Friday, May 31, 2013

Lucky Me

Today is the last day of May, which was Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) Awareness Month. May was also the host of awareness campaigns for several other illnesses, including Cystic fibrosis, Celiac Disease, Arthritis, and ALS, among others. For each of these diseases, there is nothing that sufferers can do to prevent their illness, nor is there a cure.

All of these awareness campaigns are worthy of our attention, as well as those for so many other illnesses - those that can be treated, and those that cannot - that exist today. There are a lot of them, and they all suck. Cancer sucks. Arthritis sucks. ALS sucks. IBD sucks. No one who suffers any of these fates is a winner. By raising awareness for our plights, we can raise funding for research to improve treatments, identify preventative measures, or find cures. Breakthroughs in some areas may help make headway in others, and frankly, I support all of them.

And if you’re healthy, why should you care? What if it were you? What if your spouse, parent, or child became ill? What if through research we were to discover that there is something we could do differently to prevent some disease, such as autoimmune disorders, which are occurring more frequently, especially in children? Prevention is a savings for all of us, medically and economically.

As far as diseases go, I’m well aware of IBD, because I’m a lucky Crohnie. Yes, I said lucky. You see, I’m alive, and at one point, my life was threatened by this ugly disease. Did you know that Crohn’s complications can do that, sometimes without notice? I also have a job. Some IBD sufferers are so disabled by the disease that they can’t work. I’m also fortunate because my Crohn’s wasn’t diagnosed until I was an adult, giving me the freedom to grow up healthy and without disease. Currently, thirty percent of IBD diagnoses occur in children, some as young as toddlers. No child should have to be sick with any serious disease, ever.  

I consider myself lucky because I have responded fairly well to medications, making my symptoms more manageable, which isn’t the case for some IBD sufferers. I have health insurance, and can afford to pay for my care, which is costly. I have a supportive husband, who I love immensely and with whom I have a strong marriage (incidentally, it takes a LOT of work). I was able to get pregnant and have two beautiful, healthy children. I have a supportive family; parents who are willing to drop everything and drive 4 hours in an emergency; friends who are willing to pick up our kids; neighbors who bring us meals and ask how I’m doing. See? Lucky me.

I also know that it could be so much worse. My symptoms could be worse, my medications could stop working, or I could have another illness that would place much more burden on my life, or take it away.

I suppose it’s the devil you know versus the devil you don’t?

Any of us who are afflicted with a serious illness will have a different journey than we once thought we had set out upon. This is hard to accept, and at times can bring us to our knees. But we’ll get up, dust ourselves off, and forge ahead, because that’s all we can do.

We will also fight for better treatments, awareness, and cures. I have found my voice. I will speak up for myself and others with Crohn’s disease, because it is misunderstood, a fact that is incredibly frustrating. I will speak up for others who fight their own battles, because it’s the right thing to do – and we’re all in this together.

Happy <insert the name of your disease here> Awareness Month! Be well, my friends.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

How to Pack for a Road Trip with Kids

We recently completed a road trip from Minneapolis to Nashville, which is about 13.5 hours of drive time one way, not including stops. I'm happy to say we made it safely, and that the boys were excellent travel companions. There were some incidents of quarreling, or in which a tired and bored 3 year-old threw objects in the car, but honestly, it was a great trip. When we set out, I had no idea what to expect, but as the miles went on, I found myself unwinding and enjoying my role as "mom" thoroughly, and we made so many new, fun memories.

We made the trip in two legs, with a stop in St. Louis both ways. On the way down, we spent some time there exploring and toured the Gateway Arch before completing the last stretch of our drive. The boys thought it was amazing, and it was.

Yes, we went wayyyyy up there!
Even though we make regular (much shorter) road trips to see the grandparents, there were still new things to be learned in packing for this trip. Being that summer and thus, family vacations, are upon us, I've made this handy list of how to pack for a road trip. Some of it is satirical, but all of it's true. I hope you find at least some of it useful. Enjoy!

