Stabby McStabberson Strikes Back: Of Sharp Piercings, Potential Poisonings and Evil Decimal Points

Previously on A&A's Adventures in ARTistry: Hearts fluttered and anticipation pitched fevers to hiss the fits of all the world as our plucky pair teetered on the precipice of teeteeseeee and something utterly beyond their DINKy doo world of sphynx cats and quiet homes. Pledges were made. Chilling, fattening, slothful promises of twitchy indulgence. Submerged in the mire, our infecund frau dared dreams of yoga or yogurt and scalded digits. And finally from the frothing chants of a maddened body, the oceans ran with blood. Change had come!

Coming Up: Travels south yield promises of future pains. A stabbing is on the horizon. Poison lurks in teeny bottles, and untold horrors roil in the psychosomatic pullulations inside. Help lines blare an empty disconnection. Will our heroine, stabbed and stunned and overdosed with biohazards, be rescued by the handy internet research of our hat-pooping prince? As spider-babies simmer in secret caverns, our couple catalogue their vital essences and ready the coolers and containers. Will every excretion be pure and true? Will the extra ice be handy for a daunting imbroglio with flaming pretzels and Bhaktic berserking

Frazzle Dazzle Friday and the Fertilitfun Farrago-go Countdown to a Stabbing

Ready my steed, for soon I shall blaze new trails across the abysmal atrocities of I-405 South (shudder). Yes, it's only about 4 exits, but these minor stretches and spans twixt entrance and exit are automobile Abbadon. Neither poking nor prodding could possibly compete with the anticipatory dread this driving ordeal inspires. But, this too shall pass. And, having fully offered up my pound of flesh (or fuel) to the fertili-gods, I will have my very own first-of-many ultrasounds with my actual doctor. To start my first day of self-shanking and engorged ovaries. 

Let the merriment begin! 

Yesterday I received my overnight box of biohazards. They came in such a nicely organized little series of kits and dire warnings. I'm pretty sure it's contraindicated to even look at the vials inside without having first scrubbed down thoroughly. Also, once they're mixed, I have to keep them in the fridge and "protect" them from light. Which is problematic because my fridge has a light bulb. And I'm constantly opening said fridge and engaging this light bulb. So hopefully those meds aren't too wussy. There are only so many makeshift paper towel suncatchers one can duct tape to a fridge door.

 I'm kind of excited, really. I've never crossed the medical frontier. Assuming I don't kill myself mixing up my first vial and preparing the syringe, I will feel just an eensy bit like I'm done with playing house these past months and have moved on to playing doctor. If I don't kill myself anyways. 

If I slip up and mix soy sauce into my gonadotropic-of-cancer-powder, and then accidentally shoot the bubbly air mixture into my eye... well, it's been a good run. Or, um, lugubrious stagger. 

I'm a wee bit relieved to be dragged down to Kirkland for my first test. I'll be glad for the actual face time with my doctor. Being a long-distance patient can feel a bit disconnected. I get plenty of support through the regional care coordinator and via email, but that face to face contact adds something concrete and tangible in a time of high confusion. I'm doing what to my what? With a risk of wait, what?? All in order to possibly raise my statistical chances from virtually nothing to snowball's chance in a cooler level of hell of having a what?? Where's my child replacement sphinx cat? Where are my bon bons!?!

And any reassurance about this enormous box of stabby things and vials would be appreciated. I attempted to read the package material yesterday evening. I don't recommend doing so. Especially not while your husband is obsessing over collection mechanics of his very first stool sample. Yes, I'm about to start quotidian self immolation (hopefully with no fire, but we'll see), but you can guess the focus of last night's dinner topic: POOP! 

We're an exciting bunch. See when you collect a sample, you get something called "a hat." This is not meant to be worn on the head. Ever. At all. Please do not. It's actually more accurately a "collection receptacle" from which poop-scoops and vials draw their quarry. 

But clearly the evening endued juvenescence to the term asshat. And yes, you get some interesting results on amazon when you plug in shit hat. I don't know the specific details, except to say that it was the source of an evening's poop jokes, followed by a furtive and pallid withdrawal by the boyfrianceband to the upstairs bathroom. Some noises (though no screaming) ensued, and he emerged looking wan and shaken with a very large garbage bag of accoutrements. 

This is only the first one, but I'm glad it shuffled itself out of the way before my grand premier of self-stabbing. I'd hate for things to get confused between the two. That could get messy... 

Well I'm off to work on my mindfulness while stopping and going in the horrors of Friday traffic. In a spell. Once I gather my strength and my brain. I think I left that at the office in between files and boxes. 

Stabby McStabberson and the DITK ART Show

Once upon a time, in the early courtship of your trusty (W)rights, Mr. (W)right required a liver biopsy for some trumpery truculence or other. I'm pretty sure it was part of the courtship ritual for the hand of Ms. Not-Officially-(W)right, though the exact details elude this old married lady. Nonetheless, it being part of the courtship ritual, I got to play nursemaid to a highly opiated boyfriend. Was that love in his eyes or just the oxy? I don't know, but the sparkles were scintillating. During his recovery in the hospital, the nurse would - of course - check in on him. Invariably, he would utter some words of "ok" before adding on - in grand theater voice "considering I've been stabbed in the liver!!!" A merry chuckle and expectant face generally garnered a tolerant half smile from our very busy nurse. But they stabbed me in the liver!! has been a catchphrase from that point on. 

Having driven a total of 3 1/2 hours for a fifteen minute tryst with an ultrasound wand, I have been cleared to stab myself repeatedly in the belly. And have done so twice already last night!

And there was much rejoicing.

Yep. No appointments available in town required an eensy bit of a trek for what was an otherwise routine and (mostly) painless plunging of my innards with my actual doctor. No sphynx cats on that radar still. But my inner chambers have properly sloughed and no cysts are angrily snapping up from the depths. 

Let the ART get ARTsy. 

As it turns out, I'm not horribly squeamish about subcutaneous shots. One never knows until one goes against "every natural Darwinian instinct" and thrusts a sharp stabby needle into her belly with some oopmh. I'm a little less confidant about all that comes before the self-poking. Mixing up medicine draws upon precision-skills and attention to detail that generally is not my thing. I was careful to avoid my natural winging-it approach. But no doubt did something horribly wrong, despite my how-to video binges. 

There were two medications to administer. Both had to be mixed with bacteriostatic water (supplied, thank goodness). Both had special syringes for the mixing stage. Those entered the other vials at specific angles. The depression of the plunger (poor, poor plunger) was intended to be a slow affair. About twenty million alcohol swabs were used. New disposable syringes with various dose levels that were in different increments than my original instructions and thus required several panic checks of my updated ones (was it 5 or 50??? This seems relevant!!)

