Friday, October 25, 2013

10/25/13 Just Truckin'...

Sorry I missed blogging last week, I was in Portland with BYU at the AAMFT conference they sent us to.  And I've been playing catch up all week after getting close to no sleep, expending way more energy than I'm used to, and blowing off my homework at the conference.  But now I'm in class, and predictably, I'm less-than-interested in the lecture today, so I can finally catch up on the blog!

Pre-hike excitement/hesitations.
The view from the top!

So we left off with quite the cliffhanger about whether or not I'd be able to achieve my 5-year goal to hike the Y during homecoming week with the lights on it.  And guess what?  I DID IT!!!  Dave didn't let me get out of it when I complained that I was too tired to do it, and I'm so glad he pushed me.  The actual hike wasn't all that great of course, because the Y isn't too great of a hike to begin with, but once we got to the top, we were like the only ones there and it was so beautiful to see Provo at night :)

So that was my date I picked for last weekend and then we threw it back to our dating days and got hot chocolate at 7-eleven (best hot chocolate in the world!) and came home and watched one of our 7 shows we record every week.  Is that ridiculous??  In a matter of 2 weeks, 7 of our favorite shows started new seasons and literally every single show is on Thursday nights.  Glad we have a DVR!

So then that next Sunday the choir performed and it was fun!  We were missing about half of our regulars because it was Fall Break for our school districts, but I just really enjoy conducting and it was fun to have more people than usual up there.  The best part about performing was that now we get to start working on our Christmas program!!  Yay :)

At the start of the week, I went back to my doctor since my pain's been getting worse.  He spent some more time going over all my case notes from the past few years and doing more tests and things.  He actually thinks it might not just be endometriosis because the really acute pain isn't very typical for endo pain.  He thinks it might have to do with a trapped or irritated nerve.

Now, after doing my own research a few months ago, this is what I suggested to my previous doctors because it's really consistent with ALL of my symptoms, but I got nay-sayed and decided to just go ahead with the surgery anyway.  I am grateful I did the surgery because it was great to have a diagnosis and to minimize the general pain, but we think that by taking away some of the broad pain, this specific lower left pain has become more poignant because there's nothing to detract from it anymore.

I'll be going in on Tuesday for a nerve-block injection which will hopefully help with the pain symptoms, and if it works, it'll be diagnostic as well.  If it minimizes the pain we'll know this has more to do with the nerves than endometriosis and then from there we'll make a decision about our next step in treatment.  I'm anxious because I don't do well with needles at all (understatement of the century...), and especially not painful needles, which these nerve-blocks tend to be.  I think Dave's going to take some time off to come with me to Salt Lake when I get it done, and I just hope I'll be functional right afterwards because I don't really have time to slow down with life right now.

This is off google, but it literally looked like this...amazing!!
On Thursday of last week, I drove to Portland in a BYU van with 4 other people from my cohort and it was a blast, but a loooong drive.  Needless to say, we all know each other much better now, haha.  I think I'll do a whole separate post on Portland because it was really really great, but there's so much to say about it, and lots of pictures I want to put up :).  I don't think we could've gone at a more beautiful time.  The fall colors were just stunning!!

So that'll be another post, but I'll talk about what Dave did while I was gone.  It was my Dad's 50th birthday present to fly up to Utah and go fishing for a weekend in Wyoming with his sons.  Dave was stoked obviously because he loves fishing.  They got a guide and had the best day of fly fishing of their lives!  They caught fish that were basically 2 feet long and altogether I think they caught about 35 fish or something.  It was so fun to see Dave and my Dad so excited, carefree, and happy to be out doing what they love :)

He looks soo happy :)  And he had a bigger salmon too, but I think this fish
is that's the one that made the cut, haha.

Jeremy, Russ, and Dave...brrr!

Grinning from ear to ear!

And the man of the hour with his beautiful brown!!  (p.s. Don't miss his Mickey Mouse hat.)

So the trip was a great success, even though it was freezing cold, they told me.  Dave and I were grateful to be back together on Sunday night to kind of reconnect after being apart for a few days.  After catching up, we both buckled down and got to work catching up.  So this week has been a little bit crazy with too much homework and class time on top of being tired from our weekends.

I still absolutely love my program though.  Still can't wait to see clients!  And I'm getting closer to being able to I think.  Not because I think I'm ready as a therapist, but because I'm almost done with all the assignments that need to be done before I can be cleared to see clients.  It's been fun to start going to therapy for myself as part of the program.  Things I never even knew I needed help with I'm getting help with, it's been great!

I'm about to start exposure therapy to combat my arachnophobia and then eventually my phobia of needles too.  We're hoping if I can eliminate the fear of spiders I can eliminate the nightmares about them.  Wish me luck!  I get anxious and short of breath just thinking about it, but I'm ready to be done freaking out about bees, spiders, and needles.  I hope it works!

So overall, we're happy, healthy, and just truckin' through life right now.  Hopefully I'll get my post about Portland up soon before I forget everything :)  I'll keep you posted!  (pun intended...Dave would be proud...)

Friday, October 11, 2013

10/11/13 It's October Already??

Sorry I missed last week, my class was cancelled.  Is that terrible?  I only blog when this class meets...Oh well.  I feel okay about it :)  So the past two weeks...I'm trying to remember what happened.

