I'm sitting here, in my bed, with the dog at (really, on) my feet. Alone. Our kids are past the back to school stage and, yes, I'm feeling a little wistful. I used to love the back to school excitement. Shopping for new clothes and school supplies (not necessarily spending all of that money, though). And, the books! I loved to look over their new (or used) text books. Of course, we had to pay for those, too. We live in one of the few states in the country where parents still have to pay textbook rental. Let me tell you, with three kids that can add up. Honestly, there were times when we paid less for college text books than we did for their high school book rental. Sorry for the bunny trail. I think I'm going somewhere with this, but I'm not quite sure just yet. Stay with me. I guess I'm thinking about all of the changes our family is going through right now. Some of them are normal and to be expected. Others, not so much. Some leave me with a sense of sadness, others joy. And, my emotions seem to be rather close to the surface these days. You understand, don't you? Dealing with a chronic illness can do that to you. Dealing with your own chronic illness and that of a family member can also. Our son and his new bride headed back to New Hampshire over the weekend. They were here for three months, yet I still feel as though I didn't see him that much. I really didn't. He worked all of the time. I understand why, but it still doesn't make it any easier. Elizabeth started her new job this week at one of our hospital systems. She'll be a medical administrative assistant in the clinics. I'm so proud of her. She's really worked hard to get her schooling done even when she didn't feel up to doing so. She switched programs to an online school just in the past month and she's already half way done with the program.What is suppose to take six months will take her a little over two. When she's done, she will be eligible to take the national test to become certified. Our oldest daughter had an interview for a job last week and it is something she would be good at and really love. So, I'm hoping and praying that all of our kids are able to accomplish all that they want.
I'm feeling as though I need to be making some changes within myself, too. I need to shed some bad habits and make some new, good habits. I want to find a new hobby. Perhaps, my Pinterest craft board might be of use? I want to become a better friend. I want to make new friends, but keep the old. Don't worry, I'm not going to break out in song (a reference to an old Girl Scout song from my youth, in case you weren't a GS). I may be ill, but I'm still a middle aged woman who wants to live my life to it's fullest. I'm so excited for our son who was married in June. And, I'll let you in on a secret. There's going to be another wedding in the family next summer. That's all I'm going to say for now. Details will be coming soon. Watch this space. I remember talking to a friend who has older kids (Cathy, yes, it's you) about how sad I was that they were grown up and in the process of moving out. She explained to me about all of the excitement yet to come. How each stage in their lives and ours can be joyous! She's so right, of course. But, even with all of the excitement I have for my kids, I still need to find things for myself. That's as it should be, no matter what their age. I once read something that basically stated that women who had the most trouble adjusting to their children leaving the nest were the ones whose lives revolved around their children while they were growing up. They, somewhere along the way, forgot to make a life for themselves. I don't feel as if I was/am that person, but I do feel as though having this chronic illness has made it seem as if I am. Whoa, I'm definitely feeling the nostalgia today!
Elizabeth saw the doctor in Indianapolis a few weeks ago and the appointment went very well. The doctor was very kind and he knew his stuff. He was not at all offended that she seemed to know a lot about her condition. He told her she was very smart. He even asked her what she would suggest for the treatment. Not in a condescending way, but in a genuine respect for what she had researched. He agreed with what she told him. He doesn't think she is bad enough to be on the immune modulating drugs. He wants her two take two different kinds of medications. One is over the counter Immodium. He said that basically, it's just a matter of symptom control, that, likely, no permanent damage was being done to her GI tract. Of course, he will be testing her next year to double check that, but I suspect she will be fine. He is going to take over her treatment as she decided he was a bit more knowledgeable about her condition than her current doctor. I was glad I was at the appointment. It was my turn to take notes. As I said before, I can really see that through my learning to deal with a chronic illness, I have been able to help her do the same.
I went over to the lab at the hospital a few weeks ago to pick up my lab results. I was very surprised to see that I had more than a half a dozen elevations on my urine organic acid tests. Some are elevated just a little bit, others, quite a bit more. This might be a little TMI, but I was concerned about the accuracy of the tests due to some spotting that I (suddenly) developed while at the lab. Crazy, I know! I told the tech about it and she assured me it wouldn't matter for these tests. But, I wasn't convinced. So, I messaged Dr Kendall and, I was surprised to hear that she hadn't received the results! I was so glad that I messaged her as I was really debating whether it was necessary. She said if they were abnormal she would probably have them done again. I'm not sure if she does that anytime the results are abnormal or just in this case. Anyway, I called the lab and told them to fax her the results. At least this way she'll have time to look them over before my follow up appointment in mid October. I'm hoping I find something out then. If anything, I hope that she can help me find something to take that will help my symptoms.
Next week, I will be blogging daily (unless I'm really, really bad off) for Invisible Illness Awareness Week. Here's a link for more information: http://invisibleillnessweek.com/
See you next week!