Monday, June 30, 2008

WARNING: Long post, lots of ranting, some funny parts, some parts where you'll go, "I didn't need to know that."

I tried to get out all the typos and spelling errors but I'm functioning on little sleep and a lot of drugs!

Ugh, thinking about updating my blog is exhausting to me. I'm sorry. Here is the news. Pictures to follow shortly. or longly. maybe.

Tony gave me a really wonderful blessing the night before I went in. It was very calming and reassuring. I reported for surgery at 6:00am (we were only a little late) on Wednesday. I cried a lot during the pre-op stuff because I already missed Lucy a lot. The nurses thought I was scared...I didn't really care much about the surgery, just missing Lucy. They gave me something to calm my nerves. A nervous resident came to tell me about a monitor headband they wanted me to wear during the surgery to measure how asleep I was during the procedure. Her tentativeness really annoyed me, it was like she was afraid of me. I said I'd participate in the study so she ripped open the package and then asked me if I had any allergies to adhesives. Um, yeah, it's written all over my chart and on the surgery room door, LATEX ALLERGY. She said nevermind. insurance dollars at work. What a waste.

I came out of the surgery one grape sized tumor lighter and in a lot of pain. They put me on a morphine drip that probably took the edge off but I still hurt pretty badly. I think I have a really low tolerance for pain but a really high tolerance for pain medicine. I took two oxycoton and still hurt. I hurt and hurt and hurt and hurt. I complained and complained and complained and called more than one nurse incompetent. They just couldn't seem to do anything right. While I was recovering apparently they told me how the surgery went while I was still asleep. HELLO? Does that sound like a good plan? So after a while I started asking for my family...they said my family would meet me in my room. I got admitted to my room and my family wasn't there. I asked again and this was the nurses response, "I don't think your family is here." I wanted to scream at her..."are you CRAZY or just plain stupid?" Morphine doesn't do anything nice for me. I become sort of an angry, bitter version of myself. After a while I called the nurse and said the pain was really bad...and um...where's my family? She said I couldn't have any more medicine and she'd call for my family. I realized at that point I had NO clue how my surgery had gone. Did they even get the tumor out? Probably an hour went by (there conveniently wasn't a clock in my portion of the room. They probably thought that was better for them but it really only causes me to exaggerate on how long I actually had to wait) and I started to cry. I had no idea what was going on, where my family was, what had happened to me and I hurt. I felt abandoned. I called the nurse. Cried to her. She'd see what she could do. I've come to hate that expression. She came back at the same time Jennifer and Tony showed up. I cried some more. Still hurting. Lucy and Grammi came to visit, it was so hard not to hold her. I could give her kisses and touch her a little but I couldn't really hug her. Ugh, it was awful. My cousin Bev came to see me, which was sweet.

I started feeling really engorged from not having pumped since 5:30am that morning, it was now probably later in the evening, 8:00 or 9:00ish. I asked to have a breast pump brought to my room. Earlier the previous week I had talked to the nurse practitioner about how I would need a pump and she said no problem, that the nurses would be informed and that she'd try to get me a private room. HA! laughable, I don't think they exist at UofM, I think they'd stick two patients in a broom closet if they could. And then make them take care of each other.

I waited a couple hours for the pump. The "clerk" brought it and left it outside the door. It was missing the hygiene kit which I thought probably the nurses were waiting for and that's why they weren't actually bringing it into the room. Turns out none of my sweet, young nurses had ever seen a breast pump before and must have slept through the maternity portion of their education because they didn't even know what it was when it showed up. On the paper taped to the pump it said, "1 pump, breast." Finally Jennifer put the pump right in the doorway so they would have to move it in order to get into the room. So...Malibu Barbie nurse wheels it into the room...I say,

"I need the hygiene kit that goes with it to actually get the milk out."
MBN: "Oh, you need some gauze or tape? Do you tape it on?" (SERIOUSLY---TAPE!?!?!)
me (in the calmest voice I can muster): no, it should have come with a kit with some hoses and horns and collection bottles.
MBN: "Oh, I'll see what I can do." (I'm beginning to loathe this statement.)

Hours go by. They've paged the clerks. I say, "can't someone just walk over to the maternity ward and get one...I know they keep them in the drawers in the rooms."
MBN: "OH, the MATERNITY WARD....I'll check there!" (SERIOUSLY---This didn't occur to you before?)

Hours go by. A different nurse comes in to take my vitals.

Nurse: How are you doing?
Me: Awful.
Nurse: "oh?"
Me:" Yeah....I've been waiting hours for a hygiene kit for that breast pump over there, and I'm getting quite uncomfortable."
Nurse: "Oh, I'll see what I can do."

I think it was close to 1:00am when there was quite a kerfuffle outside my room about waiting and waiting and who was the charge nurse? etc. etc. FINALLY---the hygiene kit.

Finally relief.

