All About Efficiency: Laundry Service and AmazonFresh

20170920_170054Living in a city makes certain things more difficult. Laundry and grocery shopping are two of them. I recently started bringing my laundry (clothes only) to the laundromat to be washed, dried, and folded every Wednesday for their $1/pound special. The first week I had 18lbs. This week it was only 14lbs. Sure, laundry is $4/load in my apartment’s basement, but there are some issues I run into almost every time I use them:

  • There are only 2 washers and 2 dryers for 13 apartments and about 30 tenants.
  • They are in the basement, 4 flights of narrow stairs below my apartment.
  • Often, the machines are in use when I want to do laundry. Many times, both washers are being occupied by the same person. Welcome to living with rude a-holes.
  • The machines only take quarters, and only American quarters, and only certain American quarters. I usually bring an extra dollar’s worth with me just in case.
  • Sometimes the coin bin is full, and you are sh** out of luck.
  • Because of the aforementioned quarters only rule, I have to go to the bank on a Saturday between 9am and 12pm to get quarters (all the branches around here are only open 9-4 on weekdays). The line is never shorter than 10 minutes.
  • For the first 5 minutes of a wash cycle, the machine remains unlocked. If you leave before it locks, sometimes it mysteriously stops. So when you go back downstairs 45 minutes later, your laundry might not have really started yet.
  • Because the washer locks, if you start the washer and realize something fell out of your basket on the way down the 4 flights of stairs, you are sh** out of luck.
  • Both washers start counting down from 38 minutes. One washer finishes after about 40 minutes, the other washer is closer to 50.
  • Socks, panties, and other little items often fall into the door of the washer and don’t get washed and definitely don’t get spun, so they are both dirty and soaking wet at the end of a cycle.
  • They are crappy a** washers, so my clothes often come out the washer twisted, stretched, or tied in knots.
  • You can add laundry detergent from the top of the machine, but someone removed the bleach and fabric softener dispensers years ago, and the basins are caked with black mold anyway. So if you want to add bleach or fabric softener, you have to watch the washer for 40+ minutes or go back 4 flights of stairs at precisely the right point in the cycle.
  • There are 2 dryers and the same rules about certain American quarters and full bins apply.
  • One of the dryers will allow you to add a quarter on top of the $2. Each additional quarter adds 15 minutes on top of the $2/60-minute fee.
  • The other dryer has no such feature. If your clothes aren’t dry after an hour, you’re sh** out of luck.
  • Your clothes will come out of the dryer, even on “low heat,” with burn marks.
  • Or your clothes won’t be dry at all.
  • Or, you’ll come down 4 flights of stairs after an hour to find some a-hole in the building opened the dryer mid-cycle, and your clothes are soaking wet and you’re out $2. If those were the last of your quarters, you’re sh** out of luck.

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A Good Run!

Screenshot_20170929-100353I had a good run this morning before work. No, I had a GREAT run. I promised myself I’d go for 3 miles but walk as much as I needed to. After the first mile I felt really good, but reminded myself that my body is still recovering, so I decided to walk for 1 minute. I repeated that after Mile 2 as well, but after my watch went “da-da-DING!” for Mile 3, I was still about a block from home so I decided to keep going. I finished with 3.25 miles in 33:02, so a 10:08 pace overall but my running pace was pretty consistently around 9:45.

Of course, because it’s me, I couldn’t just enjoy how good I felt. I had be as negative as possible and kept thinking about how dang far 13.1 miles is going to feel next weekend. I was so well-trained up until surgery earlier this month, and I knew there was even a chance I may not be recovered in time to even run the race, so I should just be grateful that I’ll (knock on wood) be toeing the line next Sunday at 8am. I know I can finish, but I may end up walking more than I would like. Technically I am much better trained than I was last year, but without a lot of “last minute prep” because of surgery. So although my goal is obviously to beat last year’s time of 2:25:20, I’m going to focus on the other goal of running all four B.A.A. races in 2017! Just finishing will be something to be proud of, and then hopefully I can focus on getting a good time for the Cambridge Half Marathon in November – which is totally flat (the B.A.A. Half is very hilly).

