Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Where blogs go to....what?

I gave my blog list a bit of a clean up.  It has to be done occasionally.  Maybe I've lost interest in a blog.  Perhaps the blogger isn't posting anymore.  That's the one that kind of intrigues me.  Why haven't they posted?  Are they just taking a break?  Did the get sick of blogging and just say screw it?  Did some unforeseen circumstances happen?  Did they pass away?  I know I'm weird but these are the things I ponder every single time I do a clean up to my blog list. 

Monday, December 5, 2016

What is it about birthdays?

For quite awhile I was the one who had birthdays from hell.  I have some friends that are completely convinced that it's a goal for my mom to see if she can make me cry on my birthday.  I really don't understand it but there is some validity to the idea.  Perhaps karma paid a visit.  If so it was not at all what I expected.  The whole family is still very upset about having to give Addi back to the rescue.  After I blogged last night I tried reading and watching some TV but I was too upset and had an awful headache.  I heard my mom crying in the family room and went in to talk to her.  This was around 2:30am or 3am.  We were watching TV and pondering things and generally being a mess.  Around 3:30am I heard Princess Bear (PB) wake up and a few minutes later she wondered her way into the family room.  It turned into a slumber party in the family room.  I was able to get PB back to sleep about 4:30am but I was up another hour.  I really don't do well with a significant lack of sleep.  My mom & I discussed the fact that getting up for 9am mass was a bad idea.  I turned off the alarm on my phone before I did fall out.  Unfortunately someone had set the alarm in the family room.  I did convince PB that she needed to go back to sleep.  Next thing I know it's 9:20am and my mom is waking us up so PB can go to Sunday school.  I was over before I started today.

After Sunday school we had to meet my sister, brother in law, nephews and my uncle for lunch.  It's my Mom's birthday today.  Not a "major" birthday but my mom wanted everyone together.  All in all, considering how sideways some of our family gatherings go, it was a pleasant lunch.  My sister and I got along....a complete rarity.  My uncle behaved himself....also a very odd occurrence.  I'd definitely give it a thumbs up for family get togethers.

While we were in the restaurant winter that had been making it's first gentle appearance of the year started to get feisty.  In the matter of about 4 or 5 hours today we got 4.5" of snow.  My car has been living on the street for the past 2 months.  A week before my surgery we hauled some stuff out of our attic and it wound up parked on the 1/2 of the garage I use.  It hasn't been too bad until last week.  Then it started being a very chilly prospect to start the car in the morning.  It also didn't matter since I was on a no driving restriction until this past Tuesday.  As the day went on I was getting less and less thrilled about unburying the car from 4.5" of snow.  I've never ever missed a winter in Illinois since I was born.  I should be used to it.  Quite frankly have such a significant and long Indian summer spoiled me.  I also am of the theory that it takes some time to acclimate yourself back into winter.  This afternoon we cleaned up in the garage some.  We needed to find a box of winter clothes my mom had placed somewhere and I'd already dug through the laundry and the depths of her closet to make sure it wasn't hidden somewhere in the house.  No such luck.  So off PB, my dad & I went to the garage.  My dad and PB went to the attic and loft shelf to access the attic respectively.  I was in the garage trying to hand boxes up to them and schlepping some boxes of clothes they found in the attic into the house to see if they were the clothes my mom was seeking.  There is just one small problem with this plan.  I'm still on all the restrictions from surgery.  No lifting more than 8 pounds.  Don't pick anything up off the floor and it's also pretty painful to reach up high.  Yeah...I am hurting bad tonight.  My mom got all pissed at me and started muttering about if I had hurt and/or reversed some of the work the Dr. did on my bladder.  It's never a good sign when she's talking to herself. 

One of the things that has happened throughout the day is that my mom would start thinking about Addi, get up and start crying.  PB doesn't do very well with fighting or crying.  Thankfully there was no fighting today but there was plenty of crying.  After PB went to bed my mom was talking about how much her birthday sucked. I pointed out that other than the Addi aspect and being sad it wasn't that bad.  the kids all got along at lunch, my sister and I got along and my uncle behaved.  Not a bad outcome at all.  Tonight before I went to sleep I gave her a hug, wished her a happy crappy birthday and hoped the next wouldn't suck as much.  She laughed.  I've always used humor and was glad it worked this time.  I know that being upset about Addi will get better.  I know that worrying about Addi will lessen.  Right now though this part of the journey flipping sucks. 

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Addi

Today (12/3/16) so did not go the way I thought it would or wanted.  Mid morning my parents were out running errands and Addi & I were chilling on the recliner watching some Duck Dynasty.  My mom called to say that our vet called.  The vet and our trainer Bob talked about some of Addi's aggression issues.  While Bob had been telling us all along that Addi was a trainable dog and we'd be able to work through her aggression issues after he consulted with our vet it was  decided that it was just not a good situation for her to stay in our house.  The big concern was if she went after Princess Bear (PB) or my nephews.  If she was willing to try to go after my Dad like she did the other day and he's 6' and 285lbs there was no reason to think she wouldn't go after a child.  The first solution Bob came up with was to relinquish her to a no kill shelter.  The shelter he had in mind was a shelter that he works with weekly.  He takes dogs from the shelter to the prison and the prisoners train the dogs.  My mom and I were OK with that solution.  We hated that she wouldn't be with us but under the idea of wanting the best thing for her could handle this solution.  There were a few calls from our vet while he was explaining what the process was.  You have to love a vet that is taking time from his precious time off to try to help a family.  I was on the phone with the vet and our house phone rang.  It was the woman who worked for the rescue we adopted Addi from and had fostered her.  Now to be honest I can't say I was a fan of this lady.  While I respect anyone that rescues dogs we had a few problems with this woman.  When we adopted Addi she came to us with a raging staph infection around her spay incision (she had been spayed 5 days before we adopted her).  Now I didn't notice the staph infection while we were at the adoption event.  I actually didn't notice it until that night.  When things settled down I was petting her and said something to my mom.  My parents had an appointment with the vet for 5 days later.  How do you not notice a staph infection on a dog near their incision site?  Weren't you caring for her incision?!!?  The next thing that gave me pause was the fact that this lady had the paperwork for Addi's microchip.  That is something we definitely needed so it could be transferred to our names.  She promised to send the information to us.  It took 3 or 4 phone calls from me and over a month before we received the paper work.  Seriously?  So I was not a big fan of this woman.  So there she is calling us telling us that we can't relinquish Addi to the no kill shelter but we have to turn her back over to the rescue.  Initially I was pissed as hell.  I didn't care for this woman or have a lot of faith or trust in her.  At first she talked to my Dad and there was no other option than to turn her back over to them.  My parents asked that I do the information call with the volunteer so I did that.  I gave the woman every little bit of info from the fact that she was terrified of storms, hated the vacuum, loved chasing bubbles, her future need for surgery and everything else.  It was a long, draining call.  The volunteer lived about a 1/2 hour away and said it would take her a bit to get ready.  We went about packing up EVERYTHING of Addi's from her shirts, jackets, all her toys, her treats, elk antler chew, pillow for her kennel, a new bubble gun so she can chase bubbles and her meds.  While we were waiting my mom sent my dad to the store to buy a new bag of her food.  We didn't want her to be any more stressed than she was already bound to be and then have to acclimate to a new food immediately.  All in all it took the woman over 2 hours to get here.  2 hours of my mom, PB and I crying because we were so upset.  2 hours of trying to get as much cuddle time as possible in with Addi.  The woman that is going to foster Addi is a trainer so Addi is going to get some really intense training.  In addition our trainer Bob agreed to continue working with Addi.  We did ask if it was at all possible that we be given the chance to readopt Addi.  The volunteer also offered to give us periodic updates on how Addi was doing.  I made copies of the paperwork so there is some record of our intentions hoping to readopt her (we wrote it on there).  I then said to hell with my surgery restrictions and picked up my 42 pound baby and placed her in the kennel for her trip.

In so many ways this is so much more painful than losing a dog to  death.  There is always going to be a part of us worrying about her.  There is a sense of failure that despite everything we did, obedience school, private trainer, etc, that we couldn't get her to work past the aggression issues.  Addi is the 8th dog I've owned in my life and the first that didn't die of old age.

I can also go into the fact that the volunteer seemed surprised when we mentioned not only a trainer but obedience school.  She was actually a bit snarky.  I suppose that there are times people adopt animals and just say screw it and give them back.  That is not something my family or I would ever do.  I suppose that some people when adopting a dog and then finding out that the dog had some health issues and needed surgery would say screw it and give her back.  Again, not something we would do.  That is part and parcel of pet ownership.  Below are some pics I took of my baby and a video of her chasing bubbles when PB broke out the bubble gun at home.



