Awkward & Uncomfortable


Found out on Monday that we are headed home in a matter of weeks – 2 or 3 weeks actually.  That lovely US economy has forced cutbacks at hubby’s company and they are “calling back all the expats”.  While we are thankful that there is a job waiting (knock on wood), we are so sad to have such short notice to say goodbye to the people and places we have come to love.

I went to school the other day and asked them to change my kids’ names! 

Here in Mexico, everyone’s surname is usually Father’s Name then Mother’s Name (no hyphen), and when she is married, a woman usually just keeps her Maiden Name and doesn’t add her husband name to the mix. Their children then are given a new last name using the surnames of both grandfathers.

For example, Juan & Maria.  Juan’s name is Juan Munoz Ramirez.  Maria’s name is Maria Melendez Posada.  Their children have the last name Munoz Melendez.  To make things both easier and harder, for the most part, in informal situations, most folks use just the first surname.

When we got married 11 years ago, I went old-school and decided to take Hubby’s last name, no hypens or combos or anything.  When we arrived here in Mexico and registered the girls for school, we registered them using just Hubby’s last name, since that is what the girls are used to using.

Problem: The school’s computers aren’t set up for our tradition (go figure!), so everything related to school has the girls’ last name written as “Doe Doe”.  It looks ridiculous.  Worse, sometimes teachers have had the girls’ write their name that way on papers and projects, especially our 5 year old who can’t properly articulate her reason for protest.

So the other day I went and asked them to change the second Doe to my maiden name.  The girls are both amused and confused – they have no clue how to spell it – nobody does!  Strange also is the fact that it seems backwards. Had I chosen to hyphenate my name as so many of my girlfriends have, it would have been the reverse of what the girls now have.  They can go back to being plain old Doe’s in 2010!

Next time you think your commute stinks, think of these guys I was driving behind…

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We had an election party last night – served burgers, dogs, chips, and apple pie.  We were joined by American friends (Mike), American friends who live in Mexico (Kristin, Larry, Indra, Jerry), and Mexican friends (Luis, Maria, Mayte, Cristina) and 4 of the kids friends.  Here are some images from a real fun night with lots to celebrate…  (click to enlarge)

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The celebration turned all of a sudden as we were awaiting Obama’s acceptance speech.  Our Mexican friends’ cell phones started ringing – a small plane crashed smack in the middle of Mexico city carrying the #2 official in the Mexican Government. He was also the lead in the war on drugs so it has not yet been ruled an accident – many are concerned it wasn’t. We turned on our other TV so they could watch the coverage of that – it was surreal watching two major government events unfold.  One of our friends who was here, Maria, learned that a friend from her youth was one of the people on the plane. Here are the details on the crash that pushed Obama to “below the fold” of probably one of the only newspapers in the world this morning… http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/06/world/americas/06mexico.html

(Above is just a crazy optical illusion – not really moving!)

So, turns out my dizziness IS an inner ear infection.  I have “vestibular neuritis“, some kind of a lesion on the vestibular nerve deep in my ear canal beyond where the doctors can see.  A virus probably caused it.  I thought it would be a simple “take these drops” kind of thing, but there’s actually not much that can be done. The Otorrinolaringologista (ear doctor) said it mostly has to heal on it’s own and can take 3 weeks to 3 months! 

I have some exercises to do, some pills and some vitamins.    I basically spend the day feeling like a bobble-head doll – my equilibrium is just off.  The weirdest part is that I have the worst dizzy spells at night while I am sleeping.  Normally it would take a bomb to wake me, but now I wake up several times turning the night with bed spins.  Last night I actually woke up and found myself moving my head in circles, unable to stop it – Bizarre!

The doctor said not to drive this week, so hubby has been amazing.  Hopefully I’ll be able to pull it off next week – actually I HAVE to pull it off next week as he has a big kickoff week at work with visiting execs.  I have been sleeping most of the last couple days – the doctor said that the brain and body get really tired trying to compensate for the lack of control.

I had a bunch of hearing tests on Tuesday, that showed I have really good hearing.  They were all quite awkward involving crazy headphones, crazy goggles, and crazy manuvers to induce the vertigo.  The funniest is when they put me in a sound-proof booth like in Quiz Show.  First, they told me to raise my hand when I heard the beeps; I passed that with flying colors.  Next, they said “Palabras” (“Words”).  I had to repeat back a bunch of spanish words, many of which I haven’t learned yet, so I was not sure what I was saying. I got a good laugh from the doctor when he said “Bien” and I said “Correcion, bien por una gringa!” (Correction – good for a gringa).

All this typing has tuckered me out, I’m going to go rest again.

PS – Did I mention the ear doctor’s office is decorated in Van Gogh paintings? He has a good sense of humor.

This morning I woke up with the feeling that the bed was spinning.  I got up and couldn’t walk a straight line.  It was as if someone had spun me 20 times and pointed me towards a pinata.  We called the Otorrinolaringolista (Ear Nose & Throat doctor) that H had seen earlier in the month and happily got an appointment for this morning.  He did all sorts of crazy tests to try to replicate the dizziness/vertigo in the office.  My eyes were not reacting strangely when opened, but I couldn’t walk straight at all with my eyes closed. My hearing is also a bit off.  We are assuming that perhaps my flights to Florida this week (2 fights each way, so 8 takeoffs and landings) may have aggravated something in my inner ear.

He gave me some meds and suggested rest, no driving, small meals (for nauseau) and limited movement for the next three days. He sent me to the lab for blood tests and urinalysis (luckily they had an early am appointment so I went straight from bed because the blood tests required an 8 hour fast).  On Tuesday I have to go see some other doctor for some hearing tests.

Very strange, I feel fine otherwise.  I can type, READ (click for my reading list), etc – but movement is not fun!

Burger King in Merida delivers.  I PROMISE I have not used this service!

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