Monday, June 8, 2009

The last couple of weeks...

So I've been typing out the events that have occured over last couple of weeks far too many times, so I thought I'd put the details in one central location that I can just point people to so they can read up. I'm pretty exhausted all the time these days, so I'm not as interested in typing this all out over and over again anymore.

Now just a warning...if any of the people mentioned stumble upon this...nothing that I've said is meant to be bad mouthing ANYONE. I don't blame anyone else for situations that they find themselves in. I just want to clearly explain the situtations that I've been facing. Also...please ignore grammar. I normally care...but my emotions have taken over my I don't care at the moment.

Matt's had problems with his back for years. He had surgery in 2006, and has been on pain meds ever since. Of course, being on the same doesn't work as well anymore. He finally had another operation in April which was suppsoed to help. Nope. The pain kept getting worse and worse...literally by the day. I had SO many problems trying to get his medications the way that they were was like pulling teeth to be able to get more when we were following what was on the bottle religiously.

He had an appointment with his surgeon on June 1. More than a month after having another MRI, and 3 weeks after I contacted them letting them know that his legs kept giving out when he tried to walk. During that 3 weeks, he couldn't even roll over in bed without pain. If he were to be able to finally fall asleep...he would wake up if he accidentally moved at all in his sleep. Pretty frustrating, and irritating that they wouldn't move up his appointment.

So June 1st...we go in. The dr can immediately see how much pain he is in, and sets surgery for that Friday (June 5). I had taken the day off of work on the 1st because he had 2 appointments that day. That is the only PTO I had saved up from the time I took after his last operation (and putting together time I missed for his other appointments). So I worked Tuesday...trying to make up extra hours so that I would be able to miss work on Friday (or possibly work just half day). Around 4:30 Tuesday afternoon, I got a call from Matt letting me know that they moved his surgery to Wednesday. So now...not only do I have to figure out PTO for Friday...but Wednesday and Thursday, too. I talked with my manager and was able to work a few things out. I had a bunch of stuff to hurry and finish up before being out the rest of the week. 5:30 I got a call from Matt's mom asking me if I was almost home. She felt that Matt needed to go to the ER. I dropped everything and rushed home, grabbed my laptop and we took off to the ER, knowing that he'd be in for surgery the following morning.

They kept him in the hospital overnight for pain management, which didn't seem to help a whole lot. He was having problems with surges of pain that would shoot through his back. It got to the point where he could feel them coming...I joked around that they were like contractions. They gave him what they could...but it was really just to get him through until surgery.

They came to get him for surgery at 11:00 in the morning. My parents came to be with me, and we hung out in the waiting room. They said that once the operation started, it would be about an hour and a half. Around 1:45, the dr. came out to let me know that everything went perfectly, and that he should be awake in about another hour and a half or two hours. He had already been admitted the night before, so we were able to go up to his room to wait.

4:00 came, and we hadn't heard. Around 4:15, I went out to ask a nurse, and she let me know that they were giving him a shot of something that should help him wake up so he should be out in about another half an hour. around 5:15, a nurse came in to let me know that he wouldn't be coming back to this room, he would be going to ICU or PCU because the drugs from the ER the night before seemed to have just been lingering in his system, and they all hit him at once causing an overdose. They let me know that if he was going to ICU, that I would only be able to be with him for 10 mintues every 2 hours. Yeah, that didn't work for me. Luckily, they put him in PCU so I was able to stay with him. All the while...I still hadn't been able to see him. I was freaking out the whole time...I just wanted to see him. They finally brought him in at almost 7:30. He was out of it most of the night.

We made it through Thursday, but he was in a lot of pain. They, understandably, wanted to be careful with pain meds until everything was stable. He was also dealing with difficulty breathing, so he had a mask on which drove him crazy. I was just happy that it seemed he would be ok. Thursday night they took him back to the regular floor, and pushed him to do Physical Therapy. I left the hospital to quickly run to the store to grab a couple of things (I hadn't brought any change of clothes or anything to take care of myself when I ran out the door!). I figured it was good timing, because I couldn't bear to watch him in that much pain while they pushed him. He apparently *really* pushed himself.

Friday morning, the dr let me know that he would be going home on Saturday. After seeing how Thursday went, I didn't see how this would be possible! He was not doing well at all. He did pull a complete 180 on Friday, though...and by the time Saturday morning came around...he was ready to go home. He was in TONS of pain...but his breathing and everything was stable enough for him to go home.

We got home, and our bed had been moved upstairs. We were sleeping in the basement. His mom thought that it would be easier for us to be on the main floor so that he wouldn't have to go up and down stairs for anything. This is SO true...and that was very helpful. The only problem is...the mattress, itself, is all that had been moved. As soona s we got home from the hospital, I had to run downstairs and grab sheets and stuff to make the bed. I then had to start slowly lugging everything up the stairs to try to make him comfortable. At the same time, they had already brought the 3 kids back (we have them for the first 2 week stay of the summer) so I was trying to figure out food and everything for them. I was exhausted.

