Saturday, August 9, 2008

I've Moved

If you'd like to come visit my new home, either click on this link www.leesaslife.wordpress.com or if you are too tired to click, just wait 5 seconds or so and the page will redirect you automatically. See ya there!!!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Stressed Out


Stress. This seems to be the topic of many a blog post here recently. I am also hearing it from several people that I've run into in stores, at the bank, etc. What is causing so many people to be in maximum overdrive here lately? And, how do you react to it when you hit that point?

When I'm stressed out, I like to just get away from it all. If it is business that is stressing me out (and believe me, being self-employed is a major stress factor in and of itself!), I close my office door, turn off the phone and don't think about it. Family member causing me grief? I go into another room and chill. I know this doesn't "fix" the cause of stress, but it gets me away from it long enough to at least keep from losing my mind or going ballistic on a customer, which I have done before. I'm not proud of it, but at the time it sure felt good. lol

Some other forms of stress relief that I use are:

1) a nice, long, hot bubble bath. There is just something about warm water, bubbles and candlelight that calms me down quick.

2) dancing. If I'm super stressed, I need to get some of that energy out so I find the fastest paced song on the radio and dance it away. Yeah, I look silly and I've had several family members actually walk out of the room, but you know what? I felt better by the time I was finished.

3) alcohol. Ok, you knew that one was going to be on my list. I try not to resort to a drink too often, but there are just some days that require a good stiff drink. I prefer mojitos, but have been known to slam back a few shots of whatever is available at the moment too. I don't get rip roaring drunk, but there is enough alcohol in my bloodstream to calm me waaayyyy dooowwwwnnnn.

4) sex. Yep, that is a wonderful stress reliever. No explanations needed!

5) and finally, blogging. Sometimes I just need to get my feelings out in the open but there isn't anybody around to actually talk to so I blog. There is something really calming about putting those feelings down on paper (or on the computer screen). It is almost as though a weight has been lifted and you can actually feel the stress drifting away. I don't always post what I've written. I might be in jail now if I actually posted some of the things I've thought about doing to a few certain people when they've stressed me out:) Just writing them down helps to relax me.

Ok, those are my top five ways to relieve stress. What do you do when things get to be too much for you to handle?

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Shaken...Not Stirred

When you have a herniated disc, it probably isn't the best idea to ride in a truck without good suspension for 4 hours. I went with hubby last night to take his truck to be serviced. I've never ridden in one of his work trucks before so had no idea what I was in for. Let me tell you, I will not be riding in another one any time soon. Every little bump sent me flying off my seat, a good 4 inches into the air! Who knew that I needed to wear a sports bra to ride in one of his trucks either! Ouch!

The trip back home wasn't as bad. I guess either that side of the highway wasn't as bumpy or I was just getting better at absorbing the shock myself. Regardless, I was very glad to get home. This morning I'm so sore I feel like someone took a ball bat to me. Not fun. I'm hoping a good long time in the pool this afternoon, floating and just relaxing, will help a lot. If not then look out tonight because many, many mojitos will be on my menu.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Where Did All the Time Go?

Wow, tomorrow is the beginning of August already. Where in the world did this summer go? I have a feeling what remains is really going to fly by. I checked my calendar yesterday and there is one week of August already that is completely filled in. It's not even fun stuff that it is full of, darn it. It's doctor's appointments, school registration, work stuff, etc.

I think I will take a week that has nothing scheduled and make a fun one out of it. How does "Mon-meet girls for margaritas, Tues-spa for massage, Wed-lunch with best friend, Thurs-coffee with mom and Fri-date night with hubby" sound? Yeah. I thought so. Sounds good to me too.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Finding out today

Today is my doctor's visit to finally find out what is going on with my back. I leave in one hour and will fill everybody in when I return on what Dr. Wilson tells me. I hope it is decent news and not something along the lines of "well, we did all these tests and we really need to do this test now because the first tests didn't tell us what we need to know". I've been that route already. I want answers this time!


Update: Well, I am in shock. So much so that I almost forgot to post this update. I went to see the dr. as I said earlier and didn't get good news. It's nothing life threatening or anything, just frustrating. I do indeed have a herniated disc at either L-4 or L-5, I can't remember which he said. Normally, for this they would go in and do a discectomy, but since I'm lucky to have two rods in my back this won't be happening for me. Actually, NOTHING will be happening for me. Why? Because the herniated disc is underneath the lower rod in my back and there is a ton of bone that has fused that rod to my spine that they'd have to drill through and remove along with a lot of scar tissue. Dr. Wilson said that he wouldn't even want to try to go in and fix the disc because more then likely as soon as he took bone or scar tissue away from my spinal column there would be fluid leakage...a lot of fluid. Not good. He also said that he'd have to reposition the rod and that could cause nerve damage or possibly paralysis. He also told me that the lower rod is no longer attached to my spine, but that has nothing to do with the pain i'm having and really won't cause me any problems because it is encased in the bone so at least that was one kind of good thing to come out of this visit. He did say that 90% of people with herniated discs have them heal on their own within a year. I hope I'm one of those 90%. I do feel better then I did over Memorial Day and the numbness isn't as bad as it was back in April so that's good. Maybe that is a good sign? I hope so. Since the disc is already herniated, he didn't recommend physical therapy. He did say that they could try to go in and give me a steroid shot, if I wanted, but after he told me HOW they would do that I refused to have it done. Nope, I'll live with it. Unless it gets much, much, much worse, I will just live with it.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Attack of the Frogs

When I was a little girl, I was a true tom boy. I played in the dirt, jumped ramps on my bike, played hoops and just did things that it wasn't common to see a little girl do. I also liked to explore the woods by our house and would almost always come home with a toad or two that I'd found in the creek.

Fast forward to my teen years and adulthood: I really outgrew the tom boy stage. Probably about the time I discovered that boys weren't as icky as I'd thought they were. I started wearing makeup, fixing my hair, stopped playing in the dirt, jumping my bike or shooting hoops and I definitely quit collecting toads, bugs, etc. Actually, I started acting the part of the girl who was afraid of them! Not my true self at all...or so I thought.

A couple of nights ago, my husband and I were in the pool, just enjoying a nice relaxing evening, when all of a sudden I see a tree frog peek out from underneath the pool ledge. I immediately got OUT of the pool. Don't get me wrong, I don't mind frogs. I just don't want to be as close to them as I used to be. The tree frog decided to serenade us with a song, but the weird thing was that when he started singing another frog peeked out from the ledge, then another frog, then another frog. I'd never seen anything like it.

Next day, my daughter and I decide to hop in the pool again. I knew the frogs might still be there, but the heat won out and I got in anyway. My daughter is just like I was when I was younger. She'll pick up a frog, praying mantis, bugs of any sort, no problem. She decided to check under the ledge and see if the frogs were just up under there hiding, staying out of the sunshine. Sure enough she found one and decided to catch it with the net we use to clean the leaves out of the pool. I told her not to, but she didn't listen, saying the frog would just jump into the net and she'd toss him out into the tree row. Let me just say that my daughter was not my favorite person that day. She cornered that frog and he jumped, but not into the net. No, he jumped into the pool! I immediately grabbed the legs of my swim shorts because you know the first thought I had was that the stupid frog would swim up into them and go exploring! Thankfully he didn't, but I must have made a pretty funny sight because my daughter busted out laughing. She was laughing so hard that she couldn't concentrate on finding the darn frog, which only made me more paranoid. After what seemed like hours, she finally calmed down and did find the frog, caught him and tossed him into the tree row. She said she'd look for others, but I forbid her from doing that. Needless to say, I had a hard time relaxing in the pool that day.

Yesterday, we decided to swim again, but this time my daughter got in first and took all the froggies out so I didn't have to deal with them. Like I said, I don't mind them, but I do NOT want to swim with them at all.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Doing My Part to be a Little Greener

I've been trying lately to do my part and be a bit greener for the environment. I'm sure a lot of you are doing the same. I've not done anything big, like get an electric car or something, but have been doing small things like switching my light bulbs to CFL's (compact flourescent), reusing paper that has only been printed on one side as scrap paper, just stuff like that.

Well, we also drink a lot of bottled water, which I KNOW is a big waste of materials, so I've been looking into buying some reusable drink containers to use instead. I have heard a lot about Klean Kanteens lately. They are stainless steel water bottles.

