Tuesday, May 10, 2016

All The Things...

My poor overlooked blog... another two weeks tick by and another inch of dust accumulates. I've been busy - well, busy for me which is what most of you would call "a normal Tuesday". Cosette's birthday party was a lot of fun and I (despite my introversion) really loved having it here in my space. But it was a lot more work than it should have been. My mom and I did what we could to let Tasha put her own stamp on things which translated into a lot, UH-LOT of hours of watching Cosy so Tasha could bake, etc. Next time, we'll have it catered. Not that I don't love time with my sweet girl but I pushed myself waaaaay past my limits and honestly, am still (ten days later) trying to get back to (my) normal.

I posted a ton of photos from the party which you can see here at this link even if you aren't on Facebook. Warning - I look horrible. You can see the pain on my face as I have that nasty red sunburn looking rash that I get when I'm having a "flare" of whatever autoimmune something is taking over my life. Not lupus but the doctor says everything says lupus except my blood test so... I looked awful but I was loving every minute of cuddling my babies. Oliver had a bit of a fever that day (urgent care said it was a virus - the only symptom was fever) so he was more cuddly than usual so I just took a big pillow out to the ball pit on the porch and sat on the pillow cuddling him before the party. My screened porch makes a nice place for a gathering, at least in late April, in the afternoon. It gets the morning sun. And my living room is large enough to have a lot of people gathered without feeling crowded.

Cosy's Uncle BooBoo was good enough to make the drive over from Myrtle Beach for her birthday, even though she's not really sure about his beard. She was warming up to him by the day he left. My Cousin Kevin and his wife came. Cosy's grandpa's boss and his wife came as did the girl who did her birth photography.  Of course the "big cousins" Sarabeth and Jamie and even Jorjanne - who we don't see often - was able to come. Aunt Marquee and Uncle Cody along with Cousin Ollie were there. And of course, Tasha's parents and all of us who live here... so it was a good turnout and we had WAAAAAAY too much food. Again, live and learn. I know how our family does a birthday - cake and ice cream and maybe some peanuts or m&ms to snack on- not a big spread. I ate party leftovers for the next week.

I'm doing my normal late Spring switch to craving fresh fruit and veggies. I think it's the only thing that keeps me from weighing a ton, my addiction to healthy stuff at certain times of the year. I've been having pimento cheese (homemade by Pop) on celery at lunch every day... an english muffin or cereal or oatmeal with a ton of fresh fruit for breakfast and a smallish dinner because when I'm in pain I don't feel like eating much. My pain is always worse in the evening - usually because I've done too much during the day.

Oliver is walking pretty well now. He is 9 1/2 months. Cosy is still "cruising". She walks holding on to things. She will stand and lean against things to play but won't just let go and walk. We practice all the time and I always tell her, "walking is faster". But then again, every day that she doesn't walk is a day that we don't wear ourselves out chasing her.

Cosette is so smart and remembers everything you show her. She loves the cats but every time she would get near them she would get so excited that she'd grab them - big handfuls of fur. I showed her how to hold her hand out flat and gently pet them "soft". Now whenever she sees a cat she puts her hand in that position to show that she's ready to be soft with them. When she went for her WIC checkup there were pictures of cats all around the room and she would point to them and put her hand flat to be soft. The nurse was impressed. She also signed the word "more" last week and said the word when she did it. I started taking her hands in mine and forming sign language from the time she was just a few weeks old. It's amazing how much of it she uses, things like "milk" and "want" and "eat". It makes sense that she thinks putting her hand flat is the sign for cat.

Something funny that she has started doing lately is when there is someone there that she likes or wants to impress, she shows them her toys and demonstrates how to pet the cat. She did it first with Jamie - and then last night my friends' son was over while they were delivering me a big wall unit I bought from their yard sale and Cosette was showing off for him. He had a superman shirt on so Cosy was pointing to her shirt with a picture of Hello Kitty or something on it. Then she wanted to show her bellybutton because we've been reading a book about "where is baby's belly button".

