Summer Fun

We have three iPods, one iPad, one iPhone AND an alarm clock in this hotel room, yet still somehow managed to oversleep and miss the FREE breakfast at the hotel?

Irresponsible much?

Dang. Embarrassing.

Luckily, the gas station beside of the hotel sells Krispy Kreme donuts, and of course, the boys felt like they had hit the breakfast jackpot. As much as I love a good donut, I don’t like eating them for breakfast. It seems irresponsible to start your day and your metabolism with a big bunch of sugar.

But enough about my irresponsible self.

I took some time yesterday to upload all of the pictures from my SD card to my laptop, and also charged my camera battery. As I watched the pictures upload, I was reminded of the fun we have had this summer.

S is for sweet smiles from the back seat en route to our next destination.

 

U is for unruly children at the hotel pool

 

M is for magnificent views in the Amish Country

 

M is also for memorable summer nights with friends.

 

E is for excitement about new bedding

 

R is for relaxing on the beach

 

T is for tax-free shopping in New Hampshire

 

I is for ideas on Pinterest (for after season baseball parties)

 

M is for messed up hair while riding in the SKY

 

E is for exciting weekends with scout friends.

 I am so sad for summer 2013 to come to an end. It has flown by.

Twelve more days until me and my alarm clock go round and round.

Well, provided I remember to set it.

What I Learned This Week

As I have for the past however many Tuesdays, I am blogging from a hotel room in Jacksonville, Florida. As we travelled down I-95 yesterday, McDaddy calculated that we’ve travelled to 12 states in four weeks.

I didn’t realize when I was throwing a fit all those years ago about McDaddy having to travel so much that it would mean that when school was out, our little band of four would get to take our show on the road. So, that’s what we do during summer. Schenectady, New York one week. Plattsburgh, New York the next. Jacksonville, Florida, after that. We are seriously blessed.

On the down side though, it makes summer FLY by. I am so sad that my boys go back to school in just 11 days. It makes me even sadder that I’ll be waking up to the stupid chirping crickets from my phone at 6:40 in the AM. This will be a different kind of year for us. Stevie will start Middle School, which means I’ll have two kids in two different schools. One of which is MIDDLE SCHOOL.

Give me a minute while I wipe tears and pop a Paxil.

MY BABY.

IN MIDDLE SCHOOL.

I can barely type the words.

1. First of all, I learned that the closer we get to August 9th, the more anxiety I experience.

2. An Audi R8 V10 starts at $128,000.

3. And, according to Alex $128,000 is cheap because that car goes really, really, really, really fast.

4. Unless you actually plan to GET IT OUT AND DO SOMETHING WITH IT, it does you no good to drag a stack of paperwork from one end of the east coast to another.

5. Sometimes its tough to determine the intent of a text message.

6. I am a sucker for anything bright pink. Especially a SHARPIE.

7. I am not a fan of a pink Saturn Sky.

8. There are A LOT of Saturn Sky’s in the Jacksonville area. In fact, we saw four of them in one hour this evening (dark gray, white, ruby-red, chili pepper red).

9. I am always at a loss when writing about more than one Saturn Sky because S-k-y apostrophe s seems wrong.

10. When you find five iPhone chargers on eBay for $25.00, you should leave them in China.

11. As a blogger, I don’t know nearly as much about SEO (search engine optimization) as I should.

12. Bunghole is an acceptable word on Words With Friends. (Yes, I am easily amused.)

That’s what I learned this week.

Now, what did you learn?

To join in on the What I Learned This Week carnival, simply follow these steps.

1. Any time this week, publish your What I Learned This Week post on your blog and link to this post.

2. Link up with the Mr. Linky form down below. Please put the link to your POST, not the front page of your blog.

3. Then visit the other participants and see what they learned this week.

Ready, Set, GO!



Divide And Conquer

*I began writing this post on June 17, 2013. As I was writing it, I began experiencing a sharp pain in my lower back. I recognized the pain immediately and knew I would not be finishing this post that evening. Less than an hour after shutting my laptop, I was headed to the emergency room in search of a strong narcotic. Thanks to my third (and most stubborn) kidney stone, I totally forgot about finishing this post. And now, more than a month later, I’m finally getting around to finishing it.*

When we decided to have a second child, McDaddy and I realized there might come a time when we’d have to divide in order to conquer.

