September 9, 2016

New School Year

School has started once again, hallelujah. Actually, it started a while ago, but I'm just now feeling up to blogging again, mostly on account of feeling cruddy. So I had my terrible July with the whole relapse thing. Then it was August, and the get-ready-for-school rush, complete with sports physicals, registration fees, and the like. Plus, ALL of the kids have extra-curricular activities AND they all have music instruments. Which makes things BUSY and LOUD all the time.

Thaddeus is continuing with percussion. He especially likes playing the bells. Thaddeus is also on the cross country team. It's been good for him, because he mostly likes to sit around and do electronic type things. Also: we basically blackmailed him into doing a sport. For MONTHS, Thaddeus has been dropping hints about "needing" a phone. (And by dropping hints, I mean to say that he would not shut up about it.) Troy finally snapped one afternoon and said that Thaddeus could have a phone IF he was in middle school AND played an instrument AND played a sport. Well, he had two of the three, but had to figure out what sport he was willing to do. He finally settled on cross country, and it's a good fit, because Thaddeus is the Energizer bunny. He just keeps going and going and going...

 Blayne has started year two of trumpet. It's fun to hear her practice now, because it's generally a melody or scales as opposed to the glorious honking that was beginning trumpet. Blayne is also in her first play, Peter Pan. She is a pirate named Murphy, and has three lines.It's pretty exciting.

Daniel is FINALLY playing on a football team. He loves it, and is getting stronger and faster every day. He works really hard at practice, and is making all sorts of new friends. Daniel has also switched instruments, from cello to trombone. He picked trombone because a million years ago, Troy played the trombone, and we have a photo of him, holding his trombone on his knee. Since Daniel idolizes his dad., he just had to play the trombone as well.

Then we have Taylor, who is in fourth grade, which means she can join orchestra. Taylor's instrument is the violin. GUYS: she has the tiniest violin! It's a quarter size, and is so cute. And we've already learned a thing or two about violins, things like: a new bow won't play a sound until it has been thoroughly rosined.  Taylor has also joined the cheer squad, which includes a tumbling class once a week. She can now do a round-off, and is working on her back bend, and on keeping her legs straight during a cartwheel. She also has had to endure me and cheer hair. The first time she dressed in full uniform, she was dubious about the way I styled her ponytail. Then she got to the field and realized that I did know what I was doing, and that her bow was exactly where it needed to be.... It's always hard to realize that your mom is right.

Now. About those instruments.

We are now the proud OWNERS of a violin, trombone, trumpet, and bell kit, which includes a xylophone and a snare drum pad. It was cheaper for me to just purchase the instruments out right instead of renting them. Gobs cheaper. I mean, it still cost a small fortune, but it would have been MORE to borrow. And with the exception of the trombone, the instruments are brand new, never been played. The trombone was refurbished by a local guy, and is in really good shape. The kids are so proud to actually OWN their instruments that I usually am the one to stop practice. (Because there is only so much practice a gal can hear in a day.)

Moving on, let's talk about my health; or rather, my lack thereof. A few years ago, during my initial MS diagnosis, a nodule was found during my cervical spine MRI. No big deal, I had a fine needle biopsy, everything was fine. My new endocrinologist wanted to take a look at the nodule, and since it has been 5 years since my last biopsy, she wanted to repeat and confirm that the nodule was still behaving.

It's not.

It's increased in size. It also is no longer benign. The nodule isn't malignant either, which is confusing. It's indeterminate, which means that the biopsy sample was sent off for genetic testing. Those tests came back saying that the nodule has a 75% chance of being cancer. And lest you think there was perhaps a clerical error, know that I had multiple biopsies to confirm this. So now I'm going to be having a thyroid lobectomy, which is what they call it when they only take out half of your thyroid.gland. Then they'll take a look at the nodule as a whole, and decide if I'm good with a partial removal, or if they need to go back in and remove the other half. Which is infuriating to me, because JUST TAKE THE WHOLE THING. Especially if there is a more than 50% chance of a second surgery! It's so obnoxious!

Anyways, I've been having lots of appointments and testing, and my surgery, on September 26, will be "free" because I have met all the deductibles.

I've also started teaching preschool from home. Originally, I was going to have 7 kids, but a few pulled out for various reasons. So I only have three kiddos now, all boys, and it's kind of fun and low key. We just started class this week, and our theme for the week was HOW. We learned HOW to use our glue sticks, HOW to use scissors, HOW to sit during our morning meeting, HOW to use markers, HOW to listen to teacher, HOW to raise our hands, and etc. This also gave me a chance to assess our knowledge, so I could determine WHERE we are in the learning process. Do we know our ABC's? Do we know what SOUNDS those letters make? Do we know our numbers? How well? There are a lot of variables to take into consideration!

So that's what we've been up to. I basically live in my car Monday-Thursday, and am trying to work out how to handle the dinner situation on those days. I haven't come up with a solution yet, but I have discovered quite a few ways that dinner doesn't work.

July 26, 2016

July Blows.

I've decided that I hate July.

I, of course, am having a little relapse. Which, naturally, is making me want to chop my head off and just be done with it all.

I've been doing inpatient therapy at the hospital here in town, but it's not helping quite as much as I would like. And I'm waiting for insurance approval to get an MRI of my brain and cervical spine. Except that I can tell you what you're going to find. You're going to see my brain stem LIT UP like the fourth of July on account of all the swelling. And yes, I CAN feel it. It's rather unpleasant as far as sensations go.

And oh my gosh, THE ITCHING. It's like having hundreds and thousands of fire ants marching up and down my veins. And I really don't want to sit here and complain about things, but oh my life, you guys. It hurts so bad. My whole body is swollen, especially my extremities. I can barely bend my ankles, and forget about trying to open anything. And thanks to my wonderful IV steroids, I have bulked up another few pounds. This is my body on steroids:

Steroids Day One: "Yay! Five pounds!"
Steroids Day Two: "Five more pounds... yay?"
Steroids Day Three: "Shit. Let's do 10 more pounds and pure, unadulterated rage."

Meanwhile, I'm on the hunt for my actual discs of my last couple of MRI's. My neuro has the reports, but he wants to view the actual images and compare them to the new ones. That I haven't gotten yet. Because insurance is dumb, and pre-authorizations are even dumber.

Also: Football season has begun. Daniel has his first practice today, and he has already earned the nickname "Big D", on account of his being tall and strong. (Last week, he accompanied me to a few doctor appointments, and my endocrinologist thought he was THIRTEEN. Seriously.) Cheer and tumbling begin next week for Miss Taylor, and I'm just trying to figure out the whole "eating dinner together every night" thing on this dumb schedule.

There is one good thing that I'm enjoying: my garden. It is growing so, so good, despite the sabotage attempts made by the local rabbit population. (I still theoretically like rabbits. I just like them much more stuffed. Or in dinner.)

At any rate, I am going to crawl bad in my hidey hole and pretend I didn't just get up here to complain. Then again, since I do use this here blog as a medical records sort of thing, IT COULDN'T BE MORE APPROPRIATE.