Not To Be Trusted With Knives

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#ExtrovertProblems

Those of you who know me in person are probably painfully aware that I am an extreme extrovert. So self-isolation and social distancing are quite a challenge for a social butterfly such as myself. But since lives are literally on the line, I am taking the advice of experts who say to stay the hell away from everyone.

It’s so weird that the best thing we can do from society is literally nothing. Stay at home. So hard to feel like you are doing something important when you feel like you are doing nothing. And yet here we are!

So many things are weird right now. So many things that would be good to do in normal times are the worst things to do now. Like taking public transit instead of cars. Or helping an elderly person cross a street. Or going to the gym. Or visiting a friend or family member who is in the hospital or a long-term care home. Or giving people hugs! The world is topsy turvy.


I’m extremely fortunate that all of my jobs can be done from home. My entire office was put on work-from-home indefinitely starting last Monday. The one face-to-face course that I am teaching this semester was moved to online this past week as well, and my other course was already an online course. I’m developing two other online courses and all of that work can be done from home, so, like I said, I’m very lucky when it comes to work.

In working from home full time for the last week, I’ve noticed that I really miss the little conversations I got to have with my colleagues. Whether it was coming up with a plan to get our work accomplished, or chatting about how our weekends were, or how our families were doing, or sharing recipes for the baked goods that someone brought in to share1, or talking about upcoming vacation plans2 – I always knew that I loved conversations with my colleagues. But I never realized how much I needed them.


In the interest of socializing, I’m making an effort every day to reach out to one or two people I haven’t talked to in awhile to see how they are doing. While we aren’t able to go out for a coffee or go see a movie or anything like that, phone calls, texts, Twitter conversations, and Google Hangouts/Skype/Zoom/FaceTime video call are my lifeline right now. It’s a silver lining that I’m connecting with people I haven’t connected with in a while3.


I also saw on Twitter that some researchers at UBC are doing research on how people are coping with the COVID-19 outbreak ( https://blogs.ubc.ca/coronavirus/ ). So I took their survey and then I signed up for their other study, in which you fill out a morning and evening survey for a week. I think it will be fascinating to see the results of this study, as this situation really is unprecedented and is putting stress on people in so many different ways: worry for ourselves and our loved ones, worry about jobs and being able to pay bills, worry if our healthcare system will collapse under the avalanche of patients that are coming their way, and just the stress that comes from dealing with so much uncertainty (just to name a few).


As I settle into this new way of life that I suspect will be a few months4, I’m trying to do my best to take care of myself, go one step at a time, and make connections with those I care about.

If anyone is up for a call or video chat, hit me up!

  1. Omg, remember the days when you could share food with each other? []
  2. Omg, remember when you used to be able to travel to places?? []
  3. In addition to being an extrovert, I’m also an optimist! []
  4. Oh please, let it only be a few months! []

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Pandemic at the Disco

Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2

I don’t usually write about anything serious here on ye ole blog, but omg, the COVID-19 pandemic is like nothing else I’ve ever seen. SARS, H1N1 – they were nothing like the level of response and the level of people’s attention that’s happening with COVID-19. It’s all anyone is talking about – among friends, in the office, and the news on it is changing so rapidly that it makes your head spin.

Every time you turn around, there’s a new major development. The NBA has suspended its season. The NHL soon followed suit. Universities are telling their students to pack up and leave. Large gatherings of people are cancelled and recommendations are made to not travel outside of Canada. The Prime Minister’s wife tests positive for novel coronavirus. Cities under lockdown. Countries under lockdown.


My friend Cath and I were supposed to go to a show tonight. In the early afternoon a tweet said the show was a go. A few hours later, the recommendation was made by the provincial health officer that gatherings of more than 250 people or more should be cancelled, and so it was cancelled.


