Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Happy Anniversary - A bit late

I would be on schedule with my life plan, if life didn't keep getting in the way. Isn't that the truth.

Technically our 10th Anniversary was September 6th. By the luck of the calendar, the big day fell on a Saturday. We made reservations at a snazzy restaurant and I bought a bottle of champagne. However, that day Tropical Storm Hannah blew through and I felt crapola. We canceled the reservations and left the champagne in the fridge. We still got the sitter, but only went out for a quick bite. We were home and I was asleep before prime time TV started.

Since our anniversary night didn't live up to expectations, we simply took a rain check on the whole evening. We figured if our marriage has lasted a decade, there wasn't too much risk if we delayed a couple of weeks. We cashed in that rain check this past weekend. In the past two months, Scott and I have seen a lot of each other, but haven't really spent much time together. It turns out that when I feel bad I am a really lousy conversationalist. We made sure to change that this weekend. The weather was beautiful, so we started with champagne and a little snack at the botanical gardens. OK, I had the champagne - Scott has a little toast. Then, we ate at Second Empire - a nice restaurant in Raleigh. Finally, we finished up with coffee near our house. It was the perfect evening. We visited and ate too much and I was little giggly from the bubbly.

So now we are starting our second decade as husband and wife. On the one hand, it is hard to believe that we have been together 10 years and I am still holding at 25 years old. On the other hand, it is hard believe that so many memories can fit in such a short amount of time. If the first 10 years is any indication of the next 10, we are in for a great ride.

That is in the Stroller Lane. Lots of Love.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Mostly Normal

Just a quick check in. Life here is almost back to normal. My energy is slowly coming back. I even braved the Super Wal-Mart today. I don't care what you think about Wal-Mart - you can't beat their prices. It had been so long since my last visit, I needed one (OK, two) of everything. I literally left with two buggies full of stuff. In the process, I tested the new minivan's cargo capacity - it passed.

While, I am definitely still spending more time on the couch we are doing most of the usual things - even a recent trip to go Putt-Putt with the girls (see above). The only good thing out of all this medical stuff (other than getting cured, of course) is that Scott put all his work travel on hold. That joy is coming to end. He is probably gone for 1-2 days next week and definitely gone for 5 days the following week.

Jaley is still wearing panties most of the time. You notice I didn't claim she is potty trained - just that she is wearing panties. The mini rug cleaner is still getting quite a workout, but overall we are seeing the end of the diaper road in our family. It is a beautiful thing.

Sarah started a weekly science class. Her first class was Wednesday and they had a great time "charging" balloons to make their hair stand up. Yes, it's no secret. We are definitely hoping for a 2026 Ga Tech graduation for her.

In the end, I have decided that surgery really knocks ya for a loop. Surprise, surprise. My doc said it would take 4-6 weeks to fully recover. I am 3 1/2 weeks in, though I hate to admit it, I think she was right. I was much more in the 2 weeks is plenty mind set. However, it has been 9 days since my last medical "drama." Other than Advil (which I am actually taking for PMS), I am not taking any medicine. So it may be another couple of weeks until full speed, but I think I am on the downhill slope.

A picture from Sarah's photographic eye:










That is life in the stroller lane. Lots of love.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Feeling Good

Short and sweet today.

Thanks to home made traction for my neck and a fist full of muscle relaxers, I am feeling great. I may not be legal to operate heavy equipment, but I feel great.

In fact, I feel better than I have felt in months. I don't want to jinx anything (I have made this assertion before), but I think we are finally out of the medical drama woods.

I just wanted to share the good news. That is life in the stroller lane. Lots of love.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

More Doctors

I may have posted one blog on other topics, but the only real focus here is on medical topics. Suddenly, I know why going to the doctor is the only thing that old folks chat about. It turns out that if you aren't feeling well it is the only thing you think about. And ultimately you only talk about the things you're thinking about. Vicious circle.

So here you go, more chatter about me and my doctors visits. It only Tuesday, but it has been a busy week. I have already talked to two nurses on the phone, saw one NP, saw two MD's, had X-rays, and made two trips to the pharmacy. So what the heck is up? I'm so glad you asked.

