Five minutes too late…

This feels to be the theme of my life lately! I had an allergy appointment yesterday at 8:20am. I must have been smoking crack or perhaps parsley when I made the appointment because this is the slow week of the year. Fortunately, everyone else in Boston is taking the week slow because I was able to drive the speed limit 75MPH on 128! Normally the pace is somewhere between crawl and fall over dead. I got to the appointment right a 8:15. I only had 3 quarters, so I tossed them in the meter and ran inside. Got my shots, and waited… 

2 weeks ago, I had a bad reaction after my shots, so right now I am being watched carefully. They wouldn’t even let me go downstairs to grab some coffee. Sheer hell for someone like me who needs coffee. I left at just after 9. I was stuck in a great chapter in my book, so I read the chapter as I walked out to the parking lot. I then saw the lovely day glow orange of the parking ticket on my car. Frick. My car clock said 9:11am…the ticket was writen at 9:06am… This is how it goes….

 Work has been way too stressful as of late, so I moved my office around yesterday. I like it much better. I am hiding my computer screen behind a filing cabinet, but I can still look out the window. I don’t see the old dome anymore, but I don’t need the stress of people glancing in my door and asking why I am not working (yeah, but I can’t count the times I work at night, weekends, Mondays…. but G-d FORBID I write a blog post or Facebook when I need a few minutes to let things work on background cycles….)

I like the new setup and I got to clean things up! Never a bad thing….

Here’s to a new year and a new attitude on life!

Holiday insanity or Eight Crazy Nights!

I really believe Adam Sandler got it right in his movie "Eight Crazy Nights". Hanukkah is INSANE. Sure, Christmas is one giant consumer cluster F*, but Hanukkah can be just as bad! We are luck in that we have 2 uncles who send gifts, 2 sets of grandparents, 1 set of parents (us) and 1 godmother. That covers 6 out of 8 nights. We usually have 1 family gift (this year was a Wii) and then something REALLY small (I have a set of pens hanging out, waiting for opening). We try not to go too crazy. 

This year, the "big" gift was either the Wii, or the knock off American Girl Dolls that I got them. Yes, I am too cheap to get the real American Girl Dolls, No I do not feel bad about it! I am a little annoyed that someone would come up with a way to profit off of stories that were to empower girls by putting them back in the state of "oooh how pretty can I look?" But I did give in on the requests for those sorts of dolls.

I have found that the concept of getting a present every night for 8 nights is really tough on the behavior of the girls. But then again, I think the concept of getting a boat load on one day is also tough on kids. Do you find this too?

I prefer to pick out little presents throughout the year and pass them on. I hate trying to figure out a gift for people in December, when my brain is at overload.

My favorite Holiday tradition, which I will do AFTER Christmas, is making cookies. Springerle cookies to be exact. These are little pillow like cookies that have a strong anise flavor. The rolling pin I have to make these is mostly Easter designs, but I still love them at Christmas. These were a staple of my German family side upbringing and I still love them.

Our new holiday tradition is our Hanukkah party. This year we were close to 40 people. We made so many latkes for about 2 hours, but then ran out! Maybe we will do them ahead of time next year! I love having this party…

What are your traditions? What do you love about the insanity?

The luck of the worm

Have you ever gone out on a spring day when the rain has been falling at a steady rate? The puddles have already been formed and the cars spray fairly high onto the sidewalks when you walk by. And the worms are on the ground.

Most have been bleached of their color already and are dead. They have drowned in the cold and dark waters of spring. Others may be flattened by the cars going by. Still others are struggling along, flushed out of their home by the water and hoping to find a safe haven before the birds decide it is dry enough to swoop down and eat them. Those worms that are lucky enough, are able to wait it out, undetected, still breathing and make it back into their homes when it dries out.

Most are not so lucky.

Today I went in for my allergy shots. 4 months almost done. It’s been easy, except for the moments of terror before I actually get the shots. We did the shots and then I went to get another blood draw and while I was waiting for the blood draw, I realized that I was tight in the chest. Assuming I hadn’t suddenly grown to a size D cup in minutes, I realized I was having a reaction to the shots. Sure enough, I really had some difficulties later on. I went back to allergy and they gave my benedryl, and a few puffs on an inhaler right away. They listened to my lungs and found no issues and then decided to do a lung test, then a breathing treatment. I ended up staying for about 2 hours while they made sure I was okay.

I was frustrated, but interested that this was my first issue with the shots. I hope it never happens again.

Soccer Mom? I think NOT!

