Tuesday, June 28, 2016

in which I feel sad

Mom's roses, flourishing.
After dinner this evening, I went with DH and DD to get ice cream (well, sorbet for me), and the sadness sneaked up on me. I am not just an orphan, now I'm homeless, too. (The latter is manifestly absurd, as my daughter reminded me, "But you have a husband, three children, a house, and a job." But I don't have the house I grew up in, anymore.)

We had a lovely ten days on the Cape, with absolutely beautiful weather and great times with the  extended family.  I probably ate more lobster in the last week than I've eaten in my entire life, but that's not something to complain about. (Lobster eggs Benedict is a brilliant idea, and hollandaise sauce is so easy and delicious, who could resist?)  
Last Saturday, my nephew married his sweetheart in a lovely ceremony, followed by a delightful reception.  DH indulged me tremendously by dancing with me for most of the time that dancing was happening.  DD wondered how much I'd had to drink because I seemed, she said, "very happy."  I was happy.  It was wonderful to be with my family for such a positive reason.  It was delightful to see how the little ones are growing up.  And it was really fun to dance, and for whatever reason, the crab slept through the whole thing, so I didn't even think about having pain. 

My brother and his family didn't come back to the house after the wedding, since they flew back to Louisiana early Sunday morning.  I confess when I woke up Sunday, my first thought was, Why are we still here? It's over. 

But it wasn't, of course.  DH had only been in since Thursday, and there were things we could still do, like go out for dinner at our favorite French restaurant, bike the Shining Sea path to Woods Hole, and of course,  put the house back in order so we could leave.  I actually did lose count of how many loads of laundry I did, since there many towels and sheets as well as all our clothes.  

Plus dusting and vacuuming and cleaning out the refrigerators and getting all the trash and recycling out for pickup, and feeling weird about not having done any yard work.  Then packing all our stuff and the stuff that had been Mom's that the kids wanted, and somehow fitting  all that in the trunk of the rental car. 

One last lunch at the best local burger joint, and then it was off to Boston to drop DS1 at the airport (he's road-tripping to California with his friends) and then on to Connecticut.  I almost cried driving over the canal. We're never going back.  

I understand that it's not a bad thing, it's not wrong that this is happening.  This is the way things are.  I imagine millions of people experience this exact thing ever year.  Parents die, houses are sold, lives move on.  So it goes, but it hurts. 

When I was just out of college, I got a copy of The Many Adventures of Winnie-the-Pooh  (long story, not worth the telling).   I had loved hearing the stories when I was little, and I still love the original Disney cartoons, but I had somehow forgotten the last story, when Christopher Robin comes to Pooh to tell him he's going off to school and won't be able to play with him in the Hundred Acre woods every day.  It broke my heart when I read it, in my early twenties, before I'd had any children.  Even then I was overcome with nostalgia and a keen awareness of the inevitable loss that the passage of time imposes on all of us.  

I get pangs of that same nostalgia when I see DD's beat up old teddy bear in her room, still perched near her beanbag chair.  Like Christopher Robin, she will always have her Tety to remind her of those times, even if she can never go back to the days of Tety and his friends and the adventures she and her brothers had together.  I have a few things from my mother's house, but it's not the same.  Even though I have a home with my husband and children that I love, Mom's house never stopped being home, until today.  The Hundred Acre woods are closed.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

enduring question

Why is it that, when I'm struggling to keep my eyes open and therefore go brush my teeth and all the rest of the get-ready-for-bed routine, when I finally get in bed I'm wide awake?

So annoying.

I've been supremely unproductive since passing the test on Monday.  Mainly I've chauffeured various people to various places.  I did buy us tickets to see Book of Mormon next May, and I made pastitsio for the first time ever over the past two days (delicious, worth the effort.)   I've also wasted (I had originally typed "spent," but that's not right) a lot of time on the internet, and I tried to clean the cloudiness off our stemless wine glasses with no luck (so far.)

That pain is still there, ranging from something I can ignore to something that really bothers me.  Still have no idea what it is, but today I tried out some yoga poses that are supposed to help menstrual cramps (that's the closest analogy I can think of) and they didn't help.  I took some Tylenol and it helped a little, but that's not going to be an every day thing if I'm having wine with dinner.

Two more days before heading East -- I have cleaning and packing to do, and plenty of time to do it in, if I just do it.  Between the pain and not sleeping well, I'm in a severe energy deficit.  And honestly, I'm still recovering from the stress and over-work leading up to the math test.

