Friday, February 05, 2016

So That Was Fun

Yesterday I had a colonoscopy and an endoscopy. Due to severe bloating and other bowel issues I’ve been having for over a year. I went to my primary in April regarding those issues, especially my bloating, and she was like, “Take Miralax” which wasn’t helpful at all, namely because I didn’t do it. I thought she was just blowing me off. Well the issues continued and finally I went to see a GI doc who told me he was glad I came in because when I described my symptoms to him, he said that yes, they definitely need to be checked into. He also felt my stomach and could tell I was bloated.

So…I actually did have a colonoscopy back in 2002 or ’03 for similar, but not as severe, issues. Far too young to have one, you know? And the prep was pure hell. Back then they made you drink a GALLON of this disgusting mixture and I almost finished it and then called the doc and was like, “I can’t do it anymore” and they said I was fine. Well that one came back clean, as far as I remember, though I vaguely remember them seeing some small polyps they said not to worry about, but I could be making that up (though I don’t think I am).

This time they don’t make you drink quite a gallon and this time you pour in 14 days worth of Miralax into Gatorade (not red) and drink that. Well it was hell but it wasn’t as bad as the first time. I had to be on a liquid diet all day as well which I was really worried about due to my blood sugar issues, but that part wasn’t quite as bad as I had expected; I made it through and went to bed early.

I couldn’t eat or drink after midnight OR the next morning. That was the hardest part. I’m always dying of thirst in the morning and shaky and barfy, but somehow I made it through. They took good care of me once I arrived at the center, and I didn’t like the way the IV felt in my hand but then once I got to the procedure room, and they had situated me and everything, the nurse said “Okay, I’m going to start your medicine” (the anesthesia) and that is the last thing I remembered until I woke up in recovery.

Apparently when I woke up in recovery, I was “like a Saturday night live skit,” Jeff said. He said I was absolutely hysterical and he wished he got it on video. Apparently I couldn’t wait to tell the nurse all about my kids except for some reason I called Ethan “Stephan” and said, “He won’t play American Girl Dolls with Sophie.” I was just a little chatterbox and Jeff said he had tears running down his face, he was laughing so hard. The nurse played along with whatever I was saying and I don’t remember a damn thing. The doc came in and told me my results but I didn’t remember anything he said. Jeff had to tell me after, but at least they gave me full copies of all my reports.

So they removed four polyps from my colon; one was 3mm, two were 4mm, and one was 8mm. That one they biopsied. He said I was too young to have polyps, especially that many, and that they are usually hereditary. I don’t know anyone in my family who has them but I suspect it’s not something people regularly talk about. So I have to wait for the results of the biopsy to find out what the deal is, but the doc said even if they were pre-cancerous, it doesn’t matter because they are gone now. But what I’m worried about is doesn’t this mean that I am prone to colon cancer and that I will have to get screened more often? I wasn’t even supposed to be screened yet, I’m only 38 and screening doesn’t normally start until age 50. But I did learn that colon cancer is slow-growing; it takes 7-10 years for polyps to develop into colon cancer, hence the 10 year screening recommended starting at age 50. Of course, maybe I’ve had them for the past 10 years and if I didn’t come in now and waited until I was 50, I could be dead by then. I’m assuming.

He told me I needed a LOT more fiber in my diet, 25 grams a day. He recommended Raisin Bran for breakfast. He gave me a list of high fiber foods. I thought I was doing pretty well on that; daily, or near daily, I eat: apple, banana, Go lean Crunch, wheat bread, organic spinach leaves in my salad, broccoli quite often, 100-calorie pack of roasted almonds for snack, eggs 1-2x/week, etc. But apparently I’m not doing enough.

In other news, I also have “erosive gastritis” which is, what I gather from the Internet, basically an erosion of the stomach lining. They biopsied something there too. To check for some bacteria thing.  They told me not to take NSAIDS, like Ibuprofen or Aspirin, because that can irritate it. He also gave me a prescription-grade acid reflux medicine. Even though I didn’t know I had acid reflux.

So all day I’m looking at my report and googling and Jeff got mad at me because he said “STOP TRYING TO DIAGNOSE YOURSELF OVER THE INTERNET.” He said the doc did the biopsies to be SURE and check things out, just in case, but he didn’t seem concerned.

