Saturday, November 15, 2008

Yesterday I received an e-mail referencing an article written about teachers who have received disciplinary action based upon Facebook postings. I have also heard a lot of whisperings about a local teacher who got in the same type of trouble for MySpace pictures. Part of me screams, "What about my right to free speech?! Freedom of press?! Freedom to have a life apart from school?!" But, another part of me simply asks, "How important is it?" If Dave and I have learned nothing over the past couple of years, we have learned that you can never tell what someone will take offense to.

Initially, I was going to go through and remove only the postings that had anything to do with school; however, reading them all became a daunting task. Then, further, I realized that people might find some of my other postings offensive in some way. Teachers are being held to a higher standard of accountibility. So, I removed everything.

I don't write this blog anonymously. I write it large and loud with my opinions blaring behind photos of me smiling. Kind of like I am in real life, actually... Mom had a saying growing up... "If it's worth doing; it's worth talking about." Further, I like myself (sometimes too much) and the person I am becoming. It has taken a long time to get to this place in my life. Still, because it has taken me a long time to get here, I don't wish to mess up my career at this juncture. I also don't wish to harm any of the people I work with who I have grown to love.

So, working with the spiritual idea, "No one or no thing is against me," I'm choosing to embrace this opportunity for change. I love to write. It's a hobby. It's a passion. It's a compulsion. But, I will just have to choose a less public venue. Or, maybe I will write another blog anonymously, and strictly use this one to post family photos. Maybe I'll write children's stories and post them to this one. Maybe I'll only write about our struggles with that ever present villian, Cystic Fibrosis. I don't know... I just know that you won't be reading about my adventures in "Making It Up As I Go Along" because I need to eat, and I need my bosses to keep those paychecks coming... Perhaps one day, I'll be writing professionally in some way, and I can be held to the less rigorous moral standards of a writer. Until then, I'll just be a teacher with big ideas and a filled-to-exploding journal.

Wishing you all well! Namaste'~ Love and Light, Christy

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Soup from a Stone! Imagine That!

Stone Soup:

Stew Meat
Beef Boullion Cubes
Salt and Pepper
Canned Vegetables-
Tomato Sauce
Green Beans

Run to Jerry Lee's the night before and buy two large packages of stew meat in the hopes of feeding everyone, since you don't remember whom you have invited. Also, purchase extra canned vegetables and juice since you aren't quite sure who will actually bring the items assigned in class. (At Jerry Lee's- Avoid former students and that one annoying parent who wants to talk to you about discipline issues at the middle school over which you have absolutely no control.) Leave bags in the trunk of the car to avoid having to haul grocery bags out in the morning.

Upon returning home, dig out the crock-pot and plug in. Realize you left onion and garlic in the trunk of the car. Run out to get them. Chop onion and add to pot. Add about 2 Tbsp of garlic. (For convenience, use the kind in a jar, already chopped. Because of this, listen to crap from your husband about how inferior the garlic in a jar is versus his "I lived in Italy and always use fresh garlic" stance. After inviting above referenced husband to chop the *#%$#&* garlic if it is important to him, he declines and wanders out of the kitchen.) Realize you left beef boullion cubes in the trunk of the car. Run out to get them. Add 4 cups of water and 4 cubes of beef boullion. Add salt, pepper and basil to taste. Cook beef overnight.

Pack strainers, big spoons, can opener and anything else you can think of in the Burnham’s Drugs bag. (The day before the bag was used to receive an I.V. medicine delivery.) In the morning, scramble around like a mad woman. Feed and dress your new baby, and make sure her bag is packed for daycare. Get everything ready and pat yourself on the back because you are SO totally together. As you are backing out of the driveway, realize you have forgotten the crock-pot full of stew meat. Slam the car in park. Run back into the house and retrieve the crock-pot.

As you are turning out of your street, the crock-pot meat sloshes over into the baby seat base where you have precariously balanced it. Instruct your middle-schooler to unbuckle her seatbelt, squat in the front seat and twist to hold the pot and lid in place. Drop middle school child at the door of the bus behind the school so that she doesn’t miss the bus necessitating your driving her to school for the second time in a week. Drive to the front of the school with one hand on the wheel and the other twisted into the back seat, holding the crock-pot lid steady.

Enter the school dragging the wheeled crate packed with the Burnham’s bag of Stone Soup supplies. Help students maintain control despite feelings of electric excitement floating through the air. Complete relevant nutrition activities with students to kill 2 hours until time to begin making soup.

Watch in amazement as your co-teacher manages to effectively steal numerous lovely centerpieces and decorations from various locations around the school. Marvel and applaud her proficiency and procuring these items.

Divide meat into three crock-pots. Assemble students with special needs in a half circle around table. Add a stone to each pot. Call students one at a time to open cans and add ingredients. Be prepared to catch cans as they fall off the can opener, as students don’t understand the concept of holding the can lightly with one hand while operating the can opener with the other. Help students strain vegetables prior to adding to crock-pots. As you open the corn, notice it is creamed corn instead of kernels. Say to yourself, “What the heck,” and add it to the soup, anyway. Continue adding vegetables. Decide there isn’t enough water and pour previously strained vegetable juice haphazardly into the crock-pots.
Pay attention to anyone picking noses or putting fingers in their mouths. Instruct them to leave immediately to wash their hands. Apply Germex liberally upon their return to class.

As students gain an understanding of how to add strained vegetables, instruct student with a significant disability to add tomato sauce. Student opens the can perfectly, (as with vegetables). Everyone applauds his success. Student promptly turns and empties tomato sauce into the strainer. Grab the strainer quickly and salvage as much sauce as you can by dumping it quickly into the crock-pot. Have students take turns stirring soup. Attempt to control the slosh factor as much as possible. This is a fruitless effort. Use liberal amount of paper towels to sop up the mess. Keep crock-pots covered on low until guests arrive.

Breathe a sigh of relief as guests arrive and the whole thing goes off without a hitch. Bask in the glow of another year of Stone Soup.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Hi Ho, Hi Ho! It's Back to Work I Go...

Yesterday, I took Micah to First United Methodist of Pascagoula, her new daycare center, to meet the ladies who will be keeping her and drop off supplies. Next week, I will take her on Monday, Wednesday and Friday for half days. I'm not sure if I am trying to transition her or me... Maybe both... Mom, Dave and I visited the center before after it was recommended by my friend, Jeannie. It is very nice, and everything is brand-new. The center also received an endorsement from Ms. Renfroe, Sarah's kindergarten teacher. Given that Ms. Renfroe's approval is akin to that of Mr. Rogers, Captain Kangaroo and the teacher from Romper Room, I can rest assured in knowing that Micah will be well-loved and cared for.

