Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Stupid Stick

Today I got hit with the stupid stick. Repeatedly. And hard. Below is just part of the many things that went awry.

First, a little background: Normally, I don't work summers. Or, to be exact, I work one day a month in July and August to protect my benefits. Before you get all, Oh it must be nice!, remember that those "days off" are reflected in my paycheck. This year I am working Tuesdays and Thursdays in July and August. Nancy is sticking with the we-don't-DO-summers plan (oh sure, she says it's because of Ken... ahem... okay, it's because of Ken).

Because it's summer school, the kids are only available for a shortened day. Also, I'm down to about half of my classes. Of those, not everybody is ready yet.

I've got a buttload of jobs waiting to be done. Big jobs. Short turnaround times.

So my sense of urgency was already heightened. Add to that the employer who was giving jobs to two classes today couldn't get their stuff ready until after 10:30.

Once I had the first job and was heading out to Chino, another employer called. She was desperate. I stopped on the way.

After getting the second job from the first employer, another class called. She had paperwork ready. She wanted work. She was desperate for something to do with the kids since her class had been "grounded" by the department head.

I stopped and gave Desperate Teacher the job from Desperate Employer. Then I was on to the "second" class. Their day was almost over. They'd been looking for me for almost two hours.

At that school I had to drive my personal vehicle onto campus. Because of construction, I had to go about a quarter of a mile out of my way to get in and to get out.

This is relevant, why?

Because half a mile is about how far I was from the nearest gas station when my car display started flashing, "Pull over safely now. Pull over safely now." And then it died.

Sure, my car has a gas gauge.

And yeah, it was showing, "60 miles from E" when I left home this morning.

Mm-hmm, it is about 45 miles from my door to Grandma's.

And yeah, that first school in Chino and the one at the end of the day are roughly 28 miles apart if I go straight from one to the other.

So there I sat in my hybrid on the side of the road, calling roadside assistance through my cell phone company.

"Yes ma'am, how can I help you today?"

"I need the stupid service, please"

Clearly nervous about heading in the wrong direction: "Uh. You... you me... you mean you need yoouurrr... keys... your... uh... car... unlocked?"

Pondering the fact that there are a multitude of stupid services and wondering how long before I try them all... again: "No. I need gas. I have a hybrid and I ran out of gas anyway. And it has a display to tell you exactly how many miles until you're on E."

Not sure why I always have to make sure the person on the other end knows the depth of my idiocraty (yep, now I'm making my own stupid words, too), but I do.

Apparently I was contagious, because she contacted a service company that was about 30 miles away.

While waiting, I rolled my windows down only part way because I needed to make a bunch of calls. Some work-related. One to Mom to see if she could get Corey to his counseling appointment at 2:45.

Once the seven minutes of electric power turned off after the car died, I couldn't get the windows down any further. It was 95 degrees outside and I was stuck on a major thoroughfare in a no parking zone.

When the guy finally arrived in all the glory of his seven hairs and three teeth, he asked, "So, the gauge not working on that thing?"

"Nope. It's fine. I just got hit with the stupid stick."


"Yes, exactly."

When I finally dragged myself back to my office this afternoon, I passed by a conversation in progress between my boss and someone else.

My boss said, "She has doctor's appointments! Three of them!"

I breezed by saying, "And they're all mental health, too. What do you expect? I've got a teen, a toddler, a puppy and a new house. I'm doing the best I can, people!"

Next up was the reason I even went to the office in the first place. Mileage for June had to be submitted today because it's the end of the fiscal year. Last month's mileage was my biggest ever. We can really use that money right now.

But apparently we'll have to wait, because I noticed that I didn't change my entire address on the mileage form. Everything is correct except the street name. Guh!

As I was trying to resolve the mileage problem, my cell phone kept ringing. The second time it was Mom, I answered it.

"I just got a call from Corey. He's already almost done. His appointment wasn't at 2:45, it was at 2:15."

So the good news is this: I got my car washed. I made it through the day. And I am off tomorrow! Yay hooray!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Any Reason to Gamble

After we had the ultrasound, it became clear that we were no closer to understanding when Baby would be arriving. It was yet another thing that was so different compared to being pregnant with Corey. With him, I went to the doctor, told him my last period and was given a due date. Around four months-ish we had the one and only ultrasound, which moved the date back three weeks! I came as close to hyperventilating over that as I ever have, but ultimately, it was correct. Corey was due on July 4, 1993 and at 12:30 A.M. on the 4th, I went into labor. He was 24 minutes late, but seriously, he needed to have his own birthday.