For us, the whole divide-and-conquer thing typically happens as a result of a crazy-busy thirteen-week period of time known as baseball season. Alex plays in coach-pitch league, and Stevie plays in player-pitch league, and for some reason the powers-that-be here at our small town Little League couldn’t care less that McDaddy and I have to juggle these two schedules. If only they’d let me make the schedules, things would be so much easier for us.

But alas, such is life.

This past weekend was Webelos Weekend for Stevie. It is the also the weekend that Alex’s Little League coach-pitch team was playing its first all-star tournament. Deciding which kid I’d be accompanying this weekend was a no-brainer when you stop to consider

  • 1. Campers are not allowed at Webelos Weekend
  • 2. I HATE SLEEPING IN A TENT, and,
  • 3. The “toilet” at the campground looked like it was about 416 years old and hadn’t been cleaned in roughly 413 years. (And if McDaddy wasn’t in bed, I would include a picture of the toilet here on the blog for your viewing pleasure. Since he is the only one in the house who has a J-O-B, he is fast asleep at 10:58 PM.)

McDaddy and Stevie left out of here around 11 AM on Friday morning.

Alex and I left home about thirty minutes later.

In this…

Sweet mercy, have I mentioned that I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this car?

And we drove it almost everywhere we went last weekend, except when we invited Alex’s friend Tanner to dinner, and to ride the grand prix cars.

My mother-in-law took this picture when we met them for dinner before Alex’s first all-star game.

I didn’t realize how different it would be having just one kid for an entire weekend. There was no bickering. No fighting. No refereeing.

Plus, we got to ride in the SKY all weekend, because HELLO, only ONE KID! We ran non-stop all weekend, but we had a great time.

I have just one thing to say about the all-star baseball process.

And All-Star baseball game is like any other normal baseball game.

ON STEROIDS.

There is so much excitement. And yelling. And cheering. And clapping. And whooping. And pressure. And heart banging.

Holy cow, I didn’t think I was going to make it.

 

From the way my heart was banging, you would have thought this little fella was playing for the New York Yankees.

Instead, he is a seven-year old who has played coach-pitch baseball for all of twenty weeks, when you add in the fall ball season.

His team lost their first game 15-11.

And then we won. (And by we, I totally mean HIS team!)

And then, we won again.

And just when I didn’t think things could get any more nerve-wracking, my sweet boy suited up in this…

Holy hallelujah, I thought I’d have a heart attack right there.

It was the first time he had ever played the position of catcher. And the even crazier part is that within seconds of taking this picture, my sweet, stubborn little boy decided it would be easier getting the head-gear off if he took his rec-specs (sports glasses) off. So, he ended up playing catcher without his glasses.

But wait, there’s more…

After his coach observed him looking out the side of the rec-specs to bat, he was convinced he couldn’t see well with the rec-specs and asked me if I had his regular glasses (of course we didn’t). When he got up to bat, he didn’t have one bit of trouble seeing the ball. Who the heck knows what that was all about. All I know is that he seemed to be doing just fine without any type of visual assistance, and so we went with it.

I am still perplexed about the rec-spec mystery, but once we are home long enough to have them checked out, I intend on taking the rec-specs to his eye Doctor to make sure the prescription lenses are correct.

I thoroughly enjoyed the All-Star experience. When his coach asked us if he would be trying out for all-stars, I was taken by surprise. When we first mentioned it to Alex, he was adamant about NOT trying out. (I was serious when I told you he was stubborn!) By the next day he had made up his mind that he would try out. It added another two weeks onto our baseball season IN THE DEAD HEAT OF SUMMER, but it was so worth it. He was thrilled when he got to choose his number, and he lit up when he discovered that his name was on the back of his jersey. And I hollered and whooped like a straight-up crazy person in the stands. It was an awesome experience for all of us!

An experience which also thankfully included clean bathrooms.

Have a great Monday, y’all!

What I Learned This Week

First, I must apologize to those of you who faithfully link to “What I Learned This Week.” I happened to be out of town last Tuesday handling some family business and to be honest the blog was the last thing on my mind. I keep saying I’m going to get back to posting at least semi-regularly, then without fail, something happens that suggests otherwise.