But, it doesn't make it easy. I have been trying to find the words to explain how hard it is to leave her, but I keep coming up short. When I was living in Virginia Beach, I stayed home with Dan for the first 6 months or so... Then, after Sarah was born, I wasn't making enough money teaching preschool to make it worthwhile financially to put them both in daycare. I went back to work and school when Sarah was 10 months old, creating a need to seek childcare for her. I remember it cost $115 per week. Danielle was enrolled in a free preschool program called Early Discoveries. The unsubsidized student loans I took out went to pay childcare expenses so that I could finish school. But, by the time went back to work, both girls were at least 6 months old. And, I was working at the YMCA, which is where the girls attended preschool and daycare. So, even though the girls were attending daycare, I was nearby. I was involved in their programs. I knew their caregivers, sometimes intimately.

Micah will be 8 weeks old on Monday. And, I just feel so torn about having to leave her. Even though, everyone I know and trust praises the program, I am still leaving her with people I don't know. Because I taught preschool for such a long time, I know what to look for. I know she will be in a quality program. But, I am going to miss her terribly. She smiles and laughs now. She cries when I walk away if she wants me to pick her up. I know that she burps best sitting straight up and having me lift her in and up and down motion, followed by patting her back. I know that she hates to have anyone mess with her feet. She sneezes in the bright sun, just like Danielle does... And, she loves to wrap her fingers in Sarah's hair, getting and handful when she can. If she kicks her feet and fusses, her tummy hurts. I also know that she sleeps best on her tummy, even though doctors and researchers say to lay babies on their backs. She loves to take baths. And, if she is screaming in the car, popping in Jeremy Camp's Christian Rock CD quiets her immediately. (Yes, it is a weird and amazing phenomena how quickly she gets quiet...) All of these things I have learned about her by being there day in and day out for the last 8 weeks.

So, now... Someone else will learn things about her. She will be in a different environment, so there will be new things and people to either like or dislike. And, I won't be a part of it because I won't be there. There's really no other way to say it. So, is it jealousy? Is it worry? Is it fear of the unknown? Maybe I'm feeling a little of all of that. I have friends who have talked about how they couldn't wait to get back to work and freedom. Being a stay-at-home mom is a gloriously thankless job. I understand my friends' point of view. But, know that I am not experiencing that in the slightest. I'm not yearning for freedom. Even when I am frazzled because she is screaming, I don't want to be anywhere else.

I'm sure that I could figure out a way to bag work for a year. We could cut back on a lot of expenses and make it work. But, that has never been the plan... I have a great career and a wonderful job situation that I worked hard to achieve. I work 2 minutes from my home, and work with people who have become dear friends. They have supported me and my family through all the trials we have experienced. And, Micah deserves to have this support system in place, just as Dan and Sarah always have. The reality for me is that God has always supported me by working through the people in my life. Of course, the people have changed over the years, but those changes have felt God-directed. So, I have been praying a lot. And, the Guidance I am getting so far is to send Micah to daycare and go back to work. Frankly, the Guidance is ticking me off.

What I want to do is much like what I wanted to do when Dan was a baby. I decided that I wanted to be a stay-at-home mom. I was listening to a lot of Dr. Laura at the time... So, I decided that I would stay-at-home, make clothes, use cloth diapers and grow tomatoes in the backyard while wearing a big, floppy straw hat. The reality of the stay-at-home experiment: I can't sew and my attempts at making baby clothes resulted in cloth sewed together randomly with long string hanging out in strange and curious places... Cloth diapers would stay in the diaper pail until mold grew because I wasn't motivated to get in there and wash the nasty things daily, as required... Tomatoes? Plants are a challenge for me. I hate to get my hands dirty digging around in the dirt and I water plants only as an afterthought, if they are in my face dying... I don't really have a stay-at-home mom bone in my body. Truth is... I am far more productive and together when I am working. But, I don't like that truth about myself. I want to grow a stay-at-home mom bone; however, if I'm honest, I haven't grown one and I don't really look to sprout one in the near future.

So, I feel a little guilty too... A little guilty that I don't have what it takes to stay at home. Then I start to tell myself that I suck as a mom... And, that isn't a Godly thought. The God that I know loves me and doesn't think I suck. So, it is time to head back to work. Just know that during this transition time, I will be drinking in Micah... Smelling her, and holding her, and watching her... And, hoping that one day, when she has a baby, I can stay at home and keep my grandchild...

Namaste' ~ Christy

Monday, September 22, 2008

I Have a Really Hard Time Not Taking a Bite

Micah after her bath!

She is so pretty in a bonnet! Dan and Sarah can't stand any kind of hat on her.

Aunt Micki and Micah!

I'm so proud of this sweet baby.

Calm and quiet.

She is starting to talk.

Daddy is adoring her in the hospital.

Rather than stirring controversy, I thought I would post baby pictures. She is so precious and we are so lucky... And, NO, she doesn't look anything like me...

Sunday, August 24, 2008

New Baby, No Time...

Well, Dave informed me the other day that I haven't blogged in a while. Two things are pertinent about that comment: a. Baby Micah joined us via c-section on August 11 and takes up lots of my time, and b. Dave has time during the day at his new job as Assistant Director of the Applied Technology Center to check my blogging progress. Both things have been great blessings in our lives. The baby is such a joy, and we are all enjoying every minute of having her here in the world with us... And, Dave loves his new job with all its challenges.

Having a baby at my "advanced maternal age" has been such a wonderful blessing. Danielle was born when I was 23 and Sarah when I was 26. Both girls were prenatally diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis, so both pregnancies were riddled with a whole host of concerns. With Danielle, I felt apprehensive and under prepared much of the time. It was like someone said, "Here is this fragile, little baby with a life-threatening illness. She was supposed to die upon delivery, or at best, be very, very sick due to a ruptured intestine and meconium ileus. However, somehow, her intestines healed, so try not to kill her at home." With Sarah, I was a little more relaxed, but she, too, had many challenges as a baby including coughing up blood at a relatively early age... There were all the daily duties of giving enzymes and the whole host of other meds... I also had to "beat" them several times daily (chest physical therapy). Later, we added the routine of nebulizer treatments. But, I became accustomed to the routine and never knew anything different. I also developed a strange sense of gratitude that both of my girls had CF. Given their closeness in age, I think there may have been some emotional difficulties we never had to face had one had CF while the other didn't. With Dan and Sarah, they have always been in it together... Mind you, I don't wish the disease on anyone, but I also know that having CF is a part of each of them, genetically. And, I wouldn't have wanted any other children... Even if I could have traded for a "healthy" child. I have always felt "chosen" by God for the honor of being their mom; so, even though I have periods of feeling terribly inadequate for the job, I have always felt grateful that God gave me Dan and Sarah. I value them for the people they are, CF and all...