I’ve legit started doing the elbow bump with people in the place of handshakes. Like, two days ago I had two meetings in a row where me and the other person instinctively stuck out our hands to do a handshake and then, half way to the shake, we both froze and said “oh, we better not”. Today I had a meeting and me and the other person both looked at each other and said “Elbow bump?” and then we did it. Later another colleague told me some tough news and I said “Can I give you a hug?” and they said, “I still have a bit of a sore throat and I don’t want to pass it to you.” So we did an elbow bump. When Cath and I met up, we did an elbow bump and then the waitress complemented us on our elbow bumping, so we gave her elbow bumps too. Life is really weird in 2020.


I know this blog posting is really scattered, but I feel like the whole world is a mixed up, topsy turvy, scattered mess right now, and all I can think to do is getting my scattered thoughts out onto the page.


I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that I think the best thing we can right now is listen to the experts. There are public health professionals whose job is to know how to respond to things like pandemics. They are experts on the science of tracking diseases and responding to the emerging situation in a way that gives us the best chance to protect the population. Want information on the pandemic and what to do about? Go to trustworthy sources, like the BCCDC and the WHO. Don’t believe random stuff you see posted on Facebook and Twitter. There’s a lot of misinformation out there and there are lots of unethical people who are trying to profit off of people’s fears. Listen to the experts.

Which reminds me – I saw this on Twitter the other day and thought it was pretty great:

Also pretty great is Dr. Bonnie Henry, BC’s provincial health officer. She keeps the public informed with facts in a rational, calm, and human way, which is pretty freaking amazing when you consider that this situation is rapidly evolving, so there is a constant need to respond to new and unexpected things. So co-wrote Canada’s Pandemic Plan and has been on the front line fighting H1N1, SARS, and Ebola and honestly, BC is really luck to have her leading us in this really difficult time.

While Googling Dr. Henry just now to add a link to the paragraph above, I learned that she wrote a book all “Soap and Water and Common Sense.” Which brings me to something I’ve been thinking about in the past few weeks as people have been arguing about whether we are overreacting to COVID-19. The main messages we’ve been getting from the very beginning is wash your hands properly, cough/sneeze into your arm1, and stay home if you are sick. This is something that public health professionals have been saying for years! Even if the COVID-19 pandemic had not happened, we all should be washing our hands properly, coughing/sneezing into our arms, and staying home when we are sick. It helps prevents colds and flus and other random pathogens from being passed around.

I’ve been working in the healthcare sector for over a decade – and I spent five of those years working in Public Health specifically. So perhaps I’ve lived in a bit of a hand hygiene bubble, where my office spaces have always been replete with hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes. And where how to properly wash your hands is actually training that we get.

I’ve also seen first hand the incredible and tireless work of epidemiologists and public health nurses and medical health officers and a whole host of others during an outbreak, though what I saw was on a vastly smaller scale than this. I can’t even imagine the amount of effort and the toll it takes on public health professionals all around the world dealing with this crisis.

And then there are those who work in long-term care facilities and in acute care. Long-term care facilities are seeing outbreaks among the people most vulnerable to the virus. These facilities are often understaffed to begin with, but now we are talking about having even less staff – with some staff being quarantined – and having to care for sick and vulnerable people. I can’t imagine how hard it is. Acute care also faces hardship, especially in places where there are large numbers of cases. In Italy they literally do not have enough ICU beds and ventilators to treat everyone who needs intensive care, so healthcare staff have to choose which patients get treatment and which are left to die. Imagine having to make that decision.

Healthcare professionals are goddamn heroes.


There’s a been a lot of talk (at least among the nerdy science bubble in which I live) about “flattening the curve”. The idea here is to follow public health recommendations (like social distancing and hand hygiene), while public health does their critical work of tracing contacts and tracking the disease and all the other countless things they have been doing since this crisis started, to prevent everyone from overwhelming the acute care system all at the same time. If we spread it out over a longer time, we don’t end up in the situation where those working in the acute care system have to pick who gets to live and who has to die, like is happening in Italy.

To do this, we need adequate resources in public health, and in acute care, and we all need to listen to the advice of the public health experts.