Stainless steel has fewer known health risks then aluminum containers and these are 100% recyclable and machine washable! They come in several different sizes and are really durable, which is fantastic for me because I'm constantly dropping things. lol

I've checked their website and think this will be my next step in going a little bit greener. How are you trying to go green? Leave some comments and let me know.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Wanna See What I Saw?

Ok, after much time spent on the computer, I think I've finally gotten the majority of our Chicago pictures downloaded, edited and ready to see. It took forever to do because I had three different cameras to get them from. I had pictures that I took with my digital camera, which isn't the best and has no zoom capabilities, my daughter's digital camera, which is awesome and does have zoom, and my cell phone, which has zoom, but very poor picture quality. So, some of these pictures are awesome and others are pretty poor. Forgive me for the bad ones. I wasn't going to download them, but it was actually easier to just select all my photos then it would have been to go in and pick and choose. Anyway, to see my pics just click on my Flickr badge in the side bar. Enjoy!

Monday, July 7, 2008

We're Back


Our Chicago weekend is over and, truthfully, I'm glad. It was nice to get away from home/work, but it was also very nice to return to our normal routine. Vacations, to me, are supposed to be relaxing, but this one was anything but. We were on the go the entire time. Hubby woke up early Sat. and Sun., woke me up, woke the kids up and then we were off. The only time I got to actually relax was on Friday evening when we first got there. My back was bugging me so he took the kids out while I stayed in the hotel by myself for a whole hour. Woo Hoo.

We did see a lot of stuff, but hubby was in such a big hurry to see EVERYTHING that we didn't actually look at anything for very long. Like I said, Friday evening he took the kids out to Navy Pier. They stayed one hour. Not nearly long enough to enjoy themselves or see everything they wanted to see. Saturday morning we went to Shedd's Aquarium, again stayed for about an hour and a half, only making it about a quarter of the way through the entire building. It was easily something that if we'd wanted to do so, we could have made an entire day out of it, but hubby got tired of looking at "fish tanks" and wanted to leave. After there, we went to Sears Tower, went up to the observation deck and looked around. Didn't stay there long either. Stopped to eat lunch at Giordano's Pizza. Let me just say YUM! It was the most delicious pizza I've had in ages. After eating, all I really wanted to do was go back to the hotel, but we'd told the kids that we'd take them to the beach so off we went. We got there and the kids took off, hubby and I spread out our towels on the sand and sat down. I could have easily spent the remainder of the afternoon there, but after a couple of hours hubs was all set to go again. Back to the hotel, cleaned up and went back to Navy Pier to take one of the boat tours they offer. We hopped onto the Seadog, which was a speedboat tour. Fun stuff, but not nearly long enough. I thought that might have been something that would kill the rest of the day, but nope, half an hour and it was over. Back to the hotel and I was finally able to sit down and relax. My back and legs told me about all the running we did too. All night long, I had leg cramps and a throbbing back. Not fun.

We got up about 9:00, Sunday morning and got ready to go. Hubby was just itching to get back home. I guess I was ready too. At least I knew once we got here, he could go about doing his own thing and I could actually relax in the pool.

Well, the pool idea didn't come to pass. When we got home, we unpacked and then I went to check the pool to see what temperature it was. Walked out and the pool was filthy. From all the rain we got Thursday and Friday mroning, the bottom was just covered with dirt. The water was clear though so I guess that was good. I swept it out, but after doing so and checking the chlorine levels found out it was reading zero on chlorine. I added all the chemicals needed and came in, figuring it would be good to go swimming today. No such luck. It is raining this morning and the pool is now green, a sign of not enough chlorine still, so putting more in and will maybe get in later if the rain stops and the chemical levels are ok.

I feel like I need a vacation now to recuperate from our weekend vacation!

Friday, July 4, 2008

Happy 4th of July


As I type this, I'm actually on my way to Chicago. I just wanted to go ahead and wish everyone a wonderful 4th of July. Enjoy the day with friends and family, enjoy the fireworks this evening too.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Getting Ready

Today has been spent getting things ready for our trip to Chicago tomorrow. I did a small clutter busting mission throughout the house this morning since my mom will be coming back Saturday to feed and visit with our kitty. I have started a list of things I want to pack. Haven't actually started packing yet, but as long as I have my list it shouldn't take long. Did a small load of laundry this morning to wash up some outfits that my daughter wanted to wear this weekend. Checked the batteries in my digital camera (they were dead so bought new). I even made a few small snacks (popcorn, pretzels, crackers, etc) to take in the car for the road trip so we didn't have to keep stopping for munchies or drinks. It's only a 5-6 hour drive, but I'm sure someone along the way will say they are hungry or thirsty.

Later this evening, I will also be attempting to color my hair. At the moment, I have several gray strands peeking through and I really don't want them "peeking" out in any pictures that might be taken of myself this weekend. I don't like having my picture taken anyway, let alone with a skunk stripe of gray running down the middle of my head so will get that done tonight.

I am really hoping that my back doesn't decide to flare up on me and bother me this weekend. I'm worried that the long drive up to Chicago will set it off or that the different bed Friday night will make it to where I can barely stand up straight Saturday morning. I already know that I'm not going to be able to do a lot of walking before it starts hurting. I tried doing some yesterday and it didn't take long at all before pain started shooting down my leg. I even tried walking laps in the pool, but only made it three times around before it hurt there too. So that is going to limit some of my sight-seeing fun. My daughter did let me know that Navy Pier rents out wheelchairs, but I really don't want to do that. I'm not disabled, I just have a pinched nerve and I would hate to take a chair that someone else might need worse then I do.

Anywho, I should probably get off here and finish up some more stuff. I'll be sure to fill you all in when we return on how our trip went. As for now, I hope everyone has a wonderful 4th of July weekend!

Monday, June 30, 2008

Finally Figured It Out

After much, much, much debate on where we should go this upcoming 4th of July weekend for a nice, albeit short, vacation, we have finally decided on the Windy City...yep, Chicago here we come.

I was beginning to think that my family was never going to agree on a location. We had places ranging from Tampa to San Diego to Galveston...all of these are plane rides away and would require a bit more planning on my end to accomplish. We also had Lake of the Ozarks, Kentucky Lake, Chicago, and Nashville on the list too, all within driving distance and much more doable, in my opinion, for a 3 day weekend.

All of these places would be nice to visit. I'd love to actually make it to every single one of them eventually. BUT...when you only have 3 days and really don't want to spend a lot of time either driving or a lot of money to fly, well, a 3-4 hour trip is just so much better.

I think we will be able to accomodate every person's vacation desires by going to Chicago. My daughter wants a beach/ocean view...well, there's Lake Michigan for her. My son wants fun stuff, like amusement park rides. Well, hello, Navy Pier!! They have a huge ferris wheel just beckoning him to test it out. My hubby's desire was good food. Hmm, Chicago and food? Yeah, I think he'll be pleasantly surprised with what he can find to tempt his taste buds in good ol' Chicago. Myself, well, I didn't really have any one thing that I wanted in a trip. Mine was more a combination of a water view (again, the lake), fun stuff to do (all types of attractions) and being able to spend a nice weekend with my family and not having to worry about work. I definitely think that one is doable.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Just Some Summer Fun Stuff

Been busy here so just thought I'd post a few blogthing quizzes for you to try. Have fun!!!




You Should Spend Your Summer at the Beach



You're a free spirit who is always thinking of new ways to have fun.

And you don't just love summer... you live for it.

So, you really should blow off your responsibilities and head to the beach!






You Are Strawberry Ice Cream



A bit shy and sensitive, you are sweet to the core.

You often find yourself on the outside looking in.

Insightful and pensive, you really understand how the world works.



You are most compatible with chocolate chip ice cream.






You are Platform Sandals



Funky and urban

You've got a cutting edge style that everyone envies

A little bit downtown, a little bit euro, and whole lot of sexy!





What Your Flip Flops Say About You



You are a very sweet and sensitive person.

You connect with other people easily.



You're the type of person who feels bad about killing bugs.

You hate to see anyone - or anything - in pain.



Your ideal warm weather place: Thailand






You Are a Classic Bikini!



You are the type of gal who looks good in almost any bikini.

