Monday, January 12, 2009

Teaching & Medicine

My class yesterday for a private group of friends was fun, it was a delightful group of amazingly skilled knitters, and I'm so grateful to St. Luke's Episcopalian for hosting us - thank you for your gracious hospitality!

I hadn't taught since November, and as usual when I have a 2 month break I felt a little rusty - but I do think it was an okay class. I wish it had been better. I always do.

I'm also very grateful to Sheila for arranging the whole thing, it was a lovely afternoon and it worked out beautifully with Gerry's appts today. Thank you, Sheila!

While I taught, Gerry and the kids dropped off Atticus at a doggie day care place that boards and also grooms happy puppies - a triple threat!

The family checked into the Staybridge Suites, where we stayed during our time at Mayo last year, and came back at 3:30 to pick me up at St. Lukes. Gerry kept eyeing the carrot cake, so I just came right out and asked if we could bring the last few slices home for him. I have no shame where baked goods are concerned.

Gerry loves few things as much as he loves Carrot Cake. One layer of our wedding cake was carrot - the other layer was hazelnut with chocolate filling. Unusual, yes. But it offered varity for our guests. It was made most lovingly for us by our neighbor, Margaret Palca, sister of Joe Palca (NPR Science Correspondent) And thus our NPR courtship had an appropriate NPR wedding day tie-in!

After class was over we packed up the car and on the way to the hotel we happened to drive past a bowling alley. On a whim we stopped and bowled a game with the kids. It was fun - Gerry won! An unexpected 10 frames of joy for the kiddies!

Dinner was excellent, but we all collapsed back at the hotel and longed for sleep. Unfortunately there was a marathon of Mystery Diagnosis on TLC, and Gerry, Hannah and I stayed awake WAY to long watching vignettes of mis-diagnosed near-tragedies. We are masochists. Max slept. He's the wise one.

This morning the day started as so many days do, with the ritualistic dropping off of the full day's collection of pee (Gotta love those kidney function tests! THIS is the exciting part of sickness, folks!) and some blood tests for Gerry.

While Gerry had blood drawn in tiny amounts, I went to the blood center and gave a pint. It's always one-upsmanship with us.

It was good for the kids to see the whole Mayo routine, to see what dad has to do every time we go down, and I think it's also good for them to see me giving blood. It was my 5th time giving at the Mayo, I got a T-shirt today. Yay!

The numbers at Mayo were very good, we're very happy!

In addition to the regular docs (Hi Dr. H!) We also saw a new doctor about Gerry's continuing back pain, and more physical therapy (up here in St. Paul) will be forthcoming. Very kind things were said about Knit With Courage (I'd left copies at Gerry's last visit) and one of the docs wants to try to get it in the Mayo bookshop - yay!

We have to deal with our impending loss of health insurance (we're due to lose it in June) so there's our Spring Project all laid out for us.

We're so grateful that we've had good, union insurance up to now - we know that many folks don't. And I'm just tired enough to feel pissy that we have to feel grateful to have what should be a right. But I am grateful. Thank you Local #1.

We took the kids to our favorite Greek diner West of the Hudson, Mac's in Rochester. Gerry had a Gyro and I had spanakopida, the kids had various chicken things. YUM! Gerry looked up at me and grinned at one point and said, "Tastes just like New York!"

After Gerry's last medical appointment we picked up Atticus, the snow was falling thick and fast and I was half afraid I wouldn't make it up the hill to the Bear Creek Kennel.

He was happy, clean and well groomed (Atticus, not Gerry). I don't think he had as much fun as the kids did in the pool at the hotel this morning, but he certainly didn't have a bad time! The dogs out in the yard looked sad to see him go.

The drive home was insane.

It wasn't the amount of snow, although they kept saying, "Blizzard conditions!" on the radio. It was the blowing of the snow - it swirled and drifted and flew across the road so violently I swear it felt like I was driving on clouds. Slippery clouds. It was several hours of white knuckle, white snow, white dotted line driving - I've seldom been so happy to see the St. Paul city limits road sign.

But now we're home, the car's in the garage and the kids are doing homework. Even though it's only 8:00, I'm off to bed. Those late night Mystery Diagnosis session really take it out of me.

I did a lot of crocheting today at Mayo (I have a skirt due for IK Crochet) and I also did a lot of thinking (mostly mental prep for TNNA later this week...) I'm worn out.

Maybe I'll play some iPod Touch scrabble as I drift off to sleep? It's my new obsession, and I'm not ashamed to say it!

Shannon Okey has asked me to mention a poll she has on her blog, with chances to win patterns! She's so much more generous than I am - now I have to think of something all clever to give patterns away.

