Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Moment of Panic...

So, the last six weeks or so have been pretty stressful around here.  I had a God-awful situation at work that almost cost me my job (well, my big fat mouth almost cost me the job, but I was standing up for what I believed in).  Pat's big fat mouth assisted in him parting ways with his job.  He had another one lined up (phew!), but it is a year-long contract, so he'll be in limbo this time next year (not phew).  The week or so in between Pat's job transition was not smooth sailing and he had some crises about where his life is going, how will he support the family, and what does he really want to be when he grows up.  And the fact that he can't really answer that question in his mid-40's added more stress.  To say he was a little grumpy, irritable and overall unpleasant would be putting it mildly.

Pat started the new (old) job, and things calmed down there.  I headed into my busiest weeks at school with annual reviews coming out the wazoo.  And then Jake got sick.  Really sick.  He had an ear and sinus infection that knocked him out like nothing I've ever seen.  And it apparently was viral,  not bacterial, because the antibiotics did diddly squat for him.  It was 6 loooong days of a miserable little guy who was up every 2-3 hours during the night because his ear hurt so badly.

By Monday of the week before break, he was finally better and we were cautiously optimistic.  I still had annual reviews coming out the wazoo and had to work Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.  Friday, bright and early we were hitting the road for Ohio.  So, I'm in my frenzy, OCD driven state of planning and packing and writing reports and getting stuff ready for Easter when, WHAM, I have to put my cat down.  Tuesday night.  At like, 11 pm.  Needless to say, sleep eluded me that night, and only found me the night after thanks to the help of my good friend Xanax.  I somehow got us all packed and we were on the road by 6 am Friday morning.

We were back by Tuesday night, and I had a few days to recover.  The day before school started back up, Jake had a horrendous allergic reaction that caused his eye to swell like Rocky Balboa's.  He seriously could have used a good cut man.  We were worried that he was going to have an anaphalatic reaction.  With a lot of care (and Benadryl), we got him able to go to school in the morning.

Just before I went to school Monday, I learned that the mother of one of my students had died.  It was a tremendous shock.  She was only 25, and left behind 3 children.  It has really hit home with all of us.  I just want it not to be real, but, sadly, it is.

Friday of last week, Jake got his palate expander put in.  We had prepared for the worst, but the kid came through it like a champ.  He is doing a great job with brushing and cleaning, and we've only had one incidence of food stuck that took us a while to clean out.  I feel horrible when I have to turn it morning and night, but it doesn't seem to bother him.

However, my own teeth are becoming a problem, as I either lost a filling or broke a tooth Monday night.  I can't really tell which.  I haven't been to the dentist in a very long time, as the last guy Pat and I went to was a shyster (hence the current dental problem).  I kind of knew who I wanted to go to, and am going in tomorrow.  But the thing about the broken tooth--it really freaked me out.  For years, I have had dreams where my teeth either fall out or literally crumble.  I awake with such an unpleasant feeling.  And now, here it is happening in real life.

So, it leads me to yesterday.  I didn't sleep much again Monday night, even though I felt like I was coming down with something.  By Tuesday morning, the chest pain I've been experiencing on and off for four weeks was pretty steady.  Overwhelmed by a feeling a impending doom, I realized that I was having a panic attack.  I am not prone to them and have not had one in years.  I can't figure out why.  I mean clipping coupons is really not that stressful.  The only thing that I can think is that this week is a relatively quiet one (before an incredibly busy 3 week stretch), and my body and mind finally had time to react to all I've been through.

Pat talked me through some of it and gave me advice.  I was able to talk to some friends and exercise, which all seemed to help.  Today is better, with only fleeting moments of anxiety.  My husband has been awesome throughout this, and he really came through for me (including cooking dinner and cleaning up!).  In my time of need, he was just what I needed.

Sometimes I think that I just try to do too much.  I think it all caught up with me.  I'm very sad over the loss of my cat, and I think it's more related to the loss of my grandmother six months ago.  I'm very shaken over the death of a very young mother.

I'm trying to breath slowly, enjoy life and relax.  Oh, and a good night's sleep would be good too.  

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Aye Aye Aye

What a few weeks it's been!