But, back to Micah... She will be two weeks old tomorrow, and she doesn't have Cystic Fibrosis. After the c-section in the hospital, I was a little loopy on Demerol. Dave was the perfect husband, by my side every step of the way, and doing a fabulous job taking care of the baby while I was unable. I looked over and saw him feeding Micah a bottle. My first instinct was to ask if he had given her enzymes. It just seemed odd to feed a baby without worrying about enzymes first. Although, the other day, Micah seemed to have a tummy ache, so I gave her some CPT, and it actually seemed to comfort her. I remember it calmed the girls' tummy troubles along with clearing their lungs. But, the rest of the routine seems so easy. No meds... No treatments... No feelings of being absolutely inept and ill-equipped to handle the new addition to our family.

Other things have changed too... The girls are a tremendous help with Micah. They dote on her and are clamoring to hold her and help any way they can. Dave and I tried for such a long time to have her that we are valuing the experience of having a baby much more. But, beyond that, I have changed. I'm calmer than I was in my 20's... And, I realize that time goes so much faster than it did in my 20's. With the girls I seemed to always find myself thinking, "If I can just make it through this phase..." With Micah I find myself thinking, "I want to savor every moment..." I realize that every moment is precious and seriously fleeting. I don't want to miss a thing. (Hence the reason I haven't necessarily been blogging, or doing much of anything else except experiencing each and every moment with Micah.)
My own recovery from surgery has been a breeze too. I just find myself thinking, "I'm a little uncomfortable... This won't last forever." The challenges of breast-feeding don't seem so earth-shattering either. All the things that rocked my world with Dan and Sarah, are much easier to handle with Micah. And, I think it is simply because I am older. I understand that time passes so quickly. It is easier to value to blessings inherent in the moments, rather than focusing on the negative aspects or challenges.
After all, Danielle turned 16 on August 10th. She received her dad's fixed-up Volvo for her birthday, and has moved succinctly into her Junior year of high school. And, I rub my eyes, as if waking from sleep, wondering when this happened... When did she become old enough to drive? What happened to the little girl who used to hop around the living room like a frog? Where is the 4th-grader who yearned to have two front teeth like all the other kids her age? Did I miss it? Was I just trying to "get through a phase"?

I think I did the best I could... But, I was ill-equipped with youth to enjoy my babies the way I am currently with Micah. I kept hoping for something different... Praying for good health... Wishing for a different, better something for my beautiful girls... Now, I realize there isn't anything more, or different or better. Right now is the moment that is full of beauty and wonder and everything I need to pay attention to. I don't want to miss it! I don't want to miss a thing...

Thursday, July 17, 2008

The Little Red Hen

Sunday, our minister told the delightful story of "The Little Red Hen". This Russian folktale is meant to remind the reader of the importance of hard work, and that in life, you can't get something for nothing. I understand that. Generally, I love fairy tales and folk tales. In my classroom, I often use them as teaching tools. So, I understood exactly the message she was conveying in her sermon...

However, my brain rebels. My spirit rebels. My very emotional nature cries out in rebellion, "SCREW YOU, LITTLE RED HEN! You found the grains of wheat! You decided that you wanted to plant it! So, you live with it and do it yourself. Don't try to suck me into your plans!" This all goes back to my latest spiritual struggle with the concept of "one more thing". I think I have actually blogged about it before... I really hate for people, or the universe, or circumstances to assign me "one more thing" to do.

I mean, I can relate to the "lazy cat". What if the cat isn't really lazy? The Little Red Hen, after all, is a known busy body who thinks she knows what is best for everyone. She looks around, sees the cat stretching and lying down to take a nap, simply assuming that the cat is a lazy do-nothing. What if the cat is running around the barnyard to keep the rodent infested place free of disease? The cat, then, only takes a nap out of sheer exhaustion after a morning of chasing mice, trapping mice and catching mice... Mice! With their nasty little whiskers and scratchy little claws clamoring all over the barnyard nibbling holes into those tasty bags of corn that The Little Red Hen just takes for granted will be scattered daily for her and her chicks to enjoy. Mice pooping all over everything, spreading bacteria and filth and disease all over the barnyard! Maybe the "lazy" cat meowed exhaustedly, "Not I" when asked to help out of a feeling of being overwhelmed and purely exhausted.

And, what of the dog? Isn't he out herding sheep all day? He is running around like crazy keeping the sheep from straying too far into the meadow. I even heard that he came face to face with an insanely criminal wolf who had dressed himself in sheep's clothing. The dog is thinking, "I didn't realize I had to be an undercover agent for this job!" But, he rose to the occasion. He sniffed out that wolf, despite his clever disguise, and chased him off so that those sheep might live another day. He had only just wandered back into the yard when that prissy Little Red Hen was all over him, "Who will help me reap the wheat?"

"Reap the wheat? Reap the wheat? I didn't ask you plant the damned wheat in the first place! Reap it yourself!" is probably exactly what our extremely weary friend was thinking. Haven't you ever heard the phrase, "Dog-tired"?

And, finally, the duck... Why couldn't she help? I mean, they are both birds. Surely they could have forged some sort of partnership based on their fowl status alone... I probably shouldn't share this, but I think under these circumstances, it is necessary. The duck has serious emotional and mental problems. The duck, had a nest to sit upon each and every day. However, she also believed wholeheartedly that it was her duty to paddle around the pond each day, working hard to present an image of perfection and serenity to all who gazed upon her. While she floated gracefully along atop the water, people were unable to see all the paddling she was having to do beneath the surface. You see, although no one told her, the duck felt it was her job to present an image of peace and harmony to all who visited the farm. No one guessed how hard her poor little webbed feet were working beneath the surface just to keep herself afloat. Thus, each day, after working hard to present this picture of perfection, she returned to her nest to sit, nurturing her eggs and waiting for her precious little ducklings to hatch.

One day, she came back to her nest to find an extra egg there. It was absolutely huge! She had no idea where the egg had come from, but she knew that the life inside could not survive without her ministrations. Well, you know what happened from here... Her ducklings hatched and she proceeded to rear her precious ducklings as best she could. (Most people don't know this, but her husband had run off with that terrible Goosey Loosey, so she was on her own with the ducklings.) She was also doing her best with the large, gangly gray adopted duckling who didn't fit in with any of his siblings. Most days, the duck dragged herself to the fence line where she received free counseling from the kind cow. These talks were the only thing really helping to hold herself together since the stresses of single motherhood, rearing a whole brood of children (along with one adopted one), and doing all of her duties while trying to maintain an air of peace and serenity for onlookers nearly drove her to the brink of insanity!

