Friday, April 30, 2010

Steady on

So it's 4am here in Ohio. We managed to actually get out of Chicago, me and Claudia and my mom, and get underway. We have relatives here, so this seemed like a good stopping point and chance to catch up with them. Apparently I haven't seen these people in over five years. Which is insane, because I really like these relatives.

Getting my mom out of the hospital proved to be a longer and more obnoxious venture than planned; "oh, sure, she can be out by 11 at the latest" turned into nearly 1pm. It was a long drive, but nice to see the relatives. 8 hours to go tomorrow. I'm hoping I can muster a little less insomnia tomorrow....

Thursday, April 29, 2010

The words to go along with that whole "wordless" thing

The pic is a cameraphone shot, today, of one of the two turkey vultures that are nesting on top of the hospital. Yes. Vultures. Living at a hospital. They keep circling the ICU tower. It's creepy.

In unrelated wordiness, happy belated 30th to Sparrow (it was the 20th), and 32nd to Matt (yesterday), Ruthie, and Corrina (both today). I'm lapsing on this whole birthday thing, so we'd better celebrate again extra hard when I return. Mazel tov.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Couldn't make this shit up

Things that have significantly complicated my last 36 hours:
- My father is now in the hospital. He's two floors up from my mother. He developed a small bowel obstruction overnight (a kink in his intestines, basically), so left the house in an ambulance this am. At least they're in the same place now. But I feel like a ping-pong ball.
- People who do not call me back.
- My mom's cousin is dying of ovarian cancer. You know, the cousin she doesn't speak to. This news has really upset her, and so of course I now feel guilty for telling her.
- There are so many things about the next week that are so far up in the air I can't even tell you.
- The plan for the move this weekend has changed no less than eleven times.
- My relatives. That's all I'm saying about it.
- My mom has this friend who's all pissed at me for moving my mother. Is she going to take care of my mom? Make sure she has 24 hour supervision, makes sure she's safe and up in the morning and dressed for bed at night? Ferries her to doctors appointments and makes sure she's taking her complicated pre-chemo med regimen? Is she going to get my dad to all of his various appointments? Is she going to make sure they're meeting people at the Senior Living resort complex? No. No she is not. Thus? She can bite me.
- I apparently had to give my apartment complex 60 days notice before I could leave. Because not renewing my lease 60 days before it was due apparently wasn't enough.
- Work kind of screwed me over yesterday as far as my position next year.

Things that have made my last 36 hours significantly better:
- I have the best friends in the whole world.
- Claudia and Roo are tolerating the plan changing over and over and over (and over). And are still both willing to drive all the way to NC with us.
- Claud and I had a really, really nice dinner Sunday, which helped to put a lot of things into perspective ("Right. And that's why your parents can't stay here"). Last night my cousin Gina and I had dinner out and a very nice heart to heart.
- Today, after this whole drama with my dad and bouncing all around and getting told that I was incompetent at what I'm doing quite well, I came to Robin's and hung out with her and Luke. She even bought me cute comfy PJs while she was out at Kohl's. We had a lovely time and Luke decided my name was Aunt Cake. And so it is.
- Peng and I had a very awesome talk today. It's weird to be homesick when I'm technically home.
- Jer and Ali are going to come pack up my folks for the move later this week. Robin is probably coming too. My relatives will be annoyed because it's going to eat into their time with us. I'm not sure I care. I'll check to see if my mom does.
- People I work with have been awesome and supportive and wonderful.
- Even if work screwed me a bit, it's still less than the amount of screwage that could be contained in an hour at the Emerald Palace.
- I still have the world's best dog, even if I do miss her ridiculously.

So, on the whole, I guess it balances.

Monday, April 26, 2010


Today was frequently sucky.

My mom is fine. My dad is okay. There are other forces in my life acting up.

I choose to think that this is the test before something wonderful. Especially if I make it so.

Mom's doing great, actually. I'm almost afraid to jinx it. PT's hard on her, but she's making huge progress.

But the day ended well - I had coffee and a very restorative dinner with my cousin, and then a trip to Michael's where I bought cheap gigantic knitting needles for the gift basket I'm constructing for the staff (good for OT use) and a plastic canvas needlepoint for my mom. Then I came home and had a mug of hot cocoa and a chat with my dad, which was nice.

Three more days until we point the wagons East. Crazy.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Chicago grey word...this Chicago weather is killing me.

It was cold, and rainy, and sleepy out today in Chicago. My mom didn't have OT or PT, but she did have a lot of visitors, including a friend she hasn't seen in person in like 20 years. That was quite awesome, actually.