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Friday, December 2, 2016

Send Nail polish or chocolate ASAP

This has just been a crazy week.  I'm still recovering which is going well but slow as molasses.  Wednesday I woke up feeling like I'd been hit by a truck and 1/2 my face was very swollen.  It wasn't fun.  Enter yet another sinus infection.  I finally was able to get into the Dr. today and I'm now on prednisone and an antibiotic.  I'm really hoping this clears up very quickly!  Princess Bear (PB) had an appointment at her orthodontist the other day.  She'd actually missed a few months with all the craziness of me being sick.  She's rocking lovely Christmas color bands but her mouth is really bothering her since she hadn't had an adjustment since the summer.  I've had to go to school the last 2 days to give her Tylenol.  Yesterday I had to pick her up early since she overheated. 

Then to really add to the fun Addi, our dog, hasn't been feeling well.  Addi is kind of a hot mess.  We adopted Addi in August and things on one hand have been great and the other have been very dicey.  When Addi is good she is so very good.  It's just that she has shown some aggression and also is completely terrified of the vet.  The first time she was at the vets she growled at him so our vet gave us the name and number of a trainer we've been working with ever since.  The trainer is very positive about things whereas our vets are not.  In addition Addi seems to target PB the most.  I'm not sure if it's because PB is the youngest or what but if Addi is awake and in the same room as PB she tried gnawing on her arms and legs.  We're always having to pull her off of PB.  It's not cool.  Now please understand at this point this dog is very loved by everyone in the family, including PB.  So we're spending a ton of money on a training and trying to incorporate everything the trainer has taught us.  Oh please throw into the mix that a month ago at the vets Addi was completely loving up on the vet and giving kisses and then turned around and bit him.  I honestly have never dealt with a dog like this.  She's also kind of picked me as her favorite human and she's very much my baby which is making this whole thing super stressful.  When we took Addi to the vet a month ago they discovered that her "plumbing" isn't anatomically correct and consequently she'd very prone to UTIs.  So we have this dog with a medical issue that isn't going to resolve any time soon and she's completely terrified of the vet.  She was showing symptoms of a new UTI so my Dad and I took her in to the vet today.  They put us in a special room that has a mechanical table that is supposed to be less scary than being picked up and put on the table for the exam.  The entire time Addi cowered under the chairs.  Our vet tried taking her on a walk in the back halls just to see if she would calm down.  Addi yanked so hard on her leash that she got away from the vet.  My dad & I hear "watch out...one's on the loose!" and recognized our vets voice.  I fling open the door to the exam room to see Addi running past.  She saw me and turned around.  UGH!  Since she'd previously bitten a vet she's supposed to wear a soft muzzle any time she's being examined.  It was so not happening today.  The vet put her on one medicine for some of her symptoms and decided that we would bring her in so they could heavily sedate her and then get new sonograms of her bladder, etc next week and then we'd decide if she'd needed another antibiotic.   The vet also said he was going to call our trainer and talk with him to see what his opinion from a training standpoint is.  The vet also mentioned repeatedly that he would not keep Addi since she has shown aggression and people can sue so easily.  Not the news we were hoping to hear.  The appointment was at 10:30am. My dad called me around 2:30pm to see if Addi had been outside when I was around.  Nope.  Fast forward 2 more hours and the dog most definitely had a raging UTI.  We picked up a new antibiotic and further testing is on hold until this clears up.  At this point I'm upset that this dog apparently has some significant medical issues only in that actually getting her treated is so difficult.  The aggression thing also has me concerned.  I adore this dog but I also don't want my daughter hurt.  The stress level is HIGH.  I need some new nail polish or chocolate STAT!

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

When does it end?????

Today I had yet again another meeting with the school Principal and PB's teacher.  This is the 3 official meeting with the Principal and there have been some quick office visits to appraise her of the situation from my point of view.  Princess Bear (PB) has a new teacher this year.  To say that I'm less than thrilled about her would be quite an understatement.  I had been "warned" about this teacher before PB even had her.  I went into the year with an open mind but the bottom line is that she sucks.  The first meeting was about what wasn't being followed in the IEP and lack of accommodations on the teachers part.  The 2nd meeting I walked in with a typed list of almost 20 problems.  At that meeting I pulled PB out of the inclusion science class that she was in.  Last year I wasn't thrilled about the science class but that teacher was doing a great job with accommodations as well as teaching some valuable skills like note taking. 

Oops- before I go to far let me explain that accommodations in a special ed room is when the teacher takes information and then breaks it down in to the level that the child can understand and learn the information.  Since PB is in 8th grade but her reading level is a 4th grade level there needs to be a fair amount of time explaining vocabulary and then breaking the information down to where she is actually gaining knowledge and not just memorizing something. 

So this year the teacher she has does NO accommodations.  PB was in 2 inclusion classrooms.  Science and Social Studies.  The amount of information that is taught in that classes is way too much for PB to deal with and that's when it's at a level she understands it.  At the 2nd meeting after repeatedly asking for more and better accommodations I pulled PB from her science class.  While she really loved the teacher in that class she was getting very frustrated because things weren't making sense.  I put her in a science class that in all honestly is too easy for her but there wasn't another option that would have been the perfect fit.  PB loves the teacher for the new science class so she's happy about that.  I just hate that because the teacher wasn't doing her job it made a problem for PB.  I'm not OK with that. 

The day before surgery I picked up PB and the aide from her classroom, Missy, who at this point is a dear friend to the entire family.  Missy has some serious health issues and can't drive.  A few times a week we take her to run errands.  The day before my surgery she needed to go to Walgreens.  PB and I were in the car talking while Missy was in Walgreens.  I asked PB how her day had been and whoa!  I wasn't expecting what came pouring out.  PB was very upset that her teacher had yelled at her for forgetting an assignment.  Some of the things the teacher said were "How old are you?"  "You're too old to be messing up like this" and "Maybe if you're having so many  problems in this class you should drop it too".  This was the FIRST assignment that PB forgot this year.  I was pissed to say the very least.  You don't go off yelling at a child for forgetting one assignment!  You also don't make them feel bad for dropping a class when in all reality it was the teachers shortcomings that prompted that change.  So I called my mom & filled her in.  We agreed to meet at the school and try to talk to the Principal immediately since my surgery was the next day and then the kids were off the next week for Thanksgiving.  Luckily the principal completely understood and agreed with us.  She did ask if I had talked to the teacher.  I explained that since every time I've tried talking to this teacher she has completely disregarded me (and gave several examples) that I was no longer going that route.  I would bring it to the Principal or coordinator instead.  The principal thought it was time for another meeting and said that since the teacher hadn't listened to the Principal or the coordinator that maybe I should take the lead.  I told the principal I had no problem with that but warned her that it would be gloves off and no holds barred.  I was done and my next step is the School Board and the media.  She understood and was OK with that.  In some ways I don't think she likes this teacher much and was more than willing to let me have a crack at things. 

Today was when we had scheduled the meeting.  Since I still can't drive and my mom never drives to work my Dad had to take me, pick up my mom and drop us off at the school.  On the way to the meeting I was listening to Rammstein which is my "damn am I pissed and I'm ready to kick a$$ music".  To say the meeting was interesting is again an understatement.  The teacher at one point mentioned that her children were honor students and she expected the same things from her students.  HELLO?  Do you not even understand what population you're working with????  She also flat out lied a few times.  That will in all actuality make it easier to nail her to the wall in the future.  We talked about how we expected PB to be treated and what kind of accommodations were needed.  I have to admit that I don't have horribly high hopes that things will actually get accomplished but I've done what I can before I truly make things ugly at the school.  On the upside my inner bitch was having all kinds of fun since it actually had permission to come out and play!

Sunday, November 27, 2016

And we all sang Kumbaya



OK so we didn't really sing kumbaya but Thanksgiving was actually OK.  There were no jabs, physical or verbal, thrown at any point!  For my family that is a totally successful holiday!  My sister had been warned that I was going to be there but not to plan on me helping in any way, shape or form.  Thankfully, she's been really good about calling and checking on me and was actually a bit surprised that I felt up to being out for that long.  First hurdle crossed.  My sister and my parents got along.  The last time I was at my sisters house she brought my mom to tears.  I wasn't really sure what to expect this time.  My sister doesn't do stress or company well.  She did very well this year for which I am INCREDIBLY grateful.  My sister also didn't (really) go on the attack with my brother in law or my nephews.  Another complete win.    