Of course, following the advice of the experts is easier for some people than others. Like pretty much everything, the most vulnerable in society are the ones who are hardest hit by this. They are also the ones who are least likely to be able to follow the advice. For example:

  • Stay home when you are sick. But how do you do that if you don’t have paid sick leave and you can lose your job if you call in sick? And you live paycheque to paycheque, so losing your job means you can’t pay your rent or buy food or buy medicine?
  • Work from home to avoid crowds. That’s fine for many tech workers and office workers who can do that. But what about people whose job physically can’t be done from home? Anyone in the service industry can’t just work from home, for example.
  • Avoid public transit, especially during rush hour, to avoid crowds. Easy enough for someone who has a car that they can drive instead. What about people who are dependent on transit? And those people who can’t work from home, who have to physically be at their jobs to perform them – they probably also can’t just shift their work hours to avoid rush hour.
  • If you have COVID-19 but don’t need to be hospitalized, isolate at home, in a room with no one else. What if you don’t have a home? What if you have a home but it’s not a safe place to be, due to domestic violence or inadequate housing? Where do you go? What if you live with multiple people in an SRO?

I’m not bringing this stuff up to criticize these recommendations – they are evidence-based, they will help flatten the curve and I think that people who can do these things should do these things. I’m more bringing them up to criticize the system in which we live – a system that is set up so that so many members of our community don’t have adequate housing, don’t have access to sick leave, don’t have the ability to save up money to see them through hard times, that live paycheque to paycheque and are just one small incident away from losing a precarious job or home.


Again, apologies that this is super scattered. I needed to dump all these swirling thoughts out of my brain. And apologies that I didn’t actually proofread this either, so there’s probably eleventy thousand typos. I’m too tired to even proofread!

  1. As opposed to your hand, which you will then use to touch stuff, or not covering it at all, which will cause droplets to go everywhere, where someone else might touch them []

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Champagne Gymiversary

Beth at the Gym

Three years ago today I became a weightlifter.

I wasn’t particular good at it at the start- the 20 kg barbell was heavy and awkward for me to lift and my abs were never engaged when they should be and my gluts were lazy. I had to learn all the basic movements. I had to learn how to breathe properly.  To breath! Like, the thing I’ve been doing all day, every day since I was born. But, seriously, there are better ways to breathe and less good ways to breathe. Oh, and often when I would lift a weight I’d forget to breath altogether!

But despite it being the basics, I really enjoyed it. I was learning a lot about how my body works – and how I can make it work better. I saw progress from my efforts and not just in the gym, but in life too. From mundane things (it’s easier to carry groceries) to fun things (my hockey game is better (faster skating, harder shot, better able to fight for the puck with players from the other team (who are always bigger than me)).

I remember when I first signed up at this gym (Strong Side), I signed up for 6 months because it was a cheaper monthly price than if I signed up for 3 months (and I am nothing if not a cheap, cheap woman). And I remember thinking “I wonder if I’ll really make it 6 whole months”. And here it is, 3 whole years later, and I’m still loving it.

I started a new program this week and yesterday I got to try my first Olympic style lift : a push jerk. It’s super awkward because there’s so much that you have to do simultaneously, but it’s a super fun challenge. You basically start with the barbell in front of you, holding it on your collarbones, then you do a little dip down and then as you come up, you lift the bar straight up as you squat down low – essentially, you are trying to duck under the bar. It’s hard to describe, but it looks pretty bad ass when you do it right. I’ll take a video of me doing it once I’ve got the pattern down properly.

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On the seventh day of donating…

The majority of the non-profits I’ve donated to so far have been local. Today, I’m going for a non-profit that provides services around the world: Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF)

Our medical teams act fast to save people’s lives in conflict zones, natural disasters and epidemics. We go where we are needed most.

https://www.doctorswithoutborders.ca/content/about-us

Founded in 1971, MSF provides medical care as an independent, impartial organization. Some of their recent work includes providing services for:

  • the Ebola epidemic in West Africa
  • conflicts in Syria, Yemen, South Sudan, Afghanistan, Myanmar, and Ukraine
  • migrants attempting to reach Europe via the Mediterranean Sea

Goodness knows there’s more than enough conflicts, disasters, and epidemics happening – and they will continue to happen. An organization like MSF provides valuable services to people in dire need.