The wall unit I bought is huge but it will make a perfect pantry for me. I've had my food and dishes stored on an ugly rubbermaid shelving unit that is really more for a garage. My friend is raising money to go on a mission to Kenya and had the wall unit for sale for only $100! Her husband was nice enough to deliver it and set it up - which was no small feat because they had to come down the hill and through the backyard to my space. Fortunately Austin got home from work and was able to give them a hand. (I also gave a generous "tip" for the delivery) It has enough storage for me to tuck all of my food and dishes in and the shelving unit is perfect for Cosy's toys and books that she keeps down here. There are so many toys in my living room that it looks like a daycare. I don't mind as long as they are put away when she isn't playing with them. I'm not a clean freak by any stretch of the imagination but I do like for things to be tidy and for everything to have a place. My living room is such a large space - the wall unit helps to break things up a bit between living area and kitchen area and we can tuck Cosy's recliner behind it. I may even put my keurig in the space beside the microwave but we have to put a power strip in the wall so we don't have to move the whole thing to plug things in.

Today is Cosette's one year checkup. She's still nursing but we have added in whole milk to her diet. She spit up a few times yesterday which is out of the ordinary for her. I feel like it might be the milk but her mom thinks she just ate too much. I'm having a lot of pain today (and for the past few days) but I'm on chauffeur duty for the doctor visit so I can't take any pain meds until afterwards. I'll be grumpy but we'll get through it. Turns out that last episode of evil gut pain wasn't the last. I have my preop appointments on Friday and my surgery is scheduled for May 25th. I'm anxious about it but I know it will improve life for me once I heal from it.

I know this in no way summarizes the last two weeks as they have been so eventful. For instance, I finished the entire Duolingo Italian course and have started using a new program - Memrise.com - to study. Memrise is a much more difficult program because you have to spell everything correctly and duolingo wasn't that strict on spelling. I went ahead and invested in their advanced program for $47 dollars a year. That's a fraction of what most language learning programs (like Rosetta Stone) charge. I'm still not back to sewing because of my shoulder / neck pain. The neck pain is new and brings along wicked migraines and dizziness with it. Basically carrying babies wrecks my spine but I can't NOT hold the babies! A few times with Cosy I've just laid down on the floor beside her while she plays but I like holding her. I've also been following my sister-in-law's father's blog as he bikes across the US to raise money for a cycling program in Connecticut schools. I don't have permission to publish his link but if you message me or email me, I'll give it to you. I find it fascinating.

Anyways... that's life in Cedar Hollow, as best I can share it at the moment.. hope you're all well and ready for Summer! Love and hugs, y'all!

Monday, April 25, 2016

Reasons To Love Monday

There is a busy week ahead and (of course) I woke up with (hopefully my last round of) Evil Gut Pain. I'm going to just hang out here in the nest and let the meds do their job and do my best to find lots and lots of Reasons To Love THIS Monday! 

1. This might just really be the last round of Gut Pain! Last Friday I met with the surgeon who will do the robotic hysterectomy. The girl who schedules his surgeries had left the office by the time I was there so I am anxiously awaiting a call from her to pick the lucky day. It was quite surreal sitting in his office waiting for the consultation. It reminded me of the beginning of my fertility journey... as a scared, nauseous 17 year old sneaking peaks of my chart while waiting for my first OB exam. The top of my chart had a big A+ at the top. When the doctor came in I asked if that meant I was a good patient and he laughed and said that was my blood type. Fast-forward over thirty years to last Friday... I sat in the doctor's office looking at my chart on his desk thinking that me and my uterus had a good run... it carried three boys who are the loves of my life and although it probably should have come out eight years ago, I can see why it needed to wait. Can you imagine me recovering from a hysterectomy with Darby? Living in a third floor walk up? This is the right time and although I'm not looking forward to the pain of surgery, I'm looking forward to bidding this Gut Pain farewell. He will also take my left ovary, based on the suspicion that it has suffered the most damage. He said he couldn't promise that there was "much juice" left in the right one but we'll leave it in there. I could write a whole blog entry on his take on Post Ablation Syndrome but he has seen it often and changed the type of ablations he performs because of cases like me. 

Anyways. Next...

