Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Progress

1st day home - Saturday
Showed off in Therapy so I took a nap first thing
Got up when boys got home, missed them so much!
Sat at dining room table for supper
Sat on couch to watch TV
Off to bed early...exhausted

1st full day home - Sunday
Slept in 'til 9 so woke xtra stiff
Needed help to b'room
Dressed myself
Put own braces on
Plyd 5 hands of UNO
Up at table for lunch
Nurse came by (waste 'o time)
Sat on exercise ball 90 mins.
Stood 100 secs.
Up at table for supper
Walked 56 ft. X 2 + 12 ft.
Rode Nustep 15 min.
In-laws brought wlcm home ice cream cake
Bed a little after 9

2nd full day - Monday
Up early, dressed self
Put own braces on
Watched boys play games
Up to table for lunch
Painted nails
PT came for eval
walked 34 ft., demoed transfers
Took range of motion measurements
Paperwork
Pain got out of control, took 1st dilaudid since home
Napped 'till 7 or 8
Up to table for warmed up supper
Nustep 15 min. = 1056 steps
Bed @ 10 - must have better day tomorrow

Tuesday
Up earlier, dressed self
Put braces on
Did stretches, band exercises
Worked with putty
Up and brushed teeth b4 OT visit
More paperwork
More transfer demonstrations
Tiny bit of sitting/trunk control exercise
Up for lunch
2 hands of UNO
'supervised' boys getting showered
2:30-5 nap
Shower, rest, boys night out
Upon their return home, 1 more potty trip
Nighttime meds and sleep @ 11 ish

Wednesday
Up early [DRY], dressed self
Put braces on
Played on FB, relaxed awaiting PT
Journaled progress at home
Folded clothes
Laid back down
Got up for lunch @ 1 to discover its not Thurs.
1 hand of UNO w/boys
Nustep 15 min. = 1200 steps
Took braces off
2:30-5 rest
Put braces back on
Attempted standing, 30 sec. maybe
Up to dining room for supper
15 hands of UNO w/Asa
Walked 10 ft.
Exercise ball for 90 min.



Sent from my iPad

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Freddy Krueger

Hi y'all.  Long time, eh?  Guess I've been a busy girl since my latest LIBERATION attempt.  That must be it.  Out paintin' the town ya know.  Workin' on my top ten list of things I wanna get to do this go 'round.  She must be busy takin' her boys to Holiday World.  Nah.  Ridin' horses?  Nah.  Playin' basketball?  Volleyball?  Swimming?  Dancin'?  Bakin' a cake then.  How 'bout that?  Surely she could manage that.  No?  Maybe she went to walk the mall and got lost then?  Ha!  No such luck this time my friends.

So what's she been up to then?  I believe the high school basketball program read at one time up to 5'10" but I'm way closer to 5'8" on a good day.  And now Oompa Loompa's tower me from my handy dandy wheelchair.  But seriously I've filled this 1st month post procedure with nothing but being a big sissy.  And I don't mean Amelia's bigger, older sister.  Quite frankly I mean I've been a whiny over-sized chicken shit!  And that my friends is a hard truth for this Orth girl to swallow.

I've never really thought of my self as scared of much of anything 'til now.  Bees and wasps I suppose whilst out mowing or riding horses.  Big hairy spiders maybe.  (Little ones too, as size is relative, especially to little girls screaming for their daddy's help.)  Snakes longer than your riding mower.  Yeh.  All very real entities just like the end of the world and Freddy Krueger.  C'mon now . . . what's not scary about them?  The end of the world - self explanatory, right?  Saw a movie.  Heard of end times from the Bible.  Are you ready?  Still scary!

And as for Mr.  Krueger.  Jinkies!  He scared/scares the holy hell outta me.  To this very day I still don't even wanna see pictures of that child molesting burned up nightmare jackin' living dead bastard.  The whole idea terrified/terrifies me.  You don't know Fred?  Well if you are over 18 - you're about to.  [spoiler alert]  Ha.  Or should I say the following content is not meant for audiences under the age of, blah, blah, blah.  You get my point.  Back story.  So the parents of some kids this guy molested and or murdered got together and went all vigilante and burned him in a big wood burning furnace.  Nothing you or I wouldn't have done (or do) if anything like that ever happ'n to our kiddos, right?  Right.

But Fred comes back.  Not like 'ol Shadrack and his boys from the Bible.  Three men didn't go in and four weren't seen inside.  (Yes, prolly my favorite Bible story of alllll time!)  His remains, well, remained.  He however was showing up in all the elder kids' dreams.  Long gruesome story made short he'd show up whilst they were sleeping and kill them and others of them while they were sleeping.  Redundant much?  Yes.  Dying in yer sleep.  C'mon already.  I already had enuff trouble trying to sleep worrying about the end of the world.

Anyways, maybe I was a chicken shit, or at the very least had chicken shit tendencies.  I just never really considered myself as scared.  If the house was ever broke into I had an escape plan.  Too much information yet?  I knew were all my Daddy's guns and ammo were and I knew (know) how to use 'em.  If I could make it to the cabinet that was my first stop.  And then out back to the barn to hide and assess my situation unless of course that is where they had parked earlier to hide out until Dad left for work or G'pa left the fields.

Next move would depend on the season and on what was planted in the field next to us.  If fleeing from the front of the house and corn had been planted and was tall enuff I intended to high-tail it thru there up to G-pa's.  I knew/know where his guns are too.  Doubt in this scenario tho that I'd get to be the one wieldin 'em.  Plan B.  Beans or milo wouldn't allow for much cover tho, so if that had been the case I'd have had to cross the road and run the tree line to our other neighbors Denny and Debbie's.  This was also my winter plan.