Which is the first thing I learned this week.

Here’s what else I learned this week.

1. If you happen to be travelling with a friend or family member to the Cleveland Clinic and you need a reasonably priced place to stay, you should put McDaddy on the job. Within minutes of my asking, he found a web-site for Hospitality Homes of Cleveland. Basically, there are 16 families in the Cleveland area who offer non-profit medical lodging for family members of patients at the Cleveland Clinic. The cost is $30. per night. I am thankful and grateful for these folks.

2. Time with friends is so very important.

3. The baby oil shaving tip on Pinterest is FALSE.

For me at least.

It does however, make a big mess on your razor blade.

4.  The older I get the less clutter I can stand.

5. This summer has flown by.

6. If you have kidney stones, you should be drinking LEMONADE. Not Cranberry juice.

7. Many foods that are considered healthy and good for you are B-A-D for kidney stones.

Figures.

8. The number one cause of kidney stones is dehydration.

That’s also my helpful hint for the day.

That’s what I learned this week.

Now, what did YOU learn?

To join in on the What I Learned This Week carnival, simply follow these steps.

1. Any time this week, publish your What I Learned This Week post on your blog and link to this post.

2. Link up with the Mr. Linky form down below. Please put the link to your POST, not the front page of your blog.

3. Then visit the other participants and see what they learned this week.

Alrightythen. Ready, Set, GO!



Three Little Words

I am alive.
Pressed for time.
This seemed easiest.
Kidney stone gone!
Hallelujah and Amen.
Travelling a bunch.
Blog posts scarce.
Summer almost over.
TIME SLOW DOWN!
Dreading Middle School.
Makes me sad.
Hitting the road.
Ready to relax.
Raining A BUNCH.
Busy on Pinterest.
Organizing house soon.
Mudroom not finished.
Washer not leaking.
Thankful for that!
School shopping done.
School supplies purchased.
Pulled leg muscle.
Aggravation and pain.
It’s always something.
Getting old sucks.
I miss blogging.
Must make time.
Enjoy your week!

The McMedical Mini-Series (Final Chapter)

Previously on the McMedical Mini-Series…

McDaddy had just “pulled the plug” on the stent and removed it from my ureter, (Man, there are just some things you never thought you’d say on the blog) and I was feeling like a new woman! I was so excited. It was the first time in weeks I didn’t feel one bit of pressure “down there” or have an overwhelming urge to pee, and I was so thankful. No more drippy-drop for me!

When we woke up Monday morning, the boys and I went down to the hotel lobby for breakfast, and then we swam in the hotel pool. I was in the water for about thirty minutes when I started feeling sick to my stomach. It was hotter than the hubs of you-know-where in that hotel pool, so I chalked it up to being too hot. Have I mentioned I don’t like to be any kind of uncomfortable? Mostly because I sweat like a mo-jo, but also because I don’t like being too hot or too cold because that turns me into a whiny nag. I watched the boys swim as long as I could handle the heat and then I summoned them out of the pool. Once we returned to our room, I took a shower, crawled into bed and tried every way in the world I could to get warm.

That was Monday afternoon around noon.

And I stayed in that same spot – in room 308 at the Hampton Inn in Schnectedy, New York (with the exception of trips to bathroom to pee or puke or bathe) – until Thursday morning at 5:30 AM when McDaddy and I finally decided I should go to the Emergency Room. My temperature had been up and down for days. McDaddy made multiple trips to the CVS across the street for Gatorade (which I threw up), a new thermometer (because the one we brought was showing my temp as 104 – even though my forehead didn’t feel that hot) and medicine. Still, I was not one bit better. Not to mention, I was having crazy, vivid dreams that at times were more like nightmares. And I’d wake up either shaking uncontrollably freezing to death or absolutely soaked in sweat burning up.

FUN TIMES.

I wasn’t necessarily in pain, only achy. I wasn’t having any trouble peeing (I realize I should be saying urinating, but who really says that in normal conversation?) and had absolutely no pain in my kidney or abdomen.