  1. Four to five weeks before your trip, start making lists of things you need to do to prepare for your trip, including finding/purchasing necessary clothing. Curse every time you lose one of these lists, until you finally make one central, combined list. Travel items for the children will include things like:
    1. Snacks ("healthy" ones - like grapes, organic granola bars, pretzels, gold fish, and gummy bears)
    2. Reusable water bottles and snack containers (bring a small bottle of dish soap to wash them)
    3. Books
    4. Whoopie cushions
    5. DVD player and movies
    6. Travel-sized Etch-a-Sketch or Magna-Doodle
  2. Fill/Refill any prescriptions you’ll need on your trip, and plan to pack extra doses, as well as your physician information. Upon seeing the cost, give your computer monitor the middle finger.
  3. Purchase new sandals for your six year-old while running other errands, all the while congratulating yourself on how very efficient you are at checking items off your list.
  4. Try hard not to show your annoyance when six year-old doesn’t like the sandals and/or they don’t fit right.
  5. Return the sandals, and bring six year-old along with you to get appropriate footwear.
  6. Schedule your vehicle for maintenance, and hope they don’t find anything expensive that needs fixing.
  7. Have your husband fix that tail lamp that you accidentally cracked with the garbage can (it’s cheaper than having the shop do it), lest you give the police in another state a reason to pull you over.
  8. The weekend before your trip, start piling things you will need on the dining room table and make sure to lose at least one item you need before the trip in the shuffle.
  9. Start loading up the kid's car organizer, so they can reach their items during the trip. (Seriously, this is one of my favorite purchases of all time.) Some new travel items we bought specifically for this trip include:
  10. Both kids kept busy with these dry erase boards, which
    we can use in the house, too.
    1. Two of these letter and numbers dry erase boards by Mead, along with a new set of washable dry-erase markers; and
    2. This Melissa and Doug Travel Memory Game
      The reason you want to buy washable markers.
  11. Ask a neighbor to water your flowers even though it’s going to rain the whole time you’re gone. When she offers to pick up your mail, thank her profusely because you completely forgot to stop the mail.
  12. Two nights before your trip, stay up too late trying to finish laundry and packing, then fall asleep on the couch with all the lights on when you sit down to take a break. Stumble up to bed at 1 a.m., and wonder who the hell the old woman is looking at you from your mirror the next morning.
  13. Take a deep breath and smile when, 24 hours prior to departure, your husband asks what he should wear to the wedding you’ll be attending on Saturday.
  14. The morning you are to leave, scramble around the house, forget your neck pillow, load up the car, and hit the road an hour behind schedule. Have fun!

P.S. If you're a crohnie, don't forget to pack some of this. Travel isn't always nice to tummies.

Monday, May 27, 2013

A Week Away

Our family just returned from a six-day excursion to Nashville for a family wedding. I had initially thought that I might get a post or two up while we were gone, but once we left, I was glad to be away...from everything! Traveling with two children doesn't necessarily make for a relaxing trip, but that wasn't the point. We had the chance to spend some wonderful time together (often in small spaces), reconnect, and make some fun memories. The boys were wonderful travelers, and the trip went better than I could have ever hoped. Even so, it's good to be home.

I hope you had a safe, relaxing, and memorable Memorial Day weekend. And if you or your family members have served our country...Thank You.

At a family brunch at "I Dream of Weenie" in East Nashville.
I highly recommend!

Friday, May 17, 2013

A 'Siri'ous Misunderstanding

On Sunday afternoon, the boys were showing Grandpa some cool things they like to do on the iPad. They don't get much access to the tablet, so this is still a pretty novel activity. On this day, we were using Google Earth to look up our home, the grandparent's house, and local landmarks. Then the boys wanted to ask Siri some questions.

This is usually fun and educational. W typically asks questions such as, "How many miles away is the moon?" and "What is the weather like today?" I'm not sure if it's the pitch of their voices, or that they don't enunciate very well, but Siri often does not understand what the kids say.

Three-year-old S-Man wanted his turn, and exclaimed, "I'm three!" Which actually sounded a lot like he said, "I'm free!"

We watched as Siri "thought" about this request, and finally responded with, "I'm sorry, I couldn't find any matches for, "I'm horny.""

Oh, crap. We need to get Siri's hearing checked.

At first, time stood still for a second, as I stared at the screen in disbelief. Did she really just say that?

Then, my brain started to quickly leaf through the pages of my mental parenting guide. But for this for this situation, it came up empty. There was nothing remotely related to, "Siri mistakenly thinks that my child told her he's horny."