While I sat at the table with furrowed brow wondering if this were some kind of additional IQ test of will for would-be-parents to prove themselves.

There were excellent instructions for the one medication. Everything I needed came in a single package (well, no smiley face stickers or gold stars, but almost everything). The insert was several reams long. I really didn't need to read the results of seventeen studies of the efficacy, results and complications for several different patient sub-groups (take-awaytake this medication; it's probably not as effective as sacrificing a chicken in the full moon while screaming "Praise Dollywood!" AND it will probably cause any progeny you have to burst out of your stomach spewing acid and aiming to your significant other... but your doc already prescribed it right??). But on the lower quadrant of the scare-sheet (legal term), there were excellent instructions, such that would make IKEA envious. 

The other medication came with "mix with bacteriostatic water." It took some thorough panicking and poring to find (1) a syringe for mixing (hidden in the cotton swabs), (2) the needle to go with that syringe, (3) bacteriostatic water. There never were any mixing or application instructions, so I just mimicked the rituals used on the more detailed medication. 

Only one insulin needle went flying. Actually I just managed to drop it, nick myself and spend a few minutes battling with my needle jar (now that's here just in time for Halloween!)

Andrew very supportively sat on the couch across the room. A safe distance. Had he been any closer, a panicked wife might have accidentally dropped one vial, tossing syringes aloft in her attempts to mop up the contents, and injuring her husband in the falling prickle-rain to ensue. Had he been any further afoot, he might not have been available for the inevitable "um, honey, I appear to have stabbed myself in the eye... do you think you might drive me to the emergency room" wail. 

Having mixed and stabbed, I thought a celebration was thoroughly in order. Oh yes, we turned on the heat. I even broke out my battery operated slippers. And then proceeded to nearly plunge to my death attempting to wear them down the stairs. 

While I know several people do this from birth and all, I'm still going to be awfully proud of myself for at least a few more days before the side effects (whatever new mysteries of id and ego they may conjure up in me) take hold. If pooping in a hat is a good exercise for having children or getting old (my reassurance to Andrew on his previous stool sample collection imbroglio), then probably self-administering shots is equally so. If nothing else, I feel that much more competent carting my nephew's epipen with me in the future. Oh yes, I can stab myself, so you know I can stab a helpless anaphylactic child!

And with that, I wish you all a fantastic Caturday! We are set to try our very first attempt at yoga. I envision this being at least as wrought with hazard as any shivving about with needles! 

Wish us luck and much of that right back to you for a wonderful however-you-choose-to-spend this free day six days before Halloween!

Stabby McStabberson's Massive Misdosage Mulligan
Well, I may have patted myself on the back so vigorously that the contusions shall pullulate in multi-chromatic blooms. And I may have done so a bit prematurely, there. Turns out that I am not the brilliant self-dosing and mixing ninja goddess that I'd imagined. 

I mean, I still deserve significant kudos for not having stabbed myself (or any loved ones) in the eyes with biohazard lady-hormones. That said, I apparently still have problems with math. Major problems. Like, being unable to distinguish the difference between 37.5 AND 375. I was never great with decimal places. 

I noticed last night that a vial of go-go-gonadotropins that I'd expected to last a week was half tapped already. This raised some minor alarm and prompted the more thorough investigation I perhaps should have commenced my project with. So, yeah, apparently I just returned about two to three years' backlog of FSH and/or made an impromptu decision to try to have a litter or maybe force ourselves into IVF. 

Why I was not suspicious when the "very very small dose" I'd been promised looked to be a decent half of the syringe... I can only claim anticipatory panic over stabbing or poisoning myself. 

Commence an evening of panicked phone calls, most of them ending in being cut off while on hold. Oh and a decent caterwaul of muttering about what a waste it was going to be if this completely derailed the entire month's cycle.

 Being incredibly psychosomatic with a propensity for fainting, I managed to work myself into a lightheaded dither (of course, I've almost fainted in Russian Class learning about the wee little tsarovich's hemophilia, so I know the symptoms well enough not to panic). Around this point, I decided I'd best que sera sera, eat something, sit down, and maybe even try to go to bed. 

 Andrew, for his part, braved the abyss of the internet and did some research. I think he knows about as much as I do about FSH now. Or at least some supplementary information. This is good. And reassuring. When I start doing research by myself, well, I faint. But I also get way too many ideas of symptoms to start manifesting. Since I'm currently still having my first period in several years, there are plenty of strange sensations that I have now interpreted as "ova the size of bowling balls with riled tendrils of follicles intertwining and poking back at me in agitation." Having somebody read all the information (especially a guy prone to be queasy about this sort of information) and not start screaming about the emergency room was reassuring. 

Having calmed myself to a state of edgy equanimity, I dragged myself through a bedtime ritual and determined to sleep well enough for a second front of calling the next day. Just as I was about to turn the light off, I made one final attempt from the bed. Somebody answered! Then I got cut off again. But I called back. And they answered again. And this time, they got my number first. 

And so I waited for the on-call doctor to return my call in bed, half asleep, half conjuring side effects of spontaneous octo-ovulations.

Turns out, I do not need an emergency hysterectomy. The hysteria actually died down after a brief chat with a reassuring professional. 

Her best overstatement of the evening was "Three-seventy-five? That's... a lot." 
Her more reassuring statements boiled down to the instructions that I lay off the shots for a couple of days and start over later this week. Which is a lot better than "burn all your meds and flee the country!"

We'll see what my doctor adds to that on Monday, but for now, I'm on break. We'll call that a dress rehearsal. An expensive one that blew through a terrifying amount of very expensive potent magical lady drugs. But one nonetheless. 

Hell, if I were any good at math I wouldn't have gone to law school. 

Happy Sunday all. Andrew and I missed our yoga class yesterday by a hair. We were actually parking about five minutes after the class began and may have made it. But we didn't want to be those people who barge in late with a smelly new mat (and - in Andrew's case - some kind of crinkled gym padding that goes under his trainer) and don't have any idea what they're doing. Also, it seemed wrong to stress out over attending a class aimed at decreasing stress. 

We may go today, although my phantom basketball ovaries aren't sure about my torso making any sudden or full moves this morning. 

Frenetic freak-outs aside, it was a very nice day. And illusory psychosomatic explosions aside, today shall be as well. I have faith. And I don't have any shots to muck up tonight anyways! Small mercies. 

Upward Saggy Snake Cow Warrior in a Post-Poisoning Recovery Pretzel The medical madness baton is passed for a brief interim to Mr. (W)right

As confirmed by two follow up calls from Seattle Reproductive - each of which stoked new bursts of thorough panic when I saw my doc's name on the caller i.d. - I am still clear of any emergency status; I'm still on a brief hiatus from my adventures in fertility fun. 

