Thursday, July 10, 2014

Needles, Bunnies, Wait Lists, etc.

Today was a busy day!  I had to take my 3 hour glucose test this morning.  I am very hopeful that this is the very last time I have to drink that incredibly nasty stuff!  I had 4 successful blood draws--and 9 total sticks, so it wasn't a great day for the veins, LOL.  One tech just wouldn't admit she needed help!  I had wanted to bring a sweatshirt or something to make sure my arms were warm, but I totally forgot when I walked out the door.  Oh well, it's over now!  I read half of Outliers, by Malcolm Gladwell.  I'm only years behind the rest of America, including Bob and Nathan!  What a fascinating book, though.  I am really enjoying it!  I love, love, love making connections and seeing patterns, so this book is right up my alley.  Reading it definitely made the time pass quickly.

While I was happily reading my book, Nathan was holding down the fort back at home with the 5 younger ones.  This morning, that entailed chasing down Bruno "Houdini" Bunny, which was not something Nathan had put down on his agenda for the day!  He was at the kitchen table when Anna and Grace came down.  They noticed Bruno sitting in the middle of the family room floor and mentioned it to Nathan, who was quite surprised, and wondered who had let him out!  Nathan had to corral Bruno after a merry chase around the main floor.  Bruno ended up in the study hiding behind our old printer, which now sits on the floor, on the bottom shelf of one of the bookcases in the study.  It was quite a trick to get him out, but Nathan eventually did, plopping him back in his pen--where Bruno promptly hopped over to his little house, hopped on top of the roof, and right back out again.  So after another merry chase, Bruno was recaptured and put into his little house, not just in his pen, to think about his transgressions while Nathan worked on a temporary solution to keep him in.  What he came up with has worked so far, and Bruno took a nice, long rest for much of the day, after all his exercise!  He is really missing Caleb, who has been gone this week.  Caleb has been taking him out the yard regularly for him to hop around.  I, on the other hand, have talked a lot to him, and petted him, but not done so much outside (sooooo hot this week . . . ).  So I guess he took matters into his own paws!  Silly bunny.

As soon as I got home, we got everyone into the car and ran them over to the L's house so that just Nathan and I could head over to our local community college to enroll in classes.  Nathan and I had gone over yesterday, but of course everything takes tons longer than you expect, so Nathan just took the math placement test.  Then we were late for his orthodontic appointment, so we had to get out of there before meeting with the dual-enrollment lady and actually enrolling (although we did register--that's different).  So today we went back to meet with her.  Nathan was able to enroll in calculus, but the only physics section was closed, so he's 11th on the waiting list there.  I'm thinking there are not going to be 11 people dropping the class, so I need to research the different online programs I've heard about.  Still plenty of moving parts in next year's schedule, that's for sure!

After getting everyone back home, I ran over to a chiropractor appointment.  A month or 2 ago, my chiropractic office sent out a notice that they had a new doctor on staff.  She was wanting to focus on pregnant women!  I've seen her now twice, and I like her just as much as my regular chiropractor there.  Hopefully keeping up with adjustments as I get closer to my due date will help the baby be in a good position.  She noticed a lot of knots in my back and shoulders.  NO idea why of course--my life is stress-free!  Ha!

Then it was over to Christine's to pray about some of those stressful situations, then finally home.  Oh, while we were waiting at the community college, the doctor called to tell me that I did indeed fail my glucose test, so I need to pick up my testing stuff and make my appointment to see the counselor person.  Well, this would be the 3rd time for that nutrition/how to test yourself session, so I'm thinking "no" on that, LOL.  Just one more stressful thing to add to my plate right now, not that failing was a big surprise or anything.  Oh well--12 weeks to go.

