Wednesday, January 30, 2013

What I Read Wednesday

Insurgent (Divergent)
The second book in the Divergent trilogy (this is the part where I have to wait for the third book to come out and I cannot fathom how I will do that) and possibly even better than the first. I don't want to give anything away, except that to say as this book unfolded, I started to get an idea of what would was going to come... yet, there will still parts that left me surprised and wondering. Suffice to say, like all dystopian literature, it makes you think about human nature.

Dead Men Do Tell Tales: The Strange and Fascinating Cases of a Forensic Anthropologist
I checked this book out because it came up as a recommendation when I was looking for a link to the Body Farm books on Amazon for a previous book post. Since I find forensic science interesting, I figured I would enjoy this. I did, but compared to Dr. Bass who writes the Body Farm books, this guy was fairly pompous in his tone and words and hard to follow for that reason. Every case he solved was solved because he is, in fact, the most genius forensic scientist that ever lived. Cases that he didn't solve would just kind of trail off in the book or be blamed on elements out of his control. It was grating after awhile. So while I find some of the cases interesting, his overall tone made me want to throw the book into the wall. Repeatedly. Apparently I'm a Dr. Bass Body Farm fan girl.

Across the Universe
I've been on a YA Lit kick lately. The funny thing is that when I read YA Lit, my students always seem to know and approach my desk after silent reading time to ask what I'm reading. I love that because then I can share recommendations with them. I wish YA Lit like this would've existed when I was a young adult, but I'm glad it does now.
It's hard to put this book into a specific genre. I would say it's mostly sci-fi, but I suppose you could also classify it as a little bit post-apocalyptic. The premise of this novel is a group of 100 high-ranking people who leave Earth to set up a new planet and are cryogenically frozen for 300 years, at which the spaceship will have landed. A teenage girl, Amy, is hesitant to leave with her parents but decides at the last minute to go. Something goes wrong and Amy is woken up before the spaceship lands, thrust into an awful world aboard a spaceship where she's considered a freak and everything seems to be a lie (an example of the lies, Earth history has been entirely rewritten). This is part one of a trilogy. I'm anxious to read the next two books to see what happens--if the spaceship ever lands, what becomes of Amy and her parents.

Like Across the Universe, this is also YA Lit. Unlike Across the Universe, this is easily classified into genre. The Unwind trilogy is 100% dystopian lit. Darker than the Hunger Games, I read a review that called this Brave New World for teens and I would say that's an apt comparison. Imagine a world where no one needs glasses because vision less than perfect is easily corrected. A world where when you break an arm, you can choose to get a cast... or get a new bone. A world where a car accident that leaves you paralyzed is no longer a tragedy because doctors can give you a new spine and you'll be walking again in two weeks time. Sounds wonderful, right? Now imagine that in this world, the body parts come from children ages 13-17 whose parents choose to "unwind" them, to split their harvestable organs and parts to hospitals, because those teens were deviant. Unmanageable. Unwanted. And this act was not only sanctioned by the government, but encouraged with parents being told that they were making the right choice for their children by giving them a second life.
I was hooked by this book pretty quickly. Some of the reviews I read said that they saw this an argument on pro-choice vs. pro-life, but I didn't see it to that level (certainly, obviously there is some of that, but it goes BEYOND that), so I suppose that you definitely read your own interpretation into it. Although it's written to a YA level, it does make you feel uncomfortable and it does make you think, as dystopian literature should. It's good. Really good.

UnWholly (Unwind)
This is the second book in the Unwind trilogy. I don't know how I'm going to wait for book three! With this book, I definitely followed up on my thoughts that I saw this as more than just a simple abortion rights argument and saw this as a message to kids that they have a voice that can be just as loud as adults, if it needs to be. This is something that I teach my students when I teach about the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, that it was kids THEIR age who were the heroes of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. These are books that, unfortunately, would be too controversial for me to teach in the classroom, but what a dream it would be to sit down and discuss it with kids because they have so much within the pages. These are also books that are great for middle school boys because although they switch between character point-of-views, the majority of the main characters are boys.
Seriously, when does the last book come out?!

Monday, January 28, 2013


Alternately titled, Sesamoiditis can suck it.