Despite having shot away several hundred dollars' worth of fairly terrifying lady-hormones straight into my abdomen, I'm ok. I think. I mean, my stomach didn't burst and no teeny tiny babies with Andrew's face and eight of my very long legs teemed out into the room at any point yesterday. No bowling ball ova went sputtering through untold and unshared alleys. And I mostly just more or less survived the day without any noticeable complications.

 At least from what I could read about the half life of my gonal-a-go-go, it sounds like if I was going to do something really stupid with the dosing (and this was me, so of course I was going to somehow), the first day was the best time to do it. After a few days, absorption rates start increasing, but the first day, it has a terminal life of about a day. 

 Sounds like it will likely just clear my system today or thereabouts and I'll start over. The on-call doc said that I may even have "primed the pump" a bit, but I think she was just trying to reassure me that my big cock-up was largely a financial and logistical problem. I only half suspect the follow up calls were really so the various medical professionals working this weekend could have a good, incredulous chortle. 

 I'm still waiting to check with my actual doctor today and see if I need to readjust anything other than the calendar. But I am definitely feeling less freaked out and more just vaguely disheartened and lacking confidence. But also lacking pullulating spider babies, so... all in all a win. 

As I am back on-hold with my medical merry go round, I let Mr. (W)right take the stage. Having reconnected with the medical profession after several months (a few years) of avoiding yet another potential liver stabbing to address the idiopathic "weird liver thing" and/or maybe something to do with copper that isn't actually Wilson's, he's got some catching up to do.

 Between our fertility stuff (with bonus analysis and genetic testing to prove that shacking up with an ethnically heterogenous mate was a good call) and his "weird liver thing," he will have submitted pretty much every form of bodily excretion by the end of all this. Maybe not snot. I don't think anyone's called dibs on his snot. 

This weekend, it was the ever so exciting 24-hour urine test! To be capped off this morning with a blood test. He's also collected a second of his four required stool samples. I know this because he quite somberly announced it was time to do on Saturday evening. A fair bit after he had ascended the staircase, I discerned faint clunking and rustling noises. An eerie stillness. And about fifteen minutes later, I witnessed my bike-and-chain galloping down the stairs with a full garbage bag and a shocked look upon his face. 

The urine test is a little less... terrifying. But it does require a cooler. And a jug. And copious use of the prefix piss-. Piss-cooler, piss-cup, piss-jug, piss-poor... Whichever. And a lot of piss-ice. Yes, yes we are grown ups. Really. 

Despite the lingering freak-outs over routine rumbles on my end and the piss-project on Andrew's, we made it to my first officially yoga class. It was "Bhakti Flow Yoga," which apparently is all about making me feel hot, sweaty, and panicked. Or, um, synchronizing breathing with poses while repeating soothing mantras and learning about conservation of bodily energy (while flailing in a dither through several rapid-fire poses that are impossible to achieve without some kind of deal with the devil). I'm going back to "twisting Adella into rapid fire strange postures in the hope of landing her on her toosh with her legs wrapped around her head. It's apparently a fusion of Ashtanga (fast - flow is code for "flail" in my experience) and Bikram (hot). The heated room was maybe not my favorite part. A heated room means "a huge headache" in Adella land.

Those sequences get really fast and it's kind of hard to follow along a string of "cobra to dog to upward shiva to sun salutation one to quadrangle pose and let's meet in archiwakkawakkawakka" when you're twisted up like a pretzel AND everyone in the class is doing something different (some maybe just doing modifications and others just sort of floating in the air and standing on their heads for the heckuvit). 

Flailing, panicking, roasting, and more flailing aside, I actually did feel pretty good by the end. I mean not "good" as in "a competent practitioner," but physically grounded and at peace in my aptly named corpse pose. I will probably opt for a more beginner friendly yoga class with more clement climes in the future, but I'm pleased to have made it. And so far I only ache. I don't seem maimed or hobbled.

 I have survived stabbings, poisonings and pretzelings! I think. I hope. 

Feeling mellowed out/drained from yoga and totally wiped after my little escapade in overdose land, I channeled my inner husband and didn't do that much yesterday. Or this weekend really. A lot more lingering and staring into space and filling up those interstitial times with unstructured space. I left a lot of stuff undone, and I imagine that will be a bit challenging. Or maybe I'll just have to buy more prepackaged food for a spell. Except we're set to run out of groceries by Tuesday at the latest. Ah well. 

But it fit the saturnine sapor of a moody fall day, and did keep the adrenaline roil to a slower simmer. 

Moody, yes, but once the rain had its fit, what a beautiful clearing followed suit. Definitely called for a walk (for me, while Andrew went on a short run). And apparently, an auto-awesome. 

And back to Monday. One more day before I leap back into self-stabbings and all that nonsense. In the meantime, there's Pilates to exacerbate the soreness, and a full plate of work festivities to clear any relaxation fully from my mind. 

The Hunger ARTists and the DTIK's Fuliginous Future Frontiers

Previously on A&A's Adventures ARTistry: Horses whinnied and stomped to the marca, while witches and a bevvy of belly dancers tangoed on. Comets careened through space, threatening birthday birches on a special late-night girls night date night.  And terrifying prospects pullulated, when one cocktail beckoned a new labyrinth full of unknowns and uncharted territories. Decisions made, but certainty unfastened and all subjected to the caprices and vicissitudes of an ornery body and a game of chance with the nosy norns. 

Coming Up: Submerged in murky swamps and downward dogged into a corpulent creation, our ARTist waits... and waits... and waits... for euphemisms, Halloween thrills, and a final go ahead from that same snipey sassy soma that has lagged so long. A million moments hovering in space on a single IF and a companion WHEN. Will Sanguinity Now! nostrums coax the coagulated corpus to flow freely? Will craziness emerge from chaos in fresh furcations? 

Only time (and the entries below) will tell. 

The Interlude Non-Period And another merry (we hope) Monday!

Unleash a can of whoop-patience: it's time for the waiting game! I've torn off my patches and doffed my drug bottles. And now I have reached the "2-7 days" in which I let my intransigent body decide what happens next. Does it demand a repeat performance of orange barracuda lady-cocktail choice option A. Or do we amp up to mega-super-oh-my-oh-ova shoot 'em ups option B(aby trying)? Drums are a'rollin' in chambers of my heart.

In the meantime, the parts I can control shall be complying with the more rigid demands of the next phase. My mandate for the next few months: eat a bunch, work(out) less hard, chill the frig out, and pamper the crap out of myself.  So, act more like the self-entitled Amurican upper-middle class brat I really am. In between the poking and prodding and endless commuting, that is.