Our next appointment with the OB was something out of a sitcom. I kept listening for the laugh track. He pulled out a calendar and started throwing out random dates. Some of them would have required my getting pregnant while on my period... and let me tell you, that did not happen. Eventually Doc settled on April 13, 2008.

Yeah, the age difference still shocks me, too. Here's what it looked like about two months ago:
We collected all of the potential due dates and mixed in the fact that we weren't finding out if "It" was a boy or a girl. Then we made a chart and started taking wagers. Five dollars got you a date and gender combination. Winner takes all. Forty-eight people wagered, but more on that later.

Friday, June 19, 2009

How Not To Have a Great Day

I got about three and a half hours of sleep last night. I probably only got that much because I went to bed early with a stomach ache. When Tom came to bed, I thought it was the crack of dawn and that he was getting up for work. I was wide awake. So I came down here to mess around for a little while. Four hours later I returned to bed in time for his alarm to go off. Three times. Worrying about missing my own alarm made it impossible to get back to sleep.

Corey, Mad and I managed to get out early enough for a stop at Starbucks before heading down the hill. And since there were no blinding blankets of fog in the pass, I even got to work about 35 minutes earlier than I'd anticipated.

The next three and a half hours were spent in a podcast training. By lunch some of the people had the software installed (step three out of about 117 on the agenda). As a rambling sort of speaker, I understand what was happening to the instructor, but great googly moogly! St. Fu, dude, St. Fu!

When I finally left the building to find lunch, I was on my own. I used some of that time to check in with Nance because Van Halen's "Jump" had just come on the radio. Ken loves Van Halen. He used to work with one of the brothers... a bazillion years or so ago.

Nancy has begun making a lot of the decisions that are going to come up over the next month or so. One of them being, "What songs do I put on the CD with the photos that will be shown at Ken's memorial once he passes?" My point had been that he should get some Van Halen, even if he's not going to "be there"... and yes, even if Nancy isn't the fan that Ken is. I tried to get her to put in "Hot for Teacher" since she does work in education. I was kidding. But what about Jump?! Isn't that sort of what he's doing here? Jumping from one plane to the next?

Why yes he is... and Nancy is having it as the last song.

In a heartbreaking way, my choosing this song for them is akin to the fact that Nancy chose the song that Tom and I danced to at our wedding: Celine Salon's "At Last." No joking when I say that Tom and I would have wagered any of our worldly possessions against the idea that Celine Dion would even get air time at our wedding, let alone be featured that way. We did searches for any version of At Last other than hers. Etta's? Too scratchy. Cyndi Lauper's? Guh! What the hell was that?!? Some no-name person I can't remember? Can't remember what was wrong with her version either... maybe that's the point. Nope, it had to be Celine. It has to be Van Halen.

***It occurs to me now that a post I thought I'd made earlier never really happened. So here's a brief update before I continue:

The other day Nancy called to tell me that Ken had taken a turn for the worse after our visit last Saturday night. I went to see him one afternoon this week. It worked out best for us all that I got there before Nancy and left when she arrived. Ken and I had deeper conversations than we ever have... probably than I've ever had with anybody, really. He was in so much pain and he let me call the nurse to get something for it (he was up in a chair and couldn't reach the button). A couple of times he mentioned how tired he was and that he just had to get stronger. I looked right at him, but he didn't make much eye contact during those moments. But boy did he get a little spark every time he said, "But I'm not quitting. I'm not giving up!" I told him I could see that in his eyes.

Ken said quietly that all the decisions had been made. My hearing's not excellent and despite the situation, it was out of context, so it took me a minute to grasp what he was saying. I just nodded. I told him that he has a lot of people who love him and who are praying for him. He nodded rather enthusiastically and said, "I know. It's a good thing too, it's the only hope I have right now."

It's times like these that I really wish I had a faith in something more than human abilities.

I really wanted to say so many things to Ken: Nancy will be okay no matter what happens. People around her will not let her hit the ground, we will lift her up no matter what happens. You will be okay, no matter what happens.

It does seem too much like telling someone that it's okay to die... when I don't have the right to give any sort of permission like that. But I wanted him to know... Nancy will be okay.