But all day I thought, “Oh great, I might be prone to colon cancer AND stomach cancer.”

The ONLY thing that made me feel a bit better was that I was right to trust my body. I wasn’t making this shit up. There really WAS/IS stuff going on in my intestinal area, both upper and lower, and so my issues were real and my gut feeling (no pun intended) that something was “off” in there was correct. So the PSA for today is: LISTEN TO YOUR BODY.


And eat more fiber.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Summertime and the Living Is…

Stressful for a mom whose kid has anxiety and isn’t comfortable staying home by herself, not to mention even if she WAS, would be bored to tears and I would have to find some way to entertain her anyhow.

I could have SWORN I’ve written this post before or part of it, or what I’m about to write, but I searched and couldn’t find it.

First of all why the HELL am I stressing about SUMMERTIME – It’s not even February yet!! Aha! Because all of the summer camp schedules come out and are due in February. So yes, in the coming weeks I have to plan out Sophie’s entire summer, sign her up for camps, hyperventilate over the amount camps cost and their oh-so-convenient for working parents start and end times (9am-2pm! 10am-3pm! Sorry, no before or after care available!). I have a flexible job and I struggle with this; I have no idea what parents do who HAVE to be in the office from say 8-5 everyday.

WHAT THE HELL DO PEOPLE DO WITH THEIR CHILDREN DURING THE SUMMER? This is a MYSTERY to me. I’m especially talking about the older but not quite old enough tween age. They aren’t old enough to get a job (unless it is babysitting but not my kid because she can’t be home by herself for more than 20min at a time or she FREAKS THE FUCK OUT), they can’t drive, they ARE old enough to get into trouble, they ARE old enough to become zombies in front of the TV or video game console…

Okay THIS is the part I could have sworn I’ve written before but maybe I was just talking about it with friends. I am trying to rack my brain for what the heck I used to do over the summer. I know I started staying home by myself after school 1/2way through 4th grade; I was 9/10. My parents both worked. During the teen years, I worked in a restaurant, mostly in late afternoon/evenings so I would sleep late, mosey around the house, then go to work. When I wasn’t working, my friends came over to hang out and we would raid my parents liquor cabinet (it was always fully stocked), then walk down to the pizza place and pig out. One time, we forgot we reeked of liquor and were too tired/lazy/drunk to walk back up the hill home so we called my mom to pick us up, as by this time she was home from work and we got in the car and my mom KNEW IMMEDIATELY what we had been up to. We were SO STUPID. But in 6th grade, I could not tell you what I did the summer after 6th grade. I went to band camp (don’t laugh. Shut up.) for a week I know that, but….

I think it was the summer between 7th and 8th grades that my cousin Kim came to stay with us. We went to band camp for 2 weeks that year. And didn’t speak to each other the entire time because by that point we were sick of each other. The rest of the time…I don’t know. I remember my mom got us a pass to the waterpark that was 20min. away. And we had to take the public bus there. And so we did and looked up the bus schedules on our own, got there, wandered the water park all day, got back on the bus and home. Could you IMAGINE that happening today? When you’re like 12/13? I think a 12/13 year old kid alone at a waterpark without parents would probably get arrested, and so would the parents.

So I know a lot of folks send their kids to the YMCA or the J for summer camp, which is all day, and great for working parents. Sophie has ZERO desire to do that, however. It really depends on where you live and which establishment you go to; I’ve heard mixed reviews about both. I know parents, like Marcy, who have an Excel spreadsheet to track where their kid is on that particular day in the summertime. I AM a planner, but just thinking about that logistical nightmare gives me a headache. Marcy gets with all the other parents and finds out what all the other kids are doing FIRST, then she signs Ethan up for all sorts of shit, but he always has a buddy with him. So this week he’s at tennis camp with Dave, then he’s at basketball camp with Sam, etc. Problem is, A) Sophie doesn’t have nearly as many friends as Ethan (because Sophie’s mom is not OBSESSED with being “POPULAR”) and B) Many of Sophie’s friend’s mom’s don’t work or are teachers so they are home so they don’t send their kids to camp. Or, her one friend whose mom DOES work, well she is watched by her older brother. For free. So her mom isn’t willing to spend $$ on camps (and I can see why). And the camps are like, as expensive as all-day infant day care, except they are NOT all day, you have to pay extra for before and after care IF they offer it, they are not always offered close to home or work, and they fill up quickly.