Since I'm awake, I'm off to do some homework.  With any luck my brain will reject that idea as foolish and get sleepy again.

Monday, June 13, 2016


I am thoroughly exhausted.  It's only 6:41pm and I feel as if it's 2 in the morning. That's what happens when you have hours and hours of intense mental work when you're not used to it, like spending four and a half hours on a math test, and then almost immediately spending three hours in a deep philosophical discussion.

Today's schedule: my middle grades math certification test, followed by Philosophy of Biology.

I passed the test handily, scoring a 270 with 220 necessary to pass, so I would love to celebrate, but I'm too tired to do anything.

I'm looking forward to having my math study time back to work on my non-thesis project!

Friday, June 10, 2016

slightly uncomfortable, vaguely nauseated

I just had my first cystocopy, a charming procedure in which the doctor images the interior of the urethra and bladder by using a little laproscopic device.

It was exactly painful, just weird, but now that it's over, peeing has not been fun, but I expect I'll get over that by the end of the day.

The good news is that it is not prolapse, because correcting or treating prolapse is difficult and requires surgery.  My pelvic exam was fine, especially because the exam didn't actually cause me any pain -- right now the pain is up higher.

The bad news is that there is a spot of weirdness on the interior of my bladder. *sigh* The doctor was very nice and encouraging.  She wants to biopsy it, and she  suggested that we do that under sedation, so it will be a surgical biopsy.  She said it could be infection in the bladder wall, or it could be pre-cancer.   Then she said, "It's not pre-cancer," by way of telling me not to worry too much. She also said I would probably need further imaging studies, depending on what is going on with the bladder.   I am OK with this, but now we're kind of running into the window for my RAI scan, so coordinating this is going to be interesting.

DS1 played chauffeur and picked me up after, and I was glad I didn't have to drive because I felt surprisingly gross (see post title).  So that's it for now.  We'll see how it goes.

Friday, June 03, 2016

three's the charm?

I have the sense of making progress.

I had the CT scan Tuesday, got the (unremarkable) results -- except for "mild bladder wall thickening" -- yesterday, along with a referral to a urologist, yesterday.  Saw the urologist today, a new specialist for me, and the third doctor I've seen to try and get some relief from this pain that is just not going away.  I liked her very much, perhaps because she listened to what I had to say about this situation and said, "I think I can help you with your pain."  I hope she's right.  I have another test scheduled for next Friday (cystocopy) and we'll go from there. One new idea is prolapse, since I had it before. The doctor mentioned that a prolapse surgery involving only my own tissue (no artificial supports) that lasted more than 10 years was actually an unusually good outcome.

So, there's that.  The other great news: I got my nice bonus!  You could knock me over with a feather.  I did not realize that they didn't just look at the raw data from the state, they actually calculated a percentage based on the "gen ed" students only, and they did brilliantly (94% "met" or "exceeded"!)

Today I also participated in the final call-in for the class I took last summer, which was sad for me because I didn't implement anything the way I wanted to, because last year was basically one body blow after another.  There were tech glitches but I still got to contribute to the discussion, so I feel better about that.

What else? Finally cleared out some stuff that needed to go to the recycling center.  It's remarkable how much space two office/desk chairs take up, and also remarkable how much dead technology we had kicking around.  I love getting rid of stuff.  After that, DD and I drove up to Phoenix and got her senior blazer, which is going to need substantial tailoring.  Now I just have to get DS2 a new suit for the upcoming wedding...

I briefly got my hopes up about deferring the big math test until August, when a new AEPA test will be available for certifying grades 6-12 on middle school math and "foundational" math for high school. No luck -- gotta do the m.s. one, currently scheduled for the 13th.  I did not pass the practice test when I took it on Monday, but I probably would have if I had 1) been in a more serious environment, not sitting on the couch while the kids had the television on and 2) used a scientific calculator instead of my phone.  Also, there was the whole rushing through it thing -- there were 120 questions and I had 144 minutes.  Of course I didn't finish properly, but on the real test I'll have 4 hours and 15 minutes, which is 255 minutes!  That's very reasonable.  So: more math over the next 10 days, particularly functions and (gulp) calculus. [One delightful realization: I have good instincts for a lot of this material, and I actually like it.  I think teaching math is going to be more fun than I thought!]

Summer school for me and the two younger offspring starts Monday!  I have to budget my time wisely so I get all my reading and writing done.  The time is going to fly by.