Going for the understated look, you don't need a flashy bikini to turn heads.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Thank God It's Over

I never want to go through another ct scan again! The ct scan itself wasn't that bad, but the preparation, the nervousness and the crap i dealt with afterwards was for the birds. When I woke up yesterday morning, my stomach was already doing flip flops. By the time I got to the hospital, my hands were shaking so much that I couldn't sign my name legibly and I thought I was going to pass out. I made it through registration though and they took me back to radiology to wait. I kept telling my mom that I hoped it took forever to call me back, but unfortunately they called me so fast I didn't even have time to get comfortable. Dang, don't they know people are supposed to WAIT in a hospital? Geez!

They took me into this big room with several different curtained areas, each containing a hospital bed. The told me to go into one where I had to get into a gown and then they started on the blood work. That was NOT fun. Even though I'd drank enough water to replenish an entire lake the day before, it seemed, apparantly I was still dehydrated and every time they'd find a vein to put my IV in, it would collapse. Lucky me now has exactly 11 little holes with 11 not so little bruises in her arms!

When they finally got the IV in, the nurse took my blood pressure. I was so nervous and worked up at the point, my bp read something like 166/85! The nurse kept asking me if I had high blood pressure and I kept telling her that normally I don't. It didn't sink in to her what I was saying though. When the doctor that was going to do the myleogram came in though, he realized that I was pretty nervous and he offered to give me some good drugs to calm me down. NOW, we're talking :)

Once they gave me the feel good drugs, I didn't have a care in the world. I didn't feel them insert the needle into my back for the dye, I didn't feel them flip me over onto a different table to wheel me into the ct lab, I didn't even care when they went to take me to x-ray and my IV tube got caught between the gurney and was just about ripped out when they transferred me from it to another one. Nope, didn't care at all.

After all that fun stuff was finished, I got to lay flat on my back for 2 hours. They were nice enough to feed me lunch, but that was a real pain to do laying flat on my back. Mom helped though so I managed to get some food into my rumbling stomach. All this time, the nurses kept checking on me to see how I was feeling. I told them the only problem I had was a bit of nausea. Not a problem, they said, it would wear off. Okie dokie.

I laid there for 2 hours pretty much staring at the ceiling. They had tvs in the room, but I couldn't see the darn things in the position I was laying. I tried to sleep, but every time I closed my eyes the bed would start spinning so I kept them open. When the two hours were almost up, the doctor who did the myleogram came in and said that to him it looked like i do indeed have a disk problem, but he wouldn't go into detail because that "isn't his area of expertise". But, at least now I know that I don't have some big tumor or a alien being growing in my tailbone.

After the 2 hours were up, mom and I started the drive home. I thank God for my mom every day, but yesterday I thanked him doubly. If it weren't for her, I don't think I'd have made it home. The nausea got the best of me about halfway and I ended up getting sick. Not fun, but mom had came prepared. She knew from past and personal experience that vomit was a huge possibility after any type of stay in the hospital and had stocked her car with a big bucket, wet wipes, breath mints and bottled water. She was never a girl scout when she was younger, but she rocked the "Be Prepared" motto that day.

I finally made it home and was so thankful to get into my own bed. Drs. orders were to stay in bed the remainder of the day and believe me, I was very happy to comply. I think I slept longer yesterday then I have since I was a baby. I didn't even hear my husband come to bed that night. I was dead to the world.

When I woke up this morning, however, I was sore. Not just sore at the injection sight, but sore all over, like I'd been hit by a truck. My arms hurt, my back hurt, my sides and my legs hurt. I just felt like crapola! When the nurse called from the hospital this morning to check in on me, she could tell by the tone of my voice that I wasn't feeling right. I told her what was going on and she said that was probably just from laying around all day yesterday, but to keep an eye on it and if I got worse to call back. Thankfully, I'm feeling much better now. I am still sore and I am still moving slow, but I'm almost back to normal....well, as normal as I can get anyway.

Now the waiting begins. I hope that someone cancels at the neurologist so that I can get in sooner then July 24, BUT I'm also dreading that appointment because I know that the possibility of surgery could come up. But, I will just go with it when it happens. i can't change the results so why worry about them now, right?

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Scared Sh**less!

Ok, today is the day....ct scan with myleogram. My hands are shaking so bad that I can barely type this. I don't know why I'm so scared. People take this test every day with no problem. Why do I think that I'll be that 1% that has complications? I don't know. Fear of the unknown? Yeah, that's probably it. I have to leave in about fifteen minutes, will be there for approximately four hours, then should be home around noon or so. I'll fill everyone in on how it goes. Wish me luck. And while you're at it....anybody out there want to take my place? Please?!??!

Friday, June 13, 2008

More flooding

My previous post was about the flooding we are dealing with here in my little town, but today's post is about flooding in Cedar Rapids. My best friend in the whole wide world lives in Coggon, IA, just a few miles northeast of Cedar Rapids. Thankfully, her home and her family are all ok. The Wapsi River crested today and never did flood into their property. The Cedar River, however, has overrun the town of Cedar Rapids. Her husband works in Cedar Rapids and according to her email to me this evening, there is only one route left to even get INTO Cedar Rapids at the moment that isn't covered by water. The major highways are all closed and at least 83 of the 99 counties are considered disaster areas. She also told me that a lot of stores like Walmart are out of bread, water, milk, etc. How scary is that? Here are just a few pictures, compliments of Yahoo Images:

this is an OVERPASS! There is actually a road that goes underneath that bridge.
a train track that goes over the Cedar River that the flood waters have almost covered
View of downtown Cedar Rapids. That is I380 running through the middle of the picture. They closed that road at 6pm tonight and say it might be closed for a week.
A view of the one of the downtown streets. It almost looks like Venice with all the water!

Monday, June 9, 2008

Flooding

Here are a few pictures of the major flooding that is taking place around the area from the record 9-10" of rain we received Friday night/Saturday morning.











The scary thing is that there are no rivers by the houses that are flooded in these pictures. This is all from ditches, heavy rain and SMALL streams in the area! I don't have any pictures of the actual rivers that have flooded and overflowed their banks.

I'm Glad I Don't Live Back in the 30's

50

As a 1930s wife, I am
Average

Take the test!



Want to see how you would have done being a wife back in the 1930's? Check out the quiz.

I agree that marriage is a holy union and that husbands and wives should put each other first, but some of the questions in this quiz were just downright stupid. I respect my husband and try to make our marriage a happy one for him and for myself, but has to work both ways.

Friday, June 6, 2008

One of those days

Ever had one of those days where all you want to do is pull your hair out? Today's been one of those for me. I won't go into details, but I will say this...I despise days like this!!!!

Give me a mojito and a warm bubble bath, leave me alone for a few hours and I should be fine.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Neurologist Visit

I went to see the neurologist today. After many months of waiting, it was finally the "big day". I picked up my mom (she went along for moral support) and we were on our way. I got there about 20 minutes early and after checking in, the nurse led me right back to the exam room. No waiting at all, which was a very nice surprise. I was only in the exam room for maybe 10 minutes when the doctor came in. First thing he did was introduce himself then sat down and asked me tons of questions about the pain, how long it has been going on, what type (burning, stinging, stabbing), location of pain, etc.

He then went to the physical exam. He did the reflex thing where they hit your knee and I tested fine there. I also did fine on the other reflex tests that he did. I did not do well on the strength tests he had me do. I couldn't move my leg forward when he was pushing against it and I couldn't straighten my leg out in front of me when I tried before it started hurting. I also couldn't walk without a limp or without leaning forward, which he noticed as soon as I got up from the chair to walk to the exam table.

Results from this appointment were inconclusive. Dr. Wilson said he couldn't read the mri from all the hardware that is in my back. He said that the metal showed up wonderfully, but the spine/discs/etc. were so blurry that it looked like the pictures were taken underwater. So, he scheduled me for a ct scan with myleography. I was hoping I wouldn't have to have that done, but I go in June 17th for that. This is where they inject me with iodine and take pics that way. I will have that done then go back to see the neurologist at the end of July. That's the soonest they could get me back in. Argh! This means another 2 f***ing months before I know anything! I was a bit peeved afterwards, but what can I do? I knew I wouldn't get any definitive answers today anyway, but it is still annoying.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Tomorrow's the Day

I'm getting a little nervous about my doctor's appointment tomorrow. I know that there is the possibility of surgery being discussed, but even though I'm prepared to hear it, I don't want to hear it. I've been trying to keep extremely busy this weekend to keep my mind off of it, but that is hard to do when you can't move around a lot.

