Sunday, October 31, 2010

A new 30-day challenge

I like this one so much better! Through my blog-hopping, I came upon Leanne at She's got a much more interesting 30-day challenge going on. I told her I might have to "blog-lift" it - and here I am. I'll start this the next time I want to write something and don't know what to write. Feel free to join in on this...

Day 01- A recent picture of you and 15 interesting facts about yourself

Day 02- The meaning behind your Blog name
Day 03- A picture of you and your friends
Day 04- A habit that you wish you didn’t have
Day 05- A picture of somewhere you’ve been to
Day 06- Favorite super hero and why
Day 07- A picture of someone/something that has the biggest impact on you
Day 08- Short term goals for this month and why
Day 09- Something you’re proud of in the past few days
Day 10- Songs you listen to when you are Happy, Sad, Bored, Hyped, Mad
Day 11- Another picture of you and your friends
Day 12- How you found out about Blogger and why you made one
Day 13- A letter to someone who has hurt you recently
Day 14- A picture of you and your family
Day 15- Put your iPod on shuffle: First 10 songs that play
Day 16- Another picture of yourself
Day 17- Someone you would want to switch lives with for one day and why
Day 18- Plans/dreams/goals you have
Day 19- Nicknames you have; why do you have them
Day 20- Someone you see yourself marrying/being with in the future
Day 21- A picture of something that makes you happy
Day 22- What makes you different from everyone else
Day 23- Something you crave for a lot
Day 24- A letter to your parents
Day 25- What I would find in your bag
Day 26- What you think about your friends
Day 27- Why are you doing this 30 day challenge
Day 28- A picture of you last year and now, how have you changed since then?
Day 29- In this past month, what have you learned
Day 30- Your favorite song.

Latest and Greatest in the Continuing Saga of Ron...

Last Monday, I took him to see our family doctor. Dr. Alvarado was pretty concerned that he appeared to be doing worse than he'd done just a few weeks earlier. She gave him a pretty thorough checkup, drew blood to make sure his kidney function was OK, and referred us to a new orthopedic doctor (who is in town, instead of over 25 miles away - woo hoo!). She also gave us a referral for Home Health visit and evaluation. She expressed to me that she was concerned that if things didn't start going in the other direction for Ron, that he was looking at a skilled nursing facility or something. Problem with moving to a "residential" type of place is that I'm not old enough to live there.

We managed to get into the new ortho doctor Monday afternoon. He x-rayed Ron's left knee and left foot/ankle. After looking over the x-rays, and poking around on his foot and knee, the doctor told Ron that he had severe arthritis in the left knee and that the Charcot foot wasn't too bad right now (he's got some arthritis there too, and that's one reason why he feels the crunch when he walks). He said the treatment of choice for Ron's knee would be a total knee replacement, but due to his other health problems, he is not a candidate for that surgery. The doctor doesn't even want to do an arthroscope to look at the meniscus or anything else. He doesn't want to run the risk of introducing an opportunity for infection to get into Ron's system. He did have one option that we're doing, and that is an injection of some kind of substance that is made from the comb of a rooster. It's a series of five injections, one each week for five weeks. It's supposed to help in the lubrication of the joint, which is one of the areas the arthritis affects. He said most patients require the entire series before they notice any difference in the joint. Ron is hopeful; otherwise, he'll just have to learn to live with the pain and will have to increase his pain medication intake.

The Home Health nurse called Monday afternoon and we set up a Tuesday morning appointment. She came out about 9:00 am and was there for quite some time. We discussed all of the things going on with him, she looked at our adaptive equipment, and took note of the areas where we were lacking. She does not believe that her agency - or any other home visit type of service - can adequately help him restore strength and function. Yes, they can come out 2-3 days a week for medications, send PT/OT out for exercise and strength training, but without the proper equipment (parallel bars, exercise machines designed for wheelchair access, upper body machines, mats to lie down on for exercise, etc.) that he won't really be gaining too much. She would like to see him in an intensive in-patient program for 1-2 weeks and then, after he's regained some of what he's lost, have the therapists come to the house 2-3 days a week to maintain and (hopefully) continue his progress. Before she left our house, she called Dr. Alvarado's office and made her recommendations.

Dr. Alvarado then sent a referral and prescription to the rehab center where he was in August. I spoke to them on Wednesday afternoon and they were waiting on insurance approval. Because he's already been there for his leg, they can't admit him for that and would need to be approved for a Parkinson's rehab admission. First though, he has to "fail" the outpatient evaluation. The rehab center called Ron on Friday to let him know they were still waiting on authorization from insurance to schedule an outpatient evaluation. I told Ron that I don't want him to go in there with the attitude that he doesn't need them and that he can do everything, because he obviously cannot - and does not. He promised that he would not downplay his issues. We were going to have his son take him, but I think I want to be the one to go because I will have more to say than Ron (or his son).

His son did take him Thursday afternoon to have his prosthesis adjusted and it felt pretty good for about 24 hours. By Friday night, he was back to not being able to wear it because of the pressure on his shin. So, he called again to make another appointment for another adjustment.

