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I do believe in fairies, I do

The first thing I need to do is offer up a great big group hug to all of you ravishingly pretty people who commented and emailed and kept my little family in your thoughts when I so rudely up and announced I needed to go silent for a while. I’m not sure what I thought was going to happen when I did that—I wasn’t really thinking about the possible reaction, only that I needed to get away from the computer—but I was pleasantly overwhelmed by how kind and patient you’ve all been. So thank you for that, so much.

The second thing I need to do is explain that I am often guilty of what we refer to as “magical thinking” tendencies. As in: As long as I don’t say this thing out loud, it isn’t true. Or: If I say this thing out loud, it will JINX IT. No need to point out how utterly crazypants that is, because I’m well aware, believe me. But I’m just laying it out for you, by way of explanation. Sometimes this is how I think.

That’s what happened two weeks ago. I couldn’t say what was true, because it was too scary; and I couldn’t say what I hoped, because saying it might mess it up.

Crazy, I know. In my defense, I was really, really scared. (more…)

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The elephants on my chest

Oh, hello. You know what’s awesome? Being the sort of person who is prone to psychosomatic illness. Now, a lot of people think that “psychosomatic” means “faked,” but in fact it means real physical illness that just happens to be caused or aggravated by mental factors such as stress.

If they gave grades in psychosomatic maladies, I would get an A+, as well as comments like, “Really gives it her all!” and “Rarely do I see this sort of dedication.”

When I made it through our two-week-long tour of illness, stress, and family dysfunction over the holidays with nary a sniffle, I was set to declare myself champion of staying healthy. Then we came home, I did ten loads of laundry, and promptly came down with a miserable chest cold. Whoops.

Fortunately, the hits kept on coming, with several dreadful pieces of news arriving in the last week. I figure I should be on life support by February. (more…)

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The continuing saga of pestilence

Thank you all for the well-wishes for my mother-in-law. She had surgery and they were able to insert a rod into the bone to repair it, and it is around about this point in the story when Monkey puts his hands over his ears and says “YOU CAN STOP TALKING ABOUT THIS NOW” because it weirds him out to think about operations and people being fitted with rods. Because we are excellent parents, we assured him that Grammy is just fine, and we will all love her just as much now that she’s a cyborg as we did before.

In the meantime, my poor brother-in-law Nearly Nickless wasn’t feeling so hot, and the LAST time we were at their house, you know, he got a stomach bug which I ended up getting (which landed me in the ER), so I immediately started spritzing myself with hand sanitizer and giving him an extremely wide berth.

It turned out that he had strep throat. Because of course he did! As the excellent house guests we are, we clucked sympathetically, asked him if we could get him anything, and then promptly packed up all of our stuff and left. (more…)

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I guess now it’s Christmas

The thing is, there are lots of things to love about Georgia, but it’s really far away from our families, which is kind of a drag. I mean, it’s not as bad as when I lived in California—we’re all in the same time zone, at least—but it still means that visiting is kind of A Production, and there are times when that’s difficult.

So when we first moved down here, we said hey, we’ll come back for Christmas every year. The first year we had a good trip, though I did end up getting an ear infection and calling my doctor back in Georgia to beg for meds and sending Otto out looking for an open pharmacy on Christmas Eve. (Deck the Halls with Zithromaxes, fa la la la laaaaa….)

The second year, well, Nearly Nickless shared his stomach bug with me, and we spent Christmas Eve in the ER.

After all of that big fun, the third year we decided to just stay home. We promised to alternate years, and return the next year. (more…)

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Moral of the story

You get one day to stay home from school when you tell me you don’t feel well, even if you don’t necessarily have a fever. I’m willing to suspend disbelief for one day.

When you refuse to go to school on the second day, I will inform you that in the absence of fever or vomiting a second day home must indicate pernicious, invisible illness which needs to be diagnosed RIGHT AWAY, and therefore I will be scheduling a visit to the doctor.

What I may have forgotten to mention until shortly before said appointment is that there are now two options: Either the doctor agrees that you are quite sickly, or the doctor says you look absolutely fine… and then you will be getting your flu shot. I mean, as long as we’re there, and have paid our co-pay, and I’ve lost half my work day. Because I wouldn’t want you to be any SICKER, you know. (INSERT MEANINGFUL EYEBROWS.)

In short, Day 1 is a Mental Health Day, but Day 2 is Mama Don’t Play That Day.

(P.S. I suspect tomorrow will be Miraculous Recovery Day.)

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Poisoning your child for fun and profit

(The title of this post is a complete lie. There is no profit in poisoning your child which I can figure out, though if there were, I would be ALL OVER THAT, pronto.)

