Saturday, June 26, 2010

The one where I explain that dinosaurs were stoners...

So things have been pretty serious on this blog lately and I feel like we all need a break from that. Mike is continuing to heal well and is now totally bored with being cooped up all the time. It's beginning to affect his sleep so I'm going to have to come up with something. Lu has decided on the splenectomy and we have an appointment with the surgeon in two weeks to discuss it. So things are progressing.

Sean has been gone alot working at Cub Resident Camp and then camping with his troop at Boy Scout Camp. But Thursday he went and took his entrance exams at the local community college. He's pretty nervous because he hates tests. He and Lu get that from their Dad. Personally, I think tests are fun. It's like playing Jeopardy. All I know is he was acing the math practice tests at home without even using scratch paper. Even the trig, which I never taught him because I dropped Trig my senior year so I wouldn't ruin my GPA. So fingers crossed that the real test went as well.

But it just so happened that the other night we were all home at the same time. And I walked out my room to find Sean in the doorway of Lu's room, talking to Lu & Luke. I'm not sure how we got to the discussion, but here goes~

Sean: You all need to start doing Meth.

Me: What? Why would you tell them to start doing Meth?!

Sean: Well, you've seen those billboards along the highway that have the cute little kid and then they say "Or Meth?". I don't know what message they're trying to send, but to me it obviously means that you have to choose kids or meth. Which means Meth is somehow a form of birth control.

Me: Huh...

Lu & Luke: *crickets chirping*

Me: So Meth renders you sterile?

Sean: I don't know how it works dude, it's just what the signs say.

Luke: So how much Meth do you have to do?

Sean: Probably a lot. Like you'd have to do it 3-5 times a day.

Luke: Holy crap! I think if you did that you'd be so high you wouldn't even know where your junk was.

Me: Thus making you incapable of using it! Abstinence is the best birth control so if you can't do it, well, there you go. You're a genius Sean!

Lu: Plus Meth makes you all gross and your teeth and hair start to fall out and your face breaks out so who would want to have sex with you?

Sean: See, I told you. Meth = birth control.

Luke: Speaking of drugs...M.S. came into our sheep shed (outdoor camping shelter) the other day and said "Nice decorations. All you guys need is some pot."

Sean: WTH?

Luke: Yeah, I don't know what he was thinking.

Me: Well, either it was an attempt at being cool and he thought maybe he'd bust you guys or he was just trying to make conversation.

Luke: Yeah, but the thing is the only decorations we have are a lamp, a fan and a dinosaur that Pants made out of clay.

Me: Oh. Well it was the dinosaur statue. It's a little known fact, but the dinosaurs were huge stoners.

Lu: Oh really?

Me: Yeah!

Luke: Well everything did supposedly grow bigger back then.

Lu: So the dinosaurs smoked week?

Sean: Don't be dumb Lu. How could they smoke weed? They don't have opposable thumbs! They ate the weed.

Me: Yeah. Just straight. They were hardcore. They didn't need any brownie mix with it.

Me: And that's why they died out. They were too stoned to prepare for winter and so the ice age came and they died. They were definitely grasshoppers and not ants.

Lu: Grasshoppers? WTH? I'm so confused.

Me: Really, that's a little known fact. I'm surprised M.S. even knew about it. *shakes head and walks off*

Mike: Did you just try to convince the kids that dinosaurs did weed?

Me: (trying to look innocent) No.

Mike: (continuing to stare at me)

Me: Um. Maybe?

As you can see, the silly still rules.
Happy Saturday,

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The one where the Universe decides to see how much I can take...

So we have two Doctor's appointments down this week for Mike and both went well. The Surgeon is pleased with his progress, but told him to take it easier and not be in such a rush to get back to work. I resisted doing the "told ya so" dance. He made another appointment for two weeks and said absolutely no work. He had also done a chest x-ray, which is looking good. Today we saw the kidney specialist, who also said Mike was doing well. He did repeat blood work and Mike's hemoglobin has climbed back to 12 (almost normal!) on it's own. This is an awesome sign that there's no further internal bleeding. He also concurred with the two more weeks of no activity. Of course, Mike is chafing at the bit. Fortunately, these short jaunts to town make him realize just how weak he still is.