After last weeks hematoma, I immediately started feeling better. So good that I was able to pull the girls out of day care on Friday. The funny thing about pain is that when you have it you don't feel anything else. When most of my pain was gone, I suddenly realized I had all sorts of pressure in my lower abdomen, coupled with some shooting pains and nausea. A quick pee in a cup test showed blood in my urine.

All put together, I just have a bladder infection. That is “just” as in the other alternatives - internal bleeding or kidney problems - are really scary. Final lab results come back tomorrow, but the antibiotic is doing the trick.

I hung my head low yesterday, pretty bummed that I had yet another issue. I was also bummed because the antibiotic really bothered my stomach. However, last night I found my stash of phenergan (an anti-nausea medicine). That coupled with Tylenol PM and I had my best night of sleep in months.

I woke up all smiles today, when the Jaley alarm clock rang at 6:45. I got her watching Dora and crawled back into bed for a few minutes of shut eye. As soon as I lay down, the muscles in my neck seized up. I couldn’t even move my neck and it hurt like a bitch. A few minutes later, I regained some motion, but had tingling/numbness in my arms. By then I was freaking out - about ready to crap my pants. I thought I may have a herniated or ruptured disc in my neck. My mom went through that and it ain’t pretty. I called my regular doctor's office and they saw me almost immediately.

Luckily, it was just major muscle spasms. That is “just” as in the other alternatives - skeletal or nervous system issues - are really scary.

So now my neck hurts like hell, but I am on muscle relaxers and a physical therapy regime. I hope to be better in a few days. At the very least, I got some extra rest today and that will help the recovery of all my other medical baggage.

And so it goes on the recovery road. I think (pray, hope, wish, desire, long for, and need) this to be the last bump in the road.

So that is the scoop from recovery lane. Next stop stroller lane. Lots of love.

Something other than Doctors

I have a whole bunch of more medical stories. And they're full of excitement. But instead of breaking a second promise, I am going to write about some of the other stuff here. As for the pictures, they are all back from July, since August wasn't really a picture taking month.

First, about our vocal talents. The other day Jaley was screaming. She wasn't upset she just wanted to make noise. Scott asked her to quiet down with no success (no surprise). He changed tactics and asked her why she was screaming. She looked right at him and said "me no squeaming, me singing." With this confirmation of Jaley's limited vocal talents. It is now confirmed absolutely that our family's only chance of getting on American Idol is William Hung style.

Second, tales from the toilet. Jaley decided that it is time to ditch the diapers. I'm not complaining, because the end of diapers is a glorious thing. However, Jaley's timing could be better. She made this decision the day before my second surgery. And given that she pulls her stubbornness genes from both the Pereira and Harrell sides, we couldn't convince her otherwise. However, neither nor I had the focus, energy, or desire to help with such a lofty goal. Luckily Sarah came to the rescue. She just sat Jaley down on the potty, brought in some toys and hung out with her until the first event happened. Since then, Jaley has enjoyed many other successful trips on the potty usually with Sarah directing the action. As for the not so successful times, let's just say the SpotBot is our best friend. My question now is if Sarah can potty train Jaley, what other tasks can I offload. Thanks Sarah.

Finally, new wheels. We ditched VW Station Wagon. That car was a piece of crap. It had a repair problems since the day we bought it. To make matters worse, it was a European import so repairs costs were astronomical. A new battery set us back almost $300. In July, we dropped another $900 in repairs and started looking for a new ride. Last week, we took the plunge and got an ultra cool ride. And by ultra cool, I mean a minivan. In fact, I got a mini minivan. It is the Mazda5. It is actually a little smaller than my old jalopy (the VW), but it has sliding doors and the 3rd row.

This was what my car looked like the day we bought it:








This is what my car looks like today, look carefully to see the spilled cup on the floor:










And to see what my car will look like at the end of September, watch Mom My Ride on YouTube. It will be the funniest three minutes you have today.

Back to drama in the next post. But for now, Lots of Love. That is life in the stroller lane.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

I last wrote a week ago. I know I promised lots of stories about the girls, but I lied. My medical drama is much more interesting. So here goes. Last time I checked in, I was singing the praises of getting better. I re-read that blog. It was written at 5AM and I think I still was enjoying the effects of some of my "happy" medicine the hospital gave me upon my discharge. All the sentiments were true, but sorry that everything was written so "syrupy sweet."

