Sunday, January 25, 2009

It all started at 5:35

That's A.M.

Nephew one, nearly eight, busts in to the bedroom and says:

N1: Aunt Maxine, I really need something to eat or I think I might throw up.
AM: Do you want me to cut you up an apple?

N1: No. That just won't do it.

I had to think fast because cleaning up vomit might just make me do the same. Really. I was reviewing what I had seen in the fridge and trying to think what might fill the bill. His mom says he will eat whatever we eat, and of her, that might be true, but we, umm, eat a little better than she does. We're all about cultivating our food snobbery.

AM: There's a bagel. Do you want it plain? Toasted? With butter?
N1: What I really like to eat is corn with peas.

I look in the fridge and lo and behold, there is a bowl covered with saran wrap of corn with peas.

AM: OK! Corn and peas it is.
N1: Don't make fun. It's not nice and I really like it. Really.

I'm not one to take being admonished by a seven year old(there is no nearly eight at this point, he's seven) and especially not at 5:35 in the morning, but he was all curled up on the couch looking pitiful and I was still concerned he might yak, so I cut him some slack. His corn and peas were warmed and I let him have them right there on the couch and I went back to bed.

About half an hour later, he is standing right next to the bed.

N1: Aunt Maxine. I have to get into bed with you guys because it's freezing on the couch.

Not one to argue half awake I help him settle in between us where it's nice and warm. He went right to sleep and I was graced with his corn and pea breath. Charming.

About 730, nephew two enters the picture. I could hear him calling s brother, looking for him. He had fallen asleep on the couch last night before seven. When I was up with N1, I noticed he wasn't there and even though he has his own keys to everything, I was pretty confident his four year old industrious self had in all likelihood awoken during the night and gone up to bed. Aunt Betsy (that's eb) had asked me if he was still sleeping after the N1 ordeal and I told her I thought he must have gone up to bed. She went and confirmed because she's good like that.

The bedroom door was closed and it was sort of like hearing a game of MarcoPolo. I could hear him calling and I then called him. He didn't hear me or was just distraught at not finding his brother. I finally got up and went out to see where he was and he was on the couch all sad looking.

N2: Where's N1?
AM: Getting warm in bed with us. Want to come?

Head nodding was the only answer. There really isn't much room left in the bed when the two of them are hogging the middle and Aunt Betsy and I got up around 8. N2 followed. N1 is still sleeping off his corn and peas.

It's a good thing we were both freezing our asses off enough to wear our pyjamas to bed last night.

PS...I alomst forgot. According to N2 (he with the heavy southun accent), you fry eggs in the payun.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Please tell me she was kidding,,,

Earlier this month, Persetta graduated. She was my TCM student doc for the last 6 months. I go to the local college of acupuncture for treatment every two weeks.

LiAn is my new TCM student doc. I was a little hesitant going with a second year student (Percetta was a fourth year), but LiAn is who Percetta and DR. Z(the supervisor and recognized herb guru) both recommended. I was expecting her to be a little less sure of herself, but let me tell you, she is confident with the needles and somewhat aggressive about it. These are good things. There are subtle differences in my results that aren't really something I can verbalize, small improvements difficult to quantify, but improvements nonetheless.

Yesterday I had 41 needles. LiAn said, "Some of your needles today will be bigger."

I held up my hand and told her, "Stop right there. I don't need to know more." Percetta knew how wussy I am about the whole needle thing and that I didn't want to know anything about it, that I trusted her to just do her thing. I don't need to see them. I don't need to know they might be bigger. I don't need to know that bigger needles go deeper.

Well, I forgot that all, and now I know. I need to clue LiAn in on my next visit. When she mentioned this and I told her to stop, I also opened my eyes. I was laying down on the table, glasses off and relatively relaxed. As I opened my eyes, my heart was racing just a tad. My spine tensed up and being already full of needles, I couldn't really move to stretch it out, so I asked LiAn to pause which she did, until I could breathe a little and calm my racing heart. From my vantage point, prone, eyes open, and glasses off, the needles on either side of my nose came into focus and they looked like small finishing nails. In my face. That did little to help slow my racing heart so I closed my eyes and tried a few deep cleansing breaths. I was relaxed again in a few moments and LiAn quietly went about her work.

After the needles came out and I met LiAn at the desk, She told me, "Your pulse slippery today, so new sweet. No fried. No cheese. No spicy"

"What's left," I innocently queried.
"No sweet. No fried. No cheese. No spicy."

