And it’s been six weeks since my last post. Go me.
[+] In my defense, I’ve been sick. I had a UTI over Spring Break that flattened me, my sleep schedule is completely knocked off kilter, my seasonal allergies have manifested as serious asthma so I spent Holy Week having serious asthma attacks, and I got hit with a respiratory infection the next week which spilled into this one. I’d like to be able to sleep without waking up coughing up a lung, and I’d like to not be taking Sudafed with a Robitussin DM chaser.
[+] We’re four weeks into the quarter, and I haven’t had a consistent schedule from week to week. Part of it has been having to cancel sessions due to asthma attacks and this stupid respiratory infection, but the other part of it is students being added and dropping tutoring or not showing up. I purposely scheduled my Fridays off this quarter to have a day where I could do doctor’s appointments or Daniel appointments, and I’ve also made it so that my students don’t send me work to look over on weekends. This is thanks to a student who completely burned me out during Summer Quarter and a student during Fall Quarter who made me ponder taking up rattlesnake cuddling. I can’t even begin to describe her shenanigans. Between the two of them, I could probably write an entire post of “tutoring don’ts” if it wouldn’t violate FERPA.
[+] Daniel turned 13 on April 7th. I’m still stunned that I now have a teenager.
[+] Doc is getting so much braver and friendlier. Mom is getting serious love time from him when she gives him his greenies. He’ll allow me to get closer to him, and I’m hoping I will eventually get to pet him. He is a very soft cat, and I would love to give him all the scritches that he could ever want.
[+] I spent a lot of time doing blogging/Facebook stuff for church during Holy Week. Five days of services was A LOT. The office of Tenebrae was a new one, and it was very dark. I’m kind of glad I was home doing church web stuff during that one because I wouldn’t have been doing a good job of focusing. By Easter Sunday, I couldn’t focus on anything, so I redid the header for Facebook and the church website. I still need to do the Facebook and church website posts for this weekend. I should probably get started on them…
Daniel Shot #1. I realized around Christmas that I had completely forgotten to get Daniel his flu shot. I figured that I’d call and get him an ADHD appointment after Christmas and do it then… except that his pediatrician had no openings until around January 20th. So… I called in and was able to get a nurse appointment for yesterday. I was dreading it because we usually need extra help, and last time they put us in the baby room with a rocking chair. (Have you tried giving a shot to a kid in a rocking chair fighting back? The nurse got lucky and stuck him one of the time he rocked by.) Thankfully, we were in a regular exam room this time, so I was able to fold the top part of myself on him and hold his arm still.
Daniel Shot #2. They just lowered the age for COVID boosters to 12, so I had to make an appointment for Daniel to get his. The problem: almost nobody was scheduling for them, so I had to do some looking. Next obstacle: finding a time that worked with my work schedule. It ended up being this afternoon at my local Haggen, and we managed to do it with Daniel on my lap and me bear-hugging him.
Fatigue. After Daniel got his COVID booster and we got our grocery shopping done (because we had the 15-minute wait before leaving to make sure Daniel didn’t have any adverse symptoms and it was something to do during the wait), we got home and put groceries away. I then had to process the 70 lbs of Daniel supplies that had arrived in the past two days… which involves getting it UPSTAIRS to the guest room and Daniel’s closet. Next, I had to haul all the cardboard back downstairs and down to the area by the recyclers where we store it until the biweekly trash day when they take recycling. After I was done, came in, washed my hands, and headed back UPSTAIRS, I somehow had to muster up the energy to shower. I’ve since made/ate dinner, washed my prep and dinner dishes, and headed upstairs, and I’m in a dark room waiting for Daniel to go to sleep so I can feed him and then go to sleep myself. I’ve forgotten how exhausting it is to have to restrain my kid for shots, especially now that he is as tall as I am and my legs are almost too short to wrap around his!
An interesting Tuesday. I got almost no sleep on Monday night, so I thought Tuesday was going to be… interesting. I walked into the drop-in room to find the tables rearranged and my friend Kim (who is the closest friend I have in Washington) doing something Calculus-looking on the board for a bunch of young male students. (They turned out to be engineering students.) There are times when you sit down, shut up, and listen, and this was one of those occasions, especially as Kim explained that she had done all the table Tetris things during the first hour of her shift. I was pretty speechless anyway, so I just busied myself with putting the sign-up sheet for my church’s Lenten devotional book writers together as well as polishing the ask letter.
