Monday, August 28, 2017

This morning, everything is gray and I can't find my computer mouse.

The probability it is in Dylan's room is so high that I don't even bother trying anywhere else. I open his door quietly, though Kindred has Masha & The Bear on blast in the living room. He doesn't even stir, as bedtime was probably so late that it was actually early. Almost immediately, I see the mouse on the dresser, but I linger to get a better look at him. It still seems impossible that he is grown. I search his face for the little boy he was, but instead I just see both his father and mine. They are there in the eyebrows, the cheekbones, the scar above his left eye. I don't even remember how he got that one, but he spent his childhood climbing everything. Pushing boundaries, ever the prankster, those qualities are theirs as well. I wipe a curl back off his forehead and he furrows his brow. Slowly, I back out of his room before I wake him.

Nothing was conventional about his arrival in my life. I was induced over a three day period which concluded with about four mega-contractions taking me from a 7 to 10. It was a brutal 20 minutes that brought him earthside. Within minutes of his birth, I was told words like "heart murmur" and "immediate transport to Vanderbilt NICU in Nashville". Those words did not make sense. I hadn't even gotten to really hold him yet, how did I already break him? When the ambulance arrived, they wheeled his incubator in so that I could see him before they left. Wires attached him were hooked to monitors that spoke an indecipherable language of beeps to the professionals. And, suddenly, it was time for him to go. I howled as my Grandma laid her body over mine to hold me. My heart, no longer confined to my chest, was on its way south. My mama was going with him, which brought minimal comfort. I wanted to be there with him more than anything I had ever wanted in my life. So much so that early the next morning, I woke up, got out of bed and, once again, started packing my stuff up to be with Dylan. When my nurse said I couldn't leave until the Dr came to check me out, I informed her that he had best to hurry it up because I was still leaving. I didn't even bother with getting my prescriptions filled, which meant that I walked in six inch painful shuffles. But, eventually, I made it to his side. And, we spent our first night together on a couch bed in a guest waiting room at Vandy.

In truth, we've grown up together since then. It has been through many trials & tribulations. Thankfully, he just rolls with it. Dylan is a true Gemini. I am a Gemini rising, so it helps that I speak his language. Unfortunately, sometimes that language comes in fiery outbursts. Primarily because he is more me than I am prepared to deal with. I feel for my husband...stubborn, stable Taurus...holding the pillars of the house up as fire(me) & gusts of air(dylan) invite chaos around him. We once had a British neighbor, who has been around the world a few times, and he told us that Dylan would be really going places in this life. He said Dylan had that spark one needs to get out there and really live...a curiosity, a thirst, and a genuine personality. I believe him, wholeheartedly. If we can only get young Gemini to focus his energy. 

Back to present has interrupted me as I attempted to put these thoughts down. So, at this moment, Dylan and Kindred are in the play room. She is building a tower of blocks, but having some engineering difficulties, and he has offered to help her several times. The tiny Goat refuses. I hear him ask softly, "Will you just let me help you?" and she, uhh, well...she just blew a raspberry at him and kicked him out of the room. He paces around a few minutes. "Can I come back in here now?" is immediately met with "NO! You're still in trouble." The entire exchange feels more like a continuance of a time gone by. It will be an interesting relationship to watch, these two.

Though I have been begging him to keep his feet on the ground since he gained upward mobility, he's the wildcard. And, I knew he would be before we even met. 

Recent Epiphanies

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

I have not been feeling well this summer.

It started about mid-June. I suddenly felt slightly dizzy and nauseous all the time. Not pregnant! But, I had gotten both a new phone (Google Pixel, woot woot) and new glasses. So, I'd attempt alternating abstinence from each in hopes of nailing down the culprit. Unfortunately, I suck at that. My new glasses were cute and scratch free. My phone was a new toy, of course I'd play with it. Wash, rinse, repeat. By about mid-July I realized that on some days I could use my phone or wear my glasses with little to no consequence. Some days I did neither, yet wound up feeling terrible. And then...the headaches started. I am very fortunate to never have suffered from recurring headaches. I know this now more than ever. There were days when they got scary painful and my head felt like it was in a vice. So much pressure! Not to mention, anxiety had already taken over my thoughts. I spent about two weeks suffering silently from an unshakable feeling that I was terribly sick and would not be here to raise Kindred. It was the worst, even though I would interrupt the thoughts with "This is anxiety. This is not real." I still felt pretty immobilized by fear.

