altarflame: (deluge)
Last night I took a lot of care to make Grant a food/drink bag to take to work. Note: this is not a standard thing, as 1.) he works from home 3/5 days each week, 2.) he likes to go out to lunch, and 3.) he does half the shopping and cooking and would be as likely as me to pack stuff if he wanted stuff packed. But he wanted some leftovers and went to bed too tired to put it together. He's gone ALL DAY when he goes in, since the commute is so intense.

Anyway, I was smiling as I packaged him up a container of chili with a tiny tupperware of shredded cheddar, a ziploc of crackers, and a tiny tupperware of cream cheese to go on them, since this is how we garnish chili around here. Then a container of kale and bean soup, with an extra side tiny tupperware of parmesan cheese. Spoon, butter knife. Found and filled up his water bottle and put it all in the bag in the fridge.

It was very satisfying this morning when he texted that he'd been forced to smile against his will at an ungodly morning hour when he saw it all, and accused me of grin-rape <3

I started seeing a new doctor today, because the levels of disorganization at my old doctor reached new heights. They don't answer the phone or return calls (ever - I always end up just driving over after several days' efforts to reach them), they don't even return faxes from the pharmacy when I need a refill on my B-12 vials. They don't draw blood in the office and TWICE now they've told me they sent in an order for me to have blood drawn and then when I get to the lab, sign in and wait to be called, I find out they actually forgot to send the order. So I just have to leave. Worst of all, especially with reference to all these other things I'm describing, they are only open for a few hours 3 times a week since their old office had a fire a year ago. They've been sharing space with another office ever since and I was trying to hang in there for them, but man. It's a shit show. Totally representative of the whole place that the empty water cooler has had a paper sign taped on for months that says, "Please buy water!"

Anyway, this new place is (of course) half an hour up the road, but anytime I leave town for any kind of medical care, it's a revelation and I'm glad I did. When I got to this new place today, they had a personalized stack of forms waiting for me that had been printed already including all the info I gave them over the phone when I made the appointment. Can you imagine? They also drew blood right there in the office, which was generally much nicer, more spacious, and full of friendly people acting like I was a human being.

I really don't love giving new people my medical history because the shock value is too high and they always go on and on about it. However, the doctor today was a former OR nurse and actually cried and apologized on behalf of the medical establishment, for my retained surgical instrument. Simultaneously kinda ridiculous and kinda amazing.

It's good that things can be efficient. I was really clinging to the old doc being half a mile from my house (we have to get on the highway for SO MANY THINGS already) but it's clear this will actually save me time and energy, backwards as that might be.

Tangent: It was getting seriously old with the other doctor, feeling I was hassling them and getting so many suspicious looks and questions from the office staff every time I was "back about the shots again." Seriously, who the fuck has a B-12 problem? It's not exactly a controlled substance. Over and over the secretaries acted like I wanted it for weight loss, asked if it was helping me lose weight, etc, and over and over I had to explain that I have a diagnosed malabsorption condition and need it for basic functioning/survival. UGH.

Sometimes it's still wild to me that I have this chronic condition and need these shots forever, and yet I could easily just stop going to get them. Nobody's gonna make me - nobody official is keeping track of whether I do or don't. Quite the opposite; I often have to fight through red tape for them. The gastroenterologist who diagnosed me acts outraged every time I express any of this to him and offers to fax my lab results to more places, but it's not like he does continuing/follow-up care himself.
altarflame: (Default)
FB convo with my sister about Annie's eating )

500 million (26) pictures )

Aaron cried throughout most of an hour long conversation we had last night about how terrible his attention span, ability to concentrate and general coping skills are. He's been acting more like an SID flibberdigibit than ever recently...the past few weeks with him have reminded me of when he was 4 and couldn't talk, or wear short sleeves, or have a mosquito bite that didn't feature a complete breakdown. We talked together about how it was when he was young and things I did that helped him and how it's been lately and how frustrated both of us are, and one thing I always really appreciate about Aaron is how free and easy we communicate and how much he absorbs and listens... There is a deep connection that helps, even if we do have to be alone together in a low-stimulation area for that to happen.

He told me he watches a YouTuber with ADD who talks about his ADD and makes Aaron really thinks he has it, and that guy has part of his segments that are about when he's off his meds and that scares Aaron, like maybe he needs meds, but he doesn't want to take pills. We researched diagnosis and treatment of ADD and med side effects a lot today, and have been talking about using this SID self-management thing for older kids, that my sister found for her son, as well as whether we want to make a trip to the pediatrician/therapist over this. I believe he's old/cognizant enough to have a say every step of the way. Something has to happen, though, because I'm really starting to worry about his inability to do very simple multi-step things and feel kind of freaked about what it means for his long Academics, home management, having relationships. He's VERY "autism spectrum" this past month, not making eye contact or even appearing to hear siblings who talk to him and putting his hands over his ears to block out lectures in this EXTREMELY involuntary way, like he knows he cannot do that but he has to...*sigh* I would not be quite so worried about what could be a temporary setback if it wasn't on the heels of a whole year that made me nervous about his overall progress. And if he wasn't so depressed and anxious about it as often as he is :/

We're going to do an experiment and see how he reacts to coffee before chores/schoolwork, after reading a lot of really interesting studies today about the benefits of self-treating / ADD with caffeine. I'm also instituting a lot more structure for him, that we're planning together this week, that involves breaks for physical activity and some of his learning coming from computer things (watching documentaries, Kahn University, websites that teach typing, stuff like that).

