Monday, August 27, 2012

Week of firsts

It has been a busy start to the school year chez Wells, and overall, it has been a good one.  Well, it has been a good one for the kids.  I'm not sure I have been the most stellar school parent, though.

Lottie's first day of Kindergarten was, to be expected, insanely exciting.  She was all ready with her backpack and her new dress, ready to conquer Flint Lake Elementary.  The whole family walked her in, gave her lots of hugs and kisses, and left.  No tears from anyone, not even me.  Does that make me cold-hearted?  I saw a squadzillion posts on Facebook of kids' first days of school and parents wiping away virtual tears.  No tears for me.  I didn't exactly do a happy dance, but after the crazy summer we all had, I was ready for routine...and quiet.  And frankly, I knew Lottie was ready to start Kindergarten.  She is a bright, friendly, sweet little girl, and I knew she was ready for something new and exciting.  No one loves an adventure more than my girl, and adventure is calling her.

To add to the excitement, Lottie lost her first tooth!  After a few days of wiggling and angst, the tooth fell out.  Man, she is cute with it gone.  Serious cuteness, no?

So, let's get to the non-stellar parenting.  I'm so used to the preschool way of doing things that I didn't realize that Kindy is a whole different ballgame.  For instance, kids in preschool have drinks provided to them; that doesn't happen in Kindergarten.  Lottie had lunch for the first two days of school without a drink of any kind.  Whoops.  The kids are also supposed to take a snack to school because it's a pretty long day for a bunch of five year olds.  I did, indeed, provide a snack for the first three days, but I didn't find out until the morning of day four that Lottie had no idea that the snack was in her lunchbox.  This despite the fact that I had told her specifically on the first day where her snack was in her bag.  Apparently, she assumed that I hadn't been packing her a snack, so she told her teacher she was snackless.  Miss J probably thinks I'm a total dolt: no beverages, no snacks.  And so begins my reign as WORST PARENT EVER.

Dallas has had a good first week as well.  He likes his school and his teacher, but he's far less effusive about it all than his sister.  His views on school are pretty monosyllabic, but that's just Dallas.  He occasionally gets loquacious about what he did on the playground, but most of his three hours a day of school is kept a closely guarded secret.  I suppose he'll share when he's ready to share.  And just so he's not left out, here's his cuteness, too.

I hope the good times at school continue for the kids because it sure makes my life easier when things are going smoothly for them.  And, you know, my happiness is paramount to everything.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Random doc a go-go

Last week, we headed back to Lexington for a few days.  Trevor had to work, and I had my next blood test to look forward to at the endocrinologist's office.  As I mentioned in a previous blog, my regular doc was out of town, so I was going to be seeing his partner.  I had never met the guy before, and I was worried that he wouldn't take my symptoms seriously.

The nurse drew my blood, and I waited in the packed waiting room for over an hour while the lab was getting my results.  There was not one free seat available, so I never got up once for fear of losing my comfy plastic chair.  I had my Kindle to keep me company, but I think I did a lot more people-watching and eavesdropping than reading.  I'm only human.

As soon as I was called in to see the doc, I could feel my heart start to race.  What if my levels were great and the exhaustion is from something else?  Worse, what if the exhaustion is all in my head?  Fortunately, sort of, my TSH levels were down significantly from my previous reading, but they were still no where near where they should be.  The doctor wants me between a 0.1 and a 0.2: I'm currently at a 22.  I was happy that the levels are dropping but frustrated that they're still so high.  The random doc said he would up my meds - again- and see if we could get the levels down.  I was a little taken aback because everyone who knows anything about thyroid meds is surprised by how much I am taking.  I asked the doc if I was a total freak for needing such a high dose.  After he stopped laughing, he assured me that I was not a freak at all.  Apparently some people metabolize the meds quicker than others, and my body needs what it needs.  Whew.  I'm not a total head case.  Well, not for that.

The doc said he didn't need to see me again for six months, but that doesn't work for me.  I cannot and will not feel like this for six more months.  SIX months?  No way, no how.  I need my energy, I need to not be fat as Jabba the Hut, and I need some relief.  Word.  So I booked an appointment with a doc here in town so I could get the test done sooner.  Plus, even though I really like the practice down there, I don't want to do the six-plus hour drive every two months until this is all fixed.

The doc did an ultrasound while I was there to make certain that there had been no regrowth of my cancer since the surgery.  After making the obligatory "It's a boy!" joke, he said that the ultrasound was clear: no cancer.  Even though I'm still not feeling 100%, I was relieved to hear that I'm still cancer-free.

