Monthly Archives: June 2010

My Big White Teeth

There they are, my teeth. With 4 (four!!) cavities. I swear, I floss daily and brush twice a day, not too hard, and use flouride mouthwash. Sigh. I had 3 filled today and go back in a few weeks for the fourth. I’m hiding in my office because my mouth is still numb and I sound like that guy from Fat Albert.

What was wrong with that guy?

Blatant Materialism: Mommybloggers and Stuff I Covet

I follow a number of blogs and credit them for making me smile every morning when I get to work. Two of my current favorites are swissmiss, which I’ve been following for a while, and DesignMom, which I just learned about. Both are written by creative moms.

From swissmiss today:

Fantastic. I want it for my wall.

I’m also coveting two necklaces, one that was on swissmiss’s blog a few days ago, and one that I found via a link on DesignMom’s blog.

The goldfish necklace is so cute, although I know my daughter would try to eat it. And the log necklace reminds me of when my husband carved our initials into a tree on the beach when we were dating. *swoon*

Thanks to the swissmiss blog I often end up buying things she posts. I never regret it. I love my pig photo so much, and it as a great intro to the fabulous 20 x 200 site that all art lovers should visit. Yay.

Remicade Every Month

On Friday afternoon, Dr. D left me a voicemail that he’d spoken to Dr. Max and they agreed I should begin getting Remicade every 4 weeks. That would bring my next treatment on July 7, and then I meet with them both (separately, of course) to discuss what’s next.

I’m now waiting for confirmation from my insurance company that this will be covered, and then I make my appointment.

So until then, not much I can do except focus on taking care of myself, which is what often goes by the wayside. Just little things like eating right, taking walks at lunchtime, and enjoying my family.

And how could I not laugh and be happy – look at this kid!

To Grandpa

Father’s Day last year was one of the worst days of my life.  It was the day of my grandpa’s funeral, and my words can’t express how hard that was for my entire family.

My grandpa was more than the patriarch of our family. There was so much love there. He was genuinely interested and invested in us, and he just always listened. He was always there. And then, suddenly, he wasn’t. I have heard people compare losing someone to losing a limb. I don’t know what it’s like to lose a limb, but I do know this: shortly after I had my daughter, I was holding her and she was crying, and I was trying to soothe her, and so instinctively I put my hand on my stomach and started to rub it. It was like I just couldn’t accept that she was no longer inside me, and that she was no longer physically a part of me. That is sort of like what it was like to lose Grandpa. I never thought he would be gone. I never imagined that I couldn’t get him on the phone or go visit and give him a hug. I have felt since that day that there is a part of me missing and I will never get it back. And I wouldn’t want to fill that space, because that would dishonor him somehow. I will never get over losing him, but we all have honored him well by thinking of him and continuing to love him, even though he’s gone. I think often that I want to make him proud. And when I want to give up because of my Crohn’s, when it gets really bad, I think about him and think that he wouldn’t want me to give up. He keeps me going. That’s how strong his influence has always been on me.

Yesterday our family met at the park and had a Father’s Day picnic. It was a year and one day after his death. Grandma was there and I think she and we all were feeling really good, because we were there together. My daughter made us all laugh, especially when she took off naked mid-way through a diaper change. My dad had to chase her down. Even the people at the other tables were laughing. We honored Grandpa by being together, by smiling, by laughing, by being close. By being outside, which he loved. By being with Grandma, who he loved more than anything or anyone on earth. We did this because we wanted to, because we love each other and genuinely like each other too. I feel lucky to have family like I have. I know my grandparents worked hard to build what we have. In that, they’ve given us the promise of beautiful lives, and that is the most amazing gift in the world.

One of my favorite poets, Barbara Ras, wrote a poem called “You Can’t Have it All,” which starts out, “But you can have this.” I’m paraphrasing since I don’t have it in front of me, but my point is that things aren’t and will never be perfect. But you can look around you at what you do have, and feel that love and feel grateful. I am grateful. But I miss you, Grandpa. Thank you, for everything.

Father’s Day Post – My Dad

In honor of Father’s Day, I wrote about my husband, and now a little about my own dad.

I am a grown-up. I have the wrinkles, grey hair, mortgage and toddler to prove it. But I am still my daddy’s little girl. I was really lucky – I got one of the really good ones. My dad always makes me feel special, always manages to make me feel – and make my brother and sister feel – like we’re the most special person in his life.