I’ve been thinking I may need a completely separate space to discuss Chickadee’s mystery skin condition—I’ll call it As The Rash Spreads, natch—because it occurs to me that normal people may not actually find my (*counting on my fingers*) four years of endless blather about biopsies and medications and sun sensitivity and whatnot all that fascinating. I KNOW, RIGHT? I mean, what’s NOT entertaining about a cranky child with undiagnosed, pervasive creeping crud? But still, I should maybe take it somewhere else.

Today is not the day that’s happening, though. Sorry. Because this week we went back to Emory (again!) and have a New Plan (again!). And I just know you want to hear every last sordid detail. (more…)

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Five (modified) good things on Friday

1) Monkey has a nasty sinus infection. I figured out that Monkey has a nasty sinus infection. On the way to the doctor this morning, Monkey piped up from the back seat: “Hey, I don’t feel good.” Then we did a little high-five, because YES! Other people, when they have sinus infections, they always realize they don’t feel good! This is progress in our (sensorily-disordered) world. Yay!!

2) I was super productive today. I had a nap.

3) I’ve been granted a reprieve from the plague of teen attitude until at least tomorrow. I am grateful that my wonderful daughter loves marching band so much, and also that for away games they apparently lure the kids in right after school with pizza, and keep them there until it’s time to go.

4) Monkey and Mario are singing songs about butts in my kitchen right now. I am always grateful with my son has a friend. But I am so, so grateful that Mario is a really nice kid and that he and Monkey are enjoying each other so much. Plus I’m eternally grateful to Mario’s mom for introducing us to Hippie School.

5) I totally lied. There are only four things. I’m perfectly content with these four things, it turns out. Sinus infection and all.

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Number six!

One week of school is almost over, and already I feel like we have barely seen Chickadee. Between school and marching band and homework and a new youth group and the general business of leading a life, she is busy and happy and I am trying to be grateful for family dinnertime and the five or ten minutes here and there when I can catch a smile and a hug and a shred of information about her day.

One month ago, we were offered a potential treatment for Chickadee’s ever-present rash and I watched with a mix of annoyance and amusement as several of you wagged your fingers in the comments, telling me I needed to force her to do it. And the thing is, even if I would’ve been willing to go that route, the doctor told her it was up to her. She took it to heart, and for a few weeks I kept bringing it up and we argued and finally, Otto suggested we give her two weeks to think it over WITHOUT BADGERING HER, MIR, and we would talk again.

Last night before bed, she came downstairs and told us she’s ready to try the new med, blood draws and all. She needed time, and to feel like it was on her terms, but she made the right choice, all on her own. It was a superb ending to an already good day.

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Battle of the terrible commercials

On Friday night I collapsed into bed feeling decidedly off. It had been a long day and we’d been out in the heat and I figured I was just hot and tired. But on Saturday morning I dragged myself out of bed and was considering a nap about five minutes later. Basically, I felt like I’d been run over by a truck. There was no denying it: I was sick.

Otto, who was skeptical of my crazy diet plan from the start, was convinced I had somehow poisoned myself with the restrictive eating plan I’d been following. He lectured me about how I had “completely obliterated my immune system” and was now reaping the results. I rolled my eyes and agreed to drop the diet to placate him, although that was an easy thing to do as eating ANYTHING would clearly interfere with SLEEPING, which was the only thing I wanted to do for the next two days.

So I slept for most of the day, and then spent the evening on the couch watching quality television with my family. Read: We watched a Hoarders marathon. I don’t know that any of us consciously chose to watch it, it just sort of happened. And then we made an interesting discovery: The target audience for these shows are apparently women with digestive issues. (more…)

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I like to jumpstart with crazy

Hey, remember back when a group of us got together and started Five Full Plates and vowed to lose weight and exercise more and clean up our homes and face our fears and generally become better, smarter, faster, and thinner than ever before?

That was fun. During the challenges we put ourselves through there, I got a ton of crap done—and I also lost 10 pounds. I felt GREAT.

A year and a half later, I seem to have… gained most of it back. Not all of it—most of my “victory clothing” purchases still fit—but enough that I just feel gross. And as I discussed ad nauseum over on FFP back in the day, as someone who was stick skinny until about 35 or so, this whole “dieting” and “being healthy” thing remains kind of a mystery to me. I mean, in general I eat very healthy foods. But I also suck at any kind of moderation, and even if I’m eating healthy, overindulgence is still a problem. Also a problem: Ice cream. And popcorn with real butter. (Mmmmm… butter.)

So it was clearly time to Do Something. (more…)

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