I forgot to mention, the rest of the family had been moving out the weekend before, so most of the furniture, food, everything had been taken. Luckily, the previous Monday I had done a HUGE shopping trip so that we would have food for while the kids were here. When we got home from said shopping trip, Gavin had gone missing. Long story, he has some trauma issues to deal with...but he was afraid because we were gone too long. He eventually came home, but there was another major freak-out for half an hour to 45 minutes. Back to talking about the house...there wasn't a single room that was really ready for us to take over, though, so nothing else was ready. I've since been trying to put things together so I have what I need to do basic things like cook and clean. I still have to somehow figure out how to get my furniture, etc here. My family (which is usually GREAT for helping) is scattered all over at the moment, and all kidns of busy. I can't ask his family, because they all have their own stuff going on. I'm just stuck.

Back to Saturday, I went to pick up Matt's prescriptions, and there was one that the pharmacy didn't I had to drive out to another pharmacy to get it. On the way back from there...Matt's car broke down. Did I mention that my car was already broken?? They brakes are horrible...and I had been trying to take the car in *forever* before the surgery...there was just never a good time.

So here we are with another broken down car (this one not even it's sitting on the side of the road). Luckily, a guy drove by and saw Tyliegh attempting to push the car (she's *tiny* but we didn't really have any other choice to try to get it off the road). The guy stopped, and luckily he wasn't creepy and there were a few things about him that made me feel better (I know still not perfect...but I didn't feel like we had a choice) so he drove us home. Later that night, my parents tried to help out, but there wasn't much they could do. Yesterday, Matt's dad and brother tried to tow it with a chain...but there wasn't anything for them to hook the chain there the car sat.

This morning, I got the kids up and got them breakfast, got Matt his drugs (and set him up for the rest of the day in case I didn't make it back), and came down to Les Schwab to get my brakes taken care of. I called to have someone tow Matt's car (which they can't do until I can get back up to the car to leave a key), and arranged to have it fixed. How? I'm not sure. I just found out that my car is going to cost $700. I'm afraid to hear what his will end up being. Not to car will take the better part of the day. No one is available to come get me or take me I've now been sitting at Les Schwab for over 3 hours just waiting. I know I have a couple of hours left, too. I called the kids to make sure that they could get lunch together. I've been on the phone all morning getting power, gas, etc all changed over to my name for the house.

I took today off so that I could be at home and make sure that I could get everything set up for everything to run smoothly while I worked the rest of the week. Now I haven't even been able to be at home. I know Matt isn't doing well, because he's just watching everying that I had to do...and he feels useless because he can't do anything while being stuck in bed. This makes me feel like I can't tell him anything, because he's already stressing out. I just want him to feel better.

Oh! I got so caught up in Matt's back stuff that I didn't even get the chance to mention the condo. So I finally signed with a realtor to sell my condo. One of my brother's friends. He understood that the condo wouldn't be my first priority. It was my understanding that he was waiting for me to email him some pictures of the condo before even listing it. He called me the Friday before all this started (May 30) to let me know that he had shown it to aboout 4 - 5 people now, and that it would probably sell better if I could get all of the clutter out. Uhm...WHEN?!?!? and WHAT?!?!? I didn't even know he would be showing it! I would have NEVER agreed to ANYONE seeing it the way that it was!!! *sigh* So with the help of my parents and Julie & Roger, we took 3 carloads down to the house. We then went back, and with the help of Julie & Roger and Jen & Casey, we were able to fill up my car and Roger's car again, and took those 2 loads down. I then found out that the realtor called my brother on Sunday and told him that he needed to "get his sister to clean her condo". Excuse me?!? What right does he have at ALL mentioning ANYTHING to my brother?? Not to mention...again...I didn't even KNOW that he was showing it to people! Luckily, my brother called my mom and told her instead of telling me, directly. I would have lost it. Too much going on already (and at that time...all that was going on was getting ready for the surgery on Friday!)

So...craziness. Here I sit still...waiting for my car. Knowing that there's SO much that still needs to be done at home...and nothing I can do about it. Knowing that I have SO MUCH time to make up at work...and there's nothing that I can do about it from here right now. I just feel stuck and like I'm just wasting time. It's driving me crazy.

So really?? I'm just done. I can't take ANY more. (I finally got out of Les Schwab after almost 4 hours...and it's now 11:52 at night and I'm trying to make myself go to sleep because I *have* to work tomorrow!)

Saturday, May 23, 2009

I just don't understand

There are some things I just don't understand, and I'm convinced that I never will.

