Friday, March 26, 2010

Pink Flamingos

At Carly's preschool/daycare, the kids have a playground just outside the door of their classroom.  The focal point is a large climbing structure that looks like a fort/treehouse. When the kids are in the top portion of the structure, they can see over the privacy fence that borders the playground.  There is a small wooded area just past the fence; shockingly, somehow nobody has developed that land as of yet.

Since last fall, Carly has told us several times about the "flamingos" that are in the woods next to the fence.  She says she can see pink flamingos in the woods.  Since flamingos are not native to northeastern Ohio, I always chuckled at these stories.  I figured the kids must be looking at a tree stump or something resembling a flamingo somewhere among the trees.

During the winter there were no sightings of the pink birds; I guess they migrated south to escape the snow.  Then last week Carly mentioned them again.  But this time the story was more sinister... she told me that the flamingos didn't have legs anymore.  I asked her why not, and she told me that "the bad men" cut them off.  When I asked how she knew that, she said that her classmate S had seen "the bad men" perform the amputation.  Wha??????  Carly and I agreed that one day when I picked her up, she would take me out to the playground to show me these legless birds.

The kid has a good memory... the next day when I arrived in the afternoon, she asked if we could go outside to see the flamingos.  I told her teacher why we were going out to the playground and received a puzzled look in reply.  After I followed Carly up the steps to the top of the play structure, I looked back at the glass classroom door, where I saw several small curious faces peering back at us.  I could almost see the question "Why is Carly's mommy up there?" hanging in the air.

Carly pointed out into the woods and said, "See it, Mama?"  At first I only saw a discarded basketball, but then... sure enough, there was a pink flamingo!  It appears to be a plastic lawn ornament, laying on its side in the leaves.  I could only laugh... she wasn't making things up, she wasn't seeing what she wanted to see... there really is a flamingo in the woods.  I asked her if the flamingo used to be standing before S told her about "the bad men" and she said no, it was always laying down.  As we walked back toward the steps, Carly pointed out a second flamingo.  It was actually the original flamingo, just viewed from another angle, which I explained to her and she accepted.

When we returned to the classroom, I explained the situation to Carly's teacher.  She was a bit surprised about the "bad men" story but otherwise laughed about it with us.

And so concludes The Mystery of the Pink Flamingos. 

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The last 3 weeks

It's really been that long... since I've been here.  Wow.  I think of things I'd like to write about constantly but never seem to have the time or energy to actually commit them to words on the screen.  Each week that passes shows me that I am definitely recovering from my IL-2 experience, but that I am not fully recovered.  My energy is pretty much back, and so I've been able to start walking again, more regularly.  The exercise helps to energize me, so it's an 'unvicious' circle.  I'm definitely not going to win any speed or distance awards any time soon, but am able to comfortably walk a mile and a quarter in a 30-40 min period.  It helps that I have coworkers who also want to increase their exercise level, so I have people to walk with, and others who have offered.  Maybe I need to set up a schedule and my work friends can slot themselves in for different days; that would force me to stay on a regular schedule!

I'm still in a hypothyroid condition since IL-2.  I finally got around to contacting the endocrinologist who treated my hyPERthyroidism last fall.  She requested new blood work and I saw her today; as she thought would be the case, she increased my medication dose.  I learned that I've been taking it wrong anyhow.  I take it in the morning along with my other meds and multivitamin.  Big no-no according to the endo!  She told me to take the synthroid first thing, and not to eat for an hour after taking it.  After breakfast I can take my other meds, but the multivitamin needs to be taken at least four hours after the synthroid.  Dang... I'm going to have to remember to take stuff at two different times a day!  These instructions were not mentioned in Columbus, where I started on the medication.  I told the endo that MAYBE they had given me these instructions at the time but I was too out of it to remember them.  But no, Jim confirmed that there were no big special instructions given then.  That made me feel better, since I have had definite periods of spaciness all year; really for the last six months, actually.

The spaciness is odd; I just forget things that I used to remember.  One really odd thing is that I can't remember where I park my car in the garage at work.  It's not a large garage, so it's not a big problem, but when I walk out to my car at the end of the day, I can not remember which row I parked in.  Some of you are probably saying "that's nothing, I forget things all the time too" or "eh, that's age creeping up on ya" or things like that.  Yes, I did forget things before but this feels different.  And sometimes I just forget to do part of a usual routine,  like when paying bills.  That lapse has caused problems with a few late payments, though on that issue I seem to be back on track.  Each week I feel stronger mentally as well as physically, and realize that the previous week, I was more 'spacy' than I realized at the time.  My parents would call me Dizzy Lizzy as a joke sometimes, just because of the rhyme, but I have definitely felt like a dizzy ditz in the past few months!

Speaking of medications, I discovered last week that my ADD medication really does help me.  I know this because I ran out of pills and went a day without it.  I really had trouble concentrating on ANYthing all that day.  I made it through the day, but made sure to pick up my script for it that day so that the next day would be better... and it really was.  It's no miracle drug; I can still lose interest/attention for a project halfway through, especially at home.  At work it's harder to judge whether the feeling of not getting things accomplished is due to ADD or more likely, because like everyone else there, I'm being pulled in many different directions, with competing priorities.  I'm absolutely not un-grateful to be employed, but there is just too much going on to be able to really focus hard on anything.  Because of course as soon as I focus on one project for a while, I am suddenly behind the eight-ball on several other things.    That is true at home too, but I'm not at risk of being fired by my family, so it doesn't feel so critical most of the time.

Throughout this time of my health issues, we've been gathering information about Rebecca and an ongoing issue.  She has long complained of having a stuffy nose, being unable to breathe through her nose, etc.  When she's felt really stuffy, we've sought medical help and as a result she has tried several allergy medications (over-the-counter).  At her last annual exam, her pediatrician agreed that it was time to do allergy testing, so we consulted with a pediatric allergist.  He is a wonderful man; great with Rebecca and very good at explaining everything.  She had to have the patch testing done, which she wasn't thrilled about but got through just fine.  According to her back, she only has slight reactions to maple and cypress trees (neither of which were in leaf in January!) and nothing else.  The allergist thought that her adenoids might be the issue, so he referred us to an ENT, while also prescribing Nasonex spray.  The spray did nothing but annoy my ladybug, even after using an extra month as recommended by the ENT.  We followed up with the ENT earlier this month and got to watch on a computer screen live video as the doctor put a tiny camera up Rebecca's nose.  Sure enough, both adenoids are enlarged, particularly the left one.  She also has an enlarged turbinate in her left nostril.  It was decided to go ahead and remove the adenoids, as well as shave the turbinate.  This procedure will take place on May 5, a Wednesday.  The ENT works out of a suburban surgery center on Wednesdays, so we won't have to brave the madness of Cleveland Clinic's main campus.  The procedure itself should only take about 40 minutes, and  we'll be able to take our girl home that day.  The doctor says she should be ready to return to school the following Monday.  We are all a little nervous, as anyone is when facing anesthesia, but I know it will be fine.  I am looking forward to my girl being able to breathe better.  We have noticed her snoring more at night lately, so the timing of this surgery is definitely right.

Lots more going on, both in my life and in my head - will have to try to dump more out later.