Thursday, January 31, 2008

not long now

It has been so difficult to get onto a computer lately, and when I do it isn't the one I love (I've become, over the years, a mac snob...but I won't get into that now) and I can't spend much time on it.

We signed the papers yesterday, today we are supposed to get the key.

Tomorrow is February first.

I am wondering if anyone, even Mr. C, remembers. And maybe it is childish of me, but I have not brought it up to them.

I do have plans for how I want to spend the day, though, so if anyone asks anything of me tomorrow I will kindly tell them that I am busy.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

hurry up...and wait

This is how I have been feeling lately.

Because we are new to the business, and because it is a family business, there have been some hoops to jump through with the financing. We were pre-approved before we even started the house-hunt, but the underwriters want more information. And our accountant has stalled our progress more than once because he didn't adequately provide them with what they were asking for.


So we wait.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

green lights

We heard back from our real estate agent and the sellers have agreed to fix the things that need fixing. He gave us the green light to contact the woman we are working with at the bank to move forward with all of the financial stuff. I have no idea what sort of timeline we are looking at until we are officially the new owners of the house. I will post when we are, and take pictures as soon as I can. I am really looking forward to getting in there and adding our personal touches to it. My sister offered to come and help paint and I plan to take her up on her offer.

The other green light came via the telephone as well. I am now officially insured.
I need to make an appointment for a consultation with the Peri who has been recommended...why am I so reluctant to do this?

The snow melted away and the roads are safe and dry again.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

uprooted again

Hopefully our current state of "homelessness" is temporary.

We are still waiting for the response to the inspection to be responded back to us. Things went a little more slowly than I believe is usual, primarily because the Seller's agent had to have a stay in the hospital to have minor surgery on his heart. (I'm not really sure that any heart surgery should be considered to be minor, but that is how it was described.) At any rate, we haven't closed on the house yet.

But I have been so busy that it is fairly easy to distract myself (most of the time).

We opened our new Adult Family Home Monday and since then have admitted four residents. Our maximum capacity is six, but we will wait a bit before adding two more. It has been a whirl of activity over there.

And it has been snowing. It is beautiful and I don't have any aversion to the snow, but Mr. C is being cautious and since my little car doesn't have snow tires he has asked me not to drive in it. Relying on others to get you from point A to point B sucks.

I'm not sure how much I'll be able to post in the days ahead, but I will try. Reading and commenting on blogs will be limited as well. I am thinking about you all, though:)

Saturday, January 5, 2008

a look back

Something similar to what Kristin wrote about recently in a post titled
balance occurred between me and Mr. C on New Year's Eve. I didn't say anything negative about the year we were saying good bye to, but he raved about how wonderful it was. At first I thought, "was he living the same life as I was?" But then as I listened to him review the year I realized that he was right. 2007 did bring us lots and lots of good. Much of it was painful in the getting there, but we got there.

I've seen other bloggers do this sort of look back on the year that has just passed and I wondered what it might reveal to me if I did the same. I tried to find the post from the first of each month, although there were a few times when I had to select the post from the date closest to the first of each month.

And a Happy New Year!
"It is now 2007 and I am so happy that 2006 is history."

This speaks for itself.
flowers for our William
"We took it easy today and did things at a pretty slow pace, so our trip to the cemetery was later than we had originally planned."

This was the one-year anniversary of William's birth/death.
the last link
"The thing always happens that you really believe in; and the belief in a thing makes it happen." -Frank Loyd Wright

We had intended to begin TTC in February, but the plan changed. I had created a chain with links for each day in my cycle. Each link contained a quote that I had selected.
FRIDAY, MARCH 30, 2007
such good news!
"Happy, happy, happiest of news today! 

My friend and her baby girl are doing well!"

Mrs. MacGyver over at Pyjama Mummy gave birth to her Li'l Miss. I knew she had gone into labor but it took a few days to hear from her and I was elated to know that all was well.
pathetic me
"I'm trying not to get worked-up over this, and really am a bit embarrassed that I am even posting about it, but my cycle is wack."