Sooooo, maybe I was scared.  Didn't feel like it tho.  Know why?  'Cause I had a plan.  MORE ON THIS LATER.  For now on to more scary stuff:  lock yer doors yet?  What ever you do - don't fall asleep!  Seriously tho what I consider truly being scared is having absolutely no control over something.  For example Dad's surgery in Cleveland.  My mom, sister, aunt and I sat in the waiting room waiting (of course waiting, what else?) to hear how Dad's super risky - Evansville wouldn't even touch him anymore - quadruple bypass had went.  We were told they would call the phone on the desk with updates.

The phone rings.  And who of the four of us gets up to get it?  ME.  And why?  I  may not have been able to control how the surgery was going but if it was to be bad news I sure as hell could control how that news got to the three others that loved him the most in this entire world.  So although the situation was indeed scary just as it woulda been had our house been stormed by 'bad' guys wanting to steel our big screen and murder us - some how it was all okay cause I had a plan.  Bizzarro enuff for ya?  Then quit reading already!  Geeesh!

Years later, Dad dying . . . again scary, but we'd talked.  Made plans.  Dad was ready.  I was more scared for Mom and Amelia than anything.  Sooo, speaking of them two hooligans they've prolly been the ones to scare me the most lately.  Mom of course losing her leg and nearly dying.  Had no control over any of that cause I was so selfishly wrapped up in myself, remember?  Cried and prayed all the way home from ATL as Jason made record time getting us back.  But you can read allll about that back a few entries -- there will be a test on it later.  Winner gets a 3ooM.

On to Amelia then.  It wasn't her that scared me exactly - it was her beautiful little nearly newborn girl.  Not sure how long they'd been home from the hospital and back we went.  Amelia driving and me in the back with Arlissa.  Her color just wasn't right.  So we were off to emergency.  I won't make you wait for the outcome.  She stayed overnight, came home just fine, fast forward 5 stunningly beautiful years and she's now ridin' her new pony all over Creation and going to kindergarten.  You go girl!

Where was I?  At a horse show getting a sunburn under the tent?  Yeh, but with my blog.  Oh yeh.  I had been blessed with 2 strong healthy boys.  The 1st after over 30 hrs. of labor and the second 1 month early, but both praise the Lord haven't had anything but a cold or flu or two.  I tried to stay all calm, reassuring and such for Amelia at her baby girl's ER visit, BUT truth be told it was horrific.  Seeing baby girl so tiny on that table and Amelia wide eyed and pale.  There was nothing I could do.  Not even a plan damnit.

Alas we'd over reacted.  Before the night was over the hospital she ended up at was fulll . . . of her family and loved ones.  I bet they'd never seen such a crowd for one little baby and an over reaction.  I guess I'd  done something after all.  As I prayed that Arlissa be okay I prayed too for Amelia to have all the support she needed.  GOD ANSWERS PRAYERS PEOPLE! She was and she did.  Amen.  Where was I going with all this anyways?  Who knows?  Not this girl.  Maybe it's time for a proofread then, try and get back on track.

Proofreading done.  Some spelling issues, but some words I like better spelled my way anyways.  So take that spells checker!  Anyways I titled this entry Freddy Krueger 'cause I wanted to write about things that scare me.  And right this very second just as I've been since returning from my latest LIBERATION attempt - I AM SCARED!!!  Hell, today I might have even graduated from scared to skeert.  For those of you not from around here - skeert is even scarier than scared.  Worse yet?  SKEERT in all caps.  Just sayin' . . .

So here I lay.  Back in the hospital.  What of the future?  What indeed!  Thank God our house is big enuff we don't have to go upstairs.  Like putting a puzzle together.  A few fancy maneuvers later, help from Granny and Papa and . . . bed down stairs?  Check.  Bed side commode.  Check.  Shower chair.  Check.  Wheel chair.  Check.  Scooter on the way.  Check.  A plan?  Not really.  I gotta accept all this first.  Yeh, it's takin' awhile.  I'm an Orth, remember?  So what if I've had it 11 years now.  "So what?" Pink wails.  I only used to think I had it.  I only use to think I felt bad.  I was wrong.  I got 'er now tho y'all.

For long term readers then you know my father-in-law is always saying he doesn't hear the fat lady singing.  The other day ladies and gentlemen, I told him she was half way thru her first verse and fixin' to start the chorus.  Ha!  Maybe then we could all join in with her.  Any who, I hate to disappoint him, but I may need to throw in the towel on this whole getting better idea and focus what very little energy I have left on just stickin' around. 

And I know I keep saying 'just one more try' and then I'll focus on nothing but my boys, BUT this time I mean it.  Seriously.  Help me keep to it friends.  OK?  You have my permission from here on out to just bitch slap me if I should stray from the path.  No need to worry about retaliation as you can surely take a step back from my wheelchair and escape.  So here's the latest plan:

Stay put in the hospital as long as they'll have me.  Rehab after if they'll have me.  Follow-up with last LIBERATION doc.  If block is back I'll get stents.  And dare I say it?  Get better.  If block is open --- gotta start the whole acceptance game.  So either way, life must go on.  I'll get better or I won't.  Can't control that now can I?  What I can control however is how I handle it and move forward.  Rather it be in a chair or on two very sexy legs.  Just sayin' . . . 

Thanks to everybody still reading and especially to those who put up with me everyday.  I love you all!  You know who you are.  <3 <3 <3 <3

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Meat and Potatoes

We walked (wellllll, you got me - Jason walked and I glided along in front of him in my handy dandy wheelchair). Ha! Nothin' like starting a blog out with a lie. I promise to keep all tall tales to a minimum from this point forward. Anyways, we went from the third floor of our swanky motel across a walkway and into the third floor of the North Campus of the hospital.

