Miss Misery

Well, I knew when Bryan had a fever Monday night into Tuesday that I was probably going to catch whatever he had. But I did not think it would be this bad.

I left work yesterday after my throat hurt worse and worse and I started feeling dizzy going to get lunch and couldn't have the lights on in my office. I could tell it was a fever coming on, and I almost never get fevers. I came home and Bryan and I both got in our sick bed (he's still sick) and did our best to take care of each other. From about 6pm last night until right now, my temperature has fluctuated between 101.3 and 102.6. I felt nauseated and it hurts so much to swallow that I think I slept on every clear, cushy surface in my house at some point last night to try to get comfortable. And to top it off, my throat is so swollen that I can't talk. Oh, and every time I take a sip of water, it goes up in my nose because there's no room to go down my throat.

This sucks. We're going to the doctor shortly, hopefully he'll tell me this is something they make medicine to fix.


Angioedema, you can kiss my grits.

Well, I spent the weekend in the throes of an angioedema attack. It started slowly on Friday afternoon and by 2am Saturday morning I had to wake my husband up to get me some medicine to treat the extreme pain and nausea. I have actually gotten enrolled in a clinical trial that would provide me with the enzyme I'm deficient of in a concentrated form and, theoretically, nip the attack in the bud, but unfortunately the center where they administer the drug and monitor your response is closed on the weekend. Doesn't that figure.

So I toughed it out. It is always a fine balance between not wallowing in pain throughout the attack and actually doing stuff, because it always seems that the more I do, the longer it lasts. Bryan and I did make it out Saturday afternoon to see my friend Jodie's daughter, Jordan, cheer at a basketball game, and then we went for a bite to eat and a movie for Leslie's birthday with her and her beau, but Sunday was a couch day and yesterday I stayed home and slept all day. I am feeling better today, but still not 100%.

Of course, as luck would have it, some monster bug decided to hit Bryan, and he woke me up at 2:30am telling me he was freezing... just about the time I had woken up to stick both legs out of the covers because I was burning up. Once I took his temperature and it was 99.6, I realized I was probably so hot because I was sleeping with a man made of charcoal embers. This morning when he was throwing the four blankets I gave him aside and telling me how hot it was (even though it was the same temperature it had been four hours before), I stuck the thermometer in his mouth again and got a reading of 102.2. Thankfully he wasn't too stubborn about staying home from work, but I am still trying to convince him he needs to go to the doctor. His symptoms are a sore throat, cough and headache... and unfortunately I'm starting to feel a twinge of a sore throat myself. I'm praying that's just sympathy pains, because I'm really not interested in having to take ANOTHER sick day.

Being sick is not fun.


When babysitting becomes mommy practice.

Last night, I babysat my boss's three children for a few hours while she gave a lecture. When she discovered Wednesday that she needed someone to watch them and asked me, I was happy to say yes--she has three great kids, and my husband keeps saying he wants three children, so I figured it would be good practice. Funny how when you're a teenager it's just "babysitting," but when you get older (and are not yet a mother), it feels more like a practice run for one day when you have your own.

We had a fun few hours together. I have to admit, on my way there I was a little worried the night would end with three children running around with indian feathers on their head, jumping from bed to bed with their mom's lipstick on their faces in some awesome tribal markings... but I think I've just watched Peter Pan too many times.

A few thoughts on having three children:
  • My first obstacle was going to the bathroom. The kids are 3 (the girl), 5 and 6 (the two boys), and the first time I went to pee, I shut the door, and no sooner than I was pulling toilet paper off the roll, they were all trying to join me in the john. Now, I'm not overly modest in most situations, but when you're watching your boss's kids, you kinda want to make sure you're on your toes and very appropriate, and I just felt like it probably wasn't a good ideas for the boys to see me on the porcelain throne. And so I had to pee for a good two hours after that before I managed to find myself upstairs with just her daughter... didn't mind peeing in front of her. :) (When my boss got home, she laughed and said that her sense of privacy was the first thing to go when she became a mom... next time, I'll still attempt a little modesty, but won't be so worried about it I spend half the night doing the peepee dance.)
  • Whatever happens, we WILL have the Noggin channel when we have children. We played several games and read some books and had some snacks and even had a bath in there, but it was a godsend to at least have one child at a time distracted for a few minutes by Little Bear or Miss Spider or Blue's Clues--and NO commercials! Someone in TV Land was smart with that one.
  • You must always remain on high alert with three children. I'm sure this is something you get used to when you are a mom, but I was constantly looking around to make sure nothing was going awry... pop the bubble for my turn on Trouble, look around and make sure other two kids aren't doing anything scary. Wash one child's hair, call down to make sure other kids aren't getting into trouble. I'm guessing when they're your kids, you have a better idea of what the other two (or one, whatever) will be doing while you're doing something else, but wow.
  • I have never doubted that I want to be a mom, but seeing the looks on those kids' faces when Mommy called to say she'd be home in a few minutes, and hearing them say "I love my mommy, I can't wait until my mommy gets home and I can see her and hug her," man... that is priceless! I hope to have that myself one day!!