As if we didn't have enough to deal with...bring in the workman's comp case nurses. For real ladies? First they wanted to come into the Dr appts with us. Invasion of privacy much?? I put my foot down there. But they do come in and talk with the doctor (with us present) at the end of the appointments. And can stop telling me how you don't really work for the insurance company and you are there on our behalf since every question you ask is geared towards how soon my husband can get back to work. Trust me, no one wants that more than him. But no one is more determined to see that it doesn't happen until he's recovered than me. And I thought you were nurses?? Seriously, even I knew that the recovery period for major surgery is 6 weeks and that's not counting the trauma and broken ribs. You better tread lightly.

And then there's poor Lu. Who was it that said "If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plan"? I guess that applies to the Universe too. Because the Universe sure screwed up my summer plans. And now it's decided to play hell with Lu's school plans. While her Dad was still in the hospital I noticed that she had several awful bruises and was looking pale and tired. Well, of course we were all stressed and not getting much sleep, but my "spidey senses" kicked in. I told her to get a blood test since she hadn't had one in 6 weeks. (Since her platelets had been holding their own at a safe level, the doctor was letting her go two months between appointments.) She argued that she didn't need one, didn't want one. We bickered and finally her Dad threw his weight on my side. The Monday he got out of the hospital, Lu had a blood test and received a frantic call from her hematologist's office. Her platelets had nose-dived to 21,000. We saw him the next day and he explained that since her ITP was recurring it was now classified as chronic and we'd have to look at treatment options. Lu cried. She told him that she didn't want to be on steroids for a year again (the side effects are nasty). He gave us a few options, though he recommended removing her spleen and prescribed some high dose steroids that she'd take four days a month.

The high dose steroids worked and this week her platelets had jumped to 245,000 which is firmly in normal range. But the steroids caused insomnia and muscle pain. We did our research and sadly there are no good options. There's the steroids, but they have harsh side effects with long term use and only buy her a couple of months at a time. She's not a candidate for another treatment because she has RH negative blood. The platelet growth stimulator's only buy a small bump in platelets and can mess with your bone marrow chemistry causing other problems. Also, they are so new that no one knows the long term effects. The Rituximab might buy her a few years of normal platelets but again has harsh side effects and is the doctor's last resort. IVIG infusions only buy a couple of months at a time. With the splenectomy she faces the same infection risks that her father now does. But the chance that it could cure her condition are 65% for a complete remission. Her age and relatively short duration of disease (18 months) puts her in the group that has the best chance. If not a complete remission, it could at least buy her 2-5 years of good platelets. It has been a heart wrenching decision, both for her and for us. But she decided to talk with the surgeon (the same one who did her dad's surgery) about the splenectomy. Oddly enough, their appointments are the same day, one right after another.

Since she works at the camp for kids with disabilities in July, she's hoping to schedule her surgery for the first part of August. This means she won't be moving that month. The move and school will have to be post-poned. I admire the fact that she doesn't whine and cry and ask "why me". Don't get me wrong, there've been a few tears, but mostly she just deals. She gets that from her Dad.

So by the time Mike is ready to vacate the sickroom, I'll be moving Lu in. I'm thinking of putting a revolving door on my office. What do you think?


Sunday, June 20, 2010

The one where we have a hair-raising adventure...

First of all, let me apologize for leaving some of you, especially my kindle readers (hi Lori!) hanging. I'm very sorry. I can only claim exhaustion as an excuse. The good news is that we have been out of the hospital for almost a week. After two days in intermediate care, we were moved to the 2nd floor. We spent three days there and then last Monday we were able to come home. Mike is doing really well. His breathing is getting better every day, his wounds are healing, and he's getting around slowly but surely. His blood hemoglobin is finally on the rise. We saw his regular physician on Tuesday and he emphasized that Mike has to be careful and not get pneumonia (apparently that will be a danger for quite some time). His doctor is a family friend and scouter so he has a really good idea of what Mike's job entails. That makes a huge difference on when he's released for work or how much. He's looking at 3 more weeks of rest before he's allowed to go back at all. Of course, Mike is already going stir crazy. I mean, how much American Pickers and Springer can one man possibly watch??!

Most of Mike's outer injuries that other people see have started to heal well. People who saw him in ICU are amazed by how well he looks and that he's walking on his own. (With me trailing nervously behind.) I have to remind them of bruising they can't see and that his insides are where most of the damage is. Even his black eyes and facial contusions have healed. Well, until he got the new ones...

