Sunday, January 25, 2009

Surgery Update

I did have my surgery on Wednesday and everything is going ok. Today is the first day though that I feel like sitting up and trying to type out the events of the day....

Nothing can ever be normal or simple for us. Oh no, when we try to do something it turns into something bigger than what it should've been. Wednesday morning was a perfect example of that. We were supposed to be at the hospital by 6:30 am which meant we had to leave the house at 5:30 am. We decided to go through town and hit the interstate - bad decision on our part. At 5:30 am we were pulled over by a city policeman going 48 in a 35. Then we had to wait forever for her to even come up to the truck. I could feel my blood pressure rising. As she was getting Jay's information I told her we had to be at the hospital by 6:30. She assured us she wouldn't keep us long. We waited and waited and waited and finally she brought everything back along with a nice little ticket. Then she said "good luck with your surgery". Yeah, I was hoping that our luck improved a whole lot before we got to the hospital.

Since she kept us so long writing out our ticket I was afraid we were going to be late. I was a nervous wreck the rest of the trip. Once we got to the hospital and got checked in a few minutes before 6:30 I started settling down. As we were waiting to be taken back to my room I asked Jay if I could blog about the speeding ticket. He said I could only if I wrote about the peer pressure I subjected him to on the rest of the drive. So I'll backup here to right after we got the ticket. I was pretty ticked, not only did we just get a ticket that we had to deal with we also had to be at the hospital in 40 minutes. I keep leaning over looking at the speedometer telling Jay he needed to drive faster. Just a few moments earlier he had received a ticket for speeding, which I griped about but now I was telling him he needed to speed. I'm sure that wasn't at all annoying to him.

But we made it in time, no one at the hospital yelled at us because we were late and everything from then on moved pretty quickly...until after the surgery. I was so out of it and dizzy and nauseated from the anaesthesia and I felt terrible. The normal procedure is to make sure the patient has gone to the bathroom before they can leave the hospital. That shouldn't have been an issue for me, but it was. I couldn't go. I was trying to drink as much as I could, but if I drank too much too quickly I'd get sick. I'd feel like I could go, but by the time I'd hobble into the bathroom I couldn't. I tried everything I could think of but it wouldn't work. Here's the part I think is funny - I told the nurse it was the toilet. It was too high, my feet were dangling and I couldn't concentrate. Under normal circumstances I would never had said that, but since I was out of my head I did. Then I heard my nurse asking other nurses if there were any lower toilets around the place. Thinking about it now, it is embarrassing. At the time it made total sense. Finally it got to the point of either being catheterized or go on my own. I had Jay put my shoes on me, because it gave me a little more height and we tried again. The nurse even commented on me wearing my shoes. That must've been the magic thing because I was finally able to go which meant we were finally able to leave the hospital....about 1:30 that afternoon.

Since then things have been going pretty well. I am sore, actually quite sore. A lady from our church, who is a nurse, was explaining to Jay that people think it's not as painful as the old fashioned way, but it still isn't a walk in the park. They use gas to blow up your stomach so it stretches everything out, which causes the pain. I think my problem is that it was an outpatient surgery so I think I should be up and about all ready. I got some comments from co-workers that I should be back at work tomorrow, which isn't happening. So between their comments and my own mental issues, I feel like I'm being lazy and a baby - even though I know I'm not ready to go back to work. I keep having these mental back and forth discussions with myself. The truth is I can't even put on pants yet. I've been living in workout pants and I have no interest in buttoning or zipping a pair of jeans over my stomach yet. But all in all I'm doing great and I can already tell my stomach feels better. I can't wait to get rid of the surgery pain so I can really tell how much better everything feels.

Jay has been great through all of this. He stayed home with me on Thursday just to be sure everything was going ok. He's done laundry and kept the house clean. We've also had a lot of help with Sharon and Jania brining us meals and mom coming over on Saturday to help. With this kind of treatmeant I may want to stretch this out as long as possible......

