Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Kale Tale

I have a dozen other things to do (reviewing several documents in both original and commented form, writing a report, and counting some really old oncologists), but right now, I owe us some blogging. Let’s be honest, however, that you’re not really here and that I only owe myself some blogging, as it’s been a while since I wrote anything over sixty words that I wasn’t paid to write.

Things I eventually want to cover:
1. My trip to the rheumatologist last month
  a. My health
  b. Perfectionism and mommy guilt
2. Behavioral bullshit
3. Our first vacation as a couple since our honeymoon
4. Kindergarten

There’s probably something else, but when I sit down to do this blogging thing I rarely remember any of the hilarious things that happened recently. However, one I do remember: I’ve been wearing my iPod Nano on my waistband lately because I’ve been using the pedometer and also doing some jogging lately (see 1a), and Sanna noticed the little apple/Apple logo on the back of it and asked what it was. I mentioned that the company that makes iPods being called Apple and she was uncertain if she should believe me. Karl proclaimed it silly. I carried on explaining that when parents who work for that company go to work, they say, “Bye! I’m going to Apple!” Karl rolled over on the floor howling in laughter. Sanna became more skeptical. “Really?” Yes, kid, really. We settled on the parents telling their kids that they’re going to work, but I may have convinced her in the end that the company is really called Apple.

I’ve started Couch to 5K using the podcasts here. I have a strong preference for the alternatives she offers to her standard hip hop choices, but that’s a NTM thing. I’m on week 3, carefully timing these around methotrexate dosing and our other activities like the kids’ swimming lessons and Brooke’s pilates, but it’s working okay. It’s that time of year where I’m going to have to think about an indoor track or deciding that I’m going to run around in the cold. So far, it’s all outdoors, but it’s never been under 40F on any of my runs.

Upon the recommendation of people who know these things, I went to the local running store to get a proper fitting. I don’t know if I’ve ever discussed here how I have freak feet. They are theoretically a reasonable and normal size, but I am at a point where I buy all of my casual and dress shoes via Zappos. I purchase literally 8-16 pairs of shoes in an assortment of sizes (all narrow) to my doorstep and then try them on in the comfort of my own home. Due to the size of my orders, I’m in their next day shipping club and can place an order at 5:30PM and have them at my house before I get home from work the next day. I then return all but one or two pairs and only pay the retail value for those shoes, no shipping. It’s amazing. So I was only a little surprised that the specialty running store didn’t have anything that would fit me. They were able to order exactly three pairs that might fit, only to find out that one was discontinued and another was being redesigned and wouldn’t be out for two months. The third pair fit, thank goodness.

It was while I was waiting for that third pair to come into the store that I saw the fabulous Dr. R2 last month. Brooke and I agreed that I could fly solo, that we’d have no new information, nothing new to discuss in terms of options, so I went alone. I know why people prefer small private practices: the personal service, the familiar relationship with the physician and staff, and the access to everything when you need it. I’m thrilled with (most of) my experiences at the big giant research and teaching hospital, and I’ve had a great experience with very familiar relationships with several of my physicians, starting with the GP who called me at home on a Sunday to tell me my MRI of the brain was normal. Dr. R2 is no different. She asked after Brooke and the kids, told me she thinks of B when driving past B’s workplace. R2 is as thrilled with the improvement in my well being as I am. I like her. If I had had time to deliver it to her office, I’d have given her my beer when I started methotrexate.

My appointment was much conversation, a few updates, and a regular joint check. I reported hitting the local running store for a proper pair of running shoes, and she approved, impressed I found time (I used my lunch hour). We talked about finding time to do everything with two working parents, and she sounded overwhelmed. “I was buying Chinese for dinner at Whole Foods, and I’m in line behind this woman talking about putting kale into smoothies, and I’m like, how am I going to do that?”