Scrabble's making me more competitive.
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posted by Annie at


Blogger Ellen said...

So, so glad Gerry's numbers were good!

That drive home sounded scary. I've had a few scary winter driving moments, but nothing as severe as what you described.

Glad you're all home and safely ensconced.

January 12, 2009 9:23 PM  
Blogger Maria said...

Great news!!! Sleep well.

January 12, 2009 9:34 PM  
Blogger Jocelyn said...

Looking forward to seeing you this weekend in no-snow San Diego!

January 12, 2009 9:35 PM  
Blogger Nancy said...

I'm very glad you posted tonight because each time the news today showed the weather mess in Rochester and the Twin Cities, I said a little prayer for you.

January 12, 2009 9:36 PM  
Blogger sheila said...

Health insurance. Just those words make me angry. Good luck. I lost mine after getting injured on the job. Long term disability only cares the insurance so far, then it's over. Makes me feel like we live in a 3rd world country.

Thank goodness for knitting! At least that always makes me not care if the world is nuts.

January 12, 2009 10:28 PM  
Blogger subliminalrabbit said...

so glad to hear that gerry's tests went well!

January 13, 2009 9:25 AM  
Blogger Sel and Poivre said...

I too couldn't resist the mystery diagnosis marathon - I'm highly suggestable I guess because I generally start to sense the same problems the featured patient reports having by about the second commercial break in each episode. Its a great show to knit by!

January 13, 2009 9:26 AM  
Blogger Minou14 said...

I'm glad you had good news at the appointment! Good luck with the health insurance. There are individual plans available from several companies (Blue Cross, Humana, etc) that can cover your family, plus Medicare or Medicaid may be able to help with Jerry. You may also be able to get a COBRA extension on your current insurance.

I'm really hoping the rules for eligibility for health insurance change soon. Since so many jobs don't offer health insurance, it needs to be easier to find individual coverage. The people who need it most have the hardest time finding help. Fingers crossed Obama can find a solution.

January 13, 2009 10:12 AM  
Blogger Deb said...

I'm new to your blog, but hope to see you in san diego this sunday. I saw you on nitty gritty and changed my knitting style to combination on the spot! I'm not sure what's wrong with Gerry, but I recently retired (early due to health) as a social security disabilty analyst, so I'll be glad to provide some info in case that is relevant. I hope to see you on sunday!

January 13, 2009 1:06 PM  
Blogger knitbysue said...

It scares me that you were driving through the snow between Roch and the Twin Cities on Monday. Please tell me you weren't try to do that in the dark. Please tell me you started with a full tank of gas, fully charged cell phones, a winter survival kit in the car and someone in the Twin Cities who knew you were on the road and when you were expected home...
I've lived in Minnesota all my life and I wouldn't have attempted it after about 4:30 pm - 'specially with plummeting temps forecast for the evening. Please be careful. Sometimes it's just not worth the risk to get home ...

January 13, 2009 2:00 PM  
Blogger KinnicChick said...

Very grateful to hear Gerry's numbers were good!

January 13, 2009 4:03 PM  
Blogger twinsetellen said...

I'm so glad you are home safe with good numbers. And, time to teach you some Minnesotan - "blizzard conditions" doesn't mean lots of snow, it means blowing snow swirls and drifts and flies across the road so violently you swear it feels like you are driving on clouds.

January 13, 2009 7:11 PM  
OpenID kmkat said...

I totally sympathize with your winter driving experience. I was driving into the Cities on Monday from from north and at one point found myself going sideways down I35W at nearly 60 mph, which was the speed all the traffic was moving. I ended up in the ditch but at least I didn't get broadsided or flip.

January 13, 2009 8:12 PM  
Blogger Mary Kay said...

I am so happy Gerry's numbers are good. I am also glad Hannah and Max got to see what you do at Mayo instead of being left with only their imaginations.

Have a great TNNA trip.

January 14, 2009 8:55 AM  
Blogger Barbara B. Solbrig said...

Hey, I had a wonderful time in the class on Sunday. Thanks again!
I agree about the drive on Monday being brutal! My daughters and I drove up to take my youngest one to the airport so she could head back to college; we wandered around Grand Ave before the airport and then my oldest and I headed back home to Rochester. It was brutal both ways.

January 16, 2009 1:08 AM  
Blogger Judith Bailey said...

I just re-read your book "Confessions of a Knitting Heretic". I noticed that your great-granmother was named Martha Almeda Parsons Wolfe. My husband's grandmother was named Almeda Parsons and since it is an unusual name I wondered if they might be related. Almeda's parents came from Sweden. I would be very interested to find out if they might be related. I really enjoyed your book and frequently use it as a reference. Judy Bailey

January 27, 2009 9:05 PM  

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