So, that's where we currently are. He does seem to be doing better the past few days with transfers, so maybe the first injection did help a little bit. I've made him promise that he will get himself something to eat during the day so I don't have to worry that he's having a low blood sugar from not eating. I still call him about 1:00 pm and he says, "yes dear, I ate" when he answers. Good. That gives me a bit of relief.

As much as I don't want him to HAVE to go into rehab, I want him to have what he needs, and if in-patient rehab is it, then so be it. He agrees but he's not too happy about it. If we could find a used Bowflex in our price range (LOL - nearly free), then that would be awesome. We know of two people who have them, currently unused in their basements, but they're not willing to part with them. Too bad. I found another one but no way to get it here and her husband won't let her use his truck to deliver it (and I would pay for gas) because he said it was too far (they live 2 hours away). Ron could use an over-bed trapeze but they're fairly expensive, too once you add on the floor base. Insurance would pay 80% of one if we get a prescription for it. The last therapist didn't want him to have one because she wanted him to just "try harder" to get into the bed without it. That's great if you're sleeping on a slab of cement - you have something that doesn't "give" when you press down. But, our bed is considerably softer than a slab of cement and when he pushes down, the bed gives too much for him to be able to push himself up into the bed very well.

So - that's it in a fairly large nutshell. Will keep you all updated. Thanks so much for all of the prayers and good thoughts, well-wishes, and comments. You all help me get through some of my days.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Day 10: Someone you need to let go, or wish you didn't know

OK - who wrote this thing, anyway? I don't need to let go of anyone, nor do I wish there I didn't know anyone.

I might have to just ditch this 30-day thing. I don't like very many of the topics.
I'm just going to answer the ones I think have any validity to them...

Day 11: Something people seem to compliment you the most on - Compassion, faith, loyalty???

Day 12: Something you never get compliments on - Hmmm, how fabulous I look (hahaha! as if!)
Day 13: A band or artist that has gotten you through some tough times
Day 14: A hero that has let you down
Day 15: Something or someone you couldn't live without - My faith in God
Day 16: Something or someone you could definitely live without (this seems like a re-word of #10)
Day 17: A book you've read that changed your view on something
Day 18: Your views on gay marriage
Day 19: What is your opinion of religion? (uh... I think previous posts answer this one)
Day 20: Your views on drugs and alcohol. (see #19 above)
Day 21: (Scenario) Your best friend is in a car accident and you got into a fight a couple of hours before. What do you do? (how silly is this... of course, you throw all the anger out the door and rush to help your friend)
Day 22: Something you wish you hadn't done in your life - Listened to my parents when they said I wasn't smart enough to maintain a B average in college and continue to receive a scholarship (to a school they didn't want me to attend)
Day 23: Something you wish you had done in your life - Joined the Air Force (which I had planned to do); of course, I wouldn't have married my first husband or had my two oldest children, but I think I still would have had 'them' - just not exactly the way I got them.
Day 24: Make a playlist to someone and explain why you chose those songs
Day 25: The reason you believe you're still alive today
Day 26: Have you ever thought about giving up on life? - To take care of my family and to be an example to others. Heck, I don't know... I'm alive because I am and it's in God's plan.
Day 27: What's the best thing you've got going for you right now? My family? My faith? Don't really have an answer for this one.
Day 28: What would you do if you got pregnant (or got someone pregnant) right now? LOL - make a lot of money since I'm sans real estate for that to happen
Day 29: Something you hope to change about yourself - Does my weight count?
Day 30: A letter to yourself -  No thanks... this entire blog is pretty much a letter to myself

There - the rest of the 30 days in a nutshell. Now, I can continue on to other things. Just not sure what yet.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Day 9: Someone you didn't want to let go, but who drifted

No clue who I would pick on this one. I think there are probably people in the lives of nearly everyone who have drifted off for one reason or another. Sometimes it's job transfers, family responsibilities, growth in a different area, or other very valid reasons to go in a different direction. I'm good with that and totally understand it.

I think about a few friends that I have where I'm the one making all of the contact. Are they truly my friends, or am I just being their friend? I don't know. I think about the saying that a "true" friend can pick up with someone after long periods of silence just as if there had been no silence, and I agree with that as well because I do it. But, I may be more selfish than that. When I contact my friends (either by email, phone, or instant message), I'd like to know they care enough to put out some effort to contact me back. I don't need long, drawn out messages but an occasional "hey - sorry I missed your call" or "hey - how are you all doing?" or "hey, thanks for the birthday card!" or "hey, thanks for paying my Internet bill for the past year; I appreciate it" would be nice... Doesnt' that sound just totally selfish of me to feel this way? I don't mean it in a selfish manner, but it would be nice to get a call back or an email back letting me know that something was received, etc. That's really only common courtesy for anyone to practice. Surely people aren't so busy that they don't have time to drop a short note - even a one-liner - to acknowledge something. I'm as busy and forgetful as the next person so there are times that I'm late with acknowledgements, but if I think I'm going to really forget (especially to call someone at a reasonable hour), I send myself a note.