For days he'd been bugging me to take him outside. He's bored with walking around the house and is used to being outside everyday. And honestly, him calling me "the jailer" was beginning to get on my nerves a little. Since Sean is away being a camp counselor at Cub Scout Camp, I get to do his dog chores. I try to do this early in the morning before it gets so stinking hot. So I helped Mike put on some shoes (he still can't bend over well) and we headed outside. We walked around to the back yard and I opened the kennel door and put the dog on the chain. I then realized that the kennel was a swamp due to all the rain. So I told Mike to stay put and went in for rubber boots. I couldn't find mine, so put on Sean's (only 5 sizes too big). I walked back out and Mike was all the way down to the gravel parking area in front of the house. Well, I put my hands on my hips and started fussing at him (picture in shorts and knee high rubber boots, hands on hips, carping like a fishwife).

Me: Wtf?! I told you not to go too far.

Mike: I didn't go far, I just walked down the sidewalk.

Me: You aren't supposed to go that far without someone with you!! What if you'd felt dizzy? Do not make me chain you up with the dog!

Mike: Stop treating me like a three year old.

Me: Stop acting like one!

About this time, J and L who live in Iowa City and whom we haven't seen in probably two years pull up. They laugh at my attire and the fact that they could tell I was fussing at Mike from the road. We talk to them for awhile and then Mike says he wants to sit down. So J and L leave and I help Mike up the deck stairs and on to a wooden bench we have. I head to the pen and dump the dogs water and wash out the barrel and refill it. All the while Mike is giving me pointers as though changing the dog's water is rocket science. Then I scoop the poop. Ugh. And ewww. So I'm ankle deep in mud and dog poop in the dog pen when Mike hollers down that he wants to go in. I say "okay. I'm on my way." About that time he stands up, says "F*ck" and falls face first. Hits his face on the deck rail on the way down.

I take off for the deck, rubber boots flopping, heart pounding, shrieking. Finally I kick off the boots and bolt up the deck stairs. He's wedged on his left side (the hurt side) between the gas grill and the deck rail, completely unconscious. To get to him I have to move the extremely heavy grill, which I manage to do grunting and panting. Unfortunately, this disturbs a wasps nest and an angry wasp stings me on the back of the leg. I note the pinching feeling but mostly ignore it. Mike regains consciousness and I manage to get him up and leaning heavily on me, inside. I set him down at a kitchen chair and kneel to take off his boots when he says "I'm gonna do it again" and proceeds to pass out a second time. This time I'm able to catch him and twist so that we fall to the floor (me cushioning him) and I wriggle out from under and run frantically to the phone. I dial several numbers before finally getting J to answer. I tell him I need L urgently.

I run back to Mike who has regained consciousness again. J and L are there in record time. L is a friend who was the camp medic this last week. He is an ICU/Trauma nurse in his real life. He quickly took control and assessed the situation. He got Mike's nose to stop bleeding and checked for concussion. All systems checked out. Mike was OK. The episodes were probably a combination of things; the fact that it was hot out and he's no longer used to that, his walking too far, the fact that he hadn't eaten yet, and possible dehydration. L (and J and J & L) stayed with us for a good hour and a half. J and L helped Mike to his recliner, I fixed him something to eat and got him a drink. After everyone left, he slept most of the day. I watched him sleep and tried to calm my heart rate down. I swear that man is trying to kill me. I asked him if he was trying to see just how much I love him. L replied that he was pretty sure everyone knew the answer to that after the last two weeks.

Today he's doing well, although I won't let him walk anywhere (even the bathroom) on his own. His face looks horrible. He has a cut above his eye and one on the bridge of his nose. A scratch that goes all the way down the nose. It's swollen and bruised. I guess no one will think he's all healed up now. He has a Dr. appt tomorrow and I'll be certain to discuss it all with him.

Btw, guess who's allergic to wasp stings? Lol. When Mo got home and learned of our excitement she was highly upset because I don't have an Epi Pen currently. I told her no worries, I had enough adrenaline pumping through to combat the problem. Today it's swollen, hard and itchy. About baseball size. I keep telling Mike it's all his fault. But I'm just teasing. Small price to pay for him still being OK.