I didn't bring her up, but Ken did. He kept saying he doesn't want her to have to go through this.

"Yeah, well she feels the same way about you, ya know."

And then... somehow... I was able to say what seemed so important.

"You know, Ken, Nancy also has a lot of people who love her and who'll take care of her."

"I know. I know she does. Please keep an eye on her. I know you will. You do. You and a lot of people."

In the fog of the moment, I can't really remember if he asked me to promise or not. I just know that I did.

Somewhere in there, Nance called to say that she and Robin were almost there. They were taking my parking space because City of Hope is kind of a madhouse when it comes to parking.

So I gave Ken a couple of hugs and kisses through the mask I wore and promised, also, that I'd see him again.

It seems that I will have to be back out there very soon. Probably Monday.

When I spoke with Nance this afternoon she told me that she and their son, Kenny, met with the doctor. Her six year old granddaughter was in the car, so she had to be quite vague, but it seems that the main thing keeping Ken alive right now is the extreme frequency of blood and platelet transfusions. They aren't enough and he's losing the fight.

Kenny is getting married in August. Did I mention that already? He just got engaged a couple of weeks ago and asked Ken to be his best man. Ken won't be there. They're holding a commitment ceremony on Sunday in Ken's room. I guess the next day the doctor will talk with Ken about ending the transfusions.

How does a person... or a team of people in this case... decide which one will be the last? I can't express how relieved I am not to be part of that team. I do understand why it's the best thing for Ken... and probably Nancy... but I'm still... relieved.

One of the things I did after visiting Ken the other day was to contact someone from a local hospice agency that Nance and I work with through our program at work. I went there seeking guidance. How do you help the friend who knows she's too independent for her own good at times?

"What can I do for her? I can see that she's created a protective wall around herself and I don't want to be pushy, but I want her to know I'm her for anything she needs."

"The easiset and the hardest advice is to just be the best 'you' you can be."

"I can do that... my role with Nance has always been to make her laugh. It's not as easy as it once was, but sometimes I can pull it off without being too slapstick."

"Tell her she's doing a good job."

Today I got to tell her. It was all I could do to keep myself together and get the words out so she could hear them. I managed it. Barely. Long enough to get off the phone.

By then there were about 15 minutes before training resumed. I had a mini break-down on the balcony, pulled myself together as best I could and went back to the computer lab. A room full of people who know Nance and know what's going on. One woman saw my red nose and asked, "Shannon, have you heard anything more from Nancy?"

All I could do was put my hands up to stop the words from coming out of her mouth. Nothing was coming out of mine. I looked down and started to log in, but felt the tears coming hot and heavy, so I got up and left. And left my purse in there. I thought about texting one of my friends to bring it out, but of course my cell was in there, too. After nearly 20 minutes hiding in an alcove at the end of a hall, I made my way to my desk.

Since I did have other jobs I could do out of the office, I called one of the secretaries and asked her to go get it for me.

"I won't be disrupting them if I go in there right now?"

"Yes, a little, but not as much as I will if I go in there." Yeah, make it sound like I had a hissy fit or something. Way to go. "I'll explain when you get here."

Instead of the secretary, the woman who brought my purse was the one who had asked. We hugged and had a little talk before I sent her back in and headed off to finish up what has turned out to be pretty high on the list of saddest days ever.

Monday, June 15, 2009

We Interrupt This Story For a Trip to Vegas

Yeah, baby, yeah! A trip to Vegas with Tom's best friend, Joel and his wife, Sharon. Joel's sister and brother-in-law, Karen and Bob (?... Bill? I really should know this since we're back), rounded out the group.

We were both pretty excited to be having our first overnight trip without children since being pregnant. Neither of us could wait!!

Okay, really the conversations went more like this:

(A week before the mini vacay) "What do you mean you paid for it now instead of just making a reservation?!? I paid extra bills this week so we'll be free and clear next week."

(Two days before) "They're not leaving Vegas until that afternoon?! So what time do you see us leaving? Two or three?!?!?! We'll be driving all night!!

Ugh! I can be so freaking whiney.

(The day before) "Listen, I know I'm turning into some sort of cranky old person and it's gotta stop. We can stay until they're at the airport. I mean, really, how often do these chances come up? Right?"

