Friday, September 21, 2007

Fall is Here


I was casually reading about some new MS development or another through my Google Alert on the subject, skimming the usual bit about "MS is classified as an autoimmune disease" and "neuro-degenerative" and all the other boilerplate, when a chilling phrase I don't generally see caught my eye: "usually progresses to disability within 10 years". In 10 years my boy will be in 5th grade, not even in middle school yet. In 10 years I will still have many years of work to do before I can retire (not even considering health insurance). In 10 years, I may be disabled in some way. And in 10 years, we will certainly have flying cars. I guess you take the good with the bad.

I think it was the same day that I read some brief stories by Auschwitz survivors. Even as short as they were, the broke my heart. I went from that to a meeting. My coworkers may have thought I was red-eyed from worry about the miserable state of our software process, but for once that was not the most pressing thing on my mind.

The hope of n-Acetyl Glucosamine surfaced again, though perhaps it will not arrive in product form until about the same time as those flying cars.

Little Boy started Montessori in earnest since I last wrote, and the change in his routine disrupted his sleep for several days—which meant that we adults slept less too. I remember my dad taking naps most days when I was a kid, and thinking he was nuts to do so. I am starting to sympathize now.

Side effects from my shots are continuing to improve little bit by little bit. One internal voice cheers at the news, but a sly whisperer suggests that I am merely developing antibodies to Avonex, or reducing its efficacy by storing it an improper temperature or some other mistake. I doubt that voice will ever go away, so it is best simply to honor it, check in with the possibilities it offers, and then move on.

The other exciting news this week is that yesterday I discovered my first grey hair, hanging out in the right-hand corner of my beard. At last I look distinguished! It's time to start appearing in commercials, wearing a white lab coat, and to polish a fake British accent. Or would German be more impressive? I'll have to ponder.

Meanwhile, Fall has hit: the daily highs are now in the 80s or 90s. Local retailers are out of sync, and have been selling Northern-style fall clothing for several weeks now: long-sleeved warm shirts and jackets, cozy pants, etc. Not much of a problem for me, but the baby is outgrowing his warm-weather clothes and the pickings are slim for replacements. I hope that in my lifetime, the wonderful global network of retailers and manufacturers will grow flexible enough to be appropriate to local variations in climate and culture. Till then, at least the long pants help protect a little crawler's knees.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Is it Fall yet?

I love the Fall. No point in urging it on, but I can tell by the slant of the light that it is coming near. The gorgeous Tucson sunsets are getting earlier too, and soon we'll be able to set our minds to family hikes again.

My excellent dad was here for this week's shot. It was fun to have him as an audience and to hear his impressions of how much our process has changed. Where Audrie and I used to check the instruction sheet and be very explicit about all of the pre-flighting for a shot (checking expiration dates and the like), now we've evolved a shorthand and a routine that makes it much smoother. Another good shot with minimal side effects this week, though some aches. More about that later.

Now that I'm back from our trip to Utah, and recovered from my cold, it's time to plan my coffee withdrawal seriously. Little Boy, while still not a sleeper nonpareil, is certainly keeping us up less than when he was just weeks old. Now the only thing keeping me in the coffee habit is the caffeine headaches I get if I don't have a cup every other day. I suppose 3-4 cups a week wouldn't qualify as a hardcore habit, but I don't like the dependence. My goal is to be free by the winter solstice.

I do like the ritual of preparing coffee, but decaf will serve as well; and I can find or make ritual wherever I want it.

This week I had just enough Avonex aches to be aware of my body and posture. If someone were to have come up to me 18 months ago and say they would help me improve my posture by heightening my internal sensitivity once a week, I think I would have jumped at the chance. Turns out that someone was my neurologist—thanks, Doc! Now just as soon as I make time for regular Tai Chi again, I will really reap the benefits.

Little Boy is starting infant care at a local Montessori on Monday, and we've been transitioning him in since Tuesday. Although there is some interference with the attachment style of parenting that we've been practicing, I feel very positive about the change. In a few weeks, when the trauma has faded and he looks forward to school, I'll feel even better.

I had a couple of other things to write about, but it's already Thursday and I started this post on Monday, so I'll sign off here and put the rest in my Write Me file. Who knows, maybe I'll even have time for my regular blog! Hope springs eternal, and all that.