2. This Friday is Cosette's first birthday! (and my 48th!) How has a year gone by so quickly? She is such a smart, sweet, precious little girl. We do this thing where I open my china hutch for her to see my collection of teapots and teacups. I tell her those are Nana's Treasures and let her pick out  one to hold. I have several little not-as-fragile little teapots that I got from Avon years ago. She picks out one or two of those to play with and it keeps her occupied for a long while. It's a great distraction and I love sharing my special things with her. Last night my mom was watching her while Tasha got a shower and Cosy realized that Mawmaw had her own Treasure Chest and she kept pointing to it, wanting to pick out a treasure. All of Mawmaw's treasures, unfortunately, are quite fragile so they came down to pick one of Nana's to play with. Cosy picked a tiny little teapot that looks like a flower pot and took the top off and offered Mawmaw a sip of tea, then sipped it herself. It's just so different having a little girl in the house and I treasure every moment with her.

3. This Saturday is Cosette's birthday party! There are many things to be done this week in preparation... I'm tired just thinking of it... but I am soooo looking forward to having friends and family down to the Whine Cellar to love on my sweet baby girl. I'm also looking forward to having Ollie here to play and can't wait for the babies to be reunited! They are both still working on the concept of "gentle" but we'll do our best to make sure nobody goes home with any battle wounds. 

4. New food obsession - Subway's carving board turkey sandwich. It's nice thick cut turkey that doesn't taste like deli turkey. I had one the other day on my ride home from the appointment that wasn't the actual appointment day and stopped at Subway to give the trip some sense of purpose other than driving for an hour and a half. I had wanted another ever since so I snuck out yesterday and got a foot long. I haven't finished it yet and it's time for breakfast so... REASON TO LOVE Monday! 

5. The weather is amazing right now. I wish it could stay this mild and pleasant year round. I know the humidity and heat is coming, most likely in days, not weeks so I'm not taking this time of year for granted. The flowers are blooming everywhere and our property is so green and lush! The rosebush right outside my door is loaded with buds and I'm hoping it will be in full bloom by this weekend. 

6. I finished two more chapters in my Duolingo Italian app this morning! I'm struggling with verb tenses but I'm still enjoying the process of learning something new. I've been watching lots of travel videos about Italy and find myself recognizing lots of words. I'm sure I'll never travel that far but it's empowering to know that I can still learn new things at this stage of life. 

This is growing long and I'm ready for breakfast so I'll leave you with just those six Reasons To Love Monday. I hope you'll share a few of your own reasons with me! Thanks to those who comment and like frequently, I appreciate your participation. Congrats to my long time blog friend Kelly in Texas who became a Nonna this week! Life is good, y'all! Love and hugs! 

Friday, April 22, 2016

Finally! A New Blog Post!

I've got about two weeks to cover and I'm not sure that one blog post will do. I'm going to post an interim post from last week describing two new-to-me afflictions that were curbing my creativity. I'll do that seperately because it's a bit lengthy. I never quite finished it due to the circumstances. In short... I had a dry socket and a new medication that put me into orbit for a while.

Since then... I've had a visit with my Ollie which was amazing and exhausting. He is seriously freakishly strong! I tried to pry a cup with a straw out of his hand and he was pulling me down with it. BAM BAM! He has the most beautiful eyelashes and he's busy and curious and always on the move... nobody else heard it but I promise he said, "Nana" plain as day. He was hanging off of my shirt and saw the chapstick I always have tucked away in my bra and questioned me, "Nana?" and grabbed the chapstick.  I melted! Just like Cosy, I taught him how to put it on (with the cap on) so that he could give good kisses.

While I was with Oliver I had an ugly migraine and because I was not in my nest I didn't get it under control so I had the full fledged puking-my-guts-up pain response that I do my best to avoid. At home I have the perfect position and the perfect temperature and can manage any and every possible variable to get pain under control and it just didn't work for me there. Episodes like that are terrifying to me. They are my primary reason for sticking so close to home and minimizing my social appearances. I don't like for anyone to see me in pain like that. I don't like complaining about pain (although it may seem like it sometimes because I do it so often!) and it's just really embarrassing to me when it gets that bad. I don't want anyone else to feel bad because I feel bad.

