Wednesday, April 25, 2012

I think this is what it feels like to get tazed.

Or struck by lighting. Or have poison ivy in sensitive places and then get hit in the back with a golf club. Or be 89 years old with shingles. Or be 30 years old with shingles, a persistent eye twitch, and a collapsed lung.

What?

You heard me. Shingles. I have shingles. I unknowingly had it for several unbearable days before I was officially diagnosed. I mean, I knew something was wrong, but it took me a little while to admit that it wasn't getting better on its own. (Blake was also generally unhelpful, though he has since made up for it. See below.) Upon flashing my doc the affected area of my body, I was immediately diagnosed with the weird illness I thought only made its name amongst the elderly and immune-system-compromised.  I won't go through all the details but in an attempt to educate my readers who will someday be 89 and actually need to worry about developing shingles, I will share just enough to let you know what I've been dealing with here.

The Top 10 Shingles Shitlist
  1. This is the website my doctor pulled up to share with me. Though the site was helpful, it made me a little nervous that my doctor had to Google it... to summarize: Shingles is caused by the same virus that causes chicken pox. If you've had chicken pox - like I did when I was a kid - it can lie dormant for years and then reactivate as shingles.
  2. It is contagious via skin-to-skin contact with open blisters, but you cannot catch shingles, only chicken pox if you haven't had it. Good thing you've been avoiding me, huh?
  3. You will also be relieved, as I was, to know that it is not life threatening.
  4. My itchy rash (which is just about gone now, thank God) wraps around the left side of my torso. It's pretty symmetrical and doesn't cross over the center line. It was interfering with nursing, if that tells you anything. It also interfered with my ability to wear proper undergarments. No, I will not post a photo, creeper.
  5. The pain that causes is a burning ache on my left side. The other day, I was washing dishes and thought I was having a heart attack. Then, when I was tie-dyeing onesies (more on that in another post) I thought my left lung had collapsed. I can't get comfortable, though moving around feels better than sitting still. Kind of like labor. In my shoulderblade. Weird.
  6. Doc Googlepants prescribed an anti-viral, though he said that most anti-virals work best when taken within 48 hours of the onset of symptoms. So, given that the rash started MORE than 48 hours ago, I'm probably out of luck on the meds. I've been taking tylenol for the pain. I probably won't take any of the leftover pain meds from the C-section.
  7. I could have another week of this. Or two. Gads. 
  8. My left eye has been persistently twitching for over two weeks now. I totally think it's related. 
  9. I don't really have a compromised immune system so the "cause" of this reactivation? Stress. It must be. That and the lack of sleep and my devotion to caring for my baby girl at all hours of the day and night.
  10. Since finding out what exactly it is that's causing all this pain, I've been milkin it for whatever it's worth. What is having shingles as a 30 year old worth if I can't put my feet up, get online, and have my husband bring me the credit card and buy me ice cream? Nothing.
Seriously though. The the biggest pain in all of this has been my fear that Miss Audrey is going to be the one to suffer the most if and when she gets chicken pox. So far, she's just fine. I called the pediatrician's office anyways to see if they had any recommendations on what to do to help prevent her from getting the virus and what did they say? "Don't let her touch the affected area." Oops. Too late for that. See Shitlist Nos. 4 and 9.

Guess I should have stopped the nursing and gone to the doctor when I thought my lung was collapsed. Even better, guess BLAKE, the MEDICAL DOCTOR in the family, should have suggested it... at least he's bringing me ice cream.
Tazed and confused,
Kate

P.S. Since I started drafting this post, I've learned of a good number of other folks my age who have also suffered from shingles. People, we are too stressed. We must learn to relax or we'll never even make it to 89!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Picking Pinterest Apart

I'm all about creativity and trying new things. And, when I'm a fan, I'm a fan all the way. I will champion your coconut crusted chicken fingers or home remedy for itchy rashes until the cows come home. If they actually taste good. If the rash actually stops itching. But, if I take the time to try your wonderful sounding thingy that people have been pinning on Pinterest for months and it doesn't deliver as promised? I'm going to at least let my own followers and blog fans know about it so they can get their money back. So, this week, on Picking Pinterest Apart... I give you my critical review of this all natural home deodorizer that I pinned a few weeks ago:

It WAS easy, as promised. And it DID smell good, as promised. But, I wouldn't call it a deodorizer because the smell-good effect didn't last beyond the time it was on the stove. Also, it didn't smell like springtime, as promised. Blake came home mid-simmer and asked why I was roasting chicken at 9pm... Maybe I didn't use enough lemons? Maybe I didn't use enough vanilla? I don't know.