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Strep Throat

Cade started getting sick on Sunday. Jay had to deal with this round of sickness by himself because I've had some other issues. My grandpa went into the hospital on Friday and things didn't look good. I've been back and forth, living out of my car for the last few days. I did leave work on Monday to relieve Jay for a few hours. We took Cade to the doctor that afternoon and got the diagnosis of strep. We weren't surprised....we were pretty sure that was what he had. The rest of the night Jay and I sat around clearing our throats and swallowing a lot.

Tuesday morning I left early for a meeting with the intentions of checking on Pampa and staying with dad that evening. As I was getting ready to leave , Jay and I stood and stared at each other. Normally I would've given him a quick kiss goodbye, but yesterday I didn't want to. I stood there trying to size up the situation. Jay must've felt the same way because he reached out, patted my arm and told me to have a good day. You know you and your spouse are in sync when the fear of strep outweighs the need for a goodbye kiss and you both are totally ok with that.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Wii Update

You may be wondering how the Wii is going. I think it's been a good addition to the family. We all love Mario Kart except that Cade is beating Jay and I all the time. It hurts your pride when a 6 year old beats the snot out of you on almost every game. Cade and I love Lego Batman, even if it makes us argue some....ok it makes us argue a lot. I want to get Lego Star Wars and Lego Indiana Jones eventually.

I think Jay's favorite game though is Guitar Hero. It was actually Cade's Christmas present from Pampa, but I think Jay and I were the ones who really wanted it. That's why I got to Sears at 5:00 am the day after Thanksgiving so mom could get it for about half price. I think I need to remind Jay of that "sacrifice". It's kind of cute - Cade can't play but he can sing along with some of the songs. Especially some of the first ones we played over and over while trying to get the hang of it. Nothing says family togetherness than a 6 year old singing Poison's Talk Dirty to Me.

With my Christmas money I bought Wii fit. That has been a lot of fun except it weighs you. I weighed the first day and it was ok. The next time I weighed my weight went up by about two pounds so my Mii got a spare tire around it. It's stomach expanded like a balloon. Now it groans everytime I step on it. So much for the game helping my self esteem!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Gallbladder Update

Since I've reported the two big incidents thus far of 2009 now I'll give you updates on some various things. Today's update in on my gallbladder. I had mentioned in yesterday's post that I was having surgery. I hadn't gotten around to detailing that on the blog yet, but I am having my gallbladder removed on the 21st. I'm pretty excited about it.

Just a little background on my gallbladder.....I had an attack when I was pregnant with Cade 7 years ago. At the time I didn't realize that's what it was I just thought my back was out of place. Then after I had him I had another bad one in the middle of the night. Again I thought it was my back. A couple of days later I had another one while on my way to work. That one was by far the worst one I had experienced. I think if you were to ask Sandra her favorite memory of me she would mention this day. I rolled around on the conference room floor for a couple of hours that morning. Seven years later we still laugh about it.

After the last attack I started having stomach "issues". My stomach hurt almost every day. Two years later (2004) I had another major attack, which included vomiting and running a fever. I went to the doctor and he had a test ran to see if my gallbladder was diseased, which of course it wasn't at that time. I resigned myself to thinking the pain in my stomach was something I had to live with. I've been diagnosed with everything from Lactose Intolerance to IBS. I thought it was something I just needed to deal with 3-4 days a week.

My Urologist is the one who told me I had to have my gallbladder out. He explained how serious the stones were. I went to my regular doctor and he didn't think it was that serious. He referred back to the test in 2004 and said it was functioning at 85% then which was good. He didn't think I needed to have it removed. He agreed to send me to a surgeon to have a 2nd opinion.

My regular doctor made me feel like a hypochondriac. I was pretty confused after my meeting with him so I started researching a little more about the gallbladder. I found out that the time I vomited and ran a fever was actually a sign of one of the stones becoming stuck. I'm lucky that it resolved on its own.

Let me say I'm so glad that I met with the surgeon. His theory, which was the same as the Urologist, is that the stones are time bombs. I need to have it out before it becomes serious. Also, when I described the pain I had been experiencing for the last 7 years he said it was more than likely the gallbladder. He said he has patients all the time who have been diagnosed with IBS and once they have their gallbladders removed it goes away.

