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dirty ethel rackham

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dirty ethel rackham last won the day on August 1 2018

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About dirty ethel rackham

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    Iris Loamsdown of Deephallow
  • Birthday 06/08/1963

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  • Interests
    rock climbing, reading, board-lurking, reformed childbirth educator (as in I taught for 12 years and have finally stopped buying books on birth and breastfeeding), tea snob, going back to school to be an sonographer

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  • Biography
    wife to Greg, homeschooling mom to 3 great kids
  • Location
    western burbs of chi-town
  • Interests
    books, birth and rock climbing
  • Occupation
    professional tea snob

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  1. Many of us HAVE been working to maintain friendships - working VERY hard. I had a lovely group of friends who purposely kept up these friendships after our children-based connections were over. Until they didn't want me. Until they had better, shinier friends without the shitty life stuff ... Bodies breaking before their time - that meant I was a liability to my climbing friends. Heartaches were just too big for others to handle. It's like I all of the sudden got cooties. I made a concerted effort for 3 years to initiate things, only to find out that I was on their d-list ... someone to be tolerated once a month. Someone actually said that she could only handle me once a month ... and this wasn't someone that I was baring my soul to and laying all my heavy burdens on. That is why I had to go back to school ... I had to start building a new life. Because the old one was done with me ... I wasn't done with it. I doubt I will ever have those soulmate friendships I used to have. Those don't begin in one's late 50's. I will have to be satisfied with superficial work friends. And the long silences at home being married to an engineer who gets more than enough socialization at work.
  2. This was with my mother. It wasn't cancer, but a failing heart. Nobody would say that the treatments were likely not going to work. I think my mom had a better idea than anyone that her time was short. It was my mom's friend, a former nurse, who called me up after visiting my mom who told me that my mom was dying and didn't have much time. The docs were still doing invasive tests and experimenting with drug regimens. I finally became a huge pest and cornered the cardiologist, demanding that he tell me what his plan was. He hemmed and hawed about things they were trying, but they needed more tests. I asked him which of these things were going to make her better. Because if none of them were going to make her better, then maybe it was time to consider hospice. He was all "you're giving up." And I was all "why do you need another swallow echo? What will that tell you that you don't know already?" He finally admitted to me that her mitral valve was blown and she would need surgery. I pointed out that 1) she would not survive the surgery and 2) she was adamantly against it. I had to demand that he stop torturing her and call in hospice. She died 36 hours later. If he could have just told us 3 months prior that it was her mitral valve and they had limited tools to manage it and there wasn't a fix, then it would have been less arduous for her, and for everyone. I am sad that I didn't get assertive sooner. I could have saved her a bunch of discomfort. We know that doctors don't have crystal balls. But, they could tell us what the survival rate history has been and that, although there are new treatments, we don't know what impact that will have. Too many are all "look at my shiny new treatment" while ignoring the realities of the disease. Yes, it could be someone's miracle. But it probably isn't. And they need to be more honest about that. When my dad had liver and pancreatic cancer, they gave him 3-6 months to live. They told him that they had treatments that might give him more time, but those treatments could be quite tolerable, or terribly intolerable. My parents and the doctor decided to try some of these treatments, all knowing that if they really interfered with the quality of life, then they were done. My dad was insistent on that. Well, he tolerated the treatments very well. He would be very tired and grouchy for a day or two after chemo, but he was able to travel and really looked forward to their trips. They had a group that would take 4-6 trips a year. He loved going to his regular golf league. When he didn't feel well, he still met them for dinner afterwards. During all this time, he would have some shrinkage of his "lumpy bumpies" and some more would grow. Dad was the one to remind us that there wasn't a cure. This was buying time. And as long as that time was good, he would continue. For 3 years, he was able to continue. The last 6 months, there was a decline, but he was still able to enjoy life and go on some of the shorter trips. When he developed an infection, and was told he couldn't go on the next trip, he died 48 hours later. His situation was one of open communication with his doctors ... we all knew that the end was coming and we all knew that it was all about enjoying the time. The treatment was both life-extending and palliative. This. It all sounds so heroic when one is "winning." But I hate that we frame it that someone "lost the battle." Like they should have fought harder. I have a friend who had what they expected to be a treatable cancer. But when the treatments didn't work for her, it broke my heart to hear people say "she lost." SHE didn't lose. She was unlucky.