Thank god I can pull it together in a pinch.

One thing I'd used in my arguments for moving to this area is that we are 45 minutes closer to Vegas. Of course that's a damn lie if the grandparents are watching the kids and the dog at two separate houses back down the hill. In reality, we are an additional hour and a half away from Vegas. Thursday morning Tom and I were up well before the butt-crack of dawn and halfway down the hill before daylight. Kids and puppy were dropped off, the car was fueled up and away we went.

We had conversations (yeah... with an S) almost the whole way up. Tom had loaded up some CDs to listen to and we didn't even put one in until we hit state line. And then the one he chose was something he'd brought of mine!

The room was great, the bed was comfortable, the view was of the pool and Eiffel Tower at the Paris. Sharon and Joel were lots of fun. Everything was all hoohoolala until we met up with Karen and Bob (I'm going with Bob unless I hear otherwise). Seriousness presides over the blackjack table, dontcha know.

I'm not a gambler, and paying for the room in advance really did a number on our finances because of the bills I'd also paid, so throwing money at a game I rarely play isn't my gig. But I did have a great time hanging out with Tom and Joel. There wasn't a lot of conversation, and I didn't want to start any and ruin someone's concentration. Sharon was off playing slots and Bob (?) was doing his own thing.

Karen seemed okay at first, but then it turned out that almost every time I said or did anything, she sneered. Talk about a killjoy. I even took a picture of the group as we waited to go upstairs for dinner and she sneered then, too. It's photographic evidence, but I'd rather be able to wonder if I was imagining things. I understand making judgements about people and that we all get to choose our friends, etc. But what the hell? Have a little class; at least try to be subtle! Tom says that Karen doesn't seem to get him either, and that Karen and Joel's mom always gives the sense of disapproval or disappointment.

And what's with stating that "dinner will be casual, right? No getting dressed up," (exactly... we're going to Margaritaville) and then going up to her room and putting on a shiny blouse and heels?!? Tom said, "Maybe she didn't think she was dressed up."

Oh please. She's a woman. She knows the rules!

I was telling my sign class about her and gave her a name sign that clearly demonstrated my thoughts about her. The topic of that segment was "people who irritate you." Next week we'll balance things out by talking about people who enrich us. The anti-Karens, if you will.

Aside from Karen, the trip was a lot of fun. No, we didn't win any money; we lost it, but no more than we'd allotted. Madelyn got a cool train made of wooden blocks from FAO Schwarz (outlet?... not sure, but I was kind of disappointed in the selection) and Corey got an outfit from the Gap. The parents got thank yous in the form of candles and bath stuff. Can you tell I'm not really into the tourist crap? Happy me that Sharon loves to shop more than she loves to play the slots.

The trip home was equally fabulous. Tom and I have decided that I should drive to our vacations (when I'm all perky) and he should drive home (when he's trying to delay the inevitable). It worked really well.

Saturday evening we went out to City of Hope to see Ken. I figured I'd go alone, but Tom wanted to go, too, so we all went after Mad's (latest ending) nap (ever! naturally). He was readmitted about 10 days ago. In the span of less than 24 hours the leukemia was deemed to be present again (along with pneumonia) and had gone from 10% to 17%. His white cells are at 1 (I believe that means 1000, with normal being 140,000). The course of action now is comfort and finding a non-home hospice service.

Most of our hospices here are in-home. Nance has already cared for her mother-in-law through her death from cancer and neither she or Ken are especially eager to make her go through it again.

Their son is recently engaged and planning an August wedding. The doctor has asked the family to consider moving the date up. In the meantime, a commitment ceremony will be held on Father's Day at the hospital.

Is there any good news? Well, for some reason, Ken looks really great. He's gained 15 pounds since being there. Nance said it's because of IV fluids and steroids, and that it's harder to reconcile the fact that he might not be here in two weeks to a month because of how good he looks. Yeah, he's weak and shaky, but he sounds like himself. And his goatee is growing in dark instead of white like it would have before the chemo. So in a weird way, he looks younger, not at all old and gaunt like I'd expected.

Part of me... an embarrassingly large part... seems to be emotionally sheltered. I guess this is what denial feels like.

I have to say that I'm proud of Corey for going up to visit Ken. Madelyn couldn't even be on that floor. Tom and I figured we'd take turns hanging out with the kids, but Corey went up with me and even spoke!