Saturday, July 05, 2014

PJOC Wrap-Up

Nathan got home very early Wednesday morning from 9 days in New Mexico where he graduated from the National Cadet Special Activity called "PJOC", which is a pararescue orientation course run by actual Air Force pararescuemen and SERE (survival) specialists.  These are part of the "Guardian Angel" weapon system, which is a large part of the Air Force special forces.  Nathan was very impressed with all the pararescuemen he was involved with.  He can't give a totally detailed breakdown of the course because part of the idea of it is pushing you beyond your physical and mental limits, and they don't want anyone going into it with too much outside knowledge about the specifics of what they are going to have you do.  For example, the cadets had to do a run of unknown distance.  Now Nathan knows about how long it was, but the idea was no one knew at the time, so they didn't know how to budget their strength.  And not everyone made it, either.  If you stopped running, you got picked up by the van and didn't have a chance to finish.

Nathan felt like he was well-prepared, physically.  They did a ton of push-ups, lots of running, some swimming, and various other (painful) exercises.  They also hiked all over the place.  They weren't actually on Kirtland AFB--they were in the national forest a few hours away.  Nathan lost 5 pounds over the course of the week.  They were given 2 MREs a day--one for breakfast at 5:00 AM, and another for dinner at 10:00 PM.  The rest of the day, they subsisted on the snackier parts of the MREs that they saved and carried in their packs.   Nathan had always wanted to try MREs, and now he's had his fill of them this summer, LOL.  They weren't allowed to heat them up, so they ate them all as they were, which definitely made some of the entrees better than others!

In the months leading up to the start of the course, they sent Nathan a fitness plan to complete, and Nathan was faithful to do that.  Like I said, Nathan felt prepared physically, but he felt the most important thing was to prepare mentally to challenge himself and go beyond what he thought he was capable of.

Another thing that was tested during the course was an ability to tie different knots.  Again, the PJOC people had sent out some links before the course so you could start working on them.  They said in the email that one reason people could potentially not graduate was not passing the knots portion.

A lot of the course was survival training.  They slept in shelters they made themselves, and learned other survival skills.  Teamwork was also really emphasized.  Nathan felt like he really bonded with all the other cadets.  There were 65 cadets there total.  The instructors were "squared-away", Nathan said.  They really helped everyone complete the challenges and go beyond what they thought they could do.  They were not "nice, fun people" until the end, but you could understand why they were so intense.  They have so much on the line in their profession.

So Nathan had a really great time.  He came back totally exhausted, but having learned a lot that will definitely help him deal with life.

He did have a bit of an adventure on the way home though.  He was woken up early Tuesday morning (4:00 AM!) by a recorded phone call from the airlines saying his flight, which was supposed to leave at 9:00 AM, had been delayed until 1:00 PM.  There were several other cadets on that flight to Dallas, and after waiting at the airport for awhile, many of them got put on other flights, but not Nathan and one other buddy.  They became very familiar with the Albuquerque airport!  Eventually Nathan flew out at 7:24 to Dallas.  When he arrived there, he had to get from the A terminal over to the C terminal for his connection to home.  My brother was also coincidentally flying out of the Dallas airport that night, to meet the rest of his family who were visiting other family in CA.  His gate happened to be right next to Nathan's gate!!  Isn't that amazing?!  So Nathan got to catch up for a few minutes with Uncle Dan before boarding the plane for home!  He eventually made it here at 12:30 AM.  We were really thankful his suitcase made it too--it was the absolute last one onto the conveyer belt, so we were getting worried!  Nathan slept in Wednesday morning, had a very informative lunch meeting with Christine's brother, who gave him, Isaac, and Caleb some career planning advice, and then fell asleep on the couch once he got back home for another 5 hours.  I think he has finally recovered, now that it has been several days!

