Sunday, September 30, 2007

Quiet Weekend

We've enjoyed a nice, quiet weekend. Friday night we celebrated our neighbor's birthday with homemade hotwings and a gathering of friends. Saturday we spent all day getting the filing sorted & ready to go into the filing cabinet. I've been avoiding the filing for...oh, I don't know...more than a year b/c lots of the stuff goes back to the end of '05. Sad, I know. Aside from the fact that I'm ready to get Derek's office in some semblance of order & this is where the piles of filing have been multiplying like bunnies....the real motivation is that we've put off getting everything together for the accountant until the very last minute. So going through all of this paperwork was more a matter of necessity. The dining room table is completely covered with piles and piles of sorted paperwork. Now it will be going to its proper home...and may we never let it wait this long again! While I was sorting the filing, Derek was working on his portion of the records for the accountant. I'll be glad to be finished. We took a break last night to enjoy some wine & cheese over a movie. It was a nice, quiet evening. Unfortunately Derek had to go to work this morning, so our plans to go to church together were thwarted once again. I appreciate the business since it pays the bills, but it would be nice if he could get one weekend without working! (I didn't have to sing this morning, so we would have gotten to sit together. That doesn't happen often.) So I've had a quiet afternoon to myself. The cases have been lining up, so it will be a late night for him, too.

On a different note, Dori is continuing to improve. She still has a healthy appetite, waking me up the last two mornings for breakfast at her regular (very early) weekday time & begging for dinner in the evenings. She's had veggie snacks & has gobbled them up, as well. We took her to PetsMart yesterday since we needed kitty nibbles. She had a blast walking through the store, greeting everyone she met. She put on her best show for everyone. We're so thrilled that she's virtually back to her old self. While we're in Napa Valley next weekend, she'll be staying at the vet again. We debated about sending her to camp as planned but decided that since she'll still be on meds that it would be better for her to be at the vet instead. The vet's office is terrific about giving Dori lots of attention even when she's boarding, so we know she'll enjoy her time there. Maybe when she's 100% we can send her for a weekend of unbridled playtime at camp.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

I Must Be Crazy

Well, I've done it. I've gone and double-booked myself...and it was completely voluntary. The first weekend of December, I will be a singing fool. And I LOVE IT! I am a charter member of the Northeast Texas Choral Society--the brain child of the lovely, talented, and absolutely delightful Ms. Carol Ruth Allen (whose also like a second mom to me). This year marks the 10th anniversary of NETCS...and my, how far this fabulous chorus has come! Needless to say, this entire year is intended to be a celebration of ten glorious years of choral music in a small town. Why am I telling you all of this? Well, Carol called me today about singing the solo in one of my all-time favorite Christmas pieces. After much careful pouring over my schedule, she & I decided that it's completely do-able. So not only will I be singing the piece she proffered, but I will also be singing the concert in its entirety on the evening performance and the first half of the matinee (to allow me time to make my call for the big Rutter piece I'll be soloing on at LHUMC). The first weekend of December will be a busy one for me. But what an exciting opportunity on all fronts!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Better Week

Well, this is certainly a better week than the last...thus far anyway. Test results from Dori's liver biopsy show that there is evidence of hepatitis--just as the vet suspected. (Because I haven't actually talked to the vet (i.e. this info is all through Derek), I can't really tell you more than that.) She begins some new meds today. (And she's still eating like a champ...whooppee!)

Did I mention that I cancelled the audition I had scheduled? Aside from all of the stress from Dori's illness, I realized that the show was going to run during some critical times for my church job. And since I'm paid at my church job & will have some solos in the big pieces we're doing there, I decided for those dings on the resume instead of the show. There will be lots of other theatre opportunities, but I don't know how often I'll get a chance to sing some of the choral pieces (with solos).

Aside from my church job, I have absolutely nothing going on musically/theatrically right now. But that's okay. I have some really big pieces to tackle for the next NATS & recital. Lots of ear torture for the neighbors. They've been missing out. I know they'll be glad to know that the evening concerts are back on.