Even though we weren't TTC I was paying attention to (obsessing about) my cycles since in the past they have been irregular (and, of course, every little oddity seemed like a sure sign that something was terribly wrong).
FRIDAY, JUNE 1, 2007
totally frivolous things
"Quite a while back (really I am not sure how long ago, so it was long enough for me to forget, which must indicate a significant amount of time) I got lost in blog things."

Sometimes frivolous things are nice.
SUNDAY, JULY 1, 2007
our little buddy
"It seems that there has been a change of heart here."

The raccoon, who Mr. C had initially responded to with great distain, somehow won herself into his heart. He later named her Linda and she and her babies visited regularly until we moved away.
TUESDAY, JULY 31, 2007
never a dull moment
"Well I am back from Chicago."

This post described the events of my birthday, trip to Chicago, and the destruction of BOTH of our vehicles while I was away. Looking back I see the time surrounding my birthday and this trip as a turning-point for us. I sensed it at the time, but there was no way I could have written that then. Oh, and if you have never shot a gun, it is really fun. Something I suggest trying at least once.
"....really, just too many drinks to count."

Ah...this was the night of the bachelorette party. I had fun.
finally making some time to write
"The days are beginning to blur into each other."

My writing had fallen off significantly as we prepared to move--there literally was no time to write.
Our Gracie
"look what found us at the B.est W.estern two weekends ago!"

We still marvel at how this dog that is so perfect for us just walked (bounded) into our lives. We are so lucky.
the countdown starts
"I picked up my last month of prescriptions at the pharmacy yesterday."

It took a lot of courage to write this post. That magical thinking is some powerful stuff, and it is scary to openly express my hope for the future.

Going back through my blog to find these posts brought back many memories. I was struck by how much pain I was in--how I buried myself in my work and felt so frequently the overwhelming desire to push pause on life and disengage. I was also struck by how, in times when I honestly didn't feel like there was anyone I could turn to, I was able to write and receive amazing support.

I want to say thank you to those of you out there who took the time to comment. Sometimes your words made me feel better and sometimes they offered some practical advice or a much-needed fresh perspective, but they always made me feel a sense of connection.

And I want to say thank you to all of you for writing your blogs. Through your writing and sharing I have found hope, inspiration, humor, and encouragement. I have such a deep admiration for all of you--for the unique beauty that each of you possess and for the love, compassion, and kindness that you show to each other.

something to see...before it's too late

The visual blog I have in my links is a project that two women who live across the country from each other have spent the last year working on. It is a visual record of "a year of mornings." I have enjoyed seeing the beautiful and often poignant compositions, the juxtaposition of the two photographs (which complement each other sometimes in their contrast, sometimes in their similarity, always in their spirit), and the narrative quality of the work as a whole--it truly tells the story of a year in the lives of these creative women.

The project is now complete and the women are planning to move on now to a "year of evenings," which I am looking forward to watching develop.

I'm not sure how long the current project will stay up, so go and take a look before it's gone. Seriously, go look at it.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

The inspection was today...

...and it went great. Now we're just waiting on the disclosure paperwork from the seller. Maybe it is because of everything that we've been through over the years, but I don't feel like I can really celebrate this yet.

But it hasn't stopped me from diving head-first into furniture shopping. Since I've barely left the house in almost a week, so far my shopping has been online. But this afternoon I ventured out among the living into stores and looked at things in 3D. It was fun.

The description of my cymbalta withdrawal

I didn't set out to write this post, but after I got started writing I realized that I needed to get this out and that it might actually be informative to someone out there. That is why I have used the actual name of the drug. There is very little information available about what it is like to come off of Cymbalta (believe me, I looked).

The terrible sinus cold masked the withdrawal symptoms for the first day or so, but by Monday was I ever a mess. I feel like I am just barely starting to climb out of the hell-hole, but I thought that yesterday morning, too, and it wasn't a very marked improvement over the day before.