I took Friday off to hang out with Matt and one of his old Army buddies who stayed with us for a few days. It was really nice to sleep in and everything, but we didn't really get out to do anything until that night. We did finally make it to see Terminator Salvation then to dinner. Because we didn't get out until late, we got home after the kids had gotten there. We walked down to the basement, and this is what we had come home to:

Now, many people have tried to warn me about Matt's ex-wife. I've been told over and over again about how the kids are raised at her house, and I do see a lot of her (and her husband's) influence on them...especially on Gavin. He came home with the first earring a couple of months ago, and after the first weekend here with the earring he didn't wear it again. He got made fun of by most of the people in the house. Earlier this week, Tyliegh came over to work on some school projects with me and the boys came with her. All of a sudden, Gavin had 2 earrings instead of just the one...and both boys had the pink hair *shakes head*. I asked how long it's supposed to last (hoping to hear it was some spray in stuff or a kool-aid job) and found that it'll last 6 weeks. Seriously, HOW is this a good idea in ANY mother's mind for 9 and 11 year old boys?!? Tyliegh has a pink streak, too, but I didn't get a picture. I'll have to work on that tomorrow.

Of course, we discussed the need for it to be fixed. We were discussing whether we should opt for more dye or a buzz, and decided that a buzz would be more appropriate. The boys were reluctant, of course, but we have found that bribery works. With Halo 3 for Gavin and Sims Castaway for the Wii for Owen, we were able to convince them to let me buzz them. I'm not going to lie, it was kinda fun for me. I know it's pretty difficult to mess up a buzzing so it's really no big deal, but it was the first time I've ever done it.

One more before shot:

Then off to work:

In the end, they both still had pink splotches, and we're still deciding how to handle that...but this is at least better than it was.

They're happy on the inside....really...

I think one of the things that bothers me the most is remembering conversations with my mom regarding her "problem kids" that she taught. In describing some of them, I remember her mentioning earrings and erratic hair (mohawks, etc). I remember thinking that I couldn't believe that some parents would do that to their kids at such a young age. Never in my life did I think that my kids would be facing the same things. Those weren't the things that made the kids out to be "problem kids" but the parents who would allow their children to make such unnecessary changes to their appearances at such a young age seemed to be the same parents who would raise their children in ways that would lead them to troubled behavior. These kids do have a tough life, and aren't living under the best of circumstances. They do already identify with this stereotype and their mother doesn't really take responsibility. I just hope that I can be enough of an influence and example to help them out before it's really too late.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

2 years down

I can't believe the day almost ended before I realized it. It's one of the most important decisions I have ever made, and has become overtaken so much of my daily life...that I haven't been paying much attention to when it all began.

2 years ago I had my gastric bypass. It's amazing to see how much life has much *I* have changed. I definitely would not still be in the same place without it. Many people call it "the easy way out". My response to that is that "almost guaranteed" and "easy" are not the same thing. Anyone who has been around me after my stomach randomly decides it doesn't like something knows it's not easy. Matt always asks me if it's worth it. It's a trade. I traded the difficulty that being overweight brought to my life for other inconveniences and pain. For me, it was the best trade I could ever have made. I had already done everything that I could before making that trade. Of course it would have been better had "eating less and exercising more" been the easy answer. Most people who know me know how much I love to be active and how little I really did eat. I actually end up eating a LOT more these days (which isn't a good thing...something I need to work on). I can only eat a small amount at a time...but there are times when even just half an hour after getting "stuffed" I'm actually hungry again. This, of course, wouldn't happen if I ate the way that I "should" but I'm working on it.

So here I am...2 years later...and 180 lbs lighter. We all know I hate showing it...but for the sake of showing how far I've are my before, 1 year ago, and today photos:

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

I am participating in Walk Now for Autism

Please join me in my fight to make a difference in the lives of the more than 1 million Americans living with autism today.

I am participating in Walk Now for Autism to help find a cure for autism. Autism is the second most common developmental disorder in the United States affecting one in every 150 children born today. Despite some promising discoveries, the cause of autism is unknown and a cure does not exist. Research is crucial. Every 20 minutes another child is diagnosed with autism. Not only must we find ways to improve the quality of life for children and adults with autism, but we also must find a cure, and soon.

Walk Now for Autism is our chance to make a difference in the fight against autism by raising money for autism research and heightening public awareness. Please join me in my fight as I raise money to help fund essential research. You can donate to Walk Now for Autism and/or join my team online using the links at the bottom of this page. Donations can also be mailed to Autism Speaks using the donation form located on my page or send me a check made out to Autism Speaks.

Follow This Link to visit my personal web page and help me in my efforts to support Autism Speaks

Thank you for taking an important step in the fight against autism.