Forgive me for lack of details as this doc is only serving a few patients, BUT he is serving them well. This guy cares y'all! CARES I tell ya! And why do I know this? He had me on the table for just over 3 hours. 3 HOURS I said, but let me get back to the beginning. Okay? Okay! After finishing my last blog entry I visited the potty and was whisked away to LIBERATION Land, we'll call it.

Our swanky hotel only got swankier as we found our way to the hospital. I wore my America's Next Top Model "T" and black capri sweats. And Jason had on his torn Carhartt jeans and faded out maroon company issued polo. A bleach spill on the front – no biggie – today was to be about comfort. Out of place much? Yeh. I felt like I was lost in the White House. Marble d├ęcor, regal executive blue and gold carpeting – nice place, we covered that already tho, eh?

On with it then. We asked directions at an info desk just once. Then we were greeted immediately at Interventional Radiology, gave some insurance info and waited all of maybe 5 minutes before nurse Jim came to get me. Can I get a, "Yeehaw!" y'all? Things was going good. No time for a before video. Oh well. These peeps were all business. I'm cool with that. Very cool! Not cold tho – I DO NOT NEED A WARM BLANKET – thank you very much.

Huh? I tend to shiver or shake or spasm uncontrollably when nervous. And everyone and their brother wanted to bring me a warm blanket. Nice but HEAT WILL KILL ME! Anyways, during this prep time I undress and 'gown up' as I've come to call it. Again with the stretching of the truth. Jason undressed and gowned me. HE IS THE MAN! Jealous ladies? It's okay. You should be. Hehehehehe. I LOVE YOU, BABY!

Carry on nurse Jim. Commence with the standard questioning. No I don't have dentures. Do you have dentures? Funny guy tho cause he asked if I had kicked my marijuana habit. Jeez 'o Pete, ummmm, uh, yes I guess I had. Especially considering I've never partaken of the wacky tobaccey. Funny guy. I don't drink or smoke or do drugs but that marijuana – I'm alllll over that – NOT! Had a girlfriend in high school that was, but that perhaps is a blog entry for another time. Anywhooooo . . .

The doc comes in to be sure I hadn't come up with any questions from last week's appt. and goes over his game plan. He's gonna look at the left jugular and azygous and definitely balloon the right jugular. Sounds good to me doc. Let's start this party! Are you cold he asks? Nah, just eager! And I think he may have been the only one in the entire building not to rant and rave about the availability of heated blankets. Smart man, I tell ya!

Exit doctor. And Jim commences his desperate search for an IV site. As Willie, my favorite character from Swamp People, says, "Well good luck to ya." He looked and looked and the clock was nearing 11. Guess what? My procedure was scheduled for 11. After one unsuccessful try he went to fetch some help. Bring in the cavalry, I'd thought. And boy did he. Nice enough woman nurse but geesh! I would preferred Jimmy give it another couple of gos.

I refer to her as woman nurse cause she didn't give her name. She said she wasn't gonna give it 'cause that way I couldn't complain about her later. I thought she'd been a jokester like Jim but after our meeting concluded I had mixed emotions. She stuck me, ummmm, I believe it was four times. And I'm not even bitching about the number of times. It was the darned location! Square in the middle of my pee pickin' wrist. In all my years of IV'n . . . I NEVER . . . nor will I ever again. HAVE MERCY, that hurt.

30 + hours of labor, 2 C-sections, a bladder reconstruction complete with bladder spasms, being thrown from various horses, having my feet stomped by, yes, prolly those very same horses, getting a concussion having a basketball slammed into my head, getting rear-ended in a car accident – none of these things hurt nearly as bad as that woman nurse going in both, yes both of my wrists and fishing both aggressively and unsuccessfully for an IV site.

Was it my screaming, moaning or yelping in pain that prompted Jim's return? O.K. - I didn't really scream but tears were flyin' and teeth were grinding. The second wrist hurt the worst. Thank you, God for only giving me two. Seriously, I'd been praying for strength and veins since Jim informed me in the beginning of this ordeal that I musta left my veins at home. So now as bad as I wanted this procedure, needed it even, I was considering telling them thanks for their time but I was READY to go home. Seriously? Yes, seriously.

So then Jim decides to assist the woman nurse. They think maybe they've found one. They do this one together. The underside of my right arm between my elbow and my wrist. I begin to shed tears of joy. I even say, "Praise Jesus!" out loud and proud. And then they leave the room. Woman nurse returns and I thank her. She manages a "mmmhmm," and exits. Enter Jim shaking his head no. Then he exits and Jason approaches. And he shakes his head no too. I say, "What's everybody shaking their heads for?"

Jason tells me it ain't lookin' good. Well what's HE know, I'd thought to myself. And then Jim re-enters to find Jason eyeballing the site and Jim reaches across me to show Dr. Spindler the site is failing. "See how the fluid is bunching up outside of the vein?" Jim asks. Well duh. Of course he sees it. He's been around the block with me a time or two or 10 or 200. Anyways, had I not still been writhing in pain from the last wrist stick I'd have prolly known it hadn't worked too. As noon approached more tears followed as I couldn't help but wonder if I'd be able to get my procedure at all now. Please God, I need your help!

During this lull in time I got to meet Paul who introduced himself as my photographer. Very nice guy. Very talkative. We talked sports. Why, I dunno. Surely I can't after all these years still appear to be an athlete of some sort. Of course not, nah, he was just tryin' to somehow connect to a girl from Indiana. So you must be a Colts fan? Nah. Pacers? Nah. NEW YORK JETS! Well, how does an Indiana girl come to like a New York team? And with that the pain in my wrist started to subside.

And then Jim introduces me to my new nurse, Albert. It was no big deal when Jim said his name, but when Albert said, "Hi. I'm Albert." Again with the waterworks already. For those of you who truly know me you'll completely understand, but I lost it at this point. I flashed to my cousin Albert's face looking down upon me and smiling, just as the nurse was doing during his introduction. He looked perplexed. I bet the poor guy thought he'd done been assigned to a looney tune.