With all that said, I still have a week to keep training. My wrist is hurting a LOT LESS now and the pain seems to be localized around one big lump that looks like some sort of clot or swollen vein. I haven’t tried to do much with it and am still wearing the brace constantly, but I think I’m going to attempt my yoga sculpt class on Monday evening. I’m not sure what I’ll do in terms of a workout tomorrow as I’ll be at my mom’s. I’m planning a long run around her town on Sunday morning, so perhaps just some plyo/yoga/stretching tomorrow that I can easily do in her living room.

Back in Action

After being cleared to return to exercise on Thursday, I still knew there wasn’t a whole lot I could do aside from running. Lunges and crunches, I guess? Yoga sculpt was definitely out because of the weights and all the down dogs and sun salutations and whatnot, but I was hoping I could survive cardio kickboxing. I have no pain lifting my arm as long as I’m not bending my wrist, and wearing the brace prevents me from doing that anyway. Unfortunately, my free outdoor cardio kick class was delayed by almost 20 minutes because the speaker system never showed up, and I guess the instructor didn’t feel like she could just yell the cues to us without music. Once we finally got going, I ended spending about 45 minutes of the 60-minute class on my feet because I couldn’t do any of the pushups, mountain climbers, burpees or planks. Instead, the instructor told me that jump-rope and fast feet were a good alternative, but we were doing those as part of the workout already and so I was doing at least twice as many and OH MY GOD did my feet and legs kill by the end. I was able to do crunches and most of the other core work, so it wasn’t a total loss, but between all that lower body work and Sunday’s running and walking, my legs STILL hurt days later.

I took Chip to his first checkup since his adoption on Saturday afternoon, and he did so well! Rags always had to wear a “party hat” (a muzzle) at the vet, and while Chip was visibly nervous and VERY clingy to me, he did not growl or snap or even cry. The vet was impressed with his health except for his teeth, which I kind of assumed would be a problem. He’s missing a few and the rest are all crooked from his life on the streets, but she showed me that his two molars on either side were actually fractured. One of them may even be exposing the pulp, but he shows no signs of discomfort. Either way, we scheduled a dental cleaning for a month from now, which is done under anesthesia. They made need to pull one or both of those teeth, but it’s that the worst of his problems, I’ll take it! Continue reading

Sinus Surgery 2.0 Update: Recovered, Except for My Hand

It’s been over a week since my last update, but I promise I am not dead. In fact, I’ve been feeling pretty great in terms of recovery. I saw my surgeon for my post-op appointment on Thursday, and he was impressed with my recovery. He said – again – that he is certain this was my final sinus/Graves’ disease-related surgery. Hallelujah! I still had some big scabs up in there, so he didn’t “roto-rooter” me (which would cause heavy bleeding, especially given last year’s issues) and instead said to continue doing my saline nasal rinses twice a day so help everything heal on its own. I still pass really big clots when I use my NetiPot and I have a ton of congestion (which is blood rather than boogers), but I feel 95% recovered.

At the end of my appointment, I showed him my hand and explained that the pain was so severe that I effectively could not use my left hand/wrist at all. He said that was not normal and seemed pretty concerned, and even mentioned “compartment syndrome.” He suggested an appointment with a hand specialist ASAP, and his poor assistant spent 15 minutes trying to get me an appointment next-door at MGH within the week, but had no luck and seemed to be dealing with a very unfriendly assistant at that doctors’ office. Instead, my surgeon urged me to walk myself downstairs to the MGH ER to get my hand assessed immediately. Sure, the pain was awful and the bruise was disconcerting, but being told to go to the ER sent me into panic mode. It took me a solid 10 minutes to actually navigate through the corridors, but once I arrived at the walk-in ER waiting room (as opposed to the area where ambulances pull in), I was amazed by how clean and calm it was.

