Friday, July 30, 2010

[-7] + [-3] = RELIEF!!

First things first, I was gently reminded that I had omitted a VERY important family outing, organized for last Sunday, to derail the bad karma train! Classic example of just how different the priorities can be within one small family....

Guess to whom this outing was priority one??

Auntie Peggy drove and acted as photographer. Alyssa attended also as it came to our attention that her only experience with the racetrack involves the line  "Move your bloomin' arse!!"

I pretty much held down one of the shaded viewing stand seats all
afternoon (:

Julia's day was pretty much a win/win once she finally obtained a precious pair of  jockey's goggles!

In one of those happy coincidences of confluence, we discovered on our mini-vacation, that the Amish are very fond of purchasing retired race horses to pull their buggies! Nice to know that some get a chance to go on and live a long and drug free life.

Now on to today's topic!! I'm home from another round of doctor's appointments and happy to report that -7 stitches makes my wrist soooo much more comfortable. Add to that my new.....

and -3 inches brace making for pure relief!!!! The new brace is a lighter material and only requires a light cotton sleeve covering thus alleviating the hot, sweating itch I've been suffering the past week!

More of my hand and fingers are now free as well!!!! Was able to sign my own name for the first time in a week....can sewing be far behind???

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Being Flexible?

So my life goes a little like this these days........


Let's see if I can catch us all up in one post? Now where were we in the bad karma tsunami......

well I decided one Friday evening that the sunset and cloud formations warranted an attempt at using the camera with my left hand. These were the early set. Then these followed....

and then they turned nasty and dumped 8 inches of rain on us in a very few short hours....

and Auntie Peggy needed a submarine to get through the underpass which stands between her house and ours!!!!!! (psst Gardenia, those are Wellingtons on Julia's feet) While our basement was spared with only a hint of seepage, the rest of our neighbors did not fare as well!! Poor Alyssa woke in her lower level bedroom to find her bed floating in TWO FEET of water!!!!

Many are still trying to pump the residual water out as well as dragging all the ruined Rec Room items to the curb. Then on Monday afternoon I get a call from Patrick who's at work. He NEVER calls from work?!?!?!?

In a rather panicked voice he tells me that the August vacation requests had just been posted and that his had NOT been granted due to their strict, unbending seniority system. The brilliant plan to wait until after all my doctoring was over and done with to go on a vacation was not so brilliant after all!?!?!? Now our options were to leave in Tuesday or go without a summer vacation this year.

Seeing as how we were still without internet or phone service, I was quite challenged to pull something together on a couple of hours notice! But we packed and were on the road by mid-morning Tuesday and here's your hint of were we went.......

Three hours drive to our east in the Goshen, Indiana region there is a rather large Amish population. In a rather monumental breakthrough in maturity, the girls realized that their unanimous FIRST choice of a Wisconsin Dells water park was possibly not a good choice when your Mom is sporting a splinted and bandaged right arm soooooo......we found a hotel with a great indoor water park right in Amish country (:

We toured several Amish sites which really grabbed Mari's interest and she took most of the pictures for me (since the 90+ degree and 90%+ humidity weather was really bothering my arm!!!) but I did catch this one of her which I really love.....

She had already been wearing the hat for over an hour before it dawned on her that it was a man's hat! In a moment of wavering over whether to continue wearing the hat I showed her this picture and it helped her conquer the teen insecurity/peer pressure she was feeling. She even inched a tiny bit closer to maturity after asking me "Just when can I expect to feel comfortable in my own skin?" It was a great opening question to a great discussion about self-confidence!!

Julia was pretty much all about the water park.....

and the water park.....

and the arcade!

On the trip home we just couldn't resist the lure of a bright golden beacon.....

C'mon, you never know when you might be the parent of a future Domer?!?!? One can never be too young for a visit to Notre Dame!

Patrick even has aspirations!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Only an Irish family would have the cheekiness to pose like "Touch Down Jesus"!!! We opted for a quick self-guided tour of the campus and my point and shoot was just not co-operating with either Mari or myself....or maybe more fairly the hot and sweaty operators just were not patient enough???

Hmmmm, somehow missed the final stop on the tour???? Hammes Bookstore made their sales quota today!!!!!!!!!

Home safe and sound and anxiously awaiting tomorrow's appointment to have the sutures removed and a hopeful reduction in the size of the splint....

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Bad Karma????

Not exactly sure what I've done of late to bring on this string of 'issues' but we're clearly experiencing bad karma this weekend!!!