Let's rewind.  A few weeks ago, I was dealing with a very stressful and difficult situation at work (on top of the regular work stuff).  While it was resolved, there was a whole lot of stress that didn't need to be there if people had just stepped up and done their jobs.  Seriously, the situation could have been resolved 18 months ago.

And while I was I was dealing with that, Pat unexpectedly quit his job.  Things had come to a head there, and he was contacted by a former employer at just the right time.  However, the former (now current) employer is a contract position, which leads to an unsettled feeling in the house, as we are not sure what Pat's job situation will be one year from now.  Pat had a week or so off in between jobs, but he does not do well with downtime. It was a very difficult week during the transition, not knowing if the new (old) job would be a good fit and was a good decision to make.

Pat started the new (old) job and all seemed to be going well.  However, on day one, Jake came home from school and got sick.  He was out of school for 2 1/2 days with a massive ear and sinus infection.  Thankfully, my parents stepped in and took care of him while I was at work.  Oh, did I mention that the last two weeks before break were my busiest of the year with annual reviews and I could not take a whole lot of time off?  Jake did not respond as hoped to antibiotics (the ear infection was most likely viral) and he was in a tremendous amount of pain from Wednesday until Sunday.  He had a lot of trouble sleeping and was up every two hours or so during the night.  As a result, I was up.  I felt horrible for him, and also felt like I was back with a newborn.

Due to annual reviews, I had to change my work schedule to Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday the week before break.  After working all day Tuesday, then cooking and shooting off to dance class, I came home, totally wiped out, to find my cat unable to walk.  Harper was 14 1/2 and in failing health.  I knew immediately that this was it and she would need to be put down.  We woke the kids so they could say good-bye.  We knew Sophia would be upset, but were unprepared for Jake's reaction.  He was sobbing and wailing, and was so upset.  Now, he did not even cry when my grandmother died.  Then, at 10:30 at night, Pat and I had to take Harper and have her put down.  It was the second time in six months that someone I love died in my arms.



That night, I never fell asleep.  My mind was constantly racing and I was unable to settle down.  I thought of many of my friends who suffer from insomnia.  It is not something I want to go through again.  I somehow made it through my meetings and treatments on Wednesday and Thursday. I had to pick Jake up from school on Thursday to get him to the orthodontist, run errands and get to drum lessons before coming home to pack for our trip to Ohio.

Friday, I was up at 4:30 am, and we were on the road before 6 am.  We got to see friends who had a brand-new (5 days old!) baby and catch up for a few hours before finally getting to my mother-in-law's around 7:30 pm.  Needless to say, it was a long day.

Pat and his Mom in Goodale Park

This is the spot where Pat proposed to me.


Two peas in a pod
We had a great time in Ohio, visiting our old house (and park across the street), touring Ohio State and eating in some of our favorite places.
Plank's Cafe and Pizzeria

We timed it just right to be able to get into the Horseshoe (but missed getting down on the field).
Easter was more laid back after church and lunch.



Jake got an "iphone" (actually an eraser) in his basket.  He looked like a mini-power broker talking on it.

Nana reading to the kids.

We napped and watched the Master's, with Sophia, early on, picking Bubba Watson to win.  The PGA tour has become more interesting since I discovered this:  Golf Boys video.  Hard not to root for these guys.

Monday brought the Columbus Zoo, which is exhausting but worth it.
Sophia singing "Katie the Kangaroo" to the kangaroos.





 Tuesday, we trekked the 550+ miles back to NY to arrive around 8:30.  Allergies are running rampant with Jake sneezing and Sophia with puffed up eyes that rival Rocky's.

So here I am, unmotivated to do anything and the kids, still exhausted, getting on each others' nerves.  I have had chest pain for at least a week straight.  It's not bad, and most certainly stress (or heartburn, caused by stress).  I need to unpack and start cleaning.  We're travelling again in about 3 weeks, and the following weekend, Jake makes his First Communion.  It will take me that long to get the house cleaned!

Our house seems empty without Harper.  The kids will be getting new kittens, but we can't do that until after our trip to DC in May.  I miss her.

The kids were pretty good in the car (considering round trip it's over 20 hours).  On the way out, we were talking about plants being dormant.  We talked about the french origin of the word (dormir) and how the word "dorm-" has to do with sleeping.  This morning, promptly at 6:30 am, Jake announced at our bedside that "I can no longer be dormant."  Good use of the word, bad timing.