  3. Pain! I really didn't expect to be in so much pain. I need two knee replacements due to 20 years of patello-femoral syndrome wearing away at the cartilage behind the patella (did lots of pt, but never could fix the problem.) I will need an ankle replacement. Plus mystery pain that pops up ... a wrist here, a toe there, add a hip, a shoulder, and fingers. That taking good care of myself ... eating right (almost to the point of orthexia due to one kid having food allergies), exercising regularly ... are not a guarantee of fitness later on. Several things on my bucket list may never be possible ... Camino de Santiago is one thing I've always wanted to do, but I don't think I will ever regain the stamina to do so. I wanted to do more hiking and climbing outside now that I don't have familial responsibilities, but I need easier approaches. And nobody wants to climb with a decrepit old lady. Crappy genetics means, whenever I try to push myself to get more fit (which means keep up with other fairly fit people my age), something breaks. And when something breaks, I don't ever seem to get back to where I was. I have to do very gentle yoga, due to knee, ankle, and wrist pain. And I still struggle to keep up. I am very flexible, but warrior poses can be painful on my knee. I have to work very hard to maintain a good head space rather than let frustration override my thoughts. I was hoping that taking a yoga class at the college two days a week would have helped me be ready for regular yoga, but ... nope. Still can't do it. Fear of falling ... I have always prided myself on my sense of balance. I did gymnastics when I was younger until I got too tall (balance beam was my specialty) and I was a dancer. But my ankle injury ruined my propioception and I find myself second guessing whether or not I can do something without falling. Needing handrails and grab bars is very humbling. Hot flashes lasting a decade. Actually it started out with what I now call warm flashes ... although they were unpleasant, they were only a preview of what was to come. I'm 56 and they are still going. Becoming insignificant ... my kids growing up and leaving. My family disintegrating. My friends becoming distant. I often feel invisible. It's a daily battle to not be sad all the time. Starting over knowing that I don't have a lifetime to build up a new career ... I'll be in my late 50s when I graduate and I'll be competing against younger, fitter people ... and I know that I have a much closer expiration date. I have to look at the 2 years of school as part of the journey, not just a means to an end. The upside ... I know how to learn. I know that rote memorization is harder for me at this age, but I do best when I can put things into context. And I have so many more experiences that help provide context. Having had a lot of experience with injuries and health problems ... my own, my parents', my kids' ... meant that I had a huge leg up when it came to anatomy. And I do better when I understand how the whole system works, not just memorize pieces. I'm still very flexible. I can still get into a full squat. (Getting up is the hard part.) And I can still do the splits - both right and left leg splits. Never could fully do center splits - was and still am a couple of inches off the ground.
  4. I am so sorry for your loss, but am glad that you survived. I'm sorry that your mom and sister don't know how to support you and don't understand how traumatic this had to be for you.
  5. Hope it went well! Waiting with bated breath ... like the rest here 😄
  6. I would love the down time if I had people to spend it with. Your unstructured time sounds delightful. Mine is just plain lonely. Have lots of "shoulds' on my plate, but it is hard to get motivated when I have this large expanse of unfilled time. As much as I don't want to wish away a minute of dd19 being home, August can't come soon enough.
  7. That's a shame that there isn't a succession plan for these things. Ds25 is working toward a PhD under a professor who may be retiring before he is done. She has told him that, if there is a buyout, she will take it. But, they are planning for this. He has chosen people for his committee that he will likely transfer to either of their labs if she retires before he is done. Everyone is on board with this. Since he has fairly regular meetings with all of them, they are up to speed on what he is doing and prepared to continue to advise him. She is helping him set up nicely to continue his work after she retires. He is going to conferences and making connections.
  8. Can you go over her head to get some assistance? Does she work for a broker? Her behavior is inexcusable. Once this deal closes, I would make sure to rate her on whatever rating sites are available.
  9. Praying that all goes well.
  10. This story breaks my heart. I just want to turn these parents in for the abuse and neglect. It's not like the younger kids are getting a better deal. But, that doesn't help this man in the short run. Unless there is a special kind of minor account, this isn't typical at any of the banks that I have dealt with. Usually, getting someone off an account requires that the person who is on the account agrees to it. Just like a joint account for adults. However, he could open his own account, provided that he has documentation. That may be the key. But that doesn't solve his other issues, like housing, medical care, a diploma, etc.
  11. Harris and Me by Gary Paulsen is laugh out loud funny as well as poignant. We also loved A Long Way From Chicago by Richard Peck.
  12. Well, we just got back from the one-and-done lice treatment center ... she guarantees her work. They think that this infestation is a month old. Dd has long, super thick, super curly hair. She just thought she had dandruff and an itchy scalp ... something she has battled for years. So this means she got it at school, where it was going around. Her BFF that she spends every non-working, non-studying minute with, thinks she found a nit. And this poor girl doesn't have the funds to do our one-and-done treatment. Arrggh.
  13. Thanks for all your input. I decided to spend a little over $50. I selected some cloth diapering supplies off her registry and added Everyone Poops (for the theme as well as it being a favorite) as well as The Napping House by Audrey and Don Wood (because I adore their illustrations and whimsical text that is so repeatable.). I recently found a Moses basket in the closet that we got when dd was a baby and she has been using it to hold dolls/stuffed animals. I plan to clean that up and use that to wrap it all up. I'll ask her mom if that would be appreciated.
  14. Then why do they say not to share combs or hats and to thoroughly wash bedding and towels in hot water and dry on high heat?
  15. Yeah, it will make me feel better. But, everything I've read is that, any surface that has had contact with the infected person's head needs to be cleaned ... so that means couches since she often lays on the couch. Yeah, the eggs don't hatch there, but if there is any chance that the eggs could get transferred to another person's head, then we should clean it. (BTDT with fleas ... we had an early spring one year and didn't get our dog his flea and tick meds in time. That was not fun at all.)
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