The hand aches something fierce especially in the evenings....okay so I 'get' that as I'm not the most compliant patient but....

we had this string of storms that's just battering us!!!! I'm writing this on Auntie Peggy's computer because the lightening AND FLOODING have knocked out our phone and internet!!!! I took pics of the flooding which I'll throw up once our service is restored. In the meantime we're home helping the neighbors bail out all our basements.......

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Learning to be ambidextrous!

36 hours post op and I'm off the pain meds!!! Not that I'm pain-free but it's just too painFUL to try and open the childproof cap....dearest Patrick wasn't thinking ahead when he picked up the RX. Just as well as they wreck my stomach so time to move to Ibuprophen.
Besides the obvious personal hygiene challenges, I have discovered many other daily challenges when the dominant hand is out of commission! Diet Coke cans, potato peelers, TV remotes, keyboard and mouse all need to be reprogrammed for left hand usage for the next couple of weeks. Camera....well that kind of reminds me of the old joke about the patient asking if he'd be able to play the piano after his surgery?!?!

Very low key day with Julia off at day camp, Patrick back to work, and Mari sleeping off her reporter/nursing duties....I saw an awful lot of TV today (: 

Tomorrow will be more action packed as I've been 'cleared' to shower as long as I promise to plastic wrap the right arm. Seriously considering calling the salon to have them do the hair as my left hand is decidedly unpracticed in that department!!! Oh to be ambidextrous!!!

BTW, fingers pink and tingling so artery resection appears to have been a complete success!!!! I looooove my hand surgeon. He is the same one that reattached Patrick's severed finger and now approaches sainthood in my books. The anesthesiologist too as this was the very first time I've every made it through the recovery room without non-stop nausea!

Man! A two year old would have been able to type this faster than I just did!!!!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

News Report

This is Mari and today was my mom's surgery. She had to wake up early this morning to get to the hospital. Good thing it was because she was getting cranky from lack of Diet Coke!!! My mom's usually the driver so it was REALLY hard for her to let my dad drive. 

I wasn't there when she got home (i don't have a picture) but my dad told me she went straight to bed. After she slept for a while she moved to the couch and started talking w/ my Grandma on the phone to tell her how it went.

 Here is her hand out of the sling; 

Then this is the card my sister made for her.

FYI the pathologist still needs to look at the tumor but the surgeon says that it looked harmless to him. Oh except that it had crushed one of her arteries but he fixed that by cutting out the bad part and re-attaching the ends of the artery. This has been Mari w/ your News Report. Over and Out.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Farming Foibles

Fellow Mid-westerners would probably label me crazy for repeatedly gushing about this summer's weather. After last year's whine fest on this blog about how crummy the weather was I have decided to be grateful for what we are getting this summer, especially since it involves a lot of sunshine and warmth! In a nod to my fellow prairie dwellers I will acknowledge that the warmth could better be described as 'stifling hot' but seeing as it is summer.....

Anyhow, waaaaaay back in the spring I mentioned how we had decided to give this gardening thing another try. We put in carrots, peas, radishes, peppers, onions, cabbage, tomatoes, zucchini, and cucumbers. While I am sort of tending the zucchini plants and a few tomato plants in my backyard the rest of the 'farm' in in Auntie Peggy's "back 40". Let's be brutally honest here....we has become Auntie Peggy!

She recorded the first harvest...even though she won't put a single one in her mouth!

The pea plants did not take a cotton to our amateur efforts but a serving or two have been harvested to date.

A nice fat 15 inch[ish] zucchini missed making a blog appearance because I [as usual] didn't think to snap it's picture before shredding it to smithereens and making it into several loaves of zucchini bread.

Now, given our 'zone', one would just maybe...under the most ideal of expecting the tomato, pepper, and cucumber plants to be thinking of offering up their first fruits......
but we've had such a hot and wet summer that we have been enjoying those guys for more than a week now!!! Not so many that there's any need to read up on canning but a really nice amount. Besides the zucchini bread we've used the peppers in salads and sloppy joe's, the tomatoes in salads, and [in this house anyhow] the cucumbers have become the daily afternoon snack.

This afternoon I got a call from Auntie Peggy asking how the girls were enjoying their new organic snack. When I responded that they were a real treat and that I was even running low on Ranch dressing because of them her response was "Good keep it that way!" Normally this would have been a jab at my indulgent pantry stocking tendencies but......

when she e-mailed this picture to me I got the light!!!!! This is sooooooo a problem because we are NOT pickle eaters. Gotta go.....time to google cucumber recipes!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Oh, and one more thing....