Donations are tax deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law.
Autism Speaks 501 (C)(3) Tax Id #: 20-2329938

Matching gift program: Many companies provide their employees with matching gifts. Please consult your employer on its matching gift guidelines and attach matching gift forms accordingly.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

I'm NOT dreaming of a white April!

I know, it's been too long. Things have been just crazy!

Speaking of crazy...the purpose of my post today is to whine. Now in checking my calendar, I see that it's April. The kids are home because it's SPRING Break. There have been little snow/rain storms here and there over the last couple of weeks, but nothing has really stayed. Imagine my surprise when I get up and ready for the day and look out the window and see this:

That's just NOT right. I grabbed my stuff and headed out the door to find that I couldn't get out of the driveway. In APRIL. So, I called in to let my boss know that I would try again later, then came back to my room. I then, of course, had to grab my camera and go back to take some pictures :-)

Monday, January 26, 2009

Breast Cancer Awareness

I promise, a "real" update will be coming soon...relatively. In the meantime...

I know that most of our lives have been affected by someone that we know who either survived or lost their fight with breast cancer. I was recently recruited to donate a basket of goods for people to bid on at a fundraiser. I'm looking to make the "filler" at the bottom of my basket a little more meaningful.

One of my random hobbies includes making various candy wrappers (I know, it doesn't sound terribly exciting...but I love it!) This is where you all come in :-)

I'm looking for names and/or messages that I can include on wrappers for Hershey's miniatures and Hershey's kisses to fill up the bottom of the basket. Please either respond to this note (keeping in mind that responding is public) or send me an email with names of or messages for survivors or those who battled the disease. If you know of anyone else who might be interested in contributing, please feel free to have them email me at
Thank you all for any help you can give!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Headless Groom?

No, this post isn't about MY groom being headless...I just needed to vent. Far be it from me to post a negative eBay experience, but gah! Seriously?!? I don't understand some people!

For those of you who were able to attend my wedding (or just looked at the photos), you may have noticed the beautiful 8" LLadro of a bride and groom that my friend sent from New York. Now you all know how Lladros are in our I'll skip that part. My mom saw it and fell in love with it. I was able to find one on eBay ending the next day, and ended up winning it for $46 (plus $6 $52 total). YAY!! I won it, paid for it...we're good to go.

Fast forward about a week. I stop at my condo to get my mail, and have a 7"x7"x6" box waiting for me. Strange, I can't think of anything that I ordered that would be this size. I look at the return address...and the name sounds vaguely familiar. I start thinking it's the person I won the Lladro from...but that's impossible, right? A 7x7x6 box for an 8" Lladro? No....

Sure enough, I open the box and see a packing slip from my PayPal payment for the Lladro. *blink* It's in the box diagonally. Well...if the seller was somehow able to pack it well enough and have it still fit diagonally...I guess that works. I start unwrapping the brown paper that is around it. Paper. Not bubble wrap...not styrofoam...paper.

I got down to one layer of a bubble wrap style bag (where half of the bubbles are deflated) and I start to hear a clinking sound. Uhm...that's not good. No...really...when I got the Lladro out of the bag, the groom's head was missing. It was, of course, found at the bottom of the deflated bubble wrap. Hrm.

So I email the seller...inquiring about the 7x7x6 box for an 8" Lladro...knowing that surely she must have suspected that something could happen with a packing job like that. I feel that I was extremely nice in the email considering the words that I WANTED to use to ask about it. The response I got back? On Christmas??

"I am so sorry to hear that it broke. I often ship things that size in a 7x7x6 box, as it fits perfect on an angle and I always wrap it well, as I did. Since you did not take the optional insurance, I'm sorry I can not do anything about it. So sorry....."

*blink* seriously?!? So...I can start selling things...and if you don't purchase the $2.00 insurance then it doesn't really matter how well I pack the item to ship. I just don't understand what goes through some people's minds. I was also surprised to find that she stated that she often ships things in that size box. In reviewing her feedback, I see that she has sold a lot of high end items....but none that were breakable. I can understand shipping an 8 inch purse in a smaller box...but a Lladro??

Ok, I'm done. It's sad, my first post after so long really should have been about my wedding, or Christmas...but sometimes it just takes something THIS confusing to get you riled up enough to type it all out :-)

Where are we now? I sent her a reply letting her know that lack of insurance would be a good enough excuse if it appeared that the package had been mishandled by the USPS, but where the box was barely bent? If I had purchased insurance, the USPS wouldn't cover damage for an item that is poorly packed anyway. Luckily I paid with PayPal, so I'm covered either way. I just hope that she'll be willing to work something out before I have to go that route. I don't want to be the icky mean-spirited buyer...but in this case? I'm trying to be ok with at least expecting the seller to be fair :-)