Monday, May 20, 2024

Currently: May

I used to post ‘currently’ kind of posts about monthly but it turns out I haven’t done one since January 2023! It’s a good way to give a snapshot of what is going on in my life so here goes! 

Reading: Trust by Hernan Diaz. It was recommended by a colleague and was also loved by one of the co-hosts of Sarah’s Bookshelves Live (Susie) but I almost didn’t read it when I saw it won the Pulitzer. Big awards tend to be a kiss of death for me for some reason. I feel kind of, well, unintelligent admitting that but oh well. The book is broken out into 4 parts and I will say the first part had a very ‘high brow’ pretentious feel to it but then the tone really shifts with part 2. Part 1 is a fictional account of a financier’s life who is blamed/lambasted for profiting from the stock market crash of 1929; part 2 is a draft of his autobiography; part 3 is told from the POV of the ghost writer of his autobiography; and part 4 can’t be revealed or it will be a spoiler.

I also started the book below (Competing Devotions) which I heard about in the Ezra Klein podcast about working parents. It’s focused on my industry (financial services) so I was especially interested in reading it. I had to request it through an interlibrary loan which is something I have never done but was quite easy to do! It’s kind of weird to think of myself as an ‘executive’ but I guess since I am a managing director I could be considered an executive of sorts. 

that we are back to having regularly scheduled date nights! We went out on Saturday night to celebrate our 7th wedding anniversary which was yesterday. We went to our favorite local restaurant (112 Eatery) and stopped by a party a friend hosted on the way home - it was a family party but we were glad to be kid-free so we could really focus on talking with others. But look at those 2 young, well-rested kids on our wedding day! 

Just married, standing in front of the church where the ceremony took place (it is an adorable French Catholic Church so perfect for a Francophile like me).

Feeling: relieved that I have about a month off from travel as my next trip isn’t until June 10th. I’ve kept my limit of 2 trips/month for the first half of the year but some of those trips were way too clumped together in April/May so I need to work on keeping them a bit more spaced out and ideally I shouldn’t travel back-to-back weeks if it can be avoided.

Anticipating: the long weekend although we don’t have much planned. Taco doesn’t have school on Friday since it’s a teacher in service day so it’s an extra long weekend for him. We will stay close to home and hopefully spend lots of time outdoors! Plus it is my MIL’s birthday so we will celebrate her over the weekend.

Struggling: with my RA right now. The stupid flare I’ve had since the beginning of April just won’t quit even though I am taking a decent amount of prednisone (20-25mg/day) and had an injection in the joint. I had changed injectable meds in February in the hopes that a different formulary might help but it hasn’t… when I last saw my doctor she said the next option would be once/month in-clinic infusions which take about 4 hours. I don’t really want to do that but I also don’t want to be in pain. To add insult to injury, on Friday I got a bill from CVS saying I owe $3,480 for my injectable meds. I thought I had resolved this with a phone call last week but I guess I didn’t? So today’s to do list includes calling to find out WTF (excuse my crassness) is going on. 

This is what a flare looks like - the impacted joint is the knuckle joint in the pointer finger of my right hand. It’s swollen and very painful. This is a problem joint that always seems to flare when my disease is not well-managed. I wish it was a less crucial finger - it makes it painful to grasp things, eat, do my hair/make-up, cut things up for meal prep, etc. It even hurts when the boys hold that hand. And shaking hands is awful, especially when the person has a very firm handshake. 

Grateful: that our summer childcare plans are so easy and straight forward. Hearing about spreadsheets to keep track of camps and such stresses me out! Paul will go to the same program that provides before/after care during the school year which he went to last summer and LOVED. It’s at his school so doesn’t feel much different from the school year in terms of pick up and drop off. The theme this summer is the Olympics!!! They have water Wednesday and field trips on Friday and just do an all-around amazing job! We will have to pack a lunch but overall it’s so easy peasy and very cost effective. Pauls last day of school is June 14th so we’ve got almost a month before he starts the summer program. 

Working: on building my mileage so I can run a 10k at some point this fall. I am only running twice/week right now and can maybe fit a 3rd run in if the stars align so I am very gradually increasing my mileage. I bumped up to 5 from 4.25 this past weekend and it went well. I almost feel silly mentioning this mileage increase considering the distances SHU and Jenny are covering! 

New shoes! Aren’t they pretty? It felt like I was running on clouds!

Thinking: about my Grandma who would have celebrated her 101st birthday this past weekend. I like to think she spent the day working on crossword puzzles and memorizing poetry with my Grandpa as those are 2 things they loved to do together!

