Jan 18, 2008

Let The Jokes Begin

Well, today was an interesting end to a good start. I started school on Tuesday. I’m so stoked, my last semester of school. The semester just started and I’m already excited about graduating. I even have a cap and gown already. My mom’s friend Tribbie is letting me borrow her cap and gown from her master’s graduation at A&M this past December. All I have to do is buy a tassel. I tried it on Tuesday night and it’s perfect. That will save me some money. Thanks Trib. We know the graduation will be either May 9th or May 10th. Once the university goes through all the graduation applications they receive by the end of this month, they will know how many students are graduating from each department of each college and will create a schedule to make it all fit into four ceremonies, two on each day.

As for school, my class, Introduction to Biblical Archaeology, so far has been interesting. I’m not as impressed with the professor as I hoped to be. He doesn’t use any of the available resources or technology the university has created to make his life or the students’ life easier, except for electronic course reserves at the library. Those are old hat if you ask me. The class is packed and you have to be in the room at least 15 minutes before to get a decent seat. You know I like to sit in the front and so far I’ve had to sit about half way up. It’s hard to hear him even with a lapel microphone. I’m going to have to start getting there earlier. Even though we got the “this isn’t a Bible study” lecture the first day of class, he mentions specific scripture and stories from the Bible often. He’s even mentioned Jesus a few times. So for me, it is a Bible study because I’m learning things about the Bible I didn’t know previously. For the next four weeks, we are covering the introduction to Biblical archaeology before we get to specific times periods. We will cover 10,000-8,500 BC to the first century AD. So far we’ve been given a 45 page reading assignment. But of course, the textbook for the class isn’t in the bookstore yet, so the prof (actually his teaching assistant) had to scan the pages in for us and post them on the library electronic course reserves. I don’t think it will be in when the bookstore says, (not surprised) so I ordered mine from Amazon.com (saved $7) and it is already on its way to me. I bet I get my book before the bookstore gets them in.

As for swimming, Thursday was my first day to actually swim. It was great. Everything came back to me, breathing, head placement, arm and leg movement, torso twisting, a few strokes. But I’ve decided to take a stroke clinic or two depending on the cost so I can get further instruction and correction. I was tempted to attempt a flip turn on Thursday, but decided to wait a few weeks. I did a workout I found online. It’s part of an eight week program, but I plan to spread it out since it’s been two and a half years since I’ve swam regularly. The pool was set up for 25 meter lanes. I swam for a total of 45 minutes to one hour with a short 15 minute break in between for a fire drill that required the entire rec center to be evacuated. Turns out workers in one area of the rec center smelled gas so the staff decided to be better safe than sorry. I can appreciate that since I was in an area closer to the boilers and natural gas and heat don’t mix well. It was disturbing to my workout and the cold outside didn’t help. We weren’t allowed to go into the locker rooms to grab more clothes or anything, just evacuate.

So there we were soaking wet only in bathing suits and they are telling us we have to go outside where it is 41 degrees. Yeah, we were happy about that. I had one towel already and they gave us as many towels as we needed plus these huge insulated parkas the swim team uses. I was happy to see those. They helped a lot but it was still cold. We finally went back in and I resumed my workout with a short warm-up. I wish I had some kind of abacus or counting frame to keep up with my laps. I swam about 200 meters before we had to evacuate. That was a 9 minute warm-up and the start of a 9 minute skill refresher. Then I did a 22 minute main set plus a 5 minute cool down. I think in total I swam 700 meters which is about 0.44 of a mile, almost half a mile. Not bad for my first swim in two and a half years. I was starving after that and my legs were slow. My right hip hurt a little also, but I have been doing some yoga hip openers to help with that. I’ll be doing yoga everyday to combat the pain I’ll feel from all this swimming. The time of day I swim isn’t busy at all. I plan to continue swimming at that time. It also gets me in a locker room shower before a swimming conditioning kinesiology class gets out filling up the locker room.

As for the title of this post, two weeks ago I started having pain in my left lower jaw. It has progressively gotten worse, but slowly. I have no idea what I did to my jaw. (Here’s where the jokes begin.) There has not been any popping, grinding, ear pain or headache, just pain near the joint when I chew (more jokes), but not any when I talk (even more jokes). Around Tuesday of this week it actually started getting a little stiff and was tough for me to open. So on Wednesday night I decided I better go to the doctor before it gets worse and I can’t open my mouth at all. (Insert more jokes here.) How would I eat? I’d starve! I did some research online about jaw pain because I wasn’t sure if I should go to the dentist or my PCM. The census online was to go to a TMJ specialist, but I am not comfortable with my dentist at all and on Thursday morning I made an appointment with my PCM. By Thursday evening, thank goodness after dinner, the pain started moving up the side of my face and giving me a headache. I did not feel well. I had previously tried Tylenol and Advil but neither helped. At my appointment, my doctor examined the area externally and internally (which wasn't pleasant) and decided to send me for x-rays. She also gave me prescriptions for a muscle relaxer and Tylenol 3 with codeine. I went straight to the lab for the x-rays hoping they’d be able to get the results to her the same day. After a 30 minute wait in the lobby and ten x-rays in different positions, I was informed the results wouldn’t get to her until Monday. So I have to wait to see what’s going on.

I turned in my prescriptions and ran all the rest of my errands before picking them up to go home and take them. I was planning to work when I got home, but that was before I found out I was going to be prescribed those meds. I wanted to get them in my system as soon as possible. I ate a small meal as to not have an empty stomach then took a half pill of the muscle relaxer and one Tylenol 3 with codeine as the pharmacist recommended. I waited a while and felt nothing. So I took the other half of the muscle relaxer and that helped. I was actually able to chew with no pain. I started to feel a little woozy when I stood up from the Tylenol 3 with codeine and decided I better stay down for a while and that I didn't need the second one yet. I think it has worn off a little, hence being able to blog, but I can’t take anymore for a bit. Darn.

My plan for tomorrow was to go for a long walk in the late morning as it warmed up to 52 degrees and cut plywood for the attic in the early afternoon. I’m not sure how I will feel tomorrow when I wake up, but I can’t drive or operate machinery on either medication. So I have two options, go with the pain until after I do those two things or take the meds and not do anything at all. I probably shouldn’t go for too long of a walk on muscle relaxers and Tylenol 3 with codeine. I wonder if I could walk at all. I was really hoping to be done with one side of the attic this weekend. Oh well, they say when you own a home you never run out of things to do. So putting that off a little longer won’t make a big difference. It will also give me time to hit my family up for help. :)
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