Rounding out our weekend, we went and saw Rent last night. My niece performed with her high school drama group. It was closing night and everybody'd been fighting something, from fever and nausea to sore throats. Sarah and her classmates did an amazing job. There were one or two times when it seemed apparent that someone's voice might not make it, but they always recovered. I am not being biased when I say that Sarah was one of the best, most consistent performers. The play was very well done... I really did laugh and cry. Twice. And I wasn't alone.

And it wasn't the sort of crying Corey used to do when I'd try to sing him to sleep, "No song, wahhh!" I'd switch to humming and get a sobbing, "No hmm-hmm!!" It's clear that Sara does not get her voice from me, lucky girl. If I get any videos, I'll post them here. I took several photos with my expensive camera that I can't stand (the feelings are mutual, trust me). Almost all are blurry.

We were all curious about how "bad" the play would be, considering the subject matter. The only negative that any of us came up with was from Corey, "I couldn't watch Sarah dance like that. I had to avert my eyes." Honestly, I'm not sure what he was talking about. It wasn't like plays at my high school, but it wasn't outside the bounds of decency to me.

I know. Look who's talking.

So, many late nights and lots of highs and lows. But it was a good weekend. I wish it could have gone on a little longer.

Sunday, June 14, 2009


Early in November, 2007 we had the ultrasound. I brought Corey with me, but he absolutely did not want to go in and see anything. Tom was supposed to meet us there. He hadn't missed a single doctor appointment, but I had a sense that this was about to change. It annoyed me that his job seemed to have a greater hold on him than the chance to see our baby looking like a human for the first time. I mean, it had been months since we'd last seen the little bean/peanut with a heartbeat!

Each of those (three) early ultrasounds generated a different due date. Add to that the original doctor's date and our current doctor's guesstimate and we could only be sure that the baby was coming sometime in April. We'd already thrown out our due date guess because we didn't understand that "40 weeks" really means 38 weeks. So one of the things we were really hoping to do was get the due date to end all the guessing.

Sure enough, when I arrived there was no Tom. After getting called back immediately, I took as much time as I could with getting changed. But really, how long could it take? The technician took me into a very cold room. She offered to turn the air off if I needed it, but said the machine made the room extremely warm. During pregnancy I will always choose cold over hot.

I explained that my husband was allegedly right around the corner.

***I tend to use the word allegedly with a sarcastic bent. Sometimes I count on people not realizing this so I can vent. I don't care at that point if they can just think I'm too wordy.

She said she'd "just take the measurements and then we'll bring him in for the fun stuff." The measurements took a long time. Maybe 45 minutes or so. The baby was clearly on Dad's side when it came to revealing its sex. Although I was mostly rapt with the parts of my baby ("there's the spine... that's right, Baby, you've got a backbone and you're going to use it!"), part of me was watching the clock, wondering where Tom was. About 20 minutes in I got a call saying that Tom had arrived. I was more than a little peeved by then, because I knew that he not only stayed a little too long at work, but he took side streets instead of the freeway. ("Dude, when you're leaving at 2:30 in the afternoon, the freeways are okay. No, really. Way better than that 25 mile per hour street with stoplights every 100 yards. Seriously. Try it sometime." Ugh! Do I sound like Kate Gosselin? I hope not, but jeez!)

Although I wasn't supposed to spy it, I saw on the monitor at the end that the estimated age was 18 weeks, 2 days. If that was accurate, we were looking at an April 4 due date. The technician wouldn't answer any questions about our due date exactly, but she did say that the early ultrasounds (before 12 weeks) are usually more accurate because babies don't all grow at the same rate, and that ultrasounds at this point can be off by as much as two weeks. She also wouldn't say if everything looked okay (which I knew she wouldn't but I had to ask anyway). She did say, "... but I can tell you that I was able to take a lot of accurate measurements for your doctor. He should get the results within 2-3 business days, and congratulations." I assumed (and hoped) that the "congratulations" part was code for, "Yes, of course everything is fine with that baby of yours. Have you met the parents?!? How could it be otherwise?"

Once all the measurements were done, Tom did get to come in for what amounted to about 10 minutes of viewing. Although we knew nothing about the baby's sex, I told the technician that I was going to lie. And I did. Or I tried. When he came in I said, "We found out what the baby is since you weren't here... oh, alright, we didn't." I'm not good at lying (not really a problem for me, as it happens), and I can't hold out for more than a few milliseconds when giving it a shot. I still feel kind of like a bitch for even trying, honestly.

