We are two days out from "The Great Fire of 2010," which of course was not nearly as bad as Lyanna's Fire of 2008. It also isn't as funny as The Great Flood of 2005 was after the fact. It's just a huge inconvenience that has Pete and I living only in our bedroom with the two cats, who can't go downstairs until the insurance people are done doing their thing.
Peter's quick thinking to go buy 8 box fans probably saved our place from more smoke damage. While the fire wasn't bad, the kettle was plastic, and plastic is toxic when it burns and creates a terrible smell. I think that the smell is mostly gone, but since we haven't been able to clean up the fire extinguisher residue I'm not sure if what I'm smelling is that or plastic.
Here is what the stove looks like:
Here is the now infamous tea kettle that was on that back burner:
Every crisis comes with its battle wounds, and this one is no exception. But my battle comes from Finnegan, our dear, sweet little Devon.
I've told people how an old friend of mine warned me that CATS CAN SUCK OUT YOUR SOUL WHILE YOU SLEEP! Finnegan would never attempt that, he's too cute. But I have the good fortune of replacing his mother. This means that every night, he plants himself on my stomach, and kneads my face and neck. Sometimes this means that he also tries to nibble on my face, or that he bites my face. It's all part of a bedtime ritual in which I talk to him until he settles down and we can both go to sleep.
The night of the fire he was so distressed that he wouldn't let me go to sleep. He kept kneading my neck and wouldn't settle down. And so, I woke up with a nice little scratch under my eye. All because my poor cat was so freaked out he tried to suck out my soul while I was sleeping, just like I was warned. Or, like my work friends say, my cat gave me a hickey. Your pick!
What started out as a productive day ended with a small kitchen fire caused by yours truly.
We have one of those stoves that has a ceramic top, and our kitchen has next to no counter space. Peter temporarily moved my electric kettle on top of the stove for some reason. We were reupholstering the bottom of our couch (thanks, kittens), when he asked me to put some boiling water on the stove to start some Stovetop for part of our dinner. I did, and then went back to help him. Five minutes later we heard a crackling noise, and he turned around and the stove was on fire! Turns out that I had turned on the wrong burner, even though I remember checking it. We used the fire extinguisher to put the fire out, and I ran upstairs with the cats to get them away from the smoke.
The house is ok, we're all ok. It smelled terrible--like burnt plastic from the kettle--so we're camping out at Cristin's place for the evening. I'm hoping when I go back in the morning it will be better. We did call our insurance company just in case.
A few things I'm thankful for after this adventure:
So that added a little more fun to our weekend. Needless to say that I'll be going into work late tomorrow, so that I can meet the adjuster and start cleaning up anything that I can. Never boring!
Peter is obviously a major part of my life. With Pete come his kidneys. They have a life of their own, and enjoy making me crazy with every flare up of gout, every blood test, and every urine sample.
When Peter and I started dating, he would make trips to a hospital in St. Petersburg for checkups with his nephrologist. I didn't really know what it was about, because he never explained it past "my kidneys make too much protein." That was enough for me at the time. He didn't look sick, and never felt sick, and never really talked about it, so I wasn't too concerned. I thought that it was minor. If Peter slept over the night before a lab test, he would bring a big jug that would go in my bathtub for his 24 hour urine sample. It was a normal thing to me. It wasn't until we were engaged and I connected the gout he was getting to his kidneys that I realized that we were dealing with something big and unpredictable.
What Pete has is Diffuse Mesangial Proliferative Glomerulonephritis. It's a disorder that causes protein to be lost in his urine, which he told me, and also causes his kidneys to be inflamed. Other symptoms he has are high blood pressure, the occasional bout of gout, high potassium, anemia, and hypothyroidism. For all of these things he takes an immunosuppressant, blood pressure medication, synthroid, and a low potassium diet. The newest addition to this is Aranesp, which helps his body produce more red blood cells so that he's not anemic.
The Aranesp freaked me out. Pete has to go once a month to get a shot, and for his first shot the nurse told him something that we hadn't heard before. In the last six months, Peter's kidney function has gone down to 30%, 18% lower than it was at his last appointment. Because his glomular filtration rate is 38, he is in stage three of chronic kidney disease, but at the lower end of it. Stage 4 begins at 29.
So we are working on it. Pete has been working out, and I have been scouring the internet for different things we can do. We will be seeing a nutritionist that can help with a diet that is kidney-friendly. We've also been working with Best Doctors, which is a service that my company offers, and a world-reknown nephrologist will be going over Pete's charts to make sure that someone didn't miss something.
Normally I wouldn't post crazy medical stuff about either of us, but so few people have what Pete has, I felt like posting something about it would up the chance of someone finding me, be it a doctor, or someone else that has what Pete has. And maybe they can help us with their experience with treatments and what we should be doing right now. So I'm sending this out into the Internet, and hopefully someone will find it.
And aside from all that Peter is fine, by the way. It's just his kidneys that don't cooperate and like to freak me out. And I'm always up for a challenge, even if it's winning a war against my husband's kidneys!
Over the years, I have become less and less of a birthday person. I love my friends and family, but prefer that the center of attention stays away from me. Maybe avoiding birthdays is a sign of reaching adulthood. Turning 26 freaked me out, because my self imposed having kids deadline was 28. Now that we're a year away from that, I feel really pressured to finish things that Pete and I want to do, like visit my sister in Thailand and go to Ireland. All related to travel and money, of course. And get to grad school, and finish grad school. And keep my house clean all the time. And be organized. The self improvement list never ends. Anyway, here are a few things I have learned in the last year of my life.
I think that's enough for now. I can't reveal all of my secrets out in one night! In the next year, I want to learn to enjoy cooking, take care of out house a little better, refinish a desk that I have, and take a mini vacation with Pete. No pressure, though!
