Sunday, July 17, 2016

It's Been Six Months!

Sooooo...I was visiting Idaho recently, and I had a few peeps ask me why I wasn't blogging lately.  I feel badly.  I mean, I really do love writing.  I just got so stinking busy! Whaaat was I doing, you ask? Oy vey.  So much.  So.  Much.

I think I told you guys that I was working on getting my Oregon teacher's license.  It took some doing.  I've got a provisional license for now - I have to take a couple of tests before next May in order to get the full, four-year deal.  Something to add to my checklist.  I'll get some downtime for a couple of months coming up here, so I'll have to figure that out, study for it, etc.  

I've been applying for jobs, but so far, no bites.  It's alright; I've talked to a lot of teachers around here, and it's pretty tough to find a full-time gig.  I started substitute teaching in April, working at least a few days per week, and it was crayyyyy.  It was such an adjustment to go from stay-at-home mom to working mom.  I was so tiiiiiiiiiired all the time.  But it really was nice being in the classroom again. I mainly got calls to sub in elementary school, and one school 45 minutes south of the city I live in seemed to like me and call me quite a bit.  That was nice - it's hard going to a different school every day, never knowing where you're going or what you're doing.  And I'm kind of okay not having a full-time job; I was able to go online and mark the days I couldn't work.  My kiddos and I have lots of appointments, so I could have the time off that I needed to take care of all that stuff.  So if it turns out that I don't work full-time, I think I'm okay with that.  They pay subs really well here, too, which is awesome.

My dance teaching jobs really started heating up this spring; I had to choreograph several numbers, make some costume pieces:
... make some set pieces:
(this was actually a work-in-progress picture of a fallen log set piece - I forgot to take a picture of the final thing!)
..... attend extra rehearsals, and run auditions for next year's placements.  I didn't mind this kind of busyness one bit - I LOOOOOVE teaching dance!!!  It has been so healing.  Such a rush.  To watch the girls on stage, performing something that I created??  It's so emotional and incredible. 

I can't ever, EVER go back to not dancing.  It's as important to me as breathing.  And working with kiddos in a teaching capacity?  Count me in!

Dancing hasn't made my foot problems any better:

But I think an attempt to jog again really was the final nail in the coffin.  I not only worsened my plantar fasciitis, but I developed a nasty case of posterior tibial tendonitis.  I've had constant physical therapy, I have to tape it up every time I'm active, I wear orthodics, I do the stretches and strengthening exercises...  What has finally provided me some relief is this new therapy that's not covered by insurance, called EPAT.  Electrical Pulse Something Therapy.  The doctor uses this wand thingey, which taps your foot over and over with an electrical current.  It hurts a little bit - not too much.  The idea is actually to create inflammation, which is weird.  Everything I had done in the past was to reduce inflammation.  But to create inflammation stimulates your red blood cells to really go to work trying to heal the area that's been electrically shocked.  I've had more relief with this therapy than anything else I've tried!  I'm grateful.  I still have to baby my foot, though.  No more jogging for me.  I've started doing a lot of yoga.  I need to start swimming laps, or maybe try to get into spinning again.  

Micah really wanted to try ballet this year; he really loved it until about January or so.  It takes away his precious time with his friends, you see?  He fought me every single Monday night about it, but by January, he had already been given a part in a number - Prince Charming for Cinderella.  I told him that he had to finish it out, since the other kids were counting on him.  My boss actually taught his class and cast him in that role, but then we combined her class and mine, and she asked me to choreograph the number.  I created a little pas de deux to do with the little Cinderella.  It was so cute. He really struggled to learn his part, even until the very last rehearsals. 

Which makes sense.  We had him tested this spring by a psychologist, just to kind of pinpoint what it is that causes his rage; but I also had the psychologist check to see if there was dyslexia or some type of learning disability - he still really struggles to read, even the easiest of words.  So the final verdict: He has dyslexia, discalcula (dyslexia with math), a processing disorder (an inability to process, interpret, and retain what a person learns), and some kind of mood disorder - she thinks he may have the early symptoms of bi-polar disorder, but we'll know more about that when he goes through puberty.

Was it hard to learn these things about Mike?  Not really.  I already had my suspicions about all of these conditions; as his mommy, I probably know him better than he knows himself.  And this Micah, the Micah who struggles, has always been.  It's not like he was doing great one day and then suddenly not doing great.  He's struggled since the day he was born.  I don't know any differently.  I think I've mourned more for Gage than with Micah; Gage seemed perfectly normal until 14 or 15 months of age, and then suddenly, my sweet baby was gone, and my autistic son emerged.  I still struggle with that.  But Micah has always been...enraged.  Difficult.  His meds take the edge off; he's gotten a little more aggravated this summer, as he's spent more time with his siblings, but he's doing alright for now.

