Monday, November 16, 2009

Doha Diaries, no 3: Small Steps

After meeting with the counselor at ASD and finding out that she could give me no recommendations for a psychiatrist, I wasn't feeling to great about how we would find one we'd be happy with. I'd noticed before that there was a sign on the same road as Hannah's school, fairly close to the school actually, that advertised the name and phone number of a licensed psychiatrist. So, after the meeting, I drove by the sign, took down the number, and figured, what the hell---we'll see how it goes.

I call and find out that he does treat children and he does see patients with ADHD---good so far! I set up the appointment, and we went last night, and to my endless surprise, I really like him. He listened to her entire history, asked all the right/relevant questions about her medication, adjustment to the relocation, behavior in school and at home, etc. Just as good, he agreed with my belief that it's time to increase the dosage of her meds. She's been on it for two years, and given her growth and the fact that she's approaching the age where hormones may start to be a factor, the medicine has become less effective and is wearing off earlier in the day. I couldn't believe that we walked out of his office last night with a new prescription in hand!

Unfortunately, we got home just in time for her to start puking her guts up! Looks like she caught the stomach bug that Eliza and Amelia had over the weekend. She'd already been home yesterday with a nasty cold, so this was just icing on the cake.

In an attempt to make the Thanksgiving holiday feel like a "normal" one, I decided to throw a Thanksgiving dinner party for some colleagues and friends. This first required me to poach a couple of friends from a colleague who has become a friend, but the point is that they're all people Hubby and I really like. I'm doing the turkey (Alton Brown's brined turkey!), dressing, a pecan pie, a pumpkin pie, coconut cake, and appetizers, and everyone else is bringing a side dish. We've got a couple other kids coming, so I bought a kid's table for them to sit at, and I'm even going to get some fresh flowers, a new tablecloth, and some decor for the house. Planning this has made me quite happy, despite the fact that I'll need to take Thursday off work to get started on cooking, cleaning, etc. We should have our alcohol permit by then, too, so yay for lots of wine!!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

And then down we go...

...with the exception of one of the best things to happen in a long while: Hubby successfully defended his dissertation a little over a week ago!! We even managed to sneak away for two hours and go to Champagne on 2, a champagne and caviar bar (we had neither) at the Ramada Tower. But, a couple martinis were certainly what the doctor ordered (no pun intended)!

  • Car loans: evidently, they are impossible to get in this country. We've been here almost four months, actively trying to get a car loan since September, and we get a new story, policy, rule, or caveat every time we go to the bank. I'm seriously at my wit's end with this one. I find it completely ironic that, during the brief time in our life when our combined salary is a six-figure number, we can't get a car loan for damn car (worth approx. $40K)!
  • Every time I have to spend 4 hours to simply make it to two stores to do shopping, I get in a shitty mood. I wish this weren't the case, but it happens every time.
  • The direct flight back to the US on Dec. 11th is full in business class. We've already purchased non-refundable domestic tickets back to Home State for Dec. 11th. We could: a) fly coach with three children for 16 hours in order to make our domestic flight OR b) fly business class on Dec. 12th and pay $600 to change our domestic tickets. I'm not a fan of either option, and I'm really sick of people acting shocked that we want to fly business class on an international flight. This is why we get our travel allowance, right?
  • Oh yeah, then there was the lovely bomb threat to our building. The first one evidently. We laughed it off at first, thinking it was surely a student trying to get out of an exam or something. Then we found out that they traced the call to Kazakhstan, and the threat was considered serious enough to "make it to the upper levels of the US and the local government." Fabulous.
  • I want out. Not now. Not this academic year. But I'm done. Hubby is officially on the market, and we've agreed that if he lands a T-T job, then we'll break contract and go home after just this academic year. As much as they pay me, it's not enough. For others, it's plenty. For me, I'm just not cut out for this. I hope things get better. I pray for this daily...but until they do, I feel like I'm on the edge of breaking down every day.
  • I'm working my ass off with dissertation revisions. My defense is tentatively scheduled for April...God I hope I can get it all wrapped up by then.
  • It is quite likely that we'll need to increase Hannah's dosage for her ADHD medicine. I shudder to think of what the process will be like in a country where they consider ADHD a "mental problem." Worst case scenario is that she can see someone when we go back home for Christmas.