Life sometimes get the way of the best laid plans, so I always try to take that into consideration. Besides, I'd really rather focus on the positives in a relationship - not the negatives.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Day 8: Someone who has made your life hell or treated you badly

Seriously - don't we all have someone who has made our lives hell or treated us badly? I have several, but it's always best to focus on the positives in life rather than the negatives. Unfortunately, one of those negatives is one of my own siblings. She is difficult, to say the least. She sees only the wrong in others and never in herself. She was a difficult child and is a difficult adult. You have to want to get along with her as she doesn't make it easy.

She has recently chosen to cut me from her life (yet again; this is not the first time) and I have to say that I'm really totally fine with it. I told one of my brothers that I was through playing her games. I wouldn't exclude her and I won't avoid places where she might be. If she chooses a different path, so be it and best wishes. Life is too short to waste time and energy on people who have no concept of rational behavior and treatment of others.

It's also nice to not have to look over my shoulder and analyze every action and every word out of my mouth to make sure that they can't be misconstrued.


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Day 7: Someone who has made your life worth living

This is a no-brainer... My kids, my husband, and my grandkids.

Need I say more? No... but, I will.

I never thought that "just" being a mom would mean that much to me. Sure, I wanted kids (someday) but it wasn't something that I thought would make a difference in my life. I love being a mom. I loved watching my kids grow up and turn into responsible adults. Yes, we had a lot of rough patches and bumps in the roads and a lot of times when I thought we weren't going to make it and LOTS of times when I thought I had totally failed at motherhood. LOTS. Kids are a tough act to handle. You've got a mixture of personalities, attitudes, and definitely differences of opinions. But watching them learn how to form their own opinions about things was very rewarding. Having discussions - not arguments or fights, but true discussions - regarding those opinions always has been a highlight for me. I couldn't always show that I was enjoying those discussions (especially when I wanted "my" opinion to be the one that mattered), but letting your kids grow and experience things (without putting them in danger) is really a big ego boost. I don't mean that in a conceited way, but in a way that makes you proud of them.

Ron has always made me feel like I was the most important person in the world to him. It is so nice to always know, no matter how irritated I get with life or how bitchy (yes, I said "bitchy" and mean it) I get about things, he's always got my back and always, always, ALWAYS believes in me. You just can't get much better than that. So what if he doesn't cook and clean - he appreciates the fact that I do. He wants me to take some "me" time and to find the time to unwind. He's always ready to say something encouraging and he would listen to my troubles if I dumped them on him.

My grandchildren complete the circle of life for me. How special is it to see the characteristics of their parents in their little personalities. I love being a grandmother and being able to cherish the time I get to spend with our grandchildren. I long for the ones in WA and can't wait to see them, hold them, and kiss them. (Gross, eh? They'll just have to get used to the slobbers from Grandma. LOL!)

Life has so much meaning, joy, and rewards. Even people I don't know and who don't know me make my life worth living. There is no way that I could be able to tell if my life will (or could) impact someone else's life just by virtue of us knowing the same people or being in the same place at just the right time for our lives to intersect. If my life can impact just one person out there (outside of my family's lives because I know that I impact them), then that person has made my life worth living.

True story...

Monday, October 25, 2010

Day 6: Something you hope you never have to do

Wow - that is really tough. I think I don't want to think about the things that I hope I never have to do. So, I'm skipping day 6. I can live in denial as long as I want to, right? After all, this is my world.

Sunday, October 24, 2010


My husband has about reached the end of his rope. He's very close to being to the point where he can no longer cope with the health problems that he is facing. It is so hard to see this gentle man in such pain and agony. His hands have passed the stage of function. His fingers, especially on his right hand, are so stiff today that he said even trying to hold something hurts terribly. His shoulders hurt very badly and his wrists hurt terribly. I don't even have enough adjectives to describe the type and amount of pain that he is in. Trying to transfer from his chair to and from the bed or anything else is so difficult for him. It seems to have gotten worse in the past few days.

His left foot is also giving him more problems. He has Charcot foot in what is left of his left foot. He was diagnosed with Charcot foot several years ago and spent nine months in a cast. Once the foot healed, it had a bit of a deformed shape. After the front half of his foot was amputated in 2006, it developed a squared-off appearance. That shape is changing a bit again. He also has a tight Achilles tendon in that foot and that is another mitigating factor in the Charcot foot. It's not good. Without being able to stand on his left foot, it makes trying to use the right artificial leg virtually impossible. He also thinks that he hurt another ligament in the left knee when he fell the last time.

Tomorrow, I will be calling our family doctor to see if I can get him in to be examined. When you have a 62-year old man sitting in his chair, crying because of the pain and the inability to take care of himself, you have a problem. He is afraid of being put in a rest home and being dependent on staff to feed him and put him on the toilet. He doesn't want to make our lives any more difficult than they already are, but he also doesn't want to just go into a nursing home, either. I made the suggestion that maybe we can get some home health assistance to come in 2-3 days a week. I will talk to the doctor's office tomorrow about that as well. I hate to put a price tag on everything, but unfortunately, there will be quite a high price for all of this.

