Thursday, 04.10.2014 - 10:11 pm.
Today I donated blood, for the second and possibly last time of my life. The first time, around 2012, I threw up and fainted in a mall after doing the deed (and people stared at me thinking I was drunk). Andrew and I figured I (he said "we") hadn't been careful enough, taking care of myself afterwards.
So I went today again, there was a blood drive at the university. I ate a chocolate bar (so good!) before and everything went well. Until I started to faint again, while I was resting. The nurses were extremely careful with the resting period for every donor, it's just that my body didn't take it well at all. I felt better soon, then fainted again and when I came back to my senses seconds later, I threw up. The nurses, I can't stress this enough: they are so underrated. Bless their hearts for looking after me.
A friend of ours drove us home (we live 10 minutes away walking from the university, and it's right across the street from our apartment building). I came home and spent the rest of the day in the couch, with cold hands and a light head, drinking lots of fluid and not feeling well.
I feel like a failure, I'm so weak. I see Andrew, who works everyday full time, and teaches two courses monday and tuesday from 2:30 to 6 pm. He ends up tired but in general he endures all that very well and doesn't seems destroyed like I feel sometimes.
Me, I live in fear of relapsing, of getting vertigo again like last year. I've been feeling light-headed pretty much since the vertigo passed and it increases when I'm under a lot of stress. I've started to wonder if it's something in my diet and I have to make an appointment with a nutritionist to confirm or rule it out.
But you see, I do work a lot! Andrew says it often and I've started to accept it myself. I dedicate three mornings per week to teach students. Then I dedicate almost an entire day to prepare classes. In between, I run around the university and do whatever my two bosses from the research projects ask me to do. I'm seeing two patients at the Students' Health Center and yesterday I was appointed editor of an academic book, coordinated partly by one of my bosses.
So I'm pretty busy. I'm happy, no doubt about that: I'm doing research (inclulding publishing papers!), clinical psychology, teaching and book-writing. I'm sorry I don't have that much time for my non-academic writing though.
Anyway! Talking about what I'm doing has actually cheered me up, after spending the whole day dissapointed; I wanted to be a regular blood donor. But hey, it's so rewarding, doing what I do, AND, regardless of today's reaction, I feel like my body is getting used to it, enduring longer periods of work other than sitting at the computer. The increased physical activity, even if it means just walking and taking the bus, seems to be much appreciated. I even think I've lost a little bit of weight and I'm shaping up (good thing, since now I can only exercise once or twice a week).
I do try to reward my body for this, also. I try to have a balanced diet, I take breaks during the day I and try to stay away from work during the weekends. I couldn't do that last weekened though, because, as mentioned in my last entry, there was a 8.4 earthquake at the place I was supposed to be this week. I had to rearrange my whole schedule and I had no classed prepared for this week. I spent the whole weekend on that, among other things.
I did feel like my work besides the research project didn't matter. When my boss told me to move the trip again (I'd already rescheduled it once, which saved me from experiencing the earthquake and tsunami evacuation in the first place), I felt like it didn't matter that I had other things to do other than to make that trip. I have classes, boss, 45 students to move around! And patients! But truthfully, it would have been insensitive of me to show up this week at that city, asking people to respond surveys while maybe some of them don't have basic services restored yet.
Things have worked out for the best in the end, anyway. Andrew and I spent a lot of time together, and I could rearrange my classes and patients and other work from the research project. It's all coming along nicely, save for today's bump in the road.
I feel like my writing is all over the place and I have not conveyed my state of mind properly, I'm sorry. In a nutshell: I'm physically destroyed for now, but happy because I love all the work I do and I'm being useful to diverse, however small, sectors of society.