Eating more. Check. Kind of challenging. I still haven't quite gotten the hang of it, but I'm getting a little better just doubling up portions of certain foods. More oil on the pan for breakfast. More fruit on tap throughout the day. Extra grains. Extra nuts. I've done this before, so I have a template. It's still kind of a gradual readjustment, but I'm getting there. And coaxing my body into increasingly tolerant states. Still can't stomach (har har) sugar, but fats are increasingly a-ok. I'm still ten pounds up on my wedding weight, but honestly could stand another ten just fine (hell, I looked cute twenty-five pounds up). And now, still not "just eating a cheeseburger." Just wait all you advice-offerers: it'll turn out that cheeseburgers are like the perfect diet food. Just give it enough time and there will be a study to that effect and a related diet book. 

Chilling the frig out. Working on it. See below. 

Pampering myself. Working on it. Through the largesse of some not-so-anonymous patrons, I am in receipt of a gift certificate for Massage Envy. Yesterday I scheduled a November appointment with somebody other than Nick during a weekend time that he doesn't have available. It's a full body swedish (read wimpy) massage. Then a real deep tissue cruncher with Nick for the next weekend. I'm also reviving my headphones for walking around with my meditative classical station all awhirl. I'm further determined to make this bath thing stick a little more. 

Working (out) less. Oh boy. Andrew may say "well it's only really the one run a week, right" as if this will be no big deal. Compared to him having to to cut out his five billion hours of truculent and tightly tracked tachycardia, he's right. But it's a little more than just a half hour a week. 

There really may be something to that exercise-addiction theory. I'm not saying I am getting full on DTs, but a good cardio rev up is definitely the quickest way to bliss back from a stressful surge of adrenaline. Not having that as a resource is definitely an adjustment. I may have gotten a pure high walking up the stairs this morning. Took all my willpower not to start charging up to the heavens.

It feels weird not to have done at least something a little heart raising. I may not do formal runs or workouts during the week, but I always do something a little challenging. Run up the stairs, sprint across a street. Especially on days where I haven't spent hours meandering in place on my treadmill desk. My body feels a bit backlogged with excess energy. Especially with the extra eating. Usually if I eat to the point of fullness, my body interprets this as "oooh fuel for movement! Let's move!" Loggishness is not a familiar one for me. 

More than the surge though, it is a little weird. Being fit and in shape, running fast, having great endurance, being pretty strong and looking athletic... these are all parts of my self-identity. And part of our couple's identity. Being in shape is something we're proud of. Something that makes us the (W)rights.

And working on that together. Improving on something together. Watching Andrew sprint off yesterday, later hearing him blathering on about how hard of a run he'd done and how excited he was to amp his running up for the training season... kind of sucked.An immediate reminder of both something I'm missing out of and a minor drift between us to have lost a shared thing. Minor. No big deal. But harder. Even if I did join him for the warming up part, and take a nice walk when he sprinted off. 

He's passively but dutifully going along with my request that we try yoga (double goal in mind: keep some sense of myself as "fit" while doing something that also forces me to chill the frig out) as a weekend substitute. Not exactly with gusto, and still after the run and the biking and whatever else is beating it to his training calendar. But it's something. Sure I want him to want to do the dishes, but I'll take just doing them! In November we'll check out swimming (something I can do without "jogging the ovaries" - don't ask - or over-pushing into some kind of cardio explosion).

It will be nice to have some something like that back. I guess this is a time where I feel the need to have a greater sense of solidarity, so any little shared something helps that out. I even started suggesting we go on mellow bike rides together, which is pretty shocking. Clearly the lack of a run this weekend is driving me totally mad. 

Yesterday was good practice for all of the above. I had an appreciably painful massage with Nick. Note to self: full body is even more painful than the back/neck ones sometimes. And holy crap what did I do to my calf muscle?!? I also took the aforementioned walk, followed by an additional walk around the Harbor with my mom and Favors, her frisky boy-toy.

I'm trying to slow down a little when I can. Maybe leaving a kitchen mess for longer. Maybe leaving a little more produce to handle during the week. Even downloaded a mindfulness meditation app that is (1) cheesy to the point of making me laugh, (2) still fairly effective for times when you've got a few extra minutes to kill while sitting around and waiting.  

If yoga sticks, I might take more time out to do it during the week. Yes, now I see how yoga-moms are born. Women's bodies don't always tolerate the form of upper-middle-class-elitist-signaling-via-athletic-prowess that favors men. More importantly, it preserves my excuse to endue myself from head to foot in athletic clothes. As if I ever needed one!

My excuse today is pilates. Maybe tomorrow it will be... ok, tomorrow, I'll actually wear my real pants (which are far baggier and less attractive being as they're purchased for a weight I've yet to attain, and not stretchy). Wednesday of course for date night? 

Happy Monday! I hope whatever ambiguities you are waiting on resolve themselves into workable paths, and in the meantime may you enjoy the interims with a heaping bit of self care and your favorite tunes!

A Tremulous Tuesday Declining and Paranoia Pining 
The following morning-lesson may be noted in crimson ink and cinereal accent: gently touching the side of your hand to a sizzling skillet is ill-advised. Wearing dinky little latex food-prep gloves will provide an interesting puckering reaction to the immediate SSSSST, but will not necessarily prevent the formation of some irate little char on a high-traffic swath of the body. Makes me nostalgic for my teen years when I volunteered at a local movie theater and was constantly cauterizing myself making popcorn.

 Then again, if you must burn yourself, definitely opt for the hands over more delicate areas of your epiderm. Feet, for instance. Trust me on this, you do not want to pour scalding tea water on a besocked toe. Yes the resulting blister does resemble an adorable little sea creature, but it's gross and painful and does not suffer shoes. 

And if you must burn your hand, the side underneath your thumb isn't a horrible place to do so. Far less ornery than a frail fingertip or a multi-purpose palm. I'm not saying I'd do it again, but as morning burns go... well it could have been worse. With the oil I fling around sometimes, it could have been an eye. I really should wear more protective gear in that kitchen. Maybe a hazmat suit!

Today begins the official waiting window on my transitions between treatments (3-7 days after going off the crazy happy fun pharmacopeia). I am footloose and fancy-lady-cocktail free. I am, essentially, waiting for Aunt Flo. I am, as a result, simultaneously despairing (how many cycles has "she" failed to show) and hyper-aware of every last little twinge and cavil of my body.

