Thursday, October 30, 2008

nightmare scenario

Obama wins the election, but is impeached and convicted on charges of campaign finance fraud. I don't know if that rises to the level of "high crimes and misdemeanors," but I would think it should.

Joe Biden is set to ascend to the Presidency, but suffers a debilitating brain aneurysm before he can take the oath of office.

Nancy Pelosi becomes the first female president. Hillary Clinton spontaneously combusts.

This is where I wake up, because if Pelosi were ever to take over the presidency, we can kiss Western Civ goodbye.

decisions, decisions

So, I'm broken again in yet another new and interesting way, and have a number of issues to figure out and decisions to make. To whit:

1. Figuring out if this is real or just an artifact of my thyroid meds being off. "This" is two things, which may or may not be related.

First and familiar, the gastroparesis persists, and is worse. I feel nauseated a lot of the time, particularly before eating. The first bite is always dicey, but it seems that the act of eating makes me feel better for a little while. Then as soon as I stop eating, I feel gross again. This evening at dinner I had an odd thing happen, when I took my first bite it felt like it was going to come right back up again, because my stomach was closed for business. It was very strange and not at all like nausea, more like a physical obstruction. I sipped some water and the spasm passed and I was able to eat, but it was very weird.

Second is the new thing, which may or may not be Sjogren's Syndrome. My eyes are very dry and I never have enough saliva to swallow. Thankfully I have enough to keep my mouth moist, but that's it. It's very peculiar. I'm doing eye drops and nasal saline spray about four times a day, and that helps, but the eyes burn constantly anyway. My salivary glands all hurt, but not in the old, RAI-damaged-salivaries way. My submandibular glands in particular are cranky. I have a persistent ache under the right side of my jaw. This has all been going on for about 10 days I think, it's hard to keep track and I'm kicking myself for not writing about it sooner.

Both of these things could be related to thyroid meds, but otherwise, I'm fine. I've had some episodes of feeling colder than everyone else, and a bit of itching, but nothing systematic or major that would indicate I'm hypo. Much more likely would be that I'm hyper, but I'm not having any palpitations or other hyper symptoms, either. OK: the occasional thumpers, but not even once a day, certainly nothing to be concerned about.

2. How do I know when to escalate these and bring them to my doctor(s)? Which doctor(s) do I go to?

I broke down already and made an appointment with my g/e doc. I'm going to ask him for some erythromycin for the gastroparesis. Maybe it will help, and antibiotics have often helped with my other autoimmune issues. So if the dry eyes/mouth thing is Sjogren's (therefore autoimmune), maybe that will get better, too.

This question is mostly about the possible-Sjogren's. Do I take it to my rheumatologist? What if it is just another manifestation of RAI damage to both salivaries and tear ducts? As much as I love my ENT, this is outside his bailiwick, I think. I could go to my TMD doctor for the under-the-jaw pain... I have no idea.

As to how long to wait before I call the doctor, I have this idea about giving things like this some time to resolve themselves, because that would obviously be the best outcome. But it's not getting any better, if anything it, too, is getting worse -- and it's horrid because I'm parched so I drink but then I feel nauseated because of the gastroparesis.

But, and this is my most important argument, none of this stuff is preventing me from doing what I have to do. I have markedly less enthusiasm for things I might otherwise want to do (I took a 2 hour nap this afternoon), but as far as housework, homework, volunteering, and working out, I'm keeping up just fine and doing my usual reasonable impersonation of a healthy person.

It gets very tiring walking around feeling as if you are about to throw up all the time. Like many people, I have a phobia of vomiting, I haven't done it over 20 years, and I don't remember how. That sounds stupid, but it's true.

3. Last but not least - this is funny, actually, considering I'm writing this all out here for anyone to read - I don't want to admit that there's yet-another-thing wrong with me. It's embarrassing. At dinner today of course everyone noticed when I took a bite and then just stopped and sat very still for about five minutes, waiting for whatever-that-was to resolve itself so I could eat my dinner. "Are you all right?" DD asked. I had to answer her truthfully and say no, I was having some trouble swallowing. I'm glad they haven't called me to work since fall break ended, I don't know how I'd manage a whole day at school. I'd probably manage fine, I manage at home -- but it's different being on your feet and talking all day. I suppose I'll find out.