I have to admit - I'm pretty excited about having this procedure. I'm hoping this will make me feel a lot better because when my tummy hurts it tends to make me pretty cranky. I think Jay may even be more excited than I am.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

The Second Incident of 2009

The second incident of 2009 happened to me on Sunday at church.

I hope noone sees this post as being mean or that I'm talking about someone. Since this is my blog and my way of working through issues I'm going to include it. It is a situation that has made me feel a mixture of emotions from anger to frustration to sadness and even humor.....

I had an altercation about bathroom curtains with an old lady at church. The handful of us church members who were there that day witnessed it. I’m pretty sure that when I have my gallbladder surgery later in the month this particular old lady will not be sending me any get well soon wishes. One thing I find to be funny is that I managed to make an old lady mad. What kind of person ticks off an old lady? Obviously I’m that kind of person because this lady and I have never mixed well. Unknowingly I upset her four years ago. I had just recently been forgiven for that because she had started speaking to me again. I guess I managed to undo all that in a one minute conversation……

We had to do some remodeling on the women’s bathroom/nursery. Right now the room is still torn up, but we need to redecorate it. Our church is stuck in the late 60’s early 70’s in terms of decorating so I’m hoping this is our chance to freshen up at least one room in the church. I know there are debates about this at churches all over the world, but I do think there is something to be said about a church that does have a fresh appearance. Some disagree because those attending church should look at the members and what they are teaching, not the building. But if a building looks stale what does that say about the activities going on at the church? Anyway, the two bathrooms and the nursery need to be repainted. Then the builder hung pipe (galvanized plumbing pipe to be exact) along one side of the nursery to hang curtains on. In theory it was to create two private nursing areas. In reality anyone stepping in there will wonder if they’ve somehow left the church and entered an ER. It doesn’t matter because I don’t ever plan on needing to use the nursing areas, but if I did they’d make me claustrophobic.

Before Sunday School a group of us were discussing the best way to handle the redecorating. It was decided someone would come up with 3-4 color schemes and let the women vote on them. We’re looking at two bathroom curtains, 1 curtain on the nursery window, one other smaller curtain and 3-4 larger curtains for the nursing areas. We want them to all match in some sort of a pleasing color scheme that coordinates with the walls and doesn’t look like someone had used it for 30 years before deciding to donate it to the church. I don’t think we’re asking for much.

I won't go into a whole lot of detail about the confrontation but it wasn't pretty. It happened when I had to tell this lady what the plans where for redecorating the bathroom. The first part happened between Sunday School and church and the second half after church. It is sad that someone got so angry with me over something so small, over something that we are trying to do to make our church look better. It is frustrating because trying to change anything around our church is like turning a rusty bolt. I was also utterly embarrassed because this was taking place in church. We were standing in a spot that almost everyone had to walk by to leave the church. Jay tried to make me feel better by saying no one was looking. Yeah, right. Who doesn't stare at a spectacle. I am thankful there weren't as many people there that particular Sunday. I walked back to our pew, gathered our stuff and tried to walk out with some dignity.

I feel horrible about the whole ordeal. I don't go around purposely trying to make people angry. I was simply trying to help out in an area where our church needed help. I don't normally try to make people hating me top on my list of things to do, but somehow it happened. I feel like I can confidently put on job applications and my resume that I work well with others because usually I do. Normally I can bend my own personality enough to get along with anyone if I'm forced to. I may not enjoy it, but I can do it. This is a whole other situation though. I'm still trying to decide the best approach to take. Should I write her a letter, should I try again to talk to her, should I leave her alone, I don't know....

So this is what Jay and I are referring to as The Incident of '09. After I got home that afternoon and I was resting on the couch and reliving the whole conversation I couldn't believe it had even happened. Just a few short hours earlier I was sitting there sipping coffee enjoying the fact that I didn't have to study a Sunday School lesson to study. I had no plans that morning to upset anyone at church. There are so many rewards being a member of a small church but there also are so many trials.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

The First Incident of 2009

It’s been a few days since I last updated the blog. Hope every one’s New Year is starting out well. Our first two days of 2009 were calm and quiet but that changed on Saturday….