I can't figure out why I'm so damn exhausted tonight...

Saturday, April 24, 2010

We are never broken

Barb (of So The Thing Is... fame) has a new blog, called Listening for a Change, about finding joy in the everyday. I love and highly support this idea.

There's a Jungian concept called synchronicity, wherein two events that seem causally unrelated occur together in some sort of meaningful way, which (this is where it differs from coincidence) belies a larger system at work. I've been thinking about this a lot lately, for a number of reasons, some of them a bit spooky.

This comes up again with Barb's most recent post, Hands. Watching my mom after the stroke, doing three hours of PT and OT every day, struggling to find ways to do the smallest tasks with her right hand that would normally be so mindless... It's remarkable to watch her and her fellow rehab patients. We have ways to adapt the world to them, to a degree (like how yesterday I couldn't find a spoon that didn't have a giant grip adjuster on it). We have ways to help them adapt to the world, to an extent (walkers and wheelchairs and sock pullers and grabbers). But nothing is the same. Even her left arm is a little weaker, which is common after a contralateral brain injury. But it makes you slow down and think about a lot that we take for granted. Like being able to type this blog post - my mom has been an executive secretary for close to 45 years. Her first sign that something was amiss was when she lost her ability to type. Subsequently, she lost her ability to read, to walk, to understand language as well as she had, to do such simple things as dress herself. It's been a humbling experience, certainly for her, but also for those of us around her who are observant and sensitive.

But in the tragedy of all this change, despite its sudden and concerted efforts at derailing her life and irrevocably altering mine, there is a great deal of amazing. It's forced both of us to take a step back, to slow down, to think about the breakdown of things we would normally not even notice. Every moment becomes a triumph. Little successes become magnified. But the thing is, they should've been that important to begin with; they've always been magnificent.

I'm reminded, too, even though I spend every single day wading through the minefields of the psyche, what a remarkable piece of equipment the brain is. The progress my mom has made just within the week is extraordinary. We used to think - easily in my lifetime - that you were born with the same number of neurons you died with, and the brain couldn't repair itself. Which is nonsense. While it seems to be accurate that mature neurons don't divide (at least, the last I heard), we're starting to realize they're far more plastic and resilient that we've ever imagined. When one part of the brain takes a hit, other parts rev up and compensate to minimize the deficits. The chatter works a little like a bad phone line at first, but as the brain makes more and more new neuronal connections, the reception clears up. Knowing the nervous system as I do, having even the vaguest idea what goes on in there - seeing my mother button her shirt becomes like seeing the hand of God in her.

I spent a good deal of time today thinking about the muscles we use to let go of something (there's a great deal of poetry about that, I think). In OT today my mom was trying to put pegs in a board with her right hand. And as her muscles fatigued, she could still get her hand clamped around the peg and push the peg into the board, but she had trouble releasing the peg. And I thought, huh. People totally take that for granted. We all assume letting go is a passive process - you just stop holding on and it's over. But that's not at all true - you have multiple muscles in your arm and hand dedicated just to the extension of your fingers. There are hundreds of tiny movements involved in just picking up a pencil and setting it down again.

Imagine how much energy is involved in letting go of the big things in life. But you can't carry around that peg forever.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Thank heaven it's almost Saturday....

...because holy crap, today sucked.

It was just long and awful for a number of reasons. And instead of whining, I give you this, which is fun and amusing.


Thursday, April 22, 2010

Tired Thursday

Today was long. And stressful. But it ended well - I'm crashing on Robin's couch tonight after a very lovely dinner (and ice cream).

Y'all. I'm tired.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Pseudobulbar affect

Have I explained this yet? Forgive me if I have, my brain's on a little bit crooked these days.

Pseudobulbar affect is this thing that happens to people after strokes and certain brain injuries, wherein you rather lose the ability to modulate how you express your emotions. So whatever you feel, it just comes right out. My friend and local neurologist, the Pocket Narcissist, once described this quite aptly as "emotional incontinence." You feel it, out it comes - splat.

My mom has always been a tenderhearted soul, but now bursts into tears at least five times a day. It doesn't last long, and it's very sincere, which is sort of sweet. It tends to happen when people are nice to her more than when she's upset about something. When she's sad, or frustrated, she just looks really, really sad (enough that it frequently makes me want to cry).