It's been a girls only weekend for my daughter and I. Hubby and son went to Delaware to pick up a new truck. Yes, they travelled halfway across the US to pick up a stupid truck, but hey, it was cheap and in excellent condition so, according to hubby, that made it worth the while. Anyway, I've really enjoyed the bonding time I've had with my daughter. I love that we get along so well and she feels comfortable enough to talk to me about certain things. I know I don't have much time left with her living here at home so I'm stockpiling as much "us" time as I can get. Oh, back to the earlier subject. This is what I've accomplished so far:

We worked on the pool for a little bit Friday evening, what we could do anyway without a lot of water. We pulled the winter cover the rest of the way off and got it all cleaned up and stored away. (she did the heavy lifting, I supervised. lol). We put the ladder in, cleaned out the leaves and dirt the best we could, etc. We have all our pool stuff out on the deck now so it looks really summery out there. Now to just get the water in the pool so we can start enjoying it.

Yesterday, daughter and I went shopping and just enjoyed the morning. Her friend came over that afternoon to finish studying for finals and then last night we all went out for pizza. Another nice evening. Today I'm doing laundry and I'm sure daughter will help out as much as I need her. Hubby called earlier and is on his way back. He's almost to Ohio and said he should be here by 6pm. We'll see. So far, he's made pretty good time.

So, tomorrow is the day. Like I said earlier, I'm nervous. Maybe I'll drink my way through today to keep my nerves calm. Hmm, actually that sounds like a wonderful way to spend a Sunday. I'm off to mix me up some pina coladas. Yummy!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Damn It!!!!

Just went out to check the pool cover to see if all the water had been drained off only to find out that we have no water INSIDE the darn pool now! Seems that we had what the pool supply company is calling "the bathtub effect" take place. In other words, as the water on the cover got heavier, it pushed the water inside the pool up and under the top rail, between the walls and out onto the ground.....all.....winter.....long. Now waiting on the water hauling service we used last year to call me back with a price quote. I know it's going to be way more expensive this year since the cost of fuel has gone up so much. What do you do though? I bought that pool to swim in during the summer, I'm not going to just let it sit there.

EDIT: $35 per load plus $65 per hour, averaging 3 hours per load. That is the quote from the water hauler. I know when he first filled the pool, it took 4 loads. I figure this time will take at least 3 loads. That is going to come to around $690! It only cost us $500 to fill it completely last year!

What does this mean?

I went to pick up a copy of my MRI today so I can take it to the neurologist on Monday. When I got the copy home, I had to look at it just to see what my spine looks like and found a note in with the films. It was a letter to my regular doctor stating the findings on the MRI. I'm doing some digging online to see what some of these words mean, but here is what was said:

At L4-5, disc desiccation is present Huh? What is desiccation? I looked online and this is what I've found so far.

This means "atrophy" or "drying out" of the intervertebral disc, resulting in loss of height. Spinal discs are normally rubbery round pads that are filled with a jelly-like substance called the nucleus. Normal disks are well hydrated, the nucleus containing 80 to 85% water and the anulus about 80%. Together with the cartilaginous end plates of the adjacent vertebral bodies, the intervertebral disk forms a disk complex that gives structural integrity to the interspace and cushions the mechanical forces applied to the spine. Dessication is often considered the first stage of spinal degenerative changes, and no longer provides the cushioning necessary between vertebrae.

Ok, so that would explain why I'm half an inch shorter now then I was when I was younger.

Metallic artifact at this level creates limitation of evaluation of patency of the canal Ok, I know what metallic artifact is. I have two steel rods in my back along with several pins and screws from my scoliosis surgery. But what is "Patency of the canal"?

Looks like this is talking about the narrowing of the spinal canal. Apparantly, the metal is making it too hard for the doctor to tell if there is any narrowing of the spinal canal here. Patent means the pathways are clear. I hope mine are.

And finally:

The canal and neuroforamina are patent at L5-S-1 Again, this looks to have something to do with the narrowing of the spinal canal. The neuroforamina is the neural opening. Again, patent means open so I guess this mean that the neural opening is clear and there isn't anything bulging into that space? Now I'm more confused then ever. The only thing I figured out for sure was that first paragraph about the disc desiccation. Everything else is still a muddled mess in my head. Guess I'll just wait and see if the neurologist can explain it better to me in simple English.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Happy Hump Day

I'm so far off on my days this week since Monday was a holiday. All day today I've been trying to say it is Thursday. I guess I'm trying to get my doctor's appointment here faster. I mentioned in yesterday's post that the doctor rescheduled me for this coming Monday, June 2nd, so I'm very happy that I don't have to wait until next Friday now. That's a few less days of suffering that I can look forward too. I know that I'm not going to go in and get instant relief from the doctor, but I am hoping that he can at least come up with a solution for me. I'm even OK with the idea of surgery now. I had said in the beginning that I would not go through another back surgery, but after seeing how much pain I was in over the weekend and the total lack of mobility that I had, well, let's just say that my mind has been changed. Plus, I talked to my brother in law, who had surgery for a ruptured disk a few years ago and he is fine so what do I have to worry about. Right?

I also talked to a relative of my sister in law who's daughter had disk surgery just this past year. She was telling me about microdiskectomy, which is what her daughter had. It's all done through a teeny tiny little incision so no major scars and very little time in the hospital, if any at all. The doctor that I am going to be seeing actually does this as an outpatient procedure! I've done a bit of reading about this option and, if I would have to have surgery, this would be the one that I'd hope to have. Let's hope it doesn't come to the surgery deal, but if so I'm prepared. I have also read up on the lumbar disk surgery so know what to expect from that too. I guess I won't know anything though until my doctor's appointment.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

It's Over Already?

Did I really have a 3 day weekend? It sure doesn't feel like it. Maybe it's because my back was out for 2 of those 3 days and I didn't get to enjoy the time off work like I'd wanted. Yeah, you read that right. My darn back was out. It started bugging me Saturday, but not enough that it stopped me from doing laundry and other chores. No, it waited until I got up Sunday morning, the day of my brother's picnic, to really kick in. I was able to take vicodin and at least get up to my brothers, eat lunch and visit with family a little, but I was so spacey that I didn't really enjoy myself. We ended up leaving early and coming back home. I thought that rest would help me feel better, but by the time Sunday evening got here I was to the point that I just wanted someone to shoot me. I couldn't stand up. I couldn't sit down. I couldn't move without my back sending shooting pain up my back and down my legs. I finally just took another vicodin and a celebrex and went to bed, hoping that I felt better Monday morning. No such luck though.

When I got up Monday, I "thought" I was feeling better, but then I bent over to pick up a pair of pants and my back completely went out and I ended up on the floor. Talk about painful! I don't know how long I laid there before I finally just told myself that I had to get up. I managed to pull myself over to the bed and lug my big ol' butt up off the floor that way. I spent most of yesterday on the couch, sipping banana rum and watching tv. I didn't move a lot at all because every movement sent sharp pains in all directions.

Thinking that a hot bath might help, I had hubby help me into the tub later that evening. It felt good while I was in there, but then I had the fun of trying to get back out. Major mistake on my part. It took several minutes to even haul myself up to a kneeling position, then to standing. I had to have hubby physically lift me over the side of the tub because I couldn't get my leg up high enough without pain. Talk about embarrassing! It's one thing to have your husband sweep you lovingly into his arms, but to have to haul your naked butt out of the tub because you can't move, well, let's just say it isn't the most romantic thing.

Later that evening when I went to bed, I decided to seek a bit of help from the man upstairs. I wasn't looking for a huge miracle cure, just enough help to get me moving again. I have a doctor's appointment next week. I can deal with the type of pain I'd been having in the one leg (numbness, some throbbing, etc), but I just could not deal with the inability to move and do my daily things. I just kept repeating over and over until I fell asleep that I needed help.

When I woke up this morning, I really didn't figure I'd feel any different and when I first rolled over to shut the alarm off I did still feel twinges in my lower back. But, I got up and slowly made my way to the bathroom...no problem. I got dressed...no problem. I walked out to the living room...still no problem. I think it is safe to say that I got my little miracle. I still have pain in the right leg and it is still tingling and sort of numb, but the pain in my left hip/lower back is pretty much gone today! I'm taking it easy and not over doing, for fear that I'll mess it up again, but at least I'm able to walk out to the car, even if it is slowly. I was able to drive into town, get some work done online, etc. I hope beyond hope that it stays this way....at least until my doctor's appointment next Friday.

