Monday, August 24, 2015

The fork in the road

I should apologize for using an overused cliche in the post title but I'm not going to. I haven't heard this cliche in ages and works nearly perfectly for this post. 

Life is a road filled with twists and turns as well as numerous hurdles. Life is never filled with only good or bad things even if it seems like it may be. And to make life even more exciting, there is always at least one fork in the road we all encounter. I think I've reached another fork in the road. As I reflect and scrutinize it, everything becomes murkier rather than clearer. 

When I was an undergraduate student a professor asked our class what our ambitions were for in the industry. When it was time for me to share, I confidently said I wanted to gain professional experience prior to teaching public relations in higher education. I wanted to have the same impact on others as the impact my professors had on me. For the professional experience, I was determined to be part of a communications staff for a university. After an internship though, I knew I would be just as happy at a marketing communications agency, if not happier. 

Upon graduation, I enrolled in graduate school. I learned quite a bit in undergrad but I learned so much more in graduate school. The focus on strategy, research, planning and so much more was pure heaven for me. I dreaded graduation because graduate school had become my happy place. I was learning so much book wise but I was also finally starting to learn who I was and accepting that rather than focusing so much on trying to fit in and be accepted. 

Upon graduation off I went to the real world with more ups and downs one could ever imagine. Here and there I toyed with the idea of applying to be an adjunct professor but never took the jump. What was holding me back from being confident to make the jump was I had no experience. I now regret not seeking out a TA position while in graduate school. 

Flash forward to the spring when I returned to the University for my sister's graduation from graduate school. I made time to swing by the CoJMC to say hello to my former professors. It was exciting to see them and catch up with them. I didn't get to see everyone but I saw the three who had the most influence on me. During separate conversations with all three of them they each mentioned how I should return to the University and be an adjunct professor. Two mentioned how I should enroll elsewhere and earn my Ph.D. and then return to the University. I'm not sure if it was just lip service from them but I choose to believe it wasn't. Hearing them all say those things meant the world to me and made me think maybe I'm not a failure and I do have potential. I didn't have much time to absorb and think about what they said in deep thought because shortly later it was time to celebrate my sister's accomplishment. 

This past week while chatting with my parents they mentioned how the local college students were back. I chimed in with how the University had the campus involvement street fair that evening and how I wish I was still a student. They immediately responded I should consider going after my Ph.D. 

And now I'm at a fork in the road. Do I continue to on my current path which feels like it is just going in circles with no advancements? Do I seek out an adjunct position somewhere (a friend mentioned some are online which could be a great way to start)? Do I begin to look at Ph.D. programs for marketing communications? What to do? A part of me feels like I have direction but the other part of me feels completely lost. If anyone knows what the future holds, feel free to let me know. 

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Diabetes pulled a punk-ass move

Despite life being up and down and there being so much unknown, my life has seemed pretty calm. I should have known things were too good to be true. If there were any small voices in my head informing me to be careful, I obviously ignored them because life was calm. Everything was chugging along as it should be. 

Silly me. I should have known better. After 25 years living with diabetes, I should have expected it to pull another punk-ass move. I should have been prepared. And yet on Thursday evening, I suddenly found myself surrounded by two paramedics and five firefighters. 

Life was good on Thursday. I went and got my hair done. It looked flawless. It was -- STRAIGHT! After visiting my hairstylist, I went to the local library to return some books, grab some new books and to use their WiFi to attempt to have a productive afternoon. While working on some projects my sister called and promised to call later in the evening. Eventually I returned home, took care of Rocky and my sister called. The purpose of our phone call was to discuss possible destinations for our family vacation. 

Apparently during the conversation, I stopped making sense. Being the smartypants she is, she texted Mom with concern. Mom (or maybe it was Dad) called the local hospital who dispatched the ambulance to my home to rescue me. 

According to my rescue squad, my blood sugar was 35 when they got to me but most likely had been lower prior. Yikes! I don't remember them coming into my house. My understanding is I fell when I went to let them in the house preventing me from letting them in. As they were about to break down my front doors, my wonderful neighbors across the street ran over with the garage door code for the rescuers to use. 

Going back to my fall, my butt is bruised and days later still hurts like you would not believe. I don't think I've whined enough but others think I've whined too much. I also somehow jammed a finger on my left hand. 

My sister later said I told her I had no juice in my house when she tried to get me to drink some. I find this hilarious since I have close to 30 Juicy Juice juice boxes for low blood sugars. 

My rescue team was wonderful. Since my memory was quite fuzzy and I don't recall probably a good 30-60 minutes, they shared the following insights:
  • I adamantly was opposed to the protein drink they tried numerous times to get me to drink before they saw the juice boxes on the counter; 
  • I was far too delighted to drink the juice boxes (if you are wondering, I had the fruit punch flavor); 
  • When one of them tried to spell my name out loud, my feistiness appeared and I loudly informed them it is "in" not "en"; and 
  • Despite being out of it and low enough for someone not in the know to assume I was drunk, my wit was still quite impressive. 
They also thanked me for being fully dressed and all thought Rocky was beyond adorable. Obviously. As I was coming to, Rocky was silent so I had no idea where he was and no idea how the rescue team got into my house. I went into a complete panic and began to babble about where Rocky was. The paramedics assured me if he had escaped the front door, one of my rescuers would have chased after him. Rocky was still on the sofa. I love how he has still not figured out how to jump down from it. Despite rarely, if ever barking, he was barking as if there was no tomorrow. A small part of me wanted to tell him to shut up. 

My rescue team inspected my kitchen to make sure I had appropriate food for a well-balanced dinner and mentioned they were impressed with what I had. Gold star for me. The firefighter lieutenant made me a peanut butter sandwich to eat while they were there. Good lord! So much peanut butter. There was like half the jar on the sandwich. Don't tell them but I was only able to eat half of it the entire night. When I looked at it before bed, I noticed he had used two buns, one for each side of the sandwich instead of putting the peanut butter between each side of one bun. He needs to relearn how to make sandwiches or learn about the "thin buns."

So, diabetes decided to pull a punk-ass move and rear its ugly head out of nowhere. I survived but am annoyed because this one caught me completely off guard. The thing is, no matter how on top of diabetes you are, diabetes can pull this type of move and wipe you out on your butt (literally in my case). I still have no clue what caused this dramatic low as my blood sugars were on point all day, I correctly counted my carbs for all my meals and wasn't stressing over anything. 

What I'm most upset about this is I had gone 25 months without having an ambulance visit me. Hopefully I can make it much longer on this round.