Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Thursday's progress

Today will have more activity, more interest and more to do than the other days post-op. I'm not facing yet another endless day with nothing that separates morning from afternoon or hour from hour.

Another MRI is scheduled for today, this one with contrast. The doc ordered it Tuesday night when I spoke with Kim about the continuing and quite strange pain I'm having, in places as varied as my groin and my ankle.

They gave me a 3-step plan: first, start taking steroids, which I did on Wednesday. So far, no 'roid rage. Second, have another MRI Thursday. Third, see the doc Friday instead of Monday.

Happily Nick kept today and tomorrow free, with no appointments, so he's available to accompany me both days. Of course he is -- he's my knight. His knighthood, and my princesshood (is that a word?) has always been a central theme of our relationship. Early on he told me that after his marriage ended and he began looking to meet new people he decided that he wanted a princess. And happily for us both, he believes that I am that princess. In keeping the trope of the royal family alive, each of us has a regal appellation. Olivia is the queen, Holly is the monarch (sometimes a benevolent one, sometimes a tyrant), Matt is the Infanta (and rarely the Dauphin), and Nick is alternatively the knight -- to me -- and the Tzar -- to Olivia, who gave him that nickname. In scrabble though he might be the "czar" or the "tsar", depending on letters. Needless to say we've mixed the royal metaphors, but since all of Europe's royal families are related we're not that far off.

So this morning we're off to the city so I can get dyed and viewed. The steroids seem to be having an effect already, if on nothing else but my energy level, which began to improve late yesterday.

I completed the two mini-projects I'd planned -- sending a thank you note to the hospital staff and posting vacation photos. Also, I read most of the day and am already about halfway through the Dan Balz and Haynes Johnson book, which I highly recommend. When we get back from the city I'll be exhausted (my only exercise these days is blogging, and there's a funny New Yorker cartoon this week (above) about blogging for health.

I'll no doubt be exhausted when we get home this afternoon, so I'll return to bed, sleep and read more of this book, which I find fascinating and seductive.

We watched the President's address to Congress last night, and were very impressed. The ending in particular -- when he referenced the letter he received from Senator Kennedy in May -- was particularly moving, and it gave that part of the speech the revival meeting campaign quality we haven't seen much of since the election (though we saw it also in his speech to the AFL/CIO on Monday.) The shockingly inappropriate outburst by Joe Wilson (R-SC) seems to have backfired (beware the law of unintended consequences), but is a reminder of how much ugliness the Obama presidency has unleashed.

One week post surgery I've stopped researching the recovery for what I had; the info no longer applies because the surgery was more involved and unexpected than planned. Halting the research is a key step in recovery, and I'm happy to have let it go. Of course if I learn anything new at tomorrow's doc appointment all bets are off.

Both kids had good first days of school. Liv's was yesterday, and she came home pleasantly surprised and in a good mood (not bad for day 1.) She was placed in AP History; a welcome surprise but still a surprise -- the other kids who knew they'd be in the class had summer reading to prepare. We talked it through and she's going to give it a shot, though she's already way behind and it's only the first day. She knows I'll help: my sphere of influence includes english, history and and other humanities. Nick can help with chemistry and math for things like music theory she'll get help peer-to-peer (a fancy way of saying that her friend Jackie will help.)

Matt's second day of classes also went well, and he texted me that UMass's dining facilities kicked GW's butt. The only detail I got is that there's a self-serve stir-fry station. There's also a Trader Joe's in town which is great -- it's his (and ours) favorite store. I expect to see lots of purchases from their on his credit card statement. Everything that goes well and every sign that he'll have a better experience here than at GW is a victory. The only thing he'll need is a new batch of friends, and that'll come in the fullness of time.

So on the kid front: so far, so good.

I was in closer touch with work yesterday than I've been since last Wednesday, and everyone's been incredibly supportive. I had one conference call and a bunch of email exchanges, and it helped make me feel less disconnected from the goings-on, all of which (my boss assured me) will be waiting for me when I return. I'm very grateful to work with people like this, and it's one more reason why I know that I made the right decision returning to Grey almost one year ago.

It'll be a year on October 14th. I'll always remember that date, not only because it was when I started this gig but more importantly it was the day that Matt was diagnosed and hospitalized with Type 1 diabetes. Paranthetically Matt is doing a spectacular job managing his diabetes, which is miraculous. To be diagnosed with something so serious and so life-altering at 19 is unimaginable, but he's rallied, taken full responsibility and dealt with it with a maturity and seriousness that continually impresses me. Not only is he on top of it, at camp he became to go-to person for all the diabetic kids, both those who were handling it well and those who weren't. Hail, Matt. I adore my kids and I'm endlessly proud of them. My only wish is that they were on better terms with each other, but there's no sign of it. The first night that they were home alone together was last Wednesday when I had my surgery, and they had an enormous blow out, complete with language that would make a longshoreman blush. By the time we got home the active fighting had ended in an armed truce, which included accusations that one had hidden the other's ipod, and other such felonies. That lasted a few days til Matt left for school, and now they can return to their prior state: complete apathy and lack of interest in each other.

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