Seriously, I really don’t get it. What the HELL do working parents do with their tweens during the summertime?

Sophie’s School Situation & Photo Shoot

Did I tell you that Sophie got braces? They are only on her top teeth right now, and they are clear. Honestly, you can barely tell she has them! But they are hard to keep clean. She will get them on the bottom teeth as well but the ortho wanted to wait due to some loose teeth down there, or something.

Anyway, since she finally got the braces on, we were able to schedule a photo shoot with a photographer that was recommended to me (she photographs school plays and the color guard in the town we used to live in). These photos will go on Sophie’s web profile for her talent agency. (We’ve had NO jobs yet but St. Louis is not exactly the ‘hub’ of the entertainment industry, if you know what I mean. PLUS, it’s winter…hopefully things will pick up and she will get some opportunities soon). The photo agency insisted we get clear braces. Thankfully, they were the same price as metal/traditional.

So we did the photo shoot and it was fun. Sophie doesn’t really want to be a model, but she did pick out all of her own outfits and did a great job. We were comfortable with the photographer; she was very nice. She took a bundle of photos but picked her favorite 15 and sent them to me on a CD with full printing permissions, which is great. The only thing is that the photos didn’t blow me away. Some of them- well, I know Sophie has a better smile than that and I wish I could have seen ALL of the photos, though it would surely be hard for me to pick my favs since I am biased. (Photos by Keeven Photography)
I really like this one. Yeeha!


Not her best smile. Held too long?




She was telling the photographer a story about her cousins...

She looks about 15 in this photo to me.



Grandma bought her this dress - so cute! And comfy, Sophie says.



In school news, we have decided on private school. Sophie will be going to a private Christian school. She will technically NOT be entering middle school next year in her 6th grade year as most students in our area will; instead, she will attend her 6th grade year at the private elementary, which goes K-6. Then she will continue on with those kids to the other private Christian school that goes from 7th-12th grade. That school is WAY impressive, and they have a FANTASTIC theater program, which Sophie is very excited about. Jamie went to HS with the theater director there. I like that they keep the Jr. High kids separated; they even have their own separate entrances. The only things that are shared are common areas like the theater, gym, etc. The 7th graders are on the lower floor and have their own “nucleus” or hang out area with tables, chairs, bean bags…the 8th graders are on the floor above that, again with their own “nucleus.” The high school kids are across the main lobby on the 2nd floor.

Both schools are VERY convenient to my office. Right now we live so close too Sophie’s current school that we aren’t even eligible for the bus, so we are used to walking or driving. Plus, I am going the direction of the schools ANYWAY, to head to the office. I probably won’t be working from home anymore though, which is a bummer because I’ll actually have to get dressed, do my hair and put on makeup Every. Single. Day.

Sophie did a shadow day at the private elementary and then the teacher sent a hand-written thank you note to our home address, saying how nice it was to have Sophie in class and how she loved that Sophie participated right away. THEN she sent another thank you note with all of the kids’ signatures and they all wrote nice things like, ‘Can’t wait to have you here next year’ etc. I thought that was very, very nice and it brought a big smile to Sophie’s face. The uniform thing will be different but Sophie doesn’t seem to mind.

As a parent, I wish ALL kids wore uniforms, no matter public or private. I say that NOW not yet experiencing being a parent of a kid who wears uniforms, but I SUSPECT that it will be easier…meaning, less stressful in the morning esp. having a girl who will one day care very much about her appearance. Considering Sophie ALREADY gets up between 6:30am and 7am for school that doesn’t start until NINE because she ‘doesn’t want to feel rushed’ and ‘likes her time in the morning,’ God only knows WHAT time she’ll be up in HS when she has to straighten her hair and put on makeup so help me Lord. I also SUSPECT that uniforms may be especially helpful during the middle school years when it’s very, very important to fit in and I remember being that age and I just HAD TO HAVE the $65 GUESS jeans that Miss Popular was wearing. But maybe since they get to wear their own shoes, maybe that becomes a ‘thing.’ I don’t know. I hope not.

