Saturday, January 26, 2013

January 26

The snow is falling in big heavy flakes outside our window and I'm settled down with a cup of orange juice, David is listening to the sound track from Aladdin, and our three fish are swimming happily in their tank.  So far today I've baked bread, taken a nap, and worked out. (and cleaned up cria vomit, but that's something I'd rather not think too deeply on).  It's a good day.  And since it's such a good day, I thought I'd take a few moments and update everyone on what's been going on.
This month has been especially busy with appointments of various sorts. We knew they were coming so none of them were really surprises, but they've kept us busy.
One of the most exciting appointments of this month was to my audiologist in London to get my new hearing aid!  My right hearing aid had an unfortunate accident this past fall and met with an untimely death.  Based on the age of the hearing aid and the progression of my hearing loss, it was a better choice to replace it completely than to try and have it repaired.  So, earlier this month I picked up my spiffy new, blue, behind the ear (BTE), Quantum 12, Unitron, hearing aid.  See?
The BTE style is new to me, but so far, I'm loving it, with one exception.  It pinches a bit at the top of my ear.  I see my audiologist again this week for a test in the booth and hopefully to get the tube readjusted so it doesn't pinch.  It has way more bells and whistles than any of my other hearing aids have ever had and one of the best things is I can wear it outside when it is windy and not be overwhelmed by wind noise!
On the same day that I got my new hearing aid, I also met with my neurologist (also in London - it was nice to combine both visits in one trip, since London is quite a drive and it is winter).  The reason we'd requested the meeting with the neurologist was to see about taking me off of one of my medications, Depakote.  Depakote has many undesirable side-effects, and although it was controlling the seizures and helping with the migraines, David and I felt it was time to see about switching it out to something friendlier.  The neurologist agreed and we have started to put me on a drug called Lamictal.  It should also help with the seizures and migraines - with less negative side effects.  It will take a total of 14 weeks to put me on the Lamictal and off the Depakote, putting as near the end of April before the transition is complete, if all goes well. So far everything is going well, though I do increase my dose of Lamictal this coming week.  Prayers that the transition continues to go well would be appreciated. 
That same day I also gravity checked a particularly icy spot in a parking lot and sprained my knee and ankle...and then thought it was a good idea to go to the mall to "walk it off".   I may have heard a thing or two about that from my physical therapist at my next visit.  Oops!
Speaking of my physical therapist, I started physio early in the month to deal with a very painful hip.  The hip has been giving me trouble for many months now and it was just a matter of waiting for the physio department and my schedule to have openings at the same time.  Right now we are doing a mixture of stretches, ultrasound and electro-therapy to try and reduce the inflammation and make it not hurt.  It's going slow, but improving. It does involve driving to the hospital twice a week to get it worked on though, which eats up about 3-4 hours a week total (driving time + treatment time).
The other big thing this month is that I have started school again.  I am doing 1 class, online, and so far it is going well.  I'm not even behind yet!  It's the same class that I tried to take last semester but had to stop when my health took a nose-dive. So far, I haven't gotten to any new material, but I'm processing the old material better now. 
One last picture to close this off.  This is how David and Mauschen like to spend their lazy afternoons (when we have them...which is rare)
(I may be guilty of tickling those toes when they are stretched out like that)

Saturday, January 05, 2013

Living at "home"

On occasion I'm asked how it is living with my parents...for clarity's sake, David and I don't actually live with my parents, but live in an apartment attached to their house. It's a difference.  It means there is a solid door that we can shut between our place and theirs. It means we have our own washer/dryer, shower, bathroom, etc.  It means we (usually) eat our own meals in our own space.
But it's also much the same.  We're still available for daily chores and when they need help on the farm outside of regular farm hours.  We still sometimes share meals.  I can still borrow ingredients from mom if her  pantry has something that mine doesn't (and vice versa!).  We share the family vehicles. We share a hot water heater and an oven. They are still available for company so it's not as lonely.
And the best part: We have a great rent agreement worked out where we work for part of our rent and utilities.
But sometimes...sometimes it's tough.  Sometimes you don't want your parents to be around.  Sometimes, when all my siblings are home it is louder than anywhere I have lived since high school, and it's overwhelming. Sometimes you don't want your parents knowing how long you sleep in or how late you stay out. Sometimes you don't want to hear the advice and opinions of your family.
But sometimes...sometimes it's wonderful. Sometimes you want to be with your parents, you want to learn from them.  Sometimes the siblings being home create a lively sense and you simply can't be lonely.  Sometimes it's nice to know that some one is keeping half an eye on you and what you do.  And it's amazing to have access to a vehicle (we couldn't afford insurance on one at this point).
In some cultures this living arrangement is normal, or at least something similar. And I wonder if they aren't on to something. By living this way, separately together, we are consuming less resources, we are combining forces when it comes to farm work (we did chores with only 3 people this morning, instead of the usual 6... it makes a big difference), and we are learning from each other.
The bottom line:  At this point, this is how things are and I'm happy with it.  It's a good situation.