Has it been another month? It has! I don’t understand how this keeps happening, and yet, here we are. Time has passed, some interesting things have happened and other not-so-interesting, and life marches on, etc.
I’ve made a number of desserts for Nerd Night this year and shared almost none of them with you because I’m a big jerk. Also because they’ve mostly been fine but unexciting. However! I am the sort of person who buys buttermilk for a recipe and then spends the next however-long trying to find recipes with which to use up said buttermilk, because most of the time when you Google “buttermilk recipes” you end up with things which call for a tablespoon or a quarter cup of buttermilk, and then the next thing you know, you’re looking for another recipe. Sometimes you just want a chocolate cake or a gooey pie or a cookie filled with caramel and chocolate, of course, but a couple of weeks ago I came across Teaspoon Bake Shop’s oatmeal cake recipe and made it for Nerd Night. Monkey was effusive in his praise—most likely because he is a fan of maple-glazed donuts and I suspect this tasted like that—but also, this uses a lot of buttermilk and quite a lot of oats, which means that yes, it’s cake, but it’s also relatively healthy. Cake without guilt! And it uses up buttermilk! If I could eat wheat, I suspect I would have a slice of this with a cup of coffee in the morning without apology. (My tips: First of all, I doubled the recipe for a full 9″x13″ cake pan, and second, all of those oats and buttermilk would be somewhat negated, then, by 4 sticks of butter, so I used 2 sticks of butter and a third cup of coconut oil, instead, to both cut the fat overall and use a “healthy” fat for part of it.) It’s a very simple/easy recipe and in no way “fancy,” but I recommend it.
Cake aside, here’s what else has been going on:
1) I am sort of ready.
When we last spoke, I mentioned taking a small part in a local play which will require me to disrobe on stage. This came on the heels of eating everything which was not nailed down because MY FEELINGS ARE DELICIOUS and I have had many, many feels in particular since, oh, let’s say January 20th for no particular reason whatsoever. The play opens this weekend. The play is going to be fabulous. We disrobers have had plenty of practice in disrobing in such a way as not to flash the audience unintentionally, plus we had a Super Special Formal Photo Shoot Complete With Brunch And Booze for both 1) promotional pictures and 2) an actual you-can-buy-this calendar featuring our cast in compromising positions (proceeds to a local cancer support org, so a noble cause). I am told that this week we shall be appearing on the cover of a local newspaper, wearing… nothing but newspapers. So that will be interesting.
In preparation for all of this, I started paying attention to the food I was eating and also began a daily exercise regimen (which was great right up until I got a chest cold, necessitating moving very slowly or coughing up a lung), and over the last month I am pleased to report that I lost approximately 7 of the probably 15 pounds I gained by accident. Yay, me! I am less pleased to report that it doesn’t make getting undressed in front of people any less weird. Oh well.
2) Still vrooming.
Monkey is still taking driving lessons and driving with me and doing just fine but also acting like he is being waterboarded whenever forced to get behind the wheel. The goal remains for him to get licensed around graduation. Fingers crossed for a summer job that is a short/easy drive from home. (Related: feel free to hire my kid for the summer, especially if you live near here.)
3) Not how you vacation.
So, uh, remember how I started out that last post assuring my father that I was still alive, because he worries when I don’t write? He is no longer allowed to get on my case about anything. My dad and stepmom took a trip out west to visit my stepbrother and his family and then on to visit my brother. While at my brother’s, a blizzard hit the east coast, and so instead of going home last Tuesday, they changed their flights so that they could go home on Friday, instead.
Thursday morning my father had “some chest pain” (this is how it was described to me) and so just to be safe, they went to the ER, and I finally got a call from my brother Thursday evening, wherein I was assured that it was nothing and they were keeping him overnight to do an angiogram in the morning. Don’t worry! Everything is fine!
Everything is fine, but Dad did actually have a “small” heart attack. No biggie. I mean, dude’s retired; if he wants to stay on vacation longer, JUST DO IT, NO NEED FOR ALL OF THIS DRAMA, SIR. Today he’s headed back to my brother’s and they’ll go home in a few days. So that was… fun? Except not?
4) So it’s both better and worse than we feared.
Wayyyyyyyyy back in November, I finally admitted that I have been having memory issues and had spoken with various doctors about addressing said issues. I had a brain MRI right away, because one of my doctors is very nice about getting the “OH MY GOD WHAT IF I’M DYING” thing off the table up front. Waste of money? Possibly, but I still appreciate knowing that there’s nothing in there but normal-looking brain. Whatever the issue, it’s not a tumor or MS or anything else visible via imaging.
Then, as predicted, I needed to wait and wait for a full neuro workup, but in the meantime I also saw all my other docs and got my thyroid meds adjusted and changed my hormone supplementation and just generally tried to make sure no stone was left unturned in the What Is Making Mir’s Brain So Sluggish Lately game. And then I did the neuro testing, and waited some MORE to get the results.
The results: There’s nothing wrong with my memory. What there IS something wrong with is my higher-order processing, and also ability to focus, along with a caveat about how the testing environment is mostly quiet and distraction-free. Diagnosis: moderate depression (OH HEY WEIRD WHO KNEW?) and moderate to severe ADHD, Inattentive Type (just like someone I know and adore). So… none of this was terribly new information, except that These Things don’t always make me feel like my brain is broken and right now, I very much feel like my brain is broken, a majority of the time. There have been some discussions about everything from “this med that worked great in the beginning may not be working so great right now and yet you haven’t noticed on account of your breakthrough symptoms, in the form of things like memory loss, also include symptoms like apathy and malaise” to “well now that you have an official ADHD diagnosis would you maybe like to see if meds help?”
I’ve decided to try ADHD meds. I appreciate that my doctor gets my hesitation and mapped out a whole “let’s start with a tiny dose and increase gradually” game plan; I appreciate LESS that we decided on all of this WEEKS ago and I still don’t have any damn meds, on account of my insurance company requires all sorts of special dispensation and paperwork to approve it, and I’m still waiting on that. (I guess we have to prove to them that yes, sometimes people are not diagnosed with ADHD until their 40s, and it doesn’t mean they’re planning to start a meth lab with their Adderall.) I will report back if I ever find out if it’s useful, I guess.
5) Spring break!
Chickadee is home for Spring break and is very busy sleeping. When she is not asleep, she is doing things like demanding I cut all of her hair off. (I don’t mind. Girl knows how to rock a pixie.) It is both strange to have her here and stranger still to realize that in about 6 weeks she’ll be home for the summer.
Fun fact: her break doesn’t line up with Otto’s and Monkey’s break, which was weeks ago. BUT her break lines up with break at Monkey’s school, next year, so next year I think Otto and I will take his break to do something JUST US and then when the kids come home we will be working and will tell them to entertain each other. That’s why I had more than one kid, right? Right.
Other fun fact: I thought that since my show opens this week and Otto is working and Monkey is still in classes, I could convince Chickie to cook for us this week because everyone else is busy and she’s not. HAHAHAHAAAAAAA. Hi, I’m new here.
(Okay, that’s all the news. Everyone is okay. My dad is a little bit clogged and my brain is broken and my kids are lazy but really, everyone is okay.)