Since I was on couch chilling duty I did get some serious downtime with my nephews which was great.  Those boys are my heart right along with Princess Bear (PB).   My oldest nephew looked at me while Aretha Franklin was performing the longest version of the National Anthem known to mankind and said "Aunt Sarah...am I right?  Is this just awful?" Yeah kid but you've gotta let the diva do what she wants when she wants.  Her voice was great but it was at the speed of a funeral dirge!!!  My youngest nephew wanted to let me know that he told his class that his Aunt is the best because Kris Bryant is her favorite player. I'm glad the little things make you happy kiddo!  :)  I brought a Disney Christmas CD over for the boys to share.  My cousin Jen and I have a thing about Christmas music.  She who has the most wins!  The new ones I've acquired (so far) this year are Bret Eldredge, Kacey Musgraves, Darius Rucker and a Disney one I didn't have.  I'm loving, loving, loving the Bret Eldredge disc.  It's not at all country but more a jazz, smooth listening CD.  Absolutely great!  I have figured out that I just need to burn a copy of a CD as soon as I get it and give it to PB.  Then mine stays safe and scratch free!  After I gave her the newest Christmas CD she asked where my Michael Bubble CD was and asked for a copy.  You mean Michael Buble?  (another really great disc!).  So now I need to dig out all my Christmas CDs and start making copies for her.    Between the meal and dessert at my sisters the kids including my sisters nephew were listening to a Disney Christmas CD on my phone.  Her nephew is 3 and just a doll.  He thought it was so funny that Mickey & Donald were doing Christmas music.  I love watching the holidays come alive for kids!!!  

In other news I was trying to be nice and make labels for the Christmas cards my Dad usually sends out.  Thought it would save him some time.  I did the first set on Avery.com.  I have no bloody idea what the heck is going on but it doesn't matter what kind of adjustments I make the dang things won't print correctly.  Please show me where to bang my head into the wall!  So I said screw it and decided to make an Excel document so I could do a mail merge.  Admittedly I haven't done a mail merge this way in a LOOOOOOOOONNNNNNNNNNNNNNGGGGGGG time.  So I went to the trusty interwebs and googled it.  It's still cutting out some of the names on the list.  So I'll try it again tomorrow.  I will figure this out dang it!  

So that is life around here.  I hope you and yours had a wonderful Thanksgiving! 

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Adventures outside the house

Today was the first time I've gone anywhere since my surgery.  I'm still on driving restrictions for a minimum of 5 more days so anything that wasn't necessary has just gone by the wayside.  Today Princess Bear (PB) had a follow up Dr's appointment for the chronic UTI she had as well as the fact that she needed a release to return to PE after trying to take herself out during a game of Grog at youth group a few weeks ago.  She'd already had 1 follow up for the UTI but her Dr is very cautious especially since so many kidney problems run in the family and she had no real signs of  a UTI but was a sick kid.  My parents drove us to PBs Dr appointment and dropped us off.  They set out to get some holiday shopping done.  The good news is that PB is cleared to return to PE which she is thrilled about.  Since it's also December the Dr checked her scoliosis.  That remains the same which is good.  Now we just have to wait and see what happens with her urine culture.  The 2 of the last 3 quick dips were fine but then when they cultured it she had a massive amount of staph. Keeping my fingers crossed for more good news. 

My parents picked us up and we headed home.  PB has made her Christmas list and the biggies this year are an Addison Russell jersey/shirt, a Frozen themed bedroom makeover, a Holiday Barbie, a new Elsa, an archery set, some Real Tree or Mossy Oak gear (in neon pink of course) and a Hatchimal.  I should have just bought the damn Hatchimal when she saw it at Target a month or so ago.  Nooooo.  Let's wait until it's closer to the holidays I said.  Bad plan.  Apparently those little f$(kers are this years Cabbage Patch Dolls.  2 were delivered to Target today and there was a line of 20 people waiting.  They cost about $60.  The guy at Target told my mom we could try ebay or Amazon for the low, low price of $300.  Yeah- PB is not getting a Hatchimal for Christmas.  My mom was able to snag the usually priced $40 Holiday for $27 bucks and a new Elsa doll on big sale.  I've already ordered an Addison Russell shirt (at $30 compared to the $112 jersey.  wtf...why are jersey's so damn expensive?).  I have other stuff already put aside for PB so I'm hoping that the Christmas shopping is done.  Just the little jaunt to the Drs office wiped me the heck out.  I came home and took a nap. 

My dad then took us to Walgreens this evening since PB wanted to make "candy" and he still needed to buy an anniversary card for my mom.  PB was burnt by a pan on the stove a few weeks ago and has been very gun shy in the kitchen ever since.  She did want to do something to contribute to Thanksgiving at my sisters so I told her that she could make "candy".  I figure it was a way to ease her back into the kitchen.  We did the thing where you lay a rolo on top of a square pretzel and put it in the oven until the rolo is soft.  Usually people add a pecan.  My nephew as a major nut allergy so we went with M&Ms instead.  Of course since it is the day before Thanksgiving Walgreens only had Christmas M&Ms not the fall colored.  Again...wtf???  They turned out well and she didn't burn herself so I think we're back in business.  Over vacation I think I'll teach her how to make bark as well as do the candies in molds like we did growing up. 

We're doing Thanksgiving at my sister's tomorrow.  I did try to tell my mom that I really wasn't sure if I felt up to going to which I was told I was going and I was going to sit there with a smile on my face.  Yes you've got to love the holidays!  And family!  That said I'm looking forward to the online black Friday sales.  I'm sure I don't need another 20 nail polishes but Zoya is having a 70% off sale and they are my favorite mainstream nail polish brand.  I think some money is also going to be dropped at Alex & Ani as well as the Disney Parks store.  I hope whatever you do tomorrow you have a great time! 

Monday, November 21, 2016

Closed for business

So last Tuesday I had a robotic hysterectomy done as well as the scar tissue adhesion's from my c section cleaned up and some work done to put my bladder back in its rightful place.  Going into surgery was completely nerve wracking even though I was ready to be done with all the anemia complications.  Anytime I have surgery it scares the heck out of me since I'm Princess Bears (PBs) only parent.  Add the blood clotting issue I had to it I was a mess.  It was one of those situations I knew needed to happen and I knew it would be fine but I was a mess until it was over and done with.  The 2 nights before the surgery I had a combined 5 hours of sleep.  Then again the first few days after surgery I more than made up for it.  The surgery was just over 4 hours long and went off without a hitch.  The prepping for the surgery was interesting in that my veins are a serious mess and I'd been without anything to eat and drink for over 9 hours by the time the tried placing an IV.  Most of the time they've been having to call a crisis nurse for successful IV placement.  No crisis nurse this time.  Just poking and prodding until there was a viable vein.  I have some LOVELY bruises now.  The recovery room nurse was a woman from my church which in its own way was very comforting.  Before the surgery I had to sign paperwork saying that I gave the surgeon permission to remove whatever organs/pieces necessary.  I knew that obviously my uterus & fallopian tubes were goners.  I was really OK with that.   From all the research I did I really wanted to keep my cervix and ovaries.  My regular gynecologist was in favor of me having everything removed.  The surgeon was in favor of me keeping one or both ovaries if possible.  I was bummed about the cervix part but he is the guy with MD after his name.  He did let me know that barring some huge complications he was leaving my ovaries.  The newest research suggests that is the best route especially for someone under 45 which I definitely am.  The idea of going into instant menopause wasn't exactly on my list either!

I spent about an hour and a half in the first stage of recovery.  There is some sort of correlation between people who have a lot of red hair and having a high level of pain which is hard to get under control.  I will say that IV narcotics are a beautiful thing! Since I was going to be at least a 23 hour admission I was sent to my room for the 2nd part of recovery.  It was  a private room!!!!!!!  WOOT WOOT!!!!  After have some really interesting hospital roommates lately I was thrilled about the prospect of a single room.  My mom had also decided that she was going to stay with me as long as I was in the hospital.  It makes it much easier to have an overnight visitor when you have no roommate.  I remember very little of the day of my surgery after getting to my room.   I was getting IV morphine every 3 hours as well as norco and 800mg of ibuprofen alternated every 4 hours.  I did have a catheter in that I basically begged to have removed anytime I was awake & coherent.  I had to wait until the next morning to lose that which sucked.  I was able to sit up on the edge of the bed within 4 hours of surgery.  Again I have to say that narcotics are a beautiful thing in situations like this!  The nurse I had the first night knew my mom because of her job at the hospital.  Its always nice when people know mom & the Pastoral Care department.  You tend to get the best nurses and treatment.  Gotta take it when you can!

