Wednesday, January 10, 2007
Visit to Becky & Update
As promised, I wanted to talk about the visit that Aaron & I made to Becky just before New Years. Becky lives about a ninety minute drive from my parents (as opposed to a nine hour drive from me), so we decided to meet for the first time when I came down with Rob & the kids to spend New Years with my parents.
Becky and I met each other through the Isshinryu Women's Yahoo group. When she posted her blog link and I wandered over, I discovered that not only did she practice Isshinryu, but that she knitted, spun, read SF & fantasy, and kept snakes! Our hobby lists read like we developed them together - except for the snakes, but given Aaron's feelings about reptiles (evident above), snakes were a plus too. The snake Aaron is holding is Snow, a snow cornsnake. Becky allowed him to handle all but two of her snakes, and he was in seventh heaven. She has more photos of the visit here , but I couldn't resist stealing this one, the look on Aaron's face is so priceless.
We had originally planned for me to come up around noon, but that didn't happen. Instead Dad woke me up around eight with a phonecall to tell me he had asked a colleague (a neuro-opthamalogist) to work me into his morning schedule, and would I please get myself down to the hospital? This turned into a full morning of being tested: field of vision, color, point of focus - whole slews of things I've never had done before. Weirdly enough, given that I've been nearsighted my whole life, my distance vision is apparently better than my near vision now. Nice to know that the RK is still doing what it's supposed to do.
About noon, I thought I had been kicked free, but then got called back because the UMC computer was throwing fits about registering me for the MRI - it couldn't deal with a patient seeing a doctor first, and then getting registered. Eventually we had to give up on registering me under Dr. Parker, re-register me with Dad as the referring physician, and then schedule the MRI. By the time we got that straightened out it was nearly 2:30. Becky was an incredibly good sport about having me call repeatedly and move my visit further and further back each time. Eventually I did get away, packed Aaron in the car (Robbie changed his mind about six times before deciding to stay with Granny), and off we went.
Becky gave good directions, so we had no trouble finding her - having Cody standing out by the mailbox in his football jersey was a help too. He looks exactly like the photos on Becky's blog. I (just like Becky apparently) was a bit nervous about meeting her in person for the first time. What if we were disappointed in each other? I needn't have worried. Aaron started right off asking to see the snakes, and by the time we finished with that we were going on like we'd known each other forever. I got to hold Monty, Becky's younger ball python, who promptly demonstrated why they're called ball pythons, by curling up in a tight little knot. He calmed down after a minute or two, and was pretty quickly exploring just who this new person was. Never having handled snakes before, I was surprised by how curious and interactive they were. Aaron was delighted, but managed to contain himself and listen to Becky explain how to handle the snakes properly. I suspect we will be ending up with snakes ourselves in a few years, when he is old enough, and I find I'm rather looking forward to it.
After the snakes we went out to dinner, and then to the dojo. Becky showed me the re-breakable boards, which were interesting. She broke the yellow board, holding it in one hand, which was impressive. I tried it afterwards, and got it on the second try, but only with Becky holding it for me properly! Those things are tough. Cody and Becky both played Aaron at air-hockey, which he'd never seen before, and enjoyed a lot, and then Becky and I compared Seisan katas. Hers is a lot different from mine. They're unmistakeably the same kata, but many of the details are quite different, especially towards the end. I would dearly love to get a chance to go through all of them (at least that I know), but there just wasn't time that night. Oh well, by the next time I go down I should know one or two more, so the time won't be wasted.
After the dojo we went back to Becky's, where Aaron got to handle Sunset again. Becky gave him a snakeskin of his own to take home, and he's very proud of it. Then Cody, who's a member of an astonishingly good marching band, gave us a good-bye tune on his tuba. Aaron was asleep before we even got properly onto the highway, curled up with his snakeskin and the Pokemon cards Cody gave him. The whole visit was wonderful, definitely the high spot of what was otherwise a pretty difficult holiday. Thanks Becky for showing us such a good time!
Tumor update: All the recent news has been good. My fasting GH levels are normal (though cortisol is borderline, oddly enough). GH levels flux throughout the day, one of the things that makes acromegaly hard to diagnose until well progressed. If I'm understanding correctly, I'll probably have a glucose-challenge done next. The tumor itself measures about 2mm, and is low and central in the anterior pituitary, pretty much ideally located for surgery, if that's the route we take. I have my first appointment with an endocrinologist on Monday, Jan. 22nd, so things are pretty much on hold until then. I seem to be adjusting to the new way of things. I haven't had any serious flashes of terror in a couple of days now, though I'm still moodier than usual. I expect I'll get a little more nervous as the endocrinology appointment looms, but at least for now I'm doing pretty well. If I ever needed proof that I have wonderful friends, this last week has been it, as they put up with my obsessive behavior over acromegaly, and keep me sane when I'm trying to fly to pieces. Thanks guys!