Gah. I’ve had some facial congestion in the last week, and Mom asked me yesterday if I was going to be able to go to Urgent Care and get my sinus infection taken care of. I told her that it was just allergies and that I would get some Robitussin DM at the store. Well, I couldn’t sleep last night because I was so uncomfortable, so I ended up clearing my morning and heading to Urgent Care. Unsurprisingly, it was a sinus infection, and they also tested me for COVID because my chronic conditions manifest symptoms of it.
More? I had just left Urgent Care when I got a call from Daniel’s school to let me know that Daniel was in the health room with a cough and needing to go home. If he stops coughing, he can go back on Monday. We got him tested for COVID out of an abundance of caution, and they got his results back to us within 20 minutes. (His was an antigen test, and mine was PCR.)
Canceled plans. My brother and nephew were supposed to come and visit us this weekend, but they are also dealing with coughs and having to get COVID tests. Mom and Dad might go down to see them on Monday if their tests come back negative.
*squees*Kelly, our Quick Takes hostess with the mostest, had her book come out today. There’s a video of her doing a Q&A, a giveaway, recipes for a drink and a snack, and other Quick Takes folks. Run not walk to your nearest bookstore (brick and mortar or online) to get a copy.
It made my day. When I was going to pick up Daniel, his teacher and aide were both telling me how much they enjoy having Daniel in class, and they seem pretty smitten with him. This warms my mama heart because he loves going to school.
Nick Rolovich. Nick Rolovich, the coach for the Washington State University football team, is vocally unvaccinated, and he could potentially lose his job over it because he is subject to the same state vaccine mandate that I am because we’re both in education. The Seattle Times was discussing every aspect of this on Monday because it was the last day people could get the J&J vaccine and not be fired. Nobody said anything about him getting the shot, so the theory is that he is applying for a medical or religious exemption.
My take: fire him if he doesn’t comply. He has a very public job, and he could basically wipe out the football season for the university if he gives COVID to the players. The Delta variant is nasty and much more contagious than the COVID we were dealing with 18 months ago.
Head’s up! This came up in a thread on Nextdoor.Com, and I thought it was worth mentioning. A third of COVID cases don’t produce any antibodies, so your natural immunity may not exist. Also, unvaccinated people are twice as likely to contract COVID than those who are vaccinated, so you’ve also got that risk.
Vaccine mandate take #3. I’m subject to both the Biden mandate and the one from Washington’s governor Jay Inslee. My employer has had several pop-up vaccine clinics on the Mount Vernon and Whidbey campuses, and all of the staff have been given a list of places to contact for information on vaccines if we need them–a list that spans five counties. We’ve been given two months to get vaccinated or apply for an exemption. Everything must be done by October 20th. There’s a mandate for students as well, but they have until November to get their vaccinations and submit attestations. In other words, we don’t suddenly have a large horde of people having to be vaccinated within a week. (Pfizer and Moderna require two shots spaced a certain amount of time apart, and all of the vaccines require a two week wait after the final one to be considered “completely vaccinated”.)
Vaccine mandate #4. King County (the county where most of Seattle and suburbs are) is requiring retaurants, theaters, and gyms to check people for either a vaccine card or a negative COVID test. All of Washington’s professional sports teams and college teams (most of which are in King County) require it as well.
A couple places in my county are requiring a vaccination card (theaters mostly at this point), and people are losing their freaking mind over it and howling about discrimination. I’m rolling my eyes. The places requiring it are places where people are going to be in close proximity… and I don’t blame them one bit. If I were going to a theater for a movie, I’d hope that I wasn’t stuck between two unvaccinated people who may or may not have COVID. Vaccines aren’t perfect, but it lowers the risk. Vaccinated people also don’t get as sick as those who are unvaccinated. (The New York Times reported that unvaccinated people are 11 times more likely to die of COVID than those who are vaccinated.)
Health update. In addition to getting my brain scraped last week, I also had to see my GP. She was happy with everything, and she listened to some of the weird symptoms I’m having. She ordered a ton of bloodwork and a UA, so I dealt with all of that on Tuesday. (I was aiming for Monday, but I hadn’t slept well and was getting super hypoglycemic by 3 a.m., so I ended up eating and postponing it until Tuesday morning. (It was fasting bloodwork, so OBVIOUSLY there was some serious thirst and serious hunger going on. It *NEVER* fails.)
