Category Archives: Uncategorized

Little by Little

Woohoo!  I am without crutches or cane for the most part!

My Physical Therapists, the inestimable Gina V and Noah, have been heating my operation site, and rubbing and needling, and general torture for about a month.  At one point, I felt I had an extra joint in my injured leg about 1/2 way from my hip to my knee.  It felt REALLY weird!  The lower quads bunched up to a rock just above my knee, and the upper quads didn’t seem connected to the lower.  Now it feels more like 1 muscle again.

I couldn’t walk much because my injured leg wouldn’t (and I mean absolutely refused to) hold my weight to allow my right leg to move.  I am gradually getting my gait back.  I still limp, but it’s much less pronounced.

This IS measurable progress!

I screwed up

I am in Physical Therapy for my injured hip.  I have certain exercises I need to do to combat the adhesion that is keeping me from walking like a human person.  Right now, it feels like I have a big lump of muscle just above my knee, and a void above that and another muscle that goes to my hip in front.  So it feels like my quad is actually an oct.  The lump above my knee is parallel to the floor, and shouldn’t be there.  My therapist asked me what I’d done.

Wellllllll, I just did the exercises you assigned me for my recovery…

But if doing one series is good, doing 3 would be better right?  I actually got a face/palm for that.  He says, “We do one series here because you’re supposed to do one series.”  What do these exercises entail?

  1.  A hamstring stretch with a cable.  I am supposed to pull on my foot with outstretched leg to stretch the hamstring on the back of my leg–3 times for 30 seconds.
  2.  A band stretched around my knees that I’m supposed to open my knees and hold for 30 seconds 3 times
  3. An ankle weight that I lift with a straight leg while lying on my back and other leg bent, 15 times
  4. An ankle weight that I lift while lying on my side, 15 times.
  5. An ankle weight that I extend my leg while sitting on the edge of the table, 15 times
  6. A band stretched across my heel where I do leg curls, 15 times
  7. Hip sled set at a low weight 15 times
  8. Side step that I do about 10 feet out and 10 feet back
  9. March where I lift my knees between steps 10 feet out and back
  10. Balance with my feet toe to heel for 30 seconds good foot forward and then 30 seconds good foot behind
  11. Single leg balance 20 seconds.

Sounds reasonable.  So I did 3 sets of these at the gym on Sunday.  Monday, I was so sore I could hardly move, and the cold wind caused my leg muscles to seize up.  I over did it and now I have to wait 2 weeks before I can start correcting my gait.  Wahhhhhhhhh!  And his remedy for that muscle was deep massage and it really hurts!  But it doesn’t feel bunched up now.  Doh!!!!

New Approach

I have now been going to Physical Therapy twice a week for 2 weeks.  The feeling of having an extra joint in my injured leg is gone.  Why?  Because they’re merciless on the massage!  My hubby and I have a joke:  “What is the difference between a Trainer and a Torturer?  You pay the Trainer!”  We paid about $650/month for our trainer.  She made us feel guilty if we didn’t go to the gym, and always challenged us and pushed us.  She was very good!  Hubby lost weight and is down to about 330 lbs.  I didn’t because the laws of physics and biochemistry do not apply to me.  (see all my other entries on losing weight…)  Nevertheless, seeing the Physical Therapist costs me $50/visit.  So the difference between a Trainer and a Therapist is about $200 less, and 2x the pain.

In essence, the therapist goes to the injury and looks for tightness and lumps of scar tissue and rubs it really hard to break up the scar tissue.  I have very deep bruising from this.  My leg is now painful to the touch.  Then Monday, I experienced dry needling.  She sticks this needle into my muscles just above my knee (where I felt that  phantom joint) and goes until it starts a twitching in my muscle.  She was using only needles, no other devices or machines.  I say that because it felt like it was electric!  At first, it just felt like pressure, then, when it hit the problem area, it felt like a shock.  She’d remove the needle after a few seconds and put in another one at a different spot–8 in total.  When she was done, it felt like I’d had an hour session with my trainer and we only worked the quads on my left leg!  It was tight and felt sore like after an intense workout, not sore like I’d gotten stuck with needles.  Why would anyone submit to this?  Well, because I’m limping less!  The therapist also gives me really easy exercises to do, with 1 exception.

The nastiest exercise I have now is marching.  Take a step, lift the knee, take a step, lift the knee.  No problem lifting my left knee (injured leg), but I can’t get my right foot off the floor!  I will keep trying though.  I am making some measurable progress!