Hope you all had happy and less exciting weekends.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

The one where we change rooms...

We made it to intermediate care!! Room 3410 for anyone who still wants to send an ecard. Last night was a rough one. He was running a fever again and was super restless. When you're the ice chip giver and your patient keeps waking up with a sore throat, well you aren't going to get a lot of sleep. There was also the worry and the steady stream of vitals checks.

This morning was rough. I started it by missing the Surgeon's visit. Can you believe I slept right through it?? He was standing 3 ft from me! He woke Mike up but not me. I'm sure he thinks I'm a pest with my gazillion questions. But if it weren't for my perseverance, he would never have gotten the breathing treatments that now make it easier for him to breathe. Then his Internist came in. He mentioned yesterday that I was the "chest x-ray girl" because I always ask about them. Well, pneumonia is a big fear. So today he checked them BEFORE he came in. He's learning. He ordered a CT scan to check things out because of the fever.

After he left, I noticed that the stuff coming through Mike's NG tube (the one that runs from stomach to nose and sucks out the stuff in your stomach) wasn't algae green like usual, but brown. When I looked closer I saw some bright red blood. Can I just tell you how badly that freaked me out?! I immediately got Bertha (the amazing super nurse) and the CT got upgraded to "stat". Luckily, the results came back okay, except for increased swelling and fluid in the left lung. Which is likely the cause of the fever. The doctor decided it would be safe to move Mike to IMC and before too long we were ensconced in our new room, on a new floor. It's a step down from ICU, a step up from a regular hospital floor. It's much bigger (he has to have private because of the compromised immune system). I now have a fold out couch to sleep on and we have a private bath (haha that only I use). It seems like the Hilton compared to what we had in ICU.

He got to lose the NG tube and is now on a clear fluid diet which means Jell-o. Lemon at that. He ate four bites. He also got rid of the catheter. He got up and sat in a recliner for 45 minutes and also walked about 10 steps. He has to be supported on both sides of course, but this is still progress. Also, he's now helping them to roll him over and change positions in his bed, he's no longer just dead weight. He was much more himself today, joking with the nurses, and Hildi. The nurses love him because he will try whatever they ask and is so laid back. They even told him how proud they are of him.

His Internist caught up with me in the hallway this morning and said~

Dr: Honey, you need to go home and get some sleep.

Me: I will. When he's better.

Dr: Don't you have a day job?

Me: (laughing) No. I'm a freelance writer and fiction writer. I have my laptop here and I work after everyone leaves and he falls asleep. I do think I might not make the deadline to get my novel to the editor now though.

Dr: A novel? What's it about?

Me: Well, it's a horror novel set in rural Illinois. About a family who moves from Chicago to the wrong town. It has to do with the Pied Piper fairy tale.

Dr: I know someone famous!

Me: Um. I doubt I'll be famous, but if I do get famous, I'll totally mention your name.

How am I holding up? I'm frazzled. I'm tired, I'm still worried and sometimes the close call takes my breath away. But I'm holding it together. I have the most wonderful support system. I did cry today, but it was tears of relief when the CT scans did NOT show some new horrible thing to deal with. And I cry every time my husband pulls my head down to his chest and rests his hands (poor slashed up sutured hands) in my hair. I know that he's trying to give me strength. But all I can think is how close I came to losing him. And how much I took him for granted before the accident. And how lost I'd be without him.

As we left ICU today, amidst hugs and promises to stop by and check on him, our "super nurse" Bertha told us it had been a pleasure to meet and work with us. That it was quite obvious how much we loved each other and our kids. That we had a great family. And you know what? We do.

Goodnight all,

PS- thank you again for everything. The cards, comments, ect really make our day. You all are our wonderful support system. I hope all my blogbuds will forgive me for not making it to their posts to comment. I would love to catch up as soon as I can.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The one where we almost get to leave ICU...

Sorry I didn't blog yesterday, but honestly, I was so exhausted that I started to doze off while writing my facebook update. My hands kept going though and typing random letters. It was weird. Mike said just to type "still alive" and let it go, but I know people would like more than that. Again thank you for all of the well-wishes, offers of prayers and support. It is helping just to know you care. I read Mike all the wonderful wall posts and comments on Facebook and the comments on the blog. I know he appreciates them.

