Feeble Knees

Friday, March 31, 2006

Six Months Ago

Just like today, it was bright and sunny and warm six months ago on September thirtieth. I couldn't feel the breeze or the warmth of the sun but I could see sun-dappled leaves swaying gently outside the window of the labor room as I waited and waited for Bug to be born.

Oh what a difference six months make.

On October 1st, 2005 I could barely look ahead to the end of our first week. By four weeks, when I was having so much difficulty breasfeeding, six months seemed a ridiculous number of lifetimes away. Each day was a marathon at times, particularly when he was still so refluxy and cranky and wakeful. We took each day at a time. I could not look ahead to the future, particularly not in the dead of a New England winter when we were housebound and spitty and crying all the time. To even allow myself to think of summer sun and breezes and green grass under my toes again would have sent me zooming down the road to straightjackets and happy lovely Zoloft cocktails.

Not to say that I wouldn't do it all again. I would. Asking me if I'd do it again is like asking the marathon winner if he'd do it all again. Of course he would. It was a struggle all the way perhaps, but his eyes were on the prize.

Bug is sleeping through the night. He's happy, and has a beguiling, rakish smile that melts me. In the morning he wakes up and hoots like a little owl. He loves to hear people sing silly tunes. And the sound "Zzzzzt! Zzzzzt! ZzzzzzZZZZZzzt!" makes him break up laughing in glee.

He's six months old tomorrow. It's not a finish line, just a milestone along the way.
Just a milestone, but a personal victory for me.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Now What?

It's 9:00 pm. Do I know where my life is?

Bug is sleeping. Mr. F is out meeting an old college buddy. We scarfed down leftovers for dinner (chicken curry burrito wraps - sounds creative, but really it's just cuisine born of laziness), There are no dishes to clean up. It's dark. It's completely quiet. For the first time in I'm not sure how long I have real quiet time to myself. I am completely free to do stuff! Whatever I want!


What did I use to do with my time?

The first ten or fifteen minutes were wasted by the incessant spinning in my brain as I ran through all my possible options:

  1. Pick up a book
  2. Call my sister
  3. Call my friend
  4. Respond to emails
  5. Sleep
  6. Catch up on some old blog friends
  7. Write
  8. Catalog some photos
  9. Pick up around the house
  10. Sleep

Then I started getting a little bummed by the total ordinariness of my list. What has my life come to that I actually crave time to just pick up the phone and call someone?

The thing is, during the course of the day I have several Very Good Ideas. Maybe even a couple of Extremely Intriguing Ideas that I know I should write about. So what happens? They come and go out of my head and never make a safe landing on paper or pixel. I used to think that writers who had to carry little notebooks or notecards in order to jot down ideas on the spur of the moment were a little neurotic. It wasn't my style, I told myself. But when I get to the end of a day or have a precious quiet moment like this one, I realize now the folly of my ways.

I got nuthin'!

So its time to start a serious campaign to banish all this mental flab clogging up my brain before I give up entirely and my grey matter turns to tofu. The goal is to read at least one chapter of a book and write something every day, either online in the blog or offline in my own private journal (the one I haven't been keeping for years).

Tomorrow will be day one of my new mental challenge... Results will be posted here in a week.

Wish me luck!

Friday, March 24, 2006

The Good, The Bad, The Best

The good news is, my rheumatoid factor tests were both negative. The bad news is, that doesn't necessarily mean I don't have rheumatoid arthritis.

The bad news is, I definitely do have inflammatory arthritis in several (many) joints. The good news is, it might not be RA.

The good news is that I may just spontaneously get well and stay well. The bad news is that the inflammation and pain could also spontaneously return.

The good news is that I am feeling better. The bad news is, we're not sure why, or for how long.

The bad news is that I may have had an allergic reaction to Ibuprofen. The good news is, I might not need it anymore anyway.

The best news is that Bug is getting bigger and smarter and discovering new things every day. His smile, his wide-eyed wonder, and most especially his sweet little giggles make me forget everything else and spill over with joy.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

I Shouldn't Say This

Someone has woken up only once during the night four nights out of the last seven. I won't say who, in case he catches wind of this and decides to revert to five wakings a night.

Life is getting easier. I'm getting more sleep now than I have in about nine months or more. In the morning I'm started by my clearheadedness, like a blind person receiving sight for the first time.

Is this what it used to be like, to be able to think clearly? To be able to think at all?

Thanks to the cortisone shots and the prescription Ibuprofen, my pain is very much reduced. I'm still walking with a limp and have some jolts of sharp pain here and there when I flex my wrists. But the difference is so great, that I'm amazed at how terrible I felt before, and how long I put up with it.

Reminds me of sitting in a church that's going absolutely off the wall, yet you still show up every Sunday, hoping things will be different. (Isn't that one of the hallmarks of insanity? Doing the same thing over and over, expecting different results?)

Anyway. Things are getting better, I'm happy to report.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

A Visit to the Rheumatologist

Last week Mr. F stayed home with Bug and I drove into Boston to see a rheumatologist at Brigham & Womens hospital. Now we're just waiting for some results...

I have synovitis, which is another way to say inflammatory arthritis, in my hands, feet, hip and possibly other places as well. The good news is that it's not Lupus. The hopeful news is that it could possibly be a temporary symptom of a parvovirus infection (that would be the best news we could get). The bad news is that it could be rheumatoid arthritis.

The very nice rheumatologist also gave me cortisone injections in both wrists which has greatly helped what turned out to be tendonitis. He prescribed a dose of 2400 mg Ibuprofen a day (600mg/4x per day) and this has been helping too, though I can tell without looking at the clock when I'm about an hour away from needing another pill.

Last weekend, before my appointment, I developed really debilitating pain in my hip that was making it very difficult for me to walk at all, let alone carry and care for Bug. It was scary. It was hard not to think terribly depressing thoughts about what the future could hold. But we did our best to look on the bright side of things. And we prayed. And God helped. And today things are looking a little brighter, despite the uncertainty.

My follow up is in three weeks. Three weeks and we should have an answer, good or bad. Just praying for grace to handle whatever may be. God is faithful.