Why on Earth would such a warm welcome hello result in tears? A blog entry for another day I suppose. Or maybe not. I will say I miss you Albert, prolly my most funnest, favoritist cousin ever when I was only a little tree climber. Aggravated the crap outta me he could always go higher. Just sayin' . . .

Anyways, back to the vampires. I mean nurses. Finally just before 12, a whole hour past when my procedure was scheduled, they decided I was to be medicated/sedated after access to my femoral vein. The plan was to lightly sedate me via oral meds first. Yippeeeee! If only they'd have thought about a little sumthin' for anxiety nearer to the beginning. Finally some good news. I'd have gotten up and danced a jig if I could have. So Jason kisses me and assures me it'll all be fine and he'll see me in a little bit. My God I love this man!

Then Paul, Albert and myself sashay down the hall to the LIBERATION lounge let's call it. Paul introduces me to zillions of other technicians as they hurriedly prep and or fuss with whatever it is they are there to do. And in comes another nurse to get an IV started. WHAT THE HELL? Paul explains to her yadda, yadda, yadda about oral meds and she explains to him that my doc will not do it that way. Yikes! Will not, eh? Even after what I'd already been thru? Don't make me get off this table lady!

The woman nurse from earlier had already said if she couldn't get me I couldn't be got. And I sure didn't want her back in on this. More tears Angela? Really? No doubt dehydrated, I had no idea how producing any more tears was even possible at this point. She stuck me. A swing and a miss. "We'll try the other arm," she said. Yeh, ummmm, I'd heard that before but I at least liked this one's style. Stick and go. If ya didn't get it, move on. NO FISHING! And especially no violent deep wrist fishing. Pleeeeeeaaaase, God. Please.

And with stick number two and photographer Paul and nurse Albert's confirmations I was successfully IVed up and ready for prepping. Again with the waterfalls gushing from my eyes. I praised God again out loud and thanked the nurse who had finally won the war. I told Paul I thought maybe it would take 8 times since that is Mark Sanchez's number. (Jets' Quarterback for the non-sports fans out there.) But I sure was grateful it had happened in 7. "Seven sticks?" the successful nurse asked, her eyes nearly popping outta her head. No way she'd have ever let anybody stick her that many times. Huh, well, yeh. Me either. But what else was I supposed to do?

Sticky heart monitoring placements, a sexy cap (specially made for me Albert says), oxygen on, area sterile and we are a go. Huh? I still ain't got no meds y'all. I can feel it ALLLLL. And hear it all. Thank God I couldn't see it too. Well, I prolly could've had I kept my eyes open but a girl's gotta draw the line somewhere. So I listen as my doc directs the learning doc on how to begin. Details, details. Questions. Answers. And then a little silence and I ask, "Should I be awake for this?"

Immediately Albert is at my side asking if I need anything for pain. And although I wasn't really hurting, at least no more than normal, I promptly replied, "Yes, please!" I prayed this would put me to sleep. I knew the left side was picture perfect and the right was … "a problem," he said. "We'll figure this out," I remember the doc saying. Oh my God! Ummmm, Albert? You still there? And sleep.

Then in what seemed like no time at all I woke feeling someone or something on the outside of my neck. Huh? Where was I and what was going on? Maybe they were done and were doing an ultrasound to check flow. Or not. Once awake enuff the doc explains to me he was going to be entering from above the blockage too. HUH? Was he asking permission or what? This my friends I'd never heard of and had done no research on whatsoever. Lions and tigers and bears, oh my!

Oh my indeed! Oh my God they were going in and I was still awake. Still awake I say. God? Albert? Somebody? Anybody. Pleeeeeaaaase knock my ass out! I bet the woman nurse from earlier woulda had she been there. Just sayin' . . .

So what seemed like seconds but were actually hours later I awoke to good docs voice explaining it had been a tough one but that he got thru. Through as in finished or through as in past the block – I dunno. But I was relieved to have been blessed with sleep thru most of it, either way. So as the doc exits telling me he'd share the good news with my husband and me later I ask Albert how things really went. I reckon my cousin Albert woulda gave it to me straight and thankfully so did this one.

He told me I hadn't really rested until he'd given me a healthy dose of benedryl. Thank you kind sir. And thank you benedryl. So "the parts I missed," he said the doc would go over with me in detail with my husband but he could report that it had been after all that time – wait for it – wait for it – a success! Praise the Lord! Thank you, thank you, thank you, Jesus! Amen! Unhooked and unharnessed we made our triumphant return to wince we started. And the hubs looked relieved. Had he been nervous? Should I be then?

And before I could question him or him me, in comes the doctor. He apologizes to Jason immediately for it having taken so long. Soooo long? What the hell time was it? 4? After 4? WHAT? So let's start on the left. The left looked good. No treatment needed. Small abnormalities in the azygous so he ballooned that a few different places which by the way, for those following the whole story, I'd never had done before. Sidenote: This left me very excited about possible new improvements.

And finally the meat and potatoes. The right jugular was not only severely narrowed as the earlier ultrasound indicated, but just at the collar bone apparently it had closed off completely. For the mathematicians out there that'd mean 100% blockage. 100%. You hear me? Sooooo. He said he almost gave up trying to get thru at all but decided to try coming in thru the top down as well as from the bottom up. Made me think of a teeter totter. Up down up down up down.