Afternoon Happiness: Commendations!

Part of my job is to manage a medical residency program... I do all the administrative stuff for 22 doctors doing their final training to be internists & pediatricians (they'll be able to see adults AND kids when they're done). Well, there are standards that every residency must live up to, and the program is reviewed every couple of years by a national organization to make sure we're doing what we're supposed to. In between these reviews there are internal reviews, to make sure we'll be ready when the real thing comes.

We just got back our results from our internal review today. It was seven pages of the committee's suggestions for improvements to our program (or requests for clarification in some cases). At the very end, there was one line that made my day:

Commendation: Residents are very pleased with how supportive and helpful Lydia is.

Yay. :)


See, it can be winter here!

In spite of Bryan's insistence that it never snows in Richmond, it did! Saturday afternoon it began, and by some miracle it got cold enough that it actually stuck to the ground, and was not melted by the time we got up Sunday morning. Naturally, this called for some outdoor fun!

Perhaps to further emphasize the difference between Northerners and Southerners, this is what I wore to play in the snow:
And this is what Bryan wore:
Luckily I had just gotten a great deal on ski pants at A&N ($12.99!), so I put on those over long johns and jeans and a sweater, with my giant boots, a coat and a hat. Oh, and a scarf and gloves. For Bryan? Old sneakers, shorts, a t-shirt and a windbreaker. Whatever, honey, I know you were cold! :)

We just stayed out long enough to tackle each other in the snow a couple times... maybe fifteen minutes. And of course the short amount of time outside had nothing to do with the fact that my husband was dressed like he was going for a jog.

The best part about playing in the snow? SNOW ANGELS!


Hooray for the Bonus Day!

Thanks to good ol' national holidays, Bryan and I are both off on Monday for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. When we got up this morning, both feeling particularly lazy, it occurred to me that essentially we have a bonus day on our hands. That is, even if we don't do anything today, we still have tomorrow and Monday to get weekend things done.

And so, we haven't really done anything. Besides eat breakfast, nap (Bryan)/watch Gordon Ramsey's Kitchen Nightmares and rub husband's head (me), eat lunch, watch some more BBC America, and nap (me). Oh, and how can I forget, watch it snow! (Of course now it's raining... but it was nice while it lasted!)

We finally decided to shower and make a feeble attempt to be a little productive around 6pm. Now I'm dressed and clean and trying to decide if I am, in fact, going to do anything besides sit around and be a slug...

I love bonus days!


Afternoon Happiness: Mountain Dew

After hours of reading medical school transcripts, personal statements and letters of recommendation, I started to feel my eyelids get very heavy. Rather than fall asleep and end up drooling on my keyboard, I decided to break my own no-soda-on-weekdays rule a little bit and go get a Mountain Dew to pep me up.

I took the first sip, and felt like a crack addict. I grinned and giggled and cooed to my boss about how good it tasted, then took another sip and repeated the sequence. What I didn't think about before taking a swig is that since I instituted my soda-free weekdays rule a few months ago, I have really only drunk Pepsi on the weekends (with the exception of that one Cheerwine evening). So I couldn't even tell you the last time I had a Mountain Dew.

And, MAN, is it good.

Morning Annoyance: Housekeeping. Again!

Either the housekeepers came in last night and got pissed about my little M&M note, or they are just as useless as I suspected. I got to work this morning to three full trash cans. They didn't empty our trash! One good thing: I still have a full dish of candy.

Thankfully the contract manager for the housekeeping service gets pissed when they don't do what they're supposed to and routinely comes around to check and asks that we call if we don't get serviced. So I called my good buddy Robert Brown and he said he'd send someone over.