Some days, my faith is tested more than others. Today is one of those days. What will be the outcome and when will it end? I honestly don't see a long future for Ron and I think he sees that, too. Keith and I were talking the other day and we both believe that the length of time that Ron has left with us is not great. We could be pleasantly surprised (thrilled!) and be totally wrong, but seeing his actions and reactions makes it difficult to see a positive outcome for all of this. I pray for relief for him. I pray for healing for him, but I also know that healing comes in God's time and in God's way. "Healing" may not necessarily mean health in this body but in the removal of life from the body. We have to be prepared for all possible outcomes, whether they be good or otherwise.

I just really pray that God touches Ron's body and grants him peace. I pray that he is able to weather the storms that are coming his way and the storms that he is already experiencing. I pray for healing, in whatever manner God chooses to grant. Ron has got to have some relief from the misery that plagues him. I pray that God hears and has compassion for him.

Day 5: Something you hope to do in your life

You might be wondering how I went from "day 3" to "day 5" here. I left out "Day 4: Something you have to forgive someone else for" for a very good reason. I'm a pretty forgiving person so there's nothing out there that I'm holding onto that needs forgiving. I just don't hold grudges or hold things against people. That's not to say that I have forgotten everything (that's different), but I have a pretty forgiving nature, which actually benefits me as much as it would the person I'm forgiving. Unforgiveness eats at you like a cancer and can have negative repercussions in everything you do in life.

So... On to Day 5...

My bucket list has changed, evolved, and changed again over the past few years. I still have big dreams - travel to Europe, see Alaska, see the "wonders" of the United States (national parks, amazing examples of God's artistry at work, and other pieces of Americana that are just out there waiting to be discovered), etc. I still dream of being the healthiest I can be (some days I work harder at this than others) and I still dream of doing something with my life that will make a difference in someone else's life (LOL - not counting Ron). When I was a teenager I wanted to go on a mission's trip or be a missionary to a foreign country. I'm not very brave so it didn't take too much to talk myself out of that.

I also wanted to be an archaeologist but I don't like to get dirty, and I'm not talking about your normal, everyday dirt. I'm talking DIRTY - crawling in the dirt, through spider webs, etc kind of dirty. How many archaeologists do you see out there who aren't crawling through or digging through something icky? Yeah - Miss Pansy-butt is afraid of spiders and other creepy, crawly things. Archaeology was out. I do love early American history. Very early. Like the Pueblo Indians kind of early. I would love to spend time in Arizona and New Mexico exploring all things related to their lives.

I would like to write a book (and actually get it published). I've written some children's stories but I've not had anything published. My two boys are great writers and I won't be surprised if one of them gets a book published, so I can live vicariously through one of them (hehehe!).

LOL - I would like to win big in the lottery. Biggest impediment to that is I actually have to BUY a ticket. Every once in a while I'll go buy $1 or $2 worth of tickets. I think the biggest I've ever won is $5 (maybe $10). I'm just not one to gamble a sure thing on a maybe so I rarely buy a ticket. But, if the voices in my head ever told me certain numbers were going to make my day, I think I'd take a chance and go buy a ticket. Who knows - they could be right.

I'm having fun with this 30-day thing. I will be skipping some of the other items in the list but that's OK. I may substitute my own entry for something I skip. But, I may not. Only time will tell!

Have a great day and I hope your week is outstanding!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Day 3: Something you have to forgive yourself for

Wow - really getting into the "meat" of things here. I have so many things I need to forgive myself for that I don't even know where to start. Why is it easier to forgive others than to forgive ourselves? If we don't forgive ourselves, have we really forgiven others? Do we know what true forgiveness really is?

I made a lot of mistakes with my kids, so that forgiveness needs to be high on the list. I need to forgive myself for when I failed God and His plans for me. I need to forgive myself for when I failed "me" and didn't follow through on things that were absolutely in my best interests - either from just being lazy or from not recognizing soon enough that I was messing up.

I need to forgive myself for sometimes not being more in tune to the needs of those around me, especially in times when my actions may have made a difference.

I need to forgive myself for not driving "North" on June 3, 2001. I had been in southern Missouri for the weekend and was headed home. It was Sunday evening and I was about four hours from home - and four hours from Kansas City. I knew my older sister was supposed to go into the hospital the next morning for some tests. I called her on the phone from the gas station and said that I was thinking about just staying on Hwy 77 instead of turning west onto Hwy 54. I told her that Ron and Keith were on "auto-pilot" and that they could be without me for a few more days. I'd come to KC and help her out for the week and then go home the next weekend.

She talked me out of it. I let her. She died the next day. Nine years later, I still have trouble with that decision and have often wondered if things would have been different if I'd just showed up at her doorstep that night.

I'm definitely going to ask her the next time I see her because I do believe that we will be reunited.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Pat - A View From the Edge

Ron and I had the opportunity to meet Pat and her husband Jim this evening. She is just as nice in person as she sounds in her blog. We had a great visit - I'm afraid I talked their ears off, though. Then, it suddenly dawned on me how tired they must be from driving all day and Ron was looking like he was pretty tired, so I popped up rather quickly. I'm sure I must have looked a bit odd going from talking one minute, to getting Ron out of the restaurant the next. LOL! I realized later that it must have been a bit odd.

