PSLF Waiver Reminder!

For those social workers and non profit workers who have not yet submitted employer certification forms it’s time to get a move on! The waiver expires at the end of the month!

I just head back from my loan processor and of my payments about 30 of my payments count so far and they have 1 more employment verification form to go!

Books Featuring Witches I Love!

  1. Witch Hat Atelier by Kamome Shirahama
    A young girl lets her curiosity get the better of her. She stumbles into a world of magic and must learn quickly to save herself, her teacher, and her family.
  2. The Witches of Hollow Cove by Kim Richardson
    This has been a book series I picked up more recently. It is funny and Tessa reminds me a little of myself.
  3. Wild Mage by Tamora Pierce
    I read this series in middle and high school. Daine is a strong girl with strange powers. Her family is gone. She has begins to learn under the tutelage of a mysterious mage. Strange and dangerous things often occur around her but she somehow manages.
  4. The Mists of Avalon by  Marion Zimmer Bradley
    I have read the first two books of this series and intend to read the rest of the saga. I just need to read it at a time where I have room for introspection. The book is set from the point of view of women instead of the males who are usually focused on during Authurian and Merlin retellings.

A few tips that help make my work days a little easier

  1. Make difficult tasks a priority in the mornings

This is not to say that things will not come up later in the day, but if there is something I am dreading completing, or a task that may take some time, I try to complete it early. Preferably while sipping coffee to make it go down a little easier 

  1. Enjoy the little things at work

My work has a coffee and bagel shop on site and I have made a separate bank account where I deposit money every check so I an enjoy a large cold brew and bagel *almost* daily. A lot of people at work prioritize packing breakfast, coffee, and lunch saving it saves them money. In a household of two I have found it more expensive to buy breakfast, coffee, lunch, and pack it. I have tried it several times over the past five years. For me I want to prioritize enjoying what time I can with my pets and husband. 

I only have so many spoons in a week with my chronic illness and prioritizing time with my loved ones over spending every Sunday in the kitchen meal prepping is important to me. 

  1. Make a highlights of the day list

At the bottom of the first page of my daily assignment I write the time of all the important tasks that must happen. This includes rounds, CEU’s, supervision (when I was still attending), committee meetings, court hearings, and staff meetings. 

On days where I am having brain fog I will also set alarms for ten minutes prior to each of these tasks so I am prompted to get moving to where each meeting is held. 

  1. I pack a tote bag 

I have recently started this trick. I pack a tote bag with pens, pencils, high lighters, a clipboard, blanks of my most commonly used forms, and anything else I may need for the day. I also keep personal items, headphones, my phone, hard candy, and a fidget. This way if I am stuck away from my office for longer than expected I have everything I need to work from anywhere in the hospital. 

  1. Keeping a personalized first aid kit

As someone with multiple health issues I have personalized a first aid kit for myself. It includes the usual band aids and alcohol prep pads, but I also have protein bars, items to help anxiety, medications for my acid reflux, ibs, and allergies. I even have a bottle of water. You never know when something will come up, and as a hospital worker I never know is disaster will hit and I will be asked to stay overnight.

My Journey with PCOS

Trigger warnings: Mentions of calories, trauma, medical gaslighting, and eating disorder.

My Journey with PCOS started before my first period. As soon as I started showing signs of puberty the weird hormones hit. I went from being underweight to “husky” clothing quickly. One school year the only clothes I fit were stretch pants and I could never get a pair of kids jeans that fit, then my school started a uniform policy and I could not find clothing in my size for in and out of school.

When I did start my period it was pretty awful, I bled heavily, was in severe pain, often causing me to leave school early from the pain, dizziness, nausea, and feeling faint. I was taken to a GYN by my mother for the severe pain and because my mother refused to allow me to try birth control I was told to track my cycle and take ibuprofen starting the day before my period was supposed to arrive.

My life went on like this until I got sick in college freshman year and found out I had a large ovarian cyst. I ended up being taken around to several specialists and being scheduled for a cyst removal over the summer between my sophomore and junior years of college. After the removal I lost some weight and was okay for about 4 months before all of my prior symptoms came back. I was then put on 14 days a month of progesterone with a break until the first of the following month in the hopes of improving things. It worked until just before graduate school when my doctor suddenly retired.

I saw a new doctor who started me on the mini pill where I bleed more days than I didn’t bleed and it never really worked well for my body. I went to a new doctor who scheduled me for an iud stating if the mini pill did not work that was all they could offer me. I had that for six years.

I had a few bumps in the road with it but it was generally better than my other experiences. The largest hiccup for me was seeing one doctor for pain during intimacy and being told I should be placed on double birth control due to my weight and then once I hit the age for menopause they would do a total hysterectomy. They did not take the time to even look at my chart to see I have migraines with aura and therefore cannot take the second medication they recommended, an estrogen pill. They also did not ask if I ever wanted to have children. All they saw was my weight from check in and they decided I was too fat to be an okay candidate for motherhood.

