So, what’s new with you?

I know I hadn’t been by my own blog in a while, but I just realized it hasn’t been since January of this year.  It’s not that I haven’t had anything to say; it’s a rare thing when I’m completely speechless.

A quick re-cap of 2009:

Sonny Boy and I want to ride “America’s Most Beautiful Bike Ride” together in June, 2010.  I’ve been trying to think of creative ways to fundraise in advance so we can hit our goal early.

Sonny Boy and Girlfriend are still together. They have moments of  ‘I love you, I hate you’, but seem to work it out — or they just ignore the problems, which is bad.  One of his very good friends was killed in a car accident June 12; this sent him emotionally reeling.

Sweet Pea is doing some nannying in Delaware until early August.  She got her birthday present early (cell phone).  We told her it was for her overall safety, but, come on, the truth is I need to talk to her and hear her voice.  We’ve become texting monsters. She misses us, and admits to it, but this will be a good experience for her.

Sugar Bug got busted for cheating on her blood sugar testing logs — she wasn’t testing at all!  I don’t know how we missed that for FOUR MONTHS, but we trusted her, perhaps too much.  She is only 11 after all.  We, no– I, got chewed out by the nurse educator at her follow-up for not being more careful to double-check her meter to the log sheets.  Lesson learned by all involved, and it won’t happen again.  She wants to get an insulin pump, but the application asks her doctor if two months of blood sugar testinglogs are kept.  We do not have that since she was cheating, at least not yet.

Satchel, the cat, has turned out to be a very good hunter, and has caught and killed his keep in mice.  He’s a funny cat, snuggly up to a point and loves to sit on my books, papers or keyboard, or whatever else I happen to be working on.

Lady Bear is now on Fat Dog dog food.  She’s not the best behaved when she meets other dogs while on a walk, so she doesn’t get to go often.  We have a lot of dogs in the neighborhood, and I can’t control her if she starts lunging toward them.  It’s too bad, she’s getting better about not dragging me through the first half-mile.

I have been coaching with Team in Training since January, as a walk coach. I haven’t been sent to any event yet and will likely be staying here for the first-ever TNT participation of the local marathon.  I would love to go back to San Francisco as a coach, but there’s only one first time for TNT to be at any event, so staying here would be pretty cool.  If I keep coaching there’s always other opportunities to travel with the team.  I still do childcare at home, but otherwise am still (un)gainfully unemployed.

My Darling Husband has had some changes with his responsibilities with work, and is now a partner in the shop.  The whole company had to make some drastic changes or risk having to close their doors for good.  He’s busy, the shop is busy, the mechanics and salesmen are busy and that’s all good for the bottom line.  We’re not gonna get rich any time soon, but we aren’t losing the house either.

Well, it’s a sunny, blue-sky July afternoon and the kids are wanting to go swim.  The pool needs a good vacuuming before that can happen, and I’ve just gotten “the look” and “you haven’t even started yet?”.  Flav-R-Ice to the rescue!

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Taking a Break to Make Decisions

I’ve just gotten off the phone with a friend who was asking if I’d be using or be interested in selling a science text book we have. She wanted to know if we’d be using it for Sugar Bug when she gets old enough.  I told I was still thinking about sending Sweet Pea to the co-op class that’s starting in a couple of weeks, which would use the book.  Problem: no money to sign her up, or pay the class fees.  She’s a good friend, and would probably let me make installments over the semester, all I’d have to do is prob’ly ask.

There’s a history/Lit/Bible class also offered.  It would be worth 3 high school credits, which Sweet Pea needs to have.  She wants to go to MSU and go through their Veterinary Medicine program and, well.. be a vet.  She loves animals, but thinks she wants to take care of large ones– horses, hippos, elephants, giraffe.  I think she’d cry just as much as any family to have to put a sick or injured animal down.

Sonny Boy has been tolerant of his parents of late.  He’s convinced we’ve screwed up his life, which isn’t entirely true.  We (read: I, me) have made some mistrakes with parenting and schooling decisions, and they can’t be undone.  I need to sit with him, have a long talk and ask for his forgiveness.

I was trying to work hard at getting caught up on a lot of housework that’s been pushed aside for a very long time when I got that call. I decided to take a break, grab some lunch and write. Only I haven’t eaten yet.  I think I’m actually making progress– with the housework, but I’m not nearly done.  I’ve decided to save laundry folding for later tonight, after sunset, so I can do it and listen/watch some TV. I’ve got stacks of books that need to be sorted and re-organized into subjects.  That may be a good job for tomorrow, after my walk.

Tomorrow is my next long (group) training day.  We have 14 miles on the agenda, but I may do 16.  Last week was supposed to be 16, but I didn’t see that until after I was home, showered and ready to devour a side of beef.  I wasn’t going to go back out to finish those last 2 miles.  I’ve realized the marathon is just 7 weeks away now! I have fundraising to do still– almost $1500. Any takers!?!  No? well, how about $30 or $50? As much as I’d love for an anonymous stranger to just 15 Benjamin’s into my lap, I know that’s not realistic– well, as realistic as winning tonight’s Mega Millions $134 Million jackpot.

So, to recap, I’ve decided: A) Sweet Pea should take the co-op classes.  I’ll have to find the money from somewhere. B) I need to talk to my son, really talk to him and apologize for not being the parent he needed. C)  Fold laundry during Numb3rs tonight D) Go eat some lunch, then scrub the kitchen floor.  E) Resist the urge to spend $1 on the voluntary tax that is the Michigan lottery.

Must dash off now, hunger beckons, and the cookies are screaming Eat me! so I better find something healthier than that.