What is RSV, you ask? It's respiratory syncytial virus, an infection that most people get as kids, but you can get reinfected with as an adult (especially if you hold a baby that has it, like I did). So I've been sitting here at home for the last five days, fevering (and under-fevering at a 97.1 low!) and watching plenty of Netflix. Even though I'm sort of mad that it ruined my three-day weekend of fun, I'm glad that I'm not missing an entire week of work. It's newsletter week, and I have too much to do to be stuck here at home.
Our two, newly neutered kitties have been keeping me company by sleeping a lot in their bed (and sometimes with me). The poor kittens are knocked out by their pain meds, which they're about to get another dose of when I'm done with this.
Love, love, love this with our inky blue walls. I also love this, from The Vintage Pearl:
Woohoo for shopping online when you're home sick! Tonight, my big plans are to lay on the couch, eat a wonderful dinner made by Pete, and maybe throw a load of laundry in. Or take a nap. Tough life, I know!
Penelope Trunk is a blogger and author who facinates me. She's a mom who has Asberger's and openly admits it on her blog, and she has started several businesses, including Brazen Careerist, which is a social network for young professionals like myself.
In her most recent blog post, Penelope talks about blogging boundaries, which is something that I struggle with. She is so honest, which is why people read what she writes. The same goes with Jenn Mattern, a recently divorced mommy blogger who is bipolar and trying to raise both of her kids.
I love reading about real people. Idealic lives make me uneasy, because even though things are perfect on the outside, they are never really perfect. I want to write that way on my blog, but the advent of Facebook and having an actual career make me careful. The career is what makes me really careful. It's not that I'm not honest, I'm just selective, which is why I haven't been posting much. 2010 will be a new year for You Shall Above All Things Be Glad and Young.
Usually at the end of the year, I post my thoughts about the last year. Then in the new year, I post resolutions. Since I've been a blogging slacker, I'm a little late.
Last year was a good year. Pete and I celebrated our first successful year of marriage, and I celebrated my first year at the "new" (now old! haha) job. The joys of being gainfully employed are definitely not lost on me. I also picked up a freelance gig that will be bringing in a little bit of extra money each month. We spent time with our families and friends, though not as much as we wanted to. Tater passed away, breaking both of our hearts, and we welcomed two new kittens into the family to help heal the wounds. We didn't pay off as much debt as we wanted to, and also cancelled our spring trip to Ireland to focus more on that.
As with any new year post, you have to look at what you want to accomplish in the coming year. There are a few things for me:
I think that six resolutions is enough for now. Hope everyone had a happy and safe new year!
Oh the days of the survey. Here I am, awake at 11 pm the day before a media event, and I have nothing better to do than hunt down a survey that I took in 2003 and see what my answers would be today.
THE FRUITS OF YOUR LABOR( things you can't live without)
Something important on your desk: my steno pad
When you sleep you wear: night gown or boxers/shirt
If you could afford it at the moment, you would buy: a brand new kitchen, new windows for the upstairs, and new curtains for the downstairs. and some paint.
Something you don't have a lot of: time
If your house was burning and you could only save 3 items what would they be: our cats, my journals, my laptop
If there were no side effects, you would enjoy being addicted to: ugh pepsi and chocolate. pepsi is my downfall.
A compliment that makes you blush: really no compliments make me blush right now. i've tried to be better about accepting compliments, and accept them graciously.
You are embarassed when: I've learned to laugh at myself in the last three years. This year I called our CEO by the wrong name, so I'd say when I do something retarded like that.
The greatest physical pain you ever endured: It's a toss up between tennis elbow in college and ovarian cysts.
The greatest emotional pain you ever endured: Losing my best friend, and unexpected deaths. Tater passing away was pretty terrible too.
Your best physical feature: eyes
Emotion you hide most: I think I'm pretty good at hiding being really angry, which mostly applies on the tennis court. I always feel bitchy, but people don't know that I'm being bitchy.
The emotion you tend to experience most: Melancholy would be the historical answer, but it's few and far between these days.
The emotion you are feeling most lately: I would say a mixture between happy and overwhelmed. Craziness at work, holidays coming up. There's a lot to be grateful for, but also a lot going on.
You have a huge amount of guilt regarding: the death of our cat. Is there something else we could have done? I know there wasn't, but it's only been a few months and it still hits me sometimes.
When you are angry you need: to get away from people so i can cry. it's so annoying that i cry when i'm frustrated. tennis is also a pretty good outlet. unfortunately tennis can't go everywhere with you, which is where the crying comes in.
When you are sentimental you need: to reread old blog/journal entries and listen to music that reminds me of things
When you are in love you need: Denis Pete
One of your most peaceful memories: waking up to have tater snuggled up next to me, and falling back asleep.
One of your most tragic memories: the death of the tater was pretty traumatic. also when my aunt and cousin died in a car accident, and when i found out my papa had cancer.
One of your angriest memories: most of these involve middle aged tennis women that refer to me as a high schooler still. i haven't been really angry in quite awhile.
A memory that makes you laugh: i was late to something at work, and when i walked in the employee entrance i involuntarily dropped the cup i was holding on the ground. ice/coke when everywhere. right in front of the ceo. i'm awesome. hopefully my hijinks are endearing haha.
a memory that makes you happy: thinking about our wedding
If you had more time alone you would: read and play more tennis
If you had more patience you would: try to learn to play an instrument.
If you could change one thing about your physical appearance what would it be: my waistlessness. i get it from my mom. my sister has a waist, i want one too!
If you had no committments what would you be doing: playing tennis with all the desperate housewife tennis moms during the day, and then freelance editing. i would be traveling on the side, of course.
If you could start all over.... i wouldn't change a thing. i've learned that things happen for a reason, even if you can't see it right away.