Anyway, I’m not na├»ve in that I think going to a Christian school will mean Sophie stays innocent forever and has no bad influences and doesn’t get mixed in with the ‘wrong’ crowd. That’s not why we are doing this…It’s a very personal decision.

Tomorrow, the school will interview me and Jamie about our faith (even though we had to put our ‘faith testimony’ on the application), as they require at least one parent to be Christian (which is fine since all four of Sophie’s parents are). And at the same time, Sophie will be doing a screening test. It’s not an entrance exam; it’s more to see what she knows and how to place her in certain classes (i.e. does she need to be in the advanced reading class and the lower math class? Answer: likely, yes.). So it should be interesting but I’m not exactly nervous about it or anything. I think they basically just want to know our religious background and where we stand today.


So after THAT is all done, the next thing on my list is to figure out WHAT THE HELL I’m going to DO with my kid this summer. That’ll be the next post.

Newsies!!

Grandma and Grandpa took us to see “Newsies” at the Fox last weekend. It was fabulous. Sophie was so excited, and so happy. She dressed up like she did for her musical finale, when she had a solo in “King of New York.” She played Race. Sophie had a big smile on her face the entire time and that made G&G smile. Afterward – and this really lit Sophie up – we waited by the stage door and Sophie had her program autographed by many of the characters including Christine, Crutchie, Race, and several others.
Sophie with Christine. She didn’t want to take a photo with a stinky boy:)
All of them were SO NICE. If you asked them for a photo, they happily obliged. They asked everyone “Did you enjoy the show?” Many of them are not even 18 yet. The kid that played the little boy, Les, is only 8! Race came out and his real name is Ben. Sophie told him that she played him and he said, “Did you sing ‘King of New York?’” and she nodded and he gave her a high five. SO NICE. He’s going to Broadway, and just turned 18.

Then we went to the Newsies Variety Show at John Burroughs High School on Monday night. It was to raises money for AIDS. One of the guys in Newsies graduated from that high school. These kids’ talents blow me away. Not only can they all sing and act; they can dance. And do MULTIPLE forms of dance: hip hop, tap, ballet. They can do gymnastics – they were doing flips and no-handed cartwheels on stage. They can play the piano. It’s AMAZING. We were up late and it was a school night, but it was worth it. Some of the acts I liked better than others, but overall, it was enjoyable.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Nightmare

WOW It’s been a long time since I’ve written. I keep thinking of things I need/want to write about – like my New Year’s Eve trip to California (I will get to it!) but then I run out of time or motivation or energy. I’m trying to do better.

Things I need to update on:
-Health
-Sophie’s school situation
-NYE

Things I could update on:
-Marcy’s Manipulation
-Quickest shopping trip ever
-Sophie’s photo shoot

You are riveted and at the edge of your seat, are you not?

Right now though I am at work and I am busy again so this will be short and yes it is about my dream and I’m sorry as you’ve waited so long for a post and now it’s just about my stupid dream.

I woke up feeling sad this morning, at first. Because I had a long nightmare about Jeff leaving me. He wanted a divorce and there wasn’t even another woman involved – he just got sick of me and wanted to leave. And I was crying and I was upset and I was embarrassed. And I pleaded with him and I begged him and I asked him WHY?!? over and over again but didn’t get an answer. I was embarrassed/scared to tell my parents, my friends; I was TERRIFIED to tell Sophie because she would be heart-broken… I had to look for a new place to live. I was searching apartments and townhomes and houses but I was doing it with dread because I didn’t want to go in the first place. I kept writing Jeff letters, pleading with him to stick it out a while longer, at least until March, our two-year mark. Finally, FINALLY he relented saying he would think about it for five days and that’s when I woke up.


I don’t know where that dream came from or why; Jeff and I didn’t argue at all this weekend or lately really and I betcha’ that dream has more to do with me and my own feelings of inadequacy and my own self-consciousness than it has anything to do with Jeff. I was relieved this morning when I woke and when I realized it WAS just a dream, and Jeff was in bed next to me and Kylie in between us and I was holding Kylie’s paws as she slept.