Things I’ve Wanted to Say

  1. No, airplane toilets do not just empty out into the sky during a flight.  That’s illegal on so many levels.  If you’d stop talking for a minute, I’d tell you my dad’s a pilot and I know what I’m talking about.
  2. THE DIAPERS YOU’RE PUTTING THE 2 YEAR OLD IN ARE TOO BIG.
  3. You’re extremely rude to your girlfriend whenever I see you.  Also, you’re on speaker phone.
  4. I love how you always know when to bring ice cream home with you.
  5. Please invite me for an interview. Please invite me for an interview. Please invite me for an interview. Please invite me for an interview. Please invite me for an interview. Please invite me for an interview. Please invite me for an interview. Please invite me for an interview.
  6. Your brother is not a plant.
  7. I wish I were more awake so I could tell you to call out of work and snuggle with me a while longer.
  8. Please invite me for an interview.
  9. When I say I don’t know anything about football, I really really mean it.  It just looks like a bunch of men in tight pants running at each other.
  10. Can we watch Muppet Treasure Island instead?

This is why my brain feels like scrambled eggs

Woah…where did October go?!  And where did all this free time come from?!

Over the past two weeks:

  1. I got my CPAP machine! (Really not exciting for anyone besides me, who can’t get over the fact that I go to sleep looking like an elephant.)
  2. I officially applied to Yale’s GEPN program!  (And will probably have butterflies in my tummy til I hear back in December.)
  3. I turned 23!
  4. We had a horrible power outage for four days!
  5. The defroster in my car stopped working…just in time for the year’s first snow storm!  So, in addition to only being able to listen to “The Point of No Return” from Phantom of the Opera, I now have to drive with the windows down and the air conditioning blasting after sunset.  Woohoo!!!
  6. The family I work for is visiting family out of state…so I have the rest of the week off.
  7. My boyfriend’s brother-in-law organized a hugely successful benefit dinner for a friend’s 9 month old daughter who is living with SMA type 1.

Fix-the-World-Friday #1

If you know me, you know that I research everything.  It makes me feel like I’m doing something constructive when I don’t have any idea how to help the situation.  With my grandmother’s illness it was different.  Once I knew she had pancreatic cancer, I just wanted to bury my head and pretend everything was okay.  Even when her symptoms got scary, I didn’t want to know anything beyond how we could make her comfortable.

Shortly after my grandmother’s passing, I finally gave in to my need to research.  A few hours later, I was left with more questions than answers.  There are no proven ways to prevent pancreatic cancer, no effective early screening methods or treatments.  Only 2% of the National Cancer Institute’s $5 million budget is allocated to pancreatic cancer research.  However, it is the fourth leading cause of cancer deaths in the US, and is the only cancer whose 5 year survival rate remains in the single digits.   74% of these patients will die within a year of diagnosis, 94% within five years.  According the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network:  “From a scientific research perspective, pancreatic cancer is where breast cancer was in the 1930s.”

Almost immediately I contacted someone at the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network about volunteer opportunities in my community.  Since then, I’ve been on a roll.  Shy little old me had November declared Pancreatic Cancer Awareness month in my town, is working on organizing fundraising events at her old high school, and was asked to consider becoming the Affiliate Coordinator for the state.

Keep the Memory Alive

Pancreatic Cancer Action Network

Toddler Tuesday #1

Okay, so I just noticed it’s Wednesday (where is the week going?!)

Favorite Moments of my job:

  1. Getting Bugaboo up from his nap.  He’s still sleepy and has to be carried down the stairs, folded over my shoulder like when he was a baby.  We sit on the couch with his sister for a few quiet minutes for everyone to wake up.
  2. Getting Cakey off the bus…the way she charges at me, squealing “SUZAAAAAANNE!!!”
  3. The peaceful look of total trust the baby gives me when she’s snug in my lap with her bottle.
  4. Watching Lady and the Tramp for the millionth time in a snuggle pile with my two “big buddies.”
  5. Hearing that Bugaboo cried every night while I was gone asking for “Boo car.”    (Okay…that might be a little mean, but it’s nice to be missed.)
Least favorite moments in my job:
  1. Cakey’s bedtime temper tantrums.  I can take a screaming two year old (he’s gotten into the habit of doing what I call “rage planking”), but six year olds are much more dedicated to their tantrums and won’t be distracted by anything but total acquiescence.
  2. Discovering that Bugaboo wasn’t lying about not putting cake mix on the baby, and the smell is actually a huge blowout diaper.  (Yes, I confused the smell of cake mix with a breastfed baby’s poopy diaper.  This is my life.)  A short time later Cakey asks why I have carrot baby food on my shirt.  Oh the horror of realization.
  3. Cakey telling me she feels invisible because I’m always “playing” with the baby.  (The baby had reflux until recently and what Cakey thought was playing was actually me trying to soothe a really really cranky baby.)

I feel so blessed to have been given the chance to watch these children grow, and to be a part of their childhoods.

In other news…A friend of The Boy’s sister has an 8 month old daughter who was recently diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) type 1.  There are four types of SMA, ranked in severity from 1 to 4…type 1 is the most severe.  Though it is the number one killer of children under two, there is no mandatory screening for it.  People have rallied around this little angel and her family to raise money for her medical care, and awareness of the disease itself.  Please visit http://www.evasmiracle.com/ 

Introducing…weekly features!