Last night was our first really good night. Mike slept through the whole night. Which means I got some much needed rest as well. He awoke in good spirits and looking better. Some of the facial swelling has gone down and the bruises and abrasions are looking better. He still looks like hell, but compared to Friday night, he looks great.

His hemoglobin is rising, so the theory is that the adrenal laceration has clotted itself and no surgery is required. They told him he could try getting out of bed today. Moving around will help in so many ways! About 11, he fell in to a very deep sleep. Nothing woke him. In fact, the nurse had to yell to get him to wake up. At first we thought it was the pain shot he'd gotten. He managed to get up and then sit in a recliner by the bed. But he just seemed off to me. Very quiet and withdrawn. He said he had no energy. It was because he had spiked a fever again. The order for room transfer was scrapped and we remain in the ICU battling what could be an infection. I'm sure I don't have to tell you how serious that could be for someone who just lost their spleen. And so, I will again be keeping the midnight vigil. Monitoring his vitals and his fever. And hoping that it's not serious.

Some days it feels like he comes one step forward and then we take one step back. I know that he will recover. I know that he will survive. But we have a long road ahead of us.

Hildi is coming tomorrow and I can't wait. It will be so good to have her here for a bit. The kids are holding up well. I'm not sure what I'd do without them. I am getting tired of sharing a restroom with 50,000 strangers. Um. Ew. But the shower room is not so bad. Especially when our favorite nurse tells housekeeping to clean it for me and there's hot water. But of course, I won't leave him and go home. So I just tell myself "it's like camping, right?"

On watch again,

Sorry this was short, but I'm exhausted!
Here is a link where you can send Mike and e-card and the hospital will print it out and give it to us.

Monday, June 7, 2010

The one where we have a rough night...

Again I'm sitting here on the wrong side of midnight, keeping vigil. Tonight he is resting well, finally comfortable. I am watching the monitors which tell me his vital signs. I have learned what every line, every abbreviation means and what the allowable deviations are. Currently, they are all looking good. But I'm waiting on the Doctor's call about lab results we just received. You see, last night was not so peaceful.

Last night was rough. His breathing was very labored. His oxygen sats were low. His heart rate was way above where it should be and he was complaining of pain in his back. The nurse was worried about a possible heart problem. She kept the vigil from her station (right outside his room, she can see everything from her window into his room). Around four AM I finally dozed off. I was awakened by a sound I couldn't place. It was wheezing. I got up and put my head closer to his mouth to listen. Sure enough, I heard the tell tale sound. Wheezing and I are old enemies. But I'd only once before heard him wheeze. I checked his forehead. Yep, running a fever. I poked my head out the door and conferred with the nurse. I suggested that perhaps the back pain was pleurisy. She took his temp. 101.6- not good. She called the doctor. They administered Tylenol in a most unconventional way. They also took blood and did a chest xray. The xray showed some possible lung congestion. He was switched to a broader spectrum antibiotic. That seems to be working.

Unfortunately, the labs told a story of their own. His hemoglobin had dropped overnight. Not in a severe range, but not good. The surgeon ordered a an abdominal ct scan. The scan showed that one of his adrenals had been nicked in the crash. It was still bleeding a bit. A urologist was called in. He wants to wait and see if the nick will clot on it's own so they don't need to do further surgery. He has labs drawn every six hours and reported to the doctor. His hemoglobin continues to drop. He is also now confined to bed. No more trying to get him up. He will be in ICU for several more days.

His arm was unwrapped today. I was mistaken on the sutures. They used surgical staples. 53 of them in his arm and shoulder. The palm of his left hand and fingers have regular sutures. Lots of them. The chest tube is bothering him. We found tons of new bruises today. The pain is still bad.

The midnight labs are back, the numbers are still dropping. A call to the doctor calls for a transfusion of blood. He sleeps on and for that I am thankful. I will explain when he wakes up.

I must give a special thank you to all of the doctors and nurses we have had. His surgeon is amazing and doesn't mind hugs. His nurses have been caring and compassionate and on top of things. The nursing supervisor for tonight rocks my socks. She got me a chair that actually lays down. I may get some sleep tonight after all. I'm going to include a couple of pictures of the truck he was in, so you can see how lucky he is to still be alive.

Thank you all,

Sunday, June 6, 2010

The one where I almost lose my best friend, my love, my husband...