I don't want to dwell on it, since it is what it is and it will be over some time in the (hopefully near) future. But here is my best attempt to describe what this is like:

Early on it felt like my brain was floating somewhere about a foot above my head. I had the feeling of being on a boat, very off-balance and floating-feeling. I was overwhelmingly tired. You can see how this was not altogether odd when I was also experiencing a sinus cold.

By the second day the symptoms above were even more intense but now I also had extreme pressure in my head (in the sinus area but also at the top or crown of my head) as well as nausea and dizziness. Mothership called in a prescription for a z-pac (antibiotic, since, um...yucky green stuff) and some heavy duty nasal spray that really works (Mucinex, which is OTC).

On the third day I had to drive over to the real estate agent's office in the morning and that is when I realized that what I was experiencing was not just due to the sinus cold. Driving was awful. I had to wear my sunglasses like some drugged-out rock star. By the time I got where I was going I was in a cold sweat and the world was spinning. I ended up sleeping for 5 hours afterward and Mr. C didn't let me drive myself home.

Day four consisted primarily of sleeping. As long as I was laying down and still things were OK, but any time I moved it felt like my brain was rocking up, down, side-to-side...terrible nausea. I finally took a Dramamine and it helped. I was reluctant to do this since it makes me so sleepy. That was just silly of me, though, since sleeping was all I was good for.

So yesterday was day five and, as I wrote at the start of this post, I thought I might be feeling better. In retrospect I guess I was feeling better than the days before, but still so bad that it doesn't seem right to describe it using the word better. At any rate, I finally felt like my brain was inside of my head. I suppose that description sounds odd, but it really is the best way for me to explain it. While it is wonderful to feel like my brain is no longer detached from my skull and being flailed about, I'm not sure that the new sensation can be described as an improvement. It felt like my brain was jumping around inside of my skull. If I was still and quiet and everything around me was still and quiet, then things were OK. Oh, but life isn't still and quiet. Light and sound and movement were intensified and all made my brain jump. I continued to take Dramamine for the nausea.

And here I am on day six. Let's hope today is much better. So far I feel pretty good, but I am sitting still and the curtains are drawn. I will update.

The following information might be relevant to some people:
>I was on the lowest dose, 20 mg, for six months. Because of this, I guess you could say I went off of Cymbalta "cold turkey" since there was no way to taper down from this low dose. Anyone taking a higher dose should taper down gradually. It is important to note that I consulted with my Doctor well before going off of the drug and we both decided that it was a good idea and we talked about how I would do it. If you are reading this and you are taking any medications absolutely talk to your doctor before changing your dose or discontinuing. Someone very close to me has had to take prescription meds for years and once ended up unable to leave the house for months (stopped taking meds without consulting doctor) and another time had to be admitted to the hospital (doctors messed up and bad medication interactions caused extreme symptoms).
>Cymbalta is still a pretty new drug and there is little research on how it impacts people long-term. It worked well for me and I don't regret taking it. I made a very thoughtful choice to go on it in the first place and weighed the costs and benefits. While this withdrawal sucks, it is a cost I feel is balanced by the benefit it gave me. I'm not sure I wrote enough to really give a good impression of how bad things were for me before I went on it, but they were bad. My MIL (Mothership) looked Cymbalta up in her handy-doctor's-database-thing and it has a 12 hour half-life. Apparently the shorter the half-life of a med, the longer it takes to get it out of your system. That helps to explain why it can take a while for the withdrawal symptoms to subside.
>The drug gets stored in your fat cells. Some helpful things to cleanse your system and/or help you feel better (I've been doing them, even though I haven't been feeling better yet, because I believe they are helping and will continue to help...besides, they are healthy regardless)
*Drink lots of fluids/water
*Take Essential Fatty Acids--Omega Oils
*A good multivitamin with all of the B complex
*B 12
*minimum of 1000 mg of vitamin C each day, more if you can tolerate it
>Meditation is amazing. I do it every morning. I started doing it around the same time that I started seeing my therapist and going on the Cymbalta. It was difficult for me to do when I was that filled with anxiety, but I stuck with it. To anyone who thinks they might be interested but isn't sure where to start I recommend looking into the work of Jon Kabat-Zinn regarding Mindfulness. If you are on medication and are planning to go off of it at some point, I believe that a meditation practice can be very helpful but recommend establishing a regular practice a minimum of 8 weeks prior.
>Exercise would be good, too, although I haven't been up for any yet. I would caution that if done too intensely it could possibly make a person's symptoms worse, since exercise causes your body to release toxins. Here's where lots of water, steam baths, and a whole foods diet would be very beneficial.
Update, day six:
Just after I finished posting this morning I got a phone call from our RN asking if she could send a couple over to tour the Home. Since I already had two other families scheduled for today this seemed fine. But they were operating under a time-crunch and needed to come, uh, now. The house is very tidy and clean almost all of the time. After several days of spending most of my time horizontal there was plenty of tidying to do, though. I told her to send them in a half hour and then I was a whirl of action. I managed to get the house ready and get dressed in something presentable before they even showed up. I'm usually very good at the interpersonal communication, I'm a people person and good with the talking and all of that. I was far from being at the top of my game, but I did OK. I gave three tours and drove over to the house while the inspection was happening in between tour 2 and 3.