Derek is having an awesome month at work. In fact, he's had back-to-back super sales months. He's more than halfway to his number, which is terrific considering his territory, and his growth is more than the required 20%. But I know he'll be a lot happier when some of those pending sales finally close. They're really close, which is more than he could say mid-summer. And if those sales do close before year-end, he should be super close to making his number for a second consecutive year (if not over). Either way, he's a super salesman and has so much to be proud of.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Hungry Husky

Let's just say that Dori's making up for lost time. When I got home yesterday, she had eaten all of the broccoli I had left for her. After I let her out to potty, she came back inside and followed me to her room where I was about to pick up her dry & wet food b/c I didn't think she would eat it. Well, she started going to town on it as if to say "yo, I just wanted an audience. it's not that I wasn't going to eat it." Anyway, she ate most of the dry food and all of the wet food and then she begged for more. So I refilled the wet & dry food, which she wasn't as interested in, and then made some more veggies, which she happily gobbled up. *Whoohoo, we did a little happy dance.* It's so good to see her eating again. She ate little bits all night long and woke up this morning just as hungry. She's had wet food, dry food, brussel sprouts, and several separate helpings of broccoli today. I think I'll branch out on the veggies for dinner so she doesn't get bored. It seems our sweet Dori is very much feeling like herself again. Yay!

In other news, we've spent the day cleaning house. It took me more than hour just to clean the master suite. Yuck! But recovering from vacation & then worrying about the dog has sapped all the energy I might have otherwise put into housework. I still have a few hours of work on the floors--okay, maybe just a little over an hour--and then it's time to hit the laundry that's multiplied like bunny rabbits while I wasn't looking. Derek's been extra helpful & tackled the dishes and bathrooms. The house should (mostly) be in order once the day is done. That's a nice feeling. Perhaps I might actually get that time in the scrap room that I've been hoping for.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Weekend Approaches

Yay! It's Friday! This has been one of the longest weeks on record, I think. Sure seemed like it anyway. I'm glad for a weekend that isn't filled to the brim with things to do so that I can make my own to-do list instead. I have oodles of laundry & house cleaning to do. But it's nice to know that I don't have to get in a hurry to do any of it b/c I'll have all weekend. Super yay!

Dori is home recovering. We picked her up last night (and the bill was smaller than anticipated!). She wasn't as loopy as last time b/c they were able to heavily sedate her as opposed to using general anesthesia like last time. So her recovery has been much faster. She's still a little dopey this morning, but she should be completely back to herself by the time we get home from work. She also had a little breakfast this morning. It wasn't a lot, but hey, it was something! I started with the SD d/d duck & potato dry food, but she wasn't interested. So I heated up some of the SD d/d venison & potato soft food that was in the fridge. She wasn't overly thrilled with it either but with a little coaxing & hand feeding with a fork, she did eat a little for both of us. B/c I wanted her to eat more than a few nibbles, I stayed home a little later & cooked her some broccoli & brussel sprouts. She happily ate almost all of the sprouts & some of the broccoli (until I tried to trick her into eating more of the d/d soft food by putting it with a piece of broccoli & then she turned her nose up at both...shame on the mommy!). I left all of the food choices down in the room where she's staying today in hopes that she'll eat some more as the day goes on. I gave her the anti-nausea med, even though I'm not convinced that she needs it, just to be sure that nothing inhibits her appetite.

And just in case I haven't mentioned this before, we absolutely love our vet clinic. From top to bottom, they are the nicest people you'll ever meet with a genuine love of animals and concern for animal welfare. They've been so sweet through this entire process with Dori's illness. Anytime she stays with them, we know that we've left her with people who will oooohhh & aaaahhhh over her as much as we do. And it shows b/c if you say "Dori, do you want to go to the vet," she runs to her leash & gets all excited and she's just as excited when she walks in the door of the clinic. It's so wonderful to know that the staff of our clinic love our dog as much as we do! For this, we say thanks!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Dori for Liver Biopsy Today (updated)

Dori's done very well at home the last day and a half. Tuesday night she was absolutely exhausted after staying up for two days at the vet's offices. So she pretty much sacked out as soon as she got home and slept the entire evening. Yesterday morning she was a little perkier. By yesterday afternoon, she seemed more like herself--happy face, tail wagging, chasing the cats, sniffing hiney (hey, she is a dog). She's still not eating, but I think it's b/c she doesn't like the food the vet told us to put down and not b/c she isn't hungry or feels sick to her stomach. I know this b/c she's begged for food the last two evenings, but we refrained from giving her anything aside from the dry food the vet recommended. I'm going to check with the vet today & see what we might be able to cook for her or what other food we might be able to give her since she clearly refuses what we're currently serving. She's still drinking lots of water, so she's at least staying hydrated. But I would like to see her eating again, particularly now that she's showing signs of wanting food.