Last weekend. There were no Quick Takes last weekend due to my parents celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary on Saturday. I posted a few of the pictures from their wedding album on Facebook, and a few people couldn’t believe that they weren’t pictures of me, especially as my hair is currently as long as Mom’s was when she got married. I had to send over a few pictures from MY wedding to prove that it wasn’t me in my parents’ wedding pictures!
Anyway, they didn’t want a big party (not just due to COVID but because it’s not what they’re into), so my evil twin’s family came up overnight for dinner and a nice breakfast. I had fun chasing my 3 1/2 year old nephew Braden around the house. 🙂
Betty White. I wanted to remind everyone that Monday is the Betty White challenge where people are encouraged to donate to their favorite animal shelter or rescue in her name. If you need a place to donate to, I highly recommend the Wildcat Sanctuary in Minnesota. I sponsor two of their hybrids Love and Riku, and they’re rescuing a serval named Bruno in Massachusetts who just had to have one of his hind legs amputated.
Update on the sinus infection. I’m on Day 7 of my first round of Azithromycin. I’m not feeling amazing, but I’m not coughing to the point of choking. I’m still a bit stuffy, and I’m unfortunately almost out of Sudafed. (This is a problem because the regular Sudafed that you get from behind the pharmacy counter is the only thing that works to help me sleep… and my local pharmacy is out of it.)
Update on Jethro. Mom took Jethro back to the vet on Tuesday, and his bloodwork was trashed to the point where he could have had a blood clot if he kept going. The vet told her the prognosis, and she asked if they would be able to put him to sleep that day. When they said “yes” and told her she could have as long as she needed with Jet, she called Dad to come and sit with her. Jethro seemed to sense that it was his time because he relaxed and curled up in both Mom’s lap and Dad’s lap before they sedated him to give him the final shot. (Meanwhile, I had come out of my room after finishing with a student, and I figured out what was going on when I found Dad gone.) He went peacefully. We know that he is with his brother Homer again, and that is comforting since Homer’s death three years ago was really hard on all of us. (We adopted Minion the day after Homer passed away. He helped us heal.)
Minion has had a tiring schedule of guarding Mom and cuddling her (because Jet is gone and Jet was Mom’s lap kitty) in addition to his normal Mama cuddles with me. I’ve got feelers out on Petfinder for a Maine Coon cat or at least another one that might be a good buddy for Minion, who is definitely feeling Jet’s absence even if Jet was a cranky old man.
Why I like living in a blue state. My governor gets crap from the Republicans in the eastern part of Washington about the mask mandate and the various vaccine mandates, but we’re not in the mess that Idaho is currently in.
Why do I believe that Idaho is that bad off? Well… it might have something to do with Idaho sending a bunch of their worst patients to Washington to take up our hospital beds. (The stupider people in eastern Washington have been going to Sandpoint and Coeur d’ Alene to shop because Idaho doesn’t have a mask mandate, so I have no sympathy for hospitals in those Washington counties because they’re doing it to themselves.) The Republicans in Idaho have been bickering over COVID precautions to the point where the lieutenant governor took the opportunity to issue an executive order banning mask mandates while the governor was out of state. (The governor canceled the executive order when he returned.)
Do I love having to mask up all the time? No. However, Governor Inslee issued the mandates two months ago because he gives a crap about the health of the people in the state. The members of Idaho’s state government seem to be only thinking of themselves.
Some positivity this week. I was doing my weekly grocery shopping on Tuesday when a woman stopped me. She told me that she had seen me with Daniel the previous week and that I was doing a really good job with him. She then patted me on the shoulder and told me I was a good mother.
I honestly almost cried in the middle of Haggen when she said that to me. (I’m tearing up now thinking about it.) I don’t know if she knew how much I needed to hear all of that. It’s honestly getting me through the harder parts of the week, and it also is giving me patience with Daniel because someone out there thinks I’m doing things right.
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.
