I received my shiny new contract in the mail today, and it has that magical word on it: permanent. Yay! :) So I will be teaching graphics and web design for a bit longer :D
The annoying thing is I will have to fill out all the new employee forms again, for payroll and HR, and do the staff induction, again! Could be worse I 'spose! :P
My current students are nearing the end of their courses, and being visual artists they are all freaking out about their end-of-year exhibition. I have spent the week chasing students who are on the brink of burn-out, and coaxing them to get their final projects finished.
I've also taught ALL of the technology teachers from the local high schools. Talk about a disaster waiting to happen: I was given 6 hours to teach 18 teachers (some of whom taught me!) how to use Photoshop and build a website in DreamWeaver, to a level that would mean they could confidently teach their students! What?! Oh, and no extra pay either. But even with that ridiculous expectation, the teachers all seemed pleased with what they had learned. Even if they were noisier than students! haha :P
In my freelance work, I've nearly completed my first web design project for the brand new client I just landed. She runs a boutique print-design agency (where my lil sis works! Yes, a family of designers), and has been on the hunt for a new contract web designer. Woohoo!! :D My new tutoring contract won't start until February, so that means I will have over 2 months unemployed over Christmas. Hopefully this new client will be able to feed me enough work to um, keep me fed!
There are not many photos of me on this blog, mainly because I'm often the one behind the camera, but also because I'm not happy with my skin. I often get breakouts, and being very fair with freckles, having a sore red nose and spots is not ideal! So I took my snout off to the dermatologist, and I am very glad I did. Dr Derm is very nice, and after asking me why I was there, he immediately examined my skin with a magnifying glass and made an immediate diagnosis. Yes, it's adult acne, no it's not too bad, yes he is quite confident he can do something to help me. Hooray! It will be lovely to have clear skin and not have to worry about makeup making it worse!
He prescribed me a course of Roaccutane which seems to be made of vitamin A. The Dr showed me many before and after photos of people with much worse acne than me, and the improvement they got with the treatment - quite amazing. Dr Derm is very confident he can help me, and knew exactly what to do. I will start with a cream-version of the drug, and then swap to pills once they arrive. I take those for about 12 weeks, at which stage he said my skin should be pretty clear, then take another 12 weeks to "set" the result. The effect should be permanent.
I've used the cream for two nights now, and although I was warned to only use it very sparingly as it can cause redness and irritation, I've not experienced that yet. Because it's vitamin A, I have to be very careful now about staying out of the sun, so I've got a good sunscreen (we have the ozone hole right above us here, so I burn like a lobster in about 10 - 15mins), and hubby is muttering that I need a wide brimmed hat for gardening.
The whole experience* was really good, about as good as visiting a doctor can get. You go in with a problem, and he pretty much says "I know exactly what condition you have, and how to cure it!" Amazing! As a diabetic I've gotten used to going to the doctor to "manage" my condition, and as an IFfer I'm starting to realise that I now have another long term relationship with doctors on the horizon, so it's nice to have a doctor say, hey, I can cure that, no worries! :)
Well, I left the appointment both happy that I had a solution to try for the acne, and a bit hazy and shaky because of an unfortunate blunder on the part of the dermatologist. To his credit, he was incredibly smiley and friendly, but I quickly learned that he did not understand what he was saying and how it was affecting me. Here's what happened:
Because Roaccutane can cause fetal abnormalities, it's not allowed during pregnancy or while trying to get pregnant. Fair enough, no-one wants that. I made the choice before attending the appointment that if any medication I was offered had an anti-pregnancy warning, I would still take it because I can't sit around and wait for IVF funding to magically appear. I have to get on with my life! But the doctor had to warn me of this risk, and then he had to make sure I wasn't even trying to get pregnant. He's an Indian man, so his English was softly-spoken and a bit hard for me to understand. But he clearly asked me what contraception I was using, and I replied that it wasn't an issue since hubby has a vasectomy. I have no trouble telling a doctor that. It was what he said next which floored me: "How many children do you have?" I must have looked like I was about to choke, cos he looked worriedly at me, and followed up with something that I think was "and when did you decide to do that?" I spluttered out, that no, I was wife number two, and I had no children. He was so kind about it, but it affected me deeply. I left feeling really upset and had to work hard to push the thought from my mind. I guess most people don't make that mistake when they see me with my step-kids, because I don't look old enough to be their Mum. But out of context like this, it was horrible. He thought he was being nice asking about my family. But I don't have kids. And I am still training myself to say "I have 3 step-kids".
I was so upset I finished up at work early and went to my Mum's house, for a cup of tea and some comfort. We ended up speaking at length about infertility and what I've been through, and what possibilities exist for a future including children (IVF, ICSI, The Cost, fighting the CPAC score we got which denied us public funding, how long we could wait with our varied ages, etc...) . It was really nice to be able to almost speak easily about it, as I spend most all of my waking time thinking about it, and many of my sleeping hours dreaming/nightmaring about it. I feel I need to talk in depth like this with Hubby soon, make some decision on how we can proceed. I realise that I have been feeling a bit alone in this, and it may just be because it IS hard to talk about it. It basically ruins any quite moment we have to ourselves, and any other moment just seems inappropriate. Ah well... I'm reading through Navigating the Land of IF at the moment, and it's really helpful stuff. I wish I'd known about some of it a year ago! I am slowly working my way through my stack of IF and IVF books.
So the journey is not over yet. It's just kind of stalled. I still really want to have kids. Babies are absolutely everywhere. One of my best friends from primary school just had her second baby on Thursday. I see bellies wherever I go. I stop at the traffic lights and stare into space while I wait for the green, and lo! A belly will walk across in front of my car and jolt me back into a mire of emotions: longing, wanting, frustration, grief, sadness, and fear that it may not ever happen. At lunch with the in-laws today, MIL chucks in a remark about a family that have just had their firstborn. Every time we visit she manages to say something about babies. Grr. I try really hard to tell myself that no one means anything by it. But when babies and family-building are so entrenched in the human culture, it's really hard to just switch off from it, because it's everywhere, reminding me that I cannot have a child unless I stump up $12K for some of the most advanced medical technology on the planet.
On the diabetes front, I am having an unusual pattern emerging where I go low just before bed, and often low again during the night, and often also wake up slightly lower than ideal. I am thinking I need to drop my nighttime Lantus (I'm on split dose because I'm so sensitive to it). I'm a bit scared to tamper with the Lantus dose, but I also know that I cannot keep going low all the time, as I develop hypo unawareness quite quickly. I also cannot keep eating all the emergency food all the time, it's not a healthy diet! Bah! I will get this sorted, diabetes always throws down the gauntlet every now and then. I must get a new log book and do some tracking. I know the stress of the work I'm doing has a major impact on my diabetes control (ie it gets worse), but not having a two week snapshot of test results is not helping me right now. This is the longest time since, like, ever that I haven't kept a log book! MUST GET NEW LOGBOOK!
Hope you're having a good weekend, are you going trick or treating? :)