Saturday, January 31, 2009

Ah, running.

Apparently, not running for a couple months DOES NOT do anything for performance.  But it was nice all the same.  I've had my reasons for not running recently - end of pregnancy, new baby, unicycles are more fun, running is painful, etc.  But I got up and out to Valle Crucis for our ol beloved 7 mile Cub run.  It was oh-so-cold and windy - but I was back in my tights, reflectors, and trusty fanny pack and off I went.  I listened to some music this time because I figured that the sound of my wheezing would drown out nature anyway.  Well.... it was noticably harder.   But I was pretty pleased.  As I came around a bend up on Baird's Creek the sun slammed into my face just as Bono blasted his first "ITS A BEAUTIFUL DAY!" - and it really was.  And I wasn't totally out of it - at the end of the looong uphill to the steep ridge I was able to push it - I had the whole furrowed brow, focused eyes, "Rocky" theme playing in my mind.  When I got to the top I stopped and tested.  45 Baby!  So I sucked down some of the very last Hammer gel I had from training last year... and after waiting the requisite 15 seconds for it to (not) take effect - off I went because Bruce Springsteen's "Born to Run" came on... I really had no choice:)   The last couple of miles were pretty pleasant except for the icy headwind on Broadstone - anything sweaty just froze.  All in all a good morning.   In Triabetes news, we got a great write up from Crystal - a pretty athletic (kayak master, biker, etc) person from Asheville who is oddly enough on the cusp of becoming a diabetic.  She found Triabetes and then Michelle found her and told me.   She is, as her doc says, 98% sure she's Type 1.  But she seems to have beta cell function so its a really odd case.  I feel for her because its hard enough just getting diabetes, its even harder just maybe getting it!  And she is such an athlete that it makes answers hard to come by.  I've talked to her a bit about the oddities of exercise and blood sugar control and sent her a great pdf from Dr. Matt (of the wonderful Diabetes Training Camp) that was a review article for athletic trainers.  She found another amazing site, for you diabetic athletes - that gives a lot of great info - The Effect of Intensive Exercise on Type 1 Diabetes Control: A Case Study.  Have a read - its really good (actually I just assume it is because I couldn't finish it!  It had so many big words!).  I couldn't help but laugh at the concept of me helping some diabetic on knowledge based stuff... it was only last year that I was the last person anyone would ask!  I guess Dave was right - we are real diabetics now.  Peace.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Finding my voice

Today we went to church and Shelly Wilson really hit home in her sermon.  It followed on the tide of the Obama inauguration and the Martin Luther King rememberance.  In a nutshell, it was about finding your voice - both personally and communally.  All the people throughout history who have seen a wrong and have spoken out to challenge it and push humanity forward spiritually... often at their own peril.  And we all peer into the promised land on their shoulders.  It has been the voices of the few that have done this and I have quietly gone along, content in watching the parade progress... slowly.  Doing very little to help it along.  When have I protested injustice?  When have I really done anything that was difficult in the name of Truth?  Well, I have been inspired to be better about that from here on out.  I want to be an advocate for peace despite my fear.  OK, there it is, lets hope it sticks.  In other bits of gratitude - our family has been on the receiving end of a lot of good will... and food - on the birth of Esme.  Thank you friends and family, thank you HCUCC, thank you science dept, thank you Towers, Calamais, Willards, Rowells, and Moores, and thank you to goodness knows who else.  We are truly blessed.  PS - the video below is nothing related to any of this stuff - as Ash said to me when I showed it to her, "you are such a goober!"  But she loves me for it... how could she not?


Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Snow Day!

Quick post.  Took Zoe to the dentist and to go skiing today and she loved both of them!  I thought the skiing would be a slow process but it basically went like this.  Step 1: Get lift tickets (5 min)  Step 2: Get Zoe's rentals (40 minutes...helpful hint: don't wait in long ski line before you figure out that you should get boots first)  Step 3: Go get on bunny slope with Zoe and talk a bit about snowplowing - oh and put on the Edgie Wedgie.... very important.  Step 4:  Forget about the bunny slope and head for the lift.  Step 5: simply be amazed at how fast kids can learn stuff.  
All in all a wonderful, fun day.  If you haven't figured out yet, I am quite taken with being able to put in video to the blog.  A unicycle clip will come as soon as the snow clears...which sadly to say will be tomorrow as Dr. Marty has already called and announced that tomorrow the dream ends and we go back to school.. but on a 2 hour delay.  Life begins.


Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Its good to be home...for more than 10 minutes

This is not how you want to see your baby.  So we were discharged from Asheville on Thursday - we went to Greenville to get the kids and stay a day.  We ended up staying for a few days because Zoe ended up with a stomach bug.  Lovely.  We think it was the same thing Adia had a week or so back but don't know why it took so long. To make it worse, our aunt Kelli came from Rock Hill to watch the kids one day and ended up with the bug as well.  A 1000 apologies Kelli!  But it passed quickly and we were all set to go home on Sunday.  Kathy was coming as well to stay for a week so we all caravaned to Boone around mid-day wary of an ice storm that slicked roads that morning.  Around Blowing Rock, Ash notices that Esme looked a bit more yellow so she called our doctor in Boone.  We didn't get a call back until 10 minutes after we got home.  But in that time, Susan and Bobbi from our church (High Country United Church of Christ) came by and dropped off a wonderful dinner - not only do they have amazing daughters (due to incredible science teaching, no doubt), but they are incredibly thoughtful.  (later, completely by chance, another member brought us a baby blanket - really wonderful community) So anyway, we had to turn around and head to Watauga Medical Center to get Esme's bilirubin checked.  I brought our suitcase back to the car and off we went.  We didn't quite realize that it would be 2 more days until we could enjoy the dinner.  Her bilirubin was 18+ and so we had to put her under the lights and take her out only to feed.  By the next morning it was down to the 16 range and 14 something by that night.  The lights were turned off to see what it would rebound to the next morning and it stayed in the 14 range.  So all was well and we were released midday.  Had the wonderful drama of the Obama inauguration not been going on, all that hospital TV watching would have been difficult.  Needless to say we were grateful to get home and have the prospect of finally sleeping... and in our own bed.  We did get some good sledding in however (one video is of Zoe and Adia with Debbie in the background and the other is of Zoe... I mean a Triceratops plowing through a Cretaceous snowstorm) At least Esme's golden touch is still working - we just found out that there will be a snow day tomorrow too!  Zoe and I are going to go skiing.  

video video

Friday, January 16, 2009

Esmé Ruth Ahn!!

We are finally home. Well at least we aren't in the hospital. Ash got discharged last night and we headed to Greenville to meet up with Zoe and Adia who had been staying at MawMaw's. So I guess I should go back a few days and recap. Monday: I had gotten my stuff at school in order for a week and Ashley picked me up at school and we headed to Greenville to drop off the kids. Tuesday, early: Ash and I headed to Asheville for the induction. Ash was being induced due to the fact that she was diagnosed with a blood clot a few months ago and needed to time the blood thinners just right. But all has been well with the clot and up until Tuesday - life had pretty much returned to normal. We checked in and went up to our room - it was facing the mountains and was a pretty glorious sight - quite a plus for a hospital - we never closed the blinds. I realize now that had someone been looking up a few floors late that night they would have gotten quite a show of beauty and terror. We had a really good nurses - and the conversation as we went along through the night and day was pretty amazing - the first one just has a best friend whose child was just diagnosed with type 1 and so I told her about Triabetes and Insulindependence and whipped off my bracelet and told her to give it to her friend. She promptly put it on her own wrist and off she went. Our midwife, Ann Brown, was absolutely incredible. She works with MAHEC (whatever that stands for) but she works out of the same office as the maternal-fetal specialists of western NC. So we had the best of both worlds. We thought that when the clot issue came up we knew we wanted more of a medical hand in the delivery and we thought that would rule out a midwife - but not in Asheville. But Ann - what a great person and midwife. Ann was there when we got there at 8am and then just slept at the hospital that night in case we needed her. Wow. Double wow. Oh, and she is a beekeeper and chicken-keeper (even just wrote an article for a home chicken magazine (that sounds funny - kind of like southern living for chickens...but its not)