The next morning the residents came in at the butt crack of dawn and gave orders for the damn catheter to be removed and for a general diet.  I can't remember a time that I drank so much hot tea in such a short amount of time!!!  I was able to get up and go for a walk around the floor the first day which was awesome.  My dad had brought PB up for a visit the first day but since there was a chance I was being released on the 2nd day he didn't bring her up.   My surgeon came to the floor around 6pm and said he could sign discharge papers and start the ball rolling for me to go home.  That usually takes a few hours.  He did say he wasn't completely happy with the way the norco was dealing with my pain.  It was finally decided that staying a second night to stay on IV morphine as well as switching to percocet was the best plan.

My sister had come up to visit and brought the most awesome cinnamon rolls ever (that I didn't even eat until I was released and at home) and some books.  I was released Thursday afternoon and the first day at home is pretty much a fog.  The percocet and prescription strength Advil were working very well just making me sleepy as all get out.  All in all it was a decent experience that went off pretty damn well.  I still can't drive for another week which really sucks.  I'm still sleeping more that usual.  There are certain movements that are just out of the question for now but I am feeling better each day.  I can't say that it has been a bad experience.  I never pictured myself having a hysterectomy but it certainly wasn't an option.  I certainly never pictured myself with only 1 child.  Growing up I always wanted 4 girls.  In retrospect I'm not sure if I would have wanted 4.  While there is something so final about a hysterectomy I have to say that the past several months with all the anemia drama that I'm completely OK with this happening.  I need to be around to take care of the Princess I have!

Thursday, November 10, 2016

August....September...October...going...going....GONE!

Yes it's been awhile.  Yes there is all kinds of things to talk about. I could get political (What in the hell is wrong with people?!!?) but I'll wait a day or two.  I could talk sports.  GO CUBS!!! That really will be it's own post.  Or I can do a general fill ya in which is what I'm going to do.  Things have been crazy around here.  Some good.  Some bad.  Some just life. 

The quick stuff:
-Dogs name is Addi.  Actually Addison but we never call her that.  My Dad & I wanted to name her Wrigley but my mom & Princess Bear shot that down.  The next best Cubs related name for a Cubs obsessed family is Addison since Wrigley Field is located at Clark & ADDISON! 
-PB is doing fairly well in school this year.  Her teacher absolutely sucks & I've already had to hold an IEP meeting.  We're also running into problems with high school placement & homeschooling is looking like more of an option.

Now the why of why I haven't been around.  Remember that anemia thing I talked about back in August?  Well, anemia has made itself the bane of my existence.  It's led to many, many, many Dr's visits, tests and ER visits as well as a total of 4 hospitalizations for blood transfusions.  Since being MIA I also had a D&C procedure done, was told that I most likely had uterine cancer.  That was an awful few days until the pathology came back benign.  Then was told that I needed a robotic hysterectomy because of the placement of my uterus and the scar tissue adhesion's from my C section.  That's a problem when there's really only 1 Dr in town to do said procedure and he's book a few months in advance.   It's now safe to safe that I've lost and replaced all the blood volume in my body.  My hysterectomy is scheduled for this coming Tuesday and while nervous I'm so, so, so very ready for this to be done and over.  I am somewhat nervous because it's been discovered that my protein C count is very high.  When you have a low protein C count you have a tendency to make blood clots.  I'm the opposite.  My blood doesn't want to clot.  It made getting ready for surgery a complete pain.  My usual pain pills & muscle relaxers for my fibromyalgia were a no no as well as Advil.  Also no vitamins since certain vitamins cause extra bleeding.  This time of year I tend to really push the vitamins so something just feels off. 

More than anything this whole thing has just been a pain in the butt trying to deal with every day life.  Am I too dizzy to drive?  My poor dad had to take PB to a Dr's appointment this past Monday because I was basically non functioning.  He didn't take my sister or myself to the Dr. so this was a really new one for him.  As it turned out I wound up in the ER and then admitted for another transfusion on Monday.  On the best of days I'm just very tired and worn out and wind up sleeping a lot.  On the worst of days I am that plus very dizzy, short of breath and damn close to a panic attack.  As I said I'm ready for this to be done.  I want off the roller coaster. 

So that's the why of why I haven't been around.  I'm hoping that after next week life resumes pretty quickly.  Hoping that you're doing well!

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Introducing.....Dog!

Princess Bear (PB) and I were at my sisters house hanging out with her dog since they were in Indianapolis for the day.  Bailey (my sister's dog) doesn't do well when she's left alone for more than 4 or 5 hours.  So when they do day trips like this we go over there a couple of times to let the dog out & PB gets her dog fix.  Bailey loves playing catch and I swear PB would launch balls for that dog for hours!  We'd been there hanging out for about an hour and my mom called and said that we needed to meet her at a dog adoption event that was sponsored by a rescue here in town.  There had been a couple of dogs they had that my sister & I pointed out to my parents.  This had been the only time in 42 years that they'd been without a dog.  I also kept reminding them that the longer we waited there was a good chance that the weather might be seriously crappy while we were trying to housebreak a dog.  So while my Dad was really dragging his feet I have to say that I wasn't surprised when my mom called today.  So we headed back to Peoria to meet the dog.

As soon as we pulled up to the event I knew it was a done deal.  When we arrived my dad was sitting out front and the dog had her front legs wrapped around his arm and I knew he was done for.  She's somewhere between 4 and 6 months old and a Boxer Pittie mix.  We're actually the 3rd home she's had in that short amount of time.  Her original owners were not allowed to keep her because she was a Pit mix.  The 2nd home was her foster but it's still a lot of bouncing around for a baby.  She's a very sweet dog that loves giving doggy kisses and cuddling.  She's great during car rides.  She has a few behaviors that need to be worked on.  A few times today she has jumped up on the couch by jumping over the arms.  One of those times knocking me upside the back of the head.  She's also peed in the house twice but my mom's convinced she's done that  because she can tell the cat has.  The places she went aren't anywhere near where the cat has marked though.  She wasn't at all happy about being crated for the evening but for the most part she's a very good girl.

She's the first dog we've had that really likes toys so the trip to Pet Smart was a ton of fun.  I'm thinking she might be Princess Leia for Halloween!  She's really good with other dogs and she and the cat didn't mess with each other the only time they were near each other.  So far things are looking great!  The only hitch is a name.  The name she came with was Sasha.  That said she doesn't respond to the name and we're not crazy about it.  The problem is coming up with a name we all like.  PB wants to name her Rosie.  My dad and I like Wrigley.  My dad loves Maverick.  I wanted to call her Remington and call her Remi for short.  My mom has voted all those down.  Friends and family keep on throwing suggestions out there.  We've had several Chicago Cub and Chicago Bear names thrown out there but nothing is sticking so far.  Luckily if you want her and whistle she comes so I guess we have some time to come up with a name.

Without further ado please meet....Dog!  lol


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Meeting PB for the first time


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Chilling at home


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Sleeping between my parents. Aren't the ears adorable??!!!??

Friday, July 29, 2016

Who knew?

I knew that me being anemic was something to be watched and thought if I took my iron supplements that I'd be okey dokey.  There was one small problem in that plan.  It didn't have a back up if I lost a decent amount of blood.  When you're hemoglobin gets too low it really can become a problem.  A really, really big problem.  Like it can cause cardiac issues. 

A bit of back story.  My menstrual cycles had been worse ever since I gave birth to Princess Bear (PB) 13 years ago.  Ok, I figured that was just the way it was.  The past year or so it had gotten so bad that it truly had the ability to disrupt my life.  Once the anemia diagnosis was made last month I said enough and made and appointment to discuss things with the gynecologist.  I was a bit too late in making that call.  Last week my menstrual cycle was heavy enough to constitute hemorrhaging.  By Sunday night I was horribly dizzy any time I stood up.  On Monday PB had her craft class at Michaels and my dad was worried about me driving since I was so dizzy so he drove us there.  On the way there we were discussing my grandmother having anemia.  I guess she almost died after giving birth to one of her children.  Scary stuff.  My dad said in a completely off hand way that I should probably call the Dr. that I might need a unit of blood.  After craft class my dad picked us up and brought us home.  PB was supposed to have an orthodontist appointment later that afternoon and I just wanted to take a nap.  My dad bugged me to call the Dr. and the nurse after listening to how I was feeling sent me to the ER.  My poor dad kept PB with him and took her to her orthodontist appointment while my mom met me in the ER (easy since she works in the hospital). 