Today, she's back at the vet's office for an ultrasound-assisted needle biopsy of the liver. The biopsy will be sent to a lab for detailed pathology. In a nutshell, we hope this testing will tell us what is attacking her liver. The vet seems to think it's hepatitis, but honestly, there are hundreds of liver diseases--viral, bacterial, autoimmune, congenital. We want to know for sure rather than guessing. I should have more info when the vet calls later in the day.

{UPDATE} Dori came through the procedure fine and is recovering well from the anesthesia. The biopsy was successful, and the samples are on their way to the lab. Test results should be in by early next week, at the latest. Today's ultrasound still showed a suspicious gallbladder, so we will be watching this closely in the coming weeks. It is possible that it may ultimately have to be removed and could be a small part of what's currently going on. The vet is still convinced that test results will show hepatitis. Dori will be ready to come home this afternoon. We now have instructions on what foods we can offer her. Dori will be happy to know that we can feed her any veggie she's willing to eat. We'll also be trying the Science Diet d/d again and discontinuing the z/d since she's obviously taken a dislike to it. We will have anti-nausea medication to give this weekend, which should encourage her eating and help her recover from the anesthesia. Recovery will take most of the weekend b/c of the compromised liver. All in all, things went well today. We simply have to wait for the test results to see what further steps we'll be taking.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Dori Doing Better (updated)

In case you didn't catch the update at the end of yesterday's post, Dori had a good day yesterday. She did not throw up at all and went outside and took care of business without any trouble (not that that was ever an issue). She was very talkative and alert all day. The vet anticipates receiving the test results today. Meanwhile, the vet is treating the illness as if it is pancreatitis and Dori seems to be responding well to this treatment. She was transferred to the emergency clinic last night for continuous IV fluids (she can't be trusted to leave her IV in without supervision...naughty girl).

I called the emergency clinic this morning to check on her. Dori did superb last night. Again, she did not throw up at all and she was exceedingly talkative all night long. She's alert and perky this morning. Clearly, she's doing well. She will be transferred back to our vet this morning. I'll post updates as they come in today.

UPDATE: Dori is coming home! Pancreatitis test came back negative--everything was completely normal. So now we're down to a primary liver ailment of some kind. The vet is leaning towards hepatitis. Between now and Thursday, we'll discuss several testing options given to us by the vet. Ultimately, we would like to know exactly what's wrong with Dori, so the antibiotics/liver drugs (whatever those are) option is out b/c it's just throwing drugs at the symptoms without knowing the underlying cause. That leaves us a few non-invasive tests and an invasive procedure.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Dori Taken Turn for Worse

This weekend was pretty stressful for us. Dori was sick all weekend. Naturally, she got sick after the vet closed for the weekend, and we didn't want to go to the emergency clinic. So our goal all weekend was to keep her drinking and eating as much as possible, all of which was quite difficult as she vomited off and on all weekend. Neither of us dared leave her home alone--one of us was with her all the time to be sure she could go outside if she felt sick. I mentioned earlier last week that she was being picky about her food again. We were hoping that was it--she was just being picky. Saturday we got her new RX food from the vet. Unfortunately, things went from bad to worse. She did eat, but threw it up most of the weekend and our time was taken up with doses of Pepto Bismal and encouraging her to eat and drink. Yesterday, she did finally eat some boiled chicken and managed to keep it down. Derek took her to the vet first thing this morning. She was scheduled to go this week anyway for a follow-up blood test to check liver enzymes, which were headed to normal last week when we picked her up after our trip.

The vet called just a bit ago. The liver number is at least 2000 (their machine only measures to 2000 so it's likely higher) and some other numbers are also elevated. We're sending off a blood sample to test specifically for pancreatitis. We feel this is a good starting place and most likely the culprit. Dori will be on IV fluids only (food worsens the condition) until these test results come back. (We're hoping the sample gets to the testing facility early enough today to get results tomorrow.) Once again, this means an overnight at the emergency clinic so that fluids are continuous. She'll go back and forth between the vet and emergency until the results are in and even then, it's likely that she'll be back and forth for most of this week. (The vet's hearing *chah-ching* and I'm hearing *moan*) If this test comes back inconclusive, we'll begin looking into primary liver diseases, like hepatitis, an infection, or even a type of copper poisoning. And if we get to this point, we'll have some decisions to make about invasiveness of procedures for diagnosis. No matter what, the vet believes whatever we are dealing with is 100% treatable....once a firm diagnosis is made, that is. It's just getting to the diagnosis that is proving difficult. {Aside/update: you can really freak yourself out reading about these illnesses online. Don't tell Derek, but I'm in total panic mode right now.}