We met at Cracker Barrel in Park City. That was relatively close to where they're spending the night and not too far for us. The worst part of the whole thing was the rain. It's no fun to load the wheelchair up in the rain. Yuk! Kind of hard to keep the electronics dry, get the chair covered, tied down, and make sure that everything is tight and secure. In the meantime, I get plenty wet doing that. Not too fun, especially since I'm not moving too fast yet.

I think we got to visit for nearly two hours, so that was nice. I hope we get to visit again the next time they're through this part of Kansas.

Pat/Jim - Be safe - take care...

Day 2: Something you love about yourself

This is another tough one for me. I've never really thought about "loving" myself in any way, shape, or form. I finally had to sit myself down (literally) and say - hey! you're not such a bad person! You have worth, you have value, and you have things that deserve love. That was really quite an eye-opener. Sure, I knew my husband loved me and that my kids loved me, but really - wasn't 'self-love' just a form of conceit? No.... No.... No.... I learned that I really can't truly love others until I love the "me" that God created - the good, the bad, and the truly ugly.

So, I love that I have compassion for others. I love that I am willing to go to the next level for everyone. I love that I can find the good in nearly everything around me (OK - sometimes that is much more difficult to do than I let on, but I usually find it). I love that my skin isn't all wrinkled (not being a "sun" person, I didn't get lots of tans when I was growing up, so my skin has not lost a lot of elasticity). I love that I still have hair on my head (albeit, thin and fine - but it's still there!). I love that I have green eyes and they look very green if I'm wearing the right shade of green. I love that God has given me the opportunities that He has and the family that He has (is that really about myself? not sure but that's OK).

I love that God has given me the ability to write in such a way that others can understand what I'm saying and can see into my world. I hope that what I say is creative and interesting enough to make people want to come back and know more. I love that I am a child of God and that my future is secure - maybe not in this life, but in the way that really matters the most.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Day One...Thirty days of truth

Day 1: Something you hate about yourself

This is a tough one - only because there are so many things that I hate about myself. Most of it, I can't change (I kid that God wasn't listening closely when I told him what I wanted... thick hair and lips; thin hips - Instead I got thin hair and lips, and thick hips. Or, He has a "great" sense of humor and we're gonna have a discussion when I talk to him face-to-face! LOL!)

So, I hate the fact that I have thin hair (very fine, very thin) - I know, that's really vain of me, but I'd really like to like at least ONE of my features. My lips, I'm fine with those, except my family tells me that because they are thin that I frequently look like I'm mad (i.e., I don't smile enough, but I hate my teeth, so I don't show them much - I needed braces as a kid but no moolah... different story). My eyes are a nice color, but I have hereditary saggy eyelids. I think I'm beginning to look my age, which isn't all bad (I've earned it) but could be better.

As for the hips - I don't have "saddlebag" hips (which I'm thankful for) but I do have to work quite hard to keep from directly depositing my food to my butt.

That's all vanity things and really not important in the grand scheme of things. My family loves me - my husband fell in love with thin lips and thin hair and he's just got to live through the fact that I (right along with him) am aging. Fact of life...

The thing(s) that I probably hate the most about myself is my lack of self-confidence in my abilities and a pretty strong lack of self-esteem. I don't take compliments very well because I don't know how to respond. In the back of my mind, I'm thinking the person giving the compliment is surely not talking about me; there is something they're missing in their evaluation of me because I really am not worthy of the compliment. I'm sure you all don't see that because I try to cover everything with humor and a good attitude (LOL - most of the time; some of my posts are definitely not from a good attitude!). But I figure that the only way to get through this life is to look at everything as optimistically as possible and to just do my best to take everything with a grain of salt.

I cover my lack of self-confidence any way that I can. I get terrified with any kind of public speaking (even if it's in a small group of people that I've known for years; if i feel like I'm being critiqued or graded or judged, you can definitely hear it in my voice). Even though I always do my best, I never believe that what I do is quite good enough. And it shows when it's time for annual reviews and merit raises. Even though I bust my butt to do all that I can for people, am always available to help, and always take responsibility for my actions - because I lack self-confidence, I get marked down. It's mentioned every year. {sigh} Life in the fast lane, right?

I have worked very hard over the past few years to get past these self-confidence and self-esteem issues. Sometimes, I just tell myself that I've done "whatever" and that I deserve to be recognized for it. Sometimes, I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I am worthy of the reward.

Sometimes, I am not so sure.

30 Days of Truth

I borrowed (hehehe - swiped) this from Skippy at I Make Soap, who borrowed it from someone else. When I first read it, I didn't think I'd really be able to do it. Then I decided that I would maybe just modify it a bit. I may not be able to address all 30 days, so I'll just leave those items out.

