Saturday, April 28, 2012

up to date

I cannot believe it's been so long since I last wrote. What a bummer.

Maybe a brief list of items would be reasonable here, just to catch up quickly?

Item One. The semester is ending and I will really miss my current students. The theme of the course is graphic novels, and they've risen to every challenge except one, in which I tried to introduce them to the amazing comics of Charles Burns and most of them had the following reaction: "Ick. This book scared me." It is a kind of horror comic, though I cannot stand true horror, so it's really not that scary and it's more freaky and beautiful. I will miss them, though--they were talkative and smart and (mostly) interesting. I love when I can say this kind of thing at the end of a semester.

Item Two. I have been meaning to comment on a powerful post by Esperanza a few weeks ago in which she discusses how hard it is to be off meds while TTC. I have now commented but thought it deserved a mention here, too, because it's just such a great post. In fact, her recent series of honest and raw posts have been so moving I've found myself in tears. They're bringing back feelings I thought I had successfully buried. Surprise! Not so much. Anyway, the comment I want to make out loud here is that I, too, take meds for adult ADD and I'm currently off them because I'm still breastfeeding. I've been off them since January of 2009. I miss them every single day. Without them, I'm tired, often cranky, scatterbrained, and incredibly prone to procrastination. If I'm fair, though, I'm still a procrastinator and a bit scatterbrained even ON the meds, but less so. If you've ever wondered what life for someone who takes/needs meds for ADD is like without them, read her post.

I struggle with the "need" aspect of them the same way she does because it really seems like I "should" be able to motivate myself better/smarter/more successfully without medical help. I berate myself for not being "good enough" to live life without them. And the fact that they help with weight loss and maintenance makes it all worse because it seems like I'm making an excuse for taking them through my scatterbrainedness, even though I don't really think (in my calmer, more rational moments) that's the case. Whatever. I am coming out as a person who takes meds and needs them and who knows that there's no shame in getting the help you need.

Item Three. E is sitting on her own these days, only occasionally toppling over when she reaches over to grab a toy. When the hell did she get so big and strong?

Item Four. Reflux, the old devil, is back in my life yet again. I described E's symptoms to her doctor a few weeks ago and sure enough, she said we might benefit from meds. So we're in the middle of trying a second level medication for it, prev.acid. W was on it until 18 months and it remains to be seen how E does. She's taking it in suspension rather than in solutab (W was on solutabs) and there is controversy over whether the suspension method works as well as it's supposed to. Solutabs are apparently in shortage at the moment, so we can't switch over (yet).

Item Five. I generally dislike poetry. But I've had the hankering to start writing poetry lately. Strange. It's like poems keep popping into my head. I haven't written any down yet because I assume I really cannot write these poems (because I'm not a poet or a real writer--I teach because I cannot do). I know that makes no sense. So I'm going to start writing poetry one of these days. What an odd midlife thing to do. It might be because I'm hanging around poets IRL these days and they're on my FB page a lot, writing snippets and posting cool poetry links. Maybe I'm just going through some version of high school envy? Poets are cool and therefore I should become a poet (much like in high school when guess jeans were cool and I was poor, so I worked 20 hours a week at my part time job to buy myself guess jeans?). I'll keep you posted on whether this poetry thing manifests itself.

Item Six. A friend is going through last chance IVF in June and my heart is in my throat for her. Think good thoughts in early June for her. She's 46 and this is almost certainly her last chance.

Item Seven. I have a post brewing about a conversation I had with a graduate student I'm mentoring. She's 32 and asked me whether I thought it was important to have children before establishing her career or not. I'll let you know what I said (spoiler alert: if you want children badly, put off your career; if you are on the fence, live your life and check in about it again every 6 months until you make a true decision).


  1. It's nice to hear from you. You and Esperanza have my sympathies on living without the help of medication.

    Ooh guess jeans. I remember pining but I never actually owned a pair (I guess I was too lazy to work 20 hours a week). Poetry, on the other hand, I could really get behind if I were to discover that I had any ability to write it.
    Perhaps you will share some with us at some point.

    I have often asked myself what I've learned from my voyage to parenthood and what advice I would give a young female graduate student. I think that it would be exactly what you said.

  2. Glad to see you back Rachael, and with so much to think about, too! re: Item 2: I am glad you have reached peace & acceptance with your body's need for the medication. Like I told Esperanza, no one is sitting around berating themselves for needing thyroid medication or insulin...that if only they were stronger people they could go without. You do what you need to do to be the BEST you for yourself, your family, your students, your society.
    re: Item #3: I KNOW! When did that happen, indeed! and Item #7: would love to read that post, sounds like a great topic for discussion.