Back on the horse

The horse doesn’t like me though.

In trying to recover strength in the leg with the broken hip, I have to do stationary bike work.  I was doing interval training:  4 min on level 3 (omg, that’s like a little kid bike!) and then 1 min at lvl 8.  Lvl 8 used to be my starting point!  I did 30 min of this. I then decided to try grand battement exercises as my flexibility has been compromised.  I discovered that when the moving leg was the injured one, I had full range of movement.  When the standing leg was the injured one, I couldn’t get my other leg to move!  If, however, I used my crutch to help support me, the uninjured leg did right what it was supposed to and moved pretty well.  Isn’t that weird?

ANYWAY, so now I’m sore.  Partly due to being on a stationary bike for 1/2 hour after not done anything over the holiday, I am actually saddle sore!  My butt hurts!  Get the horse tie in now?  I guess I need to get back to the gym again today or suffer the consequences.  Oh my.  I guess I need to do the weight training with a little cardio today.

According to my new resolution, my lines are, “OH GOODY!  I get to go to the gym and see what I can do today!  I can hardly wait!”  If I say it enough…

 

‘Tis the Season

Bread!  Rolls!  Stuffing!  Potatoes!  Candy! Really Big Plates!  Parties!

My Exclamation point key is wearing out. Now let’s throw in snow and ice so you can’t leave the house.  Is this a good thing?  Yes and no.  Yes because now you can’t eat out and over-eat because, gosh dernit, YOU PAID for all that food.  (Ya, I know…eat half and put the other half in a box trick.)  And no because you can’t watch Christmas movies without eggnog and cheese balls and crackers and popcorn.

What is a person to do?

Aha!  Remove the stimulus!  Don’t watch the Christmas movies, watch the Musketeers series or Merlin or NCIS or CSI NY in a binge!  Don’t go to the parties!  Uh oh…side effects!  What kind of side effects could those possibly have?  Forgot to go shopping for gifts.  Forgot that some people actually celebrate Christmas and THAT’S why they’re not here for their lessons…so you won’t get paid this week.  Oh and you volunteered to sing on Christmas Eve with the church choir, and because all your activities have been cancelled, you have NO idea what day today is.  Crud.  Is it 10:45 already?  Now I’m hungry.  I know.  I’ll fix a healthy breakfast and do dishes for 2 1/2 hours.  Problem solved!  Or not.  Have a Merry Happy and a Christmas New Year.

Moving forward

I saw the trauma orthopedic doctor on Tuesday.  She was pleased with my progress.  Progress?  I’m making progress?  It surely doesn’t feel like it.  So she asked me what I was doing for PT.  Well… I was supposed to set it up with a therapist so I would be going 2-3 times a week.  I couldn’t figure out the insurance so I didn’t go.  I did go to the gym once a week to work on the exercises I had been given.

Here’s the thing.  I don’t feel like I am making any progress.  I am not responsible for my healing and it is slowing me down.  If I am not seeing the PT guy, I should be getting into the gym at least 2-3 times a week.  I should be doing exercises at home.  I am doing anything but.  Then I went to my friends blog…Moving Mountains. She had this great quote from Jack Sparrow.

Problem solving is what I like to think is my specialty.  But I am not solving my own.  I have to decide to be my own therapist (mental and physical) and take responsibility for how I feel and how I heal.  This is a hard thing to face.

Do you ever find yourself unable to solve your problems but others’ seem obvious and easy to solve?  Why is that?  Removing yourself from the situation and seeing it from a differing perspective is easy when it is someone else’s predicament.  When I was looking at myself, I was amazed that I made the circumstances so convoluted and confusing.  What a silly thing to do!  Everyone will do that though.  Just like my “progress” the situations people find themselves that seem overwhelming are due to incremental changes in physical, mental and spiritual aspects.  They are often so small that one doesn’t even realize these changes are occurring.

One of my favorite movies is “Rat Race.”  In this movie, the plot is set early that each person has been chosen to go after a $2,000,000 prize and the 1st one to reach it gets to keep it.  O. K. But each person has a radically different journey!  Some go to the airport, and the flights are cancelled.  Why?  Because another one of the competitors decides to pull down the radar tower.  You see this jeep being pulled up the tower with the two miscreants in full panic.  Then later in the movie, you see a couple of them suspended from a hot air balloon, holding on desperately to a cow whose hoof has been entangled in a rope attached to the basket, and fighting over the key 100 feet in the air.  How did they get to that situation?!  Incremental steps.

