Tuesday, May 19, 2015

A series of unfortunate events

I'm apologizing in advance for the length of this post, but here goes...

Three weeks ago, on a Friday morning, Rod’s family (parents, a new pup, and aunt & uncle ) had come into town for my niece’s 1st birthday.   I was still at work while Rod left early to meet his family at our house.  He picked-up Henry from daycare and rushed home, eager to see everyone.  While Rod, my father-in-law, and Rod’s uncle were in the garage looking at Rod’s newest “toy”.  My mother-in-law and Rod’s aunt were oooohing and aaaahing over Henry in the house.  Everyone was excited to see each other; including the dogs, who were running around, playfully roughhousing.   Somewhere in all of the excitement, Henry fell and bumped his head.  It didn’t seem like much, a few hugs and some kisses and he was back running around with the pups and thoroughly enjoying being spoiled by Grammie.  When I arrived home from work that evening, all was well while I chatted with the fam.

The next morning,  we happily prepared for the birthday party, which was in a different location.  I also took Henry to music class (which is early every Saturday).  He seemed a little tired and not quite himself.  But I attributed it to all of the excitement of having family in town.   Upon arriving home from music, he threw up.   I immediately called the Kaiser advice nurse, who asked a series of questions.  I let the nurse know about Henry’s fall the day before, but also that we didn’t think the fall was anything to be concerned about.  But after his second bout of getting sick, the nurse thought it might be a good idea to take him to the ER to rule out the possibility of a concussion.  We agreed, better safe than sorry.

Long story, short; Henry actually had the flu (the next day, we found out two other kids from daycare and one of the mothers also had it).  However,  the ER doctor ordered a CT scan to rule out a concussion.   As a byproduct, we found out that Henry has a cyst on his brain and extra cerebral spinal fluid as a consequence.  Totally unrelated to his fall or his flu symptoms.  It was just by a crazy-chance that we found out about it.

Henry has an Arachnoid Cyst.  Fortunately, he hasn’t suffered any symptoms; and hopefully he never will.  Many people have them their entire lives without symptoms, only finding out about them as a byproduct of having a CT/MRI for a different reason (sports injury, car accident, etc.).   

On Friday we took him in for an MRI (I’ll share that experience with you later) and we have an appointment with a Pediatric Neurosurgeon next week to discuss the results and next -steps.   We don’t have a lot of information and are attempting to be patient while waiting for our appointment.  The doctors don’t seem to be in an enormous rush to address this, so it can’t be that serious, right?    Despite the lack of urgency, the possibilities are terrifying.   I have never known horror like this.  The trepidation of having our child’s health seriously threatened has shaken us.   My hands tremble as I type this and I struggle to articulate the depth of my anxiety.   I apologize for this cryptic post;  I will keep you updated as I learn more.

On the bright-side, Henry’s flu has passed and he is back to his normal self!  We attended his friend’s 2nd birthday party on Saturday where he played, ate cake, and chased ducks! 

Nothing better than cake with friends!

Sunday, May 17, 2015

End of an era - the final Mad Men

In 2008, I was at a pivotal point in my life.  I was 26, just out of an eight year relationship, and ready to start over.  During the first stage of the "starting over" process, I spent an entire weekend on my sofa, eating Captain Crunch... in my pajamas; all while binge-watching the first season of Mad Men (Hey, don't judge; soul-searching isn't always pretty, okay?).

At the time, I connected with the deeply flawed characters of the show.  Smart yet discontent Peggy, passionate and unapologetic Joan (I heart Joan!), disconnected Betty, narcissistic Pete, and mysterious Don.  For seven years I have watched these characters endure and evolve with the changing times.  All the while, growing and evolving in my own "real" life. Tonight I am sad to say goodbye to my longtime "friends."

I watched the final episode after having a drink (which doesn't happen often anymore) and skipping the smoke (taking a lesson from Betty - plus, I don't smoke anyway); all while reminiscing about what I've done and how I've grown personally in the past seven years.

Final thoughts about the final episode: genius!  You'll never change Don - and I'm at "peace" with that!  Go Joan!  And Roger, please shave your mustache and sideburns.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Finding balance

I normally don't apologize for long gaps between blog posts.  I love blogging, but life is happening between those posts and I (at one time) promised myself to never apologize for that.  However,  I haven't been blogging lately because I've been spending an inordinate amount of time on things that aren't family related.  I don't want to complain about work, I really love my job.  Public Health is an amazingly rewarding place to be.  However,  my work/life balance has been off and I'm taking steps to get it back.  I'm currently going after a big promotion (wish me luck!) and it has recently been so easy to let work takeover (just one more email...).  But my family is my life.  I need to keep my priorities in check.  At the end of my life, I can't imagine thinking to myself, "Gee, I really wish I would have worked more and spent less time with my family."

I'm working extra-hard to do the following:
1.  Make sure all home time is quality time
2.  Let go of work stress (what good does it do, anyway?)
3.  Let go of mommy guilt (ditto, above)
4.  Be more efficient at work
5.  Check-in with Henry throughout the day
6.  Spend more time with Rod
7.  Be creative with my time (get haircuts/pedicures during my lunch-hour rather than after work, etc)

I'll let you know how it goes.  Now, let's catch-up; shall we?

Henry is 20 months old and he is growing like a weed! He is chatting (although we can't always decipher what he's saying) and running around like a wild-man.  We are having amazing fun!  Sorry to sound sappy, but he's totally the sunshine in the Rolex universe.
In addition, work has been incredibly busy and super-interesting.

Snuggling with Pippa!
Henry, checking the price of my new sui