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Neurologist Visit

March 29th, 2007 by Joyce

I went to see Dr. Lopez yesterday. The EEG report from last month said I was slow in the left temporal lobe. That makes sense, since that’s where the injury and AVM was. The report also noted no epileptic activity. That’s downright exciting.

My brain is healing and everything will be fine, fine, fine.

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We all slept in the same bed last night!

March 28th, 2007 by Joyce

Think we can do it again? I think so.

Now I wonder how many weeks until they can go to sleep on their own?

You’re right. Let’s just take one thing at a time, shall we? Let’s perfect the whole sleeping concept, first.

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Notes from early February

March 28th, 2007 by Joyce

It was probably written in early February or late January. I found it written on a piece of lined paper torn from a legal pad. It’s not been a few weeks, but those feelings are in so many ways so distant, almost forgotten.

I am tired of convalescing.
I am tired of no one to share ideas with [I couldn’t handle the energy and chaos of spending time with C&D upstairs, but we couldn’t of course leave C&D to their own devices just so someone could keep me company!]
I am having trouble write [sic] and can’t practice [probably from the computer headaches I still have] and am frustrated.
Frustrated that my house is a disaster.
Want to write and can’t write as fast as I can type.
Upstairs like a gorilla walking.

Can’t express mightself [sic], might as well not have fingers.

Two visitors this week. Talked until I was dizzy but still didn’t want them to leave.

Doctor and nurse puppet [This was my biggest stroke of genius during that time period. When C&D couldn’t ignore the scar on my head, I bought a puppet doctor, nurse, police officer, and firefighter so we could sing the song “Police officer, firefighter, the doctor and the nurse, they help us when we’re hurt, they help us when we’re hurt, they help us when we’re hurt.” It’s from a Signing Time DVD (maybe the “My Neighborhood” volume). Then I told C&D a story which they could recite back. “Mommy hurt head. Doctor fix it. Nurse fix it. Mommy sleeping.” They seemed satisfied with the explanation, which they remind me of several times a week.)

I want my mom. I want someone who has an eye for me. I want someone to totake [sic] care of house. [She might fuss and she might hover, but the commercials are right. When you’re sick, you want to go home, and you want Mom. She knows all your peculiarities, already.]

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Or, why lists are dangerous

March 26th, 2007 by Joyce

I was cleaning our my lists in my PDA, sorting out to-do’s from to-writes from been-dones. Let’s go through it. Lists–at least, my lists–usually involve something that should be done. I usually do it myself, although if you’re around I might task you with crossing an item off the list. At the end, the list might have just as many to-do items as we started with or, more typical these days, wind up even longer. No one said recuperation is about idleness. I’m busy planning what I’m going to do as soon as I feel well enough and have time enough to do it all. Be ready.

What was this list about? It’s dated Feb 4.
l owes
Door sproinger
Brackets to Mount furniture
Lawn markers or flags

I’m guessing it’s a shopping list for Lowe’s. I wasn’t driving or even shopping at that point, so I’m guessing I was making a list for Matt. The door sproingers (the little nubblies that project the drywall from getting dented from the doorknob . . . “sproinger” is my own technical knowledge) were replaced except for maybe two or three (and they’re on the list on the mirror, the next time I’m looking for something to do). Next item, brackets? Ah, I wanted brackets for the drawers, so C&D can’t tip them. I don’t know what to do about that, because we keep moving the furniture. Hmm. I should maybe attach them to the wall, anyway. I should put that on the mirror. And the lawn markers are for a project that I had decided to postpone. I wanted to landscape our right-of-way (it looks like our yard, but it’s not ours), and then decided that other house repairs were more important. I might find some flags, anyway, just for fun.

Wanted ad for Toby
Right. I tried to find a better home for Toby, because it’s rough here. Some of the cats pick on him a bit, and he insists on crossing these busy streets. I couldn’t find anyone who wanted him, even though he’s good company. I’ll have to think about what to do. It’s hard to have him inside much. As he gets older, he insists more and more that he needs to cuddle on my bed, but he bothers my allergies. Poor Toby.

Carmen can sing tre whole rainbow song and the welcome to school Song, too
This was from a long time ago, probably around Christmas. I was impressed that, for one thing, she was actually listening to my singing well enough to sing back to me. Second, I was impressed with her ability to memorize a song at all. The week after Matt’s mother came to visit in January, she was singing “Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes” after hearing it just a handful of times. David can sing songs, too. Both are even making songs up, now. Most concerts are a capella, in bed, in the dark, while Matt and I wonder if they’ll ever go to sleep.

In Feb dad can bring weed eater
February came and went. Hrmm. Might need to amend that one. “In March dad can bring weed eater.” Of course we got rid our lawn tools when we moved. Where would we put it?

Great stuff under the tub
Did I ever do that? I don’t remember. The bathtub is a little scary; it’s installed over a large hole in the foundation. I can see dirt at the bottom. I’m a little afraid of what might come out from it. Termites or other things that have too many legs.

Black and tan branches and maybe a butlers mirror
Ah, yes, I’d like to decorate my house. Well, in another lifetime. Decorating is pretty low on the list right now. Someday? I have a “someday” list. This item should go there.