We recently took advantage of my parents’ visit by making Dad go car shopping with Jay. It was more along the lines of car buying since we had already narrowed down the car we wanted and the features we wanted. Then we called and emailed dealers for their best quotes. From there we decided who to start with and where to move from there.

In the end, we came home with a 2010 Toyota Highlander. Not the hybrid because we couldn’t justify the cost versus the ecological impact. We had decided on the Highlander for 2 reasons: We often cart around more than 2 kids and in Massachusetts, kids need to be in boosters until age 8! AND minivans scare the crap out of me! Now we have this honking vehicle with lower gas mileage than either of us have had before (we’ve both had small cars or sedans), but I really like it! The kids have been using the third row, although we need to hide it for our trip to Buffalo. There is plenty of room for all, we can hook up out mp3 players to the car and listen to our music… It’s a nice car.

This made me think about being a soccer mom. Strangely, only Soleil has played soccer and Luna wants to this spring. I will see. Luna is really our big sports girl. We just signed her up for another ice skating competition. This one is in January. I just got a new skating dress from ebay for her. Her last one is getting a wee bit tight in spots. This is a little odd since she is 5 years old. Think about this. A 5 year old girl is in her second basic skills ice skating competition. On her request. SHE wants to do this. She is now learning some cool stuff like the bunny hop (put one foot on the toe picks and then push up in a hop and glide on the other foot) and cross overs (those are TOUGH). She is looking more and more graceful on the ice. Scary. It is just plain scary to me!

Soleil is really into hockey. She loves going, but last week was the first time she actually went for the puck. She is afraid of doing something wrong. I’ve told her to not stress it, but you know that she does stress it. Maybe I’ll be a hockey mom instead of a soccer mom, but more likely, I’ll be a skating mom. The Olympics are coming up and I hope that Luna likes to watch the ice skating competitions. She will probably love that!

When did life change from a mommy to a mom of kids?

The Day of Mushy Thinking

Today has been mush. The weather, my brain, my mood…all mushy.Well, maybe not ALL mushy and maybe not all today.

I have been in a blah mood. You know those moods, not much motivation, tired, etc. I think part of this is exhaustion from the eye surgery. I didn’t realize just how much exhaustion there would be. But…I think other parts are purely the time of year. The holiday season often kicks in with a bang and whimpers of my sanity. I want to hide from the glare, the lights, the shopping!

Today, we woke up to snow. A nice, wet, heavy snow. And a text message saying school was closed. And then a phone call saying, no no really, school is open. Given the disaster of the roads, we decided to stay home to work. It didn’t make sense to fight the traffic. I have gotten a great deal of work done, and suddenly, I have hit a slog. A mush. There is SOMETHING wrong with the model I am working on. SOMETHING, but I can’t place my finger on it.I am wondering if I really should be seeing what I am seeing as I think I should (yeah that made sense), and I just can’t pin point this. On one hand, it is really bothering me. On the other hand, I think I shoud let it go and take a break. Maybe a short nap (I am reading a book about the need for naps right now. I wonder how long I could rest and still have brain power?)

The thing that is really bothering me? I come up with great blog posts late at night…and then I have no energy nor motivation to work on them later… For example, I had a really good one about Soleil and her school troubles or one about Luna and ice skating.

But I have NO MOTIVATION to do these.Sigh… Mush My brain is all mush


Post-LASIK…not for the squeamish

I am serious, this is not for people, like me, who are squeamish. However, if you like gore, this is a tale for you.

(Disclaimer: no eyeballs were destroyed in the making of this post. Damaged, hurt, cut, suctioned, yes. But not destroyed)

Thursday is temple school day for my girls. They go after school to our temple and are schooled in the religion. Yeah, I know, atheist and all that, I agreed at our wedding (and before) that we would raise our children Jewish…ANYWAY, Jay had to pick up the kids at 5:30. My surgery was for 5:45. He drove me there and let me go once we had a rough idea of when things would happen. As it was, I would go in at 6:15. Good thing because this meant Jay had plenty of time for the kids to get fed, watered and played out before coming to get me.

I met with the doctor and we went over any last minute questions (Will I lose my eyesight forever? Will I have regrets? Dear God it is my EYES you are about to cut!) and I signed all of the paperwork. At 5:30 I took the little Valium pill. With coffee. In retrospect, caffeine (a stimulant) should not go with Valium. But I was NERVOUS. I wasn’t thinking.