Looking exhausted but relieved he explained that once he'd finally gotten thru he ballooned the area to 14mm vs. the 12mm I had done in Atlanta. So he'll see me back in a month and should it be blocked again we may have to re-visit having a stent placed. Yadda, yadda, yadda. I'd done well he told Jason. And after we both thanked him and he had left the room, I told Jason that the doc had done well! What kinda doc woulda took allllllllll that time and worked so hard to get thru that occlusion? Praise God! And praise Dr. _________! Thought I was gonna slip and tell ya, heh?

Next up was to lay flat. I've got that down cold my friends. Problem was tho I'd been laying flat on my back perfectly still for nearly 7 hours already. And they wanted four more? Uhhhhhh!?! Albert's pain meds and benedryl had completely ceased to work by 5. And in come the shakes. All I could think of was how that couldn't be good on my newly opened jugular. Could a girl at least get a Tylenol up in here? I know I got Advil in my purse. Just sayin'. Fast forward thru an hour or so more of moanin' and groanin' and in no time at all we had returned to Hotel Swankville and were discussing our dinner options.

Calls home were made and pizza was ordered. Had I made it in time for the Project Runway premiere? More on that later. "Make it work!"

Meat and Potatoes

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Make it work.

No Food Or Drink After Midnight

Sooooo, I may have had to shut down my nervous eating and drinking last night but shutting off my brain was a whole 'nother issue. After a late Applebee's dinner fetched by my gorgeous husband and served to me in bed, we curled up and caught up on episodes of Pawn Stars, Storage Wars, and Suits. "Pleeeeeaaaaase, can we watch just one more?" I begged at 11:57 p.m.

"No," replied the hubs. And although I immediately deployed my puppy dog eyes and pugged lips, he continued, "You need to try and get some sleep. You've got a big day tomorrow." A short silence followed as I contemplated whether or not to commence further conversation on the subject. Hmmmpf. Guess he was right. (Don't tell him tho, okay?) With that followed kisses g'night and my listening to him fall asleep. Sleep well my knight in shining armor. I LOVE YOU!

What next? Prayers of course. And tears. Emotional much? Yeh, wellllll, sue me. I had a come apart – aka breakdown, earlier this week when I'd become too hot and was consequently rendered a complete invalid. Scary shit. Heat intolerance is no joke. The well lit room I found myself in went dark. I like to call these 'dark moments' as a homage to Dexter's dark passenger. Only difference is I don't kill people – hehehehe . . . inside joke! Sorry.

Anyways, everything stopped working. I seriously wonder if that experience is anything like actually dying. Morbid stuff, heh? Sorry again. But I go there from time to time. MSers on Facebook droppin' like flies, my condition worsening . . . I go there. Can't help it. Again, sue me. Where was I? Ah yes. Prayers. Got a call from Aunt Ann earlier. She wanted to wish me well and let me know our entire church gathered around the alters in prayer for me this evening. Again, I began to cry and she assured me everything was gonna be alright.

Soooo in my prayers I always try to thank God for stuff first before I ask for anything. Harder and harder to do these days. Selfish hussy! After my usual rounds of thanking God for all those near and dear to me and praying for each of them – everyone at Pt. Township Church included tonight – I found myself greedily asking/hoping for all that I'd been blessed with after my last procedure. The mantra has been that we want the same good stuff this time – we just want it to last longer.

But guess what sports fans? I've gotten MUCH worse than I was before the first procedure. MUCH, MUCH, MUCH worse. Not to mention since then Msers have died. Some from MS and one weighing especially heavy with me who died just after her procedure. Sure she may have had other stuff going on they say, BUT that other stuff may be the same as my other stuff. Who knows really? Point being there is risk!

How dare I be asking to walk again when I should be asking to survive it. I should be asking to see my boys again. I should be asking that my family not be hurt by my having made the decision to risk my life trying to get better. How dare I be so shallow! God's will, Angela! God's will! How 'bout don't ask for anything. Just be thankful for what you have. I am already so blessed. As bad as I may feel there are always people worse. Always indeed but that doesn't really make things better now does it? Nooooo! No indeed! Jeez 'o Pete. Worse even! Thanks for that Angela! And with that I had to wake up the hubs and ask him not to forget to say his prayers.

And you know what that goober did? He recited word for word the prayers the boys say each night. "As I lay me down to sleep I pray the Lord my soul to keep . . . Amen." Not exactly what I'd had in mind but adorable all the same. And then a moment later he assured me he prayed for me every night. And I'm sure he does. Just as sure as I am that I thank the Lord for him each and every time I pray. And in no time at all he was back asleep. Grrrrrrr . . . lucky sucker!

I couldn't sleep. My mind was racing. Football sign-ups are upon us. Will I be able to go to practices this year? Games? How? Greedy? Shouldn't it just be enuff that I am blessed with two healthy boys that are able to play football? Damnit Angela! Thank Him and move along already. So fast forward thru hours upon hours of this kind of thought. Unable to toss and turn even. Weak ass loser. Lay still and get over it. Eventually I suppose I musta fell asleep 'cause here I am – just now awake and askin' for a Coke and my lap top.

SUCK IT UP BUTTERCUP! It's a new day!

But, geesh, this fat girl is thirsty! For what? Ice cold Coca-Cola my friends. The very same drink she is giving up this very day. And the very same drink whose sexy red and white 2-liter exterior is at this very moment beginning to glisten from the newly risen sun peeking in the tiny crack between the lush drapes hanging in our swanky hotel room this beautiful morning . . . this beautiful morning that God has made.

This beautiful morning given to us by Him – where miracles are plentiful, and especially so today of all days. Why on Earth should I be frettin' over a Coke when I'm zero sleeps and only a couple of hours away from a potential life changing procedure? Jeez 'o Pete I gotta lot on my mind. What'd I ever do before I discovered blogging as a way to release all this, ummmm, errrrr, ehhhh, CRAP for lack of a better word? I gotta blog before I explode.