Those legs! Little hamhocks! 
Oliver is adorable but he is not a great sleeper. He is also lightning quick... so much so that he has a big blow up swimming pool for a playpen to try to contain him and minimize the damage. He's just curious about EVERYTHING and is a fast crawler and is taking lots of steps. He'll be nine months old on Saturday. My boys all walked by nine months so I'm not surprised that he's that mobile. It's just hard on mommy that she has to keep up with him on limited sleep so Nana's job was to spend the first morning hours with Ollie. We sat in the pool and watched Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and had lots of great bonding time. It's only been a day and I miss him so much already!

This morning I was back on Nana duty with Miss Cosy who has been dealing with an ear infection this week. I cut up half a banana for her breakfast and put it in a bowl. She reached for the uncut half and ate it instead. Miss Independent!

(next day) Not good at finishing blogs lately. Yesterday I went to Gainesville for a surgical consult for the Dr who is doing my hysterectomy since my regular gyn can't do the robotic method, which he thinks will be better for my body type. Turned out that my appointment is actually TODAY so it was a wasted hour and a half drive. I stopped by Subway so it at least felt like the journey had purpose. Hopefully TODAY I will find out when I can have the surgery (and start being anxious about it).  The Subway sandwich was quite good, though.

Helping Dad in the yard
I was in Britwit heaven yesterday with HM, the Queen's 90th birthday. I'm just so fascinated with her life. There has been no one like her in history. She is compared to Queen Victoria a lot but in my opinion Queen Elizabeth has handled the throne so much better. I mean, Queen Victoria was in mourning for the greater part of her reign and the media was nothing like it is today. I just think about how much the world has changed in Elizabeth's lifetime... just like my grandma's...

Then the news came out that Prince had died... that sort of grabbed my attention. I wasn't really a huge fan - but honestly, I've never been THAT into popular music. I still am primarily into showtunes and Christian music and don't even listen to much that often. But Prince reminds me of my youth. I remember singing Little Red Corvette on the swings at a hotel in Savannah where my friend Susie's parents had taken us over the weekend of my 12th birthday. I remember in the bus heading to youth camp when my friend Stacy said, "have you heard that new song When Dogs Cry?" I still sing it that way... when Darby reformatted my iPod for me and put Darling Nikki in my exercise playlist. Prince was only ten years older than me and there is so much mystery around his passing.  I'm not much of a music fan but I am intrigued by the story.

Playing with his water table, wearing his shades
It's raining hard today and I'm delighted that so far, fingers crossed, water is no longer getting into the basement. We had new drains installed to funnel rainfall away from the house and so far... sooooo faaaaaarrrrr... it's working.

I am still on a break from sewing. Just haven't picked it back up. I am working on my Italian though and have over one hundred days in a row of working on the Duolingo app. It says I'm 5% fluent now. I feel like I know a lot of words but I'm still sooooo slow at interpreting things.

One more week to Cosy's first birthday... one more week to my 48th. My mom did a huge deep cleaning and reorganization of the entire Whine Cellar while I was gone so that leaves less on the to-do-list for Cosette's birthday party but there are still many details to be done. First party in the Whine Cellar but at least I won't have far to go!

Hope life is being kind to you all! Love and hugs!
BONUS! Sarabeth and Jamie @ Kiwanis Talent Show

Don't forget to read the previous blog post (if you're interested) to find out about my dry socket and new muscle relaxer.

What's Ailing Me

These two topics will sum up the past week: dry socket and zanaflex

Dr. Google, DDS says this:

Dry socket can occur three to four days after an adult tooth is removed. The blood clot that should form after removal is dislodged or dissolved before the wound heals, exposing underlying bone and nerves.

In the days following a tooth removal, the main symptom is pain. This may be accompanied by bad breath.
Treatment includes pain relievers and flushing the area.
Wikipedia says:
Symptoms may include:
  • Dull, aching, throbbing pain in the area of the socket, which is moderate to severe and may radiate to other parts of the head such as the ear, eye, temple and neck. The pain normally starts on the second to fourth day after the extraction,  and may last 10–40 days. The pain may be so strong that even strong analgesics do not relieve it.
  • Intraoral halitosis (oral malodor).
  • Bad taste in the mouth.
The cats haven't complained about my breath, nor has Cosy but the bad taste in my mouth is partially from the tons of anbesol and orajel I've put on my gum since last week. 
I had the option for the dentist to reopen my gum and pack the tooth down to the bone but he felt like I had turned the corner. I've had that whole packing thing done before and it is pure, unmitigated hell so I passed. Then, of course, I spent most of last night feeling so rotten and miserable... 

