10 8 things on Tuesday
- UPDATE! I met with my neurologist yesterday after all the tests (24 hour holter monitor, EKG, carotid duplex study, CTA, EEG) had been returned. ALL of them normal. Hooray? It’s a strange feeling to hear that they didn’t find a damned thing of concern in your tests when something very damned concerning keeps happening to you. Mostly, it makes me wonder if it’s all in my head . . .am I making this up? Which would feel maybe more possible if the thing that kept happening wasn’t observable by many other people and didn’t involve losing consciousness and falling down, or into walls, or . . .whatever. But the doctor believes me. And she told me that a normal EEG doesn’t actually rule anything out, since it can only say that brain activity was normal for the 90 minutes it was attached to my head. Based on what I’ve told her, and the other tests coming back normal, there are really only two possibilities: 1) a seizure disorder or 2) a malfunction of the autonomic nervous system. Neither fits perfectly – I have only lost consciousness while standing/walking, never while sitting – somewhat unusual in a seizure. BUT, my blood pressure is very normal and I showed 0 evidence of any changes to blood pressure during a sit/stand/lie test – unusual in dysautonomia. So, she is sending me for a “tilt test” where my blood pressure, heart rate, etc. will be tracked in even more detail while I’m strapped to a table and my position is changed over and over. It can take 6-8 weeks for that test to be scheduled and happen, so in the meantime, she’s put me on lamotrigine, an anti-convulsant. I am titrating up very slowly. If this stops the episodes, then I don’t need to go for the test (depending on when it happens and if I’m yet at a maximum dose) but if it doesn’t, I’ll go for the medical fun ride. I feel mostly relieved that there is some process for moving forward, but it’s hard to feel like there still isn’t something definitive. Isn’t it strange how much we long for diagnoses? Still, I continue to be grateful the biggest, scariest possibilities are completely off the table. A seizure disorder isn’t exactly not scary, but it is usually quite manageable with medication and doesn’t involve knives or anesthesia. So, I’m trying to feel more gratitude than fear or frustration.
- We are (hopefully) 14 days out from closing on our new house! This has been the least stressful house buying experience of my life (knocking on all the things, just in case) in part because we have the sweetest real estate agent who will also be our neighbor who LOVES Tacoma. You know who else loves our agent? Ansel. He mastered her name very quickly and, when we were measuring things at the new house last week, grabbed her by the hand and said, “Outside, Jenny!” Clearly a winner. We also have the best Gay Grandma Loan Officer ever, who updates me frequently and is smoothing things over like butter at every turn. Seriously, such a dreamy transaction. (knocking on things, again.)
- THE SUN IS OUT IN THE SOUND! This has been one of the wettest and grayest winters on record, if the weather reports are to be believed. I guess maybe I’m happy that our first winter was such a drizzly one, since it seems like it might only be up from here? I honestly haven’t felt particularly oppressed by the gray (although there was a week in March when the sun had not even peeked its head out in a sun break for a few weeks, and THAT was feeling a little miserable) but I do feel positively enthralled by the sun and the beauty it elicits from this place. We went for a hike on Sunday and it was absolutely fucking magical. The mountain has been “out” and I am in AWE of it daily. THIS PLACE! Ugh. I grew up in Colorado, which has a reputation for beauty but I have to say, Washington has the rockies beat! (In my personal opinion!)
- As an update to the Sad Tom Story: L the wonder mom decided she could no longer bear A’s forlorn longing for the Tom he once knew, so she undertook the project of fixing him back up. We took a trip to the Hobby Store (where I imagine Ansel may spend his adolescence nerding the hell out someday) and after conferring with some of the dudes there, we purchased a pine box derby car set and some paint, and L put Tom back together again! Ansel is thoroughly charmed.
- I also took A to a “touch-a-truck” event on Saturday because he loves buses only slightly less than he loves trains. There were two firetrucks, a bunch of diggers, a street sweeper, a trash truck, a school bus, a county bus and . . .a FUCKING ARMORED SWAT TANK. With cops in RIOT GEAR. Like, there were toddlers posing in a damn SWAT tank with cops in masks and bullet proof vests?!? I felt sick about it, but also totally powerless. Like, ok . . . a cop car, sure (and there was one of those, too) but a SWAT vehicle? I feel weird about those existing in a civilian police force at all, but having them present at an event for kids just felt really inappropriate. I felt lucky that Ansel has shown 0 interest in police stuff and didn’t seem interested in it at all (because he’d spotted the bus and the backhoe) so I didn’t have to feign some passivity or steer him away from it altogether. This is why it’s so complicated, the cop thing . . .it’s bad enough to have to explain the nuances of policing but when tanks get involved . . .it makes me want to stick my head in the sand.
- I have been feeling very grateful that 95% of the time we can very easily put A to bed, as long as we follow his routine. Sometimes it takes a little more effort – an extra song, one more back rub – but overall, it’s been a fairly seamless transition. Last night was a mess. Lots of standing up and jumping, having to go in and ask him to lay back down, and even getting him down off the tiered bookshelf he’d climbed. It was hot in his bedroom and he prefers jammies that are zip up instead of two piece, and all of our zippies are long sleeved with feet. WE eventually relented and I nursed him to sleep (which I NEVER do anymore but, you know, desperate times . . .) I am hoping that it was a one-off occurrence but I also think that would be WAY too easy.
- Shout out to my gorgeous pregnant dandy who continues to be a brave baby building boo. I just want to publicly affirm how hard she’s working gestating Tiny and what a shit time she’s had of the whole thing. 26 weeks down, 14 to go!
- My favorite parts of today: Listening to the Robyn channel on Pandora and my tiny Filipino colleague A coming by and telling me how excited she is that we are moving to Tacoma.