I got to the hospital around 1pm.  The nurse who helped me from the car noticed that my lips were white.  I was triaged within a few minutes.  Apparently when you're anemic they take it seriously.  They did a quick finger prick and said my hemoglobin was 5.9 (normal is 13) but said that the quick stick test is sometimes wrong.  They did an EKG which at the time I really didn't understand.  The resident game in and started talking about me having a decided lack of color and said that they'd get me in the back as soon as they could.  The ER waiting room was PACKED with approximately 50 people waiting to be seen.  They parked me next to someone and I was waiting for my mom to get there.  As it turns out they parked me next to someone my mom works closely with in the hospital.   She mentioned to us that she'd been waiting for over 2 hours.  We sat around and chat for awhile and in about 20 minutes I was called back to an actual treatment room.  Not the poor woman that had been sitting there sick for over 2 hours.  That was my first clue that things weren't ok.  By the time they got me in a treatment room and in a gown the actual blood test for my hemoglobin came back at 6.6  still bad.  They attending and medical student spent a ton of time listening to me with their stethoscopes and asked a ton of questions.  Did I have any chest pain?  No not really pain.  Some weird pressure.  Was I short of breath?  Yes.   Turns out that they detected a heart murmur and the blood work at shown troponin levels in my blood.  Troponin is the chemical marker that indicates cardiac distress.  My freaking hemoglobin was so low that it brought about cardiac issues! 

Then things get really interesting.  They have me sign all kinds of paperwork to agree to a blood transfusion.  Everyone and their brother is telling me that a blood transfusion will a) make me feel SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO much better and b) most likely clear up the cardiac issues.  Now I've got to admit that the idea of having someone else's blood in my body was a bit of a freaky concept.  Then I thought about the people I knew that had received transfusions with no problem and I was like bring on the blood!  I just wanted to feel better.  The resident told me that they were going to use 2 units of blood just to be on the safe side since I was still on my menstrual cycle.  So they do a blood typing and the blood bank sends the blood in a cute little cooler and it was game time.  Until the attending on call decided that he wanted to wait since my "numbers" seemed stable.  Mind you I can't walk anywhere by myself because I'm so dizzy, I'm short of breath and I'm still bleeding heavily from my period.  At that point I got a bit upset.  I was desperate to feel better.  My mom kept on telling me if I was upset that I should have the attending called to my room so I could ask him questions.  I said I'd wait and see and laid on the damn gurney watching the Cubs game.  My dad brought PB in for a visit just so that she could see I was basically ok.  Then it was back to waiting.  In addition to being dealt with from the medical team a gynecological team was called in.  They ordered a bunch of tests and started talking about things like a hysterectomy.  I'm really not big on cutting out body parts without very good reason.  I did agree that they could start a medicine that would hopefully make my menstrual cycle stop for the time being.  That didn't seem like a big deal. 

Around 7pm there had been a shift change and the new attending came in.  He simply did not understand why the previous attending had been waiting to start the transfusions.  In the amount of time I had been there my hemoglobin had dropped some more.  So it was back to the transfusion game plan.  Did you know it takes 2 hours to get one tiny bag of blood introduced into your body?  That's crazy!  Somewhere between the first unit of blood and the second it was decided that I was going to be admitted since I was evidently having some sort of gynecological emergency and they also wanted to make sure there wasn't any lasting damage to my heart.  That call was made around 8:45pm.  Then it was a waiting game for a room.  Sometime shortly after the second transfusion I started feeling better.  Much less dizzy and not short of breath!  WooHoo!  I was sent up for a sonogram around 10pm.  The sono tech could possibly be the sweetest person in the whole wide world.  She tried so hard to keep my mind off of everything.  I got back to the ER about 11pm and my mom said they had a room for me we just had to wait for transportation to take me there.  Cool.  Not even 10 minutes later the nurse came in and said that the bed had been given to someone while I was getting the sonogram.  Seriously?????  Finally about 12:45am they opened up the Short Stay Unit and I had a bed there.  It was also decided that another transfusion would be a good idea (that's #2).  

Fast forward to the next morning.  The gynecology resident who'd been following me came to see me at 6:45am.  It was decided that more meds to hopefully stop my period would be administered.  She also wanted general medicine to be following me since there had been cardiac issues.  My poor mom was in full on mama bear mode asking tons of questions and not backing down.  It would have been funny if I felt better.  At that point she'd been in the hospital for over 24 hours since she'd started work at 6am the day before.  The gen med guys decided that even though the heart murmur was no longer present and the troponin levels had dropped that an ECHO and heart Xray would be a safe call.  The guy that did my ECHO was so incredibly cool.  He said there and explained everything to me as he was doing it and telling me results of what he was seeing.  So nice to not have to worry.  My ticker is in great shape!  We still hadn't been told the results of the sonogram though.  We asked the Gen Med attending but he didn't want to give me the results since it wasn't his area of expertise.  Grrrr.  So my mom started asking when the Gyne attending was going to round so they could give me the results.  3 phone calls later she finally showed.  There was a 3cm mass of something in my uterus.  It could be a fibroid, it could be scar tissue from my c-section or it could be endomitriosis.  A biopsy is needed to find out for sure.  Oh one thing I forgot to mention is that the entire time my blood pressure was very, very high like 180s over 160s which is completely abnormal for me. 

My dad brought PB up for another visit on Tuesday.  I really think it helped reassure her that everything was going to be ok since she was allowed to visit me.  I was completely bummed out for PB because the library summer reading program party was that night.  My mom had been at the hospital with me for 36 hours.  I convinced her it was ok to go home and sleep.  My blood pressure seemed to be on the decline and I was much more stable all the way around.  So my mom left and she and my dad took PB to her swimming lessons and bribed her with dinner at the Olive Garden as a way to soothe not going to the library party.  Around 8pm the blood work that had been drawn a couple hours earlier came back and my hemoglobin had dipped into the lower 8s.  At that point the powers that be decided that another transfusion was a good idea.  So transfusion #3 was started around 9pm.  They also told me that I was being moved to a different room since they were trying to close the Short Stay Unit.  I was told that I'd probably be moved around 11pm.  Ok.  Not bad considering they moved my sister at 3am when she was there for something.  During the 3rd transfusion I started running a temp again so it seemed like they were checking my vitals every 30 minutes.  11pm came and went.  Midnight came and went and I still hadn't been transferred.  I was  so tired.  I did wind up getting transferred around 12:30pm.  I was sent to a cardiac floor since they still had cardiac telemetry on me to monitor everything even though all the tests had been ok.  It was so frustrating because the freaking leads came off all the time and I was always worried that the dang thing was going to go swimming when I went to the bathroom!

Wednesday was pretty low key until that days gyne attending came in to see me.  Although I talked to the resident about wanting to try one more day of the progesterone too stop my period he came in and announced that it didn't matter whether I was scared for birth control pills I needed to be on a double dose immediately.  He also announced that if that didn't work they were scheduling a hysterectomy for the following afternoon.  The Dr. was a complete a$$hat.  I tried explaining that I didn't want to be on birth control pills because one of my closest friends had been on them and had pulmonary embolisms.  He totally disregarded me.  I told him that I'd rather take out the 3cm "whatever" that was in my uterus before we did a hysterectomy.  He then proceeded to tell me that I was 42 years old and did I really want to get pregnant at this date and have a child graduating high school when I was 60.  Whether I do or not it really wasn't his call!  I was so pissed after he left the room.  I called me mom and filled her in.  She suggested calling my regular gynecologist and seeing if the idiot from the hospital would consult with her.

