Friday, February 21, 2014

Sometimes, on a good day, I knit to relieve stress. Wednesday I cast on a pair of socks, a dishcloth, and Scrunch's Easter sweater. I have already needed to frog the socks when one of my bamboo knitting needles snapped from my holding them too tightly and then again when I accidentally yanked the cording from the needle on my circular needle when I switched to magic loop.

Saturday I am driving a van full of my knitting group to one of the biggest yarn/fiber expos on the West Coast. The day cannot come fast enough-except that I have to clean out my car before then and it might take me all day. It is a very needed and well timed outing for me. And my car is grateful.

When I was in nursing school we took a mental health wellness quiz based on life stressors. You got points for major life events like a relationship status change, new job, moving, etc. Then you tallied all your points and it gauged how likely you were to become ill. At that time, I had enough stressors to be dead. I used to joke about it because I didn't even have kids or a mortgage! Ten years later, I guarantee that quiz was faulty. Had to be. Or that's why this is Crazytown and I'm it's Mayor. In the next two weeks (preferably one), I hope to have more clarity on a few of those stressors that are giving me and my knitting grief.

Some of my nearest and dearest kept going through all this major life drama. I was literally sitting in a hospital parking lot (because it was the cheapest, closest parking to our Pioneer Day fieldtrip at the Fort) when I got the voicemail from one of my oldest and dearest that she was being admitted to the hospital. This has helped to give me perspective. But then I think I'm going to lose it if I don't clean out my car, and I'm back to square one. My kids are fine, my marriage fine, but if one more person clogs another toilet I'm going to run screaming down the gravel road.

I had a self imposed afternoon of bedrest because this baby feels like it is trying to climb out, but I didn't knit. While Juju and Porkchop napped, I traced dresses for Scrunch's paper dolls. I played on my computer while she glued sequins and buttons to everything, including the back of my skirt I found out later. There are sequins and bits of ribbon still all over the bed. We laughed at her silly baby name suggestions. My favorite being Rainbow and Peter Pan of the ones that will never make the actual potentials list. This was a welcome change from stressed out, cranky mommy of the last couple days.

Who knew parts of being a grown-up were going to be so lame? And it's not the things that FlyLady can help me get a handle on. So, I knit. I might never actually finish something and have to keep restarting, but I'm still here. Tomorrow I hope to recharge and stock up so I can keep going.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Insomniac with a paintbrush.

I am several weeks past being able to squeeze into my lucky thrifting pants so I sat in the parking lot of the Korean market downing my lunch of noodles, sushi, and kimchi while the couple in the car next to me hunted down some jumper cables. I jumped their car, finished my lunch, and hoped I had secured enough karma to make my two hour trip to furniture heaven worth it. Four chairs and the beginnings of a bench later, me thinks it might be worth it to start carrying my own set of jumper cables and eating in the parking lots of every ethnic grocery store in the county.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Let's talk about me.

This post is about me. Weird, right? Since it's my blog and all.

#1. I have pregnancy induced insomnia- all three times. Yay, wee morning blogging where my lack of sleep is evident!!

#2. I recognize that my problems are first world problems. Pediatric hospice, multiple organ transplants, and potentially terminal cancer in a friend's spouse is a little too close to home right now, so believe me, I get it. My whining sounds shallow even to myself.

#3. If you have known me long, you will come to find out that I call for help pretty much when my house is on fire. Thankfully, my house has never been on fire, so yeah...I guess I'm a little proud. Ouch. That hurt even to just type it.

#4. On the surface I could be described as a Northern California homebirthing, home-schooling, hippie who recently moved very close to living on the edge of "the grid", is trying to raise as much of our own food supply on our property, and milks and then drinks raw milk.I know you're thinking, "Wackadoodle!" But please don't misunderstand...I'm not an idiot or a Kool-Aid drinker. I can only advocate and support homebirth when attended by experienced, certified midwives who have made it their life's mission to assist women in doing what has been done and attended by women since Eve's daughters. And only if low risk, and blah, blah, blah. I home-school because well, really? Read up on it. It's cool, and I don't have to worry about whose going to see me bra-less and in my pajamas when I drop of my kid at the butt-crack of dawn. Our move to BF nowhere came about because I wanted some goats and some chickens and my husband wanted somewhere high enough and far enough that light pollution didn't mess with the night sky and his telescope. Yes, I am growing a no GMO, organic garden and we're going to (soon I hope!) butcher our own pigs and stuff, but I also like Del Taco a little too much. And if the nacho cheese on the Nachos Bell Grande is mostly made of plastic, I'm kind of cool with it. The milk thing...well mostly, why not? It's pretty tasty and very handy to not have to go to the grocery store for it.