I thought I should write this post because in the last two and a half months, I've spent a lot of time googling bruised sesamoids and sesamoiditis and most of what I found was horribly depressing. People only write about worst case scenarios on the internet, have you noticed? And while my injury isn't all the way healed yet, it at least feels better enough that I feel the need to write something to balance out all the "I've had sesamoiditis for 6 years and had to stop running, THERE IS NO HOPE" posts that I found. If you're here because you're a regular reader of my blog, you can feel free to skip this post. Or you can read more to learn why I've had such crazy eyes over not running much lately. But if you're here because you googled sesamoiditis, hi. I'm sorry. Sesamoids are jerks, aren't they? Did you even know that they existed before you injured yours? I didn't. Granted, I'd sometimes wear heels and have a sore spot on the ball of my feet or run hill repeats and feel a little sore the next day, but ice and rest usually cleared it up.
And then I ran a half marathon with 50 mph wind gusts in shoes with a smaller than usual toe box. My gait was off, way off. I could feel it and kept correcting it, but it was impossible in the wind to keep it normal. I could feel my feet slapping the pavement and knew it wasn't good, but there wasn't anything I could. By the end of the half, the balls of my feet felt like I'd just walked across hot sand. Still, I figured that if I iced them all day at work the next day they'd be fine. Only they didn't get better, they got worse. The tricky thing was that it only hurt when I walked, not when I ran. I kept running moderately for about two weeks because I figured that if it wasn't hurting when I ran, everything had to be fine. In hindsight, I realize this is silly, but runners don't always think straight.

The frustrating thing was that I ran this half marathon in better shape than I'd always been. I trained for a PR. In the course of my training, I ran 13 miles twice. I ran a 14 miles once. I ran 15 miles. I was fine the day after each of these runs, but there were no wind gusts and I ran them in different shoes (before the half, I wore out the Brooks Adrenaline 11s that I'd always run in. The 12s didn't work for me because a seam caused a hot spot. I tried Mizunos and the high ankles rubbled my ankle bone. I finally settled on Nike Lunarglides, which seemed to work.). I expected that I would finish this half, take a day off to rest, then continue running faster than I'd ever run before and PRing more distances. I wasn't ready to give that up, so I was stubborn. Even with the wind gusts that day, I still PRd by 13 minutes. Two weeks after the half, though, I had to admit that it wasn't going to clear up on its own. The area over my sesamoids was visibly swollen. When I stepped down, a sharp pain shot up my foot. Every single time I stepped down, which I fondly referred to as the stabbing pain of doom. I couldn't even touch that area of my foot. If you're reading this and it sounds familiar, please call a podiatrist. It's not going to magically get better on its own. Trust me.

By some magical grace, my xrays showed no fracture or break, although one did show a shadow of an old injury or the start of a fracture. The doctor believed that it was the heavy wind and gait that led to the injury, although he mentioned that my feet have two things that can also contribute to sesamoiditis: high arches and a long second toe. So while it was the wind, my sesamoids are also more prone to injury because of the design of my feet. The doctor also mentioned that he really thought minimalist shoes would be more beneficial than stability shoes. I promptly ignored him because let's be honest here. My feet hurt so badly at this point that I wanted to wrap them in bubble wrap, tie pillows to the bottom and pay someone to carry me around. So the thought running in shoes with less cushion was not one that I could entertain at the time. He put me on anti-inflammatories, gave me a topical gel, instructed me to soak in hot water and epsom salts twice a day and told me that I could continue to run because there no sign of a break or fracture and because I told him it didn't hurt when I ran and I made an appointment to return in a week.

