacists were really nice though, and didn’t seem to be judging me. They treated me really kindly, kind of like a daughter; I guess they could tell that I had no experience being at a pharmacy before.

Anyways, the pregnancy test came out negative (obviously) and I’ll start the pills tomorrow.

Mommy wow! I’m a big kid now.

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Stomach pains

From my journal, dated October 26, 2013

My stomach gets upset pretty often. Well, fairly often. I do not know if this is something that happens to everyone, but I kind of doubt it. I do not know if it’s related to me not having a gallbladder and therefore my body not being able to digest things as well. Or, it could be something that I eat. I just don’t know.

It’s always in the mornings, 1/2 hour to one hour after I wake up. The feelings of indigestion and pain leave once I go to the bathroom. After I go to the bathroom I feel relief but then I stand up and a few minutes later I have to go again. I almost always go 3 times.

Pain is a funny thing because when you aren’t experiencing it, you can talk about it so objectively and almost dismissively. But, when you are in the midst of it, you forget that courage and all you want is for it to stop. It hijacks your mind and body.

These episodes of mine happen probably around twice a month. They truly suck, but the best part is the relief once it’s over, and the feelings of being completely and utterly empty.

Revival

From my journal dated October 19th 2013

Today I went back to the start, as Coldplay says.

Well, first of all until about 11:30 p.m. I was having a pretty sad and lonely and boring Friday night. I was just that: sad, lonely, and bored. But then Stephanie Skyped me and we had a lovely talk. I haven’t talked to her life since she got back to Stanford. We talked about our lives, our courses, our campaigns, politics, pipelines, and intersectionality. Oh, how I really miss her. I’m so thankful, God, that regardless of my loneliness here, I’ve been blessed with one true good friend, practically soulmate.

And then I woke up this morning and went for a bike ride to G-park. I’ve done it once before almost exactly one year ago; in fact, I think I wrote about it here in this journal. Winding through the trees really revived me, the true me. I hadn’t realized how deficient my community + life has been of nature, and I realized that a lot of my happiest memories and moments where I felt the most like myself have been outdoors.

Then I came upon it. The cliff, a boulder beside the trail with something of a path leading up the side. It was where I’d stopped a year ago and sat overlooking it all. I climbed up and took a seat and was once again at peace, as cheesy as it sounds. My stresses and worries had no jurisdiction there. For once, I was alone, but not lonely. I spent some time reflecting on my life and specifically the past year. Then I picked up my bike, and headed home.

Midterms + Thanksgiving

From my journal dated October 18th 2013

Midterms are done. Well, I actually still have one midterm, but the stressful time of year known as “midterms” is done. I had 3 midterms 3 days in a row and I survived. And I feel like I did decently on them all. I studied, but I didn’t over-study. I got some previous marks back during that stretch – 100% on my economics midterm that had been the previous week and 87% on my Political Thought in-class essay – and I was once again reminded that I’m good at school. It gave me some more confidence going into my last exams.

Then, Thanksgiving and reading week. I went to K-Town for the long weekend to visit Alice. It was really great to see her again, and get away from O-town, but it was a little weird because we didn’t have anything particular planned to do, and Alice, who doesn’t have reading week, had to study.

On the Saturday we went to Walmart and I bought the cutest pair of slippers. On Sunday Alice went to a brunch with one of her profs so I had some free time, which was actually kind of nice. It was sunny and I walked around downtown K-Town which is actually very charming. I bought a coffee, popped into bookstores, and ran into an outdoor antiques/farmers’ market.

Sunday evening was awesome. We went over to Danny and Mitchell’s house for Thanksgiving dinner. They had a lot of people over – 21 in all – and cooked a 19-pound turkey. We played Frisbee before dinner. Dinner was a potluck and was absolutely delicious (especially compared to Alice’s meager student-living diet). It was a really nice atmosphere sitting at the long table full of people and covered in food. After we ate ourselves sick we sat around and played some games and then some songs, karaoke-style.

I’ve been back in O-town since Monday evening. Reading week so far has been happily productive, yet unstressful. I’ve cleaned out, organized, etc. and yesterday I went to the Legislature and later to the Art Gallery. I’m really sad that it’s almost over though. It means I should really start on some of that schoolwork. 😦

A week in perspective

From my journal, dated October 4, 2013

It’s been a long week, and an even longer time since I’ve last written. A lot has happened, but nothing too major. I think I’m managing a pretty good busyness to not-too-stressed ratio (if that makes sense). But the stress is coming, since next week is MIDTERMS, and I have a lot of work to do. I’m tired enough after this week with just one midterm, so I don’t know how I’ll deal with 3 + an oral presentation… I always manage to get through these types of situations though, so I know I will this time.

I don’t know what it was about this week that felt a little “off” or special. It had its ups + lows for sure and I just want to mention some of them.

Monday during the day became a bit stressful as I realized all the things I still had to do to get ready for the week and my Girl Guide meeting. The meeting was a real success though, and I was proud to have organized and let a station where the girls made a craft. It made me feel good about myself, and gave me confidence that I could lead and contribute as a leader.

Public Admin class on Tuesday was scary because it’s a class I take in French and the prof said: “Go mingle and form groups for the big project worth 40% of your mark.” Thankfully a pair of nice girls waved me over, and another joined us, and the they didn’t show any outward resentment towards me when they discovered I was an anglophone. So that left me relieved.

That evening I cranked out the books and studied for my Economics midterm the next day. And guess what? I think the exam went pretty well! I was positive of 27/34 of the answers, and I had educated guesses about the others.

The whole week we’d had lovely weather, but Wednesday was the pinnacle of it. The afternoon was so gorgeous and I went for a walk in shorts to enjoy the day and de-stress after my exam. I explored a new branch of the public library in an awesome old building, and then I treated myself to a delicious bubble tea. I then bought a bottle of wine at the liquor store and I didn’t even get carded! (and I’m only 19 1/4!)

The evening was ruined however by our Internet, its crappiness, and the crappiness of its provider. I called them + it’s a long story but they decided to send someone to come take a look at it Friday, which meant that I would have to stay home all afternoon waiting for them.

Thursday went pretty well, except when it didn’t, like when I spilled food twice at least. Or when my political science prof said that 30% of the material on the midterm next week would be content from the textbook that we hadn’t covered in class. You know, the textbook that I hadn’t been reading…

I went to volleyball in the evening, but apparently we weren’t playing that night and I hadn’t thought to check the schedule. So I returned home. And then realized that I’d forgotten my watch in the locker at the gym on campus. So I then returned to go get it.

And the whole week was leading to Friday, today, which is also Nate’s birthday. I stressed a little about what to get him, but I ended up making a card that I’m really proud of and offering to do his chores and go out for dinner sometime with me.

I spent a fair amount of money this week because I also bought bus tickets to go visit Alice in K-town for Thanksgiving (next weekend). We’ll talk about that when we get there.

Anyways, this morning I was also feeling crappy, which sucked, and had an upset stomach and my whole Spanish class totally noticed that I took an extra long bathroom break. Then that class ended late, meaning I was late for my next class….

But then there was a poster sale going on in the student union building and I found + bought an awesome one that reads “A woman without a man is like a fish without a bicycle.”

And then I had a lovely, uneventful, but pretty productive afternoon, waiting for the Internet guy to show. And he did show, around 5:30pm, which let Nate and I be free to go to the annual vigil for Missing and Murdered Indigenous women. It was pretty moving, powerful, and sad. It really made me think and put all my problems and privileges into perspective. Like, did I just complain earlier about spilling food? The vigil was pretty long and we went home and Kathryn came over so I retreated to my room to eat chocolate and watch Survivor. And write this.

Another thing that happened this week is that I discovered the joy of sleeping naked.

Self improvement and life skills

From my journal, dated September 18, 2013

Things go on in a similar fashion. I still enjoy my apartment, my classes, and my extracurriculars. Even though I have few friends, things are so far looking better than last year and so far I’m a good amount of busy: not bored, but not too stressed.

This weekend I’m going to be going camping with my Girl Guide unit (did I mention I’m a Girl Guide leader now?). I’m also excited to start intramural volleyball tomorrow, as it was one of my favourite parts of last year. I’ve also just planned to buy tickets to a baseball game in November with some people I kind of know. I’ve always wanted to go to a game, and the tickets are so much cheaper here than at home.

I’ve also really been focusing on self-improvement and self-love. At university I’m learning all this great stuff and every day I am challenged. I’ve also become aware of all the other (life) skills I’ve been learning and developing like cooking, being a leader (at Girl Guides), and how to act in a variety of social situations.

I’ve also tried to really start listening to my body. I find that my moods and energy levels, as well as how my physical body (eg. stomach) feels, all change so often, and I’ve been trying to be responsive to that. For example, I find that I regularly have periods of exhaustion in the afternoons, when I allow myself to lie down and take a break. I guess it’s self-care I’m learning, and I try to prescribe solutions to make myself feel better, like going for a bike ride or listening to music. I think that learning to value oneself is a good life lesson. 🙂

~~~

Wow I hope I don’t seem too self-involved.

So far, so good

From my journal, dated September 4th 2013

SO MUCH HAS HAPPENED since I last wrote. And the amazing thing is that so far I’m happy. I mean, you’ll have to check in with me again after a couple weeks to see if the stress and homesickness (hopefully not) will kick in.

But I ❤ my new place. It’s fantastic. It’s pretty large and has high ceilings. I have a bigger bedroom than at home. We have a living room and closets and everything and it’s really cool. And it’s hella close to campus; so close that I can sometimes pic up campus wifi from here and that it’s almost more convenient to walk than ride to class.

You know, last year people always asked me if I like living in rez and I would always respond with a (guarded) “yes”, stating the convenience and how much I loved my own space (my room). I didn’t know that it was just that – my “own” space – that I loved and that living off campus could be almost as convenient. So far, I’m liking it way better.

Today was my first day of classes and I had Spanish and (Macro)economics (in French). Both were good and got me excited! I can’t say that I’m looking forward to “Foundations of research in political science” which I have tomorrow, but right now, I’m happy.

AND I just came back from a Girl Guide leaders’ meeting for the unit I’m joining. It was 3 hours long. It’s amazing the amount of planning that does into leading a group. So much planning – it was a little overwhelming, like “What did I sign up for?” But I’m sure that once September rolls by and I get the hang of things, it’ll be lots of fun and total worth the time.

I still don’t have any real close friends here except Nate (an update about living with him to follow), but I’m good so far. And who know what or whom tomorrow will bring? It’s all only just begun.