Second Honeymoon

Author: Vivid Muse  //  Category: Chooch, Exercise, Half-Marathon, Knitting, No Whining, Soulful

We lucked into a fantastically cheap but very brief “weekend” away. It actually began Sunday and ended on Tuesday when we packed up and left gorgeous Virginia Beach. It’s pretty chilly and deserted in early March, which suited us fine because it also meant fewer people. Besides, you just cannot beat the view if you’re an ocean lover.

We’ve been through a lot in recent months, with a lot more coming up and needed to recharge our batteries. We had no plans upon our arrival, although we had some toys to entertain ourselves, and just wanted to “be” without any demands. I don’t think I tweeted or FB’d much, except for a few DM’s to keep plans on track. The bass we brought for my lesson sat untouched and we didn’t even open Game of Thrones.

We emerged from a nasty rain storm, but the weather almost immediately turned sunny with temps in the mid-50’s. Warm enough for us, to be sure. Our hotel was beautiful and we even got a free bump to a larger, oceanfront room due to a low vacancy rate.¬† After hanging on our balcony and enjoying the sights, sounds and smells of the ocean and hanging in our room for a bit, we headed out for dinner at a place that I immediately envisioned Chooch’s band playing in, and would love to wave a magic wand and make that happen. (Ditched by Kate tours Virginia Beach? Sounds good to me!) We headed back and settled in for the night, door thrown open to hear the ocean in spite of the cold.

The next morning, I arose and headed out for a run. It was the single most invigorating run of my life, what with the view, the biting wind, and ocean sounds. My pace really suffered because I kept stopping to take pictures. With our “no plans” rule, I wasn’t sure that I’d make it back out with Chooch before we left so I took full advantage of having remembered my little all-weather camera.

I even found the spot from 2 (or was it 3?) years ago when I did a break-neck paced drive to Virginia Beach with a visiting friend from New Mexico. She’d never seen an ocean before, and I found that unacceptable. On the last day of her visit, we had just enough time to race down here, play in the sand for 15 minutes or so, and then race back to Reagan airport for her flight back home. It was a deliciously fun time, and reminded me of my teenage years where no plan was too crazy.

After my run yesterday, I inadvertently woke up Chooch when I returned to the room to stretch out my tight muscles. I ran for a bit on the sand for the first time, but even tougher was running into the very strong winds. My skin was very smooth after the sandblasting it got, but I don’t recommend it.

We got moving, and headed down for our complimentary restaurant breakfasts. (Did I mention this trip was cheap? That was partly due to breakfast being served until 11, which we decided meant we only had to pay for one meal each day.)

Chooch had some stuff going on at work, so we headed up to the room so he could plug in the laptop and get to it. We then remembered a beautiful spot next to the restaurant with an internet cafe/work stations so he grabbed his work stuff and I grabbed my knitting and we sat in this beautiful seating area with a wall of beach and ocean in front of us. Way better than a wall with a TV, don’t you think?

After that was done, we headed out to the aquarium. This is something that we do in every city we visit that has one, a tradition we started while dating with an aquarium on the Oregon Coast when I first visited him in 2002.¬†Although it’s not terribly huge, we spent hours because we love marine life so much. Seals, jellyfish, sharks, rays, coral and all manner of underwater life were beautiful and charming as expected. I’d say the otters were the most fun to watch as they frolicked and played as only they can, but we also have a special affinity for turtles. My favorite was seeing both a pair of cardinals and the seahorses, for the significance they hold for me. <3

At this point, we were starving and we grabbed a tasty dinner and headed back to the hotel with some ice cream for later. (The room had a mini-fridge.) We chilled out with the ocean sounds serenading us and eventually we … well … it was romantic and all … so … we couldn’t resist… recording our podcast, Into the Blender. HA! You thought you were going to get some naughty time info, didn’t you? Not gonna happen, loveys! What happens in Virginia Beach stays in Virginia Beach. Mostly.

We actually are behind on our self-imposed bi-weekly schedule, partly because of my impromptu trip to Arkansas and partly due to social gatherings we committed to before I knew I would be traveling. So we sat and recorded enough content for either a two hour episode or three 45-ish minute episodes. The editing goal will be three episodes, which pleases me. I like having buffer for exactly the type of events that delayed our release this time.

Tuesday morning, I woke early, started writing this post and headed back to bed for a bit. We eventually got up, got ready for the day and grabbed our tasty free breakfast again. I grabbed some waffle sections from the buffet, and couldn’t help but giggle when the sign said “waffle sticks” as it brought to mind the South Park “fish sticks” bit. I shared that with hubby, and we recited the funniest joke of all time, slightly modified.

Joke Teller: “Do you like waffle sticks?”
Butt of Joke: “Yes.”
Joke Teller: “So you like to put waffle sticks in your mouth?”
Butt of Joke: “Yes.”
Joke Teller: “You are a gay waffle.”

Yes, that’s how my mind works on a romantic weekend. And yes, you should pity Chooch.

We then went for a walk on the beach, the first one for Chooch since we arrived. We went up to water’s edge, but I chose not to put my toes in considering how cold it was. We were bundled up in heavy coats and the wind was strong and stinging. We took some photos and walked along the beach as I wanted to show him a Neptune sculpture further down the boardwalk.