I kept running for a few days, then realized that although my feet didn't hurt when I ran and although everything I read was consistent with the doctor, I was tired of how badly they hurt the rest of the time, so I stopped running. This was hard. The anti-inflammatories helped the visible swelling, but they didn't help the pain any. After a week of rest, my sesamoids didn't feel any better, so my doctor did cortisone shots and fitted me for custom orthotics. I know there's a lot of controversy about whether or not cortisone shots are helpful or harmful, but I was willing to try. I will say that it was probably more painful than natural childbirth, which maybe someone could've warned me about?! His hope with the orthotics was that they would support my arches enough that some of the pressure would be removed from my sesamoids allowing them to heal. After another week of rest, plus the cortisone, my sesamoids felt better. Only, I managed to give myself plantar fasciitis from walking funny to take the weight off my sesamoids. That's funny, universe. After another week of rest, I saw my doctor to get the orthotics. He gave me instructions on how to break them in and told me when I would be able to run in them. I talked to him about the PF and he said that the orthotics should knock it out (and they did), but if they didn't, I needed to get in to see him right away. My feet are just a barrel of fun, basically. In anticipation of easing back into running, I'd bought new shoes, Brooks Adrenaline 13s. The reviews I'd read online said that they were much more like my beloved 11s than the 12s, so they were kind of my hope to be kind to my feet. Note that I was still ignoring the doctor.

After spending a few days breaking in the orthotics, I started running. Slowly. My 13s felt just like my 11s. Only my feet started to hurt again. I can't tell you how upsetting this was. I could feel it as I was running, could literally feel the pressure on my sesamoids when my feet would hit the pavement, even with the orthotics. I wanted to cry. I pictured myself clearing out my dresser full of running clothes and donating it to Goodwill because that was it. I was done. My feet weren't going to heal. Then I remembered what my doctor said about minimalist shoes. I started doing google searches. I learned that most stability shoes have a flex groove right beneath the sesamoid--sure enough, my shoes did. That's why I felt pressure when I ran, because a deeper flex groove leads to more forefoot flexion and more pressure in the area of the sesamoid. Exactly what I DIDN'T need and exactly what my doctor kept trying to tell me. Oops. I wasn't set to see my doctor for another two weeks and I didn't want to wait to discuss shoes with him, but I remember Dimity from Another Mother Runner blogging about Altra shoes before and how they were supposed to help with forefoot pain. A few google searches later and yes, they come highly recommended for people with sesamoiditis. I quibbled a little bit before ordering because man, my allegiance to stability shoes is hard to break, but I looked at my feet which were well on their way to stabbing pains of doom again and hit order on a pair of Altra Intuitions (bonus: they come in pink). I anxiously waited two days for them to arrive, then rushed home and took them out for a mile run. Because they're zero drop shoes, you do have to transition slowly into them. The site recommends switching off with your old shoes, but because my old shoes are hurting me, I haven't been doing that. Because my three weeks without running left me horribly out of shape (which is unfair because I've run for two years straight without any more than 2 consecutive rest days), taking it slow is no problem. What's great about the Altras is that they're foot shaped. The toe box is much bigger than a normal shoe, so it allows your toes to spread out. After two weeks in them, I can tell that my toes have naturally spread out. When my sesamoiditis was really bad, one of the things that relieved it was to pull my toes apart, so it makes sense that this would help. The bottom of the shoe maps the bones of the foot. No flexed grooves. No extra pressure on my sesamoids. My orthotics fit easily into the shoes, too, so I've been wearing them with the orthotics just fine. I've been slowly uppping my mileage to no extra pain, which is a huge relief.

I do still have some lingering pain and I imagine it'll be awhile before that finally leaves, but it's much better. I can press on the actual sesamoid bone to no pain. All I have left is soreness on the inside of my upper forefoot that I feel when I step down. That's it. I've been relieving that with kt tape, which I would recommend to anyone dealing with this. If you want to keep running on bruised sesamoids, this is a great way to deal with it. I apologize in advance for posting a picture of my feet on blog because feet are gross, but this is the best way I could explain.
First, wrap kt tape *tight* around your upper forefoot. I wrap all the way around to make sure it's tight and stays in place. Then take the second piece and run it down the side of your foot. This doesn't need to be as tight, but make sure it covers the sesamoid, too. This is the best way that I've found to relieve the pain. Moleskin works, too, but I don't think that it promotes healing as well as kt tape.

