Dienstag, 29. November 2011

RIP Cimzia

We've had a great run. Cimzia has given me great health for over a year now. After Humira stopped working, which had replaced the Remicaid that I became allergic too, Cimzia swooped in and saved the day. My doctor was SO disappointed last week, that I almost didn't want to see him today. Today he seemed a bit more cheerful. He reminded me of my luck that Cimzia saw me through my time in the States and is grateful that he and I can navigate the transition to the next step together.
When I first began Cimzia, Ivo had asked the dreaded question that I would never have asked a doctor, "what if that stops working too? What's the next step?"
Dr. Schultess' answer was that nerds were hard at work so that we could hopefully have an answer to that question. Today, after nonchalantly inviting me in the back for an unexpected scope, he seemed encouraged that a med that is in the later stages of testing at the Uni Zürich might be an opportunity for me. He doesn't want to cancel my next injection until he sees the results of today's MRI. Time will tell, but I remain disappointed that my body is done with Cimzia. It's been a remarkable and helpful medication.
C'est la vie.

Samstag, 26. November 2011

good cop - bad cop - silly pup

In Öhningen on an early walk, an older jogger made his way toward us at an admirable pace. Penny's reaction? She looked right, looked left, hid behind my legs, and ran backwards, right out of her collar. It's scared me that she could be so scared. We didn't know each other well, but she seemed to trust me enough to stay with me in this moment. Then, when the jogger had stopped, she wanted to love him forever.
Last night, Ivo seemed to think that I was over-reacting while he led her around our neigborhood. I kept urging him to be careful and he thought I was being over-bearing. So we walked on, met his friend, walked on, when suddenly, out of nowhere, a couple was s-t-r-o-l-l-i-n-g towards us with gorcery bags. Penny flipped out, backed out of her collar and started running away. Thankfully, the couple stopped and Ivo was able to nab our confused and fearful pup.
Today we got a harness that fits (the other one was too small for her floppy body) and all is different. She can still hide behind my legs when she enounters something she's afraid of but she can no longer back her teeny head out of her collar. Phew
Things my pup is afraid of:
Construction machines
Parents with children on their shoulders
Loud cars
Old dogs (not so much young dogs)
Teenagers (she will not head in any direction where teenagers are hanging)
Luckily, she sleeps happily on her bed so soundly, that she is all groggy and snorey when it's time for our morning walk. That's a plus.

Freitag, 11. November 2011

Impatient for the pup

The pup has been delayed, due to a dilligent veterenarian who wants to make sure that her leg is 100% healed. It is good that Penelope can heal and be safe and sound before coming to a new home. It is good that the kitty can have a chance to settle in a bit more before introducing a puppy. It is good that we will not need to go to Lyon the morning after a wedding. These are the things that I said to Ivo after recieving the email from the breeder, in the presence of the in-laws. I may have needed a moment to let these truths sink in and begin to believe them. I did not get them. Interrupting this adult thought-process, my mother-in-law decided to tell me about how to treat my cat. Adult me vanished. Lil' kid me wanted to stamp feet and have a proper tantrum and say "I want! I want! I want!!!" I want my puppy.
The first dog that I ever owned was a Beagle/Terrier mix named Bwick. Bwick the unloved. Bwick Mc Bwickerson. When he was fancy, he was Sir Bwicky Trawler. Bwick was the name of Ben Stiller's charachter in the film If Lucy Fell. I didn't choose the name because my pup was crazy and eccentric (though he was. He was 8 years old and had been raised spending 23 hours a day in his crate before I adopted him) but because the Bwick character is rejected; liked but not loved. I loved Bwick and very importantly, Bwick loved me.
I got Bwicker after a bad breakup with lots of pain and betrayal. I wanted someone to love and who loved me and I deseperately needed to be needed. Bwick filled the bill. I loved him, from his ginger beard (strangely a feature he had in common with the ex) to his powerful lil' tail.
Now we're healing from the first failed adoption attempt. We gained a whole lot of knowledge and I like to think that I've gained some patience. As we slog through the bureaucratic process of re-entering switzerland. Ivo scoffs at parts of the process, but I try to stay chill, storing up calm in the face of paperwork in preparation for the horribly impersonal illogical adoption process here later. Ivo and my relationship is stronger for having undergone the last process, which is good, because we have to answer questions about it in order for me to get my resident alien card.
Nevertheless, the big hole in my heart that I'd hoped to shrink a bit with a needy, warm, loving, sweet pup is still VERY tender and my patience is being reserved for our Kinderwunsch and too small to sustain a baby wait and a puppy wait.
That said, Kitty is really thriving every day in our new place and I am grateful. We will soon have a puppy and I am grateful. I am healthy and happy, as our my family and loved ones and I am grateful. I am at home again and in the company of the world's best partner and I am grateful. I have fun new projects on the horizon and I am grateful . . . and  a little impatient.