Watching: John Mulaney’s live show on Netflix. It is very quirky but we like it! There are 6 lives shows and it takes us about 2 nights to get through one so it’s giving us plenty to watch for the time being.

Wishing: that I was sleeping better but steroids wreak havoc on my sleep so I am during the night reading almost every night due to insomnia. Bleh.

What are you anticipating, struggling with, and grateful for?


Sarah said...

Gorgeous wedding pics!! I am sorry about your flare AND the insurance struggles-- no reason for these billing practices to be so predatory and hard to resolve. I also generally don't feel smart enough to read big book prize winners, and it makes me mad-- who are these books written for if a PhD in the humanities is like erm this is too dense?

Nicole said...

I love your wedding photos! Your dress was gorgeous.
Your poor finger, I can't imagine how awful that must be. Like, just constant pain since it's such a used part of your body.
You're doing so great with your running, Lisa! You are such a busy woman and I am in awe of all you do every week!

Jenny said...

Happy Anniversary! I love the wedding photos. And, I think your running mileage is great. After my race next weekend I will be only doing shorter runs for a while- five miles is a really nice distance.
You just reminded me that the Olympics is THIS SUMMER!!!!! Somehow I keep forgetting that. Very cool that Paul's summer program has an olympics theme.
Ugh, I'm so sorry about this RA flare! So frustrating, as it sounds like you're doing everything you could to manage it. Could you... tape up that finger and almost just pretend like it's broken? Maybe that's a really dumb suggestion, but it's just what I thought of when you were describing it. I guess it would still hurt though, even if you weren't trying to bend it? And yes, if this had to happen, why couldn't it be the pinky finger.
Enjoy your no-travel week!!!

Stephany said...

No travel until June 10th?! What a LUXURY.

I also don't love award-winner books so you're not alone! Maybe because you have to use your brain SO MUCH for work and in your reading time, you don't want to have to think so hard. Doesn't mean you're not smart because you most definitely are!!

Ugh, I can't believe you're still dealing with this flare! I really hope you don't have to do those monthly injection appointments. Four hours!!

Let's see... I am currently anticipating a week+ off work starting next week, struggling with my own flare (psoriasis, ugh), and grateful for my boss who just came back from maternity leave and has reinvigorated my love for my job (I was struggling for a bit of time there).

= said...

I’m sorry you’re experiencing so much pain in your hands. I understand it’s not easy and painful and affects your life. I’ve had finger joint pain for a long time in both hands, especially in my pinkies and pointer fingers. I have been unable to open things, put on shoes, even hold things and more. I have never had a formal diagnosis from a doctor, but I do suspect, quite strongly, that it is arthritis. I also have hard bony bumps on some joints and most recently could not close my pinky finger without pain (it constantly hurt).

All this to say I recently learned of high pressure cryotherapy through my chiropractor and had a session on my hands. The cryotherapy nozzle is attached to this large tanks of co2. It targets the areas you experience inflammation with freezing cold air. I don’t know if you have heard of cryotherapy however I wanted to share as it may be something that can help you as well.

Elisabeth said...

Every time I see those wedding pictures I swoon. Seriously - SO BEAUTIFUL!!!

Those sneakers look SO comfy, so I'm glad they feel amazing!

= said...

I meant to also add that I did cryotherapy and have reduced pain. I’m able to bend my pinky and use it a bit where i could not before the first cryotherapy session. It’s not completely resolved and I need to return for another 3-3 sessions of cryotherapy.

Birchwood Pie said...

Happy Anni!!! And yay for regular date nights. And hells yeah you're an executive.

Ugh on insurance. It's rotten that you have to keep calling them to do their job. I hope that the flare clears up soon and that you get some good sleep.

The 10k distance is so much fun! I'm saying that based on memory since I don't run anymore;-) But it's not the distance that you run, it's how much you enjoy the journey.

Melissa said...

I'm sorry that you are struggling with a flare at the moment ... and the insurance, what a pain. I'm glad that we have universal healthcare in Australia, and generally when you have to deal with private health they use standard numbers so it's easy to work out coverage. I'm sure with every thing else you've got going, you don't need to spend that extra time mucking around. So frustrating!

I think prize winners can be hit and miss, plus it depends on the prize. I think from memory I've enjoyed the Booker prize winners I've read but not the National Book Award ones. I'm working my way through the Miles Franklin Award winners (it's an Australian prize) and I've enjoyed all the ones I've read so far.