Well, I can't remember all the specifics, but I realized I haven't written about UVMCO yet!  So the Utah Valley Millennial Choir Organization is a choir that meets every Thursday night in Provo for about 3 hours with about 250 of us in the adult choir.  My younger sisters did OCMCO (Orange County version) a few years ago and the quality of the music and singing was absolutely incredible.  I was so excited to hear that they were coming to Utah this year.
I think this is their Arizona Concert or something...
It costs $50 to participate, but it has been so so so worth it.  I've never participated in an actual professional choir so this was a really different experience for me.  I had to audition, and the music is super difficult.  We have to have it all memorized and there are like 10 pieces (mostly Handel's "Messiah" and other Christmas pieces).  I've learned so much about being an effective choir director and a better singer in general.  It's a lot of effort because sitting that long at the end of the day is close to torture for me, but the music and the Spirit I feel when I'm singing with everyone is just transcendent sometimes.  I love it!  Our concert is in Abravanel Hall in Salt Lake on December 3rd.

I met with my mentor--Dr. Larson--last week to nail down my thesis and it was awesome!  I think it was like an hour long meeting and we got my thesis way more specific and I have my proposal outlined already.  I'm ready to start my Lit. Review which is really the hardest part of your thesis so I'm hoping to be about 75% done before Christmas this year.  This is amazing because most people don't have their proposal until this time of their second year.  I'm hoping to get everything done as fast as possible in my program in case I need to get pregnant in my second year for health reasons.  I'm setting myself up for a slightly easier second year hopefully.  Wish me luck!

So Dave and I have implemented a new thing in our marriage.  We decided that we don't have enough leisure activities that we like to do together--mostly because his are all pretty active and I'm usually in pain and don't want to go out and do something very active, but he gets stir crazy just watching movies every weekend.  So we decided we'd work on this by having each of us get every other weekend to pick the activity we want to do and the other person has to do their best to be willing to do it with them.

So the first week of this was Dave's turn and he wanted to go to this year's Reel Rock Festival.  Basically, that's a DVD they play in a theater with all the awesome climbing stories from that last year.  It was actually our first date 2 years ago, so it was kinda fun to do it again this year.  Dave was really excited and had a blast getting to see all his climbing friends and getting inspired to get in shape for this year's ice-climbing season.
Can you tell he's thinking, "Please stop embarrassing
me...people can see this and we're already late!!"?
This weekend is my week to choose and it's really not fair because what I want to do is hike the Y which is totally active!  My weeks are supposed to be the ones where we stay home and relax, right?  But it's homecoming week, and they light up the Y on the mountain for homecoming week at BYU.  I've been trying for 5 years now to hike the Y while the lights are up on it, and hopefully tonight I can muster up the energy to do that.  I'll let you know how it goes.

So we had General Conference this week as well and it was so great because there was a lot about families, hope, and my favorite I think was someone who said that we needed to return to the simple, basic truths of the gospel and not try to intellectualize them to fit into today's philosophies.  I think I'm guilty of doing this a lot when I read the scriptures and it sometimes gets in the way of letting the spirit just influence me.  

We had a breakfast at Annie and Russ' for conference on Saturday and it was so fun.  All the in-laws were missing except for Russ, which was kind of fun because it was so different.  Breakfast was delicious, (see below) and it was fun to be at Annie and Russ' for a change!

The next day (Sunday), we had Lauren from my cohort over because her husband is traveling for work so she's been all alone in her house for 2 weeks.   Emma came over as well because she was just going to watch conference alone in her apartment.  We had Eggs Benedict and it was delicious!  My hollandaise sauce didn't curdle which was a miracle because every time we have company over I ruin it, haha.  It was fun to have Lauren and Emma over.  

I got a new iPhone because mine had spots in the camera...they just replaced my old one for me which was great.  It was looking a little worn (read: damaged from being dropped daily), so now I have a conveniently new shiny one again! On my way back I got to stop by Christi's and surprise Tori and Riley.  They were so excited to see me, they almost couldn't believe I was there because I met them at the Library.  It was so cute to read Riley books and then hang out with them at their house for a bit before I had class.  Those girls are little rays of sunshine in my life right now :).
Okay, now for an update on the mundane--school and pain.  School is going fantastically well.  I don't feel overwhelmed with the readings and homework because my cohort has split up all the readings and we all do summaries to help make things a little easier.  I'm usually done with my homework by the weekend, so my week nights are left open to observe sessions of therapy at the clinic and work on my thesis or research.  I'm already done with my observation hours that need to be done before I can see clients!!  Yay!

I am so so so excited to start seeing clients!  I'm nervous, of course, but I'm sure the best way for me to get better is to start doing it so I wish we would start right now, but we have about a month and a half left before we start seeing them.

I'm loving the things I'm learning, I feel like this program is already making me a better wife, friend, visiting teacher, and sister already.

Pain hasn't been so great lately.  My night terrors have gotten worse (possible because of the medication), and the pain is getting worse or staying stagnant.  Definitely not getting better.  I may go meet with my doctor again because he was hoping to see more improvement by now.  It's hard to be in pain all the time, but there's not much to do right now except ignore it and just do my best to get as much work done as fast as I can right now in case it gets worse or I have to get pregnant.  (Getting pregnant is a pretty solid treatment for endometriosis because it suppresses it and causes it to disappear for the most part)  I worry that it might not just be endometriosis, but I'm not sure really what I think it is right now.  I'm just confused and struggling with it right now.

Dave is having fun doing some things on the side right now with Russ and Jeremy working on a new site that they're all jazzed about.  They all meet on Thursdays at our house while I'm at choir and usually stay until about 11 or midnight.  It's fun to see him love working on something so much and watch him become a faster and better coder.

So that's pretty much it right now for us!  Next week is going to be fun because I'm going to a conference in Portland that BYU is sending us to, and Dave is going for a weekend fishing trip at the Green River with my Dad for my Dad's birthday.  Looking forward to that!