Saturday, June 22, 2013

Summer Rhythms

Even homeschooling families can find their lives quite a bit different once the traditional school year is over. Our summers always bring something new, sometimes good, sometimes bad. For the bad years, we lost loved ones in the summer of 2007 and 2008, and a very close family member was hospitalized for months after a serious medical emergency in July, 2010 so I spent a lot of that summer at his bedside. (The kids didn't miss me too much- we got our first dog the day after he was hospitalized and the second one about two months later.)

As for the good years, my daughter and I went to Europe in 2009, technically in the spring but close enough. The Wild Child was diagnosed with his reading disability in July, 2011, which was actually a good thing because then he started getting the help he needed. He finished with his reading tutor just a couple of weeks ago and he's turned into a bookworm! I know he's not technically at grade level yet but he's so close, and he loves books and reading so much that I consider it only a matter of time until he catches up then surpasses his reading level entirely. (He's always loved books- he used to grab encyclopedias off the shelf and drag them around the house when he was a toddler.)

Martha, Jr. and I went to Washington, DC last summer with a bus load of Girl Scouts and the pace of the guided tour just about killed me; I spent the rest of that summer in physical therapy for my back!! (Totally worth it, though- it was an amazing trip and WE SAW ALL THE THINGS.)

Going way back, two of my three children were born in summer. Their due dates were pretty close together but The Eldest was born a little early and The Wild Child was born a little late, so they're a couple of weeks apart. (Martha, Jr., aptly enough given her personality, was born EXACTLY on her due date in the fall.) And, well, I was born in the summer, come to think about it. (Now that really is waaaaaayyyy back!)

So as summer begins this year I'm wondering what it will bring. I have some projects lined up, one of them being my own health. I tend to put off doctor visits for little things during the school year- I'm too busy running around with the kids to schedule anything for myself, so if I can put it off until summer I do it. That means stacked appointments once the school year activities slow down- three doctors this past week. It looks like physical therapy again, this time for some tendinitis in my left knee, the result of a fall a year and a half ago. (NOT during the summer!) It's not too bad so hopefully I won't be in therapy for long, and the doctor said I shouldn't have any long term problems from it.

I went to another doctor for restless leg syndrome and she said, yes, I have it, and I can try a few over the counter supplements, and if they don't work she can prescribe something. After talking to her I realized it's probably my own darn fault about the RLS- I used to take a multi-vitamin then I stopped because the only ones I could find without soy (I have issues with soy) give me gas. (The stinky kind- not fun.) But the multi-vitamin had iron in it, and on top of that I was taking an iron supplement every other day. I continued the supplement every other day, but I didn't do anything to make up for the iron in the multi-vitamin. Since I have a history of low iron (not terribly low- in the range where the level is OK for my health but I usually can't donate blood) this probably wasn't the best idea, and it's probably why I developed RLS. Hopefully taking more iron again will alleviate the RLS symptoms, so that will be a problem easily solved- whew!

As for the third doctor, I went to her about my fibromyalgia symptoms. I was diagnosed about 13 years ago and haven't had much in the way of medical attention since then, at least in terms of the fibro. I don't want to take the prescription medications so I've tried to manage on my own. Well, I decided I should probably at least talk to a doctor about my symptoms and what's going on. What if the diagnosis wasn't accurate, (although I think it was based on everything I've learned about fibro) or there are some other underlying problems that could be addressed to make things better? Sleep apnea, for instance, or some sort of vitamin deficiency similar to the RLS problem- something that can be addressed without the meds. The doctor took my concerns very seriously and ordered all sorts of tests, including a sleep study, so it will be interesting to see what happens with all of that. I have to go sleep in a hotel for the sleep study; I don't know how much sleeping I'll actually be able to do, but I'll give it a try!

Alright, enough with the dreaded "wall of text"! Here's a picture of how we spent our day today; just because it's summer doesn't mean we can't still learn things, especially when the learning is fun!!