We discussed some options and measured Ashley and decided that it might be best to wait to break her bag of waters and just do a light dose of pitocin to see if contractions could be coaxed into strength that way (Ash had been contracting off and on for days). That was at 10am. We went on through the day - Kathy came up until the afternoon - we contracted, we talked bees, we talked chickens, we talked all kinds of stuff...actually I should say that Ashley contracted while I talked bees and chickens and whatnot. At one point even I realized that I was taking my eye off the prize and I toned it down a bit. By 4pm the contraction had been relatively powerful and she had dilated a bit and thinned out some more and we decided to break the waters.
Game on. Not much came out during the first few contractions. But apparently the baby shifted at one point and Whoosh! out came the flood. That didn't happen with Zoe (trickle) or Adia (water had to be broken after she was born). From that point on - for the next 6+ hours, Ashley the Legend, was created. Apparently back labor hurt a whole lot. Ash stayed positive all day into the night and just worked hard while only fueling up on broth, jello, and water (and those wonderful ice chips). But sometime in the dark, the tide changed. The pain in her back went from hurting really bad to white hot fire with each contraction. Ann was amazing keeping her going - coming up with different coping mechanisms, positions, distractions, etc. But slowly I saw Ash getting closer to her limit. Then I saw her at her limit. Then she was past her limit. But Ann kept her going and by that time she was really close. I've never seen someone in that much pain and exhaustion before... even Ashley. By the end she was hanging over the bed and I was holding her up while the nurse worked on her back and Ann and Dr Sigmon (she is a great doctor - very holistic and a beekeeper to boot) worked on hip bones and cervix lips.
Finally it was time to push. But Ash was done. She had tried to push a few times but the pain was so bad and she was so tired that she blew through them. Then it happened. Like Rocky Balboa picking himself off the mat ... and his old coach says "one more round!" She roared through the pushing (and by roaring, I mean roaring...later she would say she felt bad about scaring all the poor laboring mothers on the hall:) And then it was over. Esmé Ruth Ahn entered the world at 10:05pm Tuesday January 13th, 2009. She was 7lbs 7oz and 19 inches long. She nursed right away and slept and slept. And at that moment, we had 3 wonderful kids. I remember thanking God and everyone - just grateful for the moment. And now I look forward to running a marathon this summer with Ashley. Amen.
For pictures - you can click on the scrolling pictures to the right or go to our Picassa album

Saturday, January 10, 2009

3 days to go

So when I bring these eggs in last night, Ash solemnly proclaims "I'm afraid I'll know how that chicken felt."  Well, its 3 days to go and all is on track.  We've had some wonderful help from William and Janet who have watched our kids on numerous days while we were in appointments in Asheville (really making things easier for us) - and from Jon and Carole who have also watched our kids, taken care of animals, secretly done our dishes when we were at appointments so we could come back to a peaceful place - and even the weather has helped.  Many appointments have been snow days.   But appointments are a thing of the past - thank goodness.  Here we go.  

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Dave Shack in New York Times!

Dave Shack is featured in the New York Times today!  Go buy a copy.  I love this guy.... almost as much as my unicycle.  Its a wonderful article on beating back disease with fitness.   We all knew Dave was star.... now the world knows it.  This is exactly what I need.... some inspiration.  We started a new semester this week and I haven't done anything.  As an odd coincidence, my blood sugar was in the 300's before I went to bed (then I hit it with insulin) and nicely it was in the 300's when I woke up.  Hmmm.  Oh yeah - there is also a great video that Ray and Nella finished on the Ironkidz part of Triabetes - its a wonderful diabetic tearjerker. 

Thursday, January 1, 2009

New Year

Short and sweet. We had a scare that Ash had a kidney stone - she drank tons of water and cranberry stuff and it hopefully passed or just went away. That would have been a bit much I think. As it is it dropped her to her knees a few times. The baby will be here in a week. Let me repeat that. The baby will be here in a week. Holy cow. Ash said to me the other day - "don't know if you realize it or not, but we are having a baby." If it wasn't so serious, it would be really funny. Thankfully, I have the MUnicycle to keep me sane. I absolutely love it. There are not enough hours in a day to unicycle. And if there were I would be way too sore to continue. (picture is a blood blister from uni) I can hop steps now and ride some mild trail stuff without too much sweat. I spoke to Peter tonight about a unicycle triabetes rep. There is a 500 mile race in Canada... PS - the chickens are laying around 15 eggs a day! And one other update: what do you get when you cross an Eastern Screech Owl and a bike? An Eastern Screech Owl stuck in your spokes. No kidding. I put my bike on my car in the early am monday and went to drop off my car at the shop and then I was going to ride into work from there. When I got to the top of the hill (Steve's Auto) I got out and saw something caught in my spokes...near the cogset. Thought it was just some trash. Upon further inspection, it was a screech owl - unconscious but hanging for its life upside down from my spokes. I carefully wrapped it up and put it in a bag. I raced back home and by that time it was moving around. I rigged up a dog crate with a perch and Ash took it to Genesis up on Beech mtn. I think its going to be ok. The pic is not my screech owl, but it probably had a similar expression just before impact...