Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Children of the Storm

We are three days into summer vacation, and Mia is already bored. She's dressed up in a princess gown and watching Barney (ugh!) with her Build a Bears after a morning of cranking and whining about nothing to do. This does not bode well for the rest of the summer.

I'm weaning off of the prednisone again. I've been through this multiple times in the last few years, and it's always a struggle. The last few weeks after the hip injection, I had been doing pretty well, except when I over did it. But this weekend, my dosage dropped from 10 mg one day and 2.5 mg the next alternating, to 10 mg one day and 0 the next. In ten days, I'll be down to 5 mg and 0. The difference hit me almost immediately. I told Jesse when he called on lunch that I feel like I did a month ago before the injection. The pain has me completely wiped out. Prednisone is an awful thing. It provides relief from pain for a variety of conditions, but it makes you gain weight (chipmunk cheeks), and saps the calcium from your bones. After long term usage, your adrenal system forgets how to function on its own. It's so potent, that usage of only three days requires tapering down to avoid withdrawal symptoms. If you taper too quickly, you can acquire Addison's Disease which can even be deadly. So far I have the joint and muscle pain, fatigue and nausea. It'll be at least six weeks before I am steroid free, if I can make it this time.

Children of the Storm by Elizabeth Peters is the 15th book in her marvelous Amelia Peabody series. For those unfamiliar with the series: Amelia Peabody Emerson and her large family are Egyptologists who encounter all sorts of mysteries while working on archaeological digs. This isn't a series you can pick up part way through and enjoy. Amelia and her husband Emerson met in the first book: Crocodile on the Sandbank. They have a son, Ramses, and adopt a daughter, Nefret, several books later. This book takes place 34 years after the first, so if you try to start here without knowing the backstory and history, you're bound to be lost. However, if you are a fan of the Emerson family, this story is sure to please. The whole family: Amelia, Emerson, Walter, Evelyn, Ramses, Nefret, their twins, David, Lia, and their two children, plus all of Abdullah's family is getting together to work on Emerson's discovery of an ancient city, plus help out family friend Cyrus Vandergelt with his magnificent find of three princess' tombs. But some of Cyrus' finds disappear, Sethos reappears, as does his daughter Maryam, and a series of dangerous accidents puts the family on alert. Add in four toddlers, and poor Amelia barely has time to think straight much less make any of her famous lists. Danger and romance is, as always, in the air, and Peters has created an infallible character in Amelia. Don't pick this book up as your introduction to the series, but if you're already a fan, this is another fantastic entry in the series.

Jesse and I have been presented with a terrific opportunity. It's too early to talk about it here, but I ask for your prayers that God's will be done, and that we will be happy with whatever that is.