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My First Powerlifting Competition

So that powerlifting competition that I’ve been talking about? That happened today.

For the competition, you get three attempts. You have to tell the organizers how much you plan to lift for your first attempt and after you do your first attempt, you decide what you want to do for the next one. If you don’t make the first lift, you try that weight again. If you make it, you decide how much weight you want to add for the next try. You can only go up in increments of 2.5 kg and you can’t go down in weight, even if you don’t make the lift.

My previous personal record (PR) was 87.5 kg, which I’d previously lifted for 2 reps, so I decided to start with that because it was a weight that I knew I could get. Then I figured I’d go up to 90 kg, unless 87.5 kg felt really light, and in which case I might try 92.5 kg. And then my stretch goal for the final lift would be 95 kg.

So after what seemed like an eternity of waiting, when I finally got to the platform for the first lift, I lifted 87.kg and it felt light. So I decided to go for 92.5 kg on my second lift. And that felt great too, so many trainer said “That looked easy. How do you feel about going way up? Like 100 kg?” And you only have a minute to submit your number so I was like “OK” – didn’t have time to psych myself out of it. I figured I had 92.5 kg as a new PR, so even if I failed on 100 kg, I still have a new PR, so I’d be happy. But then I did it. I lifted 100 kg (i.e. 220 lbs).

Lifting in front of a crowd like that was a really interesting experience. I started to get nervous for this about a week ago when I learned that a real powerlifting judge was coming. I had just assumed that one of the trainers from the gym would judge, so finding out that it was going to be someone who judges real powerlifting competitions made it seem that much more real. So my nervousness started then and last night I dreamt that I was running a half marathon in Stanley Park that I hadn’t trained for and then I looked at my watch and saw it was 2:00 and I was like “Oh no! I’m supposed to be at my powerlifting competition!!” So the morning started full of nerves, but I had a shower and then I had some coffee and something to eat and then I got dressed and I thought “I want to look good.” I had a friend in undergrad who always showed up for exams with her hair done, make up on, and dressed really nice. And she said something to the effect of “If I’m going to feel terrible, I want to look nice because then I feel better”. And I thought, “If I’m going to feel this nervous, I may as well look nice!” (The angle in that video did me no favours, so I hope you just looked at the weight I was lifting and not my face!).

I was hoping that I’d be able to channel the nervous energy into lifting energy. I learned to channel nerves into performance when I did my drama classes in undergrad and it’s served me well whenever I’ve had to give a presentation or teach a class, so I figured it would work in this situation too.

When they call your name, you have one minute to get to the bar and start your lift, so you have no time to overthink it. I just walked up the bar, took my position, tensed up all the muscles I needed to activate, and lifted. I felt like the world shrunk from these dozens and dozens of people around me to just me, and the bar, and the judge’s hand. The judge is holding his hand in the air and once you do your deadlift, you lock out your knees and your hips and you have to make sure your shoulders are back and once the judge sees you have done of that, they lower their hand to tell you that you can lower the bar. So I heard nothing and I felt like my vision was tunneled to just the judge’s hand, until he held up the white card to indicate my lift was good, and the world came rushing back in and I heard all the cheers from my friends and trainers and gym mates and totally strangers and my heart leapt with joy: “I did it!” I really never could have guessed that I would lift 110 kg today! I was such a thrill!

To top it off, it turns out that I came in second place among the women!

Second place in my first deadlift competition!

The woman who won was absolutely amazing. I hadn’t met her before, as she doesn’t work out at my gym but does work for the non-profit we were raising money for, Purpose Service Society. Her name is Elizabeth (I didn’t catch her last name) and she is so amazingly strong. If memory serves, her final lift was 150 kg. Just so phenomenally strong and she made it look easy! It was a thrill just to get to watch her.

After the competition, there was a party, with delicious food and beer and vendors to shop at. My prize for second place was some cool stuff from Strike Mvmnt, a local company active wear company. I got a new shirt, hat, bag, and water bottle. And then I may have also bought a pair of shoes that feel so freaking good to squat in!