She arrived just a few minutes ago. Sort of confused looking. I said, "We have three trash cans, one in that office, one here (pulling mine out) and one in that office." She looked at me with a blank face and began fumbling with her soda bottle. Yes. She came in with a 20 ounce soda in one hand and trash bags in the other. So for about a minute she switched the bottle from hand to hand trying to figure out how she was going to empty three trash cans AND maintain control of her Diet Pepsi. Finally she settled on stuffing it in her coat pocket, and she set about emptying the trash.

I was in the middle of reading residency applications, so I continued to do that, but I always hate for the service people around here to think people don't appreciate them or think they are lesser beings, so I tried to make some small talk. I told her I guessed they forgot about us (while secretly reading her face to see if perhaps she was the one who stole my M&Ms last week, or if someone had indeed been in last night and read my note and decided not to empty our trash and told her about it). She apologized, said she guessed so too, apologized again, fidgeted with the soda bottle again. I thanked her a couple times in between her apologies and then she was on her way. Still wearing that blank, confused expression.

At least my trash can's empty now.


Afternoon Annoyance: Housekeeping!

I'm sitting here staring at my little dish of M&Ms and realizing that today is Thursday, and have thus become incredibly annoyed with housekeeping.

You see, Thursday is our trash pick-up day. They come around and empty trash every night if you leave your trash can in the hallway, but they only empty the trash cans IN your office on Thursdays. Typically this is fine--I don't make a whole lot of trash because I recycle most of my paper stuff--but it is usually full to overflowing when Thursday comes around.

So last week, I came in Friday morning and didn't really think about the trash. I sat down and started working and looked over and realized that my dish of M&Ms was EMPTY. I knew when I left Thursday it had been at least half-way full, and I knew that my boss and our intern had not dumped the whole dish into their mouths. The only possible culprit? Housekeeping!

Little bastards. And the kicker? They emptied the two other trash cans in our office suite, but NOT MINE! I guess they got so caught up with shoving red & green M&Ms in their pie holes that they forgot they were actually sitting at my desk for a PURPOSE. Other than THIEVERY!

These punks are famous for being lazy and fairly incompetent. This summer we discovered one of them had been perusing foot fetish porn on my boss's computer. A housekeeper stole an apple and a Pepsi from my desk that same night. The next night they left all the songs they had burned onto a CD on my boss's desktop and left the CD drive open. In the bathroom, a big, dead bug laid on the floor for about 6 weeks, until one day I tore off a paper towel and put it over it, since it seemed the only thing they ever do when they "clean" that bathroom is pick up large trash--it was gone the next day. You can't tell me they never saw that bug.

Anyway, I put a hot pink Post-It note on my M&Ms that says "Please don't take ALL my M&Ms :)." I thought about putting another one that said "And don't forget to empty my trash," but knowing the penchant for porn of previous housekeeping staff, I'm a little afraid I'd come into my office to a sticky situation. IF ya know what I mean.

Morning Happiness: Two Snowflakes

As I opened my front door to go to work this morning, I was having an internal rant, Yosemite Sam style, about how we never get snow here and I'd like to wake up just one morning to a nice pile of snow and how the next county to the west has so much snow the schools are closed, and then: two snowflakes.

No sooner than I started down the steps, two giant snowflakes came down right in front of my nose. And while I would have loved for them to be surrounded by thousands of other snowflakes, somehow those two had enough magic to totally turn my attitude around. I haven't stopped smiling since, and even if I am stuck in my office, missing out on the snow that's supposed to develop, my day got off to a great start.


Afternoon Happiness: Chocolate Chip Cookie

I think I have a small stomach or something, because I don't have a lot of capacity for large meals. Which is good. But what it means is that often I can not eat a meal PLUS dessert all in one sitting. Today for lunch, we had boxed lunches. Mine had a sandwich (chicken salad), potato salad, a pickle spear and a chocolate chip cookie. I enjoyed the savory parts while watching last week's episode of Grey's Anatomy online (which was so good!), but didn't have room at the end for the cookie.

So now it is sitting daintily on a napkin on my desk, looking up at me with its big chocolatey chips and smiling.

Okay, it's not really smiling. But it feels like it is. And while I am a fan of delayed gratification, I think it's time for me to chomp it.


Gettin' gussied up for arthritis.

Saturday was the Arthritis Foundation's black tie event, the Crystal Ball. Since my hubby isn't too keen on wearing a tux, I took my friend Sarah instead.

