Dec 31

Goodbye, Good Riddance, 2013

Me and my dogSo I took some time off. Recapping all that stupid health stuff sort of…no, very much depressed me, and then it didn’t end up being over in the first place. Since I can already feel my stomach clenching at the idea of revisiting that fiasco in one big hunk, let’s just incorporate it, bit by bit, into the rest of what I skipped, eh?

Felt better. Started running again. Took a pole-dancing class at a bachelorette party. Kept getting my blood levels checked. Ran a 5K with both kids. Month was generally in the plus column in terms of health and good feelings.

Kicked off the month with a root canal, on top of a wretched sinus infection. Even after I recovered from that, I noticed my running getting harder, and hemo levels began to drop again. Readmitted to the hospital, more tests that showed nothing. Docs began thinking of ongoing drug treatments to shrink my blood vessels and make them less fragile. Sent home again, began bleeding again, readmitted again. Hit my sixteenth unit of transferred blood five days before my sixteenth wedding anniversary. On May 23rd, I was eviscerated – er, given an intraoperative enteroscopy. (They shoved a tube down my throat, cut my belly open, and hauled out my guts to inch them over the tube manually. Woo!) Worst part was the NG tube, bar none. Horrible. They found and repaired 30 AVMs in my small bowel; that’s rather a lot, obviously.

Recovered. Walked a lot, since I couldn’t run for six weeks. Got really edgy. Sam turned twelve. Summer vacation seemed to stretch out forever ahead of me in a swath of boredom laced hours.

Cleared to run, and everything got better. Parents and brother came to visit! Packed Sam off to summer camp; dried Gabe’s tears of jealousy and loneliness. Gabe wound up in the ER with a fever that had him delirious and puking, and we never found out what caused it.

Went to Minneapolis and then to the Dells on vacation. Got to run with and spend time with friends I haven’t seen in ages. Hemo stayed good, though I had to get some iron infusions as my body worked to replenish the lost blood levels. Adopted a new family member.

Meet Evie, our new baby coonhound mix.

Meet Evie, our new baby coonhound mix.

Yes, it's every bit as chaotic as it looks.

Yes, it’s every bit as chaotic as it looks.

We got her from the same shelter where we adopted Gideon; current belief is that she’s some sort of Treeing Walker Coonhound/Boxer mix.

Sam started seventh grade; Gabe started third. New routines developed. Continued to heal. Gabe did the Biggest Loser Kids’ Run again. Eric turned forty.

Took Gabe to see Black Violin in concert. Got into grad school. Gabe turned nine, and I turned thirty-eight. (He got to pick the cake…AGAIN.) Ran the Skeleton Skamper half marathon, which went extremely poorly and depressed the heck out of me. Gabe was a faceless ghoul and Sam was Raistlin Majere for Halloween.

Ran and ran. Hemo levels still good. Weather began to get nasty. Embraced our interior design philosophy of “comfortable” and replaced our couch with two mismatched recliners. Thanksgiving was just the four of us, plus dogs, but it was quiet and peaceful.

Tried to atone for the bad half marathon with a solid Jingle Bell 5K. Missed PR by about 20 seconds, but still felt redeemed. Finally got around to getting the heart ablation that the doctor recommended during my first hospital admit this year; it was a harder recovery than I expected, but I think I’m almost back to normal now. Christmas was low-key and nice.

Now. The reason for the site reworking and return. I assume you caught the reference to grad school back in October? A series of coincidences and discussions led me to decide that now would be a good time to go back to school and finally get that degree in library science that I didn’t have when I was a youth librarian before, and which I’d almost certainly never be able to get rehired without having. I’ll be starting next month at UW-Milwaukee, taking the Public Library Leadership concentration option – go big or go home, right? Primarily, it’s that the vision I have for the way I can be a part of and improve my local libraries, as Eric phrased it, is “library director stuff.” He’s not wrong, so that’s what I’ll prepare to do. It’s going to be hard, managing this on top of everything else, but I’m excited to get started!

2014, I’ve determined, has to be better than 2013 was. If nothing else, perhaps I can avoid operating tables. Books, not blood. That’s my new motto for the year. Who’s with me?


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  1. Suzy

    Books not blood is an awesome motto for 2014! Good luck, Carrie and congratulations on grad school.

  2. LB

    Best wishes for a healthy 2014!

  3. Cetta

    I’m with you: books, not blood! Happy New Year 🙂

  4. andrea_r (@andrea_r)

    Wow, May was a kick in the teeth for both of us then. o.O I’m also going *gulp* back to school. (ohgodohgodohgod)

  5. ~zandra~

    Congrats on grad school! Books, not blood is a fantastic motto for you. Here’s to a wonderful 2014!

  6. Lana

    Woot! Congrats on grad school. Sam wins the coolest kid award for dressing as Raist.

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