My GP finally looked at labs today, and everything checked out fine. No new medication updates thankfully. I’m apparently NOT anemic (which was a concern).
Unexpected Seattle trip take #1. Fifteen minutes before my therapy appointment yesterday, Daniel walked in and handed me his g-tube (which is supposed to be sitting in a hole in his stomach called a “stoma”) with the balloon fully inflated. This would normally not be as big of a problem because I normally have a spare tube on hand that I can install… but some idiot (we’ll call them “Jen”) forgot to order a new one the second after they replaced the old one. I did have a partial kit but said kit did not include a syringe with a tip small enough to do the deflating/reinflating of a balloon. I managed to get it deflated using the end of a feeding extension, but there was no way to reinflate it, and I couldn’t get it back in Daniel’s stoma.
Cue me hurriedly throwing jammies, underwear, and a spare set of t-shirt/jeans as well as my daily meds into my laptop bag (in case we were there overnight for surgery), grabbing two Cokes out of the refrigerator, explaining to my therapist’s office that I wasn’t going to make it because my kid was having a medical emergency while throwing things in the trunk, and jumping in the car with Daniel to haul butt down to Seattle Children’s Hospital ER because that stoma closing up means emergency surgery to fix it.
Unexpected Seattle trip take #2. We got down to Seattle pretty quickly and didn’t hit any traffic until Shoreline. I also missed my exit, so Daniel and I got a lovely view of downtown Seattle while going across the Ship Canal Bridge before getting turned around. Thankfully, Seattle Childen’s Hospital has valet parking at the ER, and this is *SO* helpful because I could get Daniel in super fast and not have to deal with finding a parking space. I apparently used all the right words because we got taken back immediately. They had someone do vitals while someone else went to go grab some catheters to try and keep the stoma from closing more. I had to help hold Daniel while they got the Foley catheter in, and we were having to do things like grab c-clamps and wrap the end in a diaper as Daniel was creating negative pressure by fake-coughing before we could get it clamped. He was thankfully happy chilling on the bed playing with the TV remote and his tablet, and I got to talk to medical staff, email Jon to let him know what was going on, and let my boss know the situation. (My boss, bless her, had called my student for yesterday, and the student let her know to pass on prayers from her as well.)
Unexpected Seattle trip take #3. Eventually, a fellow and her attending came in, and the fellow checked the tube to see if it was damaged. Luckily, the balloon hadn’t been damaged so it was salvageable. She deflated it and tried putting it back in, but she needed a stylette to try and get it to go in straight. I suggested she grab a kit for a tube of a slightly different size as it would probably have a syringe, stylette, and lube that would help get it back in. While she ran and got the kit, the attending (who was holding Daniel’s arms) was asking me if I was a nurse because I seemed to know what I was doing. I replied that I’d been dealing with g-tube changes for almost 3 years, so I knew what should be happening. When the fellow came back, she lubed up the tube some more and started working on getting it down in the stoma. It wasn’t a pretty process, to say the least, because she was having a heck of a time getting it back in correctly, and I would have lost everything I had eaten in the last week if I was at all squeamish. (Stomach contents were coming out of the stoma as she maneuvered it, and I was blotting them off Daniel’s skin with the hospital blankie.) Eventually, she got it situated in the right place again, and I offered to check placement for her. The placement was good and Daniel was able to have a Pedialyte bolus feed without Pedialyte leaking out, so we were able to be discharged after just being in the ER for 90ish minutes. Our nurse got us squared away with paperwork, printed out a paper on what to watch for, and sent us on our way.
Why I love Seattle Children’s Home Care. I had conversations with them during the drive home about getting a spare tube overnighted to us, and I accidentally missed their last call because I was in the shower. Apparently, they decided to have someone drive it up to us (at least two or more hours because of rush hour), and I was shocked when a white van with a “Seattle Children’s” logo on it pulled in front of the house. The driver got out and handed me a g-tube kit. I almost hugged him.
