Monthly Archives: July 2010

breathing is AWESOME

Thanks to the litany of medicines and allergy prevention measures I’m now on, I can breathe fully for the first time since…probably February. I use a new inhaler daily, along with a nasal spray, Zyrtec and Mucinex. I take Singulair at night. We run the Roomba twice a week and dust more often. I had allergy shots yesterday. We’re going to buy mattress and pillow covers, trade the down comforter for synthetic and put a HEPA air filter in the bedroom.

But for the last week, I’ve been able exhale fully without wheezing, without hearing liquid in my lungs at the end of the breath out. I can breathe deeply without coughing. I haven’t had an asthma-type attack, or uncontrollable coughing, in the past week. It has been amazing. I didn’t realize how fucked up my respiratory system was until I was suddenly able to…breathe.

So now things are More Or Less Back To Normal, and I will have to resume working out & hopping on the general weight loss bandwagon. I’m trying to get into better shape before we start working on Baby 2.0. I’d like to not come out of a pregnancy in such out-of-shape condition as I came out of the last one. Now that I can breathe well enough to exercise without breaking into a coughing fit, I might be able to do that.

the bond between mama and ben

My son is a daddy’s boy. This is for several reasons. Paul spends more time with him daily than I do, because he drops Ben off at daycare, and picks him up again in the evening. And even when we all get home on a weeknight, three out of five nights, I’m trying to get dinner for us all on the table while Paul plays with Ben outside. I also tend to rely on Paul to take Ben out of the house on weekends when I need to work or clean or get something done, and they usually go to a park. My time getting Ben out of the house to give Paul a break is usually spent running errands and dragging him to the store (although we do go to the farmer’s market, which Ben LOVES). And, of course, there’s the fact that Dada doesn’t travel without Ben.

Mama, however, goes on a business trip every month or two. And while I always make them as quick as I can, and I get home as soon as I can, I’m still gone. And today, Paul told me that Ben woke up, looked around for me, and then told Paul, “Mama on trip.” Ben, now, understands that I go on trips, and that he will talk to me on the computer when I’m away, but he’s too little to understand that I travel for work, not for fun. He’s too little to understand “work” (although he gets “Mama office”).

But when I’m traveling, and I can’t be with my son, I still get to experience the deep bond between us. Ben asks for me when I’m gone. When he sees me on Skype, his little face lights up in a big grin, and he says, “Mama!” At the end of the call, he says, “I love you,” without prompting. When I’m gone, he misses Mama, and tomorrow, he will be glad to see me when he wakes up. I will get a big smile and hug…and if I don’t, I’ll just pull out the toy NYC taxi and firetruck I bought him at the airport.

For me, the bond between me and my baby is one that works on too many levels of my brain. When I’m away from him for twenty-four hours, I start to really miss him. Ever since I started traveling for business, the sight of a baby his size (which now means a toddler), makes me choke up. I have gone through JFK multiple times, trying not to cry, because I was going home to my baby. I get overwhelmed with a mix of relief and happiness that I’m going to be home with him soon, combined with a wave of just missing my baby, that is overwhelming. The thought of being on my way home, and knowing that its just a few hours until I will be able to kiss the top of his head, is enough to start tears running down my face. It reminds me, every time, how deep and mysterious the bond between mother and child is, and how much Ben is still part of me.

Now, I’m home from my travels. And today is Friday, and I can pick Ben up from daycare, and take him to the park. And he will run up and give me a great big hug when he sees me. And I’m sure I can get an affectionate nuzzle and kiss out of him as well. Because even though Ben is a daddy’s boy, he still loves his mama very much. And after a little extra time together this weekend, in parks and playgrounds instead of Costco, he will be a little more re-bonded with Mama.

jfk to lax: random thoughts while flying over amarillo

I’m flying over Amarillo right now.