In the meantime, I'm seriously considering a "help Dori get well fund." (It's laugh or cry, right?) This illness is costing us a (small) fortune! (Thank God Derek is kicking butt & taking names at work right now! Otherwise, we wouldn't have very many treatment options.)

UPDATE: Dori has done well today. She did not vomit or have diarrhea at all and she has been very alert and talkative for the vet. The vet is preliminarily treating her as a pancreatitis patient until we hear otherwise. We expect test results sometime tomorrow. Right now, she's entertaining the emergency clinic.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Hawaii Summary

As promised, the summary of our 7-day cruise of the Hawaiian islands.

Sun., Sept. 2nd
Most of today was spent traveling. All in all, it took us 12 hrs to get to Honolulu (via a 2-hr layover in Denver). We checked in and boarded the ship, grabbed a snack, and took a nap. We finally got up and had dinner in the main dining room. Then it was back to bed. All that traveling was tiring. Overnight, we sailed from Honolulu, Oahu to Nawiliwili, Kauai.

Mon., Sept. 3rd
Today we saw Nawiliwili on our own. We took the free shuttle to Hilo Hattie's in search of some luau attire for Derek. We found that and a few other things. We went back to the pier, dropped off our purchases, and then headed back to some shopping close to the pier. We headed back to the ship for lunch and then took a nap before getting ready for the luau. We had a great time at the luau. The food was pretty good, but the entertainment was superb. Plus, we met some great people--some of whom we spent time with later in the trip. After the luau, we hung out with Apryl (we met her during the evacuation drill that wouldn't end) in the Blue Hawaiian. Would you believe that Derek did an Elvis impression? Pretty hilarious!

Tues., Sept. 4th
A very early morning, especially after the late night at the luau. Today we went mudbugging on the retired sugar plantation. This was Derek's favorite part of the trip, and I have to admit, it was pretty fun. We drove 22 miles of muddy trails up and down and all around. Part of the trip took us by the fields used to film Jurassic Park. Needless to say, there was great scenery. And, as promised, we got really dirty. After returning to the ship, we took a much-needed nap. But we got up in time (thanks to the trusty alarm) to see the Napali Coastline as we sailed by.

Weds., Sept. 5th
Today we're in Hilo, Hawaii. Our tour today takes us to Volcano National Park, the Thurston Lava Tube, the Volcano House Restaurant that boasts the longest burning fire (more than 65 yrs), the botanical gardens, the Mauna Loa macademia nut factory, and Rainbow Falls. We had the most knowledgeable tour driver--he knew everything from plants to animals to volcanoes to local lore. It truly was an informative tour not to mention full of stunning scenery. We made it back to the ship in time for the pub crawl, which was quite an interesting ship-sponsored event. We had a great time and met some more great people. It was definitely a late night.

Thurs., Sept. 6th
Today we're in Kona, Hawaii--the opposite side of the island from Hilo. We're taking the Explosion of Flavor tour today. Aside from lots of beautiful scenery (gosh, I say that a lot), we'll be visiting coffee, chocolate, and vanilla plantations. We learned a lot about the processes of making all of the things that we so much enjoy. We enjoyed a fabulous vanilla-inspired lunch at the vanilla plantation. All in all, it was a great day of learning & shopping.

Fri., Sept. 7th
We're in Kahului, Maui the next two days. We spent most of the day with our friends Apryl and Harris. We rented an SUV and went to the nice beaches on the other side of the island by all the resorts. The beaches are clean and the shorelines aren't rocky. We had lunch at Bubba Gump's before heading back to the ship. We took nap before getting ready for the sunset cruise, which gave us amazing views of the sunset.