So, when The Little Red Hen approached her, her eyes welled-up with tears and she hung her head in shame. She felt that she should be able to help, but she just didn't have another ounce of anything to offer to anyone... She was emotionally, physically and spiritually drained.

These are the thoughts that ran through my mind in church on Sunday as my minister spoke. Obviously, they had nothing to do with the intent of the lesson. But, they provide a basis for understanding my own personal spiritual struggle as of late. And, as much as I can justify why the cat, the dog and the duck couldn't help and how demanding The Little Red Hen was being, there is a lesson in here about humility for me, personally. If I believe that God works through people, then I have to believe that God manifested in the form of the Bitchy Little Red Hen, too. The cat, the dog and the duck, (all me), even though they have numerous good reasons for not wanting to help, are still exhibiting behaviors steeped in selfishness and self-centeredness. Only in being willing to join in with God's other people to do "extra" assignments He presents daily, am I able to experience true peace and serenity that comes with the humility of being willing to rise to whatever occasion with which God is presenting me.

Spending so much time in mental or emotional rebellion is more exhausting than doing "one more thing". If I can learn this... If I can really "get" this idea about trusting God to give me the strength and abilities I need to do the things that cross my path daily, with an attitude of gratitude and loving service, I will be so much more peaceful and serene... Some days, I'm there... Some days, I'm just faking it, like the duck. Which, I guess, is O.K. too.

All of that being said, I know I also have a tendency to take on too much at times. Thus, being compassionate to my cat, dog and duck selves is important, as well. There are times when I need to say, "Not I". However, that means that I don't get to eat any of the bread when all is said and done.

But, the really amazing thing is when I have true moments of greatness. There are times when I can be like The Little Red Hen, only at the end of it all I can say, "I know you didn't help me plant or sow or reap this wheat. I know you didn't help me grind the wheat into flour. I know you didn't help me bake the bread... But, please, join me anyway... I would love to share my bounty with you because I am so terribly grateful that you are all here. Thanks for taking care of the mice, Lazy Cat. Thanks for herding sheep and scaring away wolves, Lazy Dog. Thanks for rearing your ducklings and working hard to mother a duckling that isn't even yours biologically, Lazy Duck. You all enrich my life. For that, I am grateful. Come rest your weary bones with me and have some bread."

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Happy Birthday, Sarah!

Today is the day that I have become the mother of two teenagers. Dan has been a teenager for a while, but Sarah embarks on her journey today, as she turns 13. She is already well on her way... In fact, in some ways, Sar dived headlong into all things "teen-agery" even more than her sister.

Sarah isn't my easy child... She is the child who evokes a response... She is the child who forces me to flex my parenting muscles. She is the child who brings me closer into my relationship with God because I never know for sure that I am doing anything "right" with regard to her.

But, Sarah is also the child who needs me... Not because she is dependent, but because something about me is able to soothe her soul. And, amazingly, something about Sarah speaks to my heart like no one else can.

When I cleaned Sarah's room when she was a little girl, it was always a fascinating experience. I would find plastic containers full of magical potions (mixtures of shampoo, conditioner, mouthwash, glue and finger paint). I would also find purses full of treasures like sweet gum balls and pine needles. She always had tons of notes folded up everywhere that gave insight into the workings of her mind... Little lists: 1. Call Kevin. 2. Pet Susie. 3. Play in the red dirt pile. I could never decide if I was horrified at the level of mess, (although there was always a strange, systematic order to Sarah's mess), or if I was completely in awe of stepping into her giant, child-sized mind for a while. Maybe it was a little of both.

This past year was one of worry and fear for me as far as Sarah was concerned. She seemed to get sick around every bend. We spent a lot of time in the hospital and even more time doing I.V. meds. She wouldn't eat... She wouldn't drink Ensure... Rebellion dogged her every step. Nothing I did or didn't do seemed to help. I developed an understanding that while, as a parent, I have a responsibility to lead, my children have no responsibility to follow. Further, sometimes maybe facing their own consequences is exactly what they are supposed to do. The problem that pervaded my mind daily was the fact that Cystic Fibrosis has startling and lasting consequences.

And, now, with the onset of summer, her weight is up and her lung functions are better. She is doing the things she needs to do to be well and healthy. She has also been a tremendous help to me during my pregnancy. It's as if the sun came out, and we can see the path more clearly.

Certainly, I feel relieved... But, as I reflect on Sarah on this special day, I more fully understand that she is on her own spiritual journey. She is certainly a part of mine, but as she grows older, hopefully the lessons will become more her own. Or, maybe the lessons have always been hers and I have just taken them too much to heart.

So, Happy Birthday, Sarah! I'm so grateful you came into my life 13 years ago.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Better Living Through Chemistry

So, I just finished reading some of my sister-in-law's blog. I need to make time to really sit down and peruse the whole thing. Many of her recent entries are related to a variety of psychotropic drugs being regularly prescribed along with side effects, etc. Interesting stuff, really. We are such a "better-living through chemistry" society. And, I have to add that I have taken anti-depressants during my life. When Dave and I started trying to get pregnant, I stopped taking Wellbutrin. And, mostly, I have been O.K. I wasn't willing to risk side effects to my unborn child, even though multiple doctors conveyed that remaining on antidepressants is perfectly safe. I just don't always have the most faith in the long-term effects of such things, even if professionals are trying to convince me otherwise.

I began taking antidepressants after separating from Danielle and Sarah's dad. I was enrolled in college full-time, working full-time, and was attempting to rear two children with CF. Further, I had taken my grandmother to the hospital for chemotherapy treatments after a diagnosis of pancreatic cancer. Talk about your toxic drugs! I remember reading about the treatments during her admission and asking, "Grandma Dot, are you sure you want to do this? I'm not really sure this is a good idea." And, it turns out I was right. The chemo killed her. After sitting idly by, watching her deteriorate, I broke down in my therapist's office. (Yes, I'm sure you are relieved to hear I was receiving professional therapy at this point in my life.) My therapist, a completely savvy woman, listened to my current state and decided, "Wow, you are depressed." And, after referring me to a shrink (because a psychiatrist has the letters after his name allowing him to prescribe drugs), I was placed on Wellbutrin.