Next, I got the giggles. I looked over my children's heads and realized that my husband and father were also trying to stifle their laughter and smiles. Deep breaths. Use your hand to force the corners of your mouth down.

My husband, who was holding the tablet, quickly removed Siri's response from the screen and we tried to direct their attention to something else.

"What does 'horny' mean?" W asked.

"Oh, that's just a grown-up word," I responded with a wave of my hand, hoping he'd relegate it to the same corner of his mind as such grown-up terms as 'isotope' and 'paradigm shift'. Thankfully, there was no context to the word (I don't even want to know what would have come up, had Siri found matches for the search), so hopefully he thinks it is something he just needs more geometry to understand.

"Oh," he responded, and then we moved on.

Parental controls and supervision are tools you can use to protect your kids from they don't need to see or hear yet at tender ages. But in this case, neither one of those would have worked. There are those parenting moments when unwanted things - a sudden, nasty fall or an erroneous result from Siri - in which things happens quickly and there isn't a single thing you can do to stop it. This was one of them.

I wonder how long it will be until we're brave enough to let the kids ask Siri questions again?

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

My Diagnosis Story, Part IV: Recovery...and Acception

This is the final installment of the 4-part story of my diagnosis of Crohn’s disease in the spring of 2005. Links to the preceding parts can be found here: Part I, Part II, and Part III.

Going home was a major first step in recovering from surgery. It was an exciting, yet scary prospect. I was finally able to go home to familiar surroundings where I could sleep through the night without being awakened by the noises of a hospital or vitals checks. But the safety net of having doctors and nurses around to help me navigate through this new world would be gone.

Before I left the hospital, there were many questions. Would I feel better after my surgery? (Yes.) When? (It could take up to 6 weeks.) What if the medications don’t work and my disease flares up again? (We’ll try different doses, or different medications.) Could I have children? (Yes, but I may have trouble conceiving due to abdominal inflammation and scar tissue.) Could our children inherit Crohn’s? (There is approximately a 5% chance.)

I never did ask one scary question that was on my mind: could I die? I kept asking the other questions, and figured that if death were an issue, the doctors would tell me. In my own research, I found the answer was: Crohn’s itself does not kill, but its complications can. If the disease is managed well and kept under control, patients can live a fulfilling life.

My Mom made the 4-hour drive to bring me home from the hospital and stay with us for a while. On the day I came home, Chris was busy fulfilling his duties as Best Man for one of his friends, and had a round of golf and bachelor party festivities to attend. I was glad for him; he had been through the ringer in the past few months, too, and deserved to go out and have fun. I, on the other hand, would be missing the bride's bachelorette party.

The first thing I did upon arriving home was to go to our bedroom and find my wedding ring. I could not wear jewelry at the hospital because of some of my tests and the surgery, so Chris had brought it home, and I missed wearing it. It was the only piece of jewelry I usually wore, and was a symbol not only of our love and marriage, but our “normal” life – the life I yearned to return to. As I came out of the bedroom, I nearly fainted again after going up a flight of stairs and being on my feet longer than I was accustomed to. Mom helped me sit down while, of course, gently scolding me (isn’t that what mothers do?  Thanks Mom - I love you).


I spent two weeks recovering at home before returning to work. Slowly, I was able to expand my diet. I cared for my incisions and figured out my medications (right out of the hospital, I was taking around 20 or so pills a day). I also learned how to give myself B-12 injections once a month, as the part of my body that absorbed that nutrient – my ileum – was now gone.

My main incision, 13 days post-op. Because my surgery was done laparoscopically,
my incision was small, compared to a regular resection surgery. I also had two
other small incisions from the scopes.
In the short term, I needed my incision to heal. My body also needed to heal – it had been very ill. Clothes hung on me, as I’d lost weight not only because of the malnourishment, but due to muscle loss from lack of activity. For the long term, needed to heal emotionally, too. I had been sick for a long time, but having surgery would not cure me. I was on the right path of being able to manage my symptoms, but had to adjust to the fact that life would not continue exactly as it had.

I had to become accustomed to living with a serious disease that came with medications, risk factors, and no cure. This new journey was forever, and extended far beyond my incision healing. I would have to adapt to the fact that through no fault of my own, my body had betrayed me, and no one could tell me why. This would take time, and I would grieve my health.