When it was my turn, I went to the back to get a hairnet and bunny boots. We don’t want any stray fibers to come by while the laser is burning holes in my eyes reshaping the cornea. They had listened well to my warning that I am allergic to Betadine, a common tool of surgery to sterilize skin. Instead, they used other gentle chemicals to clean my skin prior to surgery.

The first thing was massive amounts of numbing drops, so you don’t feel anything. Then they tape one eye shut and work on the first eye. In my case, we used the Intralase Method which basically means they used a laser to cut a flap in my cornea. Of course, to do this a suction ring is attached to the white of your eye. This then sucks your eye forward to allow for a clean cut. (I TOLD YOU IT WAS GROSS!). This was really really really uncomfortable because a) dude, they are sucking your eyeball out! b) you actually lose vision at maximum suction c) they are SUCKING YOUR EYEBALL OUT OF THE SOCKET! Then it was laser time… OR SO I THOUGHT!

Once you cut that little flap, you have to move it out of the way. This took a good 3 minutes. At the time, there is something holding my eye open, my lashed are head back with surgical tape and I can see this probe POKING MY EYEBALL. Of course, I am starting straight at the little blinking light so I am facing my eye in the right direction, but ICK! When he finally got it properly pushed out of the way, the lasik part started.

The machine started a fwap sound and I was warning that I needed to stare at the blinking orange light. Okay. Will do. Then I could see a blueish purple light zapping around the periphery of my eye. I mentioned this later to my doctor and he said "yes that was the laser and you are the first patient who ever saw it!", great! Whoo hoo! I can see 193nm!

Then we put the flap back,which was only about 2 minutes of agony. And then onto the left eye.

The left eye was worse and the suction bit really bothered me much more. My vision was incredibly fuzzy when I was allowed to leave and the drive home (yes, Jay drove) was terrible. Every streetlight hurt even though I was wearing sunglasses (cue Corey Hart)

Fortunately, the Buffalo Bills have been doing better, and they were on Thursday night football, so Jay set up the TV so I could listen and leave the screen off. (and you were wondering what the Bills had to with this!) I took several Advil and rested. I have to wear these eye shields at night to protect my eyes. This way, I won’t rub my eyes by accident

Today, I had my post-op appointment. Both eyes can see 20/20 alone. Together, I could see 20/16 and read half of the 20/12 line. I do have a haze all over my vision which is due to the fluid between the flap and the rest of the cornea. I am told this gets better. To be honest, this is one of the things I am terrified of, to have a permanent damage, but those who have had this done agree the hazy goes away.

I have one other side effect from all of this: suction hemorrhages. The suction ring bruised my eyeballs and I have a ring of subconjunctival hemorrhages on both eyes. To be fair, I bruise easily so this isn’t a big surprise, but when I showed Luna she was fairly grossed out. "COOL! Can I see it again? That is so gross Mommy!"

Now my eyes are tired and I think I’ll go rest and listen to the Sabre game.

So there you have it. I was scared to death, and I would not like to do it again, but my vision is now better than it was with glasses (I had 20/16 only on the optical axis of the glasses. If I wasn’t looking down the center, it was worse) and much better than with contacts.

Wow. That is all I can say is WOW.

I can talk the talk, but can I do the walk?

Yeah, well, um, I have a doctor’s appointment tomorrow. 5:45pm. 

For LASIK. yeah, LASIK. I bit the bullet in September and had a consultation. I was a "candidate", ie- I was looking mostly like I could have the surgery. I started eye drops that would allow my eyes to produce more tears since one of the issues is dry eye for the first 6 months. Me being me, I was allergic to the drops and my eyelids swelled so I looked like a drunk with red eyelids half closed. I had to stop the drops. We had a new person on my team at work, so I purposely waited until December. I set up the actual measurements 2 weeks ago. Then the surgery is tomorrow.

In this practice, they use a machine to create a 3-d surface map of your eye. Then they base the laser cutting on this. Basically, the surface map is fed into the machine that does the cutting and the cornea is reshaped to the new surface map. After they slice a tiny flap to get through everything.

I am both excited and terrified. I so want to fix my eyes. But I get scared that something will go wrong, what? I don’t know, a glitch in the maps? A power outage? Mothra and Godzilla decide to destroy the building and the maps when I only have one eye done? Something will happen. That’s all I can think.

Fortunately, they give you a prescription for a Valium pill. Yeah…after I sign all of the paperwork and hand over my $$$, I take a happy little Valium pill. Then I can be calm and deal….

So, on Friday, I will see if I can, well, see!