So, we didn't find out the gender, we didn't know for sure that everything was A-OK (did I mention that I had a hard time trusting everything was going smoothly?) and we didn't even have a definite due date. In fact, now we had six potential due dates, ranging from April 4 to April 25.

Here's what we did find out. It was a toad. He or she was face down a lot of the time and looked to be on it's hands and knees, but the feet kept kicking around. We considered naming it Prince.

I'd post pictures, but we forgot to grab them from the technician before we left.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

One Out of Three

Not long after we told our folks about our latest "project," the gifts started rolling in. The first was a gift card for Babies R Us from my dad and his wife. Now I was still six weeks or so from showing, so we hadn't even wrapped our brains around the shopping that lay ahead yet. I only knew that I didn't want to get caught up in all the you-need-this-and-10-of-those type stuff. Our place was too small for all but the absolute essentials plus, I'd had a baby before and remembered what had or hadn't worked so well.

If I remember correctly, we left Dad's and headed straight for the store anyway. No clue if we were having a boy or a girl. No intention (on Tom's part) of finding out when it was time for the ultrasound. No reason not to go look, right?

As we walked in, we talked about whether we thought the baby was a girl or a boy, and what we wanted. I had felt from the get-go that a girl was brewing... and I won't lie. I wanted a girl in a way that I could not have imagined daring to want when I was pregnant with Corey (whom I was pretty sure was a boy, by the way). I think that the miscarriages I'd suffered made me timid and grateful just to have a live baby en utero.

Tom wouldn't commit at that point to wanting a boy or a girl. He just pointed out that we had a 50/50 chance of a boy or a girl, and said that his work was done in that regard.

Corey asked what you called it when something was split three ways instead of two; what were the chances called then?

I said, "That'd be a 33/33/33, I guess."

Corey: "Well then I guess we have a 33% chance of having a boy. Or a girl. Or a hermaphrodite. Which is fine for me because then I'd get the brother and sister I've always wanted."

No matter what, this baby was already loved.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Pregnancy Brain

***This is from a post I'd made on my MySpace page in October of 2007.

In the last couple of weeks I have noticed that my memory isn't what it once was. I'm not saying it was great, but now it's not even up to my own low standards. This week I've been reading a lot about "pregnancy brain." It's basically the result of too many hormones floating around; keeping track of things and remembering stuff you'd usually remember becomes more difficult. I had a doctor tell me once that memory is the first thing to go when you get pregnant.

This is the thing I never had to deal with during my pregnancy with Corey that I'm having this time. Sort of like the flip side of the morning sickness experience (six months of heinous vomiting last time, only nausea this time).

This morning I got up and started getting dressed. Clothes are beginning to get a little tight, but not my clothes. Well, they're mine now; a friend gave me a bunch of pants in the next size up from mine, so I've got a little more time before maternity clothes than I would otherwise. So I put on a sweater, some underwear that I'm not sure I'm loving how they feel and a pair of the jeans I just received. The jeans felt a little more snug than I'd like, but I figured it was okay until I started putting my shoes on. Leaning over to tie them up was an exercise in holding my breath and feeling squashed, so I took the shoes off, removed the pants, decided to ditch the panties for a different pair and went back to put my shoes on. I immediately felt the difference as I leaned over to lace up and do all the little hooks on my hiking boots (they make comfy shoes on cold mornings). Just as I finished tightening up the laces I realized one serious mistake:

I hadn't put any pants on!!

Part of me was on the verge of tears, but then I started laughing. What a freaking dork!

You'd think a day could only go up from there, and you'd probably be right, except you'd be missing the part where I accidentally snagged Nancy's phone before heading back to the office this afternoon. (It's the same model as mine.) As I drove away, I wondered why she hadn't started out, too. So I stopped to wait for her. After a few minutes I decided to call her and see what was up. Imagine my chagrin when I heard her phone ringing from my purse!

Well, at least I didn't have clothing or phone issues every day this week. The only other problem was on Wednesday. I went straight to a high school career center to meet with the woman who's issuing work permits for some of my students. As I was speaking with her, I went to tug on the bottom of my shirt. When I did, I thought I noticed the seam on the outside. Which it was.