My symptoms today: Still off-balance and slightly dizzy, pretty much constantly. I didn't take any Dramamine because I had to interact with people and I also needed to be able to drive. My brain doesn't feel as much like it is jumping around in my skull as it feels like it is vibrating. I'm still sensitive to light, sound, and movement but it is getting to be less jarring. Today was definitely an improvement. Yay.
Update, day seven:
Today I am confident to say that I am feeling considerably better than I have been. The cold is still hanging on, so that is a drag on top of everything else. My brain feels less like it is vibrating, now it is mostly noticeable when there are loud noises, bright lights, or sudden movements. I guess you could compare the way I feel right now with a bad hangover. My sense of smell is heightened and it can bring on nausea and I feel slightly dizzy most of the time. I did sleep late this morning, but didn't sleep at all during the day today (or yesterday).
Update, day eight:
I felt almost like a normal person today. The most notable thing that happened is that I had a bit of an emotional meltdown which was caused by the realization that I was having a difficult time grasping a fairly simple concept. Mr. C was trying to explain something to me and he had to repeat himself several times before I got it. He was patient and kind and really didn't think it was that big of a deal that I was having trouble understanding him. But I just started bawling when I realized that my mind just wasn't working quite right. In the midst of my crying I said something to him about how I was finally feeling like myself again, with virtually no symptoms of the withdrawal. His response was "Um, do you mean no symptoms besides extreme emotional reactions?" This made me laugh. Crying jag notwithstanding, it sure was great to have a day without nausea, dizziness, and brain vibrations--just a little bit of the feeling of being on a boat that happened later in the evening.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

OK so I thought it was funny anyway

This is a bit obscene and I hope I don't offend anyone but I just have to get this down. I will try to keep it as clean as possible.

Mr. C and I were talking about how it is almost time to start trying to get me knocked-up again. When we got pregnant with William we simply did what needs to be done every day for like two weeks from about day 6 to day 20. I had been on the pill for many years and prior to that had irregular cycles, so I had no idea when I might ovulate. Those were the days when I had no knowledge of things like OPKs or EWCM...such an innocent I was. At any rate, doing it every day worked but we were both exhausted.

Anyway, so I actually used the word "trying" and he said something about how he doesn't want to feel like we are trying and then extrapolated on all of the, um, fun things that we might do...

And at some point I stopped him and said something about how you can't make a baby doing many of the things he mentioned. Because, for example, you can't make a Butt-Baby.

And without skipping a beat he responds with "Then how do you explain Karl Rove?"