Wednesday, September 2, 2009

New Starts

Where does the time go? Our weekend taking Shea to college was a whirlwind of activity and emotion and passed all too quickly. Not getting home until Sunday night with teaching on Monday--especially at the beginning of the semester, with its attendant kerfuffle--launched the week on a behind-from-the-start footting. It took all day yesterday to dig out a bit, and the digging’s not fully done. Thank goodness for an upcoming three-day weekend to catch up, push back the tide of clutter and detritus left by the packing process, wash the dogs, reorganize, etc.

Shea truly seemed in her element and happy in her surroundings. Since then, she continues to sound upbeat and strong. The picture is of her in her new room, with the stunningly beautiful quilt Kearney made as a surprise for her dorm room. The stitching on the pillow was also done by the amazing Kearney.

The living arrangements are interesting. The college bought an apartment building and converted it to dorms. Shea’s living in a suite with a triple, a double and a single. The triple and the double (Shea’s) are filled with freshman women. The single is a guy, who is a junior. When I asked about this, she mentioned that a nearby suite has five freshmen guys and a female sophomore in the single. Now that is my idea of hell: sharing a kitchen, living room and bathroom with five guys new to college and independent living.

The moving in of new freshmen at this college didn’t seem as well organized as our previous experience, as the times on the agenda didn’t always correspond with what was really happening, and there wasn’t enough time for the go-to-Target-to-get-all-the-necessary-stuff-for-the-room run. Plus, it rained the whole time we were there, and then was sunny and glorious on the day we left. Nonetheless, we got to see the place, got Shea settled, at least for a first pass, met the roommate, and generally did what we set out to do. It was grand to have Kearney along and to have dinner with friends after a full day and our goodbyes.

We haven’t much had a time to settle into our empty nest yet, as things have been moving so fast. There’s great news on the PT front, as the mobility, range and control of my shoulder are improving all the time. The current approach that works on complete control within a very small range of motion, and then seeks to expand that range, seems to be effective and the gains just keep coming.

On the minus side, there isn’t much progress on the adrenal system issues. My cortisol levels are still low and the tapering off steroids leaves me without energy by late afternoon most days. Then there’s always the physician friend who saw me and said “you must still be taking steroids--your face is all puffy.” Check. Did I mention that the problem with my knee that turns out to be bone spurs and displacement of the knee cap? We’d thought it was just a soft tissue injury and would go away with time. Evidently not. I can hardly wait to try wearing the brace while exercising... Still, these are pretty minor things in the big picture.

On other fronts, I might be within reaching distance of a plan that seems sensible for approaching my dilemma. The first part seems straightforward by now; the second part, not so much. It’s back to that same old question of how much personal cost is bearable. We’ll see.

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