EDIT: Got a phone call from the neurologist this afternoon to let me know that the doctor wasn't going to be in next Friday. I thought, "great, how much longer am I going to have to wait now", but I was pleasantly surprised to hear that they wanted me to come in this coming Monday, the 2nd, instead. Yay! Less time to wait in pain. I'm very very happy.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

I'm back...I think

Did you miss me? I am finally back. I finished up the billing only to end up sick as a dog for a few days. Started feeling better from that and then my back started acting up. To end it all, I had a killer migraine yesterday that totally threw me for a loop. I accomplished absolutely squat the entire day and so today has been a day of playing catch up. I think I deserve this 3 day weekend coming up although I've already been informed that we'll be doing yardwork and getting the pool ready so I guess I'll still be working. Blah!

Monday, May 12, 2008

I'll be MIA for awhile

Had a good Mother's Day. I hope all you other mom's out there did too. Weather sucked, but spending time with the family was awesome. I'll be super busy this week getting this months billing finished up so I can get it sent out by Thurday. I hate this time of the month. That is until all the checks start rolling in. Then it isn't so bad. Anyway, just wanted to let you know if you didn't hear from me for a while then that is why. Later All!!!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

The Big 4-0

Today is my birthday...the big 4-0. I must admit that I wasn't looking forward to this day. For the past year, I've been teased about turning 40 and it was starting to get to me. I got up this morning, however, with a good attitude and guess what. It's actually made the day pretty good. Oh, and the gifts helped a lot too. HA!

My daughter gave me two cds:





I had lunch with my mom,


And hubby sent me these beautiful flowers:


Hubby is also saying that there will be dinner out tonight and my son also has a gift for me, but he said I had to wait until he gets home from school today to receive it. All in all, a good 40th. I don't know what I was afraid of.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Cinco De Mayo


Happy Cinco De Mayo to those of you who celebrate. I have always wondered what the origin of Cinco De Mayo was, being as I'm not of mexican or chicano descent. I did a bit of online digging and found some interesting facts. If you want to read the entire article, click HERE. Otherwise, here are just a few interesting facts that I'd like to share:

1. Cinco De Mayo marks the victory of the Mexicans over the French in the Battle of Puebla, demonstrating to the world that Mexico and Latin America would defend themselves of any foreign intervention.

2. Cinco De Mayo is more commercialized now in the United States then it is in Mexico, and is more of a Chicano holiday then a Mexican one.

3. People of Mexican descent in the United States celebrate this significant day by having parades, mariachi music, folklorico dancing and other types of festive activities.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Socialspark


Hi all. As some of you know, I am self-employed with my husband. We run our own business out of our house. That is fine and all, but there never seems to be enough money coming in to pay our bills. So, I've been looking at alternative ways to earn money, mainly by utilizing this blog. I am already a member of several pay to write websites, but am always on the lookout for more. I wanted to let you all know that there is a new one out there. It's called SocialSpark and it is awesome.

It is similar to the other websites, but this one is better in so many ways. First of all, they offer the following code of ethics:

-100% Audit-able In-Post Disclosure
-100% Transparency
-100% Real Opinions
-100% Search Engine Friendly

It's a super easy website to use. You know how some websites you just feel lost when you get there? Socialspark is definitely not one of them. This website is easy and to the point.

It's a great place to meet people and make friends. That's the "social" part of the whole thing. I love meeting new people online!

Obviously, another great deal with this website is that you can make money. I like that you can do it in your own time and in your own home.

But, I think, the biggest thing about Socialspark is that it drives traffic to your blog. You can search blogs on the website and others can search yours. You find some fabulous new reads and you get tons of traffic to your blog in return. More traffic equals more opps to write about equals more money in your pocket. So, why not head on over to SocialSpark today. You'll be glad you did.

Sponsored by SocialSpark

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Woo Hoo!

I knew that my hubby had talked to someone about getting our deck built around the pool this year, but I had no idea that he'd already made plans for them to do it. This is what I came home to today:


I'm so excited! No climbing out of the pool on a wobbly ladder this year. No chance of slipping and breaking my neck on wet plastic. No grassy feet getting into the clean pool water. Yay! This deck is attached to our other deck by the walkway that you can see in the second picture. The deck by the pool isn't huge, but it is big enough to set a couple of lawn chairs or a chair and side table on. It'll be so nice to be able to climb out of the pool and sunbathe if I want this year. Or, if I don't feel like getting into the pool, I'll still be able to sit out by it and enjoy watching the kids swim. I'm just so ecstatic about this whole surprise. Now it just needs to warm up enough so I can enjoy it.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Happy Birthday Baby Girl




Happy Birthday Baby Girl. Hard to believe she is 17 years old today. Boy has the time flown!!!

Randomness

Stolen from Crazy Lady in Vegas, here is a random bit of silly for your day.

60 questions answered with 1 word

1)What is in the back seat of your car right now? junk

2)When was the last time you threw up? 2007

3)What’s your favorite word or phrase? craptastic!!

4)Who made you smile today? Mom

5)What were you doing at 8 am this morning? driving

6)What were you doing 30 minutes ago? peeing

7)Favorite board game? scrabble


8)Have you ever been to a strip club? nope

9)What is the last thing you said aloud? hello

10)What is the best ice cream flavor? chocolate

11)What was the last thing you had to drink? soda

12)What are you wearing right now?clothes

13)What was the last thing you ate? chinese

14)Have you bought any new clothing items this week?nope

15)When was the last time you ran?pfft!

16)What’s the last sporting event you watched?football


17)If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?Hawaii


18)Who is the last person you sent a comment/message on myspace? nobody


19)Ever go camping?once

20)Do you have a tan? no.


21)Do you use smiley faces on the computer a lot? Depends


22)Do you drink your soda from a straw? Sometimes.


23)What did your last text message say? bye

24)Are you someone’s best friend? yes

25)What are you doing tomorrow? working

26)Where is your mom right now? home

27)Look to your left, what do you see? phone

28)What color is your watch? silver

29)What do you think of when you think of Australia? koala

30)Ever ridden on a roller coaster? No

.
31)Do you go in at a fast food place or just hit the drive thru? drive

32)Do you have any friends on myspace that you actually hate? possibly


33)Do you have a dog? No

34)Last person you talked to on the phone? Josh

35)Have you met anyone famous? Yes

36)Any plans today? dinner


37)Are you happy?Yes


38)Where are you right now?work


39)Biggest annoyance in your life right now? sciatica


40)Last song listened to? Get Stoned (oops, two words)

41)Last movie you saw? bad

42)Are you allergic to anything? lots


43)Favorite pair of shoes you wear all the time? sketchers


44)Are you jealous of anyone?nope


44)Are you married?yes


45)Is anyone jealous of you? possibly


46)What time is it? 3:29


47)Do any of your friends have children?lots


48)Do you eat healthy?sometimes


49)What do you usually do during the day?work


50)Do you hate anyone right now? no


51)Do you use the word ‘hello’ daily?Yes


52)How many kids do you want? two


53)How old will you be turning on your next birthday? 40(!!!!)

55)How did you get one of your scars? scoliosis

57) When was the last time u got ditched? ???

58) Did you like school?? sometimes

59) Is it natural for someone to be sad all the time??no


60) Do you smoke? no

Monday, April 28, 2008

Prom 2008

My daughter had her junior prom Saturday evening. She said she had a lot of fun. She went with a bunch of her friends. Hard for me to believe that she is old enough to be going to prom. It seems like I should still be that age. It hit me hard when she was all dressed and ready to go Saturday. She looked so grown up. What happened to my baby girl? When did she become a lovely young woman? Here are a few pictures that I took before she left for the night. I'll have more once we get them downloaded to the computer. For now, though, here is my lovely not-so-little girl. Enjoy!!


Thursday, April 24, 2008

This and That Update



I noticed that I hadn't written for almost a week and figured I'd better post to let everybody know what's going on here.