In my extremely smooth manner, I pretty much shrieked, Oh my god, I've got my shirt on inside out! To which the mild-mannered woman in front of my responded by saying she had noticed but thought it was "one of those shirts, you know, with the seams on the outside like they wear these days."

If only I could have kept my mouth shut, but no, that is never my way. At least I haven't forgotten everything!

Monday, June 01, 2009

Oh, Fine. Whatever!

When I was pregnant with Corey, I followed every piece of advice and guidance as if it were etched in stone. Not so much with Madelyn.

Did I go crazy with rule breaking? Nope. In fact, some of the guidance I didn't follow includes
  • A little alchohol is okay (yeah, I don't think the wine industry had made that "finding" yet when I was pregnant with Corey)
  • Two cups of coffee a day is a-okay (hmm... it used to be one, but now that there's Starbucks on every corner, two is a good number?... plus, I've always been sensitive to caffeine, so it has to be out while I'm pregnant)
  • Chocolate is what every pregnant woman needs (not with the caffeine in it, thanks anyway... dammit!)
  • "You can eat whatever you want to now" or "You're eating for two, right?" (yeah, but one of us is the size of a pinhead!... wish I could recall the comedian who said that not long before I got pregnant with Corey)
Generally speaking, unnecessary medical tests (oh, okay... except for the ultrasounds) were not allowed. The one thing I did agree to do was the gestational diabetes test. Why? Well, for one I weighed more when I got pregnant with Mad than I did at 21 when Corey was the resident sprout. For another thing, my dad is diabetic. No, we have not one drop of blood between us, but I knew it would comfort him to know I was following up on that possibility. And lastly, I have no idea what the hell I was thinking. I mean, sure I failed the test on the first try with Corey, but I'd also just eaten a Jolly Rancher right before going. I have no clue if that impacted it or not, but in my mind it did. All the same, it was probably better to know before my body was reacting to it if I had it. So I swore off anything remotely sweet for three weeks prior to the test (no, really) and off to the lab I went.
I arrived right after they opened, because this time I was told it was a fasting test. As the first person in, I got to get the blood test and drink the nasty stuff right away. Last time I'd gotten a choice of "soda" flavors and opted for orange because I was afraid the "7Up" flavor would be similar to the "lemon lime" flavored Alka-Seltzer I'd had to have once when I was sick and which induced vomiting. This time, no choice.
"Lemon lime for you!"
My initial plan was to just pound the stuff. There's a limited time to drink it, but it's way longer than it would normally take me to drink a glass of water.
I made it about 2/3 of the way through before I realized Plan A wasn't working. The lab tech eyed me warily, waiting to see if I would urp all over her. Not sure how I managed to keep it down... and finish the rest... but I did. (Thank god, too, because one of my friends didn't and she had to redo it... twice!)
When the drinking and initial bloodletting was done, I was made to go into the lobby and wait for an hour. I had to return at exactly five minutes to the hour or be forced to start over. No, I could not leave the office.
I brought a book, but I'm a people watcher by nature. Kind of awkward when you're watching people go into a bathroom and come out with a cup filled with their own pee, but whatever.
About 10 minutes before I had to go back for the second set of blood draws, a woman walked in with her grandchild. In an otherwise empty, spacious lobby, they chose seats right next to the pregnant woman. And they stood there, not two feet away, coughing and hacking all over one another and me.
I covered my mouth and nose, but it was too late.
Hours later the verdict was in: I had the flu.
I will admit to holding a grudge against these people... well, the adult anyway... even today. Why do people do that? Forget that I was pregnant for a sec. If you're sick, stay the hell away from other people! I don't care if you're in a medical lab because you're ill. I'm not! Bastards!
Because I am opposed to taking medications while pregnant (it's just one of many potential causes on my list of "what do you suppose happened to make Corey have so many problems?"), my goal was to deal with this naturally. So no matter how much I didn't want to, I made myself drink extra water. I used a humidifier to keep the cough away. I slept a lot. And I slathered myself in Vick's. Oh, and I probably went through two boxes of tissue (with lotion!) in three days. I flushed out my body every way I could. I did not spike a fever over 101, so I never went to the doctor.
Yes, I did tell him.
No, to his credit, he did not say, "I told you so."
Oh, and I didn't have gestational diabetes.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...