And before you think to yourself, “I wonder why McDaddy didn’t call the Urologist to inquire about a possible infection.” Let me just set your mind at ease this very minute. He did call the Urologist. And the nurse on the other end of the phone suggested we go to the hospital if my temperature climbed above 102, and then she asked if I was still taking the antibiotic they prescribed after surgery. And I had been taking it faithfully until I started throwing up, and then I decided to quit taking it because why take it when it would just resurface in seven minutes flat?The nurse suggested I take the antibiotic anyway, and so I did. And less than four minutes later, I saw it again.

When I woke up Thursday morning STILL PUKING, McDaddy asked if I wanted to go to the ER in NY or drive four hours to NH (our next destination) and then go to the ER. Given McDaddy’s opinion of eating in the vehicle, MUCH LESS PUKING IN IT, I thought that seemed like a dumb question.

I did not think to apply deodorant. My hair – and this is no lie – looked like one of those pink hair troll doll things we used to put on our pencil erasers back in Elementary School. And then, we’d roll the pencil back and forth in our hands, making the pink hair stand on end. And you know what? I didn’t give a diddly darn that I looked like a troll doll. All I cared about was getting this mess diagnosed.

Ellis hospital was nearby and by some stroke of luck there wasn’t one single soul waiting in the waiting room. I got signed in, went to Triage, answered the same questions at the registration desk and sat for a brief time before being ushered back to a room. I got comfortable on the skinny little bed (why can’t they make those things just a wee bit wider?) and they administered an IV. I was given a little specimen cup and off I went to the bathroom.

SIDE NOTE: I am a college educated. Why is it that I cannot pee in a cup without peeing all over my hand? I’ll never understand it.

Anyway, I could tell by looking at the urine that it was filled with all manner of nonsense. Urine is supposed to be clear like water. My urine was the color of beer. And not the pretty gold kind of beer. I’m talking about the ugly, dark, heavy, brown kind. Plus, it had floaters in it. It was obvious that Houston, we have a problem.

After I got settled into that room, McDaddy took the boys to get something to eat, and pack up our hotel room. He returned a short time later and was upset to find out we were no closer to finding anything out than we were before he left. He made his way to the nurse’s station and was informed that I had a Urinary Tract Infection. The nurse that was caring for me seemed all too happy to add another bag-o-medicine to my IV every few minutes and I was all, bring it on because with every bag of medicine that she added, I felt just a teensy-tiny bit better. Both she and the Emergency Room Doctor seemed surprised that I travelled so soon after kidney removal surgery. Had I known that was the case you can bet I would have Googled “Travelling after kidney removal surgery” and convinced McDaddy of the possible impending medical trouble that might ensue if we didn’t HOLD UP NELLIE! and wait a few days. Especially seeing as how the tape that was attached to the stent was also taped to my leg just waiting for him to pull the plug on it.

But alas, we were never advised of that.

So, there we were in Room #16 in the Emergency Room at Ellis Hospital, diagnosed with a Urinary Tract Infection. Which is crazy because I wasn’t having any kidney pain, urinary spasms, or urinary pressure. I was only having virus-y like symptoms that made me think my time had come.

Today, a full ten-days after the initial symptoms, I am much better, but not great. I have a huge patch of fever blisters on the corner of my lip and I wouldn’t get near it with a ten-foot pole if it wasn’t on my face. I’m pretty sure the Keflex I’m on is making me dizzy, and I still can’t walk too far without getting tired.

The moral of this story is a Urinary Tract Infection means serious business.

Thankfully, I am MUCH better.

And this latest chapter in my medical saga is over.

If you’ve hung in there for all 2,693 words, God bless you.

Thanks to this latest medical drama, 1) I am downing eight ounces of cranberry juice daily, 2) I added a Urologist to my “Contacts” and, 3) The BIG FOUR ZERO is just around the corner smirking at me with a bottle of Metamucil.

And I’m thinking I should take this opportunity to remind McDaddy about my wishes for a mahogany casket.

The McMedical Mini-Series (Part II)

Previously, on The McMedical Mini-Series…..

I was deciding between, an exploration.

Or a urination aggravation.

There really wasn’t a decision to be made. The kidney stone had to come out. And, as much pain and aggravation as I was experiencing, the sooner, the better.

