“the key to a good birthday is low expectations,” phil dunphy ~ modern family
sadly, phil is describing michael’s last 5 or 6 birthdays. maybe more. and this year i had every intention of doing his birthday up big. i mean it’s the big four-oh. aren’t you supposed to celebrate with at the very least a funeral dirge or some such thing? but i didn’t. and i have no excuse. i did get him a gift. 4 weeks ago. and it was exciting then, but now, not so much. so that sort of added to the whole low expectation thing. he did get cake and a song. not from me, of course. from n. khao and n. jim. they showed up bright and early in the morning with cake and even brought an extra kid with them to make it more festive.
so i’d like to take this opportunity to apologize to my husband for being such a sucky birthday memorializer – or whatever you wanna call it. and to tell him happy birthday. 3 days late. here’s hoping for many, many more birthdays for me to fail in the planning of!! i love you.
remember back in september when michael was in the states and he went to the doctor and the doctor told him he had type-2 diabetes and we followed up here with another doctor and the doctor here did a little blood test and said oh, no, that can’t possibly be right. he doesn’t have type 2 diabetes. and i was we were totaly convinced cautiously optimistic that he didn’t have it. but, just to be safe, the doctor wanted to do follow up blood work when michael was in town for more than a day or two. well, that time is now. turns out michael’s currently in the middle of three weeks here. and he’s all over the medical – which is slightly out of character for him (it’s quite possible that his motivation comes from this being some serious and scary stuff.) tuesday morning he went in for his blood work. thursday evening he got his results back. turns out doctor #1 was correct. type 2 diabetes (what kinda fun are you gonna be?) but he’s got even more fun than that going on. he’s leaking albumin, and his eosinophil level – it’s off the chart. his blood pressure is poorly controlled. there’s protein where protein shouldn’t be and that’s only the bits and pieces michael remembers. at least the doctor has a plan of attack. it’s a simple four step plan.
- # first – getting the diabetes under control.
- # second – regulate the blood pressure.
- # third – cap that albumin leak – hope that’s easier to control than that little oil leak in the gulf.
- # fourth – fix his inadequate breathing. the doctor’s all about getting him off the sleep apnea machine.
i’m really not sure how simple this plan is seeing as how he’s been given no plan of attack for accomplishing these four steps. but we’ll figure it out. i’m thinking a top priority is finding a nutritionist and as tempting as it is to let google fill this role, i’m guessing a real live person would be a better choice.
the train arrived early. we boarded. we were excited. we ordered dinner. the train left the station for chiang mai. we ate dinner (which convinced me not to order dinner on the train again. it wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t good, either.) we ordered breakfast (only because by that time the train was running an hour behind schedule and i didn’t figure the kids would like waiting until 11 in the morning to eat). the nice train employee came and put the beds down for us. we got into bed. we were curled up nicely with our ipods and we (or at least i) was ready to be put to sleep by the swaying of the train. and just as i was beginning to understand how someone could possibly be swayed to sleep by a train they came and told us we wouldn’t be having breakfast. or chiang mai. that we were headed back to bangkok. flooding again so we shouldn’t count on the overnight train on thursday night.
now we’re back at the bangkok christian guest house with tickets for an overnight bus tomorrow night. s11 has a vote in that we do nothing tomorrow. he’d like a day to hang out around the hotel and fill every available minute with whatever might be showing on cartoon network. and as tempting as that is – check out is at noon. that leaves us several (like 7) hours to fill. a13 mentioned that cats and dogs: the revenge of kitty galore comes out tomorrow and we’re not at all far from the mall where the ginormous theatre is and maybe we should go there. right now, my vote is for sleep – and blogging, obviously.
and while we’re figuring out how we’re gonna fritter away a few hours before we can begin our journey home, michael’s hearing reports that super typhoon megi is due to arrive where he is somewhere in the same time frame as when he’s gonna be attempting to leave. it seems he always has to one up me.