Here's the list (feel free to "borrow" it yourself):

30 Days of Truth:

Day 1: Something you hate about yourself
Day 2: Something you love about yourself
Day 3:Something you have to forgive yourself for
Day 4: Something you have to forgive someone else for
Day 5: Something you hope to do in your life
Day 6: Something you hope you never have to do
Day 7: Someone who has made your life worth living
Day 8: Someone who has made your life hell or treated you badly
Day 9: Someone you didn't want to let go, but who drifted
Day 10: Someone you need to let go, or wish you didn't know
Day 11: Something people seem to compliment you the most on
Day 12: Something you never get compliments on
Day 13: A band or artist that has gotten you through some tough times
Day 14: A hero that has let you down
Day 15: Something or someone you couldn't live without
Day 16: Something or someone you could definitely live without
Day 17: A book you've read that changed your view on something
Day 18: Your views on gay marriage
Day 19: What is your opinion of religion?
Day 20: Your views on drugs and alcohol.
Day 21: (Scenario) Your best friend is in a car accident and you got into a fight a couple of hours before. What do you do?
Day 22: Something you wish you hadn't done in your life
Day 23: Something you wish you had done in your life
Day 24: Make a playlist to someone and explain why you chose those songs
Day 25: The reason you believe you're still alive today
Day 26: Have you ever thought about giving up on life?
Day 27: What's the best thing you've got going for you right now?
Day 28: What would you do if you got pregnant (or got someone pregnant) right now?
Day 29: Something you hope to change about yourself
Day 30: A letter to yourself

Not sure if I'll make it through the 30 days or not, but I'll give it a shot.

She's Ba-ack!

The test went very well today. They did make incisions in both femoral arteries - tried the right side first and couldn't get in so went to the left. So, I have plugs in both sides that I have to be extra careful with. I am in pain - look like a 100-year old woman trying to walk. Quite amusing if watching me from the back, I'm sure.

The doctor found no blockages so has no idea why my S and T waves were abnormal and why I had an abnormal stress test. I'm thankful there was no blockages but it does bring up another question - what is causing the pain??? They'll look at my gallbladder next.

Ron was able to stay with me all day (his son, Aaron, came up to the hospital, too and stayed so he could take us home). He's still acting "off" but would not let us take him to the ER (since we were at the hospital already). He may end up there anyway, but he may end up snapping out of it and being OK. Never can tell with him.

I have a "no lifting anything" restriction for 72 hours and then no lifting more than 10 pounds for two weeks. I go back to see the cardiologist in two weeks for a follow-up visit.

Thanks for all the well-wishes, prayers, positive thoughts, and encouraging comments! You all are so wonderful and I'm very grateful that you are all my "bloggy" friends! Looking forward to meeting Pat from A View From the Edge tomorrow for dinner! Yay! I think it will be an absolutely enjoyable visit. I told her I would be bringing my camera to document our visit.

I'm taking tomorrow off since I think sitting up at a computer for 8 hours will be too much for me. I'll rest in the morning and work on some cards. Then, when I hear from Pat we'll head out to meet up at Cracker Barrel. Ought to be great!

Thanks again!!!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Knock, Knock…

Who’s there?

Ms. Whiny

Ms. Whiny who?

Ms. Whiny about Ron, who else???

I can’t help but wonder just when this less-than-amusing amusement ride will end. I got up this morning to let Maisey back into the bedroom, only to find Ron on the floor of the living room. He had fallen out of his lift-chair while he was trying to transfer and was on the floor. He was not hurt but he couldn’t get up. I had to go wake Keith up to come help since I am not supposed to be lifting – and even if I didn’t have that restriction, he’s too heavy for me. His joints are so sore (hands, wrists, elbows, shoulders, left knee, etc.) and that he just couldn’t support his body as he was trying to transfer. Once he was down on the floor, he couldn’t get turned over to crawl back up into the chair. Keith (with a little help from me) did manage to get him back in his chair. I don’t know what is going to happen with him – and with me. He’s about as strong as a frail 80-year old man – or woman, for that matter.

He also was acting a bit “off” mentally this morning. Said I had to go to my “thing” and thought it was Friday. First of all, it’s Wednesday, and my “thing” is tomorrow, not Friday. He just looked so confused this morning. Now, it was 5:30 so that could be part of it but still… I asked him if he was sure he wasn’t going into kidney failure. I’ll see how he is tonight when I get home. (Update: He's "slow" tonight in responses and comprehension.)

I really don’t know what to do with him or about him. He didn’t eat again yesterday but luckily he didn’t have a low blood sugar. That is probably because he didn’t take insulin either. When I got home from work last night I had a bit of trouble rousing him from sleep. It’s kind of scary. I can’t really cancel my test tomorrow because I think I need it, but on the other hand I think what if he is the one who needs to be in the hospital? It’s just too much right now.

Financially, things are getting really tough. Student loans just went into repayment (since I didn’t stay in school – dropped out last winter when Ron got so sick and although they hadn’t disbursed all of my financial aid, I still have some to start making payments on). I think I’m going to talk to a consumer credit counselor to see about negotiating some of our interest rates and debt-load. I don’t want to “not” pay it – I just need something restructured so I can pay it easier.

