amanda_lodden: (all the things - real)
[This should rightfully have been posted yesterday. Ah well.]

Last week, my doctor gave me amphetamines. Officially, they are to help kick-start weight-loss, because my back and my knees and my ankle and my diabetes would all be much better if I lost weight, but three of the four actively prevent me from doing a lot about it.

Unofficially, this week with drugs has made it clear to me that it's not just laziness or mild depression keeping me down (though those are both still definitely factors). The round of lab tests that came with the new prescription included a thyroid test, and I wouldn't be surprised to discover that there's a problem. This week is the first week in a loooooong time that I've truly felt like a human being. I hadn't noticed the downward spiral as it was happening, but the contrast with now makes it obvious.

Is it working? On the official front, I'm down two pounds. For a week that included Thanksgiving and a birthday party, that's pretty good. On the unofficial front, this week was the first time in roughly 5 years that I crossed more things off the List of Tasks That Must Be Done than I put onto it. I'll reiterate: that includes two days that involved social obligations instead of Getting Stuff Done.

The amphetamines do not provide motivation, so there's still plenty of sitting in front of my computer playing games. They also don't include magical back-healing properties, so it's ridiculously easy for me to overdo it. As long as I keep the games in balance with getting-up-and-moving-around tasks, I'm good. It's only when I spend 6 hours all at once at the computer and then get up and try to do 6 hours of activity that it all goes to shit.
amanda_lodden: (all the things - real)
[This should rightfully have been posted yesterday. Ah well.]

Last week, my doctor gave me amphetamines. Officially, they are to help kick-start weight-loss, because my back and my knees and my ankle and my diabetes would all be much better if I lost weight, but three of the four actively prevent me from doing a lot about it.

Unofficially, this week with drugs has made it clear to me that it's not just laziness or mild depression keeping me down (though those are both still definitely factors). The round of lab tests that came with the new prescription included a thyroid test, and I wouldn't be surprised to discover that there's a problem. This week is the first week in a loooooong time that I've truly felt like a human being. I hadn't noticed the downward spiral as it was happening, but the contrast with now makes it obvious.

Is it working? On the official front, I'm down two pounds. For a week that included Thanksgiving and a birthday party, that's pretty good. On the unofficial front, this week was the first time in roughly 5 years that I crossed more things off the List of Tasks That Must Be Done than I put onto it. I'll reiterate: that includes two days that involved social obligations instead of Getting Stuff Done.

The amphetamines do not provide motivation, so there's still plenty of sitting in front of my computer playing games. They also don't include magical back-healing properties, so it's ridiculously easy for me to overdo it. As long as I keep the games in balance with getting-up-and-moving-around tasks, I'm good. It's only when I spend 6 hours all at once at the computer and then get up and try to do 6 hours of activity that it all goes to shit.
amanda_lodden: (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] sandygood expressed surprise in her responses to the question meme (you DID answer it, didn't you?) about my having a tattoo.

I had wanted a tatto for many, many years. Early on, the idea of pain was enough to stop me, and by the time I grew up enough to consider it for real, I was already donating blood regularly. You can't donate blood for a year after getting a tattoo, and when I weighed a piece of decorative frippery against several people's lives, the tattoo always came up short.

But a couple years ago John and I took our first real vacation in... um, ever. We went on a Caribbean cruise with a group of friends. It was tons of fun (enough that we went again two years later, and have a third cruise planned in February of 2009), but when we got back, the Red Cross informed me that one of the stops on the cruise was a malaria risk, and that I couldn't donate blood for a year. I walked out of the donation center knowing I was going to get a tattoo.

I did wait about 10 days, mostly to make sure that I really wanted the tattoo. I spent the time researching tattoos and local tattoo parlors. I talked to friends with tattoos and piercings, asking about where they got them and whether they liked the place. I looked up newspaper reviews of local parlors. I researched what to look for (an autoclave machine is a big plus; if your tattoo artist doesn't take his equipment out of sealed packages, you should leave), and how to minimize the pain involved (avoid bony areas; ankles and wrists tend to hurt more than large muscles, because the vibrations resonate through the bone). And I thought long and hard about exactly what I wanted and where.

"Where" was pretty easy. My job is pretty informal-attire right now (actual dress code, as stated in the employee manual: "Employees are expected to show up dressed"), but it's been known to change drastically on short notice, so I wanted something that could be covered by normal business or formal attire. I also wanted the option of showing the tattoo easily without compromising too much modesty. Couple that with the knowledge that tattoos on large muscles hurt less, and the shoulder seemed like the obvious place.