But then, there's the other side of it, which is completely delightful. When she's happy, at times she gets downright giddy. A great example of this happened today, when my mom and I were working with the PT on skills to get her in and out of the car, which involves standing very close, facing each other. The physical therapist is this very tall, lanky, skinny girl, which is a notable contrast to my frame. My mother, of course, is short, and so when the PT and I switched places, I made the offhand comment to her that there may be a pretty big difference in how my mom fit together than they did, and the therapist (I heart her) is like, well, right, the boobs. I commented that, after all, it was my mom's fault that I had them, but regardless, I would try not to suffocate my mother.

This culminated, of course, in me trying to lift my mother out of the wheelchair and her not being able to help at all because she had suddenly collapsed into a fit of giggles when I bent over to help her.

It was hysterical.

It's also nice to be able to see my mom excited about things, stuff as simple as watching her play the Wii today (yep. As part of her rehab. Frickin' awesome) and being all smiles when she did a kickass job even though she was bowling with her right (weak) hand.

She's making a lot of progress. I was telling her this evening that, even though she was totally exhausted and felt like shit, I could see noticeable improvement in her function in her right hand and in her gait and balance since even this morning. She gave me this wide-eyed, exhausted but incredulous look and said, "really??" I was like, totally. Absolutely. And then she nodded and smiled and said, "Wow. I hope so."

It's been so hard on her, this whole endeavor. Not that it hasn't been hard on me, or my dad, or any of the three hundred family members and friends who've called, sent cards, or dropped in (you guys rick, by the way). But it's changed her whole self-identity. It's activated a lot of her issues and poked hard at a lot of sore spots. And tired, frustrated, and sad though she may at times be, she's met the challenge.

The silver lining of all of this is, of course, that it's been really nice to have this time with my folks. My mom and I make a really good team, but we've had a lot of experiences together I think she'd hoped we'd never have to deal with. It's afforded us a certain bond and intimacy, though, that's irreplaceable and completely worth it. Likewise, it's been nice to have breakfasts and dinners with my dad, time to problem solve and plot and plan together, to work on forging forward. And the support and kindness of my friends both local and distant is totally priceless.

There's a long road still ahead of us, of course. But we're starting out strong and we have a good network. You can't ask for much more than that.

Monday, April 19, 2010


It's been a rough day. I can't promise cohesive thought tonight.

My mom is probably going to stay another week, which means I'm staying in Chicago another week, in part because they want to train me to be her primary caregiver until she's totally rehabbed. Which is okay, and I understand and agree with the team's recommendation, and I participated in the decision to stay, and I really want my mom to get the best chance at independence, here, and I also appreciate having another week where I can go out with my Chicago crew for lunch or dinner or just hang out while knowing that my mom is in a safe place under good care.

But while the decision to stay is on the whole a good one, I'm not as enthusiastic about delaying my return to NC for another week. I miss my dog. A lot. I miss my NC friends. I miss my own bed and all the things that are comfortable and familiar in my daily life. And I have a boatload of patients over whom I'm so protective that I routinely work with fevers or migraines because I'd rather go in than take a sick day and disrupt my patient care.

But, this is life.

I got some other irritating news today, that Cleo's mortgage guy could not in fact work miracles and get me a reasonable mortgage because my student loan company is sucking the life out of me (and my credit score, and my debt/income ratio). We may still be able to pull a rabbit out of that particular hat, but, it's definitely contributing to the crank factor.

And, I've been sticking to a fairly set (although not particularly rigid) meal plan this week (and going forward), which is stressing me out in its own right, not to mention that whole handling-a-lot-of-stress-without-using-the-eating-disorder component (which is surprisingly not awful, given the whole structured-but-flexible thing). The packing lunch/snacks is nice when I'm eating non-hospital food, but the logistics...well, it was better tonight than last night. In part because I didn't stress out tonight about if I was going to be able to find a microwave tomorrow, etc, etc. But, I need to be well-fueled for this whole endeavor, and maintain my immune system, and take care of myself so I can do all of that other caretaking. 

Which is something I really keep striving to remember. And which is never something I've done particularly well. But, one has to start retraining themselves sometime.

Sunday, April 18, 2010


(Which means, questions asked once. As opposed to FAQ.)

Carol left me some amusing questions in the comments to yesterday's post. And she's not wrong, I should probably give you guys a more substantial update...

She writes:

"But questions questions:


OH SHIT is the expletive of the "distinguished society of today" while F--- is that "other society"


First, let me say that I am saddened to know that I am not of distinguished society (I tend to be a minefield of F-bombs on a bad day), while my two year old nephew is. Alas...