I have no criticism of the drug. It was a miracle for me at the time. It allowed me to go about the business of my life without bursting into tears for no apparent reason. It allowed me to finish papers late at night and made it possible to crawl out of bed every morning without cursing the sun's existence. I believe I desperately needed it at the time. I also believe that I no longer need it. I believe that God is doing for me what I could not do for myself. And, I believe that any problems my baby may or may not have will not be as a result of me taking any type of drug.

Now, all of that being said, I believe drugs are extremely necessary in my life at this point. And, I mean, bring on the drugs! The heavier-duty the drug, the better... Given that I am such a hippy and so into yoga and alternative therapies, some may be shocked to read this. But, I can't help it. There are times when heavenly, blissful escape is all I can think about. There are times, several of them occurring this very morning, when I crave the easier, softer way that I believe drugs can offer. Keep your 12-step meetings, your Serenity Prayer, your slogans... I know you are well-meaning, but I have tried all that and have met with incredible failure. It is not working, even though I'm trying to work it. Thus, in my desperation, I'm willing to dive into the better living through chemistry pool, in an attempt to find sweet, sweet relief.

Last night, Danielle caught Dusty, one of our three cats, peeing on the rug in the kitchen. She put her out, but I am at my wits end with these cats. I have been working feverishly to get the baby's room ready and have had to clean cat pee daily. These cats are peeing all over my house. And, I am grossed out. I'm freaked out. I just can't stand it anymore. The Internet reveals that the cats are under emotional distress. Often, with the arrival of a new baby, cats can become anxious. The Internet also states that homes with multiple cats have more problems with spraying and "naughty bathrooming". But, regardless of the reason, it is SO nasty. I have waged full out war with Clorox wipes and multiple cleaning products to no avail. And, alas, while the Internet pet doctors talk about how sad it is that people turn their pets over to the Humane Society citing that cats peeing in the house is the number one reason people get rid of their pets, they are offering no real reasonable solutions for my family.

Last weekend, after cleaning cat pee off of the baby's new changing pad (yes, note the irony) I laid down the edict that cats were to stay outside. After calming down, Dave tried to talk to me about how hard it would be to keep them outside all the time. Thus, in an attempt to be reasonable, I conceded that we should stop at the pet store to get the pheromone spray, which is reported to make cats feel all warm, fuzzy and secure so they don't feel a need to pee on my stuff. It seemed kind of homeopathic and natural, so I was willing to give it a try.

But, this morning, after Dusty was thrown out for the night and I sprayed the warm, fuzzy spray on the area where the carpet had previously lay (since I have to wash the @#$#@ thing again!), Dusty was allowed back in the house this morning. She lay in wait for Dave to leave for the gym, hopped on the counter top and peed all over my kitchen counter and further sprayed her villainous odor all over the coffee pot. IT WAS REVENGE PEE! Not wishing to drink cat pee, I poured out the coffee, fully disinfected the area and scoured the counter top. But, I am obviously very upset and at my wits end.

Dusty was left outside when we went to church, and feeling a little more spiritual, I decided to pray for all of the cats during our prayer circle time at the end of the service. Lo and behold, upon arriving home, I was greeted with cat pee on the back mat when I entered the door. GARFIELD! I CAN'T STAND THIS! THEY ARE PEEING ON EVERYTHING AND I HAVE TO BRING A BABY INTO THIS FILTH. I guess my prayer went unanswered, or God said, "No", or God said, "Wait." I don't know what God said, but I know cat pee awaited our return from church.

So, I have Googled all the information I can find, and the only acceptable thing I can find to do is drug these cats. There is something called Kitty Prozac, and I say "Bring it on." Dave is ready to allow the cats the opportunity to experience the next life, but I am willing to give this a shot. Dave also revealed how his brother, Keith, gave a parrot, who was plucking out all of his feathers, a couple of drops of whiskey in his water and the parrot was miraculously cured of the plucking behavior. I am not above trying a kitty cocktail either. We don't have any alcohol in the house, but a trip to the liquor store may be warranted. I mean, I'm up for anything. Kitty marijuana brownies... Kitty heroin... Kitty Valium... While I am committed to sobriety, do my cats have to be?

The thing is... Dan and Sarah absolutely love their demented, peeing cats. Dusty is a cat we adopted for Dan as a Christmas present. She howled the entire time during the car ride home when Dave and I drove to Mobile to get her. We should have known she was mental that first day and turned around to return her, but she was so pretty. She is a muted calico with gray, white and light orange fur. She sleeps with Dan every night, and when Dan goes to visit her dad, she becomes upset and sits at my feet yowling as if to ask, "Where is my person?" She doesn't enjoy being petted by anyone except Danielle; although, if Dan is out of town, I make a point to pet her so she doesn't become even more anti-social than she is currently. Garfield is one of the cats we accidentally stole, thinking we were rescuing him. (See my blog entry entitled "Yoga and the Cat Rescue Mission). Sarah chose him and named him because he liked to eat so much. She didn't have a cat of her own, as Dan has always been the cat person, so Garfield was specifically adopted as her cat. He lays flat on his back, legs sprawled in the air, right beside Sarah every night. He is also the most annoying cat we have. He has what Dave likes to call "Other Side of the Door Syndrome". He meows to go out the back door, then runs around to the front of the house and claws the window screen until someone lets him in. He also jumps up and claws the back door, scratching all the paint off in the process.

We also have Suzy. This little, black, part-Siamese cat was adopted by a sweet lady across town who rescued a Mama cat only to discover she was pregnant. Dan earned Suzy because she stopped sucking her thumb once and for all. She is symbolic of a childhood milestone. And, while she was officially Dan's cat, anyone who has ever had a cat knows that cats determine who actually owns them... Or perhaps, they determine which person they own. So, Suzy is my cat. She also loves Dave. She sleeps with us every night, and she is the least crazy of all the cats. While I am not entirely convinced of her complete innocence in the peeing escapades, she is generally well-behaved and ignores the rest of the cats completely. It's almost as if she knows they are nuts and holds herself to a higher standard. Suzy even goes out in the back yard with the dog, whereas the other cats all go out the garage door entrance. She is too cool to hang out with the other cats; she seeks out an entirely different species for companionship rather than lowering her standards to associate with the aberrant creatures hell-bent on spewing filth and stench throughout my living quarters.

