Thursday, April 06, 2006

happiness makes you lazy

things have been quite busy in the 'land of j,' but postings have been sparse-partially for fear of 'jinxing' the good, partially to avoid making too much of the bad, mainly though just out of laziness.

Mickey on moving day
Originally uploaded by jacquichris.
first things first, Grandma is doing great! she was transferred from the hospital to [pulmonary] rehab just a few days after i headed home. as with all our women, she made great strides and, slightly unlike my memories of her mother, got all good marks on her 'report card'. she had a mere few days home trying to clean up the mess we made before i arrived back to help her move to her new digs. Mickey hadn't been so sure she was up for life at McKendree, what with it being full of so many 'old people', but she agreed that perhaps the time had come to not live in an apartment complex with 400 20something singles. after two days of 'You don't really need this,' i am sure she wanted nothing more than for me to get close enough for her to garrotte with her oxygen line. luckily, Mickey is naturally sunny-tempered and only beat me twice. (kidding!)

big truck, little stuff
Originally uploaded by jacquichris.
Mickey's tolerance paid off big time when the movers came, for there was little to load; actually, according to the movers who go to McKendree a lot, we had just the right amount of stuff! once it was unloaded, it certainly didn't seem like 'just right' but that is always the way with boxes! because there was so little room to move, we decided to push through the unpacking process and had things mostly out within 24 hours. one more day of hard work and we found ourselves able to relax and tend to picture hanging and furniture shopping at a much more leisurely pace.

right after the move, there was a big windstorm that took out the power for over 4 hours. Mickey ended up changing her oxygen tank herself, in the hall, by the light of an emergency lantern! woman in charge, she is indeed! since then Mickey has been busy fitting bridge parties and social calls into her normal social calendar. in addition, she is doing so well medically, that her pulmonologist Dr. Miller has discontinued one of her medicines.

the biggest fly in the ointment has been the cat, Callie. she is Grandma's baby and has not generally been the nicest of creatures. unfortunately, McKendee does not allow pets and they aren't really hide-able given the twice monthly housekeeping (lucky dog, she is). Callie has gone to live with Pam and Rol, where she can still be visited by her ma at least weekly. the transition was more than a bit rough, as Callie expressed her displeasure by sneaking in to urinate on their bed, twice, but things are looking up:
'Callie is actually adapting quite well. She loves to sit on the dining room chairs and keep track of us. She virtually let me pet me yesterday. She and Glenn enjoy trading barbs, so to speak :) We think she's going to end up pretty civilized and almost pleasant.'

this is a huge relief for all for obvious reasons.

as for Mom, she has continued to have quite taxing problems with her left ear. Mom and i have been researching her symptoms and we think she has developed something called a patulous Eustachian tube. there seemed to be potential treatment options, if the diagnosis could be confirmed but we went round and round with her current ENT to no avail. he honestly appears to not care about her plight. happily, we appear to be on the verge of another miracle. Mom finally spoke to Jeanene about getting a second opinion; Jeanene got her an appointment with Dr. Shea Jr at the Shea Clinic for April 20th.

given the complexity of her case and Dr. Shea's location in Memphis, we decided we should send Dr. Shea a case summary in advance to maximize the potential benefit of her appointment. Mom emailed Dr. Shea last week and he actually called us that night to discuss her case, inform us he was certain of the diagnosis (the same we were suspecting) and to reassure us that he has a treatment solution that is fairly non-invasive. most importantly, it was obvious to us all that Dr. Shea actually understands how traumatic this condition is and really cares about its effect on Mom's quality of life. he is making arrangements on his end so that they can perform the corrective procedure, Eustachian tuboplasty, the day of Mom's appointment once they have confirmed the diagnosis. the relief this has provided has been profound for all of us, not just because of the potential cure in sight but because finally Mom has someone on her team that we trust really will give his all to help fix this horrible problem. since then, Mom has stumbled upon a number of people who have been to see Dr. Shea and they all say the same thing:
"I hear you're going to see John Shea - man's a magician."

Gordon Gee, the chancellor at Vanderbilt, actually went so far as to say he is going to write Dr. Shea to let him know how dear Mom is and to take good care of her!

with regard to me, my allergies have remained intractable and have actually be so bad as to force me to take a couple sick days. this last week, i was able to get my sass on enough to thoroughly clean the apartment, including removing and dusting all the books and moving all the furniture. knocking back the dust mites seems to have helped some, and i have some further environmental modifications in the wings.

leaving aside the allergies, i really feel the tide has started to turn. in spite of my two bum ankles, i have been exercising regularly at the gym and this week was able to carefully work out without my splints, aka torture devices. hopefully, if this keeps up, i will have the ligaments in fighting trim in time for backpacking season. research is picking up and i am [hopefully] on the cusp of getting another paper accepted for publication.

TraV in motion
Originally uploaded by jacquichris.
personally, wonderful things have also been happening... i have finally met a 'boy' with whom i really seem to fit. his name is TraV, he is always making me laugh (and vice versa), and as you can see, he is always in motion. we play videogames, watch hockey, talk politics (but not too much), and are looking forward to hiking together. most every time they talk, his Mom asks to make sure he hasn't 'screwed things up;' my friends like him so much they email me regularly to ask the same of me. Saturday will make two months, and i cannot remember the last time i was this happy. how cool is that?

the only thing left to complete my happiness would be to see the tides turning back toward a democratic America from this most Orwellian Amurka. as news like this continues to pile up and polls on every potential facet of the presidency hit record lows, one can only hope the waiting will soon be at an end. in the interim, i will keep an eye out for small islands and housing in Canada...

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