It was always hard for me to share details about my Crohn’s with my dad. Not because I didn’t think he could handle it, or not because I thought he’d have some weird reaction. It’s just, all I want to do is make my dad as happy as he has always made me, and I felt somehow that telling him I was hurting might make him hurt too. Somehow I just feel like he’s physically feel my pain. And I’d never in a million years want to hurt my dad. As anyone who has ever met him would say, he’s just a good guy.

When I was little my dad would sing this one song to me. It was very ‘him’ – sentimental, with a touch of goofiness. It’s called “My Little Girl.” I can’t help but tear up a little bit when I sing that song to my own little girl, because I can finally understand how it feels to have a daughter, and I can finally understand why it is that he looks at me sometimes the way he does – with pride, but overall with love. Absolute, unconditional love. To have someone who loves you like that in your life is the ultimate blessing.

Happy Father’s Day, dad! I look forward to seeing you Sunday!

Father’s Day Post – My Husband

It’s nearly Father’s Day, so I wanted to write a little something about my husband.

My husband has only been a dad for 17 months. But he’s a good one – no, a great one. Our daughter looks at him like he could pull the stars from the sky just for her. And recently, he did, in a way.

We were taking a walk after dinner, and the weather was perfect – dusk, warm, clear, just lovely. Our little town is perfect for walks like these because the homes are all different and interesting to look at, and most of the streets are lined with beautiful trees and fragrant bushes. We always run into neighbors with their dogs, or friends with babies doing a similar evening stroll. Our evening walks are perhaps my favorite part of the day. On this walk a few weeks ago, my daughter was feeling sleepy and I was carrying her while my husband pushed her empty stroller. Suddenly we saw the first fireflies of the season. My husband caught a firefly with his hand and brought his closed fist over to us, opening slowly. Right as he opened his hand fully, the little bug lit up. My daughter was transfixed. As though it knew we were watching, the firefly stayed for a while, crawling around on my husband’s opened hand and lighting up, just for us. And then he opened his little wings and flew away. My daughter looked up at my husband with a huge smile and bright eyes, and just laughed. And then she pointed at the moon, as if to say, daddy could you catch that for me too?

I know that if he could, he would, he loves her that much.

Happy Father’s Day, honey – we love you so much!

Appointment #1 With Dr. Max

As I posted yesterday, I had my appointment with the rheumatologist. It seemed to create more questions than answers.

First, it was strange to see that he had one of those offices like you see in the movies, where it’s more like an office for a lawyer than a doctor. His degree was on the wall, and he had medical books in a huge dark wood bookcase. In the far corner he had an examination table, which is where he took my blood pressure and felt my knuckles for a few minutes, but mostly we just sat at his big oak desk and talked.

I kind of bored myself as I gave my medical history, and my eyes wandered over to his bookcase, where I saw he had quite a few of these blue lunchbag-looking things. So mid-sentence, I stopped and asked him if I could see one. And that’s more or less how I ended up with my very own Enbrel new patient kit, despite the fact that I am not currently taking Enbrel. I don’t care. I have a strange fascination with pharma giveaways (see earlier post “I Broke My Colon.”) and this was a good one.

As you can see, it comprises an insulated bag, educational materials, and a big red container for sharps. It’s really fun to play with.

But I digress. The doctor – who I’ll call Dr. Max – doubted that I have RA. He said it seems that all my symptoms still point to Crohn’s. He gave me a prescription for emergency prednisone, for when the pain gets too much to handle between Remicade visits, and also ordered a round of blood tests. Fun.

For some reason, Dr. Max was really bagging on Dr. D. Seemed to say a lot of “oh yeah, GI’s always do this,” in an eye-rolling sort of way. He didn’t seem convinced that Dr. D is making the right choices in my care. And when I suggested we all get in a room to discuss my next round of blood tests, he just said, “We don’t really do that.” Whatever. You’re a jerk.

So, though he doubted I have RA based on my history, symptoms and his exam, he still wanted me to get these blood tests and come back in a few weeks. It’s not definite, and he also didn’t seem to be certain about what path I should take with my medication. I didn’t expect him to give me all the answers yesterday, after one short visit, but I have to admit I was kind of hoping that he would anyway.

I think a good double-major for medical students would be in the psychic arts. So you’d go to a doctor, and they’d examine you as usual, but if they weren’t totally sure they’d whip out a crystal ball and give you a definitive answer. That would certainly be worth the $30 copay.