My progress is so small that I can’t see it, but my doctor, who sees me once a month, notices a difference right away.  So healing and destroying can be done incrementally.  This is the reason the gyms are crowded in January and empty in March.  This is the reason that the young kid thinks smoking is cool and then cannot understand why he has problems breathing.  Look at the bill boards–all of them promising a new start, a new plan and a chance to get life on track for success for January.   There should be bill boards that pop up in February saying, “Keep Going!  You may not see a difference yet, but you’re developing a new outlook on life and refining habits that will grandly change your life. ”  You won’t see any…

I know what I have to do now.  I need to schedule my recovery time in the gym and be faithful to it.

 

Immeasurable progress–the hospital strikes back

Woohoo!  Breakfast today!  Egg, sausage, applesauce, toast, tea.  I can get up to go to the bathroom today!  TADAAAAAA!

  1.  Pull self into sitting position using trapeze
  2.  Use foot lifter to get bad leg off bed, and turn toward side of bed.
  3.  Scootch to edge of bed and grab for walker.  Gently slide onto good foot.
  4.  Have nurse accompany me to bathroom, negotiate the turn around, grab the support bars
  5.  Sit crooked on toilet!

Nurse accompanies me back to bed where I sit on the edge of the bed and try to scootch backwards so I don’t fall off, then throw my good leg up, grab the trapeze with my l hand and use the foot lifter to get my bad leg back in bed.

Take a 45 min nap to recover.  My youngest daughter is coming to visit me today from Virginia.  Finally!  someone I know!  Then surprise, surprise, my friends, the Petersens show up!  They’re from Tampa and they drove down to visit me.  How WONDERFUL!  They’re such good people.  They both look really great, and they were so cheerful and encouraging.  Time just flew by!

My daughter showed up later.  I apparently need to order dinner to get dinner, so I ordered turkey and sides.  It wasn’t bad.  My daughter was sitting there crocheting and we talked and laughed and watched  Animal Planet.  It was sure good to have family.  The nurse came in and asked if I was ready to check out tomorrow.  WHAT?!  I just walked for the 1st time today!  My husband and my oldest daughter won’t be here until Friday!  Where do I go from here?  Do I call a cab?  My youngest drives a Mazda!  “So you’re not ready to check out yet?”  Ya think?!  Now I’m all upset.  Husband calls from Paducah, KY, the car has broken down.  It won’t be fixed until Monday.  My daughters hash it out, and youngest says she can get me to her house and husband and oldest will meet us there.

I got a cramp in my leg and for some reason or other, every nerve in my swollen leg is touch sensitive.  After about 5 min of pain, a nurse comes in and massages it.  I didn’t know I could sing that high.  In the 1st place, it didn’t help, and in the 2nd place it felt that she was basically shredding every bit of muscle from my bones with demon claws.  Now she didn’t have long fingernails, so she wasn’t actually clawing me, but the pain was so intense that it felt sharp. Note to self, if you have a cramp, do the Mr. Miyagi thing and just heat up your hands and apply heat to affected area instead of rubbing.  I am taking many naps and trying to have a BM.  (It seems to have a big significance to the nursing staff.)  In addition, they have been giving me anticoagulants, by shot.  Hmmm?  Does that make any sense at all?

What a doofus, I didn’t order breakfast for tomorrow.  or lunch.  hmmm may be very hungry.  I’m still on the walker and am not moving very quickly anywhere.  I did take a walk up the hallway and back…42 feet.  Maybe 80 feet tomorrow.  I’m taking about 2-3 of the oxycodone every 6 hours.  I do not notice any change in the pain level after I’ve taken them, yet I continue.  Is it mind control?  *plays ominous music*

 

