Monday, March 31, 2008

Mostly bad beginnings

Well, this week isn't starting out much better than last week. However, this may be due partly to my mood. Eric's having health issues, James is having (more) health issues, my birthday's coming up, and it's That Time of Month. Of course work isn't all that calming or appealing right now.

Eric is on a couple of seizure medications, and last winter he had a scare when he thought they weren't working and we went to the ER. It turned out actually to be a potassium deficiency, but he got on extra medication anyway due to some side effects of his epilepsy he'd been noticing have increased in intensity. This stuff--Keppra--has made him a lot more tired. This past week, on his spring break, he's gotten almost nothing done because he's been tired and listless; part of this seems to be that he has no structure or stimulating influence--such as his wife nagging him--to do things, but he feels part of it is the medication, too; he's been having this problem for a while. He's going to get an appointment with his epileptologist this week, and he's going to try taking a loser dosage of the Keppra to see if that helps. I am on changed-behavior watch.

James's doctor called him Friday and said, "I got your blood test results. Um, how are you feeling?" Apparently his lipase levels are abnormally high, which is a bad sign. James is on a liquid diet (which is making him exceptionally crabby, he says) and will be getting an MRI on Tuesday, whether he can pay for it or not. Fortunately his boss is being supportive and is actually getting him on insurance early to help him out; that may take effect tomorrow or it may happen on April 15, depending on what the insurance company has to say, but at any rate he can wait two weeks. Then, another surgery and, with luck, a solution.

I talked to Mom last night and she said, "So, I'm not sure I'm supposed to tell you this, but...have you talked to James lately?" I assured her I knew what was happening, and she talked about it, mentioning that James had consulted Dad and received his advice to get it checked out and she was glad he had done it early this time. I'm pretty sure I'm the one he consulted, or at least first. I could see him not telling our parents that he talked to me, either so as not to hurt their feelings or to protect me from them being upset that I knew he was in trouble and hadn't told them. I also think it's kind of amusing, and kind of sad, how much the four of us keep things from each other, just to try to keep each other's worrying to a minimum.

I'm not too concerned about the birthday except I'd like to be able to do something for it and can't really, and I mentioned to Eric that I might want to skip the symphony (which is on that day) and he dismissed the idea instantly. So we're going out to dinner at an inexpensive Mediterranean place instead, either before or after the symphony, and I don't know what I'll do otherwise. The normal Saturday thing, I imagine.

At least it's gotten warmer. I'm going to work in the yard tonight if at all possible, and I have seeds to start and, when my order of yeast gets here, bread to bake. I tried the no-yeast pumpernickel recipe over the weekend and it turned out terribly. But I have the other pumpernickel and a multigrain sandwich and a gruyere bread recipe I want to try soon. And there are plants that need tending and dirt that needs spreading and shrubs that need trimming. Eric predicts this year we'll have no spring at all, that it won't truly warm up until it suddenly becomes hot and humid. It's happened before, he says. I suppose at least it'll be good tomato weather.