November 2011 Archives

Willow in the banyan tree

Willow in the enormous banyan tree in Lahaina Town (which, whoops, you aren't supposed to climb on)

At the beginning of the school year I went to Back to School Night and sat at Willow's desk to learn all about the Grand Master Plan for third grade.  She's my fourth kid in third grade at the same school and Lex had the same teacher, so there wasn't really anything new.  Except.  The kids were supposed to bring in EITHER two cans of beans (about a pound each, right?) or some small hand weights for morning exercises - the five or ten minutes at the start of the day where the kids sit in their seats but do some weightlifting to get their fidgets out before they buckle down and work on math. 

Naturally, I sent my child to school the next day with two cans of chickpeas.

Over the last few months she's not said really too much about it, but maybe she's mentioned once that other kids have weights and she has those stupid cans.  I took the 'other kids' to be maybe two or three other kids.  Like how when they say that EVERYONE ELSE in their class has a cell phone and really it's only two or three kids who do.  Right? 

Last weekend Scuba hit the sick wall and was going to lose his mind if we didn't get out of the house.  By that point he'd been sick with pneumonia for a week or more, and since he already isn't fond of lounging about, spending the week mostly in bed was killing him.  So I drove us (I never drive.  I always make him drive.  I hate driving.) to the sporting goods store to look at exercise bikes and dumbbell weights because he's thinking that he got sick from working out at the gym where people do disgusting things like cough and blow their nose all over their hand towel and then throw the towel onto the treadmill handlebars.  GROSS. 

The sporting goods store had a big row of teensy little cute colorful one-pound hand weights, and Scuba, being the good parent between the two of us, said Hey, doesn't Willow need weights for school?  Let's get her some. 

So we left with powder blue hand weights for Willow and a bunch of dumbbells (a little five-pounder for me to work out with, even).  And on Monday afternoon when she came home from school and saw them sitting on the bookshelf in the living room, she lit up.  ARE THESE FOR ME?
Know WHY she was so happy?  Everyone else in class really does have weights and she was the only one working out with two cans of Trader Joe's chickpeas.  I feel so bad about it, but in my defense, if it had been one of her older siblings, they'd have been all up in my face every day asking for weights.  She's just a content kid, so sometimes I miss seeing what she needs. 

Last Tuesday

Sometimes I worry that Nate has a secret bucket list full of manly, dangerous things that hurt but give him good story material for later.  If I'm right, it looks something like this:
  • get stitches in forehead before starting preschool
  • bite completely through lower lip (more stitches)
  • balance on anything that is four inches or higher off the ground
  • get lost at the Monterey Bay Aquarium before starting elementary school and scare the everlivingshit out of mama
  • pierce the webbed skin between the thumb and index finger with a steak knife (more stitches) while slicing a water bottle in two while locked in the bathroom
  • skateboard!
  • paintball!
  • airsoft guns!
  • river rafting!
  • break big toe bone with a skimboard, and then get back in the water to boogie board before going to the hospital
  • break finger bone in a door hinge, badly
  • and, the most recent: get a concussion and CAT scan along with a gnarly sinus infection and bronchitis

Tonight while the girls were at their school with my neighbor for a stargazing party, Nate was watching tv.  I went in to check up on him and he was watching some show that is all about grizzly ways that people die.  To illustrate: the death being explained and recreated for the camera when I walked in was one where a young woman drank absinthe in the back of a limo and then stuck her head out the sunroof to holler, but as she was whooping, a pigeon collided with her open mouth, instantly snapping her neck and making her mouth all bloody and me gag a little, because EWWW PIGEON FEATHERS.  IN HER MOUTH.  I asked him what the hell he was watching, and WHY and he told me not to worry, that it would keep him from doing stupid things.

So, yeah, concussion.  He's okay and it's been a week as of tomorrow, but his doctor still wants him home from school one more day, especially since he barfed all over the front lawn today. ** The concussion happened during a wrestling match the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, just about two or three hours after Scuba went to the doctor because he'd been feeling sick and feverish for a couple of days and it turned out he's got pneumonia.  He's doing better now, too, but he still rattles and wheezes and naps.  

My poor boys.  They're falling apart.  We've had a lot of soup and rest and movies.  Scuba stayed with us all last week and I hated that he was sick but it was good to have him here.    

Nate got his concussion in a wrestling match.  A wrestling match that he doesn't remember any of, because he nearly pinned his opponent, but then the kid got up and knocked Nate to the ground from a standing position and Nate landed on his forehead.  I haven't seen any of his matches this season, and he's undefeated.  I feel really awful, but I was so sick all those weeks and most of them are during work.  Anyway, that was a terrible call to get; Nate's number on my caller ID and having it be his coach.  I got him and took him to the emergency room and he was clearly not himself.  But the CT scan looked good, so he's just got to not bonk his head for a couple of months and he'll be alright.  