I know that I am justified in getting rid of these frustrating felines. Dan and Sarah would probably get over it eventually. My most demanding responsibility is to the baby's health. But, I have a hard time just writing them off. When we adopted/stole the cats, we made a commitment to care for them for the duration of their lives. And, I have a hard time giving them away, or taking them to a shelter, or any other option that might expedite the end of their kitty lives. I think part of me is geared that way. I mean, I have several family members that could be described as emotionally defective, but I don't get rid of them. (I also don't live with them, but I would like to believe if Dave or one of the girls developed a mental disorder that led them to pee all over the house, I would go the extra mile to seek a solution instead of just getting rid of them.) Isn't that what family is about? Sticking together through the rough times? Loving each other in spite of those glaring flaws that infringe on each other's rights... But, maybe a little chemical help is in order to facilitate a little more family harmony.

So, regardless of the side effects, I believe drugging my kitties is in the best interest of everyone... Certainly in their own best interest, when the alternative means a quick trip to Euthanasia Town. Who knows? Maybe all of that Internet baloney about anxiety is true... Maybe these cats are amongst those who really need medication to function reasonably in society. (Like some of the children I teach...) And, maybe, I am beyond caring as long as I don't awaken to cat pee in my coffee.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Summer is Upon Us

I always listen quizzically to those who are proponents of year-round-school... Not because I necessarily disagree with the concept, mind you, but because summer break feels like such a sigh of relief. School is out in May here in Mississippi, so the entire month feels like an Olympic trial. It is mainly school-related activities that cause the majority of my angst, but some things are seasonally thrown in for good measure to add greater stress. (i.e. family birthdays, Mother's Day, dance recitals, etc.) Thus, as I sit here this Memorial Day, I'm not necessarily remembering and honoring fallen soldiers, I'm just resting and regrouping in an attempt to regain some of the sanity that was necessarily lost throughout the month of May.

Sarah gave and excellent performance in her dance recital this year. However, that came with trials and tribulations of its own. She has spent approximately the last month on I.V. meds. One of the selling points of the port was that she would be able to participate in all of her dance and gym activities without recourse. However, I'm not sure Dr. Sindel was entirely educated on what can happen to an accessed port-a-cath during a back handspring-back tuck combination. After one practice leading up to recital, the needle popped half-way out, causing great pain and an even greater sense of drama. We had to pull the line and miss two doses of meds before Nurse Tammy, our homehealth nurse could come reaccess her. I have been trying to talk her into letting me access her, but she isn't ready for that yet. Our friend, Lauren, accesses herself and I really aspire to that level of independence for Sarah. Even with the ups and downs with the port, Sarah didn't have to be hospitalized in May, which might have very well sent me completely over the edge, as I had a loose grip on sanity and serenity in general at the time.
Danielle also gave and excellent performance in her band concert. She had two solos and performed flawlessly. She also made Symphonic Band next year, so she is very happy about that achievement. I'm most proud that she managed a "C" in Astronomy after making an "A" on her final exam. She struggled with the course, and after I conferenced with her teacher and determined for myself that he is a complete baffoon, I am really proud that she pulled a "C" in the class. I always tell parents at school when they complain about various teachers that it builds a child's character and intrinsic sense of self-esteem if they are able to cope with whatever teacher they are given. That is an easy lecture for me to dish out educator to parent... Not as easy when my own child is struggling with an incompetent boob charged with the responsibility of providing an education to her... However, I stand by my beliefs. Danielle hopefully learned that she is responsible for her own education, even when her teacher has been unable to successfully impart knowledge to her.

Both girls are struggling to achieve optimal health right now. I.V. meds for Sar, and oral antibiotics for Dan haven't really seemed to make an impact this time. We return to Dr. Sindel's office on June 2nd, so I trust you will keep us in your thoughts and prayers as you read this. Both girls are doing well with their weight, so we are grateful for that upturn of events. Sometimes CF is so mysterious... Especially when the doctor has recommended this or that and nothing seems to be helping. Right now, I'm reading "Lessons in Truth" by Emily Cady. She talks about the "appearance of illness" being outside of the reality of God. If we are created in God's image and likeness, truly an expression of God's spirit, then only in aligning ourselves with that Presence and Spirit can we expect to break through the appearance of illness, lack, poverty, or any other image that seems "less than". I continue to pray and meditate upon that idea, and lead the girls in affirming that idea. But, I'm certainly not perfect at maintaining that level of consciousness, when the appearance of illness rings with such clarity in the form of hacking coughs throughout the house. However, I know that I don't have to do it alone, and I trust that those who are praying with us and for us often have greater faith than I.

I also go back to the doctor on June 2nd for an ultrasound. The baby is moving all around. I can sit and watch my belly jump as she moves around and kicks like the Karate Kid. I went to Maternal-Fetal medicine last month to have a "level 2" ultrasound because of my "advanced maternal age", which the doctor kept referencing much to Dave's delight. The funny thing about it all is that I have enjoyed this pregnancy much more as a result of my "advanced maternal age". I was 23 when I was pregnant with Dan and 26 when I was pregnant with Sar. The morning sickness, the swollen feet, the fatigue... All of those things seemed like they would last forever. Now, that I am 38, all of the symptoms of pregnancy, while annoying, don't seem as overwhelming. I know that it is really such a brief time and that the whole experience will be over before I know it. That realization has helped me to enjoy the experience more than when I was younger. I don't mind sharing my body as much.

Dave has accepted a job as the Assistant Director of the Technology Center. He has wanted to work in administration since receiving his Master's degree in the field, so I am very excited and happy for him. Currently, he is fulfilling his last teaching responsibility by writing next year's math curriculum. However, he seems to be handling the change much better than I would. He has been a little sad or nostalgic about not coaching next year, but otherwise he seems ready to embark upon his new path in educational administration. I'm sure he'll be brilliant. I mean, he is brilliant already. He's also extremely forthright, so I pray that he will be able to hold his tongue when it is pertinent to do so.
Anyway, I hope you will join me in a deep cleansing breath as I relax into everything that is summer. Upon reflection, I'm not exactly sure I will regain any sanity. I have only a nodding acquaintance with the concept. But, serenity and clarity of thought seem to be a little closer within reach, and for that I probably won't ever endorse year-round-school.


Saturday, May 03, 2008

He has Ears!

"Does he have ears?" This was the first question I asked when Mom called from the hospital to inform me that I had a brand-new baby brother. I wasn't sure if babies came with ears or if they grew on later. Given I was a mere 3 1/2 years old when he was born, I wasn't exactly sure what I was dealing with, but my earlobe fetish presented full force, even back then.

