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Cheryl's Parenting Journal

Entry 34 ~ July 13, 2009
~ My New Role as Spiderwoman

We are now into week four of summer vacation and despite the lousy weather (rain for nearly the first three weeks) we've been managing to stay sane and keep busy. I secretly pray for one or two rainy days per week so I can stay home and get a few things done. If the sun is shining, it's only right we go to the beach or the pool!

Three of my kids are in various camps and my oldest son is away on vacation with his best friend's family. Many of my kids have best friends that are only children! Go figure. They love the peace and quiet that their friends have all the time and their friends prefer the chaos of this house. Somehow, it all works out.

With the kids having an extra short summer this year (we stayed in school later for lots of snow days and will go back before Labor Day for the first time in five years) we are truly cruising along and enjoying the pace. Or, we were!

One of my personal goals has been to power walk a 10-mile race. We have a big one here in Rhode Island on Friday, July 24. I've been training for it since April. I'm now up to walking 8 - 10 miles nearly every day and I feel like a new person. I head out at about 5:30 AM and walk for 1 1/2 hours. I had no idea how beautiful it was at this time of day! I have been missing out on something wonderful for all these years. Although, now that Annie is 3 1/2 I can actually sneak out that early and get back right as she is waking up. Having a baby in the house for the past 16 years has never allowed me the freedom to even sneak out for an early morning walk . . . so it is bittersweet that I can do this now, but it's because my babies are not babies any more! Sigh!

Now, that said . . . I have been feeling pretty darn good about myself. I'm slowly losing the last of my 10 baby pounds, toning up my muscles and I have an abundance of energy all day long that I hardly know what to do with myself. It's also helping my diabetes tremendously-what more could I ask for? Ha ha

Last Wednesday I felt a lump on the back of my neck. It was very sore but I didn't pay much attention to it. By Wednesday night, that lump had doubled and I felt like someone had punched me. Thursday morning it was still growing and I could barely move my neck. It was under my hairline on the nape of my neck so it was hard to see what it was, but after careful investigation, it appeared I had been bitten . . . and several times . . . by some type of insect.

By Friday I couldn't stand it any longer so I went into see my doctor and he sent me right over to the ER. It was so infected I needed a double dose of antibiotics and had to have it cut open. Unfortunately, nothing drained so the cutting (which my physician brother was doing on me, his older sister!) went on for nearly an hour. All without anesthetic, mind you, as the scalp/neck area does not numb very well! Childbirth was easier than this let me tell you!

I stayed in bed all weekend long and thankfully, the swelling is finally down and it looks like I'm on the mend. They think it was a spider bite of some type. Having never had an experience like this I don't think I'll ever look at a spider the same again! The joke is now whether or not I can spin webs and do I want to catch flies for dinner? Very funny! Ha ha

All I know is that I am so grateful for feeling better so that we can continue on with the next six weeks of summer. My neck is still quite sore but at least this didn't happen close to the race next week. Wish me luck!!

Hope you are all enjoying lazy, carefree summer days and that the insects in your life stay far, far away!

Take care,
~ Cheryl

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