"How can you stand to just sit here and watch him breathe?" a tearful Lu asked me earlier this evening. Her father was lying in his hospital bed not a foot from where she sat, perched on my lap. His breathing was labored and shallow due to the lung that had been collapsed, the chest tube, and the broken ribs. The severe pain also hampered it. My only answer was "because I have to". How do I explain to her, my still so young daughter, that it's my sacred duty. How to describe for her the vigilance that's based on the absurd thought that by sheer force of will, I can keep him breathing? The fear that if I look away for just a minute, his chest will fail to rise and the monitors will begin that ceaseless bleating.

As I sat alone last night, in the post midnight quiet, it all overcame me. The phone call from the neighbor telling me about the accident, the mad rush to the hospital, the countless phone calls to family and friends, the illegal rush into an ER trauma room, the agonizing hours he was in surgery, and the relief that he came through alright, the calm demeanor that had held me through those things dissolved. And silent tears ran down my cheeks as I held my husband's hand and thanked whatever powers that be that he was still with me. I watched the rise and fall of his chest. Kept a close eye on the monitor where the data from a myriad of tubes and cuffs and wires printed out. And it occurred to me that this same scene was being played out in countless hospital rooms across the globe. I was not alone in my vigil. Not alone in my hope, fears, or irrational phobias. And again, I counted my blessings that we had been so lucky. That while he was still in danger of infection or pneumonia, he was whole and in one piece (give or take a spleen and some skin). And he will recover and I will get to spend the rest of our life together letting him know how much he means to me.

You see, that's what popped into my head on the way to the hospital. Why am I so mean? Why is the garbage that big of a deal? Or the fact that he forgets to do tasks I ask of him. Really? In the grand scheme of things, what more are these than minor annoyances? Why should I let them color our lives so? When faced with the all too real prospect of losing my best friend, they seem so small and petty. And I fervently hope, that after this reminder, I will never let it play so much a part of our lives again. And we will honor the rule we made a long time ago, that you never leave the house in anger or after harsh words are spoken. Because you never know. And I know how relieved I was that the last words I'd said before he left were "Drive safe. I love you."

***For those of you who don't husband left our house Friday evening to make a trip to Lowe's in town. As he slowed to make a right hand turn off the blacktop, another pick up truck, travelling at a high rate of speed, ignored (? missed? blew through?) the stop sign and slammed into his drivers side door. My husband's truck was propelled headfirst into a telephone pole, then impacted once more near the back of the bed. The other truck rolled several times. As it happened on a country blacktop, there were no witnesses, no one around. The impact was heard for miles. Everyone (or so I hear) with houses near the intersection and the nearby town headed to the scene. My husband was trapped in his truck while rescue workers tried to get him free. He was then helicoptered to the nearest city. A neighbor called and told me there had been an accident and they were taking him to the hospital. I have never been so scared in my entire life. I made a mad dash to the hospital, phoning family on the way.

When I finally arrived at the ER, husband's mother, stepfather, sisters, brother and Lu were already there. They were in a family room because the hospital wouldn't let them in the trauma room. I made an illegal dash through the doors, nearly mowed down a priest, and got to his side. It was gruesome. I only got to tell him I was there and that I loved him before they whisked him away to CT scan. I was literally shaking from head to toe. After CT, emergency surgery was performed. Another agonizing three hour wait. He had a collapsed lung, three broken ribs, a completely demolished spleen, internal bleeding and severe and numerous lacerations. They put a chest tube in his lung to re inflate and keep it re inflated. The spleen was removed, the bleeding stopped and over a hundred stitches put in his left arm. He was given two units of blood. No bones were broken.

Today, he is still in ICU. He's in a major amount of pain. He runs a risk of infection and pneumonia. He is battered and bruised. But I have seen the pictures of his truck. He is lucky to be alive at all. It took hours for them to clean up the scene of the accident. The only part of his truck that still looks undamaged is the passenger door, the one they had to finally take him out through. The other driver was not so lucky. He was not wearing a seat belt and was ejected from his vehicle. He did not survive.

