Monday, December 1, 2008

Inter-Holiday Family Update

I can't think of anything in particular to write about, so I'll post a general sort of update. I'm sad today because I found out that Mike Prairie, the senior manager I've supported at work, died over the long weekend from his brain cancer. We knew he was ready to check out because his aggressive chemotherapy regimen had failed to arrest the growth of his tumor(s), but his death at this juncture was still a surprise, given that it came so soon after he stopped receiving treatment. If nothing else, I'm glad that his suffering was cut short -- anyone who's had to watch a loved one die of cancer knows that death itself can be a blessing.

Last week, I was able to exchange my existing "VPAP Adapt SV" breathing machine for one of the "enhanced" units; I owe both A&R Medical Supply and Resmed a debt of gratitude for working together to make that happen. So far, it appears that heightened pressure settings do help me significantly, although I'm currently experiencing yet another health issue that's impeding my sleep: debilitating stiffness and pain in my left hip that seems to be radiating from my lower back. I saw a doctor about it this afternoon at my employer's medical clinic; he diagnosed it as probable sciatica and gave me a stretching regimen and a prescription for a strong painkiller (which, for obvious reasons, I want to use only sparingly).

We had a nice Thanksgiving dinner at home with much of our immediate family and various members of Dorine's extended family. (My mother elected to stay home and cook for my sister Kristen and her family.) I'm looking forward to my extended Christmas/New Year's holiday from work, but there are still a couple of intervening events this next weekend. First, we have to get through the Albuquerque Youth Symphony's luminaria fundraiser -- we'll be busy inasmuch as our home will be one of a number of "workhouses" where luminarias are assembled and from which vehicles will make runs to deliver them. And second, Dorine and I will be driving to Colorado to spend time at the cabin with Judy and Mike P______; hopefully, we'll get to leave on Saturday afternoon after all our luminarias are made up and delivered, as three nights up there sounds much better than two! (This cabin trip will be in lieu of our usual "wedding anniversary" trip to Ruidoso -- it didn't make sense to spend a load of money on a cabin in Ruidoso if we could stay at our cabin in Colorado for "free.")

Devery and Easton went to Tucson to spend Thanksgiving with his family; however, they'll be coming here for Christmas, partly because Devery's cousin Hillery P______ is marrying her fiance Kevin John on the 27th in the Albuquerque Temple. Devery will finish her BSIS degree this semester and is interviewing for jobs in the Utah Valley/SLC area. We thought that Darren would stay in Jesus de Otoro through the end of the year, since he'd been trained in how to conduct tithing settlement; however, we found out today that he was transferred last week back to the Tegucigalpa area and is training another new missionary, Elder Rose from Morgan, UT. (The photo above was taken from Darren's mission's blog -- Darren is the second from the right, and I'm assuming the elder on the far right is Elder Rose.) Kiley has been pretty sick and has been struggling to manage all that she has on her plate; sometimes it seems like neither Dorine nor Kiley nor I get nearly enough sleep at night.

I don't have much of a Christmas wish list this year. I need another pair of running shoes, and I could always use an iTunes gift card. I'd really like to get my "old" Line 6 guitar amplifier repaired, as the newer one I bought doesn't produce the same heavenly tone (with a touch of chorus, a little digital delay, and some reverb) that made me fall in love with the "old" one. Knowing the cost of electronics repairs these days, however, it would probably be less-expensive to go on eBay and buy another of the old model.