Saturday, February 17, 2007

Pictures & the return of the funk

Since I've done absolutely piss-all since yesterday at about 6:30 pm besides sleep and click the mouse button or the remote control (oh yes, and eat copious amounts of carbohydrate, must not forget to mention THAT), and therefore have nothing to talk about except self-pity, if we're getting technical, I thought I'd go ahead and post some pictures I've been meaning to share for a while now. Save the insights for a sunnier day. We're fresh out of insights over here.

This is Adam and me at the Smithsonian orchid exhibit. Don't I look orange? And my head looks abnormally small from that angle next to Adam's. Weird. We went to this exhibit last year and thought it was better then, but still enjoyed the live orchid varieties. Adam gave me a purple orchid for Vday which is at my office and which I must attempt to keep alive! (suggestions appreciated!)

More orchids. You can see some of the purple sort on the left there. It's amazing that they all look so different but are all orchids... (ahem, that was my deep insight for the day.)

And here's my new couch which I bought while I was so completely hypo that I couldn't remember what color I ordered (heh) and had delivered five days after the RAI. The couch I was radioactive on is at Cara and Matt's !! Don't worry, I covered it with a big blanket so it's not contaminated!

Speaking of RAI... these were taken with a cell phone so they are not that good, but this is me in the hospital, taken just before my RAI dose. Here I'm showing off my pink pajama pants with sledding dogs that were sacrificed to keep me warm while hypo and radioactive in the hospital. Sadly, they had to be abandoned along with all the other things I used. Behind me, you can barely make out the latex glove taped to the door handle... they taped latex gloves over all the handles and light switches. Also, you can't really see it, but the floor is covered with plastic -backed padding. As were all the other surfaces I would be using. Oh, and there's my cooler under the tv. Do NOT get RAI treatment without bringing your own provisions, as the staff avoids your room like the plague and the food isn't LID compatible anyway and you'll end up having to flush it down the loo (since they won't take any waste out of your room the entire time you are there).

Here's another one. This time I'm modeling the lovely sweatshirt donated by Adam which I was SO thankful for, as it was cold in the hospital. It met the same fate as the pink pants (wonder where they are now? Still imprisoned in the basement of Washington Hospital Center??) I wore it over my head, stuffed around my ears, that night as I tried to get some sleep with all the noises in the hallway. This YELLOW sweatshirt may very well be radioactive in its own right!! I changed hospital gowns each of the 4 times I showered, and underwear (I'd brought several old pairs), but wore the pants/sweatshirt the whole time. Clearly the chair is covered. To protect it from me.

And the moment you've all been waiting for... my hair. I think I look a bit strange and possessed in this picture!! Anyway, there you have it. It's not usually curly, I just happened to take the curling iron to it yesterday cause I didn't work out and had extra time.

I have two other depressing things to write about at the moment. The other night, when I woke up to take my thyroid hormone, for some reason it dawned on me that I will die if I do not take this pill. I cannot live on my own devices anymore. Not like I ever would just head out into the wilderness with nothing but my wits to keep me alive, but I could have before and now I can't. It's part of this helpless, dependent feeling that comes and goes lately. And also the feeling like the ceiling has flown away and I'm being sucked out into the endless blackness - completely untethered.

The other thing is my scar. It hurts a lot today. In fact, it seems like it hurts more when I don't eat well and exercise (isn't that strange?). I wonder why. It hurts in the morning often anyway, but more so when I'm being lazy and eating junk. Also, Adam gave me this gorgeous sting of pearls on Valentines day, which was so sweet and thoughtful because he was thinking maybe it would cover up the scar... but they hang just below the scar and kind of draw attention to it. :( Not that I'm to the point where I can wear necklaces yet... the scar is still too sensitive and gets irritated with just my T-shirt rubbing it, much less metal. On a positive note, the more I thought about it, the more I decided that I just don't care if neck jewelry draws attention to my scar! It's part of me now and damned if I'm going to let a scar get me down!

I'm struggling with motivation a lot the last couple weeks. With the tightening of the pants and the tiredness, and the whole cancer thing, I guess I just am in a funk. I'm thinking a lot about whether I want to go on training for this 10 mile race. It may be adding an element of stress that I don't need right now. I still have five weeks or so till the race, so I guess I don't have to decide now. Sigh. There, I said I was not going to write about the ick, but I did anyway!!


Miss Rachel said...

Re the small head: I think he is closer to the camera than you are.

I totally remember the plastic-covered "everything" from my radioactive iodine treatment. I think the phone covered in plastic wrap is what struck me the most.

And I know you know this, but your scar will fade. I wear pearls now and don't even think of it.

Chris said...

In the picture of you and Adam, that's a Phalaenopsis behind your head, and what looks to be a Cattleya behind him (hard to tell).

In the second picture, the purple orchid in the foreground is another phalaenopsis (which I'm guessing is what he got you?), to the right is a dendrobium, and top left is what looks like an oncidium, maybe a sharry baby. If it was, you'd know it: They smell distinctly like chocolate.

If you liked the Smithsonian's orchid exhibit, you'd probably dig the National Capital Orchid Society's annual show at the National Arboretum in October...

Regarding how to keep your new orchid from dying, it depends where he bought it, and what it's packed in. Phalaenopsis from chain stores (whole foods, Home Depot, Lowes, any place in the mall) are notorius for root-rot. Packaging them in Sphangnum moss makes this even worse. The plants are almost all dying, and in order to reproduce before they kick the bucket, they throw out a great splay of flowers. Dirty trick, huh?

Remember, that most orchids are epiphytes, so they need air around their roots, and hate soggy feet (roots). Drainage is key. They liked to be watered hard, but no more than once or twice a week. They have to dry out between waterings, or they'll rot. Phalaenopsis are the worst. Also, phals don't like direct sunlight, so light shade is best.

Feel the leaves. If they're firm, the plant is healthy. As the roots rot, they'll go floppy, and eventually dry up and fall off. When this happens, I usually cut off the spike and give it to Erin in a vase, where it can last a few weeks. The plant puts a lot of energy into maintaining the blooms.

Your best bet is to buy from a grower (I can recommend a few in the area for you) where the plant will be healthy to begin with, then it's as easy as watering once a week, and fertilizing once a month.

Katie said...

first off...your hair looks SO cute!! that cut is really cute and you look so good!
i love the couch, i'm sure it's much better than that ghetto fab couch i passed on to you! it goes great with all of your stuff!!

maxie's pad said...

There's definitely a normal and natural "funk" that arrives once all the krap is over. When we're going through the krap, there's this adrenaline/like motivation that keeps us moving. But, whenit's over, it seems that the reality of the whole thyca thing appears in our face. And then it's time to sort it out and find a place for it in the filing cabinet of our minds. So, I think this is a difficult time. ie. absorbing everything that has happened. You will find a resting place for the whole experience, ad it will stop affecting your life eventually. Takes time.
I love your haircut. You are exquisitely beautiful.
maxine in miami (and you have a standing invitation to come visit me in my ocean front pad !)