Cancer Stuff:  So, I've only recently figured something out - these bouts of horrible, horrible...ah...dysentery (wink, wink) would happen almost two weeks to the day from each Herceptin infusion.  Not every time, but maybe every other time.  I never really put two and two together before.  In fact, I had a really bad bout two weeks after my very last infusion.  It was so intense, and my dehydration so swift and violent, that I started having seizures.  I was hospitalized overnight, and glad to be.  It was really scary.  I haven't had any more problems with that ever since February.  Thank goodness.

I see my oncologist (Dr. Existential Crisis - seriously, we discuss religion and life and God every time I go in) every six weeks or so.  He still insists that we don't need to do any scans on me.  I guess this is kind of the new thing - you can get more accuracy by feeling for new lumps or changes. I think that, if I had stage 4, or we hadn't gotten all of the cancer out with the mastectomy, we'd be doing scans.  I'm okay with it.  They flush my port every six weeks when I go in.  My local surgeon (Dr. Pirate) checks my chest every couple of months for any weird-looking changes or anything alarming.

Something new, and obnoxious that happened:  In March, when I saw my Portland surgeon, we scheduled my surgery for July 14th.  We scheduled my last pre-op for the day before surgery, and we even scheduled my post-op appointment.  Ben has a client with an empty apartment in Portland, and he offered to have us stay there after surgery.  I was to stay in the hospital for four days or so, but still stay in town in case anything bad happened, for the next seven days, Ben taking care of me.  Ben's mom was going to come down and be with the kiddos during that time, Then my mom was going to come out for two weeks, for when we came home from Portland.  She had bought the plane tickets and everything.

You can tell something bad was about to happen, right?  That's Foreshadowing, baby.  So I get a reminder call for my pre-op a couple of days before, we're all ready to go, Ben and I drive over there, we get to the pre-op appointment, and we meet a nurse.

"So, Mrs. S, I see here that you are allergic to Omega 3 Fatty Acids?"

"Um, what?"

"You're allergic to fish oil, right?"

"Uh, no.  Not at all.  Not in the least."

I should have known something was wrong right then and there.

So we figure out that I'm, in fact, not allergic to fish oil, we update my med list, etc.  Then the Physician's Assistant comes in, he makes sure I had pre-op photographs taken (I did back in March), asks me if I have any questions.

I say, "Yeah.  Uh, when am I supposed to check in at the hospital tomorrow morning?"

"Um, what?"

"You know.  For my surgery.  Tomorrow morning.  Here."

"I have you down for August 4th."


You get the idea.  So, um, somehow, the scheduler back in March had scheduled my pre-op and post op, but apparently, not my surgery.  My surgery was given to some other lady.  Frown.  I burst into tears and cried for a good two hours.

The PA had my surgeon come over from the hospital (an airbridge away) to try to clear things up, but there was nothing she could do.  According to her.  We asked if she could maybe do my surgery in a couple of days?  Nope. Her partner (this surgery requires two surgeons) will be on vacation then, you see.  For a good two weeks.  Ben and I explained that people had driven for hours to help, that people had bought plane tickets.  Nope, nothing doing.

I was devastated.  I cried and cried and cried.  Looking at it now, it's not THAT big of a deal.  I guess it's just....I have been waiting for two years to be made whole, you know?  To have my final step pushed back, even by only three weeks, was hard.  And I felt really badly about my mom's and mother-in-law's sacrifices and expenses.  Sigh.

And then there's the issue of recovery time.  I've been told it will take two months; which is why I scheduled it for the summer.  The new date - August 4th - will push my recovery into the new school year, which will affect my ability to substitute teach and to teach dance.  C'est tres frustree.

Ah well.  I have to keep reminding myself that at least I'm alive.  And I'm sealed to my family.  (If that sounds weird, I'm a Mormon - look up sealing on!  Good stuff!)  And my mom, after four hours on the phone, was able to switch her flight without a penalty fee.

As a consolation prize, Ben and I ate at an amazing place in Portland called Tilt:

We went to the temple trip:
(More Mormon stuff!!  Look up temples!)

We slept one night in the fabulous apartment with a beautiful view:

And I got a proper cut and color, by someone besides Great Clips and myself:
I loooove it!

And I get three more weeks of summer fun before becoming, yet again, a Couch Person.  The apartment will still be available in August, as well.  So it will be alright.

Kay, I've gots to go.  Hopefully I'll write soon.


Merrill said...

Better to travel a rocky road, than no road at all!

April Sattison said...

I'm sorry things have been rough. I'm glad you are still dancing though!!!

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