A very long time ago, I used to live in the Texas panhandle. And I have never put Texas completely behind me. I still keep in touch with one of my good friends there. I still like reading about the state-slash-republic’s history. And one of the things I learned in Texas was what it means to live someplace that is not a coastal city. My couple of years in Texas was the only time I’ve lived in Middle America, and it’s the only reason I have even the slightest clue what living in A Simpler Version Of America means. Otherwise, my vision of the United States would be completely metropolitan. And metropolitan is still a limited view of the country.

I think about what’s down there a lot when I fly over America. And if it hadn’t been for my two years in Texas, I’m not sure if I would look over the country, from a plane, quite the same way. As my Virgin America flight passes directly over Amarillo, I think about that kind of less complicated existence, about what it’s like to live someplace that isn’t a major city. I admit, there are some days I think about asking Paul if we can just pack it up and go move someplace in a fly-over state where we can afford for me to be a stay-at-home mom.
My work requires a major urban center; his does not. Some days, I think about living in a small-to-medium city, with inexpensive housing and few freeways and a more tied-together community.

Then I realize how bored I would get NOT working, and how a one-income household wouldn’t be enough to pay for decent colleges and how I would probably end up taking over a local PTA or something because it wasn’t running effectively, and I realize why I’m better off in big cities.

I’m on my way home right now from NYC, which is why I’m flying over TX, of course. I flew in late last night, and then went to the Prospective New Client Meeting in Weehawken, NJ that I flew out for. Then I returned to IMS NYC, and spent the afternoon:

– walking a few blocks, up 5th and back down Madison, to get a salad at Chop’t
– bonding with my NYC co-workers
– actually sitting down in a productive meeting with an NYC account team (I do find face-to-face meetings most effective still)

I did NOT get to go for my usual Early Morning Walk Through Central Park. That was I have been mysteriously ill the last few days – randomly tired, achy, and unable to breathe deeply. I couldn’t sleep properly Tuesday because I was in so much pain. My right shoulder, which is kind of messed up to start with, hurt horribly every time I breathed in. I fell into a deep sleep, finally, around 4am, after Paul massaged the shoulder in question. That, and a couple Advil, helped me get a little sleep. And I felt a little better through Wednesday. When I got to the Hilton on Wednesday night though, I had chills again, and was short of breath, and so I took a dose of the new inhaler. And then, last night, the pain was back. I kept waking up because I couldn’t take more than a shallow breath without pain searing my shoulder. And even when I got up in the morning, I was fuzzy-headed – to the point where three cups of coffee barely got me moving.

Once my head cleared though, I looked up the side effects of the Advair inhaler I’m taking – and found “muscle and bone pain” as one of them. It’s worst in my shoulder, but the rest of me is pretty achy too – it literally hurts to laugh, or cough, or breathe too deeply. That totally explains why I went to pieces so badly on Tuesday night. Or why I’ve felt like throwing up every time I eat something, like my stomach is just rejecting it (I’ve kept meals down all day, I just lose interest in them sooner than I usually do). Last night, I had such severe chills that I had to dive under the covers shivering – in New York, in July! It seems that of all the Horrible Side Effects that could have gone with that inhaler, I had all the worst ones. And, of course, it didn’t help my breathing. It made it ten times worse.

The reason I was prescribed the Advair was because the inhaler I had been using, the Albuterol I’ve been taking daily since March, was no longer effective. The respiratory infection I had in March has never quite gone away, and I’m still wheezing some days when my breathing gets bad. I went back to my doctor last week, and she referred me to an allergy specialist. It seems my immune system is just…broken. Between not vacuuming enough in our apartment, the crappy air quality in L.A., and this spring’s cold that wouldn’t go away, I have been a mess consistently for months. This is what I mean about life being too complicated in big cities – I believe the L.A. smog and pollens and pollutants worsened the problems, and now I have breathing problems and constant sinus infections I can’t seem to shake.

I started to feel better this afternoon though, and now I’m just…tired. Bone tired, and still unable to breathe deeply, but it’s getting better. And soon, I will be home with Paul and Ben, and will be able to take some time this weekend to rest at home, and maybe by Monday, I’ll feel like I can take on life in Los Angeles again.

Ben at the park


My special time with Ben is when I get him from daycare and we go to the park in Pasadena.