Now, I’ve spent the evening relaxing (with a bit of stretching so I don’t get too stiff) and experiencing my adrenaline crash (headache, dry mouth, and sleepiness) and I’m reflecting on the event. It was such a joy to watch every competitor today. There were 12 women and 12 men and even though not everyone made every lift, honestly it was a major accomplishment for everyone who competed to just to walk up on that platform and try. I’m so honoured to have shared the platform with everyone who competed today. You are all amazing!

Special thanks to the Strong Side New West team for putting this competition together – they work so hard for the gym members and the community they have built is amazing. Today was a special day where the place was packed with people who came to cheer on the athletes, but every day at that gym is a wonderful community of supportive, funny, wonderful people who celebrate in each other’s wins, cheer each other on through the hard days, and who I’m enjoying getting to know more and more as we pick things up and put them back down, week after week.

And special props to all the people who volunteered to make this event happen – the people loading the weights onto the bar for all the lifts really should have won a prize – they had to lift all the weights for 2 hours! And the event couldn’t have happened without scorekeepers and the judge and the people checking in the athletes when they arrived. Every one of them is amazing and I thank you for making this special day happen.

And finally, don’t forget to donate to Purpose Service Society. They do really important work in our community and the money raised at today’s event is just the beginning. Strong Side New West is fundraising for Purpose throughout December and however many dollars we donate, the trainers have to lift that amount of kilograms! So give early, give often!

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Powerlifting!

Weights

Remember that time I joined Strong Side, the best gym ever and became obsessed with lifting heavy weights and then putting them back down? Well, in addition to all the other things I love about this gym (like the super knowledgeable trainers that help me get super strong in a safe way and the wonderfully supportive and fun nature of my fellow Strong Siders), I love that the gym embraces the community and finds ways to give back. They sponsor local community events, they do fundraisers in partnership with other local small business, and they even provide some classes for people in need with a local non-profit.

For the past few years, they’ve done a fundraiser for Purpose Service Society where the trainers have to lift 1 kg for every dollar that Strong Siders donate. Well, this year they decided to take their fundraiser up a notch by hosting their first ever powerlifting competition to raise funds for Purpose! Those who want to compete pay an entry fee and those who want to spectate pay for a ticket, with the proceeds going to Purpose. There will probably also be some donation opportunities on the day of. And I’m sure that my astute readers have figured out where I’m going with this….

Weights

So I’m competing in a powerlifting competition in November. For quite some time I’ve been intrigued by the idea of this type of competition, but I’ve not been in a place where I feel I can dedicate the time to entering a “real” competition. Some of the people at my gym do these – two people just competed at provincials – and I see the amount of time and dedication they put into it, and I know that I am just not in the position to do that right now. But when I heard about this fundraiser competition, I immediately wanted to take part. To me, it’s a low barrier way to try out a competition to see what it’s like. I can do my usual 3 days-a-week at the gym, learn about how competitions work, and compete in the supportive environment of my own gym surrounded by cheering friends! I’m super stoked about the whole thing.

My trainer, Dee, wrote me my first powerlifting training plan. And while the competition will just involve deadlifting, I am going to train all three of the big lifts that are usually done in competition (deadlift, back squat, and bench press) just for fun. My first week of the program involved finding my current 3 rep max (i.e., what’s the most I can lift three times in a row). My 3 rep maxes turned out to be:

  • deadlift: 80 kg (176 lbs)
  • bench press: 45.5 kg (100 lbs)
  • squats: 75 kg (165 lbs)

And now I work through my program for 4 weeks where I lift a given percentage of my max for a bunch of reps, lifting progressively heavier weights for fewer reps each week to make some sweet, sweet gains and see just have far I can get. Or, as my new t-shirt says:

My new tshirt

Given that I’d just starting getting back into the heavy lifts after rehabbing my knee injury, the competition is coming at a perfect time for me. Plus, two of my 2019 goals are to deadlift and squat 90 kg, so this competition will be the perfect opportunity to work towards those goals!

Anyway, long story short, if you see me between now and Nov 30, I’ll probably bore you to tears with talk of powerlifting. And I may also hit you up for a donation, once I figure out what the donation system is going to be (maybe donate $1 for every kg I lift? I’m open to suggestions!)