On the way there, Sarah asked me if we had dancing. I thought about it for a second, until I responded that I have heard there is, but in eight years of attending, I'm pretty sure I've never seen it! Each year I have been helping with auction check-out, so I've always missed that part. Well, this year, I told Traci (who plans the event) that I only wanted to do early event stuff... so Sarah and I helped with registration and the live auction, then we were free to enjoy!

And enjoy we did! We danced the night away with some other AF friends after a great meal at The Jefferson. I got a little teary eyed a couple of times, but they were good tears... living with this stupid disease, it really touches me to see people donating thousands of dollars towards finding a cure for it.

One of the fundraisers of the evening is a Champagne Diamond Raffle. You pay $25 for a ticket and you get a glass of champagne and a chance to win that evening's donated diamond jewelry. This year: a necklace valued at $14,500. Of course I bought a few tickets! At the end of the night, ten names are drawn, and each person comes up on the stage and receives a box. One person's box has the winning ticket, the rest have charms. I was talking to my pals just before the drawing and saying how I didn't know how I'd explain to Bryan that we were going to have to pay a few thousand dollars in taxes on this necklace if I won it, but I still wanted it. Well, my name was drawn, first! I went up to the stage, picked a box, and waited for nine other names to be drawn. Then we all opened our boxes... man, was I sweating! And inside.... a charm. Oh well, I didn't want to pay the taxes on it anyway!

A few photos:

Me with Christian, Erica & Eric Schmude (where was Michele?!):

Me and my "date," Sarah:

Me with Christian Schmude and my arthritis sister, Erica:


My new love affair.

Okay, I am officially in love with a set of HD DVDs. My husband knows about this affair, and maybe even shares in it. It is the Planet Earth series.

We watched two of them last night, and if I had my way, I would have watched the other 9 and played hookey from work today. You can check out a sampling of what's offered through Planet Earth here, but you gotta watch all of them. ESPECIALLY if you have access to HD DVD or Blu Ray. Holy Jesus. I don't think I've ever before said "Wow" that many times in a period of a couple of hours. I am still totally geeking out over these. I can't wait to watch the rest, and I can't stop thinking about the ones we watched! You will see parts of the world you never knew existed, animals you have never seen, views that made me get all teary eyed and feel my heart well up with gratitude for this beautiful planet we live on.

I'm feeling about as nerdy as I ever have about this series, you really should check them out. Hell, you can come to my house and watch them if you want!


Sara's getting married!

Well, my Maid of Honor is becoming the Bride!

My friend Sara, who I've known since our days at Thomas Dale in AP Calculus together, got engaged the day before Christmas Eve (another friend Sarah tells me this is called "Christmas Adam," but I don't know about that... :) ). She and her beau Jason will be tying the knot on November 8 of this year, and I am so excited for them!

On Thursday, Sara called me with a last minute invitation. Some of her girlfriends in DC (where they all live) were taking her to dinner Friday night to peruse bridal magazines, and since she was asking all of them to be in the wedding, and since she wanted me to be in the wedding too, she wondered if I'd drive up to Alexandria for the evening... and if I'd be a bridesmaid! Of course I said yes to both. Who can resist wedding planning, mexican food and some of your best friends! So last night I had flashbacks of my days at the Arthritis Foundation when I used to have to drive up to Northern Virginia and back for committee meetings. I headed up to Alexandria after work, met the ladies for some great discussion and food, and drove home.

Can I just say that I LOVE weddings? I didn't really care much either way before I got married myself, but my wedding was the most fun day of my life so far, and I am so excited to help Sara on her road to her own best day ever. She is planning to get married here in Richmond, so that means I'll be more of a help than I would have been if she got married in DC, and also that I'll get to see more of her! Yay! Looking at the bridal magazines and talking about the wedding and her love for Jason made me all mushy... it is so fun to be a girl in love, with friends who are also in love. Mushiness abounds!

Anyway, today Bryan and I have been cleaning the house together, and it desperately needed it, as I totally fell off the 15-minute bandwagon. I am determined to get back on it though... in just a few minutes my former neighbor Sarah is coming over and we are going to the Arthritis Foundation's Crystal Ball, the black-tie fundraiser event. Should be fun!


Lost without Lotus.