Sat., Sept. 8th
We intended to go back to the beach, but the "free shuttle" from the pier was quite the joke. We should have rented a car but we were both afraid of getting lost. (Harris had driven the day before since he knew his way around.) We took a little walk but I ultimately got blisters b/c I believed the lady who said it wasn't that far. So we headed back to the ship, where I spent the afternoon on the pool deck (with my SPF 5000, as Derek liked to call my super SPF 50 sunscreen) doing puzzles and playing the ship-sponsored games and Derek entertained himself (though I'm still not sure how--details are sketchy). We packed our bags for the Easy Fly program (the ship checked us in with the airline (no standing in line) and our bags went straight through to our final destination without us having to do anything--terrific program!) since they needed to be out by midnight and we had the time to pack them before our late dinner reservation. We had dinner with Apryl in the Italian restaurant, which turned out to be our best meal on the ship--if only we'd gone earlier in the trip! We met friends in the Blue Hawaiian where we visited/danced/goofed off before heading to bed.

Sun., Sept. 9th
We were an hour late deboarding the ship for our tour of the USS Arizona/Missouri. There was some kind of issue with the cruise line and the tour company. But our tour didn't suffer. We still got to see everything the driver intended, including parts of town and the Punch Bowl. We had about an hour to tour the visitors' center. Derek really enjoyed the film we watched before going to the memorial. It included never-before-released footage of the attack. Apparently, the Japanese filmed the entire attack and several townspeople did, as well. The Navy compiled all of this video into an informative tale of that fateful day. The memorial was really amazing and awe-inspiring. It drives home the sacredness of sacrifice for God and country. 1177 servicemen were entombed on December 7th. Twenty-five survivors have since chosen to be interred with their brothers. If ever you're in Honolulu, you really should visit Pearl Harbor.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Quiet Weekend Planned

This has to be the longest four-day week on record. I thought Friday would never get here! I'm still soooooo tired. I think it's a combination of jetlag and allergies. The allergen counts have been off the charts this week. But thankfully, the weekend is finally here and I plan to do lots of resting.

Poor Derek is on call this weekend. And if it goes as he thinks it will, he's going to be busy...and very likely not with his cases. But we'll see. There was some mumbling about that today, and I don't know if he'll actually have to cover those cases or not.

My biggest plan is to rest. I have to do laundry too (but that's a relatively restful activity). All of the suitcases are now empty, so I finally have everything in the dirty clothes. I hate having tiny loads. The cleaning will wait until next week after I've rested. I have to sing a wedding tomorrow and two church services on Sunday. I also have audition music to memorize and a few cards to make.

Dori has today decided that she doesn't want to eat. But that was just breakfast. We'll see if I can coax her to eat something for dinner. Derek and I think it might be her new allergy med so we're going to d/c it and see if that helps. I'm also going to the store to buy her some different food. She begged for broccoli last night, so I think she may just be turning her nose up at her usual food b/c she's tired of it. But tonight I'm going to cook her some venison & broccoli and see if she'll eat it. All I know is that I do NOT want another vet bill like the one the first of the month!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Settling In

We've both officially worked a day this week. Surprisingly, neither of us had a difficult time getting up. It was sooooo nice to be home in our own bed (lack of Sleep Number bed made us appreciate it all the more). Derek's business meeting went well. And he's gotten some good news the last two days about pending set sales. Looks like several big ones may actually go through before the end of the year (fingers crossed...prayers said). And his caseload continues to be steady. I came back to a mostly empty desk, so it took about 20 min. to catch up--the beauty of taking a vacation at the beginning of the fiscal year. I have yet to touch any of the dirty laundry. I was definitely pittered out by the time I got home. I rescheduled my voice lesson. I did manage to cook dinner though and got the good photos up on Snapfish. I'm still working on uploading everything to Picasa so I can upload/embed the slideshow for you guys to see. It will likely be the weekend before that's finished--there are over 350 pictures to get uploaded! But here are a few more teasers.

