Unfortunately, I failed miserably on this particular resolution. However, I am going to really put an effort into getting back to blogging. I’m 10 days away from the start of the Fall semester and I’m trying desperately to get absolutely everything done ahead of time that I possibly can.
As for my friend Lupus, he’s been relatively quiet lately (knock on wood). The IV infusion of Benlysta has been working very well. My doctor also added in Cell Cept to help with inflammation in my central nervous system along with Neurontin for the neuropathy in my legs and hands. With everything mixed together, things have really improved. I taught a very intense 8 week Introduction to Biology course over the summer that had me working at near full-time hours. I didn’t miss even one day of class. (Where is that wood again?)
I will take my heaviest load this semester with nearly 12 hours of class time. I’m teaching two different lecture sessions (two different biology courses, actually) and in total four lab sections. It will be the biggest challenge of my teaching career to date.
On the health front, I’ve found myself being highly drawn to alternative therapies. It’s clear to me that stress is one of my biggest triggers so I’ve been investigating different ways to reduce stress. Meditation seems to be the one that I have concentrated on and it’s a very good journey. While I still have trouble clearing my mind and keeping it clear, I’ve learned that is completely okay. I am very hard on myself most of the time and I’m learning to let that go.
Hopefully, I will also find myself with more time and energy to write posts!
Hello All! One of my resolutions this year was to get back to the blog. Now that I have graduated and moved on………
This is the poster I was supposed to present at ISHAS (International Society of Hyaluronic Acid Scientists) but wasn’t able to due to falling and breaking my right leg just above the ankle. That laid me on my rear for most of the summer but by August, I was preparing for the trip to Professorhood.
I can honestly say that I love teaching. It was a difficult first semester trying to get a grip on the college’s procedures and protocols as well as trying to teach science to a class of students with drastically differing backgrounds. But when that light bulb goes off and the student “gets it”, it’s all worth it.
However, Lupus did rear it’s ugly head a few times. This made me re-think the theme of this blog. I’m going to focus on what I do to cope with the issues I face daily. I should make it very clear: THIS WILL BE WHAT WORKS FOR ME. Before trying anything I do, please contact your physician to discuss whether or not it’s appropriate. I’m going to also discuss various things I find on the internet. This is mostly cover biology, Doctor Who, microbiology, Doctor Who, physics, Doctor Who, chemistry and maybe, every once in a while, Sherlock (the BBC version with Benedict Cumberbatch.)
How is everyone doing???? I’m so excited. Do you know why? As of May 30, 2012, I was officially DONE as a Master’s student in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. I defended my thesis on the 22 of May (which was also my wedding anniversary) and passed. But on the 30th, I took my final edited copies to the graduate office and turning in the copies. All I’m waiting for now is for the library to call to tell me my bound copies of my thesis are ready to be picked up as well as my diploma.
The 30th was on a Thursday. On Saturday, my team, The McCue Crew, walked the Walk for a Cure Lupus Walk. We had about 17 people on the team. The weather was great for it. We arrived at the zoo about 730 am. We were supposed to be finished by 9am which is the time the zoo normally opens. So we’re sitting there, I’m at my booth giving out materials from the United Pain Foundation, when a Sheriff’s Deputy comes over and orders the crowd to leave the zoo. We all moved to the parking lot and crowded around to hear what was going on. Apparently, during the storms the night before, a large tree branch had fallen over the walls of the cage – of R-E-D W-O-L-V-E-S!!!! A bit ironic since this particular animal has the Genus and species name of Canislupus. It took 1.5 hours to catch her an get her back into her enclosure. Needless to say, our walk didn’t start at 8am like it was supposed to. At 9am, the 5K race started. One of our State Representatives was walking around with a bull horn, keeping everyone updated. Right before the 5K, which was to take place across from the zoo at Remington Park, OKC’s horse racing track, the rep comes over to our location and says, “The 5K is about to start and there are no red wolves in sight at Remington so head that way.” Mike and I were going to try to complete it but after standing around for that long, it was going to be a miracle if I even finished the walk, which was just 1 mile. Eventually we were allowed to re-enter and the walk began. After the walk, I sat for a while at the table I set up with the USPF materials displayed. Several people took things but not as much as I would have liked. I would have also liked to stayed longer but I was exhausted.