There's a whole lot of hindsight in this post. If only I'd run my half marathon in shoes with a wider toebox. If only I'd run my half marathon on a day without insane wind gusts. If only I'd gone to the doctor sooner. If only I'd not been so stubborn and LISTENED to the doctor sooner, but in writing this, I hope that I can help someone. Even if you don't have sesamoiditis but you're considering making a shoe switch, I would really encourage you to check out Altras. They're great shoes. I obviously never thought I'd be singing the praises of zero drop shoes, but well. Here I am. I explained to a friend that stability shoes worked really well for pre-injury me, but they workedh horribly for post-injury me. If only I'd admitted to that sooner! I'm hoping that someday soon, I can come back and tell you about how my feet don't hurt AT ALL. That would be really wonderful.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

What I Read Wednesday

Rain Falls Like Mercy: A Novel
This is the final book in the Sun Going Down trilogy and like the previous two, loosely covers the author's family history and US history into World War II and the bombing of Pearl Harbor. He also tied in Charlie Starkweather, which deviated the novel a little bit from the usual formula of just following the Paint family but it was still interesting. As with the previous two, I loved it and would definitely recommend this series to anyone who enjoys historical fiction.

Divergent (Book 1)
Because I teach middle school, I try to make a habit of reading Young Adult fiction so I can recommend books to students--and there's some really good YA fiction these days. This book (first in a trilogy) is set in dystopian Chicago, where Lake Michigan is now a muddy marsh and the Navy Pier ferris wheel is a rusted hulk. At the age of 16, kids choose to live in one of five factions based on their aptitude. This book was great! The story and the different factions were engaging, as well as the issues that followed as the plot unfolded. I don't want to give anything away, but I can't wait to read the second book, as it was definitely a cliffhanger ending.

The Inner Circle
Every now and then, I like to read David Baldacci or John Grisham because it enables me to shut off my brain and get lost in the twists and turns off the plot. This book was similar. Set in Washington DC and involving a conspiracy theory that possibly sets back to George Washington and definitely involves the current President, this was a good one to get lost in. It was very much a "National Treasure" type read with invisible ink, books hidden in the National Archives, and stolen files. Side note, I noticed that was pretty cheap on Kindle, so if you're looking for a good vacation read, this would be it. There is a sequel, which I'm looking forward to losing myself in.

This is another YA lit book. It's about a boy named Auggie who has a chraniofacial deformity that makes him immediately different from other people. The book follows his first year outside of homeschool, 5th grade, and the trials he goes through. What I really enjoyed about this book, aside from the honesty of the human reactions to people who are different, is that it was told not just from Auggie's point-of-view but from that of his sister, his friends, and his sister's friends, too. I also liked the reactions of his teachers and how they dealt with having a student like Auggie and the way they dealt with the other students and how they treated Auggie. It made me think about myself as a teacher and how I hoped I would be.

Rage Is Back: A Novel
When this book first started, I was kind of bored. I wasn't really sure what the point was--and then it all clicked and I loved it. It's one of those books... a slow start, then the wheels start rolling and it's brilliant. The narrator's voice is really strong and engaging. Once I found out that the author is the same guy who wrote "Go The F*ck to Sleep" I wasn't surprised. I'm not really sure whether to describe this is a battle between graffiti writers vs. the man or a science-fiction novel or a coming of age novel or a novel on race relations, because it's really all of the above, but you should read it.

What did you read this week?

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

What I Read Wednesday

Sun Going Down: A Novel
I've had this book around the house for awhile and kind of forgot about it. I picked it up when I was sick over break and started making my way through it. The author turned his own family history and memoirs into an epic saga of life in the 1800s that follows a family across four generations. I loved this book. It was sad and hard to read in some points, but a reminder that life in early America was anything but easy. There is a sequel to it that follows the next generation of his family, which I'll talk about below. What I liked about this book was that although it was a mostly patriarchal society, the stars of the books were the matriarchs of the family, who were all really believable characters.

Where'd You Go, Bernadette: A Novel
I loved this one! The characters were engaging and entertaining and I loved the style it was written in--mostly emails, phone conversations, faxes, not your typical novel. I also liked that the characters were so human, by which I mean that they weren't that likable. They all had qualities that made them somewhat redeemable, of course, but there were things that made you not like them, just like there are things about people you know that you can't stand, where you wonder why on earth they'd DO such a thing? Pretty much every character in the book was like that. I wasn't overly engaged in the novel's mystery, but I was definitely engaged in the characters and how they would unfold as the novel continued.