Saturday in our part of Missouri was a beautiful day. I had promised Cade we’d play Batman Lego on the Wii that day. I held him off until almost 10:00 and we played until 3:00 that afternoon. I was determined to finish the chapter we were on so we wouldn’t have to start over (I’m not confident in my knowledge of saving games on the Wii). We did take breaks in there like for lunch and laundry and looking up the cheats on the internet, etc. You know, pretty common stuff. Jay decided to vacate the house because Cade and I tend to argue and be snippy at each other when we play Batman. A common problem when two headstrong individuals work together and they each want their characters to run in the opposite direction. This created some tense moments in the living room. Remember, we got the Wii so we could have quality family time playing it. Nothing says quality time like a 6 year old yelling at you because you are Robin and you’re running the wrong way.

Anyway, back to the nice day…..I had the living rooms windows open and Jay was working outside. He’d occasionally look through the windows to make sure one of us hadn’t knocked the other one out with the Wii remote. I think he could hear some of the louder squabbles through the open windows. Jay was trying to take advantage of the nice day by getting a few projects done around the outside of the house. Then, like we all do, he pushed it too far. You know the feeling you get when you’ve got one more thing you want to get done and it should be simple but everything blows up on you. That’s what happened to Jay that afternoon.

Jay and Lyle had built some fence on the back side of our property during Christmas break to keep some show cattle for this next summer. The only thing lacking was a gate and that required some welding in a couple of small spots. It was windy and dry and you can probably guess where this is going. Jay caught some grass on fire. It started out about the size of a dinner plate and Jay thought he could get it. Then the wind changed direction and it became too much for him. He called me in the house and told me to bring out the fire extinguisher. I didn’t have time to put on shoes so I ripped off my socks and sprinted out behind our shop. The smoke was awful and I couldn’t breathe or see for a few seconds and I wasn’t much help because I had bare feet. Jay yelled at me to call the fire department. I started sprinting back to the house when two neighbors saw me and came running over to help. They were actually on the phone with the fire department. They were trying to ask me how the fire truck needed to get in, could it go through this spot or did it need to go around, etc. I was useless…..Jay and Lyle had built this fence and I had no idea where the gates where , where the truck needed to go, etc. I know the neighbors thought I was a moron. How could I not know where the fire truck could get through?

Let me explain the relationship I have with our property. I don’t ever go much past the flower bed we have in the back yard. I know we only have less then three acres, but it might as well be 300. I hardly ever go out to the shop and the area behind it. Even though I can see most of the back of the property from the kitchen window, it feels like it's miles and miles away. Yes Jay makes fun of me all the time because you'd think we lived on Southfork instead of our little spot of grass. The backyard is Jay’s domain and I don’t go out there unless there is an emergency like a fire. Therefore, I was a complete idiot trying to tell the neighbors that I had no idea where the fire truck needed to go. They took off to help Jay and I realized I needed to get shoes before I could help. That’s when I remembered that Charlie was in his pen and he was right in line with the fire and smoke. I sprinted to his pen and he was the most subdued I had seen him since the time he got ran over by the bike. I ran back to the house with him and threw him in the garage. Cade saw me running up the deck steps and he kept asking me if Charlie was alive because the dog was laying so still. Cade didn’t ask about Jay, he was worried about his dog. I got my shoes, told Cade to stay in the house and specifically in the living room so I’d know where he was at and then ran back outside. By the time I got to the fire Jay and the neighbors had gotten it out. The fire department showed up about that time but we were able to send them on their way. Thanks to the neighbors we didn’t lose the shop or the little shed that Jay built for the show calves. The whole ordeal probably didn’t last 10 minutes, but it seemed like 15 hours while we were experiencing it. If you’re wondering Charlie bounced right back to his normal self and Jay put the welder away for the rest of the day.