 Also somewhere along the line on Wednesday my hemoglobin dropped again so they decided that another transfusion would be a safe call.  I dozed off shortly after my transfusion and woke up later to my dad, PB and one of the Deacons that works at the hospital having a conversation.  My mom works in the the Pastoral Care department so anytime any of us are in the hospital there's usually a steady stream of visitors.  Deacon gave me a blessing and we all received Communion.   There is something deeply comforting about having your faith to fall back on in troubling times.  After the second dose of birth control pills my menstrual bleeding finally ceased.  Then the new focus because IVs.  The IV I originally received in the ER was in the crook of my elbow.  A few times during the day on Wednesday (usually while I was sleeping) the IV catheter became kinked and set off the alarms.  It also had been hurting me since it had been placed.  The nurse on duty thought that having one on the top of my hand would work out a lot better.  I was totally ok with that plan.  The nurse was a great stick and they IV placement was great.  It also meant that I could take a shower since I could hold my hand out of the shower!  I don't know when I've ever been so glad to take a shower!  I have extremely thick hair that is past my shoulders.  I'm still not sure how I washed it but I did- twice!!!!  In addition to my dad, PB and my mom visiting my sister came up to the hospital for about an hour.  I felt bad because it was my youngest nephews birthday and they'd been running around all day.  She brought some essential oils that were supposed to help stop bleeding.  I think I would have tried anything!  Sometime around dinner time that night the IV in my hand started backing up with blood and my hand because really swollen.  Not quite sure what happened but the IV had to be pulled.  The nurse on duty tried once to place an IV but couldn't get it to work so she called the charge nurse.  The charge nurse tried twice and it still didn't work.  This was in my right arm which usually has great veins!  At that point they decided to call in a crisis nurse.  Those are the people that are supposed to be needle geniuses.  She came in and basically swabbed my entire arm with alcohol and started poking around with her finger.   She decided that the best spot to place it was my upper inner arm.  Not exactly comfy but she did get it on the first try.  Then the orders came in to stop IV fluids.  I didn't need the freaking thing anyway!  They kept it in just in case I needed to start fluids again or would need another transfusion. 

My friend Kristy came in to visit.  She lives about an hour and 45 minutes from here.  I was so glad to have company that I could just relax with (my family was always kind of hovering wanting to make sure everything was ok).  Kristy and I just chilled and visited for a couple of hours.  It was nice to block out the lady that was in the other bed in the room too.  She was a very nice but not very with it old lady that would always lose her call button and yell at me to call the nurse for her.  She was also "lojacked" to her bed and any time she tried getting up an alarm went off.  She really liked to do that a couple of times per night!  After Kristy left my mom's boss came to visit for a little bit and then I completely fell out.  Me asleep by 10:30pm! Well around 12:30am the lady in the next bed tried getting up and set off all the alarms.  I was consequently up until 3:45am.  Thank goodness for YouTube! 

On Thursday my hemoglobin dipped again but was still in the 9s so I was discharged.  We didn't tell PB that I was coming home.  My mom picked me up and brought me home.  I was getting settled in my pj's when my dad & PB stopped at home to pick something up before going to Morton to babysit my nephews.  To say that PB was incredibly excited that I was home would be putting it mildly!  She saw me through the front window and I'm pretty sure the entire block heard the cries of "Mommy!  Mommy you're home!!!".  Things have been going fairly well since I got home.  I've slept a ton still and I'm having some symptoms that are freaking my family out.  I was still somewhat dizzy today and I have a temp that is slowly but surely rising.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it's not a big deal.  My dad drove me to the Dr's for a blood test earlier today and I'm really hoping that my hemoglobin is holding it's own. 

Who in the hell knew that anemia could cause so many problems?????

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Time to get political? Yeah, I think so!




Now I didn't get to hear Ted Cruz's speech at the Republican National Convention today.  Princess Bear (PB) had bible study.   I was somewhat upset because I wanted to see how Cruz was going to handle the to endorse or not endorse issue.  I'm so damn sick and tired of the politicians that will turn on a dime and endorse a candidate that they were trying to convince the US population was evil incarnate only a short time earlier.  It might get you a cabinet seat but it also makes you look like a shameless sell out.  I've got no respect for the likes of Chris Christie and Bernie Sanders that turned around and endorsed those that they'd been trying to take out previously. 

I had really hoped that Cruz wouldn't endorse.  I don't think we're done seeing great things from Ted Cruz.  In a perfect world in an election cycle or two there will be a Cruz/Gowdey ticket.  I'm glad that Ted Cruz didn't cut off his nose despite his face and sell out.  From what I've read online Ted Cruz was booed extensively when he did not endorse Trump.  I say good on him!  He obviously still cares a great deal about the Republican party and wants to serve the country but doesn't want to stand for something he doesn't believe in.  His stock with me went up.  In a day and age when it's so damn hard to respect politicians this man still has my respect. 

On a side note since I did take so many blog breaks this year I didn't get to post any pics from when PB and I were volunteer workers at the Ted Cruz rally here in Peoria.  It was one of those things that they called and asked if I could do it and I initially said no because it would have been a conflict picking PB up from school.   Then I thought about it and decided it could be a pretty cool experience for PB.  I text her teacher and asked what she thought of PB missing an afternoon at school to volunteer and she was completely on board.  So we got to experience it and I'm so glad that we did.  There were also some perks.  The first row of the rally was reserved for volunteers so we had great seats!!!  Consequently we got to meet him and get his autograph.  It had a pretty profound affect on PB.  She's become more interested in the history of the country and what is going on with the election.  She is not a Trump fan at all but is learning that sometimes you have to vote for someone you don't like in order to not lose something important such as Supreme Court control.  There is a TV series on Fox News by Bill O'Reilly called Legends and Lies.   Last year it was about the Real West.  This season it's about the Patriots.  PB is loving watching this show and I'm loving that she's learning!  Here are some pics from the Ted Cruz rally.



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500 + 1

Wow!  I didn't realize it but yesterday's post was my 500th blog post!  I really wish it had been a happier one.  My posting this year has certainly been hit or miss and mostly miss.  The biggest reason for that is some health issues that have popped up.  I'm trying my best to get things results.  I'm damn sick and tired of feeling sick and tired.  I'm still have big issues with my sinuses.  The referral is in for me to see the ENT and it can't happen soon enough!  Last week I had a sinus infection that morphed into an upper respiratory infection.  Hello Prednisone.  That led to some problems as well.  About 2 months ago I had a horrid migraine.  For a week afterward I had severe pain in my neck and up the back of my head and around my left eye.  After sucking it up for a week I went to the Dr.  Turns out the neck/head pain was from my sinuses (seriously could the be more of a pain in the a$$?!!?)  The Dr. was somewhat worried about the eye pain and did a neuro exam but things seemed fine.  They they decided that an emergency appointment with the opthamologist was a good idea.   So there I was was in the waiting room with my Dad & Princess Bear (PB).  My dad decided me driving after having my eyes dilated was a scary prospect so he drove.  I go back and am explaining why I'm there and they start doing stuff to my eyes.  At one point the nurse, tech, whatever the heck says I'm going to go ask Dr. something I'll be right back.  Ummm- ok.  Little hairs on the back of my neck raise up.  She comes in and says the Dr. said to go ahead and dilate your eyes and he'll see you then.  Ok.  So we're off and running.  Well it turns out that my IOP (intraocular pressure) was high like much higher than it had even been at my last exam just 2 months earlier.  The good news is that it had not affected the optical nerve but it was still dangerously high and I was in danger of losing my vision.  CRAP!!!  I kind of like working with all 5 senses.  The Dr. did some more tests including running this thing all over my all ball checking to see how my eye drains.  It's so freaking weird to know that something is on the surface of your eye and you can't feel it!!!  So the first course of action was to start eye drops that lower the pressure inside my eye.  I had some side effects so the timing was switched around but all in all the drops were ok.  It is a bit freaky when I use the drops every once in awhile the liquid from inside my eye really starts exiting and it looks like I'm crying.  I went in for a recheck 2.5 weeks later and the drops were working.  My numbers went from being in the 30's (I think both eyes were at a 32) to one eye being 22 and one 23.  Still high but the Dr. is happy with it and says that the immediate danger to my eyes is gone.  I'll have to be rechecked every 4 to 6 months for the rest of my life since this jump happened in a bit over 2 months.  Now I mentioned that being on prednisone kind of threw a monkey wrench in things.  Prednisone can do really wonderful things for the body but it can do really horrible things as well.  It does mess with the IOP so I have to make sure anytime I'm put on Prednisone it's very necessary.  As the nurse said respiratory does beat vision so there is that.  I was also diagnosed as being severely anemic.  When I saw my PA to discuss the ENT referral I was telling her that in spite of the Hashimoto's and my fibromyalgia being treated and monitored very closely I was still exhausted almost constantly.  She did some routine blood work and I asked her to check for anemia as well since I have menorrhagia due to uterine fibroids.  Ding Ding ding!  We have a winner!  What I also didn't know is that my grandmother was very anemic and had to get blood transfusions on a somewhat regular basis.   My hemoglobin came back at 7.4.  So I'm on iron supplements and a high iron diet.  My friend Susie reminded me that cooking in cast iron would also help so our skillet has been getting a good workout.  I go back for my follow up blood test the end of next week.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed!   There have also been some big changes with my fibromyalgia meds.  I was taking gabapentin which really was working for the pain aspect in a lot of ways.  I wasn't pain free but it was most definitely helping.  I did notice some nasty side effects and then my sister shared some information with me about what gabapentin does to your brain.  I may not have a whole hell of a lot going for me but my brain most definitely works well and I'd like to keep it that way.  So now the search for a drug that can keep the pain levels down while having a minimum of side effects including long term is on.  Again- keeping my fingers crossed.  So that is the current situation here.  Just hoping to get all the pieces lined up!