Meanwhile, after spending the last five years lurching from medical crisis to medical crisis, I would really like all of this to just go away. Life's not fair, but it's particularly hard to deal with something else just when I'm getting in a good groove and trying to get on with my life.

Monday, October 27, 2008

lost a friend today

Dean Barnett has died, finally succumbing to the cystic fibrosis he had been battling all his life.

I didn't know Dean personally, but I felt a special connection to him nonetheless. A New Yorker article by doctor-writer Atul Gawande sparked a conversation between the two of us, who came at the problem from the patient's side. At the time he was writing under the pseudonym James Dwight at his old blog, Soxblog (still linked in the sidebar). Eventually Dean came "out" and started using his real name. He became a co-blogger at Hugh Hewitt's blog, and frequently guest-hosted on Hewitt's radio show, in spite of his unbelievable (and I believe near-incomprehensible to non-natives of Boston) accent. He moved over to the Weekly Standard, where he wrote for both the blog and the magazine.

I never met Dean, but I looked forward to reading him every day. He had a particularly nice way of taking apart an argument, on its facts and merits, and not based on the person who wrote it. He was especially good at dismantling Peggy Noonan's genteel ravings, and I have missed him keenly during this last wave of anti-Palin hysteria.

His pamphlet, The Plucky Smart Kid with the Fatal Disease, is as easy a read as you will ever find about facing a life of adversity with kindness, humor, and grace.

Dean Barnett was an inspiration to me. God bless him, and grant peace to him, and all his family and friends.

told ya

Yesterday was better. Today was OK, too.

Yesterday I made myself go and work out, and came home right after. Usually there is shopping to do but it didn't work out that way this weekend, and that was good, because I decided to buckle down, study, and take the stupid test. So I did, and even finished in time so we could all go to Mass together as usual. (It was lovely, especially nice music selections, and we were asked to bring the gifts up to the altar. In that past when that's happened, it has been panic-inducing, but everyone did just fine.)

Today I didn't bestir myself outside at all, but that's just because I was busy. Pancakes for the kids for breakfast, then helping DS1 with his science project and his book report, all while processing five loads of laundry (I really shouldn't let it go all week). It works so much easier for him (and thus, all of us), if he dictates while I type. He knows everything he should, he just has an extremely tough time expressing it; that's where his Asperger's is most apparent. Still, he's in good shape for this week, and should be OK as long as he doesn't get too much math homework.

This will be a busy week, Thyca meeting weeks always seem extra crazy, then we have Halloween on Friday, and DD's birthday following closely -- and we still have not settled her party plans. DH has nixed the idea of a kitten completely; three cats is too many, he says (I disagree), and it would be difficult to keep the kitten's food away from the other cats (I do agree with this). Besides, the cats we have are completely adorable already.

DD has therefore reverted back to guinea pigs. I think I will have to negotiate a deal with her beforehand: if she doesn't keep the cage clean, they're going back to the shelter. OTOH, she was complaining about being bored today, and when I told her to clean her room, she didn't. There is no place to put a guinea pig cage in there! How serious can she be if she won't even make an effort to put some stuff away so that she could actually set up the cage? I'm thinking laziness is going to win out over the "want my own pet" impulse after all.

Friday, October 24, 2008

not so bad, not so good

My mother doesn't have cancer, but there are still tests pending and she has to undergo another series of blood tests and other intrusive and unpleasant procedures to try and figure out why her blood counts are so low. While we know it's not cancer, we don't know what exactly it is, so we just have to wait.

Today was a blur in which I accomplished very little -- wrote up the landscape proposal to send to the homeowner's association, checked DS1's math homework, that's about it.

I feel slightly less wretched knowing my mother doesn't have cancer (I like saying that) but in all honesty, not much. The background stress level has ticked down a couple of notches, but it's still pretty high.

I have to think: I'll be better tomorrow. Is there any good reason to think that? No, but why should I let that stop me?


DD will be ten years old soon and wants her very own pet.

DH is not thrilled with this idea, and swears he will not be involved in the care or feeding of this creature. I advocated for DD because she is responsible and has put up with an insane amount of face-altering orthodontia without complaint.

The girl has played me like a fish on a line, I tell you.

This has been going on for weeks if not months, starting with a (1) hedgehog, then segueing into a (2)turtle.

Lots and lots of turtle research, but no one sells box turtles here, so then it was on to (3)tortoises.

