Archive for July, 2008

We got back from our trip to Mexico late Monday night (technically Tuesday morning) and after surviving a stomach bug that started Tuesday morning and dealing with complete exhaustion from our fabulous trip I am feeling like a relatively normal person today. Z. and I got out of the house today and went school supply shopping and grocery shopping and I even tempted fate by eating a chicken quesadilla from Whole Foods for lunch (a few minor tummy grumbles but nothing more). We’re practically unpacked, the laundry is done (well, it’s never done, but the dirty clothes from the trip are done), and A. is been back at work for 2 days. Calvin is so happy to have us all back home and we are so happy to see him too.

I wrote in a journal each night so have a guide to help remind me what we did each day (I’ve been doing this the last few trips we’ve done and it’s helpful). I didn’t really take pictures of the food this trip, but I did take 760 photos (A. took a few of them). I’m not sure how to edit them down to a manageable level, but I’ll try to get to it in the next week.

I’ll start a day by day post soon, but we had a large group of people traveling, so I’m going to list them and describe them here so I don’t have to do so in each post.

Family from the US:
R. – My BIL, who was married to my late sister and father to their 3 children, J., V., and M.
N.- My SIL who married my BIL R. last summer in the US. The impetus for this trip was their renewing their vows and having a wedding party with her family in Mexico. This was her first trip back home in about 3 years. N. and I have become good friends.
M.- Oldest son of R., 20 years old and in college (2nd year)
V.- Only daughter of R., 18 years old and about to enter college
J.- Youngest son of R., 10 years old and good buddies with Z., adopted by N. earlier this year.
R’s mom and dad: both in their mid 70’s and major troopers!

N.’s family:
A-Sr.- N.’s brother, a doctor and one of our very gracious hosts, father to A-Jr. and A., married to L., speaks little English
L.- N.’s SIL, teacher and another of our wonderful hosts, married to A-Sr., mother to A-Jr. and A., speaks little English
A-Jr.- N’s nephew, oldest son to A-Sr. and L., in college (3rd or 4th year I think) and also one of our amazing hosts, speaks English well.
A.- N’s nephew and youngest son to A-Sr. and L., about to enter college and another fantastic host, speaks English pretty well.

Mamacita- N. and A.-Sr.’s mom, battling leukemia but is a little powerhouse so you’d never know, speaks very little English.
N.’s grandmother- 93 years old and strong, energetic and sweet, speaks no English.
N.’s Papa- divorced from Mamacita for many years, but they are still friends. Owns a “ranch” which is a lot like a park, in fact he rents it out for weddings (N and R’s wedding was there) and charges a small fee for picnicking on weekends. Is very quiet, and I think he doesn’t speak any English.

Lots and lots of cousins (kids and adults) and uncles and aunts, too numerous to mention and whose names are too hard to keep straight. There is one cousin’s dh though that I’ll mention, G., who drove us to the airport on our last day. He spoke little English, was very sweet and generous, and is both a lawyer and an accountant who works for himself.

Okay, that’s the basic cast of characters, so on with the story 🙂


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Another anniversary in our house this month. July 4th was the 2nd year anniversary of Calvin deciding he wanted to live with us.

He’s grown up to be a beautiful boy and still as sweet as ever (although he does love to play bite if you rub his belly). We had no idea when he first came to us that his fur would be so long (we think he may have some Maine Coon in him, both in looks and in temperament), but in looking at the old photos you can see hints of it with the hair inside his ears!

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Today is A.’s and my 25th wedding anniversary. We got married when we were 25 years old and are both 50 now. We have been married for half our lives. That is amazing! We’ve been through a lot of major life events over the course of our relationship but we are still friends and still love each other. I think we have done pretty darn good! I can not imagine being with anyone else.

So far today we went to my osteopath appt. together and then went out to lunch at the Waterworks Cafe next to the art museum. It was very funny as their water list was longer than their wine list! We had a $13 bottle of Tasmanian sparkling water (only because it was our anniversary, normally we wouldn’t spend $13 on a bottle of water!) which was actually very good, clean and clear, not salty and mineral tasting. A. had the most expensive cheesesteak on the planet that had truffle cheese whiz and was made with bison. A. said it was the best cheesesteak he’d ever had also (I took a bite, and it was excellent) and I had a chicken, pesto, fresh mozzarella, roasted red pepper panini that was also very good. When we ordered the expensive water A. mentioned to the waiter that it was our anniversary, so the waiter brought out a plate decorated with Happy Anniversary in chocolate sauce, a candle and a small serving of a very yummy Sangria sorbet with our coffee and tea. Very nice!

That’s about it, no other real plans at this point. A.’s upstairs back to work, I’m about to pick up Z. at the bus stop from camp and if we feel like it maybe we’ll all go out to dinner tonight. With our trip to Mexico coming up we didn’t want to plan another trip or weekend away right now. Maybe we’ll do something special in the fall (when the weather is cooler).

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My back

Well, apparently I actually have a back problem. I think the assumption has been that my back pain has been tumor related, although no one actually wanted to take the time to really find out. Today I went to an osteopath, one that specifically deals with manipulations. He and the young woman dr. with him took the time. They took a thorough history, looked at my ct-scan and MRI reports and spent a lot of time looking at my actual scans on the computer. If you just read the reports it appeared as if my anatomy was normal and so it must be the tumor, radiation damage, the lack of my uterus and subsequent scar tissue (apparently the way my pain flows, from lower back to hip to front of thigh is related to my lack of uterus), muscles etc. However they looked closer and found that there is actually something physical going on with my back, some kind of deformity in my L3 which I could have been born with (and something else with the L5, I don’t remember what, neither of which was reported on the MRI report and which they actually found visible on the ct-scan because there is a view that gives them something that resembles and x-ray). So, as usual my problems are complex, as likely all these things are contributing to my pain, but because there is an underlying back problem, maybe, just maybe osteopathic manipulations could help.

He did some very gentle manipulations, commenting to A. (who used to see him years ago when he had a bad back, which has been a pretty good back for a long time now, knock on wood!) about how different the manipulations were from what he did for him (which was more crunching). He told me to see if over the next few days I feel like it made a difference and if so to come back next week and he’ll do more (earlier he did say that even if it didn’t help the first time, it still could help as similar to acupuncture it can sometimes take a few times, so if I was so inclined I could still come back, but he was very low pressure). I walked out of there hurting, but I was also overdue for an ibuprofen at that point. But once it kicked in I now feel very good, dare I say I feel no pain at all right now (I am so jinxing myself to even say this, never mind write it down).

I also had a major acupuncture session on Monday, LOTS of needles, more than I have ever had because the treatments were not “sticking” and my pain was back a day or so later. I was sore the rest of the day, decided to take a muscle relaxant before bed as it felt “spasmy”, and slept well (for the first time in a while) and had been feeling pretty good since. Between these two things my hope is that I can feel like a semi-normal person again. I especially hope that I can go to Mexico and enjoy myself, sleep, and survive the travel days. I have an acupuncture appt. for the day before the flight there.

It was good to have someone really investigate my problem, not just throw pain meds at it. I’ve been sticking with ibuprofen because I have not been ready to graduate to narcotics, but there is no question that the ibuprofen raises my blood pressure and how good can almost 2 years of daily ibuprofen use be for my stomach? But narcotics have their own issues, so I am have been trying to find other ways to deal with this problem. I started daily stretching a few weeks ago and I think that is helping also. Maybe between all these things I will feel better. I can hope.

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