A couple of weeks ago, after waking up to a slight fullness in my left ear, I made an appointment with my practitioner. We tested hormone levels, ran a full blood panel work up, and discovered that I was running a fever. Aha! So, it must be some type of infection. Mentally, I began my descent from the top of Worry Mountain. It was low-grade, 100.3. She asked if I was feeling worse than I had been recently, but I wasn't. My head had started pounding in the waiting room, but that had become typical. She checked my left ear and saw no infection. I started climbing back up the mountain. She looked in my right ear and saw a little more fluid, so perhaps fluid is trapped in my left inner ear. We agreed to meet again, same time, same place in a week. After that, pending test results, we would talk MRI as sudden onset headaches can signify some trouble, she said. I confessed to having googled. She was very kind and told me that we all do it.

Once I got home, I began researching inner ear infections. Turns out, they are very different from what we are used to feeling when we have classic middle ear infections symptoms. With the inner ear it is more common to feel dizziness, headaches, anxiety, and fullness in ear without pain. And, it can last for a couple of months! I remembered that in early June, I had a bad summer cold. It was a couple weeks later that the dizziness started. I felt so much relief in that moment. Fluid from the cold was probably trapped in my inner ear. I started taking colloidal silver and Vitamin C. I was taking my temperature regularly to pinpoint if headache meant fever, and indeed it did. For the three days leading up to the appointment, I felt much better. But, on appointment day as I drove to the office, my head began to pound and fever registered 100.4. I told her about the summer cold I'd remembered. She went over my test results and that nothing had stood out as being terribly wrong. Her feeling was that a viral inner ear infection had gone bacterial. So, I'm on an antibiotic & Zyrtec as the colloidal silver was just not strong enough. I am feeling much better and only one headache has sidelined me since I started meds. Hopefully, all symptoms will subside soon. If not, we may have to get in there and drain the fluid, but I will still take that as getting off the hook easy. Score one for western medicine!

My epiphany lies in coming back home to how all we really have is the present moment. The anxiety was terrible, except that it served as a reminder of how precious time with my children is. How nothing else really mattered but them. I was reminded of how much I love my life and the people, the books, the scenery, the seasons, the songs that I am blessed by. My phone made me dizzier, so I didn't pick it up as often. There is no question that I was less distracted because of that. I was determined to go out and do things even though I felt bad, which made me appreciate how good I've had it in this healthy body I was gifted at birth. I haven't been able to do yoga in a really long time because going upside down would make the room spin around me, so that has been a bummer. But, I have still been able to get out and do other things I loved. Like, celebrating my son's girlfriend's birthday with the BEST CHAI TEA I HAVE EVER HAD IN MY LIFE. Feeling bad, and fearing worse, really made me prioritize my life. I stopped getting on Facebook regularly. I was reminded to love and take care of this body I am in. As I have felt better over the past week, I started falling back into bad habits...politics on Facebook, eating the devil's delicious lemon sugar cookies, etc. But, the eclipse yesterday reminded me to stay mindful of my energy. We are all living through weird, trying, disheartening times...but, we are still living! Can we wake up in the morning and smile about that? Really tune into our senses as the day goes on and joyfully experience the sensation of being alive!?! This is my renewed intention...


Monday, August 21, 2017

Well, I must say... It lived up to the hype. 
The eclipse was a certainly a sight to behold, wasn't it?
As the sun and moon held their holy meeting in the sky, I could not help but feel like the small, ephemeral being I am. We know so very little about life, as humans. Our entire momentary existence is spent on a speck of stardust in an infinite Universe. As we go about our lives, governed by so many forces unseen, we lose sight of that. So, for me, peeking out into the heavens brought a little insight. 

Since we are nearby the point of greatest eclipse, Hopkinsville, we enjoyed over two minutes of darkness. It wasn't really a blackout, more like dusk popping in at midday. Discombobulated insects kicked up their nighttime symphony and the temperature dropped noticeably. When it was safe for all of us to look up, I believe our minds were blown. 

It was a magical experience and I'm grateful humanity had a moment to stop and marvel at something collectively. 


Saturday, August 12, 2017

How's it goin'?

Nighttime Spencer's Run

Friday, August 11, 2017

Is It Just Me...

Monday, August 07, 2017

...or, are these two absolutely freakin' adorable?

Family Bonding

Sunday, August 06, 2017

Playground Fun

Friday, August 04, 2017