Even more tortoise research. But tortoises (and turtles) are 1) really expensive and 2) a life-long commitment, and DD will only be 10. I don't want to be taking care of her tortoises while she's in Med School (that's her plan), so we shifted gears yet again to a (4)small furry creature like a gerbil or a fancy mouse, that she could take with us when we go away for the summer.

Small furry creatures are disposable pets with price tags to match, so that's good. They're also prey for our two cats, not so good. The very small ones, the ones that would travel most easily with us, are not very tame, though. DD sets her heart therefore on a (5)guinea pig.

Guinea pigs are social and do best with a companion. How the heck are we going to fly cross-country with two guinea pigs? Where will we put them in the car, when there is barely room for the five of us? I don't know. We go to the pet store and look at carriers, and guinea pigs. They are adorable, but large-ish, certainly larger than what I was thinking. At the end of the guinea pig stuff aisle?

The pet adoption center.

What DD really wants is a (6)kitten. I stood there looking at the kittens. They are all completely adorable. I think about how Alice and Cooper are already socialized to having another cat around. I think how Alice and Cooper will not try to eat the kitten. I think that adding a litter box will be fairly easy.

I realize that DD is perfectly capable of cleaning out the litter boxes herself, and say to her, "If you get a kitten, you'll have to take over cleaning out the litter boxes." (That's DH's job, now.)

She says she'll do it. We'll see.

Do you see how that worked? She wanted a kitten all along, but DH had long ago said no. This isn't exactly bait and switch, it's me realizing that adding a cat will be a lot easier and cheaper than adding any other animal to this household.

Of course DS2 now thinks he can get a kitten when he turns 10, but I'm pretty sure that three's the limit. Maybe he'll settle for something small and manageable? No way -- what he'll really want is a puppy.


(I think I have used that post title before.)

I'm feeling pressured from so many different angles that I feel completely paralyzed. Here's the list:

- I'm supposed to take my mid-term by tomorrow. I completed all the assignments, now all I have to do is review, and go take the test. I have spent the last four days avoiding the review as if it would kill me. I have an almost physical aversion to the subject.

- I always kids myself that biopsies are no big deal, only to be surprised by how flattened I feel afterward. I mean, the doctor slices off a 4mm disc of flesh, gives me a couple of stitches, and slaps on a band-aid. I was in the office for less than 15 minutes on Tuesday. I'm not expecting bad news, maybe it will be dysplastic but nothing worse than that. Still, I'm a wreck.

- Mom had her lung biopsy on Tuesday and we're waiting on the results. I hope to hear from her tomorrow (Friday), and I am bracing myself, because there's no way to guess what's going on there.

- The kids' computer died a couple of weeks ago, in exactly the same way it died back in January. Only now it's out of warranty... I opened a case with HP. We paid nearly $1K for that thing, and it has a supposedly new motherboard and video card from January. Shouldn't they last more than 9 months? Of course no one has called me back on the case yet, but they are supposed to, by tomorrow. In the meantime, multiple calls and trips to Best Buy, long chat conversations with the HP support people, and absolutely no satisfaction yet.

- DD's birthday is coming up and she wants her own pet. This is so complicated it will get its own post. Uncountable hours have been spent on that project.

- What started out as having the landscaper repair the drip lines has morphed into a full-scale makeover of the front yard to the tune of about $5K. DH, and I quote, "We can't afford it, but we should do it." Because we have an equity accelerator mortgage, it's not true at all that we can't afford it, we just don't want our loan balance going up any higher... but we haven't touched the front yard in ten years, and you can really tell.

- I feel much of the time like crying, throwing up, or both. There are physical reasons for that, including the permanent lump in my throat. My reflux is moderate to horrid these days. The gastroparesis is back enough to make me feel bloated and crank up the reflux, but not enough for me to lose any weight. I think my thyroid meds must be out of whack. I'm back to being cold when no else is, and I'm parched all the time. Then there's that whole inability-to-concentrate thing. Not good. The question is, how long do I let this go on before I break down and go to the doctor? And then, which doctor do I go to? ENT for the throat? G/E for the gastroparesis and reflux? Endo or GP for the thyroid? I'm thinking g/e, he'll run my thyroid panel for me... but I'm also thinking I've got an ovarian cyst which could be causing all of this hormonal swamp, so maybe I should call the GYN.

- Underlying all of these real and personal concerns is this background noise of the pending election, and what changes that may bring.