Maybe it’s my laid back nature (no, honestly) or my unwillingness to get into mommy competition and mommy guilt or even my recent bout with inflammatory autoimmune crap, but seriously, it’s not worth it. Don’t compare. Don’t feel like you have to do everything. Do what you can. Do what’s fun. If everyone is fed and clean enough to avoid an infection AND LOVED, you’ve done enough. Order takeout and read together on the couch for ten minutes. Pack sandwiches and go canoeing. Give everyone a graham cracker while you wait for the macaroni and cheese to finish boiling. Sorting out last season’s clothes is just gravy; sit down with a glass of wine and calm the fuck down.

But what I said was, “Kale is really good on its own. Olive oil, garlic, and salt. It’s wonderful.” And what she said was, “If you can start running, I can eat kale.”


Erin said...

Hey, I'm still reading, although I don't comment much.

I really needed to hear this today... With two full-time working parents, spouse that just got a much deserved new job that comes with increased hours (upsetting our delicate I-drop-Kindergartener-off/he-picks-up balance), recent RA diagnosis that comes as a relief but still takes some getting used to, and additional work stress and worsening weather that exacerbates my symptoms, well, I feel like I'm just keeping my head above water over here. Thanks for the reminder to step back and focus on the essentials. Maybe I should increase my kale intake... :)

Miriam said...

I think "don't compare" is probably a good guideline for everyone, parent or not. Definitely something I would like to work on for my (non-mommy)self.

Also, I started eating kale a few years ago in part because you wrote about it glowingly on your blog. I'd totally forgotten! So, thanks for that.

reproducinggenius said...

I'm sitting her nodding emphatically because this is really what more people need to realize (and then that it's really not so hard to do the occasional healthy thing for ourselves either). Love your anecdotes. Love that your health has improved so much.

Olivia said...

Words of wisdom every parent should live by. I'm happy you are feeling better and your family is doing so well.

Pixie said...

I still read... I have been reading since before Sanna...and yes, I too needed to hear this today as well. I'm definitely an exhausted and well meaning mama- an only parent to one and WOW- so much...all the time! Baby G is in 4th grade now and holy cow- just the homework load alone is enough to me make want to slump against the wall some days. Then add in the karate, the cub scouts, the getting him to school an extra hour early because he is a safety patrol... whoa- its a lot. I count the minutes til 5 every day at my job- which I happen to like- but hey, I gotta get to the kid! Sheesh. Its a lot...and I do eat kale- love it in fact...I bought tofu for my "smoothies"...hahaha- smoothies that never got made, and tofu that didn't get properly used, because, let's face it- I may be a vegetarian- but I despise tofu!
Your doc sounds great and so do you! I want to do the Couch to 5k program...I walk every morning from 7:10 until 7:50 with a friend in the neighbourhood where Baby G attends school (I only work 5 minutes away) and I have been trying to get my walking buddy to wanna do it as well... We'll see.
Good luck lady! I for one will be checking in to see your progress! Congrats on your health being better, and thank you for the reminder to take a flippin' break.
You rock!

Bionic Baby Mama said...

thanks for the kale. i'm on my second or third meltdown tonight, reading's not done, dinner burned a little, and breastfeeding is its usual shitshow. at least now i feel the wine was the right choice.

BA said...

After I had my son, I became completely overwhelmed with having to work, take care of a house and child all at the same time. I was driving myself crazy and not enjoying my baby or my life. My best friend put it into perspective for me. She said, "Remember how much fun we had in college? When you think about it, was being broke, having too much homework, etc. the parts that you remember? When you look back on your memories of your son's childhood-are you going to remember the day you had to clean all day? No, you won't, so if you have a choice between: a. cleaning or b. doing something fun & memorable with you child, then you should go for option b. The cleaning will always be there, but these years with your son won't." So from then on, I have lived by those words of wisdome and my stress level has dramatically decreased and fun level has increased.

amie said...

This is so great to read, both because I'm so glad you're feeling better, and because it's a good reminder. I've fallen back on my 2 Rules of Parenting a lot of days for the same reasons you're describing; it's not about setting a low bar. It's more that you need something to ground you for the days, and sometimes the years, when you're just so tired and overwhelmed. Thank you for the much-needed message.