(PS, watching Luke running around saying "oh, shit" like he has no clue what it means is even cuter than my mom's septuagenarian friend)

We're still in Chicago. Mom is tired, but good. She's working really hard. We're at the hospital where I did my med school training, so that's been a trip for me. They have a great rehab unit, though, and that's just awesome. My dad is also doing well. Struggling a little with the cold-warm-cold-warm nonsense that the weather here has been doing, but he's holding down the current fort while I'm foraging ahead towards the new homestead.

We're probably moving them down to NC this weekend. Mom has appointments with neurology and oncology a week from tomorrow, and we'd like to be there by then. We'll see what the rehab docs say tomorrow. I got my folks lined up in a great senior living resort apartment. They even got them into a handicapped accessible unit, or as my mom likes to call it, short person accessible (which will persist, even after she's walking and using her right hand well again). I'm hoping to get back to work for reals the following Wednesday.

Maggie is great. She's home, with our dogsitter, whom she adores. He reports she's as awesome as ever. Me, though? I miss my dog. I hope she doesn't think I've left her forever.

I'm trying to find me a new place to live, too, closer to the folks, which is incidentally closer to work as well (especially since I'll be at the big house like 80% of the time over the next few years, not 50%, as previously billed, due to some changes in the scheduling and responsibilities of the fellows). Cleo's mortgage guy is trying to work miracles for me. We'll see.

I was out until 1 last night, and didn't get to sleep until 3, and then of course had to get up at 6. I did get kind of a nap in this evening on the awesome napping couch. But I made it to the hospital in time for my mom's PT today. She did a great job. And we even took a walk before I left. My dad and my uncle washed his car today, in preparation to sell it before the big move. My dad's going to start packing up the house over the next few days, enough for us to pull off a scoop and run this weekend.

It's gonna be quite a week, y'all.

Bring it.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Well, now, this time it's not my fault.

I don't know what happened to yesterday's post. It never posted. It still refuses to post. @#$*&!!!

Oh, and? %.

Fortunately, I didn't say much. Mom is tired and frustrated, but good (they're wearing her out over there). I went to group PT with her this am; it put a whole other spin on "group therapy," of course. They'd abbreviated it "STG" on her schedule; we couldn't figure out what this was. Turns out it means Standing Group Therapy. Because apparently "Cantankerous Old People Doing Silly Tasks and Having Fun Despite Themselves Group" was too complicated an acronym. I laughed, probably inappropriately, more than once at the old guy next to my mom who kept missing his mark and saying, "Oh, shit!"

I'm a redhead again. And have a great new cut and a gallon of shampoo. And sore abs from laughing so hard this evening. But now, it's 1:30 in the morning (I started this post about 10 hours ago) and I need to be back at the hospital in a mere 6 hours, so I'm going to go to bed. More tomorrow. No, really.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Oh for Pete's sake

Apparently I'm now officially a day behind in my posting of things. Which is not because anything is going wrong - just that I keep coming home exhausted. I'd actually started a post yesterday that got interrupted, but I came home last night at midnight (from meeting Claudia for dinner, not from the hospital) and promptly fell the hell asleep.

I also haven't been sleeping super well. I sense some espresso in my future today.

I'm also on the phone with some pharmacy tech at Walgreen's, because of course I've extended my tour of duty and have now run out of my asthma meds. She's really being snarky and condescending. I forgot how rude Midwesterners can be, relative to the South. I mean, Southerners might be sweet as pie and then talk about you behind your back, but who cares if the pharmacy girl does that. I'll take pie, thanks.

I'll write something actual and meaningful today, I promise.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


I know. It's a theme.

Mom's doing somewhat better. Probably going to rehab in the morning.

Which, unfortunately, has left me with this song seemingly permanently embedded in my brain. No, no, no.

Monday, April 12, 2010


In the NYT today (click here). News from the world of psychiatry.

I don't think this is going to catch on.

I have got to get back to work....

Mom's out of the ICU, back into a regular room. Going to rehab tomorrow. Then to NC in a week or so. Excellent.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

It's just good advice

So yesterday, one of my relatives starts yelling at me for (among other things) not putting my mother in the car and making her get a mammogram.

I....really, though? Have you MET my mother? I love her - dearly, and a lot - and that is how I can tell you, ain't no one going to make that happen except my mother.

All I can do from this is learn for my own well-being. And offer you all this piece of advice:

(I know Carol will back me up on this one)

Mom's doing pretty well. Still in the ICU, probably discharging tomorrow or Tuesday. We'll see. Dad's holding up. I'm really tired. Had dinner with the local crew tonight; my niece and nephews are too cute for words.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

dot dot dot...