Immeasurable progress–GAH Wars

GAH! is what you say at a very high decibel level when your injured hip gets jerked, or moved or twisted in a way that causes excruciating pain.  About midnight, I got 15 mg of oxycodone.  This is supposed to be really powerful stuff.  Pain is about a 2 on a scale of 1-10, 10 (which I just established) being moving from gurney to x-ray table.  I get no breakfast because I’m having an operation.  They come in at 7 to do pre-op and stab me in the arm in the inside of my elbow.  Because of course, the other IV’s (now 4 of them!) are innies.  doh!  If I have to relieve myself, I have to use a bed pan.  Now let’s think about this…  I cannot move my bad hip, it’s still broken.  I cannot lie on my bad hip, it’s still broken.  This means that I use my massive upper body strength to pull up my good hip so they can JAM the thing under my butt.  It pinches, and I have to pull myself several inches up before they can get it where it needs to go.  GAH!  See, when I pull up with my arm, I bring my good foot in, and push up my hip with my good leg.  I can get higher this way.  They don’t understand why I just don’t lift my bad hip.  I’m still amazed that they don’t get this.  Michelle is really good at moving me around and making my pillows work and taking care of me.  She’s the PA nurse (so she’s not the charge nurse and doesn’t have an RN…)   She’s given me 2 pre-op baths. She’s very friendly, so it’s not as embarrassing as it could be.  Doctor Go comes in and asks me some questions and then pronounces me ok for surgery.  Yay!    Dr. Vicarious (not correct spelling to protect the innocent) comes in and explains the procedure.  Screws, and clamps that go from top of femur to knee cap will be put in.  I asked if he was going to put in a zipper this time.  This is 3rd operation on same hip.  He was not amused.  Maybe he will get it later.  So I had my “vicarious” experience.  It is now 9 am.

How many times can you do the Jeopardy Theme Song before you realize that when they say “soon” they don’t mean within the next 5 hours.  It is after 2 pm when they take me down to the ready room.  Remember all those innies that they couldn’t use to draw blood?  They don’t use them to put in the anesthetic either.  I have a new one in my wrist now.  GAH!   They’ve asked me a dozen questions, over and over and over again.  I think part of the anesthesia is enhanced boredom.  Finally they take me in, at least I assume so since I have apparently fallen asleep.

I awake with a very long bandage on my left leg which is now swollen nearly double.  I am extremely sore, and now it’s about 7:30. GAH!  Time for breakfast:  chicken salad sandwiches.  This is how you make a chicken salad sandwich.  1)  cut up chicken, add pickle relish and mayonnaise.  2)  find 2 slices of white bread.  3)  Use an ice cream scoop to drop the chicken salad on the bread, and add the top slice.  DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES SPREAD OUT THE CHICKEN SALAD AS THAT WOULD GIVE IT DELUSIONS OF ESCAPING!  4) cut sandwich in 1/2.  5) deliver to patient  6) when the patient picks up the sandwich, the chicken salad sees it’s chance and makes a desperate leap onto the patient’s chest anyway.

I get 1 more shot of morphine.  I do not notice any difference in pain level.

I can still only lie on my back, and I have to maintain my L foot to roll in to lower the pain level.  Gah!  and Yay Animal Planet!

I don’t know what I weigh now because I have extra hardware and all that swelling.  Dang.

 

Immeasurable progress

Getting a broken hip is a very VERY inefficient way to lose weight.  It does tend to make you less hungry, and satisfies you sooner when you are eating…

I decided I was going to go to Orlando for a live event that would get me a professional speaking certification.  Left at 6 am on Monday, got to St. Louis about 7:30, then got to Orlando about 11.  Took the shuttle bus to my hotel–Marriott World Center and jumped off the shuttle with my 2 bags.  I took the revolving door and went in butt first because my hands were full.  When I got to the opening, I turned to get out.  It wasn’t the opening.  It was very clean glass.  About the time I was saying, “hmmm, this isn’t ri…” the following door ran me over and knocked me to the floor.  My leg didn’t work.  I knew I’d broken it.  I scooted out of the way and the security folks called an ambulance.  I could see the registration desk from my position at the door.  Sooooooo close.  Each new security person got to hear my woeful tale of how I ended up on the floor with a broken hip.  “How do you know it’s broken?”  “Because this is what it felt like the LAST time I broke my hip!”  I got a couple of selfies going into the ambulance.  I was transported to Celebration Hospital.  The name was curious.  Turns out it is a children’s hospital which might explain a few things.  Most of us picture Orlando and Miami and the rest of those places as a mecca for retired people.  The average age is 34?!  Where are the geezers?  Turns out, it takes a lot of millenials to take care of geezers.