We have had an overwhelming wave of support, offers of everything, prayers, food, cards sent our way by family, friends and people we don't even know well. My husband apparently impacts way more lives than he knows. And even the kids have been overwhelmed with friend's and acquaintance's outpouring of love and sympathy. We thank everyone so much for everything they've done and for reaching out to us. Please spare some prayers for the other driver's family. He was at fault, but paid a high price and I sympathize with his family.

If you guys could send us positive thoughts, him to heal quickly and well, me strength to keep my vigil and my sanity, it would be greatly appreciated.

from the wrong side of midnight,

Friday, June 4, 2010

The one where I play a game...

So I'm sitting here this morning in a very bad mood. It's not important why, it's just the normal usual crap around my house that irritates and annoys. And then I log in and see that I lost a follower?! The hell?! Who are you and where did you go? Better yet, why did you go? Am I losing my edge? Did your ridiculous conversation meter fill up? WWWWHHHHYYYY?! It's ridiculous how badly my ego is tied to this blog. I take your defection personally, you know. But fine, whatever, I don't need you. Yes, yes I do. Please come back. Or someone new, please take that empty chair!

Anywho, on a calmer note, being in a bad mood is not helping me write a blog. I don't want to write a bitchy ass blog because well, that's not what I do and it's not what you come hear to read. Besides, by tomorrow (okay, probably by the time I shower) I will be over it and then I would feel badly if I had written it down, especially in a public forum. Just suffice it to say my husband's job takes up way too much of his time. Do you hear that Boy Scout peeps who read this blog??! No one should have to work 24/7 (and ignore his wife) on the piddly ass salary he does. If you're going to require complete devotion, back breaking physical labor, and the 110% that he gives you, you should probably pay more so that he can assuage my anger with money. It wouldn't help on the him having no time part, but it would help because I would travel more so I wouldn't be home to care.

So I decided to do this fun little game that Kenzie over at The Unabridged Girl tagged me for. It's about your handwriting. Everyone seems to hate their handwriting. I don't. I like mine. I had this 5th grade teacher who actually made us practice penmanship. We had to fill whole pages with these writing exercises. I hated it! But now I can thank her, because hey, you can read my writing! I'm not sure what the purpose of this game is exactly, but it was cute and fun. Of course, if any handwriting experts read it, I may be in trouble. I'm sure my handwriting screams "psycho". Lol.

So the rules were:

Write down the following, snap a picture (or scan the document), post it, and tag others.

1. Name/Blog Name.
2. Right handed, left handed or both?
3. Favorite letters to write?
4. Least favorite letters to write?
5. Write: The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.
6. Write in caps:
7. Favorite song lyrics?
8. Tag some lovely bloggers.
9. Any special note or drawing?


Wednesday, June 2, 2010

The one where I'm a floater and sharks don't eat us...

So we braved the lake again on Monday. It was a glorious day. It had stormed early in the morning, but had cleared off by afternoon and was bright and sunny. So Lu, Sean and I headed down to the lake. Sean had to wear some sunscreen on his shoulders and back, because he'd gotten burnt working outside on Saturday. I went sans sunscreen except on my face, because it ALWAYS sunburns and then my nose looks like a red ripe cherry tomato. Not wearing sunscreen on the rest of my body felt BAD. Like getting caught drinking when you're a teenager bad. So yeah, it was kind of exciting too. Woo hoo Mr. Sun, look at me flaunting my winter paled skin right beneath your nose. Yeah, I'm a rebel.

We got down there and the lake was amazing. Much clearer than last time, I could see the coral nail polish on my toes when I sat with my legs hanging off the dock. We stayed on the dock briefly and then decided to swim. Sean wanted us to swim way out and down so that we could see the new beach that he's been working on by the bridge. (As the service committee chairmen for the OA, he's logged a ton of hours on this project). So we got life jackets and jumped in. HOLY BEJESUS it was cold!! About three feet down the water became icy. Thank goodness for the life jackets, because it's really hard to tread water with your legs pulled up to your chest to avoid the cold water. We meandered (anyone who's ever tried to swim with a life jacket on will understand this) slowly out to the middle of the lake and then to the left. We were laughing as we went and demonstrating some ridiculous swimming techniques: swim like a dolphin, do the leap frog, watch me dog paddle. Laughing, and yet, being in the middle of the lake is scary. It's really deep and well, scary. All of a sudden there's a very loud splash close to shore.

Me: Oh my hell! I just saw a huge fish jump out of the water and back in. He's probably stalking us as I speak.