I'm up too late surfing the web or watching TV, I'm avoiding my schoolwork, I'm worried about my mother, I'm suppressing my own pending biopsy (and mammogram!) results, and I feel icky, and writing about it doesn't help. But it might help later when I'm trying to figure out how long I felt this way, and so here it all is.

Thursday, October 23, 2008


I just spent about an hour composing an email to DS1's Spanish teacher. We got report cards today, he got an F in Spanish.

Needless to say, this came as a horrible shock to all of us. He was expecting a B, having started strong but hitting a very rough patch towards the end of the quarter. Still, we hadn't run the numbers, but we figured he must be doing OK since we didn't hear one word from the teacher the entire quarter. All of DS1's other teachers gave the kids, fresh-minted 6th graders struggling to adapt to middle school, lists of missing assignments and what-not before the end of the quarter. Nothing from the Spanish teacher, though, so we figured he was OK.

Along with the report card came the access codes for us to check his grades online. Yay, and it's about time. There are not a lot of grades in there (he only has Spanish two days a week.) Still, average test grade was 84. Average homework grade was only 56, because he missed an assignment back in August, but didn't know it. Participation grade was 100.

His final grade for the quarter was 56, and F. I don't see how that was calculated, unless the final grade was equal to the homework grade, in which case, why record tests and participation at all?

I asked the teacher to please explain how those scores add up to an F, because I'm just not seeing how it gets there. I hope it was just a mistake, because otherwise I'm going to have impose some consequence on DS1 for failing, even though the rest of the report card is brilliant and he's been working incredibly hard all year.

I suppose I shouldn't take this so hard, but the kid is horrified. He's never received such a bad grade on a report card, and if he had known about that missing assignment, he would have turned it in. Even with only half credit, it would've brought his homework score up to 72, and then there would've been no question of failing.

I don't want to get branded as one of those obnoxious, meddlesome parents, but I truly don't understand this grade and I don't want to punish my son unfairly. I'm hoping I get a reasonable response from the teacher, because the last thing I need is bad blood at the school where I work and all three of my children attend.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

biopsy day

In about eight and a half hours, the dermatologist will take a punch biopsy. I'll get a couple of stitches and will have to deal with those for a couple of weeks, no big deal.*

At about the same time, my mother will be having a CT-scan-guided needle biopsy of her lungs. The last description she gave me of the possibilities: "It could be an infection, it could be pneumonia, or it could be something bad."

Something bad is her euphemism-of-the-day for cancer, a word she still has not spoken to me, regarding the possibilities here. She did, however, say it to my sister. Perhaps Mom thinks I have enough cancer to worry about on my own.

I'm a lot more worried about her test than I am about mine.

* This particular mole is coming off because it just showed up quite recently, and it's rather large. It would be a freckle except it's in a place that never gets sun exposure, and freckles by definition are caused by sun damage, so that's out. The dermatologist asserts at my age, I shouldn't be developing new moles. Who knew? I can't worry about every spot that pops up on my skin, I'll drive myself crazy. In any random 2-inch square area, I probably have a half-dozen little moles and/or freckles, no kidding. And I'm supposed to keep track of them all? Having the body mapping photographs helps but eventually they're going to be too off, and I'll have to have it done again.

Monday, October 13, 2008

weekend road trip

Estimated hours spent driving -
Friday: 4
Saturday: 5
Sunday: 6

Number of complaints heard: 0

They didn't spend all their time playing on their Nintendo DS or Sony PSP, but the handhelds (and the headphones) sure helped during the long boring stretches.

More to come.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

should've known better


I have this idea that I'm self-disciplined. I can eat just one or two squares of chocolate (insanely delicious Belgian chocolate, at that) a day. I do work out regularly three times a week. I take all my medications when I'm supposed to, and I make and keep all my doctor appointments. All my kids' appointments, too. And I make sure everyone (else) eats right and gets plenty of rest...

Anyway, that carefully maintained facade crumbles when I start reading. Hand me a 400-plus page novel and I'll be up until 2 or 3AM, bleary-eyed but awake until I read it straight through till the end.

I thought I could be more disciplined this time, but the kids are on break and there isn't anything compelling I have to do, so... 900 pages of the first two Twilight books gulped down like a gin-and-tonic on a hot day. About as intoxicating, too.