I began this blog during one of the most difficult points in my life with the simple intention of venting.  Things have calmed down significantly since I began blogging four months ago, but my life (& my blog) feel a bit directionless in the wake of such an intense summer.  But I have a solution: weekly features! (Okay…so I obviously didn’t come up with this, I’ve just seen it on a bunch of blogs I read. 🙂 )  Future Tuesday posts will be about the craziness of nannying, and Fridays will be about the volunteer organizations I’m becoming involved with.  So please bear with my incredibly lame feature names:  “Toddler Tuesday” and “Fix the World Friday.”  Hopefully I’ll be able to come up with something catchier, but I’d love (love love love) suggestions.

Until then, please enjoy this growling baby:

I had my second sleep study last week.  This one was a “titration study,” where I was hooked up to a CPAP machine and the techs adjusted the pressure of the air to see what best keeps my airways open.

So after being hooked up to a bazillion wires (they perform an EEG, EMG, and pretty much any other test you can imagine ending in “G”), the tech brings me three CPAP masks to try.  The first one covers my mouth and nose…and blows air into my eye.  If you’ve never tried to talk while wearing a CPAP (& I don’t think it’s something the cool kids are doing nowadays…), it’s a lot like trying to talk with a really really bad cold while hanging your head out the window of a speeding car.  Like police chase speeding.

Tech: How does this one feel?

Me: Pwiddy awful…

Tech What?

Me: Ids bro-ing in my eye.

Tech: Oh.  So you like this one?

Me: NO.

The poor bewildered tech switched me to a “nasal mask,” which was only supposed to cover my nose…but since I’m so freaking little, it also covered my upper lip.

Tech: How do you like the nasal mask?

Me: I don’t dink id fips…

Tech: Yeah, I think it’s good for travel.

Me: Dares air bro-ing in my eye. *points*

Tech: *examines mask* Oh, it looks like this one’s leaking into your eye.  Let’s try the nasal pillow.

The “nasal pillow” only came in a pediatric size.  It also went straight up my nose…and totally made me look like an elephant with purple ears.  The tech told me to go to sleep and left.  After she left, I caught my reflection in the mirror next to the bed, and obviously couldn’t help pretending to be an elephant.

Tech: Ma’am, the test has begun…I need you to go to sleep.

I then remembered the camera above the bed.

I ended up only sleeping for about three hours, but felt better than I ever have at 6 a.m. when the tech woke me up.  After my last sleep study I drove home, called out of work and crawled into bed for the rest of the day…this time I braved 90 minutes of traffic and went straight to a full day of work with no coffee and felt awesome.  

I have a follow-up with my doctor in two weeks to see if I’ll be able to get the CPAP (instead of surgery…eek!), but I think the only real issue will be my insurance company.

I suck at being an adult.

I’m sitting in my un-ex boyfriend’s apartment with his cat, Lulu, who’s been throwing up all night.  I’m supposed to be writing my personal statement for Yale, but that’s obviously not happening.

Recently, I’ve noticed that I suck at being a grown up.  (Is 22 really a grown up?)

  1. Following through on things…completing applications, writing my blog, laundry, replying to emails.
  2. Knowing anything about pop-culture.  Being a nanny doesn’t help this.  Neither does an unfortunate car accident with your neighbor’s mailbox, causing your radio antenna to snap off like a twig.  All my CDs are scratched, except one..which creepily only plays “The Point of No Return” from Phantom.  (Rush hour is so much more fun with Raul screaming “Oh my GOD, my GOD!”)
  3. Doing things considered age-inappropriate in super-serious situations.  Most recently, I was attending a four person info session at Yale’s nursing school when I realized I’d been drinking a juice box while the two other applicants drank their bottled water…like grown-ups.

And I’m stealing internet.

 

 

I love you, Nanny. <3

“I was blessed to have shared almost 23 years with the best grandmother in the world. Throughout my life, she’d been a second mother, dear friend, and confidante. I love you Nanny.”

My wonderful grandmother passed peacefully early Labor Day morning.  As difficult as it was for me (and everyone who loved her) to watch her waste away, in the end I’m glad I was there.  I met some incredible people through Hospice, shared many laughs and tears with family, and gained a new appreciation for how far I live from my uncle.

The hospice nurse woke us around 6:30.  As I stumbled through the hallway, the red light of the sunrise reminded me of so many other mornings I forced myself to wake up before Mommy to share a cup of forbidden coffee with Nanny…but the hum of the oxygen machine brought me back to reality.

She was physically there in the hospital bed, but her suddenly wide-open eyes and breathing pattern were strangely animal.   We told her my uncle and his wife were on their way, and that we (my mother, grandfather, and me) were there.  In her last moments, we held her hands and told her we all loved her.  In the process of removing the oxygen machine, the nurse messed up my Nanny’s hair.  She waited until I had fixed it to pass.

A few days later I was sitting on the back porch watching a thunderstorm…something I used to do with Nanny.  As the sky cleared, two rainbows hung in the sky.  They were there, they were strong, and then quite suddenly they were gone.

She was there, she was strong, she is not gone. 

Hello world, nice to see you again. =)

In between caring for my grandmother and a hurricane, I’ve had very little time (or energy) for blogging.  The rare moment alone is spent filling morphine syringes or on the phone with Hospice.

I think the stress is getting to me though, because I’ve been feeling inexplicably angry for the past few days…mainly towards my uncle.  He and his wife have live across town, yet he’s done nothing to help care for my grandmother, other than lecture me about how Jesus is taking care of her and we should stay out of it.  His two kids (ages 25 and 22) haven’t even called.

And that’s the end of my pity party.

In other news, my Cakey is starting first grade tomorrow.  I wish I could be there with “Princess cupcakes” when she gets off the bus, but I’ll just have to add that to the list of things to be done when I get home.