Bicep

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Thankful for Our Health

Today is Thanksgiving and I am thankful to be able to report that both Watson & Crick got through their dental vet visits last week. Watson needed a premolar extracted and Crick needed a crown amputation on one of her premolars, but they came through their procedures just fine.

Both cats have to take meds, but Crick’s med is once every 24 hours to be put on her food and Watson’s med is every 12 hours to be rubbed into his ear, alternating ears for each administration. So I figured that that was a lot of things to remember and decided to write down a schedule so I’d remember what I needed to given when and when I looked at it I realized that I’d created a cat MAR. I’ve been working in healthcare for too long!

Cat MAR

In other health related news, I came down with zombie eyeball disease again. It started Tuesday night with my left eye feeling sore and itchy – I thought maybe I’d just gotten something in it, but when I woke up on Wednesday morning my eye was glued shut with eyeball secretion! Once I washed out the goop, I could see that my eyeball looked like this:

Zombie eyeball disease 2.0

I also had a wee bit of sore throat but nowhere near as bad as it did last time (that was excruciating!), so my self-diagnosis is that I have regular pink eye rather than excruciating zombie eyeball level pink eye. Or perhaps my eye was just getting dressed up for Halloween early? At any rate, both my eye and my throat are feeling much better and the kitties are being troopers. They are mostly just upset that they aren’t getting their crunchy treats, as they have to eat only soft foods until their one week post-surgery checkup, to give their mouths times to heal. I’ve been giving them these treats that my sister introduced me to last Christmas, which we affectionately refer to as “meat tubes”:

meat tube cat treat

They love the meat tubes, but seem to believe that they should get those in addition to, and not in place of, their beloved crunchy treats. #FirstWorldCatProblems

Crick & Watson know that the treats are in the cupboard right above them
The cats know that the crunchy treats are in the cupboard right above them and are not happy about not getting to have them.

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Half Way Goals Check-In

So, the year is half over. I know that every year I, like most people, marvel at how fast the year is going by, this year it’s way worse than previous years. Like, the year is half over and I haven’t really done anything… and I haven’t even planned stuff.

Anyhoo, I thought that maybe I’d do a check in on how my goals for 2019 are going since the year is half freaking over, but honestly doing this just made me feel like I really have done nothing with the first half of the year! Correction: this has motivated me to get going on my goals!

Anyhoo again, of my 19 goals, I’ve completed a grand total of 1. So yeah, I’m a wee bit behind. But the one that I did complete was monumental:

I TRAPBAR DEADLIFTED 100 KG!

The goal was actually just to deadlift 90 kg, and I did for 2 reps of a 90 kg trapbar deadlift on Jan 13, and then again for 2 reps on Jan 20, and then I did a single rep of 100 kg. For those of you who prefer to think of weight in pounds, that’s 220.5 lbs. Trapbar deadlift is easier than regular deadlift, but it’s still technically a deadlift!

I came close to one of my other weightlifting goals: I back squatted 85 kg on Jan 24, just 5 kg shy of my goal of 90 kg (i.e., 198 lbs).

I have made some progress on a few other goals. For the goal of making 19 new foods and/or beverages that I’ve never made before, I’ve made 5:

So I’m 26% done that goal – behind schedule, but I can definitely catch up.

For the goal of read 20 books, I’ve read 7 (5 of which I’ve already blogged about), and I’m in the process of reading 5 other books right now. So I feel like I’m on my way with this goal, although I wonder if I should focus my reading to get some of these books done, rather than sporadically reading from all 5 of them, just to make myself feel like I’m accomplishing something! I should also try to pick a few shorter books – most of the books I’m currently reading are quite long, which doesn’t help in the feeling-like-I’ve-accomplished-something department.

A number of my things on my list are home improvement-y/organization-y, so I probably should just make a plan to get some of those done, as some are the type of thing I can get done in a weekend here or there.