My sassy souma been aroiling (and generally just a royal pain) since going cold turkey. That's to be expected given the massive doses of looby lady pills etc. previously flowing through my body. I'd be a bit cantankerous too at the dramatic shift. But, if these ninja cramp attacks and tremulous lethargies are to no particular end, I am annoyed. If it's all working up to going full on Carrie-doused-in-pig's-blood-at-the-prom on Halloween month, I'm far more tolerant. We'll see. 

And I shall carry on my quest for fattening up and mellowing out. My grand gesture for today shall be decreasing my default "incline" setting on the treadmill from 2 mph at 3% grade to 2 mph at 1% grade. I really can't tell the difference, but there is a difference.

I'm also putting some extra focus into walking up the stairs slowly. Which, when done with a cynosure on continuous gradual motion, actually becomes a challenging strength and balance exercise in and of itself. 

Yesterday I demanded a bath of myself. Yes, the bathtub was muckier than a moat. Two days of post-mountain-biking-boyfrianceband ablutions will do some pretty nasty things to any bath. Yes I had to start the bath by fishing out several hairballs from an uprotected drain (the bike-and-chain likes to rinse his jerseys and shorts off in the bathtub; he then will take the drain cover off to let the shower drain "more quickly" when the detritus on his clothes starts to back up the drain cover ... I will not elaborate on the long term effects of this, except to say my solution is to keep the drain cover on and to empty the drain or drain cover drain of soapy hairballs regularly and his solution is to buy a lot of draino). Yes, I got home at close to six, after a nice long pilates class and slower jaunt back to my car. 

But I was going to take a bath, goshdarnit! With friggin' soothing friggin' classical friggin' music. And epsom salts (mint and eucalyptus negates pebbles and twigs, right??) And and and... and I did. And, having accepted the baths are always disgusting and one need merely shower off afterwards, I managed to origami myself into a temporary holding pattern of OOOOOOOOOOOOOOMMMMMM. 

It didn't hurt that Mr. (W)right had decided to go off on another bike ride upon his return home. The dilatory dinner plans allowed me to pull out the rice cooker and let it pip and pipe away unattended while I had my little cleansing ritual. How I love modern technology that lets me step away from the kitchen or even the house! It gave me plenty of time to finish pruning, dry off at a leisurely pace, prepare for the next day and snuggle into a crossword by the time he returned to re-clog the drain and re-smutch the basin. 

In our dream house... The one we will be able to afford once we given up on this whole reproducing thing and after Andrew invents something to be featured in Skymall (the real engineering profit is definitely in "weird unnecessary gadgets for rich people with too many weird unnecessary gadgets")... In our dream house, I will have a bathtub the size of a human being. A large human being. It shall be ergonomic, self-heating, and deeper than the fathomless ocean. I shall be able to fully submerge without pulling a shoulder and a hip out of socket. And Andrew will have a mud room. With huge and hearty drains. In the entryway to the house. Possibly next to his special temperature-controlled bike mansion. 

And I will have a wall of rice cookers and slow cookers with their own water faucet.

With speakers in every room piping in music set on a remote to follow me about the house with soothing classical toonz. 

In the meantime, I'll take my mud-bath and my ultrabook and call it excellent. 

And then I'll poke the side of my hand where no blister has yet emerged. Because who can leave well enough alone?

Let the Craziness (Um, the Other Craziness that Isn't The Norm Craziness) Commence

It begins. As you may have sussed, I've been in a bit of a holding pattern this week. One does not simply walk into a bar with a duck on one's head and ask the bartender to order up a slew of medical tests and crazy shots. One waits. One sees if the body is willing to accept such a challenge. One perhaps starts going a little crazy with impatience and spending her "sleeping hours" mindfully meditating "Sanguinity Now!" messages to her hepetudinous hustera.

In between running downstairs to rescue the incubating yogurt down below, that is. Yoga? I was saying I'd like to try yogaaaaaa? Ooops, I guess I got confused last night and opted for jiggly white goo instead. I set up the yogurt machine overnight on a blustery evening. Nary a thought for the potential power lapses. Our house is well protected, but occasionally it surges off for a tick. Long enough that I heard a plaintive little beep at about 3 a.m. last night. Upon opening my eyes, I noticed our alarm clock was flashing 12:00 a.m. A speedy somnolent resetting of the the alarm, and maundering downstairs for the yogurt.

Actually, when I make yogurt with whole milk, I think that 9-10 hours is better than the 11 I'd budgeted, so it stopped at a fairly decent time. But once you're done making yogurt, it's usually better to put it in the fridge. And my innards could wait long enough for me to finish that up before returning to my chanting and coaxing.  

Yesterday, Andrew finally got jealous of all my special medical attention and decided to grasp some for himself. He's had a never exactly defined "weird liver thing" for years. Back in 2009, it led to some uncomfortable tests, some gross ones, and some zinc supplements that made him nauseous. When he graduated, he switched insurance and seemed less than enthusiastic about ever going back to a doctor again. We've discussed the sagacity of this stance, but (given my tangos with the medical system) I certainly understood his hemming and hawing. 

After a probably unrelated bit of stomach discomfort finally pushed him over to schedule an appointment (and then re-schedule it, because there was a design review on the day of his first appointment), he made it to a doctor. And now he's got homework too! Mine is more of a constant uncomfortable barrage, but his is, at least, a little gross (the word "sample" is involved, and this is a man who hasn't owned a lot of pets or babysat too many children in potty training age brackets, so he's a little less than thrilled). 

I'm hoping our little lab test lulus will coincide at least once or twice! I think maybe a blood test might at least! Although I am allowed to eat before my blood tests bwahahahaha. Gee, this is fun. Tandem medical stuff. It's like we're elderly and swapping stories about our goiters and carbuncles!

And that brings us back to today and the mad dash now upon me. I have several bajillion things that need to be handled immediately. 

Naturally, my first step is to try to schedule several things that are likely all booked up. So my second step will likely be "travelling down to Kirkland!" Why do I see this commute becoming kind of a regular thing? Maybe I'll just start sleeping at EI(eeeeeiiiiioooo). It's closer anyways. 

Schedules are about to get a lot more plastic, and I'm ready to say "to hell with my usual DINK priorities" (whatever those may be). Time to fully embrace the "run around to various medical appointments and spend any remaining waking time focusing on lazing, fattening, and ooooommmming happy thoughts right into my viscera."

Oh but the socks and blathers are here to stay. Possibly even more virulent than afore!  

Happy Humpday. I feel like I'm over one in more ways than one. 

A Red-letter Rumpus of a Webby Day

Word-nerd side note: "red-letter" or "scarlett" has been used to highlight days of special significance for an indeterminate stitch of time. At least as far back as classical Rome, days of special significance were marked in vermillion. The phrase itself can be traced back to at least a few hundred years ago. Most think in relation to the ecclesiastical calendars. Apparently "Scarlet Days" in UK academia denote days in which doctors may wear their fancy-schmancy festal dress gowns instead of their ho-hum black robes. I see no particular reference for why exactly red and not sparkly silvery gold with rainbow hues and stickers, but red certainly makes a statement.

