Allergies: When God Wants to Kill You Subtly

I have allergy testing this morning. I was scheduled to do this last Tuesday afternoon but had to reschedule because they called me Tuesday morning and said, I shit you not, we meant to tell you earlier, but the wellbutrin isn’t a great thing to have in your system during an allergy test. And I said, why? And they said, oh. Well, it can mess up the results and require a retest. And…in some rare cases, it makes allergic reactions (which happen sometimes during skin tests) uncontrollable. But you’re welcome to come in and do the test anyway.

To recap: their actual idea was that the test would probably have meaningless results and could result in my death from allergic reactions that cannot be controlled but it might be worth doing anyway? Um…no. Not even a little.

Hence the reschedule.

I’ve now been off all forms of allergy meds for 2 weeks, which is how I know that actually, I filled out all their paperwork wrong. Apparently this IS a bad season for allergies for me, I just didn’t know that because the zyrtec hid it. My face has been itchy, red and splotchy, with watering eyes, this entire time. Plus I’ve had the fun allergy headaches.

I’ve also been off my wellbutrin and in the interests of safety, everything else, for about a week now. And I’m not doing that well over here. I’m snippy and depressed. I keep finding myself crying about the baby’s upcoming December surgery. I’m snarling at the husband, despite his taking the morning to work from home so the baby doesn’t have to do allergy testing and despite his determined efforts all weekend to knock stuff of the to do list. In case I was wondering if the wellbutrin is necessary to my well-being, the answer is a resounding yes.

Anyway. That’s my situation. In about 3 hours I should be done with everything and can take some medication to make me stop wanting to rip the flesh off my face.

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Productivity is Hard

I’ve been working so hard this week. I’ve gotten a bunch of work done, which is good, because I’m going to have to pay for gymnastics.

I pulled the trigger and put the little one in gymnastics. And she started this week. It was the most wonderful thing that we’ve done. I should have figured out a way to do it last year, because I’ve never seen such joy in my life. I’m pretty sure that she was the only new child in the class, because they’d say the name of a stretch or an exercise and everyone else would just do it and she would look around and watch them for a second and then do it herself. She was tough and worked hard, like a champion.

And I’ve been completing all or almost all of my daily tasks every day (thank you, Habitica) and the house has never looked cleaner.

But it’s all so hard. I don’t think I like being productive. It’s so hard. I’m trying to convince myself that I’m going to learn to like it. It’s not unlike what I’m telling the older child about her doomed to failure attempt to join cross country. Yeah, she hates running now, but theoretically in time as she gets better at it and gets more endurance she will hate it less and come to love it. I think. Hopefully that will work with this. It’s easier to be the less functional and more self-pitying incompetent Eloise, but that’s not a good way to live. So I’m pushing through what I very sincerely hope are growing pains on this process so I can be a more productive and competent version of myself.

 

Habitica

I tried this app a couple of times before and couldn’t get into it. I don’t know if I was just not in good form then or if they’ve updated it but OH MY GOD, this is the best app in the history of apps.

It’s like a to-do list but I don’t really recommend it for to-do items. I’m still loving todoist for that. It’s more.like an adjunct for being better at life. It’s role playing games for habits.

You have three categories of tasks: habits, dailies, and to-dos. I’m not sure how everyone else is using these, but in my world, the stuff that I want to do every day SHOULD be habits. I don’t want to waste decision making power on whether or not to take the dogs for  a walk. I just want the walk to happen.

You get a character–you start as a warrior but can change classes at level 10–and you add your dailies, stuff you want to do every day. You can adjust it by difficulty and create sub-tasks. For example, I have a set of exercises from the physical therapist for my bursitis that I’m supposed to do every day and there are six of them. So my daily for physical therapy has six sub-items so I can check them off as I do them.

Each time you complete an item of any kind, you get gold and experience points. The experience points move you to the next level, and you can use the gold to buy things, like upgraded weapons and armor.

If you don’t complete your dailies, you lose health. You can buy a potion to give you health back or you can level up, which refills your health bar, but you have to watch it.

The habits have + and – marks, so you can positively reinforce a good habit and negatively reinforce a bad. The to-do lists are just to do items. There are guilds and challenges, so you can join, for example, a fitness guild and do a fitness challenge.