 I keep writing and deleting paragraphs here that are all morose, so I'm just going to wrap it up.  Don't keep reading.  The rest is super disgusting. 

**That was fun.  We had to stand there and look at it, me wondering how I could clean it up without barfing myself, and him trying to figure out where all the orange color came from.  (orange soda, and maybe some Cajun fries spice from Five Guys)  Thankfully Scuba was here and saved me by suggesting that Nate clean it up, since he was done puking and doing okay and I was not going to be able to get the job done in one piece.  I just spent over four weeks with a stomach ache and nausea and the occasional vomiting.  I really could not deal.  The plan was to hose it down (I'm getting queasy thinking about this too much) and I was skeptical, but trusted that he did a good job until Sophie walked into the kitchen in her rainboots after the stargazing party flipping out because there was barf on her boot.  Looks like I'll have to figure that out in the morning unless the squirrels bail me out overnight.  This is probably the grossest thing I've ever written, unless I wrote about that time in Hawaii when the guy who was snorkeling got seasick and threw up in the water and all the little fish came to clean up.  Okay.  No more.  I'm seriously nauseated now.   

I do have a good excuse; I meant to post last night, but Scuba and I started watching the first season of The Walking Dead around 8 or 9, and then three episodes later it was after midnight.  Oops.  Then we watched another, and I had dreams about hiding from zombies all night long. 

That's all, I guess. 
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Ten things that bug me:

  1. spitting and the sounds that come before it happens
  2. open bathroom door + peeing (one of my kids just did both those things, so that's why the list)
  3. setting off the smoke alarm when I cook
  4. papercuts (why do I always have one?)
  5. never getting enough of my to-do list accomplished
  6. when the neighbor's girlfriend parks at the curb in front of my house with just a few inches of the back of her car a little too close to my driveway - it's not bad enough for me to say anything, really, but - B U G 
  7. rulebreakers at the morning drop off and afternoon pick up at the elementary school (especially the ones who do stupid things like, oh, I don't know, jay walk behind my van that is parked at the curb and then get pissed at me when I almost back over them)
  8. crumbs
  9. lost stuff that I know is here *somewhere*
  10. complainers

I was hoping to have an actual post today and talk about how this isn't going to turn into an OMG I'm SO SICK blog, but you know what?  OMG I AM SO SICK.

I was better yesterday, but today am right back at it with the stomach pain and nausea and, just for kicks and giggles, a wicked headache.

I've been in bed since before 6, as soon as Willow gets home I'm calling this day.

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I am kind of almost better, I think.  I didn't spend *all* of today in bed, so that's a good change.  What's making me better is over the counter Pepcid at 4x the recommended dose.  And STILL my stomach is all acidy and hurty, but just the regular kind, not the stabby kind.  My doctor gave me a prescription for super strong Prilosec, but that gave me hives and made my throat feel funny, so no more of that for me.  Who's got two thumbs and is allergic to something stupid like antacid?  This chick.  Of course.

Anyway, feeling better is so extraordinarily nice.  I am getting all hepped up on the stuff I want to do now that I don't feel like barfing 24/7, but I guess I'm pretty wiped out because it was all I could do to stay awake late enough to get Lex from school tonight at 10pm.

And, I can't even believe that I FORGOT to take the night time dose of Pepcid until like two hours after I should have.  Now I've got an alarm set for every 12 hours to remind me to dose myself, for the next 6 weeks or so.  If you've got a voodoo doll of someone you passionately hate, and it works, poke the stomach part and give them gastritis.  Trust me, it's terrible enough to make them feel like they're in hell and to land you there for doing it to them.

I'm trying to talk myself into feeling not so sad, but so far I'm not succeeding.  I guess it'll happen when I'm ready.  I know that my dad wouldn't want me to be so sad all the time, but he and I were really pretty crazy about one another and apparently you just can't have it both ways. 
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Fever, headache, stomach unbearable.  Bed.  I am exhausted of this.
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I've been listening to sad music all weekend, because why cry just a few times a day when you can cry ALL DAY LONG?  Right?

The kids are in the other room playing Monopoly, which is nice except that they're starting to fight a little bit.  (Apparently they read my mind, because Sophie just ran back here to my bedroom, gave me a kiss, and said, We're playing a nice, friendly game of Monopoly!  I said, It doesn't sound very friendly.  And she said, Don't worry, we're just fighting over the money part.  And the property.  Then she ran off.)

My ankle has been hurting for a few days, and so tonight I thought to look at it and OMG it's all swollen up and stuff.  The hell?

Today for the first time in about two and a half weeks I wasn't in awful pain from my stupid stomach, so that's really good.  I still feel queasy, but nothing like I did for so long. 

I'm really depressed. 

I'm going to bed.