And it looks nice strewn with enough webbing to scream Spider-girl! And/or celebrate a belated second or third maidenhead (at 14, then 28, then now 32 years old) for this sockonista. And/or feel like a goth kid in a particularly good and chirpy mood. 

Today is a good enough day so far. Perhaps not quite time to break out the regally ruddy robes, but time enough to be happy that (1) I have a working calendar for the next week; (2) my body - when sufficiently provoked - actually will do the logical thing that is expected of it by a medical  professional - I was starting to think it was just being contrary for the heck of it; (3) I don't have to drive down to Kirkland and battle 405 traffic today. Tomorrow, yes. Today though, I'm all good. Small mercies. 

I do get to receive a special biohazard of a package - presumably from The Umbrella Corporation - today. I'm told that it will require refrigeration, so I thought having it come to work instead of languishing on my porch (or worse, getting bounced back to LA, because nobody was home to sign for it) all day would be preferable. Of course I'll be in and out with various commitment.

 Mom-boss seems to think it would be hilarious to announce that whoever signs for the biohazards will have to subsequently use them. I'm not sure the follicular stimulation is high on everyone's list of awesome ideas. But by all popular lore, I guess it will help one appreciate wrinkly pug puppies, LOL cats, and screaming scrunch-faced infants... 

I still see very few takers. 

Since I'll be driving myself a bunch tomorrow, and thus out of the office, today feels quite a lot like Friday. It's not. I have the DRC today. I have two days' of work to slog past evasively. And tomorrow is not Saturday with all its promises of sleeping in and awkward attempts at yoga (oh yes, first try will be Saturday). But today is still a very good day, and I'll ride on that wave through our thundersturms und drangs. SOmebody's got to, because mom-boss has back to back appointments all day, and Leslie may be ducking under her desk at each tremor of tintinnabulation from our door chimes (considering what might happen if she's forced to sign for any packages today...)

Ova Irae: Blazing Birch Birthdays and DINKS Becoming DITKS (or something like that)

Previously on A&A's Adventures in Cohabitation:  A runny mess presented itself as two selves battled inside our heroin's ambivalent husk of a huff. Girls were goners and plots unfolded slapadash with malevolent monotony. Pilates plans imperiled by credit card by administrative ructions and concerted confusion. Solace was only a rock or two away, as our couples fled the home and hearth into the land of sculpture and serenity. And autumnal interventions contemplated anew, but once more forestalled.  

Coming Up: Adella awaits a long absent euphemo-relative promising to bring in her packs upheavals untold. As camels cross epees with barracudas, the DINKS plunge unfathomed territories of terror and tremulation: endocrinology becomes fertility. Insured becomes oh-crap. Free schedules become "on perpetual reserve." Pills become pokes. And longterm goals upgrade from possible-potential-options to absolute-actuality in the face of perpetual uncertainty. Will trying yield progenitative progress or merely ravaged schedules and barren wallets? Will love persist in the face of tortuous trails and nebulous time-and-space charts? In the midst of the October ookiness, a banner day splattered in red (gold, blue, and birch). ART set aside for art. A birthday feted with uptown oils and autumnal afflatus. Will Adella recover from her wild night of carousing? Will Molly's tree ever dry? And a clop-clop of heels tarrangoes in the tangos. Will Mr. Ed's true identity ere be discovered? Will a tango high ameliorate endorphin DTs? Will anything ever quite return to normal if such a thing ever conceivably existed, or will belly dancing flappers jingle their jangles with the witches to ook-and-spook this month of mayhem to a frothing smolder?? 

Sign your waivers, don your aprons, and be prepared to delve the depths and depravity of TMI land as DINKS dabble in the next realm. 

Zombie Camels Crunching Candy-Corn TGI Humpday, baby!

I will write the meeting minutes I was supposed to write yesterday. I will write them. I will. Well, I shall. I don't know how much active will or wit shall be involved. But they needs must be done... eventually. They're my sweet ticket to Whew-it's-Wednesday Whimsical Whoopies (TM, Umbrella Corporation), after all. 

But first, a mighty fine hallooo to the world wide interwebs! With a boil, but nary a toil nor a trouble, let's get this mid-week up to a bubble. 

Those of you tagging along in TMI (no such thing) land with yours-occasionally-truly, oh there are developments on the cocktail quagmire! If you are just dipping in a toe to the oceans of info (drum roll please...), I upgraded from a specialist to a mega-specialist endocrinologist to deal with my body's enduring resistance towards certain feminine activities that necessitate flowing white pants and riding horses on beaches (or at least the sanitary napkins that go with them). 

After several eons of low dose HRT (oooooh barracuda!), some weight gain, and several "huh, this should work... let's give it more time," I've amped it up a bit this fall. Have been on high doses of hormones and thyroid medications in far more targeted ways and with more monitoring medical tests in the interim. 

Which leads us to the next step. Should I choose to accept it... and by that I really mean, if my body is so kind as to respond to all those hormones and do the thing it's supposed to do when I discontinue these hormones by going a bit Carrie for Halloween, and giving me occasion for several more uncomfortable euphemisms to alienate the squeamish with potentially themed parties involving jelly donuts, cherry pie and so on! It might not. In which case, we begin the cycle-starting-cycle again. 

But if it does, a threshold shall be crossed into what could very well be considered straight-out fertility treatment. And I've got a complicated google sheets protocol to prove it.

If I make it to this next step, there will be ultrasounds on days 2-3. There will be self-administered shots on days 3-5 (and/or 1-3 of "stimulation day"). Bloodwork on day 6/4. After that, it's all touch and go (and poke and prick), subject to daily instructions based on regular lab tests; but expect more of the same. Hell, I'm in Munchausen's paradise. And yes, having a spreadsheet to play with does make this all way more fun than it really ought to be. Aside from the sheer overstimulation - (hopefully not the follicular kind, har har) - anyways. Hey, trying to work a full time job was so not my thing anyways. 

I'm excited and nervous. Nervous that the hormones won't work. Nervous that they will. Skeptical enough about my baseline responsiveness not to be too freaked out by the requisite waiver that Andrew and I must sign with a notary indicating that we are aware that this all amps up the rate of twinnage and beyond (gulp). But whatever else, the faint reek of progress and maybe-movement in a stagnating absence is hopefully not raising my hopes too  much. Just enough. Just enough and no more. 