my last post mentioned michael’s type-2 diabetes diagnosis. which might not be a correct diagnosis. michael was in krung thep mahanakhon amon rattanakosin mahinthara yuthaya mahadilok phop noppharat ratchathani burirom udomratchaniwet mahasathan amon phiman awatan sathit sakkathattiya witsanukam prasit last week when we got the results from the doctor in the u s of a. (and, yes, i do feel very smart when i copy and paste the full name of bangkok in to my posts.) which meant we couldn’t do much about it. he got back late saturday night, so we were up and at it early this morning.
i’d worked concessions at a badmitton tournament all day saturday. (badmitton is big here in asia. real big.) and i asked the lady i was working with if she knew of a doctor we might be able to use that could help us navigate the what and how of diabetes. and she did. she gave me the name of a doctor who has a clinic on the moat and you can just walk on in. no appointment needed. so that’s just what we did. he asked michael a few questions, looked at the results of the bloodwork and immediately doubted the diagnosis. partly because there is absolutely no family history of diabetes on michael’s side of the family – that he knows of – and partly because the cellulitis hasn’t cleared up and he’s been on all kinds of antibiotics and those, combined with the infection itself, can do a number on your sugar levels. he hasn’t totally ruled out diabetes, but he’s highly doubtful that’s what it is.
he did do a random blood test today and the results were 126. which, from what he said, is great for a non-fasting blood test. he then looked at a few more things, prescribed some more antibiotics that should finally kill the infection – hopefully – and told michael to come back in on saturday, so he can look at his legs. and then michael heads out of town again. when he gets back, he’s to call the doctor’s office to make an appointment for more blood work, this time fasting, and for an angiogram – because the doctor said there is definately something causing the blood to not flow correctly through his legs. and after all that’s done he should be able to make a more definitive diagnosis. so for now we wait.
and our new doctor’s not really puerto rican, he just told us he was. he’s really 1/2 thai and 1/2 indian, but when he was studying in new york and people would ask him where he was from he would say, “thailand.” and they would say, “you don’t look thai.” and he would say, “well, my dad’s indian, my mother is thai and i was raised in thailand.” and they would say, “you don’t look indian.” so he asked them, “what do i look like?” and they said, “puerto rican.”
Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. ~World Health Organization, 1948
i would be totally satisfied if we could just get “the absence of disease or infirmity” part down. not too long ago michael recovered from his bout with cellulitis. and pretty much immediately after michael’s healing came my run in with the “very bad” tumor. and a few weeks after the removal of the tumor the 6″ incision on the tippy top of my head decided it would seperate a bit – which was alot of fun – but it’s healing properly now, so no worries. we’re on the mend. our family is a picture of health. or so we thought.
while michael was in the states he went to the doctor. a doctor who discovered that michael’s healing wasn’t a complete healing. it was more of the cellulitis going dormant. it hasn’t flared up like it did, but given the right situation it could. and he did a bit of blood work because he suspected that michael was having a difficult time fighting off the cellulitis because he was diabetic. and today we got the results of his blood work. type 2 diabetes. which means we’ve got to find a doctor to be michael’s doctor. so far we’ve handled all our doctoring on a walk in basis (except for my skin stuff – i’ve got a dermatoligist for that one), but i think this is going to take a little more following up on than a walk-in situation allows for.
this isn’t my story to tell so i’m not gonna go into too much detail, but it’s necessary to share a little so that you can appreciate michael’s current condition.
michael got home yesterday, after 30+ hours of travel time. as soon as he came out of baggage check i was ready. ready to share every single detail of every single thing that happened while he was gone. and he didn’t fall asleep. or he’s learned to fake being awake convincingly – which is fine by me, because i still got to use up all 3 gazillion words i’d been saving since he left. the biggest thing i had to tell him about didn’t happen to us, it happened to a friend. a friend who does not live far enough away. if her family lived on mars it would not be far enough away. one night this friend of mine’s house help wakes her up to tell her there is a snake. a big snake. they go outside to investigate and it’s a big, big, big, gigantically humongous python. and it’s eating their pet cat. and it’s in their yard. so they call the police. the police send out major reinforcements and they send them out quickly. but the python still gets away. (that’s why i say she lives way, way too close. i mean, she’s perfectly lovely as are her children and she has a very nice spouse, but a python that can eat a cat escaping her yard? too close.)