So, yeah, maybe that last post wasn't so much a comma...

So here's where we're at. My mom had a stroke because she has breast cancer. She's had changes in her breast for two years, and because my mother, bless her heart, is the kind of person who figures if she just keeps going, everything will be fine, it's now decidedly not fine.

Yeah, yeah. I concede that her daughter may have a bit of that "just keep going" trait as well...

So, she had another small stroke last night, went back by ambulance, and is tonight in the ICU. She's actually doing fine, they can just monitor her blood pressure better in there than on the floor. We'll see what the recommendations are tomorrow...

And then there's the cancer we have to deal with.

Did I mention that my aunt in NC was also diagnosed with breast cancer earlier this year? I spend a lot of time dealing with that, too, although she's been doing really well lately. I'm hoping my mom will see that and feel better about what's coming.

Which is giant and huge and awful. But, if we just keep moving...

Meanwhile, I'm going to go get a mammo as soon as they'll let me.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Think of this post as a comma

You know, like a brief pause before the actual statement.

Mom is home. She's feeling well. I'll have more to say tomorrow, but for now?

I? Am tired.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Now the Leafs call me up to drive the zamboni

This? Just made me giggle. The audio is by one of my all-time (but now defunct) favorite bands. I miss Murray.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Would like to reiterate....

Doctors are not evil.

We actually help people.

Especially when they come BEFORE things have reached catastrophic proportions.

And, also, the signs of stroke.

 I'm so tired...

But, I have to say - I have the world's best friends and family. Y'all have been so helpful. We had great visitors today. And more coming tomorrow. Crap, I'd better go to bed....

Monday, April 05, 2010



Tomorrow will be better. If only by sheer force of will alone.

Sunday, April 04, 2010

The best laid plans...

We had a great day planned. It didn't work out so much.

So my mom's doctor called, because someone finally got around to reading her MRI three days later and was like, oh, hey, look at that shower of embolic-ness. Maybe we should do something about that. So her doc called my mom and was like, come on in. So we packed her up and I loaded my mom in the car and we went off to my old stomping grounds (where I went to med school). It was a significantly less pleasant day than we three had originally intended, but, my mom was a trooper, my dad hung in there, and I? Am tired.

The nurses were awesome, and the neurology resident who admitted her was very kind. He pulled me out and went through the MRI images with me. I'm actually starting to figure out that I'm better at reading these things these days. Which, sometimes (like today), might actually be a disadvantage. The MRI's not horrible, but it's also not okay...but I was really grateful he let me see it, and walked me through it. She's getting an MRA tonight, though, poor thing, so back in the scanner.

Keep thinking good thoughts.

Bleh. Did I mention I'm tired? My own brain is grinding along, and so, I think I'm going to take it to bed. But to brighten this dreary post up a little bit, I give cute dog. In a cute picture, seen through the lens of my friend Bill.

See, now, don't we all feel better? (Except now I'm worried about my mom AND I miss my dog. Whoops.) She's staring ever so intently at a crust of bread I later handed her, which she promptly dropped on the floor and walked away from. Silly dog. But so cute though...

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Christos anesti

It's just after midnight here in Chicago. Happy Easter. Were I back in NC, I'd planned on spending the night with a friend of mine and my cousin Lexi and her husband, in church for the midnight resurrection liturgy, anastasi. Because all restaurants are owned by Greeks (especially in Chicago, but I'm betting there are a number around down there, too), they tend to be open at 2am when church lets out, and so there's usually late night noshing and celebrating involved afterward. Instead, I spent the evening with my wonderful "inner circle" types. I ate really good pizza and too much giant frosted chocolate chip cookie (PS, y'all should not have sent that home with me). We talked and laughed and caught up, and - as always - it was wonderful.

I whine and complain sometimes about my life, because, you know, it's so damn hard. Which is no joke - I always seem to be riding the crest of some crisis or another. For a while I was trying to convince myself that was my own creation, that I was just catastrophizing and making mountains from molehills, but the truth of it is, there's a lot of crisis and chaos in my life. Partly because I allow it in; I fix things, it's what I do. So I'm more willing than some to jump into the middle of a crisis, and more likely to put myself into situations that may disintegrate into chaos.

But partly because I was either really horrible or really good in a past life, too, I'm thinking, because sometimes there's just no explaining the crazy shit that finds me.

