Thursday, August 11, 2011

The waiting game

Really, there are a million things I should be doing right now. Sleeping is at the top of that list and blogging isn't even on the list...but, well, I seem to be blogging, not sleeping.

Tomorrow is my first appointment with the neurologist. Maybe I'll get some answers. Maybe I won't. We'll see.

So instead of sleeping I've been baking. Blueberry banana bread, blueberry muffins and yummy cinnamon swirl bread. It was supposed to be for tomorrow, but I had to sample it, you know?

I also roasted some garlic and when it's a decent hour tomorrow I'll make a quick batch of hummus. We're picnicking tomorrow, so it's picnic food time...


And instead of doing laundry (our laundry baskets threw up all over our room) I unhooked the washer and dryer in anticipation of the arrival of the new machines. I also crammed our dirty laundry into black garbage bags so that I can do some serious laundry over the weekend. It's been two weeks since I've done laundry and I'm starting to notice it...

blueberry muffins

Anyway, it thought I'd share a few things that I've learned over the past few weeks. I don't have any answers yet, but I've learned a few things for sure!

blueberry banana loaf

Stuff I've learned about me:
  • When I'm feeling stress (which I apparently am tonight) I head to the kitchen. Like I did tonight. Who bakes that much on a warmish summer night? When there are a million other things to do? When they should be resting up for the big appointment the next day? Me apparently.
  • That I might have to take medication for the rest of my life. And if I do, I'm never going to taste a grapefruit again. Guess what I've been craving for the last two weeks...
Stuff I've learning about my "condition" (I'm not sure what to call it - it's not an illness or a disease or an injury, so I'm going with condition):
  • My family doctor is very optimistic everything will be pretty well normal.
  • My doctor warned me to be prepared for the possibility that they won't have any answers for me for a while or possibly ever. And that is such a frustrating possibility for me. I'd like to know how to prevent further episodes of the "condition"
  • That regardless of the test results, I'm still probably going to have to take daily medication forever (see above) and that isn't making me very happy right now...
Stuff I've learned about my community:
  • It's a lot bigger than I thought it was. This shouldn't really surprised me since they same thing happened when I injured my back - thanks guys....your visits, phone calls, emails, texts, blog comments and Facebook notes have all made the past two weeks so much more bearable.
Stuff I've learned about J:
  • Toddlers are infinity more adaptable than I ever gave little miss credit for. She spent every evening last week sitting quietly on my bed playing or reading so that I could rest. Occasionally she'd pause and rub my temple and tell me "It will be okay Mommy." That alone is enough to make me feel better. She enjoyed this week and its usual trips to the park after dinner a lot more than last week!
Stuff I've learned about the hospital:
  • It's unnerving to be the youngest patient at the heart clinic by a good twenty years. And that woman, the one who was about 20 years older than me? She appeared to be accompanying her mother to the clinic.
  • The hospital is huge. It's very important to know which building and floor you're going to or you'll get hopelessly lost.
  • Some areas of the hospital smell better than others.
  • The hospital I've been frequenting is a teaching hospital. That means telling the same story two or three times before actually seeing the doctor. Or having the same ultrasound two or three times. But it's all good. At this point I'm still rational and patient enough to realize this is how doctors are made...
  • Parking at the hospital coasts a small fortune. The best place to park is on the lowest or second lowest level. Because no one wants to park so "far" away. So there are lots of spaces - and lots that don't have concrete posts next to them.
  • Always carry a book. And a binder. The book is because you'll always have to do some waiting. Even when your appointment is on time. The binder is for all the information you need to tell each and every doctor, specialist, technician and nurse you see and to add the new information to when they give it to you. Because you will forget. Before you stand up from your chair and leave the room. I promise.

Stuff I've learned about my job:
  • It's important to know your company policies for sick leave and doctors' appointments (if there is one).
  • It's important to figure out if your best bet is sick leave, sick days, appointment leave or vacation. I've done a combination of sick days, vacation and appointment leave but somewhere else I might have done it differently.
  • I highly recommend talking to your supervisor, their supervisor and your HR rep (if you have one) as soon as possible, giving them as many details as you possibly can (if you're comfortable sharing). They will be more willing to help you out if they know what's going on.
  • If you don't know your rights surrounding sick leave, find out. Quick. I know my rights having done this twice before and I happen to have an employer with good policies, so I'm not worried...I have also done this before with the same company, so the process was a lot easier this time around. And I'm not on sick leave right now so that helps.
  • It's just a job. That I like. And want to keep. But there are things that are more important in my life than my job. I didn't actually learn that this week, it was just reinforced in the most forceful way possible!
Now I'm off to bed so I can rock my appointment tomorrow and try to convince the doctors I don't need that daily medication....

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