What else is on yer mind, Angela? What else could there possibly be? Well, I'm so glad you asked! There's a whole heck of alot I tell ya! There are even more wayward thoughts rattling around up there than there are pesky lesions left by my MonSter friend – multiple sclerosis. Yeh, let's focus for a tic on the subject at hand instead of blathering on as I'm know to do about with goofy poems, lists, analogies and such. FOCUS!

MS sux. Neigh. I mean CCSVI. After all, with my whole heart and soul I believe it is to blame for my MS. It seems to me without a shadow of a doubt that if the freeway that's supposed to take blood from your brain back to your heart is blocked with construction or cluttered with stop lights like the Lloyd it would make absolutely perfect sense, at least to me, that it would be the primary reason blood was being forced to hangout in said brain and wreak havoc whilst waiting on an exit ramp.

So okay I can't write but so many words without spewing forth an analogy of some sort. My baaaad. How bout a poem then to pass the time 'til LIBERATION? Roses are red. Violets are blue. I'm wasting time. And if yer still reading – so are you! Good one, heh? Could you tell that's all I've been up to is wasting time? Will 10 o'clock ever get here? Anxious much?

I WANT THIS SOOOO BAAAAAAD! Pray for me people! Right now, pleeeeeaaaase! And I'll pray for you. Lord please help the people that have read my blog this far. Please give them something better to do with their lives. Cure them of the boredom of which they clearly must suffer. Hehehehe. I tried to make a funny. So what have I left out of this blog entry? "Nothing, Angela, nothing at all," you say – desperately hoping that I will conclude this installment and put you out of yer misery.

And alas, maybe that is what I should do. Put 'er to bed as they say . . . nah. I got nearly an hour to go and, ahhhh yes, I've yet to include a list. So here ya go:
Top 10 things Need Fixin'
Number 10 - This frickin' "HUG" needs to go the frig away.
Number 9 - I wanna go to the potty alllll by myself like a big girl.
Number 8 – Ahhhhh, screw it . . . Number 1 – I wanna walk!

I'm over it. Maybe I'll make another sad ass before video. But I'm getting' off here. Time is dwindling. If these are my last moments should I be spending them blogging. Noooooo! Pray for me, k? I love you all! Peace out!

Friday, June 3, 2011

more f'ball

    Adele's whaling, "we could have had it allllll . . ." and I can't help but think we could have too if it weren't for this damned MS. Grrrrr! Just made it to the last day of football camp. Barely. Overslept. Lost keys. Struggled hoisting gimp leg in the truck. Once in – gimp locked in a spasm. "No time to get help, Angela!" says the loud ass Orth girl in my head. "Go! Go! Go!"

    I throw my right leg aside and go for it with my left. Yikes! Reverse goes ok but I don't back as far as I need to. Screw it. No time. We gently go forward over a bit of the front yard. Just a bit, Jason. Promise, Baby. Plenty of room between us and the light post – promise. Foot on brake. Shift to drive. Relatively smooth, maybe a bit too much for the small bit of road we have before the stop sign at Smith Rd. So where'd the brake go? Wham! A complete stop prolly five feet or so before the sign courtesy of my overzealous, underexperienced left leg.

    Anywhoooo, long overly exaggerated, super ultra edge of your seat dramatic story made short - Asa survived the heart attack he says I nearly gave him, we took a different route, and arrived unscathed (at least physically) at 7:58 as the other campers were marching out of the locker room. "Lousy Mom!" yelled the voice in my head as Asa instructed me to stop right where I was so he could get out. "Now, Mom, now!" he demanded, "I still gotta get my equipment!" Ask and ye shall receive my son! Wham! This truck has phenomenal brakes.

    Once stopped, I began undoing my seatbelt to open my door and let Abe outta the back. Cha, right Momma! Think again. Like Abe is gonna wait on my slow fumbling ass to operate both the seat belt and the door. Luckily, Asa, sensing his little bro's urgency, allowed for his exit too before slamming his door shut. Shew! That could've gone real bad. Thank you Lord for looking out for us!

    So as Asa has turned to alert the coaches that he has arrived, Abel says to me all meek and whiny, "Mom, they've already took attendance." Nearly in tears myself at this point, I somehow muster a reassuring smile and retort, "It's okay, Baby. They see you're here." And again, thankfully, he trots off to join the others in line as Asa climbs the truck bed to retrieve his pads and helmet. Once Asa catches up with Abe they kick things into higher gear passing some of the other campers destined for the dust bowl. Ahhh, the Spindler boys – here comes Thunder and Lightning - eager and excited to give it their all . . . Momma may be weak and hurtin' but she sure is proud!

    Next stop – handicapped parking. Same spot I had all week. Seat back, computer on and who's that sexy guy in the Durango checkin' me out? What's this? He's walking over here to me. My first thought was that I looked like Hell. Of all days, I hadn't even brushed my teeth this morning. Oh my goodness! Had I forgot to put on my shirt? What's a disheveled, crippled girl like myself supposed to do at this point? "Smile back at the sexy man," says the voice in my head. And I did. No harm in a little flirting . . .

    With my uber sexy husband, that is! I knew it was him the entire time, goobers! Anyways, he brought me breakfast and some cash so I could buy the boys some ice cream to celebrate their last day. I love him soooooo much. It's no secret I'm a very lucky girl in the husband department. Thanks for the Pepsi, the biscuit, and the cold hard cash Sexy Man! <3 <3 <3 And thank you, God, for Jason. Amen.