Just had to to show you one more series of pictures from the 4th of July!!!

It was HOT for our 4th this year so when Auntie Peggy spotted a small notice in the paper that the local ice rink was having a TOTALLY FREE open skate on the actual 4th of July it sounded like a great way to have fun AND be cool.

We had on red/white & blue.....

jackets!!!! Well, that is Julia and I wore jackets while the resident skate coach...

only wore jeans to humor us! He was fully prepared to wear his shorts but we talked him out of it and he was sure to point out all the other skaters who showed up in their shorts!

He is so good with helping Julia learn to skate!

He had her confident enough to take off on her own in no time!

Then I had this brilliant idea to see if I could still navigate the ice?!?!?

This is pretty much what I saw......

when this inevitably happened!!!!! My knee is still sore!! Next time I leave it to the smaller and more flexible bodies to enjoy!

Only in America can you spend a 90+ degree 4th of July ICE SKATING (:

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Moods of a Mid-life Mom....

There are these moments in ones life when there is no ducking the smack upside the head! I have been quiet on here for too long but now I think sufficient time has elapsed to allow me to share without being too emotionally involved in the subject. You see, while we were trying to enjoy this simply gorgeous summer I've been spending waaaaaaaay too much of it in waiting rooms and lead lined radiogram rooms!!

The missed Chicago trip due to my Menier's emphasized the need to get more proactive in it's treatment. Durng a bunch of doctoring in anticipation of having a procedure to alleviate the symptoms of the Menier's Syndrome I ran right into one heck of a mid-life/mortality episode!! You see, each step along the doctoring path revealed medical issues previously undiagnosed. 

So while I  was caught up in the domino fall of diagnosis there was still a life to be lived!!! We decided that the pedicure outing was so 'bonding' that we headed out for Patriotic Pedicures (:

BFF/Cousin Deirdre landed in the car as we headed out so I gave up my slot. Not long into the pedicure as we watched this.....

it was revealed that this was Deirdre's FIRST pedicure!!! Red, white, and blue polish it was for all!

Having a Mom in a mid-life funk is not how I want the girls to remember this summer so we kept up with all the holiday social schedule...

attending cousin Liz's 1st annual 4th of July bar-be-que at her first home! A real grown up girl now that she has a mortgage....


There were fireworks to be seen...

two nights in a row!!!!!!

All the while I've got visions of this in my head......

poor quality I know  but I was just a tad bit shaken when I was handed this prescription sheet!!! At the very last second, before I had to hand it in at the radiology desk I decided to snap the picture so as to have a record of this event!

There it is! Clearly visible on the x-ray. So back to the hand specialist it see, I'm RIGHT HANDED!!!! I'm a DENTIST!!!!! I SEW!!!! I cook, clean, and clap from the sidelines! My LIFE revolves around my hands?!?!? This was only supposed to be a ganglion biggie. Just a quick out-patient procedure and a week or two of splinting and then OT and I'm back to my old self......maybe....because the hand specialist didn't see a ganglion cyst!!!!!

So off I was again to the lead lined cell! This time with his words ringing in my ears about fibrosarcomas and schwannomas.....neither of which would leave my hand with it's original capabilities.

AND now I've been marked up for surgery!!! CT scan ruled out fibrosarcoma and schwannoma....yeah!!! The mass is yet to be conclusively identified and probably won't be until it's in the hands of the pathologist. The dots are the circumference of the 'tumor' and the wiggly line is the flap design he intends to use. Still life must go on! While I spent waaaay too many of my nights awake and pondering the deepest thoughts of the meaning of ones life, the days were spent 'in the moment'!

Lucky for me I have a blessed life! Just as the reality of my mortality takes a tight grip and starts to shake me silly there comes my teachable moment.....

a family bridal shower!!! An afternoon spent with my Aunts and Cousins....

 an afternoon with new babies to celebrate...and tears for the shared sadness in watching a bride-to-be as she opened the crocheted blanket made just for her big day by a cousin who is in her last days with brain cancer.The circle of life in all it's stages in one room. Blessed beyond belief to have each other to share this walk through life. Now as I head towards the operating room, I'm thinking that this summer is a metaphor for life itself! The picture of my life would just be too 'cartoonish' without these strokes of gray and black to shadow the bright and beautiful and give it the depth of beauty it truly contains!!!