Monday, July 18, 2016

RIP Saint

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Today we lost this sweet, sweet soul.  I can honestly say that I've never had to deliver such sad news to Princess Bear (PB) before.  Yes, we also lost our Dalmatian, Spot, 6 years ago.  A few differences though.  Spot had been born deaf and didn't deal with fast movements well.  Therefore, on the whole, PB was not allowed much interaction with Spot.  The occasional petting but not much else.  I also think there is a huge difference between losing a pet when you're still pretty little versus having a dog for 13 years.  Saint (and this dog acted so Saint- like especially with kids) was very much a huge part of PBs everyday world.   She was responsible for Saints water bowl.  She would take Saint out to play in the yard whenever she could.  It brought about so many tough questions.  I still have no idea how to honestly explain cremation without scaring the hell out of my child.  She was very upset that she didn't get to see Saint this morning before my dad took her to the vet but I honestly didn't think this was going to be the outcome.  She did ask if I would take her to the vet and let her pet her one last time.  I didn't think since Saint was already gone that was a good idea.   Our vet did make a plaster print of Saint's paw for PB to have.  We have a few days to decide whether to decorate it or not before "baking" the print to make it solid.  She has already asked when Saints ashes are coming home.  She's working on making the cat bat shit crazy since she's mourning the loss of Saint and doesn't want the cat to be out of her sight.  Unfortunately the cat isn't a fan of most humans.  It killed me that she didn't want to come home because her dog wasn't here.  I know that in time she'll move on from this and start remembering all the little things about Saint that she liked or even made her crazy.  I just wish she didn't have to hurt in the mean time. 

Sunday, June 26, 2016

13! She's 13!

Princess Bear (PB) turned 13 on June 11th.  Where oh where has the time gone?  It was a bit tricky trying to get a date for all of the important people in her life to come together and celebrate.  Today was her birthday party and she had a ball!  It was held at Bass Pro Shop/ Uncle Buck's and they are so on top of everything and a good time was had by all!!!  Here's a  slide show:


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Sunday, May 29, 2016

Another one bites the dust!

Another school year that is!  I can say it was actually bittersweet.  Usually I'm so glad to have Princess Bear (PB) at home for 2 1/2 months and not worry about the bullshit happening at school or how broken our school district is.  This year she had a really good teacher.  Not great but really, really good.  One who tried so hard to work with each child's abilities and truly cared about the kids.  It was a very refreshing change.  Unfortunately that teacher is moving to NC.  The teacher from the class that they work in tandem with is also trying to find a job closer to home (She commutes 50 minutes each way).  It may sound awful but I'm hoping that she returns in the fall because the idea of this special needs program breaking in 2 new teachers literally is panic inducing.  My dad & I even discussed the idea of homeschooling PB for her  8th grade year if there are 2 new teachers.  I don't think that's in her best interest.  Let's just say that I'll be watching the situation very carefully.

There are a couple of things we do at the beginning and end of each school year.  Of course there are the pictures:




Then there are the surveys.  At the beginning of the year there are 3 different surveys I found via pinterest.  They are similar but different enough that its worth the time doing all 3.  Questions that PB answers herself about what she hopes for the school year, what her various favorites are, how tall she is and things like that.  Then there is a survey (just one) that covers the same things at the end of the school year.  It's so much fund to pull them out and see how her thoughts have favorites have changed as well as her handwriting throughout the year.

PB's summer is shaping up to be as busy as usual.  We are not babysitting my youngest nephew on Wednesdays this summer.  That might be the only disappointing part of it.  PB and Luke are very close and they really looked forward to their together time.  PB is going to be doing 5 of the 7 weeks at Michael's Camp Creativity this summer.  She's done there summer programs for the past 5 years or so.  The classes are Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 10am to noon.   It's $5 per class of 3 classes for $12 if you sign up in the store.  You can find more info HERE.  She's also starting private guitar lessons.  She took lessons through the park district last summer.  She had a ball but didn't learn very much.  She did meet a lovely girl, Kayla, so that's nice.  My mom and dad are sponsoring those lessons.  She has the first one this Tuesday.  She will have swim lessons twice a week and is continuing her piano lessons.  She did try to convince us that she wants violin lessons (Pretty sure this is because Pete's daughter Jillian from the Farm Kings takes violin lessons). We might add drum lessons into the mix since we still have most of the parts to my old drum set in the attic and my old drum teacher still gives lessons.  I did try to get her into crochet or knitting but that just won't work this summer.  Maybe in the fall.  The lessons started before school was out and were Saturday mornings.  Most Saturday mornings in the summer and early fall we hit one or two of our favorite farmers markets and then spend time putting food together to eat or freeze.  I'm also planing on doing more canning this summer.  PB says as long as she gets her fill in pickles she doesn't care.  PB still has Bible study once a week as well as youth group.  This year she is old enough to be a teen volunteer at VBS so she's very exciting about that.  I spend a lot of time working on my cross stitch projects this time of year since I'm spending so much time waiting for PB while she's doing her various stuff.  I'm working on a great Halloween project  right now and need to get some Christmas projects going.

So here's to another school year in the can and wishing for a great summer!  

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Luke Bryan made my daughter a happy camper!

Ok- I'll go into this more on a different post.  Sorry I once again disappeared.  My computer was in need of a major overhaul.

Now on to the good stuff!  This one is deserving a post all its own.  I touched on it briefly when I talked about the Luke Bryan concert.  We had contacted his management team but never heard anything from them.  Almost 2 weeks ago I went to the mailbox and there was a FedEx mailing envelope jammed next to our mail box.  The top was ripped open and I thought to myself "wtf???".  Bring it in and look at the address.  It's not any shopping my mom & I had done & I don't recognize the return address.  I reach into the envelope since it was already open and a personalized autograph from Luke Bryan is in my hand.  Considering that the mailer had been ripped open it was by the grace of G-d that the picture was still in there!  I honestly can't think of a time that I've been so excited for my daughter.  I actually considered pulling her out of school early that day so she could see it.  I held myself back and had it on our kitchen table turned over when she got home.   This is Princess Bear receiving her personalized autographed picture from him.




After I stopped taping she started turning all red and almost started crying.  She was thrilled beyond measure.  Her picture is now framed and in a place of honor.  It was cute when before it was framed my sister went to pick it up and look at it and PB was like "fingers!  Watch your fingers!!!!".  I'd heard that Luke Bryan is a stand up guy and gives back to his fans.  Now I'm thrilled to say that I know that.  

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

What in the bloody hell.....

are sinuses for and why are they such a pain in my a$$???  For real!  I've had chronic sinus problems since I was very little.  It's a familial thing.  My sister & I spent huge amounts of our childhood taking Dimetap when it was still a prescription drug.  I had my first sinus surgery when I was 19.  It's basically the equivalent of having your face roto rootered.  It sucks.  Then (at least back then) you returned 24 hours post op for the Dr. to take the packing out of your nose.  I still remember walking into the office & sitting in the exam chair and the nurse hands me a huge metal bowl.  I just gave her a WTF look and my mom turned her back.  The Dr then yanked out the packing.  Yeah- the bowl was very necessary as blood then started gushing, seriously gushing, out of my nose.  Good times!  So when they started telling me a few years ago that I needed to have sinus surgery again my stance become something along the lines of





Then about 2 years ago it got to the point that I was spending more time sick with sinus infections than not.  I was spending a ton of time in either my GPs office or the ENTs office.  It didn't matter what was tried but within a week of being off antibiotics I'd be sick again.  I finally agreed to do the surgery after our trip to Disney.  Yeah the trip that was 15 months ago.  Then my insurance changed and there was not an ENT within 2 hours.  So I muddled through.  I went to my GP last week for the 2nd time in the last 30 days for a sinus infection last Thursday.  She sent me for a CT scan.  The results are as jacked up as they were 2 years ago.   One maxillary sinus cavity is completely blocked and the other is partially blocked and has thickening from the previous sinus surgery.  I'd already started hounding my insurance agency about a month ago for the lack of Drs in my provider area.  I haven't been able to get into 3 specialist that I've needed to see.  Based on this last CT result and my harassing phone calls to my insurance company 1 Dr is now available.  The ENT.  I'm sure I won't get in quickly and if I have to wait until the beginning of summer to have the surgery I'm ok with that.  Princess Bear's (PB) summer schedule is busy but not as crazy as the school year.  Also with my dad being retired he can help with some of PBs summer stuff while I'm recovering.  On the upside I did find out that they no longer pack your nose like that anymore!  Something that is making the prospect of surgery a bit easier!  