We chatted, cleaned up some trash on the beach and met a beautiful and loving dog that was being walked by the family that rescued him from near death by an abusive owner. The dog, Russell, was part Akita and part … breeds I don’t recall. Lookit, he was sweet and beautiful, I was distracted. Check out the photos below to see how he looks now. Shockingly, he was only 17 pounds when the family rescued him a few years ago and is now healthy and content with just a few remaining behavioral issues, none of which we witnessed. I’d have never guessed how terrible a start he’d had in this life if they hadn’t told us.

Being so close to the air base, every time a plane went overhead Chooch would look up and announce what type it was. After marveling at the Neptune statue, we made our way back to the car. It was a beautiful ending to our trip, as Chooch drove home and we hammered out some story ideas.

Home now, I refuse to sulk that it’s over. Instead, I choose to be joyful that we had this time away from most of the demands of our life and I feel even more in love and dedicated to my husband than ever before. I already was, but somehow feel those things even stronger, which I didn’t think was possible. We just needed to unclench from the stress we were feeling and experiencing and knew this was our only chance for a very long time. We also knew we’d never be able to do it this cheaply again, so dove in.

I feel more than grateful for him and our life together, and suggest that if you can steal a few moments away for yourself, either with or without a loved one, just to luxuriate in unstructured playtime, you should definitely do it. Take a day or two and slow down, sleep, relax and just be. It will serve you beautifully, at least it has for us.

I’ve loaded a bunch of photos (90 or so), about a quarter of those we took. There are also some videos. Most of the collection is from the Virginia Aquarium at Virginia Beach. Note: The very last photo is prolly NSFW or kids, but it is jokey in nature. I’ve marked it as restricted, but you’ll be able to view it if you click that you want to.

Health update following last appointment

Author: Vivid Muse  //  Category: Dizzy, Health

Posted in Facebook on January 14, 2009

Neurologist(Neuro) had not yet met with the cardiologist (Cardio), so is not starting me on any new treatment meds, save for something that should break the migraine when it hits, instead of taking excedrin since the Cardio wants me to minimize that.

Neurologist feels that they are close to sorting this out, that the tests the Cardio and he have ordered will nail this down once an for all. He has ordered an EEG and and a 24 hour monitoring EEG, since it will only really reveal anything if I have an episode Chooch and I are already figuring out what triggers to use to ensure I have one while being monitored. (Chooch said he would tell me he was leaving me. Funny guy, huh? I told him next time he makes that joke he better be wearing a cup. He didn’t think it was funny, but the receptionists sure did.)

Both the Neuro and Cardio feel that the abnormal tilt table test, which apparently approximately 70% of the population fails, is not the total problem, but that I definitely am dealing with neurocardiologic issues and believe they will be able to give me relief once the monitoring is done. They don’t want to give any possible solutions until after the monitoring concludes, since that will definitely skew the results and they want the fullest range of unfiltered information.

The Neuro also put me on ‘off work status’, which may escalate tension at work. They have been understanding so far, and if they believe what the Neuro is telling me then another month of testing should have us nailed down and ready for treatment. If they get nervous at the lack of an ‘until ____’ date, it could get interesting since I am still technically on probationary period. The doctor made it very clear that it’s not safe for me to drive, even if I’m feeling well since the symptoms come on without warning and usually hit pretty strong rather than easing in. The fun continues, but at least it appears that MS is no longer a concern. I call that a MAJOR win!

Other than all that, I am doing okay. I have plenty of stationary things to do to keep me occupied, and our puppy keeps me company during the day.

Spinny Viv is spinny

Author: Vivid Muse  //  Category: Dizzy, Health, Work

Posted in Facebook on January 7, 2009

Since the last week of October, I’ve been dealing with an odd collection of health issues, and they’ve caused me to miss all but four days of work. My bosses have been understanding so far, but I don’t know how long this will last. I’ve been anxiously seeking answers, and here is the latest info.

Before Tuesday’s tilt table test, administered at the Cardiac wing of the hospital, I had the following: Brain MRI and CT Scans (tumors and hemorrhages ruled out), blood work for a myriad of things (including lupus), and multiple various auditory/visual tests for MS among other things. All had come back normal until Tuesday.

The tilt table test basically tries to push your body to recreate the symptoms and see how your heart behaves. Strapped to a table, I was positioned at a 70 degree angle while my heart rate and blood pressure were constantly monitored by nurse and cardiologist. After a period of time, they applied pressure to my carotid artery and then after that placed a nitro tablet under my tongue. Yes, nitro. Big badda boom.

Although the dizziness and migraine symptoms were not successfully recreated, I did pass out. Let me say this, it’s interesting to be awakened simultaneously wondering where you are and who’s the crazy woman poking you in the chest and calling your name. I swear, I think she bruised my sternum!

This showed a different abnormality, although the doctor that was present led us to believe that we had now the test result we needed to diagnose and treat all my ailments he was mistaken. They can treat the syncope (fainting) if deemed necessary (which it’s not), but this hasn’t helped with everything else. It appears that it is still good news, as there doesn’t seem to be a major malfunction with my heart. I was however, devastated as I thought we were walking out with a diagnosis and treatment. I was already planning my return to work and exercise and well, normal life. Major bummer.

As it stands my cardiologist will work with my neurologist on all the info