So there's that. And then... I have always dealt with muscle spasms in my back and hips since the very beginning of the back pain. Usually if I stay in one position too long or repeat the same motion frequently or lift too much, etc I will have muscle spasms. Then last week they became much more than spams. They became take-your-breath-away double-over worse-than-labor-pain spasms. I couldn't stand for more than sixty seconds without the evil grip of pain. So when I saw the pain doctor this week he prescribed me a new muscle relaxer that is often given to people with multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy and spinal cord injuries. 

I've been with the same pain doctor for over five years now. Every medication or treatment he's ever given me has been "lets start with the smallest dose and work up" so when he prescribed a new muscle relaxer I was prepared for it to do practically nothing more than the previous muscle relaxer that I've been on for the past five years. I filled the prescription on the way home and - because I was experienced those aforementioned muscle spasms, took the recommended dosage of the new med. I slept off and on for the next four hours. I took the same dosage at bedtime and... about twenty minutes later had to send out an SOS to the household to help me retrieve my phone because I couldn't bend over without feeling like I was going to topple over. Austin came down and said I looked like i was drunk. I sure felt like I was drunk. The new muscle relaxer in addition to my usual meds in addition to the pain meds for the dry socket really knocked me out. Yesterday I cut my dose in half and still had extended periods of drowsiness. Last night I cut my ambien in half as well to reduce the level of sedation. I slept hard until about 1am and then the dry socket woke me up and kept me up. 

I take a lot of meds but every doctor that treats me knows what I'm on. I reviewed it all with the pain doctor before getting the new prescription. I even brought the pills that the dentist has prescribed so he could be sure of the dosage. I get all of my prescriptions filled at the same pharmacy that I  have used for almost 8 years now. It just goes to show what a delicate balance the human body has. 

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Bits and Pieces About Cosette (as we approach her first birthday)

(started this yesterday... got too sleepy and had to hit pause)

Had a tooth pulled this morning so I'm a bit out of sorts... what better time to blog, right?

I'm still enjoying the after effects of the numbing shots. My tongue still feels twice it's normal size. I dread what it will feel like once those wear off. A note about the numbing stuff... I've been having a hard time getting the shakes and feeling my heart racing about five minutes after those injections. I discussed it with the dental assistant last time and she said it was the epinephrine that caused those side effects. This time I drank only a half cup of coffee and made sure to eat a good, filling breakfast and... no shakes! I'm glad. The alternative that we discussed offered less pain relief and ... well, no.

My breakfast was the leftovers from my lunch yesterday. I just had to get out of the house yesterday. I've had this recurring vertigo that strikes out of nowhere and makes me nervous to drive. (By the way, thanks Carol for the link to the video for curing vertigo. It didn't help in my case but it's always good to try any and every method that doesn't cost anything or involve medication!) I was a little bit - not a lot - dizzy yesterday and really just wanted to go out to eat, especially with the expectation of having a tooth pulled today and possibly not being able to eat well for a time. Tasha, Cosette and I went to Cafe Cancun, a mexican restaurant in town. The food was really, really good and I got some absolutely precious pictures of Cosy experiencing the wonder that is nachos and cheese. Once I can chew again, we're going back! I had a dish that was grilled chicken and shrimp with cheese eaten on a tortilla with guacamole and sour cream. It was awesome and their rice was also awesome, not too spicy!

Cosette is getting lightning fast with her butt crawling and looks like she has no intention of crawling the traditional way. She was downstairs in my Whine Cellar last night and it looked like a tornado had come through! There are so many toys and stuffed and animals and books that she just scoots around exploring one treasure after another. She's even fascinated with my flash cards I made to study Italian. Of course Nanas always want their grandbabies to want to come see them and I'm glad Cosy has fun at Nana's "house".