Thankfully, things have calmed down some. My son is doing much better. No more neck pain and his knee is pretty well healed too. My back is still giving me problems, but I think it will until I get in to see the doctor in June. At least I can function. There for awhile I couldn't do much of anything because it hurt to sit, stand, lay down and everything else. I wasn't sleeping at night and was totally exhausted which really didn't help the pain either. So, although I'm still hurting, it isn't as bad. The part that scares me the most is that my leg is constantly numb on the outside now. It just makes me wonder how much damage I have already done to the nerve and how much more will there be by the time I get in to see the doctor. Will it even be fixable by that time? Scary thought. My daughter had to have another appointment with the doctor for her knee. She wanted to send her to an orthopedist, but after finding out that our insurance wouldn't cover it (benefits of being self-employed strike again!) she said that physical therapy would probably help just as well and we should go that route first. My daughter is now doing knee strengthening exercises twice a day (here at home) to see how that works. If it doesn't then obviously the orthopedist will be called, but if it does work then that's great too.

Hubby is going to a biodiesel seminar this weekend in Nebraska. With the price of diesel going through the roof, he's decided that we have to do something to cut costs or we're going to go out of business. Already, he's paying almost $4.15 a gallon for diesel. Our big trucks (all three of them) easily take $300 each time we fuel them up and that is usually once each day. Plus we also have two smaller ones that top out over $150 each fuel up. We don't run those every day, but still it adds up when we do. He'll be gone all weekend for the seminar so no relaxation for him:(

My daughter has her junior prom this weekend. She's been busy all week, helping to decorate for it. She's getting excited. She is going with a bunch of her friends so it should be really fun. I'll post pictures when we get them back afterwards. I just hope the weather holds out and it is a nice day/evening for the activities. Pictures always look so much prettier when they are taken outdoors. Right now they are saying there might be rain this weekend so we are all keeping our fingers crossed that it doesn't.

Guess that's it. I'm so happy to finally not have a major catastrophe or illness to write about.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Was that an earthquake?!?!?!

Yes, Yes, it was an earthquake! Here in Illinois, at approximately 4:40am this morning, we had a 5.2 magnitude earthquake. I didn't realize what was going on at first. I was in such a deep sleep (thank you vicodin:) that I thought my husband was getting out of bed when I first felt it shaking. That changed quickly however when the pictures on the walls started to rattle and the cat and the kids came running into the bedroom. It lasted for around 35-45 seconds, but felt like an eternity. Nothing like what happens in California, but still scary to say the least.

It started shaking again about an hour ago (9:30am), but didn't last as long, ten seconds maybe, and didn't produce the same rattling and shaking feeling. I was on the phone at the time though and the person I was talking with said she could feel it too, but it lasted a lot longer for her. Maybe she was closer to the center? I don't know. What I do know is that I don't want to feel the earth moving under my feet anymore today or in the near or even distant future. Too scary for my liking! If interested, you can read more about it here. Just click on the side where it says Magnitude 5.2 Illinois April 18, 2008.


UPDATE: Seems like the majority of people that I talked to today about the earthquake thought the same thing that I did...that someone was shaking their beds to wake them up. My mom thought that was what was happening, so did my dad, my aunt thought it was thunder, my uncle thought it was their furnace acting up. Found out today that this was actually the third earthquake I've experienced. I knew that I'd experienced one back in 1987. I remember that one. Scared me almost as much as this mornings did, but it was afternoon when it happened and I was home with my dad so he made me feel a little safer. Anyway, my mom said that I also experienced one back in 1968 when I was but a wee babe of 6 months of age. Mom said that she had just put me down for a nap when things started shaking. she immediately picked me up and ran outdoors, not knowing what to think. Of course, it stopped after awhile and things were calm after that. Well, almost all was calm. I guess since mom woke me up from my nap that I decided it was play time. She said I didn't go back to sleep that afternoon at all. Hmm, kind of sounds like how I was this morning. No way was I going to go back to sleep after almost being shaken out of my bed.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

In Need of LOL

After the past few weeks that I've had, I really needed some cheering up, some cuteness, some laughter. My daughter had told me about a website called I can has cheezburger awhile back and I thought now was as good a time as any to check it out.

I'd actually seen a few of these pictures on Facebook under lol cats, but I didn't realize that there was an entire website dedicated to the adorable things. Here are just a few that I loved and wanted to share with you all.







Aren't they just adorable? If you want to check out more of them, just visit icanhascheezburger.com.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

You've GOT to be Kidding!

A sore back and sciatic nerve problems I can handle. Falling on my knee and banging it up also I can handle too. My kids both having knee problems, again, doable. But yesterday, when my son said his neck popped and he couldn't move, that wasn't so manageable.

Actually, it scared the shit out of me! Waking up to the words, "Mom, Matt is crying. He said his neck popped and he can't move" isn't the most enjoyable way to start out a Monday morning. We are still befuddled as to how he did it because all he said he did was reach out to turn off his alarm clock. He said he felt something tear in his neck then it popped and he couldn't move from the pain. His first thought was that he'd broken his neck. Thank God that didn't happen! We called the ambulance though for fear of taking him in my car that it might do more harm then good. He was in the ER from 7:30am until almost 1:30pm and was diagnosed with a cervical strain, similar to whiplash. Again, no idea how he did it, but we're all relieved that it wasn't worse.

However, how much more can my poor family take? What's next? Every single person in this house has something physically wrong with them. It's getting to be just a tad bit ridiculous. I just hope this is it. Let us all heal and get back to normal around here.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Trying to Join the Club

As you know from my last couple of posts, my kids are having problems with their knees. Both kids, one left knee, one right knee. I was joking with my daughter yesterday about how I felt left out of her and my son's exclusive "knee club". She told me that I couldn't join unless I hurt my knee, my back hurting wasn't enough of a qualification. We chuckled about it and then went on about our day. Who would have thought that later that afternoon I'd almost qualify to join the "club" after all.

I had to run to the post office to get stamps for this month's billing to be sent out. On my way out to the garage, I was walking in front of my daughter's car when my foot, for some reason, decided not to lift high enough to step over the bag of grass seed that was laying there. Lo and behold, down I went....on my right knee, full body force into the concrete. Pain shot down my leg, up my back, through my kneecap. I thought I was down for the count. After taking several deep breaths however, and realizing that our walls must be extremely sound proof since nobody was coming to my aid even though I did my fair amount of screaming and yelling, I pulled myself up, wiped the dirt off my pants legs and went ahead and got in my car. I figured as long as I could walk that I wasn't hurt bad enough to go back inside. Besides, I really needed those stamps.

All the way into town, my knee was throbbing. It burned and stung so I knew I'd scraped it up pretty good, but I wasn't going to give in to my curiousity and look at how badly it was hurt. Not until I got home was I going to pull that pants leg up and investigate. I got my stamps and even went to the gas station and fueled up my car then headed home. As soon as I got inside, my daughter asked if I'd yelled for her when I left. All kinds of smart ass remarks came to mind, but I kept them to myself and instead told her that yes, I had indeed yelled for her, but when she didn't answer I just kept on going. She asked what I'd needed and when I told her what I'd done she just smirked and said that I'd do pretty much anything to get into that club, wouldn't I? Smart ass!:)

Anyway, to make a very long story much shorter (sorry), I fell on my knee, didn't do much damage to it, it's scraped up and black and blue, kind of stiff, but not too bad. It'll be fine in a week. I still didn't get into the club either. My daughter said that they already had a rightie (her), and since that's the knee I hurt there just wasn't an opening for me. She said if I hurt both knees then they'd think about letting me join. I think I'll pass.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Two Little Monkeys Jumpin' on the Bed

Children Medical Update: Took both kid's to the doctor today for their knees. After x-rays, the conclusions are as follows:

Daughter...nothing showed up as being broken or torn on xray, must wear knee brace for stability, rest and keep her leg elevated as much as possible, no gym for two weeks. At the end of two weeks, if knee is still not feeling better, an MRI will be required. She does have some fluid on her knee, but not a lot so no need to drain at the moment.

Son...bruised bone right below his knee. Must wear splint for 7-10 days to keep imobile, rest and keep leg elevated as much as possible, no gym for one week. At the end of the 10 days, if leg is not feeling better, must return for another x-ray to see if bruise is concealing a stress fracture.

Ugh, Ugh, Ugh on both. I really hope that in two weeks time, all is healed and no more doctors visits are needed for either child. Joys of being a parent, I know, but the trips to the doctors office are becoming too close for me. When I walk in and the office staff has me signed in before I even make it to the desk, well, that just screams that I've been in there too darn much!