I always knew my brother was destined for fame, fortune and greatness. I knew that right from the start. He was absolutely beautiful, and I was immediately enamored of him. My fascination has never waned... Tom and I are so completely opposite. I was always struggling to be the "good girl"... The one who did everything to please everyone... The child who made parents smile broadly and think, "I am so proud." My attempts at fulfilling that role were often met with feelings of serious inadequacy, given that our home was rife with alcoholism. Mom always thought we were the greatest, but I didn't have to work hard to please her... It was always Dad that I wanted so desperately to please. Being good enough for Mom was easy. Being good enough for Dad was impossible... So, of course, his approval was what I sought early in life. Alas, most of the time nothing was ever good enough. Imagine the blond-haired, blue-eyed, little girl struggling for Daddy's love walking hand-in-hand with a blond-haired, brown-eyed little boy, who had no use for conventions or rules of any kind. That was me and Tom. He bucked the system from the word "go". He never cared about approval, about pleasing anyone, or about having ironed clothes. He marched to his own beat, and I trotted along sometimes trying to catch his rhythm.

As children, we were inseparable. We developed an unhealthy emotional dependence on one another to survive the chaos at home. There are hair-raising stories that I won't share here, but these episodes only served to bond us more closely together. And, more than anything, we were each others biggest supporters. We fought and played and laughed and yelled. When we were young, a part of each of our identities was reserved as a piece of the other.

With the onset of our teen years, we both became more uncoventional. Tom had always been the rebel, so it was only natural when he began piercing, tattooing and wearing combat boots. I rebelled in other ways that weren't outwardly obvious, and we both remained inseparable. We were an odd pair. Tom traveled with the punk crowd, so I often found myself surrounded by guys with 1-foot-high mohawks hanging at a skate park. My long blond hair, and clean cut manner of dress never seemed to fit, but I was allowed access because of my brother. And, I envied them... I envied him, because he didn't care what people thought. He would not play the game the way society dictated, and I sat in awe of him. I would bounce between being frustrated with his lack of convention, when I wanted him to conform, and jealous of his ability to laugh at the expectations of the world. Tom was weirdly brilliant. He failed in school, but read Walt Whitman. He listened to Larry King on talk radio late at night when he should have been in bed. He tried to introduce me to the genius of ee cummings, but I couldn't get over his shunning of capital letters. He was further frustrated by my lack of reverence for Jack Kerouac and Henry Rollins. He didn't understand my affinity for lip-sincing Madonna, but together, we sang a mean duet of Prince's "Anothalovaholeinyohead".

In our late teen years, we moved in different directions. The unhealthy dependence became a healthier friendship. Our differences were magnified, and we shifted toward our various interests. Tom continued on his path of marching to his own beat. I pursued more traditional avenues. Tom's path included joining the high school drama club and going to Virginia Tech to pursue acting. I was thrilled to watch my brother perform in in different plays. He played Kinicke in "Grease", which was more like type-casting than anything else... But, I remember him playing a character in "Sweet Charity". I think he played Vittorio Vidal (courtesy of Google), but I'm not sure. All I know is that I knew that the person on stage was my brother, but I was also thoroughly convinced that he was an older gentleman. Tom was brilliant. He played his greatest role in marrying his first wife. The wedding was a zany affair and the college students at Virginia Tech all played their parts admirably. It was a wedding filled with characters, and I sat with my new baby, watching as two-year-old Danielle danced with the beautiful people, staring in fascination at the goings-ons. Tom's marriage didn't last, but the wedding was one of the most incredible productions I have ever seen.

Tom's life led him away from Virginia to Nashville, working in various capacities on and around movie sets. He has moved hither and yon... I think he lived in Ohio and then moved to Orlando, FL. Whatever he has done, it has been in some capacity that his unconventional and much less "secure" than anything I would have chosen. There are times when I know life has been harder for Tom than for me. He wrestles with life, and making it work for him. My choices have led me down the road of being the mom of two children with cystic fibrosis, making security and steady income absolute necessities. Tom has lived a different life, moving from place to place and rubbing elbows with beautiful people. And, he doesn't know, but sometimes I have watched with envy. There are times when I know I couldn't live life the way Tom does, but other times when I yearn for the freedom offered by his lifestyle. Mostly, I am content and happy, but sometimes, just like when we were kids, I am so enamored of his ability to only be accountable to himself. He wears "To thine own self be true" like a badge of honor.

Tom has married a wonderful lady, Kim, so he has more ties than normal. Together they have embraced "the life". They work on movie sets, and describe some of the work as "babysitting the stars". It is such a fascinating way to live. We love when they visit, and enjoy hearing all the stories. Although, sometimes I am greatly disheartened when I hear that one of my favorite stars is less than pleasant in real life. Dan and Sarah both love Uncle Tom and Aunt Kim. But, Sarah in particular, is completely enthralled with her uncle. She identifies him as her favorite person in the world. Perhaps because Sarah is much more like her uncle than like me. She has always marched to her own beat, just like her uncle. And, I work on honoring that quality with Sarah, just as I always did with Tom.

Now, Tom has landed a role in a movie about Billy Graham. I am especially thrilled for him. The picture above is from the movie set. Tom plays the doctor that delivered Billy Graham's first child. I think we will make a big family event of going to see the movie. We can't wait! And, I know he will be brilliant, just as he has always been.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Making Room for Micah

Closets of stuff! Roomfuls of stuff! Corners and crannies and nooks of stuff! Everything has to be removed and reorganized to make room for Micah. She is coming in August whether I am ready or not. So, I would rather be ready; and of course, I think it makes for a better environment if the baby's room is ready and welcoming. Thus, we have all embarked upon the Spring Break Mission called "Making Room for Micah".

This mission has impacted everyone. Dan and Sarah are losing their treatment room. Until yesterday, the girls had a room dedicated entirely to taking their treatments. It had a futon, the vest machine, nebulizers and all the meds (with the exception of the meds that have to be refrigerated- Those are kept downstairs in a special refrigerator just for medicine.) The room also housed a television and VCR, board games, art supplies, a lap top, and a variety of other interesting little goodies designed to keep kids and teens busy during those boring, daily drudgeries called treatments. They have both been very gracious about giving up their room. Now that we have two vest machines, they are able to take their treatments in their bedrooms. Still, this transition has meant moving out of an entire room and adapting to a whole different way of doing things.

I have been feeling nostalgic about the treatment room... After all, it hasn't always been a treatment room. The vest and treatments used to be kept downstairs in the living room. This signified a time when the girls were too young to be trusted to get their treatments independently. (Sometimes I wonder if we are still in that phase... But, mostly, I know they are taking care of themselves so that I don't have to worry myself sick when they go off to college.) When Sarah was small, it was her room. She didn't want the room with the attic door because it "creeped her out". Later, when Sarah was able to handle the idea of the attic door in her room, she moved out and it became a playroom, full of toys and games. I have memories of little girls dressing up in feather boas and gowns... I would go in to clean and find weird concoctions mixed by Sarah. She loved to make potions. Sometimes there would be something really fascinating like a purse filled with rocks and pine straw. Dan would fill page after page with pictures of cats. The room was a place where a child's imagination would flourish, along with their abilities to make colossal messes.