    So . . . where were we? Where, that is, besides the high school parking lot? Gettin' out of the hospital? Right. Full of 'Roids, muscle relaxers and pain killers (as needed) I was home and couch bound. When I wasn't sleeping I was stewing about Mr. Billboard. What to do? What to do? Hmmmm . . . if only I'd had more steroids. Lucky billboard bastards. Anyways the abridged version goes a little sumthin' like this:

    I call them again and again and aside from each time being reminded I am no longer a member, they have no recollection of anything plus no bills even to refuse to pay. Huh? All this back and forth and refusing AND it's finally discovered, wellll, ummm, they are now claiming they don't even have anything to pay let alone refuse to pay. So at this point it's Aprilish and the procedure was in early Decemburrrrrrr people! Hello?! McFly are you there? Fine, I say. This info sure coulda been useful the umpteen times I'd called before. I now focus my rage on Atlanta. Had they not billed the insurance afterall? So help them God if they had not. Matter of fact, help us all!

    So I call the hubs to get their number and he refuses saying he'd handle it himself. Well lah-te-dah. Something about not wanting to burn bridges and such. Hopeful for another procedure. Blah, blah, blah. Fine. "Handle it," I say, 'cept this time I ask him to have them send it all to me so I can drag my sorry ass to the locally based Welborn HMO headquarters and hand deliver the bill to Mr. Billboard personally. So many conversations on the phone with this dude, I felt I needed to see his greasy face. Anyways, I did say abridged version, right? Yeh, then on we go.

    Jason talks to Atl again and they assure him everything had been sent. They'd be happy to send everything again but feared re-sending may confuse things and those result in non-payment. Etc, etc. And guess what else? They themselves had taken awhile to send out the bill, so they suggested that Welborn may too be struggling with a backlog. Guess what persistent bitch calls Welborn back and suggests such nonsense? Ah, yeh – this bitch! And they deny, deny, deny that that'd be the case.             Grrrrr! They do say tho that if indeed my place of service had actually sent a bill I should call back about every two weeks or so to check on it. Ummmm, so daily is overkill then, heh? I just can't help but think they get a bill marked PAID they immediately file it in the round filing receptacle – you know what I mean?

    Fast forward another month to May. So much other stuff had been going on. Outta painkillers, coming off the 'Roid high, and the muscle relaxers now failing to relax anything – the MS was baaaaaack. Meanwhile, my great aunt passed away. The flood water was threatening my Momma. So much so my sister and her kiddos even came to stay awhile after they'd helped evacuate all my g'pa's horses. It was scary people. But back to my point → I was distracted and thus laid off the insurance for a bit.

    And the hubs, instead of focusing on terrorizing Mr. Billboard for $ he knew we'd never see back, he began focusing on our new insurance and how wonderfully willing and speedily they had just paid nearly $10,000ish for my recent hospital stay. Whooopeeee! That's how insurance is supposed to work boys and girls. And with that revelation fresh in mind he began thinking maybe, just maybe there could be a paid for round two in his wife's near future. A phone call or two later, my appt. for round two in Atlanta was scheduled for May 11. And even more good news – the 2011 price for the procedure is only $7500. Yippee do. I could care about savings as we'd thought the ins. Would be taking care of this one.

    But hold on up there a tic partner! My $10,000 procedure in Dec. plus my $200 consultation fee in Nov., ummmm, WHERE THE SAM HELL IS MY REFUND??? $10,200 - $7,500 = $2,700. Math never was my strong suit, but I'm feelin' a bit cheated. Had I know the savings I sure as hell woulda waited a couple of weeks – just sayin'. Common sense people. Hello, McFly? Geesh!

    Having said all this I actually convinced the husband to call back. Wellll, he wanted to confirm the appt. anyways. Whatever happ'n, I dunno (memory's an issue, remember?). Good thing he'd called though 'cause we discovered another new policy since Dec. was that ALL patients pay in advance and they were no longer billing insurances. WHAT??? The only silver lining at this point was that we hadn't packed our bags yet. Grrrrr!

    Then one unsuspecting day after this jewel of knowledge we get notification in the mail that our good 'ol Billboard friends had paid on our freaky deaky Atl claim. Jason studies it awhile looking perplexed. And then passes it to me. 2000 sum odd bucks, my friends. Huge money, I know. Very nice since it was deemed both experimental AND out of network, but still no where near what we'd spent. And are y'all sittin' down? Way, way, way far away from what they'd actually been billed. I know I just used this silly remark in my last entry, but I feel like the re-telling of this situation calls for it even more loudly than before. HOLY SHIT, BATMAN!

    Whatever do you mean, Angela? Well, I'm glad you asked. Atlanta had billed Welborn 20,000ish. Oh my! In my pee brain, instead of being pissed at Welborn for grossly underpaying, I was more upset with Atl for arrogantly overbilling. "Prolly common practice," says the hubs. All I can think about is Atl and their new fancy corporate billing department re-billing us for the unpaid balance now. Scary, heh? And all the hubs can think about is whether or not Atl has received the $ yet and whether or not they'd be willing to just put it as a credit for round 2. So my super hubs calls and is damn near laughed at.

    Note to readers: It is not so smart to laugh at a man on a mission – especially if he's 6'2" and 300 lbs. A refund on the change of price? Ha! A credit for what your ins. Paid? Ha, again. This girl here would not be getting LIBERATED this May. Or ever in Atlanta if this was the way things were being ran these days.

    "Don't let this get you down," the hubs so lovingly says. Ohhhh, I ain't down, Baby . . . I am good 'ol fashioned pissed. Don't go and let yourself get those two confused. "What next then?" asks a friend. Hmmmmm? What indeed, I wonder to myself. But whatever it is – everything happens for a reason. God's plan, I tell ya. God's plan and God's time my friends. And until I know what that is I will trusr in Him and keep on keepin' on . . . or at least tryin' my damnedest to.

    So any thoughts, ummmm, and or donations -hehehehehehe- you know where to find me. Thanks for readin'.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Long time . . .

Well here I sit with the truck running so I can be in the air. Hard on the truck? Prolly. Bad for the environment? Surely. Keeping Angela alive? Absolutely.