Oh, how I love morning rounds. 8 doctors staring. One is repeating everything the head doctor says into a recorder---how sweet. Head doctor charges in, sees the breast pump and says, "WHAT'S THAT?" (I refrained from saying, "1 pump, breast")
"um, a breast pump." (I don't think they teach this portion in medical training anymore.)
"oh, it looks like it's from 1950."
"Yeah, it probably is."

The next day I got to sit up and eat something. The food wasn't fit for dogs. (I think that was a Blair Ballard moment) One day they brought my tray and it was still frozen. Frozen square of meatloaf (?) and mashed potatoes. I can't wait until they bring me the comment card!

I was still in a lot of pain, the nurses were extremely strict about giving out the paid meds I think they thought I was some kind of narcotic junkie because I kept asking for more. Finally they brought the nurse practitioner in. The one who said she'd tell them about the pump and try to get me a private room. She prescribed some Motrin. OH FINALLY!!!! Sweet relief.

My nurse this day was kind of a bull in a china shop. She knocked things all over, couldn't work the bed, she actually broke the phone in my room.

I was finally able to get up and down and out of bed. I even went to the bathroom by myself! Finally some long awaited dignity. By the end of the day they were able to discharge me and the nurse brought in a new phone...I said, "I think the old one is fixable you just need to pop the top back onto the receiver,"
"Oh no, they'll just throw it away."
"Really, that seems like such a waste."
"that's your tax dollars at work."
"Can I keep it, like a souvenir?"
"sure." So she packed it up in the new phone's packaging and put it in my bag.

The only highlights of the stay were visits from wonderful family and friends. The rest of it, after this documentation, will hopefully be blocked out.

Once I returned home (Friday night) I was feeling pretty good. By Sunday I was able to get up and around pretty well. Monday I felt okay, Tuesday I was improving, I had some numbness in my rear-end which I figured was normal. Wednesday we went to Music in the Park...what fun! I just sat in the chair, but I still enjoyed it. Wednesday night my legs and rear-end were still somewhat numb again...Thursday morning I felt okay and went to play group, again, just sat in the chair but by Thursday night the leg pain was worsening. I called the Dr. He said it was normal and to ice it. Pain worsened, called Dr. He said it was normal and not to worry unless I started having problems urinating or having a bowel movement. Friday night I was alright, not great, but alright. I did have Missi and Wendy there to take my mind off of it. By Saturday the pain was getting pretty intense. I called the Dr. He said not to worry, this was normal. I laid on the couch and cried. Sunday still a lot of pain. Called the Dr. again, he said to come in and have another MRI just to make sure everything is alright but surely I should be getting better and not worse. I could barely walk at this point. I went in to the ER at UofM Sunday night about 9:30. Had the MRI about 3:00am Monday morning. When I got back they gave me a shot of morphine and I finally felt a little better and was able to get some sleep. Turns out that the scar tissue is causing my nerves to be inflamed so they prescribed some Steroids. Great, just what I need, 'roid rage. I was able to leave about 8:00am. My sweet sister sat by my side throughout the whole thing. I'm so blessed to have her.

I'm feeling a little better now. Maybe life will get back to normal soon. As soon as I can hold Lucy. It's been really hard for me and her. I try to rock her sometimes and get her to lay with me on the couch. She's such a trooper for handling all these changes so well. She loves having Emily here to play, and so do I! Emily knows just what to do with her and Lucy just adores her.

I have a lot more cute pictures of Lucy to post---maybe later I'll get to her 8 month post. This is all I can do for now. I am so so grateful for all the service, gifts, meals and love that have been and will be given on our behalf. I couldn't have gotten through it without fantastic family and friends and a truly wonderful ward.

P.S. The Diagnosis

It depends on what your definition of "cancer," is. Turns out it wasn't just nerve cells like they thought it's something called an Eppendymoma. I was told not to look it up on the internet and scare myself...which I haven't done, surprisingly. These tumors have a high rate of return, usually in the same spot so I will be regularly monitored through MRIs over the next several years to make sure anything that shows up will be caught in a timely manner. So my life at UofM is not over. I would change hospitals...just because the place is so expansive that I feel there are huge communication problems between departments but my surgeon, Dr. Sullivan, really is wonderful. I'd invite him to Thanksgiving dinner. Although I might stick him in a broom closet for a few minutes just for fun. If you have any neurological problems....I'd give him a call.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

And If I don't see you...Good Afternoon, Good Evening, and Good Night.

Thank you
to everyone who has already sent get-well wishes and for their on-going support and prayers.

Up to? Up to?

Here's what we've been up to the past few days:

On Saturday we went out to lunch for Father's Day. We went to Red Robin. Lucy was mesmorized by every thing there was to see. The big fan, and wait staff swirling around us, new people coming in, endless french fries...wait, that was me. It was the first time we'd been out to eat just the three of us and it was very fun. The only time Lu got angry was went we took the gigantic fry away from her (what were we thinking?) She is such a calm little person. I knew when I was pregnant with her that she would probably be pretty laid back. She didn't move around all that much and would get into one spot and just stay there.