She did something really brilliant yesterday... she was scrolling through my pictures on my phone and she got to a point where she couldn't get it to do what she wanted so she grabbed my hand and put it on the phone! She knew Nana could do it! I have an otter box on my phone and always supervise her closely while she plays with it. It helps if she has a pacifier in her mouth while she's looking at it so she isn't tempted to use it as a teething toy.

Baby Girl loves toys and stuffed animals and anything/everything that crosses her path but the first thing she always gravitates toward are her books! She will sit and flip through books over and over. Last week she started verbalizing things she recognized in her books... she'll point to a dog and say, "oof" (her word for dog) or point to a baby and say, "bobo" (her word for baby). I think that's a sign of potential to be an early reader. She also has favorite pages in every book... she'll flip pages back and forth until she finds that one certain place and then she wants to stay there for a bit. When I read to her I always end with "and they lived happily ever after"... because every story should end that way, shouldn't it?

Not to brag too much but she picks up on things really quickly. For example... there's a cat toy, a tiny mouse with a little tail. I swing it in circles to tease the cats. Ever since she saw me do that she takes the toy and tries to spin it in circles every time! I put my goody bands for my hair on her wrist like a bracelet because she is fascinated with the bracelets Cousin Jamie wears. Now every time she finds a hairband she tries to put it on like a bracelet. I always squeal when she pulls my hair so she will grab two handfuls and squeal in the same pitch that I do. She laughs and laughs that pulling hair makes Nana squeal. (we may need to crack down on the hair pulling before she goes to preschool).

I could go on and on. We are all, everyone in this house, completely in love with this tiny little princess. It's so hard to believe that she's already turning one. In some ways I want her to stay tiny forever but honestly, each and every new stage, every new word, every single thing she learns is so exciting and wonderful to experience with her!

Having her here and participating in her day to day life makes my heart ache more and more for Oliver. I feel like I miss so much of his life. Cody is good to Facetime and send videos and pictures but it's not the same as sitting on the floor playing with them and having our special things we do together. I'm trying to figure out a way to get down to spend quality "in real life" time with Ollie before my hysterectomy. My vertigo can be so vicious and comes out of nowhere so I'm afraid to make the 100 mile journey but I also hate for anyone else to have to chauffeur me back and forth. Having a tooth pulled yesterday was not factored into my life this month... I thought I'd have a solid week between seeing the pain doctor and having my surgical consult and hoped that would make it possible to go down next week. Now I have to contend with the follow up with the dentist.. getting stitches out,.. and hope against hope that I don't have to deal with dry sockets or infection like the past removals. The last two extractions involved a lot of follow up visits. It's frustrating to be so near but still so far.

At any rate... these children are without a doubt, among the greatest blessings in my life. I feel like everything I've ever had to struggle with in my life, anything I had to get through to be HERE is worth it to be in this place in life now... and to have these two babies to love.

And I guess that's about it for now... this latest round of pain meds is kicking in and making me woozy. Love and hugs, y'all!

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Photo Dump

I'm still dealing with extraordinary dizziness so instead of a wordy post, I thought I'd share a few photos with you.

First... my Acorn Stairlift was installed yesterday. I'm grateful to have it but hate that I have to have it. The Occupational Therapy student for whom I am a Community Partner was at the house when he was finishing up and took it for a test ride after I had taken my (very embarrassing) maiden voyage. I was afraid the seatbelt wouldn't go around me (it did). I was afraid it would groan and struggle to haul me up the stairs (it didn't, worked just fine)

(Sorry Jess... I didn't have the pictures you took of me and I'm SURE you look better than I do in it anyways!) 

It's a very bizarre feeling, like you're flying... but it's also a bizarre feeling to get to the top of the staircase and not be limping or out of breath. It's rather bland, though. I'd like to "pimp my ride" and bedazzle it or some how dress it up. I couldn't find anything under "stairlift accessories" other than extra batteries. Maybe a niche business someone could get into...

I snagged these pictures without permission but they're my two current favorites of Oliver. Little Man is walking behind a push toy, just like his older cousin... and yesterday Cody sent me a video of Ollie trying to climb the wall. He's a mess! Cody was a happy and content baby and Ollie takes after him.

Cosette continues to love scrolling through pictures of Ollie and her other baby cousin and was particularly fond of a video of Ollie opening his Easter basket from his other grandmother. Cosy loves seeing Uncle Cody and Aunt Marquee, too. She was loving the phone while watching them, putting the phone against her head like she was hugging it.