Sean: It was probably a turtle.

Molly: Or a muskrat.

Me: Which part of 'I saw it' are you two not getting?! I know what turtles and muskrats look like thanks. And they don't look like fish.

Sean: Well there are turtles and muskrats in the lake.

Me: And there are giant fish in the lake. And how does it help that there are turtles and muskrats? Both of those things bite too.

Me: *mild scream. And by mild I mean not quite ear shattering.* Something just brushed my leg and it didn't feel like a fish!

Sean: Um. Is it one of the straps off your life jacket?

Me: NO!!

Lu: *turns towards me, then gets this weird look on her face* oh!

Me: *screaming again*

Lu: *screaming*

Sean: WTH?? Why are you screaming?

Lu: I thought Mom saw something!

Me: I thought you saw something! You had a horrified look on your face!

Lu: Oh. No, I just swallowed some water.

Me: So I blogged about our last day at the lake and one of my readers said she had the theme music from JAWS in her head all day.

Lu: Yeah, we're probably being stalked by a shark.

Me: Yes, because so many sharks can survive in fresh water. And it's believable that they'd end up in a lake.

Sean: I think we're safe from sea creatures here Lu.

Me: But there could be an Anaconda. Someone could have one for a pet and have released it into the wild. It happens in Florida all the time. I saw it on Animal Planet.

Sean: And Illinois was on that map of states that's having trouble with non-indigenous animals.

Lu: We should probably stop talking about this before we start screaming again.

So we saw Sean's beach, which is lovely. Then Lu's Luke came down to the lake and joined us. We made our way leisurely back to the dock. Once there we removed the life jackets and I started doing laps to the floating dock and back. I'm a swimmer. I love to swim. My mother used to say she was convinced I was part fish. She enrolled my sister and I in swim lessons every year. I think it was so she'd have a break from us, but I certainly don't begrudge her that! And it payed off. My sister and I are excellent swimmers. I'm a certified lifeguard. My kids love to swim, but they had no interest in getting certified as lifeguards or taking swim lessons. Sean had some the first year we lived out here and he learned a lot of new strokes and got his swimming merit badge.

So I'm doing laps, Lu says she doesn't see much point in swimming laps, but finally Sean joins me. We start on the last lap back, freestyle. I tell him before we start that I'm not racing. But of course, we both know we are, because we are competitive like that. There's a good chance I'll lose. He's 16, he's been lifting for the last several months and he's healthy. I'm 40, out of shape and the fibromyalgia is causing muscle cramps in my foot and leg. My one strong suit? I'm a better swimmer. And his form sucks. He swims diagonally and splashes alot. I swim straight and splash very little. I see him pulling ahead just a bit and my body wants to speed up but I hold back, knowing I'll put that little burst on closer to the end when he's tired. He's about 2 ft ahead of me and we're nearing the dock, I get ready to pour on the speed and he runs into Lu. Of course he stops swimming and I do too to make sure their both okay. They were. But now we don't know who would've won. I like to think it would have been me. Lol. After that, I'm breathing hard so I roll over to float on my back. I can float like nobody's business. Seriously, if there was a championship for floating, I'd win. Floating is my Zen. I just give myself up to the water and focus on breathing slowly and deeply. I'm so relaxed I feel like jello. Jello floating on water anyway.

Luke says he can't float. I tell him it's easy and demonstrate. Sean can't float either, his butt always sinks. I try to tell them they have to relax. They both try. Lu and I laugh. I say that I'm incredibly buoyant. (And before anyone makes a crack about being chubby and having big boobs...let me just say that my sister has the same quality and she weighs 95lbs soaking wet and is um...less endowed.) I demonstrate that I can just float in the water right side up without moving my hands or legs. So I'm in water treading position, but not moving, still my head stays out of the water. I can tread water for hours because I really don't have to exert much energy to stay afloat. Hildi can also do this. I attribute it to our complete lack of fear of the water. Which is probably because we had so many swim lessons and spent so much time in the water.

I can never believe it when people say they can't swim. Especially people who live near water. It just boggles my mind. I taught all of the kids to swim when they were toddlers. Even CJ can swim. Granted, it's the fiercest doggy paddle you ever saw, but it keeps him up and propels him through the water so it works.

What's your Zen?