A Mommy Blog About Raising Men, Not Boys.
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Wednesday, December 28, 2016

The Genetic Lure of Codeine

While nestled into my bed, waiting on the effects of codeine cough syrup to come over me, I had a series of thoughts. I was partially convinced I was having one of those moments where I needed to get up and write them down because there were some good things floating past my slowly drug induced mind.The other part of me, the part in control of actually get up or nah, decided to stay firmly tucked into my well made bed. I was waiting on what I've come to think of as The Wash to take place.
I'm particularly susceptible to codeine. Any sort of opiate thing, in fact, and I don't tend to get along terribly well. They gave me morphine after a surgical procedure once and the intense vomiting that occurred moments later is post-op legend. But codeine is morphine's saccharine cousin. I'm sick, need to sleep and not cough all night so I carefully ladle out the dose prescribed - not more - and wait.
Last night I did the same and The Wash was quick and strong. About ten minutes after having slipped into bed the itching began. This is apparently a sign that I've got a wee allergy but I don't mind it. It's indicative that the sleep is coming and that's what I crave.
Deep, relaxing slumber - a sick girls best friend.
My face began to itch, my nose and my chest, my legs and feet. The itching rolls across my skin like a weird "Hello" and I know that behind it is a pull down into blissful rest. I slept so well last night that I probably built up tonight's rest too much.
I dosed myself, again exactly the right amount - never more. I climbed into bed and waited. I waited some more. Soon I realized it had been 30 minutes with no sign.
I rolled over and considered why I might not be sleeping. The addiction demon on my shoulder encouraged me to TAKE SOME MORE. I get the addiction demon very honestly from my father's side of the family. He comes out when I'm out drinking apparently also. I try not to listen to him because he's real and he destroys lives. Also opiates can stop you from breathing so I definitely ignore him in terms of medicine. But that lure, the idea that "just some more" is starting to pull.
I remind myself that while codeine isn't morphine it's a bad thing to take too much of any medicine. I remind myself that they give you morphine when you die and eventually it helps your body forget to breathe. Codeine is also an opiate, I remind myself, and everyone reacts to drugs differently. "You don't want to be one of those people who died in 2016 and everyone thinks is so great now that your'e dead," I tell myself and roll over again.
The problem begins to gnaw at me as I cough again, and again. Dry coughs, the kind that hurt and are small, but shouldn't exist if my cough medicine would just kick in. I want to sleep, why am I listening to Miles sing in the next room? 
I want to sleep. I want the deep dark night to pull me into it and out of this terrible sickness for a few hours. I want escape. I drank the thing that said drink me. Now please, take me out of here.

It was right about then, when my mind was twisting with frustration over it's lack of sleep that I woke up. My husband was placing his hand on my forehead to check my fever, and to check on me to see if I was alright. 

I had been asleep all along.


Tuesday, December 06, 2016

The Never Ending Therapy of The Vince Guaraldi Trio

I spent my lunch hour yesterday searching for something that would be perfect to take to the twin mom's Bingo party tonight. Unlike funerals where one would search the "freezes beautifully" section of food.com I was looking for "something that moms who wipe more butts than most people can imagine" would enjoy. This usually involves chocolate or booze or both. I settled on something called a chocolate chip toffee brittle. As I drove through the woods headed to the grocery a thought floated through my head in my mother's voice, "Apparently named by someone who doesn't actually know what brittle is."
That snark was so real, so accurate and on point with something my mom would've said that I began to cry driving through the stupid storm that was picking up. The road I was headed down doesn't have much for street lights so I sniffled and tried to get ahold of myself. It's a perfect road to slide over a bit too far accidentally and slam into oncoming traffic.
Right about then is when the Vince Guaraldi Trio saved me.

Most people know the Vince Guaraldi Trio quite well thanks to their work providing music for the Peanuts. That in itself is nearly enough to put anyone in a happier place. When I was in college though, I learned that the chart Linus and Lucy has magical stress relieving powers. It worked like this...