My life had been interrupted, but it was my goal to move forward and continue on as normally as I could, and so I found tasks that fit the bill. I had homework and exams to make up, as I missed the end of the semester at school. I sat at the kitchen table and wrote thank-you notes to the people who had visited or sent flowers or care packages. I also read and researched Crohn’s disease as much as possible. As long as I was armed with knowledge, I didn’t feel so powerless.

I do actually have fond memories of those recovery days. My husband and mother were wonderful support and took good care of me. The weather was sunny and beautiful. The house we lived in at the time was off of a pond, and in the spring, the frogs would sing at night. That memory is still a happy place for me – sitting on the deck, drinking herbal tea and listening to the frogs in the dark. I felt safe and protected from the reality of going back to work, school, and the life that was looming.

Forging a New Relationship with Food

To help manage my symptoms, I would need to figure out what foods my system could tolerate. I had met with a nutritionist while in the hospital, but she could provide little advice on what diet might work for me (not all nutritionists have so little advice). It’s not the same for every IBD patient, and beyond some of the standard advice – avoid greasy foods and alcohol; eat a low-residue diet when symptoms flare up – a lot of figuring it out would be through trial and error.

Navigating diet advice was, and continues to be, a dizzying prospect. For example:

Avoid fried foods. Many IBD patients can’t tolerate dairy, so avoid dairy. Unless, of course you can tolerate it. But dairy is an inflammatory food, so if you can ingest any, be very selective about which products you eat. If Crohn’s symptoms are acting up, eat a low residue diet (no raw veggies, nuts, seeds, etc.), consisting of things like white bread, rice, pasta, creamy peanut butter, and bananas. But, alter that to eliminate bread and pasta if you are also celiac (allergic to gluten), as some IBD patients are. However, even if you don’t have a gluten sensitivity, avoiding gluten may help your symptoms (but it may not). There’s the paleo diet, the specific carbohydrate diet (SCD), and the raw diet, among others. But be careful about certain raw foods if your immune system is compromised. Potatoes are easy to digest, but they are starchy and illegal under the SCD, if you’re following that diet. Make sure you are getting plenty of vitamin D. Getting nutrition from your food is better than from pills, but if your intestines are ulcerated and/or inflamed it’s hard to get it from food, so take vitamins to supplement. Avoid eating too much sugar, or if you’re a saint, don’t eat sugar at all. Honey is a good substitute. Avoid alcohol. Kombucha works well for some people, but is an acquired taste. Probiotics are good to help balance the bacteria in the gut. Ginger and cinnamon are anti-inflammatory foods and good for digestion. Avoid carrageenan, and consider eating organic and avoiding GMOs. Etc., etc.

Are you still with me?  Yikes, right?

I tread carefully, using a food diary, trial and error, books, and Dr. Google to guide me. I found that bananas, oatmeal, and hot tea are good at almost any time. Coffee, beer, or liquor are not. Orange Juice or eggs I cannot tolerate in the morning, but can later in the day. Pineapple will set off a flare. How I tolerate other foods is dependent upon my symptoms. When hit by a flare, I often resort to a diet of only liquids to rein it in, and then gradually add food back. On occasion, I throw caution to the wind, but usually pay for it. Eight years later, I’m still learning.

The Bill Collector

Medical bills from my first hospital stay started to arrive while I was still at home, and the bills from my second stay would come soon after. Oh, how I began to miss the days when I was so blissfully ignorant of health insurance beyond co-pays. This is when I learned that different services, such as radiology or anesthesiology, got billed separately and that each item had codes and a cryptic description. There were hospital charges, insurance reductions, copays, and amounts owed in dizzying lists. I received separate bills each from the hospital, my primary care provider, gastroenterologist, radiology, surgeon, and anesthesiologist.

The total charges as listed on the 33-page hospital bill for my second stay.
This excludes GI, surgeon, radiology charges, etc.
All told, my medical costs that spring exceeded six figures. It turns out that Crohn’s disease is not only a literal pain in the ass, it’s expensive, too. Fortunately, I was covered by a good health plan through my job, and we had saved up an emergency fund, which would cover out-of-pocket expenses. That “Maximum Out-of-Pocket” figure on my plan description held a whole new meaning for me. It’s now something I pay close attention to when selecting a medical plan.