I'd never heard of them until I got back to work in August, and the kindergarten teachers were talking about them in the break room. My ears perked up: vampires? I've been a vampire-story junkie since I read Interview with a Vampire as a 15-year-old babysitter, alone (with sleeping kids) in a creaky house surrounded by woods. Probably not the best choice of reading materials, but I was getting paid to stay awake, and I did. I know I've written about this before -- wasn't I one of the half-dozen people who watched the short-lived Blade television series? It wasn't horrible, but it didn't come close to the campy glory that was Kindred:The Embraced, with its mafia-like vampire families.

I idly picked up Twilight, the first book in the series, a couple of weeks ago at Borders, and read the first few chapters while the kids were exploring their own selections. Then I read the next few chapters the next time we went back, and so on; I'd read up to chapter 10, piecemeal, and I seemed to be doing just fine, doling it out in small doses like that. But then we went to Bookman's and traded in a bunch of stuff and I decided to use some the trade credit for myself for once, and got both Twilight and New Moon. (I was gratified to find out that Jacob really is a werewolf, as was hinted at in Twilight.)

I was just over on IMdb to look up something completely trivial, and noticed the link for the Twilight teaser trailer. I clicked. I squee'd with positive and inexplicable joy: the casting looks perfect (Cedric Diggory as Edward!), and the teaser, anyway, gets the tone exactly right. Of course teasers are edited to entice and trailers often show the best parts, but the snippets I saw in these two teasers were just so spot on, I'm psyched.

I should know better (there it is again) than to get my hopes up; how well I remember being sucked in by the look of that Eragon poster. But Twilight is a much simpler story, really, and it should be pretty easy to hang a film on its slight frame. It has love, beauty, and danger, but I'm most interested to see how Hardwicke & co deal with Edward and Bella's chaste relationship. It runs completely counter to the message that teens get everywhere else (sex!), and it's central to the novels. I hope they don't screw it up.

(And now I'm up past 2AM for the third night in a row.)

Monday, October 06, 2008

accelerating through the curves

I'm behind enough in my school work that my instructor just emailed me -- again! -- to remind me that, ahem, I'm actually in the class and would I please submit my assignments? That's not what she said, actually, but that is what she meant.

Time to jettison my lame objections and actually do some work. (It's so much easier when it's interesting.)

generations, bridged

My mother began coughing up blood a week, maybe two weeks ago, but what finally got her to go to the doctor was her uncontrollable blood sugar. She has had Type II diabetes for many years, and usually her sugar has been well-behaved; she pays attention to it -- sort of. She thought she'd been OK for years, but then, she only tested it in the mornings, when it was almost always good. She didn't realize it could be great every morning and sky-high every evening.

Anyway, she has chronic kidney disease and a host of symptoms from that: anemia, breathlessness, fatigue. Still, she doesn't quite meet the criteria for dialysis, and even if they told her she needed it, she just might say "thanks, but no, thanks."

Between rheumatoid arthritis in her hips and spinal stenosis, walking has become very difficult for her, severely limiting her ability travel. She could cheerfully deal with all these medical conditions, I think, if she could still pop over to Europe a few times a year.

Back to the newest and most acute symptoms: it's hard to tell what's really going on. She had a CT scan, and she told me the doctor showed her some black spots, but also white spots all over the place, so it's probably an infection. She told one of my sisters it could be cancer. She didn't mention the black spots at all to one of my brothers... you see how this goes? She selectively edits, and so we must all compare stories and fill in the gaps to get the complete picture. She doesn't lie, but she feels perfectly OK omitting details or shaping a narrative for each of us.

She's on antibiotics; the pulmonologist is going on the theory it's an infection, with good reason. Mom broke a tooth sometime late last spring and didn't get it fixed until September. Several of us knew about it and nagged her about it over the summer. I offered to drive her to the dentist several times, but she wouldn't go. What were we supposed to do, throw her in the car and take her against her will? She's a grown woman, and she's our mother and we just had to back off and let her handle it. She "handled" it by ignoring it until her blood sugar went crazy, and that finally got her to do something about it.

There's a good chance she has pulmonary actinomycosis, from the reading I've done. That would be the "white spots everywhere." The black spots are very worrisome. The doctor has ordered a biopsy, which hasn't yet been scheduled. I don't know if they could do a needle biopsy because Mom is coughing so much; you must remain very still for those. She has been on the antibiotic for several days now but is still coughing so much we can barely converse -- a few minimal exchanges provoke a fit of coughs and she's off the phone.