Todays Vision nosepieces on glasses
Because one broke. I should put that on the mirror. I forget until I have to wear the glasses.

Christine Caver
Where are you, Dr. Caver? Did I ever tell you how cool Peter and I thought you were? I try to be a better writer because you showed me I could.

Babies two- year follow up
They’ve been two, and they haven’t had a two-year checkup. Like the decorating, it’s low on the current list of priorities. They’re fine.

Bye ding dong
When we first moved, I tried to teach C&D that the ding-dong of the doorbell meant someone was at the door, waiting. So when we heard the doorbell ring, I’d say, “Ding, dong, time to answer the door! I’m coming!” and run downstairs and answer the door. Somewhere in my instruction I erred, because one day someone was leaving the house and C&D said as he left, “Bye, Ding Dong!”

Co-op- I love you kale, I love you broccoli
This was maybe a reminder to write an entry about maybe the last time I visited the co-op. As we left Carmen turned, waved and said, “I love, kale! I love you, broccoli!” I meant to write a story about it. Now it’s just an item on a list, just a little expanded.

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Bad Haircut

March 26th, 2007 by Joyce

Even though my hair is growing out, I still have a rainbow-like arc across the left side of my head. It starts just in front of my ear, travels up and over the ear, and then back down. The scar marks where the surgeon cut my skin, peeled it back, and then opened a window in my skull to access the interior of the left lobe of my brain.

When I look in the mirror I don’t really see the scar. I remember it, though, when I feel it as I nestle my head into my pillow, or Matt tussles my hair, or I see, out of the corner of my eye, someone stare. Sometimes I see heads snap in my direction, as if someone suddenly thinks, “WHAT happened to your HAIR?”

Given that we leave in the foothills of Montrose, one of Houston’s more funky neighborhoods, I’m sure some people wonder if the arc is an effort to carve some kind of design in my dark hair. Once a security guard followed me around the Randalls, suspiciously, as I slowly wobbled up and down the aisles. Was he curious, or did he think I belonged to some kind of gang?

Sometimes I would lie in bed imagining t-shirts I could wear, saying things like “I Just Had Brain Surgery” or “It’s a Scar, Duh.” Sometimes I try to imagine what the scar might look like a year from now. Will it still be visible? I wonder.

I don’t mind it. In fact, I like the scar. It’s a medal of honor, a reminder of what I’ve done and what I have yet to do.

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March 26th, 2007 by Joyce

Every day is different than the one before it. That means every day has new challenges. Some of these we can meet; others are a test of our endurance and dedication.

Like, for instance, our sleeping habits.

Since they were tiny enough to be held in the crook of our elbows, Matt slept with David, I slept with Carmen. David fell asleep relatively easily, but woke up early. This closest matched Matt’s schedule, so David became Matt’s assigned baby. That left me with Carmen who, like me, fought sleep and prefered to sleep later (if you consider 6:30a “later”), so Carmen became my assigned baby.

Two years later, we’re a little tired of the arrangement. So this was the plan: C&D would fall asleep with me. Matt would wash up later. Eventually, C&D would fall asleep together on their own, and Matt and I might have a whole hour of peace in the house to catch up on the day and brush our teeth without telling someone not to jump on the bed. Simple enough? Simple enough. That’s what I thought.

So, last night, I told C&D that Daddy was taking out the trash (which he sort of was) and that we would just fall asleep. David cuddled on my left, Carmen on my right. I lay over the small gap between the Carmen’s bed and the larger bed. They began to whisper, and then Carmen rolled toward the wall and began to kick it with her feet.

“Somebody hammering,” David said, smiling.

“Nobody’s hammering,” I returned. “That’s Carmen making noise.”

“Somebody HAMMERING,” David insisted.

Carmen stopped to listen to our whispers. “Dundering!”

Oh, no. “Dundering!” David cried, assuming I suppose that if Carmen said so, it must be true. He began to wail.

Carmen, assuming that if David cried so, it must be worth crying about, cried louder.

“Matt!” I yelled, hoping Matt was in earshot of the baby monitor. He was, and swooped in to comfort two hysterical toddlers who were certain there was something to be afraid of, even if we weren’t sure what it was that we were so afraid of. Then Matt and David retreated to their own bed, and Carmen went to sleep.

Stinkers, the both of them. But we’ll try again. You’ll see.

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My nose

March 21st, 2007 by Joyce

So I went to the allergist. He looked inside my nose and pressed on my sinuses. Then he gave my nose a gentle honk and wiggled it side to side.

“Eh,” he said, handing me my usual stack of prescriptions, and giving my scar another nod of approval. “Not deviated. It’s just really swollen.” My septum isn’t a deviant, after all. It’s just going through a rough few weeks. We all are.

“Oh,” I said. “My baby hit me with a book, I think. And my husband did get a mattress cover so I could rest more comfortably. But the smell was too strong.”

“Memory foam?”

I apologized to my nose, collecting the scrips for antihistamines, steroids, bronchodilators, and needles, and went home.

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