I don't want this to be a whiny blog post. But it might end up that way. Consider yourself forewarned.
First of all, the art show was a terrific success. We had 150-200 people attend, which is phenomenal, and our students were out-frickin'-standing. I was as proud as I've ever been, as a teacher.
Tomorrow, I give my last 2 finals, and then I grade until my eyes bleed, and I'll try to turn grades in by Friday. Please, god, let it be over by Friday.
Meanwhile, my mother-in-law has completed 5 of 8 chemo treatments; I haven't seen her since the beginning of September, and I miss her terribly. She's over halfway done, though, and we're all hopeful for the future.
Shaun, V, and I are all recovering from bad colds, and V and Shaun got the stomach flu over the weekend. For V it was just an awful 12 hour deal, but it's so much harder for Shaun with this happens. Hopefully he won't need to be hospitalized, but it is excruciating to see him suffer and not be able to help more.
V went in for testing last week with a neuropsychiatrist. You remember V from such uplifting posts as Our Out of Sync Child and the one about the Holiday Party last year, right? So, she's still got those issues, although in slightly different forms. She seeks structure, she doesn't handle routine changes well, she...she struggles, often, with things that other kids take in stride. One day a couple of months ago, after an especially difficult car ride home, she started sobbing in the backseat. Exasperated, I said "What is it now?!" She said "Mama, am I ever going to feel better?" We sat in the driveway and cried together. I don't know that she knew what she was asking, but we're trying to find the best ways to help. On Monday December 20, we'll presumably get a diagnosis. So I've been thinking of this a lot, lately, about labels and what they mean, and about how Monday will not change who V is one tiny bit: she will still be our goofy musical actress who can read like a 4th grader. Yet...today, I can still pretend she might outgrow it. After Monday, when this quirkiness goes beyond quirkiness and gets an actual name, well, then it's here to stay, I suppose. Of course, it's here to stay if it's not diagnosed, too: as my friend Todd pointed out, 10, 20, 30 years ago kids like V went to school undiagnosed all over the place, and many just struggled through, got left behind in some ways, and excelled in others. Shaun and I both remember things in our childhood that could have gone better had we had some of the interventions V's had. And so I wait for Monday, and hope I can remember that she's still our V, and not a diagnosis, and so much much more than we'd ever dreamed.
Shaun continues to watch his diet, though he's dropped off in his excercising in recent weeks, to help his heart heal. We're scheduled for a second echocardiogram on January 24, and hoping for good news. And if it's not good news, at least it hopefully won't be terrible news. He feels pretty good (aside from this damn flu), so I'm optimistic. I was going to say "we're optimistic," but Shaun has never, to my knowledge, been optimistic in his life. So I am.
And there's 37 other things occupying my brain, keeping me awake at night, causing the muscles in my neck to bunch up. My mom, for example, has been having new, excruciating pain in her hands these last three days. We're hoping to find some kind of diagnosis for her, or at least pain relief that doesn't lead to hallucinations. V's supposed to bring snack on Thursday. And start kindergarten next fall. And eventually graduate from high school. See? See why I'm tired?
I know I have so, so many things to be thankful for. I know many people have it much worse than I do. And still, I find the time through all this to write a whiny-ass blogpost.
Here's to happy diagnoses, longjohns, and Christmas cookies. And blog readers.