Rejoining the World

Along with learning how to eat again came some anxiety about social gatherings and going back to work. Spending so much time in the hospital and recovering left me feeling sidelined from life, and as I recovered I grappled with a lot of things. I was only 29 and had never known anyone my age who was chronically ill, and now felt "different" - my experience was isolating.

Would people understand? Would they act differently toward me? How should I act? How do I answer questions? Will anyone understand that just because I’m out of the hospital, that doesn’t mean that I’m “better’? How much about my condition and experience should I share, and how much will people be willing to hear? How do I thank them for their support?
For the most part, people were very kind. Some friends offered to listen if I needed to talk, which I appreciated. At the time, I found that I wasn't really ready to talk yet, and wasn't sure what I would even say. I found that my condition is little understood, and that people moved on faster than I did. This meant that sometimes if I wasn't feeling well or was finally ready to talk, people didn't always understand or weren't ready to listen. Sometimes I just felt like if I talked about my experience, I was simply annoying people (I still feel like that, at times).

In some ways, the days down the road were more difficult. Even after I was out of the hospital and recovered from surgery, I was still trying to figure out if my medications were working, how to establish relationships with my doctors, and how to maintain my new-found "health" and energy. But social outings were different than they used to be, because my diet was altered and my energy levels were sapped easily. Saying 'no' to some events and gatherings became something I had to do more often, and that was not always understood.

Not all of my friendships – ones I had then, and some since then – have survived the test of time. I can’t blame all of these losses on Crohn’s, because many relationships evolve over time, as life becomes busy with families, jobs, and moves. But no matter what, I have had to accept that my disease is a factor that impacts my relationships, and that hurts.

Moving on

Life went on with it's peaks and valleys, as it tends to do whether you’re ready for it or not. Not only did the pain from my surgery go away, but once I healed, I realized that the constant pain in my gut was gone! I felt better than I had in months, and life was so much better. I had to add a medication to my regimen that fall, but it helped quiet the symptoms that had reappeared. I found a routine, and came to peace with my new life. Over the last half of 2005, I started the first of my last two semesters of grad school, and celebrated my 30th birthday and a new job.

On Sunday, May 14, 2006 – one day shy of the first anniversary of my resection – I participated in my graduate school commencement ceremony. I had earned my MBA, and had done it within the time frame I set out to do it in. My family was there to cheer me on, and as it turns out, I (literally) didn’t walk across that stage alone. Two days after the ceremony, we would learn that I was pregnant.

Friday, May 10, 2013

What I'm Getting For Mother's Day

For my first Mother’s Day in 2007, we went to brunch, something that has since become a tradition, and one that I look forward to every year. I think Chris still tries to “surprise” me with brunch plans, but he needn’t worry; I know what’s up his sleeve, and I won’t be disappointed.

The boys have come to love our brunch tradition, too. If we are not out of town, we usually attend the brunch buffet at a local golf course, and both kids will quickly note that it’s got a chocolate fountain. In fact, that fountain was the first thing W inquired about when he found out we had brunch plans this Sunday: “Is it the one with the chocolate fountain?”

S-Man after his chocolate fountain dessert in 2011

Yes, I’m looking forward to our reservation, and no, I won’t be dressing anyone in white this year.

Over the course of our marriage, Chris and I have agreed that we don’t want much from each other in terms of gifts. But one of my most memorable and favorite Mother’s Day gifts is a mother’s necklace. I received it in 2007 when W was a baby, and it had 2 stones – one each symbolizing our new baby and me. In 2010, the spring after S-Man was born, I noticed that my necklace had disappeared from our closet, but kept my suspicions to myself – and was beyond pleased when I got it back for Mother’s Day, this time with two more stones added – these for our new son, and my husband.

I cherish my necklace, but mostly, though, I just want brunch. And my scrapbook.

At the end of 2011, I asked my husband for an empty scrapbook from the kids for Christmas; one with blank pages for them to fill, not me. They each can fill in a page for  holidays they deem worthy, either major or minor (Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, my birthday) and hopefully they won’t feel the need to purchase anything as a gift, because I don’t want one (other than any other projects they plan and make themselves).

It’s perfect. It captures a bit of who they are in the moment they drew their pages. Even as I’ve looked back through the pages with W, he’ll note that he spelled words wrong in the past, or even that some of his drawings, “aren’t very good.” I assure him that they are perfect, and it shows just how much he’s learned and grown in such a short time. And that’s exactly what I want to capture with my scrapbook.