My sister is having her thyroid surgery later this week.  My parents are going to be spending the night with my nephews.  I tried explaining it would make more sense for me to stay there since I've actually put them to bed any number of times but as it stands they're staying there.  Don't get me wrong.  My parents are wonderful Grandparents to PB and my nephews.  They just aren't the kind of Grandparents that keep the kids over night or spend more than a few hours with them.  Actually the last time it came down to them having to feed my nephews and get them ready for bed it lead to numerous phone calls asking me what they were supposed to be doing.  It should be interesting.  Oh- all of this is happening while my moms knee is hugely swollen.  She has an MRI tomorrow.  She can barely walk level surfaces so there is no chance of her being able to walk upstairs to put the boys down.  My dad because of the stenosis in his spine doesn't do stairs repeatedly well.  I'm thinking at the very least a great bottle of wine & some good painkillers are going to be needed.  

So that is the story here.  It's time to check out what's happening in the blog o verse and crash.  Take care!

Friday, February 26, 2016

This is the best we can do?

This one really will be a short one but I'm horribly frightened by the fact that the best 2 candidates this country can come up with are Clinton & Trump.  Now the fat lady hasn't sung yet so there is some room for variation, especially in the Republican party.  Unfortunately, most of the other Republican candidates aren't that much better. There are 2 that I can see backing.   Any of them are better than someone with blood on their hands but really?  This is the best we've got?  My friends daughter asked her the other day that once they moved to Canada after Trump won if she could have a snowmobile.  The child in question is 12 and has a better grasp of history, politics and the candidates than most adults do. Might have to see if we can get her to do some YouTube videos!  I can also say at this point I'm SO over the election already.  I'm hoping for a Republican shake up and if not just wake me in 2020 if there is anything worth trying to salvage of the Country.  Actually if Trump wins this year don't wake me until 2024 or 2028 when hopefully we get out of the Democratic control that will follow a Trump Presidency. 

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Stuff & such

So I said that Princess Bears (PBs) IEP went pretty well last month.   For the most part it really did.  I was worried that they would try to cut back on her minutes with the speech therapist but that wasn't even brought up.  I wasn't successful in getting her taken out of her science class but I'm considering fighting that again. I also mentioned that PB ways included in her IEP this year.  I wasn't completely happy with that but for the most part it was ok.  Until the very end of the meeting when they started wanting to make long term goals for PB to attend the local community college.  Now my daughter is convinced that she is going to go to college.  I could have killed someone.  These are the same people that within the hour had told me that it didn't really matter that my daughters math skills were around a second grade level since they were working on calculator skills with her.  WTF??????????   So in all future IEPs college plans will not be discussed until she's had a few years of high school and we can see where she's at academically. 

PB had her monthly orthodontist appointment today.  She's know rocking 3 different shades of green as her bands.  They also had her start wearing the stupid bands that go from your top teeth down to your back molars.  I hated those little fuckers.  Actually I was so stubborn that after one of those popped off in school I refused to wear them to school anymore.  I just doubled up at night.  Well, PB is in a fair amount of pain and her cheeks have puffed up quite a bit.  This  is when her being allergic to Advil/ NSAIDS really sucks.  She just came out of her room a few minutes ago begging to take them off.  I felt like such a bitch telling her no.  I did say that she could take them off in the morning and have a break until after school.  We were told that she should wear them as often as possible but absolutely at night.  I'm thinking that we might have to work up to daytime use.  The kid is such a trooper but this new glitch of NSAID allergies is really throwing a wrench in things.   She is looking forward to tomorrow.  Her class is going on a field trip to Steak n Shake.  She had planned on getting a regular meal but asked if she could have a large milk shake.  You only live once, right? 

Monday, February 22, 2016

Luke Bryan Concert

Oh my gosh you guys!!!  So Friday night was the Luke Bryan concert and it was AWESOME!!!  I had such a good time hanging out with Princess Bear (PB) at her first concert!!!

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We had great seats and got there in plenty of time since this was the first concert at the Civic Center with the new security measures in place.  It was kind of a mad house going in but wasn't as crazy as I thought it was going to be.  The big concern was if when they did the body scan that any of the plates, screws or other hardware from PBs cranial vault reconstruction surgery would trigger the alarm.  The head of security had already told me he thought it'd be ok and if not to have him paged to the entrance we were at.  Luckily it was not a problem at all.  Then we stood in line for 20 years to buy everything, ok almost everything, that PBs little heart desired. She had a budge of $135.  My parents gave her $75 for Easter and part of her birthday gift and I threw in some money.  She got up there and wanted a long sleeved t, 2 short sleeved t's, a baseball hat and a bracelet.  Yeah- she was $5 short.  It made more sense to me to give up the $5 bracelet but she decided to forgo the long sleeved t.  She was also a bit disappointed that I wouldn't let her get the only pink t shirt available.  It said Double Shot of Heaven on it and I'll be damned if my 12 year old is walking around in that!  I waivered back and forth on a khaki colored baseball hat for myself since there was some money left.  Opted not to get it and now I'm kicking myself.  Oh well.  There's always next time right?  We were there for both opening acts, Dustin Lynch and Little Big Town.  I like Dustin Lynch and good golly does the man have a strong jawline...yum!  PB and I both like Little Big Town so that was cool.  PB does this thing when she gets very excited and all her muscles become rigid and kind of freeze.  It's an excitement induced reaction.  It's gotten to the point that for years it's only been her face and we can get her to calm down very quickly.  When Little Big Town started playing Boondocks she got so excited that her whole body went rigid.  I started to worry but she was able to relax quickly.  All that kept on going through my head is that we weren't even going to make it to the Luke Bryan part of the concert.  Can't even begin to tell you how glad I was that it went away quickly!

It was so much fun to see a concert through her eyes!  She had me taking small videos & pictures throughout the night.


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I was loving what was going on with the screen during Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye.  It's always been one of my favorite songs.  As they started playing it on the screen there were two rings interconnected and then they shattered apart.  For the rest of the song it was the shattered pieces just spinning around all over the place.  Very cool!  "Love me like you loved me when you loved me and you didn't have to try....".  LOVE IT!  The screen use was also very cool during Roller coaster.  You hear all this clanking going on.  PB even looked at me and asked what was going on.  Hello?  How do I know?!!?  Sit back and relax.  We'll find out!  Then you see a roller coaster track and it starts going down the track.  Great intro!  Then it went into the video.  How freaking good looking is Evan Geiselman?  I think it's an unwritten rule that surfers need to be hot.  


Now I'm sure I'm aging myself here but back in the day during songs like this everyone broke put their lighter to start waving around.  Yeah- now you just throw on your cell phones flashlight app.  This song has been said to be a tribute to Luke Bryan's siblings that are deceased.  It's a great song but I did damn near lose it.  The concert was Friday night and Saturday would have been my friend Mike's birthday.  I'm sure I've talked about him on here before.  We went to school at WIU and stayed friends afterwards.  As soon as he graduated he became a Chicago Police Officer.  I'd been a bit weepy all week with constant thoughts that his birthday was coming up.  It was beautiful to see the Civic Center lit up like that.  PB loved the "stars" song.  




Mikey- that beer's for you baby.  It was even a Miller lite.  Miss you!



Play it Again & Kick the Dust Up are PB's favorite Luke Bryan songs!



This one isn't my video but my nephew wanted to know if they were in a cage. Lol!
Here Luke Bryan and Dustin Lynch are covering Brooks & Dunn Play Something Country

Here is Luke Bryan & Little Big Town covering Let's Get it On. Not every day you see Country stars covering Marvin Gaye!


I did get in trouble because the day of the concert PB wanted to make a poster and I wouldn't let her.  We didn't have time and I didn't want people behind us to get upset because of their view being obstructed.  She seemed ok with my explanation until we got to the concert and she saw some people with posters.  She also didn't understand why she couldn't just stand around after the concert until she could meet Luke Bryan.  We did try contacting his management company and my mom's best friend tried some contacts that she had at the Civic Center and meeting him was just not in the cards.  She did have a great time and walked out an even bigger fan of Little Big Town which is cool.  I don't think it would be possible for her to love "her" Luke Bryan more than she already does!  I'm just glad that she had a good time!