So, now I can tell you my story.

Two (or three) weeks ago I was watching my goats out the window and saw Moira, the herd "boss lady" wagging her tail a little too much. Aw, crap! She should not be in heat. She's supposed to be pregnant. So, I kind of went on a rampage trying to find a new buck and figuring out what I was going to do. Through some e-mails and a recommendation off the FB dairy group I belong to, I found a vet who would come out that week and teach me how to draw labs and would ultrasound my girls. While she was here she recommended that we test for a panel of zoonotic diseases, including brucella, coxiella burnelli, and leptospirosis because we were drinking raw milk. Based on #4 above, I agreed because well..hello? I'm not an idiot. I get why pasteurization is done and I would never drink raw milk unless I personally knew the udders it came out of.

So we tested for these rare, but still potentially disease causing agents and wouldn't you know it? Two of my does came back with positive titers for leptospirosis. Don't know where and I don't know how, but they were two does who I purchased together. I got the lab results late one evening and emailed the vet for clarification because positive titers only means that an exposure and immunity and has been developed, not necessarily that there is active disease, but it's hard to know. She called me first thing the next morning and very professionally, but with a tinge of panic explained that while transmission risk was low leptospirosis is "a known aborting agent in both goats and humans most often occurring late in pregnancy." Oh, great. But really not so great. Her recommendation was to isolate the two goats, re draw titers in 30 days to see if it was past exposure and then make a decision. As she put it, in one of them the level was high enough to "warrant humane euthanasia, although not her first recommendation". I was not to touch them. I am not to attend their kiddings unless gloved, gowned, and masked and I needed to consult my family doctor to have labs drawn on me to verify that I was not exposed during milking. At this point, I'm thinking that I got an over-zealous vet who was going a little overboard who was freaking me out! Did I mention my Husband was gone on a last-minute trip to Portland?

I read, and read, and read. I got a second opinion from another vet. I even emailed a homeopath in the UK who treats both animals and humans. They all said the same thing. "You're pregnant. Don't touch the goats." I called my midwives. I hemmed and hawed about actually finding a lab and having the tests done. I mean come on! I cared for AIDS, Hep C, and MRSA patients- all the time! And where was I going to find a GP who was a) going to take a new patient in their second trimester and b) be "Yay, homebirth! Yay, raw milk!"

Through the wonder known as the internet, I found an ND (naturopathic doctor) a few blocks from my husbands work. I saw her yesterday. I love, love, love her. She is one smart cookie. I was totally upfront with her. "I'm pretty much only here so you'll write me an order for a lepto titer and a CBC." "Oh, yes. We'll definitely do that, but since you're here do you mind if we talk a little and go over some things." "Um, no." I only had to drop off a 13 page history at least 24 hours before my appointment. She asked me a bunch of questions. I asked her a bunch of questions. Have you ever heard of methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase deficiency? Yah, me neither. But she's sending me to the lab again to have a panel drawn. She thinks there's a chance I might have it. It's a common genetic mutation of a gene responsible for making enzymes that do a bunch of stuff. One of them is to properly process folate. There is some debate, but they are finding this deficiency more common in young women with recurrent miscarriage. Also, I had a son with cleft lip/palate even though I'd been on folic acid for a loooong time in trying to get pregnant.I don't know if anything will come of it, but for the first time in nine years someone is trying to figure out the why of things. I'll do the labs soon and in three weeks I'll find out if I have been exposed to a rare bacterial infection and/or have a genetic mutation. Awesome. Not so awesome.

As for the goats, we've decided that it would be best to sell two of them if I can. It just isn't worth the risk that it be spread to the rest of my girls. I am so bummed. Sparkles is my favorite and I was so excited she's due with twins. In 6th grade I butchered and then ate my pet goose, Raffiki, to impress a boy so it seems I have a fickle, fickle heart when it comes to livestock. I will get over it. I don't even plan to replace her. At least not for a while. I do plan on doing a major day of thrift store shopping when the sun comes up though. It's been sort of a rough week and vintage chairs for the kitchen table would be an appreciated consolation prize. Especially since Amazon also e-mailed me to tell me that the order of amazing chairs I had ordered at an amazing price was not going to be fulfilled.

#5. I have very good and very bad luck.

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