Thursday, July 03, 2014

OB Appointment

I had another OB appointment today, and it was interesting.  I had to wait in the exam room for about 20 minutes before the doctor showed up, although that was just fine with me--it was so nice and quiet, and I read!  When the doctor walked in (she was an older, civilian doctor whom I had never seen before), she asked what we were doing today, and then answered herself by saying it was time for my 28 week labs and for my Rho-Gam shot.  Ummmm . . . I have never had one of those before, I told her??  She totally did not believe me, asking where I had had my babies ("Last 3 right here, Doctor!"), and launching off into a condescending lecture about why I needed the shot--"You see, your BODY makes ANTIBODIES . . ."  I told her I quite understood the physiology of the shot, but I had never needed one before, and this was my 10th baby, so I was not sure why I would need one now.  She said doubtfully that maybe my husband was Rh negative as well, but I knew that both Nathan and Luke have positive blood types, so I kept saying there must be some mistake.  She took down Bob's name and stomped off down the hall to check on his blood type.  She came back fairly quickly to say that someone had just marked my blood type down incorrectly, and that I was in fact, positive.  Yes.  Just as I thought.   So--no Rho-Gam shot for me after all.

After that bit of weirdness, she looked at my chart closely, and mentioned rather negatively my propensity to have big babies (as if I was unaware, LOL).  "We have GOT to get your weight under control!  You need to only gain 1 pound a week!  Once your glucose results are back, we'll get you on the GD diet, and NO MORE CARBS!"  I just said okay meekly, but when I got home, I checked my paperwork from last visit--so, my last appointment was 5 weeks ago today, and in those 5 weeks, I gained a total of 5 pounds, which appears to me to be (and I do have a degree in math, remember), an average of 1 pound a week.  So, that was weird too, but whatever.  I did gain more weight in the first trimester than usual, like I have said before, but I felt like I was doing okay lately.  I'm 27 weeks along, and I've gained about 25 pounds.  That is a little higher than I'd like to be, but it doesn't seem like obesity raging wildly out of control or anything.

Her next point was my "history of babies with shoulder dystocia", and that was why it was so important for me not to keep having these big babies.  Well, the one baby of mine that did have mild shoulder dystocia was Grace--who was by no means my biggest baby.  I told the doctor her story briefly, saying that I felt that the dystocia there was a result of the early induction and Grace not being in a good position, rather than her size.  She looked pretty dismissive of that, but again, whatever.  Hey--I am not interested in having huge babies or babies with shoulder dystocia either!  But it seems like I will keep having big babies, because, well, except for my 2 early Colorado babies, I've had big babies, gestational diabetes or not.

I asked what she thought of me flying at 33 weeks, and she looked absolutely aghast--"I would NEVER approve that for you!"  We had planned to drive down to TX in August to visit my brother and his family, but it turns out that I totally had the wrong date for when the community college starts classes (and we're hoping Nathan can dual-enroll for a few classes next year).  With the right start date, we don't have time to drive there and back, so we were looking into flying.  I was actually talking to my brother on the phone when it dawned on me that there might be an issue with me flying in my 3rd trimester.  I looked at the airplane regs, and it seemed like they all wanted at least a doctor's okay for travel after 28 weeks.  The doctor couldn't believe I had even ever considered it, and she said that was about the time they were going to start the non-stress tests because of my "advanced maternal age".  So now I am bummed about not being able to see Dan and Melinda and their girls, which we were all really looking forward to.  Maybe next May/early June, once testing is done?  I really want to get there before Nathan goes off to college.

So I walked into the appointment relaxed and feeling like everything was going well, and after a 15 minute appointment, I walked back out feeling old and obese, like a big pregnancy fail, LOL.  I made a note of her name, so hopefully I won't have to see her again.  Unfortunately, she is the one putting in the order for my 3 hour glucose test, which I'll take next week, hopefully, so she'll be the one to call me to tell me I failed.  Sigh.  I'm sure she will be encouraging about that!  Ha!  I've been trying to plan for the 3 classes I'm teaching next year, as well as memory work (and trying to figure out maternity leave for all the classes), I've got my guidance counselor hat on as I help Nathan with all the nomination/application forms for college, especially the service academies, we've got the same issues with our church that have become increasingly stressful, and I still don't feel like anything is really nailed down, as far as the schedule for the older boys for next year!  Let's add pregnancy concerns to all that too!  I thought summer was supposed to be relaxing . . . sigh.