The room evolved again when Mom and J.R. moved in while their house was being built. They lived in the room and redesigned the closet during their stay. After they moved out, the room became a storage/treatment room again until Hurricane Katrina blew in destroying everything and necessitating their return to the room. After rebuilding their home, my parents moved out again and the room was once more relegated to service as a treatment room.

Now, it will be a baby's room. In my mind's eye, it had always been a nursery, until the last evolution. Dave and I had pretty much given up entirely on the idea that we would have a child together. So, this cleaning and organizing has been a reminder of a spiritual lesson. I am always trying to figure God out. I had settled into a certain comfort with the idea that I would have two girls, and that was that... I had even decided that I was really getting too old to manage a new baby, anyway. Dave had come to a level of sad acceptance that he would be a wonderful co-father to the girls, but that he wouldn't have a child of his own. We had really accepted and embraced the idea, and then in November discovered the happy news that I was pregnant. Still, we waited a while before getting our hopes up, since I have had multiple miscarriages. After the 8 week mark and with the onset of morning sickness, it became a little more real.

Currently, my belly is expanding by the day, and ultrasounds (along with her own inner gymnastics) have confirmed that I am indeed having a baby girl. And, we are all scrambling to welcome her. My church family held a wonderful shower for me and Arianna, a dear friend who will be having her baby in May. (See the picture above.) Mom has become a consummate Internet baby furniture shopper. We are all preparing in whatever ways we can, which for now means purging the old to invite the new.

That brings me back to the spiritual lesson... So often I fill my life with stuff that takes up room, but no longer serves me. In the closet, I found space heaters that had been used after the storm, old art supplies, and tons of frames, pictures and memorabilia set aside for that picture project that has been looming for years. Clearing out the past to make way for the future is an important spiritual lesson for me. If I fill my head with old, outdated ideas, I don't have room for new, inventive thoughts. If my mind and heart are preoccupied with thoughts and feelings that no longer serve me, I am stuck in a mess and unable to move forward. It reminds me of the unofficial definition of insanity: "Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results." Sometimes doing a new thing means clearing away items from the past. Sometimes it means standing still and doing nothing, when every fiber of my being is telling me to "say something" or "do something". Sometimes the new idea means recognizing that some things aren't mine to do. And, much to my chagrin, other times it means doing the things (like balancing my checkbook) that I really don't want to do. But, ultimately, the action or inaction clears the way for a new and wonderful experience in my life.

This time, the new and wonderful will be in the form of a new little addition to our family. However, before that can happen, I suppose I should get back to cleaning out the closets.


Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Raving Against Stupidity

I should be working on my National Boards... I mean, I REALLY should be working on my National Boards, but instead I am sitting in the hospital with Sar, finding that I need to vent. I really just want to go home. After all, I can procrastinate on my boards just as well there... Heck, I am an even better procrastinator at home and sometimes things get done like the cleaning of my refrigerator.

For those who don't know, National Boards is a process in which I write 4 entries and submit 2 video tapes demonstrating my exemplary knowledge as an educator. It is quite a prestigious achievement... It is quite a learning and growing process as a teacher. Actually it is quite a crock, but I get a pay increase of $6000 a year for the next 10 years. Further, my license will be good for 10 years if I can pass. So, given that Dan will be turning 16 and a car will probably have to figure somewhere into that equation, the extra money will be helpful for our family. And, I have always been able to wax poetic when need be... But, I am finding myself uninspired. Still the entire thing is due March 31, so I am hoping for some sort of Divine Inspiration, or at a minimum that my ego kicks in with my "I have to be perfect at everything I do, and I absolutely can not fail at anything." However, thus far, I am finding that I could just care less about it.

The thing I do find myself caring about is being stuck in the hospital again. Sarah went to CF Clinic on Monday to find that her pulmonary functions were down again. Also, she had lost 2 lbs. When her little body only weighs 80 lbs. to start with, 2 lbs. really makes a difference. So, Dr. Sindel determined that she needed to be hospitalized to have a CT scan of her lungs and a bronchioscopy to determine what lingering germs are creating this recurrent sickness. She had the scan yesterday which showed a few pockets of thick mucus primarily in her right lung. So, this morning, Dr. Sindel went in and took samples from her right lung, and sent them off to the lab to see what bacteria grows. He also washed her lungs and injected Pulmozyme directly into the places that were clogged. The procedure seemed to go smoothly and Sarah is currently recovering well.

But, we did hit a rocky period. Demerol makes Sar nauseous. So, after we returned to the room, she began feeling queasy. We called for Sophran (an anti-nausea medicine), but our nurse had mysteriously disappeared off the face of the planet. She also began complaining of a headache. So, I asked that she be given some Tylenol. Well, you would think I had asked for a shot of Heroin. The nurses kept saying, "Well, she just took 600 mg of Motrin". To which I replied, "Yes, which she takes every day of her life twice a day; thus, it has absolutely no effect whatsoever on a headache."

Then in breezes the resident (the oncall doctor), who is not at the top of my list since she came in and woke me up at 12:20 a.m. to ask me the same questions that I had previously filled out on the nurse's form upon admisssion. She walked in as Sarah is vomiting into a pink bucket and asked, "How's it going?" Now, I may not be a doctor, but I think this qualifies as an extremely stupid question given the gravity of the situation... Only after her second episode of vomiting did a nurse come give her Sophran. She never did get any Tylenol.

Finally, though, she is feeling better and felt well enough to eat lunch at 3:00 pm. Being in the hospital is an incredibly frustrating because I really believe that I can do a better job at home. Granted, I can't do a CT scan or a bronchioscopy, but other than that, I could do the rest myself... And, we would be in the comfort of our own home without people poking their head in every 15 minutes. Napping is impossible in the hospital. When people call or send of message that says, "Get some rest", I know for sure that they have never stayed here. Home equals rest. Hospital equals aggravation and illness. I guess it is just the focus. And, I am really trying to stay centered and focused. "Wherever we are, God is and all is well." I know this. But, I can move knowledge from my head to my heart better when I am not really tired and aggravated with people asking me dumb questions.

Anyway, I have used this blog experience to procrastinate long enough... Back to Sar, and the park, and putting off National Boards for a little while longer.