Kitty hospice. My parents’ elderly tabby Jethro likely has lymphoma, and my mom took him to the vet on Tuesday to address him not eating. They gave her the options of doing nothing, doing palliative care, doing kitty chemo, or euthanizing him. Mom and I talked about it, and she opted for palliative care. The vet will do fluids weekly, and we’ve been given medications to deal with nausea, pain, appetite, and a steroid to deal with the lymphoma. Mom is aware that this is giving us weeks, not years, and I told her that I would clear my schedule and go with her to the vet to do the talking when it comes time to let Jethro go.
Daniel’s health. My monster had an ADHD appointment a week ago, and his pediatrician felt a stool ball in his stomach. She put in an x-ray order and we got it on Saturday. The x-ray showed the stool ball and what looked like a kidney stone, so she put in a stat ultrasound order. The ultrasound was Tuesday, and it was thankfully clean. So… we’re dealing with the stool ball, and I’m hoping we’re not jockeying for another hospitalization.
My other boys. My baseball boys (THE GIANTS!!!) are in the mix for the NL West. I’m hoping the LA Losers stay multiple games behind and/or lose the Wild Card game to St. Louis (my other boys) if it comes to that.
Interesting hymnody. I was on a Maddy Prior binge and discovered an album of hymns from the 18th and 19th century. It includes “The God of Abraham Praise” which is a hymn I wish we would sing in my parish. (Hello minor key! Hello interesting tune!)
Really??? I got a text and an email from Daniel’s school on Friday to let me know that Daniel may have been exposed to COVID. Well, crap! We had Daniel mask up in the house until we could figure out what to do. My brother has been through this a few times with my nephew’s daycare, and he told us that we didn’t need to mask up Daniel in the house. (Kiddo was pissed at having to wear his mask in the house at first, but he adjusted and even fell asleep in it.) I also had to stay home from church on Sunday, which pissed me off because my former choir director was there to get to say goodbye to all of us, and I missed the special dinner with her as well.
We learned on Tuesday that they were shutting his class down for at least a week, and he would be able to return to school on Monday (the 13th) as long as he wasn’t manifesting symptoms because he’s vaccinated. My choir director asked me to get tested (since the choir with the cluster cases is local to us), so I did. (They even let me tickle my own brain!) Unsurprisingly, my test was negative. Props to Skagit County Public Health. I went home after getting tested and hopped in the shower. My test results were back by the time I got out of the shower. It was ~20 minute turnaround.
My brother’s response was the best:
Love how someone’s personal choice just became your problem.
Sigh… A church friend of mine had a coworker who was a diehard anti-vaxxer and Trump supporter. He would bait me on my friend’s wall, so I blocked him on Facebook.
A week and a half ago, my church friend asked me to pray for this coworker because he was in the ICU with COVID. He deteriorated over the next week, and they removed him from life support on Monday. He leaves a wife and a daughter who was a complete daddy’s girl. He was in his late 40’s.
Y’all, I’m not posting on vaccination and urging you to get vaccinated because I want to debate you on the subject or because it’s a political thing. This person’s death could have been prevented if he had been vaccinated. He would have gotten really sick, but he wouldn’t have ended up on a ventilator. I’m legitimately sad about his death because it did *NOT* have to happen.
Eff cancer. My friend Mellora’s husband Matt was diagnosed with lung cancer last year, and he ended up in the ER on August 30th with a collapsed lung. His condition worsened and he was put on hospice yesterday. He died that night. He leaves Mellora and their two daughters. He was my age.
Please keep Mellora, her daughters, and all who knew and loved Matt in your prayers.
Music take #4. As I was out with Daniel today and pondering all that was going on this week, this hymn came to mind. It’s Brian Doerkson’s arrangement of “It Is Well With My Soul”. His dad sings with him starting on verse 2. I sang this hymn to Daniel in the NICU and in the PICU during the hospitalization 10 1/2 years when we almost lost him. It’s absolutely my favorite hymn.
Vaccination mandate. I know people are probably going to be up in arms about this in their Quick Takes, and my position is probably not going to be popular.
