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This is a State of the Jo post.

For the last year I have continued to struggle with:
* low-level depression
* not getting enough sleep
* pain and non-effective methods of pain management
* lack of things I was allowed to do re:pain management
* lack of ways to usefully blow steam (almost all sports ruled out)
* sometimes blowing steam in highly non-productive ways

There are some other things like having no real vacation in 2013 since all that money went into trying desperately and failing to save a loving and faithful pet from cancer. Leaving a good job for a horrible one, and then moving to another good job with unfortunately a life-killing commute.

I lost some friends in 2013 and I'm still frustrated and hurt by that, although in the long term I think it was the right choice. Pain made me finally willing to tell people some truths that they are unwilling to hear. I'm not very good about ending friendships or even quietly slipping away from people or situations that are hurtful to me. I did it poorly, and I feel bad about that... but mostly because I made it easier for them to ignore me and not hear the message, rather than because what I said was untrue.

And let's be frank here-- I was in way too much pain for silent dislike last year. If you weren't told off poorly by me in 2013 then you are very much my friend and I miss you. It's my fault for not getting out, and I accept all blame. I'm sorry, and I hope to do better this year.

Yeah, that's a pretty write up of 2013.


So I think that if there is a meme in 2014 so far it has been Believe in yourself, don't trust the badge.

1. I changed jobs, giving up on working from the inside to return to my original career choice of consulting. This has been a wonderful change of pace. I love my employer and every coworker I've met so far, and my commute is much improved. My current client has expressed satisfaction with my work, and desire to keep me engaged there as long as they can. I'm also doing 8-15 hours of work for other clients and getting paid overtime. I'm paid more and I still have several hours a day more leisure writing time than before.

2. Nearly everything I was told about my back injuries by PAMF has been revised after shifting to more competent doctors in the Daughter's of Charity Health System (DCHS) network. My primary care doctor is now a practicing sports medicine doctor who can only see me on Mondays because she's dealing with ER and Urgent Response sports medicine issues on other days. Mondays are fine by me, and she's competent, she listens carefully, and our progress has been much more productive.

I wish I was making progress faster. But instead of telling me to "accept growing old" (PAMF's advice) she's gotten more scientific data (MRIs, etc), pushed me to be more active (I'm free to do any sport which doesn't hurt) and to take careful notes about progress for each of our meetings. I have hope.

*For the next part, read the list at the top again.*
3. I have changed psychiatrists as well, and this has likewise been very productive. She identified that one of the drugs I had been given as a mood stabilizer almost invariably caused people to gain weight. I've taken a chance and dropped this drug from my regime, and lost 3 lbs in 2 weeks with no other changes.
...and...
While watching for potentially peaks and valleys in mood which this drug was supposed to round off, I not only saw no such problems but after about two days felt my general "base" mood shift significantly upwards. Day to day I generally feel happier than I've felt in years. There have been some real gut punches in the last week, and to be honest I still haven't seen me handle them any worse than I did while using the drug. So I think this is a really good thing to get rid of.

4. My first book with O'Reilly Learning MCollective goes to the printer next week, and there have been discussions about another book.


In summary, I'm happier than I've been in years and making more progress every day. I've been stuck in my hobbithole and not getting out to spend time with friends enough, but I hope to change that more in 2014.

If you enjoy ice skating, Nova and I tend to do that several days a week and we have a significant number of four-for-the-price-of-two coupons (including rental) that expire in a month or two. Ping us and let's sync up!

If you want to go do something active like ride bicycle or go to the gym here in San Jose area we are both looking for excuses to do things like that. My workouts are much more therapeutic and light weight work than my general body frame would suggest, but I still have enough muscle mass to spot you on things I won't be doing for myself. Bicycle riding is lots of fun. Walking I am unfortunately incredibly short range unless it's a ridiculously leisurely pace. (see next post)

In short, would love to see you. Even better to share something healthy with you.

Comments

( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
splanky
Apr. 20th, 2014 07:26 am (UTC)
Jo - I have friends interested in the room. Could you let me know the room rate? I suspect they will take it whatever the rate as there aren't a lot of options left for them.
jorhett
Apr. 20th, 2014 07:43 am (UTC)
522 pounds for 6 nights.
more info sent in e-mail
novalm
Apr. 20th, 2014 11:51 pm (UTC)
I have an extra medium helmet if anyone wants to go skating but isn't overly confident they won't hurt themselves. I wear full hockey gear so you'll look less ridiculous than me. :P
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )