beginnings of endings
Tonight was DS1's senior dinner. It was 3 hours of listening to the faculty read a very personal speech about each of the graduating seniors, all 78 of them, and it was lovely. The faculty member who spoke about DS1 was one I had never heard of before his thesis defense, but it was obvious that she knew him well. She was witty and warm and everything you want someone to be when they're talking about your son.
My son, who tomorrow has his college orientation. Who two weeks from today will graduate from high school, and about 2 months from now will move out, at least during the term.
Things are rapidly drawing to a close, but it doesn't feel real. My technology sabotaged me viciously over the past couple of weeks: my laptop died, it's battery no longer charging. I prayed that it was either the battery or the adapter, so I ordered new ones, but neither did the trick. (Still have to return those...) Since my end-of-term projects were due in both my classes, I didn't have time to deal with laptop shopping, so I just picked up DS1's old Toshiba, which has a surprisngly awesome keyboard but is seriously underpowered and has a super annoying overly-sensitive touchpad.
When my laptop died part 1 of my final project went with it (it was a work in progress, and Carbonite hadn't had a chance to back it up yet). So I recreated it, and went on to part 2... thank God I printed out the lesson map before I uploaded it, because somehow instead of uploading my copy to my Google drive, I downloaded the blank template over my copy... and then I went a little crazy and spent hours trying to recover it, when I should have just typed it in again (I am an idiot).
I never did recover it. I ended up re-doing most of it at school the next day ( a test day for my 7th graders gave me good opportunities); that was Tuesday, so by about 4PM Tuesday I had parts 1 & 2 done, but they weren't due until Thursday. Part three was due Tuesday at midnight... I had most of it done by then, but some pieces were a wee bit later. I don't think that will be disqualifying...
So yesterday I did the last little smidgeon of part 1 (samples of anticipated student work) and uploaded that, and so I'm done! But it feels anti-climactic because all I did was upload some (OK, a lot) of files. I didn't talk to anyone or get to have a real good bye or anything like that. The relief hasn't actually hit me yet.
DS2 finished up the track season with substantial improvements in all his events, and one of the coaches lobbied him hard to return to the team next year, but he's cautious about managing high school, which I think is wise. His 8th grade commencement is the night before DS1's graduation, and my own students' commencement is the night before that. DD has more or less neatly recovered from leaving classical piano study to moving into jazz and composition, and she'll be playing her own composition in the graduation recital which is the day after DS1's graduation. I'm getting used to having that overwhelmed feeling more and more lately. My own children are growing up so fast (such a cliche, but it's true!) I simultaneously want to slow things down a little and speed them up so I can be on summer break...
Health-wise: better, but the new rheumatologist took a look at my labs and declared I don't have RA. So why do my hands swell overnight then? Whatever. I'm officially out of the flare, I'm convinced it's because I started exercising again even though it was literally the last thing on Earth I wanted to do. I did a Google search on reversing degenerative disc disease and I found this guy's website. I have spent a lot more than $20 and a lot more time in doctor's offices figuring out what to do, so I ponied up the cash and I bought Rebuild Your Neck almost immediately after I wrote that last post.
I've been doing the exercises faithfully (although somewhat less faithfully now that my neck feels so much better) and it's nothing short of a miracle. I know exactly why I got into this situation, too: too much time with head craned towards the laptop (all those school projects, and grading!), plus the damage that my surgeries have done to the musculature on the right side of my head and neck. They still bother me, but it's slowly improving as I continue to exercise, and the neck pain itself is over except for the occasional twinge, and I haven't had a headache in weeks. Plus, I'm not taking any meds. I've started on turmeric and ginger (separately) for inflammation, and they don't seem to be doing much, although the ginger helps my digestion.
The only remnant of a flare I was having was my right middle finger, which would be nearly twice its usually size in the morning -- odd. The doctor was talking about injections or a short course of prednisone (ick) when I asked if I could just wrap it or something. That gave him the idea to just write me a prescriptions for Voltaren gel, which has worked really well. I mean, I used some on Tuesday night and haven't needed it since, although it's feeling a little creaky right now.
I'm exhausted, though -- late nights every day this week, between school work done, lost, and re-done, and now feeling emotional after DS1's dinner and that nap! Tomorrow is a non-instructional school day, so it will be easy to get through, and then plenty of sleep this weekend - should be heavenly.