Tag: Blood Platelets

Saying Sayonara to 2018

Saying Sayonara to 2018

I’m sure most people would agree that 2018 was a maddening political clusterfuck, no matter which side of the aisle or where in the world you sit.

While I can’t help but agree with the hope of moving past that in the new year… At the same time, I sort of disconnected myself from the news-y world in 2018 and focused a lot more on myself.

Overall that wasn’t a bad decision. A lot of nice things came out of the more chill personal year!

For instance, all the video games I played. Did my big splurge on that yesterday so you don’t have to be bogged down with it here.

This post is more about my actual life and times.

Seemingly the most poignant place to start charting out my year is with my health. That feels ironic considering the first week of Winter Break was spent dying in bed, but I’m talking about the grand scheme of things.

A sizable chunk of my 2017 year in review was devoted to finding out about my blood disorder, ITP, and crazy things like the hospital stay that resulted from our early attempts to treat it.

It’s kind of insane to think that we’re more than a year out from that now, especially since so much of my stress at the time was getting better enough to cover Milo Yiannopoulos at Halloween.

Equally hard to believe I spoke at a conference about that coverage this year.

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He’s the gift that keeps on giving!

Tangent aside, this year I never had a big medical scare. In fact, the whole incident inspired me to be better to myself, as this summer I started regularly going to the gym for the first time.

Even lost a little bit of weight in the process. Though I wouldn’t be surprised if a few weeks of holiday eating and falling behind while sick reversed that progress.

The summer was also significant to my personal growth this year because I started my Summer 2018 Initiative: Writing something here on my blog every day.

My drive to force myself to become better at my craft each and every day persisted past the summer and into the fall semester. Then my buddy Spencer encouraged me to try to be concise with all of my posts for the sake of practicing, which has definitely helped.

You wouldn’t believe how many times I’ve cut an extra 500 words off of these since.

Speaking of, 2018 was when I turned 21 and got to enjoy some of the perks of that! Like going to comedy shows at bars. Or meeting up with friends at bars to celebrate things.

Sure, I may have found out I’m not a fan of drinking, but a whole new world of spending time with people has opened up.

Back to the original point though. Putting more effort into my blog has proven fruitful, because as it turns out posting something every day really drives up that website traffic:

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Can’t wait to see how big that bar gets in 2019 when I hopefully get a whole year of pseudo-daily posts out!

Also on the media front, I finally caved and got a few new gizmos to play with this year. Instagram, Paypal, LinkedIn, Discord…

I don’t know that I’d say any of them have significantly impacted my life per-say, but Instagram and LinkedIn have been interesting insights into the world of photo-based and work-based media.

Ah, did I say the dreaded “w” word? Guess I should talk about that too.

2018 was a bizarre transitional period for work. The spring semester had me stepping down as an editor at the Daily Titan so I could focus on writing for the journalism capstone class.

Some really great articles came out of that, including fun reviews, covering the Sports Clubs Inter-Club Council and this soon-to-be award-winning piece about restaurant gradings around campus.

However, I decided not to return to the paper for the fall semester. Gave more priority to my major and minor classes, knowing graduation is slowly rearing its ugly head.

Quicker than I thought it would be at the beginning of 2018, I should say. A really happy part of the year was finally finding a mentor for my Senior Honors Project and working things out with the program director to graduate on-time rather than needing an extra semester!

On top of that, I won a pretty huge scholarship over the summer and followed that up by receiving a promotion at Gladeo to head the reporter-interns. Not only did I get to do some really cool interviews and stories, I also got to start working on management outside of the school paper.

Also I covered Obama for Boom.

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Enough said.

I suppose that really caps off all the big things I can recall. Sure there were some smaller things like going on my first real date with a girl, cracking open my old desktop and finding some wonderful things and finally shaving my beard for the first time since 2016.

But otherwise that seems like as much fellating myself as I can handle for one year.

So! Here’s hoping even more great things happen in 2019, where it seems I’m slated to finally move past my schooling days and enter the workforce full-time.

Yikes.

Let me know about some of the great things that happened with you this year, with all the negativity buzzing around on TV I’d absolutely love to hear why 2018 was great for people!

Slow and Steady

Slow and Steady

I was pretty worried that the procedural aspects of my hematologist check-up this morning were going to invalidate months of trying to better myself and tarnish my motivation.

But, as an optimistic pessimist might say, my low expectations left me feeling pleasantly surprised. Even rather good about myself!

As I’ve said, toward the end of the summer I started going to the gym regularly. Two or three times a week for about an hour each.

I mainly wanted to feel better about myself. No real “goals” were set, it has been driven by an internal desire to look better in the mirror, feel better about myself… And hopefully not be as winded when I climb a large flight of stairs.

So far I’ve had decent results in the latter two departments, and even if I don’t personally see the difference my family has noted that I’m beginning to look a bit thinner.

In terms of tangible numbers, I haven’t been doing a lot to keep track. If anything I figured forcing myself to stand on a scale every week would just kill my motivation when the number moves incrementally.

Intrinsically I understand that weight loss takes time, of course.

I’m just worried that the raging, emotional segment of my lizard brain would see that result and get me to try quitting.

Thus today became the first real barometer of how I’m doing from a statistical standpoint. A month-and-a-half ago I was weighed at my annual physical and jotted down that I was about 207 lbs.

(A purely American metric that won’t help any of you off using that other, more ubiquitous system, but it makes the most sense to me.)

When I stepped on the scale at the start of my appointment this morning, fearful of anything above where my “starting point” was, I wound up (as previously mentioned) pleasantly surprised.

I was 204 lbs.

Now I don’t know if a net loss of three-ish pounds over a month+ is a good fraction or whatever. I ain’t a nutritionist after all.

All I know is the fact that I’ve been able to lose the weight I had through my exercising is a great sign that should help motivate me going forward. After all that loss comes without any significant change to my diet, which I know is equally important to being healthier and losing weight.

What can I say… I like cheeseburgers. Like a lot.

At least now I can confirm that I’m counterbalancing them if nothing else.

But wait, there’s more!

Honestly my morning was going to balance out that weight loss elation with the more dejected outlook brought on by finding out my last Sensation and Perception midterm went… Just okay. Normally not a problem except that my overall GPA dropped due to a lack of things in the grade-book.

But then the blood tests came back (since I was at the hematologist office), and we found out that my blood cell count is up right now!

I’m sure I’ve given this context before somewhere, but just in case anyone is unaware: I have ITP.

It’s a blood disorder with an insanely long actual name that basically means I have significantly a low blood platelet count. Around the 20s when an average range is in the mid-100s.

Ostensibly the disorder does nothing in my every day life. It just means I might have problems should something happen where I end up bleeding significantly.

When the diagnosis first came and I dealt with a rollercoaster of treatments that at one point landed me in the hospital (which was more than a year ago now crazily enough), I wasn’t very keen on talking about it.

But hey, it’s been more than a year and nothing significant has gone down. So I think I’m feeling way better about discussing the whole thing.

Long context aside, the lede I’ve been burying is that today my blood platelet count is up from about 24 the last time we checked to about 35 today.

It could just be a general fluctuation, but all progress in the positive is good progress I’d say!

Between that and my weight, this doctor’s appointment left me feeling pretty good about myself. From a physical standpoint especially.

Sure, those positive vibes led right into the mundane of going to Fullerton for one single class… But Thanksgiving Break technically starts tomorrow.

So who am I to complain?