So how is Daniel doing? I limited his food and drink to clear liquids and really plain things in case he had some nausea after what happened. He was cranky last night but didn’t seem too bad today. There hasn’t been any discharge or swelling, so I think he made it through this OK.
In-person worship. My church returned to in-person worship last Sunday, and it was so strange after worshipping online only for 15 months! It was like walking out of my cave into springtime after hibernating. It was like this strange and familiar thing from my past was happening again. (I can’t even really describe it all that well.) It was well worth all the quarantining.
I swore that I would wear my Easter dress from last year when we came back to in-person worship… so here’s the pic!
Why yes, I do have a mask that matches my dress! (Both are from Old Navy.)
Anti-vaxxer stupidity. If you believe that the COVID vaccine causes you to become magnetized, please proceed with haste to your nearest medical facility and ask for a lobotomy because someone has clearly ruined your brain.
THERE. ARE. NO. METALS. IN. ANY. OF. THE. VACCINES.
THE. KEY. STUCK. TO. THAT. IDIOT. NURSE. BECAUSE. OF. SEBUM. ON. HER. SKIN.
Karma and lack of thanks. I saw a story referenced on Facebook about some boaters who were allegedly harassing another boat that had Pride flags on it… only for their boat to go up in flames a few minutes later. OK… that was interesting and sounds kind of like the boat of harassers was being smited for being jerks. It turns out that it did happen somewhat local to me.
Despite the boat with the Pride flags rescuing them, the boat of harassers jumped into a friend’s boat without saying “thank you”. Yeah guys… the other boat could have left you in the water to wait for a rescue instead of pulling you in, so you might want to try being grateful..
Monday was the 100th anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre. I found out about it within the last decade from a reference on a site I was reading. I definitely didn’t hear about in high school, and part of the reason was the terror inflicted on the Black community by it and other similar massacres.
If you think things like Tulsa happened years ago and that we should just move on, I invite you to learn about these other massacres, the most recent one being what took place at Emmanuel AME Church in 2015 when Dylan Roof walked in and killed 9 people. There are still survivors of the Tulsa Race Massacre that are still alive.
Karenpocalypse. My guilty pleasure this week has been the Karenpocalypse YouTube channel. It’s sometimes entertaining to watch people being so bleedingly ridiculous that you think you’re dreaming. It’s not fun to be the person receiving the abuse from the Karen (and I’ve been that person), but it can make for an interesting story once the trauma wears off.
Patreon rewards. My Patreon rewards from Planning with Kay arrived today, and I’m positively giddy because I get to play with awesome stickers right around the time I would have been putting this month’s calendar spread for my bullet journal together.
Family gathering. Having my twin brother’s family up for the long weekend was amazing. It was worth all the Facebook messenger calls, the mask-wearing, and giving up holiday gatherings for a year to have everybody under one roof and not having to worry about getting someone super sick. Braden is adorable, and he is a really happy kid. Daniel was transfixed by him, and he was a happy kid all weekend.
New school. I got an email request from the case manager for Daniel’s school stuff this year. She wanted to schedule a Zoom meeting with a bunch of people, and I thought it was just a last-minute IEP meeting. It turns out that they’re doing the program placement stuff that didn’t happen last year because of COVID. Daniel will be going to the middle school that is closer to our house, and the head of that program was at the Zoom meeting to talk about Daniel’s needs. He is planning to have a day where we can come and see the classroom and do the orientation activities that didn’t happen in September 2020.
I’m bummed to lose Daniel’s teacher and paraprofessional from this school year as they love Daniel (and also me) like their own child. They also were absolutely wonderful while Daniel was in the hospital, and I went on Zoom with them one morning to let them see that he was OK. Ms. Leanne, his paraprofessional, has been working like mad to find something to keep his attention in the last weeks of school because he is just DONE. It has meant that I’ve found cool YouTube videos through her that I’ve shared with some of you for your kiddos. She has also fussed over me and swapped hospital stories with me because she’s a fellow caretaker of a medically-fragile person.
