Sunday, December 25, 2016

Happy Hanukkah and Merry Christmas

It’s 2pm on Christmas day. Jackie is about to head to the store. The boys just left to get in some skiing. It’s been a blizzard outside all day. Snow and wind. I’m feeling exhausted. Sitting at my computer, wearing my new battery powered socks that Howie bought me and put on for me. My feet often get so cold when I sit, they turn blue, it’s a circulation issue. When I stand up my feet warm up and turn pink. When I visit with Andy he helps set up my sitting posture so my feet heat up and my circulation is better. I picture a string from the top of my head to my sacrum. 

The other night in the middle of the night I sat on the edge of my bed, feet on the floor and focused on my breath, breathing in, breathing out. I think I sat there for almost half an hour, then lied down and fell asleep. My sleeping seems to be getting a little better. I wake up to use the bathroom, or because I feel confined. I can’t change positions in the bed without getting out of bed. This takes effort, throwing my legs off the bed, rising up on my elbows. I wake up 3-4 times per night.

The kids are all home. Andrew drove home from Salt Lake City on Friday, not arriving until 10:30 pm, got a late start then got stuck in city traffic in SLC and then drove in a snowstorm from Idaho Falls to home, a 6 hour drive took him 9 hours.
A bit of added stress worrying about him, but he’s here safe and sound.

Micah arrived on Thursday and was home when I got home from my day in Bozeman.

Friday, I thought about working at the store, but never made it in. Jackie left to work, and Micah made me breakfast. As he put the plate in front of me, my naturopath doctor phoned me and we spoke on speaker phone for 40 minutes. Comfort, Detox, Stabilization.  She wants me to go to a physical therapist in Bozeman who is the only physical therapist in the county who specializes in neurological disorders. She also wants me to see a speech therapist, for vocal cord, diaphragm, and swallowing strength. I agreed with what she was saying, but I also told her how to have yet another weekly appointment in Bozeman added stress.

We also spoke about clinical studies and the promise of stem cell research. I told her about my conversation with the head neurologist at Mass General and the list of 5 things I should pursue and how overwhelmed and paralyzed it made me feel. She told me to send her the list and she would try to navigate that.

She also mentioned the possibility of me getting an ultrasound of my carotid artery in my neck just to see if there was any chance that had narrowed…

By the time I got off the phone with her I was tired. Micah and Howie heard the entire conversation. I ate my cold breakfast, we talked, they left to go skiing.

Soon after, Barbara showed up with a necklace from the mountain, the 3 sapphire necklace I remember looking at a year ago, when I was looking for a 25th anniversary present, but decided it was too extravagant as we were going on our big trip to Europe and Israel for our anniversary so it didn’t make sense. I remembered it when she texted me the photo, but I didn’t remember how expensive it was. But it was a beautiful piece, 3 rich bright blue Montana sapphires, small, medium and large. When I saw it, I was like wow, but I had no memory of how expensive it was.  Mary Lou was coming over with her daughter and her granddaughter so we called them to stop by at another jeweler and pick up the other necklace I was still considering, When they all arrived we had Amelia who used to work for me model them and I made my decision with their help. Mary Lou has always been able to help me with big decisions – she helped Jackie and I choose the location of the town center Moose, and her advice has always been spot on.

Mary Lou was in town from Portland for Christmas with all her family and it was so warming to have her visit with Beth and Amelia, 3 generations of awesome women.

Friday was a very stressful day at the store, and Andrew didn’t arrive until so late, the Robin family reunion started off with a bit of stress.

Saturday we all got up and we came up with a better plan. Micah and Howie skied. Jackie and Andrew worked. Our dear friend Laura came over to hang out with me and make me lunch. Then Laura brought me down to the store and I sat in the corner of the dining area and tried to help out by just being there.  I met with staff and made sure all was going well. I said hi to locals who I haven’t seen. I spoke to customers who didn’t know.  I went through the delivery orders and helped alert staff to find certain items, and let Jackie know all was good. I helped her figure out where we could get some more retail ground beef.

When the boys were done skiing around 5 pm Andrew took me home. I napped for about an hour. Howie got home, we watched football and switched to “It’s a Wonderful Life.”  Jackie and Micah came home around 8 pm and they all started on dinner. We face-timed with Grandma Peggy, Alex & Julie, Jackson and Bridgette and we sang the prayers and lit menorahs together.  It was really fun, it was like a modern scene in a movie, everybody making hysterical faces at what whoever was talking was saying. With the beauty of the lit candles. Then we had a really awesome Christmas Eve dinner.  Steak tenderloins, roasted Brussels sprouts, turnips, sautéed mushrooms. Yum, it was so nice to be together. After dinner we decorated the tree with old picture ornaments of the boys.

Christmas morning breakfast

Christmas morning got off to a rough start as the boys slept in and work tension permeated the holiday. 20 deliveries on Christmas Day and you can never have enough staff when it’s that busy. But we all calmed down, and the boys helped Jackie make a wonderful Christmas breakfast.  It was already past noon, but we called in to the store and they said things were going well, all under control. So we opened presents.  Micah bought me a Florida Shirt, Andrew a Shipwrecks of the Great Lakes Sweatshirt, Howie some old school Rossignol Skis all from the local thrift store in Colorado Springs and Jackie a package of Pringles. Jackie exclaimed “NO! I can’t have them, I haven’t had a Pringle in over 2 years! That’s like buying a reformed alcoholic a beer.”


Howie bought me some battery powered heated socks, Micah, a beer making kit, mom, a painting from Israel which he held onto for a year, and Andrew’s gift is still on the way from China.  We gave Micah and Andrew REI gift cards, and Howie is going to get a drone. And then I gave Jackie the necklace, which was impossible for me to do without crying.  It looks so beautiful on her.

Then the boys left to ski and Jackie left to work and I exhausted physically and emotionally took a nap.