Why on Earth are you sitting alone in the truck, Angela? It's true – very few circumstances get me off my couch these days, let alone out of my 68 degree home. Summer has begun, my friends and my men are in FOOTBALL CAMP! Yeeeeehaw! I love me some football! Just seein' my big man in full gear gives me chills.

Enuff to give the truck a rest? Hmmmm, afraid not. Oh, look! There they go. Right past the truck today, then past the field, beyond the tennis courts and on to the dust bowl. They took a different route on Tuesday. Anyways, it's quite the trek. I so wish I could go with them. See. Hear. Feel the crack-a-lackin'.

What am I bitchin' about now? Trophy wife all comfy in our truck? Seat laid back a bit. Air blastin'. Radio playin'. Laptop fired up. Why complain, right? Welllll, this wouldn't be my blog if I weren't bitchin' 'bout somethin', right? Don't get me wrong – I am blessed to still have as good of vision as I have, BUT it is hard as Hell to see all these healthy parents parading around here. How dare they parade! Not parading? Be-bopping then. Call it what you like. Walking perhaps? Whatever. I'm jealous. Thou shall not covet . . . hmmmpfh.

I'm sooo not the 'jelly' type. Never have been. Never! Never had a reason to be jealous. Always had the best. OK, wellll, even if I didn't – always thought I did. Am I being punished for that attitude now? Yikes! So not in the philosophical mood at this point. Nevermind. Let's get back to where we left off, shall we? It's been awhile. The entire month of May, for example, bang, zoom – gone! Did I leave you in March or April?

Any whoooo, I was in the hospital. That I remember. A special thank you to all who visited. Thanks to my boys for the ice cream. Ryan and Angel for the coloring book and crayons. And last but not least a shout out to Melissa for visiting. It was awesome to talk to you. We were tight in the first grade and tho we'd grown apart over time it was as if we'd stayed close. I pray your Dad is doing well and that your girls are enjoying their summer. It's clear you rock at what you do. Deaconess is lucky to have you. Keep up the good work!

As a matter of fact I was pretty impressed with all the hospital crew I encountered this time around. I used to play basketball with one of the therapists I had this time. She said it sure was weird seeing me this way after having played ball with me in high school. Imagine how I feel, my dear. Standing before her I had the terrible urge to get down in the defensive position and await her to make a cut for the basket. Anyways, I digress.

Aside from my neuro practically refusing to see me – even once inside my room – shit got done this visit. No joke. And who do I owe this visit to? Dear 'ol Dr. Lee. Odd for me to speak well of him, I know, BUT after accusing me of using him he musta ran into the man who calls himself a neuro in the hall or something because he actually called me. Yes, besides my daily kisses on the forehead I got my very own personal call from Dr. Lee – moments before, by the way, I was about to call my Momma to bitch about him.

Anyways, he called and told me he was awfully sorry about my MS prognosis and that he would see to getting some stuff done for me while I was there. WHAT? There's stuff you can do for MS? Holy shit, Batman! I had no idea. Were you aware there are daily exercises you can do to combat spasticity in your legs? Well, I'll be darned. There are and since the hospital – I been doing 'em. And guess what? They help. Fewer spasms. Take that know it all neuro!

And guess what else? Braces for your feet to combat foot drop. Holy cow! Who knew? "How long have you known you've had MS?" asked my former teammate Lori. I answered 11 years. And she replied, "They've never talked to you about braces or assistive devices?" And guess what else I learned while there? There's medicine to combat the infamous MS hug. Huh?! Odds are that just may be what got me admitted in the first place. Oh, yeh. That reminds me. What came first the chicken or the egg? That's where we'd left off. Memory is an issue too. But we've covered that, right?

No? Humor me then, k? K. Back to which came first. What's it matter? Fry 'em both up and they are delicious. Damn. I'm makin' myself hungry just thinkin' about it. Breakfast or supper? Or both? Sunnyside up and extra crispy. Anyways, it was supposed to be an analogy to why I was in the hospital. Did I really have pneumonia or was it just the hug masquerading as pneumonia? Or even more educated and scientific – had the pain from the hug caused me to breathe weird and present as or actually even cause pneumonia? Again I say, either way . . . delicious! I was in the hospital getting' stuff done. Praise the Lord – progress.

Only trouble was – would progress continue once home? Welllll, depends on what one considers as progress. The exercises? Still helpful tho I'm not doing them as consistently nowadays, as I just don't have the energy the IV steroids must've given me. The muscle relaxer given to combat the hug? Still on 'em but they just don't have the magic they used to. Maybe I should take more. Note to self: Call Dr. Lee. For now tho the extra-strength back pain stuff my hubs got me is doing pretty decent. Just don't take 'em during the day and expect to stay awake.

The braces? Gave 'em a legit try but turned out using them caused more falls than not. But I did start the new "walking" drug for MS – Ampyra. And I'm trying real hard to get more comfortable using my walker/rollator. Huge. Clunky. People staring. People wondering, "What up with that loser?" and "How come her hair ain't blue?" Kinda pessimistic, heh? Soooo, maybe they're thinkin' . . . "She's a hottie! Way too sexy for that walker!" Ohhhh, great! Now I have Right Said Fred stuck in my head.

So on the mobility front . . . nothing worth writing about. Nothing nice anyways. So what up next then? What indeed? Atlanta round 2? A no go. Northern Indiana doc then. Denied. Mention of Bulgaria – laughed at. More on this and my struggles with Mr. Billboard Insurance Man later. I've typed 'til my fingers are tingling. Now excuse me whilst I dance off here to the music in my head. Ha! I guess the dancing'll have to be in my head to. Oh, well at least it's somewhere! "Everybody . . . FOOTLOOSE!"