This is very unsettling of course, creating a sort of background level of worry that I try to ignore since it's not something I can do anything about. I remembered this evening that Mom has a DNR, and that just upped the anxiety level to the point where I don't want her to go for the biopsy because if anything goes wrong it could kill her, and they would be legally barred from reviving her (the way I understand it).

She is tired. Some days she is at peace with the idea of dying, some days she's so annoyed by all the nuisances she has to endure that she talks more positively about doing things to get better. But those periods of enthusiasm are short-lived, and she always finds an excuse to stay away from the pool, or skip that round of physical therapy. She's getting smaller and more frail by the day, and hours of coughing each day are taking a lot out of her.

What can we reasonably ask of her? "Don't die, Mom," seems like too much, some days. When she tells me she's ready, I tell her I'm not, we're not. I don't care if that's selfish. I don't want her to suffer but we're not at a point yet where I can say to her, "It's OK, you don't have to struggle anymore." It's not up to me to give her permission, anyway; she certainly doesn't owe any of us anything.

Somewhere or other recently I restated one of my fundamental beliefs: we all have the lives we want to have. But how many of us get to have the end-of-life we want to have? Who am I to tell my mother that she can't submit, that she has to keep fighting? Hasn't she struggled enough? How can anyone else possibly know the answer to that question? She is the only one who knows, and from 2,500 miles away, it looks as if she can't quite decide, and so lets her self slide for weeks or months, only to be brought up short by some symptom she can't ignore. Then she's thrown into a new cycle of annoying medical care, a "waste" she has told me, more than once. Each time this happens she slips a little further down, and her recovery is less and less satisfactory. I'm grateful for these efforts she makes, even while I'm irritated that she procrastinates so long. (My father did the same thing, he kept expecting to die and so waited nearly a week to go to the hospital after his heart attack. Eventually it was his lungs that killed him, years later.)

It's possible for a death wish to be rational, but it's impossible for me to calmly accept it, at least for now. I can't do a thing about it. I can't even talk to my mother about how's she really feeling these days, because she can't talk on the phone for longer than a few minutes. This would not be a 3-minute conversation.

I read a quote once, about how becoming a mother meant being accustomed to having your heart walk around outside your body. But I think it works the other way, too: If I am my mother's heart, she is mine, too, and she always has been. I am suspended between the generations, my mother and my children, our one heart stretching back to her past, forward to their future. I can no more control their paths than I can dictate to my mother what she should do. I only know that we will all be immeasurably diminished when that tie to her falls away. I do not know how to say these things to her. It is not possible to release someone while at the same time holding her so close she could never leave, but that's what I have to do.

Friday, October 03, 2008


Well, it has been longer than I intended between posts, but I got busy.

I've been subbing for the most unruly pre-kindergarten class in all of recorded history, so there's that. After imposing all sorts of order on the classroom, things got a bit better, but the mix of personalities and capabilities among those children makes it exceptionally difficult. One third very young, one third mature for their age and very, very smart and capable, and one third willing to argue with you about anything and everything. (There is some overlap between the arguing group and the other two.) The big problem, of course, is that the immature ones see all the attention that the arguers get and decide that that's the way to go. Man, they're smart little manipulators, but it's exhausting! Anyway, I'm done in there as far as I know, although I will probably never forget any of those kids as long as they are coming to our school.

In other news: normal PAP smear (yay!), but have to get one suspicious mole removed, since it popped up in a place which literally never gets sun exposure -- new freckles (caused by sun damage) are OK with me, new moles are not. Even though the dermatologist was on the fence about just keeping an eye on it, I said no, just take it off. That's scheduled for just after break ends. Mammogram scheduled for second week of the break, it will be nice to get that over with.

Haven't done much work on my own school, but now that we're on break I want to get through the next few lessons (and maybe even the midterm) before we have to go back. The teacher takes an incredibly long time (like, a whole week) to grade, though! Yeesh. I'm used to faster turn-around; I suspect I'm just spoiled.

Work has taken a lot out of me these past couple weeks, and this week was especially crazy with RE on Monday, a ThyCa meeting on Tuesday, and teaching circuit on Wednesday -- by Thursday I was exhausted. I was very happy to survive the week.

Mom's sick and it is most likely pretty serious, but I don't know for sure -- hope to find out when I make some calls tomorrow. I hate being so far away at times like this.