Knees, Revisited

I had my appointment with the orthopaedist.  I’ll get to what he said later. First, I need to give an impression of his office.

On the wall was a list of all the doctors who participated in the practice itself.  There must have been at least a dozen, all etched in a glass wall plaque that measured a good 18″ x 36″– good to see where my co-pays are going.  They also had three —3!– receptionists working the front desk receiving patients as they arrived for their appointments.  There was seating for at least 50 in the waiting room, which explains this next part: pagers.  You know the kind, too; the kind you get when your favorite restaurant is busy and “buzz” you when your table is ready.

I get buzzed and a minute later a medical assistant takes me back to get x-rayed.  After I’m excused from the x-ray room I’m left on my own to find my way back to where I started from.  The hallways aren’t marked, and it’s a labyrinth.  I wander past another administrative work station with at least 6 staff milling about, chatting.  (More co-pays at work, I see.) I end up back in the waiting room, but at the opposite end from where I had originally found a chair.  I have no idea how I managed this. At least this end wasn’t as crowded, and I was relieved to not have to sit directly next to anyone else.  We’re a curious lot, we humans, and I didn’t want to get caught staring blankly into space and have someone think I was staring at them.  Worse, I didn’t want anyone staring at me.  “She’s too young to have joint problems…If she lost some weight, maybe that would help…Poor thing, she’s here all alone…”

Okay, so maybe no one was going to judge me and why I was there, but I just hate the thought of the possiblity. Ladies, I know you know what I’m talking about here, because we’re all guilty to some degree.  Gents, if you think I’m over reacting, then you really won’t understand.

I am called back in to an exam room– I think–the place is so big I can hardly hear my name.  I’m usually the only one with my first name, but the place is still packed, and now I’m not so sure about that, as the waiting room is filled with people older than myself, all born in a era when my name was more popular. Again, I can see the need for pagers, as impersonal as they are.  But they don’t use them for this part of my visit. I wish they had.  Thinking to myself, if it weren’t for all the privacy rules, wouldn’t it just be easier to send someone through the office with the patient’s name on a placard, like the limo drivers at the airport.  Wouldn’t you feel more special to have someone come searching for you, eager to escort you to your next stop in your day as opposed to have your name called out anonymously from a doorway?

I meet with the doctor, who flips a switch on a digital monitor, and there are my knees on the screen.  (More co-pays at work; what happened to the lighted wall board?). We talk about my problem, he touches my kneecaps, has me do some extensions to feel for himself what’s going on inside.  I tell him I’m training for a marathon, and he looks at me like I’m nuts. (More time to think I’m being judged, o joy.) He tells me running would not be good for my knees– this I already figured out, that’s why I came; now tell me ‘why’.  He says it would be helpful if he could have seen the kind of shoes I was training in.  TA DA! I produce two pair from a back pack, and now he’s no longer judgemental, and is slightly impressed.  (Yeah, uh huh, I got you on that one!) Bigger surprise, they are the kind I should be wearing for the kind of ankle structure I have (Double boo-yeah!)

Chondromalacia patellae It’s a big fancy word for bad kneecaps, they are getting pitted on the back side where the joint itself rubs against it.  It doesn’t hurt-yet- but I expect it will some day. It is a form of arthritis, and there is no ‘cure’ and I asked about possible kneecap replacement.  Not possible without doing the whole knee.  So I have to live with it, which is what I’ve been doing for a while now.

And so I walk. I’ll still be doing the marathon in October.  I’ll just finish about three-and-a-half hours after the winning runner.  That’s okay with me, finishing is what I’m after, and that is a WIN for me.

Knees

I woke up this morning thinking I’d had a bad allergy attack overnight, but it turns out to be the start of a summer cold. I’ve been keeping a steady stream of decongestant and allergy pills going through me all day, and still I can’t breathe. I think it’s been working its way here for a couple of days. I’ve been dragging my feet, so to speak, and now I know why.

I’ve had random stressors bombarding me lately. Sonny Boy had the rear-ending episode, the car’s been in the shop for other reasons, we got a kitten and Lady Bear has been eating his poo—covered in cat litter (gross!). The kitten, who’s name is Satchel, has to go to the vet in the morning. I have to see an orthopaedist about my knees, one makes a popping/crunching sound when it bends, which you can feel if you put a hand on the kneecap. I’ve been mentoring a group of people for this season’s Team in Training events, and have been trying to train and fund raise for my own. Sonny Boy got a job, and I’m not sure exactly where he’s working. He got it through Girlfriend’s “Parental (something, something)”. I just prefer to call him her “other” step-dad—her dad is gay. Sugar Bug is going to a camp next week, and I’m chaperoning the trip. We have to make sure all of her diabetes Rx information is all with us. Money is tight; gas costs a fortune and I quit my job in March. Sonny Boy and Girlfriend have an escalating situation with a Young Lady who used to be his “special interest”. (Her parents wouldn’t allow her to “date”, and so they just made moon eyes at each other, and talked on the phone, sent e-mails. He chose to end things—a year ago— because it couldn’t go anywhere anyway. Well, now Girlfriend is in the picture and Young Lady thinks Girlfriend stole her boyfriend. Apparently that is just the tip of the iceberg.) And, did I mention I’m getting a cold? Yeah, I think I did.

It sounds like I’m complaining. Does it sound like I’m complaining? I’m not trying to, just stating facts of my life right now. What I should be doing is getting on my knees in prayer, searching God’s timeless and ageless wisdom to get me through. Except if I lay in bed, I’ll fall asleep, and I can’t literally sit on my knees, because they’ll go numb.

I don’t want sympathy. I’ll take donations for my fundraising efforts, and I’ll take your prayers.