The basement of the music department at my university was where all of the practice rooms where. Dank, cool little rooms down one cement block hallway painted what was probably a cream color in some past decade. The doors would be closed and you'd hear the same bars over and over, rarely a whole piece. You'd hear the fingering that was tricky, you'd hear the notes that were always being over or under blown, you'd hear music dissected, pulled apart, into the pieces that the listener doesn't always discern but the musician has to master to make it whole. I was a secondary music education major and also a world class procrastinator. This meant that I spent more than my fair share of time in practice rooms LATE in the day. 

Nearly every room was fitted with a grand piano, if not there was an upright shoved into the corner. There was something soothing and peaceful about being in the womb of that sterile place with music floating through the air. It wasn't comfortable, yet it was a place I liked to be. It was like being with your tribe, even though everyone was in a room alone struggling with bars that were defeating them.

As the evenings would progress the stress level would increase. People were getting tired, there was other studying to do. But the music also had to be practiced. When the event horizon of stress and sleep deprivation was reached - a door would open and suddenly you'd hear the base line being plunked out. 

Another door would open, and join in.

Within moments doors were opening down the hall and the familiar tune of Linus and Lucy would thunder and echo through the halls courtesy of 20 or so music students having a stress break. Banging away at the keyboard, playing those notes of our childhood joy for no reason at all other than the peer pressure of it was one of the most cathartic moments of my life. We struggled with 8 bars of this or 4 bars of that BUT As God As My Witness, we'd all master Linus and Lucy and make it ours. It was a concert of one song, played loudly and with joy. It was a musical stress scream that let out our frustrations and reminded us what we loved, music.

As I pulled into the grocery store parking lot yesterday I realized I was smiling, remembering how happy that stupid tune used to make me. It could take away the stress and how annoyed or bad I was feeling about what I was working on. 

I guess it still works.

Thursday, December 01, 2016

Terrorists and Coconut Oil

I had one of those days at work where you look like crap and people keep asking if you if you're okay. People asking you if you're okay when you are not actually sick is code for "You look like shit, what's up?" The what's up is I didn't get sleep for reasons and life and kids and stuff and so hair was in a claw and makeup was haphazard at best.

Sometimes my best is just being clean.

I went over to Sally Beauty after work and acquired a coconut oil hair mask (also works on cancer, arthritis and diabetes according to the Internet) and went home to soak in a hot tub with this tropical goop soaking in my hair. I completed my buffet of beauty products with a oatmeal and honey mask and slipped down into the hot water. 

That's when the terrorists arrived. 

"POOP," declared one of them. "HIIIIIII," declared the other.

I had determined to relax. I desperately needed silence, hot soapy water and goopy stuff smeared on my face and hair to make me a human girl again. So I told these terrorists, "No, Daddy is going to change you. GO AWAY."

No less friendly words were ever uttered to two boys than those. "VILE WOMAN!" their stomps and flailing declared. "What do you mean you won't cut your bath short to change our disgusting diapers this very minute! You're our servant! COME! MOTHER! WIPE OUR BUTTS!" They acted all of these words out in a sort of performance-art dance that included throwing themselves on my bed and making shrill noises. 

I exhaled and put them on ignore. Coconut oil doesn't cure poopie diapers. It's sad but true. I held fast to my determination to remain in the water. As the tub continued to fill I grabbed the Mr Bubble and dumped some of it in, then some more. The smell of pink filled the air (how does it smell like pink?) and I considered that I could just live in this bathtub forever, were it not for the pruning.

The pruning is a deal breaker.

I'm out of the tub now and in my jammies and diapers were in fact changed by the husband who had already said he'd do it before the little beasts came demanding it from me. They seem to think it's special MOMBONDING time and I'm oddly not keen on that. 

Maybe coconut oil DOES cure poopie diapers.