Since I arrived to work at 7am today, I have been without access to my LotusNotes work email. And I am totally lost. Thank God today was an interview day for the residency I manage, because I at least had things to do for that all day to keep me relatively busy. But the times I've found myself sitting in front of my computer, I feel like... well, you know those old cartoons where the cat would sit outside the mouse hole and swat at it every once in a while and just stare at it, hoping that the mouse would come out? Yeah, that's me with LotusNotes today.

It hasn't escaped me that not a dozen years ago I hardly knew what email was. I didn't have my own computer until my second or third year in college, and that was fine. Back then only about half of the people I went to school with had their own. The rest of us used the computer labs to check our email, and made do just fine. Nowadays, classes are held online and even if you actually attend a lecture with a professor in person, you still better have almost constant computer access to check your assignments and whatnot. Man, things change fast!

All I know is, I don't know how to function without email access at work. Luckily the day isn't much longer, and they BETTER have my email back up when I get here tomorrow!


Another Kris Kross Production

This morning, I got up on time for I think the first time since coming back to work after two weeks off last Wednesday. I showered and got dressed with fairly little of the typical "what to wear?!!???" drama, as I had already kind of figured out what I wanted to wear today. I left home, caught the bus, came to work, made the coffee, sat down at my desk, and had an itch on the front of my neck. I scratched it, and felt something a little funny with my sweater. I reached into my neckline, only to be met with the tag.

I wore my shirt to work backwards.


It's fixed now. But I am now singing "Kris Kross'll make you JUMP! JUMP!" over and over, because those little dudes made wearing your clothes backwards seem kind of cool in the early nineties. I must say, though, I didn't feel cool when I discovered my little error. :)


Le Wrap-Up

I can't believe the holidays are over... I was really getting used to not having a single responsibility that couldn't be put off for another day! Since we last talked...

-We headed up to Pennsylvania for a visit with the in-laws on Christmas Eve. We exchange names there, and originally had planned to open gifts on Christmas evening. Due to scheduling conflicts, we opened on Christmas Eve instead. Which was fine, except my father-in-law got my name and gave me an accessory for the KitchenAid stand mixer Bryan was giving me for Christmas, and his sister got Bryan and gave him the Planet Earth HD DVDs to go with the HD DVD player I was giving him for Christmas. So we both sort of knew what Santa would be delivering later that night. ;-)

-I think I slept the latest I've ever slept on Christmas morning, it was after 9 before I got up. I still came downstairs so excited that my father-in-law said, "Wow, you're like a kid on Christmas morning!" Damn straight!

-We went to Atlantic City for the day on Wednesday after Christmas. We both played $10/$20 Limit Texas Hold 'Em. We were in the High Roller Room. I thought I was going to barf the first time I had to throw in a few $10 and $20 bets on one hand, but then I won and it was all good once I was stacking up those red $5 chips. Unfortunately by the end of the night we did not win any money. But that's alright, it all evens out over a few visits...

-We came home Friday night and immediately turned into giant slugs. Which is fun.

-Got a call Sunday from my credit card company. To make a long story short, someone got ahold of my credit card number and tried to charge about $7000 worth of stuff on overstock.com. Thank God the credit card companies are super vigilant about detecting fraud. Turns out the purchase was made from a computer in Nigeria, items were to be shipped to Nebraska, and the billing address they entered was in Texas. I was told I should file a police report. Chesterfield Co. police told me it was pointless to file one with them, as they have no jurisdiction anywhere outside of the county. They said call the FBI. I did, even though I knew they wouldn't care. They told me to call Secret Service. I haven't called yet, I feel a little ridiculous calling the freaking Secret Service. But it pisses me off, because no wonder these bastards get away with this--no one does anything about it! Bryan said I should call Chris Hansen from Dateline NBC. I think he may be onto something.

-New Year's Eve was spent for the third year in a row with our pals Sarah and Todd. We went to a party at Mulligan's in the Fan and had a blast. That is, after Sarah and I took control of the music. One of the organizers of the party didn't quite have the same "vision" of a party as we did, and so we started shoving dollars into the jukebox and made a nice little dance party. We had a great time, and even got a hotel room downtown to avoid driving after all the beverages.

-Why must UVA lose every freaking bowl game?

-My husband figured out how to watch 3 different football games at once on our new TV. He took pictures, he was so proud.

-I felt like a zombie when I tried to wake up at 6:30am this morning. Let's hope tomorrow is better.