End of January

Happy last day of January!

Guess who turns the big 23 tomorrow?!  Since my birthday is February 1st, I feel a special connection to the whole month of February (which is good because February doesn’t have a whole lot going for it.)

Today began with a tough hour on the AMT machine.  I worked my way from L10 to L15, alternating between 30 seconds easy and 30 seconds hard for five rounds (with an easy minute of L5 between rounds).  The time seems to go by much quicker if I create a “workout” instead of just ho-humming it.  This workout was a good one.  I actually started on the indoor track before moving to the AMT and limped out three laps (with a little bit of groin muscle pain) by convincing myself that I’m fine..I just needs to warm up.  When I was warmed up and not fine, I sulked down three flights of stairs to the AMT.  Patience is a virtue I would LOVE to have!

Class-wise, Thursday is my light day: I have AEP (auditory evoked potentials) from 9:30am-10:20am, and then I am scheduled in the office until 12:30pm.  Andrea works with me on Thursdays, so I like the Thursday shift.

I spent the rest of the afternoon getting groceries (I found a recipe for Crock Pot Chicken Taco Chili that I’m going to try next week), doing laundry (two weeks worth!), and studying.  I am slowly plowing through the AEP reading (…from last week.  Don’t judge, it’s a long and boring hefty three chapters.)  I also reorganized my Medical Audiology notes.  Ryan and I skipped our Thursday night Life Group (Bible study/church group) in favor of homework, but hopefully I’ll still see him later tonight.

In honor of the last few hours of January, here’s an update on my NYRs (New Years Resolutions):

  • LessPop2013: This is going very well!  I’ve gone from 7+ pops a week to 1!  The only pop I’ve had so far this semester is two Coke Zeros from the vending machine and one cup (refilled probably four times) from a 2-liter of Diet Sierra Mist
  • Guitar2013: Have I mentioned this one yet?  My goal was to play guitar for at least 15 minutes every day.  I have not touched my guitar in…three weeks?
  • Bible2013: I’m reading one of those “One Year” Bibles, where the Bible is divided into 365 daily readings, and I am ON TRACK!
  • Sleep2013 (objective= more sleep): Meh..

Jan 29

Creative title, huh?

I am sitting in the audiology grad room with Lauren, Andrea, and Bre (my three classmates), and we are all waiting for a meeting at 5:30.  One of the second years is in here too, with two of her students (she is a teaching assistant, or TA, for an undergrad acoustics class).  One of the students brought her BABY!  BABY IN THE ROOM!  Making cute baby noises!

Today has been pretty slow-moving: I worked in the office all morning (sending out hearing aid repairs, checking in new hearing aids, doing paperwork, etc), and then we had our Hearing Aids class.  We practiced ear impressions again today, and Andrea and I each flew through two impressions.  We’re not ready to do them on real patients (we need to pass a “test” first), but we’re getting more comfortable doing them.

Confession: I bought a pity pop (Coke Zero) because it is raining and I don’t want to go to the meeting.

Fitness recap:
Yesterday during my run + strength routine, I felt a sharp pain in the inner thigh muscle on the left side when I ran or lunged.  I specifically remember not stretching before the workout (simply because I didn’t feel like it), so my laziness is partially to blame, I’m sure.  Instead of running today, I spent an hour on the AMT followed by 5 minutes of ab exercises.  I hate ab work, but I have this great new plan to do ab moves in small chunks, more often.  Yesterday’s sore muscle didn’t bother me at all today, thankfully, and tomorrow will be a complete rest day (Restday Wednesday).

Wednesdays are always long days: I open the clinic at 8am, work until class, go to class (2 hours of Pediatric Aural Rehab), shovel lunch in 20 minutes, and then be in clinic for 3-4 hours.  After clinic, I stay to put my charts together and write chart notes and assessment reports.

Snack Attack

Today was an “endless pit” kind of day.  I had peanut butter and banana oatmeal and a fruit roll-up for breakfast at 8:30am, and a burrito, pear, and apple for lunch at noon.  …Then I had a rice crispy treat.  …Then I had a protein bar.  …Then I had another apple.  …Then I had a handful of cherry tomatoes.  …Then I had cantaloupe and strawberries…Then I had a bowl of ice cream.  …Then it was finally 5:00pm, which I decided was an acceptable dinner time.  Egg medley on toast with a side of carrots & hummus!   …Then I had hot chocolate.  I am not quite sure why my stomach was screaming all day, but stomach gets what stomach wants.