The Inquisitor's Key: A Body Farm Novel
I started reading The Body Farm novels after I read Death's Acre: Inside the Legendary Forensic Lab the Body Farm Where the Dead Do Tell Tales I've always been interested in forensics and considered a career in forensic pathology, until I sat through a career day slideshow with a forensic pathologist who showed us slide after slide of dead bodies with a completely monotone voice. The way he was so completely undisturbed by death made me change my mind. Obviously it becomes part of the job, but the absolute lack of inflection in his voice freaked me out enough to make me change my mind. Anyway, I love Dr. Bass's book because although death is certainly a part of his job, he still has a respect for the bodies he works with and the role they lend to forensic science. His memoir was absolutely fascinating. It led me into the Body Farm novels which are fiction but are based on his real life work at the Body Farm. As always, it was a fun, engaging read that required me to think a little but not too much. Like the other Body Farm novels, I learned a lot about the use of skeletons to determine age and cause of death. If you're at all interested in forensics, I'd definitely recommend starting with Death's Acre, then going into the fiction series.

Come Again No More: A Novel This is the sequel to Sun Going Down. Like Sun Going Down, this is historical fiction, but the author based it loosely on his own family history. This book picks up pretty much exactly where the last left off and continues on with American history, through the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl. As with the previous book, it's not exactly one that you could call happy, but then this period in American history wasn't--there were a lot of hard times, as the title taken from a Stephen Foster song ("Hard times come again no more") alludes. Like the previous book, I loved the chronicles of this family's journey and struggles. This is the second book in a trilogy, so it leaves off abruptly. I'm anxious to read the final chapter!

The Chocolate Money
I checked this one out based off of Becky's recommendation on last week's post. I loved it. Parts of it reminded me a lot of the book Prep, but it was a lot sadder, as a whole. This was one of those books that pulled me in, but it was a tough read. I was drawn into Bettina's story and couldn't put it down, but it's definitely not a book for everyone. Some parts are hard to swallow and you definitely won't love or like or even be able to relate to some of the characters, but it's still a great book.

What are you reading this week?

Friday, January 11, 2013

Closing A Door? Opening A Window?

Ever since Tommy first started having seizures, I've been pretty open with most of it. I've spoken about his tests, our fears, and all that we've gone through. When people have emailed me, I've answered their questions. I've even shared who our doctor is when local people have reached out to me. One thing that I've held close to my chest is how we've treated him. And I suppose that's cowardly of me to not fully disclose everything, but I have and have always had my reasons. If people email me and ask (and they have), I share but I decided a long time ago that I didn't and wouldn't share on my blog (or really outside of my blog, either--this one has been held close to my chest) for a lot of reasons.

But then I decided that I need to share, as his journey--our journey--with epilepsy continues to unfold. I also need to explain why I chose not share because that's important, too. When we first left the hospital so, so many months (goodness, years?) ago with Tommy's initial diagnosis of epilepsy, we also left with a prescription for anti-seizure medication. But you might remember that we had serious issues with the on-call neurologist at our local hospital (oh, my heart at tiny 15 month-old Tommy in that blog post), so there was no way, no chance we were taking her advice and putting him on medication. I tore the prescription up and threw it away. The next morning we went to University of Chicago and the neurologist discussed several options with us, one of which was medication. Yes, she was aware of the ketogenic diet and several of her patients were on it, but Tommy didn't fit much of the criteria for it. Yes, chiropractic adjustments were certainly a good compliment, but probably not going to be a cure. Yes, she understood that I had reservations about putting my 15 month old who had never even been on antibiotics on anti-seizure medication, but she also stressed that he was a child who had three seizures in one week and we needed to be concerned. She was also willing to wait and see, so we left it at that. Then he continued to have seizures and seizure activity, so we had to be realistic. We had to make a choice and we chose to medicate our child.