The month of June was very exciting for several reasons. First, my husband had Sundays off (rare) so we would be able to make it to church unless someone became ill. Second, the next week I would be attending my very first scientific conferences. Every few years a meeting of the ISHAS (International Society of Hyaluronic Acid Scientists) was held. This year, it was held in OKC so I needed no airfare or motel room costs and my mentor paid for my admission. I was going to present my first poster as well. The day following I was up attempting to get dressed for church (I was so excited and pumped to be able to go and enjoy the service with the distraction of worrying and fretting over how I should have been home studying and writing) when I began to feel really ill. Dizzy, shaky, nausea and narrowing of field of vision. I remember getting up and walking to the doorway of the bathroom in our master bedroom and telling Mike that I was dizzy and didn’t feel well. Then everything went black. When I came too, Mike was beside me asking me where I was hurt. He thought I had hit my head but all I knew was that my ankle was really hurting (10 out of 10). He helped me put on shorts and a tshirt and took me to the closest ER. Turns out my potassium (K+) was really low and the break was at the distal head of the fibula in my ankle joint.) Later that day, I was supposed to be at a cocktail party kicking off the opening of the conference. Instead, I was at home with my leg elevated trying to make it on my normal pain medications. Despite the fact that I was supposed to be at my poster for the poster session, I wasn’t able. I couldn’t put any weight on the foot (despite the fact that I didn’t really want to because it hurt) and there was no close parking. Someone would have had to push me in a wheel chair the whole way. I missed the entire conference even though it was in the same town.
Sunday will be three weeks of wearing my “super boot” and not putting weight on my ankle. I will return to my orthopedic surgeon Monday morning for instructions on how to start gradually moving to weight bearing. In the meantime I am very irritable and slightly bored with so much I need to do and no ability to accomplish them. Very frustrating. Finally, I asked my oldest daughter to take me to Hobby Lobby for crafts to do. I ended up buying rhinestones (fake) and blinged out my super boot.
On that note, I’ll let you go for now. I do promise I will get back to regular writing soon! Especially since I really don’t have much of anything else to do at the moment.
I am so happy to announce that I will defend my Masters thesis near the end of the month. I am going to have a committee meeting on Wednesday where they will say “yea” or “nay” on whether or not I’ve done enough to deserve a Master’s degree. I’m fairly certain they will say yes (hoping and praying it’s a yes) then I hand them copies of my thesis and wait for a week while they edit and make suggestions. They will give me those hard copies back at my thesis defense. Then if I pass the oral defense, I am given until June 3rd to turn in my thesis to the graduate college. It will be sooner than that though because we’re having a conference in downtown OKC June 2-June 5.
So a lot of work between now and then and it’s an hour past my bed time. I can’t wait until I’m done. Going to have three months off to just sleep! And play with my girls! Lots of time in a pool, I believe. But mostly, I’ll be able to play with my husband! His days off are during the week so we haven’t had much time together since I started. Maybe the occasional month where he got a Saturday off. That’s happened about 3 times I think since June of 2009.
My lupus is still uncontrolled but it’s getting better. I’ve had two infusions of a drug called Benlysta which targets a B-cell proliferator and shuts it down. Very cool. I was supposed to have a third infusion but I came down with a skin infection that turned into cellulitis which, if you don’t know if extremely painful and the treatment is even more extremely painful. It’s on the mend now and I’m hoping I will be able to have my next infusion week after next. Got lots to do, lots to look forward too…..
And of course, a few more blog posts. But first, got to crank!