Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Cold And Stuff

So it got below freezing last night. I'm not complaining about the weather out-of-doors. I am, however, launching several complaints about the in-of-doors because there is no way in H-E-double hockey sticks that it was sixty-eight degrees in here. NO way.

I drug out two quilts, my son's Dora the Explorer blanket (yes, he's a fan...or he was), a knitted blanket, and this gigantimous (and ugly) comforter and piled them all on the bed at once and it took me forever to get it all warmed up. Then, once I got things bearable in the bed it took an act of Congress to convince the powers that be (that whole group conscience I have going in my head) to get out of bed to do things like brush my teeth and use the facilities. I am a bit short of asking Buddy where our zero degree bags are stored so I can just use one of those.

The main problem is that the people in the Big Red House (who have a reasonable thermostat and no holes in their house) took my electric blanket. That's how I kept warm last winter. Apparently the cost of another one has been deemed 'too expensive.' So nyah. And usually I steal Squib from his resting place and park him in my bed for to keep it roasty in there. (He thinks it's a special treat to sleep with mommy, so I let him wallow in his misconception). However, he's been at his dad's.

I'm one step away from sleeping in my fuzzy bathrobe. I'm already dressed in a long sleeved t-shirt, yoga pants, and two pair of socks. What's one bathrobe more or less? But, I'm starting to get that Michelin Man feeling you have when you bundle up to play in the snow and your arms and legs sprawl out a little bit and if you fall over chances are you can't get up without help.

I did check with a regular outdoor thermometer to see if the thermostat was reading correctly. It wasn't. The 'sixty-eight' it was advertising was somewhat south of sixty-six at which point I turned the heat up because I was laying tile in the bathroom and was somewhat wet from carrying the tile from where it was cut into the bath area. Wet and sixty-six degrees is icky. So add to my chilliness a wet sweater and undershirt and wet yoga pants and socks. I'm messy. Nothing to be done about that but to clean it up later.

And I do admit to some dread due to the fact that I have to meet Squib and his dad for a doctor's appointment at 8:30 in the morning which means I'll be up and around while it's still in the mid-to-low thirties. Aaaaah! But if Squid says the boy is sick, he must be near death. He seems to never want to take Squib to the doc. So to the doc we go. At eight flipping thirty in the a.m. The reasoning there? Wouldn't want him to miss too much school.

Yeah. I had to ponder that too. Sick kid. Send him to school. Infect the general populace.

An epidemiologist I am not, but when I keep the kids home it's primarily for the health of the other children unless mine are running hideous fevers. That's about the only time they ever act sick. Beanstalk gets clingy, but meh, who doesn't when they're coughing up a lung.

So tomorrow will be the third day I've rocketed my self out of the bed to go to the doctor's office. The tally is two infusion treatments and, after tomorrow, two doctor's appointments. If you count Buddy taking Baba for her junk that will add a dentist's and surgeon's appointment. Together with the remodeling it's enough to make you want to lay on the floor and scream, "Enough already!!" It's not even truly Wednesday yet--the day I spend an hour dancing and singing with first through sixth grade kids.

And no doubt tomorrow will end like today. Buddy will survey the lovely addition to the tile job in addition to the disaster that lies outside the bathroom and glance at me and say, "Well, I'll leave you to clean up. I know you like things done a particular way." Which is tacitly incorrect and he knows it. My mother and sister-in-law are picky. Perhaps he took, "please don't store the pieces of insulation with my towels." as a bit of pickiness rather than common sense. If anyone else 3were to cart off the dregs of remodeling I'd be overcome with joy. And as is I can't always tell trash from 'tools' so there has been a bit of digging through the trash bag. Oops.

But the days are not without their extremely humorous moments. In the process of seeing my rheumatologist today, we were discussing symptoms I have of secondary Sjogren's. Dry eyes, dry nose (nose bleeds), and an extremely dry mouth. As a result I ended up with thrush in my mouth, so he prescribed diflucan, etc. etc. Then he began describing what he saw in my mouth, nose, eyes and hemmed and hawed for a moment and finally said, "Well I also have to ask you if you've had any vaginal dryness." Not being a sexually active person (for quite a while now) and other things being what they are, I simply replied, "Aaaaaaand I would know" I'm here to tell you that doctors are not impervious to embarrassment at all because he turned a livid shade of red and closed his eyes and shook his head. I was completely comfortable, but I had absolutely no info on that. Finally he said, "You know what? Let's just forget that question." So we did. Until I got in the car and laughed my head off.

I have yet to meet a person that can get a firm grasp on what we deal with on a daily basis in this family. And by all counts, they expect us to be total lunatics once they put it together. One grandparent deceased due to cancer. The surviving grandparent fighting her fourth cancer (that's f-o-u-r and, no, I am not joking). A mother virtually incapacitated due to lupus and pulmonary hypertension. One son with tetrasomy 18p (translation: he's 47 XY, but not the 'normal' extra chromosome). Second son with neurofibromatosis and resolved major congenital heart malformations (read: big stinking surgery that scared the pants off anyone involved). The normal, functioning people "just" have Crohn's disease and we consider that healthy. Yes, yes we do.

I was schmoozing with one of the chemo patients in the infusion lab yesterday and she asked if the boys played baseball or soccer and after an, "Oh heavens no." She asked why not. I hemmed and hawed a bit. Fragile bones. Heart and major arteries not being where they should. It took her a minute to put it all together, but finally she made that face. The "you must be cursed by God himself" face. Which is just not true. Not true at all.

Yes, we have more on our plates that any normal human can handle. I'm running around in two shirts, leggings under my yoga pants and two pair of socks. Here in a few minutes I'll be packing myself into the truck to go to Care Share, which is the local food pantry, and pick up the regular allotment of fruits and veggies that they give periodically. For reasons we don't know or understand, sometimes money just arrives in envelopes when we really need it. It may not sound like a lot, but we can take $100 dollars and stretch it pretty far. All of our remodeling has been done with materials we've had left over from building the two previous houses and from things people (great people) have given us that they've had stored for months or years.

Do I have a cell phone? Yes. But only because another friend was upgrading and basically gave me his. Same with the iPad that the kids play with. Heck, the sheets on my bed and one of the blankets (that matches) was given to me after a friend couldn't sell it in a garage sale. She even gave me the decorative items that matched. And people in this community continue to give and give and give because it's just that sort of community.

Am I cold? You bet your bottom. But I have clothes given to me by someone to keep me warm and Christmas is coming. There's nothing like a cold Christmas. I may not have much to give my kids on Christmas, but guess what? There are even friends of mine that want to make sure that my kids have presents on Christmas morning. What they don't know is that my kids really don't even notice the amount of things under the tree. If I'd just make Squib a dragon sock puppet and put dinosaur spikes on his hoodie, he'd be over the moon. Beanstalk would simply kill for an uninterrupted day of opera. It isn't that they're easily pleased. Well, ok, from my perspective, they are. Case in point, just give Squib a roll of scotch tape. They just know what makes them happy without fizzling out five minutes later. They aren't buried in video games or tuned into the TV so far that we can't have conversations and our favorite thing is to cuddle altogether in my bed and just talk or read until we're tired and ready to go to sleep.

So, we may be dealing with an overwhelming amount of unbelievable stress, but when we're all together the place is definitely warm.


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