But I do know that next time I need to deodorize my house, there are several other things I'll try that are surefire, depending on sitch.

Truly stinky house:

1. Take out the trash and/or empty diaper genie.
2. Run the garbage disposal and the dishwasher.
3. Make sure the toilets are flushed.
4. Make sure the sewer line isn't backing up again.
5. Do all the laundry.
6. Change the towels in the kitchen and bathroom.
7. Open the windows.
8. Give the dog a bath.
9. Give the baby a bath.
10. And if all else fails, give the husband a bath.

Not really stinky but want it to smell better:

1. Plug ins are my friend. No they aren't all-natural and they are pricey, but they work. I prefer the ones from Bath & Body Works.
2. Light a candle. Easy peasey. Just keep out of reach of babes.
3. Cook butternut squash or sweet potatoes in the oven. 350 for an hour or more with about a cup of water. Best part? Edible afterwards.
4. Flowers.
5. Again, if all else fails, give the husband a bath.

Pin that, yo.
Kate

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Lightning Fast

Good golly it's April? Already? What the hell happened to March? Seems like just yesterday we were opening Christmas gifts. Between Audrey getting busy, an uptick in work hours, busy weekends, and the unseasonably perfect weather we've been enjoying, time is simply racing by. Audrey is closer to 11 months old than 10 and, today, she devoured her first peach yogurt. A girl after my own heart.

Here are some first quarter stats and photos:

Size. Audrey is now in her "big girl convertible carseat. She technically can still fit in the infant one (not quite 30 inches tall), but let's be honest, I really looked like an idiot trying to carry her (close to 20lbs) in it (at least 10lbs worth of plastic and foam). I much prefer to snuggle with her on the walk in and out of daycare anyways.

Intelligence. Way, way, way above average. Photo evidence ---->

Health. Good. Made it through the winter with only one serious cold and one ear infection. Fingers and toes still crossed though.
 
Toofers. Two. On the bottom. Cutest teeth I've ever seen.

Words. none really, but growls when Toby growls. Honks when geese honk. Says "da-da" incessantly. I'm not mad or anything, but I'm still waiting for her to say my name or something that resembles it. But, if she moos at me... it's all over. The breastfeeding that is.

Mobility. Crawling (very fast, with her head down like a ball player running the bases) and kneeling have been perfected. Supported standing is pretty good. And I'm so glad that she learned to sit herself back down because I was getting pretty tired of having to rescue her from the side of her crib multiple times a night.
Look, Moo, a bubble beard!

Hair. Let's just say that I bought baby hair ties at the drugstore this weekend.  No facial hair. Yet.

Tricks: High fives daddy, blowing kisses, licking Toby, feeding herself cheerios and banana, and drinking from a straw sippy cup. Also attempts face plants off the furniture, scaling the back of the couch, and other dangerous stuff.

New experiences: Flying in an airplane, seeing the ocean, feeding a pink flamingo, sitting in the grass, playing with bubbles, sitting in a little chair at school, dancing to the music (can you say "Bieber fever"?), taking her own socks (and shoes) off, eating an ice cube, meatloaf, getting dizzy spinning around while laughing her head off, to name a few.

So, yeah, we've been busy around here! Something new happens every day and we just need to remind ourselves to pause for a minute, get out the camera, and remember it. But keep your eyes open during said pause. Otherwise, you get this photo...
  

and a screaming, concussed baby on the floor. That is, if you don't have my lightning fast reflexes.

Kate