Cosy is now 11 months old. We tried to get a good picture with her 11 month sticker but she is too mobile and too curious to sit still when there was a giant sticker just waiting for her to chew on it.
Also, I accidentally left the watermark from the last set of photos I edited on Cosy's 11 month pictures. That's why they all say, "Oliver" in the bottom corner.




Lastly... some way back when photos that one of the girls I cheered with in Junior High posted last week...
 In this one I'm in the back row, second from the right.

You'll note that we are wearing the old fashioned saddle oxfords. That was pretty much the last year that school cheerleaders (at least in my area) wore saddle oxfords. After that they changed to tennis shoes which makes WAY more sense!
I think in this one I *might* be the split in the front but I used to be much better at pointing my toe so... I hope that wasn't me.
This one... I think I'm on the right side, standing with a girl on my shoulders. I look fairly miserable though...
This one... I think I'm one of the ones kneeling in the front, second row of the kneelers, right side. I think.

It's weird to look at old photos and not recognize yourself.

And that's my photo dump for the day! Love and hugs, y'all!

Monday, March 28, 2016

Time Flies / My Hysterectomy (more than you ever wanted to know about it!)

Time flies, even when you're NOT having fun! Ten days since my last blog post... what can I tell you about the last ten days? Hmmmm.... I've had a lot of pain, from my shoulder, my other arthritic bits, another tooth that's going bad in a bad way and giving me fits, I've had a lot of headachey / dizzy / flaring kinds of days. The "pain rash" that my primary care doctor suspected to be a symptom of lupus is with me today and it makes my face so hot and tight... even though my blood tested negative for lupus, there's definitely some kind of connection between the rash and flares of whatever - fibro or whatever.

Steroid shots are now on my list of "not worth it" because I really believe that the only pain relief I've gotten for my shoulder has come from resting it/not sewing. I have felt unwell ever since the last shot - fluish, dizzy, extremely tired. The tooth began abscessing  - it hurts down into my jaw and back to my ear and eating has been a challenge (don't worry, I'm up to the challenge!). I already had a dentist appointment scheduled for tomorrow so it will be addressed soon. I don't know if there is a direct connection between tooth decay and steroids but it seems like that shot just set off a whole new level of ick in my world.

I'm also going through a rough round of the evil gut pain. TMI BEGINS HERE, Skip down if you want to avoid it. Just to sort of recap - the evil gut pain was diagnosed last July as post ablation tubal ligation syndrome. A uterine ablation is where they go in and scar the uterus to keep it from developing the monthly lining. The intention is to eliminate heavy periods and pain that seem to plague women of a certain age - post childbirth, pre-menopause - in an effort to avoid a hysterectomy. What has happened in my case (and, it appears is happening frequently) is that the entire surface did not scar so there are places in my uterus where the normal monthly lining develops but the scar tissue from the parts that did scar correctly prevents the lining from shedding, as in a normal period. This trapped lining becomes an ever greater problem because my tubes are tied... normally, trapped blood, etc would sort of back up into the tubes toward the ovaries. So my un-shed lining is just all trapped there causing inflammation and putting pressure on the surrounding organs. The medical term is hematrometra. This post ablation syndrome could be responsible for a lot of the issues I have - everything from back pain to hip pain to cramps to migraines - or at least, the post ablation issue is exacerbating my already existing problems. There are two ways to resolve the post ablation syndrome: menopause or hysterectomy.

New paragraph. Same story. Last Summer when I was diagnosed I was under charity care through the local hospital. My situation was not potentially life threatening so I could not get approved for a hysterectomy at that time. Not long after that I was approved for social security and I became covered under Medicare in September. Theoretically I could have gone back then and requested the hysterectomy but ... by that time we were working on my massive dental issues and then my mom got sick and... well, it just hasn't happened. There was supposed to be some coordination between the gyn and my pain doctor where I received additional pain meds / stronger pain meds to deal with the post ablation syndrome but those dots never connected. And honestly... I really don't want to take more pain meds. I want to have less pain. So I finally summoned up the courage to make an appointment with the gyn and saw him last week. He agrees that it's time for a hysterectomy, there's no reason to put it off and it will make a big difference in the amount of pain I'm in.

