Saturday, February 16, 2008

The Names of Things

I really am trying to follow the Flickr community guidelines and link back to the photos pages for the pictures I post here, but each week I run into some snag or another and eventually give up. At least this week I'm stealing my own photo rather than some stranger's who deserves better.

I'm glad I decided to have my surgery on Monday rather than the doctor's more usual Thursday. Just today I started feeling enough better to tire myself out doing chores at home. If I'd had my shot even yesterday, I think the hangover would have been quite unpleasant.

I forgot to mention last time that the anesthesiologist for my surgery was the same guy who gave Audrie her epidural when the baby was born. He had done a good job then, so I had a good feeling going in. Then I got to put my head on this cool jelly donut thing before they knocked me out. I don't remember the early part of recovery, but the nurse said I started pointing at various objects and naming them solemnly. "Sliding door." "Light." Huh—I am my son's father for certain. That's what he does all day long.

An excellent shot tonight, painless and in the company of my beautiful wife and son. They're both slightly sick, though, so I'm still sleeping over at my mom's to avoid getting a cold lodged in this healing nose of mine. In a few months my schnoz will be a paragon of structural perfection, sustaining constant Mach 5 airflow that's more laminar than a warehouse full of Pergo. But for now, I am still not cleared to pick up the baby for fear, I suppose, that my nose will pop off like a Muppet's; and I'm pouring or squirting what feels like gallons of nice salty solution up there every day while it heals. Refreshing.

I am doing wonderfully and I hope that you are even better. Tune in next post for more exciting adventures of…The Man Who Writes This Blog!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Re: Covering

Last Saturday, I felt like a single man for a while. I didn't like it. Audrie was at an event, and the baby was at my mom's house so I could do my shot without having to corral a 1-year-old at the same time. All alone in the house as I set out my elixir and accoutrements, I had a flash of what it would be like to have no help or companionship on this particular journey. Then, happily, the illusion was spoiled by Audrie calling to tell me she had arrived safely. This set off a minor comedy of errors in which, after washing my hands again post phone call, the phone began instructing me in how to make a call just as I was done with the alcohol prep. Then, deciding that I was too much of an imbecile to make use of its instructions, it settled for just beeping at me insistently to let me know it was off the hook. I vacillated a while, then had resolved to ignore it and proceeded, not wanting to go hang it up, wash my hands yet again, and find another alcohol prep, when it finally gave up the effort altogether and fell silent. All in all a good shot.

Monday, I had a minor surgery called Septoplasty with Turbinate Reduction; the latter, alas, having nothing to do with dual overhead cam turbo-injected POWER. The goal of the surgery is to repair the damage to my nose from a car accident 20 years ago, thereby improving my sleep efficiency and reducing my snoring. Sleeping better is good for everyone, not just us MSers, and less snoring will benefit the entire household as well, I assure you. It'll take a couple of weeks for me to have recovered enough to check on the results. In the meanwhile, I am unable to help much with the baby—even to lift him, for now—and so it is Audrie who now feels like a single parent. We've got some help from family, but it's still a rough gig. I know there are plenty of you out there who are single-parenting with active MS symptoms, and I just have to say, hats off to you.

With the week off from work, my only real job the last few days has been to get better as quickly as I could. This is progressing well, and look! There's even time for a blog post. Huzzah.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

'Ware the Foxloxians

Today I went to a friend's daughter's 3rd birthday party at the park near our house. Little Boy had fun watching the bigger kids do all the amazing things they can do, like run. When we returned home, Audrie and I realized we had completely forgotten it was shot night, so I was a bit late getting the Avonex out of the fridge and taking my prophylactic analgesic. It's really nice to be able to forget about my shot (especially since I've never yet been in any danger of missing it altogether). When I started on Avonex, it was such a big deal, such a major change, that forgetting would have been impossible. Now it looms smaller in my daily landscape.

I called the neurologist on Monday morning to set up an appointment after missing the one the previous week. I was able to get in that afternoon, and thus far all looks well. I have not received the results of my blood work, but the doctor was very positive about my continued remission. And my phlebotomist was a fellow fan of The Nightmare Before Christmas, so we had a nice chat.

I've gotten accustomed enough to my current CD/playlist that it's serving its intended purpose of distracting one part of my mind while I prepare for my shot. I'm still starting with quick self-hypnosis while playing the CD. It's taken a long time to get used to the change (I'm too lazy to go find the post where I switched out the first song, but it's been a couple of months). Good to know if I change it again: it may take a while to get back to full relaxation.

Tonight feels like old times again, because I'm taking Tylenol instead of Advil to manage the side effects of Avonex and I'm out here in the guest room, writing and preparing to sleep here. I'm having a minor surgery called a septoplasty in a couple of weeks with the goal of reducing my snoring  and improving my sleep efficiency, last measured at 80%. Ibuprofin is a blood thinner in addition to an analgesic, so it's off the list for a few weeks before and after the surgery. The difference, compared to old times, is that now the baby's been born. I am grateful every day that I can carry him around (back's doing fine, btw) and play with him, because it's no longer something I take for granted. Audrie and I have a practice of telling each other something we're grateful for at each dinnertime, as a kind of Grace that appeals to us, and this body's continued good functioning often heads my list.

My current hobby is shopping for a digital camera of the "SLR" variety—that being the kind that can take a picture of what you're actually looking at, rather than of a few seconds later like my current point-and-shoot. I do have plenty of good pictures from the little camera, mind you, tonight's once-again-borrowed-from-Flickr image notwithstanding,  but when it comes to catching the baby doing things I think are cute (and, being entirely unbiased on that subject, I'm certain that you would think they are cute too), a long shutter lag is a constant frustration.
I guess it has taught me the interesting fact that a few seconds after a smile, my son usually has a dopey look on his face. 

Maybe I should conduct a study of smiles and learn whether this is a common human trait, then apply for an NSF grant to look into it further, and eventually discover something really deep and meaningful about the human condition. Like, maybe, that when something reaches its maximum, it immediately begins to turn into its opposite. Oh, wait, no, that's the basic principle of yin and yang. How about, that trying to sustain happiness or avoid unhappiness leads to suffering? Oops, no, someone else said that a while ago too. But anyway, the point is that the NSF should give me a really big grant and make me rich.

The humorous thing about my clever plan to get a better camera is that I often have 0.0 minutes per day to do anything but the basics of living and taking care of the baby. Paying the bills on time remains a challenge even with the baby at age 1 year. So where would I find time to read  the manual and take pictures? Every other weekend, I suppose.

It was a beautiful windy day in Tucson today. I enjoyed it. I hope your day was as good.