It seems at the moment, though, that pretty much everyone I know is having a rough time of something right now, though. I mean, partly, it's the season for it (this is the end of our high-crazy season in mental health). Sometimes it's just a confluence of factors. But everyone seems a little bit more weary these days, and that saddens me a little.

But the sentiment of the Easter season does not escape me, and whether you're Christian or Jewish or Pagan or Muslim or Martian, it's something we can all appreciate. There's something very spring-like about the crucifixion story, of rebirth and redemption, of life renewed and hope revived. Whether you believe it fact or parable, wrote truth or good idea, it's an inspiring story. Little Jesus of Nazareth, all grown up (mysteriously enough) and facing his destiny. He is frightened, but he bears up his cross and marches on, keeping his focus on the goal, enduring the jeers and taunts of the crowd. He is tortured and tested, but it is not the human factor that breaks him; rather, in his final moments, he cries out to his father, feeling abandoned, alone, "Why have you forsaken me?" He draws a final, ragged breath and says, "It is finished."

Now, of course, the secret society conspirists will tell you that he may not have died, that he was entombed and then carried away in the depths of the darkness, that he was nursed and nurtured back to health by his inner circle and then went on to a full and meaningful life after "rising on the third day." Maybe that's true, and to be completely honest with you, that's the story I like to tell myself. But maybe it was nothing short of death and resurrection. Maybe Jesus was a zombie (how do you say "braaaaaains" in Aramaic, I wonder?). Maybe any number of other things happened in that tomb. Regardless, it's a tremendous story of strength and perseverance.

But I think that moment of doubt, of seeming abandonment, I think that's important to understand, too. I think we all have those moments, when we're muddling through as best we can, when we're trying so hard and are still drowning in the flow of catastrophe, when we're just overwhelmed and scared and feeling alone and abandoned. We may think all hope has been lost. Someone may even have a metaphoric sword in our side. Somehow, I find it comforting to know that even Jesus - knowing his purpose, knowing his fate - faltered, and in that affective storm, in that screaming chaos, showed his humanity so fully. And then - went forward anyway.

The story of the Passion is one of such tremendous hope, even in the face of fear, horror, and disaster. I'm trying to hold on to that right now, you know? It's a season of life renewed, of faith and hope and rebirth. But it's also a good reminder that one can feel the torrent and tumult and it's okay; in truth, it is that which marks their very humanity. It's okay to be scared going into the unknown, but if going forward is what needs to be done, you do it. And even if you get pulled under by the sucking, swirling currents of fear, you can and will overcome them. With faith in your goal, and with perseverance, you can, indeed, rise up.

Alithos anesti. Truly, he is risen.

Tales and Tails

So here's an interesting tidbit - this is my 990th published post on this blog. Blogger keeps track of all of these things, of course, but it turns out that I have 11 unpublished posts floating around, so it was like, hey, you've written 1000 posts! But, in fact, that particular milestone is another ten posts away.

I started reading through the things I didn't publish. A few were empty posts or earlier versions of things I ultimately did post, so those got deleted. A couple were rants I just never finished, snippets of interestingness, or stuff I meant to come back and address later. I think I should revisit a couple of those...

So I'm home, I think I mentioned. All is fairly well. My mom seems to be doing somewhat better. My dad is his usual self, if perhaps a bit more short of breath. I'm so glad I live in a time where I could just hop on a plane and be up here in a couple of hours; I think coming up was the right choice. Since the cat appears to already be out of the bag (mostly thanks to the Greek Aunties News Network), my mom seems to have had a small stroke last week. She's got a little facial droop on the right, but not any huge deficits. However, because her knees already suck (this is the curse of my family. Both sides. I should just get mine replaced now...) that mild bit of weakness on the right side is making walking a lot more difficult. So, we'll see. She seems to be doing better today, as I said. She's getting physical therapy, and had an MRI of her cabeza last night, the results of which we should get Monday or early next week. So we'll see. I'm trying not to let my doctor-y-ness make me too crazy with thinking about what else could be going on. She (who is never sick) is being a trooper. My dad (who is always sick) is hanging in there, too.

I've been trying unsuccessfully to take a nap all day. I think I'm going to give up and go to bed.

Oh! But first - check this out. It's a little blurb in Scientific American on doggie genetics and people genetics and what that implies for each. I always knew Mags and I were related.....

Thursday, April 01, 2010


Yesterday's post was supposed to automatically present itself at 11am. I'm not sure why it didn't...but it's up now.

I'm in Chicago. Mom survived her MRI. I'm completely exhausted and need to go to bed. But for now, all is well on the home front.