A triage nurse took my vitals right away and we talked about my symptoms and how my surgeon had sent me directly from his office. I was taken back to the “Fast Track” waiting area within 2 minutes of walking in the front door, where I only waited for about 20 minutes to see a doctor. Two doctors took their turns checking out my hand and poking around, and I unfortunately learned the hard way that the most painful spot wasn’t the big bruise on my hand itself, but the front of my wrist right where it bends. I just hadn’t been prodding myself so I didn’t realize how painful that was, and I was now more uncomfortable than ever. Continue reading

Sinus Surgery 2.0 Update: Post-Op Days 4-5, and Happy Birthday to Rags

After my update on Saturday afternoon, I spent the rest of the day and night feeling pretty terrible. The nausea from the painkiller never seemed to wear off and I felt dizzy and gross for the rest of the weekend. The Gators won on a Hail Mary pass in the final 9 seconds of the game and I scared poor Chip to death, but that was the only positive of my weekend.

On Sunday I forced myself back to sleep after waking up at 6:30am, but only managed to get another hour of sleep before I was too starving to lie in bed anymore. I watched Netflix all morning, watched the Pats game from bed in the afternoon – but slept through the entire 3rd quarter. I knew I wanted to watch the Emmy’s at 8pm so I wasn’t too worried about this late afternoon nap, but it ended up biting me in the butt because I barely slept on Sunday night despite my head not hitting the pillow until well after 11pm.

I had decided to set my alarm for both 6:30 and 7am this morning instead of my usual 6am, but my body was raring to go despite little to no sleep, so I got to work at my usual 8am. At 8:30, the power went out at my office. By 10am, my boss had sent us home and by 11am, power was apparently back but I was comfortably working from my bed and there was no way I was going back. It was a blessing in disguise – I still felt dizzy, plus I felt like I had a fever (likely more of a sleep hangover) – and I was worried I wasn’t going to make a full day at the office anyway. Instead, I worked from bed in sweatpants, totally cozy and with minimal nausea thanks to barely moving. Continue reading

Sinus Surgery 2.0 Update: Post-Op Days 2-3

I knew this would happen. I knew I would think I felt great for a day or two, and then I would feel like crap and be forced to recognize that I did in fact just have surgery and that my body needs to recover.

I worked (from home) a full day on Friday and was pretty tired all day. The pain was minimal again, and I actually did not need a mid-day nap like I thought I might. I did run out around lunchtime to get gas. Call me a worry wart, but I was reading about the potential Hurricane Jose scenarios and decided leaving my gas tank mostly empty wasn’t the best idea, even if only because prices may spike. Work was unexciting but thankfully the time seemed to pass quickly. As soon as I signed off the day, I had to give in and take a painkiller. It took the edge off my pain but didn’t seem to otherwise affect me. I was a complete couch potato for the rest of the night, and according to my Fitbit, had the best night of sleep in months. Continue reading

Sinus Surgery 2.0 Update: Post-Op Day 1

Thursday was completely uneventful. I woke up around 6:30am and tried to go back to sleep but Chip was eager to go out, so we went for our normal morning walk. I emailed my boss to let her know that everything went fine on Wednesday and that I was feeling pretty good, but too tired to work a full day. After my first neti-pot rinse, I actually spent the entire day sleeping until about 3:30pm and had to drag myself out of bed then so I could be fully awake for my 4pm and 5pm calls. Chip’s regular Tuesday/Thursday walker came at noon so I got up for a few minutes then so I could finally meet her for the first time, and he was unsure about leaving my side but it was so cute to see how much he likes her and enjoys their walks together.

I took my gauze mustache off to eat dinner (I treated myself to delivery antipasto salad and french fries), and since it had been well over 24 hours with no bleeding, I decided to keep it off. I did another neti-pot rinse and a lot less pink water came out my nose than it had in the morning, but I did blow my nose ever so gently to try and free a clot that was flapping in the wind, and that caused the first pain I had felt in my nose since I woke up from surgery. I think it was a combination of the anesthesia and morphine finally wearing completely off (now 36 hours post-op) as well as doing something I was told not to do, even though it could barely be considered “blowing.” Either way, it was uncomfortable enough that I popped a painkiller just as I got in the shower after taking Chip for his evening walk, but it took almost 90 minutes to kick in while I watched Netflix on the couch. Continue reading