Top Ten Lists… In Lieu of Actual Journaling.

unnamedAs I was struggling with the Top Ten Things that were making it difficult to enjoy my spontaneous coastal weekend with my son, this fantastic restaurant check helped steer me back towards sanity:

“EAT WELL, LAUGH OFTEN, LOVE MUCH, THANK YOU.”
And, as a bonus, I was able to enjoy an SCD meal. I adore restaurants that are happy to adjust their menu offerings to accommodate my nutritional needs.

But back to the weekend, and the Top Ten lists.
Lately, I seem to repeatedly keep setting my personal bar too high. At 5 foot 1.5 inches and rapidly shrinking, it should be no surprise that both physically, and metaphorically, I can’t reach the bar.

My son has just started his Freshman year in high school. I work full time in a busy Radiation Oncology clinic, and my husband works full time in his pottery studio, plus 3 day weekends at a large, not very quaint hardware store for shits & giggles.

Inevitability, when my weekend rolls around, I decide I’m going to transform into Merry Maids, Mary Poppins, Weekend Warrior, Mountain Rescue, and mighty SCD Blogstress, as in one fell swoop.
Two weekends ago, HH and I went to Ape Caves near Mt. St. Helens. It was physically challenging; way beyond my normal comfort zone. 2+ hours of underground cave bouldering, dark, damp, with boulders up to 8 feet in height. We were within a half hour of our journey’s end, when I found myself part (well, half, exactly) of a 2 member RN rescue party in the depths of the cave. I heard there was a man in acute respiratory distress, about 1/3 of the way back from where we had come. One advanced outdoors-dude was scurrying out to call for emergency support, but I was needed to head back down to help. The gentleman was visiting from out of state, and had had no idea upon entering the cave how strenuous the hike actually was. He had asthma, and had forgotten to bring his inhaler (an omission for which I’m sure his wife may have killed him for, once they finally got out.)
1966691_10152749924153469_5460872356065517486_nLong story short: with no access to cell phone service, and no quick way out, the other nurse that happened to be in the cave and I got him out safely, with no tools other than breathing techniques and calming words.
End result for me: the miniature nurse whose boss calls her “Tinkerbell” got to spend an extra 2 hours below ground, wondering if there would be a Happy Ending or not. Not Fun. Not glamorous. Simply, Scary as Shit.

Fast forward to the next weekend:
One of the other MDs I work for had reserved a yurt at Fort Stevens State Park, near Astoria, Oregon. He was unable to use the yurt, and the reservation was going to go to waste, so I decided to pay $53, take HH, and try for a spontaneous Round II weekend.
One night in a yurt, Friday after work, and then a tent campsite for the next night.
I got a used bike rack, and borrowed Mr. Blitch’s truck, since he’d be working all weekend and was unable to join us.
Preface: Last time I rode my bicycle, I hit a TriMet Max line track and went ass over teakettle. But I was determined to not be saddled by my fears. warning-streetcar-tracks10603623_10152764993138469_8597639298125346165_n And I wanted to take my kid on an adventure. And so off we went, with the Blapplegate Family travel curse snapping at our heels.
Here is the list of The Top Ten Things That I Tried to NOT Let Ruin my Weekend with My Son:
1) Nasty e-mail from a manager I rarely see, for working 38 instead of 40 hours without prior managerial approval.

2) E-mail from my sibling, a person I am all but estranged from who has never once, in 7+ years, participated in any of my Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation Walks or fundraisers. He had included me in a group mailing, inviting me to donate to the Alzheimer’s Foundation walk on behalf of his best friend’s mother. (A worthy cause, to be sure. But the sting was undeniable.)

3) Portland traffic: 90 minutes just to clear town and reach the coastal highway
4) Locked out of Yurt due to late arrival (= late night panic)
5) Truck didn’t start back up at first, as we went in search of Park Ranger to let us into Yurt (= more late night panic)
6) Urinary Incontinence
7) Discovered at midnight, once finally inside yurt, that I was drinking a variation of an SCD legal Hard Cider that actually contained caramelized sugar. GASP! (No worries, it was grabbed from my lips and thrown out by my over zealous teenage son.)
8) Worry about my upcoming colonoscopy: my 4th, to be performed under deep sedation on my day off the following week.
9) Awakened at 0230, by red lights and loud engines emerging from the coastal fog… 3 Emergency Response vehicles down at the Yurt Village restrooms… luckily, they were not there for me, nor was I involved in any way… but really? Really?! Does my mere presence bring mishap to others?
10) Night Two, tent camping: Trapped between 2 gigantic RVs and a Hillbilly Family Reunion at the “camp” site. Lights, microwaves, generator motors throughout the night. If HH would have let me, I think at that point I would have bummed a cig and a Miller High Life and joined the fun.

Now, here is the part in my adventure where my faith in the National Park Service begins to be restored…
unnamed10623934_10152786954919736_8848647828616336552_o

If a gal like me can overcome her fear of heights, and drive out of Astoria over the Megler bridge, the reward on the Washington State side is the Dismal Nitch!
Olympia_Bridge

And then, then there was Wednesday.
The words were not really flowing, but there is always a list in my head.
And so here is that Top Ten List:

Good things that happened on Wednesday September 24th:
1) The new *Pineapple* flavored GoLytely worked like a charm: no 2nd gallon needed.
2) HH got up at 0500 to keep me company and watch a couple old Frasier episodes between mad dashes to the can.
3) OHSU continues to ROCK: fantastic nurse, GI doc, and anesthesiologist:
as per my request, I felt no pain this time. Even the IV was perfect and left no bruise! 
4) Funny message from my boss in response to photo below (left):
“Q sign, What a Gome.
Loved your colonoscopy video on OHSU broadcast
Get some rest!!!”
5) Biopsies pending, but the gnarly, ulcerated, red & inflamed colon from June’s scope was much improved. Small intestine still with moderate disease activity, but still, improved.
6) My ever-doting and loving Mr. Blitch, fed me, napped with me, and got a pedicure with me to help me heal and relax after it was all over.
7) Lucky #7, Lucky me: sweet messages of support from friends near and far.
THANK YOU. It makes a *HUGE* difference.
8) Big fat gallery check from Blitch’s new gallery.
9) Despite everything that our family has going on, HH had another good day @ Cleveland High School. My faith in Portland Public is slowly & cautiously being renewed. They won’t see this, but Huge Thanks to his amazing new teachers.
10) umm… there must be one more!
Oh, yes! (Photo bottom right) While all this was happening, my kiln (the kiln that I let Blitch use) was bringing a new load of experimental glaze tests to beautiful life. Keep on rocking, love!

10436695_10152773619813469_686335409510827918_n10649570_10152773639543469_5344386915163248073_n

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