In hot water!

Saturday, while the rest of the family visited friends to shower, I waited at home to receive a replacement hot-water tank and the gentlemen who would install it.

They showed up and refused to either remove our old tank or leave the new one. Our house had two breakers of 15 amps leading to the water heater, but the tank needed at least two breakers of 20 amps, they said. I don’t know much about electrical systems, but I do know it’s relatively simple to replace a breaker. I promised we’d do that if they switched the tanks, but they refused.

Their steadfast commitment to the letter of the law might have been admirable had they not decided to spend the time meant for the replacement sitting in the truck doing nothing. They were still there when I left 20 minutes later to pick up Child Three from a birthday party.

Our friend Charles, who is skilled in the electrical arts, installed the correct breaker for us, and removed a wire patch as well. We got the new tank this morning. Luckily, the company sends crews out on Sunday.

I did shower yesterday, at my cousins’, but it’s nice to get the dishwasher back.

Bonus note to Shecanfilmit:

I read the Didion piece, and while I can relate to the misery, her facts are dated. There are now medicines that will stop migraines in progress, like Imitrex and Zomig.

I did try ergotamine therapy, but because I almost never get an aura, it doesn’t work well for me. Someday, I’ll write an essay on my migraine experiences – but the migraine itself was only a small part of my malaise of the past few days. I still have a bit of a tension headache….

Answering Mr. Dixon

I slept another 11 hours last night.

Tracy, my physiotherapist, worked on my shoulder a bit, then decided to try to help me with my headache. She used her fingers on my neck muscles near the skull attachments, in a way I can describe as either deep massage, pressure-point acupuncture, or plain old poking. She reduced the severity of the headache, but tension headaches are muscle-based after all.

I took some ibuprofen at night and was feeling good by bedtime, but the tension headache was back when I woke up. More ibuprofen banished it again.

Will Dixon asked in a comment to my last post if I’ve tried Zomig. I haven’t, but I do have a prescription for the similar drug, Imitrex. I use the nasal spray delivery, but I didn’t try it yesterday because of my cold. In hindsight, I should have.

(Zomig claims an efficiency of only 6% over placebo in the first ten minutes, rising to 40% better after two hours. Those are better response rates than Imitrex claims. Might be time to switch.)

Mr. Dixon also asks if there’s anything to be done about brilliant, disruptive children. I’ll limit my suggestions to practical solutions – one one one teaching would work well, but I can’t pay for it, nor do I have the patience to home-school.

In Child Three’s case, the disruption is a clamouring for attention, we think. He’s the youngest of three and I’ve noticed that he has usually had to be loud and repetitive to be noticed. I’m of the school that thinks the behaviour pattern is primarily ingrained rather than learned, but reinforcing the behaviour can’t help.

The strategy we’re going to try is to try to get Child Three to appreciate that he can get attention with results. I don’t think there’s a way to restrict his quest for attention, so the correct tactic is to target it in a more productive manner. It boils down to ignoring behaviour we deem unacceptable – not punishing it, but ignoring it – and awarding acceptable behaviour with attention.

In my e-mail sig, I quote the character Grandma Woody from “Northern Exposure”: “All we are, basically, are monkeys with car keys.” I believe that profoundly. We are the way we are because our genes dictate that. We can learn to change, but our nurture is only the veneer on our nature.

I have to admit that part of me says do nothing. The disruption only harms the other children and thus gives the disrupter a competitive advantage. But that’s just the Darwinist in me talking.

Bonus point for house:

Sometime yesterday, our water heater started to hemorrhage – wait, that’s not accurate. It started to aquarrhage from its base seal. We rent our heater, which is financially inefficient but should mean that when we have problems, they are fixed promptly.

We’ll be buying our next heater, elsewhere. And moving up from 40 gallons to 60 gallons, so we can stop rationing shower times when we have houseguests. Should we go for 80 gallons?

Bonus bonus:

Kudos to the Gazette for the subhead on the story of the company that owns Victoria’s Secret buying local lingerie company La Senza.

The story, on the front page of the Business section, continues on page 2 of the section with this subhead:

LA SENZA Bras helped bring two sides together


Still feel like crap

But now, I have a little crap cherry on top. My last 24 hours:

11:30 am: Manage to teach through an entire class despite a head full of phlegm and cramps. I drive home and do some work for Alex.

1:30 pm: Child Two comes home from her half-day of school. I’m feeling exhausted so I ask her to wake me at 3:00 so I can go pick up Child One’s school carpool on time.

2:30 pm: Phone call for me.

3:00 pm: Child Two and I do carpool then retrieve Child Three from a friend’s house. We shop for dinner fixings.

4:30 pm: We ge home and I collapse on the couch. I still feel exhausted and my legs feel like lead weights.

6:45 pm: I force myself to eat a bit despite my low-grade stomach ache.

7:30 pm: Parent-teacher interview with Child Three’s parents. He’s brilliant and advanced, but disruptive and disorganized. I was never disruptive.

8:00 pm: Back home, I climb onto the couch and watch the Habs beat the Bolts. I take two Tylenol nighttime cold pills.

10:30 pm: Go to bed.

4:15 am: I wake up with a migraine. Take a Dilaudid (2mg). I try to read, but give up. I wander around because lying down is too painful.

4:45 am: I take another Dilaudid because the first does nothing.

5:45 am: Still in pain, I take a third Dilaudid. I hop in the shower because it’s the only thing I can do standing up.

6:15 am: I go back to bed. The pain is bearable, not gone. It feels like a standard tension headache.

10:15 am: I wake up. I read the sports section of the paper before I again succumb to headache and exhaustion and go back to bed. I also fell nauseated.

11:30 am: The migraine’s back full strength. This pisses me off. At least when I took Percocet, those pills would kill the migraines. I became inured to the Percocet and asked my doctor for something stronger. These Dilaudid aren’t so effective. I take two more. I wonder if I’m going to make my 3 p.m. physio appointment. I haven’t done any of the exercise for about a week anyway – my first lapse of more than two days since I started. And because I went to sleep with wet hair, I make Einstein look like a jarhead.

Now: Excuse me, but I think I have to go throw up.

Bonus pun from six-year-old Child Three:

“Dad, Uranus is like Jupiter because it’s full of gas!”