Dienstag, 8. November 2011

constitutionals and constitutions

So, I won't need to learn about the Swiss constitution for a while. Turns out that I have to be registered in the country for 5 successive years before I can get citizenship. The year unregistered has erased all of my integration apparently. Meanwhile, Ivo will let me contribute input for our voting here and I can continue to scoff at laws here like a foreigner. Actually, it's pretty Swiss of me to act shocked by Swiss bureaucracy. One of the first things I heard from a Swiss person on the trip home was the swiss flight-attendant being self-deprecating about her people. It's a national past-time, as is emigrating, so....
Apparently as of Dec 2010 it has become law in Zürich that all pups under 16 months go to obligatory obedience school (Hundeschule). I'm actually quite excited about what the course will do to make me a good pup-owner, but the fact that it's obligatory turns me off a little (also a typical Swiss reaction).
In addition to pup school, I've registered for a Swiss sign language course and a certification course as an English teacher. Add to that my pal Olivia and my plan to breathe new life into the women's intramural football league and I have just about filled my schedule enough to outrun any grief about the adoption until we can resume the process in March.
While we've been moving into the apartment - setting things up and rediscovering things in boxes - our musical choice has been telling. I play a number of torch songs and break-up songs and feel comforted (I was talking to Ivo about the fact that friends of mine who have never wanted children before and are now finding themselves pregnant make me feel a bit like when your ex is happily in love with someone else) and Ivo plays artists like Springsteen and Niel Young. We're both like teenagers blasting music to heal our wounds. Meanwhile our parent-figure is downstairs. An old fellow who spends his retirement being a nosy parker round the building lives below us. I'm trying my best to lay down carpets and muffle any excessive sound that may annoy the old curmudgeon.
Tonight is our first night in our new place. We've not yet bought enough lights for the rooms, we've no phone, internet or cable, not everything is yet set up, but we've made a lot of progress and I've just been to the farmer's market for omelette ingredients. We'll bring Deliah over tonight (if she allows us to touch her - though we've been blacklisted by her for the last 24 hours) and make a go of it in Bertastrasse 84.

Freitag, 4. November 2011

feelin' my feelin's

The trip to the airport was jolly but I didn't want it to be too jolly. Ivo wrote text messages to lovely friends in/from SF to thank them for making our year that much better. Then we got to the airport and it was as if a switch had been thrown. The airline took our bags and with it Ivo's baggage. He was light and happy and ready for the next step of the adventure.
I was not.
When we waited for the plane, Ivo waited in the business class lounge, I sat by the gate and finished up the work I'd not done that day while cleaning. We just read the words that I wrote at that gate and they are cynical in the extreme. One line that made Ivo and Pete wince was a flash flood warning "the waters can quickly rise to a wall of 10-30 feet of water, washing pointy plants, debris, animals - alive and dead - and it goes without saying -  you cyclists." (though of course it was written more eloquently in German)
We got in the plane and I felt as if I was traveling with a stranger. Ivo was so ready and still so jolly. He accepted champagne from the flight attendant, intent on enjoying the upgrade that our frequent flyer miles had earned us. The whole point of the upgrade was to have a bit of respite after all of that craziness of moving. I couldn't enjoy it. I couldn't find respite. I took a glass of water from the flight attendant and would like to have ordered a crust of bread for dinner for good measure.
Thankfully a good talk about all of the complex emotions, the relief and fear helped sort me out of this obnoxious funk and I was on board (no pun intended). I downed the last of Ivo's champagne and began to let go a little.
We've been here for two days and the letting go and holding on and letting in has been a gentle process so far. the first night we watched football, ate pizza and had a walk around the neighborhood. A news interview about whether or not cell-phone use should be banned for prostitutes during sex acts let us know we were home in Zürich. "Texting is one thing, but maintaining a conversation during a sex act...."
Yesterday was beauracracy and not nearly as terrible as it could have been. We had an evening of nephews and niece (one nephew visit was virtual). Today is moving and dinner with the Oma-in-law.
I'm excited for what this new version of Zürich holds for me. Though, less interested in the cell-phone-sex-act debate.