Volcano National Park

Kona Chocolate Plantation


Sunset over Maui

Monday, September 10, 2007

Home Again

We made it home safe & sound from Hawaii. It was a long trip home, flying overnight & arriving at LAX at 4 am today & not hitting Dallas until 1 pm. Whew. We dumped the bags at home & then picked Dori up from the vet. She was SO excited to see us! And we were happy to have her home. She was a good girl for the vet and is 100% back to herself. Thank goodness for that. The cats were happy to see us to, though I think they were pretty disappointed to see the dog come home. Tomorrow we both go back to work. Derek has a big branch meeting so he'll be working late tonight getting a report prepared. I just hope to go back to work to a (mostly) empty desk. I'm sure we'll be dragging for the next few days--just as soon as you adjust to Hawaiian time, it's time to come home & face the jet lag that direction. I'll write a full trip report this weekend complete with slideshow.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Aloha from Maui

Well, the trip is winding down & I’m just now taking the time to sit down with the computer to post anything. Here’s a brief rundown of our week. We had no trouble getting to Hawaii. Our flights were all running ahead of schedule, and we had the fastest ship check-in time ever (less than 5 min). Monday we explored Nawiliwili on our own and then went to a luau in the evening. Tuesday was a very early morning. We met our tour at 6:30 a.m. for a day of mudbugging on the old Nawiliwili sugar plantation where we had an absolute blast getting dirty. We had a gorgeous view of the Napali coastline and the Forbidden Isle as we sailed by on our way to Hilo. Wednesday we went on a tour of Volcanoes National Park, Mauna Loa macademia nut factory, and Rainbow Falls. The volcanoes were amazing; photos really don’t show the beauty and majesty that seeing the park in person does. It’s amazing to stop & think that you’re standing on top of a live volcano—hot liquid magma sloshing around just under your feet. We stopped by the botanical gardens on the way to the Macadamia nut farm. The flowers grow so much better here than they do at home. Thursday we were in Kona where we took the Flavor Explosion tour—the Kona coffee farm, chocolate farm, and the vanilla farm. Lots of sampling along the way, of course, and many purchases too. Can’t leave home without the goodies you can only get here! We are currently in Maui where we’ve lounged around enjoying the beach and the scenery. We’ll be back in Honolulu tomorrow where we’ll tour Pearl Harbor & the USS Missouri before hopping the overnight flight home. Anyone thinking of coming to Hawaii should take a cruise—you see the best of the isles while only unpacking once.

Two updates: first, my ear seemed to make the flight over fine & has remained clear while I’ve been here. Of course, I’ve continued to take the steroid pack, which may be the only thing helping. I feel confident I’ll make the flight home fine too. And then naturally, one of my first stops will be the ENT’s office to see if we can clear this up once & for all (and especially before we fly to Napa Valley in 3 wks). Secondly, Dori is doing just fine. She’s completely back to herself and keeping the vet’s office very much entertained. We did get her pathology results back and they came back absolutely clear. Her liver number that was so out of whack is on its way down—more than half of what it was when we first checked it last Thursday evening. We’ll be checking those numbers again in a week or so to be sure they’re continued downward back into normal range. All in all, her illness is a complete mystery to the vet. There was clearly something going on with the gallbladder just given the ultrasound, but the pathology told us nothing about what it was. Perhaps we caught it early. Who knows. All we know is that she’s better now and having a good time at the vet’s office.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Almost Ready

Today has been BUSY! Naturally, we're packing & doing all of those last-minute things before the trip. I think I'm all packed, except for those things that will go in the suitcase in the morning. Derek hasn't even started, but that's pretty typical. Granted, I've been doing his laundry all day too b/c he couldn't seem to get it all in the hamper in time to do it any earlier.

We saw Dori today. She stayed last night at the emergency facility again. She was still very loopy from sedation from the ultrasound, so the vet didn't want to send her home. Plus, she wanted Dori on IV antibiotics and fluids all night. They transferred her back to our vet this morning b/c she's well enough to stay with them over the holiday weekend rather than having 24-hr care at the emergency clinic. And that, my friends, is a terrific thing (not to mention CHEAPER!). She was perky & alert & very happy to see us when we went to visit this morning. You could tell she was feeling better. So we feel such a relief knowing that we're leaving her on the mend & eating again.

Unfortunately, my ear issues have returned. This is pretty scary for me b/c I know that tomorrow's flight does pose some risks. But I'm doing everything I can think of to prevent a perforation of the eardrum. I started another round of steroids this morning, more decongestant, and will do everything else the doctor suggested pre-flight to ensure no major ear troubles. I also bought Earplanes at the suggestion of my voice teacher, who uses them when she flies (and she's had perforated eardrums). Hopefully, all of those things will protect my ear from major damage during our long flights on this trip. Of course, when I get back, I'll be going to see the ENT to see what we can do long-term to finally resolve the problem. Meanwhile, say a prayer that the flights won't bother my ears.

See you all in week-ish.