Still, I’m actually OK with all of this because it means more people who are going to love my kid, and Mount Vernon Public Schools has been exceptional at making sure that Daniel’s needs have gotten met from Day 1. Very few districts pull off a 12-person IEP on the last day of school for a kid who showed up to register for the fall, and his IEP meetings have always been amazing.
Family gathering. Ohmigoshohmigoshohmigosh! I GOT TO SEE MY TWIN BROTHER, SISTER-IN-LAW, AND THEIR SPAWN FOR THE FIRST TIME IN 15 MONTHS!!!!!!! It was so worth having to quarantine, do Zoom/Facebook messenger calls, and mask up for a year to stay safe so that I could see them this past weekend. Braden was a few months away from turning 2 when I saw him in February 2020, and he is now almost 3 years old. In the time between visits, he developed a personality.
Really?!?!? When I arrived at my local grocery store, this is what I saw…
Apparently, the corporate people at Haggen are dumbkopfs because we’re *STILL* having double-digit case counts daily here (which is an increase) and they made masks optional for those who are unvaccinated. Yeah… those are the people who are at-risk for contracting COVID because they’re not protected. The CDC did not say that everyone could unmask (just those who are fully vaccinated and only outside and in certain other situations), and I can guarantee that it’s going to be the unvaccinated people that are not masking in public here because the vaccinated people are still wearing them! (Close to 90% of shoppers were, but I live in a blue pocket of my indigo county, so that was to be expected.) There are a lot of really irritated Haggen customers because we’re not out of the woods yet in terms of COVID risk here. The handful of friends I have who are not fully vaccinated due to pregnancy or anaphylaxis with the first shot are really hesitant to shop there due to this decision. (They’re all masking of course, but they’re investing in KN95 masks because they are aware of their risk.)
Mistakes in mask-wearing. When you wear your mask, COVER YOUR FREAKING NOSE. It defeats the purpose of a mask if you leave your nose hanging out. (COVID is primarily spread through the air.) If you want to complain about fabric next to your skin, either invest in a KN95 mask or a singer’s/speaker’s mask. Also… AN OXYGEN MOLECULE IS 1,500 TIMES SMALLER THAN THE COVID DROPLET THAT YOU ARE CLAIMING YOUR CLOTH MASK IS KEEPING OUT, SO DON’T EVEN TELL ME THAT YOUR CLOTH MASK IS PREVENTING OXYGEN FROM GETTING IN!!!!
This PSA is brought to you by the Karen who was behind me in the pharmacy line at Haggen who was wearing a “Trump 2020” mask with her nose sticking out and speaking LOUDLY to the jerk next to her (who wasn’t wearing a mask before people were allowed to stop) about some conspiracy theories that made QAnon’s trash look intelligent. (Why yes, I did ask him why he wasn’t wearing a mask, and I have no regrets. An employee thanked me.)
Church in-person. My parish and the Spanish mission congregation attached to us had an outside service for Pentecost on Sunday. I’m bummed that I couldn’t go because I really miss being with people, but someone had to be home dealing with Zoom. The Holy Spirit made a cameo as a very enthusiastic woodpecker, there were missed parts in the service that had to be reinserted, and our virtual choir anthem couldn’t be heard over the speakers. We *WILL* be going back to in-person worship in the sanctuary on June 6th, but people will be required to mask up (because we’re not unconcerned with the safety of others), the wine will be reserved for our priest only, and the picnic afterward will be a “bring your own food and drink and camping chair to socially distance” affair. We’ll also be continuing to stream worship on Zoom until further notice because there will be people who choose to stay home for health reasons.
COVID shot #1. Daniel got COVID shot #1 on Monday. It was actually a good experience and the staff at the Skagit Regional Health Vaccine Clinic were incredible. They distracted Daniel by letting him play with gloves, alcohol wipes, and band-aids while they were prepping the injection. They can’t physically restrain him, so they had me bear hug him while they quickly gave the shot. Afterward, they led us to a room where they let Daniel open and close the door as much as he wanted for the 15-minute wait. He was quieter the next day, but suffered no serious side effects.
41st birthday. My 41st birthday was Wednesday, and it was a really quiet day. I worked with students on my two favorite classes to tutor this quarter, and my dad made me dinner. It was a workday for me so it was absolutely OK that it wasn’t a huge family event.