I also introduced the idea to him that he may just be starting puberty and experiencing mood swings and hormonal changes that seem like anxiousness, confusion, heightened stir craziness, etc. It makes a lot of sense as a possible total explanation.

Sometimes the idea that I am managing their educations, extracurricular opportunities and social lives - in such a hands on way - is really like the weight of the whole damned world on my shoulders, as they get older... This isn't preschool anymore, for Ananda and Aaron. I really have to take a step back and breathe, sometimes.

Stress about Isaac over the past couple of months - which I outlined but left quite a lot out of, on tumblr, but you can read the C&P'd outline under this cut )
Anyway, Isaac stress - it has given me aaaall these sudden gray hairs, and this ridiculously tired look that is creating fine lines all over my face, and I'm suddenly looking at myself thinking, damn. You are gonna be old, and that's fine, because I can deal with being old. But FIRST, you are gonna gradually decline and just look like a crappier looking thirty something person, a really haggard young you that's starting to fade. And that is harder for me to deal with. I'm finding myself considering all sorts of things I never thought I would, from dyeing my hair to FREAKING MICRODERMABRASION. It's really sort of nuts how compelling a low cost way to just give you another couple of years of looking like your own traditional self, can be. I find myself thinking things like, "when I go get injections to take care of these spider veins on my legs" and "maybe I should get a thighs/breast lift while I'm on the table anyway because I have to have a stupid tummy tuck I don't even want, and then I can at least like myself in a bathingsuit" (even though this is bizarre "in advance" thinking, since as it stands nothing is in any way hanging but I live in fear that when I lose weight, IT WILL).

And I am losing weight. In this very private, I've hit rock bottom sort of way I'm not ready to talk about.

"Aging," though - on the one hand, I feel beautiful a lot of the time. On the other, I have this sense of myself as a bundle of ok-for-now minor flaws that, if allowed to snowball, could avalanche out of control and then I'll find myself so far gone that it's "too late", whereas if I "kept up" with everything, I'd get another good decade and a half or so in before I have to reconcile myself to major changes.

For now I'm drinking a lot of water, using serum before I go to sleep and really not having time to give too much of a damn. My actual ACHES AND PAINS are too intense for me to get carried away with aesthetics...I have a major foot problem that is escalating, from a combination of my misaligned hips and falling down some stairs two weeks ago. It's getting to the point that I'm actually sucking it up and walking around in supportive sneakers, which means It Is Serious. Making an appt about it tomorrow....I'm sort of grateful that it's all messed up because it contributed to the aforementioned Rock Bottom situation that spurred me back to real changes re: weight.

So, yeah. Grant and I have some really great moments, kisses and laying together times and him rubbing my foot or us in the bath or whatever, when we just look at each other and go, Damn. We are doing an awful lot of shit right. All the kids and I have really great moments, and I don't waste any time. I make sure to enjoy the bike ride in the good weather and to savor the feeling of falling asleep and to spend some of my car rides on the phone laughing with friends. Or crying with them. I have this idea that shit's gonna calm down at some point? But I'm not really sure when that is. I guess the soonest possible calming factors would be:

-taking a break between degrees, like after I get my AA? That's kind of being thought of as "surgery time", though, i.e., not calm. Maybe Spring Break could be a mini break? I was just taking a makeup Spanish exam in the teachers' lounge for an hour, today
-when Grant gets to start telecommuting, finds a closer job or we move north towards his current job. That would be a huge huge factor.
-when some of my kids drive
-when all my kids are grown

But at least I'm not in some gray waiting place anymore, behind my locked bedroom door, wondering how I should start. Life is what happens when you're busy making other plans and all that.

My sister thinks it's hilarious that there is now a Kindle in my bathroom where there used to be a book. In the increments that happen when I pee, I'm reading Sex at Dawn: The Prehistoric Origins of Modern Sexuality and Great Expectations.

I relate to a degree that is beyond embarrassing and into "I'm not even embarrassed, this is just awesome" to freaking Sixx AM lyrics. I have officially gone from growing up with to growing old with, Nikki Sixx. Blared all too often on my way back into town from the train station:

This is a second coming
This is a call to arms
Your finest hour won't be wasted, wasted
You say it's all a crisis,
You say it's all a blur
There comes a time you gotta face it, face it
Hey, hey - hell is what you make
Rise against your fate
Nothing's gonna keep you down,
Even if it's killing you
Because you know the truth
Listen up, listen up
There's a devil in the church
Got a bullet in the chamber and
This is gonna hurt
Let it out, let it out
You can scream and you can shout
But keep your secrets in the shadows and
You'll be sorry -
Everybody's on the run
And everybody's getting numb
Keep your secrets in the shadows and you'll be sorry


Are you with me now?
Come back from the dead -
You've been inside your head for too long
Are you with me now?
Find the places that scare you -
Come on I dare you
Are you with me?

May 2017

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