Tony enjoying his Father's Day gift. We splurged (!) on a big screen TV, a surround sound system, and a blue-ray player:


Just kidding.

We went to Best Buy. He did get a little gadget though for Father's Day.

Saturday night was Chris and Cameron's Birthday party. You'll have to check out Jen's blog for more info. and pics cause I only took a couple and they're of Lucy. The food was awesome! Lucy loved the baked beans.

Sunday, Lu and I treated Tony like a King. He deserved every minute of it. He is truly an amazing father. He is never too tired to play with Lucy. He is always concerned about her well-being. The happiest I've seen him is when he's playing with her.

Monday, Lucy and I got an extra special treat. We went swimming with Jen and some of the kids at the Vos' pool. I though Lucy might not like it, but she was her laid-back self. She really enjoyed it. I guess it doesn't hurt that her dad and I both loved swimming as kids. Always the first one in and the last one out of the pool...even if our lips were blue.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Spray Park!

We had a SUPER fun time at the Spray Park with the Vos'! What a blast!

Lu was a little apprehensive but not scared. As we got closer to the water she started flapping her arms and legs. Then in the water she started clinging to me. She also told me 1960 called and wanted their outfit back.

cool picture except I look like a linebacker.

so fun! I think I'll take a rest now.

I don't think she could be any sweeter.

Father's Day Treats

We celebrated Father's day with my FIL early this year. He and Tony were able to go fishing in the morning and then Tony and I were able to go in the afternoon. I caught three kinds of fish, blue gill, perch, and bass. This is the bass I caught. Pretty cool, huh! I couldn't get this one off the hook myself because it swallowed the hook. I was able to get the rest off myself though.

The lake has a farm on one side and some cows were getting a drink:

The tiniest fish of the day:

Lucy getting Grandpa's hair:

Just a cute one for fun:

In the evening I made dinner for Dad, it turned out pretty good. We had sweet corn, salad, chicken-broccoli-rice casserole and ice cream for dessert. It was really nice to be able to spend quality time with one another. This weekend will be Tony's turn.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Meijer MealBox

You have to check this out!!!!

Tony's company does the PR for this company. Look up a recipe---drag the picture of the food to the day of the week you want to eat it...then click on shopping list and it breaks down the ingredients by section of Meijer (!) and THEN includes any coupons for items on the list! Awesome! I want every store to have this! It's on the right of your screen, and is accessible at the website: qponix

Thursday, June 05, 2008

It's only two minutes and very cute.

At the end she does what we call, "tired moose."

Some Catching Up

Gotta catch you up on a few things.

Last weekend, Wendy and I met up in Brighton and went to Chili's (one of my faves!) for lunch. I had such a great time catching up. Then, we went to see "Baby Mama," which was very funny. It wasn't quite as funny as I thought it would be...not as funny as the funniest 30 Rock, but very funny. So two movies in two weeks! It was great to see Wendy...she's such a great friend.
(What's up with the scary pointy face?)

Lucy has a new trick:

And third...ask me why I can't use my garbage disposal. It involves hand flapping.

Last night, I made baked potatoes for of my ultimate favorite dinners. (I found a recipe for baked potato pizza.) I cooked the bacon in the oven because it turns out so delightfully crispy, it melts in your mouth. I also cooked broccoli on the stove top. So...I drained the broccoli and took the bacon out of the oven, placing the dish on the stove top. I took my pincher things...tongs-thank you...and placed the bacon on a plate covered in paper towel. I was getting everything ready when I noticed the grease in the dish was turning black and I thought, "I don't remember it being that black when I pulled it out of the oven," then I realized I hadn't turned the burner off from the broccoli and saw smoke starting to billow out from under the dish. Then the hand flapping began. I flapped for a few seconds, regained composure, got a hot pad and started yelling for Tony. He told me to put the dish down in the sink. As soon as it touched the droplets of water in the sink, it shattered-into a zillion tiny pieces. None of it flew into my face...only a couple shards landed on the floor, thank goodness. I was able to clean up all the glass I could see, but didn't want to blindly reach down into the Tony said he would take the disposal off and clean out the drain (for the third time since we've been married!). However, due to some on-going projects around here, he hasn't been able to get to it. Soo....I have been doing minimal cooking. Pizza for dinner...lucky me!

I had bookclub tonight---we read "The Ditchdigger's Daughters." I thought it was "good." It was quite inspirational. I do recommend it. The conversation was the best part. I really thought we had a good discussion.

P.S. I'm watching "The Family Stone," on FX and "Eva" from Grey's Anatomy is in this movie but I can't imagine her in anything else so I only see her as "smooshie face." Her face just looks not right to me now. It's weird. I love all the decorations in the house in this movie.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Crest Kid

Did you say "toothbrush" or "toothcomb?"


Everyday you say?

Okay...I can handle this.