Monday, June 28, 2010

Finally time for more wedding stuff

Had my tailor's fitting for my wedding dress today at the bridal shop. I still love my dress, it's so beautiful! One more thing less to do on my wedding list :-).

Mum accompanied me, took some photos - but sorry, no sneak preview on here :-).

I had a rough - slow - stomach day today. I definitely do better with liquids and soft foods, but it's hard to follow through sometimes for me. I pureed my chicken and veggies for lunch like I do at home, but had a bit more chicken than usual and that didn't go that well at all. I already had a slow stomach day yesterday, but didn't make up with my tube feeds because I felt so sick at night. I actually fed a bit less than normally. Today I am making up, I have too, not enough calories on one day is tolerable, but two days in a row is not an option.

Tomorrow, Mum and I are going shopping for my dress for my civil service wedding. (Here in Austria church weddings don't count legally.)

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Finally able to relax

I have so many stories to tell from the last few days, and I will blog about it over the next couple of days.

For now, I am finally able to relax again. After not getting a lot of sleep again Thursday night and not being able to go back to sleep Friday morning at 4.45 AM after hooking off my tube feedings, I was so exhausted all Friday, didn't have time for a nap either - Friday night I was in bed by 9.30 PM, and finally I slept, and slept, and slept until 9 AM the next day. I really needed it!

Today I drove to my home-town of Linz  in the morning to spend some time with my parents. Had a lovely afternoon with my parents, my step-brother, his girlfriend, and their new puppy! They hadn't told me that they had gotten a puppy, Julia (my step-brother's girlfriend) even took photos from facebook again, so I wouldn't see them. Lucy is a German shepard and Münsterländer cross, 12 weeks old and so adorable!

My parents' wanted to barbecue for me, when I talked to M on the phone and told him about it, he was very firm with me and reminded me to stick to my gp-diet. I can only eat pureed chicken :-(

We ended up not barbecuing anyway, far too hot today. While I was studying, I was really good at sticking to my diet and I definitely noticed a difference in the amount of nausea and discomfort I felt. Just have to keep on being a good gp-diet-girl.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

I did it!!!

Yes, I did it, I did it indeed!
I passed my exams, not only did I pass, I graduated with honors!
I am now officially a psychologist. This all hasn't quite sunk in yet. I guess it will tomorrow, when I don't have to get up and start my study routine.

I will write more tomorrow. Have to go out for a run with M - get rid off some of those stress hormones!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

One more sleep :-)

This is it. One more sleep until my big exam. I am nervous, but I know I am well prepared. 

Didn't really do anything all day, just tried to keep my mind off of everything. Watched some old Greys anatomy episodes, did some cleaning around the house, cuddled up with the cats on the couch, and now I will be off to go nordic walking. Sport definitely helps with all those darn stress hormones!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Finally....

After making myself almost crazy over the weekend with constantly checking my email-account in order to see if I had finally received the email with my exam date, it finally came - last night (Sunday) at 8.30 PM.

My exam will be this coming Thursday between 2.00 and 2.30 PM (Central European Time). I will be questioned by two examiners - each one has 15 minutes time. My thesis advisor will be the first examiner and he will question me on "General Psychology", and I have the feeling he will also ask me about my thesis and the results of my study. For the second examiner in my second subject "Clinical Psychology" I was actually allowed to list four examiners in my preferred order - I got my fourth choice - was a bit pissed off at first, but then realized that this professor is a really nice guy and usually not out to make life very hard for diploma candidates. He likes his research methods, but thank god, I prepared myself just in case.

I have two days of studying ahead, but I am actually quite relaxed, I have almost revised everything already, will have a full day of studying tomorrow and then take it easy on Wednesday.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Still no word on my exam

Patience!!!! So difficult for me....

According to our student service center's guidelines on the diploma exam, you are supposed to get notified two weeks prior with the exact date and time and the second examiner's name (when I signed up for the exam, I could only state a preference).

Well, the set exam dates are next week Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday and so far none of us who are taking the exam have received the e-mail with time and date yet. I am really frustrated. It does make a difference to me in terms of revising if I have to take the exam on Wednesday or Friday.

Have been checking my e-mails all day quite obsessively.

Am hopeful for tomorrow though. They really have to let us know before the weekend.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Study rituals

I have been studying for my big exam since mid-April. At first I still took weekends off from studying, but for the past three weeks I have been studying almost non-stop. This obviously needs a lof of self-discipline. I have developped some study rituals that help me stay motivated.

This is a typical study day:
  • get up at 6.40 AM
  • switch on the computer
  • make myself a nice cup of black tea
  • check my e-mails and facebook and have my tea
  • start studying at 7.15 AM
  • breakfast at 8 AM
  • snack at 11AM
  • study until 12.30 AM
  • take a nap until 1.30 PM
  • have lunch at 1.45 PM
  • check e-mails, facebook etc. until 2.15 PM
  • start up studying again until 5 PM
  • done studying for the day, do some shopping, cleaning, have dinner, go nordic-walking with M
  • 9 PM - shower, get ready for bed
  • 9.30 PM - have a cup of sleepy-time tea, take my valerian root, hook up my tube feedings and watch an episode of Frasier for some good belly laughs (we own all seasons and just started with the first season again)
  • 10 PM - off to bed
Study rituals help me stay focused and motivated because I always know that I will stop at 12.30 for a break and finish by 5 PM.