after i tell this tale we go about our evening. i head out for girls’ night, michael attempts to watch chuck with the kids, but passes out during the second episode and the kids run amok after that. roll the clock forward 5 hours. i’ve returned home, read some, caught up with what i might have missed in the last few hours on facebook, and then decide to head to bed. i wake micheal up – he’s not fully awake, but sort of in that in between wake and sleep state – when i get into bed and he attempts to give me a big hug and tells me that this big hug is for the snake people. he talks a little more about snake people, but refuses to go into detail. he falls asleep, i fall asleep. all is good. until i wake up this morning. i hear s’mores in the yard barking – it’s her usually yipping that i’m certain drives the neighbors crazy. and then she stops. i think nothing of it, but michael leaps up and out to the door because he’s certain the dog only stopped barking because she’s succumbed to the hugely huge python.
and it’s not the first time he’s had this worry. he’s been up several hours on python watch.
*i would have titled this post alive and kicking, but i’ve already used that title – and it wasn’t all that long ago – so i’m just going with another line from the same song. given enough time i’ll eventually have a post for every line of the song.*
where have i been? around. (funny, aren’t i?) no, actually i’ve just been recovering. i spent several days in quite a bit of pain and then several more days really, really sore. but, for the most part, i’m now pain free. except for the headache i’ve had pretty much nonstop since i was put under. oh, and the fuzziness i’ve been feeling. which is very frustrating. i feel like i shouldn’t be allowed to make any decisions right now because i can’t think clearly enough to make a good choice. but those things are supposed to go away – in time. and i would say the headache is not as painful as they were, now more of a dull distraction as opposed to a constant hammering. oh, and the itching. which is a good sign. the doctor was overjoyed to hear that my scalp was itchy. he was so excited to tell me all about the cell factory i’ve got working away on top of my head healing up that scar. and he gave me a very clear warning. “don’t scratch the factory and no swimming.” wednesday the stitches come out. and then another 5 weeks of healing after that and i’ll be good as new. sort of. and bonus – it seems i’m a wee bit younger looking. i’ve had more than one person say that i look younger. i’m thinking that in order to accomplish the removal of the “dangerous tumor” the doctor couldn’t help giving me a bit of a face lift.
what else has been happening?
we’ve also had a birthday party for s(still)10. he’ll be 11 next friday saturday (i’m blaming that little error on the fuzziness.) his birthday is totally on friday. (i was right the first time, but the fuzzy seems to have won out.) but michael leaves for the states the day after his birthday and s10 figured that if we wanted to get maximum benefit from him being here we should party a little early. but don’t worry, i’m not cheating him out of a birthday post. i’m just gonna wait until he’s actually s11 to talk about it any more. (my own personal denial).
a13 has started futsal. it’s a super short season. started somewhere around the 20th of aug. and ends like the 17th of sept. she’s playing under 16 this year. which seems impossible.
c16 is impatiently waiting to get his motorscooter license. the whole head thing derailed our plans just a little. but we’re back on track now and soon enough he’ll have it. and want to use it.
michael’s leg still isn’t 100%, but it’s closer. i’ve got to find him some compression socks this week before he heads over the ocean.
and my coolest thailand story to date – at least i think it’s the coolest. i was headed home from a friend’s house on the motorscooter the other night and stopped for a red light. the elephant that i was stopped beside patted me on the helmet with his/her trunk. how cool is that?? (i mean, like it’s not cool enough to say “the elephant i was stopped beside”.)