Here's why I didn't share: when Tommy had his first seizure, the ambulance was just barely out of the driveway when Shane stepped outside with Luke. He went outside with Luke for two reasons. One, to calm Luke down. Two, because there was a crowd of neighbors outside wondering what happened. After explaining what happened, one neighbor said, "Oh, a seizure? Do you vaccinate?" Keep in mind that we just thought our child was going to die and already, someone was passing judgment on why she thought it happened, already giving an armchair diagnosis, when what she should've said was, "How scary, I hope everything is okay."--and honestly, I'm used to that kind of judgment on the internet, but at the end of my DRIVEWAY? To this day, it still bothers me, deeply (and for the record, judgy neighbor lady, vaccines have nothing to do with his epilepsy). Shane brushed it off, but I'm glad that he's the one who handled that comment, because I don't know how I would've reacted. And so, my heart has been too fragile to hear that you (the broad general sweeping blog reading world, hi) would or would not have chosen to medicate your child. Maybe you would. Maybe you wouldn't. I don't know if I would choose to put another child on seizure medication, because I would have to base it on that child. All I know is that this is what we chose to do with Tommy. Two years later, I am certain that we made the right choice. Seizure medicine DOES NOT work for all children. Or all adults. But it worked for Tommy. Tommy went from having several seizures a week to one a month. Then to one every three a month. Then to, by the grace of God, none in OVER A YEAR. There are truly no words that I can use to describe how this feels, this grace to have the kid who gets better.

Still, there's something unsettling in that he's been on seizure medication for longer than he's not been on it. Twice a day since he was 15 months old. It's part of our routine. It tastes like cherries, so he loves it, but it isn't easy to give your child a medication that on the side of the bottle says: "Call the doctor if you experience any unexplained sadness." Also not easy: uncontrolled seizures. Our neurologist has known from the moment that we started him on medication that our eventual goal was to wean him off of it. When we made that difficult decision the first thing I said was, "How long will he need to be on it?" When we made that year mark, we sat through his appointment with held breath, then she smiled at us and said, "We can talk about weaning him off now."

So, here we are. We could've done it in October, but our neurologist was nervous about doing it around the holidays in case we couldn't get ahold of her due to traveling. I was nervous about doing it while he was off schedule with sleep, so we all made the decision to wait, because what was a few more months in the grand scheme of things? This is what it comes down to... this is when we find out if our child has outgrown epilepsy or if he's just really compatible with the medication. When we saw her today, she said that she worries about pushing him into another seizure, but more than that, she doesn't like having a kid on medication when he possibly doesn't need to be. I don't know if this makes sense to anyone, because I've just outlined all the reasons why we medicated him and why I was fine with that, only to turn around and say that we're taking him off the medication. Because I have to know if he can be unmedicated and if he's outgrown it. If he has another seizure, we'll put him back on the medication and simply be thankful that it works so well for him.
It's scary knowing that we could be opening him up to another seizure, after so long without... but somehow, it's scarier not knowing.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

What I Read Wednesday

While scanning Instagram and twitter before and after New Year's Eve, I noticed that a lot of people have resolutions to read more in 2013. And hey, I read a LOT, so I thought that maybe I could help with those resolutions. Which brings me to a new feature on my blog: What I Read Wednesday (because what I wear is boring). I hope to make this a weekly thing where I share new books that I've read, but that largely depends on me reading at least a new book every week. Usually I can do that, mostly due to having 45 minutes of silent reading time every day at work (not 45 minutes of uninterrupted time, mind you, because I have to pick my head up and shush kids often because they do not respect the silent reading time), but also because I don't watch much TV. After the boys go to bed, I unwind by reading. As well as this being a space for me to share what I'm reading, I would love it if you'd share what you're reading. As I'm plowing my way through new books, I need recommendations, too!

So, without further ado, what did I read this week?

This Book Will Save Your Life. I first fell in love with A.M. Homes when I read May We Be Forgiven and I wanted to check out her other books (look, two recommendations in one!). It was one of those books that pulled you right in and you didn't want it to end. I'm happy that her other books are the same--at least, This Book Will Save Your Life Is. Her characters are absolutely engaging, in such a way that they're real. You truly believe in how real they are. They are ordinary people who do extraordinary things and form bonds in such a way that almost make you want to walk up to strangers at the grocery store and see if you could do the same. In both books, I finished them as quickly as I could, not because I wanted them to end, but simply because I could not put them down.

