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I'm very glad this week is over. I'm trying to step back and look at this objectively. I definitely had an increase of pain and swelling. That, in turn, lead to nausea. I did not skip meals (although I was extremely tempted). I did not "curl and hurl" as I say, so that was good. I tried to use whatever tools I needed to to get through the week and make it to class on time. I had to swallow my pride and accept help in areas I didn't last year (I never thought I'd ask for a spotter to help me with the stairs because I felt like I'd fall.) I tried to relax and rest some, but I know that that area is hard to balance. I continued to make progress with physical therapy, despite the pain, swelling, stiffness and general difficulties with positioning and stuff.

I tried to remind myself of the piece I wrote in August about storms and remember that the freak out position wasn't going to do me any good. This worked some, and hI did make it through the week. But I still had a really hard time with dealing with the pain as far as managing it's effects on my body and mind. Sometimes I felt like my foot was flicking me off. My initial response is to return the favor, but that didn't work too well. At what point do I listen to the pain and at what point to I shove it aside? Sadly, I don't completely know the answer to that.

I could analyze each tiny detail of this week, but I'm not sure that will get me anywhere. There were things that I did that worked and things that didn't. Standing for long periods of time to talk to a professor didn't work. I will ask for a chair next time. One shower wasn't a success, but most of them were. Climbing all of the stairs wasn't easy, but I can be proud that I found my room independently (even though I had no idea where the stairs come out on my floor). I learned that my R.A.'s are wonderful; they help when I need it and back off when I don't. They have really worked hard to make sure I receive all of the information everyone else does.

Julio has done a wonderful job adapting. I think I may have done something right with him when I decided to use counter-conditioning (food rewards). He seems to be eager to find new locations now, and is picking up vocabulary associations quickly (elevator is one of his favorites). I'm very proud of the puppy right now.

I don't really want to go back to last year's entries and review. But I'd say that this first week has gone better in the sense that I know what I'm doing, and dealing with some of the challenges better. I'm not perfect, but at least I'm trying to learn.

I'm just happy to say we made it through the week.

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