I have since learned that the road to recovery is two steps forward and then one step back. And so it goes. I had great days Wed-Fri. I am convinced that my oophorectomy solved all my original problems - which is wonderful. At that rate I was recovering, I thought I would be 100% before we entered September. Then Saturday arrived. I took a nosedive. I slept 14 hours on Saturday and 15 on Sunday. I woke up feeling much better on Monday, but not as good as I did on Friday. On a positive note, all the sleep did my face well. My skin and eyes haven't looked that good since I was 25. It turns out that sleep is better than all the beauty products combined. On the down side, no one could see my face because I was walking like the Hunchback of Notre Dame.

On Tuesday morning, I took my mom to the airport. She was such a help, especially through the weekend when I was Sleeping Beauty. We really couldn't have lasted the week without her help. I tried to put on a smile when she left, but truth be told I was still feeling really lousy.

I called the doctor's office on Tuesday morning. In addition to feeling lousy my large incision was spotting a little blood. The nurse called back at 4:55pm and basically said, you don't sound great, but just grin and bear it unless it gets worse and then call us immediately.

Well worse came about 10 minutes later (conveniently just after the office closed). My incision just started bleeding. Not gushing, but not just one little drop either. I called the after-hours number and the doc called me back. By that time the bleeding had stopped, so she let me skip the ER (I still haven't recovered from the 9 hour ER ordeal 10 days ago) as long as I came in first thing in the morning.

And I must tell you that the young man who mows our lawn accidentally knocked out all of our cable and internet service right then too. To make matters worse, Time Warner couldn't scheduled a repair person until Sunday. Normally, it wouldn't be that big of a deal, but Scott was trying to work from home to keep an eye on me. It is pretty hard to work without the Internet. Plus, it is really hard to recover on the couch and not have TV. And the super big plus, it is impossible to take care of kids, when you recovering on the couch and you don't have TV. Luckily the DVD player still worked, so we had some relief.

And I must also tell you that Hurricane Hannah is apparently headed right for us. So we are possibly facing floods, no power, and no water at the end of this week. At our house, we currently had no bottled water, no extra batteries, and no canned goods. We do have two freezers full of food that we might as well surrender at the first gust of wind. And with all three of those, I just looked at Scott and said "Really?." I mean, "Really?" At this point, I was ready to just throw in the towel.

Thanks to Spanxs (to keep pressure on the wound and stop the bleeding - I never knew they had so many uses) and the DVD player the rest of the evening continued without issue. Wednesday morning, I dropped the girls at daycare and went straight to the doctor. I hadn't so much as stepped in the door of the doctor's office when my incision just started bleeding everywhere. Let me tell you, if you want to skip the long wait at the doctor's office, just start bleeding on their furniture.

I was convinced that I was going back to the OR, but thankfully I was wrong. I had a hematoma at the incision site. It gave way right then. It was a mess but quickly stopped bleeding. The doctor cleaned out the wound and packed it with gauze. So now, I have the lovely treat of getting to pack my own wound several times a day for the next 4 weeks. The process can be described in one simple word - GROSS. However, it is a zillion times better than a third trip to the OR (which most other bleeding complications would have required).

After the adrenaline (or was that panic) of the doctor's visit wore off. I realized that I felt much better. In fact, I felt even better than I did the prior Friday (right before this hematoma thing started). I have pushed out my "back to 100% September 1st" to "hopefully soon," but I am definitely taking two steps forward again.

And to make yesterday even better, I spotted a Time Warner Cable truck at the nearby gas station. Bold as always, I smiled and asked if he could come to the house. I don't know if was my smile or the gratuity I handed him, but he had our cable back on before I got home 15 minutes later. He was like a knight in a shiny white repair truck.

And to make everything even better, the forecast for Hurricane Hannah is down to Tropical Storm Hannah. And just in case she turns up the heat, I was able to score a couple of batteries and a few cans of soups at the grocery store today. If she cooperates and leaves us alone, Scott and I have sitter booked and dinner reservation made for Saturday night (it is officially our 10th anniversary).

So with things headed in a good direction, I have decided not to throw in the towel and just enjoy the rest of the week.

Lots of Love.

P.S. Once again, my blog topics have revolved around me and my personal drama. I promise that I will get back to chatting about the girls next time (since those are the stories you usually come to read). Or maybe I won't.