Grateful Kae said...

Lots of good stuff in this post except I'm so sorry about your bad RA flare and the insomnia. UGH. I wish that would just go away for you somehow.

Your summer childcare sounds perfect. If I were you I wouldn't wish for ANYTHING else. Easy, effective, keeps the kids occupied... done. Those private summer camps are insanely expensive and I just am not sure they are all worth that much! I mean, yes some are really cool, but I don't know. It's so complicated.

Yay for no travel for a while!!! So happy about this. My boys get done with school basically this week! Ethan has final exams this week and ends by Thursday!! Asher technically gets done next week, but his last real day of classes is Friday. Next week Monday is a holiday, then Tuesday they have a full day "fun event" thing for the 8th graders, no school then after that and Thursday is graduation in the evening. And Friday... we fly away!! woohoo!! I literally kind of feel like the school year just started sometimes? So I am sort of confused how it's ending. But I'm also simultaneously feeling ready for summer- just not having all the scheduled activities, timelines for dropping Asher at school, etc. It has its complexities too (needing rides places during the day/ to work/ etc) but it just usually has a more low key vibe overall.

NGS said...

Happy anniversary!! What lovely photos.

My co-worker was walking me through her summer childcare and it seems like a nightmare. She has a special needs daughter and has three weeks of question marks in her summer spreadsheet. I am so stressed out on behalf of all parents who are trying to figure out summer plans. I'm glad it was so easy for you!

Jeanie said...

Happy Annversary and three cheers for date nights! I loved seeing the wedding pix again. I'm so sorry about the RA and the cost of the meds. How do people do this? I can see why you'd want to avoid infusions -- those probably aren't covered either, are they? No stresses right now -- life seems pretty OK!

J said...

Happy Anniversary, your pictures are beautiful!

I also have RA, and am SO IMPRESSED that you can run while in a flair! When I was in a flair, I could barely walk, and the idea of crossing a grocery store could bring me to tears. Perhaps the prednisone is keeping it from hitting those other joints. I also remember shit going down at work (layoffs, though not me) and my husband suggesting that I might look for another job. I started crying, thinking about hobbling into an interview, and not being able to shake hands. Seriously, brushing my hair, I thought my wrist was going to snap.

I'm sorry about the insurance, what a pain in the ass. I sure hope it gets resolved quickly and doesn't cost you anything. Why are RA meds so damn expensive?

Coco said...

so sorry to hear you are struggling with RA and insurance!. what a nightmare in additional to physical pain. Do what it makes you feel good and let other things drops. I was telling my girls that I juggle many balls. from work, from household, from them, and sometimes it's okay to let some fall. that's just life.
glad to hear that you've getting back to running. it will make you feel good mentally to be outdoor.
yay for no more trips for a while!!! I just came back from a weekend trip and I'm exhausted, and next week traveling again.

Mom of Children said...

Happy anniversary!! The pictures are just gorgeous!! I took steroids back in 2021 when I had a virus take my left-ear hearing, yep. I got terrible headaches!! I hope the flare goes down soon, hugs.

Ernie said...

Sorry I'm so late. The end of year graduation activities and video making is consuming every waking moment. Love your wedding photos. So pretty. Hurray for date nights. I feel so bad about your hands. I have messed up knuckles. I think it is arthritis but a doc has yet to really diagnose that.

Struggling with? The foster girls are so boy crazy. It is unhealthy. The older one in particular. A few things have become clear the last few days and I have a pit in my stomach about it. Not sure how to de-program the two of them. Our older girls didn't go through this, but they were loved and self confident and had good self images. These two - not so much.

I'm anxious about Reg's decision regarding what he is gonna do next year. It's hard.

I'm grateful to have 3 more days of babysitting and then off for the summer.

maya said...

Lisa--I'm so sorry for your flares, and I'm glad to hear that you've decided to try infusions--I hope they work for you!

I followed you here from Nicole's post and wanted to thank you for posting the picture of your hands... My partner has been dealing with a host of issues and your picture helped me see that we may need to rule out RA.

Your wedding pictures are so, so pretty :)!

Charbelle said...

I'm so glad y'all had a fun date night!!! I remember that bride and groom!!! What an amazing weekend that was!!! I'm so sorry about the painful flare!!! I am glad that you are able to move forward with the infusions!!! I love your new shoes!!!

Anne said...

RA flares are no joke, and neither are insurance issues. They take time, energy, and mental focus. I hope that you are out of the flare soon - and that something, anything, works for you for long-term treatment.