As we debouch from TMI Land, I boomerang from home to work for a stopover at the every exciting EI(EEEEIIIIIIOOOO). Andrew had his very own minion for about a week and a half. This minion seemed like an ok guy... at first... but then he started disappearing for long swaths of time. If asked, he'd say things like he'd been "in the bathroom" (for an hour plus). The situation escalated, and a short check of his "work" on the project revealed a clunky and meager showing that should not have taken even the time he was present. Of course, he was not present for any kind of review of this.

On Friday, Andrew's  project manager spoke with "the brass," who revealed that this fellow had already been written up once on a previous project. They were planning to speak with him on Monday, but the kid didn't show up. No notice. No answers on his phones. No anything but an antiquated comment on his call-list that he was "travelling in the UK."

 On Tuesday the project manager got a mid-morning email from ex-minion saying he'd found black mold in his apartment and would be in when he was done bleaching. He did, in fact, come in. He was even apparently surprised when he was escorted to a private corner with the muckety-mucks, and informed of his termination. 

Let it never be said that there's no structure at EI. Apparently the hours may be flexible, but people do start noticing if you're blatantly blowing off your single project. 

And a return to the home-front, Andrew and I had an early date night last night. That's because tonight I've got a date night with my bestie for a post-birthday art-extravaganza (ok, painting and drinking). I'm excited and preemptively exhausted all at once! Both being run ragged by those ravaging Tuesday work-days, we played it low-key. Ate some slightly more formal Chinese (not even take out), browsed through a Gaiam catalog (yes, we too can have an entire YOGA LIFESTYLE) and snuggled on the couch. This is good preparation for the mad Maenad ART anomie I'll be slinging this evening. 

Which just leaves a work day to plonk through with fingers akimbo and brain a-bleary. Minutes, hours, minutes. I shall do the damned minutes! Maybe. After I color code my pretty new chart. 

Birthday Brewhahahas and the Baying of the Birch Wild nights in (W)rightlandia

Hrggnghh! I rolled out of bed this morning with a groggy grumble and that instinctive sense of panic one gets rousing from a restive parasomnia in all too short a spell. Paint flecks shrouded my epiderm. I stumbled to the bathroom, shaking my head in hopes of shaking off the veil of evisceration from a late and madcap night. 

COLOR! Glowing through the crepuscular crannies of an uncharted "downstairs." A memento of the evening before. Oh yes, it did happen. No delirium dreamt up in a febrile paroxysm.

Like some reckless rabble-rouser out for a gallivant, I had a girl's night out. And it actually included being out! At night!

Yeah, ok, maybe I did get home at eleven. Maybe no spirits were imbibed (though spirits were certainly high). No sleazy clubs or car chases ensued. But eleven on a weeknight?? At a paint and sip studio? What depths of depravity did I plunge when clasping hands and dreams with my oldest bestie (by time of position, not by the chronological age, despite the recent birthday) to take the leap into the oils??  

So, Uptown Art: it's kind of a fun playground for grown-ups to mix with their friends in an informal environment. Each session chooses a different painting. All of the supplies are provided and instructions for filling up one's palette come with one complimentary glass of wine. Additional vino is extra at the "canvas cafe," which is actually just a fridge behind the main registration desk with two sandwiches and a few bottle of wine. The instructor walks participants through the process, from color mixing, to building layers to hair drying each lovely layer. The final painting is free. A fancy schmancy wood frame is extra.

In the interim: Paint flies. Medium is mushed into any available crevice. Wine is spilled. Every one hates her piece. And somehow, these paintings get finished and all come together.

It's fun, but holy crap did it take every hour they predicted and then another forty-five minutes! To paint this particular painting, we worked in layers - doing the entire sky first, then the morass of autumnal colors. And finally the birch tree itself. Each step took about an hour. Finishing touches went from there.

Usually, there's a copy of the finished painting on display. But last night, the instructor was recreating in real time without much of a reference point. Which made it a little harder to see how things would come together and paint accordingly. But, as yesterday most certainly confirmed, I am so not a perfectionist. I took the absence of template as license to just do whatever. Did I mention I'm not a perfectionist?

Especially by the end, I was just kind of globbing paint on and then blow-drying a section several minutes before the instructor informed the more persnickety members of the group (Molly, for instance, was feverishly working with a cell phone photo of the painting with a brow so knit, one could make baby booties from it) that it was time to dry a layer and move on.  

Funnily enough, I actually like the tree part that I daubed haphazardly the best. I hate the final touches of sky (blue blobs) that I benightedly attempted to add. I think without them, there's kind of a nice abstract look of a barren birch-tree silhouetted by an enormous comet crashing down to earth. Which I rather like. The blue just undermines that for me. Like, what, is the comet wearing hydrangea boutonniere's? 

It was fascinating to see the drastic differences between paintings. No two looked remotely alike, though several of them were very cool and each had some resemblance to the initial painting. I think. I only saw the original a few times.

Molly, as I mentioned, was far more serious about this effort than I was. Being a visually artistic person  without much of a present outlet, she was in full on catharsis mode. Which was a little like panic mode at times! She started with "too much blue," going back to the paint pumps several times and then ruing the sheer blueness of the effort. When we covered that up with "leaves" she was cast into dire despair at the flaming voodoo doll that she had created. Once she mentioned it, I could totally see the face. It was a little fire demon. I actually kind of loved it. Then of course, the tree. After falling several steps behind getting the trunk of the tree, she tumbled further down the rabbit hole on the branches (cell phone photo of the original out) and painted through the "drying period" for the black outline. 
But it all came together. 

When I left, she was avidly yawning and painting the outer corners. I know she made it out of there from Facebook, but it wasn't certain last night! 

I absolutely love hers. And, hey, the last time I touched paints was in elementary school (and most of them ended up on my face), so I'm happy enough with my "Comet Crashing into Birch." You know, it's a real comment on like um global warming? Or um, the elements of earth, water, and fire coming together through air in an endless cycle of life and death and more life. Yeah. Anyways, I painted the damn thing, so I guess for a while it'll stay in our living room. Until somebody I know has a birthday. 

Anyone having a birthday soon?? Wedding? Housewarming?? 

And so it begins October got a whole lot scarier

Today is the first day of the rest of my ongoing life-changing terrifying ascension into potential adulthood. And/or, the precipice of the next level of medical mummery. I have two more days to finish out on my current white-pants-on-beaches protocol. If that pans out, a longstanding visit from Aunt Euphemism-and-or-oh-god-am-I-related-to-that-lady-from-the-Progessive-commercials. In theory. Sometime. Aaaaand if that happens, which it "probably will" all hungry hungry Hippocratic hell breaks loose (to paraphrase a far more detailed excel spreadsheet). 