My workout plan this morning was a variation run + strength (a tiny bit of running paired with lunges, push ups, squats, etc) on the indoor track.  After running 1 mile and completing my first strength set, I felt a sharp pain in the groin/inner leg muscle on the left side with lunges or running.  NooOOooo.  I cut out the lunges and running and stuck with push-ups, squats, tri-dips, and ab work for the rest of the hour.  Thanks to my curse of too much motivation, I will probably take a[nother] short break from running or lunges.

I was a little bummed by the setback, but the 50 degree weather (!!!) cheered me right on up.  I spent the day in class: Auditory Evoked Potentials (1 hour), Pediatric Aural Rehab (2 hours), and Medical Audiology (3 hours), with an hour of work in the audiology office squeezed in.  When I got back to my apartment, I planted myself at the kitchen table with my chunky Hearing Aids book (and got up every ten minutes for a snack, as outlined above), which is where I plan on spending the rest of my evening.  Awesome!

ABR round 2

Sunday!  I started my day with a steaming bowl of peanut butter and banana oatmeal in Ryan’s car on the way to church.  (This is how every Sunday starts.  For some reason, I never have time to eat that oatmeal before 8:45.)

I reviewed my AEP notes after church for tomorrow’s quiz and then went out for a run before the weather turned ugly.  It was dreary and gloomy out all day, but the forecast called for late afternoon sleet.  I ran on the trail behind my apartment and went a little over 7.5 miles at an easy pace.  It felt okay.  My legs were a little tired from yesterday, but nothing hurt.  When I got back, I figured out my pace to be a little under 8:30, which was about the same as yesterday’s 13 miles on the indoor track.  It felt a lot harder on the indoor track…

Ryan so generously offered to be my second ABR test subject, so we went to the lab mid-afternoon.  What a guy!

He has four electrodes attached to him: two on his forehead and one behind each ear.  His job was to relax/sleep in a small, dark, soundproof booth while I monitored his brain wave responses to click sounds.  He did a superb job and fell asleep twice.

After testing, I spent the rest of the afternoon studying in the student center with Starbucks!

I feel like I crossed a decent amount off the school “To-Do” list, and I made time for fun, too.
Weekend highlights:
-Chatting with Ryan, Andrea, & Alex after our dinner and movie date.  We sat at a table in the student center (with free coffee samples from Starbucks) and talked.
-Dinner deal with Ryan on Saturday: We went to the grocery store with the following rules: Each person must pick out 2 veggies, 1 fruit, and 1 surprise item.  We split up.
My items: sweet potatoes, spaghetti squash, mango, ice cream.
Ryan’s items: sweet potatoes, lettuce, mango, ice cream.
WHOA.  I traded in my mango for a cantaloupe, and we picked out bread and shrimp to round out the smorgasbord (definitely googled how to spell that) meal.  It was delicious!

Here’s the spaghetti squash (with sauce and shrimp), some mango, and the “Aladdin” bread.  Yum!  Please note that Ryan ate a peanut butter and banana sandwich on half of the Aladdin loaf after finishing his meal.  I guess that’s what happens when you’re 6’3″ and super active.

Doin work Saturday

Thank you, weekend.  I’m ready for a breather from classes and clinic work, and I need these two solid days to catch up on reading and studying.  We have two quizzes this week, two projects due, and a suffocating amount of reading.  I am heading the library to pluck away the pages (hopefully with more coffee) after I meet Andrea (one of my classmates) to work on our ABR lab.

We learned how to do ABR (Auditory Brainstem Response) testing this week in our Auditory Evoked Potentials (AEP) class, and it’s pretty cool.  You hook your patient up to electrodes and measure brain waves!  Pictures to come, I’m sure.

Last night, Ryan and I went on a double date with Andrea and her husband Alex to Noodles and Co. and a movie–the student center had a free showing of The Perks of Being a Wallflower.  Andrea was the only one of us who had read the book, so she prefaced the plot for Ryan, Alex, and I, and she warned us that it was a little “high-school-drama-y.”  It was, but I really enjoyed it (I think the guys even did too!)