And according to my "day plan" - it's now time to go nordic-walking with M (no storms in sight tonight - by the way, found out that the storm was blowing with 130 km/h last night).

Off we go!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

What an adventure!

After a week of relentless heat, it finally started to cloud over tonight. Even though storm and thunderstorm warnings were given out for almost all of Austria, there were no warnings for Vienna. I therefore forced M off the couch to come out nordic walking with me. We live really close to a big park with meadows and forests and beautiful paths to go nordic walking or running.

When we left, there were some dark clouds, but rather far away. Halfway through our walk, we were in the middle of the forest, when all out of sudden a really strong wind came up. A minute later it was storming really badly, branches were being snapped off the trees. It was quite scary, as we were in the middle of the forest. M and I knew it was time to start running to get us out off the forest as quickly as possible. Now I am a really strong nordic-walker, but my running is awful, I always start hurting right away. Still I knew I had to run. Once we were out on the meadows the wind was even stronger, blowing the sand from the pathways and the lovely grass pollen into our eyes. M kept looking at the clouds, telling me, 10 more minutes till showdown honey. We kept running, finally out of the park, through the streets of Vienna, while lightning and thunder came closer and closer. It then started to rain lightly until the exact moment we were back in the appartment, when the rain started to come down really heavy. Thank god we were back home.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Heat wave

After a very cool May and a rather fresh start to June a heat wave hit Austria last Saturday. I had a really big crash starting Sunday afternoon, lots of nausea, headache, and low blood pressure problems. I was not able to study on Monday, but had to take a day off instead. On Tuesday I switched my study times around a bit. Starting the day off at 6.45 AM with a cup of tea and a low blood pressure med, I now begin studying at 7 AM, study until 12.30, take an hour nap, have lunch, and keep on studying until 5 PM. This has been working somewhat, but the heat still makes it really hard to focus. I brought out my fan from storage (well, from under our bed :-)), put it together, and the breeze has been quite helpful.
Two weeks to go.... I don't know the exact date yet, I know it's eiter the 23rd, 24th, or 25th of June, hopefully I will find out soon.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Stress patterns

I have a certain stress pattern. Whenever I am really stressed out i.e. studying like crazy, I do really stupid things that I actually don't have time for. Like deciding buying a new washer (really needed one - studying for my last exam), fixating on thinking that I hate my balloon button and really should get myself a non-balloon button (already studying - four weeks ago), switching my cell phone plan and getting a new cell phone (two weeks ago - didn't do it), and deciding that I hated the dressings I use for my button (last week). This is the story I want to tell:
My button does leak some, especially with my motility problems, and I always have to use a dressing. Kirby, a fellow tube feeder, had told me about this cloth g-tube pads that she really loved. So last Thursday, I started to research g-tube pads on the internet and found this site http://www.mybuttonbuddies.com/ with designs I really liked. I couldn't order them right away, as I don't own a credit card and had to add money to my paypal account first. I then got thinking that I actually had sewing in school and owned a sewing machine. After I was done studying on Friday I went downtown to get some fabrics and Saturday bright and early I started sewing. I only allowed myself to sew for an hour before I had to start learning again. I had so much fun doing it that I could not wait to keep on sewing at night. I was still trying to find out the right stitch to sew them together. At 11 PM I had to stop for the night, deciding I would try the new stitch in the morning. So there I was again, bright and early on Sunday morning, switched on my sewing machine - and nothing - it broke on me. I was so disappointed! The thing is, the pads I have sewn so far, are very tightly stitched around the edges of the hole for the tube, and they are not soaking up the leakage that well. So then I thought I had to get myself a new sewing machine - something that I don't actually have time for right now. But then I realized that this is my stress pattern. This is so typical for me, being so impatient that I couldn't wait and had to start sewing myself right away.

So I relaxed today. I am not buying myself a sewing machine right now. I have more important things right now to focus on. And I ordered myself a week's worth of cloth g-tube pads from my button buddies today.

Friday, June 4, 2010

It's the little things in life that make a difference

As you all know I have been studying very hard in the past months, not doing a whole lot other than studying.

Yesterday, a dear friend of mine called me to tell me that she was in hospital and had just had surgery the night before for an ovarian pregnancy. This friend has been trying to get pregnant for at least three years and longing to be a Mom for a very long time. I can only imagine how hard it is for her knowing that she finally did get pregnant but could not carry the pregnancy. She knew that I was studying lots and did not ask me to visit her, but of course I told her I would come by knowing that this is a time that she needs me to be there for her, and I promised her to visit tonight.

This morning (while studying - don't you love those distracting thoughts) I thought about what I could do for her that would make her feel a bit better, at least for a few hours. This is what I did: I packed my blow dryer, some hand lotion, foot lotion, and my nail polish. When I walked into her hospital room tonight, I told her that I will have a "make you feel good time" and unpacked all my goodies. First I washed her hair for her, something that she was really grateful for, as she had not been able to shower since Tuesday, then I put my best foam mousse for curly hair into her hair and blow dried it all nice and curly. I then had her lie down on her bed, put her feet onto my lap and gave her foot rub, finished off by polishing her toe nails. I then moved up to her hands and did the same with her hands. She visibly relaxed and enjoyed being treated to some girly time.

I know that it meant a lot to her that I came by and did what girlfriends do - be there for each other. And you know what? It meant so much to me too. Being able to find something to do during a tough time for her that will make her feel a bit better. I have had so much trouble sleeping in the past weeks, but I know that I will sleep well tonight.