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Humpty Dumpty's Family


Let me introduce you all to Humpty Dumpty's family. First, myself. I guess I'm the original Humpty. With my back problems, I feel like I'll never be put back together again. Next, is Hubby Dumpty. He is also having back problems, shoulder problems and such. His is from too much heavy lifting and unless he can sell our business or find some other smuck to do all the physical labor, well, guess he won't be getting put back together anytime soon either. Next is my daughter. She fell a couple of months back at school while going up the stairs. Yes, you read that right. She fell UP the stairs. Anyway, she landed on her knee. It swelled up like a balloon and was black and blue for a few days, but nothing major. Except for now. Now it has decided to start giving her problems. By problems I mean locking up on her while she is walking or completely buckling under her weight. Not good. She goes to the doctor on Wednesday and maybe, just maybe, they can put her back together again. Then today, the final member of the Humpty Dumpty family...my son. He's usually a pretty rough and tumble kid, but today he wrecked his go-cart and banged up his knee. He is also icing it, keeping it elevated, and such, but I have a feeling we'll be seeing the good ol' doctor for him too. So there you have it...the entire Humpty Dumpty family. I think I'm just going to wrap everybody in bubble wrap. Maybe then we won't be breaking anymore.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Still Waiting

Finally heard back from my doctor about the neurologist's appointment for my back. Looks like I can't get in to see him until JUNE 6!!! I'm annoyed, but relieved at the same time. I know I need to get some sort of an answer as to why I'm hurting, but at the same time I'm afraid to find out what is causing the pain and how it would need to be fixed. Everything I've read about sciatica has pointed to surgery if the pain radiates farther down then mid-thigh. Well, my pain radiates all the way down to my ankle so I just have this feeling that I will need surgery OR that there won't be anything they can do for me. Both are scary thoughts.

I had back surgery when I was 13 years old for my scoliosis and I really don't want to have to go through another one. I know there are people out there who are saying to themselves "Why? If it will get rid of your pain, why not go through surgery". And my answer is this: If you have never gone through back surgery then you don't know how frightening it is especially when the doctors put the possibility of paralysis out there. I know that there have been lots of advancements in surgical techniques since I had my surgery all those years ago, but there is still that possibility that surgery wouldn't turn out right. Maybe I'm just a big chicken. Yeah, I know I am.

I guess I will just have to wait and see. Maybe, come June, I won't even be in pain anymore. I HOPE I'm not in pain that long.

Monday, March 24, 2008

MRI's are NOT fun!!!

As I said in my earlier post, I had to have a MRI Saturday. I was freaking out a bit, partly because I had always been told that I couldn't have one because of the steel rods in my back and also because I'm claustrophobic. I asked a lot of questions regarding my rods and the nurses, doctors, radiologist, etc. assured me that they weren't going to come flying out of my back when they turned the mri machine on. I calmed down a bit on that, but the fact that I am claustrophobic still bothered me.

When I got to the mri place, the nurse gave me a Valium and a shot of Demerol. You'd have thought I'd have been in la la land, but nope. As soon as they led me into the room where the mri was located, I got a knot in the pit of my stomach. Just looking at the opening that I was supposed to fit inside scared the hell out of me. I took a deep breath though and proceeded on. After getting situated on the table and being as comfortable as I could be, the nurse put a washcloth over my eyes, put ear plugs into my ears and told me to relax and breathe. I did as I was told, but even having my eyes shut and the cloth over them didn't stop me from seeing how dark it got as soon as my head was inside the machine. I took a deep breath and kept telling myself that I could do it. that didn't happen though. As soon as I felt the sides rub on my shoulders and arms, I freaked out....big time! In my doped out mind, I was being very calm about asking to be removed, but in reality, the nurse said I was screaming for her to let me out and I was kicking my legs and flailing my arms. I just know that I was in tears by the time they got me out of the dang thing.

The nurse led me to a bathroom so I could splash water on my face and calm down. That seemed to take me forever to do, but I did. She then took me to the OPEN mri and told me that they'd just go that route instead. I don't know why they don't do that in the first place for people who are claustrophobic. It sure would have saved time and embarrassment. The whole procedure took 45 minutes to complete. I actually snoozed a bit while I was in the open mri. I don't think I could have done that in the other one.

I'm supposed to have the results this afternoon so I'm just waiting patiently for the doctor to call. I am keeping my fingers crossed that it is just a pinched nerve, but I have this feeling that it is
going to be more then that.

UPDATE: Just got a call from my doctor and apparently my mri was too blurry to read. I knew from the beginning that might be a possibility, but it still annoys me that I had to go through something that didn't even work. Now, my doctor is wanting to refer me to a neurologist. I don't know if I want to go or not. I don't want to be shuffled from doctor to doctor, racking up humongous medical bills, but never getting relief. I've lived with this type of pain since I was thirteen years old so I am used to it. The only reason I went to the doctor this time was because the pain was lasting longer then it usually does. I guess I'll see what this new doctor has to say, but like I said, I'm not going to go through test after test. We just can't afford that.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Friday, March 21, 2008

Back Update

Yesterday, I was in so much pain from my leg/back/hip hurting that I caved and went to see the doctor. I really thought they would just give me pain meds and send me on my way since that's how I've been treated since this stuff first started. I was actually quite surprised though. I saw a different doctor this time and she actually listened to what I had to say. She answered all my questions, did a thorough exam and basically went above and beyond what a doctor should do, in my opinion.

She thinks that I either have a pinched nerve or a bulging disk in my lower back. Either would explain the problem I'm having. Her first thought was that I needed an MRI of my spine to find out exactly what was wrong. I told her that I couldn't have an MRI because of the two steel rods in my back (I had/have scoliosis). I'd always been told that I couldn't have an MRI because of those metal rods. But this doctor didn't think that was right. I also told her that I didn't have insurance that would pay the cost. Again, she didn't think that was right. She filled out a couple of forms and then sent me down to physical therapy to get a few exercises to help my leg/back/hip feel better. I did those and just as I was getting ready to leave, a nurse came up to me and said that my MRI had been set up for Saturday. Huh? I know I had to have looked completely dumbfounded because I didn't think I could have an MRI. The nurse, seeing my total state of confusion, told me that my doctor had called over to the MRI place and asked several questions on whether or not I could have one. Come to find out that the big magnet that the MRI uses WON'T pull the rods out of my body(thank GOD!), but they might make the images too blurry to read. The doctor said that she really needed to find out what was going on in my lower back and that if it was possible for me to have an MRI then she wanted to go ahead and schedule it for me.

Needless to say, I kind of freaked out. Here, I'd been told all my teenage and adult life that an MRI would pull the steel rods right out of my back, any metal fragments that were in my body would be pulled out, any piercings, etc. would be PULLED OUT! And now they are telling me that isn't true? How is a body supposed to react to something like that? Skeptically, that's how. I immediately came home and started researching online to find out every thing I could about MRI's, how they worked, if someone with metal implants or pins could actually have one. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that the MRI people and my doctor do know what they're talking about. It doesn't make me any less nervous about having it done, but at least now I can be a little more at peace with my decision to go ahead and let them do it.

I was also worried about the cost. Being self employed, our family only has major medical coverage insurance so unless we're in an accident or have something majorly wrong happen, any medical expenses come right out of our pocket. An MRI was one of those things that they didn't feel was a major enough thing to have done so it wasn't going to be covered. That is until I talked to the nurse at the MRI place today. She said that my doctor, again, was able to get the insurance to cover the cost. Well, all except our deductible. But hey, I can handle $125 deductible just fine. It was the $1735 that I was having problems with.

So, tomorrow morning I'll be heading over to get this done. I was told to get there 45 minutes early because they'll have to put me in "the tube" and since I'm pretty claustrophobic they'll be doping me up big time with valium and demmoral. I'm hoping that I just go to sleep and the time goes fast. I do have hubby going with to drive me home. I thought I would have to go by myself, but once they told me about the lovely drugs I would be getting I knew that I was going to need someone to drive me back home. I'll fill everybody in on what happens after the MRI is done and read. I am figuring physical therapy a couple days a week for a few weeks, but there is the possibility that surgery will be needed. I hope that isn't the case, but if it is then I'll just roll with that when it comes along.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Friday, March 14, 2008

Did You Know?