Friday, August 3, 2012

The moving plague

If you saw my last post, you'll know that Lottie was really sick the day we moved into the new house.  After a day on antibiotics, she was feeling back to her normal self.  I was happy that she felt better, but I was a little sad in a way because she was back to being loud, loud, loud.  I was particularly annoyed with her constant talking as I tried to unpack boxes, but I didn't know at the time it was because I was also getting sick.

On the Sunday after The Move, I started feeling a little under the weather.  I chalked it up to all the stress of dealing with the shiftless movers and the constant exhaustion from the thyroid issues.  But when I woke up Monday morning, my throat hurt and my ears were hurting.  I had to take Lottie back to the doctor for her follow-up appointment that morning, so I figured I could call and see the doctor myself while we were there.  Au contraire.  When I called to get an appointment for me, I was told that because I was a new patient, there was no way I could be seen that day.  I was already on the edge, and hearing that news didn't sit well with me.  I hung up the phone and promptly burst into tears.  I wasn't sixty seconds into my tantrum when my cell phone rang with a call from a Lexington number.  It was my endocrinologist's office calling to say that my next appointment had to be rescheduled because both my doctor and his assistant would be out of town.  Uh huh.  GREAT timing.  I had been waiting for this appointment because I know that my thyroid medication still isn't working, and I need some answers before I start Hulk-smashing everything in sight.  Already in tears, I explained to the nurse on the phone that I was driving six hours to get to the appointment, and there was no way I was going to give up my slot.  She was very kind and said I could keep the appointment and see another doctor in the practice.  Crisis averted.  But I was still sick and feeling worse by the minute.  I visited a Minute Clinic at a local CVS and was diagnosed with an ear infection.  I left with a prescription and the hope that I would be much better the next morning.  You know where this is going, right?

Tuesday morning arrived, and I felt worse.  My best friend Tiffany was coming from Colorado that day with her daughter Frankie, and I was willing myself to be instantly well.  I ended up sending T to pick them up from O'Hare because I didn't trust myself to make the drive.  I was so happy to see them that afternoon that I think I psyched myself into thinking everything was okay.  I continued to take my antibiotics, but by Wednesday afternoon, I knew something was still wrong.  I went to an off-hours clinic here in town out of sheer desperation, and wow, that was an experience.  The nurses were mean, the exam room was dirty, and I'm pretty sure there was blood on the wall.  That doctor said that if the antibiotics weren't working, my problem was probably viral.  He did a strep test and a mono test, and he promised to call in THREE DAYS with the results.  Three days?  Was he kidding?  (And, by the way, I never heard back from him.)  He sent me on my way with a prescription for cortisone pills and the advice to gargle with watered down Benadryl to ease my throat pain.  There were more tears from me, though this time I waited until I was alone in the car to lose it.  I was, as always, exhausted, I was in pain, and nothing was helping.  The next morning, my mom called and told me to get up and get dressed: my dad was taking me to another doctor.  I guess even when you're almost 40 years old, you're still your parents' baby.  My dad drove me to Franciscan ExpressCare where I filled out more forms and waited for someone else to dismiss my pain.  I was pleasantly surprised to be greeted by a great nurse and seen by a very kind doctor.  The doctor did another strep test and mono test, and I had immediate results: both tests were negative.  The doc was at a bit of a loss since the other antibiotics hadn't worked, so she decided a shot of something from the penicillin family was the way to go.  I was skeptical but I also knew I had nothing to lose.  By that afternoon, my sore throat was 90% gone.  I was thrilled but also waiting for the other shoe to drop.  Friday morning dawned beautiful and pain-free.  Yippee ki yay!!  I was able to go to the fair that afternoon with my dad, Tiffany, and the three kids and FINALLY truly enjoy their visit.  I don't know what my ailment was or why the oral antibiotics didn't work, but I'm grateful that I finally found someone who knew what she was doing to help.  Thanks, Dr. Pumputis!

There is no way I would have made it through the last few weeks without my family and friends.  My parents have been indispensable: they have helped with the kids, the house, and meals.  My brother and sister-in-law have moved furniture, watched the kids, and made us laugh and feel at home.  My buddy Jim Long came from Indianapolis to help unpack boxes and kick-start the organization process.  And Tiffany watched the kids while I napped during all of the sick, organized my kitchen, and kept me company while I was super-crabby and miserable.  T knows when to make me laugh, when to hug me,  and when to buy me chocolate. It can't get much better than that.  Thanks to all of you who have helped make the last few weeks bearable.

Now would be the perfect time to rest and get into a routine, right?  Negatory.  We're leaving for Lexington tomorrow morning for four days.  Trevor has some work to do there, and I have the appointment with the random endocrinologist Monday morning.  All I really want to do is finish putting things on the walls in my house and get fully settled-in, but I suppose that can wait until next week.  All that AND kindergarten registration.  Should be a typical few weeks to come.  :)