I desperately wish tomorrow wasn't Monday already.
I've got a gnarly stomach ache again.  Spent time tonight crying in bed. Awesome.

Today I went to Tim's memorial gathering, and came home to a packet of photos of my dad (sent by my stepmom).  These are the stacks from 1944, 45, 46, & 47:

old photos of dad.JPG

I'm so grateful to have these.

Scuba just got here with soup for me.  Back tomorrow.
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My stomach hurt so badly yesterday.  I got a phone appointment with the after-hours clinic, and the doctor there told me that if I started barfing (extra points for blood!), running a fever, or was doubled over in pain that I should go to the ER.  A couple of hours later, while Scuba and Willow were doing the dinner dishes, I felt feverish.  100.4.  I dragged myself to the hospital, and Scuba stayed over to put the kids to bed.

Once I was checked in, they kept offering me morphine.  I didn't take any - morphine's not really my favorite drug.  Anyway, after 5 or so hours I came back home, now officially free of gallstones and other internal organ issues.  It's either, the doctor said, ulcers or gastritis.  (My favorite comment on that link is this one: I AGREE ITS HORRIBLE I HAVE IT ANDITS HORRIBLE AND ITS REALLY PAINFUL AND I WISH I CAN GET RID OF IT BECAUSE IT CAUSES ME EXREMELY PAINFUL STOMACH PAIN!  That just sums it up perfectly.)

So I'm taking four times the labeled dose of Pepcid and drinking almond milk and trying to not make any sudden moves.  If I'm not better next week, I have to have an endoscopy.  Fun times, people, FUN TIMES. 

Thanks to Scuba for staying over and to my mom for coming by early to help get the kids ready and drive them to school.  I am totally useless, but I did put clean sheets on my bed since I'll be there as much as possible for the next couple of days.

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Stomach hurts.  Bed.  Back tomorrow.
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Thumbnail image for big sur october 30 2011 157.JPG

I've been really, really ill for a couple of weeks.  Today I had a(nother) set of labs drawn, and I have the results (thanks, Kaiser website) but haven't talked to my doctor yet.  So, NATURALLY, I've been Googling those results and my symptoms.  Worst-case scenario is that my immune system is attacking my stomach lining, interfering with my ability to absorb B-12 and giving me what's called pernicious anemia, which feels exactly like that all sounds how it would feel - if that's what is going on.

Let's hope not, okay?

I was hoping that I'd have some great news by now about how the naturopath helped me to feel better, but so far I am way worse than I was last month.  I'm sticking to the diet she's recommended (no meat, dairy, eggs, gluten, broccoli & its cruciferous friends, caffeine, or alcohol), but had to ditch the probiotics she put me on because they unleashed some sort of unholiness into my belly.  Which, you know, if you want to find a bright side here, means that I don't care that I can't eat anything good because I don't want to eat anything at all.  I have cheated on the diet a little bit, and it's kind of a weird thing, but with major stomach pain and intense nausea for the past two weeks, one thing that helps me feel better is a cold beer.  Just one.  I've only had maybe three or four in two weeks, and she didn't exactly forbid beer, she just told me to keep it to twice a week or less.  But, yeah, beer as medicine.

Last weekend Scuba and I had reservations to stay in Carmel, and even though I felt terrible, I decided to go and just rest.  Sophie ended up coming with us, and we had a great time, despite me.  He got in a dive while Sophie played in the surf at Lover's Point and I stretched out on the beach and didn't barf.  Then we went to see the Monarch butterflies that winter in Pacific Grove.  If you ever get the chance to visit in late October, it's stunning.  I didn't bring my camera this time, but I got some shots last year when we were there.  This time we only stayed for about ten minutes. 

Sunday after we checked out of the hotel (where Scuba and I watched Jackass after Sophie fell asleep and OMG I was so repulsed and entertained at the same time I don't know what to make of myself) we went a little bit south to Big Sur and visited my favorite California beach, Pfeiffer Beach.  I hadn't been there in ages, since the boys were little.  On the Friday before we went to Carmel, Scuba had the day off work and went on a long motorcycle ride, ending up in Big Sur.  He started telling me about this incredible beach he went to, and I started filling in the details about the road that leads to it.  He loves it as much as I do, so we went back together.  I felt really bad the whole time, especially in the car, where just having the seatbelt go across my stomach was unbearable, but I figured it's better to feel like hell in one of the most beautiful places there is than at home in bed. 

I brought my Poppa's Land Camera and let Sophie take a lot of photos.  Turns out, she's really good:




The scans aren't super great, especially of that last one with the yellow flowers.  Anyway, it was the best sick day I've ever had.  Scuba even bought me a new hat on our way to the beach.

big sur october 30 2100 001.JPG

I need to get healthy so I can enjoy this amazing life I have. 

Sophie at Pfeiffer beach, Big Sur, CA.  Impossible Project Film

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