Workout Recap:
I ended up taking two days off this week (Tuesday and Wednesday), so I was back to the grind on Thursday with a run + strength workout on the indoor track:

Run 1 mile
4 x (30 lunges/leg, 20 push ups, 25 bicycle crunches, 20 tri dips, 30 squats, 1 min plank + Run 1 mile)

I was so incredibly sore on Monday and Tuesday after a similar workout on Sunday, but Thursday’s workout didn’t leave me nearly as sore.  I think my body was shocked by Sunday’s lunges (after not doing a lunge in so long), so Thursday’s were okay.

Friday: 6:30am run on the indoor track.  I went a total of 7 miles, keeping an 8:00min pace for the middle miles.  I threw a few sprints in at the end.  Great workout!

Saturday (today): 9:00am run on the indoor track.  I could have run outside, I was totally being a cold-averse baby, but I still got in a good run.  I went 13 miles at an 8:30 average pace.

Look at the Rec center’s cool new toy:
An adult jungle gym!!

Off to do work.

Sore Muscles and Ear Impressions

And I quote: “…my muscles were ready to be sore.”  I am currently eating my words.

Sunday’s run + strength workout was followed by an indoor run on Monday.  With the bitter cold weather, I opted to move my run to the indoor track at the rec center.  Monday was MLK day (no classes), so I started off my day with a surge of productivity: laundry, homework, reading, reading, and more homework before driving to the rec center at 4pm. My legs were a bit sore from Sunday’s lunges, so I warmed up with a leisurely mile around the indoor track and for some reason felt awesome.  I ran three more at an unexpected tempo pace (8:00, 7:45, 7:28) before cooling down with a 5th mile.  I finished up the hour on the AMT and pushed it kind of hard because I was pumped up from my run.

For the rest of the evening, my legs were dead tired.  I decided to skip my workout the next morning (Tuesday) in anticipation of being sore.  Honestly, “Tuesday Restday” took a little bit of convincing because I don’t like to have two rest days in a row, and Wednesday is always Restday Wednesday.  Nonetheless, I took today off and waddled around on my sore legs.  Tomorrow will either be the third installation of Restday Wednesday, or I’ll try to squeeze in something easy after clinic (90% sure it will be the former).

Here’s a look into my hearing aids class today:IMAG0142

The four of us made our first ear impressions!  The pink blob in the baggie is an ear impression, which is what the clinic sends to a manufacturer if a patient needs custom hearing aids, an earmold, or custom earplugs.  Custom hearing aids sit inside of the ear and are classified further by size: ITE (in-the-ear), ITC (in-the-canal), and CIC (completely-in-the-canal).  BTE (behind-the-ear) hearing aids stay behind the ear, but the sound travels through an earmold located in the ear.

Since all ears are different, ear impressions need to be taken to make the perfect fit for each patient.  To take an ear impression, the audiologist inserts an “oto block” or small piece of foam/cotton on a string deep into the ear canal and then fills the ear canal with a putty via syringe.  It is one of the most invasive procedures done by audiologists, so we were all a little apprehensive to begin.  Thankfully, everything went well.

Run Success and Fun Food

I am happy to announce that my injury seems to have made a miraculous recovery.  I felt fine after yesterday’s run, and I am so thankful for that!  I find it odd that I was in pain for three straight weeks, but then it disappeared almost overnight.  I will have to make sure to ease back into hard workouts.
I was able to run again today, and I incorporated some strength to the workout.  I welcomed the lunges and push ups with open arms…my muscles were ready to be sore.

4 x (Run 1 mile, 30 walking lunges/leg, 20 push ups, 25 bicycle crunches, 20 tri dips, 1 minute plank)
It took about an hour to do.

Here are three food pictures to make this post more fun.

Ryan and I had fun making chocolate caramel covered pretzels last night.  He got creative and made chocolate caramel covered Twix–in other words, double chocolate double caramel Twix! (pictured on the chocolate covered spatula).

This was the main part of my dinner tonight.  It’s my “go to” meal, which I affectionately call Egg Medley (the name sounds disgusting to match its looks, but it is delicious and healthy!)  Egg Medley has many variations–this is frozen peppers, frozen spinach, shredded carrot, and two eggs over bread/toast with feta).  Note that I am eating this on my lap while watching Cinderella on ABC Family studying.


While I enjoyed Egg Medley, my roommate Lauren made these fantastic biscuits!  She shared, and they are awesome!