Monday, December 21, 2009

Thyrogen trial, 2009

I managed to schedule my Thyrogen administration just before Christmas -- having already met my health insurance deductible this year, it was rather important to do it now rather than in January.

First shot (right arm) was on Thursday, second shot (left arm) was on Friday. Fortunately this time I have only a tiny bit of soreness around the injection site. The preliminary bloodwork drawn on Thursday was taken from my hand, and that hurts a lot worse than where they stuck me with the shots. The problem I had a before, with a numb, painful arm, are nowhere in evidence.

I go for my second blood draw tomorrow, and that's the important one, the one that will tell what my stimulated Thyroglobulin (Tg) production is. They'll be sending it out to Carole Spencer's lab, so it will take a while for the results to come in.

That's a source of frustration, sure, but there's no reason to expect much of an uptick. Last time it went up to 1.1, I think, scarcely worth mentioning. Here's hoping for the same or lower. I've rather gotten into the habit, these last few years, of being relatively healthy. I'd like to stay that way.

brief moment of clarity

I have a problem with staying up too late when I know the next day won't be too demanding, and that describes most of my days lately. I fall asleep in front of the tv (or computer) and then wake up and stay up, instead of hauling myself off to bed.

How late? Late enough to not want to admit how late, because it's embarrassing.

Even more embarrassing is why I stay up late. If I were doing something productive, it would be one thing. But lately, I'm watching either Food Network (not that embarrassing) or Nick at Nite, and there's something about watching The Nanny at 2:30AM that so pathetic I finally realized how stupid it is to stay up so late.

Yes, I'm up late today but that's because (see, I have a real reason) I was posting a video of the kids' piano recital over on my Facebook page, and that took a while, and now that's done and so am I.

I hope this lasts -- if I'm going to be up, I damn well better be doing something useful.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Nobody cries at a TSO concert

We saw the Trans Siberian Orchestra with the kids this afternoon. The first part of the concert was an extended song/story, interspersed with Christmas classics and original pieces, that told the story of an angel, a lonely man, and his daughter far from home on Christmas Eve. Through the intervention of the angel and the kindness of strangers, she's able to go home on Christmas Day.

TSO is really an orchestra, but it's an orchestra with rock-and-roll trappings, including smoke, flames, lasers, and lots of head-banging from the two lead violinists. They play classical pieces with hard rock beats and arrangements, and they shamelessly rewrote or supplied lyrics to a good half-dozen of the carols they played in nicely chosen mash-ups. ("The Holly and the Ivy" was particularly well done. Here's Christmas Eve/Sarajevo, a reworking of "Carol of the Bells" that is probably their most well-recognized piece.)

I liked the long set, with its prog-rock pretentious narration, even though the strutting and posing made me want to laugh, and parts of it were just exhausting. But the end of the sequence -- the payoff of the daughter coming home -- killed me. I wondered if the tightness in my throat would let up before I broke down sobbing. I thought about going to get a drink to help me compose myself.

The kids weren't paying attention to me, though, and eventually I got a grip. I wondered why I had such a strong reaction. Yes, I am a sap for Christmas music, but this was more than that. It took me a while to realize what it was.

As much as I love Advent and the coming of Christmas, I always have trouble around this day.


Thanksgiving was perfect, except I made too many pies.

Since then, we have been inordinately busy. It is much easier for me to be in school when the children are not, and trying to put in even a couple of hours of day at my job proved difficult to impossible for most of November.

I have to go fold laundry or else no one will have socks for tomorrow, but I did want to put up a post to remind me to go into the details later. Thanksgiving really was extraordinary, and it would be nice to be able to be as successful in the future.

This weekend, I spent great swaths of time working with DD on her homework project, and did none of my own. Saturday I spent great swaths of time cooking something I've never made before, lamb shanks. Delicious, but an unexpected time sink. So, we still don't have our Christmas tree up, or our Christmas cards ordered. I have a dozen things pending this week and somehow will manage it all, but I'm not exactly sure how.

First, that laundry --