I have gotten so much done this week, using Habitica. I’m way, way more productive than usual. Even when I had a really bad day–minimal sleep, and the baby had to get shots and was fussy and miserable–I still pushed through to finish my tasks so I wouldn’t lose health.

I’m not being paid to promote Habitica–it’s a free app anyway–I just love it to death.

Start Over

Every so often I start over. I erase everything, everything. All my to do lists, all my goal lists, all my everything lists, and just start fresh.

I’m doing that now. Except for my reading list, which was painstakingly assembled and still reflects something of value to me.

I’m tired. The baby has changed the shape of my life, which was expected. But I’m restless, too. It feels a little bit like going home for Christmas after being away at school for a few years. The old life doesn’t really fit but you can’t figure out how to shake it off and reapply the new.

I’ve been told that my c-section incision is infected, again. The endocrinologist is dropping my dosage and won’t give me the medication I want. My therapist started her own practice and doesn’t take my insurance so I have to start over with a new therapist. Next week I have to see the allergist, the OB again, and the baby is getting his first set of shots.

School starts a week from Monday. Before then I have to see my ex at least twice and probably more often.

The holidays are coming, and with them stress and financial issues.

I feel like I’ve had my feet kicked out from under me and when I looked up from that, I was staring down the barrel of a gun.

Reset. Start fresh.

Baby Disaster

Last week, as discussed, we finally got into the pediatric urologist, who looked at the baby and rather than confirm the diagnosis of the previous two pediatricians and schedule his circumcision, changed his diagnosis entirely. It is not, as previously thought, chordee. Rather, it is something called penoscrotal webbing. And his case is fairly severe. The condition requires surgery to correct and they want to do it when he turns 6 months old, which is the age at which the risks of general anesthesia drop to the same as for an adult. About 1 in 100,000 people will have a severe complication from anesthesia, which are good odds. And indeed, general anesthesia is used fairly frequently on infants, since any test or procedure that requires them to be still requires general anesthesia. The good news is that it is an outpatient procedure, and the facility shares a parking lot with the children’s hospital. Also, the pediatric urologists at this facility are nationally ranked, so that’s reassuring. It’s still terrifying and I spent the better part of two days crying. I’m wondering if I can get a prescription for a stronger anxiety medication than the buspar, because I’ll be a mess on surgery day.

We see the urologist again in November, and assuming the situation hasn’t changed, the baby is likely to be scheduled for surgery right before the end of the year. At least, that’s the best case scenario because 1) he won’t be big enough to undo his diaper and touch it while it heals, which I imagine would be a big problem in a toddler or a preschooler 2) he’s not going to be moving around, crawling or whatever, which would likely pull on his stitches, and 3) we’re on the platinum plan until January 1, which caps our out of pocket on his care at 1500. Since we’ll be on the hook for 20 percent of his surgery, I can’t imagine we’d get a better deal next year when we’re going to be on a silver or a gold plan.

We did some things with the older kids last weekend–took them swimming, went bird watching, went to the Harry Potter book release party–most of which the baby slept through, as usual.

I did some actual work this week, which is good. I’m starting to slowly build myself back to where I was.

I did the bloodwork for the endocrinologist and she’s going to decrease my dosage. I expected that, since I’m on nearly twice the dose I was on pre-pregnancy, but I’m not happy about it. I feel better on the higher dose, of course, and considering that my weight is stable at this dose I expect to have to start slashing calories dramatically just to maintain my weight when they drop the dosage. Not awesome.

Tomorrow we take the baby on his first road trip and his first overnight trip outside the house, as we go to see my in-laws. In a moment of unexpected wonderfulness, my husband’s grandfather gave us a truck, which is sitting at my in-laws house as we speak. I’m nervous about the increase in car insurance because we’re already squeezed incredibly tightly over here, but it will make such a difference to us to have a second car. As it is, I have to go in to work with the husband and drop him off any time I need the car, and then pick him up again at the end of the day. I’m doing a lot of driving and it really complicates the schedule, especially with the kids activities.

That’s our week. One big awful thing and one big wonderful thing.