I did talk to the orthotics guy and told him that $25 per month is all I can afford. He seems fine, but evidently his bookkeeping staff didn’t get the message. My last bill had the amount I owe highlighted in yellow. LOL – as if that’s going to make money miraculously appear in my checking account with their name on it. Riiiggghhhttt….. Gotta love the bookkeeping department!

We rented a manual wheelchair (which should be delivered today) and insurance should pay all but $13 per month on it. After 13 months, it will be ours. I certainly hope that we don’t need a wheelchair that long, but I have to be realistic about things, too. Instead of getting stronger, he’s staying about the same in some areas and actually worse in others. He is going to have to have surgery on his left knee. There’s just no way around it. His knee just about won’t support him, so walking with his fake leg is really pretty much out of the question. He can’t put it on himself, and even if he could, I don’t want him trying to walk in the house without someone being there.

So - tomorrow is my heart cath. I am not worried, per se - but I would not be totally honest if I said that it will be a piece of cake and I'm fine with it all. Nope... that would not be true. Because, I can't help but have some worry in the back of my mind. Things do happen in procedures. There's a statistic on that. Frankly, my dear, I don't want to be a statistic.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Cardiologist appointment update

October 21... that's the big day.

Until then, I have long-acting nitroglycerin tablets to take twice a day.

For two days before the procedure, the day of, and for two days after I cannot take my gloucophage because of how it interacts with the contrast material and my kidneys. OK, I can handle that.

I'm allergic to Betadine, so I have to be pre-medicated with allergy medication. The day before, I have to take two Prednisone at 8am, 2pm, and 10pm and 50mg Benadryl at the same time; at 6am on the morning of, I take two more Prednisone and 50mg Benadryl. The Benadryl "may cause drowsiness" so they don't recommend that I drive - but the Prednisone may cause insomnia so it may be a wash. I may be up all night Wednesday night, or I may be asleep at my desk all day. Oh joy... did I mention that Prednisone will raise my blood sugar? And, I can't take my main oral medication? Good thing I am a very controlled diabetic.

The doc wasn't overly concerned (I mean - he didn't say stuff like go home, put your feet up, and do nothing) but he was concerned enough to suggest I take the nitro every day until the day of the procedure. He doesn't know what he's going to find but I guess he wants to err on the side of caution instead of not giving me something and then finding out that I needed it.

Ron says he'll go sit at the hospital with me, but that doesn't sound very easy on him. He can't be my driver but I can drive up there in the morning, with him as my passenger. I don't know - maybe that would work. Amy and/or Keith could come over in the afternoon and drive us home.

I've got a week to figure it out. I'm not stressing. I think I'll start taking the 50mg of Benadryl at night tonight.

I am numb...

Just found out a friend from work passed away in her sleep last night. Although we didn't work in the same department, we had a lot of interaction. We were just discussing heart conditions last week - she was born with a congenital heart defect and at age 18, had a valve replaced. She'd also had several holes in her heart that had to be repaired at birth. She had been sick with a sinus infection and had told me she couldn't take much.

She was my boss' best friend. She will be greatly missed by many.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Welcome to Dell Technical Support Chat!

Agent: "Welcome to Dell's Technical Support Chat! My name is XXXX. I apologize that you had to wait to reach us since we are experiencing high volume today. However, not delaying it further, please let me know how I may help you?"

Me: "I actually was on the phone earlier - after 14 minute wait - and the guy disconnected me. I have been on hold - again - for over 10 min and you got lucky and got me first"

Me: "i have a problem with the 8-in-1 media reader slot"

Me: "it should be spring loaded to pop the blank in/out and my SD card in/out. but it is not. the card gets stuck in - in fact, the blank was stuck in there first and i had to use tweezers to pull it out"

Agent: "I apologize for the inconvenience caused to you due to the disconnect and assure you that I would try to assist you in the best possible way regarding the issue that you are facing with the media card reader on your system."

Me: (after 2-3 minutes with nothing happening) "OK, how can you help?"

Me: "the system is new; delivered only a couple of weeks ago"

Me: "i have another dell studio 17 so i know how it is supposed to work."

Agent: "Teresa, you are using Studio 1749 with windows 7 as an operating system on it. Am i correct?"

Me: "yes"

Agent: "I apologize for the inconvenience caused to you due to the card reader and assure you that we would try to resolve the issue quickly."

Agent: "Thank you for the information."

Agent: "Teresa, XXX-XXX-XXXX, is this the correct number to contact you back in 30-60 minutes in case the chat gets disconnected while troubleshooting?"

Me: "yes"

Agent: "Thank you. Teresa, do you see any button on the media card reader of your system which could be pressed to take the card out of the slot?"

Me: "no, you push the blank in and it is spring-loaded - it pops out. you insert your card until it locks into place; when finished, push in gently - it pops out"

Me: "my other dell - service tag XXXXXXX- is just like it - except it actually works"

Agent: "Okay. Thank you for the information."

Agent: "Teresa, does the memory card work fine and read in the system correctly?"

Me: "it does"

Me: "it's not my memory card"

Me: "it is the card reader."

