Monday, May 31, 2010

Too much studying

I am getting a bit tired of all the studying I have been doing, trying to keep myself motivated and from going crazy. I have not been sleeping well lately, lots of allergy symptoms combined with a head full of the things I studied during the day. Got myself some benadryl today. In Austria this is acutally sold as a sleeping aid (slightly higher dose than the regular benadryl). I am already taking anthistamines and use a nasal steroid spray, but I still have allergy symptoms. Hoping for a good night sleep tonight. I can certainly need it!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Stomaversary :-)

Today is the day!

A year ago today, after six very long months of ng-tube feeding, I finally received my peg-tube.

A lot has changed for the better in these past 12 months:
  • I have been able to gain 8 more kilos (after already gaining 4 on ng-tube feeding), 
  • I have picked up ballroom dancing classes with my fiance, 
  • I have finished all the mandatory classes for my degree, 
  • completed my thesis, 
  • worked at a hospital, 
  • planned a wedding (well half of it, so far), 
  • started blogging, 
  • have less nausea due to being able to supplement about 45 % of my energy requirements with night-time tube-feedings
  • I have so much more energy thanks to finally being able to getting all the calories that I need
  • have started to build up some muscle mass with the help of a personal trainer
  • ...
Life as a g-tube-feeder is not so bad!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Keeping myself motivated

In four and a half weeks I will be taking my big, huge final oral diploma exam. I am studying almost non-stop, about 8 hours a day, from 8 in the morning until 6 at night with a two-hour break for having lunch and taking a nap - sleeping aids consolidation - that's an important part of the formation of memories in our brain.

That's why I am doing little else, but studying at the moment, hardly leaving the house. I have decided to make a list of all the things I will be able to do in July because I will have plenty of time then:

  • visit my friend and her twins (one of them being my god-son) at least once a week (she lives about a 45-minute-drive away) and I have missed so much already of the twins' development because I have only seen them every couple of months in the past half year
  • talk to the pastry chef about my wedding cake (gi-friendly of course, there is no way that I will miss out on my wedding cake)
  • figure out what food to serve at my wedding
  • meet the florist for my decorations and my wedding bouquet (allergy friendly of course, don't want to be sneezing and itching myself through my ceremony)
  • see my gi-doc for a follow-up (two-hour drive from Vienna)
  • take Aaliyah to a different vet for a second opinion on her problem-paw
  • deep-clean my kitchen and bathroom
  • AND last, but not least, do some serious wedding planning :-)!!!!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Prayers needed - prayers answered

After weeks of an overload of emotional stress due to the uncertainty of not knowing whether I would be able to meet the required deadline for taking my final oral diploma exam in June, everything worked out after all.

I received my grade for my thesis on Tuesday, was able to hand in the paperwork on Wednesday, and I had the loveliest and most helpful guy processing my file at the student service center, and even though this is not custom he let me sign up for my exam right away. I am now officially set to go and take my final exam in the last week of June.

Now, all I have to do is study, study, and study some more...

Monday, May 17, 2010

Positive thoughts and prayers needed!

I have been working very hard for the past four months to finish my thesis in time to meet all my deadlines in order to be able to graduate in June.
Unfortunately my prof has not been that supportive, and even though he knew that I needed to hand in my grade for my thesis as soon as possible in order to meet next Thursday's deadline for signing up for my final oral diploma exam in June, he only agreed today to grade it tomorrow. I can pick up the paper-work tomorrow afternoon and hand it in at the student service center Wednesday morning. They then have to close my file, and I have to wait for the "official" e-mail in order to be able to sign up. There is no guarantee that this will happen in time for next weeks' deadline. There are no exceptions to the deadline either. If I can't take my exam in June, I cannot take it until October, there are no diploma exams during the summer months.
It is sooo important to me to take my exam now, I don't want to have to study during the summer that I am getting married in. I have also already studied for five weeks. I just want to be done with alla of it, put my studying behind me, earn my degree and get on with my life.

So - if YOU have time on your hand, please send some positive thoughts to the universe that everything will work out for me!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Three nervous study breakdowns later.....

I had a very tough week. I still haven't received my grade for my thesis, and therefore I have not been able to sign up for my June exam yet. Deadline for signing up is getting closer and closer, and I do have to count in some time for Austrian bureaucracy. If I can't take my exam in June, the next date won't be until the end of October. I would have to study all summer, something I definitely don't want to do during the summer that I am getting married in. Plus, I am so ready to finally put all the studying behind me and get my degree!

I had a really hard time focusing on my studying midweek, having lots of negative study thoughts, thinking that I am not going to be able to learn everything I need to learn in time.
I am feeling a bit better now, though. Being more positive again and back to studying and studying and studying...

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Tube Girl out dancing

My parents had invited M and I to attend their danceschool's annual spring ball at a beautiful little palais/castle in Upper Austria. After studying like crazy all morning, M and I took the 2-hour-drive to Linz, decided to stop by at Ikea spontaneously to dream about our new kitchen and dining room table for our new appartment (not moving until next year though), and then got ready for an evening of dancing.

We had soooo much fun! M and I have been taking ballroom dancing classes since last September and this is the first time that we got to show off our dance knowledge in real life :-). My Mum and Stepdad are dancers too, and it was so lovely watching them enjoying themselves.

This was the lovely castle the ball took place at:

My brother took a photo of the four of us, before we took off for the evening:

Doesn't M look handsome in his suit? Can't wait to marry him :-)

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Flare up

After I got myself of the domperidone I started sticking to the "GP"-diet (a diet for people with gastroparesis) a lot better, and I was actually doing quite well. I couldn't eat as much orally as a couple months ago, but at least I was hardly nauseated. Thanks to my tube feeding formula I had no trouble maintaining my weight.

And then I slipped a bit (a lot) on Sunday. Was invited to a birthday brunch - so much food there! Had too much fruit and whole wheat bread. And then yesterday I decided that I did not have to puree my chicken and vegetables for lunch. I felt so sick all night, was very hard to not take domperidone. Because I had eaten very little yesterday orally due to feeling so sick, I knew that I had to hook up more than my usual tube feeding amount. There was no way that I could just not tubefeed yesterday. I vented my stomach for a bit before hooking up and M and I had fun watching the air bubbles escape through the syringe. I would have really loved to have gj-tube yesterday. As long as I was venting my stomach I felt better, but as soon as I had it clamped off again the nausea came back. Nevertheless, I managed to hook up and run my tube feeding very slowly over 8 hours. M said it was really strange for me to hear my pump running until 5.30 AM. Totally threw off his sense of time during the night.

Study schedule - the 3rd revision

I am very big into drawing up study schedules, usually very unrealistic ones and then having a hard time every night when I can't reach my goals. And then I keep revising the schedule to make it better, but still it usually doesn't get any more realistic. So today, I revised it a third time and this time I am trying to be as realistic as possible, given the fact that I don't have that much time and so much to learn. But at least, now I am ahead of my study schedule and that feels good.

In thesis news, I finally found out that my plagiarism test (in Austria every thesis has to be tested for plagiarism, before it can be accepted) went okay, talked to my prof today, most likely I will be able to get my grade next week, actually I will get him to grade me next week because I have to hand in his report of my thesis by next week.