By some twist of fate, the urologist that I was referred to was able to “fit me in between cases” so I hurriedly got a quick shower, we dumped the kids off with my parents and got checked in at the hospital. That was around noon. Unfortunately, there was seriousness abounding at the hospital that day and so my measly kidney stone removal procedure kept getting pushed back and pushed back and oh my word I hadn’t eaten for 17 hours, let’s do this thing! Still, I was thankful that in a few short hours the kidney stone would be freed from the prison of my ureter.

The pre-op area was a Party-For-One and I happened to the guest of honor. The nurses, anesthesiologists, and even my Urologist were just hanging out in there laughing it up. I was thankful for that. A friend of ours, who works in the Operating Room, came over to check on me. While we talked, he mentioned that when people are having the type of surgery that requires a scope to be inserted through the belly button, medical professionals very often find “treasures” in the belly button.

I’ll give you just a minute to let that sink in.

And prepare your mind for what I am about to pass along.

Which I am happy to do at no charge.

You should always CLEAN THE CORN OUT OF YOUR BELLY BUTTON BEFORE SURGERY.

Yes, I said corn.

Just the thought of that makes me gag.

I say it all the time people. This blog is about so much more than just entertainment.

After getting an IV started (and reminding McDaddy of my wishes for a mahogany casket on the off-chance things didn’t go as planned in the OR), I was finally wheeled back to the operating room. I was shifted from the gurney to the operating table and I requested a pillow under my knees. And that’s all I remember until I woke up in post-op.

Fast forward an hour.

I woke up groggy and with just as much pressure “down there” as I had when I went in. I remember thinking that wasn’t what I signed up for. I thought I’d wake up all smiles and pressure-free.  After surgery, the urologist came out and talked to McDaddy. He was able to grab the kidney stone and get it the heck out. The problem though, was that the kidney stone had stretched my ureter. Because of that, I still required a stent in my ureter to allow healing and prevent swelling. Thus, THE PRESSURE. The stent was way up “in” there, and there was a string attached to

Typically, the stent is removed by the Doctor in a matter of minutes days after surgery. As luck would have it, we were leaving town in three days. So basically, that means the stent would have to be removed by someone other than the Doctor. And in my case, that someone was McDaddy. God love his soul.

At no time did one single medical professional urge us to reconsider our vacation.

NOT. A. ONE.

Nor did it dawn on us to do that.

After sleeping Friday away, I felt better and completely ready to travel. We left on Sunday afternoon and headed North. We drove LOTS OF HOURS before arriving at our destination. Once we got there, McDaddy and I decided between us that IT WAS TIME. I was more than ready to remove this silly thing from my body. I spent quite a bit of time on the road googling “removing a ureter stent” and felt like I had a pretty good grasp (ha!) on the situation.

While I did take a picture of the actual stent that was all up in there (OH YES MA’AM I DID! I also texted a picture to Missy because she expects nothing less from me.) I have decided against displaying the picture here on the blog. If you have questions about the stent removal, or are just itching to see the stent itself, you can go here. It was pretty much a pain-free process, and took about five seconds. Immediately, the pressure was gone and I felt like a new woman.

Which should have been the end to my latest medical saga.

But wait, there’s more……

Tune in next time for Part III of the McMedical Mini-Series.

What I Learned This Week

Here’s what the heck I learned this week.

1. A urinary tract infection DOES. NOT. PLAY.

2. When you’re headed to the emergency room with a UTI, you will not give a diddly-darn what your hair looks like.

3. Or if you’re wearing deodorant.

4. And even though you will remember that it is Tuesday and time to write a “What I Learned This Week” post, you will not care about that, either. (So sorry to those of you who stopped by last week to link up.)

5. The only thing worse than getting a UTI is getting a UTI while hundreds of miles from home.

6. Something associated with the UTI will cause you to have horribly vivid dreams. And in some cases, nightmares.

7. The disintegrating nausea medication works pretty well.

8.  Six days after being diagnosed with a UTI, you might still feel pretty crummy.

9. Apparently, a UTI is pretty common after a kidney stone removal surgery.

That’s what I learned this week.

Now, what did YOU learn?