I have an employer that requires vaccination, and I live in a state where the governor (thankfully) requires it of all medical and education workers. I would honestly not be comfortable having Daniel in a class with an unvaccinated teacher, and I’m hoping the 6th graders in his class can be vaccinated soon as well to cut down on the chances of him bringing it home. I would refuse to be treated by a doctor or dentist who wasn’t vaccinated because of the need to be close to each other for check-ups and treatment. Large employers are going to have people in close proximity when they go back to the office, so it makes sense that they be vaccinated.
As I said above, I’m not pushing vaccination as a political talking point. The Delta variant doesn’t discriminate between Republicans and Democrats. These variants are going to keep developing until people are vaccinated and COVID stops being endemic. I’m saying all of these things because I really do care about my blog readers, and I don’t want y’all ending up on ventilators and making your family deal with funeral arrangements.
Those who know me on Facebook know that Daniel started back to school in person yesterday. He is fully vaccinated and the school requires masks for everyone (no exceptions), so we felt comfortable letting him go this fall. He is in the 7th grade at a local middle school.
Here is what happened in the last few days before he started back to school as well as the first day.
Sunday afternoon. Remember that Daniel has to have pill bottles for any medication that is going to school with him. Call the pharmacy and ask the pharmacist nicely if they can be made. Make plans to pick them up on Monday afternoon.
Tuesday afternoon. Talk to school nurse while driving on errands. Discover that doctor’s orders need to be written in order to medicate Daniel at school. Doh! Accept the nurse’s offer to call the pediatrician and get the process started. Come home and start laundry.
Wednesday morning. Wake up a few minutes before my phone alarm goes off at 5:45 a.m. Tiptoe downstairs to see I could get down there without waking up Daniel. Hand Daniel the spoon with the peanut butter and his meds when he comes down a few minutes after me. Grab his formula bolus out of the fridge. Help him change his training pants. Tell him that he is going to school on the bus today. Hand him clothes. Hook him up to his tube feed.
Go downstairs. Make his lunch and put it in his backpack. Go back upstairs and watch YouTube until his feeding pump beeps. Take him downstairs to get his socks and shoes on. Take pictures with him for the first day of school.
See bus arrive at the bottom of the driveway and start to leave 20 seconds later. Run outside barefoot to flag down bus in the cul-de-sac. Get kid on the bus. Go back in the house. Change into clean jammies and go back to bed.
Wednesday midday. Toss clothes on. Head to the grocery store. Grab peanut butter. Grab latté and turkey pesto panini from Starbucks. Head to middle school. Try to figure out how to get into the building. Discover that I’m at a building for elementary school next door. (The back door of the cafeteria was open and the lunch staff pointed me in the right direction.) Head to correct building and get buzzed into office. Get directed to the health room. Introduce myself to nurse on duty. Show her pill bottles and get peanut butter on the spoon while she pages Daniel down to the health room. Introduce myself to his teacher. Medicate child with pills and peanut butter. Fix hearing aid falling out of Daniel’s ear and give the teacher an impromptu lesson on hearing aid placement.
Head to the pediatrician’s office. Discover that I-5 is a parking lot due to someone on foot on the freeway. Take surface route instead. Get screened at the door of the medical building and shoot the breeze with the screener about how public places are too “people-y”. Commiserate on irritation at anti-maskers and anti-vaxxers. Show ID to the receptionist and get doctor’s orders for Daniel to receive his meds at school.
Head to ACE Hardware store. Look for Smudge and Biscuit, the tuxedo cats who own the store. Fail to find them. Get hearing aid batteries. Shoot the breeze with the clerk about my dad who claims to hate cats but brings toys for the ACE Hardware kitties. Write an email to deaf/hard-of-hearing teacher to thank him for changing the batteries that morning.
Head back to the school. Park in the correct place this time. Sign and go over orders with the school nurse. Head home to stare at a wall until Daniel gets home.
Wednesday afternoon. Head downstairs around the time Daniel’s bus is supposed to arrive. Sit on the arm of the love seat in front of the window and wait. Play Township on my phone. See the bus coming and open the door for Daniel. Offer him food but plan to follow him upstairs when he declines. Check backpack before going upstairs. Put thermos and leftover perishable items from his lunch box in the refrigerator. Grab a packet of paperwork and take it upstairs to complete.