Today is Organize Your Home Office Day. Did you know that? Neither did I. I wonder where they come up with some of these "holidays"? According to this website I found, Holidays for Everyday , today is also Casey Jones birthday, Albert Einsteins birthday, National Preschooler's Day, National Children's Craft Day, Celebrate Scientists, Learn about Butterflies, Save a Spider and National Potato Chip Day. Whichever one you decide to celebrate, have fun and enjoy your day!!!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

A Bit of St. Patrick's Day Fun

With St. Patrick's day coming up on Monday, I thought I'd get a head start on the holiday with a little bit of fun.




Your Leprechaun Name Is:



Plucky O'Fiddles


Tuesday, March 11, 2008

I always knew my daughter was a winner

My daughter loves to take photos. She got a new digital camera for Christmas and it is with her all. the. time. About a month ago, she entered a photo contest put on by her school and the public library. Well, yesterday she got an email announcing that she had won! She had two entrys and, get this. She won FIRST and SECOND PLACE with both of them. How cool is that? I don't have a copy of the first place photo, but here is the one that came in second place:

Monday, March 10, 2008

Hello from the Walking Dead

I'm still alive, but just barely. I was so sick all weekend. This dang flu is for the birds! I took my guys to the doctor Friday. She gave my son some antibiotics for his ear infection and told hubby and me that ours was viral and she couldn't give us anything. This is what I figured she would say, it's just how it works. Pay someone to tell us that there is nothing they can do to help you feel better.

I ran by the pharmacy and picked up my son's meds then came home and proceeded to fall into bed. This was at 4:00pm. I didn't move again until 9:30 Saturday morning! And even then it wasn't any farther then the bathroom. I spent the entire day in bed, either snoozing or watching tv. I ate nothing, drank nothing, just moaned and groaned. I was sore and feverish and just felt like crap.

I did feel a bit better yesterday so got up and ventured out into the living room. Hubby followed behind and sprayed Lysol on every thing that I touched or even came close to. I know he doens't want to get sick again, but geez. I didn't do that to him, not in front of him anyway:) It's hard to feel loved when you're treated like you have the plague.

Today I'm, again, just a tad better. I have invoices to make up so am trying to sit here at my desk and get those done. Between coughing, sneezing and just plain old not feeling well, I guess I'm doing an okay job. However, if someone gets a bill that says they owe $30,000 instead of $3000, you might want to let me know.

Edit: Just got a call from my daughter. She's coming home sick. This means that everybody has now had this stupid sickness! If Spring doesn't get here soon, I don't know what I'll do.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Dad's home. Now I'm sick!

Dad came home from the hospital yesterday afternoon. The heart doctor agreed after observing him over night that it was indeed his migraine medicine causing his heart rate to go to low. They had been monitoring his heart rate all night and saw no drops at all. Dad is now home, ordered to rest for the rest of the week/weekend. He was told that if this happens again when he is no longer taking the migraine medicine though that they'd have to look into that pacemaker option a bit more thoroughly.

I have to take my son to the doctor today because he is complaining of popping/painful/stuffy ears and his cough is not getting any better. Hubby is still feeling the same only his fever is still here. Well, lucky me, woke up this morning feeling pretty rough and the later this day has gotten, the rougher I have felt. Finally took my temp and it is up to 100, my throat is sore and I'm starting to cough. Anyway, when I take my son to the doctor, hubby is going along and we're just going to let our doctor look at all three of us. I'm sure we'll be whacked for three office visits, but that is fine. I'm just so tired of everybody being sick around here. This winter has been tough on all of us.

Thankfully, the snow storm they forecast for us to get today looks to be staying farther to the south of us. Now instead of getting 6+" of snow, we're looking at an inch or less. Yay! The wind is really gusty though and sounds like it could rip the shingles off the roof at any second. Where in the world is Spring? I'm so ready for it to arrive and stay.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Ice Storm and the Emergency Room

Did you miss me? I really wasn't awol that long, just a couple of days, but those two days were pure madness around here. Fair warning: This is a really, really long post and I tend to ramble when I'm retelling stories so if you are short on time, just skip this.

First off, Tuesday we got a major ice storm. It wasn't too bad until the power went out at 10:50am and didn't come back on the rest of the day! It was actually fun for the first couple of hours because the kids were home, my phone (cordless) didn't work, and we just lazed around, played some board games and enjoyed the peace and quiet. Once the temperature started to really drop however, it took all the fun out of the day and we just kept wishing that the power would come back on. Finally at 6pm, hubby and I decided to just go to a hotel in town. We all climbed into the truck and slipped and slid all the way into town, but were able to get a couple of rooms for the evening. It was nice and warm and quiet. As the kids and I watched the sleet then snow swirl around outside our window, we also kept an eye glued to the tv, waiting with baited breath to see if school would be cancelled for the following day. Well, come 10pm, when there was still no sign of our schools being closed I told the kids that they'd better go to sleep...just in case, really doubting that school would be open the next day. I mean, we'd just gotten 1/4 inch of ice, who in their right mind would send kids to school with all that junk on the roads.

Apparently, our school district would because the next morning when I flipped on the tv, there was no mention of our schools being closed. I even took the liberty of calling the district office and was told that yes, there was indeed school that day. So, even though I'd not slept more then a couple of hours the night before (I never sleep well in a hotel) I begrudgingly woke the kids and hubby up at 6am to get dressed and head back out to the house to get ready for school. At least the power was back on. It had come on at 4am according to the message my mom had left on our answering machine.

Once we got home, my son decided that he still didn't feel well enough to go back to school. He'd been sick since Sunday. I took his temperature and it was up to 100 degrees so, even though I think he could have went, I let him stay home. Once my daughter and hubby had left for the day, I had every intention of laying down in my own bed and taking a nap. I was exhausted and just wanted to sleep. My son said he was going back to bed too so it would have been perfect. It didn't happen though. As soon as I walked into my bedroom, the phone rang. It was my brother. He said that my dad had passed out at work again and they were taking him to the ER. Would I go tell mom because he couldn't get through to her to let her know. So, I changed clothes, ran a comb through my hair, told my son I had to leave (he was fine being here alone and slept pretty much all day anyway) and drove to my mom's. She greeted me at the door with an immediate "What's wrong" and when I told her, she immediately went into freaked out phase. She calmed down though when I made her sit down and take a few deep breathes. Dad had been sick all week and we figured he'd just passed out because he tried to do too much, too soon.

Fast forward a few minutes: My brother arrives and we all pile into mom's car (it's front wheel drive and handled awesome on the icy roads) and head to the ER. When we got there, dad was already in an exam room and mom went back to be with him. My brother and I took up residence in the waiting room. When mom comes out, she says that the doctors think it was dad's migraine medicine that caused his heart rate to drop too low and that's why he passed out. They are, however, going to continue to run tests. My brother and I take turns going back to see dad. He's acting fine, like his usual self, joking with everybody who comes in. I went back out to the waiting room and called my son, my hubby, my daughter, etc. My brother came out and did the same by calling his wife. Then mom comes out and we can tell that something is wrong. She comes up and says that now the doctors are wanting to admit dad because they think he needs a pacemaker. What??!?!?! When did that come into the situation? What happened to it just being his medicine? So, now we wait on them to find a room for him. My brother and I are both pretty tense, but keep trying to keep the mood light.

Finally, after 6 hours in the ER, they finally get dad up to his room. When we got up there, he was still laughing, happy, joking around. We sat and visited with him a while longer when the heart doctor came in. He examined dad then talked to all of us. He said that he still thinks it is the migraine medicine causing dad's heart rate to plummet and really doesn't think a pacemaker is needed, but they want to watch him for 24 hours to make sure. If, after that amount of time, his heart rate doesn't rebound on its own (once all the meds are out of his system) then they will consider a pacemaker, but he assured all of us that he really doesn't think that will be the case. The doctor leaves and we all breathed a sigh of relief. We stayed for awhile longer, but then dad said that he could tell we were all exhausted and needed to go home. He wanted to take a nap himself.

So, here it is 8 hours later and we are all dragging ourselves out to the car to head home. When I got here, I had 30 (yes, you read that right...30!) messages on the machine. I was so tired after not sleeping the night before and then spending all day in the ER that I didn't even listen to them. I just went in, took a bath then went to bed. Me, in bed at 6pm, that's odd unless I'm sick. I needed it though. I slept straight through the night until the alarm woke me up this morning. I've gotten everything that I missed yesterday done today and am now just waiting on mom to call me from the hospital to let me know when/if they are going to release dad. I will keep everyone posted as I know more.