To join in on the What I Learned This Week carnival, simply follow these steps.

1. Any time this week, publish your What I Learned This Week post on your blog and link to this post.

2. Link up with the Mr. Linky form down below. Please put the link to your POST, not the front page of your blog.

3. Then visit the other participants and see what they learned this week.

Alrightythen. Ready, Set, GO!



This Too Shall Pass. Or Not.

I’m thinking it may be time to throw in the towel on this-here blog. As much as I love this family-friendly – daily rambling about my faith, my family, and my love for the Saturn Sky – I think the time has come to put it to rest.

And write a medical blog instead.

This is no lie – and I wish that I had exact numbers here, because I would never want to be known as one who embellishes a story – but, I’d be willing to bet that out of the 189 days so far in 2013, at least 150 of them have been spent dealing with hospitals, Doctors, medicines, lymphoma, orthostatic hypotension, kidney stones, lithotripsy, ultrasound, X-rays, insurance billing, oncologists,  pre-authorizations, peeing problems, CT Scans, lungs, diagnosis, tests, procedures, PleurX drainage catheters, cardiologists, side effects, medical supplies, home health, urologists, neuropathy, diabetes, ureters, orange pee, surgery, urinary tract issues, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, narcotics, antibiotics, Toradol, dizziness, antibody treatments, scheduling, fevers, chills, or medical appointments.

Seriously, it has been one medical problem after another for my grandmother, my mother, and me.

And while my grandmother and mother are far worse off than I am, I am choosing to share only my medical drama because, well, that’s their business, and this is my blog.

You may recall – or probably not, Lord knows I ramble on about so much – that I had a kidney stone in March. The first pain hit my right kidney while I was sitting with my mom IN THE HOSPITAL. I ended up in Emergency Room of that same hospital a couple of hours after the onset, thinking I might die while I was there.

Mahogany casket, here I come!

I passed that stone the next day and prayed to the Good Lord that I would never have another one. It was my second stone in ten years, but unlike the pain of childbirth that everyone says you’ll forget (I wouldn’t know I had two C-sections!) the PAIN FROM A KIDNEY STONE is never ever forgotten. And the next time you’re all sitting around a table looking for a topic of deep discussion or entertaining conversation, have someone mention the words kidney and stone and I can almost guarantee if anyone there has had one, you can bank on hearing the words, worst, pain, I, ever, AND, had.

Have you heard the saying “A healthy kidney is a happy kidney?”

Apparently my kidneys are neither.

Because LO and BEHOLD three short months later I found myself pacing the floor, holding my lower right back, same as I did three short months ago in Room 418 at Charleston Area Medical Center – General Division. I would try to describe the pain, but honestly, aside from A RAGING BULL COVERED IN SAND PAPER ROLLING AROUND IN YOUR LOWER BACK nothing comes to mind.

But wait, there’s more!

This time?

This time!

This time, I ended up going to the Emergency Room at Charleston Area Medical Center – Women & Children’s Division. I was in total and complete agony and again, crying like a crazed lunatic for the first thirty minutes or so. And then, just like magic, a full three minutes after the Toradol was injected into the IV, I was ready to run a marathon.

Or sleep like a baby.

Whatever.

I don’t know who invented the Toradol, but God bless ’em because it is the MACK DADDY of kidney stone medications. I opted for the CT Scan this time because LET’S GET THIS THING A MOVIN. After the size and location of the stone were confirmed, I was given five (FIVE!) prescriptions and sent home with instructions to follow up with my Doctor.

As always seems to be the case with me, this thing wasn’t going without a fight. My Doctor called to inform me that the stone was stuck in my ureter, obstructing my bladder, and OH, let’s just do surgery this time. I could hardly contain myself. Surely I could pray this thing out of me. After all, the thought of a perfect stranger exploring the business end of things while I am drugged up and OUT OF IT on a cold operating room table doesn’t necessarily appeal to me. But then, neither does painful pressure of “my parts” before, during and after peeing. Not to mention the CONSTANT URGE I felt even when I was only good for three or four drops.

Let’s see.

An exploration.

Or a urination aggravation.

Stay Tuned….

I think we’ll call this The McMedical Mini-Series.