I haven’t sewn anything and I have a goal to sew 5 things, so I really should decide what I want to sew and get cracking on it. I have a goal of sleeping an average of 7 hours per night and though my Fitbit tracks my sleep for me, I can figure out how to find out what my average since Jan 1 has been. Looking at the graphs by month, I can see that I haven’t hit the 7 hour mark for any single month, so I know I’m not meeting the goal, but I guess I’ll have to download the data to calculate the yearly average myself. I have a goal to write in my journal once a week and I have written 23 entries, so I’m 44% done that goal. And I have a goal to have people over for dinner 5 times, and I’ve only hosted one dinner, so I should do some planning for that (anyone interested in coming over for dinner? Hit me up!)

As for my blogging goal, which was a *very* modest 78 blog postings, as soon as I hit “publish” on this one, I’ll have published 23 for the year (or 29.5%). Perhaps another thing I can spend a bit of time on!

 

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It’s Not Fun to Have a Sprained M-C-L. It’s Not Fun to Have a Sprained M-C-L.

Yes, the title of this blog posting should be sung to the tune of YMCA.

An image of the ligaments of the knee. There are many ligaments that attach the various bones of the upper and lower leg together.On Wednesday night at hockey, I twisted my knee. I’d like to say that it was in some heroic act, like scoring the game winning goal in overtime, but alas it was by running into my own defencewomen in a playoff game that we would ultimately go on to lose, thus being eliminated from the playoffs. I went flying one way and my knee went flying the other way and now I’m pretty sure I have a grade 1 sprain of the medial collateral ligament (MCL). 

As far as knee injuries go, this is one of the better ones to have. If you twist your knee and hear a popping sound and if your knee can’t bear weight after that, you’ve likely damaged your anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and that can require surgery. A torn meniscus, or an actual tear in the MCL or its partner from the other side of the knee, the lateral collateral ligament (LCL), or a tear in the posterior cruciate ligament (PCL), or a fractured patella (a.k.a., knee cap) are all other ways one could injure their knee in worse ways than this.

I happened to already have a massage appointment booked yesterday, and I also talked to one of the trainers at my gym, and both agreed with my self-diagnosis that a grade 1 sprain of the MCL is likely what I have. It’s a A diagram showing muscles in the hip and thigh, including a number of adductor muscles in the inner thigh.stiff knee and some pain on the medial (inside) of the knee, most bothersome when going down stairs (as you load the weight onto the knee in such a way that that ligament bears a lot of your weight). The recommendation for a sprained MCL is to keep the knee moving, but take it easy1. And it should get better in a week or two2. The massage therapist also worked on the muscles around that knee that are working overtime to compensate for the MCL, especially this one muscle in the back of the knee (the popliteus) and my adductor muscles that were insanely tight. So once the knee feels better, adductor stretches are going to be added into my workout warm ups and cool downs for sure!

Image credits:

  1. And to be careful to avoid limping. And since I’m well aware of the dangers of limping around on an injury I am being very deliberate in planting my foot with every step and walking as normally as I can. []
  2. So the silver lining to both of my teams getting knocked out of the playoffs on Wednesday night is that I know have a few weeks off from hockey so that my knee can heal before the start of summer season. []

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On the tenth day of donating…

Today’s charity is another blast from my past: Cystic Fibrosis Canada. Remember that time I played hockey for 10 days straight to raise money for them? Can you believe that it was seven years ago! Seven! So it seems like it’s a good time to remind you about all the good work that CF Canada does.

Source: https://www.cysticfibrosis.ca/

Among other things, CF Canada funds researchers who are working towards finding a cure. Did you know that the gene for CF was discovered by researchers who were funded by CF Canada, in collaboration with the US Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, in 19891. They also advocate for better care for people living with CF, including advocating for newborn CF screening (which is now provided in all provinces except Quebec) and advocating for public coverage of medications for people living with CF2.

CF Canada is working towards a world without cystic fibrosis.

  1. Source: https://www.cysticfibrosis.ca/uploads/An%20Impact%20Story%20ENG.pdf []
  2. Source: https://www.cysticfibrosis.ca/uploads/An%20Impact%20Story%20ENG.pdf []