"What" was another matter entirely. I knew what I didn't want-- tattoos are forever, so I didn't want anything from pop culture. 50 years from now, I didn't want to have to explain to my grandchildren who that cartoon character was. I also wanted something tasteful, so as to not have to explain to those mythical grandchildren why that cartoon character wasn't wearing any clothes (which is a pity, because I rather liked the picture of Smurfette naked, from behind, looking over her shoulder with a come-hither look. But the Smurfs are old enough that I'd have to explain who they are to my already-existing niece and nephew, never mind the mythical grandchildren). Names were also out-- I know my own well enough to not need an inked-on reminder, and putting someone else's name on your body is THE biggest reason to have a tattoo removed later. And it had to have some meaning to me-- no random characters in an asian language that I do not speak, no boring flowers or butterflies, and no tribal symbols that I do not understand the subtle nuances of.

After a week of debating about what to get, I eventually decided to go to the parlor I had picked and see what they had up on the walls and such. I flipped through a dozen books and posters on the wall. There was one I really liked, of a dragon picking its teeth with a knight's lance, but it was absolutely huge, and shrinking it down to the size I was going for would have lost so much detail that it wouldn't have been funny anymore. So instead, I got:



a tattoo of two dolphins circling the Earth. It's about 2 inches in diameter, on my left shoulder. It covers one of my core beliefs, that everything and everyone is interconnected, and it uses a water theme (I've always been drawn to water). I've had it for a little over two years, and I'm quite pleased with it.
amanda_lodden: (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] sandygood expressed surprise in her responses to the question meme (you DID answer it, didn't you?) about my having a tattoo.

I had wanted a tatto for many, many years. Early on, the idea of pain was enough to stop me, and by the time I grew up enough to consider it for real, I was already donating blood regularly. You can't donate blood for a year after getting a tattoo, and when I weighed a piece of decorative frippery against several people's lives, the tattoo always came up short.

But a couple years ago John and I took our first real vacation in... um, ever. We went on a Caribbean cruise with a group of friends. It was tons of fun (enough that we went again two years later, and have a third cruise planned in February of 2009), but when we got back, the Red Cross informed me that one of the stops on the cruise was a malaria risk, and that I couldn't donate blood for a year. I walked out of the donation center knowing I was going to get a tattoo.

I did wait about 10 days, mostly to make sure that I really wanted the tattoo. I spent the time researching tattoos and local tattoo parlors. I talked to friends with tattoos and piercings, asking about where they got them and whether they liked the place. I looked up newspaper reviews of local parlors. I researched what to look for (an autoclave machine is a big plus; if your tattoo artist doesn't take his equipment out of sealed packages, you should leave), and how to minimize the pain involved (avoid bony areas; ankles and wrists tend to hurt more than large muscles, because the vibrations resonate through the bone). And I thought long and hard about exactly what I wanted and where.

"Where" was pretty easy. My job is pretty informal-attire right now (actual dress code, as stated in the employee manual: "Employees are expected to show up dressed"), but it's been known to change drastically on short notice, so I wanted something that could be covered by normal business or formal attire. I also wanted the option of showing the tattoo easily without compromising too much modesty. Couple that with the knowledge that tattoos on large muscles hurt less, and the shoulder seemed like the obvious place.

"What" was another matter entirely. I knew what I didn't want-- tattoos are forever, so I didn't want anything from pop culture. 50 years from now, I didn't want to have to explain to my grandchildren who that cartoon character was. I also wanted something tasteful, so as to not have to explain to those mythical grandchildren why that cartoon character wasn't wearing any clothes (which is a pity, because I rather liked the picture of Smurfette naked, from behind, looking over her shoulder with a come-hither look. But the Smurfs are old enough that I'd have to explain who they are to my already-existing niece and nephew, never mind the mythical grandchildren). Names were also out-- I know my own well enough to not need an inked-on reminder, and putting someone else's name on your body is THE biggest reason to have a tattoo removed later. And it had to have some meaning to me-- no random characters in an asian language that I do not speak, no boring flowers or butterflies, and no tribal symbols that I do not understand the subtle nuances of.

After a week of debating about what to get, I eventually decided to go to the parlor I had picked and see what they had up on the walls and such. I flipped through a dozen books and posters on the wall. There was one I really liked, of a dragon picking its teeth with a knight's lance, but it was absolutely huge, and shrinking it down to the size I was going for would have lost so much detail that it wouldn't have been funny anymore. So instead, I got:



a tattoo of two dolphins circling the Earth. It's about 2 inches in diameter, on my left shoulder. It covers one of my core beliefs, that everything and everyone is interconnected, and it uses a water theme (I've always been drawn to water). I've had it for a little over two years, and I'm quite pleased with it.

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