No food love? Oh my.

The new rule journey begins today. I think no spicy will be the greatest challenge, and I am modifying that right out of the box to less spicy. I told LiAn this and she frowned and basically conceded we have to start somewhere.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Birth Day

Twenty-four years and a few hours ago, I was in crazy pain. I was twenty years old and at that very moment, I had the harsh realization that maybe I didn't know quite everything. Harsh. Very harsh.

Sometime the night before, I was awakened in the night to these sudden and sharp pains in the small of my back, pausing just a moment, and then searing up my spine. I thought I was going to die. Then, my water broke and the only thing that came to mind was a big "Uh oh..."

At the time, I lived in a house on the hill in a fairly wealthy section of Lake Placid. The only way this was affordable was to have five of my nearest and dearest move in with me. It was a four bedroom and I shared a room with Chef's father. It was downstairs and had an attached full bath. Kathy had the other downstairs bedroom, also with an attached bath. Upstairs was Kim in her own bedroom and Danny and Val, sharing the fourth bedroom. Both upstairs bedrooms shared a bath, and each were equipped with two twin beds. The place had oil heat, but we mostly relied on the woodstove downstairs in the living room, and since we were all coming and going at various odd hours, it was pretty easy to keep it going most of the time.

Kim was my best friend and we had fully discussed her taking me to the hospital when it was time. It was very naive of us to presume that "time" would be convenient to our schedules, and that making the 15 mile ride to the hospital wouldn't be that big a deal. We hadn't considered that it might be the middle of the night. Or that I would be in excruciating pain. Or that it would be one of the worst snow and ice storms we had ever known. Or that Kathy would be the only person home at the time and
not the person I wanted in attendance.

I think it took us well over an hour to get to the hospital, and it was a miracle we didn't freeze to death in a ditch on the side of the road. As bad as the pain was, I couldn't fathom giving birth in the back seat of the car, and home delivery was in no way an option.

My OB doc, Dr. V, was a pleasant older man. He was nearing retirement and had a new young partner. A very handsome and sexy new young partner, Dr. M. I made it my entire treatment schedule managing to see only the aging Dr. V. and having done nothing more than shake hands at the initial meeting with Dr. M. You know who was on call that night. Damn.

Had I taken child birth classes? Umm, no. Had I read up on the process? Nope. I was 20 and figured anything I needed to know would be explained along the way. I didn't ask a single question. I had no idea that an epidural might leave me paralyzed. But when that answer to my excruciating pain was offered up very matter-of-factly, I signed the consent form and held very still for that long thick needle to be inserted into my spine.

And then, the next thing I knew, from about my boobies down, I. Felt. Nothing. Not a thing. It was as if my body just stopped at my boobies. My contractions were still charging away as evidenced by the monitor, but I didn't feel a damn thing. I was liking it.

Since that illustrious time in my life, I have learned a wee bit more. I know, for example, it is quite ordinary to have an epidural and still be able to push. Mine was administered a tad too high. No pushing for me. All of a sudden it was time and my thighs and knees were right there on the table along side my shoulders and upper arms. This struck me as terribly funny. I was laughing uncontrollably at the sight of it all and it still gives me a chuckle today.

Delivery was a breeze and suddenly there was a baby on me. Kathy had to hold him there because I still could feel nothing. The nurses took him away after a few minutes and I was cleaned up and wheeled back to my room.

The next three days were a bit of a blur because I had a nasty reaction to the epidural. "I suppose she's allergic," one nurse quitly said. I was violently ill for three days. At one point it felt as if I was vomitting with every breath I drew. And in spite of it being 94 degrees in my room and me having multiple layers of blankets, I was freezing.

In the middle of all this, round about day two, I met my almost mother and sisters-in-law. Almost. I had been dating Chef's father for more than three years, two of those years living together, and I had met his youngest sister. Turns out she was the sane one in the family. Kathy had told Chef's father how sick I was. She told him that she could take him to see his son (and maybe me, too) at any time because she took those days off. Did he show up once? No. But I was lucky enough to meet his mom and sisters under those charming circumstances. Go team.

When I went home on day six, I had plenty of help to figure the mom thing out. Mostly, I sat in the rocker in front of the fire and drank a lot of juice to try to rehydrate a little. Someone always brought home some homemade soup from the deli for the first month or so, and it slowly became apparent that I was seeing less and less of chef's father. At that point, I really didn't care.

Enough thinking about the physical pain...Happy 24th, Chef!