Family gathering. All of the grown-ups in my household and twin brother’s household have been vaccinated (and Daniel has had shot #1), so I’m going to get to see my brother, his wife, and their son for the first time in 15 months for a communal birthday gathering. Getting to see everyone is worth all the staying home, quarantining, and masking-up since last March.
A boring life. Honestly, I have a pretty boring life these days because I’m either doing school with Daniel during the day or working with my students. On Wednesday when Daniel doesn’t have school, I work 5 hours straight in the middle of the day. I rarely leave the house except for groceries and medical care because I don’t have the time to even grab coffee. (Caffeine withdrawal is brutal, y’all! Thankfully, my Coca-Cola habit helps.)
Reading. I’ve finished all of the Margaret Maron books about Deborah Knott and I’m reading the prequel. I don’t recommend the prequel, but I recommend the rest of them highly. I’m trying to decide which book on my TBR pile/list to be read now.
NaNo prep. I’m trying to put together notes and a framework for a NaNoWriMo attempt in November, and I’m having an interesting time with what to name the county where my piece will take place. Washington has a lot of place named after things in the local indigenous language, and the name I want to use refers to the linguistic group. I’m making a serious attempt at this because I might want to publish it someday, so this is kind of a big deal.
I’m thankful the election is over. Holy polarization, Batman! This election season was functionally 8 years long. The 2012 election bled into the 2016 one… which then bled into this one. I’m also so thankful that the election went in my favor! I have a good governor who has worked tirelessly to protect the people of Washington, and the idiot running against him would have been horrible for the state. I get my amazing Congresscritter again, and let’s not even go into how happy I am that Joe Biden won the election.
You know what’s making me even happier? Not having to deal with the “rolling Trump rally” idiots driving around, creating traffic hazards, and giving me a headache from their honking. I wonder if they even know how much they made people want to vote for Biden instead!
I’m thankful for teachers. Homeschoolng Daniel is my idea of hell, so I’m grateful that someone else is doing the planning while I just have to make sure he stays on task. His teacher, therapists, and aide love him, and they make an absolute effort to try and reach him. I can’t wait until he can go back to school, but I’m happy that we can at least keep his education moving until the vaccine is ready.
I’m thankful that I have a job right now. One of the good things about my job is that it can be done online. Because of this, I was able to work this summer for the first time since Daniel was a baby. Winter Quarter will also be online, so I have job security for the time being.
I’m thankful for businesses that are trying to keep their employees and customers safe. I don’t have the luxury of ignoring the pandemic where I live, so I appreciate that my grocery store is limiting the number of people inside, that my favorite restaurants are on DoorDash or Munchie Dude so food can be delivered, and that other places have curbside pick up for food and retail goods. People in my area have been patient with the restrictions that we currently have, and that made it easier to deal with the line to get in the store on Thanksgiving Eve to pick up Daniel’s meds and a few last-minute things.
I’m thankful for my family. I’ve been stuck in the house with them for eight months, and we haven’t managed to kill each other yet. The grown-ups are also eating together every night, so I think my parents have a better idea of what I do for a living and what I have on my figurative plate because we talk about our days at dinner.
We also were able to have some socially distant porch visits this summer with some extended family. For Thanksgiving, we made dinner-to-go for my bachelor uncle, and he was able to come over and pick it up. (He brought us a pumpkin spice cheesecake from 5b’s Bakery in exchange.)
I’m thankful for my church. We haven’t been able to have in-person worship for eight months, so we’ve done worship over Facebook Live and then Zoom. Granted, I’m the one doing all the tech and web work for it, but people are being patient with tech malfunctions for the most part, and we’ve gotten pretty good at it. Our Vestry is also trying to make sure people get called every week and checked on because it can be lonely and we have an older congregation. Our choir has put together virtual anthems, and we’re working on finding ways to do worship without being allowed to sing. (This is why we can’t sing.) We did a survey of people this summer, and nobody wants to go back to in-person worship until the county hits Phase 4 and there is a vaccine available. We obviously didn’t get to do Easter in-person, and we are making plans for Midnight Mass over Zoom.