In actuality, my sleep has improved ever so slightly. But I am still working from a several month pattern of interrupted sleep as well as stress, all things that can impact the smart part of my brain. I keep running into the consequences of bad brain days and today I discovered that my bad brain days preceded my breast cancer diagnosis.

Every year, I have to renew my Washington State Psychology license. The renewal date is my birthday—that’s the way the licensing board likes to honor us. “Happy Birthday, please send us $316 or if you would prefer to wait until after your birthday, please send us $471.”

Every three years, I have to sign a statement that I have met the continuing education requirements. I do a lot of continuing education so this is no big deal. In all of the years I’ve done more than the required amount without even thinking about it all that much.

Did I say, “In all of the years…?” Well, today I found out that during the last three years, not only have I not completed more than my minimum amount of continuing education, but as of 8 am this morning, I hadn’t even finish 50% of the required amount. In truth, I’d completed a little over a third. What happened three years ago? What kind of horrible stress could have occurred that took me so off of my game? Hmmmm.

Oh yeah, three years ago, I became a parent to an adolescent!

Well, there’s nothing like realizing that I have to do two years of continuing education in two weeks to get the old adrenaline pumping. Also, the B12 that I started taking this week does seem to be boosting my energy a little. So far, I’ve gotten about 6 months worth done. That has meant a lot of reading, listening to webcasts, and last but not least, a lot of money paid to take the continuing education tests online. I’ve also been using my printer like crazy to get hard copies of the reading materials. The printer could have used a little B12 this morning, too. It is almost out of black ink and is printing only intermittently as it is in “Cool down mode.” I’m glad my printer has good self care skills and can set healthy limits with me.

The other limit setters, however, was my credit card company! Concerned about wanton spending on educational materials for psychologists, they disabled my card, right when I was buying three courses, one on childhood bipolar disorder, another on mindfulness, and the last on behavioral sleep medicine. (And in respect to the last two courses, I did some others this morning related to self-care, namely some ethics courses on handling a serious illness and it’s impact on one’s competency.) About five minutes after my card was disabled, an agent from the fraud department called, asked me a bunch of questions, apologized, and reset my card. At the end of the call, he informed me that I had $18K left to my credit card limit. I promised him that I wouldn’t spend it all on continuing education classes, at least today. He laughed. I bet he would have thought yesterday’s tattoo joke was funny, too.