Too Bright to Hear Too Loud to See. This book. Wow. This was one of those books that rattled around in my brain for quite some time after I finished it. With all of the attention focused on mental health in the media lately (rightfully so), this book was aptly timed. I finished it before bed, then couldn't sleep for an hour or so because I spent so much time thinking about the journey of the main character. It's tragic and humorous somehow at the same time. Read it.

Better Living Through Plastic Explosives. Confession time: I kind of don't care for short stories. That's not entirely true. I enjoy teaching them, broken apart. When it comes to reading, though, I like to sit down with an entire book about one set of characters that I can sink my teeth into. I hate getting attached to one group, only to have it end in 20 pages. So, I don't really know why I picked up this book, other than I liked the title. That said, I really did enjoy most of the short stories in this book, especially one story about a group of angels who inhabit the bodies of a bunch of suburban teenagers and the incidents that ensue.

What are you reading? What would you like to read?

Thursday, January 3, 2013

This Christmas

If you follow me on twitter, you know that our major Christmas gift this year was some strain of the bubonic plague. Our first inkling of the sickness was Christmas Eve. Luke fell asleep at about 3pm, which is unusual because Luke doesn't nap. Hasn't napped for about three years, but I figured, hey... Christmas miracle! Truthfully, we'd had such a busy weekend that I thought he was just worn out and got ready for Christmas Eve church. Time went on and he kept sleeping. My parents came over for dinner and to go to church with us. Luke was still sleeping. I finally nudged him awake and he said he wasn't feeling well. I carried him downstairs, put him on the couch... and he promptly threw up all over the carpet. This is the kid who, by the way, aside from one minor ear infection early on in the school year has been healthy all year. So sick on Christmas Eve? Major insult, universe. My parents said they would stay home with the kids so we could go to church, as Shane and I do the reading at church every year. We headed out and told the pastor we would need to leave as soon as we did the reading, since we had a sick little guy at home.

After the reading, we came home and Luke was up and running around the house, which gave me hope that he was feeling better, that maybe the sick was just a fluke and he'd eaten something that didn't agree with him. We had all of our fingers crossed and kissed him and tucked him into bed and told both boys they had to get to bed for Santa.

The next morning, both boys catapulted out of bed at 6. Both seemingly healthy, both overjoyed that Santa came.
Santa doesn't wrap presents, by the way. Santa is lazy.

Unfortunately, we quickly learned that the fluke was not Luke being sick the night before. The fluke was Luke somehow feeling better long enough to unwrap presents at our house Christmas morning and head to my parents' house to unwrap presents over there. I have no idea if he somehow managed to power through because it was Christmas or if there was a lull between the sicknesses, but by afternoon he was running a 103 fever and passed out on the couch.
There's really nothing sadder than a kid who is too sick to play with his new toys on Christmas.
We headed home and put him to bed. The next day, I took him to urgent care where he was diagnosed with a bronchial infection and given antibiotics. By that evening, I was throwing up. By the next morning, Tommy was, too. Unfortunately, my stomach flu wasn't as quick as Luke's and I was sick for 48 horrendous hours. By the time I stopped with the stomach flu, I was already congested. You know how after you have the stomach flu, all you want to do is rest? I couldn't lie down because I was so stuffed up and couldn't stop coughing or breathe through my nose. It was miserable. Tommy through this ran a 103 fever. Once his stomach flu passed, he was congested, too. Back to urgent care, where I was diagnosed with a sinus infection and Tommy a double ear infection.
And we had another kid to sick to play with his new toys.
The wait at urgent care, by the way, was over two and a half hours because everyone in the whole wide world is sick.

In short, this Christmas break was not the Christmas break we'd planned at all. Thankfully, Shane managed to stay healthy. I don't know what we would've done if he'd been sick, too. All I would like now is for the three of us to get over the last of this congestion (oh, and for my feet to heal, too, because I would really, really like to run again) and salvage our last few days of break. Today we actually left the house and went somewhere other than the pharmacy and urgent care! I hope your Christmas was much healthier than ours.