I love the concept so much, I bought a “Daddy scrapbook” for Chris, as well.

I can’t take credit for the idea. I read about it in a story published in the May 2011 issue of Real Simple magazine. I’m not sure if this is an idea I would have ordinarily picked up with so much passion, or if it was simply the timing. Only a few months before I read this article, my Crohn’s disease had placed me in the hospital so swiftly and forcefully that I had no choice but to acknowledge my mortality (a story I have yet to share here). Because of this, I craved my children, the moments with them, and simplicity more. This project fit the bill nicely, and still does.

This weekend, my parents are visiting, and so I’m fortunate that I’ll also get to celebrate my own mother, as well. She’s not only the woman who raised me, but is also the one who has dropped everything to help out when I’ve been in the hospital, the one who’s hug I still sometimes need, and the person who can still tell, over the phone, if I’m getting enough rest or not. Thanks, Mom.

So many things in life are dependent upon how you’ve set your expectations, and Mother’s Day (heck, motherhood) is one of them. I don’t expect to have a “spa” day, nor do I want one. Last night, W mentioned his concern about going to a friend’s birthday party on Sunday afternoon, because, as he said, “I want to make sure I spend time with you for Mother’s Day.” He’s right. I’m a mom because of him and his brother, and this day isn’t just about me.

Yes, I would love to be pampered and have a day “off.” But I also don’t want to be a Momzilla who puts so much emphasis on what I want for the day that I make my children feel like spending time with them would be inconvenient or make me unhappy. So, for Mother’s Day, I’ll have brunch with my family; I’ll ooh and ahh over my scrapbook; and I’ll take the day off from laundry and hopefully have a nap. But if I truly want to be pampered, I can make it a priority to schedule that – a massage, girl-time, or something along those lines – any other day of the year. This Sunday, I know what I’ll be getting – and that’s all I need.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Tomato, To-MAH-to!

Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.

Soon, it will be time to plant our garden. It's a small plot, but has served us well over the past few years. We've harvested different things - peas, cucumbers, beans, carrots, peppers...and always tomatoes. We usually put in two plants: one for grape tomatoes, one for regular tomatoes. My mouth waters just thinking about them. The grape tomatoes are perfect for plucking off the vine and popping them right into your mouth, and I love that our children are learning the pleasure of this, too.
Our second annual garden, circa 2010.

Store-bought tomatoes just don't compare. They've got no color or flavor, and the texture just isn't what it should be. Eating tomatoes with a mealy texture is so disappointing. Once we run out of our own crop, and we must return to store-bought tomatoes, I am reminded of just how good a home-grown tomato can be.

Our freshly planted garden in 2011, with a new fence
(when S-Man was going through an anti-pants-diaper-only phase).

According to an article in this month's Scientific American, scientists are trying to put the flavor back into supermarket tomatoes. You see, since the 70's, tomatoes have been modified to grow more yield per plant, and to have more water content so they ship better and last longer on the shelf. All this for the customer - who incidentally is the grower, not the consumer. Viola! Mealy tomatoes.

I get it - it's economics. Supply and demand. But many of us are trying to feed our families healthy food. To realize that some of what's available in the store doesn't taste as good because it's been made to be "shippable" and that the result is actually a fruit with less nutrition in it is disconcerting. Also, as someone who is not only trying to do the best thing for her family, but who has a digestive disease that was triggered by some unknown environmental factor - all of this crop modification frustrates me.

So, we grow our own tomatoes. Not only are they are delicious, but growing a garden is a good lesson for our boys, and good for the environment.

You can have an impact, too. Grow your own, purchase from Farmer's Market, and buy local!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Throwback Thursday

This is a photo of Chris and me, taken in 1999, the first summer we were dating. It's amazing to look back and realize how simple life was back then (and how well rested we were!). It's equally amazing to realize how far we've come since then; how much we've weathered and grown and how we have evolved, both as individuals and as a couple. There was so much waiting for us on the horizon, including a marriage and two children.

Yes, that's a mad-bomber hat that I'm wearing. Why? I don't know. We'd meet up at someone's apartment, and head out bowling with a group of friends. Sometimes we would find the oddest things to wear....just because. And we had a blast.