The most painful thing about a broken hip is not the actual accident.  It is moving the patient around to find out what damage has been done.  At the hotel, they had to move me from my sitting position to the gurney.  About that time, without an xray or any other type of diagnostic machine, I could have told them EXACTLY where the break was  (at a very high pitched and high volume utterance I might add).  They rolled me to my good hip, then put a sheet under me.  They then tried to lift me onto the back board.  YEOWWWWW! I wasn’t sufficiently high off the ground when the jammed the back board under me. They got me to the gurney by way of the back board and then into the ambulance where I spent a very bumpy 15 miles getting to the ER.   It is now just after noon.  About 2 pm, they took me to the x ray room.  They were going to have to move me from the gurney, which was a foam mattress on wheels, to a smooth, slick table.  There were 2 tiny technicians.  I was aghast.  I said, “I weigh more than the both of you put together!”  They laughed and replied, “No you’re not!  We’re professionals, you have nothing to worry about.  Why I’m 105 and she’s 113.”  Now I’m seriously alarmed.  “You just proved my point!  I weigh more than the 2 of you put together!”  They smiled sweetly and grabbed the sheet I was lying on, told me to hug myself and pulled me 1/2 way on to the table.  I flinched!  Massively!  Hands and legs flew out so I could catch myself.  It was excruciating.  My bad leg remained in the air (I really don’t know how!) and I couldn’t relax it enough to get it to the table.  I kept saying, “I can’t put my leg down!  It won’t go!  You have to put my leg down!”  One grabbed my ankle to stabilize the leg.  (Bad idea!)  That really hurt, because there was no support under the knee and the leg was locked in panic.  I couldn’t relax it.  They got me moved  on the 2nd try.  It took an additional 2 or 3 minutes to get my injured leg down onto the table, and I finally relaxed it enough to uncramp it. They get all the pictures and now they have to move me back to the gurney.  I’m not enthusiastic.  So I’m thinking to myself, “Self?  This is Orlando!  Don’t they do about 100 hip surgeries a day here with all the boomers?  Why aren’t they better at this?”  There are about 300k hip replacements every year, and then there are broken hips and knees as well.  But apparently not at the Children’s Celebration Hospital.  Now they move me back to the gurney and it was slick, efficient and nearly painless.  I am surprised.  They roll me back into the ER.  The ER has decided to send me to Florida Hospital Orlando, their sister hospital that focuses on orthopedics.

They decide to do a CT scan before I go, and they have 4 big guys move me this time.  I asked for a forklift.  The CT scan table is shaped like a curved mattress sort of a tube to go into the scanner.  Once again, extremely painful going over.  Yes, again I am asked to hug myself.  Again I flinch and the leg goes up.  They tell me to relax my leg and if looks could kill, the CT machine would have been a ooey, gooey mess.  I feel a bit shocky and dizzy.  It takes a while for the pain to settle and I feel all crookedy on the table.  The curve on the sides is most uncomfortable.  I whine like a puppy.  The scan is finished and now it’s time to move me back.  NATURALLY when they move me back, I don’t clear the edge of the mattress on the gurney and it folds up on me.  They have to jostle me to straighten out the mattress.  I am practicing my Lamaze breathing so I don’t cry.

About 6:30, they come to get me to move me to the other hospital.  I have had 2 shots of morphine since this process started this morning.  At the ER, the nurse came in to establish an IV.  “Your veins are very deep!”  Meaning you’re too dam fat for us to find any blood supply.  She poked and poked and poked to no avail.  “I’m going to leave now, and cry a bit and get someone in here that knows what they’re doing.”  So male nurse comes in, and determines that I need the 22 gauge needle (which is small!) and finally taps in.  Takes some blood.  Then, when I get over to the Ortho hospital, they decide I need 2 more…one in each hand.  Those, they explain, are “innies”  that we put meds into you with (and it takes an average of 2 nurses and 4-6 pokes per IV). They come back to withdraw more blood.  They have to start a 4th IV! Because you cannot do outies with an innie IV.  Argh.  In comes Kathy, my angel of mercy tonight.  I ask her if I could have something to eat since it is now after 9 pm and have not had anything since leaving my house at 4:30 that morning.  She gets me 2 chicken salad sandwiches and informs me I will have nothing after midnight so they can operate tomorrow.

Woohoo!  I’ve lost 2 pounds!

 

Integrity–Integritty

I am a person of integrity.  I do what I say I’m going to do.  I tell the truth.  I don’t use truth as a weapon, and if someone needs to have some course corrections, I don’t use bluntness but careful guiding and care for the person to make adjustments in their growth.  What you see is what you get when you meet me.

Grit is the determination to get things done.  You set out a plan, you take the path, you finish what you start.  When things look hopeless, I don’t give up the task, I continue until it is done.  I believe in my learning system and know that if I apply this system, there isn’t anything I cannot learn, regardless of the subject matter.  I know some people that will say, “I hate math, I’m no good at it.”  I look askance and I think to myself, “No, they are not good at math because they don’t want to be.” So I coined the word, Integritty…full of grit

I am also extremely curious.  If something catches my imagination, I will make it a point to learn as much as I can about it.

