Thursday, January 27, 2011

Beyond the Burt's Bees

We've been living in our new digs in Klamath Falls for nearly two months now and overall it's been just wonderful.

However, there have been things we've had to get used to.  Making dinner every night, driving in snow/ice, creating a routine that doesn't involve dropping everything to show your house, just to name a few.  But one of the biggest adjustments the Sweetheart and I have had to make is the environment itself.

Klamath Falls sits at a respectable 4,099 feet above sea level.  The Willamette Valley, from which we came, is right around 430 feet above sea level (give or take depending on where you go in the valley, of course).  This significant change in altitude means some significant changes - and not just in baking.

As we were first settling in the townhouse, the outdoor temperatures were settling in the single digits and the snow appeared to be settling in for the long haul.  It was dry and frigid outdoors. 

And indoors, with our geothermal forced air heat, it was warm and dry.  QUITE dry.  I quickly noticed my Sweetheart's tender little mouth drying out and cracking.  Inside her wee nose, too.  Both places on her little face would itch and bleed.  One day in extreme frustration, she came to me with her little eyebrows knotted together, little hands out in exasperation and wailed, "My nose is falling apart!"  With my own hands chapped, mouth cracking, and face and scalp flaking and peeling off, I knew it was time to take action. 

I began running a humidifier in Siennalee's room each night and washing her face with Cetaphil followed up by a Cetaphil lotion.  And Burt's Bees, of course.  Gotta love Burt's Bees. 

While she slowly began healing, I began to notice I was having problems with my contacts.  Constantly blurry, I changed them, cleaned them, and finally abandoned them.  A call to my optometrist confirmed my suspicions: the dreaded dry eye.  I began to wear my glasses, which had broken this summer and were tenuously fixed with a glob of hot glue.  (Classy, I know.)  Give your eyes a break, my doctor had recommended, they should adjust in time.

So I began drinking as much water as possible, taking salmon oil, using re-wetting eye drops, and continuing to forgo my contacts.  To combat the dry skin problem, Aveeno was added to my routine and Burt's Bees, of course.  Gotta have the Burt's Bees.

This past weekend we got a humidifier for the master bedroom and I have high hopes of the extra air moisture assisting me in regaining my contacts and - one day - seeing without one eye constantly blurred.

These adjustments are a pain.  I dislike wearing my hot glued glasses.  Even more do I dislike having continuously blurring vision.  I dislike having skin flake, peel, and bleed and seeing my daughter so chapped and uncomfortable. 

But I am confident this adjustment season is just that - a season.  And all the pain and discomfort we might feel now is making us heartier, stronger, and better able to thrive in this new environment.  

Life isn't static.  Even if it isn't a whole new sea level to face, there are still changes that come, welcome and unwelcome. 

And the quicker and better we are able to embrace the change and let the adaptation process sweep over us, the quicker we can move on to the blessings beyond the pain of the adjustments. 

Because the blessing is always there -  sometimes just beyond the Burt's Bees.


Sarah and the Gentlemen said...

Noah is talking over my shoulder. When I finally tuned into what he was saying I heard, "That's me. That's me. That's me. I HAVE BIG HANDS." I told him that is Sienna and she's holding her hands out like this *sticks hands in his face*.

(I think he thinks every little kid is him.)

We have enough trouble with dry and chapped skin without the altitude! Here's to a quick adjustment.

mrsturtlemama said...

Thank heavens for Burt's Bees!! I would stand absolutely no chance there whatsoever with my chronic eczema. I think I would have to build a new room to store all of my moisturizing essentials. :)