Me: "it is broken"

Me: "it does not function as it should"

Me: "or, tweezers should have been a part of the "peripherals" that came with it"

Guess you could say that I was a little bit frustrated with my laptop.

But, the guy did end up helping me, he's referring the trouble call to a technician who should be calling me in the next day or so to set up an appointment to come fix the card reader. LOL - then he called me on the phone and tried to sell me another extended warranty. Half-price. What a steal...

Thursday, October 7, 2010

I could puke...

Just got the insurance statements for the preliminary "leg" stuff. After insurance on what has been billed, our share is nearly $1,000. This is so not good. I'm just sick.

This isn't even for the permanent leg. The bill (so far) is right at $6,100.

I'm just sick. Totally.

Saturday, October 2, 2010


I should have said I had a baseline heart cath two years ago - I've had EKGs several times since then. Found out yesterday that the one I had the day I saw the cardiologist was also abnormal and the one they did during the stress test was even more abnormal.

I didn't think I was too stressed out over it, but I guess I am. I've been keeping myself dosed up on Xanax so the little things don't bother me quite as much. They don't really bother me anyway, but when all the little things get added up, then I have to say that I get bothered.
Like today... I bought Ron a new laptop (his was crap - CRAP, I tell ya!) and he has such trouble seeing and feeling, that I decided I'd go ahead. Dell had a special - 12 months same as cash - and we got a discount through work. So, I ordered him a laptop. It came yesterday and today I was trying to copy files from Old Laptop to New Laptop. I am also copying files from Isaiah's laptop (which is worse than Ron's - it's about 8 years old) because I'm going to give Old Laptop to Isaiah and give his away to someone else who doesn't currently have one - and she'll be thrilled to get it as she just wants to use it for recipes and stuff like that (Jamie, if you're reading this - you did not read about the laptop). Isaiah's was my first laptop that Shaun bought for me in either 2002 or 2003. It's not terribly fast but it's OK for surfing the web, for some little games (I installed a few games for Jamie's little girl), and for email. It's not great for memory-hogging stuff.
So, I have four laptops going (you'd think it was an Internet cafe here) as I'm copying, deleting, transferring, etc. and Ron decides he's going to clean out the table by his chair and the table the television sits on. Trouble is, he can take the stuff out, but he can't put anything back. And, then he's stuck because there's stuff on the floor and he can't drive around it. That means that I have to stop what I'm doing to go finish what he started. It would be different if this was a one-time event, but this is his method of operation... He'll start something that he cannot finish - or that he needs help with - while I'm right in the middle of something. And he expects, needs, wants me to stop what I'm doing to take care of what he's doing. Quite frankly - it irritates the hell out of me every time. Today - major irritation because I'm already doing something for HIM.
I took a Xanax. It was either that or throttle him.
Just kidding...
Back to the EKG and stuff. I called my cardiologist's office just like I'd been told to do. He was out of the office yesterday morning and they're closed on Friday afternoon. I called my family doctor back and asked more specifically what "abnormal" meant and what I needed to do. I was planning on cleaning my garage today with my kids. But, I said my grandfather dropped dead at age 55 - heart attack; no real symptoms. My dad had his first heart attack at age 54; no real symptoms (some, but not tons). I said I'd already had some chest pains (mild - could have been stress or anxiety; they are very similar in "feeling") so what should I do. She said my S and T waves were abnormal and stayed abnormal throughout the EKGs and when the thallium put my heart under stress, it did not recover like it should have. She said that the goal in the heart cath would be to fix any problem that may be discovered. If it's a simple heart cath, even with stent placement, then the hospital recovery time was only four hours and they send you home for bedrest for the remainder of the day.
She said they would call on Monday and get an appointment set up for me. Until then, relax. No heavy housework. No cleaning the garage. No stress.
Has she met me before? Does she not know how my life goes? Ron has to go to the diabetic eye doctor. He has to go to the "butt doctor" (he gets a colonoscopy every six months and he's overdue). He goes to the "fake leg" guy every week. He's got to go see her every month to have his pain patches and pain pills refilled. He's got prostate problems (TMI?). First, he can't go - then he can't quit going. Keith had to have an MRI on his left knee (from the car wreck; Mr. Long Legs hit his knee on the dash when he got rear ended). He may have to have posterior cruciate ligament surgery.
If I died, Ron would not know who to call to file a life insurance claim, he does not know what bills come out of the account automatically every month and which ones I have reminders set up to remind me to physically pay them. He doesn't even know the login information for the bank. He doesn't know we have accounts at three different banks (I know - silly, but at the time they were each set up for a specific reason and just haven't combined them) or what the login information for the others are. I'm not even sure he knows which two other banks we have accounts at.
We have serious role reversals here.
No stress... No problem. We don't have problems here. We have situations... (learned that in Jamaica).
Houston... WE HAVE A SITUATION (or ten).
Seriously - I am doing fine with all things considered. Thanks for all the well-wishes and the prayers. I appreciate them. I talked to my step-daughter last night and she said that she could probably pick me up from the hospital the day of the test and take me home. Amy said to just let her know what day and she'd make arrangements, too.