Why this long introduction?  I was on my way home from rehearsal last night, and reflecting on the accomplishments I had achieved over my life.  (It was a 1 hour drive…)  And it came to me that most of the accomplishments that had given me the most pleasure were shot down by those around me.  When my hubby was in college, he couldn’t walk into a math class.  Why?  Because the other students would boo when he walked in.  He was so good, that he did all his math homework in ink.  He saw problems solved in his head before anyone else had a clue on where to start.  He was the same way in computer programming.  When he did something amazing, he got praise and adoration from his teachers and fellow students.  When I was in college and I did something amazing, I was accused of lying or cheating.  When he got perfect papers in math, he got A’s.  When I got perfect papers in math, I was brought in to the professor’s office and asked point blank if my future husband had done my homework.  When he aced the calculus test, his teachers glowed with pride at the mention of his name.  When I aced the calculus test, they checked me for a copy of the test, or hidden answers written on socks or sleeves.  When I had to take the piano proficiency test, we had to play the Star Spangled Banner and My Country ‘Tis of Thee without music.  I played the required songs with multiple arrangements in several different keys.  I played them as I heard them in my head.  The teachers told everyone that I had memorized 5 different versions of each piece.  Memorized?  There aren’t that many versions, and certainly not in that many keys.

In another instance, I was the 1st person in the history of the college to test out of 2nd semester sight singing and ear training.  They had me listed as “dropped” from the class. Do you want to know what the final test was?  They played a Bach Chorale and gave me a starting note.  I had to transcribe the melody and the bass line for the piece as I heard it, and they allowed me 6 repetitions of the song.  After 2 times, I had both parts written, and as I had 4 more times to go through it, I filled in the rest of the notes.  Then I analyzed the chords.  I hadn’t studied the “Picardy 3rd” in theory class yet, so I identified it as a Major I chord.  They checked my work, then came in and accused me of having memorizing the chorale before the test and writing it from memory.  I assured them that I hadn’t even played this chorale before, let alone memorized it.  I also asked them how difficult it would have been to know in advance which piece of music they were going to ask me to transcribe  and find, learn, and memorize it in the 3 days I had before the test.  They grudgingly allowed me to finish the semester without taking the course.  I didn’t find out until much later that instead of passing me, they had me “excused” from the class.

When I took the Series 7 exam for securities, I was in a class by myself.  Literally.  They handed me 13 binders and I had to complete 22 chapters with chapter tests, and 13 final tests and a green light test without benefit of class or teacher.  I did that.  I passed the series 7 test the 1st time I took it.  Later (about 10 years) I took the Series 26 exam for principals in securities.  I signed up for the test, then studied the material for about 2 weeks.  I figured I might as well take the Series 65 for Managed Accounts that would make me an IAR a couple weeks later.  I was told in no uncertain terms that this was not advisable.  I should study for my 26 for at least a month before taking the test, and I should not study for the 65 until after I had passed the 26.   I nodded and ignored him.  I had already studied for the test and I had to just wait for my test date, so I started studying for the series 65.   I took the 2 hour, 100+ question test for the 26 and passed it on my 1st attempt 7/23/2012.  Then, I took the 4 hour, 100+ question test for the 65 and passed it also on my 1st attempt 8/10/2012.  Both tests were completed in less than 1 1/2 hours each.  I was asked if I had taken a boot camp.  I was asked if I’d ever taken the test before.

My frustration is that as a person of integrity, and a person with “integritty” why the 1st conclusion people come to when I do things is that I am dishonest, that I cheat, that I lie.  The 1st assumption is that I, being the person they perceive me to be, am not capable of doing something that is not within their expectations, and that if I do anything very very well it proves that I have done something outside the rules to accomplish it.  This perception is so prevalent that I don’t dare give anyone an inkling of what I am capable of.  I think I am a good teacher, but I’m probably not.  I think I am a good musician, but I’m probably not.  I think I am very very good at understanding money, but I’m probably not.  What I’d like is to do something really well and have the reaction, “WOW!  That was amazing!  You are so GOOD at this!” instead of, “Wait, you did what?  Naw, you must have cheated, you lie–you have done this for years before you tried it in public.  Who are you trying to kid?  Nobody can do that, so you didn’t.  How’d you pull it off?”  My husband is one of very few that knows I don’t cheat or lie or exaggerate.  I can count on one hand the others that think this.  It is a lonely way to live.