That experience was so jarring I did not go back to an obgyn for several years and did not do any follow up until I started having chronic bladder issues, it just so happens the specialist does urology and obgyn work so I started getting my yearly exams again.

Over the last year I started a new journey, attempting weight loss in the hopes that when I am ready, my husband and I can hopefully have a child, or if we cannot I would qualify for IVF. Right now I have lost 30 pounds from two medications my endocrinologist has me on. I’m probably the sickest I have been, but I am down thirty pounds from my start weight. My doctor would like me to lose another 77 pounds before I qualify for something as simple as oral fertility medications or IUI. I don’t know if the universe will ever let me be a mother a child that is biologically mine, but this is not the end of my journey to motherhood.

Every generation on my mother’s side from my grandmother down to me has struggled with PCOS and fertility. I will not be the last to struggle from this disease, but the medical community really needs to work on their thoughts about PCOS. If the condition causes weight gain and trouble with losing weight, the suggested treatment should not be a weightloss of 100 or more pounds before someone can get their symptoms taken seriously, or their desire for motherhood considered. Forced sterilization is not the option that should be presented if someone wants to have a biological child. An institutionally supported eating disorder also isn’t the answer, I have been told to eat 1000 calories a day or less since the last time I was able to lose weight without medication was when I ate 700 calories a day because I was not handling my trauma well.

We just need to do better.

Reading updates

This is my check in before the last few days of readathon.

  1. PoseidonBravely by Maggie Stiefvater- I completed this book at the beginning of the readathon. I loved watching Merida’s character develop and maybe there will be romance in here future.
  2. Pasiphae and the Minoan BullValiant by Holly Black- Valiant was not as good as Tithe but still a solid fairy story. I read the book via audiobook while charting at work.
  3. Daedalus and Icarus– Read a book about a parent or a book that will make you cry- Bear Next Door by J. L. Wilder- This book is about a couple that finds themselves faced with an unexpected pregnancy. While we do not see the little one born, the struggles the couple go through to grow for themselves and as parents to prepare for their little ones rings true.
  4. AndrogeusThe Castle in the Attic by Elizabeth Winthrop- While I struggled to get into the book, once the action moved to the The Castle I was pulled in.
  5. Theseus Charges In– Of Two Minds by Carol Matas and Perry Nodelman- While slow to start, it drew me in by the third chapter. After that it was difficult to put down in order to go to bed on time. The twist ending was such a good plot choice for the main characters.
  6. AriadneMirage by Somaiya Daud- I am halfway through this title and will be completing it before the end of the month. So far it is riveting.
  7. The MinotaurThe Battle for the Castle by Elizabeth Winthrop- While the book was good it was not as captivating as the first installment. There were also several times I had to rewind the audiobook to figure out what the author was trying to explain.

Bonus Reads:

  1. The Island of Naxos– Read a book with a party or celebration- Midlife Bear Cubs by J. L. Wilder is the title I pulled from Kindle Unlimited for this prompt. The shifter leaders holds a lot of block parties using the den’s money.
  2. King Theseus  Ender in Exile by Orson Scott Card- I read this at work using the audiobook version while doing notes and admin tasks.

Blessed Mabon

Today night and day and light and dark are found in equal measure. We celebrate the harvest and hope that we have the good fortune to have what we need through the upcoming winter. With the development of stores, for those of us who don’t live in food deserts, having food gear round is easier for some.

For me, I am trying to find the meaning in balance.

Persephone begins steps down as goddess of spring and begins her decent to the underworld to take up the mantle of queen and role as wife.

May we all love and understand ourselves with our own duality.

Spoonie accessible kitchen

As some of you may know, I have chronic illness and chronic pain. The pain comes from a combination of depression aches and pains, and a history of being klutzy and damaging tendons and muscles.

This week I have been in a lot of pelvic and back pain. It hurts to sit, stand, walk, lay down, get up. Really just existing is pretty painful.

It got me to thinking, I have not been able to cook all week as it would require navigating my tiny kitchen, a lot of bending to pull out cooking implements, and reaching for food items and spices.

It makes me wonder what an accessible kitchen would be like. I think I would need a large counter top that’s a little taller than average as my current counter makes me have to stoop a little to do prep work. Having the counter space to leave my most used pots, pans, plates, fruit basket, and potato bin would be wonderful.

For days when my carpel tunnel is making it difficult to function some of the arthritis tools would be useful.

Has anyone made an accessible kitchen?

September is PCOS awareness month

I wanted to make a shout out today about PCOS awareness month. I am still trying to find the words to articulate my own battles with PCOS in the mean time, I wanted my readership to be aware that PCOS is real and there is support out there.

If you are a uterus/ovary having person who has issues with fertility, weight, abnormal menstrual cycles, abdominal pain, abnormal hair growth, it may be worth it to ask your doctor to look into this condition for you.

You do not have to go to a GYN and Endocrinologist can also look into PCOS.