About this time, insurance will be petering out. Or - as it did with the medication I will have to order within a day of said euphemistic visit - the "copay" may exceed the out of pocket payment by $800! Not a billion percent mark-up, but actually it does nearly double the cost. 

And of course, this is where we revisit our insurance plan and realize that it ain't gonna cover much. And so, I expect as I teeter from this edge of endocrinology to something more, we are both perilously close to entering the TTC (trying to conceive) category as far as the world comes.

If... big if... 

Given the expense (in all regards of the word), I feel it's time take everything more seriously than I may have been before. I have made the minimum adjustments, maybe mixed things up a little more earnestly after starting my thyroid medications. But I have still been holding out just a little. Still making excuses for being on-the-thin-side-of-not-quite-healthy, and still justifying my "moderate" exercise habits with a fantasia of overblown relativity. We shall not talk of stress management. 

I've confirmed with my doctor that I should avoid most any exercise that I'd categorize as even mild. Andrew and I have such a distorted sense of exertion and intensity when it comes to exercise. I think it's left us both dazed to realize what the doctors really mean by "moderate" (wait, no flaming searing burning sensation or doped out endorphins high??) Walking is a-ok, thank goodness. But anything that boosts the heart rate to what I'd consider an aerobic zone... not so much. And anything that could potentially jiggle and jaggle my overgrown internal flora is out. No skipping rope or bouncy castles for me. Gaining weight, yet again, is on the agenda. And enough of my excuses. 

Andrew has to be dragged into the process a little bit more. This is kind of "our" thing now, instead of "my" thing. And that scares me as much as it scares him, I think. 

Terrifying. Because (1) kids are terrifying. I have nephews. I've been left alone with them. I survived, but with a healthy respect for my sister's supernatural momness. Why would I even consider intentionally allowing one to happen to me, let alone go to great cost and effort to attempt one; (2) it will completely upend some of our (more so, my) lifestyle preferences for some time, and drain off all excess income. All with the possibility that it will lead nowhere but disappointment. And if it leads somewhere, that's an even larger upheaval. 

But, as Andrew said, all things worth doing are a little scary. And upheaval is the only constant in life. Things will change no matter what we choose. Perhaps it's only scary because we're affixing a marker of conscious choice to it all instead of mere passive experience. 

Regardless, a perfect thing to ponder in Halloween Month, both the month of terror and whimsy!

Hempy Hobgoblins and Devilish Di Sarli's A very spooky tango tanda or two

Peradventure some benighted souls consider the 19th of October (two weeks before All Hallow's Eve) a premature time for madcap masquerading. They probably are the sorts who misspent their childhoods playing IRS compliance accounting officer with three kids and a mortgage instead of Supehero soccer on Mars versus the Orks! 

But we try to serve all sorts. And maybe sometimes, tangueros are so caught up in their dancer's domino and melodic maquillage to venture beyond the costumery of TANGO DANCER. But then again, in sheer tango hipness, if you can dress up as a tango dancer dressed up as something else... well that's like twenty hipster tango bonus points. Belly dancer is a particularly good one, and certainly one used to good effect last night. Tango chic tends towards these styles already: drop crotch-harem pants, exposed bellies, little tingles and accents. 

Witch is honest: I want to still look pretty, but am willing to don a costume hat off the dance floor, and yep the makeup will get a little tweaking

Horse, however, is a less popular hipster tango costume option. So, the dude (and I still have no idea who this was) who came in full hoof and mouth gets a simultaneous kudos and unease (it is not easy to dance with a rubber horse maw pressed into your face). He was quite in character all evening - refusing to speak and only communicating by stamp and gesture. 

This was a first run for my costume, so I'm not revealing it yet. The big Halloween day is actually the one I just spend at the office on Halloween. No excellent explanation of why this is, but there you go. I was pleased with it. It didn't scream tango, but it didn't interfere either. 

Although Andrew and I subsequently decided that we really should just dress up as each other. I'd wear his Carhartts and EI t-shirt (maybe pencil in some stubble and get some glasses). And he'd borrow my yoga pants and aqua workout top (with built in shelf bra!). Sure it'd mostly be entertaining to each other, but the further into interior a little joke burrows, the better. Clearly we'll need to find a party to attend after all. Although not on Halloween. That's when I hand out candy to rugrats. 

To continue our "very scary Halloween month," Andrew and I did a little more comprehensive of a "what it means if (still big if) Adella starts the first part of her (feminine, not bikes) cycling, and graduates to the fertility side of treatment. I walked him through as much as I know of the process. What I need to do. What he can do to help. 

And he and I worked through the financial part of things (to HSA or not to HSA... apparently to HSA and quickly at that, because there are limits in dribs and drabs on what can be contributed when and all). 

Having been on the front lines for some time, I'm not sure the transition in thought was as dramatic for me, but it was definitely a - oh I'm gonna say it and then get an icky rash from the very thought of having uttered the words - paradigm shift for the (W)rights. 

Oddly enough these talks are exhausting. And adrenaline boosting. Which I'm supposed to manage these days. Andrew got to burn his off on some kind of self-destructive death plunge through Galbraith. Since I'm specifically supposed to cut back exercise - one of my major coping tools - I'm re-assessing my stress management techniques. I have others, but I'll want to expand my repertoire. 

I've got a guided meditation app on my phone. It's short, but I need a gradual transition to anything meditation-wise. I can work into the skill, but it takes me a little while. I've got reading (out of the house - there's always things to be done in the house). I've got the once a month Taize service, which I wish were more often. I've got walking. I've got my hurts-so-good massages.

Then there are baths. I used to live in the bathtub as a child. Really. I ate breakfast in bath. I spent hours either playing with bath toys or - eventually - reading. At a certain point I guess I outgrew (literally) the common household bathtub. It's now challenging to get comfortable or fairly well immersed. Our current bathtub isn't the most amenable, either. it's weirdly flat and shallow, and ergonomically challenging even with a nice bath pillow (to say nothing of its general state of mire from the bike-and-chain's post-bike ablutions).

 But even with those limitations, I'm thinking I could make it work. Yesterday I plopped myself down with a kindle, a glass of water, a songza playlist (Meditative Classical) and some bath salts (not the kind that make you eat other people's faces). And it wasn't 100% comfortable, but it was restful. Not to mention it also allowed me to soak my feet and scrub down some of the callouses a bit. 

So, that's a miniature win for the day: New stress management/self-care method achieved. 

We'll see how often it can be worked into the repertoire. 

Another opportunity today, as I've got a massage. And I might be getting a nap if i'm really lucky. But long before this, it's time to rouse the loris and lounge with some dark as the devil Halloween goodies.