Because I carry a little extra weight around my middle (aka the Buddha Belly) they can't do a laparoscopic hysterectomy on me but also, because I'm heavy there's a greater risk in doing the abdominal hysterectomy. The gyn thinks I'll do best with a robotic hysterectomy because the incisions are higher up, at the thinner part of me. My gyn doesn't do the robotic kind but another doctor in his practice does. I'm set for a consultation with him on April 21st to determine a date for the surgery. We're doing Cosette's First Birthday Party in my house so I wanted to postpone the surgery until at least May. So sometime in May - or possibly later - I'll go in for the big snip.

I'm happy to have the prospect of less pain in my life but really anxious about the post surgery pain. More pain to be able to have less pain... just got to get through the more pain part. I've been watching youtube videos of this particular surgery and in a way, it helps to see what they do but what I really want to see are testimonials of women who have had as much pain as I have with this post ablation syndrome and are basking in the afterglow of their hysterectomy.

And that was way more than I thought I had to share!  TMI ENDS HERE

My mom is currently in New York loving on her 14th grandchild. It's kinda funny that my new nephew is the first grandchild on his mom's side and the 14th on his dad's! It's surreal to see my brother - who we always thought would be the bachelor uncle - being a doting dad. #meltsmyheart  They are not putting baby boy on social media but I think I can tell you that he has red hair- and we all know how partial I am to my redheaded nieces- so I am thrilled to have a little redheaded nephew!

Mom is having trouble with her blood sugar, which we expected since they took most of her pancreas. The started her on insulin injections on Friday and she left for New York on Saturday morning. I was really anxious about her having a blood sugar issue while she was traveling alone and threatened to pin a note to her shirt that said, "mawmaw has diabetes" but she made it fine. I'm getting lots of extra Oscar love since he needs constant contact with a human to survive and Pop doesn't sit still for long. Still glad I made the investment in a wider recliner so I can accommodate a passenger. Little Kitty is NOT appreciating the extra Oscar time. He even made the clicking sound he makes when he's hunting toward Oscar yesterday. He's seriously ready to eliminate the little doggie from his mommy's chair.

Cosette took  a few steps last week -I posted a video on my facebook. Tasha and I have been consulting Pinterest quite a bit for ideas for her first birthday party. You are all invited to her party (well, most of you... as most of my readers are people I know in real life and/or people who I've known for many many years via the interwebs) if you're in the area or want to make a trip to our beautiful corner of the world. The theme of the party is "Castle On A Cloud" which is the first song that young Cosette sings in Les Miserables. Google it if you'd like... it's a sweet song. Uncle Cody says that young Cosette is dreaming of Heaven then, which means that Castle On A Cloud is a song of a suicidal young Cosette... of course I disagree!  But his perspective is amusing, of course. It just hardly seems possible that 11 months (tomorrow) have gone by in her little life already! Ollie is now 8 months! I love every single day with them and I wouldn't give back a single one to have them babies for longer. Time just goes by SO FAST!

I had a rough night one night last week and got inspired to fix Easter baskets for the babies. I dragged my mom along with me Thursday afternoon to Walmart to get all the goods for the baskets. Mawmaw contributed as well. We also got our hair cut last week - it only took 11 months for us to manage to find a day where we both felt like doing it and Gail was available. My cut was mostly a trim with the same hairstyle but Gail "texturized" my hair, thinning it out a bit. When I was done it looked like someone had shaved a caveman. Mom's hair had not grown much, which turns out to be a side effect of being so terribly unwell with the cancer. I had never thought about it but it makes sense.

I snagged a picture of my nieces with their bestie, Jorjanne from yesterday. I thought I'd show you another picture of the three to give you some perspective of how quickly they grow - how time flies. The second picture was from 2012, just four years ago! And the last one is Jorjanne and Sarabeth at Christmastime in 2008. Time has flown!


I guess that's enough of an update for now... hope you had a lovely Easter and are enjoying the same beautiful Spring weather that we are! Let me know if you would like to come to Cosette's birthday party! Love and hugs!